Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Gorgeous "Mugs"

When Suze and I were in Illinois this past summer, I snapped some photos of my two gorgeous girls.

My camera and I were not getting along that day.  The color was all wrong and they didn't turn out like I had hoped, but the subjects are still beautiful.

Jordan and Suze are more like sisters, than cousins.  

They Giggle

They Tease Each Other

Sometimes They Even Fight

But They Always Love Each Other

(By the way desert peeps, are you dying over this lush foliage?  I know I am; and it is right in her backyard.)

I can't even imagine how spectacular it it to have flowers like these in my yard?


Jordan, do you remember taking this perfect shot of Suze?

Jordan, I know you gave up several weeks ago bugging me about these picture, but here they are finally!  Love you and miss you!

Monday, October 20, 2014

Empty Swing

A few nights back, I went to my dad's house for the very last time...ever.  I went by myself.  I wanted to go by myself.  Like so many other things that night, this empty swing brought tears.

 The house felt lonely, so empty, and cold.  It was sad.  I was overwhelmed with loss.  I took pictures through my tears.  

 This roof was perfect for playing Annie-I-Over.

On cold, dark, snowy nights Charity and I played Duck, Duck Goose in the backyard.  We trudged through the snow in our heavy moon boots, pushing the white fluff aside to make our paths.  Draper was much smaller then and the winter air was silent.  The sky was black, but a warm, soft light glowed through the kitchen window.

This window looks into the room I shared with Charity.  The carpet was red; Raggedy Ann & Andy paper covered the walls; and we had a big yellow dresser.

Mom picked out this light switch cover.  She thought it was beautiful.  That was over thirty years ago. 

My sister's husband painted a beautiful, countryside mural in the t.v. room for Mom.  He didn't complete it until after her death.  Blake began the painting for Mom.  After her death, it became vital for him to finish the wall.  He felt compelled to complete the painting to honor's Mom memory.

Charity and I used this closet to play hide-and-seek.  It was one of our favorite spots.

This house once had life; now every room I entered was void of life.  I longed to sense the presence of Mom and Dad, but all I felt was sadness.  Nothing was here.  No one was here.

My grief is compounded because in a few days, I won't even be able to drive by and look at the house.  That too will be gone.  New owners are taking down the house, razed to the ground.

It is crazy that the destruction of a non living thing can cause my heart to ache so much for Mom, Dad and Susan.  I feel lost!

Friday, October 17, 2014

Bootiful Haunted Halloween House Craft

I stole this craft from a friend's blog.  We made these haunted houses out of empty soy milk containers and craft pain.

I can see all three different personalities through the houses.  Suze is detail oriented.  She used plastic wrap for broken windows and put a board across the window. 

Eric doesn't care about the details; he is more interested in the final product.

 And then there is Sydney.  Two minutes into the project and she was throwing a temper tantrum because something didn't look right; or the glue wasn't working correctly.  With a little help from Dad, Syd managed to complete her haunted house.

I'm saving five milk containers for Christmas.  Get ready Michael because this will be a family activity.  Can't wait to see how those will turn out!

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Lest I Forget, She Turned Eleven

In the chaos of the last few months, my Suze turned eleven.  I don't know how this happened?  She is growing up so fast, it is scary.

With all my stress this year, I hope Suze doesn't  feel like she got the short end of the stick for her birthday.  It was a bit more low key.  Suze wanted two things for her birthday; cash and a bike.  She is pretty spoiled, no one to blame on that..except myself, so both of her wishes came true.

Instead of a birthday party this year, I talked her into inviting a few friends to movie and lunch.  Suze agreed, but I think she may want the party next year.

A few quirky, fun facts about my Suze:

1. She has a collection of hats and looks cute in all of them.
2. She likes cupcakes, but not cake.
3. The dolphin Winter is her hero.  Grandma and grandpa took her to Clearwater, Florida  a few years ago 
    to meet Winter.  It was a dream come true.
4. She loves to read anything from children's fictional books to National Geographic for kids.  She devours 
5. She is a tomboy and can keep up with any boy. 
6. Suze's dream occupation:  acting, piano playing, guitar playing, marine biologist.

I love you forever!  You will always be my first baby!


Monday, October 13, 2014

More Than A Nail

In my parent's house, in the living room,  there are seven nails spaced evenly on the width of the fireplace mantel.  They are not ordinary nails because these small objects carry precious Christmas memories. 

 Mom loved Christmas. It was the busiest time of year for Mom.  She spent most of  the December month making chocolates and other yuletide treats. 

Mom took pride in displaying her special childhood dolls and her Santa Claus collection.  She weaved a brightly colored light set on the mantel among her dolls and Santa Clauses. 

A magnificent, white flocked Christmas tree adorned a corner of the front room.  The colored lights on the snowy branches made a beautiful picture. 

I couldn't wait for it to get dark outside; it was then that the front room became almost magical. I stared at those white, puffy branches; the lights casting colored shadows on the walls.  This was Christmas.

When Mom locked her bedroom door in December, I knew she was busy wrapping presents.  I put my ear against the door, listening to the rustle of holiday paper. 

I was very young when Mom pounded those seven nails into the mantel.  Every year she placed a stocking on each nail; one nail for every child.  Those nails remained intact for forty years. 

We had one last opportunity to take pictures in front of that fireplace.  The new owners take possession of the house on Wednesday. 

It was sad. Some of us shed tears.  We are saying goodbye to so much more than a house.

With every passing year, I hold on tighter to those Christmas memories.  I don't want them to fade or disappear.  If only I had realized the importance of all those holiday seasons; it wasn't just about the presents or the holiday treats...it was Mom...it was Dad...it was family.

"Enjoy the little things, for one day you may look back and realize they were the big things."

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Releasing Dad To The Eternities

After Dad's funeral, each grandchild was given a balloon.  There were also three additional balloons for Dad, Mom and Susan.

In unison, each person released his or her balloon to the blue heavens.  The balloons rose quickly in the endless sky.

 It was a gorgeous, clear day.  Eyes remained on the balloons as they traveled heavenward, floating gracefully to ever higher distances.

We followed these balloons with our eyes.  They became smaller and smaller, leaving us far below.  The balloons longed to climb upward and beyond our gaze.  They could not be contained....

So much like Dad's spirit.  His spirit could not be contained in his weak body any longer.  His spirit was desperate to be free.  Dad's body finally relented and allowed his spirit the freedom of release.

Dad, it was with full hearts that we released you to your new life.  Hearts, full of sorrow; hearts full of love and wonderment at the joy you  now know.

I can't tell you where Dad's spirit went, but I can tell you that Dad's spirit IS.  I know that he is in paradise; wherever paradise might be.  I know that he lives.