Yellow House

Yellow House 1967

It was July of 1967.  I was 12 years old.  We lived in a two story house on the north side of Sheboygan.  My family consisted of Daddy, Mama and the six of us kids.  I was the oldest.  After me came Mary, who would be 11 in August.  Tammy turned eight in the spring.  The boys had their birthdays at the end of the month.  Jerry would be seven, Michael, three and Patrick, the baby was almost 2.

The house was a pretty yellow and so much bigger than the last one we lived in.  I didn’t care about any of that.  Who needs a big house when all that really mattered was that we left our old neighborhood and all of our friends.  I was mad for a short while.

My new school was a block away.  I quickly made new friends, but I could also jump on my bike and ride back to the other side of town in 20 minutes.

My sister Mary and I shared a room upstairs.  All the kids were up there except Patrick who had his crib in a room downstairs.  My parent’s bedroom was also on the first floor, next to the living room, at the front of the house.  It was the room Daddy died in.

Sunday, July 30 1967.  It was a day I will never forget.  My brother, Michaels’, third birthday.  Daddy had one of his headaches and wanted to lie down before church.  He died suddenly during that nap of a cerebral aneurysm.  He was 33 years old.  Mom had just turned 30.

We moved back to the south side shortly after that.

This was for Writing 101, Day 11.  Where did you live when you were 12. The twist is to pay attention to the sentence length.

The Stage (Friday Fictioneers)

THE CHALLENGE:

Write a one hundred word story that has a beginning, middle and end. (No one will be ostracized for going a few words over the count.)

THE KEY:

MAKE. EVERY. WORD. COUNT.

THE RULES:

  • Copy your URL to the Linkz collection. You’ll find the tab following the photo prompt. It’s the little white box to the left with the blue froggy guy. Click on it and follow directions. This is the best way to get the most reads and comments.
  • MAKE SURE YOUR LINK IS SPECIFIC TO YOUR FLASH. 
  • While our name implies “fiction only” it’s perfectly Kosher to write a non-fiction piece as long as it meets the challenge of being a complete story in 100 words.

Thank you to http://rochellewisofffields.wordpress.com/ for coming up with this great idea.

This is my first time doing this challenge.  Enjoy or not.  Let me know.

 

 

The Stage

 

Still In a Funk

 

Still in a Funk

I finished a book a couple days ago and have been in a funk since then.  The book is “All the Dancing Birds”.  It is fiction and the story is about a woman with Alzheimer’s, written from her perspective.  It goes from the beginning of her diagnosis to the end of her life.  I liked the book but every night when I stopped reading, I felt sad, lonely, depressed and scared.  I put myself in her place or thought about My Michaels mother, who just passed away in August.  I watched my Papa die in the 1980’s with this disease.  When I came in to Michael’s life, they had just put his Mom in a nursing home.  That was August of 2011.  I had firsthand experience with her dementia and how it affected the family.  This book was probably more powerful for that reason.  With all that said, my funk isn’t even about Alzheimer’s.  When I get depressed, which isn’t often anymore, all my insecurities come rushing forward.  Some of them I won’t discuss with anyone but my man and I only journaled about them.  Others are okay to list.  I get those stupid, insecure, I’m not good enough/smart enough/young enough/thin enough thoughts.  Really hate those as they bring in other crap.  Then there is the, I don’t have enough money in the bank and should go get a job.  With that comes, I am too old to get a job (except Walmart) and I don’t want a job.  I take on my son’s problems, my ex’s health issues, siblings problems.  I wonder if I was supposed to stay in my marriage and accept the fear, loneliness, pain and stress. Sometimes I just want to talk and I don’t want girlfriends and all that goes with it.   I have sisters to discuss things with but they have busy lives and don’t need to deal with my funk.   So, my journal got most of my feelings this time, you got a very short edition of it and My Michael and I will talk tonight over some wine, a fire and Kleenex.  I am planning on being “all good” tomorrow.  Why did I put this out there?  I think all the stresses I have had in my life, have mostly been kept inside.  I am sure it contributed to my melanoma in ’05 and I am working on letting go.  You get to be my shrink.

Flying Into Portland 20/365 Photo – September 18 2013

Flying into Portland

Flying into Portland

Exactly one month ago I posted my last blog, as we left for Portland that day.  I thought I would be able to post every day but it didn’t work out that way.  We got in on Sunday and spent the next 6 days sitting at My Michael’s Mother’s bedside along with two sisters, a bro-in-law, a nephew and his wife.  Marion left us on Friday evening after a couple year battle with Alzheimers and dementia.  Michael walked in as she took her last breath.  It was a sad but  joyous event, as she went to be with Jesus.  She lived her life for Him and is now happier than she had ever been.   It was a wonderful experience for me as I spent so much time with this absolutely wonderful and giving family.  I will post much more on this in coming days.

Leaving On A Jet Plane

My Michaels Mom has dementia and Alzheimers.  Last year he and his brother took Marion from a home that did not meet her needs in NE Wisconsin, to a Wonderful place in Oregon near their sister.  We had purchased tickets to fly out in September.  We keep in contact w/sister and a couple days ago she said Mom is refusing to get out of bed and won’t eat.  She is shutting down.  Marion is a devout Christian and a  warrior for Christ.  We believe she just wants to go home to be with the Lord.

Yesterday sister called and told us that Mom is getting worse everyday.  So, we called American Airlines and changed the flight.  We fly out this afternoon and return on Friday.  The woman at American was wonderful and charged us no fee plus got us great tickets at a great price.  If anything changes we can stay longer or leave sooner with no fee.  We are very impressed with them.  The original tickets were non refundable and non transferable.  So, last night I got things ready to leave our little cabin for a week.  Watered the plants but I am worried as there is no rain in the forecast.  Fingers crossed.

I had to put off my last week of training for my new Postal job until after we get home.  My postmaster was great about it.

This is not a vacation but we will try to enjoy our time there.  My Michael has made peace with his Moms disease and her eventual passing.  But, you are never truly ready for it until it happens.  I know that with my Moms death in 2010.  I am there to be his support and take pics and videos.  He is a memory keeper, My Michael.

I will be somewhat selfish as I am excited to be somewhere else and able to take pictures.  Me and my new virgin like camera will be snapping away.  I think with my 32G disc I can take over 1000 pictures.  We are not too far from Eugene and not sure of the terrain there.  My man says we are an hour from the ocean so that may not happen.

Hoping to post my pics everyday.

Day 4 – Daddy, Mom and Dad

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This is me with my Mom, Donna and my Daddy, Ivan.  I don’t remember that day.  I know I was young and it is unrealistic to think that I should remember.  But, I do have a bad memory.  I am serious, it’s so bad.  I started having seizures when I was about 40.  They were small epileptic seizures and you wouldn’t even know I was having one except that I would say something like, “Shit, here it comes”.  I am pretty sure that they take a bit of my memory away every time I have one.  I only have 4-10 a year.  I mention this because I don’t have much in the way of memories of my Daddy.  He and Mom got married when she was 17.  I was born 8 months later.  Being the first, there are a lot of pictures of me.  Not so many of Daddy and me, though.  They had 6 kids in 10 years and then Daddy died when the baby was 2 and I was 12.  I have memories of childhood and not too many of them include my parents.  Daddy worked and Mom dealt with 6 kids.  They were social people and had many get togethers with their friends.  I remember getting up on Sunday mornings and eating the maraschino cherries out of the glasses that were still on the table or on the counter near the sink.  There was always a lot of laughter and we watched some of the stuff from hidden spots or listened from behind closed doors.  My Daddy was a popular guy and at his funeral I heard so many men say, “Ivy, was my best friend”.  I can’t say he was a bad Dad or a good one, I don’t remember. I know I wasn’t abused, rarely spanked if ever.  I just wasn’t Daddy’s little girl.  I am pretty sure he didn’t spend a lot of time with us.  We lived in a medium sized city and this was back in the 50’s and 60’s when it was okay to let your kids leave in the morning and not see them until sunset.  We did, of course, come in for lunch and have sugar sandwiches or PBJs and see Mom and one of the many sisters or brothers.  Daddy was working.  Possibly my brother Jerry had the best relationship with him out of all of us.  He was 7 when Daddy died.  He said to me a couple years ago that he lost his best friend when Daddy died but nobody paid attention to that.  Thinking back I feel bad for him now.

My Mom was 30 when she lost my Daddy.  It was really hard on her but I don’t remember that she almost had a nervous breakdown.  I think she ended up in the hospital.  I do remember that we moved back to the south side of town and I was in junior high.  I had some of my old friends to hang with and life was fun.  My Uncle was around some and he was so cool and had a lot of good looking guys with him.  He taught me how to dance and made my Mom laugh a lot.  Mom eventually dated a guy who was 5 years younger than her.  They didn’t date very long and soon they told us they were getting married.  Not only were we getting a new father but we were moving to a small town I never heard of.  It was only 80 miles away but it might as well have been 500 miles.  My life was over.  I had a boyfriend, I was a big shot ninth grader in a middle school, and I had a life.  Actually I was never a big shot but I was a ninth grader and soon became a lowly freshman in a high school.  I was always shy in school but once we moved I didn’t know how I was going to make it.  Thank goodness for Sandy, who grabbed me and made me part of her group.  I became popular, at least with some.  Not cheerleader popular or smart student popular, I was one of the others.

Dad was not Dad yet.  I called him Wally and didn’t know how to call him anything else.  Dad just didn’t sound right.  I was 14 and a bit of a smart ass but not too bad.  Wally was really a great person and loved my Mom so much, almost as much as she loved him.  They were newlyweds!  Sounds great, huh?  Here’s the kicker, they were newlyweds with 6 kids and soon after that, there were 7 of us.  They were also very social.  My Mom and Wally were either at the bars or parties almost every weekend.  Don’t get me wrong, they were great people and wonderful parents.  They just thought we were okay by ourselves for a few hours, too often.  I was in charge, so I would leave and put my sister in charge.  As we got older she would also leave and put the next sister in charge.  I did not do really well in school and got in trouble a couple times.  My parents were just too busy with themselves, work, and socializing to see the little stuff that was happening with their kids.  I am sure my siblings have different memories and hopefully better ones.   They eventually had one more child to make it an even 8.  There were 5 girls, 3 boys and I never thought of us as half siblings, we were just one big happy family.

DebMustacheAll8 LC

I moved out when I was 18 and only moved back once.  I eventually started calling Wally, Dad.  It truly was difficult to do it.  I am assuming it was difficult for us older girls and probably not so much for the boys.  I moved away, got married and had my son.  I talked to my Mom a lot, Dad not so much as he was not real comfortable on the phone.  That was fine and worked for me.

I lived within a couple hours of them for about 10 years.  When we went to visit them, it was always fun and filled with laughter and at night, alcohol.  We grew up in a world of beer, martinis and old fashions.  The six oldest learned how to drink very well.  None of us are alcoholics and we are all friendly drunks who like to sing.  As we got older the drinking diminished with the girls, but the boys will be boys.

I moved to California 22 years ago and would come home once a year.  I called Mom a lot and sometimes got Dad to talk for a couple minutes.  Mom was diagnosed with lung cancer a few years ago and passed away in 2010.  I came home twice that year.  Once in January when she got really sick and then again a few months later when she died.  The January visit was great.  She ended up getting better and leaving the hospital but was in the entire week I was there.  I stayed at a hotel a few miles away from the hospital.  I was the first one to greet her in the morning and the last one to say goodnight.  We talked about God and life and death. She cried when she told me how ugly her body was.  Mom hated that Dad had to help her get dressed because he saw her.  She told me she was afraid to die.  She didn’t want to go; she didn’t want to leave Dad.  I remember hugging her when I left to fly home.  She had gotten so tiny.  I bent down and hugged her and said, “I love you Mummy”.  I don’t know why but I started calling her that a couple years before.  We held each other and cried.  I think we both knew it was probably the last time together until we met again in Heaven.  She died two months later in the doctor’s office, all alone.  She was a wonderful, sweet woman.  I don’t think there was anyone that didn’t like her.  I miss talking to her.

The day of her memorial service I remember Dad asking if it was okay if he called me.  I think he was afraid that with Mom gone, we wouldn’t be close anymore.  Broke my heart.  We did get on the phone once in a while.  He was a little uncomfortable but has gotten pretty good at it.

The following year I left my husband and my life in California.  I live about 2 hours from Dad plus a ferry ride across to the Island.  I’ve spent a lot of time talking to him during some of my visits.  He loved my Mom and was a devoted husband.  He’s a great man, always was.  He’s in a relationship with another woman now.  It’s his life and he deserves to be happy.  I support him but not everyone does.

He’s been my Dad for 44 years and he loved my Mom like crazy.  I never heard them fight.  He was her knight in shining armor and I will always love him for that.

The Liebster Blogger Award

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I have been nominated for the Liebster Blog Award by Follow Your Heart and Life Follows   . I want to thank her  for taking the time to read my blog and liking it enough to nominated me for this award.  Please stop by and check out her blog.  Thanks!

What is the Liebster Blog Award?

The Liebster Blog Award is given to up and coming bloggers who have less than 200 followers. “Liebster” is German for “favorite”. This award is the “favorite blog award” then. These ‘awards’ provide wonderful ways of discovering new blogs and building community.  I have enjoyed searching out new blogs to follow that have less than 200 others following.

The rules are:

• Post 11 random facts about yourself • Answer your nominator’s 11 questions • Nominate 11 deserving blogs with less than 200 followers and ask them 11 questions

Here are 11 more facts about me:

1. I’ve gained 20 pounds in the last 2 yrs.

2. I like dark beer. (Maybe #1 & #2 are related)

3. I watched 2 people die when they jumped from a plane.

4. My Daddy died when I was 12.

5. I learned how to shoot a gun from my Grandpa (Papa).

6. My hair is short.

7. I eat spinach on my PBJ sandwiches.

8. I don’t wear perfume.

9. I don’t have a hometown.

10. I’m the commissioner in my Fantasy Football League.

11. This year I am going to my first class reunion.  It’s our 40th. (Now I really have to deal with #1.)

The questions I have to answer:

1.  Would you rather have a night in or night out?

Night in, definitely

2.  What is your favorite movie?

Lonesome Dove.  It might be a mini series.

3.  When is the last time you sent a handwritten card or letter?

Four days ago, I sent a letter to my son with presents for my granddaughters birthday.

4. Who is the most inspiring person you know?

My Michael has done so much for me, including inspire me.

5. Are you a punctual person?

No, I am late more often than early.

6. Biggest pet peeve.

Rude, assuming people

7.  Worst do-it-yourself project?

Painted a small bathroom with a faux treatment. Ugly!

8.  Best do-it-yourself project?

Painted a different small bathroom a deep red.  Gorgeous!

9.  Polka dots or stripes?

Stripes

10. Your favorite attribute about yourself?

I am very realistic.

11. If you could have dinner with any celebrity you chose, who would it be and why?

Robert Duvall.  I love everything he has done.

 

My 11 questions to my nominees:

1. What’s your favorite breakfast?

2.  Do you look more like your Mom or your Dad?

3.  How long have you blogged?

4.  Are you married, divorced, single, other?

5.  Where are you in the birth order?

6.  Did you go to college?

7.  Beer or wine?

8.  What’s the last book you read?

9.  What’s the craziest, out of the box thing you have ever done?

10. Do you have a gun in your house?

11. What do you want to be remembered for?

 

And here are the 11 bloggers I am nominating for the Liebster Award. If you have already been tagged on this, sorry.  There are a lot of great blogs out there, these are only a handful, but worth checking out.  Please go to their blog and read their ‘stuff’.

Weigh In On Life

Rachelsfiction

I’m Strong on the Surface

The Personal One

Island Jenn\’s Blog

d-i-v-o-r-c-e

lifebeganat44

Cerebral Images

smallgirlbigworld

Grandma to Half Marathon

Adventures of an INFP

30 Day Blog Challenge Day 3 Describe 3 Legitimate Fears

I have fears like anyone else but I’m not freaked over the little stuff. My daughter-in-law screams over little spiders and has taught atleast one of my granddaughters to do the same. When I would go over to their house I smashed those suckers and tryed to show the girls how easy it is to be tough. Smash em like a girl!
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I was at my sisters cabins with her and her daughter, last year. She opened a closet door and saw a dead mouse in a trap. She slammed the door shut and declared she would leave it for her husband. OMG It’s a frickin dead mouse, just deal with it. I opened the door, grabbed the trap and brought it outside for disposal.

mouse
While visiting that same sister at the home they had recently moved into, she saw a snake outside in the flowerbed. Both her and her husband are afraid of them, with hubby being more of a scaredy cat than her. This is Northern Wisconsin people, these are grass snakes or garter snakes, they won’t eat you or your cat. They eat your mice, leave them alone. Nope, he is concerned they will somehow get into the house, so they gotta go. Really, they gotta go? You live in the woods, get use to them, make them your friends. Anyway, that day I was instrumental in catching and moving 5 snakes.

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Spiders, mice and snakes, those are the little things. There are other things that concern me, like cancer, alzheimers, the nerve tumor I have in my leg and other physical stuff. Those are things that are just there and I don’t stress over them.
I don’t like heights at all but deal with it. I have ziplined 90 ft up in the trees in Mexico, just don’t look down.
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I am a bit claustrophobic but besides maybe being in a submarine, I’m okay.
Maybe the submarine isn’t so much claustrophobic as it is one of my three fears I chose, being underwater. That borders on freaky to me. I don’t like going underwater. Or to be more specific, I don’t like putting my head under. I’ve gone snorkeling a few times, the first time in Hawaii. It took me atleast 5 minutes to get my breathing right, to stop the anxiety I was feeling. It was like, come on Debbie, just breath. Only then could I enjoy going under and seeing all those beautiful fish. Same thing happened again in Mexico. I love the water and can stay in for hours. I’m not a great swimmer and don’t do the crawl because I have to put my face in.
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We weren’t taught to swim as kids, even though my sister and I were born on an Island and my Dad was in the Coast Guard. When I was about 10 years old, we went swimming at a water filled quarry with Mom and friends. I got out too far and went under. That was a scary few seconds, but I managed to get to a shallow area. I don’t think I said anything to anyone. I’m not sure if that’s where the fear came from or not.

My next fear is based on woundedness, insecurities and a great desire to love and be loved. This new relationship I am in is so perfect. I am afraid something will happen. My fear is more about our health than anything. We are both in our late 50’s and his lifestyle for the last 12 years has been pretty sedentary. I’ve been pretty active but I have a couple of health issues. I feel like I wasted so much of life and now that I am with this amazing man, I want it to last for a very long time. I missed out on a secure, fun, honest, loving relationship and I want more. I don’t lay awake at night worrying about it but it does concern me. More than spiders and snakes.

My last fear can keep me awake if I let it. I did not become a Christian until my son was 16. I did not raise him to know the Lord and at 35 he still does not know Him. I am so afraid that he will die and not go to be with the Lord. I think of my baby going to hell. I see the fear, I hear his screams. It’s like my worst nightmare.