Adrianne


After we came back from the first family reunion,100_1023 which was my side of the family,3 weeks later  we went to a camp site North East of Lockport NY and had our family reunion with our kids and our kids kids.

This is the 2nd year we have done this and it is really nice to do it.

We can focus on one another and being less people it is a great way for the cousins to play together and our kids to spend time together.

Life is so darn short, life is so darn busy, we just do not get together enough. We were there for 2 full days, leaving on the third day in the morning. 100_1065As I look back at the time I think I was most moved by just watching the interactions and realizing that all of this could not have been possible without Marks and my children. Adrianne and her kids came out on the 1st full day we were there for an afternoon and evening, her husband unfortunately was not feeling good and could not make it. She said maybe next year she will plan to camp the full time too… It was awesome to spend time with them.

The other part that was special to me was 100_1061some one on one time I was able to spend with Emily. Emily is now 16 and being a teen is not easy ever, I think it is tougher in 2013 than it was when I was a teen. Emily is a smart young lady and she has a pretty good sense of humor. I just like spending time with her. That was special.

I also love time with our kids and their spouses, it is so neat to watch them interact, like they just saw each other the day before, we did miss Josh though. The time separated seems to disappear. And their kids – our grandkids are funny to watch. Jeff and Amanda’s kids are 3 and almost 5 and Adrianne and Josh’s kids are almost 2 and 4. 100_1053So they go right up the totem pole of toddler ages. They walked around, they rode bikes, they watched as we tried to fly kites, they played until they dropped with exhaustion. The magic of the fire, the wonder of the sunset, the toasting of s’mores, the memories are priceless.

I feel blessed to have this opportunity and I look back at all the bumps in the road, the hills of life climbed, the slopes sometimes slipped on—they all led us to here. And ya know what— every tear, every smile, every wonder, every pray— it was all worth it. 100_1114

Until the next post…. hang on to the blessings that come before you..watch for the simplest things that mean so much. Love to all, Mrs Justa alias Cindy

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Well another year has past for our family reunion. I am from a family of 9 brothers and sisters, one sister has died and our parents are both deceased. We live in various parts of the country and we try really hard to get together. This year there were some of us, not all of us. This year we went back to the State Park my mom had chosen so many years ago. It was really not bad, we got heavy rain one evening, but the base of the fire was strong enough to withstand the rain and light up some more logs. It was neat to see the cousins spend time together. family reunion 2013 077 (15)Wish my brothers who could not make it had… it was strange not to have them and their families there. We were missing some nieces and nephews and their kids….

We had no cell phone coverage, we had electric on the sites and public bathrooms. Some people tented, some had trailers, some hoteled it….  all seemed to have a good time.

As we entered the weekend and started to observe things, we came to realize there was a passing of the baton so to speak. When we started to go to this part- we were in our 30s and our kids were 7 . Now we are some  of the elders and our kids have kids of their own. Jeff and Amanda became the dinner site- we all gather together for dinner, a dish to pass and eat our family reunion 2013 077 (21)meals, talk, laugh and end it with a nice campfire and s’mores and memories being created.

Adrianne has not been to a reunion for years- but I bet she would like to sometime in the future.. she had mentioned tenting it at some point with her family… and heck if they are more on the line of hotel people, there are some people who do stay in hotels. One year we rented a cabin off site and one year we rented a cabin in a town near by….—that is an option too,.….their kids will be a better age next year… hmmm….maybe they will come too.

The transition was subtle at first, but became more apparent as the clock ticked to 10 PM and Mark and I were headed to the camper to call it a night… leaving behind the 30 something year olds and the younger cousins. Yikes.. we were the “older relatives” who went to bed early…

The kids seemed to totally love the camping experience, and I have to admit I soaked in watching their smiles, there sense of adventure, and looking at how totally exhausted they got from being outdoors, faamily reunion 2013 (89)from going “creeking” and from building sand castles.

I thought about all the electronic devices and the automation we have in our homes- and even though they are nice… … (as Mark says to the boys… _)

“this is living… it doesn’t get any better than this !”

And ya know what he is right!. Regardless of our various challenges in life,

regardless of our stressors our hectic sometimes lives… when we got here—the waters smoothed, the days were peaceful, the experience was something I am so glad we got to share…the only regrets are the people who could not be there…. but than again –we do have next year !!.

So I am off…. kinda chilling tonight…. reminiscing …feeling blessed. Love to all… Mrs Justa alias Cindy,

As the days get lighter and the temperatures try to rise some, I am comforted by the signs that we have made it through another winter. This year we can not say it was a mild winter ! We probably have another month of snow potential..but than the camper will come home from storage and our spring time summer time  will begin.

The times of our life are made in memories of days gone by, memories of trials that situations have created and by hopes for many tomorrows. I was thinking about life , and special times, and memories, and what makes memories stay in our minds. As a kid I remember the games we would play together, like huck-abuck-a bean stock, or the card game war, or rummy, or go fish. Hide and seek and red light green light, simon says, I remember making tents out of sheets and sleeping on the floor, I remember staying up late to play a game , and the feeling of falling asleep after being tucked into bed and given a hug.

This past weekend we were blessed with Brandon and Preston for a day and a half. Oh we made a tent out of the dining room table, a king sized sheet, a blanket, and hauling in toys and books and little lanterns. 100_0733

We baked mini banana muffins, we cooked meals together, we did house hold chores, and had cuddle time. We played games, did puzzles, and ate dinner late one night, stayed up late because we ate dinner late, we watched some TV and sat and talked about things.

It cost nothing in money, yet was priceless in memories and time spent.

It was a great weekend. Oh we had some brother squabbles, some whining at times… but 100_0738it was all good.

As they left, saying their goodbyes, ( in French because we taught them “auvoir” ) I was wondering if some of these moments are etched in their minds, to surface again in years to come.

I look at the kids and think how quickly they have grown , it seems like only a few days ago Brandon was in the NICU… and we were excited to meet him… Preston was just a twinkle in his parents eyes… as were Mackenzie and Caleb….

and now they are 4,3,2,and 1!!!…. Pretty soon they will be all in school..before we know it..and I just hope the memories are kept close to them..as my child hood memories are close to me.

I am feeling fulfilled from the weekend and the fun being a grandma is…. I love when a child says “ I love you gramma..” it just melts my heart…

Life is good… there are not so good times,,, sad times,,, but all those times have got me here…and here is ok.. We are not money rich..but we are rich with special moments.

I hope you too have some. Love to all Mrs Justa alias Cindy

100_0171As  the year comes to an end in another day…

It seems that the boys were just screaming HAPPY NEW YEAR yesterday..but in reality—it was a year ago….

I seems like I am still in my 30s… but that was a LONGGGG time ago…

no regrets really… for I truly believe life happens the way it does for reasons….

I look back at all the events of this past year.

Many famous people died, tragic shootings, an election came and went  that totally surprised me, and feeling thankful that I have a job in a time when so many do not.

This year we got to 302763_838411284938_494358476_n[1]100_0646witness our grandchildren growing, and we got to connect in a personal way with our “birth” grand daughter who has grown up to be a camping KOA Canandaigua 7-23 - 25 069beautiful young lady. Her adoptive parents were generous enough to let us spend some time with her. Time which was so precious to my heart.

We have had crazy weather, imagesCA3QUWSSa Hurricane that really did phenomenal damage to the Northeast Coast. We watched as the space program took it’s last voyage. We wept with those suffering from violence and we smiled at those who achieved their goals.

We watched our niece get her license, we camped more. We got to share time at the family reunion with a part of our family, and we witnessed 2 couples wed.

We lost weight , we gained weight, we had a semi successful garden, and disappointments from it too. 100_0621We adopted a dog, and we found a true companion. We witnessed the affects an abusive past can have on a dog, and have worked very hard with her , so she can trust life will be okay.

Yes as 2012 leaves and 2013 comes in, the fear of the future of our country lingers in my mind….and the hope that people can come together for the better of all of us.

I hope the media starts to focus on the good and not the ugly. We should know not the evil ones… we should know those who bring good.

Happy New Year to all…. I hope you find happiness as the New Year comes to our doorsteps in less than 48 hrs. !!.AS I look back, I am thankful… and I am looking forward to all the goodness next year can bring. Love to all. Mrs Justa, alias Cindy

The Holiday time seems different each year.

Some things always fill my heart with smiles. Like going around and looking at peoples decorations.

100_6830_editedThis house has been amazing for the last few years. I can not wait to go check it out again.

This was in 2010 …………………….

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The year I took this ( Dec 2011) , as we were driving by… we stopped and came across this sign.

 

 

 

someone had stolen one of their inflatable yard ornaments..but these people did not lose faith though. 100_0125Someone else came and replaced it for them. They have a can to put non perishables in for a local food pantry. They are people who give to others they do not know by decorating and collecting.

As a grandparent—it is warming for me to know our kids are with their kids opening gifts in the morning and spending those special times together. I always felt Christmas morning was a private time, a personal time for the parents and their children or for the couple with their life. My mom never demanded Mark and I be at her house in the morning with the kids… we gathered together on Christmas eve…

100_0125Christmas is a time to be thankful for those you share your day to day life with. Over the years I have watched as friends have gone through the turmoil of trying to balance between grandparent houses..Worrying about whose house you have to be at, or who you have to plan on entertaining on Christmas morn. I swore I would never be that demanding parent/grandparent.. And I do not think I have been—nor will I ever be.

Now we are older… our kids are grown and have kids of their own..Christmas is a different kind of special. It still has it’s same meaning… but it is Mark and I… we have no alarm clock… we have a quiet breakfast… sip on our hot beverage of tea or coffee..and just enjoy the time of being. I am so thankful we had all the years of having our kids excitement flow over a quick breakfast but I do not feel cheated now..life is chapters in our books of life. Nothing stays the same. Oh there are constants in life… like watching ITs A Wonderful Life…and Decorating for Christmas… and sending cards…baking special cookies, making special gifts….and I totally love the happiness I feel around –it is a time a solitude, a time of appreciating what we have—no matter how much or little.

I no longer feel pressured by buying things..we do it gradually..Mark and I actually go out together and chose a gift or 2 for ourselves..and wrap it and than we open it on Christmas morning. One year we did it way before Christmas..and when we went to open them.. we forgot what we bought ourselves!.

I love Christmas carols 100_6755when it is closer to Christmas… I love church and the amazing scripture of Mary and Joseph and Jesus. I just can not begin to explain how much I love the season. I feel so blessed to be able to live in a country where people can decorate, where people can freely go from neighborhood to neighborhood enjoying the lights and decorations. I love that we have had Christmas magic when we were children, when we had children and now with grandchildren.

It is truly a special time of the year for me.

I hope you can go look at decoration where you live..and hope you feel the magic of the season….. My love to all.. Mrs Justa alias Cindy.

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My life… I sat on the floor in the corner of this room, looking for something specific. And to my surprise I found much more than I intended to. The bottom two shelves are the photos and music of my life….

I was looking for a picture of a lady I work with. She is retiring in a couple of weeks and this photo was from when I met her, back in 1989. She oriented me to hospital nursing. She and I have had our paths cross for years on end, and then for a bit we may work in different places..but we never lost contact.. And times along the way we end up back in the same place again. She is a special lady. As I looked for this one photo I ran across my life. Things that have been pigeon holed in places in my mind.

It is funny how a photograph can bring you back to that year. It can make you remember a smell, or a breeze, or a sense of wonder . It brings back a feeling of being special, or discovering a place you had never been to before. It also can bring back a feeling of loss, or pain. It reminds you of relationships, of stages of youth, of people who have left this temporary home on earth to go to their destination. It kind of reminds us we are alive.

To relive these moments, to watch my little guy and Marks little girl grow up in photos. To  see their kids growing up… 100_3398

To realize that even thought it seems the years have flown by..those photo albums on the lower 2 shelves represent miles of life’s highway. The whale watches, the camping trips, the mini vacations Jeff and I took, the whale watches that Jeff ,Mark and I went on, the seemingly endless precious weekends that Jeff and Adrianne got to share with us, the evolving of my family from me being a baby to having all my brothers and sisters, smiles, reunions, marriages, births and deaths. All in-between sunsets and sunrises..each one different.

A100E0347nd as I soaked in the memories as they came to life.. I thought about how lucky we are to live in this country. The unrest in other parts of the world.. I wonder if these people have good memories. Have they stopped to see the beauty of the world? My heart says they have missed a lot of the soft sides of life… for they carry around such anger and hatred.

Yes … my journey through time that has been, it has  reminded me that I have been truly blessed. I thank God for that, over and over again.

I hope you have memories of your life captured somewhere. Stop and take a moment to remember. Good night all. Mrs Justa alais Cindy

hOME AND cALEBS bDAY PARTY 8 AND 9 2012 004

Our youngest grandson has hit the big 1. Yep a year old. He has a smile that is contagious. He has red hair that is almost orange, and his curiosity is very prominent.

I am not sure if this will be the youngest grand child or not..but for now he holds that title.

Adrianne and Josh put on a party for his and despite the severe thunder storms, a house full of people, a power failure… they pulledhOME AND cALEBS bDAY PARTY 8 AND 9 2012 039 it off. It got a little crowded in the house and so we did retreat to the garage that they had set up some tables and chairs for people to sit in. It was cooler and the kids had room to romp around in the garage some.

hOME AND cALEBS bDAY PARTY 8 AND 9 2012 019It is tough when the intention is to plan a huge party and entertain outside.. Outside the crowd seems less than when everyone ends up in the house. But Adrianne and Josh smiled through it all, and the party went on.  If it had been me… I do not think I would have been as calm and cool and collected that those two are.

We had  nice time, it is always neat to see the kids and the kid’s kids. I wish we all lived closer..but in the whole scheme of things an hour or so apart is not that far.

We went up to Oswego the next night hOME AND cALEBS bDAY PARTY 8 AND 9 2012 048for a sunset. And it is so weird to think that I know not how many sunsets are left to see. Mark had made that comment to me. It is kinda like when I write about the miles in my rear view mirror of life are a lot farther back than the miles I have yet to travel. I think I could take photos of sunsets every night and I would still be in awe at them. They are dramatic to me, they are a statement of the insignificance we each are when we look at the world as a whole. Than to think we see all of this as we exist on the outside of a sphere… kind of fascinating….

hOME AND cALEBS bDAY PARTY 8 AND 9 2012 042Life is so full of outstanding sites to see. And to me the sun rising and setting is right up there. A beginning to a day or  tucking a day in to the bed of the memory books. No matter when they happen, they are breathtaking. I love the colors, the brilliance, the ever changing formations. And I wonder if in way, if I too bring some color to peoples lives at times. Do any of us?

In this crazy world of rushing and ups and downs… we need to stop and make a difference in others lives. That is what living is for. Love to all. Mrs Justa alais Cindy

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