Memorial Day Memories

I worked all Memorial Day week-end. We had a big sale, which I'm thankful went really well. On Monday, Memorial Day, as I was working that morning I heard something really "loud" flying over the building. As I walked out into the garden, I ran into one of my customers that has shopped at the store since her son, Zach, was a baby and was always with her mom each time she came in. I looked up at the sky again and noticed the WWII Bomber planes flying overhead. My customer told me there was a Memorial Day ceremony at Fairhaven Cementary and she reminded me that her mom was buried there. It reminded me of my ex-husbands gramma that was also buried there, along with Dee-Dee, our first real gardener at Country Roads. The bomber planes circled back around, in what I "think" is called the missing man formation, you know when one plane flies ahead, and the other three fly behind. In a way that I can't really describe in words, there was something very meaningful watching those vintage planes and sharing that with my customer and what it meant to us. It also made my heart ache for all the parents that have lost their sons and daughters in Iraq, in other wars and in the streets of our own country. I just don't understand the violence and death, I never will. I thought a lot about my parents as well. They've both been gone for almost two years now. My dad served in WWII and I still have all his Army stuff he saved, his letters, etc. That's him in the picture and he was always so proud to have served his country. Even with all that said, I still am bothered at the "why" that so many have to die fighting others? Whatever happened to giving peace a chance?

After working three busy sale days at the store, I came home to "my girls". I had gotten some new Adirondack chairs at the store and myself, Brande, Katie, and Riley sat in the front yard as Riley played on her slide and with her bubbles. It was nice, it was peaceful, and I was very grateful that I am able to enjoy my family in such simple ways. Brande taught Riley about "rollie pollies", you know those bugs that roll up into a ball when you pick them up. Riley was fascinated as she held the tiny bugs in her little hands and then gently placed them in her bucket. But the best part is that for some reason, she understood the importance of "life" regardless of how small it might be. Rather than squishing the bugs to death, she gently put them back into the flower beds. In a world filled with violence, the care that Riley took with "life", as corny as it may sound, meant so much to me, especially on Memorial Day.

Katie and her husband bought my parents house after they died a year or so ago. They have been living with me the past four months because they have been doing a huge re-model on the house. Katie had been worried about colors, since the house was almost done and it was time to choose colors for all the rooms. So, after the rollie pollies were put to bed by Riley, we all drove over to their house to meet Vinnie to discuss color. It was nice helping Katie, sharing our thoughts on color. It was also really touching to me since I was brought home to that house as a baby. The magnolia tree my mom and dad planted 50 years ago is still there, but much bigger. Riley was getting fussy, so I took her for a walk as everyone finished up the color choices. We walked down the same street I did at Riley's age. I came across a young woman walking her dog. She shared with me how sweet my dad always was and how much he loved his ragdoll cat. I guess this woman had the same type of cat and my dad always loved to talk about Annie, his favorite ragdoll cat. Here was a stranger I didn't know, reminding me how sweet my dad was and how much he loved his cat. Sounds corny, but its importance to notice those "little" things in life, thats why they happen. When I went to bed last night, I thought about Memorial Day. I felt very blessed to have my family with me, to have the things in life that I do. And as I fell asleep, my wish was for peace. It sounds trite, but there is so much violence in our world right now. Why can't we all just take some time to appreciate the little things in our world. What's wrong with appreciating and respecting "rollie pollies"?


Being A Mom. . . Not Just a Job, an Adventure!

My Mother's Day dinner is kind of described by the picture of Riley, a little loud, a little crazy. I had decided to work on Mother's Day at the store because that is what I like to do. Afterwards, my kids were meeting me at our favorite little restaurant, Mexican Affair. Thankfully, it has a patio since Riley is at the age when its hard to sit still and be quiet.
This year, Riley's cousin, Appolonia, joined us. She is 3-1/2 and could be described as a "free spirit"
Dinner really went okay, considering we were dining with little kids. Bryce has always gotten Riley a balloon each time we go to Mexican Affair. They tie them outside on the patio railing. This time, for some unknown reason, maybe because it was Mother's day, the balloons were gigantic!! Next thing you know, the kids are hitting everyone with the balloons, Appolonia is starting to scream that her balloon is going to fly away. There is no way you can explain to a three year old that a patio cover prevents this!
You know, even with flying balloons, little kids screaming, trying to keep the majority of food on the table rather than the ground, I wouldn't have traded my Mother's Day for anything, including a quiet dinner at a fancy restaurant. My favorite movie of all time is from the 80's, Steve Martin's, "Parenthood". It kind of sums up what families are about, that roller coaster of life. So, as dinner was finished, balloons & kids loaded into carseats, I left with a slight headache, a full stomach, and most importantly, filled with GRATITUDE for having been taken out to dinner on Mother's Day by my kids, and reminded of how much I love each and everyone of them!


After A Year, A Family Again!!

Anyone that knows me well, knows my feelings on the hot topic of immigration. I despise the Minutemen for one, and secondly I think Mexico needs to fix Mexico, where the real problem lies. There is a reason so many people go through such high risks to cross the borders illegally. There, I said it, so you might not want to continue to read this. When I was in college I majored in Sociology and minored in American Studies. I spent a great deal of time on the Cocopah Indian Reservation that is near the Mexican border in Arizona. I saw then the poverty that the little Indian children lived in as I spent a summer living with them. Cardboard houses, dirt floors, no heat and temperatures reaching 115 plus in the summer months. Our country should be ashamed of itself. Prejudice and social injustice disturbs me very much. And now, with the immigration thing being such a popular subject and every Hispanic person, whether born here or not, is often scrutinized because of the color of their skin, I wonder what our country has become? It's sad, it's wrong, and there never seems to be a "face" on those that try to do the right thing and become a US citizen. No one ever talks about families with kids and jobs being ripped apart for over a year as either mom or dad is sent back to Mexico to wait, and wait till they can be re-united with their loved ones here again legally.

One of "my" kids, as I call my extended CR "family", has spent the past year waiting for Victor, her husband, to come home and be with her and their little girl, Josalyn. I've known Yesi since she was nine years old. She use to come in the store and hang around while her older sister Carol worked. I've watched Yesi grow-up into a remarkable, strong young woman, wife, and mother, and one of the most courageous people I know at such a young age. I've seen the tears in her eyes and felt the pain in her heart as Yesi has taken Josalyn back to Mexico to stay with her dad for a few months so she could work more and make up for the lost income in Victor's absence. It isn't easy being so young, and having your family torn apart. But I admire the strength and courage that Victor has shown in his desire to make his stay in this country legal.

After a year, the little family will be re-united next week. Victor is coming home to his wife and baby girl. And as you look at Josalyn's little princess face above, it's nice to know that this Halloween she will be with both her mom and dad as a family again. If I had one wish for the world, it would be for people to see people just as that, "people" who experience the same joys and heartbreaks in life regardless of color, race, sexuality and all the other prejudicial tags that people are labeled with. The love a parent has for a child is the same in any color or same sex relationship. I hope some day our world and those in it will take a step forward and get over themselves and open their hearts to others. The world would be a much more wonderful place to live in. Welcome home Victor, I've missed you!