I don't have any memories of living anywhere before we lived with Little in her house in Harvey. It was a row house that was the last one on the block. A lumber yard was next to it, with a cement wall running along the property. Across the street was a large field. A blacksmith shop was down the street run by an elderly couple. I liked to visit with "the blacksmith lady". The front of the house had cement steps and a wooden door. You walked right into the small front room and could see all the way into Gramma's father's bedroom at the back of the house. There was a window next to the door and a table in the corner. That's where the only telephone was. Gramma's room was next to the front room. She had a full size bed that was on a spring foundation. It squeaked every time anyone got on the bed. There was a dresser and mirror across from the bed. I think there may have been a rocking chair in there, because I can remember her rocking me many times. The kitchen was in the back of the house with a door to the backyard. A small sidewalk led to the garage. I loved riding my tricycle on that sidewalk. I don't remember the other rooms,but Kenny's crib was set up along a wall before the kitchen door. I think it was a dining area as part of the front room. I don't remember where Mom slept, but I got to sleep with Gramma in her room. She would snuggle with me and "rub my piggies" until I fell asleep.
Thursday, October 3, 2019
It's almost Halloween and that has me thinking about how I celebrated when I was a little girl. It was so different in the 60's. Most of our decorations were homemade, things we could make from construction paper. Bats, ghosts, pumpkins. We did buy cardboard pictures to tape to the living room window. Most of these were Hallmark products. Black cats, witches on brooms, haunted houses and more pumpkins. None of things were really scary, but they did mean Halloween was coming! Uncle Bobby carved the pumpkin just a few days before Halloween. We used a real candle so it didn't last more than three or four days. He would only carve one pumpkin and used a kitchen knife to do it.
We would spend a week trying to decide what our costume was going to be. We almost always made our costume instead of buying it at Woolworth's or Kresge's. Even so we still had to take the bus and go to the store and look at the boxes and boxes of ready made costumes. I always wanted to wear one of the masks and see if I could trick anyone. I would look at the princess costume every time. Because Gramma could sew she usually made the costumes. In second grade I was a flapper, complete with beads and nylons. My outfit was made from a peach slip that she sewed on row upon row of fringed crepe paper. I'm not sure if I knew what a flapper was but my outfit was very pretty. A lot of the boys would dress up as hobo's or scarecrows because it was easy and you had most of the items needed already. No one had a costume with blood or any gore that I can remember. If you were a ghost you were Casper or Wendy. We used sheets just like Charlie Brown.
In grade school we had a party after lunch. The students usually wore most of their costumes to school but the teachers would help if you needed to put on make up. The room mothers would bring cupcakes, kool-aid, popcorn balls and lots of candy to pass out. We colored pictures, played games and ate lots and lots of treats. It was important to remember to bring your trick or treat bag to school because we would start on the walk home. I took a bus to school but I stopped at the houses on our block as I walked home. We could stay out after dark if we wanted, just be home in time to eat. Sometimes we went out again after supper. Kenny usually did the most trick or treating. He liked to use a pillow case instead of one of the free bags businesses handed out. He didn't like to come home to empty his bag, he just kept going and going. Kids were everywhere, it was almost as much fun answering the door and handing out the treats as it was getting them for myself. Letting a grown up "check" your candy meant they were looking for Baby Ruth or Mounds bars. I was always more than happy to give these to Mom. Uncle Bobby liked Butterfingers. I did too so I would try to hide them from him. It didn't work, I would always give him a few after we sorted our loot and made our trades with one another.
Monday, June 3, 2019
Two numbers today. Just two numbers but what an impact they can have on a day. One I can do nothing to change. My age. How did I get here? When did this happen? It's true, you turn around and the years have flown by. It's hard to understand or even believe. I am sitting here in awe of time. It can drag and fly by. There is nothing I can do about this number but accept it. And I do. I am always telling people age is just a number. Don't let it define you. Every era of life has it's own wonder. I believe this and I try to live by it. I don't want to let this get me upset or send me on a downward spiral. Many things are changing and it is natural, I just have to let it be. But I promise myself not to let it hinder me any more than it has to. Some things are not as easy to do. That's okay. I still enjoy my life and am looking forward to watching that number grow. The other number, my weight, I have to do something about! I do not accept it! It has to go down and only I have the power to do it. Every night I tell myself I will do better tomorrow. Well tomorrow has come! I know it has to start with small changes in my habits and big changes in my thinking. Or maybe the other way around. Either way I have to take charge! Start new habits, learn more about what is happening to my body and how to get healthy and stay that way. And I need to be accountable to myself. I matter and I want better for myself. I will do it. Neither if these numbers define who I am but they each represent a part of me, good or bad. It is up to me what I do about them.
Thursday, February 21, 2019
Friday, August 7, 2015
Today I finished 12 weeks of cardiac rehab. Three times a week I would leave the house at 7:40am to make my 8:15 appointment. Each morning during the drive I would ask God to please bless my work-out and bring healing to my physical heart and my spiritual heart. He did both.
When I started rehab in May I was not too happy about going. The first day I got to the center a little early so I walked to the other side of the building to use the ladies room. I really just needed a moment to gather my thoughts and prepare myself for what was coming. I did not want to go in there. Again, I asked God to heal my heart and just help me get through this. This became my routine, I started every session the same way. At first I did it to calm down, eventually it became a time to set my mind on healing and restoration.
Even though my doctor insisted and everyone said it would be good for me, I did not want to go to rehab. It was just another reminder of what had happened to me. I was tired of talking about it and even more tired of thinking about it. I just wanted to pretend it ever happened. I didn't want to answer questions or compare treatments or be in a room filled with people who were "recovering" from anything. I dreaded going for the first two weeks. I tried to think of reasons I couldn't go, but I did go, never missing except when I went out of town and once when the building lost power. I would get on the treadmill and walk and walk and walk. Then work my arms. That machine is called a Windjammer. Round and round. Each machine has a picture of the muscles you work during that particular work-out. I started imagining my muscles getting stronger and healthier. I liked that. It felt good. I even tried a rowing machine a couple times. Sometimes it was hard, really hard. Often I had to come home and take a short nap. And I was always hungry when I left. I started keeping grapes and bananas in the car for the ride home. And water. I drank a lot of water!
I started rehab kicking and screaming (at least in my head) but ended with a different view. Rehab became my way of fighting back. My heart attack took a lot from me, mostly mental, but still a lot. I almost let it defeat me, instead it changed me. I am not the same. I think I am stronger now, both physically and emotionally. Sometimes I have a hard time breathing, I get tired more often. I take a lot of pills every day. I don't think any of that will change. However, I am determined to not let it take anything else from me.
Several people have asked me if it was a wake-up call. I tell them yes, God did wake me up that night. And He spared my life. I was not afraid that night and I am not afraid now. I am excited to see what He has planned for my future. I am a survivor.