Giving Thanks

By the time you read this, I’ll be on the way to drop the Babe at the airport for his flight to DC. Shhhh! He’s going to surprise our grandson Joell for his birthday on the 25th. More about this later. The holiday will be nice and quiet with my oldest son and me. Looking forward to it, and he loves leftovers! So I won’t be eating them until the devil wears ice skates.

While we know the first Thanksgiving isn’t how we were taught in school, we still remember we need to give thanks for living in the land we do, and that we are free. My sincere apologies to the indigenous peoples, we were terrible to you.

I have to say, Nebraska’s new governor has committed his first faux pas already. He posted a photo of his wife, him, and two grandkids at the kids’ Thanksgiving programs. The little girl was dressed like a pilgrim girl. The little boy, an American Indian. Didn’t anyone in his campaign educate him how bad that is these days? It always should have been bad. We need to respect the Indigenous People. This is not how we do it.

So to prepare for Thanksgiving, I baked Mom’s Mince Meat Pie. Have you ever tasted that? It’s awful, in my opinion. Mom also happened to give me a Pumpkin and Mini Chocolate Chip Bread recipe last time I saw her. She thought it sounded good, which I took as a big hint she wanted me to bake it. So I did today. Made four loaves. Hope she likes it. I’ll drop off her pie and bread tomorrow on the way home of the airport.

And the rest of the holiday weekend? The pups and I will be left to our own devices. Turkey, goodies, and a new Sweet Potato Salad I’m trying, and working on Kayla’s quilt, now that I know I haven’t lost all my skills and confidence. While we don’t know what the first Thanksgiving was really like, we do know it wasn’t idyllic as we were taught. The pilgrims were allegedly thankful for the harvest (and for being alive after their voyage across the ocean). The winter would nearly wipe them out, but they didn’t know that then.

None of us know where we’ll be a year from now. Too many of our friends didn’t make it through this year with us. We remember, and will not forget. We need to give thanks for how our lives are right now, today, and for the hope of what they can be in the next year. A good friend is waiting to hear the fate of a former co-worker; she has disappeared and the Sheriff’s Department is involved, it’s even searching a home in another state; it doesn’t sound good. Another two good friend lost their wives in the last six months, and their lives will never be the same. We can only hope, keep our faith, and give thanks for wherever we are at any given time.

Should the worst happen to us? Our only choice is to continue on. Yes, it hurts like hell when someone we love more than life itself is taken from us way too soon. We can give thanks because we knew that kind of deep, forever love. It can be from a friend, from a parent, or from a spouse. When we lost my dad, I never wanted to be close to anyone again; I never wanted the chance of something hurting that badly again.

Eight years later, I met the Babe; I learned he had ischemic heart disease. Dang! Finally met someone who would stay, and he had a bad ticker. I was afraid to love him; I was too afraid of losing him before we were even together. That was foolish of me. I’m so glad we talked over my fears. I knew I would have more joy with the Babe than without him. No matter how many years we’d have together, they’d be our best. All these years later, I’m grateful for him and the life we have. We are both lucky, to have each other. Thankful for it all.

Wherever we are next year, I must remember to be grateful for all of this life we’ve had so far. Because we never know. And we’re going to make the most of it all. Thank you for reading; be grateful; see you tomorrow.

This Guy

What can we say about a grandson who has grown into a young man over the past couple of years? He is an athletic, smart, a kind-hearted young man, and the apple of his parent’s eye(s). We’ve watched him grow from a little guy to this deep-voiced, tall, muscular teenager. He is a world traveler, European back packer, mountain biker, former Ju Jitsu student, baseball player He once attended a Cal Ripken baseball camp and asked Mr. Ripken if he was ever afraid of the ball coming at him @ 90mph? Mr. Ripken told him yes, he has been afraid of the ball sometimes.

Part of becoming a player is learning to calm your fears. How cool is that? He is unafraid to try something new, to speak up in a crowd, and to help someone who may need it. They have brought him up to share his gifts with others, donate birthday gifts to the USMC Toys for Tots drive and delivered meals on wheels with his mom. His life has balance, enrichment, and support. They’re a wonderful family and we love them a bunch. We get to see them in October when they visit, and hope to keep in touch more with his new fully functioning cell phone.

In 13 1/2 years, this guy has grown into a part of what he’ll be the rest of his life. His heart is enormous, with love and compassion for everyone. His body is robust and nourished well. Although he’s an only child, he has many friends in the various groups he takes part in; school, swimming, mountain bike (training now), indoor swim, and who knows what he’ll pick once he gets into high school.

He is in a Spanish Immersion Program since pre-school. I admire the program as it will be necessary to speak two languages in these times. It will make you much more employable. Translators are critical now, for medical facilities, social services, and employment. My years in Human Resources hit home with the needs of the workplace now. He’ll do great with being bi-lingual.

The one thing that makes us miss him less? He is in Maryland, we’re in Nebraska. With that distance, it’s easy to lose each other in the distance. What we try to communicate to him is we think of him often, are proud of him, and we are all under the same sun, moon, and stars. We can try for a Facetime call when he’s not busy going to lessons, practices, doing homework, etc. Just remember, we love you, Joell. That will continue on forever. We’ve known and loved you all your life. Besos and love!

Grand parenting from a distance is hard. Yes, we could travel, but the Babe (and I) don’t want any exposure to COVID. We’re vaccinated. It appears not to matter with this mutated strain. We don’t want to be carriers, or become ill. I would guess we’ll go back to masks. The schools are considering it as we speak. This disease is no joke. We will make adjustments in life, and do what we can. As the song goes. We have to do what we can, and love one another through it. Our love goes to our families, scattered all over America. California, Colorado, Missouri, South Dakota, Maryland, and other’s I’ve probably forgotten. Spread some love around today. We all need it. See you tomorrow!

Sunny Sunday!

Finally! At Long Last! It’s sunny outside. Not one cloud in the sky. Although it’s quite windy, I do believe there will be some good opportunity to sit on the deck or patio today. I’m currently in my studio to write this so I don’t get sidetracked as I did yesterday.

You may remember I’m not allowed by my daughter to post photos of them, their daughter or their dog. That said, I can finally share. On January 13, 2020, I became a Grandma and the Babe became a Grandpa again, to a little boy, Cody Wyatt. He’s a cutie in his pics and videos. They are quite private about their business, so announcement had to wait until now. Kayla Jolee is a big sister, and loves him. Until he’s being held. Then she wants to be held. You know the drill if you’ve ever been around babies. All is well.

So, every once in awhile, there is a different way people conduct their lives. It doesn’t mean it’s wrong, it’s just different. I have to respect their wishes, as they’re the parents, not me. So I try to do the best. There will be a little socially distant shopping in my future.

So today is going to be a productive day. I need this sunshine to perk me up. Seriously, I was getting down in the dumps, no matter how hard you try sometimes, and God gave us all a sunny day. After the forty days and nights of rain, God gave a rainbow. If that’s ahead, that’s great. The blue skies are plenty for me right now. We’ve been hearing birds singing for weeks now. You can pick out the Blue Jay calls, the Cardinals, and plain old chirping of Robins, but now we’re hearing a Woodpecker hammering away at something. You’d think those guys would get a headache from the constant hammering all day long. God thought of everything, though. I guess they don’t get headaches.

I’m all for going to buy more bird feed. The Babe’s not quite on board yet but will be. The Gold Finches are plentiful here, as are Cardinals and all kinds of birds I can’t even identify. A couple years ago, I bought binoculars as a shared birthday gift, since our birthdays are only two days apart. I need to make a point to use them this year. That and put orange peels out for the Baltimore Orioles. That one is tough for the Babe, he doesn’t want critters and varmints coming in the yard, but we can place it out of reach. We’ll figure it out.

Sometime today I’ll do a walk around the yard to see if any plants are sprouting. I need the reassurance the hardy stuff will do it’s thing here as soon as Spring is here to stay. It’s also a great time to spot any dandelions who may be sprouting already. Luckily, our neighbor who sported a completely full of dandelions lawn has moved away. The owner gutted the house (I hear it was really bad inside) and I hope he included some extensive lawn service along the line. It has to be an improvement.

You know, in our old neighborhood, we had quite a diverse population. No kidding, folks from China, Pakistan, the Ukraine, Viet Nam, and others we couldn’t identify. The front yard of the Pakistani people was filled with trees. No kidding, a peach tree, a couple apple trees, beautiful evergreens, and plants all over too. I think the reason they did that is they never had a green space before. Can you imagine living somewhere you had dirt, no toilet, and little else? They were the nicest people. After 9/11 they were taunted by folks that didn’t live in the neighborhood. I’m glad they didn’t leave, they were very good citizens. And a side of karma to their naysayers: Their boys had scholarships to college, and not long after that, they were driving Porsche’s. Good job, young men. You did very well. I hope the rest of your lives is so productive.

Stretch your legs today. I need to. Crazy, heartbreak, unsureness, you can leave today. Leave your key, and stay gone. Laughter, Love, Living, come on in and stay. I’ll give you a key. But not those other guys. They’re gone. Immediately. Thank you so much for reading. I appreciate you keeping up with me, it’s been a downer of a week, we’re better for it, though. New Life. New Love. New Laughter. We’re going outside! C’mon back tomorrow, I’ll be here! Coronavirus be damned! Stay home and wash your hands. We’ve been thrown out of better places.