Visit memories…

The boys eating icicles.

Our daughter humming as she went about her day.

Climbing piles of snow with our grandsons.

The boys helping me make monkey bread for breakfast.

Playing with LEGOs, dinosaurs and trains with our grandsons and son in law.

The boys singing songs, alone and together.

Brothers chasing each other and racing up and down stairs while being timed.

Emotional meltdowns, children and myself.

Tickles, giggles and belly laughs.

The smell of our daughter brewing coffee each morning.

A trip to Cabela’s to see the mountain of taxidermied animals, then out to lunch for gourmet grilled cheese sandwiches.

Eating fudge, pie and cookies together for dessert.

Playing Toddles Bobbles card game.

Pulling the boys on a sled behind the tractor mower.

Taking the boys to the dumps with great grandpa in hopes of seeing big machines. They were not disappointed.

Evening chats with our daughter and son in law after the boys were in bed.

Watching the newer Aladdin movie with our daughter and son in love for the second time, because we didn’t remember we had done that the last time they visited.

Seeing our daughter with her friends and seeing how their families have grown and changed.

Trying a new restaurant together.

Watching our daughter as a mother. Inspiring.

Toys everywhere.

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Bittersweet silence…

I walked in the door at 6:00am, put my purse, and gloves away. Took off my hat and boots. The cat came into the mud room to greet me and tell me how glad he was that I was home. The house was strangely silent. No laughter, no singing, no dinosaur growls. No brothers telling each other to stop it, no putter patter of little feet. No women chatting and laughing. Just… silence.

Our daughter and her family have been staying with us for the past two plus weeks. Today, I took them to the airport for their long journey home. Their boys are 5 and 3. The three year old reminded us of his age regularly. The house has been full of noise. Good noise. Good noise fills my heart with happiness.

The sound of cousins playing “keep the balloons in the air”, or roughhousing with each other. The laughter of our daughter talking with her friends about parenting and world events. Sounds of LEGO pieces being batted around on the floor by the cats at night after everyone is in bed. The songs sung by our grandsons as they play alone and then together. Children’s books being read aloud, grandpas tickling and funny comments about everything, bath time play, our daughter’s happy humming that just seems to bubble out of her with no effort. Kids playing in snow and seeing front loaders and street graders! These are just a few of the many sounds that I will miss when they are gone.

But, just like the bazillions of pictures we took, I will put them in a book and in my memories, and I will allow them to feed my soul between video chats, until the next visit, when the sounds may be a bit different, maybe a bit more mature. And, maybe not.

Although the silence is nice, so is the noise. Thus, the bittersweet. The silence reminds me that I am getting older. The noise makes me feel alive. I need a balance of both.

May you find that which feeds your soul with happiness to take you through the winter seasons of life.

Favorite things…

There I was. Sitting at the kitchen table in my jammies, a bowl of oatmeal sitting in front of me. As my teeth crushed the first fresh blueberry, I thought, “picking fresh blueberries for my oatmeal is one of my favorite things to do.” Immediately following that thought, the famous song lyric “these are a few of my favorite things” began whirring through my mind. It will now be an ear worm for anyone who has seen the movie “The Sound of Music”. You are welcome. I hope it brings a bit of happiness to your day whenever you find it skipping through your brain or humming it.

So, what are a few of my favorite things? Down days due to my van (Grammi’s truck I like to call it) being in the shop. Seems I need a new tie rod due to too much motion or something like that. Hopefully that fixes the rattling that has been progressively worsening. I may take a mid afternoon snooze, I may try to work on a photo album. I will most likely be answering calls from our contractor to answer a few questions.

Sitting on the back porch, under the warm yellow lights on our pergola on a warm summer’s evening with friends. After a birthday dinner out the other night, our friends came back to our house for ice cream sundays. We visited as the evening light waned, and enjoyed a game of Sequence afterwards. It’s usually guys versus girls. We “let” them win the first set, a birthday gift, then won the second, they the third.

First thing in the morning when the grandkids wake up. Since they are still groggy, they will typically come down the stairs and plop on a couch. I will join them, wrap my arms around them. Our granddaughter will chat. Our grandson will usually just sit quietly leaning on me. When there is silence, I will often find myself praying for that child. It doesn’t last long before hunger sets in, or the other one comes down and the tickling, or poking begins. But those brief moments of quietly getting to know them is life giving to my soul.

There you have it. “These are a few of my favorite things”. They bring peace to the chaos that life often is, joy to my mind when I think of them. I think that we humans can often forget how healing it is to think of our favorite things. Scripture says, ” Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable — if anything is excellent or praiseworthy — think about such things and the God of peace will be with you” (Philippians 4:8). I hope that today you will take a few minutes to reflect on a few of your favorite things, and enjoy the peace that comes with remembering.

Worm Rain!!

Worm rain has arrived, announcing that spring is officially here!! What is worm rain? Ah! When the season starts changing from winter to spring, the snow turns to rain. We can get several storms with no worms. But then, one day, or night, you get a storm that brings the worms out of the ground. I’m not talking a few, but thousands! We will wake up to find that you can’t walk out to the end of the driveway without stepping on worms that are everywhere! It’s an amazing phenomena. For the next week we will drive on them, step on them and have to wipe them off the bottoms of our shoes before going indoors. We will have to pick up random dried out ones off the floor that did make it indoors. Mornings will be filled with the incredible sound of many different bird songs singing with full, happy tummies.

A memory I will always cherish had to do with this time of year. During spring break a few years back, I had two of my grands visiting. We booted up, wrapped up and headed outdoors to do some puddle jumping. That day I got to introduce my grands to the worms. Big, fat, long earthworms. They were hesitant to touch them at first, but warmed up to the idea quickly, making sure to try not to squash any when they splashed in the puddles.

Worm rain, another thing that makes me happy! May you find happiness in the little things of life!