From The Ground Down

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I have a lot of people that I admire but I will pick close to home.  My grandparents I admired a lot as I grew up.  I didn’t really comprehend what they had done in their lifetime until I was much older.  They were just teenagers when they married, 16 and 17 I believe.  They got an acre of land and bought a trailer to live in.  When grandpa got out of the service he began to dig.  Well, both of them did actually.  They dug an area up for a basement poured concrete for the foundation and began to build their own house.  They lived in the little trailer with their first born (my dad) and worked on the house.  When the basement was done, they moved from the trailer into the lower level of the house.  As my dad grew old enough to help, they did some beautiful stonework for both the fireplace downstairs and the main floor too.

As a kid grandpa used to get after me and my sister if we bumped into the walls or got toys too close to the woodwork.  They had shutter doors on both entryways into the living room.  Me and my sister liked to play with them too.  Grandpa did not like that either.  It wasn’t until much later that I realized this house was his masterpiece and he was just protecting his artwork.

To dig a basement, to build a house and do so with (eventually) three boys… took a lot of work and patience.  And this was while grandpa worked too.  Eventually grandpa started his own repair and handyman service; I remember he was almost always fixing screens and windows or going to install awnings.  And grandma was his accountant, bookkeeper, receptionist, assistant… she did a lot.

But through all that work they stayed happily married into sixty plus years.  When grandma eventually convinced grandpa to retire, his “job” became fishing and taking grandma on cruises.  They had a lot of fun.  I look back now and wish I hadn’t missed all those years seeing grandpa only as a disciplinarian instead of the craftsman he was.  I learned much earlier all the work grandma did to keep up with the business and care for the cooking and the cleaning.  Later in life they also took in my grandma’s mom and grandma cared for her too.  She was always on the go.

On top of everything else (if that wasn’t enough) they volunteered at their church a lot.  Mowing the grass every week, doing repairs and cleaning.  And weekly they would mow grandpa’s mom’s yard and do her grocery shopping too. 

I have probably typed my longest post, and this only scratches the surface as to why I admire my dad’s parents.  They are greatly missed and still a part of my life, always in my heart.


Written for Fandango’s Dog Days of August (FDDA) #8 – something or someone you admire

Perfect Family

It sits on the table

Right there

For everyone to see,

The perfect family;

But the frame

Began to tarnish.

It started when he

Picked up a bottle

Instead of turning to her.

He was troubled

By demons inside

That he tried to drown

With a little vodka.

The years proved

To make the situation worse,

Until the day

She left him.

The perfect family

Torn apart.

They just started

To work on

Patching up old wounds,

When she got the news.

He drank himself to death.

And now the perfect family

Is forever lost

Except in the frame.

Written for Fandango’s One-Word Challenge (FOWC) – frame https://fivedotoh.com/2020/06/05/fowc-with-fandango-frame/

A to Z Challenge – S

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The letter S…

I never had a brother growing up but I always wanted one.  On TV big brothers were always standing up for their little sisters, actual big sisters doing this, not so much.  But I can see when she was a teenager she did not want her little sister always tagging along with her and her friends.  Kids grow up and change some though.  Now that mom and dad are both gone; besides my daughter, she is all I have except for one aunt and uncle in Nebraska and a small handful of cousins.

My sister has grown closer to me ever since my cancer diagnosis and the following divorce about 7 years later.  I was the “peace keeper” between her and mom, or at least I tried to be.  They were both alike, stubborn and set in their ways.  Later when I would take care of our dad in his failing health she wanted to put an end to me doing it as she could see the toll it was taking on me.  Caregiving is a physical and emotional draining action.  She was the one who suggested I take at least one night a week off.

Now it is just the two of us.  She is only about 4 blocks away in a house with her boyfriend of 18 years I believe now.  We stay in touch with email and occasionally I still get letters for Dad that I have her look at to make sure I am not throwing away something important.

My sister and I may not be as close as some, but I do love her and I am grateful she is in my life.

Let Love Be Ours

Life had become so hectic

The gym, the store, the volunteer center

Lessons, sports and homework for the kids

The vet, the business trip, the salon

All these things filled our days

We never had time for each other

Now we hear stories of how

Families have come together

Mealtime around the table has returned

Game night is now a thing

Movie watching and show binges

All make the day pass quickly

Yes there are things we miss

But think of how much we have gained

If there is a silver lining to every cloud

Let love be ours

And we remember the togetherness

When we reach the end of this crisis

 

Written for Fandango’s One-Word Challenge (FOWC) – hectic

A to Z Challenge – N

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The letter N …

It happened back in February.  I received a phone call from my niece.  She was on her way to work and needed a ride due to a stopped train on the railroad tracks: she was going to miss her bus and be late for work.  I left home headed the long way around town to avoid train crossings.  I was one block from the place where she was waiting for me.  I went to turn onto the street when a vehicle came up suddenly and t-boned my car.  It shattered the passenger window, sent me across the intersection, stopping just maybe 2 to 3 feet from hitting a light pole.  The impact was hard enough that the baseball cap I was wearing came off my head and landed in the back seat.

The accident did a lot of damage to my car, it was totaled. I was ok, as was the other driver.  But even to this day I still am so thankful my niece was not in the car with me.  It is frightening to think she could have been hurt if in the car already.

My niece has been like a sister to my daughter.  I spent a lot of time, when she was younger, babysitting her; so she is a second daughter in a way.  I care about her a great deal and that is why I’m grateful my niece was not with me that night.

A to Z Challenge – H

microphotography of orange and blue house miniature on brown snail s back
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The letter H…

Back in 1920 a house was built.  Around 1962 a newly married couple moved into it.  Their family began to grow, and, in a few years, there were four people living there.  The kids grew up and moved away.  The circle of life touched the family, first with the mother dying and then the father.  If you haven’t guessed, this was my parents that bought the house.  Now that both my parents are gone my sister and I own the house.  She already has a house.  My boyfriend and I were renting an apartment.  My sister suggested I move back home and just give her money for her half of the house.  So, we have been working out the details and payments.  It feels good to be home again, but so empty without Mom and Dad here.  The house, now being 100 years old, needs lots of work and TLC.  It, however, is more than a house.  There are so many memories here.  I am truly grateful to be home.

A to Z Challenge – B

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The letter B…

My mom and dad always had books they were reading as we were growing up.  And they passed that love of reading onto me and my sister.  I loved to read and read a lot of books to my daughter as she was growing up.  She in turn now is always using her spare time for reading.  I don’t read like I used to.  I was at a place with my vision where with my glasses on I couldn’t see the print, but with my glasses off to read, I couldn’t see at a distance if I looked up for some reason.  So last month I broke down and saw the doctor.  I am now the proud owner of a pair of bifocals.

eyeglasses on opened book beside cup of coffee on table
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My hope is that I will be able to resume my reading of books now.  I do still have the issues of fibro fog making me forget what I have already read sometimes.  I do read a lot of blogs too.  Any time I read something short or long it can transport me out of my life for a while to live through the characters.  So, if you haven’t guessed yet, my B gratitude is for books!

Not Like the Movies

Harold was staring out the window.  Carol came up and asked, “What are you doing, staring off into space?”

Harold gave her a glance and shrugged his shoulders.  “Mom, I thought things would be different.  I thought we’d have lots of adventures.”

“Honey, we signed up for this and talked about it for many days.  I think you’re mixing up real life with the movies.  We are here to make history as the first family to establish this space station in orbit, not fight aliens and evil forces,” Carol said as she brushed her son’s hair out of his eyes.

 

Written for Fandango’s One-Word Challenge (FOWC) – orbit

A to Z Challenge – Kitty Cats

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K is for kitty cats

Kitty cats have been a big part of my life.  It all started with the hero cat than “followed” my sister home… she had to carry him across the busy streets buy otherwise he followed her home.  Because of the way he went after the fish in the aquarium he was named Ding-A-Ling.  One late night my mom heard the cat howling at the window.  she went to look and saw man outside cutting our garden hose.  She called the police, the guy ran off and the cat had saved the day.  We had him for years.

We had two brothers we adopted… Champagne and Caviar (an off white color and a black and grey).  Champagne was a lazy cat who got big enough he no longer fit on the window sill and fell out one day.  Caviar was the daredevil who actually got on top of the stairway door and just sat up there.  These brothers moved to a friends farm and lived out some of their mouse fantasies.

Kodiak, Kody for short, Dad said he looked like a kodiak bear.  He was a cuddle bug and was usually found next to my Mom.  We had him until he died under the dining room table when my parents were gone on vacation for the weekend and my sister stopped in to feed him but he was already gone.

The next cat we got was named Wrinkles… long story that has to do with a race car for some other time.  She was not the smartest kitty who more than once ran down the hall forgetting to stop or turn a little to avoid the wall.  She also found out she was declawed the hard way – running to the back of the couch and trying to attach to the screen only to slide down to the ground.  We had to get rid of her when we moved and got her a nice new home with the help of the local vet.

We had a cat I swear had a little Siamese in him, Izumi.  My daughter named him.  She also teased him too much and they didn’t always get along then.  But he was a good cat to me.  He ended up with my daughter’s best friend.  We still get pictures of him regularly.  He is about 12 years only now… really getting up there in years.

That brings me to my three legged cat.  Stumpy was born with three legs and a Stump… following where his name came from?  We got him when a friend had to move and could only take one of his two cats to the new apartment.  He was my shadow everyday until he got very sick with ketoacidosis and had to be put to sleep in my arms.  I still so miss that boy!

Leaving our current kitty Chevy.  She was a farm cat that was the runt of the litter and there were fears she would never make it on the farm.  She is now a TOTALLY SPOILED little princess of a kitty.  But she has her sweet side to when she will sit next to you when you are having a bad day.  I hope we have her for a lot more years!

I loved each and everyone of them and will never forget them.  They were a part of the family for sure.  Have you got a kitty cat?

 

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A to Z Challenge – Friends

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F is for Friends

As near as I can tell, it is an Edna Buchanan quote that says “Friends are the family we choose for ourselves.”  I have always believed this.  I value friendships very highly.  As I write this I have done so many rewrites because I can’t find a clear way to express how important they are to me.  I think the most important thing is to let them know how you feel about them… life happens and you won’t always get the chance to say it.

Family like

Riches beyond measure

I love completely

Everything to me

Never out of my mind

Deep in my heart

Something very special

 

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