Open Your Heart (and mind)

Of course one person can’t change the world but if everyone does their part we might have a good start!

On this glorious Saturday morning after a trip to Freddy’s, I’m sitting here contemplating the season and all its former appeal. People mulling around in a hazy stupor trying to find the perfect last minute gift for someone they had forgotten about, or probably in most cases, getting started late. Not me. I didn’t shop at all this year, unless you count Amazon Prime shipments I conveniently had shipped to our 10 month old granddaughter and ulu’s for our kids we found on our trip to Alaska earlier this year.

Watching these frazzled people, some looking defeated, if not totally deflated I began to wonder about their stories. Which ones were single parents? Who was unemployed or under employed? Was anyone suffering from seasonal anxiety and depression? Were they going to be OK? Were their children and family going to be OK? I’m always telling myself it’s not any of my business and technically it isn’t but in a way, isn’t it? Are human compassion and kindness not a thing anymore? Are we not allowed to comfort and lift our fellow community members? How and where do you start?

The answer to the above question is, I believe, at home within your own family. If family takes care of their own in the proper manner and with proactive foresight, love, understanding and full support, perhaps the world would be a better place. That’s where our country and society have gone astray in recent decades. Parents are busy working and trying to catch a break when they can, or dead beat slackers possibly addicted to drugs and alcohol. Schools are expected to teach kids morals and values, amongst other skills that are not the responsibility of a teacher. We find ourselves in a sad situation, my friends.

Look around you, within your circle of friends and family. If you see someone struggling don’t be afraid to offer and ear or anything else you’re equipped to offer. You might be the one person that can make a positive difference in the life of a loved one. Of course one person can’t change the world but if everyone does their part we might have a good start!

~ Jane

Merry “Non-Traditional” Christmas

I will send out a “memo” so everyone knows ahead of time, where Christmas is happening, be there or be square!

Merry Christmas everyone! This year is going to be different. Kids in Idaho, kids in Washington, us, in Oregon. It’s not necessarily a bad thing though. Our usual Christmas is filled with decorations, a beautiful fresh cut tree that we cut ourselves, gifts, good food and the entire family. The thing I will miss most is the entire family being together. I feel blessed to have been able to spend two weeks with our son, his girlfriend and first granddaughter before Christmas. I will cherish that time for sure. We will also have dinner and movie day with our girls so it’s not like we totally gave up Christmas this year. Also, even though we all agreed no gifts, we couldn’t help ourselves and got everyone a little something and of course the granddaughter got spoiled. It’s a parental prerogative, right?

The reason I say it’s not necessarily a bad thing is because it makes a person more appreciative of the time we have spent together and more longing for more times together in the future. In other words, every one misses traditional Christmas! This will give the husband and I our first alone Christmas since before we had babies, so like in 30 years; It’s going to be strange, for sure. At first, I wasn’t on board with basically skipping Christmas but now that I’ve allowed it to sink in and digest some, I’m actually feeling pretty good about it, this one time. We spent less money and I have less stress. But, like I said… this one time.

Next year will be grand! I’m already planning it out. There will be a fresh cut tree from floor to 9 foot ceiling, lights on everything, garland, elaborately set dining table, embroidered stockings (need to order for any new family members). Christmas shower curtains and hand towels, festive bed linens in all guest rooms, Christmas Eve pajamas for everyone, grandpa reading “Twas the Night Before Christmas”. My famous Christmas sugar cookies, intricately decorated, honey ham with all the fixings, pies and fruit and everything yummy. Those are some things that initially pop into my head, I’m sure I will come up with so much more by next December.

I will send out a “memo” so everyone knows ahead of time, where Christmas is happening, be there or be square!

~ Jane

Tis’ the season…

I thank God for him every day.

…for pondering life.

I’ve been doing a lot of thinking, as I often do actually. Most commonly, it’s thoughts of my youth and relationships I’ve had and how they formed me into the person I am today. Specifically today and for the past couple of weeks I’ve been thinking about my relationships and my decision to not have sex in high school.

As a teenager I was a little on the wild side as far as doing crazy stunts and going to parties where there was alcohol and marijuana. There were boys I made out with on occasion but I didn’t have an official boyfriend until I was 18. That was a comfortable relationship but I knew he wanted sex and I wasn’t ready. It’s not that I wasn’t ready as much as that I was responsible. I had a lot of friends during that time frame who were engaging in sexual activity and ending up getting abortions. I knew for a 100% fact that I could never kill and innocent child for any reason and I also knew I wasn’t ready to be a mom yet. Being a mom was my dream for as long as I could remember, but I was not ready at the age of 18.

I liked the guy I was dating and I liked his family, but he wasn’t the right guy at the right time, and we both knew it. Admittedly, I was weakened when we broke up because I knew the biggest reason was because I wasn’t giving him sex. Looking back that was the biggest favor he ever did for me! Since he told my, now husband, he was wasting his time because I wasn’t “putting out”. That was great because then my future husband knew he was getting a woman with morals and values that were in short supply in the 80s.

I dated my husband for over a year and a half before we married, I was 20, which I know is still young, but I was ready, and he was right. Our first beautiful baby arrived 10 months later, followed by 2 more within the next 4 years. We’ve had rough times, and we’ve had wonderful times, but the one thing I know for certain is I don’t know what I would do without him! I thank God for him every day. We’re still married 30 years later and I’m so grateful for my choice to stay a virgin until I was sure I had the right guy. I will admit I was not a virgin when we married, but not a lot of women I know can say they’ve had sex with one man. 

~Jane ❤