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.
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.
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
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
Let’s see….where did I leave off?
Oh yeah, with John running off. Can you believe after months of a friendship and then just one night together he ran?
I actually could. Predicted it even.
The good news: I knew John well enough at that point and suspected it would take a lot of patience if we were ever going to be anything more than friends.
The bad news: I was irritated by his behavior just the same. There was no reason to not meet for coffee or join me in a tennis game or go hiking. Something! But, nope, he wouldn’t meet up with me.
So I got busy with my own life.
After John and I had our one and only romantic evening, he was still texting me and sending me his columns, but all of a sudden he didn’t have time to meet for coffee or play tennis or get together at all.
So I got busy with my own life and plans and let John figure out his own issues.
Column 22 – If the Truth Hurts Then Shouldn’t it Come With a Warning Label?
(One of the things Loretta and I had in common was our love of family – we sort of lived for our kids. Continue reading
For those who have been following along on my blog you know when John and I first met, through online dating, we became “just friends”. We both started dating other people, but because of his columns that I was editing, we talked almost daily.
He would come over and sit on my deck and we’d talk for hours about our lives. We played tennis and met for coffee several times a week. We shared our stories with each other and helped each other through difficult breakups.
My favorite times together where when we sat on that deck and John talked about his childhood, his family and growing up. He had some of the funniest stories to share, and they found their way into his columns.
His readers loved it as much as I did.
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
I am a task-oriented person.
If a job needs to be done, I identify it, find a solution, and then go about getting it done.
It was easy to fix all of the things around me after Judd left. One by one, I got my life back and found peace in my little cottage by myself in Napa.
And as hard as it was, being by myself was exactly what I needed.
Working from home with no one else around, and living in an area where I had no family or friends created the perfect arena for some major reflection. But that’s not how I saw it at first.
I wasn’t just lonely – I was alone.
Today’s “Let’s do this together video” features My John, because it just so happens to be the 7th anniversary of the day we met. We were both on Match.com years ago, and John saw my profile and sent me a message.
He has a way with words, and his profile was very well written, so I decided to meet him for coffee. That, and his photos were pretty handsome too. Continue reading
The day after our wedding, we packed up the car and drove south to wine country.
Being frugal (read: poor) we decided to camp in Napa Valley before my interview the following day.
As a wine lover, I was elated to see so many familiar names as we drove up Highway 29 towards St. Helena. We drove past Chandon, Cakebread, Turnbull, Beaulieu, Beringer, and so many more. I felt like a kid in a candy store. Continue reading
I should back up a bit. I left out a lot of important details in yesterday’s post. Not sure why I skipped most of 2008 and went right to the end of that year.
Maybe because it was a year of change.
Working from my home office, early 2008
Surviving a bankruptcy and losing my homes was not easy.
Even though I knew they were just “things” I was losing, it was still painful. But, I had a distraction through it all, which made it so much easier.
I met Judd in November, just before the holiday season, and he took me to one holiday party after another. He sold advertising for a local publishing company, and his job came with a lot of invitations.
We had a lot of fun, and I felt like Cinderella.
For Christmas he gave me a beautiful silver cuff bracelet that he had specially ordered for me. He said it was a Wonder Woman bracelet, because I reminded him of her.
My Wonder Woman bracelet
Have you noticed she stopped writing her story? I wonder what’s going on. I mean, she was all gung-ho sharing all the details of her life before. Over-sharing might even be a better way to put it.
So what’s going on now?
Honestly, I don’t even know what gives her the right to share this stuff anyway. First of all, who really cares? And secondly, why in the world would she want to put herself out there for the entire world to see?
Kind of silly, if you ask me.
It’s not all here!
If you haven’t already, please follow me on my Facebook page. I share different posts there and each Friday do a fun mind teaser. Continue reading
I will never forget the realtor that worked with my banks to ‘short sale’ my homes. She was a bitch.
Yep, I went there.
She treated me with such disrespect and down right contempt. I was already mortified and embarrassed, but this woman was actually enjoying kicking me while I was down.
And speaking of down, have you ever experienced bankruptcy? It is a life altering decision to make in the first place, but oh once the process starts you’re put into the “undesirable” category.
Which is where you will stay for at least 10 years.
2007 was just an all around crappy year for me. Being a realtor who owned two homes during the housing crisis was a double whammy and just about sent me off the deep end.
Not only was I losing my homes, but my income had plummeted. And if you don’t know how it works for a realtor, let me explain.
We pay for everything.
I left you hanging, I know. I’ve actually tried continuing my story several times now. But I keep getting stuck.
I hated that time in my life and honestly it’s hard to look back now, knowing what happens. But the other morning, when I was thinking about it all, I remembered two important things
I got through it and survived. And, I learned an amazing life lesson
So, I’ve decided to just write and go from there. I left off telling you I was neck-deep in bills and my income had plummeted. I had two mortgage payments and was desperately trying to save my homes.
As I sat at my big dining room table, looking at all of the bills that were covering its surface and I made the decision to let my dream house go. The mortgage was twice as much as my old ‘70’s house, so the smart thing to do was to move back into it and try to stop the bleeding. Continue reading
2006 was shaping up to be a good year for me. I met “Tom” in May and by the end of that month I had another wonderful surprise.
My real estate business was going strong and I was making great money. Everything but the kitchen and exterior of my ‘70’s house had been remodeled, and I was feeling confident and accomplished.
I was having fun dating Tom and, because of our polar opposite views on religion, we were having wonderful conversations that would go on for hours and hours. It was stimulating and as someone who is a bit of a debater, I loved every minute of it.
Tom was a charming gentleman who loved a good glass of wine and a lively discussion.