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Posts Tagged ‘if we were having coffee’

If we were having coffee, I would be out of sorts and once we got settled and comfy, I would probably start telling you about my favorite aunt, Joy.

When I was little, around four, my uncle who lived with us, got a new girlfriend that lived down the street from us. He met her when my mom sent him to Maio’s Market, on the corner, for a dinner ingredient. When we walked by the house where Joy lived, she was outside. That was the beginning of a year sixty year marriage. He brought her to the house to meet us and to meet my mom. My mom was ten years older than my uncle and had practically raised him as she cared for him when my grandmother was at work. So she was very protective of her little brother. Aunt Joy and my mom didn’t get along at first and even once they came to appreciate each other and truly care for one another, there were some rough times, mostly due to “boundaries” perceived and real.

I felt a special bond with her, even in the early days. My middle name is Joy and when I found out that her real name was not Joy, I asked her why she used that as her name. She answered that she hated her given name, Jovita. And one day, while washing dishes as part of her chores, she looked at the bottle of dish washing liquid and decided she would from then on be called Joy, like the soap.

I really liked Aunt Joy. I would go visit her, even before they were married. And I kind of shadowed her when she came to visit my uncle. Later, she took very good care of us, driving across town when my mother was in the hospital and I was having a lot of pain. She helped me and brought medicine and stayed until I felt better and my brothers were home from school.

When I went to college and my parents moved from San Jose in California to Orange County, I spent a lot of time with my aunt. They lived about a half hour from Palo Alto where I attended college. I spent weekends with them and holidays. That’s when she taught me one of the most important things in my life. Volunteering. I went along with her to deliver cupcakes or cookies to my cousins’ classrooms for their parties. I learned about Girl Scouts and Cub Scouts and going on field trips with the kids’ classes. I went along with her to help at church craft fairs and other fundraisers. I asked her once why she did all of that. My mom hadn’t done any of that so it seemed different to me. She explained that we always have a duty to help out whenever we can, especially with schools and youth groups and churches because they don’t have a lot of money or a lot of help. That stayed with me and when I became a mom, I started volunteering as soon as my kids got to pre-school. I never stopped. Class mom, field trip chaperone, den mother for Cub Scouts, troop leader for Girl Scouts. Fundraising chair at the elementary school. PTA president. Foundation President. I still volunteer (well not since the pandemic shut everything and everyone down last March) at the grandkids’ schools.

She taught me so much. She was like a second mom. I’ve always thought of her as one of the five most influential people in my life.

She died yesterday.

I am deeply saddened. I cannot be there to honor her or memorialize her as I am very high risk and not vaccinated yet. It would be too big of a risk. And then there is the money involved. So I can’t. Instead, I will share with others, as I’ve shared here with you. I’ll continue to sip my tea and think about her and just talk to her spirit.

For more #weekendcoffeeshare posts, please visit Natalie the Explorer and, if you are so inclined, please write your own coffee share post and link up here.

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If we were having coffee today, it would have to be at my house because I’m still housebound after that fall the other day. I’m healing but I’m still bruised and sore and stiff and my head still hurts. Oh well, I’ll live.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you how my week started being busy with the regular business of being a grandmother and carting kids here and there. I am still writing daily blog posts. Since November 1 I haven’t missed a day. Some days are more difficult than others to come up with something to write. I also started a new thing this year which is fun and hopefully I can get back to it in a day or two. It’s a Photo a Day challenge or more of a group to join. I’m doing the one on Facebook but there is also an Instagram component for those who care to do it that way. The idea is that each week (on Sunday) a daily photo prompt is listed and then throughout the week people take the corresponding photo (as they interpret it) and post it. It’s fun but this week has been difficult because of our weather here in Oregon and then because I couldn’t get out of the house to take a picture. Hopefully I can start participating again this coming week. The woman who started the project is from Australia, as are about half of the participants. That translates into looking at their photos this week as they are enjoying their glorious summer and we here in Oregon are in the middle of winter with our cold, wet, foggy weather. It’s nice to look at those summer pictures and dream!

If we were having coffee, I would tell you about Spencer on Monday. He’s 21 months and when I go over to pick up Anderson and take him to school or to bring him over here to play at my house, Spencer doesn’t get to go. At first, it was fine, he was happy staying home but these days, he has gotten more and more attached to me and now when I go over to get Anderson, Spencer wraps himself around my legs and wants to go. On Monday, he had a particularly hard time not going. He cried and cried and was just heartbroken that he couldn’t go. So, as I gave him one last hug, I told him “Nana will take you some place later. I’ll come get you later.” He stayed with his day, crying for me and I wished he was dressed and ready to go so I could have taken him too, even though it’s difficult for me to take both boys on my own because Spencer is a runner and he’s heavy so I can’t carry him and I can’t keep up with him when he tears off running. I thought about it all day and finally, around 6:30 I called my daughter and asked what Spencer was doing. She said he was standing on the table drinking juice. Yes, he was standing ON the table. He’s a daredevil! So I told her I was running out to Starbucks and asked if Spencer wanted to go with me. She asked him and he said yes. I stopped by to pick him up and he and Tina were waiting at the door for me. He was so happy to be going with me. It was just the two of us. I put him in his car seat and buckled him up and off we went. He was very quiet on the ride as I chatted with him. Then when he saw where we were, he started “chatter boxing”. We first drove through Jack In the Box for an order of those mini cookies they have so Spencer could have a treat and then we drove next door to Starbucks so I could get my decaf latte’. We went straight back home. He was so excited! I think it made his day to get to go some place in Nana’s car with just his Nana. I’m not sure he has ever been in the car with me alone, just the two of us, until last Monday. It made me glad that I had followed up and gone to pick him up for the short drive. I’ll have to remember to do little things like that for him more often.

If we were having coffee, I would have to cut it short. Oh, you can stay if you want. I’m just going to blog some more and put a movie on after I hobble over to the thermostat to turn it up. Hhm. What movie should we watch today? I’m thinking one of my old standbys that I turn on when I am not going to be paying full attention. Sleepless In Seattle? Practical Magic? Dirty Dancing? Serendipity? Oh well, we’ll figure it out and it’s early so there’s time for more than one movie!

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If we were having coffee is part of a weekend share where the idea is to stop for a short bit each week (on Saturdays) and write a blog post as if we were having coffee with a friend. What would you chat about with that friend? I hope to make this a weekly post on this blog.

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