Category Archives: Growing Up

They Don’t Know

This song speaks so deep to my heart and my soul. Cannot explain the intense feeling in my chest when I listen to this song. Pride of where and whom I come from. The attachment I feel to the ground I grew up on. The feel of the soil in my hands. When in a sentimental mood the words can bring tears to my eyes. I swear it’s in my blood, has to be in the DNA.

First Love

Think back and remember that first true love.  I’m not talking about a school yard crush in the second grade, that first boyfriend in high school.  That first person in your life you can recall being totally and completely in love with, that person you looked up to and thought they could do no wrong and was the best thing since sliced bread.

My first love would have been 78 when I was born, Elza (pronounced ElZ).  Recall thinking of him as my boyfriend for as far back as I can remember.  Years ago I found that he was a friend of the grandfather I never knew, wonder if he had something to do with my love for Elza.  I am a firm believer in such things.

Elza pry didn’t stand quite five foot tall, he almost always wore the ol’ farmer blue and white striped overalls and his old cowboy hat or brown ear flapper hat.  When not in his farm clothes he would be dressed to the nines, always a suit, so handsome in his suit. 

As far back as I can remember Elza and his wife lived in town, upon retired they built a house in town and left the farming operation to their sons.  Elza never really retired, well not until shortly before his death at age 99 when the family moved him to a local nursing home.  One could set a clock by Elza, he had to drive past our farm to get to his farm…he’d toodle past in the morning and again just before noon on his drive home for dinner and again after dinner until quitting time when he’d toodle past again.  The worse thing for a new driver was to come upon Elza, don’t think he ever drove more than 35 mph and in the hills it was tough to pass him.  

Elza was a roadside farmer, as my grandfather was and I’ve found that I have become over the years.  Often when he’d be out working or just riding the horses he’d pull in for a visit.  He didn’t have much to say, but when he talked it was always something to hear. The stories he could tell!

My most fond memories are of sitting in the coffee shop in our Hill Town will the man. He carried a pocket watch with a well worn leather strap in the upper front pocket of his overalls.  The best thing in the world was the occasion when he’d pull that watch out and say to come to him and he’d put that watch up to my ear and let me listen to it tick.  Yes, should a simple thing, but a wonderful memory none the less. 

When I was in junior high we went on a 10 mile charity horse ride to the stockyards.  Right along with the rest of us was sweet ol’ Elza riding Desperado.  We were all sunburnt and roasting, didn’t seem to phase him a bit.  He was given an award for being the oldest person on the ride, of no importance to him. 

My absolute best memory of Elza comes with a tear, one that brought tears that had to be hidden the day it happened.  He had slowed down considerably and really shouldn’t have been driving anymore, his memory was starting to go.  We were home visiting from Nebraska, outside at mom and dad’s and Elza pulled in.  The Girl was just a little thing, maybe two.  Elza called The Girl over to him, told her to come over, pulled that watch out of his pocket and held it up to her ear.  Tears of joy and sadness.

My first true love! 



Tuesday 26. December 2017

As I’ve said so many time before, where does the time go?  Our Girl turned 23 today, just doesn’t seem possible. 

Girlie was born while we were living out in south central Nebraska.  Such a sweet little black haired, olive skinned beauty that was so little trouble, even during those teen years.  Not that there weren’t ugly times, there were, but they were few and far between. 

For many years Old Boy traveled a lot and for seven years it was mostly Girlie and me, and once Bubba came around she was a huge help while Old Boy was still on the road.  I recall a time or two I was so sick with a stomach bug that she stayed home from school to take care of her brother, we were in northern South Dakota without family.  Always felt bad about that. 

Starting before age two Girlie started having problems with allergies, asthma and eczema.  Trips to allergy doctors, the emergency room…checking on her breathing throughout the night for years until at the age of six she told me to leave her alone while asleep.  Years of daily maintenance medicines that in high school I’d have to force her to take because she was so tired of taking medicine everyday.  Thankfully she has gotten much better with age and doesn’t need to much medicine and has fewer attacks. 

There were years of summer ball…tball and softball practices and running with girls to games all over the area.  Volleyball in junior and high school.  Years and years of dance lessons, recitals and competitions.  Years that seemed to last forever but I miss so much.

There were the bunions and foot surgery in 8th grade.  The doctor swore it was the cowboy boots she lived in and yet she continued wearing everyday. 

There was the constant revolving door of boys.  The fights with friends who liked the same boys.  Many friendships were lost during those years.  Early on Girlie developed the mindset of…screw me over once and I’m not giving you the chance to do it again.  So much like her dad. 

Loved it when the girls went through the several year phase of my being the one to have to curl their hair for any and all activities.  Also the phase of having to dye their hair dark brown during the winter months and lighter during the warm weather months. 

There was the rodeo phase of team roping and break away roping that fell by the wayside when she went away to college.  Can’t forget the years of 4H and having to make her do her fair projects each year. 

The hardest time of all was when, at the age of 16, she blacked out while driving the gravel across the section.  The guardian angels were with her that day, telling her not to wear her seat belt as she’d always done.  The SUV rolled and spun on it’s nose, throwing her out the sunroof…authorities believe she very well may have not survived had she been belted in. 

Found by our bus driver, life flighted to the city, one night in ICU, six nights in the hospital.  Fractured sternum and shoulder, partially deflated lung, three fractured vertebrae.  Weeks of using a walker to get around.  So blessed she only lost 1 1/2″ in height (the three vertebrae are flat like pancakes) and a large scar on her back from where the skin broke on impact. 

Graduating in 2014, she went back to Nebraska for ag college and blossomed.  One week before graduation she was hired at a bank, has been there a little over a year and earned a promotion 11 months in.  She and her longtime boyfriend have two dogs and she helps him on the  family ranch as needed on weekends. 

So proud of the woman she’s become.  A legion and auxiliary member of a community she’s still new to.  Such a hard worker, helper and giver…she continues to grow! 

Just wish I knew were those 23 years went….


Wednesday 18. October 2017

That time of night again, sitting in my chair, working on crochet projects for Christmas, watching/listening to CMT Artists of The Year. 

My Sweet Herman

Would like to say I’ve been busy lately, but knocked my hip out a little over a week ago, still working with the chiropractor to make the pain go away…this getting older thing really sucks sometimes.  The weather is absolutely gorgeous after weeks of off and on again (more on than off) rain, would love to be able to get out and get some work done before winter comes, but…not happening.  Frustrating! 

Had a good talk with some of the family last night, talked about something that’s been on my mind quite a bit lately.  Actually, this is something I’ve seen talked about on a couple of the shows I watch, just recently. 

The first part is how so many of us are so busy taking pictures instead of putting the damned phone down and just having fun and making memories.  I’ve never been really big at making stopping to take pictures in the middle of whatever we are doing.  Sure, I do it, but not regularly.  Often I’ll think I should grab the phone to take a picture and then decide to not stop the fun just to get a picture.  I’m making a more conscience effort to not pick up that phone.  I can look back to the 70’s, 80’s and 90’s and we didn’t have the phone to stop and take pictures…we may not have pictures but the memories are grand! 

The other part we talked about were those memories that we most remember.  Those memories have so little to do with expensive trips or expensive toys or gadgets we feel we HAVE TO GET for our kids…the best memories are the time we got in trouble for whatever it was we knew better than to do and getting swatted on the ass with the wire end of the fly swatter or the time dad decided to take the little kid cart at the grocery store and run up and down the aisle making vroom vroom noises. 

We all agreed that these are things we really need to get back to.  Civilization has seemed to have moved so fast in such a short period of time, technology has grown so fast in such a short period of time…our kids have missed and are missing out on so much of the simplicity of life. 

It’s time, at least of me, to slow things down and make more of an effort to back track a bit and focus on the more simple things in life.  Put the phones, tablets, ect. down and just spend time together doing whatever sounds good at the moment. 

Peace to all!

Wednesday 4. October 2017

Normally wouldn’t sit down to write this time of day, but I just can’t seem to focus on anything…figured I should just bite the bullet and sit for 30 minutes and see if I can’t slow down my brain.  

Sat down a little while ago to do my daily readings, something I’ve been slack on lately…when I couldn’t get through a paragraph of my Bible reading without my mind wandering off, it was time to change what I was doing.  Started getting laundry to together, sorted and a load started and had several things popping around in my mind, figured it was time to sit down and write.

You know, I’ve been so blessed in my life.  Grew up in the 70’s and 80’s, such a simple time.  Well, being a kid should be a simple time no matter what time it is.  Recently I was thinking about how different my childhood was compared to my kids and so wish my kids could have grown up like I did, running wild and free on the farm without a care in the world other than not wanting to wear that slip with that damned dress mom was making me wear to Sunday School.  Oh, how I hated those damned slips!  I grew up in a bubble, so naive to so many things when I went out into the world.  At one time I thought that was a bad thing, it was a really good thing. 

I recall very few bad things of what was going on in the world prior to upper high school.  I remember being afraid of going to war with Muammar Gaddafi way back when I was little.  I remember the occasional negative comment about Jimmy Carter and really that’s about it. 

Makes me think of something mom used to say from time to time when we were kids and obviously I must say it because my kids have said the phrase from time to time and smile each time they do…”You have more aches and pains than Carter has pills” or “You bitch and complain more than Carter has pills”.  Not sure if that was a saying at the time or just something out of my mom’s mouth, we have kept the saying going without realizing it!

I’m a person who watches and listens to the news/political shows/talk radio, have for ages.  Recall sitting and watching the 5:30 Evening News with Dan Rather as a kid, mom and dad didn’t watch the evening news….neither did my siblings.  Remember sitting cross legged in front of the tv, on the floor in the living room. Started watching Headline News back in the mid-90’s when The Girl was little and have ebbed and flowed over the years.  Have always tried to catch myself having the news on when the kids were growing up, not wanting to scare them.  Still have to watch myself to this day with Bubba, at 15, he still gets spooked really easily if he doesn’t catch a story from the very beginning.

It would be great if my kids could look back and remember taking off into the corn field on foot and walking around an entire field, watching the butterflies and grasshoppers and making up stories as they walked.  They didn’t have that on our 11 acres.  Even spending all the time they did at my folks, it’s something they never did.  My kids are the type that couldn’t think of anything to do outside, have always thought that was really sad.  Would have loved to have a tree grove growing up like we do here, my siblings and I would have played in the trees for hours upon hours.  Whenever I’d mention it they would be like, “what am I supposed to do when I go out into the trees”?  

My cousin Brooke and I would take big logs from the firewood on the front porch and set them up as hurdles in the front yard when we’d set up a “track” to race, we’d play track and field.  We did have imaginations and we laugh so hard some days when we get to talking about some of the things we did as littles.  We were always being told to “go outside and play” by our mothers.  My kids will remember their time at Gramma and Grampa’s with their cousins, sitting in the house and waiting for the kitchen timer to go off to say it was time for the next kid in line to get computer time and Gramma not wanting the kids to play outside because they’d get hurt or it was too muddy or too cold. Mom has said numerous times she didn’t have to worry about us like she does the grands.  Craziness!  I’m always telling the kids to get off the couch and that damned computer and those stinkin phones and go outside!  Gramma backs that up with telling me it’s her house and not my place to tell the kids what to do.  UGH!  Don’t recall if my grammas were that way.

On the awesome side…went to the Iowa Lakes with my mom and Bubba on Saturday.  Mom’s older and only brother passed away a little over a year ago and his wife wanted mom to have some family things he’d had passed down to him.  The large Bible above was my Great-Grandma Lucy’s, mom thinks it may have been her mother’s.  The little books on top are school books of my 2X Great-Grandpa McKee (Lucy’s dad) and written in the one says 1858 Comaghy…he came from Ireland in 1865.  One of the small Bibles says to Martha from Mother…Grandma Lucy wrote in it saying it was given to her mother Martha from her mother Letticia…how awesome is that? 

We have to go back again, the large secretary that goes with these books was too big for my the short box of my pickup.  The deal is, the books were kept in Great-Grandma Lucy’s secretary, they stay with the secretary.  Sometimes being the baby of the family has it’s advantages!  No, actually, my brother has the desks of both of our grandfathers and my sister the desk of my mom’s mom…I said it was only fair that when the day came, that I should get it.  Mom said she doesn’t want it, doesn’t want that responsibility, so if I have a place to put it now, I could have it now.  


Also had the chance to stop at my cousin and her husband’s fish shop (not really sure what it’s called, all fishing stuff).  We don’t get the chance to see Cousin T very often, so was a great 30 minutes.  She introduced us to a the regulars that came in, such a kick one of the older guys started telling some stories and referred to me as Cousin…made me smile.  

Of course Ruby Pearl got to come along for the ride, in her Nebraska Cornhusker gear!  This was the best behaved she was the entire trip, next time she stays home with dad!

Hugs and Prayers for Peace for One and All!  Hug your loved ones and tell them you love them everyday! 


Monday 18. September 2017

Had a grand day today!  Met up with my high school art teacher for lunch, guessing the employees at Olive Garden LOVED our taking up a table for two hours.  Ms. H. was one of my most favorite teachers during my grade school years, we bonded and was always able to talk to her about any and everything.  We’ve stayed in touch on and off over the 26 years I’ve been out of school, she was at my wedding and she invited me to her wedding.  She’s kinda awesome!  One of the few people in my life who has always been blunt and point blank with me in any issue.

Been bonding with my cousin Brookie the past several days, being busy we hadn’t talked all summer.  Was pretty funny, about a week or so ago Bubba asked if Brookie and I were fighting, he said we hadn’t had any of our epic three hour phone conversations in ages.  Boys, they don’t get that the best of friends can get busy with life and go months without talking and then have time to get in touch and it’s like three months haven’t passed. 

During Hurricane Irma my father-in-law send Old Boy and others of us in the family this app called Marco Polo…if you haven’t tried it, it’s AMAZING!  I’m not a big fan of texting, it takes too stinking long and that speech to text thing doesn’t work for me since the damned thing seems to have issues understanding the words I’m spewing.  It’s a virtual walkie talkie, you hit the record button and can talk to your little heart’s content, hit stop and it goes to the person you want…and if they are on the app at the same time, they can listen to you in real time, or listen to at a later date.  Brookie and I have been having way too much fun talking at each other the past several days!

Sadly, woke up Saturday morning to read that a guy whom I rode the school bus with for many years and whom graduated from high school with my brother, passed away overnight of a heart attack, he was 51 years old.  One of the few guys whom Brother would have over from time to time, was always kind to me.  Really hating this getting older thing.  Daily I check the obituaries on line and hope to not read a name I know.  It’s getting harder and harder.

Now is time for my new daily thing to look forward to…have discovered a channel that has two episodes of Barney Miller on five days a week.  So loved watching those reruns when I was a little kid!  Comes on at midnight, perfect ending to the day, only wish it were on seven days a week.  Might have to order the DVD’s from Netflix!  It’s the little things in life, right? 

Take Care!  Peace!