Tuesday, June 14, 2016

A Treasured Gift

Today is Flag Day... and my birthday. But today instead of showing you stirring pictures of flags blowing in the breeze, I want to share one of my favorite things. I'm thinking of my Mom today, and looking at the things she gave to me. Of course there are all the intangible things, but she also gifted me with several items that had a special meaning to her, and now they are very special to me. 

But this figurine is my very favorite, perhaps because there is a story that goes with it. 

I was born in Chicago and we lived there the first several years of my life. She told me how she and I took the streetcar to a shop that she liked. This girl reading a book figurine had caught her eye on an earlier visit, and on this day she had the $5 to purchase it. As I was too young to have an actual memory of this, I love visualizing this trip and how thrilled she must have been to be able to buy something pretty for herself. As a book lover, it has additional meaning to me.

She has graced many different places in our home, but you will always find her reading her book in one nook or another.

But don't despair, I haven't abandoned the flag totally. Happy Flag Day!

Till next time...
Journey on,


Friday, April 29, 2016

Losing a Loved One to Dementia

A year ago on a Thursday afternoon my lovely mother passed away. This week I've been remembering her final days with a certain sadness. But, in actuality, we had been losing her for many years. Little by little and piece by piece she slipped away. It was such a gradual thing that there is no one day that I can point to and say, "this is when she left us." I remember how her memory loss frightened her so. In the early stages she was well aware of what was happening to her, and that made it even more painful to watch.

To those of you who are living in this difficult situation right now, I just want to give you a ((hug))! It is so difficult, frightening, and painfully sad to be the caregiver for someone with dementia - especially when it is someone you love. Feelings of frustration, inadequacy and guilt are a constant companion. I wish that I had some wise words to share with those of you who are dealing with this, but I don't think there are any pat answers for how to cope. All I know as I reflect back is how important it is to just love them, and do whatever it is that will give them some momentary pleasure or peace (even though it will be forgotten minutes later). I found this poem a while back, and wish to share it here. I'm sorry it's a little fuzzy - or maybe that's because of the tears in my eyes.

Till next time...
Journey on,


Thursday, April 21, 2016

Spring Please!

I have always said that Fall is my favorite season, but I'm realizing that Spring is a very close second. I have been anxiously awaiting green trees, flowering bushes and plants bursting through the soil gifting us with their beautiful blooms! The only problem is that I am not a gardener. I have no flowering bushes, nor do I have perennials or bulbs planted. So, thankfully, others around me do, and viewing and enjoying is free to all.

For many years I've celebrated the coming of Spring with a visit to a greenhouse or two to see and smell the beauty of the season. These are two pages I made for my scrapbook last year when my friend, Linda, and I visited the Canton Greenhouse and Landscape Garden Center in Sioux Falls. 

  I was trying out the camera on my new iPhone 6, and was very pleased with the results.

So, thank you to all of you wonderful gardeners out there who make our world a more beautiful place!
Until next time,
Journey on,

Thursday, March 10, 2016

Easter Tables

I found some tables set for Easter that were so pretty I need to share. I was fortunate to be in Minneapolis this week, and it's always fun to visit the stores that we don't have access to here. This is one of the tables in Williams & Sonoma. The plates featured chicks or bunnies.

Their second table had a bunny as well, and they chose a soft blue napkin to blend with the background of the plate. I was tempted by the bunny centerpiece with the basket front and back, but left him there for someone else.

I then walked down the hallway to Pottery Barn to see what they had done. Bunnies seem to be the way to go as both of their tables featured them as well. Notice that the flatware used in this first setting is a mixture of patterns. It's hard to tell in the picture, but the napkin ring also has a bunny standing tall on it.

And this last one was my favorite. I felt that the pretty flowers around it gave it more of a springy feel rather than just Easter, although I guess any of them could be used throughout the Spring.


Wouldn't it be fun to have special dishes for each season and/or event? I would have trouble investing in such specific patterns, and I certainly don't have room to store them, but really enjoy seeing the pretty table settings! Hope you've enjoyed coming along on my shopping trip, and have been inspired to set a pretty table for your Easter gathering.

Till next time...

Journey on,

Friday, February 19, 2016

On Becoming "That" Generation

One of my mother's dear friends passed away this week. I'm sure she is the guest of honor at the coffee party that Mom is graciously hosting in her honor. Pour the coffee and cut the pie - just a sliver please.

So very many of "that" generation, my parent's generation, are gone now. And as each one slips away we all edge up a little bit on the ladder. I'm really not sure how I feel about being "old." I used to jokingly say I was on the edge of old. Now, instead of just dipping my toes in the water, I think perhaps I'm wading in the shallow end. I actually don't feel old, however I sense that I am perceived as old. It's mirrored back to me in the eyes of the carry-out boy at the grocery store, and in the extra effort made to hold doors open for me... and then there's all the "ma'am" references.

Through the years I've always pretty much ignored what age I am. But as those numbers get bigger this body I live in doesn't let me ignore it as easily. So, the question becomes how to be the best older person I can be, and I have been thinking about this very subject a lot lately.

As in all phases of life there is no instruction manual other than the observations we have made of those who have travelled this road before us. So I have compiled my own manual...

    *maintain friendships with younger women who provide a different perspective on life
    *stay abreast of current affairs to give me a better understanding of the world around me
    *work to understand and use new technology in order to stay relevant
    *find new interests and learn new skills so that my days will be full and interesting
    *be open to new experiences and friendships for there's no telling what might await
    *treasure old friends with whom I share a common history as those connections are precious
    *exercise my brain with games and puzzles using the many apps available on my iPad
    *spend time with children as their curiosity and enthusiasm is contagious

There are certainly other, more personal goals on my list, and no doubt your manual would read differently. I am a constant work in progress when it comes to the following traits which I feel are important: be kind - listen well  - speak gently.

I don't know where you are on your journey. If you are still young, watch and learn from the older women in your life that you admire. And if, like me, you are entering or are in your older, mature years keep in mind that they're watching!.

Until next time...

Journey on,

Sunday, February 14, 2016

A Valentine Remembrance

I'm going to take a few minutes this morning to re-tell a Valentine story. Years ago we had two drug stores in our community.  The Corner Drug Store was owned by Swede Thorson, and Bruehler Drug was owned by George and Charlie Bruehler. The weeks before Valentine's Day a very aggressive campaign between the two stores took place, each trying to outsell the other. They were peddling beautifully decorated boxes of Valentine candy... all sizes and colors, with flowers and lace and ribbons. They were lovely to behold. 

No man was safe walking down the street or even getting out of their car in front of either store. They would surely be approached (attacked) by Swede and/or Charlie to buy a box for their sweetheart. Perhaps a little guilt was involved to get them to buy the biggest, most elaborate box. There was many a lady in our community/area who benefited from this friendly competition!

I think of these gentlemen each year as this day rolls around. It's a sweet memory of days gone by.

Till next time...


Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Almost Gives Me Whiplash!

This weekend was spent mingling with the future as we were surrounded by some of our children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren. Most of the activity centered around the six little people, who had a marvelous time being together.

There was a lot of swimming, plenty of food was eaten and I'm told there was a card game that went into the wee hours.

And most exciting... we learned that the great-grandchild that will be joining us in June is going to be another Little Miss!

Looking at these beautiful little people, one can't help but feel great excitement about who they will become and what amazing things they will accomplish. The future is bright!

**  **  **  **  **  ** 

But we no sooner returned home and I received a nudge to turn around and delve into the past. I love putting together the old pictures and stories in a way that those who come after us will find interesting and informative. And so, I will renew my work on my family history, and I look forward to having someone else to work with on this project. We both have different information and talents to bring to our collaboration.

The future -  the past - all while trying to make the most of the present...  it's enough to give a girl whiplash!   

Till next time...