Monday, February 28, 2011

Life and remembering our past

This morning as I logged into my computer, I immediately go to Facebook. Where did we all go before FB? There I saw an odd post from my cousin, just the name of her childhood friend, they started kindergarten together and here it is some 60 years later, that is another post. So being my flippant self I said something smart like " what is this name your childhood friend week?"

I immediately got an instant message from her. Her childhood friend, who she started kindergarten with, who she talked with about cute boys, who she told her most private secrets too, who was a cheerleader with in high school, who were bridesmaids in each others weddings, who she comforted when her teenage son died. Yes this friend whose family was well known in our small community, her mother was the librarian, had died....... commited suicide.

My heart broke for my cousin, for her friends family, friends, child. We have no other information just that she is gone, and her service will be on Saturday in a nearby town.

I have not seen this friend in years, but have so many fond memories of her, my youngest brother was the ring bearer at her wedding. I remember her and my cousin ironing their hair, and then ratting it up so high, and laughing, oh the laughter. For those of you who live in small towns or who grew up in one, you know how everyone knows everyone. We all knew each other, we all stopped in the store when we were kids with our moms and made small talk we all knew when something good or bad happened in thier lives.

Then we all grew up, moved on with our lives, married, had our own children, our town became bigger, our lives got busier with things to do, lot of things to do. We no longer stopped to talk with someone at the store, we no longer made the time to call someone.

We just got busy..... and with what? That is the question I have been asking myself today. Why are all of our lives so busy, spinning out of control at times and yet we have no time for people who are, were in our lives? No time to make that call, write that note, make that contact........

I will go to yet another funeral on Saturday.... say good bye to someone I have known and known about my entire life time. And I will ponder why did I not make the time, write the note.......

Our lives need to be about connecting with others, making a differce, leaving a legacy.... so the question I ask of not only you but myself today.... is just this,
When will we make the time, to make a differnce in someone else's life?? Something for not only me to ponder but for those around me also, I will be asking this of family, friends co workers...

Blessings to you and yours


Friday, February 25, 2011

Today is the day

Well today is the day, the day I have been writing about, dreading, trying to ignore. But it is here and let me tell you it is harder than I ever imagined. What? you say, today my son and his wife left to move on to bigger and better things.

Today is the day that Noah and Kristen left their home town, where they both grew up, went to school, made life long friends, met each other, dated, and got married, and today they left to move to Fresno California.

I kept it together at all of the going away/ good bye parties, smiling, laughing, telling myself that I would not let it out in public. But last night as I went to bed I had this over whelming sadness come over me. I know for those of you who have had their children move away, this is all old hat. But for me, for my world, for my life this is HUGE!! I have stated here that never in my wildest thoughts did I ever let myself come to grips with Noah moving. I knew in my head, because he has always told me he wanted to move away, but I in my Polly Anna and yes even MEN have Polly Anna thought processes would I let myself think that this would happen. Fast forward to today........ and the reality is OVERWHELMING.

For from today on we can never call them up on Saturday and say "Hey you want to meet us for breakfast?" From today on we can never call them up and say " Hey we are meeting at so and so's house want to come join us?" From today on they will not be able to make it to family birthday parties,(now don't tell my wife but this might be a plus for all of those toddler parties we are still attending). From today on there will be an empty place at the table when we have family dinners. From today on Face book, texts, phone calls, and twitter, yes I will learn how to twitter, will be our means of communication.

So today I am allowing myself to have a pity party, to cry, even sob, because my son has moved on to another city, because today I cannot drive over to my son's house to see him, because today my son has moved away.

But tomorrow and every day after I am going to continue to be proud, be excited, be the best cheer leader that I can possibly be. Because I know that is what my job is from this day forward. So starting tomorrow I will be happy for my kids, be joyful when they find a new Church home, be over joyed when they tell us of all of the wonderful new and exciting things they are find out about there new city of residence.

So I thank you for letting me vent today. I know that so many of you have already gone down this road before me and I will survive, I will.... but today I am missing my little blond headed boy who used to run out the front door when I came home from work to see, I miss that at times surly middle aged boy who was trying so hard to grow up, and today I am missing that wonderfully funny and fun young man that went to high school. And today I am missing my absolutely amazing son who has grown into a man that I am so proud of that I can hardly stand it. Today I am grieving just a bit for things the way they were and the way I wanted them to be......... as I have said in this blog before, Life is about changing NOTHING ever stays the same.... it is how we deal with those changes that makes the difference. So I sign off today sending Blessings to you and yours, and asking that you might send a prayer for my son and his wife settle into their new city............
Blessings to you and yours

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Saying Good Bye and Hello to new Adventures

This past Sunday we had a open house, good bye party for our son, Noah and his wife Kristen. It was at best bitter sweet...............

Sherrie, my wife, baked for 3 days, she had decided that it would be a dessert open house. We had cookies, cake, pies, candy, diabetic cake, the table was laden with all of the goodies. Myself, I was in charge of the beverages. I made my famous citrus punch, chilled the wine, made coffee, iced tea, and hot tea. I Made sure all the glasses were spotless, my OCD kicking in , I hate glasses with spots.

I was also responsible for the fresh flower arrangements. You cannot have a party in my humble opinion without fresh flowers, it just is the exclamation point on the table.

So we got everything ready, and actually we were done early, note to self this does not happen very often, more often than not we are putting the final touches on things as the first guest arrives. You know the old adage that we work better under pressure, NOT. But we do it anyway.

So we get to sit and talk a bit as we wait for the kids to arrive and then the guests.

We talk about what this move will do for our family structure, and holidays, and just talk. I mention that we will not be able to call them on Saturday mornings and say, Hey you want to meet us at our favorite local place for breakfast.... no more calling for impromptu invitations to dinner and all the things that we will not be doing once they move. And just in the nick of time, the door bell rings, I was starting to feel sad, gloomy, and viola!!! saved by the door bell. Noah and Kristen arrive, and with them excitement for this move, excitement for a new adventure, excitement for a huge promotion with the new job. I try to grab onto their excitement, be happy for them, I want to be as excited as they are.

The door bell continues to ring, old friends come by, family comes by, new friends come by and it is non stop from 2 pm all the way til 8:30 pm. Well wishes, hand shakes, hugs, kisses all around everyone sharing in the kids excitement, and I watch.
I watch my son, so proud of himself, and his wife that they are in this economy moving upward in his career, moving up in the salary structure. I watch as family and friends share the happiness and excitement with them. And for a moment in time I stop and tell myself, this is what you raised him for, this is what you always wanted for your son, for him to be happy in his career, for him to find someone to love and share his life with, for him to be independent. I take it all in and I smile for the first time that day I smile, because I feel for a moment in time that I might have got it right, made some good decisions along the way as he was growing up. I felt proud of the man my little boy has become, felt proud of the person he was and will continue to be. Felt proud of the person he chose for his wife, Kristen is his yang in the yin and yang of life, they fit together, they love each other.

And at the end of the day, end of the party, I knew they would be alright, that in this big world, these 2 kids will move on and make their mark on the world. I am so proud, and yet sad at the same time, this too will pass, we will make the trip to Fresno many times to see them, see their new life, and be proud of who they have become and smile as I watch them make their way in this journey called life.
Blessings to you and yours

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Valentine's Day the day after Post

I was going to do this post yesterday but the day got away from here it is.

Yesterday was Valentine's Day..... begin the harps and love song melodies...... And while we do celebrate this day and love it, I want to propose something else, something more.

What would happen if we celebrated our loved ones every day? If we took the time to stop and tell them that we love them? we appreciate them? I for one think the world just might be a better place. We seem to have time for everything else.... television, computer games, running errands, so why don't we make time for LOVE?

It is my hope that maybe just maybe this year you would leave a love note for your spouse, child, parent, just because. That you would buy your significant other flowers just because, and if the season is right you don't have to buy them you can just pick a bouquet right from your own yard, or if you have a nice neighbor who has an abundance of flowers you might be able to talk them out of some flowers.

Taking the time to make others feel special, appreciated needs to be done all the time not just one day a year.

So take the time, make the time, make a plan, just do it!!! Make someone feel loved, appreciated, thought of, it will make their day!

Here is to hoping that this year you celebrate LOVE all year long!

Blessings to you and yours
Curtis & Sherrie


Friday, February 11, 2011

Northern California and Beautiful Weather!

I live in Northern California, the REAL Northern California. We are up on the far end of the state and it is BEAUTIFUL up here. Lots of tree's, fresh air, lakes, mountains, and wild life, I just LOVE it here and really cannot imagine living anywhere else.

We have had for the last 3 weeks weather that is just beyond words. While the rest of the country is surviving in blizzards, and temperatures below zero, we have been basking in 65 to 75 degree weather. The sun has shined and we have loved it!!!

While we do get snow, lots of rain, and at times in the summer, blistering hot weather, it can get to 115 and on rare occasions even 120 degrees here in the summer. But truth be told we only have those extremes for about 3 weeks. The rest of the time we have the best of all worlds weather wise.

Where else can you, in February sit on your deck and enjoy a glass of wine with the sun shining on your warming you to the deepest depths of your soul? Or where else can you work in your yard, and then go to the nursery and be disappointed because they do not have any flowers for you put out.... but then it is February...

I putter around my yard looking for signs that the ground has warmed up enough to get my bulbs pushing up from the earth, I trim my roses in hopes that come April, May I will have arm loads of blooms to bring to my wife to put in vases around our house so that it perfumes our home. I only grow roses that are both beautiful and fragrant.... no slackers allowed! Nothing makes me smile more than having grown my own flowers to grace our home. At this time of year I do buy hot house blooms, only because I need, want to be able to have fresh flowers in our home. It just makes me smile when I have fresh flowers to see, smell, and enjoy.

So as I read blogs from others across the country dealing with snow as tall as my fence, and temperatures so cold I cannot even imagine... I smile and try not to gloat that we are having such wonderful weather. And really I do wonder why people live in places where weather is like that ??? so cold ? My brother lives in South Dakota, and I talk to him weekly, he always asks what the weather is like and then gets grouchy when I tell him. What is wrong with him ??? He was raised here in this area of great weather..... oh yeah his wife is from South Dakota and loves it there..

I need to get that glass of wine and sit on my deck for these last few days of this impostor Spring as I call it. Because next week we will have cold temperatures, oh my, down in the 50's and it will be raining, but we need the rain. I want all of my roses, hosta's, and bulbs to be watered by a gentle rain...... My wife and I do love a good rain storm, fire place blazing with the rain coming down washing everything making it new and clean.... ahhhh!!!

Oh yeah if you are thinking about moving here, well don't.... I mean you would not want to put up with the extreme heat in the summer now would you??? Disregard my bragging about our wonderful weather in February..... oh for the glorious Sun!!!
Blessings and Sunshine to you and yours

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Kids all grown up

So we have had a week to digest the news that our oldest son is moving to a new city, not a long time but enough time for it to sink in.

We are both so proud and excited for our son and his wife, our buttons are bursting!! Noah is a good kid, has always had a plan, and always worked that plan, so it was no surprise when he decided it was time to move on that he got so many interviews, all over the United States. We are just feeling so blessed that he accepted the offer that keeps he and his wife in California.

My wife Sherrie and I have had long discussions about them moving, what it means to us, to them, and how it affects our life as parents and one day grand parents.

You see we chose to live here in Redding because that is where our family is. Our sons were able to get to know their Great Grandparents, spend time with both sets of Grandparents and form relationships with them. We felt that the connection to family was very important and that being able to spend time with them in person was the only way to forge that bond.

Fast forward 26 years,with the Internet, skype, face book, twitter, and all of the other electronic things that we have today you can still forge a relationship with people. Now a little disclaimer, I do not think that the relationship is as good as being able to see, feel, laugh, cry with someone in person. But it will be our option for keeping in touch with them as they continue on in their journey called life.

So my wife and decided that we will have to make the change, get more computer savvy, and come into the new generation of relationships. I do not go into this without reservation, but I will try.

Life has a way of always keeping you on your toes doesn't it? I mean who knew, say 5 years ago that I would be writing a blog? Let alone writing about feelings, and intimate family dynamics? But we all change, and it is a good change.

The day my mother died 16 years ago, as I was leaving the hospital, I turned on the radio in the car and a song came on that I had not heard before, the singers catch phrase was: "Life is about changing nothing ever stays the same". It was so difficult to hear those words that day as my life had changed dramatically.

And now some 16 years later I find myself telling myself this same thing, Curtis life is about changing nothing ever stays the same. And for the good or bad, life does change, it is how we meet these changes that makes a difference. We can fight them or decide that maybe.....just maybe ..... this change will be good for me, make me a better person, make me see something that I have not seen before.....

So I hope that life continues to change, continues to make me grow, continues to offer more opportunities because of the change. I by nature do not like change, but I will try harder to embrace it and welcome it into my life. God has a plan, He is in control, so I just need to be able to live and let go.....

How about you? Do you embrace change? Look for the good in it? Or are you like me just a little, and resist the change a bit? I hope that we all can grow from change be it good or bad, because as the song says...........
Life is about changing NOTHING ever stays the same.
Blessings to you and yours