Lessons learned from mom

Let me tell you a little bit about my mom.  She had a strong personality and felt a deep sense of wrong and right.  Her joy was her family and was strongly protective of her little clan.  If you fell under mom’s umbrella she was your fan.  I’m not claiming she was perfect but she did her best to give her best for her family.  Here are a just a few of the things I was fortunate to be taught by mom. Continue reading

Lessons learned from Dad

I had the good fortune to be born to good parents.  Now, I’m not claiming they were perfect or didn’t make any mistakes.  That would be a rose-colored glasses statement and I’m not going there.  What I will say is they were good parents in the fact that they loved their kids and tried their best to make a good home.  I appreciate both of them and honor them for what they were able to provide and do for their little family.  Along the way, they imparted the lessons they learned in life that they thought would help me become a decent human being.  Here are a few of my dad’s nuggets of wisdom. Continue reading

By the time she was my age…

Recently, I visited my aunt and looked through some photos. She has pictures I have never seen before of my grandparents and my dad when he was a boy.  As I looked at a certain picture of my grandma I realized she was about the same age as I am now.  When I was younger, I looked a lot like her but looking at a picture of her the same age as I am now I can see that resemblance has faded.  My dad assures me though that I have many of her mannerisms and still carry myself in a similar fashion.  That is comforting because I have always enjoyed having that connection with her even though I don’t remember her very well.  She died when I was 12 but for the last three years of her life she was in a nursing home and her body became merely a shell of the vibrant woman she once was.  But when I saw that picture of her of when she was close to my age I compared our lives and the different roads we have both taken to get to this age. Continue reading

The Lesson of the Poinsettia

Christmas 2018 I received a poinsettia as a gift.  It was part of my Christmas Secret Elf gift giving I was the recipient of.  You can read about that experience here.  One of the first gifts I received was a beautiful poinsettia in full bloom.  It was delivered while I was at work so my co-workers suggested I keep it there to help give our office space some beauty.  Easily persuaded I obliged.  It was fine until Friday.  I gave the plant a large dose of water to see it through the weekend and left. When I returned Monday morning it looked like someone had swapped out my beautiful, full-bloomed plant for a Charlie Brown Christmas tree variety.  It looked like a massacre had taken place with red dry leaves lying on my desk and the stems bare. Continue reading

Little Me in Italy: Part One

Arrival

I was born with a bit of a wanderlust heart.  However, I was also born with a fearful mind.  In case you’re wondering, these two things are contradictory and one cancels the other out.  Usually fear wins because fear, as you know, is a big bully.  But I still had  dreams.  Dreams of all the places I’d like to have adventures à la Indiana Jones.  So when an opportunity to venture outside my daily living zone presents itself I jump on it.  In a cautious yet impulsive manner.

Let me explain.  For work, my brother, RH, was in charge of an annual community trip abroad.  He and his wife, CC, were required to go.  Two people I know traveling abroad?  Cautious.  Deplete my savings to travel somewhere that is not on my bucket list?  Impulsive.  However you want to describe it, at the end of March I found myself on an airplane heading to Italy for one week. Continue reading

Four Angels Divided

angelMy mom was an artist.  As an artist, she found many outlets for her creativity.  One outlet was painting ceramics.  Her dad and stepmother owned a ceramic shop and she helped out.  Along the way, her family were benefactors of ceramic projects big and small.  I remember her painting four angel ornaments for the tree.  One boy and three girls, or in other words, one for my brother and one for my sisters and me.

For years the angels hung on her Christmas tree every year.  Her little angels painted with love by our guardian angel.

Every year for thirty some years her angels hung on momma’s tree.

But all things come to an end.  This Christmas, the angels were divided and each hung on different trees in two states and three towns.  Mom’s angels are separated by distance but still connected by memory and love.