The Party of 1981–The Hands of Old Friends

Dymisha and me plus ours and others — way back when

Man!!!  We were skiiiiiineeeee!!  I remember that red outfit; I loved it.  Must have been my going-to-town shorts and shirt since that’s where I thought we were going.  Headed to the big city of 12,000 compared to our little town of 1800.  Yes, you read that right.  We’re even smaller today with the commerce dwindling and people going elsewhere to buy what they need.  Forced to now that things are shutting down instead of choosing to.

As is the way with most small towns, we’ve kept getting smaller.  Waaaaay back in the day, people called our little town “going to town” because it was a bustling little place with several grocery stores, two big hardware stores, a dry cleaner, drugstore, a newspaper office, clothing stores, several taverns, car dealerships, gas stations, restaurants, jewelry store, skating rink, and I’m sure I am leaving some out.

It was a happy time then; a time when our children were small and easily entertained and easily maintained!  A good time for a party!

Here are some samplings of my gifts that day, gifts I have treasured for over 30 years:010

This was the beginning of the book.  A card from Dymisha and a long letter.  Followed by cards and letters from my Mom and my friends.  A heart book.


A letter from Dymisha

A letter from Dymisha

page 2

page 2

That letter is five pages long!!!  A wonderful letter that I’ll share only part with you.  But here are some more!!

Ms. Catherine's letter

Ms. Catherine’s letter

Ms. Catherine was the nurse in our one-doctor hospital.  She and Doc Stanelle cared for a lot of people over their years of doctoring.  I can remember Dr. Stanelle making house calls!  He had to come to our house once because my fever was so high it scared my mother.  Really scared her for her to call the doctor to the house!  I can remember all those kids being on my bed, jumping around and putting rocks on my forehead.  When I told my mother as much, she ran to the phone, and good old Doc did his thing.  It must have worked because I’m still here today.

Ms. Catherine was a woman of substance.  And I am very  honored that she took the time to write me a message.

Another person of substance, a man who gave years and years of his life to stand in front of our small church congregation and pick out songs to sing was Byers Young, B. O. Young.  He and his wife, Jane, were great people I will always remember fondly.  They ran one of the hardware stores in town.  And to think that he took the time to sit down and write something to a young woman just amazes me.  And humbles me as well.

B. O. Young's card

B. O. Young’s card

(more to come)


The Party of 1981 – Part 3

As I read the letters, I couldn’t help but laugh at the fact that I am the same today as I was all those years ago.  Several voiced in their letters qualities or lack of them that are my personality traits today.  And I was overwhelmed with joy that I had been blessed with such good people in my life.  They each had stories or an encouragement or accolades.  They each took their precious time and sat down and wrote something to me, something I have cherished all these years.

There were letters from the Acteens group at church that I was leading; busy teenagers who wrote me the sweetest, most heartfelt letters that I cry over.  Older women who have now gone on to be with God, women of substance who gave me moments of themselves.   Women my age (older women now) who spent time reminiscing, blessing me, loving me. Women who acknowledged the positive things about me and laughed at the not-so-positive things.  Good stuff there in that book.

I’m going to share some of them with you.  Perhaps you will remember writing the letter, and it will bring back a good memory for you.  Make you smile.  Make you happy.  As Dymisha said in her letter, “You know, if there has been one moment of happiness  brought to her through this surprise party, or this letter… then I’m happy.”Keely, Nate, me

(to be continued)

The Party of 1981 – Part 2

Dymisha was driving, and I was enjoying my free afternoon with my good friend.  She kept driving down the road, past the houses, straight to the park entrance… and stopped.  I just looked at her, and wondered what in the world was she doing.  We were going out to eat!  She was smiling from ear to ear and pointed to this big sign right in front of us.  (I have never been one to notice the obvious.)

On the sign were big words that said, “Happy Birthday, Brenda!”happy bday sign  My feeble little mind could not wrap itself around what was going on.  There were all kinds of people milling around under the shelter, children running all over the place.  What was going on?

When Dymisha finally opened the door and got out, it kicked in.  A surprise party!!!  She had planned this super awesome surprise party for me with family and friends there.  I can’t remember the details now of what we did that day.  I’m sure we had food because that’s where we were headed.  All I remember is the love:  the smiling, happy, love.

And I still remember it.

She gave me a wonderful gift that day, one she had prepared beforehand and presented to me that day.  A gift I have kept for these past 30-some years.  A scrapbook filled with letters from my family and friends with pictures from the party added later.  A book that would never happen today in the age of texting and tweeting and emailing.The Party

I found that book the other day as I was cleaning out a closet and sat down to look through it, again.  Occasionally throughout the years I would get it out and thumb through it, sometimes reading all the letters, but mostly looking at the pictures.  This particular day, I got out all the letters, everything that was in there, and decided to write about my friend, Dymisha, and the other great people who took time out of a busy day to come celebrate with me.

(to be continued)

The Party of 1981

The PartyHer name is Dymisha.   One of those friends that settle into your heart, make it their home, and will always be there whether you see them again or not.  That door in my heart has been opened recently, and those wonderful memories came flooding out,  balloons floating into the sky bursting into lovely fireworks.

It was 1981.  We went to church together and were doing a Paul/Timothy study.  We would meet; Dymisha would make me an egg and cheese sandwich with an ice-cold-over- ice Coke (she had Pepsi); the kids would play.  These sessions drew us close, taught us who the other was, and bound us together as sisters, sisters in Christ.

She was the one that turned me on to those delicious egg sandwiches that are to this very day my go-to comfort food.  Whenever I’m tired and hungry, I make an egg and cheese sandwich.  Whenever someone at the house is hungry right now, they get an egg and cheese sandwich.  And I always, always, always, every time I make one, think of her, Dymisha.  I put this recipe (if you want to call it that) on one of my blogs way back in the beginning, but I will put it on here again because it is just that good.

My Most Favorite Egg Sandwich In The Whole World

2 eggs (mix with a fork in the pan) fried in a T. of unsalted butter, no salt, better flip once, maybe fold them over some to fit on the bread

2 slices whole wheat bread, butter lightly one side, lay one piece butter side down in the same pan after scooping up the eggs with a pancake turner, then plop the eggs onto the bread

1 slice of cheese, whatever cheese you like, parceled over the top of the eggs, then place the other piece of bread on that, once again lightly buttered

flip to melt the cheese until it’s gooey and oozing out the sides and the bread is all crispy.

serve with an ice-cold Coca-Cola over crushed ice

Double Yum!!

It was my birthday, June 17, 1981.  Dymisha had invited me to go out to eat somewhere, and I was so excited.  Mom was going to keep the kids; a girls’ day out.  But first, she said, we had to make a stop at a lady’s house for some buttons or some kind of sewing stuff.

Okay.  I was good with that because we were out for the afternoon!

Well, first I have to tell you that Dymisha could do anything.  Really.  Anything she set her mind to, she could do it.  If she decided she wanted to wallpaper her living room, the next day it was done.  If she wanted new curtains, get out the sewing machine and make some that afternoon.  If she needed shelves built, well, where’s the drill.  She amazed me!

So I never thought anything at all about going down the street to the park for her to pick up something she needed to make.

Was I ever surprised!!

(to be continued)

The Amazing Pixie Find

As we sat in the bed and eyed the pixies, Ava whispered, “They’re asleep.”  I, of course, agreed.  So we continued our whispered conversation about why they were here.

“I think they came back for Valentine’s Day,” says the caught-off-guard Gigi.

“Maybe they came to watch us,” says the spied-upon-by-Elf-on-the-Shelf Ava.

Since that was not my intention at all with the pixies, I insist they are not here to spy but to make Valentine’s Day fun.  So we whisper some more about the pixies and how we think they must come for every holiday (groan), and then we whisper reading our books because we don’t want to wake them, and then I finally say, “They aren’t waking up; let’s just talk normal.”  Whew

Probably, knowing that Ava is a lot like her Gigi, she would have forgotten all about the Big Pixie Find by the next day, but I couldn’t chance it.  I had to drag out the heart stickers and the glue and the markers and the stamps and stamp pads (good thing because Kate showed me how to use them) and we made Valentines for people.

Yep.  That Kate is pretty slick.  She said, “If you would let us use your stuff more, I could show you how to use all of it.” (Because I have a treasure trove of goodies in the basement.)

She also said, “I think you do all the stuff for the pixies.”

Eight…  and she’s already way ahead of me.

The Amazing Pixie Find

My sweet, little Ava who is five this year, soon to be six as she reminds me quite often, loves to come over and play.  Kate has already left me.  After all, she is eight now!  Her playing with Gigi days are now a thing of the past, replaced with the evil ipad.  She would much rather make rooms and animals and other odd-looking creations on Mine Craft or construct homes and make families on the Simms.  I have to say, she has me looking pretty buff and in a very nice home in the Simms village.  Occasionally I get a tour.

It started with Maddy actually, the playing that is.  I think, somehow, I didn’t get the playing thing out of my system as a child which is the catalyst of my love of playing now.  So when I met Maddy so many years ago, we played and played.  Sometimes we would let her uncle in on the fun, but mostly it was just us girls.

not-so-little Maddy

not-so-little Maddy

It was for Maddy that I started the Sunflower House.  Now they have become a tradition for those that follow in her footsteps.

Kate, Ava, Maddy

Kate, Ava, Maddy

There was Brittany, Brooke, Jack, Sam, Kate, Ava, Owen, Maci, Emily and the other “church kids” and several pop-in-and-outs.  I have had a ball with all!!

Of the regulars, I am down to Ava with her big imagination.  So this past Christmas when the Pixies (click on Pixies to see the story)  happened upon Gigi’s house, she and Kate loved them.  Since Ava is the one who is over here quite often, she kept track of when they were flying around looking for things for us to do and people to cheer or help.  I had hidden them away when I took the tree down, but had them lying on a dresser in my bedroom ready to put away in the Christmas tubs when Ava spied them.

We were sitting on the bed, reading, when her eyes got big and round and she pointed and whispered, rather reverently, “the Pixies!”

Oh no!

(to be continued…)


This Christmas we are going to be visited by three very cute, very small, Christmas Pixies.  I got the idea from the blog the imagination tree.  Click on Kindness Elves and you can see what I’m talking about.

Since the girls already have Elf on a Shelf at home, I wanted something different than an elf but the same concept of kindness.  Without something watching them all the time!  When this blog popped up on my News Feed on Facebook, it was perfect!

So the search began for the just-right pixies.  They had to be able to fly and be cute as buttons.  They had to have a sweet, caring face as well as a mischievous look… because, after all, pixies are full of fun and want to spread joy.  I finally found the little darlings on Amazon, ordered them, and now they are waiting to leave their notes for the girls, full of kind ideas and activities they have planned for us to do this Christmas season.  Each day they fly around the neighborhood, seeing the needs of people, and come back to tell us things we can do to bring joy and happiness throughout the month.  Of course, they pretend to be toys if we get near them. They immediately stop their whispering and giggling and become hard toys.







The little stinkers!

Each of them has a job to do.  Joy looks for things to make the girls happy during the Christmas season.



Hope looks for ways to bring hope to the lives of people in need, sad, worried, alone… you get the idea.

Faith has the job of telling the story of Jesus.  She has already gotten Bibles to give away and is planning on having the girls read the Christmas story.

All the pixies are excited about Christmas, and the girls are excited about them.  We have already found a note from Joy to start the season off right.  Since the girls love making gingerbread houses, Joy found a whole village for them to make.  It was a little harder than the big ones, so next year I’m putting in a request for bigger houses.  But we had a great time making the little ones.IMG_8479

making a gingerbread village

making a gingerbread village


Hope has a great idea!

Here are some of the ideas our pixies are planning for the girls:

Hope is on the ball... I mean cookie dough roller.

Hope is on the ball… I mean cookie dough roller.

making cards

baking cookies

visit Grandma

making gingerbread ornaments

go to a movie

give away hugs

Check back on what they are up to this season.  And leave your own ideas on here.  Let us know what you and yours are up to for the holidays.

And remember:IMG_8489

Punkin People

Punkin People are a certain group of well-known humans.  Some of them are loved and cherished and adored and gifted with hugs and kisses and many splendorous things.  Other Punkin People are abused physically and verbally, used as objects for the satisfying of pleasure or used as objects for the satisfying of wrath.

This last group of Punkin People make my heart heavy with sadness at their plight.  My only solution to that sadness is to be on guard against those perpetrators of Punkin abuse:   Confronting what I see or calling those in authority or personally stepping in with some form of help.  These little Punkins have the carved scared faces, the sad faces, the unsure faces.  Carved by the hands of those who should have been trying to carve beauty in the little Punkin.

My little Punkin People are loved.  Beyond measure.  By many people.  They are so very blessed.

My little-to-big Punkins

My little-to-big Punkins

We praise God for them.  We lift up their uniqueness to the Creator that He will carve them to His liking, not to ours.  We ask for the help we need to be wise caretakers of our Punkin field, to nourish these little Punkins properly, caring for them the way the Master has planned.  With love and adoration and hugs and kisses and many splendorous gifts.

Just as He has done for me.

Summer in a Nutshell

searching the ocean floor

vacations                                    searching the ocean floor

having fun in the sun

having fun in the sun

going to church with Teri

going to church with Teri

ICE CREAM!!! Sam and his float



working with Dad





weddings on the beach

weddings on the beach

Henry in pool 2014


pool jumping

pool jumping

birthday parties

birthday parties

Goodbye Summer!
























Byron, Wasana, and Sumia… as one journey ends

As a child grows out of the services of World Vision, that organization sends a packet with all the information of the new child I can temporarily adopt and help on a monthly basis.  The front of the packet says “as one journey ends… another begins.”

And so these past couple of weeks I have discovered that my little Wasana’s village has become such a self-sufficient bunch of people that they are now being phased out of the World Vision ongoing help.  How exciting for them!  And how sad for me.  Little Wasana will be 14 in September.  We began our far-away relationship when she was 7.  Over the years I sent small gifts (stickers, pencils, hair clips, etc.) for which she would always send a big thank you and tell me about getting them.  She went from an unsmiling, scared-looking little girl to one with a nice school uniform and a beautiful smile.

I will miss her updates and her letters.

Before Wasana was Byron from Ecuador.  He and I only had three years together before he grew too old for the program.  I still pray for him as I am sure there are many opportunities in Ecuador for a young man to be lured into a harmful and dangerous lifestyle.

And now… little Sumia comes across my path.  From Bangladesh.  Her picture depicts sad eyes, very short hair (Ava and I thought she was a boy at first) and no smile.  I am already worried about her and glad I will be helping her, perhaps even bringing joy to her little face.  Her picture is on my computer where I can see her everyday, prompting me to pray for her every day.  Which then prompts me to pray for Byron and Wasana.

Children I love even though I have never met them.

There have been incidences wherein I absolutely knew people were praying for me.  I could feel it in my soul.  And so I have asked the Greatest Lover of small children, Christ, Himself, to allow these children to feel the prayers that I am praying.

May it be so.