Thursday, September 18, 2014

Article # 409 Lessons Learned

             The quiet consistent example of parents or grandparents can teach lessons you aren’t aware you are learning at the time. As I look back at my youth growing up with a widowed mother and grandmother, I experienced their self-reliance and strength. I would need this later in my life as a divorced mother with four sons to raise alone. My memories of my father who died when I was five years old are few, but from reading his love letters to my mom and talking to others about him I realize we’re a lot alike. Excited about learning new things, exploring the world around us with its endless possibilities is what my father did in his brief 29 years on earth. He made a ham radio set, learned Morse code to get a job on the railroad, took correspondence classes on making television sets, and bought a used airplane to start a flying company in Milford, Utah.

            Whether it’s the influence of family, friends or others, there are many lessons to learn from watching their examples both negative and positive. An alcoholic uncle taught me that wasn’t a wise way to spend your money, time or life. A hard working grandpa who was always honest and thrifty modeled those values for me. My grandparents didn’t always live close, but I knew they loved me because they remembered my birthday with cards and calls. They were excited when I came to visit. I felt they had all the time in the world to entertain me or listen to my thoughts. What a self-esteem boost that was.

            Good examples can be like a steady compass to keep you on the path of life going forward. Encouragement is a free gift my progenitors gave me. Always there to listen to whatever I wanted to share with them. Now I find myself following their example as a parent and grandparent trying to make time to be with my children and grandkids. The only problem is the world has changed since I was young over 60 years ago. There were no computers, one telephone in the house and it seldom rang, and no TV. We quietly put together puzzles, cooked, washed dishes together or just sat on the porch at night and talked. Having a conversation with your family is a challenge for modern grandparents who are almost as busy in their retirement years as their descendants are. NEXT TIME: Art of Conversation.  

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Movies worth viewing...

We watch quite a few Netflix movies and occasionally there are some that I would highly recommend. The Odd Life of Timothy Green by Disney is one of those. Can't believe I haven't seen it before in the two years it's been out. I guess because we don't go often to the movies and have to wait for awhile for them to come out on DVDs from Netflix. It's a warm hearted family movie with just a little fantasy thrown in to make it interesting!

Monday, September 15, 2014

Fixing Guest Room

With the boat building project taking up half or more of the garage, most of the stuff in there ended up in our second guest casita until we decided to add a bunkbed for visitors expected in October on their way to Disneyland: Jeff-Rachel' and Daniel-Tina's families with 6 grandkids in tow. Then add my best girl friend from Sweden, we'll be camping out too on the back lawn.

Before, a messy storage room with no room for anyone
Soon a new bunk bed will provide extra comfy sleep room for grandkids 
Just a little more rearranging of boxes and stuff and we're ready for visitors.
Even the bathroom gets a shelf for extra linens!

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Article #408 Memorial Jobs

                My exercise teacher Helen Hansen who is a spry chicken in her eighties shared this experience from her youth with our class. I asked her to write it down. Helen recalls her first job: The University of Minnesota experimental farm was looking for teenage summer help the summer of 1946. They were paying 50 cents/hour, which sounded like a fortune to me. My friends and I were 14 years old and required work permits to be considered for employment. We were hired to pick fruit, strawberries, hoe weeds in the fields and pick sweet corm.

            We all had visions of fat paychecks and a shopping trip to Minneapolis for school clothes as our reward. What we didn’t foresee was what a wonderfully fun and memorable experience it would be. The farm was 15 miles from home. So, transportation was a problem. The father of one in our group solved it by buying, an old used Packard, which comfortably seated the six of us. Our chariot the Packard awaited, but there was only one designated driver. My brother Bob, age 16 with newly acquired driver’s license was voted in unanimously. So off we went five days a week waving goodbye to relieved parents happy to see some of their teenagers gainfully employed for the summer.

The Packard with running boards was both a blessing and a curse. It seemed to be a reliable car in the mornings delivering us to the farm. It often proved reluctant on our trips home with its habit of  stopping without warning. Then the five of us would get out and push that huge old car down the road in an attempt to get it started. My brother at the wheel steering and trying to get it started was his part. Our favorite spot on the road was the crest of a gentle hill where we could launch the car so it could roll down that hill under its own power. The five of us chasing that car, laughing and shrieking, trying to hop on its running boards must have been a sight to behold. My brother nobly steered that car to a gentle stop at a gas station conveniently located at the bottom. The owner became our good friend that summer and always cured whatever ailed the Packard, but only for the moment. 

Do you have a fun story from your youth to share with us? NEXT TIME: Lessons Learned. 

Friday, September 12, 2014

It's OKAY!

A poem? written in response to a creativity class I'm taking.

I'm okay! I say
Just okay? he asks.
Is it that bad?

I'm okay! I say
What does that mean? she asks
then waits to hear more.

Real vs. official feelings 
authentic or hidden emotions,
when to share them? I ask.
Only my heart holds the answer.

Personal journaling forces me deeper
past surface difficulties
to the deeper levels of self
out of safety zone.

Next comes CHANGE once truth
surfaces and the decision to
remain in a rut or take action,
grow creatively or stagnate.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

De-clutter Time....Again

The piles grow higher and higher
as clutter sneaks into my life and home.
Unsuspectingly as I place yet another piece
of paper or envelope on welcoming surfaces,
I hardly notice it's growth and development.

Until one day there are no paths around it.
Clutter fills my home, mind and heart.
Time to de-clutter, but that process isn't easy.
Now I have to carefully consider each piece:
keep, file-where? or throw away-oh no!

Indecision is what made this clutter
in the beginning...I'll decide later what to do.
I know better, I should be an expert after
all these years of cluttering my life with
un-useful things that seem important.

Maybe just set a fire? No, that would destroy
everything good and bad. Let my hubby decide?
Nope––he still has boxes of boy scout stuff
from long ago. Maybe just close the door
quickly and pretend it's not there? No! No! No!

Time to face the music and my reality.
Decide if I haven't used or wore something
for years––is it worth cluttering up my life.
Tossing into the trash, frees my spirit
to see the valuables I do need to treasure.

Monday, September 8, 2014

More Lessons to Learn

Or an old dog learns new tricks?? I'm trying to apply these principles in my life from the book The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz-an excellent book for personal growth. Number two is the hardest one to apply.