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A reason for the word

Three weeks ago we were in the hospital, I was viewing this as I waited for my husband to come out of surgery.
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The mountains and the valleys are beautiful where we live and it was a nice ‘change from the hospital walls’.
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He is doing well, his leg is healing, he had a set back with a major infection but that is healing and I think it is a time for us to move forward with our retirement plans.
Anytime someone is in the hospital there is a certain amount of stress. Also a change of routine and schedules.
I ate foods I normally would not eat the first day and part of the second day I took my own snacks.
He came home with a walker, cane and not much of an appetite.
Drugs have a way of doing that, which could be good except they also can be upsetting.
I know I am not one who can take strong medications, I have a high pain tolerance and usually do fine.
Our next plan is to get him driving as he doesn’t really like mine.
Then we will go see some travel trailers or motor homes.
Once we settle on the camping type rig we like, it will be fun to go and enjoy some time away.
Soon summer will be here and the grandchildren will be out of school.
We don’t have to wait any more for the weekend.
He retired and so we are free to go anytime we choose.
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The Lord has been showing me many reasons why my word of the year turned out to be reveal.
I will share as I get more ‘information and validation.’ It is very clear there was a reason for this word.

A few pictures

depoe bay b our Oregon coast.
fall drive c Our valleys and vineyards
beautiful tree A few old trees
IMG_3603 A covered bridge
meal-time.-mommy-and-baby-bird A bird family
july-2011-033 A picture {can you see it?}
beach The beach
Oregon-by-Shelley-Collis A green valley

Resting and re-grouping

This last week or two have been quite the interesting ones.
My husband had a full knee replacement surgery. It went well other than a few glitches and issues.
He is recovering as far as the knee goes, he can bend it and it is healing properly.
The new problem is an infection and that is being treated very aggressively.
Prayers and good antibiotics have helped in this process.
The thing he has to do now is rest and let the healing take the time to do what it needs to do.
I know it’s hard but he has no choice.
Next week the 29 staples will be removed and he can learn to bend again without pain.
Before his surgery he was given a day of fun. He had a two hour flight scheduled out of Hillsboro and it was just what he needed.
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They took off in a small plane and decided to go up and over Mt Hood. Before doing that they flew over our house and neighborhood.
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The views from up high are way different that what we see below.
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This is a field by his old work site. It looks totally different from the level of a car.
They flew over Portland and the city buildings were amazing I don’t have those pictures yet.
They flew over the Oregon City bridge and water area, he said it was amazing.
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The day was beautiful and sunny. They had clear skies with fluffy clouds. Heading to Mt Hood it was beautiful and majestic.
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The majesty and glorious mountain covered in snow, with rugged beauty.
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Our God is so amazing to create such beauty and power in a mountain. Very much like Mt St Helen’s before the volcano changed it’s look.
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When he came out of the sky and back onto land his smile was wide and he was so happy.
It was a gift of a lifetime.
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As soon as he could he was ready to share the stories and pictures to anyone who wanted to see them.

The reason

I haven’t written for a little while because my husband retired, we had a party at his work, we had a few days off and then helped our son and his family move.
He had a full knee replacement surgery on the 12th and came home on the 14th.
So we are in a recovery mode.
It will take a few weeks for his pain level to even out, and then he can one more time learn to walk on a new knee.
There were a few complications but all in all he did very well.
Two days in the hospital and a night of sleeping in the recliner chair.
He is ready to get back to our familiar routine.
I made home made dinner last night and he wasn’t too hungry, I think the pain medications affect the appetite.
This afternoon the door bell rang and I opened the door to find a delivery lady with a bouquet.
He is sweet, sneaky guy, don’t know when he set that up.
I am taking a short pause before I get back into long term writing again.
Until then hang in there and remember God is with you always.
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Retirement

Today is my husband’s official day of retirement.
He left the company yesterday knowing that he would not return.
The first few months won’t really feel any different, next week is a week off. That could feel like a vacation.
Then he will have a full knee replacement surgery which will also require recovery time.
I don’t imagine retirement will hit him till at least the first week of June.
He has been on the job for 37 years. That is a long time. A lot of designing and planning.
He was a design engineer for a dental company designing all aspects of the dental units.
It seems strange to say “was”… he still is a designer but that skill won’t be used as much now.
He wants to find a motor home, or a truck and trailer. He wants to take some time to fish.
Just times for relaxing. He deserves it.
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He won’t be using the phontoon boat as much and he doesn’t have a dog.
But retirement could still mean a lot of fun.
We are figuring it all out and soon it will be a blur of memory and a wonder why, we were so ‘concerned.’
I think he feels a bit strange, to know he is not going back there to work.
He might even feel a bit displaced because for a man, identity forms within a job title.
He had his exit review. They wanted to know why he was retiring early.
His answer to them, “because I can.”
Yes because we can. That is a good enough reason.
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Happy Easter Weekend

We start our weekend out with a birthday breakfast for our grandson Josiah, he turns eight years old today.
The tradition is for each grandchild to go out for breakfast with grandpa, the choice is theirs where to go.
Then we will go to his house for a party with his family.
After that we have softball game for our grand daughter Hannah who is 12.
Then we will get ready for our ‘dinner’ for tomorrow, the traditional ham and potato’s and assorted dishes to go with that.
Tomorrow will be Easter service then home for dinner and relaxing.
A good weekend that is both busy and full of family.
Happy Easter to my faithful encouraging readers.IMG_20160325_145717 [2843460]IMG_20160325_145813 [2829557]
[Now choose life, so that you and your children may live and that you may love the LORD your God, listen to his voice, and hold fast to him, for the Lord is your life.]

It will be good

As I mentioned in the last writing we moved to a two story home on a corner lot, with larger rooms to live in.
Now that I think of it years later, we were funny to do this kind of move when our other ‘home’ would have worked for us.
No point in thinking backwards, we have been here now for many years and this feels like home to me.
When we first moved here I didn’t like it. It was dark, the sun had different ways coming into the windows, it was not our home, not the home we built or raised our children in.
I don’t do change easily probably because of the background I came from. I like things to stay the same.
We both worked fulltime so we were here evenings and weekends.
There is a lot more yard to take care of and having two stories was a new experience, that I thought I wanted. Now I am learning differently.
A single level would be perfect with no stairs. As we get older the up and down is not safe anymore, I always have to hang on to the railing.
We became grandparents in this home, the only home they have ever known for us.
We struggled through the year of our 25th anniversary then a baby came.
It brought us hope and a new meaning of grandma and grandpa. We worked on our relationship and continued to make it work.
After Faith was born I stayed home to be with her for close to four years, it was the beginning of healing for me.
To sit and rock and love on that precious tiny baby, it was good for me to slow down and rest.
In this house we have had a variety of different surgeries and illnesses.
In this house we have learned about hospice, and healing on many levels.
In this house we have lost pets, and gained some. We have lost parents and friends.
We have grown apart then back together again.
We have had, the good times and the bad and yet we remained together.
The journey has not always been easy but no journey is.
In this house I began my writing process and have created a place for ‘sharing my heart.’
Larry was the one who suggested it.
After I left my last job I didn’t know what to do with myself.
The grand children were all in school. I watched my nieces little baby and yet I needed something else.
He suggested that I write. He wanted me to tell my story or at least a part of it.
When I was working there was never time or energy to do anything like that.
I took advantage of her nap times and then shut myself in the den room, and began the process of ‘writing’.
It has been quite the learning process. I focus on topics and self made deadlines.
I love being my own boss.
In this house we are growing old together. We are creating memories and finding who we are as a older couple.
Soon Larry will be retired, he will have one more serious surgery and then we will begin the time of recovery once he is home.
It will take time but our hope is the ability to travel and see things we have never seen. And of course move one more time.
God will guide us to the right home, and the right setting with the right ‘people’ to help us move.
It will be good. It is always good when we follow his leading.

The changes that life brings us

Learning to be a parent was a job like no other.
You cannot read a book and be prepared for it, unlike drivers ed you cannot take a class, practice and pass.
We learned by trial and error as we moved through the days and nights of hard and exhausting work.
Not that children are difficult, but it just takes a lot of energy to do the job of parenting well.
I had very low energy when they were little and a small amount of experience from a few babysitting jobs.
We learned to navigate through the baby stages, then to kindergarten and grade school, and then big school.
I did daycare to help with our budget, so I could stay at home with our children.
Sometimes they even liked and played together which made my job easier.
I didn’t go to a work setting till Sarah was about 1st grade, which would have made Christopher around 4th grade.
There were a few jobs I tried, but I found I didn’t like leaving them.
Oh I also tried to sell Tupperware, or Avon but decided I am not a sales person.
The first clue was when I hung the Avon bag on the door and ran after ringing the door bell, hoping no one would call wanting me to go back.
Whenever I thought of leaving and going to work I couldn’t get a right peace in my spirit.
For years I stayed home and did other things to help our budget.
Eventually I found a job that worked with Larry’s schedule. He worked an 8-5 job and I worked a 6-2:30 job.
He got the children up and moving in the morning and I was home in the afternoon.
When they had days off from school, Larry left for work as they slept, then he was home for an hour lunch, and I was home at 2:45.
Leaving them very little time for trouble. That worked for a long time for us.
We were living in our home that we built and schedules were finally working really well.
They walked home together when they could, we felt with Christopher being 3 years older he could be the responsible one.
They grew and life continued and they were busy with activities like cheerleading and jazz band.
High School brought many new experiences for all of us.
As parents we had to learn to challenge them and direct them and lead them into making good decisions.
We also had to allow them to fall and make mistakes and learn from those ‘wrong choices.’
After graduating from high school Christopher went to college, and Sarah moved in with some girl friends.
The changes a family goes through in 12 years as a child grows up is amazing.
Yes there are challenges, and yes some were harder than others. But we walked it together.
Through those good and not so good times, we made it.
We found ourselves one more time, just the two of us, in our cozy little home, then I wanted to move again.
So we sold the home we built and bought a two story, and over 20 years later we still live here.
We both see the need to move again, one more time back into a single level style home.
As we have aged it is important to get back into the more simple life with no stairs.
Family life brought us many changes and challenges and blessings beyond our comprehension.
We are proud of our ‘now grown’ children.
Both are parents with their own changes and challenges that children create.
The circle of life continues as we move through the process of being a family.
It is my hope in sharing all of this that the theme remained, we made it.
We walked it together as our vows had said on our wedding day.
Through good and bad, we will do it together.
Till we are old and our stories are just memories, we face the challenges with each other.
God has been with us and will continue to give us strength and courage to face the future.
What ever that will be.

Learning as parents

We continued to grow as a family, of four. God blessed us with Christopher then Sarah our daughter.
We moved to an apartment when Sarah was tiny, she learned to crawl and try to walk there.
It was in this house we also inherited a dog named Noah and a black cat. We found Noah at a pet store, where we walked by one day. The ad said, ‘cockapoo puppies’ and I thought that would be a wonderful ‘play dog’ for our children.
To this day we have a little laugh about our ‘choice of’ puppy, he was definitely not what the store had said they were selling to us. We learned we should never trust a pet store.
There was NO poodle or cocker in him. We think he was a mix of shepherd, corgi or beagle.DSCN0685 (2) He was a wonderful dog for us for many years, giving us many memories for our children. He left our ‘home at age 15 or so’, the beginning of our many good-byes.
Our cat arrived on our back porch patio. One day we found a litter of kitties as we looked out the door and I don’t remember how many or the fine details of the story but we ended up keeping a runty size black one. Then we found homes for the others.
We named him Spook. Here is a very old picture of him.DSCN0693
He was a mighty hunter and when we moved into our first home of our own, you would often find him outside guarding the home.
We called him our guard cat as he would chase dogs and other ‘unwelcome’ pets off our property. One day he even brought home a pheasant.
He looked like he won but there was a great fight in the process. Poor guy he had the battle scars to prove it to us.
Oh it was a fun little life, of children, and a dog and a cat and wood stove too.
In this house, our first home God protected us two times from a house fire. The first was in our garage and the second was in our kitchen.
This is also the house where every Saturday night we would faithfully play, the Old Southern Gospel radio station on KPDQ and the children would go to sleep listening to the old ‘down home music’ as they drifted off to sleep. There were many memories of good and some bad but that is the way it is when we live life together.
The story continues and moves on, into more learning as parents and living as a family.

The story continues as our family grows

Our wedding cake was made by Larry’s mom. She did a wonderful job of decorating and setting it up.
Hard for me to imagine how she did that, now that I know the pressure of making a cake and also being the groom’s mom.
She did an amazing job and had the colors all matching and the flowers it was a simple white cake with white frosting, I remember she used to shop at the wilton cake store.
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Then we had the normal ‘dishes of mints and nuts’, coffee and tea, served on church glass dishware.
After the receiving line, which I hated, (never know what to say to some people) we changed our clothes and left.
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Larry was totally shocked when he saw our car covered in crepe paper. Especially black because it was raining and it ran and smeared all over our yellow vintage baracuda car.
We headed to our first night as a married couple off the river at Jantzen beach in Portland, then moved from there to a few nights at the beach.
After that we came back to my mom’s house for a ‘unwrapping of the gifts’ party.
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Yes Larry did have plaid pants on and yes there were a lot of gifts to open and unwrap.
After that we moved it all to our first apartment which was a basement apartment under a very large stately home. Our new little place was a one bedroom with a small kitchen, and small living room. I think we shared the laundry facility. I don’t really remember I just know it was small and furnished very moderately. We lived there about six months then they asked us to move when we were expecting our first baby.
Our second home was a tiny little home behind a home. We basically were in their back yard.
Now time, they would call it a tiny house.
It was about 680 square feet and it was cozy and very pink. I actually loved the vintage look which included a porcelain claw foot bath tub.
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The living room was small. The kitchen was cozy, our room was almost big enough for a dresser and full size bed, you had to go through the bedroom to get to the old fashioned bathroom. The babies room was two crib lengths long and one crib length wide. Christopher loved his room till he was about three, then baby number two came, we put the cradle on top of our dresser, it had a flat bottom and it fit just right on top so I didn’t have to bend too far. We had a son and a daughter and then they asked us to move. They felt the house was too small for a family of four. It was cheap about $80.00 a month and very cozy.
Both of our babies were born there and it had ‘good memories for us’.
After we left they tore this little house down.
It was a sad thing to hear, and I would have loved to have kept that porcelain bathtub.
Our new life was beginning as a family and the story continues.