JaniceHeck

Finding hope in a chaotic world…

Archive for the category “Story of My LIfe”

The Best of Family Christmases Past

Over the years I have had many wonderful Christmases. But when I think of Christmases past, I think of one picture in my box of old, yellowed, crinkled family photographs, a picture that brings floods of sweet memories of Mom and Daddy and our family Christmas traditions.

Our Christmas ritual began with cutting our own tree. In the early years, on the day before Christmas, we trudged through the snow through our “back forty” over to a nice stand of evergreens just waiting for our annual visit. We took ever so much time going back and forth between the trees considering the merits of each one. The younger kids, Little Bobby, me, Charley, and Judie just ran around making noise and playing hide-n-seek (with maybe a snowball fight or two) while the bigger kids, Beverley, Bill, Shirley, and Adam did the actual tree hunt. Joyce and Joanne were already off working at their jobs, so they missed this fun.

There was one rule on these tree-hunting expeditions: no bickering. We could voice our opinion, but we couldn’t argue.

Even so, Mom always had the last word on the Christmas tree choice. She was very particular. She didn’t want any old scrawny tree.  Her tree had to be just right, nice and plump and tall and rounded on each side, not too tall, and not too short. If a tree was lopsided, we didn’t cut it. If the spaces between the branches were too wide, we didn’t cut it. If the branches weren’t evenly distributed top to bottom, we didn’t cut it. This was not an easy job, but somehow we always managed the find just the right tree to make Mom happy.

Then when we found the perfect tree, the only one that would do, the older boys or Daddy cut it down. We dragged it through the snow back to the house.  But Mom wasn’t ready for it to come in the house. First, the snow had to melt off the tree, and second, we had to clean the house to make it ready for the festivities to come.

Soon enough, we could decorate the tree with strings of colored lights and brightly colored glass ornaments. We placed those on the tree with great care, under Mom’s supervision, making sure that each section of the tree had the correct proportion of the various colors. Sometimes we strung popcorn or cranberries to drape on the tree.

Then the final step. Hanging the silver tinsel. And mind you, this had to be done to Mom’s specifications. We could not just throw the tinsel at the tree and hope for the best. (Only darling Little Bobby could get away with that!) No. If anyone did that, other than Little Bobby, they couldn’t help trim the tree. We had to hang each strand individually, with only a little overhang of one end of the tinsel, so that the other end could hang down long, all shimmery and delightful. And perfect.

When all was said and done, and the kids finally sent to bed, Mom and Daddy wrapped presents that had been hidden somewhere in the house, basement, or garage until the wee hours of the morning.  They probably only got to bed a few hours before we littlest ones woke up eager to start the festivities. We stumbled down the stairs at dawn’s early light to get our first morning look at our beautiful tree and the mounds of presents under it. But we couldn’t open anything yet. That was the rule. We had to wait until Mom and Daddy came downstairs and got some coffee, and Mom had to put the giant turkey loaded with celery, onion, crusty bread, parsley, sage, rosemary, and thyme in the oven. Ummm, yum.  The smells teased us for hours.

Then we could go at the presents, but only one at a time, mind you. That was the rule.

I remember I wished and wished and wished that I would get a doll for Christmas that year and maybe even a doll cradle or bed.

Christmas Morning

Christmas Morning (Front: Bill, Little Bobby, and Janice; Back Judie, Charley)

And look, I did get that doll (far right in picture) even a dollie bed. I was one happy little girl. All of us kids got things we treasured. (I remember us kids singing “A Frog Went A-Courting,” on and on, um-hmmm, accompanied by Bill’s new ukulele.)

My doll has long been forgotten, but the precious memories of my parents linger on. Christmas becomes a time of remembering the past with nostalgia and even a bit of sadness…missing our parents who loved us and cared for us, and who worked so hard to provide the shelter, clothing, and food we needed to grow up to be responsible, contributing adults. And now, along with our parents, we miss several siblings, Joyce, Joanne, and Little Bobby who have passed in the past few years. Big families bring great joy throughout our lives, but later in life, as family members pass away, our hearts fill with sadness. Our once big family is shrinking.

Now we siblings all have children and grandchildren of our own, but they are spread far and wide throughout the United States, so Christmas is a lonelier time, and we miss the closeness that shared family traditions bring. Even so, we think of each other and remember our wonderful Christmases past.  There’s nothing better than our Christmas memories…except, that is, for making new ones.

Meow for now... ==

Meow for now… =^;^>=

<a href=”http://yeahwrite.me/challenge-140/”><img

challenge140

WANAfriday. Childhood Memory: Scary, Scary Campfire Stories

WANAfriday: Share an early childhood memory, or a photo that brings back a memory of childhood or family.

In my childhood, large family gatherings were common.

Many evenings, my aunts and uncles gathered round the big kitchen table drinking coffee and talking about the events of the day, the weather, and the crops.

The aunts and uncles gathered frequently in the evening for coffee and news.

The aunts and uncles gathered frequently in the evening for coffee and news.

We cousins ran around outside in the twilight swatting mosquitos and catching fireflies to make lanterns for our bedrooms. Mom’s Mason canning jars, especially the green tinted ones, made the best lanterns.

Photo credit: girlsguideto.com

Photo credit: girlsguideto.com

Sometimes we sat outside on the big lawn in a big circle just talking. Sometimes we even had a campfire. One of the bigger kids invariably started telling scary stories, complete with stormy sound effects and long drawn out details. Here is an abbreviated version of one classic night-time summer tale:

It’s a dark and stormy night, and Bubba and Sarah Lee sneek away from their friends in his new black convertible to go sparking out on the woodsy bluff. In the midst of their tryst, they hear a faint scratching on the passenger door. Then the scratching gets louder. Scratch, SCRATCH.  And LOUDER.  SCRAA-AAATCH.

Then… thump, thump, thump.  The door rattles. A deep, snorting chuggle fills the air.

Bubba, remembering tales of terrors in these parts and fearing the worst, puts the car in reverse and blasts out of the woods, the romantic interlude forgotten in the terror of the moment.

When Bubba and Sarah Lee get back to her house, Bubba goes around the car to open the passenger door for Sarah Lee,       and………he……….sees……..   [deathly silence]

… A BONY ARM WITH A CLAWED HAND HANGING ON THE DOOR HANDLE!!!!! 

                        [S-S-S-C-R-E-A-M-M-M-M]

jERSEY deVIL...

Was it the famed Jersey Devil?  Who knows. But this story has been told and retold at many a campfire.

It was all too real to us little ones because we knew that the Jersey Devil did live in the woods of South Jersey, not that far from our home.

The Last Meow

Ha. You think that’s a scary story. You want to hear about the night I met the Jersey Devil on a moon-less night in the dark woods and chased him out of town? That Jersey Devil was so scared that he never came back again. So much for him, the big lummox. I never got much thanks from any humans for saving them from terror either. Oh well, what can you expect from those superstitious scaredy-cat humans. They probably think THEY chased the Jersey Devil away. Humph.

Gordon College 5-16-2013 040

Meow for now. =<*!*>=

Here are a few more WANAfriday childhood memories:

P.S. Did you ever hear that scary story when you were a kid?   What scary stories did you hear at camp?

Grumpy Cat Art Project…One More Entry by Cassandra Heck

Have you seen the trending topic about the Grumpy Cat Art Project?

In Huntsville, Alabama, thirty-two artists have invented their own artistic representations of Tardar Sauce, aka The Grumpy Cat, to auction off for the benefit of the Low Mill Arts and Entertainment Center. Proceeds from the auction will go to the center for art projects and for a children’s playground.

But none of these can compare to the cute and quirky Grumpy Cat heart designed personally for me by my stepdaughter, Cassandra Heck. She presented this little critter to me on Mother’s Day, and I have been chuckling about it ever since. Look closely at the intricate detail: hand-stitching, beadwork, paint on cut-out felt, and special ribbon. Look at those white thread whiskers. Grumpy looks so, so adorable. (Sorry, Grumpy, I’m just being honest.)

Grumpy Cat may be a sour puss, but Cassie’s original rendition gives me lots of happies. His stern NO! did not prevent me from eating those Trader Joe chocolate-nut biscotti given to me by Mandy Heck.

Sorry, this original Grumpy Cat design is not part of the auction!

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Cassie makes these one-of-a-kind heart designs for friends as a mini-fundraiser of her own to help her pay the vet bills for Luca, her canine companion, who recently had to be put to sleep due to an advanced cancer tumor above his hip.

Luca and Cassie 3

Here are a few other “Helping Hearts” designs by Cassie.

Cassie designed this heart for her mom who helped care for Luca. Luca means "bringer of light."

Cassie designed this heart for her mom who helped care for Luca. Luca means “bringer of light.”

heart 5

CAssie dog heart Mr. Tux

Cupcake Heart

Cupcake Heart

American Heart

The Last Meow

Nice, Cassie. You do good work. Thanks for making us look so pretty.

heart cats

Meow for now.  =<^:*>=

Thou Good and Faithful Servant

BlogEverday[1]Blog Every Day in May Prompt 25

Something someone told you about yourself that you’ll never forget (good or bad).

I am not a praise junkie. I tend to evaluate my own work and person perhaps more harshly than another person might. I am a bit of a perfectionist (I wrote about that here in My Top Three Terrible Traits), and I am perhaps more critical of myself and my work than need be.

But I shuffled through the pile of compliments given to me about aspects of my life, work, and relationships and remembered them with gratitude and smiles. I appreciate everyone of those comments as well as the givers who gave them to me. Then I sifted through the much smaller stack of petty barbs of the kind that we all get now and then and decided to just let them go. They didn’t matter then, and they certainly don’t matter now.

I dwelt on several compliments thinking they might be worthy of retelling. But really, what’s the point?

Instead, a comment made in church this morning caused this Bible verse, memorized as a child, to pop into my thoughts, and I realized that this is the comment I long to hear one day:

King James 2000 Bible (©2003) Matthew 25: 21 and 23
His lord said unto him, Well done, good and faithful servant; you have been faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things: enter into the joy of your lord.

My hope is that one day, My Lord will say to me, “Well done, thou good and faithful servant. Enter into the joy of your Lord.”

The Last Meowcat praying...3

I am not sleeping on my feet. I am praying. Be a little more respectful.

Meow for now. ={^;*}=

My Top Three Terrible Traits? Is That Even Possible?

BlogEverday[1]Blog Every Day in May  Prompt 24. Your top three worst traits.

I asked My-Heck-of-A Guy (MyHog) what my three worst qualities were, and at first he hemmed and hawed, and then he pleaded the Fifth Amendment. You don’t think he was afraid of starting a little tiff a big fight a friendly conversation, do you?

Humph.

I guess I’ll have to answer this prompt on my own. You have to know one thing though: I have an innate ability to see the bright side of every negative. It may sound like I am avoiding the subject talking around the topic, but really, I’m not. You believe me, don’t you?

Terrible Trait One: Procrastination.

To some, this may mean being late with assignments, like posting a day late, or something minor like that. I do pay my taxes on time. That’s good isn’t it? And I am always ready on time when MyHOG wants to go out to dinner. So really, I don’t see procrastination as a big problem for me. So what if it takes me a teeny bit longer to get a few bitty things completed. I take my time to evaluate all possibilities before selecting the most obvious one. MyHOG calls this “analysis paralysis,” but I call it “exploring my options.”  Sometimes I nap take my time so I don’t make rash decisions and major mistakes.

Procrastination (which is a teeny problem for me, I admit that) connects with negative quality number 2, perfectionism.

Terrible Trait Two: Perfectionism.

I have discovered that errors creep into my blog posts while I sleep at night, so I have to be extra vigilant to guard against them. MyHog helps me root them out, but even so, if I even touch a post after it is polished off, the irksome pesty typos sneak in on their mission of havoc and destruction. That means that I have to read and reread and reread my posts before I post them. Perfectionism is tedious and dampens the creative spirit.

Terrible Trait Three: Poor Housekeeper Problem

My perfectionism does not apply to my housekeeping, which is, ummm, sort of a problem. I would rather write blog posts than clean house. I would rather look for cute kitty pictures on Internet than clean house. In fact, I would rather do anything rather than clean house. I was very clear with MyHOG before we married: “I do not vacuum.” I hate vacuum cleaners, and they hold me in similar contempt. I dust, but only when the sneezing gets out of control. So that’s our deal. He vacuums. I dust if I feel like it.

MyHog is also perfectionistic  obsessive-compulsive helpful in ways that assist me with my Poor Housekeeping Problem. He has Rules for Loading The Dishwasher, and somehow I have not mastered those rules (hahaha sorry about that, not), so therefore, he loads the dishwasher. Really, I don’t want to cause pain extra work for him by having to move cereal bowls to the top rack (Rule 1) after I put them on the bottom rack. And  heavens, what if I mix up the silver flatwear and break Rule 2, Keep eating utensils in like groups. No, it really is easier if he loads the dishwasher. He might as well unload it, too, since he knows how he loaded it.

I do clean house though, but definitely under pressure, like when I invite company for dinner, and the house is a wreck. We both go at it in a blitz and get it cleaned up. Yes, I dust. We try to have company over again within the next few days after this first dinner while the house is relatively neat. A week later is too late.

Well, I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to go on and on with my top three terrible traits. I’ll do better next time. At least I’m not blowing my own horn.

The Last Meow.

Ah-choo. Ah-choo.  Bleh to housework! I mean, Meow for now. =<*;*>=  Bring on the weekend! Ah-choo.

weekend cat

Life Learnings Gleaned through The Passage of Time

BlogEverday[1]Blog Every Day in May. Prompt 23: Things you’ve learned that school won’t teach you.

Primary school, elementary school, junior high, high school. Twelve, maybe thirteen years in school. Add two more if you went to preschool.  Add more if you went to college.  Our formal schooling took a lot of time, and we learned a lot of capital letter stuff and crossword puzzle stuff: the periodic table, the presidents of the United States, the state capitols, great battles in history, the amendments to the constitution, vocabulary lists, and more.

But life has taught me so much more.

I went to my 50-Year Golden Reunion at Gordon College this past weekend, driving from New Jersey to Wenham, Massachusetts (north of Boston) with my classmate, Judith Krom.  In chapel, we sat next to each other for four years in alphabetical order in numbered rows, class by class. Judith and I were both “Kro. . . . .”JudyK&JanKH Gorodn College 2013

On our road trip, we talked nonstop, and I do mean nonstop, about life and what we have learned in the 50 years since we graduated from Gordon. Here are a few of our highlights.

1. Learning is lifelong.

School is a nice, safe cocoon, but when you jump feet first into your chosen vocation, that’s when you start learning. In fact, we learned more on our first jobs than we ever learned in school.  We hustled in these jobs, working long hours just to make it through, learning to manage our time wisely, trying to do the best job we could do before going home exhausted.

Both Judith and I went on to earn higher education degrees, but we used our everyday work experiences as examples in our written class assignments. By day, we learned from supervisors and work associates; by night we learned how and why these associates worked the way they did. The extra courses and degrees? Those are all extras, refinements of our knowledge and essential to our personal and professional growth. The classroom learning polished off some of our rough edges and hopefully made us wiser.

Then when we retired and finished our work requirements, we both went back to school again. Learning is lifelong.

2. People are important. Nurture relationships.

We learned more from interactions with other people than we learned from our textbooks. Work associates, friends, and family members all gave assistance along the way. When we were willing to listen to their cogent advice, they helped us avoid physical, emotional, even financial disaster; they opened doors to other experiences and opportunities; they encouraged us in hard times; and they carried us (or covered for us) when we couldn’t quite make it on our own.

Our relationships grew deeper over time as we experienced together successes, sorrows, embarrassments, troubles, accidents, and mistakes. Our true friends stuck with us through it all.

3. Laugh a lot. Petty things don’t matter in the long run.

We talked about our insecurities of our early working days.  The old “If I knew then what I know now, my life would be different” entered the conversation. It’s true. But learning is a process, and it takes time. In hindsight, we can laugh about our mistakes. We acknowledged that we learned from our mistakes as well. Mistakes brought a deeper awareness of factors in situations that we had overlooked.

Our advice to others: Don’t get caught in absurdities or petty cricisms, or even self-imposed limitations.

4. Read, but do more than that, think. Think about what you read.

Read broadly and deeply. Pursue those interests you could not develop in school when you had to take the prescribed courses for your degree. Compare other disciplines with your own. I was lucky enough to enroll in a master’s degree program at the College of Notre Dame in Belmont, California where the administrators and professors emphasized an interdisciplinary approach. Although I was seeking a degree in educational administration, I worked through the master’s program in public administration, meeting with health care workers, fire workers, postal workers, city administrative officials, and others in public service. This led to an awareness that our problems in educational administration were not unique; others faced these or simiar problems. By teaming on class projects, we broadened our ideas and developed a greater appreciation for our public servants.

5.  Write. You do have a voice. Write.

Part of my lifelong learning plan is to read more and to write more. The form of reading for me has changed a great deal. While I used to read more fiction and nonfiction books, now I read more fiction and nonfiction posts. When I do read novels, I tend to read them on my Kindle, although I do love holding a hardback book in my hands when I read.

I started my blog on a lark, just to see if I could do it. At first, I felt a bit intimidated by the sheer numbers of blogs written by such good writers. But I have kept with it, and I have gotten some positive comments on my efforts.

6. You can do anything you want…just set your mind to it and do it.

Posts I have read today:

Sometimes we don’t write because we fear what others might say.  August McLaughlin responds to that fear in “Smash the Tomatoes: Dealing with Bad Reviews.”
Kristen Lamb, WANA guru, writes about Steve Jobs and 5 Tips for Being a Successful Author in her may 23, 2013 post.
Here’s the article that Kristen refers to in her post. “Wisdom for Writers from Steve Jobs Yes! THAT Steve Jobs.”

The Last Meow

Things I Learned in Catergarten:cat sleeping - academic

1. Wake owner up early.

2. Start the day with a good catfeast.

3. Nap often, on owner’s computer keyboard preferably.

4. Act cute and get treats.

5. Be annoying and get treats.

6. Nap on the windowsill in the sun.

7. Eat dinner, and then get ready for bed.

Meow for now. =<^b^>=

Photo: Bike Riding in Yosemite National Park

BlogEverday[1]Blog Every Day in May, Prompt 17

At Yosemite

At Yosemite

A favorite photo of yourself . . .

It’s hard to pick a favorite photo because I have so many family and travel photos that hold wonderful memories. But here’s one taken at  Yosemite National Park, August 12, 2001.

I was on a trip to Yosemite with my step-daughter, Lisa; her husband Randy; grandsons, Evan, Eric, Ian, Aron, and a friend; and niece-in-law Keely Hall.

We rented a cabin in Yosemite Valley and went hiking or biking every day.

This trip was perfect.

Weather: sunny and warm with cool nights for good sleeping.

Spectacular scenery: Yosemite Falls, Ribbon Falls, Half Dome (8842 ft.), El Capitan (7569 ft.), Tuolumne Meadows.

Good times with family. Here’s a picture of the rest of the crew. And for the record, we did not see any bear. Thank goodness for that.

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The Last Meow.

Can I go camping, too? I’ll bring my own tent.

cat campingMeow for now.  =<^;^>=

A “Little Bobby” Story from My Childhood in Vineland, NJ

BlogEverday[1]Blog Every Day in May. Prompt Number 18: Tell a story from your childhood.

I posted about Mom, Ellen Mason Carlton Kroelinger, and our life in our big chaotic household with ten kids and two adults for Mother’s Day. We also had one or two dogs, a dozen cats, and a wacky duck to add to the confusion. You can read that background to this story here in “Missing My Mom.”

We kiddos all have funny memories of growing up on Brewster Road in Vineland, New Jersey. One story in particular surfaces at almost every family reunion: The Ten Siblings and The Incredible Disappearing-Sticky-Cinnamon-Bun Story.

With ten children and two adults eating at every meal, Mom had to spend a lot of time in the kitchen. Though the kids helped in turn, she still prepared the bulk of the meals. For dinner, Mom had to cook a dozen of everything: twelve ears of corn, twelve potatoes, twelve pork chops, twelve big meatballs, or twelve whatever happened to be on the menu that night.

Mom didn’t have to bake bread though, because our old reliable Palmonari Bakery delivery truck came by every afternoon to dropsticky-buns-lg off giant loaves of crusty Italian bread. We all loved to go out and check out the goodies that Joe, the driver, had tucked in a long pull-out drawer in the back of the Palmonari truck. Sometimes he had crumb buns (yum), and sometimes he had sticky cinnamon buns (double yum).

Joe was always full of news of the neighborhood, and since we were near the end of his run, he often had a few minutes to chat. The problem was that sometimes his goody drawer was empty when he came to our house.

On our luckiest days we got cinnamon buns.

How many cinnamon buns are in a dozen? Twelve?

Nope. Thirteen. Palmonari’s sold a “Baker’s Dozen” which has thirteen delectable sticky cinnamon buns.

Little Bobby, the darling of the family.

Little Bobby, the darling of the family.

Do you get the picture? Twelve family members eat their allotted cinnamon bun, sitting around the twelve-person dining room table. One cinnamon bun remains on Mom’s big, white porcelain platter in the center of the table. Ten children with bottomless pits for stomachs stare at this incredible, delectable bun, their childish minds whirring at the speed of lightning, calculating how best to claim that last mouth-watering, caramelized-brown-sugar-pecan-nut-and-raisin-topped cinnamon bun before anyone else could get it.

There are conflicting reports on how this all came about, but everyone seems to agree that sweet little Bobby, the youngest sibling, Mom’s little darling, grabbed the bun and shoved it in his mouth before anyone could think of a more democratic way to handle the situation. And being the youngest, he was the most capable of getting away with this kind of self-centered assertiveness. First off, he was little, and second, he sat in the coveted, protected spot next to Mom at the end of the big table. Little Bobby could do no wrong in Mom’s eyes. Of course, Bobby was special in our eyes, too. And he was so clever that we all had to laugh at his high jinks. Oh well, who needed that cinnamon bun anyway?

The Last Meow

CAt Swag  cat and cat food bagIs it time to eat yet?   What? All I wanted was a little snack to tide me over until dinner time. No big deal. I can still eat my dinner.

I promise!

Meow for now.  =<^:^>=

Rough Lot. Smooth Lot. We Get Through and Learn.

BlogEverday[1]Blog Every Day in May, May 16. Something difficult in your “lot in life” and how you’re working to overcome it.

So much has changed in my life over the years. Difficulties have come and gone, and I am the wiser and braver for it all.

Now in retirement, I can look back and put the rough patches in perspective. How did that struggle ultimately help me?

Whether the rough patches related to family issues, relationship issues, work issues, or personal/spiritual issues, the result is the same. I made it through.

That is not to minimize the difficult spots. Some were tough. The most difficult was the death of my first husband from cancer. I saw cancer up front, close, and personal, and I didn’t like it at all. Cancer caused a lot of physical and emotional pain for me and my family. But even that pain changed me. I became much more aware of others around me who suffered silently with their own pain. I have tried to develop a more compassionate and encouraging personality.

Here I am now.  I have a lot:

My-Heck-of-A-Guy (my newish husband, Ken) who doesn’t mind being teased and even reads my posts. We met fifty years ago and married eight years ago. (It took him a long time to make up his mind.)

My family. Though my family has shrunk through death over the years, we remain close. We have lost both parents, one brother, and one sister, four nephews, two great nieces, and two spouses. Several members of my family now have serious medical issues. We no longer have the mass holiday parties we used to have, and sometimes we have no party at all. But life goes on. We have grandchildren, nieces and nephews, and friends’ children. We celebrate life with them.

Mom's 90th Birthday-Kroey Krewe Family Reunion

Mom’s 90th Birthday-Kroey Krewe Family Reunion

My good friends. I have lived in a number of places in this world (New Jersey, Massachusetts, California, Alaska, Hong Kong) and I have made good friends in each of those places. Moving to new places means some loss of contact with these friends. But now with social media, especially Facebook, I can maintain those friendships with a few words, a picture, or a joke.

My faith. Where would I be without this? It is my foundation and my source of strength.

Time to write. This is the biggest blessing for me. I have always been too busy working to take time to write, even though I loved teaching writing to students. Now in retirement, I can write to my heart’s content. The blogging challenges have gotten me going again, and I have met such good and encouraging writers in the blogosphere.

My lot in life now is good. My only minor difficulties are a slow Internet and changing eyesight that comes with age. I can deal with these.

I know. I am soooo cute.

I know. I am soooo cute.

The Last Meow

Don’t forget us. We have made your life pleasanter, haven’t we? I see you laughing when I do cute things. Wait. You’re not laughing at me, are you? Cause if you are, no more cute things!

Meow for now.  =<^:^>=

15 A Day in the Life

BBlogEverday[1]log Every Day in May. Prompt 15. A Day in the Life: A Typical Day

Is there a typical day when you are retired? Yes, no, and maybe.

I woke up thinking about everything I had to do to get ready to leave for a BIGGGG college weekend. Gordon College, my alma mater, invites fifty-year graduates (Class of ’63) to join in the ceremonial procession with new graduates. This sounded like fun, so my friend and classmate, Judith Krom, and I decided to gather our regalia and join the fun.

Then the phone calls started. My sister Bev called to give the latest report on my sister MsJoanne (hospitalized because of a recent stroke.) Report: No change in her condition, not better, not worse. My brother, Adam, called, and we made plans to visit MsJoanne on Thursday. Bev planned to visit today. (MsJoanne is in intensive care with restrictions on visits.)

Next, my friend Ron arrived to dig up a clump of hosta in my yard. A few days ago, I mentioned that my hosta needed to be divided (one clump blocked the lawn sprinkler) and invited him to take some for his yard.  While I had other things on today’s agenda, I decided to go out and help him.

Hosta plants before the attack.

Hosta plants before the attack.

Ron digs his clump of hostas.

Ron digs his clump of hosta.

Although Ron took half the original clump, the remaining clump still blocked the sprinkler.

Although Ron took half the original clump, the remaining hosta still blocked the sprinkler.

Ig out another part of the clump, divided it into three new plants, and planted them our back.

I dug out one more clump of hosta, divided it into three new plants, and planted these out back in my yard.

Happy hosta in their new spacious living quarters

Happy hosta in their new spacious living quarters.

I stopped to take a picture of this rhododendron in my back yard.

I stopped to take a picture of this rhododendron in my back yard.

The sprinkler is still not clear of hosta, but that’s enough for today. I have to get back to my trip prep list. I have miles to go before I sleep. (Recognize that Robert Frost line? I wrote about this poem, “Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening,”  in  the 2013 A to Z Challenge). Mom would say that we gave the hosta a “lick and a promise,” meaning that we would get back to it another day.

My blog for May 12 had not been published, even though May 13 and May 14 blogs have been. Sunday’s blog was too long (1400 words) because it was about my mom, and I had a lot to say about her. I pulled out a couple of sections that could be published on other days, and then I proofed and proofed and proofed the post and published. (Errors sneak in when I am not looking, so I have to be extra careful.)

Errands filled the rest of the day: haircut, manicure (French!), gas fill-up for car, new purse, new GPS (our last one had a “fatal error” mid-way on our last trip), blog, laundry, dinner, blog. Midway, I talked with my friend Connie about a writing workshop we plan to attend in September. We’re all signed up.

This has not been a typical day, but typically these things happen.

The Last Meow

Sometimes ya gets so tired you fall asleep wherever ya fall asleep.

Sometimes ya gets so tired ya falls asleep wherever ya falls asleep.

Well, this is my typical day. Can’t think of a better way to spend my time. Why worry when you can nap? Anywhere. Any time.

Meow for now.  ={^:^}=

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