New Traditions

I am usually the one who hosts the Holidays. My mom and I shared them, but after my dad died, she hasn’t felt up to it. So, for the past 3 years it has been all me. My husband helps, everyone brings a dish… but I’m the one cleaning the house, stressing over the menu, running to three stores to get the perfect ingredients, etc.

Well, this year I thought I convinced my mom to host Easter. Well, she decided not to. Ugh!

So, I suggested we meet for an Easter Buffet. She thought that was a great idea and took it upon herself to call around. After finding that many places were already fully booked (this was in early March) she found out that a restaurant by the cemetery where my dad is had an Easter brunch. He must have wanted us to visit, because she got one of the last opening for a large party.

It was strange meeting at a restaurant. But the sun was shining and the drive was beautiful. Things are finally starting to green up.

We had a fantastic lunch, enjoyed each other’s company, and then drove over to the cemetery. We all felt my dad as we stood by his niche. My nieces brought colored pictures and a poem, we left a flag and a tiny turtle. The grandkids loved to feed turtles with him every night at the lake. This was the first time my brother and sister have visited him since he was interned.

It was a nice way to start a new tradition.

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Taxes… Done in time!

Taxes always stress us out, and this year was no exception…. in fact it was even more stressful. But that was on us. We usually do our taxes over mid winter break. My husband gathers all the documents, lays them out, sorts them and we sit down together. This year, it was April 14th!

Every year we have the same conversation about his filing system; for as organized as he is, he isn’t. Something is hidden in the wrong pile, still in the file drawer, or flat out missing. But, the document is found, and several hours later we hit submit.

For as stressful as it is, the rush of relief after we hit submit is satisfying.

Welcome Spring!

This weekend Spring decided to arrive! The warm air, gentle breeze and bright skies told all around that spring was back!

We took advantage of the weather and cleaned out our front flower beds. We did a “hard prune” on our burning bush- last year I cut it back, this year we cut it low. According to the you-tube gardener, it should come back in full glory.

We took out five wheel barrows of old mulch, I removed old plants and prepared the bare earth for carpet roses that I will plant after the last frost.

It felt so good to get outside! Welcome back Springtime!

A Belated Tuesday

Every year, after the March Slice of Life Story Challenge, I promise myself I will participate in the Tuesday Slice of Life posts. Well, the first Tuesday slipped right by. I had to make a choice today….either wait until next week or post a day late. I’m posting a day late.

Springtime at the zoo!

Yesterday was an almost perfect day at the zoo. (10 degrees warmer and it would have been perfect!) The animals that were on display put on a show for the hundreds of visitors that came out on this sunny day.

Each time we come, we encounter something new. Today did not disappoint. We were watching the wolves nap in the sunshine. A fire truck siren broke the peaceful afternoon, and the female wolf howled back. It was an incredible sight. She stood up, cocked her head back and responded with a long, low howl.

I wonder what she was thinking. Was she saying “Hey there, come join us.” Or maybe “Dude, we were sleeping here?”

Either way, it was incredible to see and hear her in person.

March 31st, SOLSC ’19

First Class Relic

Yesterday our church as honored to host a first class relic from our patron saint, St. John Vianney. What an incredible opportunity. This relic is on a pilgrimage across the United States.

The Heart of St. John Vianney is incorrupt, literally the heart of this saint has been preserved by God. A first class relic is a body part of the saint, a second class relic is an object directly used or touched by the saint.

It was quite an experience. We arrived early for 5pm mass. Hundreds of people were waiting to touch, reflect and pray with this relic. After mass, the lines started up again and we joined in. The entire church had a different feel. You could feel a collective energy of prayer and hope.

As I approached the relic, a sense of peace came across my entire being. Words cannot express the feeling. I just know this was an amazing experience.

March 30th, SOLSC ‘19

Dress Shopping

Here we go…. Trying to find a dress for my not so dressy girl for her last elementary Daddy Daughter Dance.

I can feel the dread in her footsteps, I can feel the panic in my chest. She has been acting all full blown “tween.” No more good night kisses, no more singing her awake. No more “Here, wear this one” and she would slip into it without a fuss. My little girl is blossoming into her own self.

Into the first store, out of the first store.

Into the second store, out of the second store.

Nothing catches her eye. She doesn’t know what she wants, I don’t know how to help. This is one of those days when it would be great if Grandma was here. If she was still with us, she would be shopping with us. She would find the perfect dress, matching shoes, and a purse of course. Every outfit has to have a matching purse.

Maybe that is why this is so hard today. Maybe we just both quietly miss Grandma.

March 29th, SOLSC ’19

A Walk

The brisk breeze sends a chill through me even though the sunshine tries to warm my face. I inhale the fresh scent of early spring.

Last year I would take walks with my 11 year old. Now that she is 12, taking walks with mom is so uncool. So, here I am, on my evening stroll. It is different now. Now that I don’t have my friendly companion by my side I can take notice of things I haven’t really seen before. A pair of morning doves hover over my house. Robins are busily collecting dinner, and squirrels are hunting for forgotten nuts they squirreled away.

The animals are the fun part. It is the neighbors that are puzzling to me. Several are out walking this evening. Many with a canine companion, others with a partner, two are alone like me. But not one tries to catch my eye. Not one says “Hello.” I smile at them, they avoid eye contact. I call out “Hello!”  They turn their heads toward me, almost surprised that I broke their train of thought.

I will continue to take my evening walks, continue to smile and call out “Hello.” Perhaps they will warm up as the weather does.