Monday, September 16, 2013

Computer clutter control

Son #2, left, and Son #1 race to beat camera timers for our traditional photo of the Great Smoky Mountain National Park sign.

I have a “blog notes” file on my laptop. There I compose first drafts, revise drafts and record random thoughts for future posts on this blog.

But the file also contains pages and pages of almost finished posts that I failed to complete for one reason or another. In the interest of clearing clutter—from computer, our kitchen table and every room in our house, I started yesterday going through the “blog notes” clutter. I am making no promises about progress on all that other clutter.

I wrote a draft of the post below four days before Christmas 2010 . I suppose holiday deadlines derailed my posting. I finally made a few revisions yesterday.

Procrastination is definitely my middle name. But even for me, almost three years is pretty pitiful. Regardless, the thoughts--and my procrastination--are all part of the landscape of this stage of life, and I want to remember. Photos are from 2013.

So here, from Dec. 21, 2010:

Gray day, great blessings
Yesterday started off gray – gloomy weather and gloomy thoughts. They smothered any inclination to gather my scattered wits and write a post for Retirement Daze. But a call from Son #2 soon had me counting my blessings.

After our conversation, I started thinking about how Son #1 and Son #2 pile on the blessings. I admit I am proud of our two Skupien crews, but I will refrain from bragging. Oh well, if counting blessings is bragging, I am guilty. But Retirement Daze functions as my memory now, and I don’t want to forget this day and my thoughts on this day.

A few of the characteristics that I treasure about our sons:

1) their sense of humor,

2) their placing more importance on relationships, both spiritual and temporal, than on things; 

3) their taking responsibility and avoiding that “me-itis” affliction so common in today’s adults and children. You know the condition, the one that arises from the core belief that “I am the center of the universe, therefore everything is about me”; and

4) their supplying us with grandchildren and grand--as in wonderful--daughters-in-law.

My thoughts turned to a moment a number of years ago when I voiced thoughts about wishing I had done some things better when raising our sons. Our older son took me to task.

“Don’t you think Jeremy and I turned out all right?”

Point taken. Like most parents, we did the best we could at the time. One thing I did do right: I prayed daily for my sons, their future brides, the girls' parents, Husband Walter and myself.

That practice of seeking God’s guidance daily started in earnest when our boys were infants. That doesn’t mean we sailed through with no conflicts and hard times. It does mean that we didn’t have to do everything in our own strength.

God gets the credit for our coming out on the other side of life's rough patches with love and family intact.

Blessings indeed. God is good!

Our traditional Smokies family photo, July 27, 2013 (Photo Walter A. Skupien)


  1. Thanks for sharing the precious family memories.
    It sounds like you raised wonderful men with a Godly heritage.
    Bathing your lives in prayer creates a good and sound foundation.
    I am so glad to have "met" you via the blog network.

  2. That's a really nice piece, but you are right. 3 years is a rather long wait. LOL Where are you in that picture? I'd like to see the whole family.

  3. Thanks for looking up info on Jack fruit.
    It sounds like a fruit salad all rolled into one strange looking fruit.

  4. i thought i was bad, my notes only stay there for a month or sometimes 2.. then i delete them. i am glad you did not delete these, i am sure it was true than and true and and you are all blessed to have each other

  5. Great photo and lovely thoughts about your sons and their families. Dianne

  6. You really are so blessed to have sons like this! AND wonderful families who care so deeply about you! Believe me this is not such a oommon thing.

  7. You have every right to be proud of your boys. They sound like really fine men. However, you can't feel that pride without a lot of satisfaction of your own. You did raise them after all and evidently did a bang up job.

  8. That is really something to be thankful for... a wonderful family!! You are blessed!

  9. Thanks friends for generous comments. And Mage, thanks, too for alerting me to a blooper. I must have hit x-large instead of large on pix size for the last photo, inadvertently deleting me, Hubby and many family members,

  10. Great children means great parents!

  11. I enjoyed this post very much, and can't wait to see what else you find in your 'blog notes' clutter! I have a lot of 'blog notes' of my own.

    Thank you so much for the kind words you left on my blog today. I've been thinking about you, since I know you recently lost your MIL, too. Cleaning out the house is a rough chore, and I'm dreading it.

    I cleaned out Vivian's room at the personal care home yesterday. I don't know whom I felt worse for, myself or the ladies at the home. It was a sad, sad time.