A funny thing happened while riding my bicycle Sunday morning. It was such a subtle shift in thinking I almost didn’t appreciate the gravity of it.
John and I have a tradition of riding our bikes to breakfast on Sundays. The little restaurant we go to is the Summerland Beach Café, which is about eight miles from our house. There are some pretty good hills along the route, especially the last one, so it is a good way to earn breakfast.
I usually look forward to our ride, but this Sunday I woke up feeling terrible. I had a headache and felt tired. We had been on the road the last week and I was beating myself up for not eating as well as I should and for drinking more wine than I normally do.
I remember thinking when my oldest son turned 10, in the same amount of time he will be a man. The decade between 10 and 20 holds so many changes, and I was no exception to the rule.
I have shared before that my mom died when I was 11, and that I think of my life as “before she died” and “after she died”. The few years after her death were some of my hardest.
Not only was I dealing with the loss of my mother but by 12 my period started and my emotions were all over the board. I was either completely lost in thought or crying.
Puberty can be hell for so many of us and my personal experience was compounded by loss and sorrow. Worst of all, about the only thing I knew about having a period was I had to use those giant pads from the 1960’s my mom had used.
I remember from the time I was little the only thing I really wanted to be when I grew up was a Mom. Not very “progressive”, I know, but it’s the truth.
We were very poor growing up and rarely had any new toys. Instead they were passed down from one child to the next.
The neighbor girls I tried to hang out with had Barbie Dolls that came with different outfits you could dress them in.
I had one doll, and she wasn’t a petite little doll, but more of an old-fashioned Dolly with eyes that would close when you laid her down. And with one arm missing. Continue reading
We learn how to be women from our moms, or at least a mother figure.
So we watch them closely and subconsciously put each act or word into columns of either, “This is good advice to live by and pass on,” or “No way do I believe this and I am so not going to do this to my kids.”
There are probably a lot of other columns too, but those two stand out the most for me.
I learned how to be a woman by watching my mom. Which is probably why I’m not a girly girl. She didn’t wear makeup or dress in pretty clothes. And she lived in “practical shoes” and flip-flops.
I think she made most of her dresses. You’ll recall I said she only wore dresses, even as a farm-woman, right? I have to wonder if her mom wore dresses too. But I can’t recall much about my grandmother.
My mom learned how to be a woman from her mother too. It’s passed down from one generation to the next with varying degrees of changes for each of us. Continue reading
Do you ever wonder what it was like for your parents when they were kids? I don’t think about my dad’s youth as much as I do my mom’s. That’s probably because she was the rule-maker of our home.
And the enforcer too.
When I was a kid, I didn’t think about or care what made her the way she was, I was more concerned with ducking her flip-flop as she tried to swat me with it for not doing what I was told.
But as an adult, I have to wonder what it was like for her growing up in that little farmhouse in Michigan with four brothers and three sisters.
She was born in the spring of 1924, unless you go by what her headstone reads. Not sure how that happened, but it’s off by a year. She was the second child of eight, in a home that would soon be crowded. Continue reading
Not like flu sick, more of just a chest/head cold. It’s not too bad, and I’m able to function well enough to take care of myself. But chores like laundry and dishes or cooking are a strain.
I’m even struggling to write, which is why I missed my post yesterday. Instead, I posted a picture on Instagram and Facebook. I put up a photo of me on my bike and asked a question: Do you workout if you’re feeling sick?
I’m learning that my life is analogous to a big jigsaw puzzle. All of the pieces are there, but not together. And to make it even more difficult, I don’t have a picture to go off.
Photo courtesy of Hans Peter Gauster
You are helping me find the picture. Continue reading
I discovered a wonderful post from Just Chillin with Carrie and Kat this week, and I’d like to share it with you.
They are also new to the blogging scene, but have quickly made a name for themselves. I love how they introduce their blog and invite us to join in:
“Welcome to Chillin With Carrie and Kat..Just like our name sounds please pull up a cozy chair, a blanket if it’s chilly or open the window if it’s a warm summer night and Chill with us. We will be offering tips and resources we have learned about being a Newbie Blogger. Reviews about wine, wineries and all things associated with wining and dining. Lastly, we will share our thoughts, desires, and discoveries about being Women who are hitting their Mid Life Stride.”
I am very honored that this story was published in Better After 50.
I had to edit the original post to meet the word count of under 750, so I hope you enjoy this version.
I am very proud of this one…
The Day My World Change
I’ve always loved rocks.
From the time I was little, I seemed to fill my pockets full of them whenever I went to the beach or even just on a short walk. I grew up in Michigan just off Lake Michigan, and we would go to the beach often. I would wander off for hours in search of treasures to pickup and admire.
When it was time to go home, my Mom would make me empty my pockets before climbing into the car. She said I didn’t need all those rocks at home. Maybe that’s why I kept looking for new ones every time I was out… I didn’t get to bring any home with me.
Since those days, I’ve collected lots of rocks. Mostly heart shaped ones. They seem to just jump out at me.
John and I went to the beach yesterday. We found green rocks, red ones, white ones, black and heart shaped ones. I filled my pockets full. We had a great time. When we got back to the car, he didn’t make me feel silly that I wanted to bring all those rocks back home with me. He just smiled at me.
It’s nice to be with someone who lets me be me, rocks and all.
I’m going to write about something I know nothing about.
I get a bit melancholy this time of year. It’s the time of year that leads up to the anniversary of my mother’s death. Naturally, she is on my mind a lot. I wonder what it was like for her when she was a young mother and had some hard choices to make.
My mom met a young soldier and as things can go, got pregnant as a teenage girl. I don’t know what the circumstances were, but she never married him. Instead, she had her baby boy and her parents helped raise him.