Wednesday, November 19, 2014

White Delight

Our Montana-born boy loves the snow.

With giddy delight, he watched the first fluffy snowflakes twirled down from the evening sky.

Soon he was gathering up snow gear.  Within an hour, he was outside with his little sister teaching her the delights of fresh snow.  I could only see the occasional twinkle of lights from their sleds as they zipped down the hills in the backyard.  They paused for a few moments to create a friendly snowman outside our door.  Red cheeks, big smiles, and twinkling eyes~it was infectious!


The next morning a couple more inches had accumulated and Mr. Snowman greeted me!


Snow Day!  
They were both up and outside by 7:30 AM playing in the snow.  A couple hours later they reappeared for breakfast, and disappeared again with friends.

From snowball ambushes to sledding to snowboarding to cool snow forts...two very tired kids tumbled back into the house at dusk and gathered around the warm fire.


After four long years without snow, Kade was in his element!


Monday, October 27, 2014

Weekend Hockey Action

In the late afternoon, on a picture perfect fall day in Indianapolis, a high school hockey game kept us entertained.  At 2-3, we watched the action closely~being down by only one goal.  However, the clock was ticking at 00:02:46 when a line change put Kade back on the ice.  The puck was dropped in our zone and the puck flew towards the goal, and in the the blink of an eye, our son put the puck in the back of the net~tying the game!  Our team cheered enthusiastically, but his sister went crazy!

The puck was dropped at center ice.  The team quickly gained possession again and within seconds the play was repeated!!  Unbelievably, Kade had scored twice and our team was in the lead.  Then the puck dropped again at center ice with the opposing team still scrambling from the energy generated by the sudden switch in events, and we gained control of the puck once again and the captain put it in the back of the net.  In less than 30 seconds~the team scored three times!

A time out paused the action.  Then the battle ensued for the final two minutes.  In the final seconds of the game, the goalie came off the ice as the opposing team battled in their zone.  Our captain gained possession of the puck and fighting into our zone managed to score again on the empty net!  The final score 6-3.

A memorable comeback.

An unbelievable comeback at the high school level.

It goes to show what a little teamwork can accomplish!

*********

So, I sit here this morning with the game puck that the goalie presented to Kade after the game~ remembering the tears of utter joy that welled up and how my hands were shaking as I tried to text the updates...so excited for the team...so excited for the boys who battled hard on the ice all weekend...so excited for my son!


Monday, October 13, 2014

A Ball and a Boy

Many years ago, we stopped to visit my grandmother in her little white house beneath the towering trees.  She had lived alone since the passing of my grandfather.  My kids livened up her home a bit, but she was good-natured about it.



My little boy was fascinated by the way his great-grandmother did things.  His favorite was her rubber band ball.  After our stay, he decided he wanted one too, so he started collecting rubber bands, but he quickly realized that it took a long time to make a big ball.  He would mention great-grandma's rubber band ball from time to time through the years.  When grandma moved into the nursing home, her children had the task trying to sift through the years.  My mother asked me if there was anything special I would be interested in (if no one else was).  I told her my son would be delighted to inherit the rubber band ball.  She brought it home for him, and he was so delighted! His fascination was unabated.

I unpacked the beloved ball yesterday.  I held it carefully, as it is starting to show signs of age.

My mind drifted to the stories of a young girl with 10 brothers and sisters, living through the great depression and learning to be frugal to survive.  Years ago she shared one of her favorite memories of those years with me. She recalled that on Sundays all the neighbors would come together, each bringing the best food they had to share~making a feast that ensured all the kids had one good meal for the week. On each Sunday they gathered to feed each other and maybe even more importantly, they enjoyed the reprieve from the hardships of daily life when they paused to visit and eat.  They created bonds for a lifetime on those afternoons.  They would see a need and lend a hand without asking.  Even as the years got easier, the camaraderie remained strong.  They walked together during the hard times, holding each other up, and I didn't understand until that day why my grandmother was so diligent in lending a helping hand to a neighbor in need.

As a young girl my grandmother worked for a family cooking and cleaning before her knight in shining armor made her his life partner.  She worked hard on their family farm and never took that for granted.  She understood hardship.  I always remember her beautiful, bountiful garden and how she would transform those vegetables into a feast.  I loved her meals.  I loved her green beans.  She could made everything the best.  I still crave green beans like hers...and mashed potatoes...oh and don't forget the gravy!  All my cousins will readily chime in with their memories of her cooking~it is one thing we can all agree on!

When I was in college I remember, a man and his wife introducing themselves to me, knowing I was her granddaughter.  They wanted to share their story of how they enjoyed my grandmother's cooking and compassion.  You see, when they were struggling college students and food was scarce, she would always invite them to stay for dinner after church on Sunday.  They described the bountiful feast she prepared in great detail...the rich aroma and savory taste.  They would eat until they were bursting at the seams--their empty stomachs grateful for the feast. It would help carry them through the week until her next invitation on Sunday.  Now they stood with me, years later, well established in life and careers with their children grown, but they never forgot those Sunday dinners at grandma's house.  They marveled at how she intuitively understood their struggle~she never said a word just prepared an abundance of food to share and extended the warm invitation.

The rubber bands are cracking, so I gently roll the ball in my hands.  Funny how something so small and perhaps insignificant to the casual observer has become so important to us.  I am grateful that as a small child, my son saw the value.  As I study all those rubber bands wound carefully together through the years, I realize that it symbolizes our family and our memories.  We are wound together in love, for better or for worse, but always there when needed.




Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Pumpkin Patch

Last year we missed our annual trek to a pumpkin patch.

Kade was adamant that we not miss the fun this year.

Luckily just a few miles down the road, a farm welcomes pumpkin seekers and offers lots of fun.

The petting zoo residents were resting in the late Sunday afternoon warmth~even the baby goats were quietly dozing and had no interest in rising for visitors.

The next stop was the barn loft where Chayse zipped down the slide into the fresh straw.


Swinging from the rope was fun too!


Soon we were bouncing down the road in the wagon on our "straw" ride to the pumpkin field.  Yes, dad, that is a Farmall tractor at the helm!


Once we reached the field everyone was off in search of the perfect pumpkin!  This is no small challenge.


Success for my happy pumpkin pickers!


Chillin' in the wagon.


The landscape made this farm girl smile.


And it also made me buy cornstalks, but I had to try to find the shortest ones!  Indiana corn is very tall...too tall for transporting efficiently!

Now we are ready to embrace October.



Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Finally...


The first colors of fall are emerging in my backyard.  

I stand in the crisp morning air, and I can hear the nuts falling from the trees.  

I watch as the squirrels scamper about collecting their winter food.

Oh fall, how I have missed thee.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

An Excuse for Cake

I love birthdays.  I do not like to count birthdays, but I love a celebration of life and family. 


As the brisk fall air settled into the late Sunday afternoon, dinner for 10 was served on the deck.  Beef tenderloin, baked potatoes, and asparagus were on the menu, complimented by a fine cabernet sauvignon.

Scrumptious.


The cake.

No ordinary German chocolate cake.

It was made with lots of love and fresh ingredients in my kitchen with a master baker and a chatty princess whose excitement was spilling out of her!

 The cake was fluffy.  The frosting was perfect.  

Divine.


This little girl loved ALL the birthday preparations for her mommy.  She wrapped her present with so much love.  Her eyes twinkled, her feet danced, and her face glowed with anticipation all day.  Her enthusiasm was infectious!


I still can't believe I live down the road from this "little" sister.  It has been years since we have been together on this birthday.


Finally it was time for cake, and another sweet face, as the sun slowly went down on a perfect birthday evening!

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Thursday, September 18, 2014

A Teenage Smile

"Kiahra, do you know what love is?"

She looks at me quizzically, as she climbs out of her car.

"Love is standing at the checkout in Walmart and thinking, 'My daughter would love it if I brought home some cheesy pretzels,' and then turning around and walking clear to the back of the store to get those pretzels."