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Posts Tagged ‘family’

The past three weeks have been different as we get used to a new routine. With the kids in full time daycare, I’m not needed as much. However, we haven’t gotten into a routine because things keep popping up. The kids now live in Vancouver, Washington. You may have heard that there is an outbreak of measles in Clark County. That’s the county that covers Vancouver. Over half of the exposure sites are within a couple of miles of where they live. The daycare classes that the kids are in have kids that attend one of the elementary schools with confirmed cases of measles. The boys have been vaccinated but Maya had not been. My daughter does not like to vaccinate with the MMR (measles, mumps, rubella)until after age three. Maya turned two over the weekend. So it became a challenge to keep her from possible exposure. She stayed home from daycare and I stayed with her. She finally was able to get an appointment to get vaccinated against the measles. Then we were told she would be considered “safe” after ten days. My daughter was between jobs so she stayed home for her for a week then she had to start her new job so I stayed with her. She’s finally safe, or as safe as can be with the first of the two vaccines. [There are two vaccines. The first is given between 9 and 15 months and the second between 15 months and 6 years. The first vaccine is 93% effective and the second bumps the immunity up to 97%.]

Then the weather changed just in time for me to go up there for Maya’s birthday and get snowed-in! So I was up there again for a couple of days. I’m home. I’m a little sad (depressed, actually) because I miss them.

So where’s the smile? Well, after not seeing me for a week and a half, I went up there for Maya’s birthday and got up there early so I went to get the kids from daycare. They weren’t expecting me. When the boys saw me, they did a double take. Then we walked over to get Maya. I didn’t even have to call her name. She heard the door open and looked in that direction. She saw me and she tore off running toward me faster than you would guess a 2 year old could run. With outstretched arms, she jumped into my arms and grabbed a hold of me around my neck with a death grip! She put her little head on my shoulder and just held on tight. THAT was my smile. She missed me that much.

As I sit here typing this, although I’ve been depressed these couple of days since I last saw her, this memory is bringing back more smiles and I’m pretty sure that when I see her again next Sunday, she’ll be just as happy to see me. I’ll be staying with the kids while their mom works and the school and daycare are both closed for Presidents’ Day. I’m looking forward to that.

What made YOU smile this week? Tell us about it in your own #WeeklySmile post and head over to Trent’s Blog to check out more smiles.

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The end of last year was good in a lot of ways and brought many smiles. There were new friends as I met some of my daughter’s friends for an evening of making tamales, a Christmas tradition in my family. I was the one that taught the new people how to spread the masa on the corn husk and fill it and roll it. They turned out tasty; a bit different from the usual but still fine. Next year I think I will take over the cooking of the meat again but maybe not. I won’t be around forever so the ones after me have to learn so maybe I should just make sure I am here to supervise when the meat is put on the stove (or in this case the Instant Pot).

I also managed to carve out a little bit of time for me. I had a day of doctors’ appointments the Thursday before Christmas so I went home on Wednesday night. After the appointments, I stayed home so that I could attend a pizza night across town at some friends’ home. It was a lot of fun. We had pizza, birthday cake (for me and for three other women who were there and had December birthdays), yummy drinks, and then a very fun game and a white elephant gift exchange. Those are always fun because the gift you choose can be “stolen” from you!

The BIG smile came on the Friday before Christmas. I think I have mentioned Lularoe clothing in the past. Well, I follow one consultant on Facebook. They are a local husband and wife team (they are actually the ones who hosted the pizza night) and they are very generous. They’ve become friends with their 8800 members, and in a lot of ways the group is more like a family. This year they did a Twelve Days Of Christmas giveaway. Each day there was a question asked and those who participated were entered in a drawing for a shopping spree. The shopping spree time length corresponded to the “day of Christmas” it happened to be. Friday was the ninth day of Christmas so the shopping spree was nine minutes long. The winner had to be online when the name was announced at six in the evening then their time began immediately. Well, I won the ninth day of Christmas and was standing by with my list of items I wanted to claim (there was a specific phrase that had to be typed as a comment to each item claimed). I scored big! I was able to claim nineteen free items! If I totaled the sale price of the items I claimed, it would be well over five hundred dollars! Some of the items I used as gifts and some I kept for myself. It was the icing on the cake that was December.

Christmas was good. It started very low key as I woke up with three of the grandkids and enjoyed watching them open their gifts. My two daughters were there. Then I drove the three hours to Seattle to spend the rest of the day with my son and grandson and daughter-in-law. So for the first time in about five years, I got to see all three of my kids and all four of my grandchildren on Christmas!

These were my many smiles for the last couple of weeks. What did you smile about last week? Check out Trent’s Weekly Smile post and tell us about your smiles!

#theweeklysmile  #weeklysmile

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Join me during the month of April as I blog through the alphabet. My theme will be What’s In A Name. I will attempt to write up a short fictional character sketch beginning with a different letter of the alphabet each day. Remember that a place can also be a character.

Granma

The smile on Grandma’s face made Barbara cry. It had been so long since she had seen anything but a vacant look on her grandmother’s face. She had tried to get her room changed for many months. Finally, Mr. Adams’ room had been vacated and the Director had asked Barbara if it would be adequate. The window overlooked the playground in the lot behind the home and it was perfect. Grandma had been moved while Barbara pushed her wheelchair all over the home, marking time for her things to be moved. Barbara talked to her grandmother non stop as she pushed the chair.

Finally, arriving at her new room, Barbara placed her grandmother’s chair by the window where she could watch the children playing. At the moment, there were several children there, including two little girls who appeared to be sisters, playing with a woman old enough to be their grandmother. Barbara wondered if Grandma, somewhere in her mind, was remembering all the park days they had shared. There was a slight change in her eyes. Maybe Barbara was wrong. Maybe she was looking for hope where there was none. But she seemed to see a bit of a light starting to shine, way deep inside those clouded blue eyes.

As she left, Barbara looked back at her grandmother and although there were tears, she also had a smile. She knew changing rooms had been the right thing to do for Grandma.

Alexa

Babs

Curtis

Diane

Eve

Fran

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Join me during the month of April as I blog through the alphabet. My theme will be What’s In A Name. I will attempt to write up a short fictional character sketch beginning with a different letter of the alphabet each day. Remember that a place can also be a character.

Barbara

Barbara walked into the room. She had been standing at the door watching her grandmother sitting at the window looking out at nothing with a vacant look in her eyes. No one knew what she was seeing or what she was thinking. Grandma hadn’t been able to tell them that in a couple of years but Barbara never lost hope that one day her grandmother would be able to tell them something or recognize her.

Day after day, she sat at the window looking out at the wall of the adjacent building. Barbara wished she could have her moved to a room with a view where she could look out at the park behind the home, or even out at the street in front of the building. The Director said there were no rooms available so they had to wait. Barbara felt a little guilty because as she hoped for a vacancy, that meant someone would be dying because that was about the only way people left this place. But Barbara wanted a view for Grandma. She remembered all the times her grandmother would take her to parks to play and to the river for walks. Her grandmother had loved to watch people and make up imaginary stories about where they were off to when they left her view. At the park, Grandma would push her on the swings, even after she learned to pump her legs to swing herself. Grandma ran with her and laughed with her; she kissed her boo boos and held her tight. Grandma was the only one allowed to call her Babs. No one else could do that without getting a kick in the shins. Only Grandma. Barbara missed her so much.

She walked to Grandma and started talking to her. They said Grandma didn’t understand her but Barbara didn’t care. Barbara sat and talked to her and reminded her of the days they went to the park and the trips they used to take and she laughed for Grandma, even if Grandma couldn’t laugh for herself.

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Remembering A Photo

Recently, I’ve lost a hard drive full of photos and writing. Lots of photos. Probably dating back to the first digital camera I had in the late 90’s. They were not backed up. The other night, I found a thumb drive and stuck it in the laptop to see what was on it. I found pictures! Not all the ones I lost but I was still happy to find them.

One of the pictures that I thought was lost to me was one my daughter took of me in March of 2005 on a trip to New York City. My son and one of my daughters were on the trip with me and I convinced them that we should go to Liberty Island and to Ellis Island. I had been been to Liberty Island on a previous trip but it was during the restoration of Ellis Island so it was closed to the public so I had missed it. We took the ferry and it was freezing cold and crowded. There was no place to sit, especially for three people. So we split up and I stood and looked out. That evening, back at the hotel, we all exchanged memory cards and loaded all of the photos to our laptops. The thought was that we would be backing them up three fold. I looked through some of their photos because they sometimes were goofy together. Tony is my oldest and is eight years older than Susie but they get along really well, playing off of each other’s goofiness and feeding into it. One of the photos I found was surprising. Susie had taken a picture of me as I looked out from the ferry. It was special because she had taken my picture but also because the photo is evocative of a lot of emotions even to the ordinary viewer, or at least I think it is.

I thought that photo was lost but it was on that thumb drive so now I am sharing it with you and hopefully, should it become lost again, I can find it here.

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So this one is sort of about letters. And it doesn’t involve me. It’s about my ex-husband and his sister. They tell a story, and I believe it because I know them both, about one year when his older sister was at UCLA and he was at MIT. They wrote letters all year long. He didn’t have money to fly home for any holidays so he stayed in Boston from August until May. Long distance phone calls in those days (the late 60’s) were very expensive so the only way to stay in touch was through letters. Mr. Google has led me to several sites that say first class letter postage in 1969 was six cents. It doesn’t seem like much, does it?

One year, they used the same stamp all year long, back and forth the stamp traveled. They figured out that you could use a pencil eraser to erase the postmark stamping from the stamp and they were very careful about taking the stamp off. I am not sure which glue they sued but I vaguely remember that it was rubber cement. So the stamp would travel from Los Angeles to Boston and back again, over and over. I don’t know how often they wrote but I am thinking it was about once a month so that stamp must have made the round trip at least ten times! And I don’t think they did it to save money. I think they did it more just to prove that it could be done.

That’s my letter-ish post for today!

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Sunday

It’s almost over but today was Sunday. It was a good day. It didn’t rain. We’ve had endless days of rain. I can’t remember when the last day was that it didn’t rain. Today was dry and a lot warmer than it has been. I think we might have reached sixty degrees. It was so nice out, with the sun shining for a part of the day that the boys got in their swim suits and played with the hose, soaking themselves and everything around them, almost as if it had rained! How ironic.

They even convinced me to take them to the park for a short time (it didn’t take a lot of convincing). The problem was that they take so long to get ready and find their dry shoes that by the time they were ready, they had wasted almost an hour and darkness was right around the corner. We went anyway. By the time we got there (only about a five minute drive) the sun had begun to set so it was starting to get a bit chilly and they had not taken jackets so they played anyway, but not for too long before they got both cold and thirsty! Off we went to run a couple of my errands which I had postponed so they would have a little bit of park time. They were very good helpers. We were picking up and dropping off items for Buy Nothing and they were able to help me by walking up to the houses and grabbing my items. It saved me from having to struggle to get out of the car and hobble along with my cane. The drop off we did together because the house is on a street where traffic goes by way faster than the speed limit so I went with them.

They earned a treat and even though it was cold by then, they chose to get a slushy drink to share! Pretty cute, huh?

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