Sweetest Sister Sandi

 

newkids

sandi,steve, mom and ed

Well, I missed your birthday my sister, I was away from my computer for a few days, and frankly, the date blindsided me until I saw it on Facebook.  How the heck did it get this late into the summer?

Sandi you are kind, smart, honest, beautiful, innovative, funny.  A great woman, a wonderful mother, and a fantastic Grandma.

You love with all of your heart, and for years I have watched you shower others with so much care, concern, and eagerness.  I have worried that you do not shower yourself with such bounty, but I have noticed in recent years you taking the time to think more of yourself, and I am so happy about that.

Your life has not been an easy one, you have lived through massive obstacles, pain, and you have always come out kicking, cept for that one time when your knee was smashed in a car accident,  you were not kicking so hard after that.  You did keep moving forward though, through everything.

sank and girls

sank, amanda, sam, mandy at the farm

You have learned to enjoy your moments of joy, to savor them, to imclude them in your memory banks, to create them.  I love that.

And sigh, I must apologize for locking you out of the house when I was babysitting you back on the farm, well, you say I did that anyway, I am not sure I acknowledge it, but…#notthebestbigsisterever.

beautysank

I love you sista, I honor you, I respect you, I admire you.  Happiest New Life Year!

 

 

Our mother made cookies

I have memories of spring, of May Day, whether they be true or not I have no idea.  Perhaps my sisters can tell me.

macaroonsI have memories of May Day Macaroons, the only time our mother made them.  I loved those macaroons, soft, warm and chewy from the oven.  I loved their pure coconut sweetness.

I have memories of small paper baskets, cone shaped, with a wild violetstiny paper handle, filled with flowers and cookies, and hung on a friends door.may basket

I love these memories of our mother.

I always will love macaroons and little wild violets

lovelymom

October 11, 1924

momasbabyOur Mother, Dorothy,  was born this day.

Happy Birthday Mom.  So many miss and love you.

fam

Mom’s 80th, still young.

I know our niece Shelly thinks of you every day, I believe she misses  you the most. 4 generations Cheri starts grieving about this time of year. but I know you are with her holding her hand.  Sandi Kaye has a broken heart. Sandy B I think has trouble believing you are gone, Dee is lonely for you, Richard just plain misses you and Steve grieves in his quiet fashion. I think our Linda is overjoyed that you are in Heaven with her, causing mayhem and hilarity.  Me, I am still befuddled, finally getting to know you now that you are gone.mom.cheriYthe kidsour daughters and sons, your grandchildren, your greats and your great greats, all miss you.

lovelymomIf you had been allowed, you might have been a hell raiser, in a good way.  You always had a hidden talent for mischief, and a glint in your eye.  I’m amazed the glint didn’t vanish after the life you lead as a youth, farmed out to an older husband at 16, lonely and isolated in the middle of nowhere Iowa, no amenities, just hard work and babies.  Your resilience was something else again, candling eggs, working in a nursing home, a bar, learning to make money and support your children when Dad passed.  I remember your learning to drive a car,  you were determined as you  headed into the ditch, but stopped in time.  Your red-headed Irish temper flared just a bit right then.

momsexymomTo this day I feel a surge of delight when I see make up samples, your days as an Avon rep have stayed with me always, with your blue case of wonders.mom

bernie momYou sure knew how to love your man, and you deserved more love than you might have received.   But you had moments of glory and happiness.

lindaI imagine you, with Linda, our sister, your daughter. You have both reconciled, you are fantastic evolved beings. I imagine you in a rocker, with a fluffy white kitten on your lap, or laying in the sun, turning a lovely copper.

I love and live for the sunshine. You taught your children that. Some cold days I turn my face to the sun and feel your warmth in my soul.  I imagine you are always in the warmth of glory these days.  You deserve to be, you deserve to rest.

beautifulmom

 

 

 

 

Oh those Irish!

Happiest Day to you all!  It is not yet calendar Spring, and yes, tomorrow it will snow.  I however always believe that today. St Patty’s Day is my start to Spring.  Whatever comes, snow or sleet, I can feel Springtime in my soul!st-patricks-day-vintage-graphicsfairy003

Trains in the distance

train_plum_blossomsAs a small child I spent time with my Grandmother Schumacher in the summer.  Nights I slept on the couch, next to her dining room window, and listened to the train  whistle blowing as the train headed through Marengo.  I dreamed of  where the train could take me, the mystery of adventures I would enjoy.

Now what seems like a century later, near our house, across the road and past the swamp is a railroad track.  The sound comes through our open windows in the summer evening,; drifts across on the cold air, like wisps of ghostly sighs, in the winter.  The glory of it’s song wakes me in the evening, and I lay awake wondering where it is heading, who else is hearing its music.

During the day, I can see the train passing, cars heaped with coal, tankers with oil, corn syrup, flat cars holding massive equipment, and trailer cars with names like Evergreen, Pacific, Burlington,Hanji.  The train for all of it’s fundamental use is a magical mystery for me.  Graffiti adorns the sides of it’s cars, art from place and people unknown.

At times, the train stops on the tracks across the road, across that swamp, and its brakes chime a large sweet chime.  The first time I heard this, I thought perhaps fairy had broken through the veil, bringing song.

I am happy trains exist, transporting life.

 

 

 

Birthing Maggie

This morning I woke dreaming of a letter I was writing to Maggie, My oldest daughter, telling her about the day she was born.

So…

Dear Maggie;

I am sure you do not remember the day you were born, except perhaps in a deep spiritual way.  But now, after you yourself have had two children, you do know the feelings that surround a new mother.  Glory, happiness, fear, relief, exhaustion.170463_10150998581569870_1412500758_o  maggie and michael

I had all of those with you and with Sarah.

With you, I decided to have a natural birth, at home, with a physicians assistant in attendance.  I woke the first morning with cramps, not sure if I was indeed in labor.  The cramps increased, and we called our PA to come.

I was a queen with attendees for a while, your aunt Laura, came, her husband Mike came, My friend Bev Gardner came.  Everyone was there for the party, Sitting around my bed, talking with me, holding my hand and helping me breathe during the contractions.  It was a time!  And the time drug out, and drug out.  In retrospect, I should have been up walking around, not laying on bed, although the night before I did scrub all the floors of our apartment on my hands and knees, cleaned the counters, washed the stove, refrigerator, did laundry, put fresh sheets on my bed, dusted.  I nested.  So that day, I had little to do other than lay in my bed and hold court.  Which became a little boring.  For everyone.  But the contractions continued.  It became late. people went home, the PA napped in the spare room.  Your father, Jef, was down in the living room with a few of his cronies, having a party.  I was getting a bit cranky,  I had images of my nice clean home being partied animaled, and was not well pleased.    I rested through the night, quiet, with my contractions, and communing with you.  Waiting for you.23612_1154317597445_1812849527_296478_2334656_n

The next day, the contractions continued but did not increase.  The PA went home, said to call him.  Then something happened.  HOO BOY!  The contractions continued big!  The PA was nowhere to be found, so we decided to drive to the hospital for your birth.  Over railroads tracks, bumpy roads, snow falling,  I did not know I had such a large capacity for enduring pain!!!

I smile when I write this, because it is true that the pain memory goes away, and a mother is left with the glorious glow of warmth and love of having a small child in her arms.

So, you were born in a hospital after all,  and very quickly after I arrived.  Your were beautiful, perfect, lovely.  I loved you so.

We were in the hospital for two days, a very crowded ward, with women having babies, and in beds in the hall.  Everyone had a baby that week.  Friends came to visit, I cuddled you, loved you.

The day we went home was glorious, your bed was a small basket in our room.  I slept near you, with you, and when I was not in the room I tiptoed upstairs on a regular schedule to check you, listen to your soft breaths, feel the rise and fall of your chest, and nuzzle your downy head.  I was in love.

That my dear is how you were born.  I love you always,scan

Mom

Shelly Shines

We have a niece, us sisters, daughter of Sandy.  I have watched, from afar, her growing from a child into a magnificent woman.  Shelly literally shines.  She is a faithful woman, and her feet seemingly (to my eyes) walk just a little above the ground, she floats just a bit due to the lightness and beauty of her spirit.

Shelly is strength.  She moved across country on her own to follow her dreams, reenergize her life, and she succeeded with glory.  She Succeeds!

Shelly helped me to remember my love for my Mother.  She does not know this until now.  She loved my Mom so much. with a beautiful and pure delight.  I watched her love, admired it, and came to know Mom

through new, mature, eyes.  Thank you Shelly, for that grace.

She is a worker, succesful in her career with the Marion Police Department, a mother, raising 2 sturdy, strong, smart, energetic sons.  A wife, married to a husband who loves her in return, a partner to her.  A daughter, beloved.

Do not misunderstand me, Shelly is also feisty!  She is fierce in standing for her beliefs, defending her family and those she loves. Determined, funny, laughing, passionate, truly alive!

Lately, with her admirable strength, faith, love, and grace, she has had 2 succesful surgeries to remove cancer from her body.  She has documented this, explained this and is surviving this.

Again, I have watched, and seen the outpouring of love coming back to her from her many friends.  She is loved.  Understandably.

I am happy to continue to watch her grow, to see her in turn become a grandmother, her in turn become that woman beloved by generations to come.

Bless you Shelly, thank you for being!

 

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