Tag Archive | memories

Thrifty Vintage Finds ~ Dormeyer Blender

After a brief trip to Florida, I Had a chance to do some junk marketing when I got back to TN.  We Picked up this cool vintage Dormeyer Blender at my favorite Goodwill store.

Antique Dormeyer Blender  Model 5902

Antique Dormeyer Blender Model 5902

It was Made in the U.S.A. (in Chicago) around 1950. This Model, 5902 still has it’s original white enameled paint on it’s heavy weighted and sturdy Metal base.  The thick, heavy glass container is in perfect condition, without any chips or cracks. They don’t make glass like that any more.  It has a light grey rubber lid with a raised chef imprint/logo.

  The generous length of cord is cracking with age and needs replacing, but since I am planning for the most part, on simply displaying this piece, I will leave it in it’s original condition.  I did plug it in and the motor sounds great and the super sharp blades work like new.  I believe they called this machine, the “Meal Maker”.  I love the old-fashioned on/off (one speed) Toggle switch; it’s very vintage and Industrial looking.

This gem was a mere $5.99 and after searching online, I found it has a resale value of at least $62.  Though I don’t have any plans on reselling it, it would look awesome in an old fashioned soda parlor!  This Blender will have a prominent and nostalgic place on my counter top as it does in history.

Have you done any antiquing or thrift store shopping lately? What cool things  have you found?

Happy Thrifting ya’ll! 😀

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The Willow Tree, The offering & The Sentiment.

I remember when I was very young, we had this enormous weeping willow tree off the back patio. It provided the yard with  most of its shade. Us kids (my two brothers and sister) and our friends, used to climb the tree and rest in it’s huge limbs.  We would gather handfuls of the loose Willow branches and swing as far as they would take us.  Depending on how high we placed our hands on the willow would decide on whether or not our feet would drag the ground or if we would swing several feet off the ground.  We’d spend many an hours playing in and around that ole’ tree each day.   Our farm, Weeping WillowThe photo above is one of our weeping willows, but not the one we swung on.

That willow tree had to be at the very least one hundred years old, but the size of it’s trunk was about ten feet around at it’s base. I’ve always heard that willows only grow near water.  The nearest creek  bed was at the end of our long driveway (about a city block away).

Along the creek on our property, were other trees of course and also wild berry bushes. We had honeysuckle, strawberry,  blackberry and raspberries galore.  There were apple trees too. They made for an instant healthy and refreshing snack whenever we felt inclined to eat!

We had 14 acres and most were lined with trees keeping it private.  Our home sat on somewhat of a hill. The walks to and from the school bus each day were rather long.  Of course, like any normal kid, the walk to school would generally feel longer than the walk home.   We caught the bus for Elementary school Monday through Friday and then again for Sunday school/church.  I Looked forward to the Sunday bus rides.  It was always a happy trip across town.  We lived in the Township which was rural farmlands, and the Church was in the boro (borough) or “in town”.   It was several miles away.

Waiting for The Sunday School busOur Sunday school bus driver was a friendly and sweet old man ….though in retrospect, he wasn’t really old at all.   He (Mr. Stall) always had a smile on his face and greeted each of his passengers by first name.  He always made conversation with everyone, as not to leave anyone out.  Each bus ride ended in a few packs of “Smarties” candies being squeezed lovingly into each of our hands.  While now writing this, I am  acknowledging my lifelong enjoyment of those candies, and the fact that Mr. Stall and his kindness played a part in my enjoyment of them!

For Christmas, Mr. Stall handed out gift wrapped full sized boxes of “special” treats.  They were either one of two kinds.   My favorite was the “Starlite” solid chocolate’s.  They were sweet milk chocolate drops that were raised into the shape of a star.  Brach’s makes a similar version.  The others were Non-Pareils.  Pea sized dark chocolate coated with white flavored dots.  They were tasty too.  Occasionally, I will have these at the movie theaters, but nowhere, other than from my early childhood Sunday school bus driver (Mr. Stall), have I ever found the Starlite chocolates.  He made them unique!

 At the end of our driveway on each side of it’s entrance were Queen Ann’s lace flowers.  I remember them being so delicate.  So feminine.  So, country.  Most were spread wide open and looked like living doilies.  They bloomed from the wild…they weren’t planted by Mom.  Amongst the doilies would be a few closed ones that resembled cups, or pockets.

Getting on our Sunday School BusI recall (with much regret), a few times that I hid my Sunday offering (a quarter) in the closed flower and retrieved it on the walk home after being dropped off from the bus.  I felt horrible when I didn’t place my quarter in the offering basket.  It played in my mind throughout service.   I remember an overwhelming feeling of guilt, as I said my goodbye to Mr. Stall.   I think I felt so guilty because he was so generous and most caring, and he was the one who brought me (safely) to and from Church each Sunday.

The walk up the drive would be the longest and hardest of all; carrying that quarter.  The quarter that was meant to be given as an offering to God.  I let him down.  I would feel guilt and sadness for quite  awhile.   I don’t know why I did it.   I don’t know what I used the quarters for or even where I put them.  It had always bothered me as a child.  I know I have said I am sorry over the years as I always do when I make a mistake.  I know in my heart, I had been forgiven.

1 Corinthians 13:4-7 Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.

Ephesians 4:31-32 Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.

 

109 Years in the Palms of my hands

A hobby of mine in which I find much pleasure, is antiquing, flea marketing & thrift store shopping.  Lately, I seem to be doing more of the latter.  I have been finding such a wonderful array of treasures.

When I go bargain hunting, I usually head on in with no particular item in mind (although I am always on the prowl for white Ironstone pieces, to add to my collection). I typically walk straight to the back section that houses the dinnerware, glass trinkets or pottery.  I also hunt for anything garden related, anything old that catches my eye…generally items that have a history to them.

In my latest “Goodwill” trip, I found an amazing Revival Hymns book. This antique is 109 years old. The pages have a beautiful aged scent to them, and are so fragile. You can literally see them crumble in your hands if you are not too careful. 109 years in the palms of my hands.  I can only dream of all who held it in their hands while praising our Lord.  Who were they?  Where did they come from,  what kind of life did they live?  This old book makes me happy! Incredibly, it was marked at only $1.49. I LOVE it!

Revival  Hymns        109 years old

Revival Hymns Book ~ 109 years old

“The final aim and reason of all music is nothing other than the glorification of God and the refreshment of the spirit.”  ~ Johann Sebastian Bach

Little did I know it, but the tone was set for my shopping excursion. I spotted an employee pushing a cart full of freshly tagged goods, that she was preparing to stock the shelves with. Nonchalantly, I casually walked over and glanced into the cart. I eyed a wonderful garden Angel statue, beneath tons of china & stemware.  I patiently waited nearby, until she set it on the shelf.  It sat for only 3o seconds before I got my hands on it!  A new home for you my dear!  She was well worth her price of $7.99.

Garden Angel

Garden Angel

While rummaging through picture frames, I came across a wonderful diy; handwritten poem, entitled  “Love Letter from Jesus”. Read it here:  https://countrypkin.files.wordpress.com/2014/09/a-love-letter-from-jesus-words.jpg I felt inclined to nab this as well.  It was if it were speaking to me directly.  I just had to get it. The frame is tattered a bit, but I kind of enjoy it that way.  The love shines through just the same without being shiny and new.  I considered painting it, but Jesus was a carpenter, and I think the natural wood befits the letter.  The cost of this was $1.99.

Love Letter From JESUS.

Love Letter From JESUS.

I spent a small total of $11.47 on my purchase, but gained so much more.  I got a piece of History in that well worn, (109 yr) old book.  Some beautiful songs that I will try to sing and attempt to do the words justice.  I got a promise in that letter, that Jesus will be waiting for me one day.  And a gentle reminder, that I need to be careful of the things I say and do and all that I need to reflect upon in order to be worthy of him.  I also find a comfort in my garden Angel addition, who now watches over my garden.  With her hands pressed together, she blesses each day, each flower, each blade of grass, each bug and bird, to replenish and restore through all their works.  She blesses each cat & dog, each boy or girl, young and old…any living thing that passes her way.  She gives the promise of Gods Love in all things big and small; that is what I see in her as she now takes up home in my garden.

What have you found recently in your trip to the thrift store that gives you pleasure?

Thrift is not an affair of the pocket, but an affair of Character. ~S.W. Strauss

Happy Thrifting ya’ll! 😀

Through my window : A Poem

 

Through my window……my eyes can see
Flowers growing……blowing leaves.

Trees that reach……into the sky
Flying birds……passing by.

Cats that wander ……Dogs that bark
Children’s laughter from the park.

Mowers mowing ………Ponds that glisten
Grown kids talking……Parent’s listening.

In the distance…..I can hear
Airplane’s engines……getting near.

Sounds of silence……..No one’s home
Just you and me……The kids are grown.

Out the door……..No time for us
Grand kids one day………we have to trust.

Wishing, hoping……Time stood still
But time goes forward…………It’s God’s will.

Through my window ~ by Pamela K.

 

Angel. A kitten of any other name, just wouldn’t be the same.

I once lifted a lifeless, near frozen kitten out from under a wooden step. His mother had refused to feed him and left him trapped under our back porch deck. For several days he was under the deck. I never imagined a mother could abandon her baby like that, but she did. I only assumed, and had hoped that she had been taking care of him. I was wrong. She had left him to die.

A baby is born with a need to be loved – and never outgrows it. ~ Frank A. Clark

The tiny kitten, had somehow managed to crawl himself under the connecting porch step which was sealed in front, top and sides (basically it was like a box with a sealed lid). I heard his cries getting softer. At first, I had hoped that the mother’s intuition would kick in, and she would finally nurse her sickly sounding baby. She never did. It had gotten quiet, and I could barely hear a sound. I thought I had to be mistaken. I ran over to the step, and listened. Nothing. My heart started to race with panic. Did I wait too long? I hollered into the house, for my husband to get his crowbar. I needed him to pry the step apart.

Love unlocks doors and opens windows that weren’t even there before. ~Mignon McLaughlin

My own heart skipped a beat, as I saw the baby kitten through a tiny crack that was made from the crowbar. He wasn’t breathing. In mere seconds, the top board was off. I reached in and picked his hardening, and ice cold, lifeless body out from the step. Was I too late? Please God, no, (I prayed over and over in my head). I refused to let him pass from this life. I refused to let him die.

I carried him inside the house, and grabbed a few kitchen dish towels. I heated the towels in the microwave for 15 seconds each, and wrapped them around this kitten. I did this “every five minutes” for the next four and a half hours. I held him in my arms, while sitting on the couch (semi watching tv), and talking to him and to God. With each trip to the microwave, I hugged him close to my chest. The towels warmed my hands, while thawing his tiny body. I was determined, I wasn’t prepared to stop. That is, until slowly, a tiny, furry white arm, reached out from under a towel, as if to say ‘alright, I’m alive, stop it with the hot towels already!’

With God all things are possible. Mat. 19:26

In that moment, I felt one of the greatest feelings I have ever felt. I saved a life. I felt as if God himself had done his work, through me. It was beyond amazing. It was itself, a miracle. My eyes teared up. I was overwhelmed. with joy, with relief, and also with a sadness that I could finally let go. I no longer had to feel sorrow. I didn’t need to because he did not die. For a few minutes I felt like a hero. It was pretty cool. My micro waved towels idea – they worked. But wait, it wasn’t just me…..it was really my prayers that had been answered. That’s what worked. Ultimately, that is what healed him. Without further thought, I had found a name come rushing to my mind. I called my little kitten “Angel”.

Nursing "Angel" back to health

Nursing “Angel” back to health

Love many things, for therein lies the true strength, and whosoever loves much perfoms much, and can accomplish much, and what is done in love is done well. ~ Vincent Van Gogh

In the days following, I began to nurse him back to health. He wasn’t the ’prettiest’ to look at, at first as some might‘ve thought. He had teary eyes and looked a little sickly. He almost died after all! My “Angel” was not stunted in any way, from his moments (technically hours) of death. Over a time, he grew to a normal size. He was quite healthy, although he did have an occasional bout of lazy eye, and he was a little deaf. I would stomp on the ground when I wanted to get his attention. A couple of thumps on the sidewalk and Angel would come running from around the corner, always happy to see me. Always full of energy and spunk. He was my little pal. He was so cute. So cuddly soft, and the whitest of white thick fur with patches of orange stripe. And did I say cute? Yes, he was adorable. He really was….lazy eye and all. His lazy eye was kind of funny at times and the hubby dubbed him “Chico”!

Angel on road to recovery

Angel on road to recovery

Like a Mom, I taught Angel how to climb a tree, just as I did his brothers and sisters before him. He followed me around the yard, while I watered flowers, pulled weeds and took pictures etc. He was learning. Learning about me, as much as learning about himself. He learned what he could and could not do. He also made friends with his once estranged brothers and sisters. Angel and his Mom bonded once he was well again. His Mom, Callie, tended to give Angel the cold shoulder, but on so many occasions I caught her tenderly grooming him, and then holding/hugging him during naps. If Angel happened to “ignore” his mom, she would taunt him with her tail, until he played with her.

omma Callie & Angel taking a nap

Momma Callie & Angel taking a nap

He became best buds with our outside yellow Lab. Angel and Jake routinely slept together…..that is, Jake, (often reluctantly), allowed Angel to sleep on top of him. (I had many photos of the two, but as of this writing, I sadly cannot locate them on my computer. If I find them later on, I will edit and add them).

Angel would only climb trees if I was nearby.

Angel would only climb trees if I was nearby.

Angel and a Thistle. (She loved to pose!)

Angel and a Thistle. (She loved to pose!)

Angel was always rubbing into our Labs’ face…somewhat annoying him, perhaps getting fur on his nose…..getting Jake to stand up and move…..over and over again. It was Angels’ little game. Angel was a very active, and playful two year old. He paled around with me, Jake (and the other cats) for about 2 years. That is, until one day, he just disappeared.

Angel

Angel

Angel was never one to leave my yard. He was always here. He ’never’ went beyond the fence he sat on…..unless I carried him. He would always stop short, as if there was an imaginary boundary telling him to stay put. It has been over a year now since he disappeared. I like to believe, that a traveling salesman picked Angel up and kept him to be his own pet, because the guy thought our cat was cool (that was the last time I saw him). I am hoping also, that he is still playing with someone else’s dog and sleeping on them too, like he had done with our lab. It is a much better thought, than the alternative.

I loved that little kitten that I rescued from under the wooden step, and I love & will remember the fun, happy, playful cat that he grew to be. I also know that I will see him again to, after all…. he is my little “Angel”

In Remembrance.

In  Remembrance of you Angel, wherever you are. <3

In Remembrance of you Angel, wherever you are. ❤

If we deny love that is given to us, if we refuse to give love because we fear pain or loss, then our lives will be empty, our loss greater.

A few childhood memories (of Mom)

A few early childhood memories (of Mom)

I’m nearing the half-century mark, and I am very fortunate and happy to say my mother is still with me.  In light of Mother’s day (a few weeks ago),  I wanted to share a few early memories I have of my Mom, that are special to me.

Being a mother means that your heart is no longer yours; it wanders wherever your children do. ~Author Unknown

I am the youngest of four and the baby of the family.  I like to think I had a special little bond that my older brothers and sister didn’t have.  I know growing up, there wasn’t any favoritism, but I can’t recall ever seeing the others off by themselves with mom……ever.  Although, what would I know.  It may just well have been that they were busy with their friends while I sat at home, and she might just had been accommodating the poor little lonely kid!

Mom and baby Me!

Mom and baby Me!

We lived on a “non working” farm.  We had lots of chickens and roosters, numerous cats, 2 family dogs (Rusty and Shane), a horse (Buck) and a mean pony, (appropriately named) “Sassy”.   I hated that pony.  Well, I guess I was more ‘afraid’ of him than anything.  He chased me a lot and bit me one time. From then on I hated to be in the fields even remotely close to him.  I loved Buck.  He was beautiful.  He nudged me all the time to pet him.   He was super friendly.  Except for the egg bearing chickens, and a few nasty roosters, the rest were all pets.

I remember Mom planting vegetable gardens over the years, and I always enjoyed eating carrots and leafy lettuce fresh out of the ground.  I cannot recall ever washing them before I ate them.  We didn’t plant corn, because the neighbor farmer had fields of corn.  We helped ourselves to it! Our garden was pretty far from the house, and if memory serves me correctly, there wasn’t a water spicket nearby, so mom had to lug lots watering cans one by one to the garden everyday.  Without a doubt, us kids helped too; especially me.  I was moms shadow.   I followed mom wherever she went.

Mom in a garden

Mom in a garden

The garden sat between a huge white barn, that became an “off limits” two story garage.  Eventually, at some point, all us kids snuck in there.  At the other end of the garden, was a small shack, in which my sister and I made our play house.  We kept our girly toys and things there and played house with each other and our friends.  Eventually, our older brothers crashed the place and turned it into their fort.  So, when I wasn’t pulling carrots or listening to mom singing while she worked in the garden, I was in the play house decorating with found treasures from the other barns, or that we picked up from the abandoned railroad tracks on our property.   I remember Mom sewed us some. curtains for the windows to dress the place up.  I remember having tea parties and making mud pies with old tin pans that mom had given us, always remembering to “add the cup of love” into every pie!
After my brothers “took over” our playhouse, we moved into one of the corncribs.  Tucked way into the back end. We had a lot of cat visitors in our new place.  I still snuck into my brothers fort whenever mom was in the garden, and while they were at school.

Mom

Mom

We had a small electric organ in our dining room.  It had a dark wood color and the matching bench had a bright red fabric seat.   After turning the little brown knob on, on the organ, it had to heat up for a few minutes.   Once it was ready, to make the notes last, you had to pump the peddle with your foot.  I would always sit on the organ bench alongside mom and listen to her play.  She taught me how to play Mary had a little lamb, and My Country tis of thee, and chop sticks! Mom sang to me.   I loved hearing her voice.   She sounded like a country singer.   One song that really stood out was one that I thought she made up about her Daddy (who lived pretty far away in Newfoundland, Canada).   It was called “How far is Heaven”.   Later in life, I learned it was an old Kitty Wells song.  One of moms favorite country and western singers.
Through the years, I often found myself singing that song, only I never really knew the exact words.  I made them up.   With the great technology we have now, it is stuck on my playlist on my smartphone.   With no disrespect to the late Miss Wells, I still think mom sang the song so sweetly.  I wish I could have her record herself singing it, but knowing her own father is in heaven now, I think it would make her sad.

http://youtu.be/m-VRaNye-lo

My Mom, the Country singer =)

My Mom, the Country singer =)

My father used to be away a lot.   Being a child, I always assumed it was for his work.  He was Chief of Police for our small town.  Turned out, all his late nights were spent cheating on my mother.  (Rotten s.o.b.)  I never really cared when he was gone, other than knowing it made my mom sad.  I didn’t care, because it meant, I could have late nights with mom.   I always snuck down in the middle of the night and mom would make me warm milk and toast which she cut up into little tiny pieces.  She made herself tea, and I would also occasionally take sips of it.  Looking back, I think that may have been when I developed my strong love for hot tea! Back then, she drank Salada tea, with the little quotes or sayings on the tags.  I often thought how cool that was.  Smart tea.  Such words of wisdom.  Later on, she switched to Red Rose tea, which to this day, is my favorite.  Sitting alongside mom at the kitchen table in the wee hours made me feel like a princess.   Sitting on her lap when I could tell she was upset, made me feel like I was comforting her…..I may have been small, but I deep down knew something was troubling her.  I think she needed me to sneak downstairs every night.  A few times Dad surprised us and came home before I could run upstairs.  He got mad and I think jealous that I had such quality time with my mom.  He would make up stories that I was found on our porch in a roasting pan, and that they “adopted” me. What a horrible person would try to have their little child believe they were left in a pan or that they were adopted when they weren’t.

Mom and Me

Mom and Me

I went on walks with my mom around the property, picking raspberries and black berries.  Mom also planted wild rhubarb (Burdock) in a flower garden near the house, and we would share the bitter stalk while flower picking.  I remember there was an old cow skull in the center of that flower bed, that always gave me the creeps.  In the twelve room house, there was only one bathroom.  Mom told me if I ever had to go number two, and someone was in the bathroom, I could use the wild rhubarb leaves as natures toilet paper. I used her little trick a couple of times.  Brushing past that creepy, boney, cows head and dashing into the tall overgrown fields to do my business.  We had paths made in the cornfields, and also in the tall grass fields so no one could ever see.  To this day, I’m not really sure if any of the others went to the bathroom outside. Hey, don’t judge……it was the early 70’s. Even princesses gotta poop, even if it has to be without a throne! =)

Wild Rhubarb (Burdock)

Wild Rhubarb (Burdock)

I think I was in 3rd grade when mom took a job at a laundromat.  She had to walk several miles to get to work.  (Back in the day, many years ago, when I was a small lass lol).  Sometimes I would go with her.  We would have to walk a railroad bed along the way and behind the old Acme was where some unused trains were parked, off the tracks.  They looked abandoned.  We always felt like we were being followed.  Turned out, we were.  He was a rather tall, gangly looking man who wore all green clothing.  We called him “The Green man”. (Yeah, we came up with good names didn’t we? Lol) In retrospect, I can’t believe how dangerous it could have been.  That guy knew where my mom worked.  He knew our paths we took.  He was always behind us when we walked, or sometimes waiting up ahead.  It was creepy.  Mom pushed me in the huge canvas laundry carts all the time, when I went to work with her. I watched her greet customers all day long and tag and bag their clothes, and work the cash register.  I really admired my mom.  I saw her as being a pretty, strong and very smart lady.  I looked up to her.  She not only took care of us four kids, cleaned our whole house, cooked three meals a day, always had time for me and my brothers and sister….but, She also took care of three foster kids.  Whenever my Dad brought home patrolmen that worked for him…which he did often (and without warning).  She would drop everything and prepare a meal for everyone and/or coffee and desserts etc.

Vintage Industrial laundry cart similar to the one Mom pushed me in as a child.

Vintage Industrial laundry cart similar to the one Mom pushed me in as a child.

Off the kitchen, we had a washroom.  It had a big farm sink and a washing machine.  And also an always broken machine next to it. Under the window was a small table that held the house phone.  (Remember the phone number 6591 for a later post).  Do you believe in those days we got by with only one phone? We didn’t have an answering machine.  We had a notepad and a pencil next to the phone for messages.  We kept our shoes and coats in the washroom too. Before dinner we always “washed” up in the washroom.  We also filled jugs with water in the big sink.  After the clothes were washed in the machine, I would follow mom outside, where she would hang the clothes on the clothesline.  (We had two).  I helped mom, by handing her the clothespins.   I loved those clothespins.  They were all wood.  I hated when occasionally, I would pick up one with a metal clip.  I didn’t like those.  (I still don’t! But worse yet, are the cheap plastic ones now, with the metal clip).  Mom had a nice homemade clothespin bag that she kept on the line, and two long wooden posts that she rose the clotheslines up off the ground with.  At one end of the post there was a small slit where the clothesline would sit between.   I remember doing the laundry with mom all the time.  I remember helping to take the clothes off the line too.  I watched her closely, and she taught me how to fold clothes.  They always smelled so fresh, clean and crisp.

Clothespin

Clothespin

Sometimes I would go to my parents bedroom.  Only when my Dad wasn’t at home.  He wouldn’t allow anyone in his room.  Mom always let me in.  I would sit on the edge of their bed, when mom would be picking out her clothes for the day, or if she was putting my dads clothes in his dresser or closet.  We would have little talks.  I would look forward to it when she brought her jewelry box over and we would look through it together.  Even later in life, we still do this whenever I get the chance to visit her (she lives in Florida).  Mom still has the same jewelry box.  A black box with a colorful Chinese (floral) type design on it.  Inside it has a two-door tray with tassels for the handles and an open section underneath.  I’m pretty sure it played music.  A Doctor Chivago type melody. (If memory serves me).

Mom

Mom

After watching my mom pick out her clothes, I would wait patiently outside the bathroom, for her to bathe.  Once she opened the bathroom, and was dressed, I would sit on the toilet and watch her in the bathroom mirror.  I was captivated by her, the way she put on her makeup.  I can remember she used Maybelline mascara in a bright red tray with a tiny brush.  She would wet the brush and rub it across the caked mascara tray and then comb it up and down her top and bottom lashes.  That little tray seemed to last forever.  Orange or coral toned lipsticks were her usual lip colors. On her eyes she wore purple or blue with a light frost just below her brows.  Back in the day, a kerchief was always worn around her neck. My mom never felt comfortable with low cut shirts or blouses, and the kerchiefs made her feel more secure I guess….in addition to hiding her red neck when she would get hot flashes.  I don’t think I have ever seen my mother in a pair of jeans….ever. She has always lived in polyester pants or shorts or shin length dresses. I can picture her in the garden many years ago, wearing a floppy hat…. good times!

vintage maybelline mascara like Mom used

vintage maybelline mascara like Mom used

I remember going with my mom all the time to a little thrift store in town. It was run by our church.  I can’t remember the name of it, but as a kid, I really, really loved going there. I know that just has to be the reason I love antiquing and thrift store shopping so much. Mom influenced me in so many ways. A funny memory of one of our jaunts to that thrift store when I was a little older…..We parked in the parking lot away from the store. Did some shopping and lunch  etc. and we got back into the car, and mom put the car in drive, and drove right over the parking meter. You know the kind, they were about 4 feet tall, and you had to put a quarter, nickle or dime in and it allowed you to park for so many minutes. This thing was huge. It was buried in the ground by about 3 feet of cement, but mom took it completely out of the ground. One of those moments when you just look at each other in disbelief  and start cracking up! It was hysterical!!!

Memories from my childhood are few and far between, but those that I have almost always include my mom. Whether she knows it or not, my mom has had a huge impact on me, and the kind of mother I am today. My childhood with mom in my early years is a memory I hold very dearly in my heart. She is truly an inspiration to me.

Mom and Me May 28, 2012

Mom and Me
May 28, 2012

While going through photos for this story, I came across a photo of Mom on her bicycle. As I looked closely to her picture,  I realized, that I ride a bicycle that is almost identical to hers. Same color, style, and even a basket with flowers!  I  bought mine when I was on vacation in Carolina beach with my husband about 15 yrs ago.  I fell in love with it the moment I saw it…..it never dawned on me before, but now I know why!

Mom and Pam on their bikes

Mom and Pam on their bikes

For Mom, ILY

A mother’s happiness is like a beacon, lighting up the future but reflected also on the past in the guise of fond memories. ~Honoré de Balzac

Christmas thoughts

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Christmas as an adult, when our kids were little, was very exciting. Full of hope, and promise. Full of anticipation, of wonder. Seeing the eyes light up of both my boys when they were very small, meant more to me than any gift I could receive.

My first year, as a “Mom” was more for my Husband and I, than my oldest son. He was just nine months old, and I hardly think he could focus on more than just his Gerber peas and carrots. Yeah, It was mommy and daddy whose gift was abundant from the joy of their first born son. God himself,  gave us that gift.Unwrapping all the presents that our young baby would soon learn from,  just made our hearts beat happily. Beating to tunes, like that coming from a  drummer marching in a parade down main street on the fouth of July!

Our “second” Christmas, well, that was amazing for our little boy (and of course, us)! He had some of the biggest eyes you could ever imagine. He had a bounce in his step (just like Santa), and a sparkle in his eyes as he gazed upon all the lights, garlands, hanging tinsel and other decorations adorning our tree.He raced, to pick up and open packages of stuffed animals, cars and early learning type toys. Mostly Sesame Street. I guess he knew instinctively, that he was to tear off the pretty, colorful paper adorned with ribbons & bows and curly strings that wrapped the gifts.  I don’t recall telling him. His favorite present, a stuffed silly looking character, was “Elmo”. Man, he carried that thing everywhere. It’s wobbly limbs all fuzzy and soft. It’s big hard plastic white & black eyes. The bright, fire engine red fur. He loved that thing. For a year it was his favorite friend and toy. Carrying it around, with his cuddly blanket (his first true love). His favorite, that is, until I shared with him MY favorite toy from when I was a baby. My Teddy bear, which he gave the honoring name of “Mow”. To this day, I have no idea how he came up with it, or what it meant. I never did have a name for him (Mow) when I was little. To me I guess, “My Teddy Bear”, was his name.

By the time our third Christmas rolled around, our second  son that we were blessed with, was s only a month and a half old. The season pretty much went unnoticed by that little guy. His eyes could barely stay focused on the lights. No matter though, his “Bub” got the cool stuff, while again, the new baby gets the softie toys, blankets and books! Plenty of clothing for the upcoming months, the necessities. The things older folks would call, the boring stuff.

This newly born baby was raised on Disney, and therefor, he got all Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck type toys in his first few years. That is, until he showed an interest in Football. Then he became a New York Giants Fan. (Like his father). To this day, over 20 years later, he Loves the Giants. He always starts out the football season with a strong attitude. All pumped up with excitement for his team.  Gathering fun facts about the latest players. Conversations with dad daily, about stats from all the teams in the nfl.
Then, slowly as the weeks pass, his interest starts to fizzle. By the end of the season getting him to sit on the couch for a game is like pulling teeth. That is unless, unless his team is in the playoffs or better yet….the Superbowl. Between the two of them, no muzzle can contain the noise of billowing excitement that comes from their mouths. Nor would I allow it. I enjoy hearing them sharing football time.

Through the years, the growing boys both went through many phases of interests. There were trucks, micro machines, GI Joes and Matchbox. Wrestling figures, Star Wars, sketch pads & paint. Fieval, Indian in the Cupboard, Skateboards & bikes. So many things that came and went. An abundance of bills left our wallets through the course of two childhoods, yet I bet, neither could name one thing they remember playing with for any length of time. Pack rat that I am, I saved a few things over the years that I hope to pass on to each of their (highly anticipated by me) children.

I looked forward to decorating our Christmas tree each year, with newly made crafts that the boys each would make in class at school. Paper plate wreaths, or macaroni noodle chains. Pipe cleaner candy canes and clothespin reindeer. Cute ornies from cute kids. The memory of  kids crafting days stays with me. I enjoy the thought of their tiny hands cutting through construction paper, while awkwardly holding the miniature plastic, dull edged scissors.  White glue sticks, leaving sticky patches of marks on the crafting tables that picked up lint or teenie tiny paper scraps. Assorted Crayola paint and marker colors that I worried would not wash from their clothing (but did). Thinking about how hard it must’ve been, as a toddler, to keep their handmade gifts a secret, and how smart they were, to remember them on Christmas day to give them to us.

Sadly, With the curse of time, mice & our move across the country; some crafts and ornaments they made were destroyed and can no longer grace our tree. But I always put something on our tree that they made.  Something, is a stretch. If anyone knows me well, they know that barely a green limb of tree is showing. I pack that baby with lots of stuff. Rubbermaid bins were a great invention. The old adage “the more the merrier” was intended for people like me, and their Christmas trees, and I have a LOT of bins to prove it 😉

Christmas morning gift giving is a little different now, with grown children. A little sadness enters the room. Gone is all that excitement, the fast ripping of colored paper. They are all grown now and he toys aren’t toys anymore. The gift matter has changed quite a bit. Technology has gotten way far advanced for my liking. But, always being our children, we want to get them things they “want”.  Most of it is however, beyond our pocket depth. So, we seem to be resorting to necessities ( you know, those boring gifts they don’t want to waste their own every day money on), and a few small things on their lists (yes, we still ask for ideas of what they want, their wish lists lol). We keep stressing to them, that they need to hurry it up and bring us our Grand kids, and they will see for themselves. That the gift of Christmas, is seen in the eyes of a child.That’s where real pleasure will fill their hearts.  Then as Grandparents, we can shower them again, in toys…..for “their” children.  Oh, how I can’t wait!

At some point in time, it’s only natural for an adult to dream about far away places to travel. White sandy beaches riding bareback on a gallant Stallion.  Flights to Rome, sipping wine and floating down city streets made of river water. Treks across the desert to meander through pyramids where Pharaohs lived out their destiny. Walking through Castles in England  where Kings and Queens once ruled, or the rolling green hills of Ireland where my ancestors come from.There was a time my dreams “might” have been bought at a ticket counter in an airport. A time when I may have scheduled or planned a vacation of a lifetime.

Now, and more frequently as I am growing older and more sentimental; my dreams are purely to remember a time that was so simple and right in front of me all along. A time that can no longer be brought back, except in those dreams behind closed eyes. Dreams that no money in the world could buy, nor replace. Thoughts that drift into my mind when the room is silent. Memories of the best years of my life. Time spent with my family,  of raising my own children, of growing and aging with them and with my sweet husband & lifelong friend, of all our pet family who shared our lives throughout the years. Times also of my own childhood, with my own brothers and sister and mom and dad. Dreams of  all my Christmases. The time out of each year that we all come together, and dedicate our thankfulness of Jesus’ birth, our birth, theirs. And for all the Lord has blessed us with. Our dreams are, our memories. Our memories, our Love. That is what Christmas, and this life is about. Love.

When fall rolls around, I plan, in my mind,  on starting the holidays a bit early. The cookies, the meal planning, the decorations, the lights, tree, wreaths, cards, gifts, the get togethers. Right up until the last minute, my mind is a whirlwind. Nothing gets done until, just days before. When it’s all said and done, I wish I had stopped planning and just did things. After I put the Christmas tree up, I never want to take it down. I want the warmth of Christmas to last forever. The memories to stay alive in my mind.  The family to be together, the happiness to last.

I keep my tree up for a few weeks. Well into January. Each and every night, I stare into the twinkling lights and glistening tinsel. I think about each ornament on every branch. The beautiful scent grows with each passing day.  I see the star atop the tree and think back to the day, when the first star shined. When the warmth all started. It wasn’t in my lifetime, but rather when Jesus was born. If everyone in the world could hold onto that thought, that feeling, that reason for our season. It would be Christmas every day of the year.

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