Sunday, June 12, 2016

Saying goodbye: Blooming memories

Saying goodbye to our former home of 46 years is an ongoing process as we gradually deal with nearly half a century of accumulation.

We had just pulled into the driveway of our old home on the first morning back from a four-day trip to visit family. We faced another session of sorting possessions into “keep,” “share” and “toss” categories.

One of Hubby’s bloomin’ favorites
A sense of goodbye to a season of life slammed into me. There I sat, absorbing facets of springtime at our former address. Hubby’s hibiscus bush that had survived the winter sported two vibrant red blooms.

Confederate jasmine
In the background, the confederate jasmine vine that I had given him several years ago had erupted into bloom, covered with more of the small fragrant flowers than ever before. 

Blueberry survivor
A foray into the backyard included a visit to a blueberry bush. It originated from one of several skinny sprouts my mother and I had dug up in 2009 from around one of the Tifblue blueberry bushes in her backyard. That was shortly before she moved to a studio apartment in a new assisted living home.

Her original plants were pass-alongs from Levi, her oldest brother and one of my favorite uncles. Now he, Mother and all their siblings are gone. 

The sole sprout that survived in our backyard is now a respectable size. It had lots of blooms on it this year. It also has plump berries ripening now. 

A number of “babies” are sprouting up around it. I hope some of its offspring will survive their move to our new property.

Three plants, three goodbyes. But the memories go with me to our new address.

Thursday, March 31, 2016

Easter 2013: Memories

 Easter 2013 (Photo by Son Walt)

Thanks to Husband Walter and our Georgia Skupiens, we observed family Easter egg traditions of more than five generations at our home for Easter 2013:

- Tradition 1--Dying boiled eggs on Easter eve;  

The 2013 egg-coloring team:





Tradition 2--Adults hiding eggs the next day;

Tradition 3--Children scrambling to fill their baskets;

Easter gift for the egg hunt

Grandma Sugar, my mother-in-law, crocheted the Easter baskets above for her great-granddaughters and filled the baskets with treats and love.

That was the last Easter Grandma Sugar celebrated. She passed away in August of that year. The baskets that her great-granddaughters have used in their egg hunts ever since are a happy reminder of how much she loved her family and loved making every holiday special.

Easter Sunday morning March 31, 2013, our four visiting grands dashed about in our backyard to find the hardboiled eggs they had dyed the night before.

Sudden shrieks from Charlie sent parents, grandparents and siblings rushing to her side. An unwelcomed visitor was oozing out of a small circular crack in the egg she had just found. 

It was a baby slug. Ewwww!

Seven-year-old Charlie resumed her search. She screamed again. Another slimy invader. Yuck!

Tradition 4--Eating one or more of the colorful eggs after the hunt.

When everyone returned inside, Mom Sarah offered to peel eggs for the children. There were no takers. Neither kids nor adults indulged. 

The surprise attack of icky fauna fractured the egg-eating tradition that Easter morning.

This year we again spent Easter weekend with our oldest son and his family but this time at their home. I was glad to see that they continued traditions using real eggs.

There were no slugs this year, and a few eggs disappeared along with Easter bunny candy. 

Thursday, March 10, 2016

Travel in 2015

As the weeks of 2016 fly by, I am still enjoying looking back at 2015 travel:

- a nine-day Baltic Sea cruise in May that embarked from Copenhagen and included stops in Germany, Estonia, Russia, Finland and Sweden;
Selfie with our home for nine days, the Norwegian Star on the left in the background

- two trips to the Smoky Mountains; and
The Skupien clan July 25, 2015 (Photo by Hubby)

- multiple trips to Georgia and Louisiana to visit family and attend grandchildren’s events.

But our most challenging trip started in the spring of 2015 when we put things in motion to have a “downsized” house built on property we had purchased more than 15 years ago.

Almost finished (Photo by Hubby)

Now move-in day is less than two weeks away--if all goes as planned. And we won’t actually have a move-in DAY.

Instead, the coming move will be more of an “ooze-in month” or maybe more than a month. And we won’t put our current house on the market until we are settled in at our new address. I am happy with that slower pace. It takes pressure off.

The journey continues.