Lucky Sisters

When I was born many years ago, my mother became quite ill. Her thyroid quit on her and depression set in. Imagine having a brand new baby and being in the throes of depression?

My grandmother came to care for her daughter and the family, but a son-in-law, two other children, and a new baby presented her with a lot to do.

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I was a sweet baby, but let’s face it, I was a 9 pound-plus baby who liked to eat, even back then.

Thus, my five and a half-year-old sister became my mother. She changed diapers, fed me my bottle, and cooed at me and lulled me to sleep.

It took my mother a long time to recover, and by the time she was stable on thyroid medication, I had bonded with my sister.

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When I would fall and have a boo-boo I wanted Mel. If I woke in the night with a bad dream, I wanted Mel. I think, looking back, it must have been hard for my mother to see that her baby, didn’t come running to her.

But you see, I was very lucky. Melodie was the best thing that ever happened to me.

My Mom suffered from deep depression most of the remainder of her life. The dark moods often came when I would need a mother the most, and for me, Melodie was always there.

I joke with her kids that I was her first child, but in reality, I really was. She would give me baths, read to me, and calm my fears and pains. She even snuck into the hospital to see me, when at age four I had my appendix out.

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I have not seen her since Christmas. Although we talk on the phone every day. In fact, if life gets crazy and I don’t call, she worries!  And if I don’t hear from her, I also get concerned.

Sometimes if you are lucky, and your birth mother cannot be there for you, due to illness or perhaps they were young and unable to care for you, another woman will step in and fill that role.

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For me, it was my sister, Melodie. Young as she was, she stepped up to the plate. She loves with her whole heart and she loves deeply. How fortunate I have been to have her in my life.

I love you, Melodie!

Maribeth Dackel

Crazy Busy!

Forgive me, dear readers, for not being on top of things in the last week. I’ve been pretty busy, and by the time evening rolls around, all I am thinking about is climbing into my cool, comfortable, bed.

Excessive heat combined with errands and mail runs, and then laundry, groceries, and dogs. Well, heck, at 61 I admit, I’m tired!

But something happened today that hasn’t happened in a long time. I heard my cell phone ring and I was doing laundry in the basement, so I ran up the stairs. Yes, you read that right. I RAN up the stairs, and best of all, I did not collapse at the top of them!

I also had another wonderful moment today! I am now 47.4 pounds down! Now this made me pretty happy, especially when I put a picture from a year ago next to my most recent picture. I feel like I am starting to look like the Me, I feel I am.

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On the left is June 2019 and on the right July 2020

I still have a ways to go in my plan for weight loss and better health, but I am really proud of what I have accomplished!

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Finding Joy

During Covid-19, many people are having trouble finding the joy in life. Right now, life is still hard.

Many people are still not working, and many are working from home which can be its own source of stress. Long hours, children running around in a state of summer boredom, and those darn meals and dishes that don’t seem to ever get done by themselves.

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I’m dealing with a husband, who has been in lockdown since mid-March. He has gotten short-tempered and sees very little joy in his life. He yells a lot. He yells at the TV and at me. Last night I had just about had it.

Early on, during the Covid-19 Lockdown, I admit to being scared, literally a wreck! I would wake in the morning with aching jaws after clenching my teeth all night long. Thankfully, I have a bite guard, or all my teeth would be cracked by now!

Anyway, I decided that I needed to find joy in each day of my life. Be it big or small.

Certainly, the success I have had on the WW Plan with losing weight has helped me, and I worked hard creating good meals for us and trying very hard to live in the land of light.

Once I began to see my grandchildren every few weeks, that also has helped.

My daughter’s family has isolated very strictly like I have. Hygiene is the most important thing for me and for them. So expanding our bubble to include each other has been such a joy!

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Tending to, and finding a return to health for Arnie and Anneliese, although stressful at the start, makes me feel so very happy.

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Things in the world are crazy and wild, but I try to stay grounded and remember the love, the joy, and the hope for a better future for us all.

I know it isn’t like this for everyone, and I wish I could help them find their own Joy, but this is something they must do for themselves.

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Have you been able to find your joy during Covid-19?

Why Tuesday Is The Best Day Of My Week

During this horrid Covid-19 lock-down there were not too many days I would have termed as my good days. It was a very narrowly lived life. I fixed three meals a day and would go out once a week to collect mail and groceries, before racing home and jumping into the shower to de-germ myself.

My State has been doing very well. We have been on the way down with new cases, with only 15 new patients on Monday and Tuesday. Best of all, there have been no deaths in a few days!

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Last Tuesday my back row group of WW Attendees, my pals, my gals, my friends, all met up at a local park in my town. We get there early and bring our own lawn chair to sit on. We share the Big Lake (Lake Winnipesaukee) with the ducks and geese and the Ultra-Lite Planes, and we sit there talking and smiling at each other, while we enjoy being together once again.

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Most of us have been devoted friends since 2008. We gathered a few more into our group and we share our ups and downs and struggles, and best of all, when the chips are down for one of us, the others are there!

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In fact, after my Staph Infection, I quit WW. I told the girls I wasn’t coming back. I was miserable, depressed, and in pain, both physically and emotionally.

My girls arranged a lunch with me and took me out. They encouraged me, with their love and concern to come back. I realized I didn’t just need my Class, I needed them. So I went back.

From 2017 until 2019 I didn’t do too well in Class. But I never missed one meeting unless I was sick. Wednesday Morning = WW Class.

I wonder if WW will reopen our Class? I’m thinking that they may not. It isn’t that the Class wasn’t big enough, we were 50-75 people strong year-round. But the one strike against us is that we are all middle-aged women, and we do not fit WW’s new Branding. Too bad because there are a lot of us 60+-year-olds who have been loyal members for years.

Anyway, We’re going to keep meeting at the Lake for the Summer, and will figure out what to do in the Autumn when things begin getting colder around here. But, for now, we have each other once again!

Maribeth Dackel

Being Thankful

On Tuesday I had to bring my car to the shop to get it inspected for the year. She’s fairly new and since we have hardly driven her since her last oil change and new tires, she passed the exam with flying colors.

I’d had an idea in the morning to go and surprise my friend Carol. I have now lost 39.2 pounds and she has not seen me during this time. I thought, if I go over to her house and call her to come out onto her porch, she can see me!

So I dressed in nice clothes and off I went. After the tests at the Dealership, I drove over to her house! Oh, I was so excited! And it was even better than I thought!

I got out and threw my hands in the air and danced around Carol’s driveway! We both laughed and smiled, and it’s one of the best things I have felt since this whole Corona Virus started back on March 13th for me.

Nov 17 004A picture of Carol and me a few years ago. I love this picture!

The most poignant part was at the end. I kept telling her how much I love her and she kept saying I love you more! Yes, seeing someone who is this special in my life just made my entire day!

It was hot and sticky, but I did not care. I got to see my friend for the first time in several months! And for that I am thankful!

Maribeth Dackel

A New Normal

On Monday I decided that I would suit up, complete with masks and gloves and go to our local grocery store. We needed a few things, like fresh vegetables and I thought I should at least make an attempt.

The store had a few people and I was amazed at the beautiful produce in the stores. I was able to get broccoli, cauliflower, zucchini, and summer squash and my favorite eggplant! I was thrilled. I’d made a list and was able to get everything except eggs. There were no eggs. Thankfully I still have some.

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The store really was well stocked and people did have a lot to choose from. I thanked all the clerks I saw who were working hard to fill the shelves.

I was in the store for maybe 20 minutes as I raced up and down the isles. I did not want to be there too long.

In the check-out lane, I kept my distance from everyone and I noticed that some people were not being that careful.

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I’d worn jeans and a shirt I could wash up, and the coat I was wearing really needed a bath anyway, so when I got home I stripped in the laundry room and then finished cleaning up upstairs.

As I write (5:55 PM on Monday) it is snowing very hard outside. We are due to get 6-8 inches of heavy wet snow.

So much for Spring coming to our neck of the woods right now.

I hope, wherever you are, that you are safe and healthy and well.

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Grateful

Yesterday I went out for the first time since I was struck down with this blasted pneumonia. It felt good to be in the land of the living, but I admit to being paranoid by every coughing or sneezing person. So much so, that I had a surgical mask with me that I wore while I was out. And since it was only in the single digits temperature-wise, I had on my warm coat, a scarf, and my favorite hat.

winter 2Not me but a reasonable facsimile!

Since Jack had been wanting to go out to finish up some Christmas shopping, he asked if I felt up to going to the Liquor Outlet to buy gifts there too. Well, yes, yes I did! I cannot even begin to tell you how wonderful it felt to be out and about once again!

Arnie, wrapped up in his sweater, came with us. He looked adorable and a woman who works at the store is crazy in love with Arnie and she keeps cookies there just for him!

We arrived home in time for lunch, and afterward, I began the wrapping process. I wrapped four gifts yesterday. What I did was wrap the gift, then stop to drink my tea and honey.

So today I plan to wrap a few more gifts and make some banana bread. But I have learned that I need to do one thing and then rest. Then do another thing, and then rest. It seems to be working.

So, have a wonderful weekend before Christmas! Enjoy!

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Christmas Past

Recently, I read a story a man had written where he fussed and fumed about his father never buying him any good Christmas gift. Well, I shook my head in disbelief.

You see, my Dad was a really busy man. He taught school 5 days a week, he taught piano after school to so many of the kids I went to school with. He also played the organ at the local Congregational Church, was the director of the Senior and Junior Choirs and also directed the Handbell Choir. Each year Dad directed a Christmas Carol sing on our town’s Village Green. Not to mention playing the organ for many weddings and funerals.

So each year Dad would go down to the local Pharmacy or 7/11 Grocery Store, whichever was open on Christmas morning and did his Christmas Shopping for us.

img514Here I am, at the age of 12, on Christmas Morning with the gifts that Dad got for me. Notecards, a horoscope book, hat and gloves, a little kitty and two dolls.

I wish I could sit down with that man who complained and tell him how lucky I feel that my Dad went out before I woke on Christmas to get these things for me. He did it every year. Sometimes I got life-saver candies, sometimes some Christmas candy. Sometimes chapsticks. Sometimes a teen magazine. But he shopped on his own and bought these things for me all by himself.

My Dad did the very best he could, all on his own, and I feel like I was pretty lucky!

Mom did the big shopping. And it was pretty good too. Mom also cooked the best Christmas breakfasts and Christmas dinners. She was a traditional Mum.

But all in all, looking back now, I think I was pretty blessed all around. I didn’t have to have my Dad buy me the world to show me that he loved me. His Christmas Day shopping sprees mean more to me now than he will ever know.

 

Goodbye November

Well, here we are. The last day of November. After this, it’s a mad dash to Christmas. Usually, I have nearly all my shopping done and Christmas Cards are written, but I have almost nothing done and the cards are still in the box. Who knows, maybe on Sunday I will break out the cards and start writing.

This year seems to have flown by. So much happened, so much changed. I think I will remember 2019 as being a year full of changes, both good and sad.

The sad is that I lost my best friend, Candy. That just plain broke my heart.  I miss her a great deal and think often of her.

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The good is the health and happiness of my family. My grandchildren are growing by leaps and bounds and are both wonderful happy kids. And nicest of all is that they are truly kind people.

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Mandy and Matt adopted a pup named Freya and also bought the home of their dreams. They are also terrific parents!

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Despite changes in my extended family, everyone is doing okay. For this, I am very thankful.

So life is rushing by and I’m trying to grab every moment I can and relish the happiness and the blessings in it.

 

Feeding the Birds

I was gazing out my bedroom window when suddenly a little bird flew into the lilac bush. I stopped and watched as this little bird, not bright or colorful, but certainly intent on doing something in my lilac bush, worked at something. I looked and looked and there it was. A rather well-built nest.

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I was really struck with the bird’s cleverness and the beauty of the nest. I believe the nest is the new home of a Catbird. We’ve had them before and they really are quite amazing nest builders.

I’m not sure why, but this year I am really enjoying the birds! Perhaps it was the injured Woodpecker I saved. Whatever, I have now gotten new suet feeders and once I return I will set them up. Of course, since we also have bears, so I will need to bring the feeders in each night.

61963809_2787685864637823_7099090386303320064_nWhat is it about being in your sixties? I mean, I have found that I stop and smell the roses more. See birds, notice all the little things in life that make this an awesome place to be.

I felt this as a child and then lost that awe for a long time. I am so glad to have found it again. Especially at a time in my life when I can appreciate it all the more!