Where Antelope Roam

Christmas Memories
December 17, 2016, 9:04 am
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It’s almost Christmas… indeed the season is upon us as I was reminded the other day when I went to the “big” city for an office event and also tried to do some Christmas shopping… wow!  Can’t say I miss the big city at this time of year when I’m by myself..I have to admit, I’m not a lover of shopping… shocking, I know… being female and all but I’ve really never been a shopper..After the year, I’ve had, the memories surrounding Christmas are rather precious.

My Christmas memories center around family…. not shopping.. though one shopping event with my SIL did end up with my introduction to Chik-fil-a’s peppermint shake for which I will be eternally grateful… LOVE peppermint shakes!  Another shopping trip/work event turned out to be a great trip as well.   I shop better when I’m accompanied by an adult… Lol

So, yesterday, I waxed nostalgic in thinking back to Christmases when both my parents were alive and I … well, let’s just say, I was a lot younger…

I grew up in Michigan where the snow falls downward.  Now, if you’re scratching your head and wondering “doesn’t ALL snow fall downward”… then I know you’ve never lived on the plains.  On the plains, snow often falls sideways because when snow falls here, we usually get 4 inches of wind for every inch of snow we receive, particularly if you don’t live in town.

When I was much younger,  say… 4 or 5, mom and dad had some connection with the youth group at church.   I don’t recall if they had the youth group or they just invited them out to the farm for a tobogganing party.    The farm had some awesome hills for tobogganing.  If you’ve never tobogganed, you’ve missed so much!    An interesting word toboggan… I’ll have to look up it’s origin but a toboggan is a long sled with no runners upon which several people… 5-6 get on and fly down hills.   It was great fun!   Though I wasn’t a member of the youth group apparently I was cut enough for them to include me in their rides… :).   I remember there was home made hot chocolate with marshmallows afterward.   Ahhh.

The farm was also where my dad’s parents lived (it was grandpa’s dairy farm).   One Christmas, I remember going to grandpa and grandma’s for Christmas and as a gift I received a little “makeup” kit.   It had fake lipstick and rouge in it.   Totally awesome and totally fun playing makeup!

After we had grown older and had moved into town, Christmas Day often meant going into the next town where my mother’s sister lived.   Christmas Dinner would be served up and we’d feast.   Her house was big enough to accommodate all of us.   One room was where those who wanted to either watch the Christmas Day parade and/or football games gathered.  One room was just for those who wanted to hang out and talk (cell phones were not invented yet… so people actually talked with those in the room with them.. lol) and, of course, there was the kitchen…where usually the older related females hung out talking… about what?  I have no clue.

Christmas Eve was always fun because my room was directly over where the Christmas tree was and on Christmas Eve, the lights on the tree stayed lit.   My room was also the only room upstairs that had a “hole” in it.   It was actually where the heat was allowed to rise before there was a furnace put it.  It was through this hole, my siblings and I could barely see the tree and what Christmas presents “Santa” might have brought us.

“Santa’s” room was also, just off the room where the tree was, so when we kids would hear rustling down below, we knew Santa was busy and we’d try to catch a glimpse of what might be there.

Then as we started growing up and families started enlarging through marriage and grandkids, we started doing Christmas primarily at mom and dad’s.


One year when I and my LB were young adults and still single, we were at mom and dad’s for Christmas and as it would have it, snow was falling on Christmas Eve… LB ever the lover of snow, (though now lives in Florida.. what???) suggested we take a walk in the snow down the streets of our sleepy little town.  So we did.  It was awesome.  The snow was falling so beautifully shown in street lights as we walked and talked.  I can’t remember the conversation we had but we just enjoyed being with each other while walking in the snow.

Mom loved Home Interior decorations and always had candle sconces on the walls and candles on the tables… well, apparently LB inherited the love for light.  One year, I remember we turned all the electric lights out except for those on the tree, and lit all of mom’s candles and just sat and watched them and talked a little.  It was an almost holy time.

Then, of course, Christmas Dinner became the focal point as we grew older.   Mom was a great cook and went all out at Christmas time.   Baking for Christmas usually started a week or so beforehand.  There were usually several different kinds of pies.   Pumpkin, pecan, mincemeat (I’ve never been able to acquire a taste for that..), chocolate pie (as grandkids started appearing).   Cherry Delight, homemade Almond joys,fudge and of course, the prerequisite Grandma Beemer’s Molasses cookies.

The latter were required when the games began!  (The reindeer weren’t the only ones who played games!)    The cookies helped us to think when we would play games like Boggle, Trivial Pursuit, Pictionary, Skipbo and Uno.

Ahhh!  The memories!  The older I get the more precious they become.  I always wanted a large family of my own because though there were the typical squabbles, we always made our own fun.   Alas, that was not to be but God knows best.

As you celebrate Christmas this year, may the Lord be a large part of it and if you have family to celebrate with, make memories…. lots of them…

Until Next time, love God, love others and  Merry Christmas… make memories to last a life time!


Thanks for the Memories
August 31, 2016, 7:30 am
Filed under: Day-to-Day, From my childhood | Tags: , ,

I’ve just returned home from one of the most physically exhausting, emotionally draining, mentally and spiritually challenging weeks of my life.

It was time for us to clean out my childhood home.   Dad passed away two years ago, and Mom just 6 months ago.   While we were happy for them,  we, their children, were left to clean out over 50 years of collections and so it began last week.

Each of us started where we thought we could make the most progress.  I was working on Dave Ramsey’s snowball plan.   You know, where you start with the smallest, least complicated place to attack and build momentum from there.   For me that was the “orange room.”   For some reason, when we were kids mom decided to paint the bedrooms different colors and they thus became know as the orange room, the blue room, the yellow room, etc.

Well, it didn’t take me long to clean out the orange room.  Now the blue room held a lot of memories for me and as I cleaned, I thought of those memories.   Like the night my three younger siblings, climbed into bed with me because of  a thunderstorm that had shown it’s colors.  (I, for one, revel in thunderstorms…. ever since I was about 4 or 5 and my dad took me on his knee one night during a thunderstorm….I don’t remember what he said to me… but I remember the comfort being in his lap gave me.   Sweet memory.)

Then the blue room also had an ornate hole in the floor where at one time the stovepipe of the stove downstairs heated the upstairs.  Now that’s not the cool thing for me.   The downstairs has a bay window and every year at Christmas time, that’s where the Christmas tree went and if one angled themselves just right you could see the Christmas lights on Christmas Eve.    The doors to mom and dad’s room was also just below that hole and if one waited up long enough, one might see what “Santa” was bringing them.   😀

As we got older, we were allowed to stay up later at night on Christmas Eve… Mom had a penchant for decorative candles and my brother loved to light them all on Christmas Eve.   It made for an almost holy atmosphere to see the lights and remember that the “Light of the World” came down to earth one night and was born of a Virgin that we might have life eternal.

Then there was the old round oak table that stretched with several leaves so that we could all gather around to enjoy the Easter/Thanksgiving/Christmas feasts.   Mom was a great cook and there was always plenty for us as we shared the camaraderie of family and friends.  Joy and laughter were often present then.

After those meals were through, the table cleaned off and dishes washed, we’d sit around the table and play games like Boggle, Trivial Pursuit, Uno and Skip Bo.  There were still plenty of leftovers to munch on the whole day.   Not to mention Grandma Beemer’s Molasses Cookies…. mom always made sure there were plenty of those…. well almost.

The kitchen held memories too.   It is an old kitchen so there was not a lot of counter space to work on, so it was the table that my grandfather had made on which we worked before these meals to first the pies and cakes and cookies.  Then mashed potatoes, salad, and veggies as the turkey or ham.  During the year, house chores were given in teams (there were 6 of us).  While two of us did the dishes and cleaned the kitchen, two others were dispatched to clean the living room and dining room, the bathroom was also included.

We had many, many happy memories in that house.   We had some sad and hard ones as well but they are our memories.   Life was not always easy for us.  Yet there was a foundation for life that was given in that house to build on as we each left that house to build our own lives as adults.

Soon the house will be sold and memories will be all we have.   Yet I am so thankful for those memories.

Until next time, love God, love others, remember the good memories and make new ones for the future.

A surreal end of the week
January 11, 2014, 7:54 pm
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It’s been a surreal end of my week.   As I was leaving with my husband for a couples’ retreat this weekend, I received a phone call from one of my sisters stating they had gotten the biopsy reports back on my dad and the news was not good.   He has melanoma all through his body and they’ve given him four months to live.

It’s never easy to get a phone call like that.   As you grow older you understand that at some point in time, all things being equal, your parents will die before you do.   I can’t really explain it but I believe the Lord had been preparing me to receive the phone call.   I don’t know if you’re ever fully prepared to hear the words that let you know their time is here or imminent but God has given me great peace.    That does not mean I don’t hurt at the thought of losing my father.   It doesn’t mean I won’t grieve when he’s gone.    It means, I know the God of all comfort Who will sustain me and my family through this time of loss.

For some reason God has given us time to prepare for my father’s Homegoing.   Perhaps He knows we need time to release him to His eternal care.   My father was one who took care of his family.   There were six of us kids.   I don’t remember one of us going without a meal or clothes to wear.   We didn’t always have extras  but we had a father’s love as shown in his provision for us.   I am grateful for that as well as for all that he was able to teach me during his time with us.

I am comforted to know that while I cannot be near my father at this time, he is in the hands of my loving Heavenly Father who cares so much more for him than I do and my Heavenly Father always does what is best.    My heart may ache at the imminent homegoing  of my earthly father but I have hope.    I know I will see him again one day.

For my siblings and other family members who may read this, please know I love each one of  you and pray that God will give the peace and comfort that only He can give during this time.

Until next time, love God and love others He’s put in your life as we never know when God’s call will come for them to leave us.

Whistlestop tour
September 18, 2010, 8:08 pm
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This last week, we had a whistelstop tour type vacation.   We left home Friday night and stopped in Omaha where my SIL is undergoing chemo for lymphocytic leukemia.   She had just finished her first week and was doing fairly well, though she had experienced a fever as a side effect to the chemo therapy.   However, by the time we got there on Saturday, she was feeling fairly well.    They guys went and did guy stuff… like visit the Railroad Museum and of course, since there was a Cabela’s in Omaha also went to Cabela’s.

We girls, on the other hand found a mall!   I was a little concerned that my SIL would not feel up to going but she said she did.   So, we went.   We laughed ourselves silly through the mall.   We rode the seethrough elevator several times and found a dress suitable for DD to wear to homecoming.

We went to church with them on Sunday morning and heard some awesome preaching and teaching from the Word of God.   Then after eating lunch we headed toward Toledo where we met with DH cousin, Bob.   Now, we thought we were only going to see Bob but Bob’s brother Jim was also there… and we were able to see both of them.   We spent a few hours with them and then left for Michigan.

The next day we stopped at Hillsdale College as we’d heard a lot about it and toured it.    I had grown up not too far from it but for some reason it had never been an option for me.   We were impressed with the college.   It’s a small college of 1400 students.   The students were very respectful, friendly and helpful.  The campus is beautiful and old but conservatism is alive and well there.  

From there we headed to my parents.   We spent a couple of days there with them.    It’s sometimes hard to see parents growing older but it is a part of life and though I would do what I could for them, they seem to be doing fairly well for themselves.

I also was able to spend time wiht each of the three siblings that live around that area as well.

From there, we left and went up through the UP.   We got to the Bridge later in the afternoon and by that time it was raining and we didn’t want to go over the Bridge in the rain.  

Now, I need to stop here and explain that we rented a car to take this trip and I was the one who did the renting but I was brain dead when I rented it as I put myself as the driver and had no other authorized drivers.  Therefore, I did ALL of the driving…. I do mean ALL!    Wow!   by the time each day came to an end, I was exhausted.  

We got up the next morning a little later than the other days and went across the Bridge.   It was still raining.   From there we went to Wisconsin to visit DH’s uncle Howard who resides in an Assisted Living Home.   He was in good spirits and we spent a few hours with him talking over old times.  

As we were leaving, we encountered DH’s cousin Ruthie and her husband.  They had just arrived as we were leaving.   We hadn’t been able to contact them so we didn’t know if they knew were coming through.   Long story short, we ended up spending a very enjoyable few hours with them as well as the night with them.

In the morning we had breakfast wtih them and Howard’s sister Elaine and her husband at the Rock Restaurant in Tigerton.   So DH got to spend time and visit with them.   The owner kept us in stitches with all his rocks while we were waiting for our breakfast. 

We left there about 9:00 that morning and had to be back that night as we needed to return the car on Saturday.   It was a long day of driving and we didn’t get home until 3:30 in the morning.    I was very much ready to be home.

That’s the whistlestop tour that was our vacation.   We enjoyed ourselves but are glad to be home to rest up.   The colors in Michigan and Wisconsin are just starting to turn but they were still beautiful.

Until next time, love God, love others and keep your loved ones close.

Change… it’s in the wind
March 18, 2010, 6:38 am
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Lots of things going on in my life right now… probably yours too.   My job has changed somewhat but this week, I’m wearing a few different hats and the hours have been long.  

Last night I received a call from DB who told me dad had been taken the ER being septic.  We still don’t know exactly what that  means but they did admit him to the hospital and now we’re waiting to hear any change in the situation.

Until next time, love God, love others and keep your loved ones close.

There are two seasons…
April 8, 2009, 6:15 am
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which give one reason to pause to think.    I speak from a woman’s point of view as I’ve never been a man and can’t speak from that view… lol…

After the turbulent teen years in a girl’s life, two seasons come to a woman if she’s particularly if she’s blessed with children that give her cause to stop and think.   First is the season when her children (if she’s done her job correctly), become young adults and leave the nest of the home she’s created for them.  

When we had children, it redefined who we were or for some of us it just defined us.   All of a sudden, we had this precious, helpless bundle we were responsible to care for, nuture and teach.   It may have scared us to know that we were responsible for another human being who came without instructions… or so we thought.   

There may have been many times, when we declared THEY may not make it to their next birthday… lol.  There are times during our raising of our children, that we wonder if we’re going to make.     But we do make it… and they actually made it… wonder of all wonders and have started to stretch out their wings… Now, some of this wing flapping (again, if we’ve done our job right), starts happening while they’re in the nest  until one day as we watch  they soar off into their future… it brings a little bittersweet gladness to our lives… and even some uncertainty.  I think partially because we begin to wonder, now what?   Now who am I supposed to be?   I’ve been a mother for xx number of years, now… they don’t need me to be their mother…

Perhaps if we’re again blessed, they will realize though they may not need us as a mother, they need someone who will come along side them and walk with them in the uncertainty of their lives…. we may not hold their hands as we did when they were young, but perhaps we’d give them a hug, a pat on the back and a…. “you can do this” …or  “you’re going to make it through this too” speech.   I think too often in our society, we’ve missed the extended family experience of having an older, wiser and more experienced woman close by to help us along the way.     To encourage that we’re doing things all right… to help us stay the course…. Though my mother lives far from me, God has blessed me with two women in dh family who’ve been the older, wise, more experienced women for me.  Plus, He’s given at least one close friend who gives me the benefit of her experience and tries to keep me sane… lol

The second time that gives a woman pause to think, is when her own mother is reaching the time when life has become a challenge for her in new ways.   She may need our help instead of the other way around.   It’s hard for one’s mother to ask their child for assistance, for in some weird way, we’ve told ourselves, if I’m an adult, I should not need assistance from my child.   If the Lord should decide one’s mother’s purpose is complete and her time here on this earth is at an end, we again have pause to wonder now… who am I?   I was my mother’s child.   I may have become my mother’s parent even for a short time… taking care of them, instead of the other way around.   Now, she may be gone.   Who will I go to for advice?   Who am I to be from here on out?  

I’d love to hear your thoughts are on this… love God, love others and pursue those relationships!

Such a blessed day!
February 11, 2009, 6:59 am
Filed under: Day-to-Day, My Grateful Page | Tags: , , ,

Yesterday I had a very good day though I still had to work… but alas, that is the world of the adult… you have to work EVEN if your birthday falls on a workday… 😀   However, the Lord blessed me with a shortened version of my usual Tuesday work… so that was nice.

Well, Odie is presently having his manhood taken care of today at the vet so he will be better able to tend to business.  I will go later this afternoon to retrieve him…. Alas, Marmaduke has departed from our presence…. He is missed.  However, he was an old “man” and was having issues associated with that age.   He’d become very protective of me which wasn’t so good for anyone else… in fact, he’d become an issue even for family members…so… cry1 we bid Old Man Marmaduke Adieu.

I was talking with my SIL RM yesterday and we were talking about birthdays and the years between each of my siblings… (I have five).  I had a memory of when I was very young.  We lived in the very first house I can remember when I was sent to the neighbors to spend the night.   At the time, I thought it was neat (we didn’t use the word “cool” then… :D) that I got to spend the night at the neighbors house, even though they were older.   (Where my two older sisters were, I do not recall).  However as I was thinking about the reason why I was sent there, I realized it was the birth day of my little sis.   She  was born on my 2nd birthday.   This is one of the very few memories I have from that age and I never connected the spending the night with neighbors with the birth of my ds until a few years ago… Must be my age…. can’t remember what happened an hour ago… but I can remember things when I was two…241

I am most grateful that God has allowed me to reach my present age.   Though I have to admit when I was dd age, I never thought I’d get to be this old.   To me 25  WAS old… and yet, the Lord has blessed me along my journey.  I am grateful for the friends and family He has put in my life.   You’re all so precious to me and become even more precious the older I get and realize that temporary parting of our ways may come sooner than any of us expect.   

Well, I don’t know what just came over me… so I’ll have to go and think about that… until next time though, stay warm, Love God and love others… pursue precious relationships….