The Dude He Is A Changing

IMG_0981Collin is growing up. This was him last summer being just an innocent that didn’t have much of a conscience. A little boy that was four in a house full of girls.He was at my house quite a bit because the girls needed a rest from him in the summer time hotness and I was home recovering from another knee replacement. He was my little knight in shining armor and I was his damsel in distress. We were a match of rocking chairs creaking and story books of diggers and tractors. He still chose to sleep in Grandma Jahr’s old metal crib after his body would betray him into limpness while cuddled in my lap. This little guy was my promise from God that life could be simple. A kiss could cure his booboos and a smile was all he needed for encouragement. Although each one of his siblings mean so much to me he in his uniqueness lets me know that we are all wonderfully made and boys are boys even in a house full of girls.

IMG_1135This summer he learned how to ride his bike without training wheels. It was the first thing he ever accomplished before his twin sister. Who knew that hand me down Dora bike would hold so much significance in his little existence. I laughed so hard when he told me it was just a practice bike and his bike was in the garage with the trainers still on it. It wasn’t long and he was doing wheelies and riding like he was a race car driver with the checkered flag in sight. He ran his mother over and she went flying in the air that brought a flash back of her doing the same thing to her brother the year she learned. That bike gave him confidence and freedom.

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This year he became a protector of his cousins feelings. They still fight but when she is sad he is sad. I saw him give her one of his beloved tractors to take home when she was crying something unheard of before she was a part of his wheel house. She is his Kinz as he calls her and he loves her just like a sister. He knows how to comfort because of her. I know she will be special to him for all of his life.

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He learned how to wink. The first time he showed me his little eyes were going light a corner caution light because he couldn’t get the one to stay closed but now he has it down. His mom was so proud that she posted it to his dad and Aunt Aimee with the caption—Watch out ladies. This is going to come in handy because on the first day of school he came home and announced he had a girlfriend.He didn’t know her name but he liked her because she gave him a pencil and a color. After much prodding from his mother we found out Adeline was the recipient of his affections. Sweet Adeline you are a lucky girl.

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Gone is that baby and now emerging is this delightful little boy that I so adore. His baby magic smell is now replaced with soap and a smidgen of his dads cologne if he is ever clean and that is rare. He will always be my Little Dude no matter what age. I ache for that little guy sometimes. I miss it. It goes by so fast I just want time to stand still for a few minutes but that is not to be so I must revel in his newness of life everyday and thank God he is healthy and hope he doesn’t blow something up or flood the basement. Whatever he does I hope he knows that I will always love him even when he destroys the garage in five minutes or leaves the hose on outside for two hours. His vices are safe with me. He needs me and I need him. We are a heavenly match on earthly soil and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

The Fish Was Bad

grandma1 001I have been thinking of my Grandma Jahr for the last two days about nonstop.I don’t know why except that it is Lent and it reminded me of a story I tell about her.I want my grandkids to know what kind of person she was.I believe she is my reason for sanity and she was an amazing woman.She wasn’t afraid of anything and I want my grandkids to feel that way about me.She was sensible about most things but sometimes she sent me into orbit with some of her decisions and this is one of the reasons why.

After my Grandpa Jahr died my Grandma’s life changed.They lived a very structured life.She made every meal they ever ate and going out to eat was a rare treat.She now had more time to do things that she never had time to do when she was a farmers wife.I talked to her every day after I got out of work and she started to socialize with her widow friends more.Her best friend was Madeline Menzel and Madeline’s husband had passed away also.I never really liked Madeline much because she always seemed kind of mean but Grandma and her were friends since grade school days.They would go shopping and visiting other widows and I was glad she had someone to spend time with when I was at work.I would hear about their adventures after I got home and it was nothing for my ear to be sore after a talk with Grandma on the phone and this day was no exception.

I think I was home about five minutes when the phone rang and it was Grandma.

“Hi,Dilly, how are you.”

“Fine Grandma,what did you do today?”

“Well,Madeline picked me up and we went to the Big John’s for the fish dinner for lunch.”

My Grandma had a habit of putting the word THE in front of a lot of words.Like she always said cream of the mushroom soup.I loved it when she said stuff like that and I remember smiling when she said the Big John’s.It was a little restaurant in Caro about a half hour away from her house and I thought it was nice they went out to lunch together on a Wednesday.

“Well, that was nice Grandma.”

“No, not really because the fish was bad!”

“What do you mean the fish was bad?”

“The fish was so bad I couldn’t eat it.It was so greasy and it was cold.I wound up bringing it home for the cats and tomorrow when I go out I will give it to them.”

That didn’t surprise me because she would never waste the food.I just knew she was mad because she paid good money for bad fish.She went on—

“We weren’t the only ones there at the Big John’s.I saw Con and Vernita Curry and when Madeline went out to start the car I stopped to talk to them.”

The Curry’s were Grandma’s neighbors and Mrs.Curry did Grandma’s hair.I’m sure she was discussing the bad fish and taking her time doing it.

She went on.”I went out to get in the car and there was Madeline laying on the sidewalk.”

“Oh, my,goodness, was she hurt.”

“Well, no, she was dead.”

“What?”

“She was dead and I didn’t know how I was going to get home.I didn’t know if the cops would let me drive her car or if I could hitch a ride with the Curry’s because they were still in the Big John’s.”

“Grandma I am so sorry that Madeline died.”

“Well,she had a bad heart and I think she had a massive heart attack and it killed her. They took her drivers license away about a year ago because her heart was no good.”

“What in God’s name were you doing riding in the car with her if she was that sick?She could have died when you guys were driving down the road and then where would we be.I can’t believe you Grandma.I can’t have anything happen to you.”

“Well, she looked ok to me and I am alright so quit worrying and the Curry’s gave me a ride home so I didn’t have to drive Madeline’s car.”

I was thinking thank God because you haven’t had a license in twenty years!

My Grandma had to learn a lot of stuff after Grandpa died and she did.I taught her how to balance her checkbook and I helped her figure things out,but she taught me things until the very day she died.She wasn’t afraid of anything not even getting into a car with someone that shouldn’t be driving.I want to be like that for my grandkids.I want them to smile thinking of me like I am right now thinking of Grandma long after she is gone.I hope that they feel blessed to have had me and I hope that I drive them a little crazy too.I am thinking that’s what grandmas are supposed to do.Keep you on your toes.

I can’t end without this.Grandma I love you still and thank you for everything you ever did for me.You were always ready for the challenge even if it was the death of a friend.I think of the lessons you taught me on how to protect myself from hellish stepfathers and where to kick them if they attacked.I remember to keep God foremost in my life and to teach my grandkids like you did me.I still hear your sweet voice and I will never forget it.If mean Madeline made it to where you are I hope you and her are having a good time and that the fish is good.

three 001This is Grandma and Grandpa.My sister Linda on Grandpa’s lap and my sister Lori in Grandma’s arms.That’s me standing in the middle.

In The Beginning

kids at the fair 001I have had a few people comment on my new blog header so I thought I would give you a little background on it.Starting on the left is my daughter Brooke,she is a kindergarten teacher.Next is my nephew Josh,a foreman at a steal foundry.Beside him is my niece Jami,she is a dental hygienist and last but not least is my son Jared.I really can’t explain his job very well.He works for a large hotel managing people there.Brooke and Jared are my two oldest kids and Jami and Josh are my sister Linda’s kids.When we were raising them we were always together.They went to the same church school growing up and went to the same sitter until we got out of work(Linda and I worked at the same plant) or were at one of our houses.They might as well have been brothers and sisters.I cut my teeth on Jami and Josh until Brooke and Jared came along and I love them just as much today as I did back then.

This picture was taken at the Sebewaing Sugar Festival many years ago.I remember worrying because it cost ten dollars to have it taken and then feeling better because Linda and I split the cost.I am so glad that we did it because I still love to look at the expressions on their faces.It was a Friday night after work and we always did something with the kids on Friday night.We would load them all up in the back seat of the car and go window shopping or get a movie to take home.This evening it was the festival and the kids were all excited.After walking the midway we would let them go on rides.Brooke always got sick and this evening was no different.She puked after she got off the ride right by the ticket place and Jami was so irritated.I had to scold my Jami and tell her she was lucky it wasn’t on the ride because she could have been wearing that mess.Then she would get sick of us having to round up Jared because you could never keep track of him unless you tied him up.He was always trying to run off.Jami was the proper one and the other three not so much.I knew it was hard for her because sometimes we would see some of her friends walking by and you never knew what Jared would do to embarrass you.Believe me when I tell you he had that ability.He once pulled her pants down in front of some boys they were talking to on the beach.I think she could have killed him that day.

I wonder if they know how much I love them all.I am so happy that I have had these kids in my life.They are all so different yet so precious.It makes me so happy when they see each other and I hope that it is always that way.I hardly ever see the cousins that are so precious to me now and I miss them at times.My wish is that my family takes the time to let their kids spend time with each other.As they know there is nothing like a cousin to have the most fun with.

Will Alexis teach McKenzie to say,”We must,we must,we must increase our bust.”like my cousin KayKay taught me and her sister Elaine?Will Cole and Alex be the guys that Collin thinks are the bomb?Will Madison and Peyton think that Tristen and Braydon are the cutest boys they have ever seen?I don’t know.I can only hope.They have many wonderful memories to make together and there is nobody like family better to do it with.Just don’t let anybody get their pants pulled down in the process.

Move Over

 

IMG_0437Collin and Landyn were both being tucked into bed this weekend.Now that they live in the country they sleep in separate rooms.As Brooke was tucking in the Little Dude Landyn hollered that she had to go pee and took off for the bathroom down the hall.As soon as Collin heard her he had to go and off he went to join Landyn in the bathroom.Brooke waiting for Collin thought it was funny when she heard the toilet flush and they both came running back to their rooms at the same time.

“Collin I thought you had to use the bathroom.”

“Oh,I did,I peed in garbage.”

Later on when she was telling me this so disgusted on the phone I didn’t know what was funnier,him peeing in the waste basket or her telling me that she was glad she always double bags.

Well,technically,urine is waste.Sorry I just had to.Blessings everyone.

Grandma I Miss You Or Keep Your Hands Where They Belong

grandma 001This is the Grandma of my childhood.I remember her sitting on that step stool and climbing it to get to the cupboards above the stove like it was yesterday.If you look closely on the cupboard there is a radio and a cookie jar that bring back vivid memories.On the floor is one of the many rag rugs she made in the basement on her loom and she has on her apron that she always wore when she cooked.

The radio was on at every meal and every meal was at six,twelve,and six o’clock.The common table prayer before we ate was  first on the agenda and then we listened to a local radio station out of Bad Axe called WLEW.They always  reported the local news and the obituaries and we had to be quiet when that radio was on.If lunch ran a little over sometimes you could hear a few snippets of I Got A Tiger By The Tail sung by Buck Owens but not to often.They weren’t into that kind of stuff.It was all Christian music and the Polkas and if you spent the night on Friday you knew the polkas were on Saturday morning and  Grandma taught more than one of us how to dance that hopping little polka dance on that kitchen floor.EIEIEIO EIEIEIO and around we would go.Grandma with a big smile and me hanging on for dear life.I loved dancing with Grandma and as we got older Linda and I were quite the polka divas at weddings and parties.

That cookie jar never held any cookies.It was mostly for looks because she liked it and was a wedding present.Grandma could tell you almost every wedding present she got and who she got them from.She had a memory like a steel trap and it makes me sick that same memory failed her before she died.I am going to ask when we are reunited why that had to be,because besides her kindness and love to her grandkids her beautiful mind was so wonderful to my sisters and me.

grandmacake 001Besides being a seamstress and quilter she was baker and made many wedding cakes.More than once one of us got in trouble for stealing her rosette flowers she had drying on the little table in the front room of the basement.I could never figure out how she knew because there were so many of them.If you were there when she was making them you could have a sample but not when they were done.Nobody wanted the wrath of Elsie so we tried to be good,but sometimes it just wasn’t possible……

linette 001This little darling got in trouble at grandmas more than once.Grandma wasn’t only a baker,seamstress,and polka instructor she could also grow anything and she loved starting African violets from leaves.Linette as she has mentioned would play with them and Grandma would not like it.I imagine the soft velvet feeling of the leaves conjured up memories of her beloved pudz that she needed for comfort when sucking her thumb.I saw the mess after Linette’s attack on the plants one time and almost had a heart attack because I knew this wouldn’t be pretty.It’s a lucky thing Linette was a darky like Grandma used to call us because she lived to tell about it.

grandma1 001 (2)She loved to have people over and she loved to go visit.This is how I remember her always laughing before the dementia set in.She played cards and games with us and my favorite was cootie.She also taught us donkey that we play with our grandkids today.It was a staple to have her pop up pop corn in that silver pan she used to wash dishes in on the weekend.One side caramel corn with nuts the other side plain and canned grape juice from the basement or if you were really lucky a punch with Seven UP mixed in.I think to this day nothing can taste that delicious.

I hate that my Grandma never got the chance to leave this earth whole in mind and body.After the dementia got so bad when we went to see her in the nursing home she never spoke and it was heartbreaking.She was in a wheel chair in the dining room the last time that I saw her alive just a shell of the vibrant woman she used to be.She couldn’t feed herself anymore and I was trying to get her to take some nourishment.She wouldn’t open her mouth so I asked a nurse to help me.We finally got her to take a few mouthfuls of food and then I gave her a drink of milk through a straw.A little of it dribbled on her chin and I wiped it off with a napkin.It was then to my utter blessed amazement she looked at me and in that sweet sweet little voice said Thank You.Those were the last words I ever heard her say.You know it just figures that even in her last days on earth she would be teaching me something.I hope to be that way for my grandkids.I want them to know that even if they kill my house plants or steal the dog food like Linette and Loretta did when they were little that I will love them.I want my kids and my sisters to know that what ever path they take I will always want to be a part of  their life.I want my nieces and nephews to know I think they are a treasure and my Mom to know that I adore her.Grandma taught me that.Even in her last days she was thankful and she told me thank you.I loved my grandma like my kids and nieces and nephews love mom so I guess things go full circle.It really is a blessing to have somebody care for you that much.I will pull her memory out of the past to make me realize that some blessings go on and on only in memories.That is best maybe because people can take a lot away from you but they can’t take your memories of love and family. So to that Grandma I say………………………….THANK YOU.Your Dilly

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.

A Love Nest the Beginning of Us and Don’t Ever Mock Your Mother

l&l 001I was so excited to find this picture of my cousin Debby and me in front of our little house in Sebewaing.It has some of my earliest memories of my sisters and me.They tore this house down and put a little ranch house up were it used to be.

IMG_0217Here is the  house they replaced it with and now it even looks old.The funny thing  is it is right around the corner from my mom’s house now.I guess Mom came full circle in her living area.I sometimes stalk this neighborhood to get photos and the last time I did I got scared because as I was clicking away a police car came around the corner and I thought Oh, no,I got some splainin to do.He never stopped me but I wonder if I could borrow somebodies car the next time the urge hits me.

lindas baptism 001The beginning of the Hahn Sisterhood.I love this picture of us because you can see how much I look like Daddy in it already,plus a two year old in my opinion is always cuter than a baby that is just born.Don’t get me wrong the baby turned out to be quite a looker as she got older but I have to take the best cuteness when I can get it.Oh,and my cute years are kinda lean so don’t judge me.Doesn’t Mom look happy here?

l&l1 001Linda and me on our grey couch in the living room.Behind us is the bathroom door where you could barely turn around in.As you can see Linda is now officially cuter than me.I hated this picture of us when we were little because I thought my feet looked huge.We were partners in crime even  then and this picture reminds me of my granddaughters Alexis and Peyton.

l&l3 002Here we all are on mom and daddies blond bed.Don’t you just love the Elsie Jahr hair cuts?If Linette didn’t have baby down she would have looked just like us.Linda hated getting her hair cut but I didn’t care because whatever Grandma did was alright by me.

It was in this bedroom we all slept and you could jump from bed to bed.One time we were jumping and we broke the slat on Linda’s crib.It looked like a slide and I was so glad it wasn’t my bed.I kept wondering how she was going to sleep on that leaning thing.

There was also a dresser that held Lori’s baby shoes and when she was in the hospital I showed them to Linda and we cried and cried because we were so lonesome for her.The next day Daddy loaded us up and to Saginaw we went.He took us on the elevator(laughing at us because we were scared).When the door opened there stood Mom holding Lori so we could see her.She was smiling at us and then we had to go because Daddy brought us up there and no kids were allowed.Lori told me she remembers that even though she was so little.

My Mom always kept that little house immaculately clean.One time she had just waxed the kitchen floor and Linda and I were sneaking to the back door to go outside and she caught us walking on the wet floor.We high tailed it into the tiny utility room.She was yelling and we were making fun of her back there sticking our fingers in our mouths to make our mouth look huge laughing and acting stupid being so brave.We thought it was so funny her yelling.We weren’t afraid of her,the floor was wet and she couldn’t walk on it.Linda was following right along with my antics and we could have been a comedy act until I saw Linda’s face freeze.I turned around and there stood Mom nostrils flaring,red faced,and hand twitching as she watched us MOCKING her.Lesson learned—never mock your mother.

That little house was our beginning and I believe our own personal love nest.It was a time before stepfathers and poverty.We were a little family that had two parents that loved us and cared for us.I know now that in our beginning we were the center of our mom and dad and for that I am so thankful.I wish that we could have continued down that life but it wasn’t meant to be.I write this to remind us that we were important and we were a blessing even if sometimes it didn’t feel like it.I loved that little house.The size of it’s walls were small but the love inside was immeasurable.