Tag Archives: Family

Memories of the Garden

I recently saw a post on Facebook that said: “The problem with the world today is that no one snaps green beans with grandma anymore.”

Maybe that’s true. I remember spending many hours each summer snapping beans, and shucking corn.

Both sets of grandparents had large gardens. Many weekends were spent helping them pick vegetables. As payment for the help, our family got a portion of the food. My mom and her mom would spend hot summer days canning every conceivable vegetable that would last our family through the winter months.

The garden memory that brings a smile to my face was picking ears of corn with my grandpa. As we sat in the backyard shucking the corn Nanny would be in the kitchen boiling the water for the corn and preparing the rest of dinner. I’m not sure I’ve tasted a fresher ear of corn.

As a child, I never enjoyed the work. But as an adult I certainly enjoy the memories. There are times when I can feel the clumps of dirt breaking between my fingers. I learned many lessons about family, hard work and the pride a family can experience when they provide for themselves from the soil of their own land.

 

Written in response to The Daily Post prompt: Soil

The Moment You Know…

On Thursday July 16, 1992 my dad woke in the morning and left for work. Not unlike he had done nearly everyday of his life. He went to the warehouse where he picked up the 18-wheeler and drove south on Interstate 75.

He arrived at his first stop in Kentucky. Checked in with the warehouse and dropped over dead.

I was at work that morning. I worked a full day. When I arrived home my uncle was on the phone. He told me that dad died earlier that day.

Today, 25 years later, I’ve been thinking a lot about that day. The thought that keeps going through my mind is: “ You never know what you don’t know…until you know it.”

I understand that probably sounds silly. But, what I realize is that I worked that entire day not knowing that dad was dead. How often do things happen and we continue on with our lives, because we don’t know.

Obviously there isn’t a way to change this. Its impossible to know something before we actually know it. But that moment in time when you learn “the news” its like stepping through a wall of time that you can never return through. The heartbreak is attached and the only way to release any of it is to move forward, one step at a time, no matter how deep you fall into the darkness, no matter how difficult it is to lift your foot, you must move forward.

It took me a long time to move through the grief after loosing my dad. To date it was the most difficult loss of my life. I struggled. I sunk deep into a severe depression. I drug my feet…unable many days to lift them off the ground. But I did it. I survived. I found the light again and I embraced it.

Today I still think of dad, I miss him and still wish I could talk to him. But today I can do these things with a smile on my face not a pain in my heart.

Dad, Big Bunk, Little Bunk, Matt

Left – right: Grandpa Rabold, Dad, Great-Grandpa Rabold, Front Row: Brother (Matt)

Unexpected Lesson

I woke up in a grumpy mood this morning. Freckles and Sugar decided to start barking much too early.
Saturday morning, no where to be, no plans…and they start barking.
After Tina and the girls headed out to get mani-pedis I decided to lay down and try to sneak in a quick nap before going for a bike ride.
Just as I started to doze off my phone rang. I looked, it was a client. I rolled back over. Within minutes my phone rang again…same client. I decided to answer, though I was not happy about it.
When I answered it wasn’t my client, it was her brother. He told me his sister died.
I sat there stunned. I kept thinking about my interactions with this young lady. I thought about her family. I thought about the hole she would leave.
Then I realized how ridiculous I had been earlier. I was grumpy…for no real reason. The fact is I woke up…earlier than I wanted…but I woke up. I had the entire day ahead of me…I could go ride my bike, hug my wife and laugh with the girls. I still had things to look forward to and friends to love…I still have my life.

There are so many sad side stories to this death. So many hearts broken by this loss. Yet everyone’s life will move on. Everyone, even her closest family will heal. What I hope for is that each person effected and maybe even those of you that read this post, will take a minute to remember how fortunate we are. Remember to appreciate the time we are given to walk on this earth. And most importantly remember to appreciate those people we get to share this planet with.

American Thanksgiving

Someone asked me earlier this week how it is possible to celebrate Thanksgiving without turkey.

I gave up eating meat nearly two years ago…so not eating a turkey on Thanksgiving is not a problem for me…but the question itself made me stop and think.

Why do we (Americans) celebrate Thanksgiving?

Do we celebrate Thanksgiving so we can over eat, nap and watch football? Maybe.
Do we celebrate Thanksgiving so we can wrestle our fellow americans for a TV that is marked 50% off? Maybe.
Do we celebrate Thanksgiving so we can enjoy a 4 day weekend? Maybe.

Without digressing into a story about Europeans landing on foreign soil that they would infest with disease and eventually dominate and destroy…I would like to consider what Thanksgiving could be…if we as americans could turn a few of our priorities around and focus on the good in ourselves and each other rather than the external things that we surround ourselves with.

Maybe if more people looked across the table at their family member and sought the things that make that person good and kind…instead of focusing on our disagreements.

Maybe each of us could take a minute to think of those who don’t have family members to share a meal with. And realize how fortunate we are to be in a house full of love and goodness.

Maybe we could extend an olive branch to the individuals that we have shut out of our lives.

Maybe we could spend time talking about the Grace our God freely gives and the forgiveness we are granted…even when we don’t deserve it.

Gratitude is an easy thing to forget…We often take our lives, our family and our friends for granted…

Lets all take a minute to say thank you…
to our family,
to our friends,
to a total stranger,
to our God

for our family,
for our friends
for the strangers that surround us,
for our God

Happy (American) Thanksgiving everyone…may we all find a reason to be grateful everyday.

Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge: Smiles

I love smiles!

This week Cee has asked us to share photos of smiles….I get excited when I have a challenge in my mind as I’m driving down the road and the perfect subject matter jumps to my attention.

Yesterday this exact thing happened. I was leaving a client’s apartment when I spotted this big smiling sun balloon. My immediate thought? Cee’s Challenge!!

I did a U-turn, jumped out of my car and started taking pictures. I’m sure the construction guys right in front of the balloon (and the liquor store it was advertising) thought I was nuts!IMG_4294

I took this photo of Hershey the Schnauzer Sunday because we had a new happy pillow and she was sitting beside it smiling! (can you imagine a better reason to take a photo?)IMG_4250

And the final photo is my sister-in-law and her son at Easter…this photo makes me smile!DSC_0861

So there you have it….an object smiling, a dog smiling, people smiling and all 3 make me smile!

 

 

Friends…

Our friends, Corey and Billy, invited us to spend the weekend at a lake house in East Texas. Unfortunately Tina and Billie were not able to make the trip but Sonya, Robyn and I did.
As we travelled toward our destination we talked about Corey and Billy inviting us and Robyn said, “We have great friends…”
She went on to list about 12 (possibly more) people. It was a sweet conversation. I realized how loved the girls must feel, surrounded by a large group of people, at home, at work, at church and socially, that love them for simply being themselves.

IMG_3384

Sonya and Robyn

I am grateful that Tina and I get to share our lives with 3 ladies that appreciate and enjoy the friendship of many different people. I am also grateful that we are blessed with kind and open hearted individuals for friends.

IMG_3386

Sonya and Robyn

For each of you that think you might be on Robyn’s long list of people she calls friend…you probably are!

Pure Joy….

I got home from my ride tonight and Tina was watching the original Grease with the girls. I must say this is one of the few movies I can watch over and over. So I join them.
Sonya danced throughout the movieIMG_2198

and if she wasn’t dancing she was singing along…IMG_2164

This girl brings such joy to our lives…

I am grateful I get to hang out with her, laugh with her and occasionally she lets me sing with her!

Sorry for the poor photo quality….it wasn’t a planned activity and I just grabbed my iPhone.