Easter weekend

I started this post on the Saturday before Easter, as in four days ago. I just can’t seem to get myself to take the time to sit by the computer and posting from my iPad is just not so easy or appealing. My age is beginning to show when it comes to technology. I frankly don’t enjoy watching television or movies on a 5×7 screen and I don’t like listening to music from my phone. I am not saying that the quality is bad, but when you grew up in the 70’s where everyone was into giant sized speakers hanging from the wall in perfect balance, and you tried like the dickens to afford a larger television because you were so happy to finally get away from black and white and have color, well…it is just different.

I always talk about being from the generation who touch the generation that survived the Dirty Thirty’s. My children can talk about being from the generation who touch the generation who began life with a black and white television. My has life changed. So below is what I was going to post last Saturday.

“What a weekend! I have been trying to put together a message for Easter Sunday and I can’t get past the second page. This afternoon, I couldn’t get past the first page without falling asleep in my chair. Good grief, you would think I had been up all night and that I was over worked. I admit it has been a long two weeks and there has been some stress, but I have really not been in the direct recipient of  any of it. In some ways, I feel more like one on the fringes, and I feel like it is selfish of me to feel stressed about any of it.”

For those of you who need a short recap, I was in Phoenix for a two short days at the beginning of the month because my uncle died, then we were running here and there after track meets both those we coach and one for our youngest daughter. The night of her meet, we all gathered to celebrate my big 60th birthday (a tish early) at a nephew’s pizza shop, Fire Flour Pizza, in Bismarck. Then we were back to track meet status until our oldest daughter called to say the twins were on the way. It was an unscheduled C-section the day after my actual birthday. The twins are a bit early, but it was a good decision and now they are able to grow and finish off their development with some pretty good eyes watching them.

Raja sitting at my feet today.

James and I spent one over night in Bismarck and then headed back to our home and all the things that entails. Vic and Nate and that set of grandkids was here for the weekend as was Paulina who brought Jessica’s dog, Raja. She had quite a trip too. They had a track and field meet in Aberdeen which from Jamestown to Aberdeen to here is a triangular sort of issue and would have made for lots of driving had she gone on the team bus. So, she opted for the drive herself with the dog in the car version, then she was able to come straight home from the meet. She got to Eureka in time to meet us at The Stop after Maundy Thursday services, which technically is a no-no. The jist of that service is to go home alone in silence and think about your life until Sunday. As you can tell, it is one of my least favorite days of the church year.

So Good Friday was wait for the Dickinson crew and Saturday was dye eggs with Jaxon and hang out with the family. We dug a ham and a bag of frozen potatoes that I picked up hither and yon from the freezer and that was our delicious Easter dinner after a church service that was like no other. We had several visitors as we do each year, but we also had two families that no one knew come in and join us. It was wonderful, and hopefully we didn’t scare them off from never coming back. James said at least one of them seemed to be enjoying the message, so hopefully….! I have resigned myself to the idea that we will not be adding members, so you never know.

Well, in a nut shell that is what we have been doing as of late. Hopefully, I can get to some of my work in the house and a few posts that have been on the back burner. I am not sure how far I will get before June. We have a full schedule of track and field meets as long as the weather cooperates. We have a wonderful set of junior high athletes and I just hope we do right for them. Paulina has some meets we might get to attend and this Saturday, we are planning to make a trip to Bismarck and hope to peek on the new grandchildren. Jessica started a Caring Bridges site, so we are able to keep up with their progress from afar. But, nothing like the first hand version.

Well, enough for now. I really need to get to the church office sometime today. We have a board meeting tonight and I should maybe get a report ready for it…. Yikes!!

Ana time

Last week our little Ana turned 1. We were not there for the actual birthday which was Wednesday, but we showed up the next day and stayed until Sunday. Benjamin Franklin said many years ago that fish and visitors smell in three days. I guess we should know to get out of there sooner the next time we go. We did only stay with Nate and Vic on Thursday and Friday and on Saturday we left the guest room for Jess and Tony and we went to a hotel in town. The whole purpose of the weekend was to celebrate James birthday (Monday) and Ana’s birthday (Wednesday) and our anniversary (Friday). We are thinking that maybe next year the anniversary will probably be an at home sort of day. Not that we didn’t have a good time, but we have done so much running around the past month that we really don’t want to have to be outside of our own house for quite some time. It seems that every year it is the same thing. We sit at home all of June and most of July then the last week in July and a good part of August we are running here and there and every stinking place. Anyway, I didn’t intend for this to be a gripe session. I wanted to share all of the fun we had with this crazy little girl who is growing so fast and loves to dance.

Ana on her present from Paulina and Grandpa.

Ana on her present from Paulina and Grandpa.

She loved this new toy. It is still a little large for her to get on it easily, and so she decided to push it instead of ride it. She and Jaxon each took a pushing toy and raced around the house for a little bit on Friday night and on Saturday morning. Paulina and I were both holding our ears. I decided this is why children are born to younger people. It is also why grandparents purchase toys like this for their children. This child is really a little Victoria. Hopefully she will be a little tamer when she is in high school.

She is trying to talk and that won’t be long before she gets a few words figured out. She shakes her head yes and no pretty easily and is working on saying, “this.” She was a hoot at the Medora Musical dancing almost the entire performance. She did cuddle up with her dad every now and then, but as soon as the music started, she was back standing in the isle dancing like crazy. Here is what I could get in terms of other pictures of the weekend. It sure was a fun time. I will post more on the musical and the trip through Teddy Roosevelt National Park.

IMG_5582

Cuddling with Paulina and holding the Minnie from Grandma

Cuddling with Paulina and holding the Minnie from Grandma

The Minnie Mouse was not the best idea for a gift at this time. You have to hold both hands at the same time and then it lights up the bows and sings to you. I guess as she grows, she might figure it out.

This gift was a little Bible. Jess and Tony are her Godparents.

This gift was a little Bible. Jess and Tony are her Godparents

Opening gifts from Jessica

Opening gifts from Jessica

Anyway in the long run it was a great time. We noticed a duplex across the street is vacant, we thought maybe if we were retired, we might want to move. Ha!! As much fun as that may seem, you wouldn’t get us away from our garden, even if it were to play the crazy mother-in-law across the street from the daughter and such. Victoria thought she might be the one who would lose her mind if she had a bossy mother that close to her. Anyway, it was nice to have Ana welcoming us by the time we left rather than running and hiding on her parents like the last weekend we were together. Hopefully we find time to get together more often in the near future.

One last picture for comparison. This was on Paulina’s graduation announcement. It was a picture of her at possibly age 3. Notice the wave!  Oh yeah, I saw that same wave a couple of nights ago when Adrienne drove past the pool and stuck her hand up.

Paulina about age 3.

Paulina about age 3.

Birthday of a sister

Today was the birthday of two of my sisters. Usually they celebrate together. This was only the second time in 40 years that I know they were apart. The other that I am aware of is the one 40 years ago when one was being born and the other was locked out of the local maternity ward because of the “no one under 16 may enter” policy.

The first time, I spent the day with the older one. I ended up taking care of the three orphans left at home with out mother or father because another sibling was coming, and today I went with the younger of the two.

Of course there may have been times when they were not together and I was not aware of it. I did spend four summers away from home during college, and then there were the years in Eagle Butte and Jamestown, so I can’t say that they had all those other birthdays together, but it does sound much more dramatic for the story, and we all know that if I didn’t make up some drama for the story, then there wouldn’t be any in the family. Nod, poke, wink!!

I will say that I was a nice older sister (17 at the time) and when I finished working at out grandmother’s café, I went home to make supper and bake a cake for Melissa so she could have a nice 7th birthday. I wonder if our parents gave her a gift besides a sister. I can’t say that I remember there being and present opening. I also don’t remember anyone else from the family being around. It seems like it was always me and those three.

I do remember going to the hospital to visit. In those days it was normal to keep the mother and baby for about five days. For some women it was the only vacation that had. Our mother worked at the local livestock sale barn. The sale was on Friday night. She came home from the sale knowing that labor had begun. She had a suitcase packed by the bedroom door when I got home from hanging out. She said they would likely be gone in the morning. Sure enough when I left the house to be at work by 6 a.m., they were gone. By 11 a.m., I had the call at the café that it was a girl.

Later that week, I took the three (Adam, Kathy and Melissa) to the rodeo in Mobridge. It was probably July 2nd because the rodeo is always on July 2, 3 and 4. It would have been the 29th Annual Sitting Bull Stampede. The first night is kids’ night, so they probably got in free and that was the big deal of it.

Anyway, Happy Birthday to both sisters. Hope we have many, many more years to decide if there will be together or apart or swimming or eating or inviting or not inviting or whatever. Today the entourage went to the Dakota Zoo. Yup the old, “going to the zoo, zoo, zoo, how about you, you, you? Joke of it all, the birthday girl went shopping while we were at the zoo. The only time we spent together was when we went out for supper at the new Mackenzie River place in Bismarck. Say that 10 times, fast!! Here are the photos. Jaxon was acting for the camera, as usual. Maybe he will do Hollywood since his mother wouldn’t.

Birthday girl eating her complimentary cake.

Birthday girl eating her complimentary cake.

The group of attendees minus me as I was taking the picture. Victoria and Paulina chose to be in the distance.

The group of attendees minus me as I was taking the picture. Victoria and Paulina chose to be in the distance.

Jaxon eating a lemon. We told him Paulina did that when she was little.

Jaxon eating a lemon. We told him Paulina did that when she was little.

Paulina, James, Kathy and Victoria at supper.

Paulina, James, Kathy and Victoria at supper.

Mr. Carson is a big 7

Paulina and I took a little road trip this afternoon. I was doing a substitute stint for the third grade teacher in Linton, and Paulina came from BSC. After school we hit the road for Wishek to catch the birthday party. We got there in time to see all the youngsters running rampant in the park. Melissa and Bruce were taking turns going back to the house to set up for the party. Short version is we stuck around for the cake cutting and gift opening and Paulina helped with the gift bags. We came, we enjoyed and we froze a bit then headed back to yell and scream at the football game, where the home team came up just a bit short. Hopefully we wake refreshed tomorrow for a trip to see the grandson. Anyway, hope you enjoy the pictures that we have of the day.

The play ground equipment in the park.

The play ground equipment in the park.

The cake.

The cake.

The birthday boy.

The birthday boy.

Happy Birthday sisters

Well, obviously the song of the day is “Happy Birthday to you” as sung to my two youngest sisters. Our family has this tendency to have birthdays on the same day. Theirs is the most noticeable. My sister Kathy has a birthday the same as an older cousin then a younger cousin was also born on that day, but it was a chosen birth thing, so … My two oldest daughters are within a day of each other and on James’ side there are some overlaps. I am in on the largest of those as I share a birthday with two of his nieces all different years and different parts of the family. Of course on James’ side with over 60 family members it isn’t hard to find an overlap.

Back to the birthday girls. We used to do big parties and such, or at least get together. It seems this year we are so disjointed and busy with our independent things that the most we have is a text message. Of course I pulled the greatest, how do you say it faux-pau today when I sent the separate text messages. I typed one to Adie on the T9 thing, barely got happy instead of happened, then I went to forward it to Melissa and forgot to change the name. I would be a bit torqued off if I were her, but what can you do with only semi-literate tech people like me.

The day is fairly cool right now. I have a jacket on me as I sit on the deck and work on this post. It is really fun to sit here this year with the baby birds nesting above the lights. I know that is not a good thing for the fixture, but it has really been a fun addition to a morning cup of coffee. When I am here alone and not making any noise the parent birds come and sit and look at me, and even stay when I talk to them. I have invited them to come and sit on my finger, but they aren’t ready to be that friendly.

Parent bird listening to me talk.

Parent bird listening to me talk.

Parent bird hanging out of the nest.

Parent bird hanging out of the nest.

Well, now the entire family has come out onto the deck, and so I will quit for now and come back later. I guess I am heading to Grandma’s house to clean out the drawers.

Happy Birthday Kathy!!!

Tuesday (July 31)  is my sister Kathy’s birthday. I won’t tell you how old she is. I will just say that of my three sisters, she is the closest to my age, but she is not as old as my brother, Adam.

I have been trying hard to remember the day that Kathy was born. I am not sure that I have her day or if I am confusing things with the day Melissa was born. I remember a story of my uncle driving through some fields looking for my dad while my mother was in labor and we children were in the back seat of the car. I really think that was Melissa’s birth, but it could have been Kathy because our mother was frantic to get to the hospital, and things weren’t working out then in the hassle of all those other babies, she had to wait for the delivery room anyway. I should have checked with Uncle Gene to verify which baby it was.

I do know that Kathy was one of several babies (like five) born in the Eureka Hospital on this day, but she was the only girl. I also remember my mother having a fit because there was some issue with one of the other couples and some of the mothers were afraid that the father of the couple at odds was going to come to the hospital and take his baby, but maybe grab the wrong one. If any of you know about small town hospitals, you know just how crazy that whole idea is. My mother was actually relieved that she was the only one who had a girl since he likely wouldn’t take her baby. Thinking of it today, it all seems like such unnecessary drama.

A couple of things I do remember my mother mentioning to some of her family and friends was that she may not have passed on to Kathy is how concerned she was to have been waiting in labor for so long and not getting to the Dr. There was a nurse determining which mother in labor would make it to the delivery room first, second, etc… In those days there was one delivery room and it was like an operating room. Hospital rooms were not equiped for birthing like they are today. Our mother kept being told it wasn’t her turn. The nurse kept saying, “Don’t you dare push, there is no Dr. available and you are not having that baby yet.” My mother was so concerned that there would be a problem because she was forced to wait, but in the end it all turned out, or so we think. Just kidding.]

I do remember that when Adam was born, I was upset because I thought I should have a sister at that time. There had been two boys after me, but when Colin died, I don’t think I was quite as concerned about having a sister. I guess by that time I sort of thought I was too old for a sibling of my own gender.

Another major story was that Kathy didn’t have a name when they brought her home from the hospital. My mother was a boy person. She would have loved having five or six boys, but she was only given two and one was taken away shortly after he turned four. The rest of us were girls and so that is how it was.

Anyway, our parents just couldn’t think of a name for a girl. I think she was a week old, and they still called her baby. Finally the hospital contacted them and said it was time to complete the birth certificate so they had to come up with a name. She was finally named for our mother’s maternal grandmother.

Although our parents couldn’t decide on a name for Kathy, my mother was thrilled to death when she was born because of her dark hair and eyes. All I ever remember her saying as she took care of her is how happy she was to finally have her dark haired baby. In fact, if you look at some of her baby pictures, you might wonder how she fit in with the rest of us. She definetly favored our maternal grandmother and the rest of us were blonde haired and blue or green eyed.

So with all of that history, I hope that you have a great birthday, sister Kathy. And, may there be many, many more……

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