Many years ago I joined a writing group that would have a weekly word prompt.
It is a word specifically set out on Friday and the rule is to write in less than five minutes with minimal editing.
The word this week is order.
I immediately thought of a book I read years ago when our children were younger, written by Dr. James Dobson.
It is on the birth order.
My husband is the third son and I am the third daughter, the youngest of three.
Both are compatible with each other.
Not like if you had two type A first born who married and then tried to work it out.
Some one would have to be the lead or boss and those personalities are hard to adjust.
The birth order is also difficult when two youngest marry, because the expectations of the youngest child is often not the same as the first.
In our home we had a son first, then a daughter. Both tend to be leaders.
I have seen in my grand children how the first born tend to be more leaders and more ‘in control’, although it’s different with our twins who were minutes apart.
The oldest is type A get it figured out and the youngest just minutes from her is easy going not much of a planner.
The birth order is an important key I would think in making major decisions like hiring for a job.
The last born might just move to their own music or agenda and the first born is driven to exceed what is expected of them.
I think the birth order is something good to remember especially when dealing with people.
It is certainly a fascinating topic to look into and explore.
Many years ago I joined a writing group that would challenge us to a word prompt.
Many years ago I joined a writing group that would have a weekly word prompt.
Another year for canning is upon us and we had a window of time to do it.
We love to make homemade pickles, in fact I have not purchased a pickle jar for several years.
We go to the local farm center and order up the cucumbers, buy the dill and find the jars.
This year the sale was buy one bag of cucumbers and get one free, so we ended up with many more than planned.
Oh and we got a large bag of already peeled garlic to add to the pickle jars.
The way to make really good pickles is to put the cucumbers in a cooler and cover them with ice overnight.
It not only gets them cold, keeps them fresh and really nice.
We have learned the hard way to do them close to the same day we buy them.
One year we had several boxes in our garage and they went fuzzy before we did anything with them.
Not any more. It is a job worth doing as fast as possible.
And not only that we did it all outside.
It was quite the challenge to find the lids to our existing jars so we purchased more jars that were complete.
I guess a lot of people are canning these days.
We ended up with 46 jars of pickles and 2 of the garlic.
Some of them did not seal properly so we ended up water bathing them for extra heat.
My husband had figured out a crab cooker works really well with the canning pot.
Now we must let them rest for 8 weeks before we can open them up and see how they are.
We also did a bunch of cherries a few weeks ago.
I pitted them and then we froze them in bags. They are really good in water, or just to eat.
I love to do these kinds of things, we don’t have a lot of storage space but it is worth the time and effort.
Another year for canning is upon us and we can mark off that item now.
We are living in very interesting times.
I am 66 years old and in my lifetime I have never seen such weird and crazy weather.
The pacific northwest area where we live, is known for it’s rain and cloudy skies.
I personally welcome it. It speaks to my spirit.
A few months ago we had a deep freeze and power outage.
The trees were solid ice and about a quarter inch thick or more.
Our power was out for about eight days.
We finally brought our travel trailer over to the house.
At least it had a furnace. Our house temperature was a high of 40 and it was very cold.
After the ice melted we had many trees in the area that were broken and needing to be removed.
Our large tree in the back yard was split three ways so we had to take it down.
It looks very different now without it in the yard.
We recovered from all that and just recently we went into a very intense heat wave.
The temps were ranging from 110-117 and all of our plants or at least most of them died.
It was so sad, our hydrangeas burned up, and our garden.
There were deaths in the city from people with no air conditioning or fans.
I have never seen this kind of extreme weather. normally its pretty mild or predictable.
I am by nature a fall person.
I love sweaters and warm pants, I love comfy coats or sweatshirts.
The cooler days and the crispy air, it is refreshing.
Our summer is not over yet and we still could get some warm days.
Our garden is trying to recover and our beautiful flowers are struggling.
I tell myself next year will be better.
We are living in very interesting times these days.
Tomorrow is Fathers day again. June 20th, 2021
I know many of ‘these’ days were empty growing up with my dad gone.
He left us when I was only four, too young to understand any reason why.
Every Fathers day, so many times I would find myself standing at the card aisle, looking at all the wonderful sentiments,
and not really relating to any of them.
My dad did not come back into my life until my mid thirties.
Many years were lost between us.
Many memories could have been made, but he was gone.
When he did come back into the family it was very nice, but there was also distance.
We had an understanding between us.
I didn’t expect much of him and I think he knew that on some level.
I was not sure of how to navigate the relationship and possibly he didn’t either.
There were some things now that I wish I had as a memory.
I would have wanted him to walk me down the aisle when my husband and I got married.
I would have wanted the daughter-dad dance, although back then, no one danced at the weddings.
I would have loved to see him hold our son and our daughter as newborn babies.
Grandpa, and baby. That would have been a great photo.
He did spend some time with our son after he grew up and had a home and sons of his own.
Dad was a cowboy with a leather vest, blue jeans with country shirts, that snapped shut, and always cowboy boots.
(I remember trying to sew those western shirts for my husband and son.
It was not easy to do but I did it, at least for one picture.)
Dad was a man of few words. At least that was my impression of him.
He had a difficult life growing up and that was part of the walls he carried into his final years and into his relationships.
Fathers day… A day of remembering.
A day to say thank you, or I miss you or it’s been good to finally have closure.
Tomorrow is Fathers day again, and I can honestly say, I miss him, and I always will.
It was two years ago, June 8th 2019 when I found out my sister had passed away.
It was a shock to hear it.
My sister who was a reason for me to pray, who was often a reason for me to feel responsible.
My sister. Passed away.
Just like today when I opened up my face book page; and realized a precious lady at our church had passed away over the weekend.
My sadness sits in quiet and remembering.
My sister had been ill, and she had struggled for some time before her death.
But it is still a huge shock to one’s heart.
My ‘friend at church’ was ill and fighting for 18 months.
Her journey was much different than my sisters.
Her lifestyle very different too.
My sister was the second born of three girls.
Kind of a restless soul since she was able to walk or talk.
She was stubborn and didn’t really fit in the way one would think she should.
You know the society etiquette stuff where one is expected to act or be one way.
Yeah that wasn’t her.
She was my sister and if I could do one thing; it would be to sit with her and visit one more time.
She often tried to protect me but in her attempt; she would fail in her efforts.
Then she would just leave and not return for months.
She was a wondering soul.
Two years ago she passed away.
I never said good bye and never did closure with her.
It will always bother me.
Maybe she never noticed, maybe she did.
I cannot undo what was done and or said, it is all over now.
All I have is memories.
Just like the memories I have of my lady friend at church.
She was a warrior of the Lord and always a delight in whatever she would do.
Sometimes all we end up with are a few memories and few letters.
My sister sent me cards and gave me a few trinkets throughout the years.
Nothing of great value or cost, just a thoughtful gifts from her heart.
Like I said, she was simple. Not complicated. Not high energy or high in expectations.
She was herself.
The second born daughter out of three.
It was two years ago June 8th 2019 My sister left for her final time.
I saw a quote on face book and it stirred me to write about it.
The quote: A child’s shoulders were not built to bear the weight of their parents’ choices.
The quote is from TobyMac Speaklife website and I think it’s ok to use it.
Coming from a childhood that was difficult and testy, I see this as a very important quote.
As we were growing up we didn’t get to choose, where we would be living and with who.
It was not only disturbing but very emotionally unstable.
Our mother was a single mom and often times her ‘choices’ were not good.
She did provide a home that was clean, and we did have food on the table.
But the burden of ‘her singleness’ and the need to provide for us was hard.
We had to bear the consequences of what she would decide.
I have also seen parents confide in their children, and act like their children are best friends.
I am not so sure that is a good idea either.
They can’t decide how to support a parent, because they always want to.
It has to be age appropriate sharing and often times the parent can make a wrong choice.
Whether it be a good balance or an uneven one.
Psychologists have said, often times kids who are from abusive homes, want to go back there.
It is familiar to them no matter if it’s healthy or not.
The weight of parents choices are often heavy.
Parents’ who are unhealthy do not stop to think how this ‘decision’ will affect my children.
They are often self absorbed or just coping and not really into the ‘psychology of choices’.
We went to so many schools growing up I never knew what was going on.
I still can’t do basic math very well, because one school was doing one kind and another school another kind.
I was just into surviving.
Bearing the weight is a heavy set of words.
I remember that weight.
It pulled me down so hard for so long, until I was able to push past it.
After working in therapy I am now way past it.
My parents are no longer here, but the choices they made affected each one of us.
Even as adults.
Nothing goes unnoticed.
I saw a quote on face book and it stirred me to write about it.
Today is a birthday to remember.
Today would have been my dad’s birthday.
I don’t remember any birthday’s spent with him.
It’s hard for me to imagine or even say that.
He was not in my life for many years and then when he returned, he lived very far away.
It was not a convenient drive to see him, it was miles of traveling to get there.
He was not a man who would enjoy parties or festivities in his honor.
I am sure I sent him a few cards throughout the years, but they are long gone by now.
Birthday’s are funny things, for many of us.
As you get older it is just another day, another spot on the calendar.
I have made a wonderful chocolate cake and I have celebrated a few birthdays with it.
In fact I am making one tomorrow for a Sunday gathering.
My dad might have liked that one, I don’t know.
There are many things I don’t know about him.
Did he even like chocolate?
He was a cowboy. He was strong in his opinions. He cared deeply but never really showed it.
He loved dogs. Not so much a cat person.
I remember one time when we were together.
I wanted some ‘cat tails, and thistle’ and he stopped alongside the road and picked me some.
But oh did he complain about it with my husband, “who would want those things?”
Around the fields and farms they were every where.
My original ones got ruined by my cats; so we picked me a few new ones a few years ago.
When we were back in the area where they grew.
I think of dad every time I see them in my kitchen window.
He was a cowboy. He did farm work for many years, he used to be an auctioneer.
He did welding for many of the neighbors when he lived at the coast.
He pretty much taught himself many trades.
Happy Birthday dad.
Today is a birthday to remember.
There was a challenge on a writing site to write about six different words and then post the daily writings on Instagram.
I don’t use Instagram like that.
I do post there; but it is usually pictures of my cats or flowers or assorted things around the house.
The word I have chosen to write about, after a lot of thinking… is Middle.
She was the middle child.
Second born girl out of three.
I had an older sister, and then a middle sister and I was the youngest.
She was by nature a lost child.
A bit rebellious and maybe in today’s term, troubled.
She as also funny, and caring and confusing.
In today’s world of children she would be attention deficit or a slower learner.
I am glad she wasn’t labeled. She had enough issues to deal with; a ‘label’ would just make them worse.
School was never easy for her and she had no interest in academics.
Junior high and high school was just nothing, not important and she didn’t care.
She didn’t graduate or finish high school. She ran to the streets instead.
They became her family.
Drugs became a friend and an enemy and how she survived them is miracle.
I would see her a few times a year, usually around Christmas and she would stay till her birthday, a few months later.
We were close and when she was gone, she would would often call me, and then I would have to tell our mother her news.
It wasn’t easy for me to be ‘in the middle’… I got the responses after being the bearer of bad news.
It was hard to be the one telling.
I missed her often and so many days and nights; I would look out my window and wonder.
If she was dead or alive.
She was living the words spoken to her. No one expected anything from her and she did not disappoint that expectation.
She actually didn’t have a huge chance at becoming more, it just wasn’t in her ability.
I actually don’t know if given the chance; if she would have proved herself able and praiseworthy.
I do remember she was good at math, and it was amazing to watch her figure it all out.
She was smart on some levels, and simple on many others.
She was funny and pretty and caring, she had thick dark hair and I was very jealous.
She went through many difficult and hard moments in her life and survived them too.
She eventually met a man who loved her deeply and accepted her daughters as his own.
She fell back into the alcoholic life as she aged; and one more time we rescued her again.
Over coming her ‘inner self’ was too hard. We did what we could to protect her, but it wasn’t enough.
She passed away a few years ago.
She was the middle child; the second born of three daughters.
There was a challenge on a writing site about six different words; and I chose the word – middle.
Another mothers day is here and we celebrate mothers all over the area.
I remember going to church on this day; and watching the uncomfortable stirring of moms in the pews.
The pastor being insensitive to moms who have lost their children, or who never had any of their own.
Then he would say, “stand up” if you are a mother.
I often felt like it was a slap because for many in recovery, maybe mom was not a good warm feeling.
Maybe this day brings all kinds of deep feelings that try to be buried.
It is a process always.
I often told my own children if they needed therapy to send me the bill, because I would probably be the topic.
To be a mom is a privilege that some don’t get to experience.
Maybe the desire to be a mom is so deeply rooted it has caused a bitter root to grow.
I have known those who have ached for that tiny little gift to be born.
I think we need to be really sensitive on these kinds of days.
I don’t like the expectations of this ‘holiday’.
I remember when we were young married and doing the ‘must do’ list.
We would go buy flowers for my mom, his mom and my grandma.
That was expected and although appreciated; it kind of took the surprise away.
My husband has learned throughout the years, do not do anything over the top for mothers day.
One year HE DID surprise me; and we got all dressed up and went downtown Portland for a very large brunch.
It was nice, but now he knows I am not a crowd person.
I would much rather have scrambled eggs and coffee at home.
I remember standing at the card section for many years trying to find the ‘right’ card.
Never could. The flowery prose was just not my experience.
I told my counselor one time that someone needs to create ‘cards for those in recovery’.
The words just never matched the feelings.
I would finally settle for a flower on the outside, with few words as possible.
How sad, but it was truth.
My experience was not a rose colored picture.
I am very proud of my son and my daughter, and all of their children who call me grandma.
It is something I never get tired of hearing.
If you are a mom reading this, take some time for YOU today.
Another mothers day is here and we celebrate mothers all over the area..
I love to read the promises of God.
11 For surely I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord, plans for your welfare and not for harm, to give you a future with hope.
12 Then when you call upon me and come and pray to me, I will hear you.
13 When you search for me, you will find me; if you seek me with all your heart,
14 I will let you find me, says the Lord, and I will restore your fortunes and gather you from all the nations and all the places where I have driven you, says the Lord, and I will bring you back to the place from which I sent you into exile.
I love the promises that show us His compassion and concern for us.
Read it again, [surely I KNOW the plans I have for you]
[Plans for your welfare…(safety) and not for harm, to give you a future with hope.]
But there is a condition that is mentioned.
[When you search for me, you will find me; IF you seek me with all your heart.]
Then a promise again.
[I will let you find me, and restore your fortunes and gather you from everywhere] My editing.
Plus HE says He will hear us. Don’t we all want someone to just listen?
It is so easy and so manageable.
SEEK HIM and search for Him and HE IS always available.
I find this such a comfort and such an easy promise to grasp.
The conditions are not that hard.
The direction is very clear and the promises are very solid.
He says, YOU do your part and I will do mine.
Hope is a big word within the Bible. If we do not have hope we have very little to stand firm on.
It is found 202 times and as I did a quick search I found another wonderful promise.
[and you will have confidence, because there is hope; you will be protected and take your rest in safety.]
I find these words to be very comforting and solid.
There is a plan and there is a concern; we just have to trust.
I love to read the promises of God and allow myself to take them into my heart.