Happy 50th Anniversary ~ Melodie & Ron!

Fifty years ago today, I stood by my sister’s side as she said her wedding vows. Melodie was marrying her soul-mate, Ron. I watched them look into each other’s eyes, and I knew their marriage would last. Here is what Mel has to say about her life with Ron and a short montage after.


“Ron and I celebrate 50 years of marriage today! We are so blessed to have each other and still be so in love! We did not have beautiful wedding photos so during the past year we dressed up and took many pictures of us at several special places! It was great fun! Once we had taken all the photos my dear sister made a wonderful slide show set to our pick of music! Thank you Maribeth for doing this for us!! We hope you all enjoy it!”

Happy 50th Anniversary!

Birthday Girl ~ That’s Me!

Today is my 63rd birthday. Odd. How did that happen? I do not feel that old. Officially, according to Social Security, I am not old. In order to get my full retirement, I have to wait until I am 67 and a half, so you see, I am still very young!

I was born and raised on Cape Cod, in Massachusetts. I still feel that the Cape will always be my home, even if I don’t get down there too often.


I was the youngest child of three, and I guess a bit of a tom-boy. I loved playing trucks and riding my bicycle all over town. I did like Barbie Dolls and played them with my sister and cousin. But I was equally happy climbing trees and going on adventures along creeks and swamps.


I did many things alone. I would ride down to the beach and climb the jetties. I would sit and dream and lose myself in thought.

I also tried to make people laugh. At times life was hard, and I could joke around and get people smiling.

Yet, as a young woman, I seemed to lose that child-like confidence. Although many would say I was outgoing, not many knew how I worried I was inside of falling on my face and failing.

Now I am sixty-three. Golly, I have learned so much along the way. But, oh, that insecure woman still resides within, and occasionally rears her ugly head.

I find my peace with my pups. Walking them or holding them or waking to their morning face licks. Unconditional love. Given freely, by my fur babies meant so much.


Having a grown-up daughter is amazing, and watching the wonderful mother she is with her children, makes me proud. She is a self-made woman. What an amazing person she is!


My grandchildren are everything. Savannah tells me her secrets and stories, and Quinn is coming into his own. He always checks to see if I remembered his Bai water when I come down, and recently my Kindergartener made me a card all by himself. To Oma, Love, Quinn. Why? Just because.


The hugs, their smiles, watching them grow puts a smile on me like you cannot believe. How grateful I am.

So life at 63 isn’t too bad. It’s not quite what I thought it would be, but it is a good life nonetheless.

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So, Happy Birthday to me!


Twenty Years Later ~ September 11th 2001

I think we all can tell you where we were, and what we were doing on that fateful day, in September.

September 11, 2001

It was a beautiful day here in New Hampshire. Sunny, bright, clear with blue skies. I was taking a shower getting ready for a dental appointment, while Jack was working on shingling the house. It was a day like any other here.

Jack had the TV in our bedroom pointed out the window so he could listen to the morning news.

Suddenly, I felt a hand on my arm and Jack told me I had to get out of the shower now, something was happening. I was a little dazed and confused. I shut the water in the shower off and grabbed my towel.


Jack and I sat in our family room watching Fox News, ABC, and CNN. A plane had hit one of the Twin Towers at the World Trade Center in downtown New York City. Jack, as a former Airline Pilot knew immediately, that it was no accident.



While we watched, suddenly another plane came in and hit the other Tower!
We were both in shock. We listened to reports. No one was saying terrorism, not at first. But both Jack and I knew.


I look at this picture, and I know that none of those innocent people got out alive. That thought brings me to tears each time I see it.

We watched the Towers come down, one and then the other. We knew people had died. We just didn’t know how many.

At 12:30 I drove to my dental appointment. There was not another car on the road. Not one. I got to my dental appointment and found that I was the only patient that hadn’t canceled that day.

When I got home we watched the TV all day. I called my family and my close friends. Just to hear their voices.

It doesn’t matter your political affiliations, or how you feel about war. What matters is on September 11, 2001, innocent people died in New York City, In Washington, DC, and in Shanksville, PA.

People like you and like me. Just because. That was the day I learned that we are no longer safe here at home.


I also learned that when our country is attacked in such a manner, we pull together and unify.

God Bless all who lost their lives that day, to their families, who will never be the same, and all who serve this country each and every day to protect and defend us.

September 11, 2001: Basic Facts

8:46 AM Plane crashes into the north tower of the World Trade Center.
9:03 AM Plane crashes into the south tower of the World Trade Center.
9:17 AM The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) shuts down all New York City area airports.
9:21 AM The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) halts all flights at U.S. airports. It is the first
time in history that air traffic has been halted nationwide.
9:38 AM Plane crashes into the Pentagon. Evacuation begins immediately.
9:45 AM The White House evacuates.
10:05 AM The south tower of the World Trade Center collapses.
10:10 AM A portion of the Pentagon collapses.
10:10 AM Plane crashes in Somerset County, Pennsylvania.
10:22 AM The State and Justice Departments, as well as the World Bank, are evacuated.
10:28 AM The World Trade Center’s north tower collapses.
10:45 AM All federal office buildings in Washington, D.C. are evacuated.
1:44 PM Five warships and two aircraft carriers are ordered to leave the U.S. Naval Station
in Norfolk, Virginia to protect the East Coast.
4:10 PM Building 7 of the World Trade Center collapses.

The Flights
American Airlines Flight 11
From: Boston, Massachusetts (Logan Airport)
To: Los Angeles, California
Lives: 92 people on board
Crashed into North Tower of World Trade Center at 8:46 AM

United Airlines Flight 175
From: Boston, Massachusetts (Logan Airport)
To: Los Angeles, California
Lives: 65 people on board
Crashed into South Tower of the World Trade Center at 9:03 AM

American Airlines Flight 77
From: Washington, D.C. (Dulles Airport)
To: Los Angeles, CA
Lives: 64 people on board
Crashed into the Pentagon at 9:38 AM

United Airlines Flight 93
From: Newark, New Jersey
To: San Francisco, California
Lives: 44 people on board
Crashed into rural Pennsylvania (southeast of Pittsburgh)

Victims came from more than 90 countries around the world.
The following are the number of people who died at each site:

World Trade Center 2,823 (includes airline passengers)
Pentagon 125 (not including plane victims)
Flight 11 – 92 people on board
Flight 175 – 64 people on board
Flight 77 – 64 people on board
Flight 93 – 44 people on board

The initial numbers are indelible: 8:46 a.m. and 9:02 a.m, the times the Towers were hit. Time the burning towers stood: 56 minutes and 102 minutes. The time they took to fall: 12 seconds. From there, they ripple out.

That day, these first responders also died, as they raced to the scene trying to save anyone they could.

343 Firefighters (including a chaplain and two paramedics) of the New York City Fire Department (FDNY)
37 Police Officers of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey Police Department (PAPD)
23 Police Officers of the New York City Police Department (NYPD) and
8 Emergency Medical Technicians and Paramedics from private emergency medical services
1 Patrolman from the New York Fire Patrol

Fact Sheet
U.S. Department of State
Washington, DC
August 15, 2002

Maribeth Dackel

The Friday Five ~ July 23rd

Today is my sister’s birthday. I wish we were together, but sadly, traveling is still an issue for me. I wanted to tell you all what a wonderful sister Melodie is.

  1. She is five and a half years older than me, and I was her “first baby”. She cared for me like a little mother and was always more like a mother to me, than a sister.
  2. Mel is one of the kindest women that I know. She always has a smile and a warm greeting for those around her. She loves her family with her whole heart and rejoices in their successes and comforts them in their sorrows. If you are lucky enough to be loved by my sister, you will know that her love is a constant and she will always be there for you.

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Ron and Melodie

3. She has been married to her husband, Ron for almost 50 years. They met at the age of 13 at summer camp and wrote to each other for many years before their wedding in November of 1971.

4. They raised a great family and have six grandchildren. They always tried to put the kids first and over the years did many fun things with all of them.

5. So today, on her sixty-eighth birthday I want to wish my beloved sister, Melodie a very Happy Birthday!


Happy 9th Birthday ~ Savannah!!!

Today is my granddaughter, Savannah Rose’s 9th Birthday! It seems like just yesterday that I stepped into my daughter’s hospital room and saw this tiny, perfect baby girl lying in her cot.

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I remember staring and then asking if I could pick her up? Mandy laughed and said, “Of course”!

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I picked her up and held her close and stared into her beautiful face. I felt nothing but pure sweet love wash over me!

June 02 12 009I remember feeling immediately, that she’d always been with me. As if my soul knew hers.


As the years have gone by, we have shared so much. Stories at bedtime, sleepovers, making tea and cookies together, and all the secret dreams she has shared with me.


The best thing is that now, at 8 years old, Savannah can tell me exactly what she is thinking and feeling and we share even more in life.


Every time I enjoy something with Savi, it’s like I have enjoyed it for the very first time.

You are my sunshine and my smiles and you have made me the happiest Oma in the entire world!


Happy Birthday to my darling Savannah Rose!
I love you to the Moon and back!

Sixteen Years

I noticed today that it is now sixteen years since I started to write Dackel Princess. Where has the time gone? I recall thinking that only three or four people would ever read me, and those people were all related to me.

Here is the LINK to the first entry I made all those years ago

However, over the years I have met so many great people as they found my blog. It really has been a thrill!

It all started with Shubi and then Greta and Fritz. My original three all those years ago.

Shubi Greta FritzShubi, Greta, & Fritz

Shubi was at the end of her time with us, and Greta and Fritz were puppies! Time sure does fly when one is having fun! And these three were so much fun!

Of course, soon Greta took a husband and she brought to us, Arnie & Anneliese. Fritz went to Rainbow Bridge and we got his niece, Lili.

Arnie Anneliese and LilArnie, Anneliese, & Lili

Of course, Anneliese left us in January, but there is still a lot of doggy love in this house!

During this time I also became an Oma! That is the best yet! Two beautiful and very special people named Savannah and Quinn came into my life. They are the loves of my life, along with my wonderful daughter, Mandy.

BeFunky-collage 2 (2)So in 16 years, so much has changed, but the love continues and the joy of sharing my life with my family, friends, and my pets continues. Each day presents an opportunity to find something new in life!

So Happy 16th Blogoversary to me!

Rest in Peace, Benn

I was feeling like I wanted to reach out to a few people on Friday night, so I sat down with my Cell Phone and dialed away. The first person wasn’t home, and so I dialed up the second person.

There was no answer, but although unusual I had thought perhaps he was getting dinner at a restaurant or something. So I left a quickie message and was just hanging up when the phone began to ring.

It showed me that it was my friend, Benn. I said hello to my friend, but it turned out it was his nephew. Who painfully told me that Benn had passed away.

Now Benn was 83. And I had known him for almost 35 years. He was the Best Man at our wedding, and we stayed with him in Miami whenever Jack was in training with Pan Am. Benn also flew for them.

Over the years the memories were good ones, and I will smile and recall my friend as my life goes on.

Rest in peace, dearest Benn. I will remember you always, and I will be forever thankful for the friendship that we shared.

Happy 33rd Anniversary to Us

Today, Jack and I celebrate 33 years of marriage. It doesn’t seem possible that it has been that long. In the grand scheme of things, 33 years is like forever in a Hollywood marriage. And at my age (62) it certainly is a large chunk of time.


In our thirty-three years of marriage, we have had 4 White German Shepherds, Rex, Max, Fritz, and Lili. Four Wire-haired Dackels, Shubi, Greta, Arnie, and Anneliese, and lived in four homes. One was a farm in Lyndeborough, NH; a very beautiful ranch home in Punta Gorda, FL; in a motorcoach here in Meredith, NH for 9 long months; while we built our current home, and lastly, this beautiful house, that Jack and I designed.

We had four children, between us. Three are living, and they have grown up to be really good people. We also have two of the most beautiful, and wonderful grandchildren on the face of the earth!

Marriage is never easy, even if you are married to your best friend. There are days you want to murder each other, but lucky for us, those days were few and far between.

Forgiveness is so important when you live with someone this long. People do stupid things, and if you can’t forgive them, then you are with the wrong person. I am the Queen of stupid things and I am married to the King of stupid things. So it’s a good thing we forgive and forget.

You will also find during a long-term marriage (or relationship) that there will be those days when your significant other just makes you crazy. Whether it’s how they are chewing their food, or even sipping their soup, you will sit there and wonder how you never noticed this before!

But then, there are those times when a little look, the warmth of a hug, or a gentle squeeze of your hand, will make you feel loved and safe. During my illness in 2017, when I felt like I was dying, I was so scared, and Jack just kept the home fires burning, cooked my meals, did the laundry, and did not allow me to believe that I was leaving this earth.

Likewise, not even six months after that, when he got the infection in his foot that led to the amputation of his toe, I made sure I was at the hospital each day. I brought him goodies to eat, stayed to speak with each doctor, and informed Jack, he wasn’t leaving me yet.

No, marriage isn’t easy, but the pros far outweigh the cons, and life would be, so lonely, without my Jack.

Even after all these years, Jack is still the first person I want to speak to in the morning, and the last person I want to speak to at night.

I made up a short montage of our life together using one of our favorite songs. I hope you enjoy it!

wedding photos
Happy Anniversary Jack!

Happy #62 to Me!

I started my life sixty-two years ago on a cold and blustery day. I weighed 9 lbs and one ounce and my (not even 5 foot tall), mother swears I nearly killed her.

img089Cute, huh?

Of course, being born at noon meant that she was back in her room in time for lunch. Lunch that day was a turkey sandwich! So I didn’t wreck her day completely.


I was the youngest of three children and you know what they say, the youngest is the most spoiled.


I didn’t feel that way, of course, as there seemed to be an expectation to excel. I did try for a while and then when I hit my teens I went in the opposite direction and rebelled!


I may not always have made the best choices in my life, but somehow I made my way and I was blessed with two daughters, Mandy and Katie,

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and now my grandchildren, Savannah and Quinn.


Hmmm! Sixty-two! Imagine that? I remember as a kid when my grandmother and then my mother were this age. Somehow they seemed like old ladies! I certainly don’t feel like that. There is so much left that I want to do!

20200831_142448We have so much fun together and these two are the light of my life! I am so very blessed!


So, Happy Birthday to me!

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I am thrilled to announce a rather big milestone for me. I started this journey for weight loss, healthful living, and being able to look into the mirror and like the person, I was seeing, back on January 1st.

It has not been easy, but I’ve been so faithful and decided that this wasn’t something I was going to do partially, but a change I will make for the rest of my life.

…Drum-roll, please…

…I have now lost…

November 10I’m not quite done, although I am very close to my goal weight. And when I look at the grand total lost, I am so proud of myself.

WOD2G2-20201109_160008I’ve been blessed with a group of 12 women. Despite Covid, we have gotten together each week and shared our journeys together. Several of these women I have known since 2008. They’re family.

A few times along the way I called one or the other of them as I was close to blowing the whole thing. They all had my back.

It is tough. Some days are harder than others, some are easier. In the end, it has all been worth it.

So today, as I celebrate 60.2 pounds gone, I wanted to share that as hard as this is if you want it enough, and believe in yourself, you can do it too!

Sig file for Dackel