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This is What I’ve been up to…

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Two Grandsons -4 months apart!!!!

Lucas arrived in January to our daughter and son-in-law…

 

Dawson joined the party in May, to our son and daughter-in-law.

These cousins are so cute, and has this Nana all in a swoon!!!

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Between Bookends…

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Mom moved into an assisted living facility this month. She turned 90 this year, and she’s been legally blind for several years so it’s probably overdue.

Still, it comes on the heels of me finding out I’ll be a grandma in a few short months.

I feel sandwiched in the middle of two life altering events. Mom easing into her final chapter, my grandson soon to make his debut chapter.

 The timing is odd, the emotions hard to describe.

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Birthdays of My Dad and My Father

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Dad’s birthday is today; gone now nearly 5 years, he would be turning 92.

He hated Christmas.  Apparently his birthday was forgotten every year in the midst of Christmas preparations when he was growing up.  The pain of being forgotten never seemed to leave him.  He would not allow us to put up a tree until his birthday had passed, and even then did so grudgingly.

I know now Dad’s Christmas experience is only a tiny window into his life story. More

School Days of Yesteryear

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I recently jotted down some memories of my school days in Alaska where the entire school K-12 was about 100 students.  Boys routinely brought guns to school for after-school hunting, the basketball team flew to other villages every weekend to compete, being white meant I was a minority, and so much more that used to seem normal to me.  I thought I’d share some of these memories with you today.  I’d love to hear about your unusual school days, too!

My hometown. Yes that's the whole town.

My hometown. Yes that’s the whole town.

Our kindergarten class went to the community library building and all I remember was watching Sesame Street. Our family didn’t have TV and it was a novelty to me. Big Bird was quite mesmerizing! I also remember going to the ‘big school’ down the street and visiting the first grade class. That was exciting! I couldn’t wait to start school.

Though I was thrilled to be in school, first grade is very vague for me. About all I remember is liking my teacher, Mrs. Randazzo.

Mrs. Knapp entered my life for second grade. She was the most magnificent and wonderful person I knew.  I simply adored her. She always had a smile and she always made me feel special and smart. All these years later, she told me I was one of four second graders in that class that could read. It explained why I remember being called on to read the script below the silent films we watched sometimes.  She had a reading corner with lots of books and cards you could mark off when you finished a book. I couldn’t get enough of reading, I think mostly because she gave me lots of praise and encouragement.

Lynne & Me 2nd grade  July 4th parade

Lynne & Me
2nd grade
July 4th parade

Third and fourth grades were with Mrs. O’Donnell. She was a spitfire and didn’t settle for any nonsense. Tammy was a year older than me and I remember the two of them getting tangled up one time.  It wasn’t pretty.  Tammy bit Mrs. O’Donnell and all hell broke loose.  More

Mommy’s Green Dress

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When I was a little girl, my mom had a beautiful green dress hanging in the closet of our guest bedroom. She’d worn the dress to parties in the post WW2 era. It was exciting just hearing her talk about the dances and parties.   I must have shown too much interest at some point, because I remember being forbidden from touching or playing with it.

Well, once it became taboo, it might as well have had a Denise-magnet sewn into the fabric. I really wanted to wear that dress. Green was my favorite color back then, so that made it all the more alluring. And that sheer fabric over the satin, oh how it beckoned me. Mom rarely got angry with me, but when she did, she meant business, so I only admired it from the closet door.

Until it became worth the risk.

The summer I turned seven More

Change Of Plans

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In 2009 my husband and I realized time was running out for taking a family vacation –at least for our existing family unit.  Both kids were seriously involved with their significant others and we knew it wouldn’t be long before there would be wedding bells.  Change was fast approaching for family as we knew it Happy for our soon-to-be-growing family, the vacation would be a bitter-sweet and symbolic farewell to the existing family structure.

Thus began the plans for what seemed like a fantasy trip for 4 to Scotland and Ireland.  None of us had been to Europe and we all agreed experiencing a bit o’ Irish sounded like a lot of fun.

The planning was both exciting and stressful, as vacations are prone to be.  However, stressful took on another level when my dad died during the planning stages and my PTSD symptoms exploded.  His death launched an entire new wave of nightmares and flashbacks.

I struggled mightily to focus on planning the trip, not wanting to disappoint my kids.   My mental state became fragile, my work suffered, and I spent many hours crying on the couch trying in vain to figure a way to escape my anxiety and not give up on the trip.

Somehow we got our itinerary finalized and bought the airline tickets.  Three days later the Eyjafjallajökull volcano erupted in Iceland.  The volcano may as well have been inside my head because my brain felt like it exploded too.  I hadn’t realized how close to the cliff I’d been until the volcano blew. More

Finding Healing in Unexpected Places -and a Book Giveaway

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The theme of adoption has always been of interest to me.  As a child I used to tell people I was adopted.  I always thought if you were adopted it meant you were wanted, therefore special.  It never occurred to me there might be pain involved in being adopted, or giving a child up for adoption.  Over the years I’ve spoken with people on both sides of the adoption picture and now understand it’s not the fairy tale I used to fantasize about.

**Spoiler Alert

The British movie Philomena caught my eye recently because of the adoption theme.  Then it captured my heart because of the healing and forgiveness in her story. More

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