Faith, family, Uncategorized

A Homespun Christmas Part 4

When I think about what Christmas looks like to me, in fact the whole holiday season, it would not be complete unless all the enduring elements which I’ve come to expect are included in the picture.

 

 

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The adorning of the house with all the colors and symbols of Christmas time, digging through the stored-away bins of decorations like a character straight out of Whoville. Somehow, every year it’s still a fond exercise in tradition.

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Then there are Christmas cookies and all kinds of baked deliciousness in which we indulge, forcing back those pesky feelings of guilt and shame. After all, it is Christmas, and our New Year resolutions haven’t begun yet.

So we bake the cookies, we make the candy and fudge, we go to those holiday parties and enjoy this special once-a-year celebration!

 

Lastly, I love to see at least a little bit of snow during the Christmas season. It just feels right! I hang my ‘Let it Snow’ sign in hopes that it will come, at least for Christmas eve.

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Aside from these, there are the things which you can’t buy, or bake. They are the gifts which we hold in our hearts, and the presence of those we love and cherish, when we lay aside the challenges in our relationships and choose peace and goodwill at least for now.

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The most precious of those unseen gifts are the memories of the ones we miss, especially during this time of the year. I understand all too well that the memories are not all good, some are painful and sad and irreparable, and we work through that the best we can, but still…. they are missed.

 

(This is my Dad ‘aka Santa’, several years before he took his journey to heaven)

 

For some of my family, this will be a first. A first Christmas without a brother, an uncle, a friend. I have my list, as I’m sure you do, too.

 

The decorations, the cookies, and the snow… of course all of those things are momentary.

 

And the Grinch, with his grinch-feet ice cold in the snow, stood puzzling and puzzling. How could it be so? It came without ribbons, it came without tags, it came without packages, boxes or bags. And he puzzled and puzzled ’til his puzzler was sore. Then the Grinch thought of something he hadn’t before, What if Christmas, he thought, doesn’t come from a store? What if Christmas perhaps, means a little bit more?” ~ Dr. Seuss

 

 

Truly, Christmas is a matter of the heart…. a heart for family… a heart for goodwill……. the heart of a Savior, full of love for mankind, the brilliant star which outshines all the other details of my perfectly painted picture of Christmas.

 

“For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—” Ephesians 2:8

 

…the best gift of all!

 

(Photos by Robin Abrams-A Song In My Heart)

 

 

 

 

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Faith, family, Home Life, Uncategorized

A Homespun Christmas Part 3

One of the most enjoyable holiday crafts I’ve done is what I lovingly refer to as ‘song trees’.

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My initial goal of 6-8 paper song trees, quickly grew to a couple dozen, as they were so beautiful, and easy to put together, that I gave away about as many as I made for myself.

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Here is one of my best, time-saving, holiday decorating tips: I use quilt batting, torn into shelf-size pieces, in the bookshelves to create a ‘snowy’ background. It can be purchased by the yard or in a roll. Rather than empty the bookcases of the regular, year-round décor, I simply push the items toward the back of the shelf, draping and covering them with the torn pieces of quilt batting. (See examples above) There you have, an instant, simple backdrop for all those festive & beautiful holiday colors!

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As a child, I never realized how hard my Mother must have worked in order to assure that all her children would wake on Christmas morning to the hope and promise every child holds on to during the holidays.

I believe the most precious memories about Christmas are rooted in the traditions which are repeated every year….things that are sure….and predictable. It’s an unspoken expectation that everything which is perhaps unstable about this present life will, at least for a brief moment, come back into order and take the shape of something familiar which we can recognize.

No matter how simple that tradition may seem, it causes the uncertainty which threatens our peace of mind to lose some of its power, even if only for a short time. One of those traditions in our house is waking up to lots of goodies in our Christmas stockings.

I have to say (or confess) though, that a few times over my past 30 years of motherhood, “Santa” has been a little late in filling the stockings before the children woke up on Christmas morning! I think he was too tired from the long night of delivering presents all over the world, and he slept in just a little too long…. or maybe he forgot to set his alarm clock….

The kids were so good about waiting patiently for “Santa” to get out there and magically cause those empty stocking to become overflowing with surprises, never calling him out for his untimely oversight.

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To my recollection, my Mother… um.. I mean Santa… never forgot to fill the stockings of my siblings and I.

Every year, we knew exactly what we would find… a large orange in the toe of the stocking, topped off with assorted nuts still in-the-shell, lots and lots of old-fashioned ribbon candy, colorful hard candies, peppermints, and yummy old-fashioned chocolate-covered crème drops! Every now and then, the hard candies would stick to the felt-stockings, but it made no difference to us! We just pulled it off and savored it anyway! These little morsels of sugary sweetness kept us happy all day long!

“It has long been an axiom of mine that the little things are infinitely the most important.”

~Arthur Conan Doyle

Faith, family, Home Life, Uncategorized

A Homespun Christmas Part 2

Rustic & cozy. Warm & soothing. Outdoorsy & simple.

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These were my goals in creating a wintry, get-away feeling right here in our own home.

 

The next mission was to gather lots and lots of branches to make walking through the house feel like a stroll through a woodland. Now, where am I going to find the branches?

 

Luckily for me, Andy knew someone who happened to have a humongous mountain of branches from their orchard. With gloves and cutters in hand, I sifted through the heaps to find the perfect ones, while my patient husband assisted. Not all branches are alike, and not just any would do! No! I had a vision and they had to be perfect!

 

Once home with our bounty, we sorted them, grouped them, potted them in small containers of plaster, and sprayed them with white texture which, once dried, looked like a dusting of delicate snow. (See picture below)

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The beautiful branches were placed strategically around our home and imparted that warm feeling you get when you sing…”Chestnuts roasting on an open fire…Jack Frost nipping at your nose….Yes, you know the one!

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Growing up, it was always tradition that very early Christmas morning, still in our pajamas with sleepy eyes, and before any presents were opened, we gathered around together and listened as the story of Christ’s birth was read from the big family bible.

 

We knew about Jesus and that this time was a celebration of His birth, and though we tried to listen, our youthful minds were filled with the anticipation of tearing open the colored packages which had our names on them.

 

Andy grew up with slightly different traditions, so we merged many of them and created our own special moments to remember. Taking a few minutes out of the excitement of gift-giving, to honor Jesus Christ and remember His birth was an important tradition that we agreed to continue as our children grew up.

Now, as our grown children bring our grandchildren to our home on Christmas Eve, they are hearing the same story of Jesus’ birth, as we open our big, family bible and read aloud the very same words that I heard as a child, the same words that were inspired by God Himself and were written into His Word, to be read and passed down to each generation, piercing the heart of man with the knowledge that God loves us so much, that He sent His perfect Son to a sinful world!

Here is this wonderful scripture of hope!

And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be taxed.
2 (And this taxing was first made when Cyrenius was governor of Syria.)
3 And all went to be taxed, every one into his own city.
4 And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judaea, unto the city of David, which is called Bethlehem; (because he was of the house and lineage of David:)
5 To be taxed with Mary his espoused wife, being great with child.
6 And so it was, that, while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered.
7 And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn.
8 And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night.
9 And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid.
10 And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.
11 For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.
12 And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.
13 And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying,
14 Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.”

Luke 2:1-14 (King James Version)

 

 

family, Home Life, Uncategorized

A Homespun Christmas Part 1

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It has long been my little family’s tradition that we deck the halls (our home) the weekend following Thanksgiving.

The marvelous invention of more ‘realistic’ artificial Christmas trees has made it more of an achievable goal. My apologies if the thought of a ‘fake’ tree makes you cringe! I truly do love the feel and aroma of a freshly-cut pine but it doesn’t allow for a lengthy, month-long display, which we love.

 

 

 

Midway through 2016, a vision of the upcoming Christmas season began to fill my heart and mind. I felt like the world was in such a state of chaos, and in fact, it still is. The election was in full-swing, all the relentless arguing and conflict in the news and between people in general, everyone shouting to be heard while no one actually listened to anyone else, was just too much for me.

 

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I needed to get back to my roots and retreat to a simpler time, to be soothed down to my soul, and make our home the one place we could all go to escape the madness. Being a simple, hometown girl at heart, I longed to create an atmosphere that would impart a feeling of warmth, comfort, and peace.

 

I wanted to bring outdoor elements into my home and re-create the comforting simplicity of an old-fashioned Christmas. I enlisted my husband’s help to make my vision a reality. Lots of planning and prep work paid off, and the end result rewarding. (Pictured on the right: hand-woven garland. By Robin Abrams)

 

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Over the next few weeks, as we enter the hustle and bustle of the holidays, I’ll be sharing glimpses of how it all came together, along with a few special memories of my past family traditions. I hope it will bring a smile to your heart, memories of Christmases long ago to your thoughts, and inspiration as you create your own traditions and bring your own vision of the holidays into your home, no matter what that looks like for you.

Feel free to use any of these ideas. I hope you enjoy.

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The first part of my plan was to leave all the shiny-gold, fancier ornaments packed away, and to display the rustic, home-made themed instead. With natural elements being my inspiration, I began gathering sticks, twine, and branches. I looked online for inspiration, and then added my own ideas and personalized touches. (All the items pictured here handcrafted by Robin Abrams)

 

I put my love of thrift stores to good use and found gently used ornaments that fit my theme perfectly, plus I already had quite a collection of nature/country inspired baubles. Even my local dollar store had many ornaments that were exactly what I was envisioning. When the time came to put up the Christmas tree, there was no shortage of beautiful, simple, and whimsical ornaments.

(Ornaments by Robin Abrams)

(All pictures by Robin Abrams)

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I still clearly remember my favorite ornaments from my childhood years. The elves, whose long legs bent at the knees, enabling them to tuck underneath its folded arms, and the colorful little glass birds with long, fuzzy tails.

And we adorned the tree with plenty of shining tinsel!

Tell me, which ornaments were your favorite as a child? Which traditions came with decorating the family Christmas tree?

If you would like to take a stroll down memory lane, here is a wonderful resource for beautiful, vintage ornaments!

ThisThatAndChristmas

Faith, family, Uncategorized

A Really Good Movie

Today, I’m writing a movie recommendation rather than a story.

 

 

Some movies entertain, make my mood lighter with laughter, some make my eyes leak and tug at my heart. And then there are some which have a longer lasting affect, like this one, for instance.

 

 

My family enjoys watching faith-based movies. Along with great story lines intertwined with core family values, they encourage us in our faith in God.

 

The movie ‘War Room’ is a faith-based story which highlights the value of having a prayer life, likening it to a military war room, where top experts and leaders meet to strategize and develop a plan in order to fight an effective battle against their adversaries.

 

The main characters in this movie located their ‘war rooms’ literally inside a closet in their homes. On paper, they wrote down their petitions to the Lord, the names of their loved ones, bible scriptures written out by hand, and taped them on the walls.

 

Then, within the walls of their war rooms, they went to battle… spiritual battle. Armed with the Word of God, calling out their battle cries of truth and faith. Trusting, believing, surrendering the fight to Him, and upon leaving the war room, they are adorned with a medal of strength and confidence that God is in control. Mixed with a little bit of humor, the family stories in this movie will draw you in as it all unfolds.

 

We have seen this movie twice and loved it both times. I hope you are able to view it and that you will be encouraged. This movie is no longer in theaters, but is available on DVD.

 

I’ve included a link to the movie trailer:

“War Room” official movie trailer

 

family, Living Life, Uncategorized

If Wishes Came True…

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As a majority of Americans prepare to capture a glimpse of the eclipse about to take place above our beloved country, I find mixed feelings stirring inside me.

 

I am excited about taking part in this rare occasion with my children. It brings back fond memories from my high school years, when my entire school stood on the front lawn as we experienced an eclipse. I want my kids to carry these memories with them and excitedly tell their own children about it someday.

 

And I want it to remind them of the wonders of creation, fashioned and set in motion by God’s very own hands, and I want them to feel in awe at His majesty!

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On the other hand, the more recent conflicts that have taken place in America and across the world leaves me with sadness and a feeling of helplessness. In my tiny, little niche of the world, I don’t know what else to do but to pray, make sure I am guarding my own heart from the darkness of contention and division, keep hope alive, and, if nothing else, wish.

So, if wishes really can come true, here are mine:

 

*That as the shadow of the moon completes its covering of the sun and the new light begins to peek through in beautiful rays, may it also awaken a new heart in those who, today, carry an oppression of hatred which has darkened their humanity, and our homeland.

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*That as the path of the eclipse completes its course, mankind would suddenly see clearly the destructive direction in which it is headed.

 

 

*That empathy would take precedence over coarse speech, the need to express oneself through violence, or the need to shout out in contempt at all. Instead, human beings would see one another not just with their eyes, but with their hearts. And as their brothers or sisters speak those things which weigh heavily on their souls, they would find an audience in our ears and compassion in our hearts.

 

Then, it would be the other person’s turn to share, and they, in turn, would feel heard. 

 

*That, the crest of the moon shadow which cuts away the sun’s rays, would also cut away from every human being the callous, hardened shell of hate, and reveal the vulnerable  heart of mankind. Hearts which all have the same basic needs: to be loved… to be heard… to be valued…

Faith, family, Uncategorized

Our Unexpected Detour

We had just departed from my older brother’s home in Oregon, after spending a few days visiting him and his wife. It had been a great time, as usual, but we were ready to head for home, and we were only a few hours from our destination.

 
We had borrowed my Mother-in-law’s motor home, an older, open-designed model, with a nice, comfy couch located directly behind the driver’s seat. This is where I sat as we made our way down the highway.

 

 

I brought along some journals, one of which I had been writing in periodically since the beginning of our marriage. As it often goes, there were more entries from the earlier years of our lives than the more recent ones. Included were details about our first-born daughter, Melinda. Memories of her infancy, toddler-hood, and many of her first words and such.

 
I had also started journals for my other children, Michael, who was about 11 at that time, and 1 & 1/2 year old Marty. I thought the long drive would give me a chance to jot down more cherished memories.

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We left LaPine before noon, stopping in a neighboring town to top-off the large gas tank before resuming the long drive home.

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Andy drove, of course, with Marty seated next to him, buckled into his car seat in the front passenger seat. Melinda and Michael were enjoying the ride in the bedroom, which was located at the very rear of the motor home.

 

 
Less than 10 miles from where we had stopped for fuel, as we rounded a curve in the highway, the front tire of the driver’s side blew without warning.

 
I’m thankful for the good driving skills of my husband, for he was able to keep control of the motor home, as he carefully pulled the vehicle onto the shoulder.

 
As we came to a stop, smoke was billowing up from under the driver’s seat, and into the interior of the motor home, quickly becoming thicker and darker. Andy said, “Get out!”

 
I dropped everything, yelled to Melinda and Michael to come on and grabbed my baby out of his car seat while trying to stay calm. Andy struggled for a few seconds to get the latch on the old door to come free, and Melinda said, “Open it, Dad!”

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By the time we all got out the door and began walking away from the motor home, the driver’s side was engulfed in flames. By the time we were a good safe distance away, looking back at the peril from which we had escaped, the entire motor home was an inferno.

 
The thick, black smoke smothered both lanes of the highway, with the fire so intense it literally melted the asphalt beneath it, and ignited the dry brush along the roadway.

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Kind witnesses of our distress stopped to see if we were okay, as the kids and I stood crying and in shock, watching the motor home be reduced to nothing more than the frame it was built on. The only thing that survived the blaze was a pair of cast-iron wall hooks which I had purchased at an antique store. One good Samaritan literally gave Melinda the shoes off her feet.

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We left the motor home with absolutely nothing. The irreplaceable journals, my purse, phones, baby supplies, identification. Nothing. I had packed some of our best blankets on the motor home, including the wedding-ring quilt which I had pieced, crafted, and hand-quilted myself….. It was all gone.

 

After the fire was out and all the legalities were taken care of, a local man who had extinguished the brush fire took us to his home, where he and his wife extended open arms and warm hospitality at what we had just endured. We quickly came to realize that they were fellow Christians, and he was a singing cowboy for Jesus, no less! God-sent is how we would describe them.

 

 
They drove us to a quaint, near-by town, where we waited for friends to come take us home.

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Even though we were all okay and extremely thankful to have come out of the ordeal unscathed, the effort to process what had happened, and the numbness we felt from the traumatic events, was still with us well into the evening. In fact, all the children slept in our bedroom that night. We just needed to be together.

 

 
Sometimes, my mind plays out the other possible outcome. The more I think about it, the more frightened I get, but I remind myself that we were not alone that day.
There was one more passenger with us…Jesus.

family, Living Life, Uncategorized

Once Upon A Time….

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Our love story began long before we ever said “I do” .

 

Once upon a time, there was a 17-year-old young man, handsome, charming, already entering his adulthood. Already full of life experiences, living life to the full, sowing his wild oats, the good and the bad.

 

He and his family were acquaintances and friends with a nice family in the community, a young mother raising her 8 children. His siblings would hang out with the kids of this family, going to school together, going to church together.

 

This young man also knew the family, from the oldest to the youngest, a little, brown-eyed baby girl.

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He grew into a strong, hard-working man, becoming highly skilled in his trade over the course of the next several years, becoming a husband and a dad, and growing grounded in his relationship with Christ.

 

 

In the mean time, that little baby girl was growing up into a young woman in a loving family, with happy childhood days, learning what life was all about, making some mistakes along the way, and growing to love the Lord.

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As a young teenager, she prayed to the Lord about the kind of man she wanted to marry someday. He should be tall, handsome, hard-working, and most importantly, a Christian man.  He would treat her good, and be kind.

 

 
Ironically, or perhaps revelatory of the future, they both happened to attend a Halloween party when she was about 16. It just so happened that she arrived dressed as a man, and he wore a full, womanly costume, complete with a long, blue dress (generously stuffed!), dark wig, and heels. He was quite attractive, actually!

 

One of the party games was The Newlywed Game. Don’t ask me how this fit with a Halloween party, but at that time, it was quite popular and well-known.

 

Guess who was paired up as a couple? And guess who won the whole game? Yep!

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Fast forward a couple more years……

 

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She was now 18, mature, getting ready to graduate from high school, and full of anticipation and dreams about life.

 

 

 

 

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He was now 35 and single.

 

 

 

 

 

 

While in town visiting his family in the early 80’s, he went to church with them one Sunday, and she, being a member of the congregation, was also there. Through their friendly conversation, she shared about some minor struggles in her life. He offered a listening ear and a friendship blossomed.

 

A drive to get a soda… good conversation… a friendly game of bowling… soon, their mutual feelings of affection grew undeniably.

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The difference in their years was a clear consideration for both of them. One evening after church, he said to her, “I sure wish you were ten years older.”, to which she replied, “I sure wish you were ten years younger.”

 

Somehow, the vast span of their ages became less significant, as their love changed the perception of time.

 

In the end, they couldn’t deny their love for one another, and as the old cliché goes, “it was meant to be”. A few months later, they were married in that same small church, surrounded by their loving families.

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This love story is my own, and that handsome young man, my husband. No one could have predicted that one day, that young man and that little girl would fall in love and merge their very different lives into one.

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Yet, now, an unbelievable 34 years later, we continue our paths together, the good times and the hard times, going through life’s changes while holding onto each other.

 

As we celebrate our 34th anniversary, I dedicate this post to my wonderful husband, my friend, the one I love.

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family, Home Life, Uncategorized

Ode to the Good Ole’ Days

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This story is a continuation to my previous posts about my childhood days on the farm. You can find those posts in my archives.
Even though these stories may seem simple and somewhat ordinary, they are still share-worthy because the memories which I hold dear from that simple, country life are important times, not only in my own history, but for that era in which people and communities lived and grew. Some of these small communities and rural areas are now almost unrecognizable. As housing, industry and commercialized agriculture expands, the small farm livelihood and purpose shrinks.
So, if you too experienced childhood on the farm, or even if you didn’t, I hope my stories will bring a smile to your heart as you recall your own yesterdays.

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I was about 5 years old when my Mother remarried and we moved to the outskirts of a tiny town called Buena. It was a nice little rural community in those days. It was small, but had a little convenience store, post office, a tiny public library, beauty shop, and a small elementary school within walking distance from our home.
I have always loved the house we lived in. It was less than a mile from town, and sat on about an acre or so of land. The red, 2-story home resembled a barn, with a white, covered porch expanding across the front of the house. To a small child like I was, it felt like a mansion!
I shared a large, upstairs bedroom with some of my sisters, but outside was where we had most of our fun! It was a fantastic place to play! Oh, there were so many things to do!

 

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Farm life suited us just fine. We had quite an array of animal life as well.

 

 

Mom had a beautiful, golden-brown Jersey milk cow, and we also had horses, chickens, ducks, rabbits, pigs, goats, dogs and cats! My favorite cat was a huge, yellow-tabby tomcat, which I would pet and talk to on the back porch for hours!

 

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My Mother, being the hard-working, ambitious woman she was, put the farm to work producing an abundance of food and produce for her family. I don’t know when she ever slept, as she worked from sun up til sun down, and then some!
But I truly believe she loved every bit of it. Seeing the bounty being canned, frozen, and stored away to meet the needs of her big family must have given her peace of mind, knowing her children would be fed well.
One year, she built 2 very large, framed screens, and set them up in the front yard. After lining them with plastic wrap, she spread a thin layer of pureed fruit over them which dried into home-made fruit leather (today they are called fruit roll-ups). She also used the screens to sun-dry sliced apples and other fruit in the fresh, natural sunshine.
Frozen cherries were one of our favorite summer time snacks, as well as sweetened, frozen sliced peaches. There was also plenty of home-canned cherries, peaches and pears.
At that time, there were 7 or 8 kids still living at home, which included my stepfather’s 2 school aged children. The youngest, a girl, was only 2 months younger than me, and my Mom would often sew matching outfits for us. (See picture below)

 

One winter, the older children built a real ice igloo!

 

You can’t spend all those hours out on the farm, and not have a few battle scars.

 

For instance, my hand bears scars from the day I ran out the back door to play. The front door was open, causing the back door to firmly slam shut, quickly taking the tip of my finger off. All I remember is screaming at the sight of the blood, and my mother wrapping my hand in a towel and holding me while I was taken to the hospital, where skin was grafted from my hand in order to repair my finger.

 


It wasn’t all fun and playing, as there were plenty of chores to be done. Pulling weeds in the garden wasn’t much fun, whereas collecting the eggs and giving the pigs their stinky, mushy food was definitely more interesting to me.

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One particular evening, it was my turn to wash the dishes. I was probably about 8 or 9 years old. But that night, my older sister was having a slumber party and I didn’t want to wash dishes, I wanted to hang out with my sister’s friends!

 

So I carried on to my Mother about it, whining, and fussing and complaining, and I mean, I just kept on and on in my misery!
Mom finally had enough, and she firmly said, “Oh, just go on then! I’ll do them myself!”

 

Woo-hoo! I was free! I got to go have fun, right?
No! Because then, I felt so terrible and guilty, that I started crying and crying and begging my Mom to “please let me do the dishes!”, but she wouldn’t!!

 

My poor Mother! Whatever a wit’s end is, I’m sure I drove her to it that night!

 

Of course, it wasn’t a perfect time of life, and we had our share of difficulties, tragedy and loss, but because of our foundation of love… we endured.

family, Living Life, Uncategorized

Baby-Sister Forever

Baby-Sister Forever
Growing up in a large family was wonderful. Being the baby of the family was even better.

 

 

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I know there are stigmas that go along with that. That we are spoiled, self-centered, and get away with everything. That may be so for others, but I think my family was exceptional, so I feel like I escaped some of the negativity that plagues my position in the birth order.

 

According to my personal experience, I’ve compiled a list of pros and cons to being the ‘baby sister’.

 

First the not-so-fun parts:  For instance, big sisters sometimes take on the ‘mom’ role. I had 5 big sisters but I’m proud to say, they were not forceful in this aspect.

 

However, one particular memory is forever etched in my mind! We visited a small church one Sunday. I was probably about 2-3 years old, simply because if I was any older, I don’t think I would have fit in the ‘torture chamber’ my siblings put me in.

 

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They took me to the nursery and put me in the crib. This was not an ordinary crib. It was more like a wall unit, which had a double stack of smaller, enclosed cribs, and each one had wooden bars which were pulled down to keep a baby or small child safely inside without the danger of falling out.

 

To my recollection, it was more like a cage, and I did not like it one bit! Obviously, as I still remember it! Oh, it’s very comical now and we’ve laughed about it many times.

 

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Debbie would try and try to get this extremely shy little girl to sing, either on a tape recorder or in front of people. “Sing, Robin, sing!”, she would say. I suppose I should thank her, since now I can’t stop!

 

Being called “baby sister” can be good or bad, depending on your point of view.

 

If you’re a teenager who is trying to be more ‘mature’, you don’t want to be called that. But when you reach the age of forty or above, being called baby anything is ok! I don’t mind it at all!

 

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As I’m sitting here writing this, I’m finding it difficult to recollect other examples of  ‘baby sis’ disadvantages. Other than the normal sibling teasing, and fighting with one of my sisters over her clothes (she knows who she is!), it was actually pretty nice!

 

 

 

There was the time that Gwen was pushing me on the swing at the city park. I fell off and gashed my forehead. She carried me all the way home, while I bled all over her.

 

And after jumping on the bed one day, I fell off and knocked the wind out of myself. My brother Kevin came to my rescue and pounded me on the back til I caught my breath again. It was very scary and I’ve always credited him with saving my life.

 

Of course, it’s easy to remember more of the positives! My brothers and sisters loved me! And I loved them! They were my playmates, my protectors, my examples. I celebrated their successes, shared their heartaches, and learned from their mistakes.

 

 

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After they grew up and moved out of the house, I spent a lot of time with my sisters and my oldest brother in their homes.

 

 

 

They loved having me there, and I loved it, too. They always made me feel special and loved.

 

And they still do.

 

Come to think of it, maybe I am that spoiled baby sister. But in the best way possible:


 I am spoiled on love.