Blue Like Ruth

Congratulations to Mr. & Mrs. Austin Gerali.  
We love you, already, Katie Patterson!

My sister, Ruth, loves blue.
Always has.

Their family of 3 and their guests still eat from the blue and white Dansk Bistro set of dishes, which were on her bridal gift registry 34 years ago.

Her first home had blue and white Corian.

This week-end, we loaded, unloaded, and loaded back up again case after case of Blue Moon beer, to celebrate at her son and new daughter-in-law's wedding reception.

Her dress was the most lovely mother of the groom dress I've ever seen. She looked absolutely gorgeous and when she moved it shimmered and morphed into a hundred brilliant shades of ....

We love family weddings.  I'll be the first to admit that our extended family doesn't see eye to eye on everything.  There are a couple of topics we should probably steer clear of.  Family get-togethers have the potential to drive ya bonkers, so we coined the phrase "Blessed Tailights." And we'd probably all still be great friends if facebook had never been invented. Whatever.

But throw a family wedding and we can forgive and forget faster than you can hit "post" on a fb comment.

So when September 17 rolled around this year, we did just that.  We shopped for new clothes. We drove in a couple days early to help out. We brought Grandma and Grandpa. We wrapped the groomsmen gifts and gave all kinds of sage advice to the groom about enjoying the day and double checking to see if he added our wishlist to the playlist.   We took way too many photos (is that even possible?) We videoed the whole thing. We cheered when they headed back down the aisle. We raised our light sabers when Star Wars happened to be the recessional song. We got a second wind. (see video below) We could not stop thanking them for the best day ever.  (Well, since the last family wedding, anyway)

I held it together all but once.

My little sister acts more like an older sister to me. She is the mentor now. She is an encourager and a giver. Her gift of hospitality is boundless. She is the most famous Italian cook I know. She is a business woman and partner. She is passionate about family; from her own, to her gaggle of great nieces and nephews.  She listens to the small still voice and poured her heart and soul into raising the child God gave her.  She applies God's Word and music to every situation in her life, and mine and I love her.

The bella luna was hanging low in the azure sky when the music started and my little sister, Ruth and her only child, Austin waltzed onto dance floor for the mother/son dance.

I cried like a little school girl.

What song did she choose for that once-in-a-lifetime dance, you ask?

Blue moon you saw me standing alone
Without a dream in my heart
Without a love of my own
Blue moon, you knew just what I was there for
You heard me saying a prayer for 
Someone I really could care for
And then there suddenly appeared before me
The only one my arms will ever hold
I heard somebody whisper "Please adore me"
And when I looked, the moon had turned to gold!
Blue moon 
Now I'm no longer alone
Without a dream in my heart
Without a love of my own

Dancin' In September from STORIES Photography on Vimeo.


Creative Memories

 I told you things were gonna change around here.

This magnetic board holds our 5 precious grandchildren.  Their stories (albums) will follow.

But for now, I've arranged the "old" Creative Memories books in chronological order and attacked the stack of boxes.

These books were completed pre-2006.  They represent the early years.  I laid aside scrapbooking in 2006.

But I'm baaaaaaaaack.

For approximately the past week, I've been in another world. Oh, always hovering slightly over the present, but mainly reliving 61 or so years in my minds eye. My loyal comrade, assistant, and memory jogger has been the brilliant and more often than not, not so brilliant photograph(s).

I started with 36 photo boxes and 4 or so tubs of memorabilia. I am down to 12 chronologially sorted photo boxes. I have a give-a-way tub with 4 sibling and 3 children envelopes. (They'll get their albums and mine when I'm gone). There is one tub left of memorabilia ... organized by project ... weddings, plays, musicals, camps, paris, young americans, grand canyon, etc. etc. etc.

I even started an album for our grandchildren, after all, our first "grandparent day" will be here before you know it.

I'm pretty much patting myself on the back because I'm all the way up to 2006, when everything in our world went digital. Thank goodness for the digital age, because I have 6 paper grocery bags out by the garbage, filled to overflowing with blurry duplicates and even some unrecognizable faces and places.

Shutterfly, a trusty slide-to-jpg converter, and I will tackle 2006-2016 at another time.

What goes around comes around ... I am once again a consultant with Creative Memories.

Click on my CM sidebar link to get started on your stash of photographs.

Coming up next:

3 Steps to Sanity with your Stash

Creative Memories
Before Creative Memories
Creative Memories
After Creative Memories


Fixer Up-her

Change is gonna come.

In more ways than one.

I've been working a lot lately.
Hours and hours of physical work. The kind of work that makes you anticipate a refreshing shower but you're almost too tired to take it.

It's a good kind of work.

And sometimes we even have fun while we're working!

Since early summer we've been working like it was our job.  And I thought we were retired!

We actually are caretakers for 5 properties. Count 'em, 5. We've been reclaiming our little Cape Cod in Muskegon. We are the primary caretakers for the two houses in Remington and two trailers in Bradenton.

Don't misunderstand me, I'm way beyond blessed, but houses take a ton of work and attention. 
The stuff we put into our houses robs us of time, money, and energy. 
The families that travel in and out of the houses we care for need tender loving care and clean sheets. The marriages  represented by our multi-state gallvanting need attention help, and a little advice thrown in, when we/they ask.
The generation traveling ahead of us is dependent on us to keep the internet up and political talks in balance.
The next generation that romps and roams among us need hugs and kisses.

So yeah, we've been sorta busy.  In a good way.

Change is gonna come.

I'm a strong believer in plain and simple.  All the above seems like too much clutter to me. Not the hugs but the houses!

I fell in love with the TV show "Fixer Upper" a while back. I binge watched all three seasons.  After the first couple of shows I felt like Chip and Joanna, did and said the same things over and over again.

"We'll tear out this carpet and refinish these lovely wood floors."
"We'll open up this kitchen and tear out all the walls that do not hold the house up."
"We'll put in a nice new mantel and, of course, some ship lap."

But as I watched them do their magic, I realized why I could watch show after show and not get tired of the repetition; it was because even tho they killed it every time, they never overkilled it.

Everything had a place and everything was in it's place.  You never saw a cluttered wall full of tchotchkes.
It was all so plain and simple. And plain and simple never bores me.  A cluttered life is/will slowly choke you.

Change is gonna come...

Don't know in what form it will come.  
An auction. 
For sale or rent sign. 
Senior Living. 
A move. 
A new motto. 
Not sure all the decisions will be the right ones, but trust me on this. 
You can't change by standing still so I will keep moving because...

Change is gonna come.