Here we go again

Here we go again

Friday, January 3, 2014

Here We Go Again...

It's been a long time! To even try to tell you everything that happened in the interim to catch you up, would take way too long, so I'm going to give you the "Readers Digest" version.

When last I posted on my blog, my husband and I had just sent our son and his family home from visiting us in Fort Myers, Florida, back in March of 2012. In April of that same year, we headed North to our home in Ohio. I was more than ready to go home after spending close to a year in sunny Florida.

For about a month and a half, everything was pretty normal in our lives. Mowing the grass, planting flowers and the garden. Then, on June 6th, everything changed. My younger son and his two children moved in with us, in our little house intended for two. We were thankful we could help them, and, truth be told, we enjoyed very much having them with us. We knew we weren't going to be able to spend the winter of 2012/2013 in Florida, but as it turned out, that was the biggest blessing we had. We just didn't realize it at the time.

Since I was at home, instead of in Florida, I spent quite a lot of time with my mother, who was 87 at the time. I cherished every minute spent with her. Though mom was up there in years, and her body wearing out, her mind was like a steel trap. She hadn't forgotten anything, ever! I loved talking with her, listening to her stories, sharing her adventures with me, just being together. As it turned out, that would be the last winter I would ever have with my mom. I'm so thankful I wasn't in Florida, that I got to spend those last winter days with mom.

In February of 2013, mom came down with the flu. She ended up in the hospital emergency room, she was so very sick. When they tested her to make sure she had the flu, then confirmed it to her, she said, "Oh no! Old people get the flu and die!" She did just that days later.  Had we been in Florida... Well, we weren't, and I thank God for that always.

In June, just three month later, my sons grandfather, their fathers father, also died. Their last grandparent. He left my two boys a nice inheritance, and my son who was living with us, bought a house, and he and the kids moved about four miles away. This made it possible for us to spend the winter, this winter, in Florida.

So, here we are. Living our second leg of our retirement journey. This time, we're in Naples, Florida instead of Ft. Myers. We've only been here three days, however, I do believe we're going to like it much better here.

I've been having some pretty serious back issues for about six weeks or so, and I'm hoping and praying this warm weather will help me immensely. The cold is very hard on my old bones, so, this warm is such a welcome relief!

Okay, I've caught you up. Now I'm going to keep you posted on our "adventures". I know, you're thrilled! Me too. But right now, I'm going to get comfy in my recliner, put my feet up, and watch some television.  I'll talk to you soon!

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Such a Good Time!

We waved goodbye to our kids this morning, tears running down my face, and an ache in my heart. But we had such a good time while they were here! And I am so very thankful they got to come to Florida and spend the better part of a week with us in this beautiful place, with beautiful weather.

Saturday morning, just about seven o'clock, the Dodge Durango came into sight as I was standing in the middle of our lot watching for them. I know my smile was as wide as it's ever been, seeing that blessed sight! My son, Justin, and his family were here!!! Let the fun begin!

The whole family was pooped, driving straight through from Ohio, well, all but about two hours for a quick nap, so Papa and I took charge of the kids, who had napped pretty well, and sent Dad and Mom for a bit of well deserved sleep. Grandbabies!!! We needed a grandbaby fix really bad!

And we spent the whole day hugging and kissing Riley and Maggie as much as they would let us. We took them to the pool and watched them "swim" and soak up the sunshine and laugh and as much fun as we've had there with others in our time here, it was the most fun we had ever had there.

During their time with us here, we went to the Shell Factory, which the kids actually loved more than I thought they would. We went to Fort Myers Beach, which was crowded due to Spring Break.  We went to Sanibel Island and gathered shells, we went to the beach shops and bought silly souvenirs, We went out to eat, went for walks, laughed, talked, well, we just had a wonderful time together. And I miss them so much already!

I wish our two other kids and our three other grandkids could come too. I miss them more than words can say. And I know they would love this place, and we could show them a good time too. However, I am truly thankful for the blessings I have, and I just want everyone to know it.

The Lord already does, and now you do too!

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Daddy Would Be So Happy

My Dad, Dock Kilpatrick, came from a very large family. He was one of nine children. They have all gone to meet their Maker, and I miss them very much. Of course, especially my Dad, but I really loved my Aunts and Uncles, especially those that I was blessed to get to know.

Dad was the 8th of  nine kids, and there were great gaps in the ages of those 9 kids. Also, there were two that died, tragically, as very young children. It was a different time, and things that might have been considered common, easy to cure illnesses now, back then, claimed many young lives. So was the case of at least one of his siblings, who died from an appendix that burst. Another one, well, they never did know exactly what caused his death. Very sad, indeed.

My Dad's family, the Kilpatrick's, were from Alabama. As a young man, Dad moved to Akron, Ohio to work in the rubber factories. His oldest brother, my Uncle Ralph, and his youngest brother, Uncle Joe, also moved to Akron. This was good for me as a kid, because I got to know them and be close with their kids, my cousins. But, that left my Aunts, Louise, Gladys, (we called her Aunt "Pete", and I don't know why), and Aunt Reba, all living far, far away from us. We went to visit them on vacations, but when you only see someone once, maybe twice a year, for a few days at a time, you never really get to know them like you do someone you see frequently. Still, we were family oriented, so we tried to stay in touch with each other.

I have to tell you, I have lots of cousins, and I mean lots! They are all really good people, Christians, and we are scattered all over this great big country. Unfortunately, that means that once our parents were gone, we gradually lost touch with each other.

Enter Facebook! (Yep, I'm going to sing it's praises once again.) One day I received a "friend request" from a gal that I wasn't, at first, sure who she was. The name rang a bell, however, I had to dust off some part of my memory banks to fill in the blanks. She is my cousin's daughter! My first cousin, once removed! Woohoo! I immediately accepted her friend request, gladly, and started looking at her friend list. There were many relatives I haven't seen, or talked to in many, many years. I sent friend requests to all of them I thought would have a clue who I was. Slowly, but surely, I became "friends" with all of these "long lost relatives"!

It has been so nice to reconnect with them. One cousin had moved from Nashville, Tennessee, to Alabama, and we didn't know that before Facebook. My mom had tried to find her, but was at a deadend, until I found her on Facebook. We exchanged phone numbers, and my Mom got to talk to her one evening before I came back to Florida. I really enjoyed watching my Moms face as she "caught up" with her niece.

Another cousin lives in Sebring, Florida, and we started "talking" on Facebook. Now that Dennis and I are in Florida for the winter, we decided we should try to see each other while I'm here. Guess what? We are having a "family reunion" this weekend in Sebring, Florida! My "Aunt Pete's" kids are cousins I never got to spend much time with growing up because they had moved to Florida, and when we visited Dad's family, we usually went to Alabama because his parents lived there. I remember one year, 1964, we went to Florida and spent some time with them, and we had so much fun, but other than a few family gatherings in the years since then, I haven't had the pleasure of seeing most of  them since 1964... That's a loooong time ago!

My Dad was such a family man, I mean he really loved his family, all of them. He spoke of them often, even when kept apart geographically, they were all close in his heart. He would be so happy that we have made this connection now, and I hope he's looking down on us smiling about it. He'll be with us in spirit. He, and my Mom, taught me and my sisters that God and Family are the most important things in life, and to cherish both. I do. And the older I get, the more I do.

So, once again I'm singing the praises of Facebook. It helped me find the best friends I could ever imagine having, and now it's brought family back into my life.

Thanks Mark Zuckerberg!!!

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Four Letter Words

Why do intelligent, educated people feel the need to use "four letter words"? I personally find them to be not only offensive because they strike me as vulgar, but I wonder of those that use them, are they incapable of using more creative words to describe their feelings?

I can remember a time when men would use what we called "cuss" words, however, they rarely used them in mixed company, and even if "social websites" had existed, they would never have used them knowing everyone on earth would see them and know that's how they expressed themselves. They would have been ashamed! That's something the vast majority of people don't seem to be these days about anything. Ashamed... And now, it's not just the men, it's the women too! (We won't/can't call them ladies anymore, can we?)

When my sons were growing up, I remember telling them to not do things just because their peers did, and that included using "bad" words. I always told them to use something completely creative and see who they could confuse. There are so many words in the dictionary, why stop at words that only have four letters?!

What brought this to mind, you ask? I was just on Facebook, and a friend of mine, a former co-worker, a female, posted such a disgusting word, that I am now forced to block any future posts of hers. I in no way want to be associated with someone that uses language that turns my ears and cheeks bright red! And I also don't want anyone else to think I use, or approve of using language like that.

I am certainly not claiming to be perfect, I'm far from it. However, my parents raised me to act like, and strive to be, a lady, and I think of the example I set when I choose not to use foul language when something goes wrong. And, really, if I as a Christian, am trying to live as God wants me to, as He commanded me to, would I talk like a trash mouth? Always speak as though He were standing right there beside you, because, actually, He is!

There, I feel better now.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

"Friends are the family we choose for ourselves." (Edna Buchanan)

Approximately three years ago, I was introduced to the wonder of Facebook, and my life has been changed for the better every day since.

That sounds rather silly, doesn't it? To say ones life has been completely changed by a website dedicated to socialization, gossip, and boasting of ones achievements, seems so ridiculous, however, for me, it truly has.

I'm not the most technologically saavy person around, but for someone that never even sat down in front of a computer until 1997, I find myself on my laptop every single day, even if just for a few brief minutes, checking emails, and status updates on my Facebook account. I take it with me everywhere!

I remember the day I was introduced to Facebook, (heretofore to be called FB), quite clearly. My daughter in law, Jamie, called me and told me to check out this great website. She said you sign up, put some personal information on this "page" and begin accepting "friends". She said, "you just have to try it!". So, I did. For the first couple of days, the only "friends" I had were a few family members. Disappointing. I talked to them all the time. What's the big deal? Then, as if by magic, all of a sudden, people I hadn't seen or talked to in many, many years began sending me "friend requests"! Now this is more like it!

And, today, I'm happy to say, I have some of the best friends anyone could ever hope to have. True friends. Rare treasures of life type of friends. And I was fortunate enough to spend last evening with four of those treasures.

These lovely ladies are girls I graduated with from Green High School back in 1972. We were not friends, per say, in high school. We were acquaintences, knew who each other was back then, but none of us, that I remember, ever even had a real conversation during our school days together. That seems like such a shame now that I've gotten to know them so well. Now when we get the chance to spend time together, we talk all over each other, each having so much to say. We laugh together, pray together, cry together, and hold each other up, as true friends do.

All of us have had our share of heartaches and physical aches of late, and I'm telling you, those things are so much more bearable when you have a good friend, or six, to share them with. And knowing someone truly loves you, cares about you, and you, them, is one of the biggest blessings life has to offer.

So, if someone makes derrogatory remarks about FB, just remember this. I found some rare treasures on this social website, treasures I call my best friends. Friends I hope to share the rest of my life with, and theirs with me. Friends I love so very much.

And to think I owe all of this to FB, well, isn't that just amazing?!

Friday, December 30, 2011

The Year In Review

So here it is, December 30, 2011. Wow. How can that be? Where does time go? How can it go so fast?

I remember when I was in the sixth grade, someone asked our teacher, Mr. Green, "Does time really go fast?". To 11 and 12 year old kids, it doesn't seem like it. But, we always heard grown-ups saying things like that, so, who better to ask than our teacher? Mr. Green responded, "It sure does! And the older you get, the faster it seems to go!" Hmmm. There are 24 hours in a day, that never changes, and 7 days in a week, that, too, stays the same. Why do they say that?

I now know the answer to that question 46 years later. We fill our days rushing here and there, doing this and that, rarely slowing down to see the beauty surrounding us, or notice the people by our side. We are always in a hurry to get somewhere, and forget to enjoy the journey to where we're going. I'm very guilty of that.

Why are we in such a hurry? I wish I had the answer to that! I'm one of those people that are usually early everywhere I go, mostly because I'm afraid of being late. So, I rush to get somewhere, then have to sit and wait because I'm way too early. Duh.

In April, my husband, Dennis, finally retired from working. Yay! I quit working over two years ago due to health problems, so it's been so nice having him home with me. Even if we're just sitting in the living room watching television together, we ARE together, and it's very comfortable. It's been a big change, but one we have gotten used to with no problem at all.

The end of May we actually began our retirement journey together. We loaded up our fifth wheel, and headed to Florida for two months. It took us about a minute to decide we really liked it, too! By the end of that two months, I was more than ready to head back to Ohio to be with my kids, grandkids, sisters, my lovely mother, and many nieces and nephews. Not to mention some very dear friends! We had 3 months to get some things done around the house and visit with our family. Nice.

Then, the end of October, as the leaves were beginning to fall, the brilliant colors just about gone, we headed back to Florida and our fifth wheel to begin our first trip as "Snowbirds". That's something we had looked forward to for many years. We spent about 5 weeks there enjoying the warm weather, and meeting new friends. It really seemed strange to put Christmas lights on palm trees on Thanksgiving day, wearing short sleeved shirts and sandals, in 80 degree weather. That was a first for both of us.

On December 5th, we loaded up the truck, and headed back to gray, cold Ohio to spend the Christmas holidays with our family. We had a wonderful Christmas too! Lots of family time, good food, good friends and good memories to carry with us.

Now, it's almost time to go back to sunny Florida to spend the rest of our winter in, hopefully, warmer weather. I have very mixed emotions about it. Those of you who know me well, know how close I am to my family. I need to see them at least every week, some more often than that. And it's really hard for me to be so far away from them for so long. This trip coming up will be my longest away from them ever. I'm still not sure how I'll handle it, only time will tell.

However, as I've learned, time really does go fast, so as long as everyone stays healthy, Lord willing, I'll be back with everyone in the Spring when the blossoms are just peeking out, and the breezes just begin to blow warm again. I love the Springtime. It's a new beginning, a rebirth, Gods way of showing us everything old is new again. Maybe in a small way, showing us what it will be like in Heaven, on a much grander scale, of course.

So, I hope your 2011 has been a good one, and I pray your 2012 will be even better. Slow down when you can and enjoy everything around you. We really never know when will be the last time we see someone, can do something, can go somewhere. Don't take these blessings for granted, ever. I'm going to try to live these words every second of every day. Because, as we know, time really does fly!

Happy New Year!!!!

Thursday, December 8, 2011


"Things do not change, we change". Henry David Thoreau said this, and I believe it's one of the truest things I have ever read.

I don't much care for change, unless it's the money variety, however, it seems that every day I am faced with something changing in my life, and I have to deal with it in one way or another. Some changes are good, some not so much.

Hips and waistlines expanding, gray hairs growing out of my head, skin not as smooth as it was when I was thirtysomething...these changes I believe I have handled with some grace, and with those changes generally come some form of wisdom, which is a good thing. Don't get me wrong, I'd rather still be young and beautiful, if I ever was beautiful, but getting older sure beats the alternative!

Retiring, that's a good change. I never have to get up on a cold, snowy winter morning and drive to work, then do it again at quitting time. I really love this change! On the flipside of that, I don't have a payday to look forward to every two weeks. I have social security, of course, but, trust me, it's nothing like the paycheck you are used to when you're in the working world. Advantages and disadvantantages in most everything.

When you're young, you think about getting older in a romanticized way. "The Golden Years", right? Not always. If you are blessed enough to have children, you will have times of great pride and satisfaction, and then you will, most likely, have times that you worry yourself sick about things that are happening in their lives. And most of the time, you can't do much about those things, just worry, and of course, pray. We lived our own lives, made our own mistakes, and our children have to do the same thing. And all the while, all you want to do is turn the clock back to when they were little, and you could kiss their "boo-boos" and tuck them in at night.

If your children ask for your advice, you can give them your best, but you have to stand back and let them do things their own way. Boy, that's not easy, at all! But, when they "fall down", just be there to help pick them back up, much like you did when they were learning to walk.

I'm very blessed in this, my Golden years. My children are certainly not perfect, and they've had more than their fair share of problems, but they are great "kids", and I am so very proud of them...all of them. And I love them more than there are words to describe.

And the "change"? As my children grow older, and are now raising their own children, they have so much less time to spend with us, and I really don't like this change, no, not at all! I miss them so much, and wish it could be different, but, this is the way it is. Now I have to learn how to accept this change, and find peace with the fact that this is the way it works for almost everyone, and, I suppose, this is the way it's supposed to be.

But, I don't have to like it!