Category Archives: Memories

What is on my mind

 

1. I’m type A, lists help me function. I feel discombobulated sometimes and I get confused (especially later in the day when I’m fatigued), and making lists just really seems to sort things out in my brain and help calm me down.

2. I went to my high school reunion Saturday and it was even better than I had anticipated. Most of the girls I was close with in high school were there, and it was *refreshing* to sit and catch up with them. Ha! I’m so glad I found that word, refreshing. I think I’ve been subconsciously searching for it since Saturday. Anyhoo, yes, it was refreshing. I didn’t realize it at the time of course, but it was. It was refreshing because all of these people knew me when I was young and carefree (to an extent, I guess) and they treated me that way. They remembered the old Mindy, and seemed to remember her fondly, but were also overwhelmingly accepting of the new Mindy. Everyone was sharing different memories – just the good ones, of course – and it was interesting what some of us had remembered and others had forgotten. It was nice. No expectations, no judgments. Oh, and also my husband, who had been not-so-secretly dreading the event, enjoyed talking with people throughout the evening, and as a result I never felt rushed to leave. It was a great night, and I think we all left ready for the next one ūüôā

Class of 1996_20th Reunion
Class of 1996, 20 years later

This picture only represents about a fourth of our class, which was small to begin with, but in this case the old adage “quality over quantity” definitely applies. What a great group of people. Oh, and if you’re having trouble finding me in this photo, I’m in the front, fourth from the right with the¬†ginormous tattoo on my arm.

3. Life is short. Just days after our class reunion, while everyone was¬†still sharing photos on¬†the private Facebook event¬†page and discussing ideas for the next one, we were informed that one of our classmates (who was unable to attend the reunion) had passed away. On the same night of our reunion, her family’s van was struck by a drunk driver. Her husband and two children were injured as well, but her injuries were much more serious. She passed away late Monday night. Her name was Lorri, and she was literally a friend to all of us. Seriously, I don’t think there was a mean bone in her body. She was kind and caring, and always ready to share a smile. She will be missed by so many in varying degrees, but our hearts break the most for her husband and children. To lose your wife, your mother, so tragically is unimaginable. And all because some bonehead (I had to put it mildly¬†to keep this PG, but insert R-rated insults if you wish) decided to get loaded and get behind the wheel of a vehicle. Senseless, reckless, stupid, stupid, stupid.

Ok, so I know that’s a major downer, and I promise I won’t leave it at that, but I want to say some things about all this. One – never ever drink and drive. Don’t put yourself in a position where you may be tempted to drink and drive. Hand the keys over, make arrangements, whatever you must do, while you’re still sober and thinking clearly. And two – it floors me how people have been rallying together to support Lorri’s family through this tragedy. Not only has her husband lost his wife, but he was injured as well. They are going to need a lot of help going forward, and thankfully they seem to be getting it. All the good that Lorri poured into people’s lives throughout her life is coming back to her family. A sick twist on paying it forward, I suppose, but it’s still comforting to see.

4. We finally sold our house, the one we moved out of last August. The closing is scheduled for tomorrow, and we couldn’t be more thrilled. My husband grew up in that house and it was also the first home we had purchased, so there’s a twinge of bittersweet there, but our new house and neighborhood make it all okay. When we come home at the end of the day, we are among friends, and we are in the first home we chose for our family. And we have a garage, so who’s complaining? Tomorrow it will be official. No more second lawn to mow, driveway to shovel, utilities to pay. Such relief. Goodbye, South Holly Way. You were good to us, and we thank you.

Goodbye South Holly Way 2016

5. Summer. Friends. Children and their friends. We are making the most of it, for sure. Some days we play, some days we rest. Some days I clean. The screentime rules I usually set for vacations have been neglected repeatedly, but not entirely forgotten. I make the rules around here, and I say it’s okay. So there.

6. Feeding the children. That’s a thing that must be done. Now, in fact, so I’m outtie. Have a superb day, bloggy people. Embrace the moment and hug the ones you love!!!

 

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On storing my children’s childhoods

Ok, so yeah, I’m feeling quite better now. Not stellar, but better. It’s after noon and I’m still in my pajamas (technically), but I’ve accomplished a lot today so far. And half the kids are fed (who knew my son liked chicken salad?), so I’m gonna call that winning.

Here’s what’s on my mind today: I get really frustrated when the house starts to become untidy, when I see things laying (lying?) around where they don’t belong (confession: that’s on my mind EVERY day). A lot of it is the kids’ stuff, but a lot of it too are areas I am intending to sort and organize. Kids bring home a lot of stuff from school. Some of it is not important, and can be pitched immediately, but then a lot of it I believe is worth hanging on to, at least for a little while. I will sometimes hang artwork on the fridge, take a picture of it for proper archiving, and then recycle it after a few weeks.

I’ve been doing pretty well at keeping up with the inflow, but those last few weeks of school were a whirlwind and I kind of gave up for a spell (yes, I said spell). So I have been wanting to get that last batch taken care of before we’re too far into the summer. And guess what? Today I did it! It’s all been archived and/or stored (some things are hard to photograph, so I keep them) and now I’m getting ready for next year!! I am abhorrently against clutter, so it may seem odd that I’m choosing to keep any of my children’s elementary school mementos, but I am sometimes a sucker for sentimental things. Also, I at one time enjoyed looking through the crap I made as a kid. I once created a watercolor painting of a giant can of Campbell’s Soup. Not exactly the kind of thing you would frame and hang in your kitchen (maybe), but even after all those years I still remembered how hard I worked on that painting, and how satisfying it was to complete. So, you know, memories. I expect my children may have some memories wrapped up in these things I’m keeping, and maybe one day they’ll want to revisit them. Or not, it will be their decision.

My only issue at this point is that the small boxes I’ve been using to keep these mementos are rather full. So I need to find the sort of boxes where I can keep these things in decent shape, but also sorted by year. Do such boxes exist? I’m sure they do. I’ll be scouring Amazon later, of course. Maybe Etsy or Pinterest will have some good ideas too.¬†Do you have any ideas? I’ll take any suggestions you’ve got!

Happy Birthday to my baby boy

Today my son, Luke, turns 9. It feels like a lifetime ago that he was born, but I still remember the day in vivid color. He certainly made a grand entrance. Shall I share the story? Don’t mind if I do…

I was at the doctor’s office for my 39 week checkup, and they determined I was suffering from preeclampsia. I guess. I still don’t know much about that, other than it has something to do with blood pressure, and it’s rather dangerous for mom and baby. So, since I was only three days shy of my due date, we decided now was the time. They wheeled me across the tunnel to the hospital, and I made a call to let my husband know – “We’re having¬†the baby tonight; bring dinner.”

Mike showed up with gyros from Lou & Harry’s (it was the Wednesday special), and after they had me admitted and wired up with induction drugs, we ate. I can’t believe we could eat, because we were so excited, but it was nearing dinner time and we weren’t sure when we would get another chance. Food is important to us, clearly.

The drugs took a while to kick in, but once they did, I was laboring pretty good. All. Night. By morning I was exhausted and in enough pain that I was ready for epidural. When they gave me the epidural however, they missed and hit my spine. I was numb from the neck down. When they asked me to sit up, I toppled over, unable to move. Looking back, and after all the crap I’ve been through since, this doesn’t seem all that big. But at the time, we were new to medical emergencies and we were terrified. Nurses and doctors flooded into the room, pushing Mike to the back. They pointed to a closet and told him to put on some scrubs. He was scared, but I don’t think he ever lost eye contact with me. From what I remember of course. Time changes things.

We were rushed to an operating room, which happened to be right next door. Luke’s heart rate had quickly dropped, most likely due to the stress coming from my body, and it was imperative that they get him out as soon as possible. So¬†I ended up delivering him via emergency C-section. He was fine. I was fine. Everyone was healthy. A C-section is¬†not what most mothers¬†hope for, but when the result is a healthy, happy baby, you don’t complain. And especially not after seven years of infertility.

So Luke was one of the best gifts I’ve ever received, one I thought for a long time I would never get. He is growing and changing all the time, but he’ll always be my baby boy. He’s my trickster, and often thinks he’s funny when he’s not, but he has guts¬†and you have to give him some credit for that. He is smart, energetic, thoughtful, kind, and funny, but I love his heart most of all. He is a sweet kid and he makes me proud to be his momma.

Happy birthday Luke! Mom and Dad love you immensely. Here’s to many more happy years.

Luke 9 Birthday

They were in the basement the whole time

As I was¬†unpacking and organizing in the new house the other day, I came across all our¬†old photo albums, pictures that have been in boxes in the basement for years and years. It‚Äôs strange, looking back at who I was. The Pre-Hearing Loss Mindy. My short-term memory took a hit two years ago when I was struggling with dementia or whatever that was, but in the stress of it all I think I also forgot a lot of the long-term stuff. Things that happened years ago. Who I was, what I loved, clothes I wore. And what‚Äôs interesting is that when I started pulling the photo albums out of the boxes Natalie asked me ‚Äúare those your memories?‚ÄĚ Yes sweetie, yes they are. I look at the pictures and it‚Äôs all coming back to me. They are not lost forever after all.

Bilateral hearing rocks!

This is exciting news. I didn’t know what to expect with the second cochlear implant, but I was told it’s different for everyone, and that quite a lot is possible. I had zero hope of ever hearing pitches normally again.
But guess what happened tonight? I was talking with my husband, telling him good night, and when I got to the bathroom to brush my teeth I looked at my reflection in the mirror and it occurred to me that I had just been hearing my own voice. MY VOICE. Which I hadn’t heard in almost two years. And you know what? I think I’ve been hearing real voices all day! It’s as if some thing in my brain just clicked. I’m so excited to hear more tomorrow, when I will actually be paying attention. To my son’s voice. To my daughter’s voice. And I’ll be hearing what they hear. Right?
I’m just in shock, I can’t find the words. I’m listening to my old ipod, with my favorite songs from before when I was a hearing person. Tool, Cibo Matto, Rusted Root, Over the Rhine, while still quite tinny, the notes are all there. The notes I remember. In my ears. And I’m not sleeping. This isn’t just in my dreams. It’s as good as real.
No words here. Just tears of joy. Indescribable joy.

Cookbooks galore

Declutter project #1 – Cookbooks!! This should be an easy one. I barely used cookbooks when I could see well, and with the loss of vision I have dropped off the cookbook wagon. There is a wagon, isn’t there?

Out of all these cookbooks shown below (list to follow for those who care), we only use one: The Mrs. Field’s Cookie Book (image #2). We use it on a regular basis, and mostly just for one recipe, chocolate chip cookies. However, my son has developed a love for baking, and he has tried a few different cookie recipes from the book on his own. Just yesterday he made peanut butter cookies. So yummy, and so worth keeping the book. As he gets older I expect him to get a bit more adventurous and try some of the fancier cookies. Because Momma loves cookies.

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These books are going bye-bye:

  1. DeWitt Community Cookbook (Girl Scout Troop 183)
  2. Favorite Recipes of Hartford United Methodist Church
  3. The Four Ingredient Cookbooks (Three Cookbooks in One!) – this has a¬†crap-ton of simple, yet dated¬†recipes. Who eats “company beef”? It doesn’t even sound good.
  4. Saving Dinner – This includes meal plans and shopping lists, and I actually got quite a bit of use out of it in the early years of marriage, before the kids came of course ūüėČ It introduced me to meal planning, which I still do, only now I use the¬†internet with websites such as Cozi, Allrecipes, etc..
  5. The ¬†George Foreman Lean Mean Fat Reducing Grilling Machine Cookbook – I don’t even think we have the grill anymore. I’ll find out soon enough when my decluttering project moves to the kitchen cupboards!
  6. The Color Book of Cheesecakes – is this mine? Where did this come from??
  7. Betty Crocker’s New Dinner for Two Cookbook (1971) – clearly an antique.¬†Could I¬†donate this to the historical museum?
  8. Classic Cooking with Coca-Cola – I used to be a collector of all things Coke, more on that later…
  9. Coca-Cola Cool Recipes – again, remains of the collection
  10. Campbell’s Simply Delicious Recipes – I used this a lot, and it has some great tasting, easy recipes, all of which you can find online now.
  11. Easy Cooking with Brand Names – I have no comment here. It’s pretty, but I don’t think I ever used it. It’s just a nice looking book.
  12. Betty Crocker’s New Cookbook – Everything You Need to Know¬†to Cook¬†(1996) – this was a wedding gift, I believe. I must have used it once or twice, because I have a post-it note flagging the page with the banana bread recipe: “stick butter, buttermilk”. Crap, now I opened it to read the note and felt an overwhelming nostalgia that’s urging me to keep it. The struggle is real, folks. Must… let… it… go!
  13. Good Housekeeping Illustrated Cookbook – I think this one actually belongs to my sister. Yup, there’s a note just inside the cover. Definitely not mine, and definitely doesn’t fit in my kitchen. It’s huge!!

That’s my list, and I wrote far more than I anticipated. I have other things to do, like feeding the children. It’s time for lunch!!

Hippy Days

I’ve been de-cluttering lately. Feels good to get rid of things. It’s good preparation for if we ever move to a new house. Which I hope we do, eventually. I finally went through the box of stuff that my former co-workers packed up for me when I lost my hearing and left work. That sounds like they were anxious for me to be gone, but really they were getting ready to move to a new building, so it had to be done. I found a lot of good stuff in there, pictures from when the kids were younger, my ipod and speakers, my notary stamp, even some herbal tea bags.

I’m enjoying a cup of tea right now, of a flavor I had not tried before. I’m sure it was one a coworker gave me to try. Orange spice black tea. It’s actually quite yummy. As soon as the scent hit my nose it brought me back to my hippy days. And not the ones I spent stoned. It was after that, when I first moved to Lansing. I did hippy things (I suppose, not having lived during the true hippy era) like walking around the campus of MSU wearing sandals with fuzzy socks¬†and long skirts, or drinking coffee at Bilbo’s until the wee hours, playing crazy silly songs on the jukebox (Cibo Matto, do you know your chicken?). I used to shop for tapes and CDs at the campus music store (two of which I found recently, but have no way to play, or listen to, really). I had a roommate who introduced me to house plants and egg noodles (the egg noodle craze lasting much longer than the plants, as I have a hard time keeping green things alive). I went to local concerts, camped out on lawns, and danced crazy dances. It was truly a carefree time for me, which I suppose is where the hippy reference fits best.

I also did some pretty stupid things in those days, even after giving up smoking pot and drinking. I used to take off driving and get myself lost, just so I could find my way home again. When I lived downtown I very often walked around alone. On Independence Day I walked half a dozen blocks to sit on a hill to watch the fireworks. Alone. And this was 1997, so I had no cell phone. Then there was the time I considered buying a VW bus from a guy I met at the laundromat, so I took the bus for a test drive, with the stranger dude riding along. Not smart.

Hmm. That train of thought took an unexpected turn. It’s good to remember happy times from the past, but I¬†guess it’s also just as¬†good to recognize some of the stupid things we’ve done, and be thankful we lived through them. God¬†often keeps us safe despite ourselves, doesn’t he?