The Old Piano

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lola piano

My grandparents gave me a piano over 40 years ago. I was about 5 years old.  I had shown an interest in playing any and every keyboard that was near me.  If I was in a church, I found eventually found my way to the piano.  I loved to play on my aunt’s old pump organ.  The neighbor girls were teaching me how to play on the piano in their dining room.  I’ll never forget the day Grandma and Grandpa followed the truck carrying my piano to our house.  Through eight houses or apartments, that old piano has been a part of my life.  I have pictures of me, my grandma, and my great-grandma sitting together on the bench.  There is another picture of my sweet dog, Susie, sitting next to 8-year-old me while I practiced my lesson.  My parents and I posed on the bench one year for our Christmas card photo. My long gone pets,  Abe, Hank, Pete, Puffy, and Violet all sat by my side as I played.  Boo and Pepper sit on the same bench now. Continue Reading »

My Amazing 10-Year-Old

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Mom and Lola

She wasn’t planned.  She wasn’t even supposed to be here.

In 2001, I was pregnant for the fifth time.  I had three living children.  Needless to say, my pregnancy history wasn’t good.  Because of that fact, I had a standing order for a tubal ligation after this birth.  My plan was to stay an extra day after delivery and have my tubes tied.  In the event of a c-section, I had made it clear that I wanted my tubes tied during the procedure.  My wishes were noted on my medical charts. Continue Reading »

Let’s Go Home

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home-is-life

T came to visit us early last weekend.  He had to be in Milwaukee for a second interview on Friday, so he came to my house to stay the evening before to cut down on travel time and the need to get up ridiculously early.  He had never been here for a visit on a “regular” work/school day, and he asked a lot of questions.  “Is this what you guys usually do?”  “Do you want me to do that for you?”  (As we all prepared our own dinners and did the evening household chores.)  He seemed like an observer in his own “home” as the girls and I went about our regular routines.  He observed it all with a smile.  The three women in his life may not be doing things the way he would do them, but we had somehow managed to come up with a routine that worked for us.  Four months apart, four months in separate homes, has changed all of us.  We have all grown, and we have all found the strength to face a multitude of changes.  With all of the growth and strength, we have also discovered something else.  Even with all of this new-found independence sprouting up all over the place, we have learned (the hard way!) how very much we all need each other – not to do things for each other or because we can’t live without each other.  We have found that our lives are BETTER when we are together. Continue Reading »

Team TEAM

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team

When the boys moved out a couple of years ago, it was a big adjustment for our family.  Well, a big adjustment for ME.  T didn’t seem too troubled.  The girls didn’t miss their brothers too much.  I’m sure on some level they did, but on a daily basis, the girls were pretty pleased.  One Sunday, Lola moved out of their shared “girls room” and set up her own room in her recently vacated brothers’ room.   We all thought that she had been upstairs playing, but she had moved all of her belongings into the boys’ room declaring that she wasn’t leaving.  🙂  We all admired her 8-year-old determination, and the boys’ room has now become Lola’s room.  The boys have been more than willing to sleep on the trundle bed in the corner on their occasional visits. Continue Reading »

How Do They See Me?

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Last spring, I took a day off work to volunteer in Lola’s class for Olympic Day. It was on one of the last days of school. There are games, races, and contests. Well before Lola was born, I spent about five years as PTA president planning Olympic Day events. I knew the drill, but Lola didn’t know that. She became obsessed with what I was going to wear to Olympic Day. For about a week, she quizzed me on what I thought I might wear, and then she would point out that whatever particular outfit I was wearing would be entirely inappropriate for Olympic Day. These conversations would typically occur when I walked in the door still wearing the clothes I had worn to the office that day. What? I shouldn’t wear a skirt and heals to Olympic Day? Day after day, I had a lot of fun teasing Lola. Finally the weekend came, and when I came downstairs wearing a pair of shorts and a t-shirt, she said “There! Wear THAT to Olympic Day!” Continue Reading »

Continuum

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Last night I spoke to my younger son for the first time in three weeks.  That is the longest time I have ever gone without hearing his voice.  We had exchanged a few texts, and I knew that he had talked to his dad.  Of course, T filled me in on his conversation with our son, but that was nothing compared to having Luke on the other end of the phone. Continue Reading »