Saturday, October 29, 2016

You Just Never Know

As a parent, the worry is constant.  When we moved from Illinois to Arizona, there was a lot of planning involved.  Like 5 years of planning.  But you just never know how things will work out. Especially when you are dealing with disabled adult children. Will they make friends, will they like where they spend their days.  Basically will it be better and will they be happy.

Kate always had a blast with her friends in Illinois.  Attending multiple parties for a holiday, like Halloween.  My fears were put to rest when October rolled around in Arizona. Today is October 29 and so far she has attended five different Halloween/Fall Festivals with another one tonight and then trick or treating on Monday.  Yes, she is having a blast.  

And then there is Patty, is she happy?  This is a picture from her Halloween party at work. I think it is safe to say she is~ remember to share the joy.

Thursday, October 20, 2016


Living in Arizona is like being on vacation, every day. Seriously. I often say I feel like I live in a post card.  The sunrises and sunsets are just amazing. The 120 degrees in July and the 90 degrees at the end of October I could do without, but everyone keeps saying wait until January!

But that doesn't mean I don't miss being where I was for over 50 years.  I miss my family and friends.  This week has been rather trying in that way.

I had an neighbor/friend, Cathy, on my mind for several days so of course she called me earlier in the week.  Her news was sad.  Another neighbor, Joan, had passed away.  We all knew it was coming, eventually, but it is never easy to hear.  And I also knew that another neighbor, Arcie, who loved her like a mom would take it especially hard, and she was out of town when it happened.  My heart was heavy.

So, I feel a little melancholy I guess you would call it.  Not sad, just not happy.  I went for a walk today on my lunch and was listening to a song by Kenny Chesney called "I Go Back".  He sings about a time in his past he remembers fondly.  While walking and listening, I see something red out of the corner of my eye.  Right there under a flag pole, in Mesa, Arizona, is a garden of red geraniums... a fond memory filled my mind.

Every year on Mother's Day, my Dad would fill the planter on the front porch with red, pink and white geraniums.  I smiled and my heart was not quite as heavy.  November 4 will the anniversary of Dad's passing.  Mom is 92.

Spread love to your family and friends.  Hug them while you can, and share the joy.

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Small World

Kate has a friend in Illinois who, when I mention the words he says often, those who know him will immediately know who I’m speaking of.  Every day, all the time. 

Yes, I’m talking about Jesse.  Jesse and Kate are good friends and would see each other at Our Place and other social functions.  He is a very tall young man, who lives during the week at Misericordia in Chicago and stays with his Mom on the weekends.  It is during the weekends that he does a lot of social activities with his friends in the North Shore, that used to include the Noll family.

Kate and I had lunch with Jesse and him Mom at a restaurant in Morton Grove.  He obviously went there often as most of the wait staff knew him by name.  And he is not a shy quite boy by any means.  Before the meal was served we said Grace and I’m pretty sure the tables at the far end of the room heard our giving thanks to the Lord… okay by me buddy!

Jesse doesn’t watch TV, but he is a whiz on the computer.  Almost daily I would, and still do, receive an email from him with simple requests: Please tell Kate and Mr. Noll and Patty hello. – How are you? – Please send me two business cards. - How is Arizona?

He also leaves me voice mails, mostly telling me he misses us.

Recently, Sarah (the only family member who hasn’t met Jesse) was doing volunteer work with ComEd. I knew this because she sent me a picture of the flower arrangement she had made.  When I asked her what she was doing, she asked me what Kate’s friend Jesse’s last name was.  When I told her, she said she was just hanging out with Jesse and Daniel (another old high school friend of Kate's).  Sarah was volunteering at Misericordia and they were delivering flowers together. 

She sent me a picture of Jesse waving to me from Illinois, and I sent one back of me waving to Jesse from Arizona. 

I smiled the rest of the day.

Of course he asked Sarah for two business cards and now she is also receiving his emails... life is good, share the joy!