Meandering Thoughts

Meandering Thoughts

Monday, February 28, 2011

My Latest Obsession

It's true, I have another obsession!  It all happened very innocently.  I was watching a TV program on Friday evening.  A well recognizable actress was investigating her family ancestors.  The show is recording the journey to finding a persons family history.  I have watched it before and been very intrigued.  I have come from a family that is full of gaps in the linage.  No one talked about things that happened, how they happened or why.  I have been in the dark for years about my family history.

DeRemer/Warman Family 1909
So, I signed on to and my obsession began.  My mind is boggled by all the information I found.  I started a family tree and began with names and birthdays that I knew and then followed the leads they provided.  My brain cannot handle all the information, I am swimming in names of parents, siblings and spouses.  Some of my great-great-great grandfathers were married two or even three times, resulting in twenty or more children!!  Really, how on earth did they manage to provide for so many? 

Today, I am as confused as I was before I started.  I can't find some key people in my family, the line is totally disconnected.  Will I ever know my true heritage?  Does it really matter?  I guess the cool part is getting some of this information recorded and maybe in some later generations, someone, will be looking into my family history and can connect the dots to their ancestors.  Pretty cool, this latest obsession.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Not My First Big Job

Kellen, McKinley, Aidan and baby Tatum
Our daughter and her sweet husband are taking a long weekend Valentine get away.  I am sure it is much needed, they have four children!  The children will be taken care of at home, with different family members coming to the house to do a couple days each until their parents are back home again. 

For our daughter it means working overtime to get everything ready.  She was trying to get all the laundry done, packing for the trip and making endless lists for the family helpers to read that hold vital information to the children's needs.  She also managed to freeze some meals ahead, making sure enough food was in the refrigerator for the five days they would be gone.

Everyone had a "bug" a couple weeks before they were scheduled to leave and many trips to the Doctors office was required.  I think the baby is the only one still on antibiotics.  Trisha was seriously wondering if they would be well enough to go themselves. 

I am scheduled for Sunday evening through late Monday night.  Trisha sent me an email about Monday morning school information.  I am to make sure the Valentine boxes go to school with three of the children and inside the boxes are the cards they are giving to other classmates.  I was also given instructions about Kellen's packed lunch, he wants his ham and cheese on a white bun with ketchup.  Kellen is very worried I might get this wrong.

Trisha called the other day, concerned that I might have a hard time, did she forget that I raised three kids?  I know how to fix meals, I know how to send kids off to school and so what if babies don't sleep through the night, I assured her I would hear her if she was crying.  I told Trisha not to worry, I would be fine and her children were in good hands.

Then she reminded me about the time I was visiting a friend and her family.  My friend had a daughter about first grade age.  My friend had to work at school on bus duty and that particular morning her daughter wanted to ride the bus.  I agreed to put her on the bus at the appointed time if my friend wanted to go on to school and do her bus duty.

After years of putting kids on the bus, I knew we should be outside waiting a little before time, in case the bus was early.  My friend lived off the road a little ways, so there was a lane to walk.  We could see if the bus was coming and the bus driver could easily see us waiting. Their dog went out with us and was racing and playing in the snow and at some point the dog crashed into this little girl.  Suddenly everything went wrong, little girl skinned her knee and it was bleeding, her tights were torn and I panicked!  I didn't want the bus to not stop if we weren't waiting, so I had the little girl wait (crying in the lane) while I ran to the house for a washcloth and bandages.  Of course I could find no band aids and I was terrified that while in the house the bus would come.  I grabbed the washcloth and went outside to clean up the wound.  Oh dear, big hole in the tights, boo boo bleeding and the bus is coming.  What could I do?  If I didn't put her on the bus my friend would panic when she didn't get off and I had no idea where the school was and this was before cell phones!  The little girl got on the bus.........

About an hour later my friend came home.  She was laughing at least.  She said she was shocked when her only child and the love of her life got off the bus.  When she left home she was sure her daughter was in good hands.......  Oh my gosh!  I will never forget trying to do such a simple thing and it went so wrong so quickly!

I assure Trisha all will be fine, this is not my first big job.   

Post script:  Everything went well, no disasters, baby slept through the night, the children got to school on time, they ate my cooking and were perfect in all ways.  I know why the young have children, it can be exhausting!  It was wonderful spending so much time with our grandchildren, they are smart and responsible and respectful.  It was awesome!  They even ask me to play my flutes!  A very happy Grandma here!

Monday, February 7, 2011

Skipping Across Stepping Stones

My wonderful husband and I........

Getting close to my Birthday again, well, it's still over a month away.  My wonderful husband's birthday was in January.  It has given me some cause to think about our ability to cope with this aging thing.  It seems the older we get the more we realize that these dates are just more stepping stones toward being a little less able to do what we once took great pride in being able to do.  Those stepping stones are a little more slippery and have had some ice on them this winter.

I spoke with my daughter the other day, bless her heart, she ask that we be careful on the ice, she worries about us, "now that we are getting older."  We both laughed, I knew she was just expressing her concern, she (we) don't want to be falling and hurting ourselves. 

Last week we had some ice, causing branches to break and fall from our trees.  Not just little stuff, big limbs.  The yard is a mess.  We will have to clean it up and we will in time.  Richard has been out with the chain saw cutting up the big pieces.  He comes in to take a break, using a chain saw isn't as easy as it once was, I'm glad he is doing it in stages.  It shows me something that I haven't noticed or maybe choose not to notice.  It takes him longer to get things done than it used to, I thought it was just me.  Physical work is a big part of who he is.  It is hard to acknowledge that it's not as easy as it used to be for him to do this kind of work.  Don't get me wrong, our kids would be here helping, if Richard would ask for help.  He just thinks he'll do this little part and that little bit and then he'll be ready when he calls them to come help.

I have come to terms, maybe, that I can't do what I used to do.  Doing physical things was the makeup of my life.  I am not as active because of my knees and yet, I bulk at knee replacement.   I know this makes no sense at all!  Push is coming to shove though, I don't like being so inactive.  I don't like that I'm not out there helping clean up the branches.  I used to pull my own weight 
when it came to working outside.  I was a farm girl!  I worked in the hay mow and helped unload the wagons.  I haven't done this for a long time now, it is not easy watching Richard still doing it, I feel I'm not doing my part, that is hard for me.  They are my horses that need the hay afterall.

Richard has taken to doing the chores morning and night.  It's just feeding the cats, dogs and horses.  It doesn't take fifteen minutes, unless you have to run water.  Moving hay is not as easy as it once was.  We have ways of making it easier, the gator is our major tool of convenience.  I can do the chores, it's just been easier to let my wonderful husband do them.  I am so lucky to have such a special man to grow old with.

One of the things that has caused us to look at the change in our once invincible bodies, Richard finally got hearing aides this winter.  He is not happy about them, there is an inconvenience to hearing, putting them in or taking them out, turning them up or down.   He doesn't like hearing noises that he hasn't heard for a long time; the heater on the car, clanking of dishes, the dishwasher running, background stuff that he'd not heard in years, he's forgotten how to tune them out, can you do that with hear aides?  Now I never know if I have to talk normally or loudly, it depends on if he chooses to wear them or not.  I find this exasperating, was it better to just talk loudly all the time?

It seems that many things have changed gradually, we don't eat as much as we once did, we don't move as quickly, we need glasses, we take blood pressure medicine, we don't understand all the new technology in TV, computers or phones (or why you need to text).  We can't seem to stay awake while watching TV and sometimes an afternoon nap is lovely. 

The worst part of all this, our minds still think young.  I remember trying to quickly get out of a chair to help someone, oh I got up quickly and then couldn't take a step, my body promptly reminded me to pause before taking that step or maybe my knee wouldn't be ready.  I hate not working in my gardens, what was I thinking when I was younger?  I miss riding horses with all my heart.  Horses have been my favorite mode of transportation since I was a kid.  I loved riding in a deep woods, crossing knee deep streams, racing around an open pastures.......  It never occurred to me I wouldn't be able to ride someday.  I really miss going into a deep woods now, with all my heart and soul I miss that.  I love the trees, the smell of a leaf covered forest, riding under snow laden pines or just sitting and hearing the quiet in the forest.  It is a place my mind will never forget, I can close my eyes and be there anytime.  It' not exactly the same as sitting on the back of a horse.

Just for this moment I will shed a tear for my lost youth and all the joys of being young.  And now I will embrace and remember the joys that are mine today.  A wonderful husband and children who love and care for me.  I have found art at a late age, an exchange for not riding horses maybe?  I have the Native American flute and music fills something inside me, like never before in my life.  I have the most AMAZING friends, ones that love me just as I am and I couldn't ask for more. 

I have found some wisdom in this journey of skipping across those stepping stones.  I have found a Spiritual path is inside you and it has nothing to do with religion.  I am more respectful of all things that share the earth and I know we are all related.  What we choose to do has an impact on everything we touch, the ripples continue outward.  That must be what my ancestors before me came to understand and accept, I wish they had shared their story in writing too.  

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Things That Go Crash in The Night

Monday night, just before dark, it started.  The weather people had been predicting it for days before it actually happened.  I really hate when they get everyone all stirred up about a possible storm.  We watched the weather map, slowly but surely it was tracking our direction, just as they said it would.

flower garden and frog pond beyond the chair.....

People were rushing to the grocery to get milk and bread, I heard that by Monday evening shelves were empty of bread and milk.  Really?  Are we going to parish if we don't have bread and milk for a few days? 

We had snow on the ground before this storm brought freezing rain to our area late in the night.  By morning we awoke to ice covered snow.  The day progressed with off and on snow, rain or sleet.  Then the second phase of this storm hit us.  Rain and below freezing temperatures!

The ice started accumulating on the branches, I look out the window and see the ice covered branches bending low to the ground.  The pine tree out front had branches resting on the ground from the weight of the ice.  Then the crashing began..........

Branches from the trees that surround our house started breaking.  The ice covered branches hit the roof and skittered off and to the ground.  Some limbs hit the roof with large thumps and chunks of ice clambered down the roof.  Things continued to crash for hours in the night.

The little dogs were uneasy and stayed near me for protection.  I tried to remain calm, it helped to play some flutes quietly.  Finally we all just went to bed, nothing can change what Mother Nature had planned  for this night.  Branches of  thick ice sparkled in the reflection of the nightlight.  Beauty comes even in the harshest times.

looking toward the studio from the back door.....

Sometime around three A.M. the sounds changed, the direction of the storm had turned from northeast to the west.  The wind picked up, the sound of hail or ice was hitting our bedroom window.  I said a little prayer and drifted back to sleep.

In the light of the early morning, I could see that everything had changed since going to bed.  There was no ice on the branches, it must have become very warm at three in the morning, the sounds I heard was the melting ice falling away from the branches.  Branches that were bowing down with the weight of ice only hours before were now free and waving in the wind.

Our yard is littered with broken branches, we could hardly get out the back door because of the broken limbs.  It will take hours of work to get it all cleaned up.  It can't happen until our ice rink, that was our back yard, melts and that isn't going to happen any time this week.  The next phase of the storm was white out blowing snow most of the day.  I prefer snow to things that go crash in the night.