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Tuesday, December 6, 2011

I THOUGHT OF YOU TODAY ....


Memories In The Making 
 Christmas Now..... 2014
Welcome to my home during this Christmas Season!


Memories To Share of Christmas's Past .... 

And Christmas Future ......?
not a clue!
Except! Danielle and Rob are expecting a baby
to add to our Christmas 2015 Joy!
Christmas 2015 .... 13 Great Grandchildren!
Now that's a whole bunch of Christmas Joy!
____________________________________


Christmas 2014
Musical Revolving Christmas Globe
The first decoration I put out. 
Lovely tune, 
cheery winter clad dancing people 
and Snowman revolving around and around 
a base covered with sleighbells, and winter scenes. 
But where shall I put the tiny Nativity Scene
and Angels ......?


.........................
A step back to Christmas's Past ......
 Betty Kaemerer, my mom, 2004, Walmart Shopper!
This was Mom's Christmas card that year!

Hunter ... my favorite picture of a little kid at Christmas! 2006

The gifts that keep on giving ... and giving ...2006
Eldon and Vicki

Sooooo ..... where's Monica's stocking? 2007


"Eldon's Shirt Quilt" 2011
Grateful Laughter, Jill and Monica
(Jill along with family and friends helped make the quilt out of Eldon's flannel and denim shirts!)

Appreciative hugs and grateful tears for the quilt

"Grandpa Bears"2011
(my Bear is sitting on the top shelf of my desk...
smiling and happy, looking down at me .....He's 
the one at the far left in the picture)
Each Grandpa Bear wears a custom made 't-shirt' from
one of Eldon's t-shirts.

2009 Eldon and Monica
Jill made these "handsome fellows" out of Eldon's bathrobe 
and t-shirt emblems.
Another was made for 
David, his brother,
and one was given to Joyce, his sister.
Christmas 2011
...........................................
CHRISTMAS PAST 
Posted on my blog
2011
"I THOUGHT OF YOU TODAY ....."
Original Poem written by Monica Lawson, 1984

Thanksgiving is past
and the joys of Christmas season 2011 are upon us.

This morning I thought of another holiday season
that brought sadness...
 Dec. 1984
my Dad died.
 ....
 I had written this poem a few weeks before his death and sent it to him:
"I Thought Of You Today And Said A Little Prayer"

'Out of sight
not out of mind
nor out of heart and prayer,
just because I'm over here
and you're ......................way over there.

I see the joy upon your face,
it warms me here right now.
How can I see you far away?
God showed me you,
that's how.'
Monica Lawson, 1984
.............................................
I also sent this little poem - Dec. 17, 1984 - to a special lady I'd never met.
Betty Harwell
She was dying from cancer.
She was my daughter Jill's mother-in-law.
I changed the wording a little before sending it to her.
Instead of saying "I see the joy ....
I wrote, "I see the pain upon your face,
and pray for you right now.
How can I see you far away?
God showed me you, that's how."
I grieved that she would not live long enough to
see another Christmas,
or know the beautiful grandchildren
who were coming into her family.

My daughter ministered to her body and soul,
and she was ready to meet Jesus when she died. 
I'll  meet her one day when,
as my little poem said.
"God showed me you ...."

 Do you have loved ones
rejoicing in life,
full of joy and expectations.....
or struggling to find anything joyful about this
Christmas?

Please share this little poem
with my blessings.
And as I did,
 over time,
 I sent it again...
and again....
and again ...
 heartfelt words
to relatives,
co-workers
friends,
and strangers.
Some of the people I sent this to
are no longer here .....
but if I close my eyes
and open my heart
I can see them because ......
"God showed me you,
that's how."


This photo taken Christmas Season 2008

My Christmas prayer for you ......
if you have nothing to give
a loved one this Christmas ...
there is no greater gift
than your love.
And after all,
that's the greatest gift of all!
Merry Christmas and a Blessed New Year!
Monica Lawson,
Little Old Widder Woman



Friday, December 2, 2011

THANK YOU, CHARLES WYSOCKI AND
NORMAN ROCKWELL!



Calendars And Lists

My favorite calendars to collect were those we got when Eldon was driving tanker truck for Shell Oil and the company gave away
Charles Wysocki calendars at gas stations across the U.S. .
Wysocki is my favorite artist ..... actually it's a tie between him and Norman Rockwell.
Wysocki died a few years ago
but fortunately his brilliant talent is
saved
on calendars, note cards, coffee mugs and my heart.
I began my Wysocki calendar collection when my children were very young,
saving some of them
but
 foolishly
discarding all but a few.
My calendars weren't works of art to me
way back then.
I wrote in each little square, each month,
every year .............
dentist appointments, school functions, church get-togethers,
happy occassions, adventures and mis-adventures.....
and a few squares were blotched
by tears ........

In recent years, calendars became our favorite Christmas gift to give to our children ..... but not just any calendar!
It had to be a Charles Wysocki calendar ...
(if you look very closely at each beautifully painted
picture you can find
an American flag!)
 Every Christmas 
Eldon and I would fill in the calendars
with yellow balloon shapes or heart shapes signifying
a loved one's birthday or anniversary,
and I gave each family member a Birthday verse from the Bible.

 Our Grandchildren grew up and married.  
Soon we couldn't afford a Wysocki calendar for every family.
We limited the calendars to our adult children and spouses...
Vicki and Jim
Jill and Gary
Dean and Karen
Neal and Theresa
(first names listed are our children)

Hawaii 2006   50th Wedding Anniversary
Eldon and I are on the far right. Our daughter (in-law) Theresa was unable to be there with us. 
...........................
Our family expanded
as well as our hearts to include
Grandchildren's spouses and great grand children .....

Eldon and I were
Great-grandparents!
Gifts .... presents ....
at Christmas became a financial impossibility,
not to mention postage for packages to locations from Alaska to the east coast.
And not just Christmas ...
but how to remember birthdays and anniversaries for over 40 loved ones!
People who know me well
know that I have a favorite habit to help remember
important things.....
LISTS!

My "listing" habit gave me a good idea!
And the idea grew ......grew.....grew as our family
expanded!

Each year the calendar changed as family members got married,
had children...or sadly left .....
(but have never left their place in my heart!)
.....................

______________________________________________________
Grandparent's Blessings and Great Grandparent's Joy
Psalm 128:1-6
Special Days come and go, but a heart smiles if someone remembers.
Name       Birthday    Anniversary    Birthday Scripture


and the information is filled in.

At the bottom of the list of birthdays and anniversaries:
There are so many people to love and remember on the special days of their lives. Thank you for continued love, patience, forgiveness, humor, concern, commitment, and prayers. If you read each person's Birthday Scripture you'll be doubly blessed by remembering the face of a loved one, and by reading the scripture you'll see the face of God.
You have blessed me more abundantly than words can express.
All my love and blessings,
Monica Rose Lawson,
Mother, Grandmother, Great-Grandmother
and loved widow of C. Eldon Lawson
...............
Eldon's death in 2009 made me change the last line, in remembrance of him.
..............
A Very Special Calendar
In January 2010 I was at the local drug store waiting for a prescription. While waiting I noticed a stack of new 2010 calendars on the counter. They were free so I took a couple. I opened the calendar to January 2010..........
the following email and photos below best describe what happened after I opened to the first month,
January 2010.

E mail correspondence with
The Norman Rockwell Licensing Company


NORMAN ROCKWELL LOOK-ALIKE



Clarence Eldon Lawson
1935-2009
Norman Rockwell Calendar
January 2010
If you knew Eldon 
you can see him in this Norman Rockwell painting.
..........................
I scooped up numerous January 2010 calendars,
sharing them with family members ....
who were as touched and amazed at the likeness
Norman Rockwell painted (many, many years ago)
the likeness of my darling husband Eldon.


Thank you for following my blog throughout the year.
I shared this happy memory as my Christmas gift to you.
May the love and joy,
surprises and blessings be yours
the rest of this year and 
on into 2015.
With much love,
Monica Lawson
The Little Old Widder Woman 

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

ONE SMALL STEP AT A TIME



Thanksgiving 2014 approaches.
I can't think of many things I'm more thankful about than
the steps my feet have taken in my lifetime...
I wonder how many steps that was.
Stumbles .... leaps .... skips and jumps...
steps,
one at a time led me to this day,
this destination from there to 
here.
My steps are not as far reaching now .....
some hesitation and a few kinks to work out of my 
little old widder woman stride.
Purposeful 
carefully placed footsteps
not to fall!!!

Don't look back...
oh alright... look back.
Wonderful steps my feet have taken!
Very few taken alone ....
until lately.
Do I hear someone beside me?
Is that you Jesus...?
It could just be the leaves scrunching beneath my feet as I walk down the driveway ....
or Jack running beside me begging I toss his ball for him to fetch.
I'm never alone ... it only seems that way
until I close my eyes and see
my children ... all of them, and grands and great grands,
my friends
parents
siblings
and Eldon (he and Perro, Maggie always together....)
Tie up your tennies, old girl, and take a walk.
There's sure to be an adventure just around the next curve in the road.
A blessed and abundantly rich Thanksgiving to all.
There's so much to be thankful about.....
Post below is one of my favorite ... healing walks 
a short time after 
Eldon died.
I hope you enjoy it again,
or for the first time.
God bless!
....................................................

ONE small BUT DECISIVE STEP AT A TIME ......
and we all end up at our destination.


I hadn't walked down the hill to the Juniper forest in a few months .....
 the last time had been in the company of family and friends ..... 
along with numerous dogs and horses
to leave Eldon's ashes beneath the lone Pine Tree alongside the spring creek ... as were his wishes.




I chose a sunny but chilly day for my dog Perro 
and I to walk down to see if the snow had melted or if there were spring  flowers ...
or water running in the small creek that flowed past Eldon's tree.
On the walk down the hill I glanced behind me
and saw my neighbor's horses,
Teaser and Little Man,
 following,
all the while nibbling on sprigs of new grass just peeking out from a long cold winter. The horses had become part of my "family" over the years and I enjoyed their strong presence as I followed a
well- worn deer path to my destination.

My destination at the base of the Pine Tree
often brought tears of sadness
or smiles of gladness,
remembering that I had shared in this man's life for 53 years.
Shared in the steps he had taken,
often leading his family to new adventures.

I didn't stay long that day ... there were no spring flowers to
decorate the still-drab landscape .... a few small dirty snow drifts
in the shadows only lent to the loneliness I felt.

I patted the stump of a tree we'd placed 
beneath the shadows of the Pine Tree
to mark the resting place for his ashes, and left a few glittering stones he would have liked,
 then
began the slow journey back up the hill to my house.

Perro lept across the  shallow meandering creek
as I carefully chose my steps....
a dry rock here ... a clump of dirt filled weeds,
onto a flat rock, and I was safely on the other side.
It was chilly.
I had on a flannel shirt,
not warm enough for comfort.
I began the short but steep trudge up the hill to my house.

One step at a time,
I thought, and stop to rest every few steps.
How I wish I was in better shape ... asthma and bronchitis
had taken a toll on my stamina over the long cold winter.

After my third or fourth stop to rest a bit
I felt a warm breath
and soft snuffling noises behind me.
It was Teaser,
my neighbors old but
long legged, strong Tennessee Walker.
He towered over me,
black and beautiful from mane to tail, still wearing the face guard that kept pesky bugs away from his face.


I stopped.
He stopped ... then took a step,
his long mane waving and reaching down to my shoulder.
I grabbed his mane.
And he continued walking up the hill,
at a slow but steady pace,
with me holding his mane ....
not breathless or distressed anymore about the climb
in front of me.
I had help.
I had company.
I had a friend to help my steps up the steep climb.

When repairs need to be made
some steps have to be taken alone ....


Other steps will lead us to treasures beyond our wildest dreams...

..
Mountain or roof top experiences make you feel like
King of the World
from taking one small, carefully placed step at a time

or keep in step in the company of heroes ......

Dance, one step at a time, into a new life with your beloved...

or one small, slow,
sad step at a time 
to bring a loved one to his final resting place

A shoulder to lean on, one step at a time, gives courage and strength when needed the most. 

A mother's firm grasp
keeps small steppers out of danger.



A band of brothers ... climbing, discovering in each other's footsteps.

A mother and daughter ... in step,
past a field of summer flowers,
walking together in the footprints  
of God's 
creation.


And when you want to soar with giant footsteps
into the wild blue yonder
the help of a stranger
can steady you while waiting for the right course of the wind.


tiny baby footsteps alongside of mommy.....



and a son's running and leaping into Daddy's arms ...
he'd been gone a  long time.

And just when you think
you've done it all
in your long lifetime,
and walked many paths and had amazing adventures ...
you're just apt to come across
a creature only to happy to give you a ride ..
in his long reaching stride...
only leading you to the next
adventure ...
but you won't get there
unless you take
one small
step
at
a time.






Saturday, November 26, 2011

HEARTS AND HANDS FOREVER ....

HEARTS AND HANDS FOREVER ....

Writing .... art .... composing music
 are "hearts and hands"
 forms of creativity that brings meaning and "soul" into our lives
.
Similarly, producing a child ... or children
has been the ultimate creativity for me.
Four canvases ..... pure and untouched before birth.
Upon taking their first breath,
the "colors" and dimensions,
perspective and depth
of my life took on a 
brilliant hue I never knew existed in
God's rainbow!
You might assume I'm a young mother.....watching and guarding
my offspring, nurturing and guiding.
However ..... I'm a Little Old Widder Woman

rejoicing in the memories
of once-upon-a-time
holding their tiny feet in my smooth hands....
baby cheek to my unlined cheek ...
gazing into baby-blues (one baby has baby-greenish)
with my bifocal-less
20x20  vision.
Time passes so quickly ....
only old people think so.
But I'm not old-old yet ... simply old.

But when I become old-old
I'll have my creased and worried brow
wiped 
and parched and crackled lips
refreshed by
soft and gentle great-grandchildrens' hands.

I'll try to pull memories to share with them from my
filled-to-the-brim old-old brain.....
adventures and misadventures of their grandparents
and parents
and great-grandparents
(that would be me and Eldon)

And in my final hours,
they will gather around
and coax me to eat just one more bite...
rest a bit because I'm about to go on my
biggest adventure ever .....
and
tell them one more time how I swam with
a whale shark in the Sea of Cortez ...
or helped save a whale from a beach in La Paz.

However .....
Old-Old just 'aint me yet!!!!!
Pardon me for now,
but I have to go out to the barn and
feed my neighbor's horses and clean out the stalls,
fix a rail on my fence that fell after the last snow storm,
and
continue the long overdue finishing touches on my
Unfinished Masterpiece
"Family Treasures"

Hmm,
let's see ....
I think I'll work on
the family treasures in
this little
jewelry box ...



I have lots of stories to tell after being away from my blog
for a few months.
I've missed chatting with you ......









Thursday, September 22, 2011


October 20, 2014 would have been our 58th wedding anniversary.
 
Boxes can hold the most amazing, beautiful and precious memories. The left box enfolds two circles of love  - wedding bands designed by Eldon and crafted by a jewelry artist for our 25th wedding anniversary......and one of military dedication -  Eldon's Marine Corp ring,(recently given to Aaron, my oldest Grandson who's heart was open to serving in the Marine Corp.)
In the center are gifts from Eldon to me,
 one for our 40th
 anniversary ...a dainty  ruby necklace,
and a surprise ruby ring he bought for me when our family all went to Hawaii to celebrate our 50th anniversary. 
The treasure box on the right contains 2007
Christmas-surprise wedding bands Eldon bought for us because he thought they were just what we needed!

October 20, 1956 .......
  our wedding day photo ..... with quicky margin notes to myself on how to position photo to scan.
I was going to edit out the notes .... but somehow they tell a story about me .... I write notes .... and notes and notes to remind myself about practically everything! But one note I can't write any more is to Eldon .....But every night before I go to sleep I tell the Lord good night and add,
"Please, Lord, tell Eldon I love him."

I wrote the below post a few years ago but the wisdom and soothing message is true for me today as it was back then. And the wisdom in this scripture holds my heart and mind securely until the day we meet again ........
"Weeping may endure for the night but joy comes in the morning."  Psalm 30:5
...................................................
This post is for those who have lost a loved one and are experiencing
Grief
Mourning and
Moving through it...... alone.
The horizon looks bleak....
you're one person paddling when once there were two.
You're cold and can't seem to get warm ...
a bog surrounds you and you're stuck in it.
But you keep paddling.

Getting out of the vessel you're in is not an option....
so you keep paddling
hoping your efforts will bring you closer to the end of this voyage,
or a place to anchor for a rest before setting off on a future voyage you want to embark upon.
 Future voyage?
Your compass has been left behind and you are lost.
No waypoints in sight.
But you keep paddling
just because that's what you have to do.


You reflect often how there were
two paddles rowing ....
calm water.
That's the way it was.....should still be.
But won't ever be again.
...........................................
A letter to carry with you on this alone-journey to be read
and shared when grief and mourning
seem to take more strength than you have.

Dear Friend,
I have experienced a loss that is frankly creating an array of feelings and thoughts that are, at times, difficult to handle. It will take time, certainly months, perhaps years, for me to work through these thoughts and feelings.

There will be times when I cry more than usual. You need to understand that my tears are not a sign of weakness or lack of faith or hope. They are the symbols of the depth of my loss and the sign that I am acknowledging my loss.

There may be times when I may become angry without seeming to have a reason. You need to understand that my emotions are put on edge by  the stress of grief. Please be forgiving of me when I become a bit out -of-sorts or emotional. There will be times when I need your understanding and presence more than anything else. If you don't know what to say, just touch me or give me a hug to let me know you care.  Please don't wait for me to call you. I am often too tired to even think of reaching out for the help I need.

Don't allow me to withdraw from you. I will need you more than ever during the coming months and years.

Realize my faith does not excuse me from the grief and mourning process. Remember me in your prayers as I remember you in mine.

If you have had an experience of loss that seems anything like minne, please share it with me. Your experience will not make me feel worse. It will make me feel less alone.

Though this loss is agonizing, I will get through it and I will live again. I will not always feel as I do now. I will laugh again.

 I thank your for caring about me. Your concern is a gift I treasure.                Sincerely,
..................................................................................................
Director of Aftercare, Phil Friedeman has adapted this letter from Bob Deits, grief and mourning specialist
and permission has been given  for sending  this letter following a loss.


A sunset on the Sea of Cortez......
before awaiting the sunrise of a new morning.
Thank you for letting me share these thoughts and emotions
in photos and words.
Eldon's birthday, Sept. 15th, brought a lot of
thoughts and emotions for me to get through.

Grief and mourning counseling are available through
hospice services, bereavement counselors,
your faith based environment.
And family or friends
and for me .......
prayer.
Thanks God ..... I know I'm never really alone.


Monday, September 5, 2011

Sept. 5, 2011
The Little Old Widder Woman
has been on a bit of a break
from her blog.
She's been:
watching art videos,
catching up on painting techniques,
preparing art entries for the Lake County Fair,
Sept.1-5, 2011,
setting up her easel and brushes, paints and
seeking inspiration for next
painting


working on the family in
"Family Treasures"


and staging live geramiums and studying them
so they will look real when she
attempts to paint the geraniums
in "Family Treasures."

I don't know why I'm talking about myself in
the Third Person .... just thought it was kind of cool.

There's no
improvement in the
handiwork and artistry
of God!
Phew! He was good!

This is the most challenging
painting I've ever done ....
am doing.
In an earlier blog I told how it had been damaged
and then repaired by Master Art Conservatores,
Kristin Anderson and Don Pierce,
Junction City, Oregon.
..............................................
It's also Fall season.
I hate to admit it but it's here.
Leaves are starting to fall ..... of course,
it might just be my cherry tree
that has half of the lower bark
chewed and gnawed, pecked and peeled
by woodpeckers.
My flower gardens are in need of
cutting, trimming and pulling out to
prepare the beds for next Spring.
So I called my
"Gardeners Extaordinairre"

Little Man

and Teaser!


"WHAT? I was right in the middle of
a tasty Bachelor Button bush!"
He gets a bit testy when he's disturbed
while eating lunch.


They'll tear out the clover and crabgrass that's taking over the flowerbed,
munch on creeping and prickly weeds,
and all the while leaving
not so dainty little piles of
fertilizer for next years flowers.
What about the flowers they step on
or crunch into the ground?
No problem. They'll come back up out of the ground
next season
no worse for wear.
mmmmmmm....
it's good to be back on my blog!

 


Monday, August 15, 2011

"Chairmans Choice Ribbon"
Lake County Fair
Lakeview, Oregon
Sept. 4, 2011
I'm honored to have won this ribbon over numerous entries in the
Art Category.
Thank you, Judges.


I know .... I know!  I should have dropped the purse!


Lake County Fair
Lakeview Oregon
Sept. 2, 2011 to Sept. 4, 2011

Original Art
Exhibit
Little Old Widder Woman's
Entries
 Abstract watercolor set/collection is framed
and signed

 For Sale as set or individual
info at








Also entered in 
Photography Division
DISPLAY Only
Naomi James
"Cranes"


Ya'll come on down to the Fair,
ya hear!