What is it About Raspberries?

Is it their unique, sweet taste? Is it the familiar crunching of their seeds between your teeth? Is it the way their grid sections form together into a fascinating dome shape? Is it the hole inside of them that is just the right size for a toddler’s index finger to carry them from a bowl to their mouth?

It’s all that and more for this Wisconsin grown girl with childhood memories of them growing in a huge patch of bushes in our family’s backyard.

Every year when the calendar turns to July, I think back to my time spent in that patch of wilderness in the yard of my family’s home. It was the best use of space and time to let the bushes grow in one big clump. It wasn’t, however, the ideal way to pick the berries. Raspberry bushes are a great example of how nature protects itself. The thorns were a periodic reminder that the berries belonged to the plants and the plants didn’t give them up easily. Many of the berries were hidden under the leaves so it was a concentrated hunt to make the most of your time there. The bushes were a favored home for hearty Wisconsin mosquitos who loved the dense leafy bramble foliage, so time was devoted to futilely trying to fight them off with flailing arms. There were also birds and bugs of different shapes and colors who liked the raspberries as much as we did.

How the beautiful berries grow is a common but fascinating process. The plants are first adorned with small white flowers , then hard yellow nuggets replace them, soon turning pink and then bursting to vibrant red overnight.

In peak season, Mom used her biggest bowls and buckets to harvest the plump bright berries. Ice cream buckets, with their tall sides, were best to protect from possible spillage if swatting pesky mosquitos  The bigger the berries you picked, the faster your bucket was filled, although many never made it to the bowl depending on how much of an appetite you started with, or worked up to while there.

Sometimes I was in the patch alone, sometimes I was joined by my sister, or my mom or dad. It was best to be there with my Dad as the mosquitos favored him.

Picking the delicate berries is tedious, and prices for them in stores reflect that. Not counting our time, or loss of blood donated to scratches from the bushes and to the mosquitos, the raspberries in our backyard were free. Although the season seemed short, it did last for up to a month; and the berries came in abundance while it lasted. The buckets and bowls went out empty and were returned brimming. I can still see the bowls of berries sitting and soaking in the sink until most of the bugs floated to the top where they could be skimmed off. The bugs that were unseen, one could reason, were protein thrown in. Those raspberries were an explosion of taste whether eaten alone one by one, on top of a fruit salad, or in jam, but nothing could top them mashed with a touch of sugar added to create the perfect topping for ice cream.

Our backyard forest of fruited foliage provided more berries than our family could eat. Mom shared with grateful neighbors, and steam wafted from the stove as raspberry preserves preserved that sweet raspberry taste for many months to come. My mouth still waters when I remember eating butter and Mom’s raspberry jam on Mom’s warm homemade bread.

The bushes were first shared by a friendly neighbor. Then, when our family moved, bushes were transplanted to the new yard where they multiplied and provided as much of a bounty as the patch they came from. And when Mom moved two more times, a sample of the beloved bushes followed and thrived; so that when I came to visit with my own family, my children learned the jeopardy and joy of harvesting, washing and eating the berries.

For many years, grocery shopping as an adult on a budget meant passing raspberries by at the store. But these days, they are a common item on our shopping list, a sweet treasure of taste that takes me down memory lane and right into my family’s backyard.

Some memories grow sweeter with time as they ripen with age. And as we watch our granddaughter put raspberries on her index finger and carry them into her mouth, I hope she and other descendants will care enough to one day read what it is about raspberries that stirs fond memories for this Wisconsin grown girl.

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Hotel Review-HAMPTON INN – DERBY, KS

In November of 2019, we spent a night at the Hampton Inn in Derby, Kansas.

The bathroom was small compared to other hotels we’ve stayed in. There wasn’t a lot of room around the toilet to maneuver.

The sink was interesting. It had a pedestal sink look to it, but also had some counter space.

The tub/shower had three levels of grab bars at the back, but none on the sides. No shower chair, although perhaps one was available upon request. The controls, spray nozzle and hose were nicely positioned.

I was intrigued by the wallpaper.

The hotel was convenient to our destination and met our needs. When we returned to the area at a later date, we chose a hotel that offered a more spacious bathroom offering more convenience for my large wheelchair.

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Hotel Review-QUALITY INN, PARSONS, KS

In November of 2019, we stayed at the Quality Inn in Parsons, Kansas. Although this review is being posted long after our stay, I am glad to include it here with positive comments. The accessible room with roll-in shower was very spacious and the layout was extremely functional.

Also spacious was the bathroom. I hadn’t seen a setup like this before.

I could roll under the sink well; and although it felt a bit tight, there was adequate room to use it. The mirror could have been hung a few inches lower but there was a nice full-length mirror in the room.

The shower had a very practical setup. The controls and nozzle were well within reach of the pull down seat, giving options for both physically able and challenged.

The grab bars for the toilet were more than adequate and well placed. Nice to have the towels within reach from a seated position.

We had a comfortable stay in a well planned accessible room in a great place.

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The Spoils of War

At 5 feet 11 inches for most of my life, I was accustomed to being tall and enjoyed all of the benefits it afforded. I have now spent years of my daytime hours in a wheelchair. After so many prior years of standing tall, not being able to reach things and not being eye level with people has led to some frustrating moments. I’m glad for the help Mr. Legs gives me and I had mostly settled in to my shift to short stature. However, MS wasn’t satisfied with the territory it had gained and I had no way of knowing that I would face more height challenges.

As I have explained in a previous post titled “Swiss Cheese”, (click here to view), I used to perceive MS as an adversary that would attack in a logical and relatively straight path. The tingling and numbness in my feet and the weakness in my legs that I felt many years ago led me to believe that MS was starting there and would move upward. That has been mostly the case, but MS has also been at work in other places at the same time.

MS, at least my MS, does not follow any given pattern, direction or sensible sequence. Rather, it strikes at random times, in random places, and in random severity, with no warning. So essentially, MS has polka dotted itself across my body in its own happenstance way (leaving holes of usefulness, like Swiss cheese). Between its attacks, I wait to see what’s next….how it will affect me, and where it attacked – in that order; for it’s much easier to determine what I can no longer do, than to figure out what MS has done.

Earlier in life, Mr. Legs was a combat arms army officer, and I have likened MS to an enemy force gaining ground inch by inch in one direction as it wins battles of war against my body. But the progression of an enemy in a land war doesn’t necessarily mean it has gained ground in a straight path either. Just like MS, a formidable opponent in a war for land uses the element of surprise as a useful strategy, and the path of progression can be spotty and crooked. In both MS and land wars, territory can be gained from battles in multiple places at multiple times and in multiple ways. My enemy’s name, Multiple Sclerosis, is fitting.

In the war that MS is fighting against my body, it had been secretly infiltrating areas of my back. MS and gravity had joined forces for a surprise attack. With no warning, the weakened spots of my back gave way and my spine accommodated them by changing its relatively straight line to a 40 percent curve. It seemed like I woke up one morning to discover my torso was significantly shorter. I couldn’t make sense of it. It wasn’t logical, but what part of war is logical? A battle had been won without me knowing it was being fought. Territory was gained and I was left to alter the map of what parts of my body were now occupied by the enemy.

Recent x-rays of my curved spine

In my pre-war body, my long torso was in proportion to my long arms and legs. Even when affected by MS, the length of my arms and my legs remains the same; but my torso, with its change in length, is shorter now, so I can no longer reach some of the things I used to reach from a seated position. The physical changes that happened required immediate shifts in daily tasks and more independence was lost. A few inches can make a big difference. This kind of physical change affects a body internally as well. Those unpleasant changes and their challenges were met before realizing their cause (my spine curving).

My long torso is now condensed. My altered body, with its long arms and legs attached to a shorter torso, is a striking visual change for me. I look in the mirror at this newer, strange physical version of myself and my mental acceptance of a different body image lags behind. Loss in any war is more than physical casualties. Adapting to the loss emotionally is difficult to gauge.

When I transitioned to spending full time in a wheelchair, I believed my height change to permanently sitting was the end of that challenge, but here I sit years later even shorter. Whether losing over a foot or a few inches, adjustments are required. Once standing at 5′ 11″, I now sit at about 4′ 2″. At doctor appointments, when asked for my overall height, I’m stumped. I just give them my best guess.

There’s no way to foresee the battle plan of MS. Even experts in both land wars and MS fields have no way of predicting what will happen next because every war is unique and MS affects each person differently. There is very little I can do to fight back, but my strategy, my battle plan so to speak, is to use medications that are available and use adaptation and resourcefulness in dealing with the spoils of war. I will use my battle scars to remind me of the strength built through the battles. And I will remember that the long and short of this tale seems to be that, whether a war is waging outside of your body or within it, it is wise to expect the unexpected…and then accept and absorb the spoils of war.

Praise be to the Lord my Rock,
    who trains my hands for war,
    my fingers for battle.
He is my loving God and my fortress,
    my stronghold and my deliverer,
my shield, in whom I take refuge Ps 144:1-2

Posted in Enemies, MS/Multiple Sclerosis | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 10 Comments

Maintenance Man

You find them at apartment complexes, places of education, office buildings, and elsewhere. Maintenance people keep things running. If something is off kilter, they adjust it. If it doesn’t function properly, they know how to correct it, figure out how to. If it can’t be fixed, they replace it.

Machines need maintenance. Being in a wheelchair and depending on machines that can so easily lose battery power or malfunction in any number of ways can be frustrating, and at times even frightening.  Being the caregiver for someone in a wheelchair has its own extra set of challenges. 

There are, at our house, a large number and wide variety of mobility aids.  And there is, at our house, a maintenance man called Mr. Legs. 

If any part of my wheelchair is crooked, broken, or needs adjusting, it’s Mr. Legs who gets out the bag of specialty tools and makes it right again. With its many adjustable parts-cushion, armrests, leg guides, footplate, headrest options and technical settings, there is often something that needs tweaking. I could make a service request to the Seating Specialist or Technician at the wheelchair company, which is two hours away; but I would need to wait until a trip here fit into the schedule. Instead, Mr. Legs acts quickly and restores function and my comfort. He ensures my wheelchair battery is charged every night so I start the next day with full power.

If the platform lift needs greasing, Mr. Legs does it.  If I need a ramp to enter somewhere, Mr. Legs puts it in place for me.  If the specialty van doesn’t work properly, Mr. Legs figures out how to get me in/out of it.  He has become my mobility equipment jack-of-all-trades. This didn’t happen overnight though – each piece of equipment has been a new thing to learn.

The day we bought our wheelchair accessible van was challenging. We rode two hours to the store, went through all of the preparation and fitting necessary, did a lot of waiting while the van and my wheelchair were being worked on, and did our best to absorb all of the new technology and instructions. Then, tired from an expensive purchase, information overload and a long day, Mr. Legs drove the van two hours to our house. We pulled in the driveway, parked, took a deep breath, and were glad to be home. We pressed the button to release my wheelchair from the locking device, and nothing happened. Nothing. We pushed the button again. We pushed it multiple times, just as demonstrated and practiced at the shop, but the results were not the same. The door did not open.

It was nighttime and dark outside, and we didn’t know much about the van yet. I was stuck; and, as most people are after a trip, I was anxious to visit the bathroom. It was a situation full of stress from exhaustion and frustration. (There may have been tears.) Over the course of about an hour, we called the mechanic who helped Mr. Legs troubleshoot enough to get the ramp deployed and I was set free.

It rained cats and dogs the day of a wedding. At the end of the day, we were physically and emotionally spent from the pleasures and responsibilities of the event, and we headed for the hotel with only a few more things to do. Arriving there, Mr. Legs thoughtfully pulled up near a door to let me out where I would have a minimal time of being in the rain. The button that opens the back door and deploys the ramp was pushed….but the door would not fully open…which caused all of the van’s technical functions to lock. The car was stuck, and I was stuck again. Eventually, Mr. Legs and our son managed to free the car, and me.

There have been numerous times when we have been ready to leave to go somewhere, or ready to go home after being somewhere, when the ramp would not come out of the van or the van would not start at all. With all of the electronics and safety features in such a specialized vehicle, there are many things that can interfere with its functioning. It also means that there is a constant low draw on the battery. It doesn’t take much, especially in cold weather, for the battery to be totally drained. The vehicle does also have a backup battery for the ramp, but it can also be easily drained and depleted of power. We learned about the constant drain on the battery after it died a number of times, requiring jumping and ultimately replacing.

The hydraulic platform lift which I use to exit and enter our home, has, on more than one occasion, stopped while I have been halfway up or down. My wheelchair battery has, at times gotten dangerously low, leaving me stranded in one place until it is sufficiently recharged over time and I can move again. Our patience, our brain capacity and our fortitude have been tested. We have learned a lot of things under fire. The unfortunate and stressful situations we have encountered have always been overcome. Mr. Legs has come to the rescue each time.

My bed itself is electric and it has a specialty mattress with a motor and firmness settings to choose from. A dial on my heated blanket has options from 0 to 10. Transfer boards help me move my body from one place to another. We own a myriad of sizes and shapes of foam and fabric cushions and pillows, each bought or made with a purpose. The list of equipment and accessories we own seems endless. Mr. Legs keeps track of it all. If we travel, many items go with us, and Mr. Legs packs and carries them.

I live in our house with a lot of mobility aids and one very wonderful Maintenance Man. There aren’t many people in my position who have such thoughtful personal help, and I count myself among the most fortunate.

Posted in Mobility Equipment, MS/Multiple Sclerosis, People Stories | Tagged , , , , , , | 10 Comments

It’s A Touchy Subject

I’ve never been a real touchy-feely kind of gal. I believe public displays of affection can make others uncomfortable and I’m sensitive to people’s personal space. However, I have not hesitated to touch the shoulder of the person I was talking to to deepen a conversation, take the hand of someone who was hurting, and to greet and depart from those I care about with an embrace; and I found great pleasure in being affectionate with my children and, of course with my husband in private.

When Multiple Sclerosis weakened my legs and made me unsteady, a fear of falling replaced some physical touch. Seeing children quicken their pace to greet me with an enthusiastic hug or jump up into my arms caused apprehension instead of joy, and my arms and hands were used to halt them instead of welcome their show of affection. When I began using a walker, it provided a visual warning to others that I was unsteady and it was a safe barrier to fast moving bodies. Using a walker required the use of my hands and arms as much as my feet and legs; so no longer were my hands available to use for caring gestures toward others. The barrier of a walker also meant that others reached out less often and those who were still comfortable hugging me gave more than I could manage to return. The posture of sitting did still allow some opportunities to use my arms to hug, reach out a hand in tenderness, and hold my husband’s hand and cuddle on the couch.

When MS took more of my abilities and my scooter came on the scene, my arms and hands were even more busy with controlling steering and speed of the machine I was driving. My focus on people around me had to be more about seeing feet to avoid rolling over them than about seeing the faces and souls of the people attached to them. When able bodied, we don’t realize how our lower bodies automatically move without needing to concentrate on garnering strength in legs or the placement of feet, or dividing our attention to manage controls. When I was in a scooter, some people who knew me well still approached me with outstretched arms. Eventually, transferring my body to and from the scooter’s seat required moving to a chair with arms, which created a barrier to the previously enjoyed closeness of side-by-side sitting on a sofa.

It was a slow transition to my wheelchair. It sat available in my home for over a year before I began using it for its higher level of comfort and security.  More and more hours of a day were spent in my wheelchair instead of my scooter, until the scooter was reserved for out of the house excursions. Then, the day came when I could no longer transfer between my wheelchair and my scooter; and, as much as I hated to admit it, the little scooter I had grown to love for its ability to maneuver in small spaces was no longer functional for me.

There are different kinds of wheelchairs. Some can be folded and easily put in the trunk of a car. My wheelchair is more like a car itself than the foldable kind that fits in a car’s trunk. Because of all of its wonderful functions, it is very large and very heavy. With its armrests, leg guides, headrest, control station and massive wheels, it can seem like a personal armored tank. It keeps me safe, but also confines me. It can be rather intimidating when it comes to others breaking through the armor. Hugs to and from my wheelchair can feel awkward, even with close friends and family.

I am continually grateful for those who see me instead of the chair I’m in and are not intimidated by the metal and electronics surrounding me. They effortlessly break through the awkwardness to place a hand on my shoulder or hug me. But oh how I miss the freedom to easily give and receive the caring expression of touch I used to enjoy. It has been a loss of a physical human need with an emotional impact. It was a slow change over time, giving up closeness with others one step after another.

Many of you have experienced an abrupt change. “The virus” and social distancing have placed most of the population in our country and the world in the position I am in. Hands and arms are kept at length, not for lack of ability, but because we are being told not to touch for health and safety reasons. Fear of touching now replaces familiarity. Research has proven that physical human touch, or lack thereof, affects emotional health and can lead to a condition called “touch starved” (click here to read about it). I know, from my small experience, how this can affect a person. I hope that, while we are being careful and safe, we don’t as individuals and a society, forget how to reach out to each other in caring ways. If you live in a safe environment with loved ones, enjoy every opportunity to tenderly touch those you care about. If you are able, make a difference in someone else’s life with caring touch. If you are alone. isolated by this virus and rules that control our lives, take heart. I’ve learned that God can reach out His invisible but powerful loving hands and arms in ways that can comfort our souls and fill our needs so completely that it cannot be explained. I pray you will ask God to do the same for you – touch your life and fill any unmet needs you may have.

Thoughts on hugs:

Hugging teddy bears is an option when hugging people isn’t, and there are even directions for hugging yourself! (Click here to read the benefits.)

There are virtual hugs….

Poems about hugs…

Benefits to hugs…

And invitations for hugs…

Posted in Mobility Equipment, MS/Multiple Sclerosis, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments

UpLIFTing

About twelve years ago, when my MS made it clear that it would continue to progress, we made the decision to remodel our home. The goal was to remove whatever obstacles that would be in my path when my legs were replaced with wheels.

I went from walking to using a walker, to depending on a scooter, and I now spend most of my time in a wheelchair. That’s a lot of wheels. The remodel of our home has given me the ability to continue living here through each transition.

My entry into and exit out of the house is by way of a a platform lift in our garage. It was a practical choice, was installed well by the company that sells it, our contractor built a great landing for it, and it usually works smoothly without any problems. As with all mobility aids, it requires regular maintenance. When all of its parts work well, the lift’s motor purrs; but when the gears become dry, especially in cold weather, it’s high-pitched squealing demands attention.

These photos were taken shortly after the lift was put in place.

The company that installed the lift has also serviced it and has kept it running well. On a cold day in March of last year, it began to screech again. I called and requested regular maintenance. The company sent someone to look at it. Those who service this kind of equipment have a multitude of products they maintain for customers. The technician located the problem. He found a suitable grease at our local hardware store, he greased the gears and put the lift back together, all while helpfully answering our questions; and he was pleasant when I asked to take his picture and agreed to it being here.

It’s a messy job to remove the old, used and dirty oil and then apply the new, and it’s complicated to take the unit apart. With an additional travel charge for the service call because of distance (we live two hours away), and the inconvenience of his driving time, the serviceman was more than happy to show Mr. Legs how to grease the motor’s gears himself.

The serviceman finished the job and the lift ran smoothly…until that ear-piercing screeching began again and was becoming increasingly worse. I contacted the manufacturing company asking what they recommended for grease, and I ordered the specialized aeronautic lubricant that performs in extremely cold weather. Mr. Legs took the unit apart, removed the old dirty grease and applied the new, recommended grease to the gears and then reassembled the unit. My freedom was restored!  We hope this maintenance will last a long time before the lift screams for attention again. 

I stepped back and looked at the complicated piece of machinery. Somebody somewhere found a solution to someone’s problem; and years later, the product that resulted was available to me and provided me with a solution to overcome the obstacle of getting in and out of my house. I’m grateful for the talented brains that created the lift, for the thoughtful contractor who calculated every measurement well and built the structure around the lift to give me a smooth entry into our home. I’m grateful for the helpful and accommodating company that ordered, installed and has maintained the lift. And of course, I am grateful for Mr. Legs who so willingly learns something new and always keeps things running.

DW Auto and Home Mobility

Bruno Vertical Platform Lift

Posted in Mobility Equipment, MS/Multiple Sclerosis | Tagged , , , , , | 6 Comments

Joints

joint

  1. the movable or fixed place or part where two bones or elements of a skeleton join.
  2. the form or structure of such a part, as a ball-and-socket, hinge, pivot, etc.
  3. Slang. Also called jay2. a marijuana cigarette.
  4. 4 Slang. A dirty, cheap, or disreputable place of public accommodation or entertainment, especially a restaurant or nightclub.

 

The word joint has more than one meaning. What is the first thing you think about when you see the word? Especially lately, when I see or hear the word joint, I think of the marvelous mechanisms in our bodies that allow us to bend.

There are 360 of them in the human body, and we use them without thinking about them. They are simple, yet complex.  Working in synchrony with muscles and other body parts, joints provide flexibility. They make movement across the room, across the street, across the city and across the globe possible. Walking, running, skipping, jumping, bouncing, and dancing are just some of the benefits of the joints in your body.

Joints are taken for granted until use of one of them becomes limited, or impossible. Our body joints usually exercise teamwork, working in pairs or groups. When one joint is compromised, the team becomes challenged or useless.  Ask anyone with a knee or ankle injury, and they can tell you that when one joint suffers, it doesn’t matter how well the others perform. If there is too much pain in the knee, for example, it affects the use of the whole leg. Ask someone with a worn out hip, and (s)he will tell you about the pain in the hip, not how well the rest of her/his legs or feet work.  Other joints can and will compensate some for the uncooperative body parts; but over time the increased strain may affect that overworked joint and could wear it out prematurely.

When use of an entire leg ends due to illness or injury, movement of the body as a whole becomes difficult, or impossible. Whether slowly or abruptly, the world changes from being wide open for exploring to having movements limited, and sometimes feeling like movement is an obstacle course.

When function of legs is restricted by illness or age, they are often replaced by wheels. Wheels allow movement forward and backward, but what the user gives up is all of the other movements that joints make possible. Up and down are seldom options on wheels. Side to side becomes complicated, and even forward and backward are limited to what can be smoothly navigated. The world looks and feels different when on wheels.  Without the advantage of the shock absorbers present in joints, movement is sensed differently and terrain is viewed with caution. For the able bodied, cobblestone/brick surfaces and uneven grassy areas are pleasant to look at. For someone on wheels, they are still pretty to see, but their eyes also alert the rest of the body for the unpleasant jostling that movement over rough surfaces causes. The path ahead is observed for possible hazards and access is often limited. Much is missed when legs are traded for wheels, and the advantages of joints are gone.  I miss the usefulness of my legs and their joints, but I do appreciate the many amazing joints I still have control of.

The intricacies which make up the human body give it its usefulness in work and play, and freedom of movement is something God created and designed for us to appreciate and enjoy. So today, as you move from one place to another, if you are able,…

add a bounce in your step,

skip if you can,

Shimmy if you dare,

cha cha just because it’s fun;

and marvel with me at the mechanisms in your body called joints.

 

Posted in MS/Multiple Sclerosis | Tagged , , , , , | 1 Comment

On Mother’s Day

On Mother’s Day, I think about my mother. It’s a time to appreciate the love my mother has given me in words, expressions and sacrifices. I think about all of the good times we shared. My physical condition limits my ability to fully demonstrate the love I feel for her. I hope she understands the limitations I face and how much more I wish I could do for and with her.

Mother’s Day is also a time when I reflect on the years I raised my own children. I think about my words, expressions and sacrifices. I think about all of the good times we shared and the relationships I had with them. Now grown and gone, I appreciate the adults they have become and the good spouses they are and have. My physical condition limits my ability to fully demonstrate my love for them also.  I hope they understand the limitations I face and how much more I wish I could do for and with them.

I miss my children being close by. Sometimes I miss them a great deal, and it was at one of those times that I wrote the poem I’m sharing today.

To my mother, and to every mother out there who gave love in words, expressions and sacrifices; whether you are creating or reflecting on memories today,…

Happy Mother’s Day!

 

Loved

Created in love by our Father above,
And his father on earth, and me.
I grew him inside, and then by my side,
As we all lived as one family.

I fed him and changed him, and tucked him in bed;
Brushed the teeth in his mouth, and the hair on his head.
I hugged him and kissed him, and wiped away tears;
I held him for comfort, and chased away fears.

I played with him, taught him, checked homework for school;
Paid for his soccer, enforced every rule.
I took him to church, taught right from wrong;
Told him God loves him in words and in song.

His Dad and I modeled moderation in things;
We gave him strong roots and helped him grow wings.
We supported his choices for good things he’d done,
Celebrated milestones and achievements he won.

Before we knew it, he’d grown into a man;
And then he became your biggest fan.
I loved him completely, invested each day;
Then it was time to freely give him away.

My love still remains for the man that we grew,
But his eyes are now focused directly on you.
He belongs to you now, he rests in your arms.
Be good to each other, stay away from all harms.

God created a baby, we followed His plan;
To grow him from baby to boy to a man.
The man that you married didn’t start out that way,
We invested and sacrificed every day.

As you go through your days, busy in all that you do,
Please leave some room in his life for us too.
There is more to him than the man you first knew.
We made him and grew him, then gave him to you.

 

Posted in Family History, MS/Multiple Sclerosis, Poems | Tagged , , , , , | 4 Comments

Mementos

If you’re my age, or close to it, you remember what Easters were like back around the 60’s. In those days, church on Easter was an anticipated event, and dressing for it was excitedly planned by many.  My mother dressed my sister and I in pretty, frilly dresses and matching cheery bonnets. Fashions have changed since then.

My mother was thoughtfully selective in what she kept from the years we were growing up – some darling pairs of shoes, little pink dresses, a blanket, and; would you believe it???, a few Easter bonnets!

It was likely about 15 years ago that Mom showed those Easter bonnets to my sister and me. We delighted in seeing them and imagining how cute we surely were in those darling bonnets. My sister hung one on her wall, where it stayed for years, and might still be. I brought mine home, but didn’t really know what to do with them, so they settled into a box of mementos from my childhood.  When I came upon them recently, an idea, a picture, appeared in my head. It took me awhile to figure out what materials to use and how to execute the idea; but I finished my little project the other night.  My hands seldom create as perfect a picture as my mind imagines, but I am glad to finally display the aged, but charming bonnets in the light of day where I can see them this Easter season and relive my little girl ways during those little girl days oh so long ago. Because of the state of the world, this isn’t a time when others will be coming to or through our door, so the bonnets won’t be seen by many, but I will experience the full measure of enjoyment from them; and perhaps they will emerge again next year.

I’m thankful that my Mom dressed us up in those bonnets, and that she saved them.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I found four round placemats (ordered from ebay).  Mr. Legs cut two pieces of cardboard slightly smaller than the placemats.  Placemats were sewn together with the cardboard inside.  Hats and flowers were sewn on with thread.  After last year’s spring wreath experience, we decided these will hang inside to avoid birds who are interested in nesting materials.

 

Happy Easter!

Posted in Family History, People Stories | Tagged , , , | 4 Comments