On This Day



(I spoke at my mother’s Celebration of Life service on August 29th. Here it is.)


For the past several years my mom was living her life in a wheelchair unable to do much of anything, losing the strength to hold a book or spoon, stay awake very long or to even speak.

 This could be frustrating at times for her, this once independent, active person. And, I’m sure when she thought back to her prime years, that she found joy and satisfaction in those memories.

 Sometimes on my visits I would read from one of her old journals she’d so faithfully kept for most of her life, and we’d both marvel at how much she used to do in one day.  As her memory failed, her own written words from years past were interesting and enlightening to her.

 My mom kept a diary for at least 70 years, beginning during her teenage years. Her entries were written in a standard diary from the dime store, plain lined notebook paper, tiny notepads and backs of envelopes. She wrote in beautiful penmanship, or used a manual typewriter. Chances are, many of you are in those pages.


August 29, 1937: (15 yrs old) played at SS and church. Went to Aunt Nora’s for squirrel dinner. I washed dishes. Came home at 3:15. Rode Bicycle. Supper with M. Hall. Babysat at church.


February 27, 1937: Ross over for breakfast. Our family went to Danville in afternoon. Went to an old mill. I drove both ways. Had a nice dinner. Listened to Barn Dance.


I couldn’t find any diaries from the 1940s when she met and married my dad, but from the 50s on, her life is well documented.

           Note that when she writes ‘C’ that’s my dad, ‘J’ and ‘L’ are my sisters, and any other first initials are for family members.


April 11, 1953: Scrubbed the kitchen and living room floors. Did rest of cleaning. Baked rye bread, cream pie filling, and chocolate cake. C and I practiced for tomorrow’s duet in evening.


August 29, 1954: Us 4 to church. Lovely afternoon at home. Feathered and cleaned 2 spring roosters. Us 4 to evening service.


August 29, 1964: Washed clothes in forenoon. L babysitting. J with friends. C to the cities. I washed my hair and Dotty put it up in rollers.


January 25, 1972: Today I am 50 yrs or half a century. No school because of road conditions. Worked 11:30-5:30. Mom had us 3 for supper. C. built fireplace. I looked at the newspaper. Received 11 birthday cards.


May 23, 1983: Sunny – comfortable. C walked to work. I biked to pipe organ practice 8:45-10:45. Mailed a box to L., a book, 3 pair of her shoes and rusks and couple of hotpads. Watered the onions and radishes. Picked our first radishes. Small but tasty. Tulips still pretty. Had pancake supper. Went to visit my Aunt M and Uncle G’s He’s 92. Gave M all the grease I’ve been saving. Stopped at Will and Ellie’s but no one was home.


August 31, 1995: Cooled off during the night. C and I sang at the Senior Center and stayed for supper. I did necessary ironing and pressing. Pick plums off the ground. C busy with pocket door. Addressed Claudia’s birthday card.


August 29, 2005: Counted monies at church. Cammie and Kate here for lessons. Darlene gave me apples from their trees. Made a couple quarts of applesauce-my favorite. Dorothy stopped in.

My mom didn’t write about world events, newsy gossip or feelings and dreams. She wrote about what was important in her world; her family, her home and her friends.

 My mom reminds me of the Proverbs 31 woman of the Bible:


A wife of noble character, who can find?


Her husband has full confidence in her and lacks nothing of value.


She brings him good, not harm.


She set about her work vigorously, her arms are strong for the task.


She opens her arms to the poor and extends her hand to the needy.


She is clothed with strength and dignity and she can laugh at days to come.


She speaks with wisdom.


She watches over the affairs of her husband and does not eat the bread of idleness.


Her children rise up and call her blessed.


Many women do noble things but she surpasses them all.


Charm is deceptive and beauty is fleeting but the woman who fears the Lord in to be praised.


Among the many pages of my mom’s recorded housework, what she ate, what her girls did, I found, just yesterday, one unique journal entry that is not even close to any others. This one does not make note the weather, food, daily chores or who stopped over.


So, ON THIS DAY, listen to a message she left for all of us:


August 22, 2002: (80 yrs of age)

Whoever reads this.  Be sure you keep memoirs whether you think you have anything interesting to write about because, rest assured, some day those words will be so very meaningful to so many people.

If I remember correctly, it was very shortly after C having left for his heavenly home, that I thought of writing a book particularly to bring out how I(we) saw God in all of this.


Then upon thinking further I realized God has been leading me all thru my life even though I may not have been aware of it when I was very young. My prayer for all who read this is that you can someday look back and say that this great God, Creator, Sustainer of this universe has been leading you.










Blood, Sweat and Ice Cream Cones

FullSizeRenderI used to work for a temp agency that placed me in offices around the city to fill in for receptionist and office support work. A particular job could be anywhere from one day to two years. I worked all over the city, meeting lots of people and experiencing all types of office environments.

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Friday Nights at My Dad’s Store

Go GamblesI walked into the drug store late on a Friday night when I noticed a sign saying “OPEN 24 HOURS”. I’m glad they stay open late. It was the only chance I had to get shopping done before the weekend. Next stop would be the grocery store, open until 11:00.

When I was growing up in the 1960s, my dad owned a hardware store. You’d never see that sign in his store or any of the stores in our small town. They all closed at 5:30. But Friday nights were different. The stores stayed open until 9:00.

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My Dad

me & daddyMy dad…I thought he was the next thing to Superman. Even though he didn’t leap from tall buildings, (although I did see him fall out of a tree once landing on his feet!), he could do a little of everything, and do it well.


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Season of Joy, Life of Faith


Meaning of ChristmasI write this on a quiet and lonesome Christmas Eve.

My loved ones are hundreds, and some are thousands of miles away, yet I still find myself almost giddy with joy. I do feel blessed to have the love of family and friends. I have a home, a job, and all my needs are taken care of. This alone would cause anyone to be happy. But I feel such an overwhelmingly deep joy that can’t compare to anything else, and I’d be a fool not to share this with others.

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I Did Not Go To Church Today

church steepleI did not go to church today.

I drove around taking pictures of church steeples.


I walked up the steps of a big old church to get an artsy shot and there sat a young man who looked like he’d had a rough night, a real rough life. He was waiting for a bus.

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The Current

road to Nancy's

road to Nancy’s

After driving over 100 miles, I turned off the freeway to a county road then onto a narrow dirt road that leads toward Nancy’s. Driving through the lonesome wooded hills and swampland, cattails grow on both sides of the road. Nature looked picture perfect on that summer day out in the middle of nowhere. One more turn goes down a crude winding driveway that leads to her large rustic house, an impressive work of construction done by her husband’s hands.

Here is where hospice was set up for her.

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Turn Up The Silence

shoe on TVI’m that driver with the loud music on. Heavy bass, please. I enjoy TV. Most of it’s junk to me, but what I like, I really like.

I love to have my family around me. There is no sweeter sound in the house than the voices and footsteps of those I love.

We live in a noisy world. Sounds are everywhere and are a normal part of our everyday lives. Sounds from people, traffic, social media, TV and music are whirling around us in a constant hum, and we just sing along.

Have you ever found yourself in a very quiet place?

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A Is For Amazing

first apple

This apple has come a long way.

This morning it glowed in the sunshine like a giant ruby. My husband brought it home after he’d been to visit his mom. She lives with his sister in the old house that has been in the family for five generations.

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Halloween in 1961

Halloween 1961That’s just me hangin’ out by the jack-o’-lantern waiting to go trick-or-treating. It was 1961 and I was 5 years old. (Notice the dog face to the right of the pumpkin. I wish I could say this was a ghost dog that appeared when the picture was developed, but it’s nothing like that, it’s just our dog, Lassie.) 

My mom had taken me to the five and dime store to buy my costume.

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Summers Outside

sand townWhen I was a kid, my friends and I were outside all day long in the summer. After breakfast I was out the door and into the summer sun where us kids decided what we wanted to do when we wanted to do it.

We were old enough to leave the yard but not old enough to have a summer job. This is a glorious and brief time in a person’s life. Those years between your mother’s apron strings and sliding into the work world. The ‘Tom Sawyer’ summers, I call them. Days spent outside, barefoot, with no keys, money or phone to carry. Days that were simple.

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Adventure at the Yellow House

Usually my blog has pleasant postings. True, my world is full of recipes, pretty junk and I’ve been to cool places, but to be honest it isn’t all cupcakes and monkeys. 

I’m going to share with you the other side. The yellow house isn’t always fluff, one day it was iron.

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Women’s History Month: Frieda

FriedaThe theme for Woman’s History Month (2013) was ‘celebrating women in science, technology, engineering and mathematics’. The names of famous women who’ve done impressive things is too long to list here. But I can think of several women in my personal history who are worth a mention when talking about outstanding females.

I think of my Grandma Frieda

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