TToT: Things I Remember

Sharing more photos of the Glockenspiel in Marienplatz, Munich, Germany.  Memories of this place will always be among my favorites.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

I have been thinking about the concept of memory this week.  My brother and sister-in-law are planning a trip to the Grand Canyon soon and called to get pointers from us about what we saw there a few summers back. Unfortunately, mere hours before we went,  a large roll of school bulletin board paper fell on my foot badly breaking my big toe.  As a result I saw the Grand Canyon through the fog of pain medication.  It wasn’t until the conversation with my brother and his wife that I realized I really have no memory of the Canyon itself.  I am sure it is very pretty, but I couldn’t swear to it. I could say with certainty that there is a bench up top that provides a great place for a mother and daughter to talk while others hike.  There is a mini-bus that takes you to different spots near the edge to give you the best views, but somehow the image of the mini-bus is much clearer in my mind than the views we must have enjoyed.  Memory is a funny thing.


I read the book The $64 Tomato this week written by one of my favorite authors, William Alexander.  In the closing Alexander writes, “Things I remember: Witnessing childbirth. Finding myself standing absolutely alone before Da Vinci’s Last Supper.  And planting potatoes on a perfect spring morning.”


And so “in memory” of things I have already forgotten, and celebration of things I can still picture clearly, here is my own (ten) Things I remember:OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

I remember spilling an entire bottle of orange soda–back in the days when the bottles were thin, and tall, and glass– down the front of my new pristine white turtle neck.  I remember crying as my mom slipped it over my head and into sudsy water that made the orange go away.

I remember Mom, my brothers, and I gathered at the front screen door watching a rare downpour in our dry prairie town.  The creek across the street, filled to overflowing, rushed through the City Park and across town.


I remember the first time my heart was broken and the boy who did the breaking.

I remember snow wet and cold on my cheeks as I flew downhill on an old wooden sled.

I remember moving back to my hometown for a semester while my soon-to-be husband finished college.  I remember sitting at the dining room table with my dad, him telling me it means so much to your mom to have these months with you before you get married.

I remember marrying that young man and being so choked with emotion I couldn’t say my vows.


I remember wanting a baby for so long and finally holding a test in my hand that said she was on the way.  I remember the shear panic of feeling I could never be the mother she deserved.

I remember seeing her face on a sonogram one week and looking down into that same face for real the next week, and being numb as the reality set in that this small creature really was mine. I remember what it is like to feel the blossom of love unfold and grown inside your heart instantaneously.

I remember nursing another baby and being startled by the big brown eyes instead of green gazing back at me.  I remember those same brown eyes sitting by my side on a bench atop the Grand Canyon so I wouldn’t be alone.

They say you can tell a lot about the qualities of a man by the way he treats his mother.  I remember a son who has been by my side when I have experienced loss and has gathered me in his arms and shown me comfort.



All of these things I remember, and I am thankful.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA


TToT: Garden Gate

Last weekend my daughter, Le Professeur, planned to host an open house at her new condo in Durham, North Carolina.  Instead, she was housebound by ice and snow all weekend.  Sending good thoughts for a warming trend her way with these shots taken last summer at the garden on the campus of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.


I have been so thankful for light this week.  The days feel longer and spring feels closer.  I gathered potting soil, peat pots, seeds, and all my supplies.  Any day now  I will get some seedlings going.


I finally parted ways with my Odyssey van after eleven years and 185,000 miles.  Having a new car is fun, though it requires greater computer skills than I currently possess.  Still, I was sad to part with the old van.  I am thankful it was so reliable–it kept us safe, it delayed us from adding to a landfill by running year after year, it kept us from having car payments for a nice long time.


A wonderful counselor at one of our high schools died unexpectedly. So, I transported some of my former students to the funeral.  It was a joy to spend time with these kids, and to witness how they have grown up.  A reminder once again of how lucky I am to have a job that allows me to walk along-side so many terrific young people.  A career in education may not make a person rich monetarily, but the perks are fantastic.



TToT: Thanks for the Memories

I am in mini-mourning.  My camera, my one material possession that I loved more than any other, has died.  In its honor I am sharing photos of roses I have taken through the years using this sweet Olympus treasure.


Ten things for which I am thankful:

I really am thankful for the relaxation and enjoyment that little camera brought me.  Because I nearly always had it with me, I was always on the look-out for beauty.  It captured so many images of things I did not want to forget.


I wasn’t really ready for Christmas break to end, until I was back at school being smothered in hugs from my middle school posse.


Then my principal told me the sweetest thing.  He said that he doesn’t know my schedule off the top of his head, but the kids do.  He said every time it is a day that I am going to be in, about an hour before I get there they start asking if he has seen me yet.  Ah…there is blessing in being needed and appreciated.


This week we celebrated our thirty-first wedding anniversary…nothing fancy, Chinese take-out by the fire.  Comfy and cozy, just the way he has made my life.


So long, little camera.  Thanks for the memories.


TToT: 2015; It’s a Wrap


A toast of this champagne brought in 2015.  It was bubbly and good and made us feel good about the year that would be.  And in my family we were not disappointed. Ten Things of Thankful for 2015 (in chronological order):

Completing three decades of married life with my partner and friend.

Watching my eldest reach the milestone of having lived a quarter century of life.  Watching her realize her own worth and wishes, and let go of a relationship that was far too small for the wonder that is her.

Witnessing another daughter become a college graduate; traveling to graduate schools with her as she narrowed down her plans; and just recently moving her to her very first home of her own.

Feeling pride in my son as he told of helping refugee families find their way in Germany and later handled media interviews about the Paris attacks like he was interviewed every day.  And admittedly hearing cheering inside my brain when he told me that he was ready to spend a good stretch of time in America after he finishes this study abroad experience.

And on Christmas morning, welcoming a brand new great-neice into the world.  Though she came early she is healthy and so is her mother.

2015, you were very good to us, and we are eternally thankful.  2016, we welcome you.



TToT:Christmas Edition

Ten Things of Thankful at Christmastime. (Note: Somehow I missed last week’s link so I am cheating and posting it on New Year’s.)



I am a total sap for Christmas; always have been.  I remember trudging home from elementary school in snow singing Silver Bells at the top of my lungs.  I love Christmases so steeped in tradition that one is hardly distinguishable from the next.  This was not that year, but we managed to find plenty to celebrate in a year of change.


For traditions we kept, and experiences that were new

For time with our daughter in her new home

For another daughter who was willing to travel to Europe so her brother would not be alone for the holidays–such a selfless act

For safe journeys

For this pretty church in Chapel Hill and the beautiful Christmas Eve service

For my great-neice, Josephine, who arrived early Christmas morning

For the good health of both Josephine and her mother, Laura


And not the least for Christmas itself.