I got a phone call from Brooke the other day. She is my oldest daughter and the mother to the bulk of my grandchildren.She had the kids at the park because Alexis had ball practice. I think she was a little taken back as her kids were playing when she over heard a couple of boys make a statement as they looked at Peyton. Two simple words. SHE’S HOT
She is only eight years old and the boys weren’t much more than that I guess. Brooke is a teacher of kindergarten so she pretty much hears everything but this was about Peyton who thank goodness never heard the statement. She needs no more self confidence. She oozes it like water from a crack in a Michigan basement and it drives her big sister Alexis crazy.
I know what that is like. In my eyes my little sisters were always way cuter than me and it took it’s toll on my idea of how I was perceived to other people. Thank God Alexis has two wonderful parents that keep the nobody is better system in place. There are no big heads at their house. They are what my dream family would have been when I was little.
We laughed as we were talking about those wonderful kids and I kept thinking that my love for Brooke just gets stronger and stronger. How is that possible when she has always meant so much to me. She is the mother I always wanted to be. Peyton is kind and loving because of the way Mike and Brooke taught her. She is one lucky little girl and her and all of the kids are fun to be around because of that. Like I said everybody has their heads the right proportion for their age.
I just wish I would have been the one to over hear little boys say something so stupid. I would have replied— Yes, she always sweats like that.
This is what Hungarian Work Horse looked like when I met him. Little does he know but he was the reason my sister Linda and I had one of the biggest fights in our life.
As you know girls can be territorial when it comes to things and my sisters and I were no different. Linda and I made a pact when we were teens that we would never date someone the other one had. I really don’t know why now but I guess at the time we must have thought it was important. She was probably worried that they might tell me she picked her nose or something and I already had enough stuff on her that she could have been sent to prison for years. We never had a problem until this guy came along. At the time I was in love or so I thought with this Mexican boy and she had her sights set on my Hungarian Work Horse(even though he wasn’t mine at the time).The Mexican boy and Work Horse were friends when Linda and I liked them and they would walk about ten miles to our house to see us. We would be so scared we were going to get in trouble because Mom wasn’t home we would send them packing. I remember one time in the winter they weren’t even there for five minutes. I can’t believe they even came back once but they did.
As time went on both of us got over the boys and went on with our life. Then one night I was at a party and the next thing I knew I was sitting on a picnic bench with this Davy Jones look a like from my sisters past. He had grown his hair out and it was longer than mine. He was so cute and so very shy. I am sure if he hadn’t had a few toddies he would have never had the courage to even talk to me. I think because he was a little more relaxed than usual his shyness wasn’t a problem. He asked if I remembered when he walked to my house to see Linda and of course I did. He told me that he just wanted to see me not Linda and I was shocked. My sister Linda was and still is one of the prettiest girls in our family. I never thought I was much to look at so it was so surprising to me that he would want to see me and not her. He asked me out and I said yes. It was like he wanted the ugly stepsister and not Cinderella. It goes to show you that love can be blind. You might say I took the last train to Clarksville that night and never looked back.
It was a few weeks later that Linda and I were in our bedroom and I pleaded my case about going out with Davy,I mean Hungarian Work Horse. I had been sneaking around with him and my nerves couldn’t take it anymore. She was furious with me and we started hollering. The name calling was at an all time high. We might have even threw a fist or two. A flash back of red marks on someone’s neck just flew in. Good gravy were we CHOKING each other? I couldn’t understand how she could be mad because she didn’t even like him anymore and hadn’t for a long time and she was dating someone else. That’s the way it was with us. We loved each other hard and when we were mad we were mad at each other hard. I know now that she wasn’t mad at me because I liked this guy, she was mad because I broke a promise to her and that was something we just didn’t do. The sisterhood was our sanctuary and I had put a dent in it.
It seems like forever ago that day happened and now I laugh about it but it shows the true character of my sister Linda. She might blow when something happens but she truly is the most forgiving person I have ever met in my life. I get mad when people hurt her and hold on to it longer than she does. She is the best sister anyone could ask for and I still learn from her forgiveness. I love her with all of my heart and always will. When God made her He broke the mold. She loved me even when a Monkee wrench got thrown in. I guess it didn’t hurt that she got the best brother-in-law in the world either. Blessings everyone.
My sister Linette left to go back home to Montana and I am sad.That’s not her up there,it’s her dog Abigail.Miss you baby.Tonight as I was watching The Dog Whisperer calm a rabid miniature poodle I sobbed uncontrollably with sadness.Abbey aka Rosie please remember all of the wonderful things that I taught you when you were here and don’t be fighting with your sister.You are the first as I am so lead by example.I know it is hard when your most beloved possession is a pig but you can do it.Pigs come and go sisters do not.
Lilly, my darling you were the sweetest little girl after your hysterectomy.I know what that’s like.I too became more aggressive after I didn’t have to worry about all things female.It was liberating not having to stop at the drug store for Midol every month.Be patient with your sis,I think she acts like she does because she has weight issues.She really does love you even if she doesn’t like to share.You were an angel in my training classes and I will be forever grateful to you for signing up for my new class in the Spring,How To Overcome The Embarrassment of Facial Hair after Your Hysterectomy.
Kirk, I miss you too,but please don’t kill any more beavers and send them to us in Michigan.My mom’s mail lady is still in therapy after the package came open and that hyena started chasing her car.Word around town is she is thinking of retiring now.Never in her thirty years of service did she have anything so upsetting happen to her on her mail route.I tried to tell her they were just gloves but she didn’t care.She said the hyena didn’t let up until she threw it her lunch.She had a headache for the rest of the day and her sugar spiked.I know it’s not your fault that you like that kind of stuff.You can’t help but think it is normal after hanging around with those Huttterites.I posted this picture of you for Linette.Back off women,he’s taken.
Oh, my sister that I love how I miss you already.Today at work I walked by the vending machine and saw a Hersey Bar.I started hallucinating that I could hear your voice beckoning me to click my heals three times and I would be in Montana.Thank heavens I then remembered you giving us all a lesson in ear etiquette.Notice how your little granddaughter is bursting with interest.Remember when you laughed at mine when you saw them flapping as we were taking the dogs for a walk?Why click your heals when you can fly with these hearing attachments!
I feel better now.Think of me often as I do you.God’s blessings to you all.I love you and I really do miss you.I hope you had as much fun as I did when you were home.Kirk, please take care of my sis,she is precious to me.She always has been and now you are too.
With Christmas coming up the past few days has got me to thinking of how not only do seasons change but so do our lives.When we were young parents Christmas was so important to me because I wanted my kids to have a good holiday.I know that sounds bad but there is a reason.
My Dad was killed when I was eight years old.He was in a car accident on September 8th,my sister Linette’s birthday.We were sitting at the table getting ready to eat birthday cake when a police officer came knocking on our door.I can’t remember how the whole thing went down but I know they took my mom to my Uncle Ralph and Aunt Charlene’s that lived around the corner because we didn’t have a car for Mom to get to the hospital.We were farmed out to family as my Mom stayed at the hospital with Daddy.He died of head injuries on the 13th of September,my cousin Elaine’s birthday.Some of the things I remember so vividly and some of them are sketchy.Eternal sadness was the worst because our laughing Daddy was never coming back.Reality set in and with it came responsibility shoved on a big sister way to soon.I felt the world change in an instant and took my sisters in my aching heart never to be taken out.As kids are I soon got the new normal down pat and we got to living this hard life.After September came October and no Halloween for us.I think Mom was just used up by then.I can’t imagine having five little girls and no job not driving you stark raving mad.
We went to a little church school and as Christmas came up started to practice for the pageant at church.It was the light of the school year for me and my sisters.We always had a pretty dress and my Mom fixed our hair and had us smelling pretty from our baths.We would come home from church and Santa would have come and left our presents.This year was going to be different I knew because Mom wasn’t acting right.I would hear her crying in her bedroom at night and wonder what was wrong but too scared to go ask her.How I wish I would have went in there now and comforted her.She needed me to hug her now I know.To tell her everything was going to be OK but I never did.
The night of the Christmas program came and we went to church.Mom was so sad I remember and I couldn’t imagine why.After the program was over she packed us up and we went home.Mom was crying.We lived in a big farm house that belonged to my Grandpa Jahr.It had a sun porch that you had to enter before you went into the kitchen.When Mom opened that door she got the biggest surprise of her life.It was stacked from front to back with presents for us.More than we had ever had in our life.I really don’t remember what we got but I remember the look of disbelief on my Mom’s face.
That night we stayed up late playing and it was my old Mom back for a while.I found out many years later that she was crying because she had nothing to give us for Christmas.To this day we don’t know where the presents came from.I wish I knew so I could tell them that as a grandma now I still am thankful for the little girl in myself.That is why I think Christmas is so important to my sisters and me.That picture above is of our little kids that were about the same age as we were when Daddy was taken from us.We never wanted them to feel the sadness of a parent like we did and for the most part most of them haven’t.
What I want to leave you with today is this.Don’t be afraid to do a random act of kindness for someone.I have heard people grumble about so and so not having any money because of this or that,but the little ones are not in charge of the money.They are the innocent in all of it.You never know what kind of a Christmas Miracle you can create at any time of the year.I know the one my sisters and I got that day long ago is something I will never forget.Was it a person or was it something else,a vessel God used,I don’t know,but it is something I will always be thankful for and I will never forget it.
To my Grandkids when they read this after they get older I want you to always remember that giving is a part of growing.Kindness is one of the things that is so important to your Nana.Try not to judge.It is something your Nana has struggled with and if there is anything I want you to remember about me it is that I want to be kind.You already know that I love you now I want you to take it out into the world and pass it on.
My sisters Linette and Loretta are on their way home from Montana.I am so happy.They have been out there most of the summer working.This is the two of them one Christmas.They are holding hands and have been best sisters for most of their lives.They got married the same day and their kids are about the same age.My coffee pot is clean and my ears are ready.I haven’t been speaking much to save my voice for when you get home and I have been lifting weights and pole dancing just so I have the stamina to keep up with you two.
Do you remember how Mom begged you to come to her and not leave?She had a smile on her face trying to be brave but in her heart all she was thinking —If only I had a banana………………….
My therapist says I am doing very well and that in no time at all I can quit the meds and the tracking device comes off next week.I can’t tell you how much I am going to enjoy getting rid of that thing.My cankles are killing me and I am getting a rash.I know when you get home it will be easier on the rest of the family.You can take your turn on my middle of the night phone calls because especially Loretta I know has night owl fever just like me.
My beautiful guard can finally go on her deployment without fear. Do you see that shirt my son-in-law has on?He wore that as a reminder of my tracking bracelet.Quite cunning I say.When you guys are home Beth can go back to taking care of all things Navy and not all things wack-a-do trying to call home and find out if I have fallen and not be able to get up or tried to ride a bike and crashed into the old shed.If you have time please give her some love,she deserves it after having to put up with all my antics.
All kidding aside I am so looking forward to you girls being home.God’s speed dear sisters and God’s blessings on you too.Your big sister loves you and can’t wait for you to come home.I have to go now because Mom just called.It seems the fatted calf just got away on her and she almost started the barbeque pit on fire with some lighter fluid…………
One more thing,Loretta will you please make sure Linette has on her underwear?I know she is a lot older now but she might get in a hurry and we sure don’t want history to repeat itself.
God knew what He was doing when He made sisters.I love ALL of mine.
Here she is the little ole lady from Pasadena and does she like to travel.I have had the privilege of being her partner lately and it has been something else.This is her taking her car off the lawn where she had it parked because rain was in the forecast and she wanted the lawn watered and her car washed.Notice the back wheel.When she got out she laughed and said that little bit wouldn’t hurt.
I have been to the city with her three times in the last little bit and I think she is some sort of celebrity.Mom is a cancer survivor and she had her check ups last week.I am off work because of my knee replacement so I have been going with her.She had esophageal cancer and it was a hard and very long battle,but this will be her five year mark and I am so proud of her.Her husband Ward was battling colon cancer and we lost him in January so this is a very sweet victory after a devastating loss.I don’t know how this family would have survived if we had lost them both.Esophageal cancer is horrible as they have to remove your esophagus and replace it with part of your stomach.I haven’t heard of many people that do well after the surgery.It is a long recovery and she still has bouts of sickness and sometimes she gets depressed but over all she is doing well.The most important thing is the cancer is gone and only one more six month check up and then it will be once a year.When we get to any doctors office they all come out to meet her and there is hugs all around.People come out of their offices and you hear other people saying “Lorna is here.”Everybody loves Mom and wants to see her.
Sometimes I drive and she rides shotgun manning the radio or usually the cd player,and she plays it LOUD.I like most music but I sometimes wonder what people think when they pass us with this guy blaring….
He sings Irish music and she sings along in harmony.He tells jokes and Mom laughs.We pull up to the pool place for chlorine and some young guy starts looking at me like I am crazy when Mom went in the store.I should have hollered at him that he just missed the polkas.This is what she likes, pal, and I know it is loud but get over it.I am not sure why I didn’t turn down the volume,maybe it was so some teenager knows how it feels when you feel the earth move as they pull up beside you or my hearing was gone.
My sisters and I should have tried this years ago.It would have solved a lot of problems trying to sneak in after a night of toilet papering and driving around with a few brews.Instead of mom riding shotgun she could have been the designated driver.It would have saved her a lot of aggravation too.She could have drove us right past the police station just to scare us instead of threatening to call them.Back then the driver always got to man the radio and she probably would have on some gospel music to soothe the ride.We would be in the back seat laughing the gut busting laugh of Sunday service in our little church in Kilmanagh.She would give us the LOOK and we would try to stop laughing.Just so she wouldn’t be mad we would all start singing My Irish Eyes Are Smiling.She would be hollering for us to be quiet but if you listened real close you would hear her singing along—in harmony………………………
I have told you about our little Love Nest in Sebewaing that I loved and after Mom had four kids in that little one bedroom garage turned house we moved.My sister Linette was the baby and not quite a month old.About this time Mom’s Dad my Grandpa Jahr bought a farm and it had a HUGE sand brick house on it.He would pay us and we could live there for free if we did the chores and fed the feeder cattle or pigs which ever Grandpa was getting ready for the stock market at the time.I was pitching silage with Mom and Dad before I was eight years old.It has both good and bad memories attached to it and I try to focus on the the good.
The house had four big bedrooms upstairs and one downstairs.We turned a parlor into another bedroom so there was two bedrooms to sleep in downstairs.We girls slept in the bedroom and Mom and Daddy slept in the parlor.The first summer we saw the place before we even moved in my mom and grandma were hoeing the fields of that farm.They would have us take naps in the cool of the house in the afternoon with Grandma’s famous green sponge things we slept on that my sister Linette has commented on.Two girls in a closet,I guess for darkness and two in the room we would later use as our living room.I remember one time Linette and I were in the closet and we heard a like buzzing sound and then the smell of burnt wires.It seems that Lori stuck something in a outlet socket and we shorted out something.I was scared to death and knew we were in trouble.It wasn’t long before Grandma came in and started snooping around saying what happened.I was glad it was her because she never spanked and got everything under control.
It was here that the last of the little Hahn girls made her appearance and here she is with Linda and Lori.I love this picture of her and as you can see Linda is holding her hand.She always was Linda’s baby.We always had the babies with us even before they could walk.We played in that big yard and pretended with our cousins all the time.
We had this stroller thing and the babies were always in it being pushed around.I don’t know where that thing came from but we racked up miles and miles pushing our little sisters.This is our dog Tippy that I tried to train like Grandma Jahr did her dogs but I was never any good at it.We lost more dogs at that house because it was on a very busy road and there was a chicken coop across from us that the dogs always wanted to go to.We never had a refrigerator in that house just the big freezer so we always put our milk in between the door and the screen door in the winter to keep it cold and Mom would freeze and unthaw from the freezer in the summer.One time Grandpa gave Mom some money for feeding the cattle and she gave it to Daddy to go by a used refrigerator from one of his friends that had a gas station in town.She wasn’t very happy that he brought us back a little dog instead of the fridge.There was some words, I remember, but that was Dad.We loved that little dog.I finally had a dog that could do tricks and climb ladders and everything.Her name was Mitzy and we just adored her.Before the end of the summer she was killed on that crazy road down by the corner and I saw her.Daddy and I went down and got the little dog to bury and I remember him being as sad as I was.He took me in his arms and just let me sob and he cried too because I was so sad.You know I can almost feel his arms around me right now as I think of it.I guess there are some things that never leave you and that day was one of them.He hated to see us cry and when one of the animals died it was horrible.This reminds me of our cat Joey that we had in Sebewaing.I was looking for it in the winter and couldn’t find it so I told Daddy.We went hunting outside and found that cat frozen in our shed out back.I begged Daddy to put in on the stove to thaw it out and I remember Mom and him being so sad telling me that we couldn’t do that.Mom remembers that day too and her smile when we said the same words at the same time I will treasure.
That house gave me many things,my last Hahn sister that I love,many fun times with our cousins there(remember the Deeg boys)and it also brought me much unhappiness.I refuse to let the bad take over my memories.I have much to be thankful for.I know that my stepfathers were horrible to us five girls but you know what,Ward trumped them all.He gave me back my childhood memories and I hope he knows it.His childhood was terrible too and he never treated me with anything but kindness and I will treasure his memory like I do my LBS(life before stepfathers).I love my sisters and all that Ward gave me.I hope he is in Heaven telling my dad what good girls that we turned out to be.Thank you God for giving me a dad and a mom that loved me and for Ward.You have given me much Lord and I hope that I can give it to someone in return.God bless my family,warts and all.