Thursday, July 25, 2013

Remember When...

In celebration of our 32nd wedding anniversary today, I thought I would share about our love story. Jim and I grew up in the same town, and went to the same high school. We knew each other and our families knew each other. When I was in junior high, like many kids my age, I had braces on my teeth. So did Jim. Our moms thought it would be a good idea to share the driving for our monthly appointments, so we almost always rode together alternating his mom or my mom taking us. I even remember his sister Janet (now my SIL and business partner) taking us one time when she was pregnant for Josh. (She drove fast back then too.)

Eventually, the braces came off, but we continued with check-ups at the orthodontist. Of course the time came when we could drive ourselves, and we still coordinated appointments, which also included my brother. One year for Christmas, my mom gave me tickets to see the musical 'Annie.' It just happened to be on an orthodontist appointment day, so I asked Jim if he wanted to go. (I guess we ditched Ted for that appointment.)

We count that as our 'first date', and although by then, he was a student at Purdue and I was at Hanover College, we continued to date as we could, mostly for special events and dances at one school or the other. From the photos I found, you may feel like you are now entering The Twilight Zone. Anyone remember that?

This was at a dance I attended with him at Purdue. The Pink Rose for all you AGRs in the bunch. The thing I remember most about this night was that when it came time for him to take me home from his fraternity house, his car was parked in, and we had to walk. From AGR to Harrison Hall, where I was staying with my friend Mendy. In our dress clothes. :) For those of you familiar with the PU campus, it's a looooonnnnng way. And the temperature was -3 or -13 (I'm not good at remembering numbers), so it was freezing! We stopped at one of the dorms along the way to warm up. We may have said 'I love you' on that cold trek across campus.
The AGR boys always have a barn dance, which is a fun time for all. Unlike the barn dances in modern times :), back in the olden days the dance was held at the house. Of course, these boys know how to decorate for a barn dance. No cardboard animal cutouts for them! They brought in straw, fence, and live animals to add to the atmosphere.
We continued to date, and my college roommates and sorority sisters will remember me starting to refer to him as 'my fiancé. He was really just my boyfriend, but it sounded so much better, don't you think? Of course he didn't know yet, but that was just a minor detail.

We did, eventually, get around to discussing hopes, dreams, and how many children we wanted :), and one year after our first date, he asked me to marry him. We went together to select the engagement ring, which I had already picked out and tried on since I worked at the jewelry store over Christmas vacation. :)

I could 'officially' call him my fiancé after the candlelight at the sorority house when we stand in a circle and pass the candle around until the girl to whom the 'token' has been given blows the candle out. If is blown out on the first time around, she has received a lavalier, two times around the circle, she has been pinned, and three times means she is engaged. I remember the song, and the excitement, not just of my candlelight, but of the many we had in the Phi Mu house at Hanover College.

We were engaged for six months before our wedding on July 25, 1981. I wrote about our wedding day here.

We honeymooned at Lake of the Ozarks, and settled into our first apartment in married student housing on Tower Drive at Purdue, since I was finishing my degree. His dad always likes to joke that it was a requirement in their family that all their kids marry someone with a Purdue degree, but it was just a joke. Kind of. :)

We were young.
Just a couple of weeks after the wedding, we gathered with his family for the cattle show at the Indiana State Fair. I hope those were milk shakes from the Dairy Bar. :)
We joined my friends back at Hanover for a dance or two, since they sometimes accused me of 'abandoning' them to get married!
I was a bridesmaid in my friend Beth's wedding in June of 1982, and David was born just five months later. From there, it's been a wild and wonderful winding road, when the days were sometimes long, and the years short.

We give thanks to God for the blessing of 32 years, 
and for the gift of each day to share life and love each other.
Happy Anniversary, Jim.
I love you!

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Our Place in the Hodgepodge

Wednesday is here, and so is the Hodgepodge. Thanks to our hostess, Joyce, for throwing this party each week. Be sure to hop over to visit her blog, and see what she and the others have to say.

Here are her questions and my answers:
1. July 24th is Amelia Earhart Day.  Earhart was the first female to fly solo across the Atlantic Ocean.  What's something you've recently accomplished solo? 
Amelia Earhart spent time at Purdue University, and is dear to those of us who attended school there. There are campus landmarks in her honor, namely Earhart Residence Hall, and this larger-than-life statue. My husband's aunt served Miss Earhart some of her meals during the time she spent on campus. Her influence is still felt, especially among women who choose to major in aviation technology.
As for my recent solo accomplishment? I was able to back up my old iPhone 4s to my computer and transfer everything to my new iPhone 5. All. By. Myself. Not exactly a transatlantic flight, but I'm proud. :)

2.  What's one product you use that never ever fails?
I have had good luck using the Magic Eraser, most recently to successfully remove ink marks from a special book.

3. Have you found your place in the world? Where is it?
I may have mentioned it before, but during the summer, it's right here:
Speaking of my place in the world, I have always loved this song by Michael W. Smith:

4. Worst movie you ever saw?
I'm not sure it was really a bad movie, but when I was in high school, I was on vacation with my best friend and her parents. Maybe it was a rainy day, but for whatever reason, we decided to go to an afternoon movie. Her mom had read the book, so we went to see The Other Side of Midnight. It was a little bit more 'R' rated than we had anticipated, and we left the theater before it was over.

5. What's the last fun thing you did?
This is an easy one. I spent the weekend with most of my POWs. No, not prisoners of war, but, rather, 'Pearls of Wisdom.' For our 50th birthday a few years ago, a group of six high school friends got together to celebrate both birthdays and friendship. We wear necklaces with charms, along with pearls, since they signify 'wisdom', and we call ourselves the 'Pearls of Wisdom', POWs for short. :)

Four of the six (we missed you Deb and Mary!) were able to enjoy a weekend together at our lake house, and we started our first evening at my favorite, Big Woods Brewery. With an order of pulled pork nachos, of course.
We posed for a picture before dinner. We shared drinks, and laughs, food, dessert, and more laughs.
On Saturday, we were a little disappointed that after our leisurely morning, we got ourselves suited and sunscreened, filled the cooler, lined the chairs, found our sunglasses, towels, and phones and settled into our chairs on the dock about 5 minutes before a big rainstorm rolled through. Bother.

No worries, though, as we filled the time with our traditional game of *new* Taboo. Jan gives clues while Ann mans the buzzer. More laughing.
I took very few pictures, but there was much talking, more laughing, catching up, and celebrating the history we share and the gift of friendship.

Our Sunday night dinner included sweet corn, steak, and Joyce's recipe for spicy grilled salmon. Jan and Amy did an excellent job as grillmasters.
We also learned new-to-us Mad Gab, which was pretty hilarious. I must admit, though, that laughing was quick and plentiful, whether from new games, old stories, or an attempt to roll up the watermat in the lake. Old stories shared by old friends making new memories. Priceless.

6. The month of July is named for Roman Emperor Julius Caesar...ever been to Rome? What's your favorite Italian dish?
I have not been to Rome. My favorite Italian dish? Anything I might eat when in Rome. :)

7. What is one piece of advice you'd offer new mom Kate Middleton?

Don't blink. 

And I would like the advice delivered this way:

8.  Insert your own random thought here.

Since I have a bit of a connection to the royals (read about it here), I want to extend my congratulations on the birth of the brand new prince. Because they're still deciding on a name (I heard the Queen has to approve), maybe we should compile a list of suggestions. :)

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Postcards from the Hodgepodge

It's fair week here in our little town, which means hot days, fun food, and spending time in a cattle barn. You can read about the cattle show here. While I don't spend as much time at the fairgrounds as I did back when our kids were 4-Hers, I am happy to have a grandson involved, and I always enjoy seeing the kids and their projects. It's a good thing.

Now, since it's Wednesday, I have a little Hodgepodge for you. Be sure to visit our hostess, Joyce, by clicking on the button below. You can also make friends with the other folks who have linked to her site today. It's great fun!
Here are her questions, and my answers. Enjoy!

1. Picture postcards were first printed back in the mid-1800's and deltiology is the official name for postcard collecting. When did you last send a postcard?  Receive one? Do you save postcards sent to you? Do you collect and/or send postcards when you travel?

It has been many years since I have sent a postcard. I do remember that when my family vacationed, I loved to select and send postcards to friends, family, or anyone I could think of. My parents let me choose the cards, and I took great care in selecting the perfect ones to send. Back then, you could buy 5 for a quarter (or something like that), so they were not expensive to send, and made a great souvenir to keep.
Interestingly, I received a postcard yesterday from Bridget, who we help support in her work with Campus Crusade for Christ. She is in Colorado at a training conference. Prior to that, we received a postcard last year in April, from Jennifer and Bryan while they were honeymooning on Grand Cayman. Do I save them? Well, yes, I guess I do. :)
I don't collect or send them when I travel any more. All those pretty scenery photos are available with the click of a mouse, and a text message or email is guaranteed to arrive before you return from the trip.

2. What treat do you most like to indulge in while on vacation?
Nice hotels, good food, and sleeping in. That would be treats, plural.

3. Are you good at hiding your feelings?
Well, yes, I guess I am. But you can never tell. :)

4. Does your town/city/county still deliver telephone books to your home? Do you check the yellow pages when searching for a local business number or has the internet replaced the phone book in your home?
We still receive telephone books, and I do still, sometimes, use them. I do find myself overrun with phone books from time to time, since I often add the new ones to the pile rather than dispose of the old ones. I remember keeping one in the car with me after I got my first 'car phone.' It was a big ol' thing in a bag that plugged in to the cigarette lighter. No internet. No text messaging. No GPS. Just. A. Phone. And I thought I was Jane Jetson. Now if only I could get one of those robot housekeepers to dispose of the old phone books. :)

5. Would you rather be first or last?
Oh, well, of course, that depends. To give an oral book report? Last. Pick in Fantasy Football draft? First. In line at the BMV? First. I guess, for the most part, it's best to be first. Except, of course, when it's better to be last. 
And then there's the scripture found in Matthew 20:16: "So the last will be first, and the first will be last." 
I'm so confused.

6. July is National Park and Recreation Month (in America, but everyone can still play along)...where and when were you last in a park?  Did you participate in any recreational activities while you were there?
We have a couple of nice parks in our little town, but the last time I remember being in a park was last October when we visited Rocky Mountain National Park in Colorado. The recreational activities in which we participated were hiking from the parking area to Bear Lake, and taking photographs. Oh, and trying to keep warm!

7.  What was one of your worst ideas?
Two things come to mind:

1. Spanish Bay Getaway
2. Let's get an exchange student. From France.

8.  Insert your own random thought here.
Heather and Scott welcomed their baby girl, Payton, to the world yesterday. Our daughter Jennifer and Heather have been friends since kindergarten.
Jennifer and I went to see her when she was just a little over 12 hours old. So sweet! Jennifer took a few photos while we were there. 

 Congratulations Heather and Scott! She is beautiful!
What's even more fun, is that Jennifer and Bryan will welcome their little one in just about 6 weeks.
I call this photo 'two friends and a baby.' :)

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Just Show It

It was cattle show day at the county fair on Monday, and grandson Matthew was up early to get his Angus heifer ready for their rookie 4-H show. He did show her in December at the Hoosier Beef Congress, but this was his first time to show right here in Decatur County.

I got there after most of the work was done, which means the heifer was fed and watered, bathed and dried, brushed, polished, and clipped. Only then is there a chance for the showman to change his clothes and have a little breakfast himself.
Lucy is clean, and will stand in the chute until it's their turn in the ring.
Matthew and cousin Will supervise while Lucy gets a drink of water.
Matthew and Grandpa before the show.
And a picture with his sisters.
Cousin Nick is a ten year 4-H member, and seems to be giving the rookie a little show day advice. Or maybe he's just telling him how to look cool in your jeans and boots.
Pretty soon, it's time for their class.

I like this photo because it shows Dave (retired herdsman) and Andrew (current herdsman) explaining to Matthew (rookie showman) where to go in the ring. Got it, Matthew?
One more swipe with the comb from Dad, and we're ready to go.

As you can tell, the heifer is BIG, and Matthew is small. Sometimes she doesn't really want to walk. If you look closely, you can see Jennifer and Jim over the heifer's back watching the action.
The judge took time to talk to each exhibitor.
Around the ring they go. For the non-cattle folks who might be reading, he is holding a show stick. When he stops to set up his calf, he uses the show stick to scratch her belly to relax and calm her so she will stand still. He also might use it to touch her feet so that she will move them so she's standing square. We want her to look her best in the ring.
Holding her head up, 'sticking' her, and, always, keeping his eyes on the judge.
For a little guy, it's hard to watch the judge when you can't see over your calf!
Here she is, standing pretty square, with Matthew working the show stick. You can see the girl behind him trying to move a foot with her pink show stick.
Here he is listening while the judge gives his reasons as he places the class.
Hooray! Champion Angus heifer! Here he is standing with the Emly family who presented the award in memory of husband/father, William Emly.
Way to go, Matthew!
Of course, winning means that he goes back in the ring later to compete with the champion heifers from all other breeds.
All ready to go... again.
And just for fun, a photo of his dad, Andrew, back in his show days.
Great job, Matthew!
You too, Lucy. :)
After the show, we got a photo of four generations. Great-grandpa John, grandpa Jim, dad Andrew, and Matthew. What a blessing to be able to share the tradition of cattle shows and the county fair. God is good!
After lunch, they recognized all the first year 4-H beef exhibitors. Matthew is proud! (And he knows how to smile for Granny's camera). :)
They each got a bucket to help them keep up the good work as young cattlemen (and women).
Aunt Fer and Ella enjoyed watching the show.
Elsewhere around the fairgrounds, we found delicious fish sandwiches...
and pretty purple horses (according to Haleigh).
We drank some yummy lemonade...
and got our heart broken a few times.

It's tough to be a little girl sometimes! (Especially on long, hot days at the fair.)
We squeezed through the barn exit...
and rode the merry-go-round with Grandpa.
We caught up with old friends at the horse barn...
and enjoyed a sweet treat.
A perfect day at the Decatur County Fair!