Loretta's Countdown to 60

Aging on my terms - Daily musings in 500 words or so

Tag: childhood (page 1 of 2)

When better might not be better – growing up in the 2000’s

Last week I shared a little about how I grew up and how I raised my boys. I even touched briefly on the next generation, my granddaughters.

Then I got busy on Wednesday helping my oldest son, and on Thursday, John and I were back on the road. We took some major twisty roads over to the Oregon Coast and then drove to Sacramento.

Often times, when John is driving, I’ll use that opportunity to pull out my laptop and write. But curves and twisting roads make that impossible for me.

So I was itching to get back to my laptop and write the third installment of my posts about growing up. I got my computer out while John drove us home on Friday, and wrote and rewrote a post to share.

And I agonized over it. 

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Growing up outside – Passing it down

Yesterday I wrote about growing up in Michigan and how we spent most of our time outside.

I also mentioned because of that experience, I wanted to be sure my kids had the same opportunity.

When I got pregnant with our first son, my husband was still in school. We lived in a townhouse near campus and it was fine. By the time our boy was six months old, we’d moved back to Oregon and found a rental in town.

It wasn’t until after our second son was born that I started to remember my own childhood, and what it was like to grow up on a farm. I had married a city boy, and I wasn’t sure he would want to move into the country.

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Growing up outside

We played outside when I was a kid growing up in Michigan. It didn’t matter if it was winter or summer, we were outside most of the time.

In the summers we would play hide-and-seek until way after dark. There were a bunch of us and so many different places to hide that the game would go on for hours.

We also had a sandbox to play and dig in, though I do remember the cats liked “digging” in it too…which was a little gross.

We found things to do and explored beyond our farm too. 

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The evolution of Motherhood

I remember from the time I was little the only thing I really wanted to be when I grew up was a Mom. Not very “progressive”, I know, but it’s the truth.

We were very poor growing up and rarely had any new toys. Instead they were passed down from one child to the next.

The neighbor girls I tried to hang out with had Barbie Dolls that came with different outfits you could dress them in.

I had one doll, and she wasn’t a petite little doll, but more of an old-fashioned Dolly with eyes that would close when you laid her down. And with one arm missing.  Continue reading

How to Mom

We learn how to be women from our moms, or at least a mother figure.

So we watch them closely and subconsciously put each act or word into columns of either, “This is good advice to live by and pass on,” or “No way do I believe this and I am so not going to do this to my kids.”

There are probably a lot of other columns too, but those two stand out the most for me.

I learned how to be a woman by watching my mom. Which is probably why I’m not a girly girl. She didn’t wear makeup or dress in pretty clothes. And she lived in “practical shoes” and flip-flops.

I think she made most of her dresses. You’ll recall I said she only wore dresses, even as a farm-woman, right? I have to wonder if her mom wore dresses too. But I can’t recall much about my grandmother.

My mom learned how to be a woman from her mother too. It’s passed down from one generation to the next with varying degrees of changes for each of us.  Continue reading

Filling in the blanks

Do you ever wonder what it was like for your parents when they were kids? I don’t think about my dad’s youth as much as I do my mom’s. That’s probably because she was the rule-maker of our home.

And the enforcer too.

When I was a kid, I didn’t think about or care what made her the way she was, I was more concerned with ducking her flip-flop as she tried to swat me with it for not doing what I was told.

But as an adult, I have to wonder what it was like for her growing up in that little farmhouse in Michigan with four brothers and three sisters.

She was born in the spring of 1924, unless you go by what her headstone reads. Not sure how that happened, but it’s off by a year. She was the second child of eight, in a home that would soon be crowded.  Continue reading

Weekend off – Lazy Days of Summer

It’s been a busy summer!

In April and May, John and I vacationed in Europe for a few weeks. We traipsed all over Ireland, Northern Ireland, Wales, England and Scotland. We had a grand time and I am still basking in the memories.

As soon as we got back it was time for my birthday and Mother’s Day festivities. Turning 59 was a delight surrounded by my husband and kids.

June started out with John’s birthday celebration, and rolled right into one busy weekend after another.

We rode up the coast to San Simeon and looked for Moonstones, hiked a few local trails and went to the beach a lot.

A trip up to San Francisco was necessary for John’s work and we even got to see his brother on his birthday. That was fun.

By the end of the month we were still in birthday mode with my granddaughter’s and son’s back to back birthdays I think I had my share of cake that month.

July started off with a bang, and not the fireworks kind. We helped my oldest son pack up his belongings and move up to Oregon. We got to stay on the Rogue River and enjoy the views and quiet time, between unpacking and setting up.

It was a fun trip, but we had to rush back to help out another son. So I ended up heading North again soon after. I spent a week away from home seeing my girlfriend, and helping my son settle into his new home.

I drove home through thick smoke with half of Oregon and California on fire, getting back home just in time to have our granddaughters for 10 days of fun.

Last weekend we spent a little time reconnecting with a bike trip up to Avila Beach. We had a great time on that big beamer and hiking around Pirates Cove.

So this weekend… it’s time to just be lazy before summer is gone.

I hope you take time to enjoy these last lazy days of summer.

Dear little girl…

Tomorrow is a big day for me.

I don’t mean in the sense that something exciting is happening, or I’ve got a bunch of big plans. More in the way of it’s a calendar date that I never forget and always reflect on.

It was August 3, 1970 when the world changed for me. And for the last 48 years, it’s August 3rd that I still feel the pain of that day and our loss.

I know there are a whole lot of you reading this now, that know exactly how I feel. Losing a parent, especially when you are a child, is something you never fully “get over”.   Continue reading

Summer Vacations from our Childhood

Did you ever spend summer vacations at your Grandparents house?

I never did. I mean, we went there to visit, but I don’t remember staying at their place for a week or even a few days without my parents.

We did, however, have fun during our summers growing up, and I loved it when we played Hide and Seek outside until way after sunset. And we always had a great time at the beach.  Continue reading

Ten Days with Granddaughters

I’m going to have to keep this short. You remember I mentioned we have our granddaughters with us, right?

It’s really not easy to write when a five-year old is talking….a lot. She has something to say about everything. And I mean everything. Her Dad was the same (sorry to rat you out Noah).

I remember when my boys were young and we were on our way back home from visiting my sister-in-law in the hospital. I’d forgotten his binky when we left the house that morning. Later, the 20 minute drive back was not fun.

He was tired and wanted that binky.

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Healthy lifestyles of the young and restless

Finding time to blog with two “young and restless” girls is a challenge for sure.

We have been busy with boogie boarding, skateboarding, shopping, playgrounds, picnics, duckies, turtles and climbing trees.

Their favorite climbing tree

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Weekend – It’s Nana time!

I was away from home all last week, and I’m back now to pick up our granddaughters for some Nana time!

We always have so much fun with those two girls, and I’m looking forward to having them here for ten days.

When I was a kid, we didn’t have summer breaks with grandparents, as summers were spent working. But we did have a lot of fun, just the same. Summer was filled with swimming and playing outside until after dark, picnics and ice cream, and lots of exploring.

Our time with the girls will be filled with lots of adventure and the best part is, they bring out the kids in us too.

May your weekend be filled with summer fun and may you find time to be a kid again.

I’m A Really Good Dad – Guest post by John Gavin

I told you My John is an author, right?

It’s kind of how we got to know each other. He wrote a weekly column for a Bay Area newspaper, and he’d send it to me first to edit. There were a couple of occasions when I did  guest posts for him, so I thought it might be nice to return the favor.

In honor of Father’s Day, I found this one he wrote in 2012 and dusted off the pages. I hope you enjoy it. Continue reading

Drama and response triggers – how do you handle them?

I had a disturbing day yesterday, full of drama.

Being a part of an online community, all kinds of crazy things can happen. Most of them good, but every now and then, some “not so good” drama happens. Yesterday was one of those times.

As I said the other day, I started my own group to help bring other “over 50 year olds” together so we can get to know each other and grow our Instagram accounts. It took off immediately and I was overwhelmed with requests and questions.

I’ll admit I loved every minute of it. I’m okay with questions and helping and trying to figure out this crazy social media world. What I wasn’t prepared for was someone who didn’t like the way I was running things.

From day one, she was upset and no matter what I, or other members tried she was unhappy. I found myself spending hours everyday trying to fix it for her, only to have the same issue the next day. Continue reading

Happy Birthday to youth

Yesterday I posted my Wednesday “Let’s do this together” video. Each week I like to share some little tidbit about exercise or diet that I have gleaned from my week. And yesterday’s post was about trying to get enough exercise while on the road.

Have you ever toured or stayed on the Queen Mary, in Long Beach, CA? Continue reading

I will…

The other day I was desperately looking for a specific photo I wanted for one of my blog posts. If you’ve been following along, you know I use my own photos for my posts.

It was written and ready to publish, but I was determined to find that one photo, so I kept digging. I was pretty sure it was on an old hard drive of mine, so I plugged it into my laptop and poked around.

I didn’t find it there, but I did find something else.

It is something I wrote years ago, when I was trying to sort out some emotions I was going through. Wait, let me stop right here and find my courage.

Deep breath in.

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Can we change Rape Culture? Changing Me Too to Not Us

The #MeToo Campaign has been going on for a few months now, and ever single time I see a Me Too post, my stomach knots up, my throat closes and I have to choke back tears. Every single time.

A year ago, my son wrote this open letter to his daughters, my granddaughters. I am asking you to read it, digest it, and share it. Please join me in a new campaign to help the next generation to be filled with #NotMe and #NotUs.  Continue reading

Pieces of the puzzle, part two

…continued from Pieces of the Puzzle

After yesterdays post it took three siblings and me to piece together the sequence of events from that time. I was off by a year. The years following our mother’s death was a blur of disappointment.

But it was 3am Christmas morning, 1971 that our father called my sister Janet downstairs to take him to the hospital. She was just 16 and the only one at home with a driver’s license.  Continue reading

Pieces of the puzzle

I’m learning that my life is analogous to a big jigsaw puzzle. All of the pieces are there, but not together. And to make it even more difficult, I don’t have a picture to go off.

Photo by Hans Peter Gauster

Photo courtesy of Hans Peter Gauster

You are helping me find the picture. Continue reading

The Second One

My first pregnancy and delivery was so easy, right after my son was born my doctor told me he would like to say the second one would be easier, but it doesn’t get much easier than I had it. I was lucky for sure.

When my oldest son was two I was pregnant with my second baby. It was fun having a toddler asking questions and wondering what was going on with his mommy. I did my best to get him ready for what was about to happen, but I don’t think you can fully prepare a two and a half year old for a baby brother.

Because my fist son’s birthday was December 30th and so close to Christmas and New Year’s, we had a few friends suggest celebrating his birthday on his half birthday instead. June 30th.

That’s the day his brother was born. The minute that baby showed his face he had a smile. I don’t care what doctors or researchers say about a newborn not really smiling until they are 3 months old, that baby boy was smiling from the beginning. Continue reading

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