Sunday, December 28, 2008

A Hug from a Dog

My "constant companion", i.e. Lily, loves to give me hugs.
This is something she and I do. I know it is not something she should be doing with other people, but this is "our" moment. I'm sitting at the computer in my swivel chair. She is lying on the floor destroying whatever chew toy she has at the moment, when she stops, comes to my chair, and lays her head on the arm of the chair. This is my signal to stop what I am doing, and swivel to face her, where she then puts her front feet up on my shoulders, and lays down in my lap, back feet still on the floor. She then lays her head down on my chest and I give her a kiss on her long nose, and rub her soft face while she "nibbles" on my robe or clothes, no licking just nibbles. It is a gentle nibble, that symbolized that she loves me, and if she could, would climb right up in my lap; alas she is too big. After we have done this for a few minutes, she gets down and returns to the toy, or falls asleep. She just needed a hug, and knew I needed one too. When we do this, we are both in absolute bliss. She is being "held" by me, just like when she was little enough to hold, and I am having "doggy love" lavished on me in immeasurable proportions.
How many people are actually lucky enough to get hugs from their dogs?
There is something about being shown affection from one of God's creatures, and not a human being. I like to believe that God himself might be giving me a hug. We had a preacher one time who used to refer to the acts of Christians being something like "a little bit of Jesus wrapped up in the flesh". I feel like Lily's hugs are a little bit of God wrapped up in a dog. I find myself alone a lot these days, save my dog, but I am not lacking in affection being shown to me. She is being affectionate at every turn, something that I love receiving.
This might seem a stretch, but God is everywhere, and I know from personal experience, meets our needs in some pretty amazing ways. So at this point in my life, why couldn't He be showing His love for me in the affections of a dog, a shepherding dog, who seems to understand when I need a hug, and some special attention. I will take God's love anyway I can get it.

Friday, December 26, 2008

My head feels fuzzy.......

I hate being sick at Christmas. I told Rog it was a good thing I didn't feel like this on Wed. or he would have had a sandwich for Christmas dinner instead of the feast we did have, even though I overdid the sweet potato casserole. I haven't felt this bad in a long time. Roger actually slept in one of the extra bedrooms last night because he didn't want me breathing on him, coughing on him, and just generally being around him. I don't know where I got this, but whoever gave it to me.......yeah, you can have it back. YUCK!

Friday, December 19, 2008

Is Love Enough?

I have finished a book this last week that has impacted me. The Prodigal God by Timothy Keller is a revealing book not just of the story of the prodigal son, but also of the older brother. Each brother in his own way was rebelling against their father.
I have always found people who are in outright rebellion to God much easier to speak to about God. Those who believe they are following all the rules and doing it correctly are very difficult to talk to about God; they think they have all the answers, the formulas. Those in open rebellion know they are failing, and falling, they just haven’t “come to their senses” yet.
I found as I read this book it striped away religious belief, and cultural pressures, to reveal the utter simplicity of the gospel. One son openly rebelled against the times and what was expected of him and walked away, the other stayed, followed his perception of what was expected of him, all the while for his own reasons. The statement that struck me was this:

“Underneath the brother’s sharply different patterns of behavior is the same motivation and aim. Both are using the father in different ways to get the things on which their hearts are really fixed. It was the wealth, not the love of the father, that they believed would make them happy and fulfilled.
At the end of the story, the elder brother has an opportunity to truly delight the father by going into the feast. But his resentful refusal shows that the father’s happiness had never been his goal. When the father reinstates the younger son, to the diminishment of the older son’s share in the estate, the older brother’s heart is laid bare. He does everything he can to hurt and resist his father.”

I love the teachings of Jesus. They are so simple that I know I miss so much so often. This book reminded me of the simplicity of the gospel. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might……………..Love the Lord your God.

Love God.
Love God, not for what He gives you or does for you
Love God.
Love God, not because you’re told to
Love God.
Love God, not out of fear
Love God.
Love God, not out of obligation
Love God.
Love God, with abandonment of all things
Love God.
Love God, above all others
Love God.

Is loving God my ultimate goal without agenda or motive? Serenity wrote last week about loving irresponsibly and it made me think of this passage from the book. Keller shares that “the word “prodigal” does not mean “wayward”, but according to Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary, “recklessly spendthrift.” It means to spend until you have nothing left. This term is therefore as appropriate for describing the father in the story as his younger son. The father’s welcome to the repentant son was literally reckless, because he refused to “reckon” or count his sin against him or demand repayment. This response offended the elder son and most likely the local community.”
He goes on to relate that through Jesus, God did that, spent recklessly, to redeem us.

At this point I think of the great hymn:

Such love!
Such wonderous love!
Such love!
Such wonderous love!
That God should love a sinner such as I! How wonderful is love like this!

Christmas is coming, the celebration of the greatest expenditure of a spendthrift God who paid it all that I might know how much He loves me. Merry, Merry Christmas! God Loves You!

Monday, December 8, 2008

A Boy and His Dog

Nic and Lady

There are certain things about certain memories that stick out in your mind. When I have memories of Nicolas as a little boy, or even older they always include a dog. We have always had a dog around as long as our kids have been around. First a Golden Retriever when Audrey was just a toddler, someone stole him. Then a stray Pit Bull we got rid of when the kids were really small and a Collie, that got hit by a car. When Tess the Collie got hit by the car, and our kids were devastated by the loss, we decided that as long as we continued to live on the highway, there would be no more dogs—we couldn’t stand the heartache.
When we moved into our new house, Nic was 10 and Audrey 11, we hadn’t been there a month, when we got a puppy. She grew, and grew and grew, and we never knew for sure just exactly what kind of dog she was, but she was gentle, even tempered, and BIG. We joked that we always knew Nic needed a large animal to play with and it was either a gorilla or a REALLY BIG dog; we opted for the dog. Lady lived for 13 years, and I always told her she had to stick it out till Nic left home because I wasn't sure what I would do with Nic if anything ever happened to her. She went everywhere with him, down into the woods, to the ponds to fish, she was just ALWAYS around. Her health finally got so bad, that one week after Nic graduated from college, and had moved out we had her put down.
Nothing has changed; Nic still loves to play with “the dog”. While he has been home helping Roger pour concrete on the job, he has been getting acquainted with Lily again (he was here when we got her).
Lily loved Nic, he actually took her out in the yard and ran with her, chased her, and threw things for her to chase. (We do these things too, but not with the vim and vigor of a 25 yr old) I captured one picture through the kitchen window (yes, I need to wash the window) which ignited that memory I was thinking of. Nic hugging the dog after a good run, he did that when he was little with our big dog Lady too, only she was the bigger one of the pair then.
Poor Lily didn’t quite know what to think when this really fun person would bend down and scoop her up, but she loved the game, and the guy playing it

It was sooooooo fun to see the grins on their faces when Nic was home. I just had to capture it, and share it. It made Roger and I smile, and laugh, hope it does the same for you.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

OH! Happy Day!

I love “Happy Days”. No not the T.V. show, but the actual happy days, when your socks get blessed off by all of Gods goodness in one instant.

My happy day is today when I opened my e-mail and found more pictures of my new great-nephew Holton. The following picture was my happy day moment. That is my sister Anita holding her first grandchild.

My sister Anita, 9 years older than me, who used to cry when I received a spanking, and who made a special trip to K-State when I attended college there to talk me out of quitting school, who was the matron of honor at my wedding, who has loved my children unconditionally, and talked me through more than one parenting crisis. Who was diagnosed with stage 4 breast cancer and walked to deaths door and back undergoing treatments, and who waited 10 years to become a grandma; IS ONE!

I cried when she called and told me she was going to be a Grandma, because during those days of battling cancer, of baldness, and weakness, and nausea, and a literal inability sometimes to get out of bed, she shared with me her knowledge that no matter what happened, she knew “everything will be alright.” She meant that no matter, live or die, her assurance was that God MUST know what He is doing, and she put her life in his hands trusting Him fully with the possibility of getting to experience that moment pictured above.

I watched her during that time; we talked, sometimes every day. I went down often to see her; not as often as I wanted, but as I could. I knew she was growing spiritually every day. She kept a diary of all the marvelous, and some out right miraculous things that God did for them during that time, but I know as she sat and looked at Holton this last Tuesday, she knew that this child in her arms surpassed all those marvelous things that we laughed and rejoiced over during the cancer.

So this was my HAPPY DAY when I opened the e-mail (thank you Casie), and saw my sister holding what I know she would say is, next to knowing Jesus, the most marvelous and downright miraculous thing God has ever done for her.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Here HE is!!

Holton Henry Katzer, born Nov. 15th weighing in at 4lbs, 9oz. 17 in. long to proud parents David and Casie. My new Great-nephew (yes, I am a GREAT aunt just ask his mother, uncle Clinton, and all the other nieces and nephews). He is doing well, and we are all so thankful that he is here, albeit a month early.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

ROAD TRIP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

My sister Anita called me last week and asked me if I wanted to take a weekend trip with her to Colorado to deliver a pick-up load of treasures to her son Clinton and Amy, his wife. I said yes and away we went. Talk about a pick-me-up! It did the trick. It was a great weekend in the mountains, clear, warm and sunny. I am so glad I went, and got to see part of my family in their “environs”. I had the honor of only being the second relative to visit who wasn’t immediate family, so I felt honored. These two were featured in a previous blog about my favorite people………still are.....always will be.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Standing...or being held up

I found this song today stumbling around in the blog world. God knew I needed it. I am missing my kids, and I am missing my Mother. Winter is coming on, the flowers are gone, and this is the first day of sunshine in 3 days…………but then I went to Serenity and Felicity’s blogs, and read of NEW LIFE with the birth of Nola Serenity, and then I found this song, and I rejoiced, because God will give me things to remind me that He is still here with me, and will hold me up no matter what. Praise God!

Monday, November 10, 2008


When I saw this I had to chuckle because that is exactly the way it was and is. But the media isn't biased............

Friday, November 7, 2008

Announcing!!!! A New Blog

I am introducing a new blog, and I must give credit where it is due. Felicity White (see Rare Rocks in favorite blogs column), requested some of the recipes I alluded to in my last post. I have been contemplating starting a blog about Nesting (homemaking, "laying by", storing up, etc., and Resting (the times since Rog and I are officially empty nesters, and what that is like).
In the process, I realized that my three older sisters are also quite well versed on "Nestin' and Restin'" and I have invited them to share thier rememberances, stories, and recipes there as well. There will be pictures posted of the Horack Girls, during these years of "growing up Horack". I'm excited about this,and know that my sisters all have MUCH to offer in this rhelm. I hope all of you who read the Cerretti Blog will check out the "Nestin' and Restin'" blog over in my side bar.
Happy Days!

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Thoughts on nesting........

It is the time of year that I start preparing for winter, or as I like to refer to it, nesting.
I’ve cleaned out my flower pots, and moved the lawn furniture and planters in to protect them from the winter snow and ice. I’ve had the car maintenanced, the antifreeze checked, and the tires rotated.

I have been stocking up the pantry with specials on chicken and beef broth for those winter soups and stews, and making pots of ham and beans, and chili, cheese soup, and minestrone to go into the freezer. I’ve been watching my freezer and pantry fill up with applesauce, and apple butter. In the old days they called it “laying by”, stocking up, etc. I call it nesting because I am quite literally feathering the ‘ol nest for winter.

I’ve come across several blogs on the internet that encourages this and after reading their instructions, I realize that by being raised by a mother who grew up in the depression, I have done these things all my life; they are second nature to me I just thought everyone knew it, and did it too. NEWS FLASH! They don’t.

It is such a nice feeling to be able to tell Rog when he is scavenging for “something baked or sweet” that there is a container of homemade cookies in the freezer (actually there are several, but I only tell him about the one or they would all disappear in rapid succession :). If I come down with a cold or (God forbid) the flu, we have soup that needs simply to be thawed, and frozen muffins in the freezer.

My sisters and I used to joke that we could have survived out of my Mothers’ cupboards and freezers for months without going to the store, and I find myself doing the same thing. Anymore I hate going to the store, prices are enough of a deterrent if nothing else. As the days are getting short, and the wind is chilly, and the trees and flowers are hiding for the winter, I’m preparing to do as close to the same thing as I can.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

An Excerpt........

When the sun rises I work:
When the sun sets I rest.
I dig the well to drink;
I plow the field to eat.
What has the Emperor to do with me?
(A Chinese Country Folk Song)

I’ve read several books by Pearl S. Buck. (I actually found a small set of them on our trip up north in an antique store). For those who are not familiar with her writings, she wrote "The Good Earth". She was the daughter of American missionaries to China. She spent her childhood years there, growing up among the Chinese people and learning to love them for who they were. This is an excerpt from her book “My Several Worlds”. This is not the first of her observations of the Chinese people to ring strikingly familiar chords to what we are hearing in our own country at this time. Mind you this was written in 1951 about life in China during the early 1930’s………

As a matter of fact, the Chinese had always governed themselves. They distrusted governments and even held them in contempt. They were cynical to the last degree about official honesty and their ancient adage is that the best government is the one that governs least. And the Chinese people were quite capable of self-government. Their traditional family system was a sound basis for a new kind of modern democracy. In China, before Communism began its destructive work on the family system, there was no need for the expense of institutionalism which lies so heavily upon our own democracy. There were no orphanages, for the family as a whole remained responsible for the care of the child who had lost his immediate parents. There were no insane asylums, for the family cared for its insane. As a matter of fact, there were very few insane, for the family system provided individual security without disgrace, and thus removed one of the main causes of modern insanity, the lost individual. There needed to be no relief rolls, for again the family as a whole cared for its members who were jobless. Only in time of widespread famine and catastrophe did there have to be outside help. Business was stable in a large middle class, for the generations carried it on in the same family. The family was morally responsible for each of its members, and the disgrace of any member was a family disgrace.
Could Sun Tat-sen and his followers, and this includes the later Nationalist Government under Chaing Kai-shek, have understood the value of this family system and have built upon it, there is no doubt that Communism would not be ruling in China today. One proof of this is that the Communists have made their main attack upon the family system.

Isn’t it amazing that God set up the family the way he intended it to be, and as man has tried to alter, and even destroy it, he, in the process, has destroyed and inflicted injury on the very society he lives in?

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

A Trip "Up North"

For those of you who read this blog, I have been gone for a 10 day trip with my three sisters and two of my cousins on a trip to northern Michigan. Thus the beautiful picture!

It is good to be home, although I must recommend such a trip to anyone who wants to see spectacular fall foliage. As we traveled north to Traverse City, the sun was shining on the trees, and they literally glowed. I commented that it was almost like God had plugged them in. My cousin Donna reminded me with a grin on her face “that He did it just for us.”

Our visit to Mackinaw Island was something that the anticipation was worth. It was on a typical Michigan fall day, with chilly breezes, drizzly rain, and cloudiness that sort of just “settled”, but it was the ideal environment to spend a day on an island where the mode of transportation is horse drawn carriage, or bicycle. It doesn’t suggest, but requires you to “slow down”; literally. The Grand Hotel is the cherry on top to remind you of a gentler time where propriety, and manners, gentleness and care were taken in all things. I recommend it!

Monday, October 6, 2008

Friends of Difference

I have a dear friend who is an Obama supporter. She has read his books, and has made it perfectly clear that she will vote for him on November 4th. Our political leanings are similar in some areas, and worlds apart in others. Our reasons for voting the way we will are our own.
I want to say though, that it is because of her and her reading and knowledge of the political playing field that I have been compelled over the last several months to research the reasons for voting the way I will. She has always been good for me when it comes to pushing me to find out for myself what I think, how I interpret information, and how it will affect my choices. She is intelligent and what I consider to be a well read, voracious reader, thus I feel she has only my best interests at heart, when she spurs me on in this fashion.
But I must give her credit when I say she has not pressured me to vote for her choice. In fact, with this election year becoming so heated, and downright ugly, we have agreed NOT to discuss politics, and place our years of friendship and love for one another above it.
Ours is a story that has put us on the same side in educational warfare for the sake of our children and on opposite sides when it has come to decisions of life choices, and politics, but we have found like David and Jonathan (don’t ask me who is who), that our friendship runs unbelievably deep through all of these things.
The scripture in Proverbs 27:17 comes to mind when I sit and regard the relationship we have.
As iron sharpens iron; so a man sharpens the countenance of his friend.
I have several friends that I have sound differences with. The fact that we can sit and discuss these differences and continue to love each other and be there for one another is what I cherish most about these relationships. Our priorities are straight. We have placed our relationships above philosophy, politics, and distance realizing that variety is the spice of life, rulers come and go, and telephones, and email are a gift. We realize we were all created differently for a reason, trusting God to reveal it to us as we go through life. Heartache and challenges only seem to bond us closer together, for age, as it comes, seems to remove the layers of trivial issues exposing the valuable instead.
Maybe it is because we are women, maybe it is because of our differing backgrounds that we have found and latched on to each other, hanging on more tightly as time has come and gone. Whatever it is, it is a precious gift, and like most precious gifts is not tangible, nor should it ever be taken for granted. I will always be thankful for my friends “of difference”.

Friday, October 3, 2008

Who you gonna vote for.......God!

The media has either shunned her, or edited her to look like a stumbling bumbling inarticulate VP candidate. However, last night Sarah Palin showed us that under pressure she is a quick study, and can deliver when the situation demands it. Considering she is the Governor from Alaska, and not a U.S. Senator of 30 years experience in the Washington politic machine, I think she did really well. I was impressed how quick on her feet she was, and had obviously been doing some homework on policies, etc. I admire her willingness to be thrown, literally, into the deep end of the pool. I wouldn’t want to be in her position for all the money in the world.

Joe Biden was the well mannered elder statesman that he should have been. His answers reflected his years of experience, and he responded in the typical political lingo that we have all come to, ho-hum, expect from senators with his credentials, and qualifications.

Nothing splashy here. Nothing to get worked up about. Nothing to help us “decide” who would be the better at “the job” if it came down to it.

I do think that people are judging John McCain on George Bush’s 8 years in office, instead of his own record, and what he will bring to the office if elected. Obviously, it isn’t going to be business as usual, Sarah Palin is on board, and I can’t quite pigeon hole her in the “business as usual” category.

I ask someone the other day who they were going to vote for and they said Barak Obama. Why? They are ready for a change—she couldn’t tell me what kind of change, but she was ready for change.

I asked someone else a day or two later who they were going to vote for and they replied John McCain. Why? She didn’t think America was ready for a black president.

Answers like this scare the be-jeezers out of me.

I’m glad when people vote, I’m thrilled that they take the time to get out there and register, and vote, but OH MY!! The lack of information that determines those opinions is terrifying.

I’m not an expert on either political candidate, and I have to admit that my reasons for voting for whom I will vote for might seem just as inane as those mentioned above, but I’ve checked voting records, and I’ve read transcripts of interviews, and debates (we don’t get television), and I feel a little more informed than most of the people I ask about it. I don’t try to change anyone’s mind; I just go home and pray for God to be in control of what happens on Nov. 4th. I trust Him, and am actually taking him with me to the voting booth. I hope you will too.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

I Don't Have It All............

I have more.

By not 'having it all,' I've settled for something infinitely more precious than paychecks. I've become the guardian of new life, a builder of memories, a source of inspiration, and a central figure in my family's history. What I have contributed to their lives is invaluable and irreplaceable. -- Debra Evans in Heart & Home

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Why do you read?

People who blog, must be readers, so I relate the following story, and ask the following question:
My husband and I were discussing a book I am reading right now, “So Brave, Young, and Hansome” by Leif Enger. Roger has previously read the book because I actually bought this book FOR HIM, because reading the synopsis I thought he might like it. We had read the first book by this author, “Peace Like a River” and enjoyed it, so I figured I’d give #2 a shot.
Rog DID NOT like the book, so when I picked it up, and started reading it, I have to admit it was with somewhat of a negative bent.
His reason for not caring for it ran the gamut from, just “too wordy”, the guy said a lot while saying nothing, very little plot, etc. etc.(This from a man of few words, keep in mind),.
Now I readily admit that I am not a literature expert, I read simply for pleasure, and usually when my husband and I read the same book, which isn’t very often, we can come to some kind of similar opinion of it. However, as I started the book I got caught up in the language, the phrases he used, and actually found myself chuckling a few times. So when Rog came in from the shop and asked me where I was and I told him, I commented that I liked the book thus far, (I was over half way), and didn’t see what he didn’t like, he looked at me like “What did I miss?”
Now, I knew this would arouse questioning that would require specific answers; I was ready. (Do I know my husband or what?) I had pages earmarked with the particular phrases that had made me chuckle, or smile, or just caught my attention.

Phrases like: “In times of dread it’s good to have and old man along. An old man has seen worse.”
Or “I asked Hood what Kansas did for water before the windmill came—he replied, "Before the windmill there wasn’t no Kansas."”
Or one discourse between a Dr. and a man whom he has saved from death:
“Stay away from the black doors,” Clary whispered to Siringo, leaning forward.
“You’ll go through them before I do,” replied Siringo
“I’ll not go through them at all!” said the doctor.
“Got religion did you?”
“You are the completest argument for it I have ever met,” said Clary

When I read them to him, his comment was,
“Well, yea, I read that too, but………”
“You read books for the stories,” I commented, “I read them for the stories and the language they use to tell the story.”
He got a strange look on his face, (he also likes Readers Digest Condensed Books)
“Well, yea. What’s wrong with that?” “Nothing,” I replied, “if that is all you want to get out of it. Didn’t you learn that in literature class?”
“I didn’t take it.” He replied with a chuckle
End of discussion.
However, I did notice that night in bed with, he reading a book I had already read, and me reading the book he had already read, he started asking me my opinions and insights on the book he was reading currently. It was a fun discussion, but I told him “It’s just fiction. Don’t over think it, just enjoy it.” He grinned and read on.
So I ask you what do you get from reading a book?

Friday, September 26, 2008

For Myself as much as anyone.............

Our opinions, like our salvation, must be worked out with fear and trembling.
- Peter van Inwagen

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Wordless Days

O.K. here is another one I blundered across. Wordless Days. No words, just pictures and some of them are simply outstanding. I enjoy a good picture book as much as I do a good novel (isn't that where photo albums originated?) Give it a peek, I think you will find some of her pictures lovely, and the blog is most aptly titled.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

All Passion Spent

I don’t feel that I have written anything of much depth lately, and I’m not sure this post is going to alter my track record, but I wanted to write about something that struck me today as I watched a movie that I had never seen.

It prompted me to ask the question: “Did people actually treat each other with such respect and civility? Also, have our language skills i.e. vocabulary, elocution, general verbal delivery in conversation, changed that much?

I watched a movie today that to say it is obscure is probably an understatement especially here in the United States.

It is called “All Passion Spent”.

We are members of NetFlix, and because of that I have the luxury of really reading and studying about a movie before I order it. This was one of them. Now I will readily admit to liking English Movies: Pride & Prejudice, Sense and Sensibility, 84 Charing Cross Road, Howards End, The Remains of the Day, Becoming Jane, Persuasion, Mansfield Park, etc. so I consider myself up on a good many of them.

I won’t tell you what the movie was about, Rog declined to watch it, because he knew he would fall asleep:). That aside, the thing that struck me in this movie and the others I watch were:

1) The time that was taken in greeting someone hello, and bidding someone farewell. It was considered discourteous to blunder into a room, or leave to quickly before the proper courtesies were paid to the host or hostess. We hosted a party for our S.S. class on Sat. night and peoples practices of arriving and departing our home were worlds apart from the care that was taken in that ere.

2) The care given to expressing oneself. I’m sure people spoke hastily in those days as they do now, but I can’t think that it was the norm that it is now. The proper wording of thoughts so beautifully delivered. Now this is where you say, that is the writer’s job, but I find people write in the style they speak most of the time, so those writers wrote in the style they spoke and were spoken to. It was reflected in their work.

3) The language over all. Vocabulary, delivery, all so different from now, I don’t know if it is because I am a woman who likes romances, (mind you only certain ones), but I find one of the things I like about these kind of movies is the language, it sounds intelligent, well read, informed, and shows self control. (and no it isn't just the English Accent) Roger and I both find when we watch movies like that, we have to listen more carefully, and pay sharper attention.

I know life was far from perfect in those days, and many of the stories feature the aristocracy, or moneyed folk who were educated, and “well breed”. Either way, I wish sometimes we would slow down and take the time to really think about what we are saying to others, and how we address people, and listen to ourselves speak. I think it would inspire us. I think it would make us kinder. I think it would change us.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Fall Days

Fall is here, and with all the mowing I've been doing I am very aware of the changes in nature. We don't get the wonderful color of the mapels in this part of the world, but we do have some of our own color. (Can you believe I didn't eat one of these beauties)
The Neighbors apple tree.....

Heavy with apples.......

Some color in our back yard

The taaalll bluestem

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Vote Smart

O.K. you know how I am always telling you to "do your homework" on who you are going to vote for? (Sorry, years of being a homeschooling mom) Here is the link to the website with the candidates voting records. Just click on the title of this blog, Vote Smart, and it will take you there. You can pull up the issue you are most interested in how they voted.
You will receive a grade, but there will be no test:)

Monday, September 15, 2008

A Kitchen Sink Shrine by the Kitchen Madonna

KM's Kitchen Sink Shrine
Finding God Amongst the Pots & Pans (06/28/06)

Great saints of the Church have known that God may be found while elbow deep in suds and dirty dishes. Saint Teresa of Avila claimed that “The Lord walks among the pots and pans.” Her spiritual son (generations removed) St. Lawrence of the Resurrection, a humble monastery cook and clean-up guy, is famous for his conversations with a learned bishop about how to practice the Presence of God while washing pots and pans. His surprising approach to the spiritual life is studied to this day.

For this reason, the kitchen madonna has a kitchen sink shrine. On the windowsill there are holy cards, statuettes, a miniature tea set, printed prayers, prayer list, and dried roses. And of course that greatest rotating display: first clean dishes, then dirty dishes, clean dishes again, nasty pots, clean pans and so it goes.

This is where the action is.
Spiritual battle isn't for sissies.

(Where is that group discount on dishwashing gloves and heavy-duty hand lotion?)

Those of you reading are probably asking yourselves "Why would you post pictures of dirty dishes, and soapy dishwater!?!? Because reading the Kitchen Madonna's post on the Kitchen Sink Shrine made me realize that most of us have one, without realizing it or not. If you are a wife, mother, or if you do dishes at all, and who doesn't, I think you will relate. Without realizing it, I have one item from each of my sisters,and a scripture reminder the Lord gave me right after Mother passed away, when my days seemed so empty.
From Anita

From Amy

From Alane

Whats on your windowsill?

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Don't Panic!?!?

I am updating, and "tweeking" the blog a bit, so bear with me. In the meantime, check out the new site in my list of favorite blogs; especially the latest on Chromosomal Barrier. Who knew that one little baby boy could make such a difference........oh wait WE DID, but His name was JESUS!!!

A Joke

Thank you Queen Latifah!

A finicky diner asks her waiter, "How do you prepare your chicken?"
The waiter says, "Nothing special, miss. We just tell them straight they're going to die."

I'm sorry, but THAT is funny :)

Monday, September 8, 2008

Sarah who??

Palin, Palin, Palin! If you are on the internet at all, you can’t get away from the name, the woman, or something about her. Today when I was driving in to town I had the radio on, and there she was again. Don’t get me wrong, I have an opinion about Sarah Palin, but that isn’t the reason for this blog.
You know we have a woman governor in the state of Kansas, and I don’t know anything about her personal life. I couldn’t tell you how many kids she has, and I don’t know what her husband does or doesn’t do. I know her politics though, that I do know.
I like Sarah Palin, I like the fact that she is a “nobody”, an unknown. This obsession reminds me of the obsession our nation seems to have with Hollywood. That is why Brad Pitt and Angelina Joli were able to sell their twins pictures for $14 million dollars or more. I don’t understand what this has to do with her politics? That may sound like a naive question, but think about it really. What did anybody know about the personal life of Abraham Lincoln at the time, or Franklin Roosevelt- let’s face it; if people had known he was in a wheelchair would he have been elected President? WHAT ARE HER POLITICAL CONVICTIONS? She seems to be quite open about them, and as long as they keep giving her the air time, we may find out; but I'll still do my homework. And if you sit back and think the press, or media are going to present a “clear and balanced” picture, think again. Oh, and by the way, someone besides me is fed up too, and FINALLY someone has put the hammer down on some of the media pundits over at MSNBC who haven’t learned the difference between “news” and “opinions”, or simply when to SHUT THEIR MOUTHS. WOHOOO!! Check out the story on News.
Whoops there I go again!

Saturday, September 6, 2008

You can't legislate morality....or something like that

There is a big discussion going on in the city of Emporia right now about banning smoking in public places. Everyone has thier side, and opinion, but I did find one friend of ours, a woman who grew up in Romanina during the overthrow of Ceau┼čescu, interesting. She knows what it is to live in a Communist country and be controlled by the govt. She has a daughter that her father has only seen one time, be cause she hasn't been back to Romania since the baby was born 4 years ago, and her father isn't permitted to come to the United States because he still works, her mother is considered retired thus can come and visit.
Our friend stated the other night at a dinner she was attending that she didn't feel they should ban smoking in public places. Now at a dinner table of Conservative Christions when she said it you could have heard a pin drop. Needless to say, she was encouraged to explain her statement. She continued, "That's how it happens. First they take your right to smoke in public places, then they take your guns." You really couldn't argue with her logic, she had seen it happen first hand. She has a valid point, but lets take that to the abortion issue (ooo Hot topic!) First they take your rights of what you do to your own body, and then they take your guns. Isn't that what the abortion advocates would say?
I always like to travel back in time, so lets take a little trip. What if they controlled your choice to get pregnant in the first place (like China), that would do away with the NEED for abortion. Just like if they banned cigaretts all together no one would smoke, then the issue of smoking in public places would be mute wouldn't it? How far can we take this?
We as Christians tell people that God is a gentleman, and will not force you to love him. It is a choice. Maybe you don't think you can compare God's love to wanting a cigarette, or having an abortion but believe me with the thinking out there now a days, there are people that do.
You know what they say. You can't legislate morality......or something like that.

Thursday, September 4, 2008


O.K. I am not a “political person” and I have said I was not going to use this blog to blog about politics, God knows there are enough others out there doing it for us, but this blog isn’t about politics, it is about the media that are supposedly reporting (or they call it that) about the Presidential race.
There are SO many words that come to mind right now to describe how the media is and isn’t handling the information in this presidential race.
Politics has become the piranha feast that it is, and we in the public perceive it to be, because of the media feeding frenzy that goes on all around it. When I think of all the highly qualified individuals in this country who could and should run for public office for the good of their fellow man and the country, and won’t because they openly admit they don’t want their private lives drug through the sludge and mud that the media invariably seems to do, and the public has come to expect, and passes for “reporting”, it makes me sick!
Roger and I don’t have television anymore, and only use our TV for watching movies. All the news we get is on the radio, or on the internet, or out of the paper but it doesn’t matter where you turn, the bias, one way or another is unbelievable. I read and watch some things on the internet, and after I've watched it and hear the media reporting that goes on afterwards, I ask "did we hear the same thing?" "Were you really sitting there listening?" If they were, they either spin it to be what they want it to be or feel free to offer thier opinion which last time I checked, WASN'T NEWS, BUT SIMPLY AN OPINION!!! (Rog would say I am getting worked up, I guess somebody should).
It is time for the public in this country to start demanding accountability and accuracy in the media’s “performance”. But then if we don’t demand it of our elected officials why would we demand it of those that report about their choices and behaviors.
I will vote Nov. 4th, but I am going to do my level best to do it based on information that I have gotten, not from the media, but by my own research, something I recommend to others as well. I’m tired of being told half truths, or someone elses’ version of the truth, or not the truth at all.
There I’m done. Thanks for reading, and GOD BLESS AMERICA..........PLEASE!!!!

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Will it be for the better or for the worse.......

When Charles Shultz died, I was so sad to see something that I had literally grown up with come to an end. The Peanuts comic strip was part of my daily life, I had books of Peanuts cartoons as a kid that I would lay in bed at night and read, and laugh out loud so hard that my mom would have to holler upstairs and ask me what I was doing. The reruns that they decided to run after his death were wonderful, as some of them were old, (watch it!) and we hadn’t seen them in a long time.

Now Lynn Johnson from For Better or For Worse is going to try the new-run, not re-run, but new-run deal where she starts from the beginning of the comic strips 29 year history and starts over with the Patterson Family adding to the original strips.

Now I can tell you that I started reading FBorFW and getting hooked just about the time my kids were in grade school, Jr. High; the age of Michael and Elizabeth. I could relate to some of the issues the family went through. So as Elizabeth is getting married, Grandpa is dying and Mom and Dad are facing downsizing and the imminent empty nest syndrome when April leaves and goes to college, I am right there with them.


Maybe she can start over with the story of the Patterson Family, but I can’t start over with mine—thus my dilemma.

For some reason I found comfort in reading the funny papers and finding my life in its pages. It helped me realize that perhaps I took things a little too seriously, and needed to lighten up, and learn to smile at situations more. It was also comforting to see captured in four squares the feeling in my heart when parents got sick and the reality hit that they weren’t going to get better or the beauty of having close friends to tell things to you wouldn’t tell another living soul, and the loss of a beloved pet like Farley.

It is just one more thing I am going to have to adjust to here at this point of my life, and when I read the news on YAHOO today, I have to admit I heard a gasp, and yes it came from me.

I know, there are much bigger issues, but let’s face it, sometimes reading the funny papers help us to face some of those larger issues. Keeping a perspective that is more on the light side than the dark. I like that. I need that.

So I will start checking for another comic I can read that will make me laugh, keep my perspective, and add a regular constant dimension to my days. In the mean time, I’ll look for you in the funny papers, heaven knows I found myself there often enough.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

To Kill a Mockingbird

Roger and I watched “To Kill a Mockingbird” last night. We hadn’t seen the movie in years, because we both made comments like “I don’t remember that”, or “I had forgot that” while we watched it.

I have to admit that I haven’t felt that “good” after watching a movie in a long time. I realized the thing that made me feel good was the depiction of that ere; the realization that life had truly been simpler then. It was set in a time before we were born, but life in a small town had not really changed all that much from then to when I was 6 years old.

I recognized the little town where I grew up in the town of Macon where they lived. I recognized the little white clapboard houses, with porches, that had porch swings and rocking chairs, and dirt streets with no curb or guttering.

Ladies wore house dresses, with aprons over them to protect their clothes. Some men, a good many, wore overalls. Little girls wore dresses to school. People sat on their front steps, and in their porch swings, and walked across the street and visited with neighbors.

The pace was slower. It was almost like going back in time, and remembering Oxford Kansas on a hot summer day in 1961. Children were children, with freedom to play outside after dark catching lady bugs, or building a tent out of old sheets and bedspreads over the clothes line, climbing trees, riding bikes, playing baseball on the empty lot across the street all the while taking for granted the safety and freedom to roam the town and outskirts. Cigar boxes or shoe boxes filled with treasures like a perfect birds feather, a pretty leaf, a marble, maybe a found dime or penny, a skate key, a random medal and pretty rocks found as we pushed our bikes along the street.

The awe we felt toward grownups because we knew they really DID know more than we did and the protection they provided us so we DIDN’T know things before we were ready. We were innocent of the ugliness of the world, unaware of the differences between people, the ugliness that can separate us from one another sometimes. The plot of the story wasn't lost on me. I "got it". But it was the other stuff, watching it this time that stood out to me.

When Atticus Finch explains to Jim why his father wouldn’t let him shoot Mockingbirds, he relates the story his father told him about how a Mockingbird doesn’t do anyone any harm, they just sing and make music. Why destroy something that causes no harm?

When I thought about that in light of the changes in our times, our towns, our children, and the environment that we are living in and raising them in, I realized that someone, has indeed, shot the Mockingbird.

Friday, July 11, 2008

A New Chapter

When Roger and I celebrated our 18th wedding anniversary 14 years ago, the weather was unseasonably warm for January and we went for a walk that evening. As we walked we recalled milestones that had taken place in those first 18 years of marriage. We talked about what would happen in the next 18 years of our lives. We realized that as we lived those years, all of our parents would be gone, our kids would very likely be married, and maybe,(if we are blessed) we would have a grandchild or two. In all that speculation, the reality of what that meant seemed natural and part of the normal progression of life. Never do you realize, even looking at the future, just exactly how it will “feel” when chapters of your life end, and new ones begin.

Audrey and Ryan are moving to AZ.
Yep, we will have two kids in AZ now. Goodyear is actually a suburb of Phoenix, so Nic will only be about an hour away from them. Ryan has taken a position with a hospital in Goodyear, nursing in the ER; night shift. Audrey has yet to start looking for jobs-she has been a little busy getting Ryan on the road, and making arrangements to move, and giving notice at work.

Ryan left last Fri. with his Dad along to help with the driving, and Audrey and I leave this coming Fri., with the dogs. I will spend 4 days, hopefully helping them get unpacked and settled, then board a plane and leave all three of my kids in the Great Southwest.

Everyone is telling me that this is going to be hard. (like I don’t know this), and that I will REALLY have empty nest syndrome now and may have to even get another dog. Har! Har!

Yes, I will miss them terribly; I will miss Audrey popping in to see us on her way home from work. I will miss them in church every Sunday that they could be there, and I will miss KNOWING they are in the same town, but there will be huge differences in them taking out and leaving here, and Nic doing so three years ago.

First-Ryan has a job, Nic didn’t
Second-They have a place to live-Nic didn’t-he had a friend who said he could stay with him for two weeks till he found a job and a place to live.
Third-They have each other, and they have (family) Nic down there already.

Yes, knowing my kids are far away (two long days drive, or two hours by plane), is hard to think about, but I am assured of the fact that they have good heads on their shoulders, and know right from wrong, and are going to be “together” in a sense. The phrase “there is strength in numbers” comes to mind right about now, and it is bringing me comfort.

Audrey flew down for three days to sign the lease, and get Ryan and the things he took with him into the apt. She told me they found a Costco, a Fry’s grocery store, that there are three Farmers Markets in the Phoenix area year round………she is already moving in her head, and preparing to make a life somewhere else. As hard as the reality of them leaving is, it is wonderful to hear them talk that way; about exploring their new environment and learning about this new life and adventure together, and all within the proximity of family.

When Nic left I had a terrible time-there I admitted it, but I was busy with Mother, and Audrey was still here, and life went on. But I realized when Roger and I talked about it, it really wasn’t about Nic leaving, I knew he would land on his feet, and not only survive, but thrive. It was about a chapter in our family’s life closing; things would never be the same again. I knew how far away he was going to be, the idea of how little we would see him was overwhelming to me, but God in His infinite mercy, has allowed us to see Nic more in the past few years since he has moved than I would have ever dreamed possible. So, it is a LITTLE easier to see Audrey and Ryan go; a little. I know that ANOTHER chapter is closing. I have had others of those “chapters” close in the past year, and each one has brought with it some pain, but also pleasure. By watching my kids, I’m seeing that the new chapters can actually be pretty exciting, and something to look forward to.

The book of the Cerretti Family is still being written, God is the author, and has the pen poised to add some exciting and new entries. I’m looking forward to reading it and finding out how it turns out.

Monday, June 30, 2008

Changes ahead

I received an e-mail from my sister Anita a few weeks ago about how the demographics of our world are changing. It was rather lengthy, but interesting to read. Once again, it was written by a guy with a resume that is lengthy and impressive (lots of initials after his name). The bottom line of the entire email is that if the Judeo-Christian populace doesn’t survive, and thrive, the world as we know it will cease to exist.

My grandmother’s world was ceasing to exist right before her very eyes. I remember her talking about living through the transition of going everywhere by horse and buggy, to traveling by car, then by airplane, and finally putting men on the moon—she didn’t live long enough to see the space shuttle. She spoke of the decline of morals, absolutes in our lives that acted as our moral compass.

The gentleman who wrote the article bemoaned the time when the world as we know it will simply cease to exist, other cultures will prevail, other religions will be more practiced and widely spread than Christianity, and the socio-economic structure as we know it will collapse. This will happen mostly because people simply won’t care what happens enough to make the changes to stop it.

Stop it? I have been studying the prophets in the Old Testament, Isaiah to be specific, and the similarities to what is happening in our world today are striking. Israel was carried off into captivity because no one did anything to change the onslaught of changes that were happening right in their midst; changes that didn’t’ fit God’s plan. God had a plan to draw His people back to himself and nothing they were going to do was going to change it. He was crying out through the voice of His prophets for Israel to return to the proper relationship with Him; they didn’t. His ultimate goal was to turn them back to him, to remind them that He is God, had delivered them, fed them clothed them, and mostly loved them. They were to love Him, worship Him and praise Him for that, not just in their daily lives but to others as well. They weren’t doing it.

We have many modern day prophets who have been crying out for years for the people of God to turn back and be the people He intended us to be. James Dobson bemoans the disintegration of the Traditional Family. Jerry Falwell warned that 9/11 was just the beginning of what was in store for us as a nation. Franklin Graham’s speech at the Columbine High School memorial service spoke honestly about the deterioration of our society showing itself in the massacre that took place there. These are a few of the “prophets” who are crying out to us to change our ways and turn back to God. They are just different “ways” than the prophets of old encountered in the Old Testament.

Anita prefaced the entire e-mail by saying that she was glad after reading it, that God is in charge. I am glad too, but I must remember that sometimes God allows things to get worse before He makes them better. I don’t see stopping the tide of change that is coming; “If God wants me with him, there are none who will stop him”, is one of the lines from the movie “Little Women” starring Clare Danes where she plays the role of Beth. As she is lying on her deathbed and Jo, played by Winona Ryder, tells her she doesn’t want her to go, Beth’s response reflects the acknowledgement and realization that God is in control. His will, as Jesus taught us to pray, will be done.
I believe that in the “last days”, there will be a purifying of the saints of God. Those who can stand the heat may still die by that fire; others will stand, and lose much for the sake of their beliefs. This is the warning of the Bible; if you read it, if you believe it. The epistles of the New Testament and many of Jesus’ prophecies warn us to be prepared for difficult and hard days. They warned us then, and are warning us now. Our world will continue to change and it won’t necessarily be for the better. Priorities will have to be set, for the children of God as well as the rest of the world. We will have to be prepared to seek God only, not wealth, position, or even victory. Our victory won’t be till Jesus himself appears. Until then we may suffer. We may not win this particular battle, but like in the book of Isaiah, when the enemy comes, if we are doing what God requires of us, the enemy will fall without a sword stroke from us. God will be our deliverer. Praise His Name!

Monday, June 16, 2008

My Daughter: THE FIREMAN?!?!?!?!

When Audrey was born, I visualized her doing lots of things in her life, but I have to say she has far and away surpassed any expectations I ever had of her with this, her latest accomplishment.
When she was a little girl she would stand on the stool at the kitchen counter helping me make cookies, or fix a meal, and I would listen to her tell me how she wanted to grow up and be a "scientist". I always told both of my children there was nothing they couldn't do, if they just set their minds to it, and they have both proven that point over and over.
Audrey has fulfilled her dream of becoming a "scientist". She works in a laboratory with lab coats, safety goggles, test tubes, the whole she-bang, testing water, diesel fuel, etc; all the things involved with her job. However the one thing she does with her job that I never heard her aspire to when she was a small child was becoming a firefighter.
Yep, my daughter, the same gorgeous girl over in the column of "my favorite people", in that beautiful wedding gown, is part of the Fire Brigade at the Wolf Creek Nuclear Power Plant where she works. She has a big red bag that she keeps in the back of her car that she carries her "gear" in. She can dress out in under 4 min. and she qualified to fight fires inside the confines of the plant; she even knows how to drive, and that means maneuver and park, a full size fire engine; not a ladder truck, but a big fire engine one that actually came from a fire station in New York City, that was located 2 miles from Ground Zero (the company lost two firemen in 9/11).
She gets excited telling us about her training, going into a burning building, and dragging out a 165 lb. dummy, and being able to hold a fire hose by herself for at least 30 seconds.
Can you tell I am impressed? I am! Roger and I are captivated at the idea that this young woman that we raised from a little girl, who when I actually think about it, wasn't really ever afraid to do too many things, is putting herself out there to do this thing of fighting fires if necessary.
She modeled her gear for us yesterday, showed us how it is stowed in her bag, which is why she is able to dress out in under 4 min. She had everything but her hat,face mask, and tanks of air, but we got the idea.
The possibility of her actually every having to fight a fire is remote (thank God), but it is still pretty impressive to think that if the situation arises, she will be qualified, and knowledgeable to do so.
I always knew she was going to grow up to be a remarkable woman, and I am seeing it come true right before my eyes. AMAZING!!!

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Something else I do........

First of all, let me preface this blog by saying, “I LOVE MY HUSBAND”! However, there isn’t anything much more intimidating than the back of a concrete truck coming at you with that DING! DING! DING! sound that large trucks make when they back up as a safety precaution for backing up.

This is something else I do; I help my husband on the job site sometimes. Mind you, no one is more aware of the fact that I’m too short, too weak, and not very coordinated, therefore I consider myself much more of a liability on the job, than an asset.
Yet, when I remind him of this, his reply is usually something to the effect of “yea, but it is good just to have you there in case”. I guess unqualified help is better than no help.

So this is what I was seeing coming in my direction at 8:15 this morning, and I “ran the shoot”. That means I kept the shoot that comes out of the back of the truck, that the concrete flows down, in place so the concrete went in the hole where he wanted it to go. This means that I learned a whole new sign language for signaling the driver; and I didn’t get them mixed up---to much.

I will never be a "regular" on the job site, and I am so glad of that. I did see a new book out the other day about how to appreciate your mate-—go to work with them. Well, I’ve been there, done that, got the dirty T-shirt to prove it, and yes I do appreciate my mate, always have, and always will.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

What do you do with your time now........

People ask me what I do with my time now, this is just a small example of how I spend my time.........I plant flowers......

play with Lily........

plant more flowers........

watch the weather........

plant more flowers.........

watch the sunsets..........

and plant more flowers......

Of course these are not all of what I spend my time on......just some of my favorites.

Saturday, May 31, 2008

Grandma's Porch

I haven’t written anything for awhile as outdoor activities have taken me away from the computer. I’ve been busy mowing, planting and just maintaining the garden, yard and flowers. As I have been working outside and planting flowers, and then beginning to see the results of my labors as my flowers bloom I am reminded of one of my favorite childhood memories.

My Grandmother Horack (my Dad's mother) had a small house with a front porch that faced the east. She had a porch swing which was strategically located so that we could use our feet to push off the porch railing and swing really high. We would spend hours out there swinging, drinking Pepsi, and eating Oreo cookies. We would listen to the conversations when her neighbors, Mrs. Martini and Mrs. Lowry would come out in the cool of the evening and sit on her porch with her and visit. I don’t remember what the grownups talked about, but I do remember the Pepsi, Oreo’s, and Grandma’s flowers. Grandma grew beautiful flowers, all kinds all over her yard. Peony’s with blossoms as big as dinner plates that she would cut early, keep in the refrigerator and use to decorate the graves on Memorial Day, (that is a whole other story). She had hollyhocks in the back yard so tall I had to look up to see the top. But the one I remember as really standing out was the beautiful “Pauls Scarlet” climbing rose that grew up the trellis at the south end of her porch. It grew up from the ground to the roof of the porch which meant it shaded the entire porch. In among this curtain of red roses, unnoticed until they bloomed, were the deep dark purple blooms of a Clematis vine; a striking combination. As a very young child, I thought my Grandma was truly wonderful to have such a pretty bush that would bloom two different kinds of flowers.
I don’t have a “porch” per say, we have a deck. I’ve been planting flowers, filling pots with plants of wave petunias, verbenia, pots full of impatience, and begonias that later this summer will spill blossoms over onto my deck and make me feel as if I am sitting in a garden, when in actuality I am sitting on a deck in the middle of a pasture. Our deck is an “outdoor room”. It is covered with a pergola that has wisteria growing over the top. This year it bloomed for the first time, long fragrant lavender blooms that attracted hummingbirds, and bumble bees.
Springtime was, quite literally, right out our back door. Roger loved it, and the smell was better than anything you will ever find in a bottle. I have Clematis too, growing up the trellis in the middle and on each end of the deck, and they are beautiful when they are full of blooms.
Like my Grandma's porch it is a wonderful place to sit, and chat, or in the mornings, a quiet place to take your coffee and go sit and watch the sun come up. We have a table and chairs out there, so if you feel like filling your plate and going out there to eat, that is good too.
It is a gathering place of sorts. I find people gathering there when I have a house full of guests. They take their drinks and migrate to the comfortable seating outside surrounded by the flowers and canopied with the green of the vines. I find the same kind of contentment sitting in my "garden room" as I did swinging on Grandma's porch.
Nothing tells winter goodbye like brightly colored flowers, the smell of new mown grass, and a tall glass of iced tea while you sit on the "porch".

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

More Favorite People

This is a picture of my nieces and nephews, and my own kids taken on the day of Mothers funeral. These are also some VERY important people in my life, and I am so proud of each and every one of them. They are a fun bunch of kids,(we have Audrey and Ryan's wedding as proof) and great people. The picture wouldn't do them justice in my "Favorite People" column, so I thought I'd highlight them here. They all mean the world to me, I was in Jr.High when they started coming into the world, and I got to play with them, spoil them, and enjoy them..........I love them!

Monday, May 12, 2008

Mothers Day without Mother

Mother, Grandma Amy Wolf (mothers Mother), Myself holding Audrey, 1982

When Mother died, a good friend of mine said, “Mothers Day will be terrible, my first Mother’s Day without my mother snuck up on me and was absolutely terrible, be prepared.” Well, it has come and gone. Yes, I missed my mother. I missed the reason for having a family get together here at my house, and hosting another holiday.

Our house became celebration and holiday central after the folks moved to Emporia. Something I really liked. I got to have everyone at my house, play hostess, celebrate and throw parties, and relish the time together. That is going to be the hardest part of the holidays and celebrations, this coming year at least.

We have been hosting Easter dinner with all the family who lived close enough to attend since before Mother and Paul moved to Emporia. Everyone who could would come for church first, then out to our house for Easter dinner, and then, when the kids were little, an Easter Egg hunt, weather permitting. At Mothers funeral, my eldest niece, RaDawnna talked about roasting lamb for Easter dinner. I joked that if she did, I’d come down to try it (they live in Houston), and the invitation was given and accepted on the spot. This year Roger and I went to Houston, and Nic flew in from Phoenix. We had a great time, and she talked about starting a new tradition of “Easter in Houston”?!?! We’ll see.

Another niece, Casie, upon finding out that Aunt Andrea and Uncle Roger were going to be “alone” this Mothers Day, (Audrey is still working outage, and Nic is, of course, in Phoenix), had invited us to their home, “about an hour and some change” away for Mothers Day Lunch. We were able to go, and it was a wonderful time, and great to have a “different kind of holiday”.

Actually, I face the absence of my Mother every day. It is just when all the family is around, at holiday times and celebrations that the vacant spot is so noticeable. Eventually there will be a holiday that I will have to face without my Mother present. She played a big part at holiday and celebration times because she set a standard of how to do it, and then enjoyed watching we girls take over as she passed the mantle to us.

As I sat at Casie’s table yesterday eating a delicious meal in her beautiful home, and look at the pictures I took of RaDawnna’s festive Easter table, with Easter linens, and decorations, where everyone got a chocolate bunny, I realize that Mother is still with us. The traditions she instilled in we girls, that we have taught our girls are coming out, and showing up in so many details. We now have the joy of watching our girls pick up this mantle and carry on traditions, and start new ones. So in one sense, I haven’t had to celebrate a holiday totally without my mother. She was there in all the wonderful touches in my nieces’ homes and holiday celebrations. She taught us many things about hospitality, hosting parties, celebrating Mothers, and honoring our elders. Isn’t that what Mothers Day is really all about?