Schedule changes

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Ours was a stay-at-home mom from before I was born (Ma Bell didn’t allow pregnant telephone operators to continue working…I guess the callers might “hear” her pregnancy over the phone) in an era when that was the norm. She was always available to help with Blue Birds and Camp Fire Girls, go to PTA meetings, and work on school carnivals. (One banner year she created and painted all the signs for the Orchard Avenue School Carnival by herself, but that is a story in itself.) She cherished her time at home and the creative freedom it allowed.

Because she was not the breadwinner (Daddy made the money, Mom made it stretch), she often bartered her services with the local antique dealers, repairing and redesigning jewelry in exchange for dolls or other antiques she wanted. Some of my fondest memories are of her, sitting cross-legged on her freshly made bed surrounded by her tools and current projects. These days often became visits from “that woman” who made creative chaos throughout our home.

Long after I had moved away from home, Mom began an adventure with a shared space in an antique shop, a co-op of sorts. In exchange for putting merchandise in the shop for sale she needed to work one Thursday morning each month. It seemed to me to be an ideal situation. At the end of the first month I received a phone call from Mom. When I asked how things were going, she wailed, “Knowing I have to go to work the third Thursday of the month is ruining my whole month!” I tried not to laugh — really I did — but couldn’t help it. At that time I had a full-time job outside the home, was running an after-hours typing service (pre-computers), raising my daughter, we had a kenpo karate school at home, and I was involved with several organizations and church. So the idea of one half-day monthly throwing off her schedule just cracked me up! (And I’m afraid I wasn’t very sympathetic.)

But I’m beginning to understand where she was coming from. It has been two full years since I retired from my teaching job, and although I have been quite busy between two doll clubs, church, and activities with my granddaughters, my schedule has been my own to manipulate as I wished. That is no longer the case.

In the past three weeks since I began my part-time job, I have found myself answering many questions with, “I’m not sure — I’ll have to see whether I’m scheduled to work,” or “I don’t know…I won’t have my work schedule until the week before [whatever event I've been invited to attend]” I’m not complaining; I think I will like my job when I’m a bit more sure of myself, and I will certainly like the budgetary wiggle room it will provide. It is just such a change to my reality. One of the keys to successfully juggling a very busy schedule has been knowing said schedule well in advance. No longer will I be locking events into place two and three months out (unless they are BIG DEAL DAYS). I will know my work schedule the Friday before the week beginning on Monday, and will adjust accordingly.

I’m sorry I laughed at you, Mom. I’m beginning to understand how you felt.

Sentimental you

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Schoolday Memories of Lois Bobo, Class of 8-A, 1932-33

Schoolday Memories of Lois Bobo, Class of 8-A, 1932-33


I was reading through my mother-in-law’s autograph album from 1933-34, and discovered these gems:

Alpena Pass, Ark., March 5, 1933
Dear Lois,
When you get old and cannot see
Put on your specks and think of me.
Your brother,
Troy Bobo

[This one is my favorite.]
Dearest Pal,
When you get old and ugly, as people sometimes do,
Remember that you’ve got a friend
That’s old and ugly, too.
Yours forever,
FPS

August 8, 1934
Concord [Arkansas]
Dear Lois,
True friends are like diamonds, precious but rare.
False friends are like autumn leaves, found everywhere.
A True Friend,
Amelia Belle Whitaker

[And then the one from the boy who eventually married her]
11-3-33
Dearest Loise,
Roses are red,
Violets are blue
Sugar is sweet
And so are you.
Cloise

My Favorites

My Favorites

Training

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In the midst of my host training last night I realized that I had done nothing about a blog post for the day. I clocked out at 11:58 p.m., which meant that it was nearly 12:30 by the time that I found my way back home. The good news was that I had made it through my training shift without either tripping someone or tripping OVER someone else. Tomorrow morning we will be taking our menu tests, as well as anything our trainer requires of us.

I will never take a host or server for granted again.

Sacrifices

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This week the husband of one of my FaceBook friends returned safely from a 6-month deployment with the Army in Iraq. Another got the news that one of her family members was killed on active duty. And the youngest son in a family we know joined his older brother in uniform as he graduated this week from Boot Camp.

I look at the pictures of my friend’s husband with their toddler stuck like glue to her daddy, and rejoice that their little family has been made whole again. I grieve for the soldier I didn’t even know, because loved ones lost in service to our country in some small way belong to all of us. And as much as I would like to be happy for the new recruit, my main reaction is sadness that he will probably end up in harm’s way, fighting in a country that isn’t even sure it wants our soldiers to be there, fighting in a conflict that is war in nearly every sense but has not been declared.

Each of these families have made sacrifices, each has sent its soldier off to an unknown future fighting battles in our name. And while I thank them for their services I wonder how much longer this can continue, and how many more of our best and brightest will be lost before our leaders learn to say, “No more.”

Spit and polish

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For many years I was the proud driver of a pretty little red S-10 pickup, known (and plated) as KLMSYK8. (You can read more about her here.) Because she was named for all the world to see, and the garage was doubling as a karate studio, she spent a lot of time at the car wash. A clean truck is a happy truck!

Once again my vehicle is parked outside, this time on the street under a very messy elm tree that spits or leaks something sticky in all but the dead of winter. I had gotten rather sloppy about keeping my Jeep clean until I added the Close To My Heart logo, my name, and company website to the back window.

Now not only does a dirty car reflect negatively about me, but it is offensive to the company I love, as well. So I’m back at the car wash on a very regular basis, and looking forward to “the tree” losing its leaves this fall and making less of a daily mess.

The rear window of my Jeep, proudly displaying my Close To My Heart consultant information

The rear window of my Jeep, proudly displaying my Close To My Heart consultant information

Now if I could only get a handle on the dusty dashboard…

Training day

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Today started my Olive Garden host training. It has been a long time since I have started a new job “from scratch”, so my brain was a bit overloaded by the time we finished. Some of the first consternation was with what to call me…I have been “Georgia’s Mom” or “Mrs. Georgia’s Mom” to many of the team members for several years! I assured them that Fawn would work just fine, although I will still answer to Georgia’s Mom. It will be interesting to see what Georgia actually ends up calling me. As usual, my request was, “Please just don’t call me Fern.”

After six hours of training, I came home and crashed on the couch in the middle of Lily and Olivia. A nap felt so very good, and gave me the oomph to enjoy the Helping One Woman dinner later on. Tonight’s honoree was the mother of Josh, a high school student who is battling a rare cancer. A highlight of the evening for me was the arrival of the entire Mt. Whitney HS Girls’ Volleyball team. What a lovely group of young ladies, all there to support the family of their friend!

And when dinner was over, I headed back to Olive Garden to bring Georgia home. It was a satisfying day.

Changes

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Tomorrow marks the beginning of my new adventure, as I begin my training at Olive Garden. I think I’m really looking forward to the challenge of learning a new skill set, and I relish the idea of occasionally sharing a shift with my daughter. Over the many years that I have eaten at Olive Garden and watched Georgia work, it never occurred to me that I might someday be on staff with her.

But this morning was a magical time with Miss Olivia, tea, and the hummingbird. We knew the day was going to heat up rapidly, but around 9:00 a.m. it was just perfect for breakfast al fresco. Once again, the hummer tolerated our being very close to him, and didn’t seem to be bothered by our voices.

My breakfast companion

My breakfast companion

Lunch was special, too, as we joined a couple of friends down at the Oval Park for a picnic lunch. This was our first opportunity to demonstrate intentionality about the positive changes happening at The Oval by being an ordinary presence at the park. I hope (schedule cooperating) to make this a regular happening. Visalians need to reclaim this park as a viable, safe place to visit and relax, and we can start one picnic lunch at a time.

Bass Lake is burning

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Tonight my most fervent prayers are for gentle, steady, life-giving rain. Rain that will put out the fire threatening the Bass Lake community without flooding, rain that will stop the burning and then soak into the drought-parched ground like a blessing.

I pray for the safety of those who have evacuated their homes and are staying in shelters tonight, and for those who are ready and waiting for their instructions to leave. And I pray for the CalFire guys and gals who put their lives on the line every day when they report to work, the community volunteers who support them, and their families who wait at home with bated breath.

Perhaps if we all prayed together?

Tired

I fell asleep watching HGTV. We had a wonderful scrapping day at The Little House; a new group of three old friends has joined us, and made our merriment that much merrier. But the car is not unpacked, my eyes don’t want to stay open, and my brain is fried. Sweet dreams, everyone.

A day with family

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My most favorite kind of day is a day spent with family. And when the family includes Daddy and my sister — well, it doesn’t get much better than that! After flying out for Daddy’s birthday earlier this week, Melody drove them both to Visalia for the day…and a lovely day it was, too.

Daddy and Melody

Daddy and Melody

Olivia relished having her Great Grandad and Aunt Melody all to herself while big sister was at school. She sat on Daddy’s lap and messed his hair up over and over, just the way her mama used to when she was little. Aunt Melody willingly played “My Little Ponies” with her and let her be a puppy to her heart’s content. Then when Lily got home, playtime just got better. She brought the checkerboard out, and the race was on!

Georgia got home from work in time to get in on the fun, too. If I had driven to the coast to see Daddy and Melody, Georgia and the girls would have missed out.

There was no exciting agenda for the day, no special place to go to, just the chance to look around the room and see my loved ones up close. We are a family that doesn’t do drama; what we do is togetherness and tlc. And that’s what we had today: Nine hours of togetherness, story-telling, hugs, photo album sharing, and memory making. Then they had to go home.

I wish we could do it again tomorrow!

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