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!


Celebration of Life

Our Mother has passed, we will mourn her absence, but mostly, we will celebrate her life.  Our Mother lived strong, wild, ferocious, bodacious.  She lived with faith, and joy, and strength.

She left us much, her joy of flowers, her affinity for sunshine, fresh air, natural living.  We will, all of her eight children, numerous grand children and even more countless great grandchildren remember her daily.

Countless gestures; we find our hand placed over our forehead, shading our eyes with exasperation.  hear ourselves with small phrases, “For goodness sakes.”  “Good Grief”.  sound like her, we hear her with our own words.

We enjoy chickens, well, some of us.  Fresh eggs, apples, bananas.  I never could get the hang of Rocky Mountain Oysters and frog legs but I think some of us have.

We have countless house plants, knick knacks, and candles scattered about our homes.  Just like our mother.

We have a a stubborn determination to live and survive, our Mother taught that to us as well.  She lived greatly.

We will miss her, and we will celebrate her always.

The magnificant Ya Ya’s

Last night presented me with the marvelous chance to read palms for a  beautiful, dynamic group of five women, They call themselves the Ya Ya’s, in honor of the intense friendship they have shared for years!

The setting for this small gathering was in the home and garden of one of these fabulous friends.  Her home was simple grace, replete with warmth, peace, fulfillment and lovely heart.  Her home presented a sense of cherished space

Doing a night of reading for a particular group is an interesting experience,  always a theme.  These women share not only their love for one  another but also the traits of humour, strength, and determination that have allowed them each to travel through independent lives with amazing spirit.

If all my evenings were so blessed!


   My friend from high school, Irene is a major proponent of memories, Irene was the most awesome girl I knew back then, she introduced me to LIFE.  She did things, knew people, and although she had her own problems, she continued to grow and live.  I missed Irene, and am so happy to have her back in my life through the medium of social networking. Reading her posts, looking at her pictures, I understand the full, active , and most important honored life she has lived.

I am part of a facebook page, postings of memories from people from my home town.  Reading them, I have an opportunity to remember my own past and in that way, reconnect with the little girl that left home in a head long rush towards freedom.  I love having the memories. Mine have not been so complete.  Memories can heal. After over four decades of forgetting, it is wonderful to begin to regain them.

Here are a few of my own;

The town square and stuffing myself on watermelon during watermelon days. and the best carnival a child ever did attend.

An easter egg hunt downtown, I won a silver dollar in a pink plastic box from Doctor Byram’s office.

My more than pitiable attempt at archery down by the old elementary, ( also remember a bad experiment with copper tone that day)

Comic books bought at the 5 and dime.

An equally pitiable attempt at golf in high school, I have never understood while we hit the balls toward the windows, did Ms Ahrens just know we would all miss?

Stumbling going up the steps during graduation and Bruce Robinson telling me I would be fine, (forever grateful for that  Bruce)

Walking miles on country roads

Canoeing at Hanon Lake.

Eating at the maid rite, french fries, cherry coke, and ketchup

My first pack of cigs at Old Style Tavern I was 12, they cost 20cents                         

Riding the square and honking horns

Just some memories….Love memories!


The world lost yet another talented spirit at the age of 27.  Amy Winehouse found dead in her apartment from unknown causes.  I will miss her amazing talent and mourn her loss!  Rest in the peace you deserve Amy!

Age is nothing but a number

A short video of a beautiful woman!  Ernestine Sheperd is wonderful, pay attention to her my friends, and you will remember that now is always the right time to begin!  71 years young!


To my Mother

I love you my Mother, the woman who bore me, the woman who endured so very much to raise me and all of  your children.  You have  never been  a victim of your life, you are a survivor.  You are the greatest freedom fighter, a woman who raised yourself  high, amidst a rather chaotic background, who made mistakes, and prospered, who did right things, and lived.  I salute you.

You are the woman, who, I realize are the core of me, the backbone that has moved me through my chaos, although until today I have never voiced this knowledge to you.  Our own relationship was somehow diminished early in my life, through no fault of yours, but rather through the sadness and anger  of external life.  Our distance became an unhappy habit.

I love your spirit Mom, your strength, your toughness, and your truth of life.  This is something you need to know this day.  You are a landmark in my life; the woman with the fierce history, the woman who walked through fire to protect her own, lived through pain, loved her babies with an intense heart.  You are the woman who touched a growing plant and made it blossom with beauty. 

You made it through not only one, but four husbands, now that is enough to make any woman give up.  Good grief!  Four men to raise!  And still you moved forward. You raised eight babies into I think pretty amazing people.  You had to, sadly, see one go, our Linda.  You lived through war, poverty, the harsh environment of that little farm in Iowa, cold winters, broken bones, back-breaking work, the strong rarity of a difficult every day existence.  Yet, you created beauty for us all and your self in the best way you could.  We always had flowers growing, and remember that wonderful peach tree you sheltered so faithfully out by the milk house door, the one that you nursed through many winters?   Mom, you are tenacious, stubborn and determined.  You are a scraper, a fighter, an artist, and a love;  all rolled into one.

I inherited my love of the sunshine from you, my love of the earth, my love of a good time, and perhaps my obstinate personality.  I inherited my red hair, my blue eyes, my nose, my hands, my sometimes faithful adherence to putting my foot forward every day… all from you.

I see large beauty in small items;  this I learned from you, the woman who could take cockle burrs to turn into works of art, the woman who taught me how to iron leaves between sheets of waxed paper to frame on the wall, to bake a roast beef, fry a chicken, tried to teach me how to sew, but rightfully gave up on that one.

You taught me how to bowl, to tie my shoes, clean a house, read a book.  I inherited a quest for knowledge from you, the want to understand what is happening around me.

You are a human goddess, full of the vagaries of both divine and human spirit.

You, our Mother,  have made a full and intense life, you have sung beautiful songs, raised recalcitrant children, birthed cows, planted fields, created beauty.  You are the woman of the moment, woman of the world

Bless you Mother with love.

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Tilly Evan Jones

“I want to think again of dangerous and noble things. I want to be light and frolicsome. I want to be improbable and beautiful and afraid of nothing as though I had wings.” ~Mary Oliver

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