Tuesday, January 5, 2010

the last ten

We've just turned the corner of a new year and saying "twenty-ten" is understood to be the beginning of a new decade.

The year 2000 had us all waiting with curious expectation of computer calamities which because of my love of "the news" left me feeling rather disappointed.


The calendar flipped to January 2000 with the calendar reminding me that I would be turning forty-one in February.

The boys were both in university and we expected our family would begin to look quite different in the next few years.



What we didn't expect was that in May of 2000 my Dad would pass away and I would be 41 years old with both my parents in Heaven.


The family gathered to dismantle the family home.

Together we divided up family heirlooms and reminded each other that family matters most.

The rest of the year according to my calendar was rather unremarkable.

Reading ten years of calendar has been interesting to see which family and friends we invited over. .

and over. . .and over. . .

and which ones. .

invited us back. . .. and back. .

and back.

The following year in May 2001 we made the choice to spend part of my inheritance on a trip with our boys.


We had never been to Mexico and so we planned and waited and when university finished it's spring course .. .
we enjoyed the luxuries of an all inclusive Mayan Riviera Resort.


During that vacation Stuart turned twenty and our children were officially both adults.


I can say with a smile...


that spending that money on a once in a life time vacation with the kids before they started to leave the nest and get married was worth every last cent.

Later that year early in the morning while we were still sleeping .. Terrence called from work.
He told us to turn on CNN and we watched in horror as the second plane crashed into the World Trade Tower.
I became addicted to watching the coverage and wondered if life would ever feel normal again.

2002 promised great fun for our family with Stuart engaged to be married.
I was fascinated with the process of planning and was eager to be part of the preparations.

A shadow on our celebrations developed in the fall of 2002. t was discovered that my brother Richard had a malignant brain tumor. He was my second oldest brother and again it seemed that life was very fragile. He passed away November 14 and as siblings we grieved for our brother.


On December 20th of 2002 we stood beside our son as his bride walked down the aisle.

It was clear to see the love that had grown between them and as parents we were delighted to pledge our support to them in their life together.

In the spring of 2003 we found ourselves empty nesters. Terrence being the older of the two sons decided he would not be left living with his parents and moved next door with his friend Ravi.

We felt semi empty-nesters as he often found his way back to the bungalow when the aromas from the kitchen would cross the road and alert him that real food was being served in the bungalow.

My beloved and I had heard of the trend of boomerang children and so we devised a plan to renovate the bungalow to be suitable for just the two of us. The renovations began and we lived in a house for several months in a state of chaotic mess.


We celebrated our 25th anniversary that year and we decided that Terry would end his full time job off of the farm in the summer. For 25 years he worked various shifts which I absolutely dreaded. One year of night shifts blended into the next and evening shifts and early morning shifts were mixed in between.

Lots of families deal with shift work but we were glad when we closed the door on that era of our life and we sympathize with the challenges other families face when dealing with shift work.


However much we didn't enjoy the shift work part of the job, we were grateful and mindful that other people had no jobs at all.

Farming is still a novelty for us. . . coffee. . lunch. . .coffee and dinner together everyday. . . we are living our dream. Early in 2004 Terrence found that his own nest building instinct was kicking in and he purchased a fixer upper. His renovations became a joint family project as quality time was promised in exchange for wall and carpet removals. To this day I can't stand the scent of Fe-you-know-the-stuff-breeze.
It had been poured over the carpets in a sad attempt to cover various of other not so nice odours.



We realized that one owners idea of workmanship can rapidly become the new home owners nightmare.
Daily. . .the carport was piled with the former owners mess and slowly a clean and modestly renovated home appeared.



Spring 2004 Stuart graduated from university and we watched with pride as he walked the platform to receive his diploma.











On the same day that Stuart graduated we learned that farming would have difficult days. The Avian Flu hit the province and we found ourselves with empty barns . Terry spent days cleaning and preparing for the day when our chicks would arrive again. It was a full year before farming was fully operational once more.




Once the barns were as clean as barns can possibly be we found ourselves restless and so we hopped on our bike and went camping for three weeks with a group of friends.

We drove to Sturgis and camped in a pup tent along the way making memories of freezing nights and hail storms and empty gas tanks and jokes told as only Eric can tell them.

Towards the end of 2004 Stuart decided that family renovations were fun ..
and invited us to join in their project too.


Terry installed his third soft wood floor that winter.

Renovations are most economical if your Dad has the know how to save a buck here and there.

A bucket or two of paint and a scraper to remove old wall paper costs little and many hands make the job much quicker.

With Terrence's nest complete. . .
he married his beautiful Bea on a cool day in June.
It was on that day . . . that I truly began to refer to Terry and I as . . .
just the two of us.


2005 ended with our tractor driving off one chilly morning.
Otis barked and we wondered what the berry farmers were doing driving around in the dark.



Mid morning we realized that it was our tractor that someone borrowed permanently.
Soon after "lending" his tractor out. . .
Terry decided that a tractor was best parked indoors and he built his shop.

After our Mexican trip with the boys. . .
we promised them that after they were married we would take them and their brides on a holiday to the beach.

They remembered our promise and so did we and plans were made to visit Maui.
Terry's mom came with us. . .
it made perfect sense since a rental Van seats seven.

Somethings hadn't changed that much since the trip to Mexico.
We made more memories and we again. . .
did not regret having splurged on a vacation before the grands began to arrive.


I found that I was having more time to myself with the kids on their own and Terry had now taken the task of doing all the chores. I was not terribly computer savvy but I did begin to read blogs and I found that somewhere within me was a curiosity in wondering if I had something to say that really mattered.


Life in our home changed dramatically that fall.

I became a blogger.

I'm sure there has not been a more enthusiastic beginner before or since that day I pressed the publish button for the first time.
It never occurred to me that anyone would comment or read my weekday posts and it still delights me when people do.

Blogging has opened up a whole new world to me.
Friendships have been formed that are real and a hobby I love has found a purpose.

Early in 2007 we learned that we would be grandparents.
My cedar chest was opened and the waiting began.
I crocheted edges of pink and blue around receiving blankets.
I made ready a room for the wee ones to nap.



I held my hopes and dreams close to my heart and prayed for the babies that our daughters by love carried.


To pass the time that year. . . Terry bought himself a fixer upper in the form of a 1950 Mercury truck.
His dream had always been to build a rod and when the opportunity came up to purchase this old truck. . .he snapped it up.


Most days when his chores are done. . .
he can be found tinkering on the Merc' and this spring he promises to take me for a drive.

In November I became a Grammie to Grandgirlie and we watched the new parents fall in love with their precious little girl.

We began to grasp what we had been told about grand parenting.

Both the joys and the responsibilities that go with the title were being quickly understood.

Eleven days later our Lil' farm hand was born. Terrence and Bea had a baby boy.

Christmas was extra special and all about holding new borns and the sweet scent of babies.

Thirty years of marriage seemed something worth celebrating and so in the spring of 2008 my beloved and I went on our second honeymoon.

Our first honeymoon took place in a small motel in Oregon for four nights.

While the first honeymoon was all about the delights of two nineteen year olds young love. . .
the second honeymoon was all about being thankful for a good marriage and good health. . .
and the joys of knowing each other and still enjoying the romantic dinner on the beach.


Camping has always been one of our favorite things to do.
We bought a soft top tent trailer when the boys were little and camped rain or shine with it for fourteen years.
We debated back and forth about whether to invest in a travel trailer and with the encouragement of one particular son who had ulterior motives for camping with his own family ... . .we went with our new trailer to Cannon Beach, Oregon in the spring of 2009.
It is a good thing. . . this travel trailer. . . a very good thing.

We purchased one that has bunk beds and dreams of camping with the grands is already in the works.




The highlight of 2009 was the birth of our third grandchild .. .
Kanneloni Macaroni.
She's still very young. . .
but already we can see her gentle quiet nature. . .
and we love her so.
What better way to end a decade than to hold the hand of a wee one?
It's been a fantastic exercise to write this post.
It's just another thing that I would have missed if I hadn't begun to blog.
Not all the memories of the last ten years are happy.


I've cried more and laughed harder . . .
I've loved deeper and become more thankful.
I've experienced more grace and been offered more forgiveness. . .
I've realized my dreams .. .
and thought up some new ones.

Only God knows what the next decade will hold. . .
and becuase of that. . .
I'll strive to remember. . .
My end goal is the one that matters most.
I'll see you in a few days. . .this post became a short novel that may take you several days to finish.
Tomorrow is the fifteenth anniversary of the day my mom passed away. It deserves a day of quiet reflection.
All for now. . .




30 comments:

  1. Beautiful Lovella. What a great look back and documentation of the last ten years! Blessings on the next ten!!

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  2. Whew! That was worth an entire cup of coffee! It's such a good thing to 'take stock' and look back in a serious way at where you've been as a family. I certainly enjoyed reading about your last ten years, and I wish you every blessing for the next ten.

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  3. Dear Lovella, thank you so much for sharing your precious memories of the last decade. I hope you have a nice reflective and peaceful day tomorrow.

    Kindest regards.

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  4. I love this post! I always love reading your words. Good recipes and the building of a loving home...I really enjoy your blog. Thanks for sharing. I've been married 25 years and it's neat to know that alot of the things that I enjoy about marriage and being a Mom are things that others (like you) enjoy too! My children are 18 and 13 so I have a few years before grandbabies...but I'm anticipating how fun that will be too! Lots of good wishes for a happy 2010.

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  5. I generally shy away from reading longer posts (time-wise)...but thoroughly enjoyed reading every word. Great documentation Lovella and wish you many more good memories to blog about :)

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  6. A lovely decade with family love and projects, dreams and dream fulfillment. You are blessed Lovella, and it is wonderful to see that you are grateful.

    The post really helps me to understand you more as well, as the transitioning years (as I call nearly empty nest/semi-retirement/and early grandparenting years) have much to do with who you are today.

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  7. What a wonderful documentary of your last ten years...precious memories, all of them. Who knows what the next decade will bring? Follow your dreams...pursue those things that matter most...and keep us posted along the way. You write...we read...and are inspired!

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  8. What a wonderful look back at the past 10 years. I admire you for the time and effort and will that doing this takes. You did a great job of summarizing your decade of life experience. I had to think of the song which ends with "He gives and takes away, Blessed be the name of the Lord."

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  9. Beautiful...this is a loving, thoughtful way to observe the significant moments of your life over the past ten years. May you be equally blessed in the next decade...let's make that decades...of your life!

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  10. I really enjoyed walking with you down memory lane this morning. I remember most of those events well. You and Terry gave your boys both roots and wings, you built loving family relations, and have taken life and filled it with purpose, and fun.
    Fifteen years! That is a long time ago...and yet when we reflect on those that have gone we can almost hear their voice and fell their touch. When someone you love becomes a memory, the memory becomes a treasure. Your Mom was a very sweet lady, and i pray that your day of reflecting will be sweet to your soul tomorrow. A tear and a laugh will possibly be a part of your day as you think back. HUGS Kathy (MGCC)

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  11. Beautiful post, Lovella. It is amazing to look back over ten years, isn't it? Aren't you glad we get to experience it as it comes and not know what's coming ahead (as much as that would be nice sometimes). We'll be thinking of you tomorrow ... blessings to you!

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  12. Wow! It does our soul good to look back and re-read the pages. I read somewhere that if we don't know where we come from, how will we know where we're going. In looking back we see the good and the bad from a different angle and gain new joy and strength for the future.
    I will be thinking about you tomorrow too. May God bring back some wonderful surprise memeories.

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  13. You provided the privilege of stepping into your world for a few minutes of my day. What a joyful experience this was. The underlying chord throughout it all was the faithfulness of God. I really enjoyed this. Thank you so much for sharing it. I also can appreciate why you would take a day off to reflect on your memories of a very special lady. You have a beautiful family and I know both of your parents would be so proud and thankful of the person that you have become.

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  14. What a great review!!!

    i hope you have special time remembering your mom tomorrow.

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  15. Thanks so much for inviting us into your life review for the last 10 years. I enjoyed reading about your family and your history. I'm so glad you discovered blogging - and that I discovered your blog! I'm looking forward to celebrating life's blessings along with you and all our blogging friends over the next 10 years.

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  16. I just loved reading this. I felt like you allowed me a small glimpse into your world. And what a lovely world it is...

    p.s. at 41, you were one "hawt" mom!

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  17. I really enjoyed this post. Hope you don't mind me reading it considering I don't "know" you. But I read your blog from time to time (a friend of Bonnie Boehr's) and your posts are always so meaningful.

    It's good for me to read something from someone who has lived and loved and honestly your post made me realize how much I need to value and protect my marriage so that I can have what you have and be able to look back with my husband when one day we are just the two of us.

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  18. What a legacy and encouragement to all those young marriages...to know that life did not go perfectly, loss of parents, brother, Avian flu, Sept. 11, and yet as life continues we can celebrate the wonderful events.

    Thank-you for sharing your life with me...I feel like there's so much more to you...than I've only known my past three years of blogging.
    I'm grateful to be able to call you my friend, and I'm delighted to be able make a friendship with a blogger like you.
    What a treasure.

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  19. Just as life is.. I'd say you were very blessed indeed.. even with your loss.. you've gained so much more. Honoring your loved ones is so personal and yet you did this with respect and with an open heart, sharing everything.

    I feel more in touch with you now..and thank you for this.

    I look forward to what comes your way!!

    with love,
    ~Olivia

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  20. Nope, right here with you to the end and loved every minute...even the minutes that I knew something about. I think that this is much of what blogging is all about...a way to keep a record. You're an expert at it.

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  21. So fun to read this post and walk the journey with you thru the last decade! I always enjoy your posts and wish that I too had the gift of writing as you do....keep sharing with all of us! You are a great encourager!

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  22. I want to thank you and your fellow MGCC bloggers so much for each and every day you take the time to post. At the end of the day I so look forward to checking in to all your thoughts and daily life goings on. You inspire me as a mom and a wife and especially as a "newcomer" in my walk with god. I hope you have a comforting day tomorrow as you think of your memories of your mom.

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  23. I surely enjoyed reading that Lovella. You've had a wonderful life...so far! So much to be enjoyed in the future.

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  24. wow - that took me three attempts, but i finally read to the end. amazing summary of ten years, and a credit to your love of writing/sharing. you go girl - you have so much to offer so many! my heart understands your heart regarding tomorrow - how blessed we are to have had godly loving mothers as our example of how to live/laugh/love!! -vange

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  25. Oh, so beautiful Lovella. I enjoyed reading about your life and the work you put into this post!
    Blessings in 2010!

    Love, Sandy

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  26. Lovella..this is a beautiful post of the past decade! Thank you for sharing, it's a treasure indeed!

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  27. Lovella, I really enjoyed that post! What a fantastic idea! It was really touching...thanks for sharing your heart. Your marriage is truly an inspiration!

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  28. Thank you for sharing some of the high and low lights of the last decade. You write beautifully and the evidence of your faith is obvious.

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  29. What a beautiful post. I really enjoyed reading about the last ten years and it made me think back over the last ten years of my life. You might have started something!
    I pray for God's blessings on you and your family!

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  30. What a beautiful reflection on the past decade... I was actually in tears by the end.

    Thank you for sharing your life and your faith (and recipes ;)

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Thank you!