Sunday, November 27, 2011

The First Time



The First Time

I held you in my arms tonight,
As an Oreo you ate;
All chocolate mess and sticky,
You didn’t care that it was late.

Mom and Dad were showing their new truck,
While I held you in my arms;
You held me tight and wanted kisses,
I was a captive of your charms.

You covered me in gooey chocolate,
And pressed your fingers to my shirt;
Then as you pointed…called me “Nana”;
With the widest grin, you little flirt!

Those first words of recognition,
Now, you’ve given me a name;
With naming me, you stole my heart,
I’ll never again be quite the same.

They didn’t tell me at your birth,
The joy in store, you see;
The first time you called me, “Nana”, 
                                           With Love meant for only me!

                                                                                      Nana Lynn 03-10-00

Gabrielle




Gabrielle

I felt you nodding off,
Amidst the adult chatter;
As I gently rubbed your back,
The noise simply did not matter.

Though I sat there very still,
Memories traveled back in years;
As my Nana, rubbed my back,
A memory, oh so very dear!

Trusting me with your dreams,
As I trusted her, so long ago;
Relaxed, so safe and warm,
It’s a shame we have to grow.

I hope that you’ll be blessed,
With all these feelings, too;
A granddaughter as she naps,
Cuddled up with love for you!
                                                                                           Nana Lynn  03-27-2008

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Strands of Silver and White




Strands Of Silver and White


Winter arrived this morning,
I was greeted with it’s flocking;
It tip-toed through my door,
Without so much as knocking.

Pumpkins in my yard now frozen,
Seems, it happened over night;
Like the flocking in my hair,
Strands so silvery and white.

There is such a quiet peace,
The summer chores are done;
There was just a hint of Fall,
Who knows when we’ll see the sun.

I heard my children’s laughter,
Now, grandchildren fill my days;
It seems like overnight,
Life rushed past with no delay.

Memories play amidst the light,
Upon the icicles, as they glisten;
I  relive them now and then,
 Hearing my children’s laughter, if I listen.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Potty Training and Halloween






This Halloween weekend I spent with grandkids... the littler ones, ages 1-4. The weekend ended on Halloween and Trick or Treating in Edmonds,WA.

My daughter, who was anxious to show off the cute chicken outfits she had made was in a hurry to get on with the festivities. I think she is a big kid at heart! She told her neighbors a few weeks before, they would have to wait to see the costumes, she wasn't giving up the secret. The plan was, we would rob all of Edmonds of it's candy, then hit her neighborhood in Redmond.

Our first Trick or Treating was with her brother and family in Downtown Edmonds, WA. It was great! Or at least I enjoyed it. We were 3 Funky Chickens Trick or Treating with 4 Dashing Pirates! Yours truly, was one of the Chickens.

All the streets were blocked off and music blared through loudspeakers in the town proper with songs like Monster Mash! As 3 Funky bright colored chickens, our progress was definitely slowed by the Paparazzi swarming us for photos and navigating through crowds with our bright orange, ackward chicken feet. The Dashing Pirates were making much better progress!

Ah, but I haven't forgotten about the Potty Training....be patient now. Time was ticking and the kids were wearing out. The 3 Funky Chickens still had to rob the neighbors in Redmond of their candy! After doing a thorough job in Edmonds, the chickens said goodbye to the Pirate Cousins and made a hasty retreat, by way of McDonald's...where they ran into the Pirate cousins again! This proves all great Cousin minds think alike!

 Off to Redmond, the chickens flew, a car full of colorful birds...and giant chicken feet, too! As luck would have it, when you are often in a hurry...something leaps out of nowhere and slows you down! Remember, I promised you Potty Training? From the littlest chicken Avery, all strapped in the back seat...comes that old familiar call! "Mommy, I have to go Potty, right now!"

Mommy chicken says, "Remember I put you in a diaper...just in case. "You can go in the diaper, it's ok."
Little chicken says in a distressed voice, "No, Mommy...I have to use the Potty!'

Juggling food and a stirring wheel with her wings, Mommy chicken pulls into a deserted parking lot behind a 76 gas station. She takes baby chicken out of his carseat, wrestles with getting his pants down around his bright orange chicken feet and calmly says, "Ok, little chicken pee on the tire."

Baby chicken is beside himself with distress and yells, "Mommy, I have to go on the Potty!" At wits end, Mommy chicken puts baby chicken back in the car and pulls up around the corner to the gas station! Nana Chicken, in the passenger seat, is laughing uncontrollably by this time! So uncontrollably, she might have to use the Potty!

Finally, with Baby Chicken safely back in his carseat and properly Pottied, Mommy chicken removes her feathers and drives to Redmond looking more like a plucked chicken!

This story actually has several morals to it:

Never put a trained chicken in a diaper and expect him to use it!

Mommy chickens often have their feathers ruffled when dealing with their children, but should never take their feathers off!

Or

Nana Chickens know that these moments are the precious memories that make raising youngins so worth while!

P.S. News has it that Redmond was robbed of it's candy by a small flock of chickens on Halloween and the old one was cackling hysterically...all the way home!











Monday, October 17, 2011

Back In Time



This weekend my son, Chris and family, came to visit and do the Green Bluff Harvest Loop. There are so many farms to visit and fun things to do. One of the farms had a Petting Zoo. As Chris was showing Elliott how to feed the animals, I snapped this photo, not only on my camera but in my mind!

The year was somewhere around 1972 and my son Sandor was about Elliott's age. We had gone for a weekend trip to Natureland in New Hampshire to show him some critters. It is always more fun when you are showing things to your child. Somehow, it brings out your inner child no matter your age!

Darrel, his Dad, had bent down to show Sandor how to feed the goats. Darrel was much younger than Chris is now but the setting of the little corral, Dad and child and the slightly thinning hairline sent me back to 1972 bringing tears to my eyes!

It is that old feeling of Deja vu that all of us have now and again. A sight, a smell, something you hear or taste sends your mind tumbling through the years to another time and place, perhaps to a time when life was new. At 62, I was taken back to my early 20's, a young mother with all those years left to live. The tears were of joy and sadness. The joy of seeing my son Chris become such a wonderful father and the sadness of knowing that children grow up all too quickly.

The total dependency and pure love that a child and parent have disappears all too quickly. They learn to walk and talk and reason for themselves. The constant hugs and cuddles give way to curfews and a tug of war over their independence. If you are lucky, you hope to become a friend, which eases the transition a bit but that magic of childhood is lost forever...until you become a grandparent!

The Lord blesses us with those fleeting moments of hugs and cuddles and relieves us of the duties of  full time parenting. We can once again feel that pure love as a grandchild snuggles up close and says, "Nana, I love you more!" That is, of course, impossible because your love started many years before they were even born with their Mom or Dad, your very first cuddlers!




















  





                                                     

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Boxing, Tea and Cookies



Like most people, my memories start around age 4. My parents liked to party on the weekends, so I was shipped off to my grandmother's house. It was a big old house with wide painted boards on the floors and shear curtains and shades on the large windows. It was built around 1900 and had the drafty windows and poor insulation.

I can still remember the smell. The heat was coal, with a delivery chute on the side of the house. Eventually, they would upgrade to oil, which also smelled. A large grandfather clock stood at the foot of the stairs and it chimed on the hour. At night when all was quiet, you could clearly hear the ticking in the upstairs bedrooms.

The house was located near the fire station and at noon and 7pm  every day a loud horn would blow. I don't know if it was to test the horn or not, but it was extremely loud! It was enough to start your heart a racing and make your hair stand on end over your goose bumps! It was so loud, that it would still startle you even though you knew it was coming!

The house was one block over from the Guilford Green. Being in the East, most towns were built in a square pattern. The Green was the hub of the town with stores and churches bordering it. I guess out west, you would call it a park of sorts. There was no playground equipment, just sidewalks, statues and benches. A place of gathering and reflection with plenty of trees for shade. In earlier years, my great great grandfather, Burton Sperry, lit the gas lights that burned through the night to illuminate the area.

On one end of the Green, there was the Congregation Church that my great grandma attended. Everything was within walking distance of the house. I would often attend church with her and my parents were married there. She grew up in the town of Guilford, CT and loved to tell the tale of how she and her husband met. Back in those days, it was horse and buggy and church socials that brought people together and not the internet! After one of these socials, Burton Sperry Jr. asked if he could escort my g. grandma home in the buggy. It was the thrill of her lifetime! He bundled her up in blankets and furs and they snuggled together to keep warm. They were smitten from the start.

I loved being in that great big old house! My experiences there were always of days of old with the flavor of the new. It was quite the contrast. On Saturday evenings, my grandmother and great grandmother would settle into their chairs in the living room and watch TV. I chuckle now as to their choice of programs. The TV was small by today's standards,  had a rabbit ear antenna and would only get the local channels....at the time there were three!

The first program we watched was "Boxing"! Just two old ladies and me cheering on the boxers! Boxing back then was very graphic and was only in black and white! After an hour of boxing to get the blood flowing, Lawrence Welk came on! Oh, how they loved that show! Both of them loved to sing. My grandma, Marguerite, even played piano. Watching Lawrence Welk, ingrained all the old tunes in my curly topped head at a very early age! When I went home, the next week, my girlfriend, Ann and I would take turns pretending we were Lawrence's Champagne Lady!

Sometimes during the show, my grandma would play TicTacToe  with me. She didn't let me win too often, either! After a long night of watching TV (two hours), we would head out to the kitchen for our tea and cookies! My g. Grandmother(Nana), would fill the kettle with water and put it on the stove. Remember, there were no microwaves back then or even electric coffee pots!

We would hear the Church Clock tower chime 10:00pm, have our tea with milk and sugar and yummy shortbread cookies! I would listen to the two of them talk about the Boxing and what songs they liked best on the show. Thinking back, it was a very strange conversation for two ladies to have Boxing/Showtunes and with tea and cookies! I Loved Every Minute Of It!

It was then off to bed for my back scratch! Both of my grandmas had beautiful nails. No matter whose bed I slept in that night....I always got a nice back scratch to send me off to pleasant dreams!

They are both gone now, but the memory of those times are with me, always, The moonlight streaming through the sheer curtains, the church clock tower and grandfather clock chiming, Nana's comforting snores and the Boxing, tea and cookies! Love, safe and secure!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Who Rides The Toy Horses

In 1985, my husband and I divorced. He had a long time problem with alcohol and I was at the end of my coping skills. We had four wonderful children who I was devoted to every day of my life. My intent was for them all to be with me.

As with so many good intentions, mine were short lived. I had been a great mom. I did Cub Scouts, Girl Scouts, Theater with my kids, gave super birthday parties and did not work outside the home. I organized Food drives, yet didn't have a Driver's License. I walked or road my bicycle everywhere. I was in great shape, all except for the emotional!

I covered up the fact that their Dad drank to excess. I never made a big scene, just was a dutiful wife protecting my kids. As far as anyone knew, we were the perfect family! So how is it that he got 3 out of the 4 kids! I trusted him and he took advantage of my good nature to do some legal footwork with a psychologist that worked in the same school system. All of a sudden, I became the bad guy!

He even was so generous as to write the divorce papers and show me the rough draft...too bad that was not the paperwork I would actually sign! My oldest son, was very observant and refused to go with his dad. Thank the Lord for small miracles! He and his dad did not get along, so he came with me.

It was that summer, I rode the toy horses in the Park, long after the children had left with the dark! I felt very much the victim and had no resources to fight for my kids. I resolved to get stronger, believe in myself and pray for guidance.

I went back with him three years later. He had not changed but I missed my kids and I had changed! I was no longer a little door mouse. I had repaired my self image, become financially independent and would call it as I saw it! When Dad was drunk the kids would now know it. Those 3 years that he had them during the week had already opened their eyes to his drinking.

 We were back together as a family, dysfunctional but I tried harder to make up for any gaps. The year was 1988. He never changed. Promised he would go to AA and instead met his friends at a bar regularly. He hid bottles in the garage and time passed.

In June of 1994, he died of a massive heart attack and life went on. He was 47. I was 45.

That summer of 1985, I Rode The Toy Horses In The Park, Long After The Children Had Left With The Dark! It was the summer, we all lost our innocence.