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Friday, July 5, 2019

Hard. Serious. Real

When he came to the door , my sister had no idea what was up...

Here is what happened.

Jody   had been suffering from cancer for a long time.  He was suffering from the habit of chewing tobacco. Harsh consequences. A lump on his neck bigger than a softball.  Surgeries, pain medication, strong pain medication, and now it was beyond healing.
Jody was in a loud and angry mood.  He was planning to end his life. He carried a bag with just what he needed.  My sister asked him "Jody, do you know if you're going to heaven?"  And he said  " Oh yeah, I know all about that.  My mom took me to the Baptist church every Sunday morning, Sunday night and Wednesday night. So  I asked Jesus into my heart lots of times.. that hasn't worked for me. Look, at my life.  Living with my girlfriend for 15 years, living in sin".

At some point B-I-L  said  " Jody, please don't do it on June 1. That is our anniversary and all our families are going to be here"
 ( that is really what happened so I have to include it )

Jody responded " I got too many other things I have to take care of. I got to connect with my attorney and".. saying all the different things he had to take care of , Jenny and however long it takes her to go through mourning or whatever that is you go through.   He was not very kind talking about any of it.
  He rambled on and on and finally just before he was going to leave my sister said
"Jody as time goes on if you decide that you want to hear more about heaven you come over here and talk to me  OK?

It was three weeks later.   The phone call came,  It was Jenny " can we come over?"
The couple sat in the living room and most of the time Jody was quiet.  He could barely talk. He and his now wife, Jenny had gotten married. 
Jenny was crying most of the time, but she was able to translate  what Jody was trying to say.

He was ready for Barb to tell him what she wanted to share with him.

The basic plan of salvation.  He nodded his head.   He made eye contact.  As long as  they sat in the living room, Barb kept sharing.

At one point B-I-L said  " our grand daughter is coming over to spend the night.  She is coming for a sleep over. "
  (  that really happened,  kind of "unexpected"   but it gave my sister a few minutes to pray and think about other things to share.)

She recognized that he was feeling guilty and needed to understand God's forgiveness.  She mentioned that he had been angry when he came over before and he shook his head  ( very difficult, painful, for him )   The few words he spoke Jenny understood... but then he said "Crap" and everyone could understand that.

Barb said..
"Almost the entire visit he was just staring deeply at me, intently just listening, really deeply which was very encouraging.  I mean here I have this audience, he couldn't even answer me or talk back to me, or say OK I've heard enough or anything because he couldn't talk . Kind of trapped." 

Then she  said:  " I could tell he was really responding so I felt really like the Lord calls out to help and just as he wasn't angry and he was listening and he was getting the one point. I was talking about dying. And he didn't need to fear dying because he would close his eyes here and open up his eyes in heaven and I gave the story I heard years ago from Chuck Swindoll that your hand is in the glove and  when the glove comes off, and your hand goes up to heaven    God just happens in just a blink of an eye and so he didn't have to fear death.  It was you being with Jesus forever."
Then she looked at Jenny and said " Jenny this is something else, a bonus that when you believe that Jesus dies on the cross, he died for you."  She explained the simple plan of salvation.
She was listening, but did not respond, so I am not sure about her
"I feel maybe it was a gift the Lord gave to me. I did feel like if I had to vote one way or another, I would say Jody accepted Jesus and he probably already had years ago, but he was just feeling so guilty and unforgiven and he just needed to be reminded. I'm so blessed the Lord gave me the words.

When they left both of them gave us a big hug.

And Saturday morning was his final day on earth.

Thankful that the Lord used my sister
Proud of my sister's confidence and boldness  in sharing "Jesus"

Tuesday, June 4, 2019

Million dollar hug

Well, it is not a secret that May is my birthday month.

It is not a secret that I had a great week celebrating.

Also, there is more celebrating to come.

But, tonight was special.
The Olive Garden gives you a free dessert to celebrate your birthday 

( yes, I know some folks don't like getting those promotional emails, but this one, I am ok with ) 

Take a peek 

Not a difficult choice...When at an Italian restaurant, order an Italian dessert.  Made fresh and served with chocolate and berry sauces. 

Here is my story.

Our corner table was just in front of the doorway to a large private dining room.  It was set up for a party.  Soon a few people arrived with balloons and packages and a dancing little girl in a white party dress.  Then a few more guests arrived...maybe Grandma and Grandpa...Uncle... A room full of happy.
After finishing as much of the Zeppoli as I had room for, I decided to wish that little gal a Happy Birthday.

So, I moved  around the corner and though the room was full of conversation, they paused as I entered to say

"Looking for the birthday girl,
It is my birthday too "

They all were happy and cheered Happy Birthday greetings to me

As I started to slip around the table I told them
"I am not going to ask you how old I am "
they laughed

Stopping close to the birthday girl I said. 

"But I know how old you are ! "
I handed her a $5.   ( yes, it was her 5th birthday )

Someone said... what do you say?
of course she said, with a big smile  Thank you !  

Someone said... give her a hug 
she got up off her chair, and she did

That was when something triggered in my heart
      ( coming on right now, too ) 
As I felt those little arms around me  I said
"I have a little granddaughter in Minnesota and I can't hug her"

Had to make a quick exit...with thank yous and smiles abounding. 

I had no idea I would be so blessed by that moment
So thankful for little ideas that pop into my head 
I live an exciting life

Here it is again...

A week with little man....

I arrived Sunday night, after he was fast asleep, so in the morning..
he crawls into bed with me about 6:05.
snuggles, like a banana peel and whispers
 " I love you "
then I say " I love you too"
he says  " You smell like Grammy"
I say  " I am Grammy"
He says, " Oh, I forgot you were going to be here "

That  made me smile all week

Might make you smile too.

Sunday, May 26, 2019

What do you do in your studio?

Yes, that is what she said

What do you do in your studio?
( obviously she does not follow my blog, or check facebook...good for her ! )

Well, just in case she or anyone else out there is dying to know what I do in my studio...

The wait is over...  

Enter my studio...

 As you open the door, this is what you see first.
I call it my "wall of inspiration".  All the pictures on the right have been created by friends and family.  Or they remind me of someone special.  Like my grandpa. He taught me many things.

I am not an artist.  My sister is.  My daughters are. 
 I am a writer  
The pictures remind me to use the gift that God has given to me..   We are all so unique and we all have gifts. 

Wall of Inspiration

here is   a close up 

Right there in the center of the wall is the picture of my four treasures 

Jackxin        Klaire    Sebastian   Tanner

They inspire me to be the best Grandma I can be 

 You might also see a project in the the folder of the book I have been talking about writing for many years...Not sure where the inspiration for that is, but there it is for now.

are you still with me?

Coffee pot
Cabinet with ironing board !  yes I iron things
A few things I could have changed to make the picture more "perfect" but I am not perfect and neither is my studio 

Sewing cabinet
Sewing machine
Sewing mannequin

I sew things
A few more special pictures that inspire me

And, I do love aprons.  I change her's seasonally

and now    

a favorite spot 

This is where I spend most of my time, when I am in my studio.
 ( notice how creatively my hubby put an old desk, night stand and file cabinet together and then topped it with ... a new desk top   )  
Computer with two screens
a few favorite DVD's  A bit of Mickey  
Note books...I love paper things ( some time I will open the closet door to my paper collection )
Shoe clock, calendar, stapler, file box, frame, etc 
and a bit of music.

( if you get this far and spot the "music"  just say the word and I have something for you )

actually...that is all there is ...for now studio is no secret.  Come over and and have some coffee, tea, or hot chocolate.     Guests are always welcome !

I live an exciting life  

Saturday, May 18, 2019

Words that start with S

Every visit to Spokane makes me think of Sharon.
She has been gone for almost three years, but, she  will always be the reason to visit Spokane.

And, a visit to the farm comes first. 

So many memories. But, for now, we are just going to absorb the peace,  tranquility and amazing beauty around  the homestead.  


OK... I did not get a full picture of the house..  The place where three generations were born and raised. But the other buildings have been there and are part of the memory .  One of those buildings was the spot for some grand parties.... country style... Sharon knew how to entertain.  


( here is a picture of Sharon at Chaps...probably the last time and with very good friends.)

Saturday morning....

… the morning to remember.

We stopped at Chaps to see if Celeste was there.
And….she was….
(Celeste owns Chaps, is a nurse, and she was the lady / nurse who saw our sister Sharon collapse in the parking lot outside her restaurant.  She stayed with Sharon until the aid car came to take her to the hospital.   But there were details that we did not know.)

The line into Chaps for breakfast was outside, and almost to the street. It is Saturday morning and folks love the breakfast at Chaps.    We walked inside and spotted Celeste chatting with the musician we recognized from last night. She was responding to something he was not happy about.
As she was heading back to business, Darrell walked up to her and she immediately came to us. He re-introduced himself ( they had already met, but I had never seen her though we had come to Chaps at least 5 times since June 2016  )
As soon as she came to meet me, I could not hold back. Her arms were open. 
No  words, just a hug. Such a huge hug that would not let go. Was it Celeste or was it me…
I told her that I had been wanting to thank her for being with Sharon and caring for her.
( eyes swimming )

Celeste said:   I remember that day like it was yesterday. I remember what I was wearing.  A young man, Sean, came to help. He said he had just finished training to be a life guard.  He wanted to take over.  I told him to  take Sharon’s head in his hands, hold it and talk to her. Tell her your name and just talk to her.   So, he did. He held her head . He introduced himself and just talked to her until the medics came. 
I was concerned that she had hit her head and made sure that the hospital knew to check out any injuries beyond her M.I.   I called the hospital every day.  I have been wanting to meet the family.  
Within an hour, there was a similar situation. I was able to help there too. There was a different end to that story. 

I wish I could have done more.  I will always remember.

For me… I thought that meeting Celeste would bring closure ( what is that anyway?) but instead, it brought  connection.  There was a real concern and now a  lasting bond between us.   During the brief visit that day, I could see several people wanting to chat with her. One little girl came up and Celeste bent down and hugged her.  I have to believe that this lady, Celeste, has a genuine admiration for others and the feeling is mutual.

 This is Celeste...and Darrell

Celeste said she wanted to give me something as a token of our bond.  So, what better than a mug from Chaps. 

Thank you Celeste

Thank you Lord for people who care 

Spokane and Sharon... 
they always go together....they always will   

Thursday, May 16, 2019

Mother's Day

It comes every year,
Mother's Day

But Mother's are there for us every day !

Mine was...

This is my Mother 

Her youngest sister, my Aunt Pat, lived just a few blocks away, so growing up, she was very prominent in my life.

My Mother and her Mother 

The three of us.   My Mother, sister and me.
My Mother was a good swimmer and we lived just a block from Lake Washington.  But, Barb and I never had the same attraction to water as Mother did.
                                      Aren't we cute !

This year hubby had a bouquet - yellow roses from a favorite tree out front, chocolate, from our favorite county, Switzerland.  He also made breakfast.   It was Sunday, and he makes breakfast every Sunday...and Wednesday. 

We spent the afternoon with family --- why didn't I take pictures ? ?    Well, my memory holds being with friends and family and good food and flowers and a very comfortable and sweet picture. 

I live an exciting life
( the most exciting part of the day  ?'s our secret....)

Wednesday, May 8, 2019

things happen

Marti, I am thinking of  you since you and me are probably close to the only ladies who still wear a slip.

Here is what happened.....

We had been to a memorial,  a very special time, and when we got home I  walked in the door and passed a mirror, a full length mirror

 WHAT ?!    Yes, my slip was showing.  Not just a little. But at least a full inch around the bottom of my dress .   It was a new dress and I spotted a glimpse of lace as we walked out the door.  However, I had no idea that as the evening progressed, so did the lace.

I did the only thing I could think of.  I wrote a little note to the three ladies I know very well, who were also at the memorial

Here is what I said:

OK, Miss K, Miss M and Miss N, 

Who saw my slip showing about an inch, all around the hem of my dress, last night?
Why wasn't there a mirror in the ladies room?
How could Darrell let me out of the house with my slip showing?
Will I ever wear that dress again?

These are questions that trouble me.
But, I am pretty sure I will be able to sleep tonight and 
I will see you in my dreams,  and at Bible Study tomorrow  ๐Ÿ˜Š๐Ÿ’•

After my bubble bath, I checked for reply's

Tue, May 7, 9:22 PM (1 day ago)
I just thought it was suppose to be that way.  Who knew, ๐Ÿ˜Š
(later  she told me that the tears were running down her cheeks...the things we do to make people happy )

Well, Kathy, let me just say I did not notice your slip showing—sadly, I don’t even remember what your dress looked like—just your pretty coat!  If it was all around your dress, maybe Darrell thought it was part of your dress!  Caitlin & I just had a conversation on Sunday about the things you can buy from Grace & Lace to extend the length of your dress or top.  I’m sure Darrell was thinking that’s what you had on ๐Ÿ˜‚
I  hope you sleep well tonight!    See you tomorrow!
Love to you!

9:54 PM (43 minutes ago)
Dearest Kathy,
I just checked my emails and saw this.  It so made me smile. ๐Ÿ˜ I did see your slip and I so thought it was supposed to show.  It matched your dress which was also beautiful as well as classy!  I was going to ask you where you got that slip which was a perfect length to show the perfect amount๐Ÿฅฐ๐Ÿ‘ ❤️ I think you have started a new fad?!  Ted did want me to tell you he was “shocked”!!  I know he never noticed๐Ÿ˜
Love you and always will.....even if your slip shows!

Well, I have learned a lesson
and, I will sleep well tonight.

I live an exciting life