Archive | May 2012

Catching a Rainbow

I should say….

Catching a Mother’s Day Rainbow at Palouse Falls

On Mother’s Day, my husband was ready for an adventure. So, he chose a day-trip from our Northeast Oregon home to Palouse Falls in Southeastern Washington. We had the time. Why not. So, he packed up a picnic and off we went.

We drove north and northeast through rolling wheat fields for miles and miles. The terrain did not seem to change much.

Then it did.

The road took us up and over and down larger hills. The terrain finally changed. Basalt rock outcroppings.

We found our turn-off. Other vehicles found it also. They had the same idea. Go figure. Mother’s Day, warm sunny weather and families were out exploring. Jeff had thought there would be only 2-5 cars there…. I laughed. We got to Palouse Falls State Park just as everyone else and their picnics had.

We had our picnic and went off exploring the overlook of the falls.


We gazed at the waterfall, watching vast amounts of water cascading over the basalt cliff and falling down into the pool below….. sharing some water droplets with the sunshine to make a rainbow. Made me think that Mom was with us, enjoying her Mother’s Day.

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Happy Mother’s Day

My mom, Helen. The compass of our family, a great influence on my life and the lives of so many others. I am happy to be her daughter.

My mom, Helen. The compass of our family, a great influence on my life and the lives of so many others. I am happy to be her daughter.

Since I can not physically hug my Mom for Mother’s Day, here’s a tribute to her and all Mom’s everywhere.

I saw this on a friend’s Facebook page. I thought it was worth sharing.


This is for the mothers who have sat up all night with sick toddlers in their arms, wiping up puke laced with Oscar Mayer wieners and cherry Kool-Aid saying, “It’s okay honey, Mommy’s here”.

Who have sat in rocking chairs for hours on end soothing crying babies who can’t be comforted. This is for all the mothers who show up at work with spit-up in their hair and milk stains on their blouses and diapers in their purse.

For all the mothers who run carpools and make cookies and sew Halloween costumes. And all the mothers who DON’T.

This is for the mothers who gave birth to babies they’ll never see. And the mothers who took those babies and gave them homes.

This is for the mothers whose priceless art collections are hanging on their refrigerator doors.

And for all the mothers who froze their buns on metal bleachers at football, hockey or soccer games instead of watching from the warmth of their cars, so that when their kids asked, “Did you see me, Mom?” they could say, “Of course, I wouldn’t have missed it for the world,” and mean it.

This is for all the mothers who yell at their kids in the grocery store and swat them in despair when they stomp their feet and scream for ice cream before dinner. And for all the mothers who count to ten instead, but realize how child abuse happens.

This is for all the mothers who sat down with their children and explained all about making babies. And for all the (grand) mothers who wanted to, but just couldn’t find the words.

This is for all the mothers who go hungry, so their children can eat.

For all the mothers who read “Goodnight, Moon” twice a night for a year. And then read it again. “Just one more time.”

This is for all the mothers who taught their children to tie their shoelaces before they started school. And for all the mothers who opted for Velcro instead.

This is for all the mothers who teach their sons to cook and their daughters to sink a jump shot.

This is for every mother whose head turns automatically when a little voice calls “Mom?” in a crowd, even though they know their own offspring are at home — or even away at college.

This is for all the mothers who sent their kids to school with stomach aches, assuring them they’d be just FINE once they got there, only to get calls from the school nurse an hour later asking them to please pick them up. Right away.

This is for mothers whose children have gone astray, who can’t find the words to reach them.

For all the mothers who bite their lips until they bleed when their 14 year olds dye their hair green.

For all the mothers of the victims of recent school shootings, and the mothers of those who did the shooting.

For the mothers of the survivors, and the mothers who sat in front of their TVs in horror, hugging their child who just came home from school, safely.

This is for all the mothers who taught their children to be peaceful, and now pray they come home safely from a war.

What makes a good Mother anyway?

Is it patience? Compassion? Broad hips? The ability to nurse a baby, cook dinner, and sew a button on a shirt, all at the same time?

Or is it in her heart? Is it the ache you feel when you watch your son or daughter disappear down the street, walking to school alone for the very first time?

The jolt that takes you from sleep to dread, from bed to crib at 2 A.M. to put your hand on the back of a sleeping baby?

The panic, years later, that comes again at 2 A.M. when you just want to hear their key in the door and know they are safe again in your home?

Or the need to flee from wherever you are and hug your child when you hear news of a fire, a car accident, a child dying?

The emotions of motherhood are universal and so our thoughts are for young mothers stumbling through diaper changes and sleep deprivation…

And mature mothers learning to let go.

For working mothers and stay-at-home mothers.

Single mothers and married mothers.

Mothers with money, mothers without.

This is for you all. For all of us.

Hang in there. In the end we can only do the best we can. Tell them every day that we love them. And pray.

Please pass along to all the Moms in your life.

“Home is what catches you when you fall – and we all fall.”

I LOVE YOU MOM…. Happy Mother’s Day

LOVE in the generations

Mom truly enjoyed celebrations. Not only did she like holidays and birthdays,  she was always up for a bridal shower or a baby shower.

Many a family member and extended family member share memories of Mom at those celebrations. One of the reasons why is that Mom liked the shower games. Not only did she like them, but, she was good at them. Really good. So good that she had a great chance of winning. A few bridal showers and baby showers that I have gone to in Mom’s absence I have heard that since I am Helen’s daughter there’s a good chance that I will win. Well, I have won a game or two, but Mom’s record is still in tact. 🙂

What Mom loved the most about these gatherings was the very essence of them. Love. She loved Love. All the warmth. All the kindness. All the well wishes for others.

In late March, I went to a bridal shower for my niece and her cousin. Both young women had their weddings set for May, two weeks apart. Since they are from the same large family it was decided to have a dual bridal shower since both would invite about the same people.

Their Mothers were there, cousins themselves. Sisters, Cousins, Aunts, Great-Aunts and Grandmothers too. A real family affair. Some family members were asked to bring a crock pot of soup so we could all dine together and visit before the games were played and gifts were opened. What a great way to share. We had a great time visiting, catching up, sharing soup recipes. I felt Mom’s presence there. She was right there with us, with all the LOVE in the generations.

Love in the Generations

Just a few of those attending (not even half). Loving cousins, grandmothers, aunts and great-aunts all gathering to share love and support at a bridal show for two young ladies in the family.

Following a path….

Imagine….. walking in another’s footsteps.

Not just a few days ago or a few months ago.

But years ago. And then, centuries ago.

In mid-March, while on vacation with my husband, I felt the clock turn back to when Mom took my brothers and me on a summer vacation on the Northern Oregon Coast.

Mom took us to Fort Clatsop to see the place where Lewis & Clark and the Corps of Discovery stayed on their historic expedition far into the Louisiana Purchase to the Pacific Ocean. She talked to us about the history, about the people, about the conditions.

After going through the fort buildings at Fort Clatsop, we walked along a path that lead to a narrow space that the Corps of Discovery used as a landing and launch area for their canoes. To think that just maybe we walked along the same path they traveled between their canoes and the fort they built for their stay.

All the while Jeff and I were at Fort Clatsop, I was remembering when Mom took my brothers and me there. Jeff and I were following a path that my brothers and I had taken with Mom and all of us were following a path made by Lewis & Clark and the Corp of Discovery.

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Another way to look at vertigo


What a feeling.

I have been dizzy…… that kind of rush you get when you have rode the merry-go-round a bit too long and tried to walk away after you hopped off…. or that whirling in your head and your tummy when you’ve been spun around far too much for whatever reason…. and there’s that bewildering feeling when you get some bad or sad news that will hit you upside the head and disorient you…. or the time you are just plain sick.

This, was different.

Way different!!!

A couple months ago, I suffered through vertigo. Not only once but twice. This was not the first time though. I had first experienced the severe whirlies of vertigo a few years ago. At the time I made an appointment with a doctor to be checked out.

Out of the blue it starts. No apparent reason. Not much in the way of a ‘cure’ from what I have read. You can go to a doctor who can manipulate your head and reposition some crystals in your inner ear but that is about all. Possibly surgery if necessary, but even that may not last.

Thanks to that first vertigo episode years ago, I KNEW what this was. The room was spinning all around me. All I had done was turn over in bed. OMG, how did THIS happen?

I KNEW to stay in bed!! What else could I do? I felt as if I even tried to do anything, such as walk to another room that I’d fall over on my face… and soon. I only hoped the whirling would not get worse, so bad that I would have to go to the doctor. I could not leave my bed.

I laid as still as I could, trying to force the room to STOP SPINNING.

I could not believe this was happening. All I did was turn over, in bed, onto my side and then everything moved and kept moving. It even got so bad a few times that I put my hands over my face and repeated….STOP…. ….STOP…. ….STOP…. PLEASE STOP!!!!!!!!!!!

Thankfully, I remembered what my Mom would do to comfort and calm me when I was sick. You see, I had migraines from the time I was a little girl. Sometimes they hurt so bad and I was so sick that I’d get hysterical. Mom would help me to calm down, to breath easier. So…. that’s what I did for myself. I did my best to calm myself down. I laid still with my eyes closed, did some deep breathing, did some muscle relaxation techniques all in hopes of falling asleep … just so I could get some relief. If I had to move I would move ever so slowly…. slow and deliberate. No fast or sudden moves.

I have no idea why I had these vertigo episodes, but I did realize one thing. The difference between a dizzy spell and vertigo.

Being dizzy means I am spinning around. Vertigo means the world is revolving around me. 🙂 … the ONLY thing amusing about vertigo.

Personally, I’d like to have neither. I’d prefer to have the comforting calmness that my Mom would help me achieve.

Birthday Celebrations

I remember that our birthdays were made extra special because of Mom. She would ask us what we wanted for dinner and then she’d prepare a dinner with our wishes in mind. And… Oh, the birthday cake. She’d always make our favorite.

She always made our birthdays special. She always celebrated us. She loved birthday surprises, another chance to spoil the family she loved.

My husband is very similar in this manner. He loves me. He loves to surprise me. He loves to spoil me.

This year, on April 6th,  there was quite a surprise celebration waiting for me when I got home from work. Streamers on the outside of our home. Streamers and a Happy Birthday banner inside. And balloons. A cake made from a stack of Twinkies (apparently my birthday coincides with the birthdate of the Twinkie) complete with candles. A beautiful hydrangea, the flower of our wedding.  After all this… a delightful evening out, a beautiful necklace, a wonderful dinner and an evening walk. Most precious gift of all…. Love and Laughter. A birthday that Mom would have approved.

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