CONNIE’S MEMORIES-THUMB BODY LOVES YOU

Hi all. I was just thinking back and laughing about something my kids and I did while we lived in Nebraska. It’s because I was reading an article about road trips and crazy conversations. We had a lot of those through the years when it was just me and my children, (divorced, single mom) but this one little think has always made be laugh.

There was a bank in Nebraska, around Omaha, who’s slogan was: “Thumb body loves you.”  So, after my husband left, and we got used to being just the five of us, we kind of went hippy. It was in the early 1970’s so hippy was still a thing. We didn’t do drugs, we just kind of dressed hippy. My son a young teen, let his hair go long, and wore a cowboy hat, my daughters hair was wild and curly, the other two boys were younger and kind of did their hippy thing, we wore t shirts and jeans, I got my ears pierced after my daughter did. Of course, when I went to work, I had to dress in office dress, no hippy at work. I was either working in an insurance office, or for the Univ. of Nebraska.

But the times that make me laugh, were the times the kids and I were in our old blue Plymouth driving through the streets of Omaha, and the kids would put the windows down and put their arms out the windows with their thumbs in the air and yell to everyone we passed, THUMB BODY LOVES YOU!,  and they would laugh like crazy. The one time in particular that I picture was when we were on a highway in town, driving in the right lane, when some guy passed us and gave us the finger. Apparently we weren’t going fast enough for him. While he was still beside us, I and all 4 kids put our arms out the window and with thumbs up, yelled THUMB BODY LOVES YOU.  It must have been quite a sight.  The kids complemented me for giving him the “finger” and they laughed like crazy.  Those are little windows of fun that mothers don’t forget. I wonder if my kids remember this?

 

CONNIE’S MEMORIES-MEMORIAL DAY

Hello folks, it’s been quite awhile since I blogged, although I have thought of a lot of articles. So perhaps I will do better this summer.

Memorial Day is one of my many Family Holidays that I remember as great family fun. My folks probably didn’t plan it that way, it was a day to honor our dead relatives, not just service members but everyone. I believe, what my siblings and I enjoyed was a tradition that had been going on since my mother’s father and grandfather died, which would have been around 1918.  My mother’s father died of the flue at the time of a flue epidemic that killed around 50,000  around the globe. Remember, no medicine to fight it at that time. My mother was 4 or 5 yrs. old at that time.  A few months later her grandfather died of mouth cancer from smoking a pipe or cigar. They were the first graves in our family plot at the Catholic Cemetery in our town.  My father’s family also had a family plot, because years before his father had died in his 60’s, his aunt had died when he was growing up, 2 sisters had died of TB, and one had died at birth. Also, my cousin’s father and sister were buried there.  If I remember correctly, that was the way the cemetery situation was when I first remember memorial day.

My earliest memories were of my younger brother, myself and my parents. Other siblings were added later. About 9:00am we would be finished breakfast and the kitchen cleaned up, when my grandmother, great grandmother, one maybe both of my mother’s two sisters  would arrive and sometime my older cousin, when she was on leave from the Waves. (Women in the Navy). The family members changed as some died and the men came home from the war but the tradition continued on even after I left home, if I made it back for Memorial day, the tradition was about the same.

This was my mother’s side of the family, my father’s side had their own tradition. There would be the arranging of flowers, our lilacs and if some were alive, some tulips were added.  The we all went up to the cemetery to put the flowers on the graves, both at my mother’s family and my father’s.  Then we all stood there and said prayers for our dead relatives.

You will note that I never had grandfathers when I was growing up, they had all passed away before my parents got married.

Once we got home, my mother made sandwiches and we went to the park in town for a picnic. (I don’t remember it ever raining but if so, we would have picnicked at home). Then we walked from the park, about a mile to my grandmother’s home which was near the Post Office and the Town War Memorial. During the afternoon, there was a band concert and speeches at the Memorial. My memories go back to when I was around five or so, which was around 1943-45 during WWII. After the ceremonies, we went back to my grandmother’s house and visited. I remember all of us being out side or on her big closed in porch. Her house was big and interesting with places to explore.  My grandmother’s brother lived on the third floor, and they were always there also. I know it doesn’t sound very exciting, but our relatives were very loving, and my brother and I were the first grandchildren, so for awhile we were the main attraction and since during the week everyone was busy, this was great family time.

When I was in high school and  in the band I was marching in parades, so wasn’t home for the cemetery visits, but always managed to make it to my grandmother’s house. Things changed thru the years as the older people died, but my parents kept up the Memorial Day tradition and cemetery visits until they couldn’t do it anymore, then my aunt and I took over, and then my husband and I. Last year, one of my younger brothers also started putting flowers on the graves, which is great, since I know the tradition will continue a little longer.  We also used to get to go back to the cemetery to tend the flowers and pick them up when they died. We got to explore the other graves at that time and find some more relatives. You probably get that I loved and love family history.

There are a lot of graves there now, sadly, all the people that used to make our Memorial Day fun, have passed away. So by going to the cemetery and putting the flowers on the graves, saying the prayers for their souls, and saying thank you for wonderful memories and a wonderful life, we are honoring them. I don’t believe the town has a memorial service like they used to, but they still lay flowers at the War Memorial which has now grown to honor service people from several wars.

Now, here is what I was thinking about on Memorial Day this year. How did my relatives ever get to my house with all those flowers?  They lived a mile away. and how did we all get to the cemetery which was a couple of miles up the road on top of a hill? No one had cars, and gas was rationed until after the war?  My uncle did have a car, he was a sales man,  so maybe they used his.  After the war, my aunt and uncles had cars, but not in the beginning. My folks didn’t buy a car until they had the money(no loans for them) and I was then in High School. So I guess it had to be my uncle’s car, and the rest of us must have walked to the cemetery and we definitely walked to the park, another mile or so from my house.

I guess I will never have the answer to that question, but my memories of Memorial Day are lots of fun to think about. The most important thing was family, family time and the fact that my family did not forget those relatives that gone before.

I hope you had a blessed Memorial Day, and if you couldn’t visit your family’s graves, I do hope you stopped to think about your family members, ancestors, and said a prayer or two for them.  My folks used to remind us that friends come and go, but you always have your family, good or bad, so make peace with them, and pray for them.

 

CONNIE’S MEMORIES-VALENTINE’S DAY

Hi all, Happy Valentine’s Day.  It’s interesting how all these different holidays and special days bring back good and I guess bad memories.  I tend to forget the bad ones, because I have so many good ones. And since I have married my sole mate and man of my dreams, I have had one great Valentine’s Day after another.  You should see the beautiful card he gave me today. And I must say, the one I bought him really made him happy also.

Now to memories.  I had a wonderful childhood. For some reason God gave me to terrific parents. They loved me and all their children. They were there for us and we knew it. They brought us up as Catholic Christians, taught us to know the Lord, and for me at least, helped me to have a very personal relationship with Jesus Christ. Which certainly gave me someone to count on during some of the very tough times.

Now, to VALENTINE’S DAY.  For as long as I was living as home, 18 years, my father came home from work for Dinner (at noon). On Valentine’s Day, he would come home with these nice big Valentine Cards for each one of us kids. They were always cute, big ones, that he could buy at Woolworth’s 5 & 10 cent store.  We used to love getting them and looked forward to them every year.  I don’t know how long he did this since I was the oldest of 7 kids, but he was doing it when I moved out and went to college and work.

He used to give my mother her Valentine Card in the morning before he went to work and they were always beautiful and sentimental. That was no big deal for us kids since he used to kiss her every morning before he went to work anyway.  I remember one year when I was older, he made her a card.  I don’t know if he forgot to buy one or if he just decided to do something different. Once he retired from working 50 hours or more a week working at the store we owned, he started working with wood, building things and carving birds from scratch.  The VALENTINE CARD he made was made from a square piece of wood. He had carved on it a heart and some nice words and painted it.  She was so pleased, she showed it to everyone who came in the house.  He did do a very nice job, it was very pretty, and she was so happy.  By then they had been married at least 50 plus years and were still very much in love.

I have to tell you that when my husband and I got married, my Dad must have been around 80 years old.  When he thought no one was looking, he would run his hand tenderly by his wife’s rear, and smile.  When we got married he told my husband to stop by any time except Thursday afternoon. He said, “don’t come knocking, the house will be rocking.”

I do wish you all that kind of love and marriage, and with God’s grace, you can have that.

HAPPY VALENTINE’S DAY

CONNIE’S MEMORIES-CHRISTMAS TREE

Hi all, just a quick memory. My son just showed a few photos of he and his family going to cut their own Christmas tree down on a Christmas tree farm. I think it cost them $67. which I guess is a good price where they live. Not sure how much it cost now in this little corner of Maine, but they were on sale at Walmart for $15 and $20. all wrapped and ready to go and they were beautiful, but that’s not cutting it down either.
Anyhow, my memories of Christmas always include cutting down the Christmas tree and we did it every year of my 18 years at home. I don’t know who owned the woods at the end of my street and field, but the Christmas trees were free for the cutting and everyone in our neighborhood cut theirs down in those woods which went on for 100’s of miles.
Always on a Sunday afternoon, because my father worked the other 6 days, we started out right after dinner. In the beginning my mother went also. She really liked the outdoors, so it would be my father, mother, myself and my brother who is 2 years younger. WE would search until we found the perfect tree, and my father cut it down and we all helped pull it home which was a mile or two down the road. My father would put it in the shed until the week before Christmas, when he trimmed it and put it up. Then we all decorated the tree. Some years the tree did not look quite as good once we got it in the house as it did in the woods, but once decorated, you know it looked beautiful.
MEMORIES: I think the important thing about this memory is family. Once, my sister was born and then my younger brothers, things changed and my mother had to stay home many of the years. But when she did, it was always fun to arrive home and show off our BEAUTIFUL but imperfect tree. I do have photos somewhere of some of those beautiful trees.
The biggest thing of all this was being part of a family with parents that loved me. I knew they loved me because they made time for me. My father and mother certainly had other things to do besides spending the afternoon walking 2 miles out, spending time looking for the perfect tree, and dragging it back home another 2 miles, sometimes in the dark. And can you imagine what it was like when we were small? Probably carrying us also. Lots of time there was snow, and one of them could haul us on a sled, but what a job that must of been, but we had fun. Thank you Mom and Dad, for the wonderful memories.

GOD MADE FAMILIES FOR A REASON. IT MADE US FEEL LOVED AND IMPORTANT. WE BELONGED. PARENTS, MAKE MEMORIES WITH YOUR CHILDREN, IT CAN EFFECT THEIR ENTIRE LIVES.

A GLASS OF WINE AND HER ROSARY, 100 AT 7-3-2014

TODAY IS JUNE 29, 2014, OUR FAMILY AND A FEW FRIENDS, AROUND 80 PEOPLE OR SO, GATHERED TOGETHER TODAY TO CELEBRATE MY MOTHER’S 100TH BIRTHDAY.  WHEN WE ASK HER HOW SHE LIVED SUCH A LONG LIFE, AND HOW SHE MADE IT TO 100, SHE SAYS SHE HAS 1 GLASS OF WINE A DAY AND SAYS HER ROSARY BEADS EVERYDAY. 

Believe it or not, my entire family has been blessed, we have had illnesses but over all, our entire family is quite healthy, happy and they all have or did work hard, and have homes they worked hard for. The young and old have and do travel, done the things they want to do, and we have children, lots of children, and they are happy, healthy and well behaved and respectful. Well, not always well behaved, by you can’t have everything. But they are respectful, and more or less, mind their parents.  We have everything from lawyers, to social workers, to artists, lots of small business owners and lots of just plain hard working people. More hard working people and new business owners every year.   Why and how did this happen?  I believe that my parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles, the older generation, went to church, and not only on Sundays, prayed, said their Rosary, lots and lots of prayers, for all of us, THEY BELIEVED.  AND NOW SOME OF US BELIEVE, SOME OF US PRAY, AND SOME OF OUR YOUNGER GENERATION WORSHIP AND PRAY. I believe that as long as some of our family continues to BELIEVE AND PRAY AND THANK GOD EVERY DAY FOR WHAT HE HAS GIVEN FAMILY, we will continue to be BLESSED.  I hope so, anyway

Do I know this?  Do I know why our family has been so blessed? No, of course not, a lot of families believe and have not been so blessed, but, I know what I believe and I think my mother and family are certainly proof that GOD LOVES HIS PEOPLE IF THEY TRY TO DO WHAT HE WANTS. None of us are perfect, not everyone in our family believes, not everyone prays, but even then, they are good people, they are raising good and respectful children and they are obeying our laws which are based on the Commandments, and they are good citizens.

I PRAY DAILY THAT GOD WILL CONTINUE TO TAKE CARE OF AND BLESS MY MOTHER AND OUR FAMILY.

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FAITH STORY, CHAPTER 3, AND MY MEMORIES, 6/21 SAT

I WAS A SINGLE PARENT, AFTER MY DIVORCE, TAKING CARE OF 4 CHILDREN, IT WAS HARD WORK, FUN, VERY REWARDING AND SOMETIME VERY STRESSFUL.  I WORKED 40-45 HRS A WEEK AS AN INSURANCE ADJUSTER, AND OWNED MY OWN AMWAY, NETWORKING BUSINESS WHICH WAS ANOTHER 10-20 HRS A WEEK.  IT WAS ALL HARD WORK AND SOMETIME I GOT DISCOURAGED.  THERE WERE ANY NUMBER OF TIMES WHEN I SIMPLY PRAYED TO HAVE ENOUGH MONEY TO PAY THE MORTGAGE, GAS AND FOOD, AND IT SEEMED THAT EACH TIME I REALLY NEEDED HELP, HELP CAME.  I RECEIVED MONEY IN THE MAIL ONE TIME FROM MY RETIREMENT ACCOUNT FROM A PREVIOUS COMPANY JUST WHEN THE MORTGAGE COMPANY WAS GOING TO FORCLOSE.   I NEEDED A NEW SEPTIC SYSTEM AND THE COMPANY AGREED TO ACCEPT PAYMENTS, WHICH THEY NEVER DID.  MY OIL  company let me pay way less a month than I was supposed to, as long as I paid all summer to catch up,(This was before the payment plans came out)  I even stopped one time an bought  50 cents worth of gas, to get to work on pay day. I still remember that and much more, but it seemed God always came through. I was worried about food, my friend caught a deer, I helped him wrap it and he gave me half, meat for most of the winter.  My car wouldn’t start, the battery cable broke, myself and my sons taped it together, the car started and I got to work and the garage.  My car froze up right on the highway on the way to work, right outside my Oil Company’s house.  They drove me to work and thawed out my car so someone could drive me there on the way home from work.  My car wouldn’t start in a shopping strip mall,  I checked and a distributor cable was broken off, I looked up and there was an automotive store right in front of me.  I bought a cable, chucked the old one, and started up my car. There were so many other times when I didn’t know what to do and God came through.  I did nothing special, I just prayed every night and morning, went to church on Sunday, said my Rosary Beads once in awhile, and tried to be the mother and person God wanted me to be.

One time sticks out in my mind as the moment I knew Jesus cared about me.  I was working two jobs, I was tired and discouraged and our leaders in our Amway Marketing business held a campout in the middle of the summer, in a beautiful place in Maine.  On Sunday Morning we had an outdoor Worship Service.  It was a beautiful service, preaching and singing and then the preacher started talking about why Jesus died on the Cross.  We all usually say Jesus died for Us on the Cross.  But that day he made it personal. He looked at each one of us and said, “He died for you (say your name) and you and you, and we each said our name to ourselves.  My friends must of known I needed them, because one took my hand and one put her arm around me and of course I stood there with tears coming down my face.  It’s strange that things always happen when you need them most, isn’t it?  Only Jesus would know what I needed when I needed it.

The interesting thing was that the priest, some 30 yrs later said that same exact thing in Mass today when he talked about Holy Eucharist and why Jesus died for me and each one of us.

TODAY THE CATHOLIC CHURCH CELEBRATES: THE SOLEMNITY OF THE MOST HOLY BODY AND BLOOD OF CHRIST.

AMEN, AMEN, I say to you, whoever believes has eternal life.  I am the bread of life.  Your ancestors ate the manna in the desert, but they died; this is the bread that comes down from heaven so that one may eat it and not die.  I am the living bread that came down from heaven; whoever eats this bread will live forever; and the bread that I will give is my flesh for the life of the world.  (John 6:47-51)

PRAYER;  FOR YOU WE HUNGER; FOR YOU WE THIRST!

JESUS IS ALWAYS HERE FOR US. AND I AM AMAZED HOW TRUE I FOUND THAT TO BE IN MY FAITH JOUNEY.  

 

CONNIE’S MEMORIES- BOXING

We are watching a boxing match which reminds me of one that my brother and I were watching then listening to when we were kids.  My brother, myself, and my father were watching a boxing match on TV.  It was time for us to go to bed, so my mother sent us upstairs to bed. I still remember by brother and I turned the radio on low and kept on listening to the fight.  It got so exciting that we both got us and ran back downstairs to see what was happening.  But, low and behold, once we got down there and looked at the fight, it was boring, and nothing was really happening.  It was just the announcers that were making the fight good, Nothing was actually happening.  We laughed and went back to bed.

I just mention this because my brother and I really did have a great time together when we were young.