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Wednesday, April 27, 2011


PERRO AND ELDON SPENDING TIME IN THE MAN CAVE/SHOP

        "Okay Perro .... go find your buddies and I'll get the wood stove stoked-up."


Check list for an Outdoor Man-Cave/Shop

1) Men only ...... girls enter at your own risk. (Little Maggie is welcome)
2) Tool bench .... a place for everything and everything in its place.
3) Dogs welcome ...... sleep, scratch and lick to your hearts content.
4) Wood stove with flat metal plate on top for making cowboy coffee.
5) Lock installed if shop/man-cave has been "tidied up."
6) Accept fire extinguisher Monica gave me for Christmas.
7) Thank Monica for the stack of cut-up firewood she gave me for Christmas. (see # 6 above)


"I'll ask Maggie if she wants to go out to the shop with me and Eldon."
"Come on Maggie ... we're all going out to the shop with Eldon."

"No thanks Perro ..... I'm not feeling too well right now. Tell him I'll come out later."







"Buster! Get up .... we're going out to the shop to play with Eldon."
"Huh? .... Oh, I don't know. I'm pretty comfy and cozy right here ..... Would someone bring me a doggy biscuit and scratch my tummy?"
Okay, Brandy old girl, we'll wait right here for the rest of them.
.....................................


"Hey Eldon ... let us in! I have Kodiak with me."
.................
We called two of them our Grandpuppies.
One was Perro's best buddy.
And one was his "little Momma-dog" who taught him good manners.
These dear friends are chasing frisbees and tennis balls with Eldon in Heaven ....
Are there going to be dogs and cats, birds and turtles, goldfish and lizard pets in Heaven?
It says in the Bible there are going to be lambs laying down with lions ..... you decide for yourself.

......................................................


And you three darling young men
Gunther, Guiness and Perro.....
I'm not as much fun to play with as Eldon was .....
but I'll walk down to the bottom of the hill with you, 
and toss the squished basketball for you to chase,
and let you know when deer are in the yard if you don't
notice them first.
Oh my ..... so much love in these guys
and so much love lost in the others.
................
My sons and sons-in-law, grandsons and grandsons-in-law spend time in the shop when they visit.
I hear a saw cutting into wood,
I see smoke billowing from the stove pipe ....
did I tell them about the fire extinguisher?
I walk toward the shop .... and stop, tears flow and heart beats stronger.
I close my eyes and pretend it's Eldon working in the shop .....
I do the same when one of them drives Eldon's tractor ... my tractor.
I open my eyes to see James waving at me to come see what he's working on.
I put my head on his young shoulder and cry a little.
He's strong and kind, gentle and misses his Grandpa too.
We step into the shop and close the door, shutting out the chill of winter.
.................
When I'm by myself, I go into the shop and read post-it notes, letters left by the men in my family, 
Eldon .... Dad .... buddy..... they say.
His best friend, Don, wrote his heart onto an old piece of paper he found on the bench.
And the empty bottles of beer .... one, two ..... three or four.
Small mementos of happy times, laughter and jokes shared in that little shop. 
I'll leave them there,
and pretend he just stepped out for a minute ......
yes, that's what I'll do
for now. 








Tuesday, April 26, 2011

RETURN TO "A CANDLE GLOW ACROSS TIME"

I wish .... I wish I had a remote that would allow me to replay moments in my life.
 "A CANDLE GLOW ACROSS TIME"
With a little practice and a co-operative laptop
 I instantly inserted the picture of this simple little glowing candle onto these pages.
Mmmmm. 
I once mentioned to my children that I can see the image of a cross to the right and above the candle.
Nobody else could see it.
I'm sure they squinted, held the photo at arms distance, tilted heads and squinted trying to see
what I see. 
The Candle was a tiny glimmer of Light ..... and Hope
 in two family celebrations. ....
one the celebration of a tiny baby girl's new life,
the other was to celebrate the new life of her father.
1959, a Baptism, dedication of a child to God,
2009 an acceptance spoken softly to that "little girl".
Softly and hoarse....
"Ok."
And he nodded.
And we celebrated.

Monday, April 25, 2011

DAUGHTER, SISTER, WIFE, MOTHER, CHRISTIAN, SAILOR, GRANDMOTHER AND GREAT GRANDMA, GARDENER, ARTIST ..... WIDOW

SPRING is springing up all over.

I had a shirt just like the one my "Avatar" is wearing in this picture - I named her Ava M.,
 and the basket of flowers could have been picked from "Aunt Irene's Garden". 
mmmm .... we scattered Aunt Irene's ashes in a sunny section of our garden. 
.......................................................
Spring, 2011, is peeking at me, taunting and teasing through snow drifts
stubbornly clinging to shadey places.
Time to get my garden tools from the
greenhouse,
organize planting trays and seeds .
mmmmmmm,
reminds me of gardens past ........



"Aunt Irene's Garden"
.....................................
                               Eldon's Uncle Ben and Aunt La Verne's ashes are scattered at The Pine Tree
 beside the spring creek at the far end of our property.
                              Merle and Doug, their sons, slowly trudged down the hill and out of our sight ....
                                                                        destination
                                                                      The Pine Tree.

We'll return to The Pine Tree
............................
                                       
     My spring straw hat  looks like Ava M's,
but  it's stuck away in my closet ....  retired, so to speak, due to crumbling  rim and deteriorating crown.
I wear it every now and then .... bringing memories of when it was new
     and shielded my face from the sun .....
     hoeing and weeding, planting and pruning the first gardens at our little Red House on the Hill.



The barn in Winter ..... it's a picture post card!


And the barn behind "Ava M" looks like the one Eldon built ....
I love pictures of the barn in winter. 
The stack of firewood in the snow scene is covered in winter white.
  I gave him a half a cord of wood four years ago for his Christmas present.
 I couldn't find a ribbon long enough to wrap around the stack of wood.

He burnt the wood in a steel stove built by a friend.
See the smokestack ..... picture it billowing smoke,
 curling up and away from the roaring wood stove in the shop.

Our hay stack is actually piled neatly in the barn for "Shadow"
his free Appaloosa, nine year old, never-ridden mare.
"But she'd have beautiful foals," he said trying to convince me we NEEDED an old, never-ridden horse to keep the grass low on our 10.6 acre "final anchorage."
 "Anclado Final." (Final Anchorage)
He spelled it on the sign "Anclado Fenal"
He named our little ranchita, although spelling it's Spanish name incorrectly because "that's the way it sounds!"
I told him the name sounded like a cemetary for Mexican Fishermen!
......................................
How did we end up,
in the Social Security era of our lives,
 living in the little red house at the top of the hill?
..........................
In the beginning of my blog I mentioned knowing who I was before he died
but hesitant not knowing who I am becoming .... so many memories in between.
You never know when a memory will pop up and grab your attention...
and they never seem to come in chronological order.
.....................
Thank you for following me on this journey...
knowing you're there
gives me
hope for my future.




Sunday, April 24, 2011

AMARYLLIDACAE: PANTRY DWELLER METAMORPHIS


AMARYLLIDACAE: Pantry dweller, searching for the light.
I met "It" one dark and stormy morning while looking in the pantry for Springtime cleaning supplies.

Picture "It" as seen in the photo above but with long white stalks starved for sunlight ... reaching, reaching from inside the pantry for whatever sliver of  light that squeezed through the framing around the door. "It" looked like two long - about 30" - crooked
white rockets about to explode into space. And slimy to the touch.
After my initial aversion to whatever was trying to get out of the pantry, 
I sat on the floor and drew it to me ... amazed at the determination of this ugly, white, starved-for-sunlight plant.
I felt like I should apologize for forgetting where I had put "It" for three long months.
I carried "It" into the kitchen and placed "It" on the windowsill above the sink.
Lots of light streaming in throught this window.
Within seven days
this ugly, bleached-out, weird shaped plant became this:



April 24, 2011  Easter Sunday
Quite amazing, right!
...........................................................
During the initial mourning period after Eldon died .....
I was the shut-away in a pantry "It".
Not able to bask in the sunlight or the beauty of life that was inside and all around me.
The "Widows Helping Other Widows" in my life, who had started down this road before me, had shoulders to cry on, hide-aways to rest in, funny moments that brought tearful laughter (at times when I thought I'd never laugh again.)
 Thanks BettE.
And the wisdom to advise, "Look at it this way .... you have the whole closet to yourself now."
Some may scoff at that attempt to help me feel better ...
but it was so funny!  And true. Although, I'd rather had the closet jam-packed full of both our things ...
the reality of my new life had to be grasped and accepted.
..................................
After "It" is done blessing me this season with the beauty attained once in the sunlight,
 the pantry will be "It's" hiding place again ... a place of rest and preparation for the next burst of beauty.
............................
I now hope to look for the beauty of life
and potential
in everything I see and everyone I meet. 
Thank you, "It" for the promise of "New Life"
one season at a time.
..........................
I just had to give it a name.
"It"
seemed appropriate.





Saturday, April 23, 2011

THERE'S SOMETHING SLIMY GROWING OUT OF MY PANTRY

Okay .... this might not scare the boogers out of most people .... but it sure got my attention!
"It" had been closed up in the pantry since after Christmas. "It" had been part of my Christmas decor. While "It" was still alive  people commented on "It's" beauty and grace and ruby-red vibrancy.
The time comes that even something of beauty and grace has outlived "It's" visual pleasantness.
I just can't toss "It" ..... throw it out with the garbage. "It" might have some life left.
I had people say they only bloom once. Then you buy a new one around Christmastime again.
 "It" was weedy-looking after the beauty faded and stems drooped and dried up.... all wilty.
"It" sat on the windowsill in the living room for weeks. I gave it a dash of water every now and then ....
silly thing to do because it looked dead.

I'll just stick "It" in the bottom of the pantry until "It" does something .... or nothing  .... or whatever these things do when shut away in a dark pantry.
It's kind of like throwing food away that's stored in the frig ..... never toss it until it can walk out of the frig on it's own. Keep that image in mind .....
 I saw this sign on my daughter's refrigerator.
"If it can get out on its own .... let it go!"
But I digress ...

Christmas ornaments and holly, dried up tree and greeting cards put away or tossed .... and "It" stashed away in the bottom shelf in the pantry after I cut away the wilty stems.
And I forgot all about "It" ... now but a short brown protrusion in a pot.
End of story.
Until one day last week .........

WHAT HAS BEEN LIVING AND GROWING IN MY PANTRY?


April 2011

The last snow drifts along the north side of the house were melting into dirty lumpy snowballs. The end of Winter .... but it could snow hard and deep once or twice more. It looked like Spring cleaning time. If the snowdrifts are melting  it must be time for Spring cleaning.
Cleaning supplies from the upper shelves in the pantry .... . dust rags, new vacuum bag, black trash bag (how does one little old widow-lady collect so much trash during the winter?) Next, storage boxes on the bottom shelf on the left. I don't get into this area of the pantry very often ..... floor level and things stored there are not items I need very often  and hard to reach. No surprises stored down there. Nothing I couldn't do without  ... until Spring cleaning time.
Everyone has a "junk drawer" - self-explanatory. The bottom shelf in the pantry was my "junk shelf for big junk".
Open bottom pantry door, get down on knees and reach into ......
"Oh my GOSH ..... what IS that?" I screached and drew my hand back as if I'd been stung. I slammed the door and stood up.
It felt slippery, slimy, long and ... two "headed."
Perro, my dog, and Snickers, my cat, raced to see what the commotion was all about.
They must have communicated to each other, "Not much happening here.... she's just standing there, staring at the pantry door."
They turned away and went about dog and cat business.
Now, I'm not too squeemish about bugs or spiders, mice or lizards ......
..........................................................................................................................
HOWEVER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I was an itsy-bitsy-teeny-weeny bit squeemish seeing
THIS hairy-legged-knuckle-draggin dude in a public outhouse when we were in Hawaii on our 50th wedding anniversary - 2006 - with all of our kids and spouses.
And yes .... we had all used the accomodations.
 My turn and I was "tidying up" when I saw this fellow staring at me ....
he was right above my head
 and about the size of my fist.
Oh the sights he'd seen!
But I digress .....
............................................................................................... 

                   What I felt and saw in my pantry storage closet was nothing I'd ever touched or seen before....
                                                                  or wanted to touch or see!
                    I knew it wasn't breathing or reaching out to grab me. So .... how scarey could it be?
............................................................................................................

Oh my ..... where has the time gone? Have to get ready for work.
You don't mind waiting until  my next posting, do you?
The THING in my pantry will remain a
mystery until tomorrow.
You see .... I have to give this some thought .... how will I explain this ... thing in my pantry?
I think I'll have a hot, hot cup of minty tea .... that always helps to straighten out my jumbled thoughts.

Friday, April 22, 2011

HOT MINTY TEA AND A "BOX OF CHOCOLATES"

Boxes and bags of old photos, stashes here and there .... the visual memories of the pages of my life spread out before me. With a cup of  hot, hot minty tea, I planned to spend a few moments looking for photos to add to my WHOW blog. Instead, I looked into  a gazillion faces ..... happy eyes smiling back at me ..... people hugging, smoking, drinking and celebrating, running, playing, and sad moments unexpectedly captured forever. And the hours crept by. The tea became tepid and I closed my eyes, put my head down and curled up with Snickers, my cat. Drifting off for a sweet nap, Snickers purred and I snored. I think I must have snored. Eldon said I snored.
What a great old car ...... I think they're an aunt and uncle on my Dad's side ........
....................................................................................

"LIFE IS LIKE A BOX OF CHOCOLATES .... AND A SHOEBOX FULL OF OLD PHOTOGRAPHS"

Re-posted and edited from 4/22/11
"Life is like a box of chocolates"
Forrest Gump said.

I agree .... and a shoe box full of old photographs 
tastes as sweet as a box of hidden-away chocolates!   
They were good boys ..... 
some gooder than others. 
Their midnight visits to  
"After Hours Gas Depot Caper" 
could have left them with a bitter sweet after-taste for years.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

TOY CARS AND TRUCKS .... '38 CHEVY .... MARINE CORP AND TANKS .... AND A 52 BLUE HUDSON


Little boys and their toys. They're happy pushing around an empty Cracker Jack box and making "pfftt  pffttt noises ... you know,  the noise little kids make trying to sound like an engine running very fast and loud.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

MAN .... I WISH I HAD THAT '38 CHEVY NOW!

                                                            
  TOP LEFT:  '38 CHEVY , CAR IN MIDDLE   Belonged to   Eldon Lawson.  Please leave a comment in my blog the year and make of other cars in photo.
                 
TOP RIGHT:  WHERE ARE THESE CARS AND YOUNG MEN NOW? ....1952    I don't know a Chevy from a Ford from a Pontiac. Which is which?
            
MIDDLE LEFT: 31 MODEL A .... Palo Alto (Calif.) High School Auto Shop 1952.The ONLY High School class the guys in these pictures never skipped out of.
                 
MIDDLE RIGHT: '41 HUDSON  Eldon was driving a '52 Hudson when we met in 1955. The car in the photo belonged to his best friend, Stan Wooley. He and Stan joined the Marine Corp together. Hoo Hoo Hoo Hoo Hoo! Or ... whatever Gung Ho gutteral noise Marines make.
 
BOTTOM LEFT: '38 CHEVY. Eldon's pride and joy. Look close ... the hood is missing. He'd drive it  .... fix it. Drive it..... fix it .... Good thing his dad was a mechanic.
               
 BOTTOM RIGHT: 1952. Look at the car on the left ... the hood is missing.
"Hmm, now where did I leave that hood?"

Monday, April 18, 2011

You GOTTA Read The Manual .... For Life or Blogging!



October 20, 1956 Our wedding day
(April 27, 2011 Thanks, Karissa, for emailing to me the wedding photo you had colored in)

Soooo much to learn about blogging and browsing to add photos to my Blog.
Equally, there's so much to learn about marriage when you're newlyweds.
The term "They can't see the handwriting on the wall" applies to
newly-weds and newby-bloggers.

How long before I'm not a newby-blogger and can stroll through "how-to-blog" instructions?
Hmm, it would have been nice to have a "newby wife how-to-do" instruction manual.

Note: the writing at the top, sides and bottom of my wedding photo above.
 Oops, I didn't remember to put the photo on a clean sheet of paper ....
the scribbled notes were to help remind me where to place a photo on my printer for future scans.
I HATE it when photos are upside down,
 topsy turvy,
inside out
 and print on the wrong side of the paper!

 You get an artistic flash of brilliance,
 proposal, idea, or stumble upon a good notion .....
don't need to read the manual or follow instructions .....
don't confuse me with facts or information that might help master this new challenge.
And a bride's new life  is a challenge ... from a child at 15 to a bride at 16 1/2.
 Now tell me .... WHAT did I know about being a wife? I sure wish I had read the manual!
I found this wedding picture of Eldon and me taken just moments before "The Dad" kidnapped me,
(see previous post in my blog)
 I put the photo in my printer to scan and spent the next 2 hours rescanning
so the photo wouldn't be upside down, side ways, or topsy turvy.
Really, two hours!
Not trusting my old memory (it's old but not old-old yet) I jotted the notes on the side for the  next time I scanned a photo.

The topsy turvy experience of  my Dad "kidnapping" me shortly after the photo above was taken
and eventual chase and "rescue" by Eldon, was NOT the way I had expected to spend my first two hours as Eldon's new bride.
 I'm sure that experience wasn't in the "What Brides Need To Guard Against" manual.
 Hmm, I think I might write that manual .... adding chapters
"What To Guard Against The First Year" 
 "What To Guard Against When Your First Kid Is On The Way
 and Second, Third, Fourth."
I REALLY hadn't planned on that many children by the time I was 21!
Naw, don't think I'll waste my time writing that manual ....
nobody would follow what to guard against any more than I did.

From newly wed at 16 1/2
to newby blogger-widow at 71...
You've come a long way .... baby!
Oops.... I have to check my printer!
I put the stupid paper in upside down again.
Let me think ... where did I put that instruction paper?



Saturday, April 16, 2011

A CANDLE GLOW ACROSS TIME


A journey .... a new adventure or endeavor can be laughable/frustrating :
 take my previous "Candle" Blog post, for example.
This Candle has special memories that I will share in the future.
But for now..... AAGGGHHHH, I had downloaded the photo, expecting a text box to show up for the text .... BUT IT DIDN'T. 
I thrive on challenges? So I wrote a "Comment" the same as so many of you have done,
but I basically wrote a comment to myself. Funny .... it worked.
 Threading my way through a complicated Blog-world
will help me on this winding path  my new life has taken without him  

My Blog, "WHOW, Widows Helping Other Widows" has added new light and glimmer to the "Candle Story."
And I promise to share that glimmer very soon.



Thursday, April 14, 2011

The Bride's Been Kidnapped!

Whisked away, out of the hands of the groom, the young barefoot bride yelled her husband's name, repeatedly, as she valiantly fought her kidnapper, but to no avail. He lifted her off her feet as if she was a feather and plunked her down in the car, driving off at  break-neck speed. The groom couldn't follow because someone - probably one of the groomsmen - hid the keys to the 58 Chevy, their new car awaiting  to take them to their first night as husband and wife. His bride's shoes sat empty at the spot on the dancefloor where she had slipped out of them to dance with her Dad. The groom clenched his jaw and fists, ready to hit someone, as he franticly tried to run after the get-away car, now out of sight.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

How Many Marines Can Fit Into A 52 Hudson?

He was the only "jarhead" among his group of buddies who owned a car. And what a car it was!
"How many Marines can fit into a volkswagon?" isn't anything compared to "How many Marines can fit into a 52 Hudson?" He drove the wheels off that old boat of a car, jam-packed full of lusty, thirsty, lookin'-for-women Marines. Tijuana every weekend, cruising the hiways and biways of San Diego and National City, a short drive from Camp Pendleton. He didn't always get gas money from his buddies. He didn't always pay  much attention to who was with him for a weekend of looking for a good time. Eventually the group thinned out to 4 or 5 best buddies all looking for a "really nice girl".

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Daffodils, Crocus, and Memories

 Memories are like spring flowers .... they pop up in places you least expect.
Email from Suzy, my sister-in-law, April 12, 2011
                             .............................
"Hi Monica,  David and I just read your wonderful remembrance in your blog of first meeting Eldon and what you thought and saw. We are both so touched. David talked about the 52 Hudson and remembered it like it was yesterday. It started him talking about that year in particular when he joined the Marine Corp (following in Eldon's footsteps) .
Not too long after David joined the service Dad Lawson and Eldon came to see him at boot camp. Eldon told David about this incredible girl, "Monica", that he had met.
Life just seems so short, in hind sight, and can seem so long when you are young and wanting everything to happen right now. We are both so fortunate, girl, to have been gifted with the men that God gave us and to have lived and experienced true love.
God is good and holding you close, Love you, Suzy"

Without realizing it, I gave my brother-in-law, David, a freshly picked bouquet of spring flowers  ..... a memory shared of the springtime of our lives.

Love and blessings, David and Suzy. I spent a delightful afternoon reviewing the old posts in my blog .... and this one is especially heartwarming to me. It's worth sharing again. Monica   Oct. 5, 2014

Monday, April 11, 2011

1952 Blue Hudson, "I really like your car!"

"I really like your car ......."


The first time I saw Eldon's hands 
they were on the steering wheel of the biggest, bluest, roomiest car I'd ever seen. 
I noticed his eyelashes as he leaned toward me from the driver's side window.
Eyelashes .... the kind girls buy at a drugstore .... long, black 
and made swooping noises when he blinked. 
When I told him I liked his car (all the while secretly admiring his eyelashes) he said, 
"You can buy it for .25 cents." 
I liked his sense of humor,
but I was too young to drive - just a tad over 15 -  let alone the luxury 
of having .25 cents to buy anything.
From inside of his car Eldon reached over and shook hands with Lyle,  my boyfriend at the time. We'd been sitting on the running board of Lyle's Model A parked at the curb in front of my house when a big, blue, boat-shaped car pulled up across the street. 
Though I didn't realize it at the time, 
the 52 Hudson just pulling up - driven and owned by the "eyelashes"  -
would soon make the Model A and Lyle disappear.

Hands .... conveying strength and gentleness, 
protection and purpose. 
His eyelashes ..... 
shielding his eyes when he laughed .....
his eyes  ..... the mirror of his soul, 


The year was 1955. He was a Marine. I was 15 years old.