Love, Laughter, and Life

Adventures With a Book Lover


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The Station Wagon #ThrowbackThursday

Station wagons and me, we go way back.

In the late 80s, my husband accepted employment with a new company, one benefit being a company car. “Anything would be cool, but please don’t come home with a station wagon. And especially not one with fake wood details.”

Ahem. Yes. He came with a station wagon. Adornment of imitation wood panels? Whew. Dodged that faux grained bullet.

Even earlier than the 80s & 90s version of the station wagon work vehicle was the early 70s family models owned by my parents. We had at least 2 different family touring vehicles, blue and white. Those wagons could really hold people and belongings. And pets, groceries, camping equipment, children, toys. Nothing like the little trunks in modern cars.

Some of my fondest memories are the days we spent exploring the southwest. We’d load up 2 parents, 4 kids, and 1 collie dog. The first mandatory stop would be a mini-mart so we could purchase the required bologna, cheese, white bread, and soda for our snacking pleasure. Sometimes we ate hot dogs (always cold) instead of bologna, but either one was a treat. Then we would hit the road.

The Arizona desert is a wondrous place for questing. Forests, rivers, desert lands, mountains, ghost towns, dirt roads, historical sites. My parents loved to haul us around seeing what we could see. I have vivid pictures in my mind of those trips, but I can’t help but wonder if we didn’t drive mom and dad the slightest bit crazy. 4 kids and a dog in a station wagon? Even if we did use the fold-up seats in the way back to separate us.

Horned toads, tarantulas, snakes, spiders, scorpions, cacti, sagebrush, thorns, stickers, heat mirages, dust. Treasure is all in the eyes and heart of the explorer.

What about you? What memories do you have about a vehicle or early days with your family? I’d love to hear your tales on this #ThrowbackThursday.

*Photos by pixabay.com

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STORYSTORM 2018 Day 19: Karen Rostoker-Gruber Digs Down Deep

Dig down deep and daydream about your younger years. Recall incidents, feelings, and experiences and get ready to catch those story ideas as they spring to mind!

Thanks, Karen and Tara!

via STORYSTORM 2018 Day 19: Karen Rostoker-Gruber Digs Down Deep


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Food Time Machine – One Bite Whisked Me Back to a Favorite Place & Time

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Do you ever taste something and it takes you right back to a specific time and place?

That just happened to me. Tummy rumblings broke my concentration from a writing task, so I grabbed a slice of Swiss cheese from the fridge. At the first bite, I was instantly transported to France. Such delicious memories!

My husband and I were on a short-term missions trip in Paris. Near our motel was a wonderfully fascinating store, Auchan. Auchan had pretty much anything one could want or need at reasonable prices. The chocolate aisle and cheese cases kept us returning nearly every day for meal items. Yes. Chocolate and cheese do make a meal.

Today’s bite of Swiss cheese took me right to the cheese counter. The gentleman who worked the cheese aisle was so very kind and cut us off a chunk of Swiss from the large wheel. With our garbled French and hand gestures, he whacked off the hard rind and sliced the rest for us – perfect. He even gave us a bit to taste, just to make sure it was what we wanted. We wanted.

Fresh baguette, sliced Swiss, some fruit and veg, all the makings of a perfect meal. Thank you, Mr. Auchan cheese guy. You made our day.

How about you? What have you eaten that transported you back to particular event or location? I’d love to hear about it. Just so I know I’m not the only one who is consumed with love for food.

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Let’s not forget the crepes! Be still my hungry mouth…


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One More Hug

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One more hug.

That’s what I wish for. Just 1, maybe 2 long hugs.

Before I say good-bye.

But it’s too late. I’ve missed the chance. You’re gone.

 

I’ll remember our last day together.

Talking, remembering, sharing, eating.

That one half hug when I arrived.

It wasn’t enough.

 

So I’ll grab all those memories,

Wrap them tight in my heart.

Keep them close to ease the pain.

An invisible hug for eternity.

 

Missing you.

 

For my Dad.

My Daddy passed away on Good Friday, April 14. I was blessed to spend the day with Daddy and Mama, talking and visiting and hanging out. He went on to Heaven later that evening. We had the gift of clear-minded conversation and enjoyment of recalling my growing-up years the entire day. I even learned a few things I hadn’t known. I miss him dreadfully and worry about Mama without her love of nearly 57 years of marriage. But I know he is fine and she’s not alone. She has her kids, a part of Daddy. We will share our heart hugs about Daddy and remember the good times.

But I would still love one more hug.

Don’t wait. Hug with abandon.


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Coffee Like Papa

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As I was recently pouring cream into my coffee, adding just enough until the creamy clouds billowed up to the top breaking the surface of enticing black, I remembered my Papa. He liked his coffee the same way, at least when I was serving. I realized that I had adopted the same habit and method of adding cream to my coffee.

“Just pour it in until it swirls back up,” he told me. For the coffee was always hot or brewing at Grandma and Papa’s, usually available with some choice of sweet dessert. And evaporated milk, punctured open and sitting beside the sugar bowl, was ever at the ready.

Now my personal choice is half and half. But back then, that little red and white can was perfectly fine. Because we were sipping our brew together and catching up on the news of the day.

Cone on over and we’ll have coffee. Just like Papa.

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Coloring Books & Oranges

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Deal of the day: Coloring books!

This is a big deal. I know they’re all the rage right now, and are you not glad? We grew up with coloring books. Not the adult sort that is popular, but books featuring cartoon characters and now-iconic movie themes. Frosty, Rudolph, Tom and Jerry, Barbie…the list is quite long. And I’ve probably had at least one coloring book for each character.

Christmas and coloring books go hand in hand. Opening that freshly minted box of unbroken and pointy tipped crayons and deciding which picture to color in first – that was one of our growing up years Christmas traditions.

Our stockings always had an orange, an apple, and nuts. Add some assorted hard candies, never enough chocolate, small toys, coloring books, and crayons!  I’m not sure we had the coloring books and crayons every year, but often enough that I associate them with Christmas morning and full stockings!

I carried on the tradition for our two children when they were young. Coloring books, crayons, chocolate, and candies. For some reason, I dropped the fruit and nuts, though now at my mature age, I view them as synonymous with Christmas stockings.

During college (yes, waayyyy before adult coloring books hit the market), my college friends and residents of the dorm I lived in often sat in the hallways with coloring books and crayons, happily coloring, visiting, and enjoying much-needed stress relief.

As an adult, I still have coloring books. I recently found a lovely nature-themed adult coloring book. I also have a journaling Bible, complete with multiple illustrations ready for me to color.

And today, I purchased old-fashioned coloring books – Rudolph, Frosty, and Santa. I just need crayons,  apples, oranges, and nuts.

Because now I can pass along the coloring traditions to the grands.