Saturday, January 15, 2011

Two Material Items I'm Thankful For

Living off the grid for five summers, three to six months at a time, taught me how simplified life should be. I'd return home and not desire anything new around the house to make me more lazy than I am. But since 2010 that has changed. I now own a dishwasher and a Kuerig Coffee Maker.

My  husband objected to dish washer for using so much water and electricity when I could clean dishes faster, but not as clean as he desired. For instance, if I left a bit of smudge on a fork and he found it in the silverware drawer, he made a big deal out of it. I'd say "Just clean it and you'll be fine." That failed to satisfy him. Or if a bit of grease so tiny stayed on a dinner plate, he'd find it and fuss, fuss, fuss. Finally he took over the dishwashing job and within a year or so decided We Need a Dishwasher. I should have left more grease spots than I did years ago. Now our Bosch is like our child. We love doing dishes; we fight over who'll load and unload.

A coffee drinker, meaning one who drinks one or more cups daily, I am  not. The first time I discovered that coffee wasn't only Maxwell House and Folger's (my aplogies to those who still use these products) was the visit to Boston in the mid 1980's when our daughter took us to a little cafe to sample  the kind of coffee they serve there.  What a surprise taste my palate enjoyed! This was so delicious I couldn't drink enough. This was long before internet ordering had begun.

Then came the websites and Gevalia. R loves Gevalia, but it never tastes "quite right". If I needed desperately to drink a cup of java because I needed to stay awake, I'd force a few sips in the A. M. We began making our coffee the Melitta way, because of our strength differences. However, I Never Could Make A Good Cup of Coffee.(Here I must apologize to all who've downed my Bad Java when visiting!) My thinking changed when I visited V2 on the Gulf Coast and she served me the most delicious cup since Boston. She had a Kuerig coffee maker. I returned home toying with the idea that I'd give us this maker for a holiday gift. But the "off the grid" mentality hit me. I didn't need another electrical appliance, I argued to myself. So what if coffee is now deemed safe, if not healthy, I still  could continue to make it through my little coffee filter/holder. A chance remark to my sister who took that statement about the new coffee makers to heart.  Christmas we opened her package and my life has been one-cup-a-day-happier.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

January 15, 2011

Remember how we used to count hours, days, weeks, and months until that special day arrived? Each month since September I've been aware of the 15th. In September on a Sunday of that time in the month R and I received a wonderful gift--our first grandchild. Now to all of you who have grandchildren already running around may forget the first one; you probably were fortunate to have them early. But to R and me, we're in our mid 70's and having a grandson for the first time has revealed mixed emotions. January 15th will mark HB's fourth month to be in our world.  He is adorable, the son of beautiful parents and loving grandparents. Now, R and I know we have to make the most of our time (and I'm not worried, as I'm living until 140!) profitable in experience for this little tyke.

As we think of the ensuing years we hope to make an impression with him so he'll remember us. Will we see him graduate? Marry? Have a family of his own? Probably not; however, we'll make each time with him the best we can contribute.

If you're a grandmom or g'pop, give me some good ideas how we can preserve our time with him so in future years he'll remember his other grandparents. 

Thursday, January 06, 2011

Lifting My Spirits

It took a beautiful wedding in a nearby Catholic church to lift my holiday spirits. Not wanting at first to go out the eve of the dawning of a new year, but the weather turned quite warm. Of course the warmth was preceded by storms of great magnitude and tornadoes sweeping in and around our home, but at 7:30 p.m. when I was to leave, calm prevailed. Some would say the Heavens declared the union with its own brand of trumpets and roll of drums, but others would counter with "Ah, that's Mississippi for ya."

A road trip to the delta area of our state with my sister to gather info for an article gave us the wonderful opportunity to visit a small town, Rolling Fork. Nearby is the community of Onward where Teddy Roosevelt visited to kill his bears. The Rolling Fork community has a growing interest in revitalization. The subject of our trip, Mount Helena, an 1899 home built as a second home for Helen Johnstone and her second husband, an Episcopal priest, to serve as a summer place.
Traveling north along Highway 61 this home sits on the only raised area and is quite noticeable. The house was constructed on top of an Indian ceremonial mound. fronted by flat planting land. Time and destruction has caught this home in their  grip. Today  it's history on a hill. Reconstruction is underway and annually a play is presented in the downstairs living area that retells the house and family history.

The enthusiasm of the families who maintain the house's heritage is catching. One is reminded that delta families still cling to their ancestors' contribution to the area. It was refreshing to visit this home on a sunny January day  and meet the families who are working to keep Rolling Fork, MS alive .