Saturday, September 18, 2010


I have been thinking about my grandmothers quite a bit lately. The older I get, the more I become aware of just how much of an influence they had on my development. They were very different women and yet had some common traits. They were both very hard workers, very productive women. One had good health until her 80's, the other died at age 63 with a smile on her face after struggling with her health for a number of years. They both loved their grandchildren and were happy to have their grandchildren with them, even in the middle of earning their livings. I am sure this is one reason I am so willing to enjoy one of my days off every week to keeping our first grandchild.

My grandma Beaty (we called her Mama Beaty) helped her husband run a farm for many many years. Then he went into business, moved them into town and my grandmother was the main force behind that business into her 70's. Whether she was on the farm or at the business, grandchildren were welcome to be with her and come along. She was the accountant for the business, every night after working hard all day long. I am sure many of my frugal ways and bookkeeping tendencies come from helping her to a very small degree with some of that. When I was 5, my grandparents made a trip to MI and brought back a newborn, a 1 year old and me for a bit of time while my mother was recovering from an illness. It was during that time I had my one and only spanking from this grandma. I guess I knew she meant business after that. Yet, I never knew of the spanking until I was well into my 30's when she recounted the situation to me. It obviously didn't traumatize me. I will always remember standing at the kitchen sink washing dishes with her. Many wonderful conversations over the years and so much teaching took place during those times. I do not mind washing dishes to this day.

Mama Beaty had no daughters of her own and so had much fun with her granddaughters. We will always remember her cutting the figures out of the Sears Magazine, mounting them on cardboard and then cutting out the clothes for them. Also constructing dollhouses out of cardboard, furniture, even putting in tiny cloth curtains, etc. Being out in the country and extremely frugal, she created the majority of toys for us. She called them "play pretties". Constructing indoor playhouses out of chairs and blankets, making mudpies outside on the big wooden spools left hanging around from the power companies, teaching us to fish, playing Dominoes, watching her milk the cow in the morning; the memories roll over and over in my mind.She always had books on her shelves. My relationship with Reader's Digest started at her house.

My grandma Spivey (Mama Spivey) wasn't so fortunate to have stability in her life. Abandoned by her first husband when her children were very young, a second marriage later did not make it either. So my times with her had no grandfather on the premises. She made her living in a variety of ways. For a few years, she was given a house to live in which was next door to a bedbound woman. My grandmother tended to her and the housework. The house my grandmother lived in had no indoor facilities (anyone else have vivid memories of outhouses?). She was fortunate to have running water into the kitchen sink. She kept everything neat and clean. I will always remember her hanging clothes out to dry, in more than this one residence too. Sometimes I feel the urge to hang clothes out to dry. My grandmother worked in a restaraunt as a cook for a time. She was also a sitter at the hospital. She would allow me to walk with her a certain distance to the hospital once I was older. This is the grandma who first took me to a library when I was 8 years old.It was across the way from her apartment. She walked me over, told me about the library, but wouldn't come in with me. I wandered in and was wandering around when a librarian spotted me. At first, I thought I was in some sort of trouble, but then the kindest thing happened. Rather than just sitting in the library to read, she helped me obtain a library card and introduced me to NANCY DREW! How I loved and still love Nancy Drew and libraries!According to family legend, I never had a spanking from this grandma at all, even though the other kids did. Although I doubt my younger sister ever had a spanking from either grandmother.

I have bits and pieces in my memory of both grandmothers with scriptures in their hands. I remember neither one being very "preachy" but just loving their families and especially the grandchildren and doing their best to be productive every day until the end of their lives. Making your bed every day, clearing the table, helping with the dishes or helping hang out laundry, sweeping the floors, dusting, etc. were things grandchildren helped with in both households.

I am so thankful for the influence of these women in my life. They directed me to the values of hard work, serving, frugality, reading, taking some time for leisure and most of all, loving your family! The memories are my "playpretties" now.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

pics related to previous post

Raelee going home from the hospital
Wedding accomplished

Matthew's highschool graduation

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Adjusting to transitions

Our last posts were in 2009 and here we are in September 2010! When I look back over the past year, I am amazed at all the changes we have weathered! A wonderful granddaughter entering the family, a new son in law and launching that little family including their wedding!,our youngest son graduating from high school and our oldest son graduating with his degree in accounting (there really wasn't any work on our parts for this last one - just joy!) and my opportunity to start working day shifts in April with one catch! I needed to go ahead and activate to full time! I was also determined to finish out my commitment to a volunteer public service position I was in - which ended up extending to July.

As I reflect on all of this, I am so grateful! These were all happy events! Even happy events can bring along their share of emotional and sometimes physical stress though and acknowledging that is always wise (in my opinion).

Watching our first grandchild come into the world will always be a treasured memory for Mark and I! Watching Shelley go through all of that was hard though. As her mom, it was difficult for me since all I know from being a nurse was in my head too.

Much hard work for Lindley and Michael's wedding along with worry for Lindley since she was so sick starting in the middle of the night before. It turned out beautifully though! We are so grateful for family and friends who gave of themselves to help us!

I am happy to have finished the mother hen part of homeschooling. Now we can look forward to just sharing things we've learned with each other and enjoying that! I am so happy when I realize that all our children love to read! That was a major goal for us.

Working dayshift is much better for my body! It's very busy (but fulfilling) work for 12 hours, but being able to sleep at night is a privilege I do not take for granted! We are still juggling responsibilites on the homefront, but Mark has always been great in this area. I hope our two sons will be that good to their wives!

Our family has been very blessed during this time of transitioning. I believe in a God who answers our prayers, even though they might not be answered in the way we wished. We not only have had prayers answered, we have also learned some lessons and made progress in some areas. Life is to be treasured and not taken for granted. I am reminded of this every day when I go to work. We can not reverse time; we can only go forward. I encourage everyone to make the most of it!