Friday, September 17, 2010

Milestones and birthday celebrations

Yesterday my wonderful Mother In Law celebrated her 74th birthday. Ruby or mom, grandma as we all call her is the BEST mother in law a man could ever have.

She raise three wonderful children, two sons, and her wonderful daughter, my wife. She is the most unassuming person you would ever meet. She never wants the spotlight on her always preferring it to be on someone, anyone else. But not on her birthday. We all come to celebrate her birthday. The boys and their wives, my wife and I , it is a small party. Both of my wife's brothers live in other states and they are not able to participate in the celebration, but they are there in spirit.

My mother in law is always there to lend support, love, give of her time. She watched our sons when they were babies and toddlers, as my wife and I worked. She would never consider having us bring the boys to her home oh no, she wanted them to be in their own home with their things and in their surroundings every day. She loves our boys with abandon, I could go on telling stories of the things she has done for our boys through the years to make their lives better but I could not type that many letters... suffice it to say she is a WONDERFUL grandmother.

So last night we celebrated with this wonderful woman, my wife's mother her birthday, with dinner, cake, ice cream, presents. Mom really would have just preferred that we just come for dinner, no presents, no fuss, just having us all together around her dinner table makes her happy.

So as I write this today, I am humbled by this wonderful woman, my mother in law, mom, my wife's mother, my son's grandmother. I am not only humbled by her wonderful spirit, but by her undying love for her family, her husband of 56 years, her grandchildren, her daughter and her third son, yes I consider her my mother, I have known my mother in law, for over 40 years.... So mom Happy Birthday, I love you, for loving me, for raising a wonderful daughter and for loving our son's. You are one of a kind and WE all love you.

Love Curtis

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Fall and all its Glory

The weather is getting cooler here in our part of the country. The mornings are cool and crisp, you have to have a light jacket on to go outside, the leaves are just starting to turn, oh glorious Fall.

Every season has it's own unique and wonderful quirks. But Fall is probably my favorite time of the year. We are coming off of the busy summer season, tired from running every weekend. When Fall arrives it is a nice ah ha moment, we all sit a spell, take a deep breath and just relax.

I look forward to the leaves changing and falling , I don't even mind raking the leaves it is a relaxing activity for me. The musty smell of the earth cooling off and moist damp air. Inside the house we cozy up, bring out the Fall throws to warm ourselves with, anticipate the first fire in the fireplace, and yes we actually do burn wood, in a real fireplace not a gas or propane one. The smell of wood burning, sugar cookie candles burning, a roast in the crock pot, a hot steaming cup of coffee aah glorious Fall.

My wife and I look forward to getting out our Fall wreaths, and decorations, we change out the whole house for every season and they are all special but as I said Fall is my favorite. We bring in the warm accent colors of Fall, rust, burgundy, browns, oranges, golds, all warm and inviting to the eye. We make sure that there are lots and lots of candles and we light them all in the evening just to make the house look warm and inviting. We bring in some of the outdoors in, I gather wild grapevines with their leaves still on and use them to decorate the deck and also use them to wrap around our chandeliers, we bring in pine cones, placing them around the house under cloches, on trays, on the mantle, all around to remind us of God's wonder and bounty. Aah Fall how I love thee.

So how do you enjoy Fall? What do you do that makes the transition from Summer to Fall? I would love to hear how others celebrate this wonderful glorious season.
Blessings to you and yours Curtis & Sherrie

We entertain more in the Fall, our house is better adapted for Fall and Winter entertaining, we have a swamp cooler so the summers are too hot for most people. But Fall and Winter we light up the fireplace, light the candles and just enjoy our family and friends.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Life and it's ebbs and flows, the passing of a loved one

Last weekend on Sunday September 05, 2010 my father's brother Charlie passed. As I sit here remembering my childhood there are not very many situations or events that my Uncle Charlie was not part of.

We as a family spent many hours together, camping, hunting, boating, skiing, swimming, breaking bread, and working. Yes working, my Uncle was a self employed fixer of all things and as all of us boys became teenagers and needed/ wanted money, Uncle Charlie always had a job for us to do that he would pay us for. I roofed, pulled weeds, swept, mopped, stacked wood, and did all kind of manual labor for him. He taught me about work ethic, and would on more than one occasion make me do the job over to his satisfaction, to my dismay I might add. But he did teach me about work and its rewards.

He also taught all of us about community, and volunteering, making life better for others who were not as fortunate as we were. You could always call on him to volunteer his time, money, and talent to anything that needed to be done in our small community. As we drive through our small community, you can see tangible evidence of things that he worked on, the Little League fields, the Community Center, the high school football field, and stands. If he could not do the actual labor he could be seen getting others to donate their time and money for community events. He at times appeared to be tireless, always willing to help out.

He and my Aunt were married for 63 years, a very long time. Theirs was not a perfect marriage, not many marriages that I know of are. But it was constant, steady and they loved each other deeply, an example for all of us who followed them into our own marriages. Uncle Charlie had dementia, which in my opinion the worst of all diseases, it robs you of your memory, of the connection to those you love, but those who loved him did not lose their connection. My Aunt went to the hospital every day for 8 months, making sure that he was taken care of, bringing him his meals from home, helping him to eat, loving him, caring for him, being the steady rock for him. His youngest son would also go to the hospital to see his dad, at times waking up with just the feeling that his dad needed him at that time and he would go, taking care of the man who took care of him. Again an example for all of us and our loved ones, to take care of each other, love each other, be there for each other, forgiving each other so that we can do this.

So this week as I have reflected on a life that touched mine in many ways always with love and the wanting of better for me and my family. I have realized just how lucky I was to have been a part of Charlie Chipley's family, how much he and his wife, my Aunt Sue mean to me and my family, and just how much I learned from him through out my life.

I will always love him, love Aunt Sue and their children and grandchildren, because we are all family, no matter the distance between us and there are many miles that separate all of us, we are all tied together by love.

So with this I say so long for now Uncle Charlie you are in a better place, and I will see you again one day. As you are up in heaven with my mom, your mom, your father and countless other family members, smile down on us left here, knowing that all of you who have gone on before us will be there to greet us as they greeted you; into the gates of Heaven. God Speed Uncle Charlie, may you now have the Peace that surpasses all understanding. I love you.

Love your Nephew Curtis

Wednesday, September 8, 2010


I must start off by saying that I have had a dry spell and have not been able to write anything for a while and for this I apologize. But this past week has been a life lesson for me, yes you can learn a life lesson even at the age of 53.

And what life lesson is it that you learned you ask??? Well I learned more about words, and how they are used, and interrupted, and how they can soothe someone or cut them to the bone even though that was not the intent. And I learned that those we love the most can be hurt the most by our words, and that my friends is a difficult and hard lesson to learn at any age.

We use words every day, and yet we do not often think about how they are received by the people around us. We say things at times without thinking of the consequences or the impact that they have on those around us. My mother always told us that if we did not have anything nice to say to not say anything at all. This is a very good life lesson, and one that I need to adhere to.

We all say things that we do not think will be hurtful, because in our lack of sensitivity we do not know how any other person will respond to those words, we do not know where that person may be in that particular time of their life, or where they have come from. We say things that we may not find offensive or hurtful, but they can be to others. So .... I learned a very hurtful and hard lesson that I need to make sure that MY words are never hurtful, never mean, never intentionally disrespectful to others. That MY words are comforting, loving, soothing, and that they make the other person walk away feeling loved, appreciated and glad that they made my acquaintance.

I am a very soft hearted person, some say that I wear my feelings on my sleeve, I cry at commercials, weddings, baptisms, in church, heck I cry everywhere! It is because I at times can feel others pain, I have empathy for others, and truly care for people. So when this week end I said words, that hurt another person, I was absolutely crushed, because I have lived my life caring for other people. I would never want to be the one who hurt someone else, yet because of my insensitivity I did just that.

Once the words leave your mouth you can never take them back, and even though you may apologize for them the hurt and pain that they may have caused it still evident to those around you. My wife has a saying and says it all the time because I am always saying I wish this person would do....... and her response is always the same ," You cannot control other people's behavior". She is so right, I cannot control other people's behavior but I can sure control mine.

So as I close this posting, that I must say is not very easy to write.... I ask all of us including myself to always make sure that the words that come from our mouth are kind, gentle, gracious, loving, and comforting. Because once they have left our mouth. they can never be taken back, and sometimes the hurt they cause can be so deep that it may never be healed completely.

Blessings to you and yours