Thursday, January 27, 2011

My Earliest Memory

Picture in your mind a stark white room with very bright lights.  That room is my earliest memory.  I was lying on a table and the lights were in my eyes.  My parents were in the room and so was a man in a white outfit.  He put a tissue over my eyes and told me he was taking a picture.  That is all I remember.

My parents tell me what happened that day.  This part is not my memory but theirs.  It was a Sunday morning and I was 2 years old.  My parents bed was next to a window and I was jumping on it.  Then I fell and hit my forehead on the window sill.  Apparently I bled a lot.  So they took me to the emergency room. I got a butterfly type bandage, no stitches for the tiny cut in the middle of my forehead just below the hairline.  The scar is still there but you have to be looking for it to see it.

So, just a few years ago I asked my mother about that picture they took.  I told her what I remembered about the tissue and the man placing it over my eyes.  I wanted to know where it was.  Did she have it?  I don't remember her exact words, but no she did not have that picture.  That was an x-ray, not an actual picture.  I was, I don't know the word I'm looking for here, but I was upset that the picture didn't exist!  Wounded or mortified?  One of those words.  How dare them!  Not my parents but the doctors.

That memory is so vivid that I truly believed there was a picture somewhere I had not seen.  Between 2 and 4 years of age, I have no vivid memories like this at all.  The trauma must have somehow caused me to remember that incident above all else.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Memories and Writing

My sister and I were chatting on FaceBook one night quite a while ago and our chat was about writing books.  I have always dreamed of being a writer and actually have a few ideas so we were just chatting about writing.  We thought we might collaborate on a book one day, came up with a name or two to write under combining our names.  At the same time, I was also chatting with my eldest son.  He asked what his aunt and I were chatting about and when I told him, he said he did not know I wanted to write. And he said he probably did not know some other things about his mother.

So, somewhere down the road, he mentioned that I should write about my life for my kids.  He had become interested in some of our family history at that time and had done a bit of research so he was in that frame of mind.  Now I have been telling stories about our family and myself for years and thought my stories were infamous.  But I digress.  So, I credit this longing to put my stories in writing to my son.  He then began writing a blog about his life as the dad of a toddler which inspired me to begin writing my blog again.  I had begun this blog as a library study but just went ahead and continued here on the same blog.  I renamed it and here we are.

Since my son mentioned that I should write it all down, I have done a lot of thinking.  I questioned myself on how I would write.  Use a word processing app?  Use this blog, that can be published as a book?  Where would I start?  My first memory?  Do I know what that is?  What do I remember?  I decided to at least begin writing here and see where it takes me.

I have been leaving names off here in the interest of security and privacy but if I am to write my memories, names will be important.  So I will be using first names only as I write.  With all of this foundation set in my head, I think I can start.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Pets We Have Had

In thinking about our family, I think about our pets.  We have had many and I will try to remember them all.  When we first married and lived in Arlington, we got a cat named Leo.  He was an orange tabby.  When we moved out of state for the military, we handed him off to sister.  He was a wild one and a neighbor lady had him carted off to the pound - sad day.

When our second son was a toddler, we got Ginger.  She was a shetland sheepdog also known as a sheltie.  She was an outside dog and very protective of the kids.  She died at age 13.

Before Ginger died, I got a hankering for Siberian huskies.  So I set out to find one.  Located a female, red and white with blue eyes.  No papers, but she was a beautiful dog.  Then one day, she attacked Ginger over a chicken nugget and freaked us all out.  Casey had to go.  And so she was sold to someone with no other dogs.

Before Ginger got too old, we got Zack.  He was originally named Pork Chop, I think, but our daughter fell in love with him at a family reunion.  He was free and a mutt.  Poodle, shihtzu mix or something.  He is still living and is 15 years old.  He has cataracts and hearing loss, very weak now.

Our oldest son, at some point, decided he wanted a dog of his own.  When a fireman was giving away a rat terrier, he or maybe I, decided to take her.  She is a paranoid little thing and is still with us.  She is going on 10 years old.  Our son never bonded with this dog, didn't like her much.  Our second son did.  He couldn't take her with him when he got married so we still have her.

In between all the dogs, I got rabbits from the same family reunion location, and killed them both.  The first one ran around the house eating dead roaches and got poisoned.  The second one died out in the weather overnight one night, it may have froze to death.  But I can't remember their names.  Somewhere in there we buried a couple of hamsters and a guinea pig.

Then my daughter got her dad a cat right before she left for college.  She knew we both enjoyed cats so a high school chum's brother had brought one home and his mother wouldn't allow it so that's how we got Riley, a beautiful cat that is part Maine coon, according to the vet.  He is multi-colored.  He pretty much only loves my husband.  He takes to all the males in the family and is finally warming up to our daughter now that she has been home a while.

Then I thought Riley needed a companion so the guy that cuts my hair was giving away kittens and I took one.  He is a black cat named Ty.  Very loving and snuggly.  Since Riley didn't take to me and is not a lap cat by any means, I needed Ty.  He is my cat.  Sits in my lap all the time and sleeps at the foot of our bed every night.

We did get to have one more Siberian husky in the household for a brief time.  Our oldest son was given a female black and white, one blue eye, one brown eye husky by his soon to be wife.  She is still living and is almost 9 years old, I think.  Her name is Kiara, but they call her Kiki.  They also have a younger male husky named Koda.

Second son and his wife have a beagle named Lexie and a cat named Bella.  We sit for Bella from time to time.  Watched her while they honeymooned.

We have decided we are cat people, not dog people.  So, when the last two dogs pass away, no more dogs for us.  I think we will like having just cats.

Monday, January 17, 2011


My husband is well, many things to many people.  He has been a bivocational minister in the Baptist church for many years, meaning he is a part-time minister with a full-time job.

He has worked as a youth minister, education minister, and children's minister.  He has worked in the inner city, rural community, and the suburbs.  Only one church has been near where we live.

Due to full-time job responisbilities, he just resigned as children's minister at his most recent ministry job.  It was a most difficult decision for him.  The children boo-hooed and so did he.

That's the latest stuff.  Here's the early stuff.  We met at college and dated for about four months, then we got engaged and married eight months later.  He returned to the military after we had been married about six months.  He stayed in for four years and then we moved back home. 

At some point, he felt called to ministry and attended seminary.  He has two Masters in Christian Education and is a doctoral candidate.  He will try to finish that now that he will have a bit more time.

I think he is looking forward to our empty nest as much as I am, though he wishes sometimes that the kids were little again so he could hold them in his lap.  I told him that is what grandkids are for!  And, hopefully, there will be more of those sooner rather than later.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

My (our) Kids

My husband and I have 3 kids.  They are all grown now.  The youngest, our daughter, still lives with us - hence the title of my blog.

Two boys and a girl.  Both boys are married, our daughter is getting married in July this year.

Our kids are wonderful kids and a blessing to be sure.  All have come to know Jesus as their Savior and all are trying their best to serve Him as we taught them.

Our oldest is married and the father of a 2 year old son, our grandson.  His family has been in flux the past year or so moving and dealing with marital separation.  They are on the mend now, but it has been a rough road for them.  We have, as a family, also struggled with their situation.  I question myself all the time about whether or not I handled myself in the right way for them.  Nevertheless, our son is being the husband and father he should be.  It is quite wonderful to see.  So proud of both he and his wife for trusting the Lord in all they are doing.  We continue to pray for the healing of their marriage and family.  

Our second son got married in January last year and just celebrated their first anniversary.  He is a great guy.  He is our miracle child that God gave us. As a 9 month old, he was diagnosed with cancer.  His right kidney was engulfed by what they call Wilm's tumor.  He went through 15 months of chemotherapy and some radiation right after surgery to remove the tumor.  He has had checkups throughout his life and is cancer free.  He lived with us right up to the day he married.  He just finished his bachelors degree in history with a minor in secondary education.  Very proud of him.  Looking forward to seeing how he and his wife take on the world.  She is a registered nurse.

Last but not least is our daughter.  She turns 24 this week. Wow!  Hard to believe.  She is marrying her "boo" this summer.  She is also a registered nurse.  She is funny, witty, and charming.  It has been a joy to have her living with us.  She got her BSN at Baylor University and lived away from home for four and a half years during that time, two and a half in Waco, and two years in Dallas at the nursing school.  Wedding planning in full swing!

We have had all three of our kids and a daughter-in-law and grandson living with us at some point or other all our lives.  But I believe that is about to end for real now that our daughter is getting married.  Once she marries, we will truly have an empty nest for the first time ever, completely and totally.

I have always prayed that God would grant us enough time on this earth to raise our children to adulthood, and to be growing, serving Christ followers.  I believe He has answered my prayers.

I have also told my mother for a few years now, ever since I saw the light at the end of this tunnel of raising kiddos, that I could not wait until they are all grown, gone and on their own.  I may live to regret those words just a bit.  I truly want them all to be out there and successful without us but pretty sure that now it is eminent, upon us, if you will, that sadness may creep in a bit.

Tearing up just thinking about it.  Ah, well, we will enjoy it once we get used to it.  The boys live nearby but sweetie daughter and her "boo" will be in another state for about a year while he finishes pharmacy school.  Such is life, and I am truly grateful to God for my life.  I am blessed beyond measure....

Friday, January 14, 2011


A very young me right after I started working at the library, circa 1996


Library's 10th anniversary in new building, circa 2006

2010, city's ice cream social

So, I wish I was still skinny as in the first pic.  I should always wear lipstick as in second pic cause it looks good. The third pic is pretty much how I look now.  Definitely need to start walking, dieting or something!

The Folks

Our folks are good Christian people and raised us to be good Christian people.  I call them Mother and Daddy or Mom and Dad, depends on what is going on.  My dad is retired from the federal government.  Mom was a stay at home mom until after I married.  She worked for a pharmacy and then a local pediatrician's office and quit when Dad retired.  They are busier now than when they worked!  Mom sits my grandson once a week and makes my brother's piano tuning appointments.  Dad takes care of his mother's finances (she is 96!) and my sibs tax returns.  Dad still plays softball.  I have lost track of how many teams he is on currently.  He plays in a seniors league.

They are active members of their Sunday School class.  They stay pretty busy.  They host 2 birthday get togethers each year and Thanksgiving every other year.  Our tradition for Christmas is to gather at their home on Christmas Eve. 

What else?  My dad has 2 brothers and 1 sister all younger.  His sister has 3 kids, all married with kids of their own.  One brother has 2 girls with kids and a grandkid.  His youngest brother has 2 boys, one about to get married in May.  His dad, my granddaddy passed away in April, 2001.   Mother has five siblings.  Two of her brothers have passed away, one nephew, and brother-in-law have also passed away.  She has a sister with 4 kids and tons of grandkids and great grandkids.  She has two brothers left and they each have one kid, neither are married.  My mother's parents passed away in 1977 and 1988, her dad, my granddaddy first, and then her mother, my nana.  Her brothers that have passed have 3 daughters between them. 

So, there is a lot of family! Our folks love the family stuff, getting together and visitin'.  I enjoy it too.

We, my family, use to live around the corner from our folks.  We moved less than a year ago to a neighboring city.  We were there for more than 19 years.  Sometimes I miss the ease of going through the gate in the backyard to their back door.  Especially when I need to "borrow a cup of sugar"!  I think Mom misses it too.  But I love our new home and visits are special.

Maybe I will get to my kids tomorrow...

Thursday, January 13, 2011


This is my grandson.  He loves watching cartoons.  He just turned 2 and his favorite movies are Cars and Bolt.  He also enjoys Lady and the Tramp and possibly Lion King.  This is at my house taken while he was watching Cars.  Just remembered I could post pictures on my blog.  So I did.  And this is currently my profile pic as well.

The Four of Us Memories

The four of us had a lot of good times growing up.  One thing we did was play Nerf ball on Saturday mornings.  Girls against boys, of course.  We threw a Nerf ball at each other, sisters trying to hit brothers and brothers trying to hit sisters.  The thing was we ran all over the house throwing this spongey orange ball at each other.  Jumping on and off the beds, and running, lots of running.  Don't remember how long it lasted but we laughed and played and had a great time.

Another thing the four of us did was spend Christmas eve in the same bedroom, my bedroom.  Sister and I got the bed.  Brothers got the floor with sleeping bags.  I think one year they argued and argued and got the bed that one time.  Sibs will have to verify that.  Anyway, it pretty much turned into a giggle fest.  We talked of bodily sounds a lot and the brothers could produce the sounds on command.  We would talk of incidents at school and family gatherings where the bodily sounds were particularly funny.  We would talk late into the night and giggle.  Dad would occasionally have to come in and tell us to get quiet.  Those are good memories!

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

The Twins

My youngest brother and sister are twins.  She is 5 minutes older and for years lorded that fact over our brother.  Now, not so much.  They are in their mid-forties now and she doesn't want to be older anymore.  So many stories here to tell.  I only lived at home for their first 12 years, so some of the memories are from after I was married.

One memory that stands out is chicken pox.  I got it over Christmas break in 2nd grade.  Just younger brother got it two weeks later and the twins got it two weeks after that at age 6 months or so.  I was able to go back to school on time which was probably a great relief to my mother who dealt with chicken pox for 6 weeks!  I remember the itching, the baking soda baths, calamine lotion, and the fact that the twins got it so young.

Both brothers seemed to disappear after supper when it was their turn to do dishes.  If I remember correctly, one girl and one boy did the dishes every other night.  My sister and I both ended up doing the majority of the chore as both brothers needed the bathroom at the exact moment they were to help us with the dishes.  Boys....

Another memory is of twin brother and eye surgery.  My husband and I were in California, he on recruiting duty for the Army when Mother called to say he was to have eye surgery.  One of his eyes wandered because the muscle needed reattaching.  It may have been both eyes, that part I can't remember but I remember praying that he would come through it all right and that it would correct the problem.  One of his grade school pictures shows just how bad it had gotten.  It was indeed a success.  Amazing what a simple surgery can do!

Dr. Pepper wars!  When I would come home to visit and when we got out of the Army and lived with the folks for 6 weeks or so, I learned of the Dr. Pepper hoopla.  It seems that Dr. Pepper was purchased for the twins on a weekly basis.  They each were allowed so many but apparently brother took sister's when his ration ran out.  For all I know, she did the same to him.  It got to the fighting stage so someone, not sure who started it, would mark their initials on all the DP cans they were allowed for the week.  So all cans had either his or her initials.  Problem was, brother would still take sister's initialed cans.  This caused yelling and hollering at each other and denial, denial, denial on the part of the accused.  I suppose some of this may be exaggerated as I don't remember all the details.  Just know that occasionally at a family get together the Dr. Pepper wars are mentioned.

More tomorrow on Saturday morning Nerf ball and Christmas eve!

Tuesday, January 11, 2011


So, on to my brothers.  One is two years younger and the other is nearly eight years younger.  My sister and youngest brother are twins.  That will be another day, another story. 

I fought with my two years younger brother all the time but never, that I can recall, with my youngest brother.  I could not tell you why we fought or what it was about.  I always felt so responsible for him when we were at school or even at church.  Older sister has to take care of younger brother.  Because obviously he could not take care of himself.  That was my thinking.  My mother never said to watch him or check on him or anything like that.  So it was my own brain telling me I was responsible for him.  No doubt that there were times I was responsible for him, like the day I picked him up from junior high in my car.  There were a couple of other kids from the neighborhood hitching a ride with me that day.  One was our preacher's daughter, same age as my brother.  And, of course, with brother and friends in the car, I get pulled over for speeding and get my first ticket.  I was so upset.  I am sure I picked he and his friends up many times but that is the only time I remember.  He is now an accomplished piano tuner with his own business.  He can do anything with a piano.  Repair, tune, refinish, fix anything on it kind of guy.  This job suits him very well.  He is a perfectionist.  He is also the builder of his own computers.  I don't think he has ever bought a computer from a company.  He has put all his personal computers together himself.

Youngest brother was how do I describe it?  He was like my baby doll.  I think I carried him around all over the house.  I don't remember ever fighting with him.  The only things that make sense for this are that he was not a sister and he was not just two years younger than me.  I think that is why we never fought.  He didn't come to my room and pester me like the other two.  Anyway, he is married now and father of two sons.  His eldest is in the Navy serving our country.  His youngest recently graduated high school.  His wife works for the school district.  They live a little farther away than the rest of us but we get to see them a few times each year.  He works for a financial company and is a manager.

In a day or two, I will talk about our folks and probably the twins and chicken pox.  Good, clean fun for the whole family!

Friday, January 7, 2011

Starting Over

Inspired by my son, I have decided to begin posting to this blog again. I changed the color scheme from green to watermelon. I will eventually change the name of the blog. It started as posts for a library reason. Now it will be geared toward family maybe or personal, not quite sure yet.

So here goes.

Starting with my sister. She is a school teacher with two girls and a wonderful hubby. Her oldest just turned 15 and her youngest is 10. Both lovely girls, my nieces. My sister and I have become very close over the last 2 years. Pretty much due to my daughter and an ex-boyfriend that my sister and brother-in-law introduced to my daughter.

We stay close because we communicate, no longer about my daughter's love life, but about everything. We are nearly 8 years apart. Some of my memories of growing up revolve around my sister. She and I, being the girls in the family, were allowed to have our own bedrooms. But that did not mean that we slept in our own bedrooms. She would, invariably, on stormy nights in North Texas find her way to my bed. Our parents' made her ask permission, of course. She usually had to wait on me to return from a date to ask. When I married at 20, she was 12 so as my husband and I got to the serious stage, she had to stay up later and later to get "permission" and eventually she just got in my bed anyway. She will tell you something entirely different to be sure as neither of us recall anything 100% correctly anymore.

Amazingly, as adults, we never fight. Pretty sure I fought with all my siblings growing up except my youngest brother. A story for another day. We do tend to call each other for advice or just to have someone hear what we are saying . Don't get me wrong, our husbands are both great guys ready to listen to our woes. But there is something about telling your sister what's going on that is a comfort.

Last night I was in bed late and couldn't sleep. She texted me about something and I told her I was in bed but not sleeping. She said the same was true for her last night. We said a couple silly things and ended with LOL!!