Pro-action vs Re-action

This made me think of my Grandpa Jackson.

He would tell me about his Dog. He always had a dog.

He would say that his Dog was the Best dog.

He would tell me that his Dog was always a Good dog.

I would point out that his Dog was peeing on the floor.

He would just laugh and say, “well maybe right now, but he won’t get better if you focus on what he’s done wrong.”

I think this is a good lesson for today.

We get bombarded by faults. What is: Wrong, Bad, Illegal, and Salacious seems to get all the attention. People seek attention, and behavior is becoming more and more bizarre.

Today I’m grateful for reminders of my Grandfather, and opportunities to treat people as they could be.

My boys and how we roll, Tolkien, Rowling, and Martin.

Like when they were little, getting them still for a photo was OH SO CHALLENGING! But so much fun.

Getting them out to watch a movie with me was an even greater fete. My Mother’s Day wish was to see Tolkien, The movie with them. That was it…a movie with them……

My oldest, on the right, was really protesting. He was not in to going to see it, which had me baffled. He’s been the Tolkien fan since he was 12. He read my copy of the Hobbit, that I had kept from 7th grade.

I remember reading it for the first time, and loving every page. I never stopped reading Tolkien in every form. I watched every movie, every cartoon, every screen play, everything I could ever consume, and I shared it all with my boys.

I played the Momma card, “it’s Mother’s Day”, the only thing I wanted was to go see the movie with both boys. I traveled to Phoenix to do it, I wasn’t giving up. I shouldn’t have had to work so hard to go to a movie…..I was kinda grumpy about the resistance, I have to say.

At the finish of Tolkien The Movie, we just all sat there….weepy, and overwhelmed at what we had experienced. We had some time, just the three of us to hang out and discuss what aspects of Tolkien, The Movie, we enjoy the most, which books brought us the most joy, and which Movie adaptations of Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit we liked, and why. Why the Hobbit, The Movie, didn’t need Legolas! Lot’s of Eye Rolling was done by all, let me tell you.

Why Tolkien, was the premier author who brought books to life along with their own culture and language that he had created….and how he might have inspired JK Rowling to create such a great culture and language in her books too.

Then we went back to my Brother’s house to suffer through the latest episode of Game of Thrones. It’s not Tolkien, by a long shot. Darn it. But George R. R. Martin did create cultures and language and lots of death and destruction in his novels too. My oldest and I both read the first 7 books of Martin’s before Game of Thrones made it’s debut. HBO tried hard, but it didn’t mark the majesty of the books, or the goodness of the characters he developed.

Have you ever had the joy of sharing one of your passions with your kids, and see them enjoy it too?

There is nothing that has made me a happier mom, then to have my boys love the same authors that have brought me joy. It gives us soooo much to talk about.

Gratitude Tuesday

My youngest son is Graduating on the 25th.

He’s put together his first resume, and has completed 3 interviews.

His first big job offer came in yesterday.

Mom is quite beside herself.

All the faces after 25 years.

My boys, and they have my face, our faces….God help them. They are the mash up between David and I.

They didn’t fall far from the tree. They scraped bark, all the way down. Between my husband and I they have The dimples, Holy smokes….The Chin, The nose, The smile, The eyes, The personalities, the quirks. I’m in awe. They are us, and we are them. I’m such a blessed mama.

When you find yourself amongst your own family, how can that not be home?

The first utterance of gratitude from me is for my family. I’m so blessed to have boys. I really don’t know where I’d be without them.

I can’t wait to see what comes next for my family.

A Christmas Tradition

The 10 of us gathered to enjoy the day. Since we would all be scattered about on Christmas Day, we decided to have our feast on the 23rd.

Our Humble house of Beef served a 13 pound Prime Rib with all the fixings.

Lots of laughter, wine, and prayer with the family.

What a great day.

Where ever you might be for Christmas, I’m wishing you and yours the very best.

Merry Christmas.

Polkas, Shiner, and a party to send off Papa Jack

My husband on the right, and his brother Tom on the left. My husband definitely looks like his Uncle Jack.

The third funeral this month. Uncle Jack, Papa Jack, Alvin Jack Klesel, of Schulenberg, TX.

Uncle Jack was my favorite of my husband’s family. Since I started dating my husband in 1991, Jack was always kind to me.

Jack was just one of those souls that connected with everyone immediately. He didn’t know a stranger. He was fun, interesting, loving, kind, funny, smart, and just always engaged in what was going on.

He served in WWII, in the Army Air-corps in the Burma/China Theatre. As a clerk in the intelligence wing, he debriefed the Doolittle Raiders upon their return from Tokyo.

When he returned from the war, he had a Grocery Store, the Shiner Beer Distributorship, a Truck Repair shop, and an Insurance Agency.

He had great stories, a great family, he was always involved in his community and church. It was a great honor that one of the Bishops from the Galveston-Houston Diocese came to give the Funeral Mass for Papa Jack.

After leaving St. Rose of Lima Catholic Church, we took the short walk to the cemetery for the graveside service. The VFW officers, and the Knights of Columbus in Full Uniform with swords were on guard. It was a full military service with a 21 gun salute, Taps, the flag folding and presentation. I lost it when they started playing Taps. It was a two hanky cry, for sure.

There was more though! Chris Rybak, “The Accordion Cowboy” played As The Saints Go Marching In as things were wrapping up. We went from crying to singing along, just like Papa Jack would have wanted.

We walked from the Grave site to the Knights of Columbus Hall across the street for the Reception. Everyone who attended the funeral was invited, and encouraged to come. This was a big thing, especially since the Bishop showed up to give Mass. The church was full.

There was beer, a big fried chicken lunch, lots of Kolaches, German Chocolate Cake, Strudel, pies, and Iced Tea.

Chris Rybak, one of Jack’s favorite Polka guys, played all through the reception, and of course, several got up to dance. Just like Papa Jack would have wanted.

I sincerely hope I don’t have to go to a funeral for a while. But this one, for a 96 year old man, who served his country, his community, his church, and his family, is something I will think about for a very long time.

Holidays and Funerals

Image from Pinterest.

It’s been a bit of a sad month.

A Cousin, an Uncle, a Co-worker, and now a Dear, dear friend have all passed this month. Two funerals down, and 2 more to go.

When I got the news that a dear friend had passed on Thanksgiving. I had a really hard time with it. Carruth Gerault was a Big, Big, personality. I’d known him since 1991. He was with my husband when we met at a Christmas party. He helped me meet realtors when I was a fledgling loan officer. He helped me get involved in the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo. His daughters babysat my boys. He was always my friends always good to my boys, and when my husband proposed to me…….he took my husband aside and told him that he was happy for him, and that if he screwed things up with me he’d kick his butt.

Carruth had remarried 10 years ago. He was a confirmed bachelor for 15 years after his divorce. He was so cute. When he was telling us about meeting his beloved Claudia, he had showed up for a construction job he was consulting. He said ” She opened the door, and I couldn’t speak. All I could think was ‘ I am going to marry this woman.'”

I’m going to sincerely miss “the mouth of the south”. He was a really tall, skinny Texan, with a big hat. His parents were personal friends of Billy Graham. He loved God, and Scotch, and dancing, and the rodeo, his family, and people. Carruth loved people, and people loved Carruth.

God Bless you Carruth, God speed you home.

I have a small family

Nobody left from my parent’s generation for my niece and nephew.

Just me and my brother for our generation from our family.

I woke up today thinking of my niece and nephew. They may not have grandparents, but they have an Aunt Wendy.

I found some fun costumes for play on Amazon and sent them out.

My niece M modeling the chefs costume I sent out. She’s a very serious cook!

Is there a magic rule?

There is something about real life, and trying to spend time with someone.

One of the things I wanted most from my parents was that they spend time with my children and get to know them.

I’m beginning to wonder if that was just an odd request from me.

Being near family, I am starting to realize that not everyone wants time.

I’m here to spend it, but there doesn’t seem to be much interest. My son is busy, my brother is busy, my sister in law is busy, the kids are busy, busy, busy, busy, busy……. We’ve only had this trip planned since April.

I’m glad my VRBO is cheap, and close to where I need to be.

Hanging out until the birthday party tonight and watching something really sad on Netfix. I hope it goes well tonight. I’m ready to go home.

Gifts are cheap when not wanted.

I get to see my baby tonight.

My oldest son moved to Phoenix almost 5 years ago.

He’s made a good success of his life, and is really happy living in the desert.

We are meeting up for dinner, and I can’t wait to get some face time with him.

He’s a bit of a mini-me.

I’m taking him Books, Emerson, Brett Bayer’s Three Days in Moscow, and we are going to a fun place that does Tequila tasting.

I’m sure that will be followed up by a spirited political discussion, a listing of all the projects going on and their progress, and a coaching session on our shared profession. He will probably be coaching me. 😁

I can’t believe he’s going to be 30 in October.

The plane can’t fly fast enough.

Today, I’m grateful for my job, that brings me to clients that are so close by to my family.