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Oh how I long for the olden day

when you always considered what you’d say

took into your heart what others would feel

told of only feelings real.

no arguing about what was right or wrong

you knew it already, your upbringing strong

your parents taught you morals and how to love

and you learned about and believed in God above

yes that is how I was brought up

but for me that was not enough

I taught all  my children the very same

and they teach theirs not in vain

it will be passed along for generations to come

all because of just one

many years ago in the family line

I’m glad that family was, is, and will be mine.

 

Kezzah 1776-1860

 

From my Grandmother Kezziah of many greats back,

to  my youngest grandchild          20170808_135525 Black and White Jaden for WP

 Love, patience, family, & God

has been our way of life.

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Daily, Well maybe…

When I first started writing my blog it was because I had figured I wrote everyday anyway so why not share some of it with others. I thought I had things others would be interested in and maybe sometimes I might even help some one with something through my words and insight. So off I went on my journey down the “Daily” blog road and at the first turn hit a wall. It was that word. DAILY. DAILY. All of a sudden there was nothing to write about DAILY. What? It was easy before I committed to it. Now, suddenly, my life was boring, my mind was blank and I felt like a fool. How could this happen. My career as a blogger was done. I no longer could write any thing let alone something someone else might be interested in. I put away my thoughts of  becoming awe inspiring through my wisdom with words. A week went by. I was bored. A friend called. The pen by the phone seemed to navigate to my fingers as we talked. I scribbled, I drew trees, then buildings then mountains as we carried on our conversation and made plans for lunch the following day. I hung up the phone and went back to my computer. I thought anyone who can conquer mountains while planning lunch can surly write a blog. I began writing and the words came easily. They didn’t come out in a blog daily but I felt if I just left that word out of the equation I’d do just fine. So folks daily I’m not but I hope when I add something new to my pages you will get something out of what I write. Of late, I have written nothing again. When I follow up this post, you’ll understand. but for now, it’s late, I’m tired and I’m headed for bed because you see, its my blog, I can finish anytime I want, write as much or as little as I want and get back to you on my time frame. So any of you others out there that feel intimidated by that little word, daily, or feel you are obligated to anyone but yourself when doing your blog, relax. Just relax, enjoy your writing and it will come to you. Have a wordless day? They will flow like a river tomorrow. I’ll say good night now and I hope you all will return tomorrow. My silence has had many pages.

Another Post on Finding Time

A subject that I have been seeing a lot about on WP lately is “Finding time to write.”  Most days there is just not enough time in my day to actually sit down and write. Finding time just doesn’t happen. Right now, I have laundry in the dryer waiting for me to get it out, laundry in the washer on hold waiting for me to add to the load because I only brought out part of it, three dogs waiting for a bath which they need desperately, a daughter working on her “first house” which is a twenty-two foot travel trailer that she is remodeling to make herself a tiny home because she can’t find a place to rent that she can afford, who is in and out with questions and ideas running them past me for my input on what she is doing, a wall in the family room waiting to be painted before we finish moving book cases and furniture into a different but more effective arrangement which was mainly brought on because of a desire to make the music room a little more spacious by moving the piano which is waiting to be done yet too. Along with all the above I still have outside things that need to get done before we get any further into the cold season, a jewelry project on hold, two quilts on hold but I finally did get my sewing machine replaced so I can sew again and, and by the way, have two other sewing projects that I’m working on hold because my machine had failed me, one of which is a skirt for me and the other a jacket. Find time to write, no. Take time to write is the only way I can get it done. My daughter and husband are both outside at the moment and I’m sure they would question why I’m sitting here at the computer when there is so much to do,if they were to come in,so this post is going to be “short but sweet” as they say, because they could come in at any moment. The sweet part being that I did sit and I did write. Maybe it’s not too interesting to most but this is the way a day goes around here and I think I hear them coming. Looks like it might be lunch time so I’d better get to it and then get on with the rest of today. Oh yes, and that also means to be cleaned up, looking vibrant and full of energy by five o’clock with dinner over with and the mess cleaned up so we can go to open mike tonight at six. I guess what this post is about is that you may not be able to readily find that special time to write so the only thing to do is “TAKE IT” or it may never happen

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I guess “Multi-Tasking” in this case really isn’t an option. Okay, no, I wouldn’t put my dog in the washer so I think we’ll stay home tonight and skip open mike.  Maybe I can get the dogs bathed and write another post too.

Along With Writing……Living Our Dreams

My Dad passed away in March 2009.  For as long as I can remember he played the mandolin. Many of those years, as a youngster, I would hop up on the kitchen counter into the  corner where the two came together  and listen to him, my uncles and my aunts play and sing on Saturday nights. Of course, that was after we all took in the Grand Ole Opry program on TV. While all the other kids, and there were a bunch of us, ran off to play I was always hanging out to listen to the music.   I was really quite shy as a youngster and although I wanted so badly to play guitar and sing, I just simply didn’t have the courage to ask anyone to teach me. I loved country music. I loved the twang of it and the songs that spoke of so much about life. I could picture myself on that Grand Ole Opry stage singing my heart out to a Patsy Cline or Kitty Wells song.  Loretta Lynn and Tammy Wynette  were two more of my favorites. The songs telling stories of such tragic heartache could bring me to almost tears and reached way down deep into my soul pulling at a heartache I had never understood.  I identified with the singer and the songs as if I had been right there during each  and every hopeless love loss or as if I were the bearer of the news that would tear their world apart. Yes, I loved it all. This love stayed with me throughout my life but I never did get a chance to do anything but listen. However, sometimes, if you wait and keep your dreams in your heart, things can change.  About the same time I took up writing, I mean really writing for others to read, I also started singing, out loud.  Like everything else I did, although I sang often, I kept it to myself. I didn’t sing if anyone could hear me or if I even suspected that anyone might be listening.  Now though, music is a part of our lives. We have a “Music Room.”  Well,  sort of music room.  I guess I should fill in a little here with how that came about.  My husband, Steve, has always had guitars but they stood in the closet and it seemed he never had time to play. When we married, between the two of us, we had six kids in the house, his two three of mine, and our grand daughter.  We also had numerous dogs and soon a small farm, with chickens, ducks, sheep, rabbits and oh, so much more through the years. Eventually Steve was working two jobs.  By that time we had switched to horses and all the activities included with them. He called this time of our lives a “study in intensive manure  management.”  Once in a while he would drag one of his guitars out, sit on the edge of the bed and strum some part of some song and then put it away again. He often thought back to the day when, while working at a clothing store, he met Bonny Guitar and was actually offered a chance to go on the  road and play bass with her band. Because of his situation at that time, he wasn’t able to take her up on it. I know he has dreamed of what it would have been like to tour the country and be in a band.  I tried often to encourage him to get his guitar out and play. Still, he played about as often as I sang.  Then, before my Dad passed away, he gave me his mandolin and I had decided I was going to learn to play it.  That idea didn’t last long because my brother came to go through a few things after dad passed and said he  wanted the mandolin. I didn’t argue. Not wanting to make a big deal out of it or cause hard feelings, I gave it to him. But I still wanted to learn and I bought myself another mandolin. So now I had to work at it, no excuses and if I was going to, so I thought, should Steve. Logically, my next thought was,  if we were going to work at it we needed a place to keep our instruments handy. I looked at him one day and said, ” I need some help moving furniture.”  Like he usually did, he pitched right in without question and helped me. Then it dawned on him that I was moving all the dining furniture out of the dining room and into the living room.

“What are you doing?” he finally asked.

“Well, I think we need a place to play our instruments so, I’m making one. Can you and I move the piano by ourselves?”

“Not easily, but we can if it’s not too far.” he replied

So with that we got  the piano moved around the corner and into the dining area. We rearranged the stereo equipment, the record and CD cabinets, and brought in a couple of chairs, the kind you can sit on to play. It was almost done. We brought out the couple of old guitars and stands that we had and sat them among the chairs.

“TA DA!”  I was overjoyed with myself .  Then we actually started playing something every day.  After all we had done, how could we not.

It was shortly after he retired and one day while out and about  we went to the music store as I had picked up a saxophone for our grandson and it needed reeds. Just planning for his future in music, I said to myself. While I was getting the reeds, Steve busied himself looking at guitars. He really wanted a bass. His had been sold long before I came into his life. So I told him, I hadn’t gotten him his retirement gift yet as I wasn’t sure what was best. “What about a bass guitar?” I asked. “What about that “Fender” up there?”

“No, that’s too much money for one guitar.  At my age, I don’t need that expensive guitar but how about this bass over here and then I could get this Telecaster too?”  He was on a role and enjoying this moment to the max.

“Okay with me,” I said

“But I don’t have a bass amp,  so maybe just the Tele  for now.  No bass today. ” he replied quietly, his face showing the disappointment behind his words.

“So how much is an amp? Let’s just do this and get one. I want you to be able to play music. You’ve wanted to all your life and it’s time for you to do something that has been in your heart to do.”

As I was speaking the salesman was rounding up amps for him to choose from and we walked out of that store that day with two very happy men grinning from the purchases made. Steve, thrilled with his retirement gifts and the salesman from the commission he would get for that sale. It should have been a pretty nice one.

We continued  setting up our, so-called, “Music Room”  both of us excited with each new idea. We made wall coverings to put hangers for the instruments on. We found a few more instruments for extremely good prices on some on-line auctions. I ran across a round back mandolin and managed to jump into the auction at the last-minute and get it for almost nothing. Just for fun we purchased an old bugle to add to the atmosphere of the room. Steve cut out music notes which I painted black and white to go with the rest of the decor in and we hung them around the guitars and mandolins. I had taken a picture of Dad’s mandolin which we hung center stage of everything else. Then, we played together, we sang and we were having fun. More guitars, a drum set and some antique instruments came as we developed our interests deeper into the music. The drums were for our grandson and this year he will be able to start lessons.  I also picked up, over several months time, a ukulele for each of us ( that’s six to be exact)  and I  am determined to learn and teach this to the kids too.

Now, earlier I mentioned how things can change.  That change came, for me,  with all these instruments, the room change, and the desire to inspire my husband and grand kids. The real change came, not in our surroundings, but in me.  I have opened more windows in my life. I am letting others see who I really am.  We are now having a jam session at our house on Saturday nights. Friends come over and we play and sing. I’ve started taking mandolin lessons. Steve and I have also recently started going to the Senior Center. At first it was so he could play with the band there. Ah, but then, we sang. Now we go to an open mike on Wednesday nights where Steve has been playing the bass. But this coming week will be different. This coming week we plan to sing. We are almost ready. If my nerves don’t  get the best of me we will do this. Never having been a very open person, dealing with anxiety most of my life, fear of crowds and numerous other things has kept me pretty much in the background of everything going on. But this week….if everything goes right, well, not if, because it’s going to go just fine. Putting  this down on paper, having actually said it out loud, sorta seals the deal, right?  I have to do this. I will do this, and although it’s not the Grand Ole Opry and I certainly cannot compare myself to Patsy or Tammy,  I am singing, out loud and others will be listening. It’s taken many, many  years for me to fulfill this dream but I figure, it’s never to late to do something that has always been in your heart to do. Of course, my suggestion to others would be to find out why you aren’t fulfilling your dream and make some changes while you are young. Had I known the things I know now, I sure would have and who knows, could I have been up there on that stage? I’ll never know but what I do know is I am enjoying myself and being myself. Not only that, other people are liking what I am doing but more important than anything else, I like what I am doing and who I am becoming.

So,

Part of our "Music Room" including the picture of Dads mandolin, hat & clock. My "go to" Mandolin is the white Washburn.

Part of our “Music Room” including the picture of Dads mandolin, hat & clock.   My “go to” Mandolin is the white Washburn.

I’m a little nervous, but anxious for Wednesday to come and see how this all turns out.

Wow, I may not be able to take another breath until it’s over.

 

MY TEAM

Breakfast done, last cup of coffee in hand, we sat down. He with the TV control tuning in on the big game, me in all my team regalia. This was it. We would win this one or we would lose big. This one was a deal breaker. I don’t think I ever did get comfortable, sitting on the edge of my chair from start to finish. The other team dominated right from the start. We did make a good come back in the second half. We actually, for a bit, had hopes of pulling through. But it was just not enough soon enough. Yes, we lost and we lost our chance at the Super Bowl. We the fans are very saddened. We hate with a passion to see our beloved team go down.  I feel bad that they lost.  Not just that they lost but for the way each of them are feeling at this moment. They work hard at their game. They put everything into it and into each other.  But I’m sure as they move ahead they will review, re-new, regroup, revive and next year we can look forward to another year of exciting, on the edge of my chair, nail biting football. Until then, I will still wear my team colors, I will still follow my favorites, and I will still chant..”GO HAWKS, GO HAWKS, GO HAWKS” whenever I get the chance. As devoted as they are to each other, we, their fans are devoted to them. “Go Seahawks”   The game goes on and so will we. Here’s to next year♥

 

 

It’s a New Year

To all my fellow Writers, a few things I’d like to pass on, here at the beginning of 2016.

Congratulations, you’ve made it through another year. Now let’s see if we can improve on the next one.

Live every day like it’s your last

Don’t dwell in the past. It’s a nice place to visit but don’t hang out there.

Use the rocks (hard times) thrown at you in the past as stepping stones to a better future, not as building blocks for a brick wall.

Hug some one who isn’t expecting it.

Smile at a stranger

Lend a helping hand to someone in need

Kiss your sweetheart like it’s the first time you’ve ever kissed.

Hold  hands as you stroll, even if it’s in the grocery store.

Help a child do something

Spend a day volunteering at the humane society

Spend a day volunteering at a Veteran’s hospital or care facility.

Take an arm load of Teddy Bears to a nursing home and pass them out to the residents.

Lend a hand to your neighbor

Smile at every one you meet today

Smile at yourself…you deserve it.

May your New Year be blessed with Good Health, Happiness, Prosperity, Friends and Family, much laughter and frivolities and may you feel blessed enough to pass the same on to others.

HAPPY NEW YEAR

Sandy

Thanksgiving, Giving Thanks

It was a good holiday in spite of several of the girls not being able to make it this year. For those that could, we had a great time.  Mary, Eddie and Jaden came and we picked our grand-daughter ,Lauren, up in Purdy to stay the holiday.  Danielle, our third born, came a couple of days before Thanksgiving to “help” us with some things that needed doing around the house and property. She worked hard, just as she always does when she shows up to help. She and her dad got a pick-up truck and a car-hauler trailer loaded with scrap metal to take to recycling. There was a lot of stuff from aluminum cans and old pipes from the well, to old fencing, car parts and just plain ole junk. They made that trip and then loaded another huge load to go to the garbage dump. Wow, what a difference it made in the way things look out around the garage. Ryan, Danielle’s husband, who came on Thanksgiving day, had to return home the day following Thanksgiving but Danielle stayed through Sunday to do more chores for us. That girl is a dedicated worker. Finally it was time for her to go. Sunday morning we fixed a good hearty breakfast and discussed what all we needed to do to get her on the road. I had been collecting things for her for a while and had them all stacked and ready to go. Four dozen wine glasses for her new cake business which I had picked up (brand new, high quality brand and still in the boxes) all for ten dollars at a divorce sale, a forty cup coffee maker, a Mr Peanut, nut dispenser I had bought at another sale just for her because everyone knows she has been called “Peanut” since the day we brought her home from the hospital forty years ago, and a plastic crate full of wedding cake decorations such as plates and pillars. That all being ready, she first started loading the things out of the guest house that she wanted. A desk and chair, coffee pot, and a few more household things. then on to the garage where dad had rounded up vacuum cleaner parts and canning jars. A huge assortment of stuff that eventually led to, yes, even a sink. Not a kitchen sink but probably a utility sink that I’m sure she had a use lined up for it. Her truck was loaded to the hilt. She came back in for that last cup of coffee and goodbyes but made one more stop in the family room at our library. There she found her some garden books and pruning books to borrow and was then a happy camper. She was looking forward to tips on vegetable gardening and getting their fruit trees pruned. We talked a bit, hugged a lot and finally said our goodbyes. As we watched her and her three companions, Zuko, Hylux, and the newest member of the family, Sammie (their faithful dogs) pull down the driveway we had mixed emotions about their parting. Torn between happiness that they came to see and spend time with us and sadness, even though we know they will return soon, that they are leaving. It will be Christmas before Danielle and Ryan can return again and Dawn and Lauren too. Hopefully, we’ll see some of the others between now and then.  This last week, despite the mixed emotions, despite those that couldn’t be here, has left us with what Thanksgiving is truly about. We are “Thankful.”  Thankful for the best thing that we were so fortunate to have been blessed with in our lives, our children.

 

After the Fire Breathing Dragons and Demons

Steve and I were married in 1991. We started married life with six children, six dogs, and a prayer, well actually, a lot of prayers.  We really wanted to get married much soon than it happened but with barely a nickel to our name we couldn’t afford to rent a building, we didn’t belong to a church, and we really wanted more than just a quick, “She does, I do, Here’s the Ring, How Do you Do.”   We told friends. After all the calamity, the hugs, the kisses,  and the , “We’ve all been wondering when you were going to do it,”stuff was over, things started happening. Our then leader of the 4-H group our kids were in and her sister said they would make our cake, another friend volunteered supplies for decorations, others were pitching in right and left, but we still needed a place. Then it came to us, why not out in the barn where we train the dogs. We asked the trainers and they were delighted at the idea. Last but not least, we needed a minister and as luck would have it, Steve’s brother-in-law fit the bill. Steve and I quickly made invitations and got them in the mail.

The barn was cleaned from top to bottom. Janice, our dog trainer, even dusted the rafters and another friend leveled the dirt floor with his tractor. Steve built two lattice arbors for the ceremony. His dad carved a cross to hang in the one where we would say our vows.The feed store just down the road hauled in a huge load of hay bales for our guests to sit on. A fire was blazing in the huge old wood stove that resided in the barn. Decorations went up, and while that was going on we had a “Rehearsal Dinner.” Everyone brought food, we ate and decorated and then ran through the ceremony a couple of times. Music was organized, we danced, we played, we laughed,  and everything was set. We were actually getting married.

Now this wasn’t one of those, “We fell in love a first sight” love affairs that one hears about. No, to the contrary.  We had been friends for more than twenty some years. We lived in different towns and our families only saw each other now and then but the friendship held. Both of us had good lives, good families, good ‘SPOUSES.” Both of us saw the devil open the gates of hell and turn loose fire breathing dragons and demons beyond belief or imagination.

Devastation. Nothing else could describe it . Left, after twenty-two years, with three children at home ( our oldest was away at school on the other side of the state) , a mortgage, a non-working furnace, a pile of wood which I was physically unable to cut, and more, but I believe you have gotten the picture. Who did I have to turn to? My friends were his friends, they stayed away. No one even came from the church to see if the girls were okay. I was alone, until I finally told my parents.

At the same time, in another town, the same sort of scenario was happening to Steve.  She was leaving, him and the kids, and there was nothing he could do about it. She had made up her mind and that was that.  He’d been blindsided and broken all in one quick statement, her words echoing off the slamming door as she left him standing there, middle of the kitchen, in disbelief.

Some time passed for both of us. I had taken a sales clerk job at a local department store and was trying to figure out how to sell a broken house because, as it was put to me, “he wasn’t  fixing anything and he wasn’t making any payments.”  My dad helped where he could with some of the work.  The girls and I spent our time in the living room with blankets over the door ways to keep the heat in from the fireplace which dad had cut some wood for.

Steve, born and raised in the same town I had lived all my life in, knew of my situation. It was now Christmas time. He had made a couple of trips with his children to visit his parents. His family and my family were both well known in our little town and we both had been the subject of numerous conversations as the “grapevine” would tell it. He stopped by on one trip to see how we were. He and I in unison, put on our happy faces and told each other lies about how well we were managing. We spoke awkwardly as our friendship had always been a family thing.

He hesitated as he left, saying, “Sandy, if you ever need anything, call me.”

Obviously, I must have needed something because, if you remember, before I started telling you about devils and demons, Steve and I were getting ready to be married. It hadn’t been an easy decision to come to. To get married, that is. After all, we were friends, best friends by that time and we had been friends for so long. We had, a while back, joined forces, me and my girls moving to his town, his home, as a move of convenience . My house had sold. I had nowhere to go. He needed help with the kids while he worked. So did I.  I was able to transfer my job to a store located in Auburn. We set up work schedules so that I was home on his work days and he was home on mine. On our days off, we were each, respectively, responsible for the children, all of them. By this time my second oldest, who had moved away from me, lived with her father briefly, then ventured into a hair-raising lifestyle, out on her own, moving from friend to friend, and sometimes just living hand to mouth on the streets with like friends, had now come back to me needing a place to live, a home. As things turned out, she was pregnant. The father of the baby didn’t want her and her own dad said “no ” to her coming back there. We couldn’t do that. She had made some questionable decisions. She had lived a life that the thoughts of, put a deep, sad, fear in my heart. But she was back. She needed compassion, not judgement. She, and her soon to be born child, came there to live with us. Chrissie was born in November 1990. We were all thrilled. She brought so much joy to the house hold.  Another Christmas was rolling around  and the feeling engulfing all of us  was like getting renewed hope, a new beginning. That was when Steve first asked me to marry him.

But as I was saying, before I filled you in with our history,  there was a knawing question in both of our hearts that had to be brought up and would have to be answered.  What if we get married and it doesn’t work? Would we each loose our very best friend in the whole world. We brought it up and then, let it go, each of us pondering the possibility in the back of our minds, and not having too much conversation for the next several days. We went about our daily activities, glancing at each other now and then, touching little, polite conversation, and each of us wondering what life without our best friend would be like.

It was a Tuesday, Steve was on the last day of his shift for the week at work. I had just gotten home from picking kids up from activities. He called.

“Hi, I miss you.” he said quietly.

“I miss you too.” I replied, as I wondered what was coming next.

“I’m off in a half hour. Can you get the kids fed early? I want to have a quiet dinner with you alone tonight, if that’s okay?”

“Yes, of course. Dinner is ready so I’ll just get them fed and on to homework and stuff right after. Are we eating here? There is plenty you know. I was planning on us all having dinner together.” I said, still wondering about his intentions.

“No. Tell Dani we are going out for a bit and ask her to watch the rest of the kids, okay?” he answered.

“Sure, I know she’ll be fine with it. I’ll see you soon. Are jeans and a t-shirt okay or do I need to clean up more than that?” I had no idea where we were going.

“Jeans are fine.” see you in a bit. “I love you.” and he hung up.

Before I could even reply, he hung up.

Steve came home, briefly cleaned up a bit and changed to an everyday shirt. We gave brief instructions to the kids and let them know we wouldn’t be gone long. We left, holding hands as we walked silently to the car.  Once inside, with the car started,  Steve said he thought we’d go into Enumclaw to the Chinese restaurant that we liked. I agreed, that would be nice. It was a twenty-minute drive, mostly in silence. We got there and I found that Steve had called ahead making reservations. We were seated, ordered a drink, and we both began to speak at once.

“I want to get married,” he said without hesitation.

“Me too. We won’t ruin anything. It is possible to love each other and be best friends. But there is one more problem.” I said.

“Problem? What other problem could there possibly be?” he questioned me with a look of surprise on his face.

“Well,” I hesitated, but then decided just to let it all out. “It’s not really a problem, just something we need to talk about.  When we first started thinking of marriage, it was you , Andy and Becki, and me with Emmy and Dani.”

“So what’s the problem?” he looked ready to jump out of his skin.

“Chrissie!  Not that SHE is a problem. It’s just now we have a baby in the house. I’m sure Dana won’t stay settled with us long. She’s just not ready to be responsible so I can see her leaving. She can’t move around freely and irresponsibly, with a baby in tow. That means, we would have Chrissie. We’d have a baby. And I just couldn’t, wouldn’t,  send her away. I’d have to carry that responsibility. I love her and  just am not going to let anything like that happen, you know, hand to mouth, on the street. I couldn’t take a chance of her being in harms way. If I had my way, Dana would stay too but I know, in my heart already, she’s on the verge of going. ” There, I had said it. When it happened, when Dana felt the need to go,  and it would happen, I planned on taking on the responsibility of my grand child, after all, we were doing most of her care as it was already.

“So where’s the problem?” Steve asked.

“Well, you signed on in this deal with four kids. Kids that are half-grown. You didn’t have a baby in mind. A baby adds a whole lot to the picture.” I told him and then added, “What I’m saying is I really don’t expect you to follow through with this plan of marriage, now, with this change. It’s your chance to re-think this and really get a perspective on it. You can change your mind and I won’t blame you for anything. I love you. I don’t want to ruin that. As it is, we can still be friends, helping each other, but limit it to that.”

“Listen, I don’t care if there are ten kids involved, baby or no baby. Dana and Chrissie are part of our family. We do what we need to do to take care of family.  I love you and I want to marry you.” he said without pause as he got up from his chair. He shifted and suddenly there he was on one knee, holding my hand, at the side of the table. “Sandy, I love you, I want to marry you. Will, you please say yes? he pleaded, sincerely, and the look in his eyes told me this was not a time to argue.

“Of course, I will, as long as you are sure.”

“I’m sure,” he replied as he got back up, and everyone around us clapped. “Hey, she said yes!” he said to the crowd. Imagine that!” and they all laughed.  But, he didn’t finish there. “And all you folks here, I want you to witness this. Sandy, this is forever. No if’s ,and’s ,or but’s. Forever, do you agree?”

“Yes, of course!” I replied, laughing as I did, because everyone in the restaurant was in an uproar, laughing and pointing, as they witnessed Steve’s commitment to me and me to him.

So now you understand how we went from best friends to the point of marriage and though the decision seemed difficult at that time, I guess it really wasn’t. Now, backing up in my story.  I had left off at, “we were actually getting married.” Yes, the next day after the rehearsal dinner party we would become man and wife and family.

That morning, Saturday March 23, 1991 everyone went in different directions to get done what each had to accomplish before noon rolled around. The wedding was set for one o’clock. The kids with friends all headed out early, early morn to place signs, like old Burma Shave signs, all along the highway leading those who didn’t know to our destination. They read something like:

Steve and Sandy

are getting married today

keep on going

you’re headed the right way.

three more miles,

you’re almost there

when you see the big dog

turn right, park, and walk to the barn

there we’ll watch them walk down the isle

arm in arm.

The signs came both ways, out of Auburn and out of Enumclaw,  along the Auburn/Enumclaw Highway. (of course coming from Enumclaw the read, turn left.) and the kids planted them at the appropriate spots on the highway and decorated them all with balloons and ribbons.

Not only were our friends giving us this wonderful wedding, they made it a pot luck, so everyone was bringing food. Dani was in the Junior High School Choir and they had arranged to bring risers and the whole choir showed up to sing for us with Dani having a solo part in the song one of the songs. As the wedding began, our children went before us, walking to the song “The Rose”, by Conway Twitty.” They all parted at the first rows where our parents sat and gifted their grandmothers with a bouquet and hugs all around. After that, they returned to their place at the make shift alter ,turning to us as we started our journey together in life and love. The music started. We proceeded to the tune “Love Can Build a Bridge” by the Judds. By the time we got to the children and our minister, Walter, the entire congregation was in tears, even Walter, who said at that time, “I’ve performed a lot of weddings and I’ve seen many tears of happiness, including my own, flow at these weddings. But…this is the first time, I’ve cried, and witnessed the whole congregation in tears before there was even one word spoken. I believe folks, this is truly a match made in heaven. We shall begin this ceremony with a prayer.”

Well, there was just no topping that. Our ceremony was perfect. We included our children, who, by the way, all said family vows together. We had included our parents, who I think maybe still had a few doubts when the day started but those doubts were now probably put to rest. Our friends and families were all present and involved. It just doesn’t get any better than that, except, of course, when we turned back to the crowd and started our “Recessional” to the tune of ” Two of a Kind Workin’ on a Full House, by Garth Brooks.”  We danced our way back down the isle way with kids, family and friends following. Everyone was in stitches as they kicked up their heels to the tune. The rest of the day was just as perfect, lots of food, dancing, talking, toasts, and hugging. As we cut the cake and toasted each other everyone cheered.

While all this was going on inside the barn, the kids were having quite a time outside. They decorated our big ole Black and Red Ford F 250 long bed truck with enough balloons and streamers to do a cruise ship and filled the inside of the truck with the same. When it was time for us to depart it took at least fifteen minutes to get enough of the balloons and other decorations out of the cab to even get in. What a delight it was for the kids to take part in all of this.

Finally, at day’s end, we hopped in the truck, waved with tears still flowing and headed down the highway. We lead a procession all the way back to Auburn before they started departing to their own destinations.

It is now coming up on March 23, 2016. That means twenty-five years. Twenty five years of ups and downs, joys and hardships, times of plenty and times of none. Yet, through it all, we have survived. We have thrived. We have grown. We’ve learned what kind of people we really are and what is most important to us and who. As in the beginning, friendship is and always will be our number one most important need, followed with love, family, friends, a sense of humor, humility, truth and togetherness. With these things on your side and in your heart, you can’t lose.

In celebration of this milestone, our Children are giving us a twenty-five year wedding anniversary party. We’ve been told we can input if we wish, but…they are doing it. They are making the decisions. They are in control. All we need to do is sit back , ride the wave and enjoy. I do know, the colors are, Red and Black and the theme is Flannel and Lace. That, sounds just like us.

 

Our Wedding

We start our journey of friendship, marriage, and family.

S&Swedding20004

Going to the barn, and we’re going to get married.

Author

Sandra Lea Rogers

January 12, 2016

 

Twenty five years and still going strong.

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Now that we’ve made it this far, watch for our 50th. That should be quite a love story.                    Steve will be 95 and I will be 93. So make a toast to friendship for us folks, as we                                                         continue this one, as long as God will allow.

 

 

 

I’m A Foster Mom

I don’t think I’ve ever mentioned the fact in any of my writing here on my “Blog” that I am a foster Mom. Yes, a foster mom and so blessed. But this foster story is a little different. My fosters are dogs. At this point in my confession of this fact, people usually ask, “How can you do that?” “How can you take them in and then give them up again?” Then they add, “I just couldn’t do that.”

That’s what I thought at first too. In fact, our first attempt failed. By failed, I mean, we ended up adopting the first two little ones we took in. At three and five pounds they became “Pinch and Pebbles.” We adored them. We already had two dogs. Brussels Griffons, both of them, and so dear.  Rosie, we got at seven weeks, only to find out she was extremely ill. Another story there, but at least you know at this point ,she survived. The other one at two years old, having been born and raised in a puppy mill  then shipped to various rescues, never having had a home during those first two years. I fell in love with her at first sight and immediately set forth to make her ours. Okay, now we had four dogs. But, the need for help is so bad. There are so many homeless and abused dogs everywhere. I couldn’t ignore it. I set out to prepare my home to take more. Before I was ready, two more were brought to me by the rescue group I was working for. Babies, at least that’s what we thought. Two little Pits. However, it was discovered they were nine months old instead of the four we were told. They had been starved, abused, never been outside, bathed or anything else that one would do with their dog. They were fearful of everything. So the bonding began. Every day, each morning, I took them out on a leash and walked with them. Coaxing, encouraging, enticing them with treats. Then it was back inside to their playpen, which I crawled into with them and hand fed them from their bowls, petting and talking the whole time. The goal was to teach them, the food was there for them and wouldn’t be taken away. Also trying to avoid food aggression. By touching them, putting my hands in their bowls, being close, yet never removing the food from them they were learning it was safe to eat with others at hand. The training continued from there. Basic obedience commands, then socializing and lots more.

Since that time, I think we have taken in about twenty-five or so dogs. We’ve seen cases of filth and severe abuse. Dogs afraid to even look at us. Dogs we were unable to even touch. Each time, each case, it broke our hearts. But with time and patience, each one of these innocent little beings, eventually came around. Each of them learned, in their own time, love was real, love was good, and love has no conditions. Some started responding right away, with in just hours or days. Others, well, we had one for nine months before she was ready for adoption. Then, there was Rita, who had been so severely damaged physically, even after seeking out the help from the best specialists, we were unable to save. Yes, it’s hard. Some cases almost unbearable. However, mostly, you do as much as you can for them, they respond, and they move on to a “Forever” home with in two weeks to two months, usually the shorter of the two. You hug, you cry, you see them off. Then you remind yourself. You did what you could do. You helped them become adoptable. You brought them out of horrendous living conditions and sent them to loving,caring homes, forever. You know, you can’t keep them all yourself, but you can help them find that perfect someone who will love them forever. That is my reward in all this. I have made a difference. I have helped where once there was no hope.I have saved lives and I have held, comforting and caressing, whispering softly until the end.  I have taught love and companionship. I have gained much more than I have given.  I, have been blessed.

Just a few of my foster babies…..

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Sweet Lucy  …Unwanted                     Tippy …Elderly owner couldn’t keep.

004 Snickers, rescued from a high kill shelter. His time was up. How he loved his morning rock and nap in my lap.

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Baily Boy, Angel, Kory Ann and Kipper. This litter was thrown out in the cold December weather at 8 weeks old and left to find their own way. They came to us afraid of everyone, hungry, un-trusting. Eventually they got better. Angel took a full nine months to rehabilitate and become adoptable. But they all did find homes with loving, caring families. These, all of these, were some of the lucky ones.

The Best Wagon Ride Ever

My Grandson was here today

asked me would I play

and help him make his wagon go

pleading with his brown eyes so

I stopped what I was doing

to give him a hand

riding his wagon down the hill

He said, “Grammie, I knew you’d understand.”

I pointed the direction

gave him a little push

he got to the bottom ending up

in a huckleberry bush

“Grammie that was really neat

can we do it a gain?”

he exclaimed with sparkling eyes

and the biggest grin

Smiling at him I said,

“Let’s try some weight in the back.”

Full of excitement he responded

“Oh Grammie, You’d do that!”

“Sure lets go for a ride

you sit there in the front

don’t let us turn over

or run into a big tree trunk”

We got in

I gave the wagon a push

Down the hill faster than ever

right past that huckleberry bush

Laughing together

he said, “Grammie you’re so much fun

That was really awesome

Can we do another run?”

We rode one more time

all the way down the hill

at the bottom falling out

for both of us a thrill

We giggled so much

laying there in the grass

He said, “Grammie your’re the best ever!”

Now…could a grammie ask for more than that!