Letters to my Mother

Yesterday, Easter Sunday, we drove up to visit my parents like we usually do. We enjoyed a nice, quiet lunch at Cotton Patch…..okay, just kidding, that place is so noisy, you have to yell to carry on a conversation. Afterward, we visited more at the house, and my nephew, his wife and their adorable 3 year daughter came by to visit.

I had asked mom for some letters that she had kept from the time my kids were small, so yesterday, she handed me a large envelope full of letters and some photos. YAY…..more treasures! Oh, but wait….maybe not. The first letter I opened was from El Paso in 1986, after I had moved there with my boyfriend. It was quite sobering, even though I was sober to begin with. How my life has changed since then. For the better, of course.

The rest of the letters were far more entertaining, written in the early 1980s when we had moved to the country and were living in a ramshackle farm-house that we were renovating. Renovating is really an exaggeration. Trying to keep it from falling in on our heads, is more accurate. Most of the time that we lived in Forney, Texas, we didn’t have a home phone, so I wrote letters to keep my parents informed of our general progress on the house and the kid’s activities. Just an aside…..the postage stamps ranged from 20 to 22 cents on these letters.

The farmhouse….we paid $2,500 cash for the house and had it moved around the corner to our 2 acres.

The house did look better about a year later, and was still standing in spite of the wood-burning stove in the living room. Luckily the house did not burn down the winter that everything froze up for more than a week. We endured cold winters, and very hot summers in that house….and lots of dust, dirt and construction. Whew.

 

The best thing in the envelope was a hand written poem, that was once set to music, that I wrote for my mom for Mother’s Day 1979. I actually don’t remember writing this down and decorating it like this, but I did.

And she kept it.

All these years.

And people say *I* am a hoarder!!!

This is quite fragile as it’s written on construction paper, and I even made an envelope from the paper also. Who knew I was so thoughtful and resourceful?

 

So, the most funny thing was a handwritten list, I must have been as young as 13-14…..titled “My Real Life Problems”….

I particularly love #15 and #18……my little brother was quite a brat back then. You can see I had a very low self-esteem, and I outgrew that for the most part. It does sneak in every once in a while to try to bring me down. I’m not sure about #14 as I never had trouble with my complexion, I was blessed with good genes in that department! Still, pretty funny to read now and see how insecure I was then. (this proves that I have always been a really good speller!)

 

When I began writing this today, I had intended to scan some of the actual hand written letters and include them; however, after re-reading them, they seem intensely personal to me, so I changed my mind. Some things are better left un-shared, I think. But, these letters reinforce my belief that my life has gone through a great many changes in the last 30-40 years, and I have come out on the other side a better person. The once painfully shy first grader who wouldn’t speak a word for six weeks, somehow morphed into a musician who loved to entertain on stage, and then became a force to be reckoned with in the retail world.

So, thanks mom, for keeping these for me. I am sorry for the many times I’ve let you down, and I’m thankful that you always forgave me, and you never gave up on me.

 

 

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A New Life

My daughter is expecting a baby boy in early April. This will be her third child. Her others are 21 and 19. Yes, Mother Nature is laughing wickedly in the distance at this blessed event. And so were the rest of us in the beginning, but after the shock wore off, we began to get excited about the new baby.

It’s been a very long time since I’ve looked forward to a new grandbaby, so I decided to make a baby afghan for this one. I had visions of a beautiful blanket in several shades of blue. However….Kelly chose brown. I was not so sure about brown. But, after looking at all the nursery sets at the store, I could see why she chose brown. Of course, there’s also blue and cream in the color scheme, but she wanted the afghan in brown. I’m not very proficient anymore with crochet, so I stuck to my tried and true ripple pattern. All I have to do is count to seven going up and back down. Whew. At my age, even that is daunting!

I found this adorable little lamb at Kohl’s and he looks so sweet, that today, I went back and bought another one for ME…..lol….and also a bear and kangaroo for the baby.

I promise not to spoil this grandbaby too much.

Oh what the heck….I will if I want to!

Techno-geek-wannabe…that’s ME!

Until 1998, my hubby and I did not own a computer at all. We entered into the technology world very hesitantly. When we bought our first PC, we didn’t even know what to ask for or look for, we just bought one that had a printer and a scanner, and it was almost $2,000.00. Now we are on our third desktop model and third laptop…..in 13 years. Prices have gone down considerably, but they are still not cheap. The current desktop is acting strange lately and I’m afraid it’s going to crash completely; I mean I am truly afraid! This is the computer we use to record music with, burn and print CDs and even though I now have an external hard drive for (hopefully) safekeeping of important documents, I’m clueless about how to retrieve anything from said hard drive. Everything I have learned in 13 years, I have learned by trial and error. Lots of errors!

Our very first computer....and the monstrous desk we thought we needed! Every home office/recording studio should also have a saddle.....
Much smaller desk, much larger monitor, and yes, more recording equipment! Lots of clutter, too.....one of my many faults!

Last week, my faithful laptop crashed and I’ve been lost without it. I dropped it off today at the local techno-repair place, entrusting it to the care of a nice young man who’s probably younger in age than most of my shoes. He assured me that he could even retrieve all my music, photos and documents from my last laptop that crashed 3 years ago, that is sitting forlornly in my closet. My husband, Mike tried to give that one away and I fairly screamed……NO!!!!!……all my stuff is in there! I know it’s still in there. I watch C.S.I.  I know that nothing is ever really “gone” from a hard drive!

Mike has a smaller laptop which he has tried to get me to “borrow” from him while mine is out of service, but I declined. It’s like driving a strange car, you know? I’ll just do without my laptop until the nice young man calls. I know I shouldn’t be so lost without my laptop, I have an iPhone, a Kindle Fire and my desktop; it’s just like a security blanket to me. Even while we are watching TV, I am constantly looking up facts and trivia on sites like IMDB, one of my favorites, so I can impress Mike with all the information.

I confess I have a love/hate relationship with technology, I love how easy it is to make music digitally, but I hate it when things don’t work like they should. I’m forever saying “but that should WORK, I know it should”! Just this morning, I was trying to print a label on a CD, like I have done hundreds of times, and the printer kept spitting the tray out and telling me it was not in place correctly. I beg your pardon, Mr. Epson Stylus, but it WAS in place correctly. You are not doing your job! You’re fired!

So, how did I function before computers came into my life? My phone was wired into the wall, my pictures were printed and kept in an album (or shoebox), my music was on cassettes or CDs, I played a lovely Yamaha acoustic piano and I sang without a microphone.

My gorgeous Yamaha......such a beautiful sounding instrument.
Band-in-a-box.....really cool software!
Cakewalk Music Creator recording software.....

But, now, I can record semi-professional sounding tracks, make videos with the songs and post them on youtube, or my blog; I can email them to my parents, I can burn and print music CDs to mail to my parents (see a theme here?) … or I can just keep them on my computer forever.

Until I die.

Or until my computer crashes.

Whichever comes first……

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Here’s a song that my daughter Kelly is singing….she asked me to make the piano track for her so she could sing this Gretchen Wilson tune…..

“I’d Love to Be Your Last”

……..and THIS is why I love technology…….