Six Word Saturday…August 28

Welcome to SWS hosted by Cate at

My six words for today are:      Happy 24th Birthday to you, Jennifer! 

Today is “our Jennifer’s” birthday…she turns 24 years old!   

 Jennifer is special to us,  and we already claim her as “ours”. 

We will be helping her celebrate her special day by having a cookout/birthday party this afternoon..

It will be her first birthday without her mom, so we know that it will be a bittersweet day for her. 

However, our wild and crazy family will do our best to make sure that Jennifer has a fun and memorable birthday! 

We love  you, Jenn! 

Jennifer and Brad

Published in: on August 28, 2010 at 9:05 am  Comments (11)  

Thursday’s Thoughts…My Daddy

Today is April 15th…deadline for filing income taxes.  It was also my daddy’s birthday.  I always used to think April 15 would be a horrible day to have  a birthday!  Now I really don’t guess it is so bad, as long as you’ve  filed your taxes in a timely manner. 

 Anyway, it’s been almost 19 years since daddy passed away.  He died just after his 65th birthday.  I didn’t think so then, but today 65 seems so young.  Funny how time changes one’s perception of age…

mama, daddy, and my daughter Brandy on his birthday/Easter in 1979

The picture above was made in 1979–the year that Easter and daddy’s birthday fell on the same day…hence the Easter basket and birthday cake on the table.  I don’t know why in the world mama bought such a big birthday cake that year, but I am sure daddy enjoyed his share of cake and ice cream!  He loved to eat.

This old photograph brings back memories of some good times. I tend to remember the bad times more than the good times for some reason, and I don’t know why. Maybe because the hurt and disappointment runs deep, and I have a problem with forgiveness…but I’m working on that!

Daddy was a good man, he loved his family, and he had a lot of friends. Unfortunately he had a problem with prescription drugs and alcohol, and he never could  gain control of those problems, despite many tries. 

Daddy was a Christian man, and you would find him actively involved  in church during the good periods of his life.  Unfortunately, most of daddy’s life was a series of ups and downs–good and bad periods.

Despite daddy’s substance abuse problems, he managed to keep a roof over his family’s head, and  food in the house. There were some hard times, but they made it through–thanks to the help of family and friends–and God up above.  Among the trying times, were also some very good times, and I need to remember more of those times, and less of the others.

One thing I can definately say about daddy–he loved mama–and let me tell you–loving mama wasn’t always easy!  She had a mean streak a mile wide, and it took a special man to live with her.  Now don’t misunderstand, mama wasn’t a bad person, but she could  be difficult sometimes.  Daddy not only lived with her, he adored her. Sometimes she made his life a living hell, but he loved her anyway. 

daddy and mama in their flower garden...vegetable garden is behind them

Daddy had a “green thumb” and could grow anything! He planted and grew many gardens even though he always lived in town. He could grow enough in his small garden to feed two families through the winter.  Mama had a real talent with plants, and could grow beautiful flowers. Unfortunately, I did not inherit their talents, but I keep trying. My brother likes to grow things, and is much better at it than me.

Daddy loved his grandchildren. I think my youngest son, Brad, was daddy’s favorite out of my three. Perhaps because daddy knew that it would be his last…Brad was just 3 years old when daddy went into the nursing home. I see so much resemblance of daddy in Brad, especially his smile. I think Brad gets some of his personality from daddy.  Brad’s very social, and rarely meets a stranger.

It’s hard to believe that daddy’s been gone for 19 years.  It hardly seems possible.  Today he would’ve been 84 years old–and that hardly seems possible either!  I don’t know that I will still be here to celebrate age 84, but I sure as heck hope I make it well past 65!

I’m sure it’s better where daddy is  than it ever was here.  Daddy endured a long illness, and  geat suffering before leaving this earth.  It was such a relief to see him take his last breath, and suffer no more…  I believe he is celebrating his birthdays in heaven  these days…with Jesus and mama.

Published in: on April 15, 2010 at 8:41 am  Comments (2)  
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That Cake Was Smokin’…The Gifts?..Not So Hot

Our youngest son, Brad, was born on the eleventh of July, which meant that sometimes our family was on vacation  trips when we celebrated his birthday.  One particular birthday was especially memorable for a couple of reasons.

Our family of five was on vacation in Helen, Georgia when Brad’s birthday rolled around. We enjoyed taking the family to Helen because the little town looks like an Alpine Village, and there were several family activities to do there.  We’d ride inner tubes down the river during the day, and go to the amusement park at night.  There were dozens of little shops to browse through as well.  It was inexpensive family fun, and gave us the feeling of being in the Swiss Alps–in Georgia!

Brad and his not-so-hot gifts

Problem number one began when I decided to wrap some small, inexpensive “prizes” up for Brad to open on his birthday.  The reason for this decision was two-fold.  First of all, we didn’t have a lot of room to take much extra stuff, and second I planned to stop by Toys R Us on the way home from our trip and let Brad pick out his own gift.

Of course, we didn’t have a birthday cake with us, but we found a tiny chocolate cake at a nearby little country store that looked delicious and would be just big enough for each one of us to have a piece.  I found some candles there, too, so we were ready for one more birthday celebration on the road.

In those days we usually stayed in our camper on all of our vacation trips, but for some reason, we decided to rent a motel room for the evening  of Brad’s birthday.  We may have recently sold our camper, I can’t remember.

  We didn’t stay in many motels, so that was a rare treat for all of us.  We took our cake and candles back to the motel room, and began preparing to have our little party for Brad.

Brad lights up his cake while sis looks on

We put the candles on the cake, lit them, and sang to Brad.  He made his wish and blew out the candles.  That’s when problem number two happened…once Brad blew those candles out, they began to billow smoke like a freight train!  They smoked so bad that we grabbed the cake and ran out the door because we were afraid the smoke detector was going to blow!  We all had a big laugh about that smokin’ cake–after we calmed down.  By the way, the cake was delicious–the best part of the entire evening.

Once the smoke had cleared, Brad began to open the little prizes.  After about the second one, it was obvious that he was not impressed one bit!  In fact, by the time he finished opening the last package, he was downright mad.  I felt horrible.  I’d so misjudged how he would react.  He was such a happy-go-lucky fella’ that I thought he’d be amused by the prizes, and be happy to do his own shopping.  That was not the case at all.  Even when we explained that he could pick out whatever he wanted, he still wasn’t  happy.

On the way home, we did stop at Toys R Us,  and Brad picked out his own gift.  If my memory serves me correctly it was a radio controled boat–a very nice one!  I learned my lesson that year though, no more cakes in motels–and no more “prize” substitutes instead of “real” presents!

Author’s note:  While trying to date these pictures, I finally noticed the motel decor–slate blue and mauve pink.  That means it was early to mid nineties.  Remember those colors?

Published in: on February 4, 2010 at 11:27 am  Comments (3)