Thursday, June 21, 2007

Ahh, Summer

Today is the summer solstice, the longest day of the year and I enjoyed every minute of it. While I was talking to my daughter, Paige, this morning, it dawned on me that June is probably my favorite month of the year. There are many reasons to love June, beautiful, warm days with low humidity, flowers coming into full bloom, lush green lawns that haven't fallen victim to the hot dry days of July, sweet red strawberries. The list goes on and on. This morning there were finches and cardinals at the bird feeder. As I stood looking out the window, enjoying the beauty of the day, I was struck with the thought that God must love us very much to provide us with such glorious surroundings.

The day only got better as it moved along. My friend Clara and her sister-in-law, Holly came for brunch on my porch. It was a gorgeous morning and such a joy to spend time with two people whose company I enjoy. We had a lovely brunch and a nice visit.

After they left, I baked two pies to share with my weekend company. Jim's brother, Laverne and his friend Cathy are visiting for the weekend to attend the LPGA. We have been looking forward to their visit for weeks and were so happy to see them when they arrived.

This day just keeps getting better and better. We had a lovely dinner this evening at Legend's Grill in Penfield. The only dark spot being that this delightful restaurant is closing on June 30th. I feel like I'm losing a newly found friend, Legend's being a restaurant we just discovered this past winter.

So, the darkness has arrived and tired and sated with the joy of the day, I will say goodnight and sweet dreams of more lovely summer days.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Bits and Pieces from a busy day

We name everything in our family. Our cars, our plants, our coats. Yes, our coats. I have a mink I inherited from my sister-in-law, Bonnie. Her name is Sasha. She was part of this busy day, but that comes later.
My car, Electra, a 1998 Ford Escort wagon, has been ill. Or at least we thought she was ill. I was hoping she would last one more year. Last week I had given up all hope of her making it. She sounded so bad. Every turn of the steering wheel produced a groaning; every touch of the brakes created a terrible grinding. I began searching the internet for cars I thought we could afford. Yesterday, we took Homer, Jim's Subaru Outback in to be detailed. He was really dirty after our 7,500 mile trip this winter. Anyway, on the way to Penfield, Electra was healed of her malady. Two large pieces of rust dropped on the highway and "Voila" no more groaning or grinding. Electra Lives!!!
Today, we picked up Homer from the detail shop and he is bright, shiny and clean as a brand new car. Who wold believe he has 90,000 plus miles on his body.
After getting Homer back, we were off to Fairport Baptist Home to visit our friend, Florence, and have a conference with her caregivers. What a wonderful bunch of people are the staff of this nursing home. They are so loving and kind to their patients. I had prayed long and hard that when the need for Florence to be in a nursing home came, there would be a place for her at Fairport. It has been a joy to Jim and me to have her in residence there.
From the nursing home, I went to Pittsford to deposit Sasha at the furrier for the summer. Leaving her was a wrench, but I know she needs the climate controlled environment they can offer her for the summer months.
Then it was on the mall to buy birthday and graduation gifts and return the beautiful top that just doesn't fit me. After all that, I rewarded myself with a Iced Mocha at Starbucks. After that brief respite I was off to Office Max for some pen refills for Jim and some supplies for my summer reading programs.
One final stop. I went to the liquor store and bought some fun wines for summer. I recently read in the local paper about crisp white wines for summer. With company coming next weekend, I decided to try some of columnists' suggestions. They are sitting on the kitchen counter waiting for our company to arrive next week for the LPGA.
After dinner it was "me time". While checking out some of my favorite blogs, I ran across a test Donna had given to herself. It looks like fun. So here is some of my deep, dark thoughts:
Yourself - Blessed
Your Partner - Wonderful
Your Hair - Fun
Color - Brown
Breakfast - Cheerios
Dog - Frazier. I miss him
Dream Car - Mini Cooper
Mood - Joyful
Funny - Bunny
Music - Eclectic
Green - Mansions
Kitchen - Green
Game - Bonanza
Driving - Necessary
Comfort - Inn
Water - Water Everywhere
My daughter Gretchen told me tonight that she and her husband, Brian, have decided that they are the only people who read my blog. I told them Tracy reads it too. She even comments.
Goodnight Mrs. Kalabash, wherever you are.

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Bonnie M. Wolfanger 1943-2005

Today is a sad day for me. Two years ago today, my dear friend and sister-in-law, Bonnie, lost her courageous battle with cancer. I can honestly say that I have missed her every day of these past two years. There have been so many times when I have wanted to ask her advice, share a joke or a sadness with her.

I met Bonnie when I was nine years old and she was eleven. Our family moved into a house kitty cornered across the street from hers. We were instant friends. She helped me transition into the neighborhood, the school and the community.

Ours was a very small school so the two years difference in our ages didn't matter much. Bonnie was always there for me. She was, in many ways, my big sister. She was my mentor in cheerleading, my advisor in matters of the heart, my friend through thick and thin.

Strange isn't it, that as adults she became my big sister-in-law. We didn't plan to marry brothers (who happened to be our neighbors), it just happened that way. And for the early years of our marriages, we were all busy with our careers, families, etc. and only saw each other on holidays.

Bonnie and Laverne didn't have children of their own, but they were the best Aunt and Uncle any kids could ask for. Bonnie was the "Queen" of all aunts and my girls adored her, as did all the nieces and nephews and then the great nieces and nephews. They were blessed to have her as their aunt.

As our children left the nest and we settled into the second half of our lives, Bonnie and I really reconnected. She was truly my sister. We travelled together, talked on the phone, and finally,(I believe to Bonnie's chagrin) emailed. Actually, I did most of the emailing. She never arrived at the point of having a love affair with the computer.

She insisted on calling each of us personally to tell us of her lung cancer diagnosis. She made it sound so matter of fact, that I really believed it was just an inconvenience, not a life threatening condition. Even though I now believe she new better, she convinced me that she would beat this monster. We talked about the trip to Italy we were going to take when she was well again.

Cancer is an ugly disease and in spite of her strength and courage, it moved from her lungs to her pancreas, liver and brain. Jim and I, along with other family members spent the last week of her life sitting by her hospital bed. Bonnie never lost her sense of humor. She made jokes with the nurses, doctors and family members.

The night before she slipped into a coma, she asked Jim and me to kiss her goodnight. Her last question to me was, "Will you be here in the morning?" Bonnie, I miss you and look forward to that morning when I know I'll see you again.

Tuesday, June 5, 2007

Company's coming,

first time company. Someone who has never been to my house before. AND SO--I'm cleaning. Today I tackled the bathrooms. How can a bathroom be SO dirty? Isn't this the room where there is soap and water, exfoliants, shaving cream, shampoo, conditioner, moisturizers and all that yummy smelling stuff that makes us feel so clean and beautiful?

But then again, it's also the place where there is lint from toilet tissue, towels, washcloths, dust from talcum, all mixed together with the 4 or 5 ounces of hairspray that I use every morning to keep my coif, coiffed. Add these to a few other things that I just won't bother listing here, and I guess you have a fairly dirty bathroom.

So I cleaned my little heart out. As I was standing on a step stool taking the light fixture above my sink apart so that I could clean it, I did wonder if my brother-in-law's girlfriend (wait, is girlfriend the proper term?) What exactly do you call one's romantic interest when we reach our 50's and 60's? But I digress. I doubt that Cathy will really go to the trouble of standing on my sink to check to see if the globes in my light fixture are sparkling clean.

Nevertheless, it's done and looks marvelous. Now my only dilemma is how do I keep it that way until my company arrives in two weeks?

Sunday, June 3, 2007

Happy Birthday, Brian (and mom)

Today is a special day in our family. It is the anniversary of the birth of my beloved mother, and the birthday celebration of our wonderful son-in-law, Brian. My mom has been in heaven for twelve years now, but I always think of this as a day of celebration. That it is also Brian's birthday, makes it even that much more special.
This past month, and especially the past week has been a very busy one for me, hence ( sorry to say Bri) I didn't get a card in the mail for the birthday boy. Luckily, I'll be seeing Brian later this month and can properly celebrate his birthday, albeit a little late. For now I hope he knows that we are thinking of him and love him. And Mom, well I think she always knew that her birthday was special to those who loved her. Even though some years she couldn't remember the exact date, but that's a story for another day.

Saturday, June 2, 2007

Women of Faith

My body is tired, my mind is reeling and my heart is filled to overflowing. Along with my friends Judy and Sandi, I attended the Women of Faith conference in Rochester this weekend. What an exciting and satisfying way to spend a weekend. Women of Faith is a non-denominational event. Nearly ten thousand women of all ages, backgrounds and walks of life were gathered together in one room to praise God, laugh, cry and hear what God has in store for them, for us.

I'm not sure exactly what I expected to get out of this weekend. I know that I was drawn to attend, and that I wanted to attend with friends who love and support me in my faltering walk with God. What a joy to experience this marvelous time with these dear sisters.

We did indeed laugh and cry together. We also danced and sang as we worshipped with the beautiful and talented Women of Faith team. What an encouragement to my soul to hear these delightful women tell of their own struggles and heartaches as they strive to walk with, and trust, God. There is no way I could begin to choose my favorite moment of this weekend. Just when I was sure I had heard the best there was, there would be something new to ponder.

I'd like to say that this was a life changing weekend and I will never be the same. But, alas, Monday will arrive with all of its distractions and worries. Reality is waiting around the corner. My prayer is that as I settle back into my life in "Kansas", I'll stop to remember the lessons I learned this weekend on "the Yellow Brick Road".