As today comes into being it is another year to stop and say thanks to dad. Dad can be a step dad, a mentor who was like a dad to us, a friends dad,, and our own dad.

me and my dadI was thinking about dad, and the memories I have of him. He was alive for the first 10 years of my life, and in those 10 years, I remember him holding my hand, I remember his talking to me, I remember him coming home from a week of being away as a traveling salesman.

I do not remember who mowed our yard, and I faintly remember him reprimanding me when I needed it.

I remember drives with him to my accordion lessons, him calling me princess and his words of wisdom. I remember when he was there, I felt safe, the universe was aligned.

I remember every night he was home he tucked me in bed, he read me a story when he was home, and he said he loved me.

And I remember a breakfast I made for him, burned toastPam and I did it. The toast was beyond burned, the inside was actually brown, we felt bad we burnt his toast. He said “this is how I like it” He bit each piece, crunching it with his dentures, and smiling. He ate the whole piece. Thanking us for the lovely breakfast.

It was the little things, the walks, the talks, the hugs, the kisses goodnight- the lessons in life- the things not seen, but felt. Those moments, I am so glad I had, for they relive in my mind over and over again, they bring me comfort.

Happy Father’s Day Dad, I loved you then, I love you now and I will love you when I too join you again.

Until later, Mrs. Justa alias Cindy

I remember a very long time ago, a time when my mom was helping me each step along the way as she taught wrong and right. At a very young age, I found that I should fess up with the things I had done. At the age of 4 ( almost 5)  is when I remember a lie I told. We were at a new house in a new state. The house sat atop a hill, and the driveway up to the house ( at least in my 4 yr old impression) was like a mountain road.

The driveway had 2 openings, as there was a hill on the property, so if you were coming from one direction, there was an entrance as you crested the hill, and coming from the other direction you could enter the loop driveway before the top of the hill.

I was a child who was blessed with having a stay at home mom. Which also meant I was a child who did not know life being away from mom. It was my first day of getting the bus for kindergarten. Mom had a toddler in the house. So I had the responsibility to walk down the driveway and wait for a bus. We had had a dry run before that day, and I remember mom taking me down the driveway pretending it was my first day. Now it was me and the bus, and my mom watching from a window.

I remember being frightened and scared, but not letting mom know that.

back bus education school

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I was going to get on this bus, and not be with my mom, I remember fighting back tears. AS the bus was seen from afar- way down Rte 20, I remember seeing a tree, a pine type tree. And in a moments notice, my body took off and hid in the welcoming arms ( branches) of the tree.

Mom saw the bus stop and assumed I had gotten on it. I did not. When the bus left, I remember crying, cuz I knew I should have gotten on it, yet I was too scared to. So I unwrapped myself from the protecting branches of the tree, and trudged up the driveway and went in the house.

Mom was not pleased, and I was crying. I told her the bus would not wait for me.

This was lesson one on lying… she kept grilling me in her oh so gentle fashion until I finally went into a sobbing mode and confessed what I did. It was then, once I could absorb her wisdom and lesson in life #5000, ‘ the lesson was that we should not lie. If we are caught in a lie, we end up with people never believing us, or having a less then pure trust of us. ( I have to admit, I did have to be taught that lesson a few times more in my very young years) but I learned that I should always face every situation truthfully and right on.

For this incident, well I delayed my first day of kindergarten by a day. Mom called the bus garage and spoke to someone and explained what I had done,  and mom walked me to the bus stop the next day, a toddler in one hand and a 4 yr old child in the other hand, and she spoke to the bus driver, and from then on. I was a kindergartener bussed to school. The bus driver was so nice to me, let me sit close to the front, as I knew no one and even was new to our house and the town.

Mom was wise, she did trial runs with me, and she felt confident I would be okay, I realize that. I think she herself was surprised to see that all she thought would go smoothly, well I had a plan of my own.

Lesson eventually learned, be honest, be trustworthy, and know that every action has a reaction, every word, every motion, there is a cause and effect. That choices we make are just that, choices WE make. We own our emotion, we own how things make us feel.

So as I am about to enter a new day, a new weekend, I say… Until later, Mrs Justa alias Cindy

 

 

Today is the birthday of a woman who has a special place in my heart. She is a woman I call “mom2”. a woman I do not think I ever have seen without a smile on her face, no matter what. She is a woman who has enriched so many lives in her days on this earth, a woman I have admired since I first met her many many years ago. She used to laugh at my craziness, give me advise when I needed it, never judged me and never made me feel anything but respected, understood and loved.

This made me start to ponder. Life is something we have, it is here , it is now20190413_180939. What do you love in life? Not what obstacles are on your path, but what do you love about life? I can get weighed down with all the negative bits of life, or I can focus on the positive things. I chose each day to focus on what brings me peace, helps my soul to smile, and my heart to feel full.

I totally love my faith and belief in things I know are, but I can not prove it. I love my husband, I love my family, I love to take pictures, I love to sing, I totally love cleaning the house, the smell of fresh laundry, fresh cut lawns and freshly baked bread. I love my truly good friends, helping a child explore the world,  and reading to a child. I like to cook, I like to take walks, I like to look for things that are all around us, but we often do not see. I love walking in the rain, I feel blessed when I see a rainbow. img_3723I loved being a mom, I love the plans in my head.  I love spring and sunsets, and being on a mountain top. Going to sleep with the sounds of the ocean slapping the sandy shore.

Every day is one day closer to the next chapter in life, and one day further from the first chapter in life. What tomorrow will be, I am not going to let myself worry about it, instead, I focus on what today is. I am humbled by peoples kindness, and try to turn away from people’s negativity. We need to not get so wrapped up stuff, that we lose focus of the todays.IMG_0676 - Copy

So today, I hope that you find a burst of positivity, a sunray , actually see a rain drop, I hope you find goodness.

Enjoy life, and turn any darkness into brightness.  Until later, Mrs Justa alias Cindy

 

This morning I read a passage in Matthew, “Come to me all who are burdened, and I will give you rest.” That is pretty heavy, extremely comforting and inspiring.100_0308

It made me think of life, and of Mother’s Day, and about my Mom. Those 3 letters mean more than words can ever express. Mom, a person who was there always, as I aged, she never was not there, she never once turned away from me, she never once made me feel anything but worthy, special and even in the worse times as I grew up, she was my rock.

She tackled incredible odds, and raised 7 children, ( as my sister Karen was only 7 when mom married dad. She had times in her life where she was faced with tough times, and through it all, if I ever needed that pillar to hold me up, if I ever needed wisdom, if I ever was in the darkest areas of life, she was a beacon, and when I focused on that light in the darkness, when I set my compass on that light, It was Mom waving the lantern of life, she was there.

Now I can not always say she had approval for situations, however she had strength and a way to teach lessons, a way to help me find the next step to take. SHe had times often of “tough love” wherein situations I would have liked to run from, she stood next to me and helped me face them

Mom had the ability to let “things go” 20190128_072245that were material; that were “busy jobs” and tasks, and could shuffle the clutter of life and make time for me ( for us). Dishes, vacuuming, laundry, organizing would never have priority over time needed to talk, to support to inspire. There never was a time when she did not have time to put the tea kettle on, brew some cups of tea, and share a cookie and her unending, uncanny ability to enrich my life.

There were many winding paths, many of life intersections where there were too many choices of which direction to turn, and many special moments that meant so much to share, she was the person I knew would always be there. And it is so comforting to know….

She is still here, her spirit lives within the precious moments of my life, and way to often I do not stop to think more about how incredible she was, so this morning, as her spirit is filling my heart, my soul, I say Happy Mother’s Day Mom, without you … well, I would not be. Happy Mother’s Day Mom,  Until later, Mrs Justa alias CIndy

Boy, all the aspects of being a parent should be a mandatory class in school. I hear at times people complain about the teachers not instructing the kids on behavior, on respect, on handling life.

abc books chalk chalkboard

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But it is not the teacher’s job to introduce these things to our kids, no it should be the parent’s job, and the teachers can then do their job of preparing the students academically for the future encouraging growth and seeing the possibilities. A teacher can enrich the lessons of life. A parent though should build the foundation to a life where the children will have a strong base as the years pass.

Being a parent can be challenging at times, those challenges have to be faced and not ignored. For little challenges can continue to fester into more and more difficulties.

I remember when I have been faced img_3723with many challenges of life.  Challenges feel like waves crashing against my life shore. And some of the significant ones were before I was a parent, and others after becoming a parent. Never ever once have I regretted the gift of being a parent though. As my son slowly added days to his life, every single thing I did, every step I made, had him in the forefront. There were times when life has totally thrown some pretty tough curveballs, and I came out on the other side. A marriage ending when my son was just 2. See those are the times we- as parents chose how to handle the situation, and no matter how hard the next steps will be, the children should not be the problem solvers, as we determine the next step, we then present  in the most calming positive way, what is next. On the other side my marriage ending, after a yr or so of doing my best, I was blessed to meet a man who also was in a similar situation. We began  33+ years ago supporting each other and taking each of our children as our own, as much as life would allow. A journey I am fortunate to be a part of. Children need people who care.

As our children grow, there are those proverbial apron strings. Again as we loosen the apron strings slightly, we need to give our children opportunities to think and do things without being pinned to our hips. From the first steps. To starting school, to the first drivers permit, to going to college, to having their own place, we need to coach and encourage our kids to become less and less dependant on us. It builds such incredible self-esteem and confidence in themselves. That with or without us, they are okay.

I am first to stand up and raise a hand high, if anyone asked, who had trouble loosening the apron strings. My hand, however, would go down, if the question arose, who couldn’t loosen the apron strings. flyingI knew the day would come when my son would leave home and have a home of his own. And in those last few years before that happened, gradually I knew the day would come when the door would not be opening and having him go and sleep in his bed, safe under our roof. The day for him that he felt “free” as he stepped into the next chapters.

But never ever have I not looked at the tug on the heart, the strings totally loosened as a negative. No, it was positive. Did I make mistakes along the way, I am sure I have made plenty. Is there a perfect parent on earth, no there is not. Did I do my very best, yes? DO I have regrets, not one!

It is so hard to see the family dynamics when a parent dies, and their late teen to adult children are so lost financially because they were so incredibly dependent that mom and dad would take care of them. That was one goal I did not want to happen. I believe we succeeded with that. Parenting, it is one of the most meaningful things in life.

Until later, Love MrsJusta alias Cindy

 

 

I have heard in the past, actually my whole life, and read this little piece of wisdom this morning on worrying.

We need to focus on the now, for if we are worrying about the future, about things that may or may not happen, IMG_0458we are burning our todays, we are wasting those precious moments on our walk through life.

I can be a worrier, I can be a person who is looking at different scenarios trying to prepare for things that never may happen.

I am much better now than I was years ago, but it is so easy to get sucked into the worry vortex. Now I believe there is a part of life where we need to think about the consequences of actions we do, things we say. So I am not proposing to go charge our credit cards to the max and spend to the max today, because we know on the scheduled billing day of the month that bill will be here.

I am thinking about the worries of things we have no idea even if they will ever come to be.

brown fern plant near trees

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There are so many folks who now, (because of the ease of social media, of 24 hr news talk shows, of  podcasting and YouTubing— )not only have they taken the worry talent to a new level for them, but they share the worrying with anyone who hears, reads or sees their public presentation of negative/ worry stuff.

As they predict the doomsday type scenarios, the dark maybes of the future, what they are doing is totally wasting the moments we are facing now. Life is never guaranteed to have no problems, no heartaches, no losses. There is a difference in knowing every moment will not be sunshine and lollipops and rainbows…. and worrying about those moments when the darkness seems to engulf us.

So once again, I am reminded to be still, IMG_0406to enjoy this moment, and stand tall, knowing when the not so good stuff happens, it is just a part of life. Bad times only pave the way to better times. We need to look towards the light, in those seemingly darker moments. Worrying does nothing but rob us of our moments in time, our moments to see the light.                                   Until later, Mrs Justa alias Cindy

I was observing the other day, as we drove by some cars on the interstate, what life in some vehicles is like now. There are mini TV screens so the passengers can watch a movie, there are so many electronic devices that people are staring into, and there is the driver- hopefully not staring into an electronic device too ( but amazingly I have not had one drive on the interstate where there is at LEAST one driver looking at their phone as they are barreling down the highway ( But that subject I save for another time)

When I was much younger, and we had car games- not board games, but games that involved us to talk to one another. Games that we had geared for a variety of ages. We actually knew who was in the car with us, we actually knew their voices, we actually shared the same goal of one game.

One game we did was the license plate game- with this we, as a group, were looking for numbers in sequence- so we would look for the number “1” and go up to 100. We all participated and laughed when we both saw one at the same time

Another license plate game was seeing how many states we could see plates for, how far had that car traveled from.

We did one called the “color game” – where we would say something like  “I see, I see something blue/ or _____” This game depending on the speed of the environment was not always easy, as what one saw could be out of site by the time the words got out. A rendition of the “I See” came was more “I’m thinking of something  (color)” and that was a game of things that color – not things we are seeing right that moment.

We did a color game on vehicles- where we looked to see the most popular color of cars, and how many different colors of cars there were.

We also did a make and model game- but that was more for older kids, the younger ones had no idea.

And then there were the songs- not a radio- songs our mom had taught us that came out somewhere along our journey. She taught us songs that I am amazed I still have locked in my mind- that pop out every once in a while. Like ” I gotta a mule and her name is Sal , 15 yrs on the Erie Canal….” OR ” I have a little chicken and she wouldn’t lay an egg ….” Or  ” A,B,C… ” or “Open Shut Them “”or the “Girl scouts together, happy are we…. ” list was long… folk type songs,  Ha there were a couple where we could come in at different times / a couple of us would start, and 2 lines into it, another couple of us would start-as the music was the same for each line, so we have people singing different words, but the same melody.

As the songs started – young and old the 7 of us would be singing at the top of our lungs.  Belting our these songs like nobodies business. And all these many years later, I remember those times and cherish them

As we drive by these cars with no one talking to one another, no one interacting, heck no one even seeing where they are or where they just were….. I wonder what they will remember so many years later. And it also makes me so thankful that I have my memories locked up in my heart, my mind to relive over and over again…

With hopes for so many more special times… with prayers that we as a society begin to “unplug” more and literally speak to one another,

Until later Mrs Justa alias Cindy