I am, in the Present, in love, grateful, living. I am, in the Present, aware of beauty, able to breathe free air, accountable for my actions and mature enough to accept that accountability. I am in the Present! Gratefully, I am!
“If you must look back, do so forgivingly.
If you must look forward, do so prayerfully.
However, the wisest thing you can do is be present in the Present – Gratefully!” Maya Angelou
Tribute to a Mom
She’s gone, but surely won’t ever be forgotten as long as I’m alive. Next month would have brought her 92nd birthday. She had gotten frail, and dementia and Alheizermer’s had wreaked havoc on her mind. She finally gave up the fight. We didn’t always get along, but she deserved a lot of credit for what she accomplished in life. A child of the Great Depression years, she lost her own mother to cancer when she was only 12 years old. At that point, she became the female head of a household that included two younger brothers still living at home, and an unappreciative father. Married at the age of 17, she gave birth to me the following year. By the age of 25 she had 4 children, she hadn’t finished high school, and had gone through the trials and tribulations necessitated by wartime shortages. One winter, after the WWII was over, was especially trying. All four of us kids managed to get the measles, mumps and then chicken-pox in succession. It would have been enough to drive anyone nuts. She bravely hung in there, caring for each of us while neglecting herself. Later, in order to help support the family financially she got several jobs; first in a local glass factory, then with a small newpaper. She earned very little money, but saved enough to buy a small car. That independent streak, so natural to her, contributed greatly to the demise of her marriage. Dad couldn’t abide her independence or that she wasn’t a Miss America model. No more on that! She went back to school, got her GED, then went on to become qualified as a CPA. Following that, she went to work for the State of New Jersey in the Sales Tax division, examining business tax returns. That brought her into some tricky and sometimes dangerous situations in South Jersey. As always, she persevered and retired in good stead. During all those years, even the leanest of times, she’d do what she could for people who might otherwise have been forgotten. There were always small Christmas gifts from her to the men who made the weekly trash pick up and anonymous donations to local families in need. She donated regularly to organizations that benefitted children and veterans and she was always ready to take in a stray dog. I’ll never forget the care packages she used to send during my college days, the care she lavished on all the pets the four of us collected throughout the years, the trips she made to visit us when we went off to live in far distant places, the family “vacations” when she held things together by a thread, and the knowledge that she was always there if a need arose. The sight of nightgowns and jackets she bought for me, a candle,a basket of artificial flowers, and a fish-tank planter that she bought as gifts for me all bring a lump to my throat and a pain in my heart. She’s gone now. Her life, which had become so diminished in the last months, is over. Her race has been run. Her memory lives on. I never told her enough how much I loved her or was appreciative enough of all her efforts. I’ll always miss her enthusiasm for sports, especially baseball and football, and her love of having a daily newspaper to read and crossword puzzles to work. In her honor I’ll try to do as much as humanly possibly for my own children and grandchildren, and emulate her generosity to those in need. Rest in Peace Mom.
The Kaw Lake Ultimate Eagle Watch, at Kaw Lake, Oklahoma, will be held on Saturday, January 17, 2015. A guided tour of eagle viewing by horseback will be held from 10:30AM -2:30PM. Participants must provide their own horses. Programs on History of the Eagle and its Habitat, Wildlife Rehabilitation Challenges, Importance of Eagles to Native Americans, The Wildlife Around Us, and Getting Involved in Wildlife Rehabilitation will take place throughout the day. Also, a live eagle and some other wildlife will be on view at various locations. The events will take place at Kaw City, Oklahoma, beginning at 7:00AM. A free Native American luncheon will be served. There is no charge for the event, but donations would be greatly appreciated. The Kaw Lake area supports one of the largest eagle populations in the state of Oklahoma, throughout the year. Phone 580-762-9494 for additional information or go to http://www.kawlake.com.
A trip to the Pioneer Woman Museum in Ponca City, Oklahoma, with two of our granddaughters was an enjoyable experience. The girls got to see two weaving looms in use, and learned lots of new things about pioneer women who helped settle Oklahoma. A rainy day during a week of RV camping gave us a good excuse to get out and spend an afternoon at the museum. The museum itself is simply chock-a-block full of information about the life and experiences of early white settlers in OK. The areas covered: Fiber Art, An Oklahoma Woman – A Patchwork in Time and Space, Coming to the Cherokee Strip, Small Blessings, Heart of the Home, Living the Good Life, Out of the Kitchen, Into the Fire, A Cultured Life, Help from the Past, Hope For the Future, Breaking News – Oklahoma Women Journalists, Bending the Rules, Bound to Please, A History of Corsets,and last, but not least, there is the Education Room with a small display of artifacts. We all enjoyed the time spent, and each had a particularly favorite display. The older of our two granddaughters was very interested in the weaving demonstration and posed many articulate questions to the docent. She also liked the Breaking News, Oklahoma Women Journalists section. Her interest there was perhaps sparked by her father’s work as a journalist. The younger girl really liked three of the areas – a Cultured Life with it’s fine collection of musical instruments, Bending the Rules with it’s list of preposterous etiquette rules and the adage that “well-behaved women seldom make history.” That really appealed to her. She also liked the gallery’s four flipbooks which gave information on the times and trends of notable Oklahoma women. T-shirt souveniers rounded out their educational and fun day. Hooray for camping with kids and a chance to share their enthusiasm and curiosity. If you get a chance to visit Ponca City, OK, make sure to include a visit to the Pioneer Woman Museum. There are many other sites of interest in and around this small city – The Standing Bear Museum, the Marland House and the Marland Mansion are just a few, and all worthy of a day each. If you can manage to visit the Standing Bear Museum during a Pow-Wow, the scope and pleasure of the experience will be greatly amplified.