Category Archives: Family

Home for the holidays 2013

I started working on my blog yesterday. I picked the book and sketched my mind map, but the day’s events kept invading. Distracting me, blocking my thoughts.

First on my calendar was the closing on our Colorado house. That required no participation by us. However, I imagined the new owners experiencing their first day in the dwelling that had been our home for nine years. A good home. One we were comfortable in. Now theirs. I hoped they enjoy it as much as we did. That they form good friendships, appreciate the neighbors, relax by the pond. I did. I’m trading all that for new options—the blank journal pages of my life.

Next on my calendar was the move-out inspection from our California apartment. Our temporary home. Comfortable enough, but where were the friends and the memories? No time to accumulate those. Merely a few weeks in limbo. Weeks that gave me time to acclimate to northern California, remember the busy traffic, and experience record low temperatures.

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Hillside view

Finally, my agenda ended with the appointment to sign documents for our next home. The one we plan to make comfortable. Our dreams swirl around this next building—a condo this time because taking care of outside space isn’t our thing. But it has two balconies from which to watch the birds soar in the thermals against the hillside and enjoy the sunsets. A change of scenery. A chance to make new friends. Another phase of life.

But those dreams must wait until Thursday to begin. California’s closing process works that way. So I’m still on hold, waiting. Dreaming. But not focusing hard enough to write about the book I recently read. Hopefully I’ll do that next month when I am in our new home. Until then we’ll make it our home for the holidays.

How’s your holiday home? Is it familiar? Have you made changes?

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Birthdays in the era of social media

I celebrated my birthday yesterday. Along with many of my friends. Thanks to Facebook, I received greetings and well wishes throughout the day. Every new message lifted my spirits. I smiled at each ding of my cell phone alerting me to activity. Talk about an ADD experience. Getting dressed—ding. Eating lunch—ding. Enjoying downtown Fort Collins—ding. What fun!

Never before have I felt connected to so many at one time. Having a summer birthday has always meant being out of school and nowhere near my buddies who celebrated together throughout the year. So sad. As I got older, it meant everyone scattered for vacations and I partied with a few. Not as sad.

But now—Facebook as electronic party thrower. What a thrill.

Roses from David

Roses from David

So, thanks to everyone who gave me a ding yesterday. I had a great time and felt blessed by all of you. May your birthday be as happy.

What about you? How has social media affected your celebrations?

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Well done, good and faithful servant

Ensign James F. Trawick

Ensign James F. Trawick

The earthly journey ended last week for my father-in-law, Commander James F. Trawick (USN Ret.). Also known as Jim, Jim-Jim, and Dad, he went to heaven on Monday, January 28, 2013, and was buried next to his wife, Eunice, at Memory Garden in Brea, California, on Saturday, February 2.

I’d never been to a military funeral and the respect these servicemen showed one of their own impressed me. Six men drove from San Diego to Brea to give a proper send off to Dad. As the flag-draped coffin approached the gravesite, one sailor saluted and two others walked behind. The minister shared stories from Dad’s life—silly jokes he was known for, his love for teaching his Sunday School class, and his work with the Gideons.

When the minister finished, the three-gun volley pounded into the sky like a sledgehammer to my heart. Thwack, thwack, thwack. The bugler slid into Taps and a sob hiccupped from deep in my chest with absolutely no warning.

Finally, the folding of the flag. With precise hand movements and a white-gloved hand running along the folds, the sailor moved forward and folded again. He presented the flag to the Captain, who saluted and took it, then the sailor saluted.

I sat behind my husband as the Captain knelt in front of him, presented the flag, looked him in the eye, and solemnly said, “On behalf of the President of the United States and the Chief of Naval Operations, please accept this flag as a symbol of our appreciation for your loved one’s service to this Country and a grateful Navy.”

Funeral of Commander James F. Trawick (USN Ret.)

Funeral of Commander James F. Trawick (USN Ret.)

The sailors quietly slipped away as the funeral finished. They were as humble in this duty as Dad was in his. Not many knew he received a bronze star in World War II for ordering his crew to return fire when the enemy attacked their ship. He certainly wouldn’t tell you.

I’ll miss Dad. As will his three children, five grandchildren, six great-grandchildren, sons-in-law, and friends.

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Home for the holidays

Exactly where is that? Every day I’m at home with my husband and dog, visiting with friends nearby, or hanging out in my favorite places. During the holidays, other homes beckon. Birth family home being one of them. This year, that’s where I’m headed. We’re converging on Mom’s house in Arkansas where we’ll pig out on good Southern food to the point we have to loosen our jeans, laugh until our stomach hurts for another reason, catch up face to face, and maybe have a snit or two. That’s what family’s all about: being comfortable and safe with those who love you and knowing they’ll forgive you even when you get testy. Did anyone say pie?

The three girls

The three girls

Where’s your home for the holidays?

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Hugs

My grandmother Annabelle died over fifteen years ago, but she hugged me last night. Sleep evaded me and I snuggled beneath the covers, pulling the top layer under my chin. The nubby texture flooded my mind with memories stored within the stitches of the afghan my grandmother crocheted for me when I was in my teens.

I don’t know why she picked the colors she did. Well, one color’s yellow and my sister and I shared a yellow bedroom. I think I might have had something to do with that. But brown and orange? I haven’t a clue. Other than that bedroom, it’s never matched any decorating scheme of mine. Yet it’s always found a place on a couch, in a chair, or on my bed.

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Daisy Belle enjoys Annabelle’s afghan

It’s still going strong. A testament to the durability of sports weight yarn. I’ve washed it hundreds of times in the thirty plus years I’ve carried it around the world. Created on a farm in Arkansas, it’s been to Germany and three states. Six apartments, six houses, and one condo. It’s also been slept on by my four Westies, the most recent named Daisy Belle. Grandmother would have liked that.

Sweet dreams.

What are your favorite memories of your grandmother?

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