Today is the 28th birthday of my #1 grandson, Mike.
I have written a memoir titled, All My Marbles. I did it with my grandchildren in mind. I want them to understand who their grandmother is (from my inside perspective), how I met their grandfather and what our early days of marriage were like. I hope they enjoy getting a glimpse into who their great grandparents on their mom’s side of the family were, too.
In the memoir (of which I have only printed a couple rough draft copies), I devote one chapter to each of my seven grandchildren. The chapter devoted to Michael, Grandson #1, begins this way:
Let me tell you about our first grandchild, the one who was “in the hatch” when DeAna and Andre left California to live in Switzerland.
“Paaaay-shuns!!” Mikey whined. I chuckled. Standing in the tiny Swiss kitchen, heating milk to put in the plastic pouch for her toddler’s bottle, our daughter, DeAna, felt a tug on her apron. He had heard his mom say, “Patience!” so many times already in his young life. It makes me smile twenty-six years later when I think of it.
Since this is now his 28th birthday, you can see I wrote that memoir two years ago.
After taking a look back at how our daughter happened to be in Switzerland – how she and Andre’ met, etc. – I go on to tell more about Mike.
Mikey was two weeks old in December of 1992 when we arrived to visit for his first Christmas. De and Andre had a cute little apartment in Crans-Montana, a ski resort area high in the Alps above the city of Sierre where Andre and Mikey both were born. What stands out in my memory from that three-week visit are four things: 1) the joy of holding that healthy, chubby little baby, and seeing our lovely nineteen-year-old daughter as a mommy, 2) the fun of introducing Mikey to the village where he was living as we took him in his stroller through the snow to the little resort town down the mountain, 3) the luck of meeting Liz Bestenheider in a Montana boutique and introducing her to DeAna a day later or so – they would ultimately become very good friends – and 4) the love of the extended Swiss family who took us in so graciously. We had been acquainted with that extended family of Solioz/Zufferey since 1981 when our first AFS exchange student, Christian Zufferey, came to California. So in many ways it was “old home week.” But now we weren’t just related through an international organization, God had sealed us in a covenant! What a joy!
Mikey was a very easy baby. Quiet by nature, he was generally happy. He didn’t cry unless there was something really wrong. He would sit for hours in his stroller or the infant seat, content to watch patiently whatever was happening around him.
By the time we saw him on our second visit the next December, he was the toddler who was reminding himself to be PAAAY-shunt – and he was learning other words and actions that amused us. Since he was the first grandchild on both his maternal and paternal sides, adults doted on his every word, every burp, and every new action. We have a drawer full of videotapes taken of him before his brothers came along.
Mike’s been here to Montana with his brothers and his mom, but it’s been a while. Time to bring Tania and come back to Grammy & Grampy’s. In the picture above, Mike’s youngest brother and his mom (our daughter, DeAna) were here last May. It’s time for Mike to return, too. Happy Birthday, Mike!
Here he is (the one next to Bob, his Grampy) in his younger years – with his two brothers.
Have you written a memoir? Do you have grandchildren? If so, how old are yours? We wish we could see ours more often!
Happy Second Sunday of Advent, my friends! It’s the Sunday devoted to the subject of JOY.
Last year at this time, as I looked forward to Christmas and New Years, I was thinking about what to give for presents. I also gave thought to what I was wishing for… what I was expecting for Christmas and for the year to come. I posted this wish for 2019:
Joyfully, I can report that we have been blessed with good health and a wealth of friends and loving family, and blissful days. Not EVERY day was perfect, of course, – we all face challenges from time to time – but I am eternally thankful – daily for the JOY and peace and the love that are mine.
And now we are back in that holiday season again – looking forward to Christmas and the new year. As a congregation of worshipers, we all were drawn into that expectant mood today.
Here are my sermon notes. (If you have followed my blog for awhile, you know I take notes poetically as I listen to the sermon each Sunday.)
Today in church, Pastor Steve Hundley’s message was titled, “What Are You Expecting?”
What are you expecting for Christmas? Reindeer on your rooftop or Santa Claus Coming down your chimney? Better reset your sights because…
Clyde came dressed up as Santa. He was a crusty old guy, And he looked like Ghandi. But the problem was, he was high.
Clyde was high on Moonshine. He was a jolly old soul, But I was not impressed. Clyde was far from my expected goal.
I was expecting the real Santa, And I knew Clyde wasn’t he. Like expectations of Santa, The world is waiting expectantly…
For the birth of a Savior King, And instead here comes a baby, Born in a lowly stable. He’s not the King He’s s’posed to be!
John the Baptist predeicted The coming of this Royal King. He spoke of confession and judgement. He told the world about everything…
God’s prophets of old had proclaimed, “A Savior of Priestly stock would come.” John was so convincing, folks thought He might in fact be God’s promised Son.
But John assured them Jesus was The Savior King they’d waited for. Even though Jesus was loving and kind, Not the Leader with sword. They wanted more…
More of what they had expected. “Are you really the One?” they inquired. “Don’t look elsewhere; just see what I’ve done – Go,” Jesus said. “Go and be inspired.”
Jesus reminded them that He was Indeed doing what Isaiah said: “The blind will see; the deaf shall hear; The lame will walk. Believe I AM Christ. GOD IS NOT DEAD!”
Have a Wonderful Sunday! I hope you are expecting the Risen Christ! He’s coming again, you know.
What do you think might be three things you need in life?
You NEED food, air and water. But do you need to impress? Is recognition one of your needs? That’s linked to that need to impress.
I found this quote some time ago and saved it. Sorry I don’t know who said or wrote it:
“To thrive in life you need three bones. A wishbone. A backbone. And a funny bone.”
I saved the wish bone from our Thanksgiving turkey! I’m waiting for the right person to share it with.
I’ve got the funny bone – carry it with me always.
Think I’ll borrow that backbone up there! (Actually mine is pretty sturdy!)
How about you?
It’s been a busy season in these six days of December so far. What have you been up to?
Today I invited a friend come to our house mid-day, and she helped me decorate our Christmas tree.. It looks great, don’t you agree?
Last night we helped my friend, Bernice, celebrate her 87th birthday. Take a look at her. Don’t you agree she could pass for 70?
This morning I baked cookies to donate to our Madison County Library. They gave them to people who came by the Library during this afternoon’s “Christmas Stroll” in Ennis.
After baking cookies, I met with our Madison County Writers’ Group – and we spent a delightful hour and a half together. We started with a “Free Write” on the topic we drew from a hat… My Favorite Season. We had 15 minutes to create an essay, poem, or some kind of reflection on the topic. This is what I wrote:
My Favorite Season
Seasons come and seasons go There are winters, summers, falls and springs; But the season that appeals most to me Is the one that stays because of what it brings.
It brings my favorite music and stunning colors. It brings loving generosity and untold joys. It prompts people throughout the world To open hearts with gifts for needy girls and boys.
The trees all sparkle with snow and lights. The houses hang wreaths and let candles glow. The bells ring out to announce the reason For my favorite season: the birth of Christ, you know?
The season brings out the best in us. It helps us open wide our arms in love To show gratitude for the gift He promises Eternal life with our God above.
After Writers’ Group, I went home to do the Christmas tree decorating before going to meet with the “Ennis Ringers.” We had our picture on the front page of the local paper this week. Can you see me front and center back row?
The Madisonian, our local newspaper published a nice article about us this week. I am first in the picture below. My bells are the smallest ones (notes of F and G ring out when I am in the right spot in the music).
I would post a video so you can hear us, but for some reason, WordPress is not allowing me to include it here. I’ve posted videos in the past, so I don’t understand the glitch.
Oh well, maybe it will let me post the video tomorrow. As the news article indicates, the “Ennis Ringers” will play again this Sunday at our church.
Yesterday I had fun at our annual Madison Valley Woman’s Club Christmas luncheon. My buddy, Lucy Ennis can be seen here in red with one of our new members who is an activities director at our local nursing home.
The ladies from the nursing home really went all out with their Christmas costumes. There’s evidence of that “Funny Bone” we all need!
Below is one of my favorite people, Bev Claussen. Her reindeer antlers light up and blink!
Remember a second bone we all need is a “Back bone.” Our Woman’s Club Executive Board is the “back bone” of this very active group of ladies. They provided a delicious lunch for the more than 50 ladies who showed up for this event. (Remember, we are a community of only 1,000 residents in Ennis – so this is quite a lively organization!).
Besides the back bone and the funny bone, we need a wish bone, right? And we need food, air and shelter. Here you see the food; earlier you saw the butterfly that adorns the air we breathe. And in my home, with the tree decorated, you witnessed my beautiful “shelter.” What about the wish bone?
Before she blew out her candles. my friend, Bernice made a wish.
I don’t know what her wish was, but I know my wishes are for you:
May you always have all the good food, clean air, and lovely shelter you need. May you always have a back bone, a funny bone, and a wish bone. And May the bells of joy ring in your land and bring you peace…