Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Memories about Grandmothers, and Mom's

by Dawn Thompson
(Heartwarmers story)
      It's July, mid-summer and it's HOT.
      I walk into my garage to do laundry and am bowled over by how suffocating the air is in there!  I feel guilty running the dryer in such heat.  I think of the  commercials on TV asking me to "give your appliances the afternoon off".
      Growing up, we never had a dryer in the house.  My great grandmother lived with us, and she wouldn't have one.  She thought dryers were for lazy people and a waste of money, and anyway, she liked how the laundry smelled so fresh hanging out on the line. Besides, it really wasn't necessary to have a dryer in  Southern California -- there were always enough sunny days even in the winter to get the laundry done.
      Now with 3 boys in my house I am washing at least one load of beach towels, swimsuits and pool towels everyday.  So, I decided to put up a clothesline in my backyard for the first time ever.
      I went down to the local Kmart and looked for clothesline and clothespins.  I wasn't too sure they still made them, but I thought if they did they would surely have them at Kmart.  I was pleased to find they did.
      I don't have the poles for the line in my yard like I did in my childhood home,  so I set my clothesline up in the corner of the yard using the 45 degree angle of the fence to hang my line.  When I was finished, I stepped back to admire my work and I was pleased with myself for thinking of it, conserving energy, and doing my part.
      What I wasn't prepared for were the feelings and the memories that came flooding back to me as I hung up that first load of laundry.
      Being out in the yard, smelling freshly washed towels, and with the sun on my back, I was suddenly in my yard I grew up in -- helping my grandmother hang out the clothes.
     She was always barefoot, dressed in a Hawaiian print mumu with an apron tied around her waist, safety pins on her dress front and a rubberband or two around her wrist (just in case someone needed one.)  She would have her wicker basket full of clothes at her feet and a few wet items thrown over her shoulder as she hung clothes.  Usually
she would be singing a song or talking to the cats in the yard.  Or sometimes she'd tell me a story about her childhood or her mother.

If she had a bad day or something was bothering her, I remember she would say, "I sure wish I could sit on my mama's lap for a minute."
      All of that came rushing back to me crystal clear, like it
happened yesterday.  I could see her, feel her standing there with me.
      It has been at least 25 years since I have been in that yard with my grandma.  I remember my grandmother often, think of her and miss her, but that first day in my backyard hanging clothes I felt like I had visited with her.
      I've never had that feeling going to her graveside or even looking at pictures.  Hanging clothes used to feel like a chore.  But now, I look forward to it.
      I enjoy going out in the yard to hang my laundry and use the time to just take a moment out of my busy day and think about things, or nothing at all -- and, have a little visit with my grandma.

                -- Dawn Thompson    <nativedawn @>

Sunday, July 16, 2006

The Healing Garden

Hi to friends unknown!

I am going to write a little bit about "The Healing Garden."  Hopefully, this venture, which is the result of Tammy's brainstorming (*As I AM) will turn out to be a way for many of us to become friends and feel closer.  Perhaps we can reach out to some of you who need a friend.  If just one person is helped, it will be a great thing!

I am Merry, I am 62, but I think I act and think younger than I am. I have a good sense of humor, sometimes I am silly, sometimes I am sad.  I guess I am just plain emotinal.  But I would like to describe myself as passionate. I am usually energetic,  enthusiastic, loyal, generous, (sometimes to a fault,) and I love my friends as much as I love anything in life other than my family. 

I love dogs, but understand that other people love other animals and I "get" that connection.  I think they make our lives so much better.  We are never alone, when we have a dog (or a cat, etc.)  We have had 2 collies, 4 Bichon (number 4 still being alive, his name is TeddyBear, and he is 8 yr. old. We also have a Maltese named Kaycee Kay, who is 6 1/2. 

I am married to my childhood sweetheart, Dave and have been for 44 years. We have a 43 year old son, Tim, who lives just three hours away.  He just got engaged (for the first time) and will be married sometime by the end of this year. This is a time of celebration and excitement for our family!  It is Tim's first marriage, and Patti's second.  She is the first girl he ever brought home, to meet "Mom."

I want to welcome you to my Journal and to my world. It is a crazy world sometimes.  If you need someone to talk to about pain or other problems, I could be your "person."  I love to write letters and I am a good letter writer.  I find words and excellent way for us to express ourselves.  If we can connect with someone, just one person who we feel truly understands us, we have found a real treasure.  I know this because I have a friend like this.  I met her through reading her AOL Journal. I am not giving away anymore than that, but she is the best thing that ever happened to me. (If you are reading this, (my best friend) you will know I am talking of YOU!)  If it hadn't been for the Internet, we would not know each other. We are as close as sisters.  I also have many good online pals, some new, and some I have had for 12 years,    But I want to tell you that if you want to talk and I listen, and I answer, it will be a good thing for both of us.  If I don't think I can be of help to you, I will tell you that too, and I will try to steer you in the right direction.

I use to be a fitness freak.  I ran 40-50 miles a week. I did aerobics daily.  I swam 2 miles a day.  I have spent a lot of my time keeping the outside of my body looking good. But the inside is not so good anymore.  This is a little bit about me.
 Merry: Degenerative Disk Disease, Nerve Damage, Scoliosis (back & neck), Raynauds Syndrome, Friberg's Disease, Arthritis, Sciatica, Chronic Anxiety, Insomnia

I spent years going to college after my son left home.  I think I've taken a little bit of everything. About the time I got myself all educated, I became a chronic pain patient.  I am not on disability for technical reasons, but I am disabled.  I cannot work.  Of all the things I am passionate about, school is definitely one of them.  I have several degrees and I am a Certified Medical Assistant. 

In 1994, I moved my Mom from Florida back to Iowa so I could be of more help to her.  She had her own little apartment just 1/2 mile from me.  She was happy there.  She was 80 years old.  She became very ill within the next two years, so it's a good thing she was close enough for me to be able to help her. She spent the last 2 + years of her life in a Care Faciitiy on with Emphasema, on Oxygen, blind, I think she died of a form of some kind of internal cancer.  She did not want further tests, so she was under Hospice care.  I loved my Mom and I still miss her.  I am so glad I was able to help her.

So, now you that you know a little about me, how about telling me a little about you?  I'm here if you need and or want me.  Let me hear from you!


Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Flowers & Crackpot Friends


 An elderly Chinese woman had two large pots, each hung on the ends of a  pole which she carried across her neck.

 One of the pots had a crack in it while the other pot was perfect and always delivered a full portion of water. At the end of the long walk  from the stream to the house, the cracked pot arrived only half full.

For a full two years this went on daily, with the woman bringing home  only one and a half pots of water.

Of course, the perfect pot was proud of its accomplishments. But the  poor cracked pot was ashamed of its own imperfection, and miserable 
that  it could only do half of what it had been made to do. After 2 years of  what it perceived to be bitter failure, it spoke to the woman one day  by
 the stream.

 "I am ashamed of myself, because this crack in my side causes water to leak out all the way back to your house."

 The old woman smiled, "Did you notice that there are flowers on your side of the path, but not on the other pot's side?" "That's because I have always known about your flaw, so I planted flower seeds on your  side of the path, and every day while we walk back, you water them."

 "For two years I have been able to pick these beautiful flowers to  decorate the table.   Without you being just the way you are, there would not be this beauty  to grace the house."

 Each of us has our own unique flaw. But it's the cracks and flaws we  each have that make our lives together so very interesting and  rewarding. You've just got to take each person for what they are and  look for the good in them.

 SO, to all of my crackpot friends, have a great day and remember to  smell the flowers on your side of thepath!

* Have a great day my friends!