Grandpa’s Girl

Bethany and Grandpa

My Bethany is in the United States Navy and she is deployed right now. As her mother I am anxious because she is so far from home and I haven’t heard from her. We usually email back and forth but that has not been possible this last month because my internet has been down. The frustration I have felt trying to get my provider to get me up and running just about drove me crazy. After many phone calls to a stupid computer telling me to try this and try that and sitting on the phone for hours to talk to a live person I had about had it. We had a technician out and he thought it was fixed and it was for about ten minutes. The next day I called and waited forty minutes to talk to someone and told them if it wasn’t fixed by the end of the day we were cancelling all of our services with them. Why didn’t I do that in the first place I don’t know. The reason I even bring it up is because usually I am a take charge kind of person but I let worry overtake this thing because of my Beth. I just knew she was emailing me and thought I wasn’t taking the time to answer. I knew she needed to tell me something important and I wasn’t there for her and I worried she was feeling all alone. That wasn’t the case I am happy to say because I never got one email from her when my computer was up and running. That’s how it goes when you have a kid in the service. You go through what I call the three W’s,wait wonder and worry.Not good and I am trying to get over it.

My Beth is an Aviation Structural Mechanic for Safety Equipment. She loves her job. I sent her some questions when she first left and this is what she told me.

They have church everyday on the ship and Lutheran services on Sunday.

She works twelve hours a day from six at night until six in the morning seven days a week.

She really can’t tell me where they are because of Operational Security.

The food is pretty lackluster but you can buy snacks until they run out which is often.

She shares a room with about fifty other females from different commands.

She doesn’t like to touch anything in the shower.

She has trouble keeping weight on right now.

People tell her she is refreshing to be around and she has made many friends.

When she emails it sounds like she could be anywhere and it is still my Beth. I hope that if you know someone in the Armed Forces you take a little time for them. Send them a letter a package or just a card. Let them know they are missed and loved. It is our responsibility to keep them informed about what is going on back home. They miss us and they are tired so I am sure that even brings on loneliness. Please keep them in your thoughts and prayers but also give them something tangible to hold on to and look at. If you belong to an organization or a church hand out their address and ask them to help.Anything from home is something they will love.

I know my girl reads this blog when they have access and that was another thing that tricked me off when our service was down but it is up today and I am doing this for her.I love you Bethy. I miss you and I can’t wait to hear from you. Dad and I talk about you every day. I put that picture up there of you and Grandpa because he was so proud of you. You remember the day don’t you? I bet he has the biggest grin on his face right know and is spewing ship details to everyone up there that will listen. Grandma too is so proud and she loves you so much.She asks everyday if we have heard from you and she plans on sending you some of those cookies that you love. She has never erased that I love my Grandma Perkie off her message board by the phone that you wrote many moons ago.

You are on everyone’s mind back here at home. Thank you for doing what you do and for being my daughter. You are a blessing and I love you.

I have one last thing I want to do for my girl. If you could please give her a hello today on this blog. It doesn’t take but a little bit of time and it will make me so happy that she has something to read from all of us wherever we are. People she is special and has been from the start. Give her a little love.

Thank you and Blessings Everyone.Bethy 2

Me And My Cardboard Guitar

Happy Birthday LizYesterday was my birthday.It always pains me on my birthday to get the day over with.I hate being the center of attention and I hate having my picture taken.My best friend at work Ev knows this and so she never makes up much of a fuss about my birthday just the same as I do for hers.I also have been battling a terrible creepy crud and I didn’t feel well.Things were going pretty good until Angie showed up with this for me.Angie works in the office and she is about one of the nicest people I know.It was a beautiful plant that had a card that said—Love you Love me.We had a blast wondering where it came from.I think Hungarian Work Horse was behind that.I was so glad I had Cam in my purse because then I got an idea.I thought I would take a picture of every person that said Happy Birthday to me.I thought if I did this people would hear and not want their picture taken.It would get my mind off the day and the day would get over with.We work in the automotive industry and there isn’t much time for fooling around.I couldn’t imagine too many people wasting their break to wish me well,but I was wrong.

Angie Sharon And AnnieHere they come.Angie Sharon and Annie.Thank you girls!

SherryAnnie was running the welder when Sherry stopped by.

IMG_0636Over comes Rudy.We worked together when I was on third shift.

IMG_0638Sue stopped by with a bouquet of parts for me I had to give them back because she needed them to finish their modules.I loved that they were blooming!That is my buddy Ev working in the back.

IMG_0641Look at this cutey!Ev and I trained her when she first hired in and she is a good worker.Thanks Lynn.

IMG_0649Greg stopped in.He works in the crib and I have known him forever.We worked on machine line together many years ago.

IMG_0634It was then that I got a big surprise.Here just before they went on break came some of the lines to sing me Happy Birthday.Little Shirley with the cardboard guitar is the pack leader in this and she does it for everyone that has a birthday.I think that it is so sweet that they take time out of their break to make someone feel good.She even wrote a second medley that is titled Me And My Cardboard Guitar.I know that you will probably hear it on the radio some day and if I knew how to post videos I would put it on here.They did such a nice job.

Lynn Terri Frannie and SueThis is more of the singers on the other side of me.That’s Ev in the pink ,Frannie in the yellow,Lynn by the silver door and Terry in the background.Thank you girls.

IMG_0646In the afternoon there was more.Hi next door neighbor!

IMG_0637Our little pie lady.

IMG_0644JeanieIMG_0645Linda

IMG_0647DebbyIMG_0648Paul(Ev and I call him Ringo)IMG_0639My favorite of the day had to be this one.One of my dear dear friends has the same fetish about pictures as I do.She stopped by coming back from lunch.She works with Ev and I most of the time but was in another area this day.I got my camera out of my pocket and she was horrified.I laughed at her running away because I do the very same thing when a camera appears.She told me she was thinking and telling people I wouldn’t have very many friends pulling a stunt like taking pictures of people.She sounded just like me yelling ARE YOU SERIOUS,ARE YOU SERIOUS.It seems her kids take unflattering photos of her and she is always afraid they are going to plaster them on You Tube.I am not even going to tell you her name.I think this could be anyone of us at TI.I only wish I had a nice back like that.

I could put many more photos up but you get the idea.It was a day I won’t forget and a lesson to be learned.I found out today that I have many people in my life that like me.I have never had much self confidence and I never think that I look good.When I got home I was still sick and the phone started ringing.As I lay on the couch sleeping the messages I got on the answering machine were astounding.Hungarian Work Horse said the kids called.My sister Linda sang me Happy Birthday and it recorded.That was brave.My Mom was going to come over.My wonderful Hubby was best of all just leaving me alone because I was sick.I love you.

I didn’t know how a birthday could teach my grandkids anything but now it is crystal clear and my friend Libby’s sign on her wall says it best of all……

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I am thankful for my job and grateful to the many people that I work with.None of us look the same as we did when we hired in and it is OK to be flawed.That’s what makes us unique.We are all crafted and wonderfully made.I still hate getting my picture taken but I guess that I have to face my fears and bite the bullet.So here goes…….

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Yup, that’s me,the one with the hair net and blue coat on.Blessings everyone and thank you for making Alexis, Peyton, Collin, Landyn, Tristen, and McKenzie’s Nana have a memorable birthday even though she was sick.I am vey blessed.

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The Sounds Of Sunday

IMG_0401Sundays are always the best day of the week for me.We get up,have a leisurely breakfast,Hungarian Work Horse and I sit at the kitchen bar and talk and then get ready for church.

My sister Linda and her husband Greg are usually at church before us and now that it is getting colder and they have to start wearing a coat I don’t know if I will recognize them.We have to sit in the back because of the little monkeys that sit with us and they sit more to the front.Greg is colored blind and I think Linda must pick out his clothes.They have on almost matching outfits most of the time.I mean it is really cute and all but one time Greg moved a little to the left and I got scared.I thought he was going to start crooning,”I’m a little bit country” and Linda would jump up behind him and shout,”I’m a little bit rock’n’roll”they looked so much like Donny and Marie!

IMG_0424It isn’t long and usually in comes my daughter Brooke and the grandkids.That is always something of a five minute deal so everybody can get sitting by who they want to sit by and Papa and I usually get the twins.Now that they are three and  getting a little bit bigger they are pretty good.It used to be I always took Collin because the squeaky wheel gets the most grease but he is pretty good now so I try to show all the kids some lap time.Today I had the little girl twin Landyn.She whispered to me,”Nana I got you first”I was thinking you had me the first second I heard about you before you were born.I love this little minute and she is the splitting image of Brooke when Brooke was a baby.

Today our message was on the blessings of children and marriage.Pastor said  it doesn’t matter how much noise kids make in church because they are where they belong.The preacher said he loved the sound of kids in church.I think that is what he said because frankly I had a party going on in my own pew.Brooke is pretty good about keeping the kids quiet but sometimes I wonder what she is thinking when she packs their quiet bag.You know that little bag of books and quiet toys and snacks that every mom has to keep the kids quiet,it is such a necessity in church.

Today we needed that bag.Pastor had the kids come up for the children’s message.He asked a question pertaining to families when a little girl told him she had a secret.She whispered in his ear and told him her mom just got her a unicorn at a garage sale yesterday.It was all down hill after that for me.I kept thinking about the unicorn purchase.

IMG_0426They come back to the pew with us and Brooke settles them down because the little Dude is talking.She gives him his little snack bag and he is eating but making some animal noises.Finally Papa takes him and he lays his head on Papas shoulder and I think he is falling asleep when just then he pulls his head back and ROARS like a lion.That threw papa off his game a little so I sat down and grabbed Collin.He is sitting on my lap and he starts mooing at me.Then he starts trying to lick me like a dog.I don’t get it.That kid is always good for me,what is going on!Brooke is about to grab him with that You Need To Learn From This Look on her face when I notice something very important.I look at her and ask,”What kind of a mother packs animal crackers in the Great Pretender’s snack bag?”

Right then in the midst of my daughters face filled with laughter and love I knew I would never forget the Sunday my little dude was a lion a cow and a dog in church and that my daughter knows what it is to love your kids that much.She is me  twenty years ago and I am proud.I know that some day there will be a little short nana long after I am gone loving a little animal in grandkids clothing and that she will think ,”How did I get so Blessed!”

The Love Mobile

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This is the vehicle I get most excited about when I see it pull in the driveway. As you can tell it drives down our dirt road frequently.It is driven by Brooke the oldest of my kids and I laugh every time I think about how she came to be the proud owner of it.

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Brooke is a kindergarten teacher and so most of her adult life has been around the raising and development of little kids.She loves kids just like I do and we have many laughs over the things that we hear come out of the little one’s mouths.I am getting off track here but I really love this picture of her and Maddie my niece.She has taught several of the kids in the family and our Maddie was one of them.

Any way back to the Love Mobile.At the time Brooke and Mike had two little girls,Alexis and Peyton. Brooke’s little girl Peyton was the end of the line in the kids department for Brooke and her husband Mike. I guess she started thinking she would have just one more.They drove a little four wheel Blazer and it was perfect for the four of them.It was sturdy,went though the Michigan snow,and she never had any trouble coming down our plugged up road in the winter to see her doddering old parents.I think she really loved that Blazer.Plus it had the room for one more car seat.Here’s where it gets a little tricky.

She obviously doesn’t have any trouble getting kids when she prays for them because soon she was pregnant again.She kept telling me she felt like she was getting bigger so much faster with this baby.I smiled knowing she was going to have twins but I never told her.Twins run on both sides of the family and when she had her first ultra sound there was the proof.

It was a shock of course and there was much preparation for two more kids in the house.Their house was small and the Blazer wasn’t big enough for two more car seats.They finally stacked the baby beds in a tiny third bedroom and started looking for a bigger vehicle.We would talk about the new car hunt and she would be aggravated because every four wheel drive was so expensive that she could load up four little kids in.Finally one day she looked at me and said,”I guess we’ll have to get a stupid van.”Hence came the The Love Mobile.

Back when we were young vans were cool and I remember my grandparents having a talk with my sister Linda and me one afternoon when we were visiting.We were heading to the city to do some shopping and Grandpa warned us not to park by any of those panel trucks with curtains.He told us they would nab us and we would be kidnapped never to be seen again.I remember laughing with Linda after we left.A van was a party on wheels back then and I for one loved riding in them.This isn’t really the case today.I don’t see any vans with curtains. They are smaller in size and just scream- family rides in me- when you pull up beside them.This is Brooke’s lot in life for a long time now.She has to drive the family van and if we go anywhere it is her vehicle we take because no one else has enough room to load up all the monkeys.It is a party on wheels yet but now a little different.We have the girl that always has to go to the bathroom,a laugher,the talker,and the weepy drunk.The difference is they are all under ten and being driven by the designated driver that happens to be their mother.

We had to go to a baby shower for my youngest daughter in a town far away last week and had to take all of the kids with us because Papa and Daddy had to work.I met Brooke at her house to catch a ride and  when it was time to go I said to Alexis,”Let’s get everybody loaded up in The Love Mobile.”

“Nana,why do you call our van The Love Mobile?”

To this I answered,”Because I love it when this mobile pulls in my driveway.”

My sweet girl had the biggest grin on her face and you can’t buy that.I am so blessed to have them.This van might not have been the car of her choice but I guess it really doesn’t matter when it is filled to the brim with our most precious of all gifts—–your children.

Jami Sue I Love You

jami 001I have been involved with kids all of my life and this little girl was the one that as an adult I cut my grown up teeth on.My sister Linda had the first baby in the family and I was besotted the minute that I laid eyes on her.I was at the hospital with Linda and we played scrabble and walked around worried sick until she was born.I knew I wasn’t her mother but I am telling you I love her as if I am.After she was born I would rock and rock her,singing Merle Haggard songs and holding her while she slept.We were a team my Jami and me.I had toxemia when I was pregnant for Brooke and it was my little partner here that made the days go by swiftly as I waited for my terrible pregnancy to be over.

jami1 001She wasn’t the happiest of campers when her cousin Brooke was born and I think her face shows it here.When I brought Brooke home from the hospital she wanted on my lap immediately  and Linda wouldn’t let her because I had over thirty stitches after delivery and was very sore.You never had to worry about her brother wanting on your lap because I think they forgot to cut the umbilical cord when he was born but not my Jami,she wanted her Aunt Liz,and oh how I wanted her.I heard a thousand times in my life from Brooke that I always liked Jami better and now I know she thinks that is silly but at the time we were so close they were like sisters and brothers so I can see how she felt.I bet it was hard for Brooke because Jami did everything first because she was older just like Jared felt about Brooke.I know for sure that they all loved each other and I hope that is what they take away from that time in their lives.I loved those days and I know my sisters do too.

jami3 001jami2 001Here are a few of my favorite school pictures of her.She was in KDG in the purple I believe.You can tell she is going to be a beautiful woman even here already.She was very fussy about her clothes even when she was little and sometimes I would get aggravated with her because she refused to wear some of the beautiful clothes her mom would buy for her.It was at this time I was thankful Brooke wasn’t like that.That was our Miss Independence.!She would clean her room and hate anybody in it and I didn’t blame her when she got mad at Tornado Jared going in there and messing her stuff up.Everybody knows he had The Dumping Disease and couldn’t be trusted.I hope she looks back and remembers how much we all loved her.Jared too!

cousins1 001Holidays we were always together.

cousins8 001This is how I remember our kids and Jami was the oldest of them all and pretty much knew what was going on.Look at our Dee and Derek.Did someone put Danielle in a Goose?I think little Sarah is just sick about it.By the looks of things here I think Brooke is trying to look innocent………..

jami4 001The teenage  years were hard I will admit but then most teenage years are.I listen to Jami talk about raising teens and I laugh because believe me we remember.Dakota reminds me so much of Jami it isn’t funny.She is beautiful and independent and will be a force to be reckoned with some day.I love my Dakota,Hope,and Brayden.Thank you Jami for giving them to us.

 

jami5 001She graduated with honors and I was there as proud of her as ever.I think my girl turned out great.

jami&al 001Her Uncle Albert thought she was so beautiful pregnant.I can remember her telling me when she felt ugly pregnant she would come over because Uncle Albert always made her feel good.He loves his Jami too.

IMG_0053Here she is today with the guy of my dreams.I hope she marries him and I want to be there.In a church,with a pastor and our family there to join in the happiness.Not at the justice of the peace.They are a wonderful couple and as you can see she is still beautiful and fashionable to boot.Get the pun? These guys rock!

I hope that everybody has a Jami in their life.I know my girl has made my time here on earth a pleasure when we are together and I thank God because my little girl grew up so good.I miss my little snitch that would call to squeal on Brooke when she did something wrong in school and I smile just thinking about it,but it is so wonderful to have this honest caring woman that she now is.

Some of God’s blessings just grow and grow and now we have Chuck because of Jami.I hope Chuck takes good care of this girl.She is special and always has been to me.I love my Jami and I know she loves me.Thank you God for Family.

Peeling Potatoes Loving A Woman And Kids Are A Blessing

daddyservice 001A long time ago there was a young man that joined the service.He was a paratrooper in the Korean war.That guy,Charles Edward Hahn was my Dad.He was something else from what I am told and from what I can remember.

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He came from a family of thirteen kids and my Mom only had one brother so the beginning of their lives must have been very different and from what my Mom told me she loved being in that big family.She especially loved my Grandma Hahn as did everyone that knew her.Daddy especially adored his mother and she was also very proud of him.I remember going to Aunt Pal’s house and Grandma laughing about how Daddy told her that the most important job he learned in the service was how to peel potatoes on a ship on his way to his deployment.I am sure that he kept things light because he didn’t want to worry her and did the same in the letters he wrote home.He bought her a pillow from Korea and she was so proud of it she had it mounted in a frame and she gave it to me about a year before she died.My Grandma suffered much with death as her husband died before my Mom and Dad were married and she lost three of her boys before she went to be with the Lord.I can’t even imagine living after you lose a child.She truly was an amazing woman.

The first time Mom saw Dad she was sitting in his driveway with his sister ,my Aunt Loll and their two dates,my Uncle Roy and his brother Jake.She said they would all sit and talk for a few minutes after they got to Aunt Loll’s house and then the boys would take Mom home.On this particular evening they were chatting and there was a car racing in the drive with the police in hot pursuit behind him.Mom asked who that stupid blankity blank was and my Aunt Loll said it was her brother Chuck.She never met him and never wanted to.I was more curious as what happened with the cops.Mom was grinning from ear to ear with this answer,”Nothing,he out ran the cops.”It seems back then if you made it in your driveway before the cops got you they couldn’t do anything.I was thinking WOW Dad!

The following week the the group was going to a place over by Caro to dance.Mom was sitting by Jake her date when this guy came up to her and asked to dance.She told him no and Aunt Loll told her it was OK because it was just her brother Chuck.She was a little nervous but she went out on the dance floor with him.It was here, the first time they met he told her he was going to marry her.Guess what happened?

daddy5 001    momwedding 001     My Mom said that’s how those Hahn men were.Once they saw their woman that was it,they never looked back and I can relate.I often thought back then people married so young,but if these two didn’t we wouldn’t be the family we are today.They barely had ten years together dating and all before he was killed.I love these pictures of them.I think Dad has that cat ate the canary smile and Mom looks so young and innocent.

daddyghahns 001 They lived for three months with Grandma Hahn.Notice Uncle Bud in the background,the splitting image of Daddy.After Dad died my sister Loretta was only nineteen months old and never went to any men except for our Uncle Bud and Mom thought it was because he looked so much like Dad.

auntmarthalinda 001This is my Uncle Arn and Aunt Martha with Linda on her baptism in our little love nest in Sebewaing.I can remember Daddy always sitting in that chair in the kitchen by the fridge.Uncle Arn let them live in a little house he owned before they had kids but it didn’t last to long.The place was over run with mice.Mom was pregnant for me and was so scared because if she was in the living room mother mouse and a whole passel of her kids would march around and drive her nuts.The last straw was one day she made a cake and had it all decorated and ready for supper.She fell asleep and when she woke up the mice had destroyed her masterpiece.She was crying when Dad walked in from work and it was shortly after they moved to the little house in Sebewaing.Uncle Arn and Aunt Martha were a big part of our lives and it was Uncle Arn that went with Daddy taking Lori to the hospital right after she was born and that doesn’t surprise me.He was a hands on Dad .I can’t imagine how afraid they both were driving a little baby with no roof to her mouth and leaving Mom at home,worried about them both.He probably would have loved the help of the police then.Lori and I were both born in that little house in Sebewaing.Mom always had the kids at home if there wasn’t any insurance.That was Lori and me.Grandma Hahn helped deliver me and I was the last to have that honor.Mom said Grandma hung up her doula shingle after I was born because it was too hard on her.Al and I were also the last wedding Grandma went to and I am so glad she was at both.Thank you Grandma Hahn.

I am so thankful for these times in our lives even though they were not always easy.Our little family was a part of a very big family.We had aunts and uncles and cousins and Grandmas and Grandpa Jahr that loved us.Every picture that I look at of us before Daddy was killed we look so happy and this is one of my favorites of little Lori..

l&l4 001With this I will leave you food for thought.You might think you need a lot of things to be happy but you really don’t.God gives us much happiness in the arms of family.I know this is true because my sisters and I had it.I just hope we can give that same happiness to our own kids.I try with mine.Will there be a kid in this family that is a story teller?I hope so.Memories are meant to be shared and love is meant to be given.I know that was true for five little girls that belonged to a young painter and his little wife that hated mice.God’s Blessings to you family,I love you all.

My Mom The Third Therapist

mom&liz 001My mom and me the first summer of my life.I am sure never in her wildest dreams did she think that some day she would be rubbing my swollen and fever filled leg with the very same hands that spanked me into the rightness of life.

100_0732My Mom is royalty to me because she is now my third therapist.Look how she gets dressed up just when she hears my car pull in the driveway.She knows that those white coats of the other girls now scare me so she tries to make it fun and this is how it goes………

I usually go over to Mom’s when I know that nobody is there because we are a sight for sore eyes.She puts me in her rocking chair,pulls up Wards big ole cloth chair and we begin.Her legs spread apart and my foot in between them.If I wanted to I could push her over like a leaf in the breeze she is so tiny now,but  of course being the grateful daughter I am I don’t and also I still have the fear of Lorna in me like a good daughter should.She is always worried that she is going to hurt me.It is then that I laugh because she really goes at it.I never tell her but she always looks like she is playing  Motor Boat Motor Boat Go So Fast.She is making up movements as she rubs and soon I can tell she is getting tired.It is usually then she tells me she doesn’t have the upper body strength she used to have and to that I think THANK GOD.She means business when she is trying to help me.My mother does nothing half way and when she puts her mind to it nothing stops her.It is at this time that I like to pick her brain and the next thing you know we are finishing each others sentences.I love this time with my Mom.

She is the best not like that Handsome.When Jared was home the last time my knees were really bad.I was laying on the couch and I asked him if he would give me a rub down.It is the least he could do after the years of massaging his sisters and I did when he was sick.I knew he really didn’t want to do it because he was rubbing so hard I was jumping and wreathing in agony and he didn’t even care.I thought any minute he was going to slap me into submission and he was laughing like paybacks are fun.As a matter of fact he even told me my feet were ugly!I tell you people go to your mother not your kids when you need a massage,I think the kids start remembering when you had to correct them and they go back in time and try to get you back.Hee Hee the joke is on him,I made his cookies this week and Brooke ate the last two.

Thank you Mom for being there with a smile when I come limping into your house.We have a lot of laughs and I think we both look ridiculous but that’s us.I got ‘er done and I ‘m getting better everyday.I know my boy loves me even if my feet are ugly and I know my mother doesn’t think anything on me is less than perfect.If she is anything like me and I know she is ,she probably kissed those fat little legs and feet a million times when I was a baby in that picture above.Just like I did Jared’s.Thank you God for my family.