Aunt Ellen’s Legacy

Our sweet Aunt Ellen passed away last year at the grand age of 97. Because of the pandemic, we could not have a funeral for the whole family. So this year, the family had a memorial service at the church she helped found in Tennessee.

The service was lovely. We sang Aunt Ellen’s favorite hymns, read her chosen Scriptures and heard great stories of moments in her life. We met friends and heard new stories never told before.

We saw the columbarium where Aunt Ellen had been interred next to Uncle Gene. It all came full circle. Complete.

But at the reception, where four generations were gathered, I began to see the real legacy of Aunt Ellen.It was children living out the ethics, strength and humor of a dramatic mother who made a difference. It was grandchildren mirroring the teachings and remembering camping and paying cards with a very involved grandmother. It was great grandchildren running around the restaurant, playing with cousins they hadn’t seen in a long time, and hearing stories about a great grandmother they knew but maybe not very well. It was nieces and nephews making plans with cousins to keep newly revised relationships alive and well.

Family — that was the real story of Aunt Ellen. The story told over years and generations with ups and downs, laughs and cries, rain and sunshine, as all stories are.

The story was visible in one room but could not be contained in one lifetime. A legacy is very complicated and takes time. It takes commitment, love, planning and a lot of joy.

I think Aunt Ellen did a good job. Looking around at her legacy, I could see evidence of her love, commitment, humor and ethics. I saw good people laughing, telling stories, making new memories, making plans, developing their own legacies.

Aunt Ellen would be proud.

I think Aunt Ellen did a good job. Looking around at her legacy, I could see evidence of her love, commitment, humor and ethics. I saw good people laughing, telling stories, making new memories, making plans, developing their own legacies.

Aunt Ellen would be proud.

comcomplicated and takes time. It takes commitment, love, planning and a lot of joy.

Saturday Selvage

For those who don’t know what a selvage is, I will explain. It is the bound edge of fabric. In the weaving process of fabric, the crosswise thread, or the weft, is turned around the edges. This is the selvage edge.

In the last few years it has become very popular to decorate these edges in addition to putting the colorway dots on them. I have fallen in love with selvages! So much so that I have actually bought fabric just for the selvage.

Here is today’s pretty selvage.

The Graduation We Went To But Didn’t See

My youngest grandchild, and the only girl, Marie, just graduated from Eighth Grade. She came back home two hours later a High School Freshman. It was magic really!

Mostly because the Covid rules only allowed two people to actually attend the ceremony. So Gramps and I, and all the other relatives were watching the streaming service. Which, in fact, was not working, so no one saw anything!

Can I tell you now how frustrated we were?! We drove for twelve hours, brought a gift, got dressed up, sat around a computer screen in dining chairs. All to see NOTHING!!!!!

Marie simply walked out the front door as an Eighth Grader and came back a Freshman. I’m not sure if the school band played “Pomp and Circumstance”. I’m not sure if Marie processed in and sat in alphabetical order. I’m not sure if she proudly walked across the stage, accepted her diploma and shook the Principal’s hand. I’m not sure if anything traditional happened.

I am sure I went with her the morning of graduation to get her hair done. We spent a wonderful time in the salon discussing many things, from the way the world is to the way the world should be. Priceless!

I am sure I saw her before she left in her new dress, new shoes, shawl and new hairdo. All the family told her how wonderful she looked and she was beaming as she departed with her parents for the ceremony.

I am sure all the family met her after the graduation for a dinner for twelve. The new Freshman sat at the head of the table, while gifts, cards, balloons and congratulations were sent her way. Her smile was almost as big as the table.

I am sure Marie knew she was loved and adored by all her family. I know she felt our pride in her.

And that is the most important thing.

I am sure we saw the best parts of the graduation, after all.

A Funny Thing

A couple weeks ago, I was ready to make some chocolate chip cookies. It was a cold day and we needed some good old-fashioned home cooking to warm us up.

So I got out all the necessary items – flour, sugar, chips, mixer, beater blade. Oops! No beater blade. You know what I’m talking about right? The beater with the rubber on one side that scrapes the bowl as it turns. Yeah, that one. It wasn’t in the mixer bowl, where it always is.

I looked in the dishwasher, in every drawer, every cupboard, in the pantry, the stove, the refrigerator. Not there. So, I branched out to other rooms – the dining room, the living room, the office. It could be there! Well, it had to be somewhere! I could not find it!

I looked in the trash. Yuck! I even checked in the car. I know! It was nowhere. I mean gone.

OK, so I went on Amazon, ordered a new one and made the cookies with the old mixer. Harder but got the job done.

Now yesterday, I came home from an appointment, walked into the kitchen and there is the beater laying on the counter. It is dirty but otherwise okay.

Gramps is smiling and says, “You’ll never guess where I found it!”

(He’s right. I’ll never guess.) “So where was it?” I ask.

“Outside in the garden,” he cheerily answers.

Well, that’s the one place I didn’t look, so it seems somewhat plausible. But how in the world did it get there?

We finally figured it must have accidentally gotten thrown out in the garden with some of the composting material from the kitchen. Problem solved!

Just then I noticed a package sitting on the counter. Yup!! You guessed it!! The new blade had just arrived!!

And now we have two that we can lose.

What I’ve Learned About Love While Watching Outlander

So I have been bingeing on “Outlander” the last few months – all five seasons. Yes, I have become enthralled with it. What a magnificent love story!!

And this is what I’ve learned:

  • Don’t be afraid to love. Give your heart willingly and completely. Risk loss and heartache. Be brave.
  • Give words to your love. Say all the things you feel. Even it seems corny, say it to the one you love.
  • Give action to your love. Do the small things as well as the big things. Be helpful. Be kind. Be thoughtful.
  • Fight for your love. Make the effort. Put in the time and energy. Make your love feel important.
  • Tell others of your love. Be proud. Speak positively about your love.
  • Be true to your love. Don’t stray. Don’t lie. Don’t let someone or something come between you.
  • Don’t keep secrets from your love. Be honest. Be forthcoming. Be your true self.
  • Have fun with your love. Laugh. Be spontaneous. See the humor in everyday things.
  • Be strong for your love. Hold tight. Be present. Cry with them in the sad times. Don’t quit.
  • Be willing to share your love. Include children, cousins, aunts, uncles, grandparents – all the family you can find. And friends. Love shared is love multiplied.
  • Spend time with your love. Be willing to listen, watch and share. Your time is your greatest gift.
  • Allow your loved one to be their best self. Support their passions, hobbies and skills. Share their joys. Applaud their growth.
  • Be lovingly physical. Make love. Hold hands. Kiss often. Stroke arms. Sit close. Rub backs. Touch feet.
  • Protect your love. Don’t let interlopers in. Don’t let love die from lack of attention. Keep watch. Stay alert.

And so love is not a casual accidental thing. It is intentional. It takes time and work. It is not just a noun. It is also a verb. It is a full-time job for the rest of your life.

And it is so worth it!!!!!!!

How To Watch The Super Bowl And Not Gain 10 Pounds

So that day is here. You know that day. That day of eighteen hours of straight football watching for one game – the Super Bowl. It started yesterday – all day. I mean really! What can they talk about hour after hour? You’d think they were, oh I don’t know . . . women! (Did I say that ?!)

And don’t forget the snacks. We have to have chips, salsa, dips, sliders, wings and popcorn. And then the pizza, cheeseburgers, fries and tacos. Pretty much anything with cheese and/or BBQ sauce on it.

And beer – don’t forget the beer. I can’t imagine how many gallons will be consumed. Oh my!!! (The good thing is they will only be driving from the sofa!)

Oh my hips are groaning and I haven’t taken a bite. What’s a gal to do?

I can’t serve Tofu and cottage cheese. Gramps is a Texan and he wants “real” food.

So here I am in pre-game stress. I see nothing but about 10,000 calories ahead of me today. I must have a strategy.

OK, so every time I hear the word “touchdown,” I will take a big drink of water to help fill me up and keep me hydrated.

And every time a team makes a first down, I will get up out of my chair and do five jumping jacks.

Ops, there’s the cupcakes ready from the oven. Oh, they’re going to be so good when I frost them.

Oh, and every time my sweetie Mahomes carries the ball himself for yardage, I will jump up and yell. (That’s worth calories, right?)

Oh gosh, the BBQ sauce is bubbling. Gotta go stir it.

OK, where was I? Oh right. Now every time Kansas City scores (Can you tell I’m a fan?) I will do my happy dance. I wish you could see it. It’s pretty cool!

Gotta go get those sliders done. Be back in a minute.

Whew! I’m getting exhausted! Can’t wait til I can sit in my recliner, put my feet up and watch my Patrick perform.

Now, back to my strategy. I have hand sewing I am going to be doing to keep my hands busy . . . but I’d hate to get BBQ sauce on it. Better re-think that one.

Well, anyway, I plan to stay busy – if I can, if I remember. Best laid plans and all.

OK, for certain I will be yelling and laughing a lot. That’s worth a couple wings, isn’t it?

Oh, this isn’t going to be as easy as I thought.

And now I have to go. The pizza just got delivered.

The Measure Of A Memory

Gramps has been busy on his old computer finding movies we have taken of Mac over the years, editing them, adding music and titles, and then moving them over to a new storage before everything goes to the new computer. (Thought you could just plug in the new one and start going, right? WRONG!!!!!)

In the process, we have been sort of re-living Mac’s early years. It’s been a real trip down memory lane.

And I realized, as I was watching Mac at age five at our annual July 4th fireworks party, that I was really there. I could hear his little-boy voice asking questions. I could feel the anticipation of setting up the fireworks in the back yard. I was actually laughing at the silliness of the adult men bragging about who had the biggest ordnance. I was counting the heads of the little kids to make sure no one was in the fire zone. I was checking to make sure everyone had a glass of refreshment in their hands.

I mean I was there! I believe I could almost smell the sparklers burning.

That’s how powerful a memory can be. It’s not just remembering an occasion – it’s reliving it with all your senses.

It’s like taking a trip but with no luggage, no vehicle, no stay in a hotel, no long hours on the road or in the air and no cost!! It’s all there in your head, just waiting for you.

Memories are precious treasures. They are personalized destinations. They are your own books that you can read over and over. And anything can trigger a memory – a photo, a smell, a word, a touch, a thought. But the trip is free and there is no age limit. They are great indulgences during quiet alone times or the current favorite, forced quarantine.

After watching the movie, I had all the feelings of having been there – the memory of the memory. so to speak. I was still smiling and chuckling over the funny things done and said. My heart was still overflowing with the sweetness of the children and the joy of having the entire family together. I was still in awe of the fireworks display and proud that we had organized such a wonderful evening for everyone.

All those feelings were rushing over me. And the best one was knowing that we had provided a fantastic memory for everyone else.