Posts Tagged ‘dining table’

Celebrating Mom’s Life

June 21, 2015

I didn’t think it would take me this long to write about last Sunday’s Celebration of Life for my Mom – now it is Father’s Day.  Maybe it is appropriate after all, I can’t picture one without the other.   The truth is, I was so exhausted I spent the week resting and sleeping.  Yesterday I seem to have spent most of the day dozing or sleeping – couldn’t keep awake.

Eddie and I had been working on getting things done for the Celebration of Life – meanwhile he was wearing himself at work as well.  I had first heard of a Celebration of Life in the 80’s when I was going to Northward Congregational Church in Conn.  When someone died, that was how they looked at it – not as a sad, mournful event but a celebration.  I really liked that and  idea and found it more comforting.  We did a Celebration of Life open house for Dad in 2000, inviting people from all the places Dad knew people – it was quite a group.  I was concerned it would be sad and I would start crying.  However, it was a delightful time and I knew Dad would have enjoyed it.

Things have certainly changed in 15 years – not many people left who knew Mom and I will admit to being late with the invitations.  We invited the Domino ladies, the neighbors, people from Breakfast Club, my Caretaker Support Group, Future of Flight, and Kathy.  I had a postcard made that I gave out and decided whoever was supposed to come would be here.  I arranged a cake with Robbi, our resident cake designer at Breakfast Club and had her deliver it Sunday morning.

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Robbie did such a wonderful job on the cake.  I was very pleased with it.

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She did lemon cake with lemon curd, plus I asked her to put some lemon flavoring in the frosting.

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She made such lovely flowers for the cake

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It was Flag Day, Eddie put up the flag for the day – Mom and Dad used to put it out  most every day.

I ordered a fruit tray and vegetable tray from Fred Meyer, each with a dip.  I had lemonade with a bit of orange flower water and Vickie lent me her spigot jug.  I used white tablecloths and put the two card tables on the porch for the food and lemonade and one of the outside tables with another white tablecloth for the cake.  I used lavender napkins, light green plates and forks, then purple napkins to put under the trays.

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The card tables worked very well.

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This is the table for the cake – I had to put napkins and plates to keep the purple napkins from flying away.

I planned to buy roses for Mom and put them on the mantel with the 50th anniversary picture of both of them.  Eddie picked them for me – he always chooses just the right thing.

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It worked out so well!  Mom always enjoyed her rose garden.  Candy sent roses but unfortunately there was aspire in the works and the florist didn’t send them for whatever reason.  I know Mom would have really appreciated the thought.

Ellen sent a lovely azalea, one of Mom’s favorite flowers.

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I wanted to do something  interesting with the dining table, so I brought out my newest tablecloth, used the spiky chrysanthemums Eddie bought for me and put some candles and candlesticks with them.  I was going to use the Swedish crystal candle holders, but Eddie liked the silver ones.

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As I looked at it after I finished, I think he was right.

My long time friend Charlotte came, The Dusslers from down the hill and Vickie and Rich Bergquist all came about the same time.

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Bonnie and Alona Dussler

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A much better picture of the two of them

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Charlotte was looking through the book Candy sent.  she wrote it about Mom and several people enjoyed looking through it – some saw pictures of themselves in it.

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No Celebration of Life would be complete without Kathy.  she started out as Mom caregiver, became a good friend and now she is our very good friend.  she helped so much with dealing with Mom, organizing, advice, answers and many, many other things.

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Marilyn Silworth who lives up the street.  Mom would go walking with her husband Ron most days.  Ron would call and ask if Mom was going for a walk and Mom was delighted to go with him.

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Charlotte and I both wore lavender.  In the background is Delores Allen with Ken and Maria Carter who live across the street.

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That’s Claire McGee in the foreground, she lives up near where the school bus used to stop.

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This is Peggy Johnson, she lives up near Claire.  She is 90 or more and we see her sitting on the ground weeding her yard all the time.

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The table worked out so well.  I kept it simple.

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Bob allen – he and Delores live next door and have been wonderful neighbors for Mom and Dad as well as for us.

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He’s Claire McGee again.

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This is Sheila Woodward – she lives on the other side of allen.  Next to her is Maria Carter.

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The Carters brought a lovely plant and it was on the table with the food.

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Sandy from the Future of Flight brought a lovely bouquet.

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We are enjoying the Carters’ plant in the dining room.

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This is Delores Allen – I’m sure she would appreciate  her front showing instead of her back.

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This photo is driving me nuts!  I lightened in iPhoto and it was great – now it only comes out dark.  That means you can’t really see rich and Vickie very well.  I am going to wait for a day or two and see if iPhoto and WordPress will work together finally.

We had a great time and enjoyed all the people who came.  I was very surprised and delighted to see June Hawkins, she is one of the domino ladies and has been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer.  She was given 6 weeks, but that has passed and although she was walking very slowly and with difficulty, her grand daughter brought her here for a short while.   Not sure about the other ladies, butI know Mom would be pleased June came.

Unfortunately I didn’t have pictures of everything thing and everyone – we had people on the porch, at the dining table and in the living room – it went very well.  I am very happy people came and had wonderful things to say about Mom; I think she would surprised  how much people liked her and enjoyed being with her.  It was a perfect sunny day, about 75 with a cool breeze – I couldn’t have asked for better weather.

it has taken me some days to begin to sleep comfortably, I was overtired, stiff and sore Sunday night.  The shoulders and neck have been stiff all week – not sure what that is about but I will work through it.  It was a special day for Mom and the last thing I can do for her.  Now it is my time and I am looking forward to what shows up next.

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Spring Ahead – Phooey!

March 8, 2015

Just when I am comfortable being able to wake up when I plan, we do this ridiculous Daylight Time. I am still trying to figure out why we do it and why does it get earlier and earlier every year. It also means it is extended at the other end as well. It’s been much lighter for Eddie when he leaves at 5 a.m. – now it is dark as a pocket.

I am usually not cranky about things, it’s just that I feel uncomfortable and out of kilter when we are on Daylight time – going back to Standard time, it feels like being in a warm, cosy bed. So far this year, it has been unusual. We have had Spring since the middle of February and so many things are blooming now. Vic’s magnolia tree is almost past blooming, the camellias are going by quickly and the forsythia had a slow start – they are usually the first ones to bloom.

We have had a lot of sunny, fairly warm days – sweater weather in the beginning of March. The scales in the porch garden are getting taller and I expect them to send up stalks for blossoms shortly. Thursday I told the apple and pear trees “Don’t you dare bloom now!” because we might not have any pears or apples. I need to put fertilizer spikes in so they will have some to help them produce fruit. Maybe another shot this year will help the fig tree. I think it is still angry we pruned it 2 or 3 years ago.  I am not complaining, it is a glorious time to see everything blooming.

I seem to spend a lot of time sleeping at night and during the day. Yesterday we went to pick up our taxes from A.D. and all I wanted to do was sleep in the car. A. D. is a great guy and had things ready for us – no chivvying and nagging any more. He had some suggestions for this tax year and we’ll see how things go when we do the taxes next year.

Today I am having trouble getting my self organized or doing anything – maybe I have just been telling myself it is hard to adjust rather than just accepting the change and being open and willing to see it as a usual Sunday. Old habits die hard.

I haven’t written much lately, I don’t want to whinge and be a downer. I finished the 6 week grief support group and would like to see what else is available. I feel a bit cut off before I am ready. I think everyone else felt a bit of that as well. Also, I had 2 different people come in to see about an estate sale – we would lose money if we had one because the market for antiques is no longer there. One of the women gave me the names of people who might be in certain pieces and one fellow who might be interested in the books.

We bought a dining room table that they will hold in the warehouse for us for about a month. Not sure how soon we can move things out to accommodate it. An oddball situation for sure. Kathy helped me organize Mom’s room – she has an organized mind without the emotion. I need to buy some boxes to sort through Mom’s hooking stuff for the lady in Nova Scotia – that was what I asked her to help me do last Wednesday.

Not much else happening, though Ellen and Candy have been having snow. I was interesting to see Ellen’s photo of the beach covered with snow and the water a cobalt blue.

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Cleaning Out

August 10, 2014

I knew I had to start cleaning out drawers and closets but there was something holding me back.  Not necessarily the size of the project so much as going through my parents’ belongings.  If you saw the house, it doesn’t necessarily look as though anything has been done – it is more the inside where there is a difference.  I cleared out a shelf in the office with things both Mom and Dad had clipped and saved, mostly Mom’s idea pile.  She had a lot of articles about rug hooking, pattern ideas, calendars with flowers and some patterns she had transfer to a backing to hook.  I found her patterns for the coat of arms rug – a list of tartans and descriptions as well as individual shield patterns.

Thursday afternoon I started on the desk in the living room, clearing out the top of the desk with all the little drawers and cubby holes.  I know I come from a long line of  pack rats, but I had no idea how much Mom kept.  I filled a shopping bag with old pay stubs for Dad, check registers, you name it.  I was really tired by the time I finished that.  Friday I started on the first three large drawers below – another full bag of things.  I put all the things to be shredded on top of the desk and Eddie took care of that for me – they may be old but I want to be sure no one can use the information.  I have one more drawer to go.  then it is on to the bedroom.

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It was interesting to see what Mom kept, there are reports from school for all three of us, some letters from grandparents, congratulation cards for all three of us from relatives, a bunch of newspaper articles about family members – the others I don’t know who they are but I think they are people Mom went to school with or knew in Glastonbury.  There are pictures of all kinds and in the lower drawers she has so many cards to use for any occasion.  I may send those over to Goodwill and some other things.  Letters, photos and other papers I have in a box so Candy and Ellen can check them out.

It will be interesting to see what is squirreled away in the bedroom bureaus.  Now that I have done most of the desk, I realize it would have been smart to do it a lot sooner.  Maybe it has just taken this long to be ready to do it.  I need to clean things out to sell them, otherwise they would be very heavy and there is no telling what is in the drawers.

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I put the dining room table on Craig’s list last Saturday – no word so far.  I had been hesitant to do it only because I didn’t know how it worked and what to do.  I checked out eBay as well just to have an idea how much I could ask – 52″ round mahogany pedestal table with 3 leaves, 6 chairs and table protectors.  Turned out it was very hard to list it on Craig’s List, so I will put another on the site.

We need to start going through books and donate them to the library.  I want to make sure which ones are worth keeping or truing to sell – the ones I have with Judith on her online book store are still there.  She said things are very slow right now.  I do want to check with her to find out which books are valuable then decide what to do with them.

I know Mom is no longer in this world but a world of her own – still, it feels strange to be doing this while she is still alive.  Yet she isn’t going to be coming back and it is long past time for Eddie and me to make this house our own.  I often feel pulled in 2 opposite directions.

I visit Mom twice a week and I notice she is more sleepy when I come – some days she is quite alert and aware.  The day she didn’t know who I was took me a little by surprise and since she was in a feisty mood, she didn’t want anyone to touch her.  So now I ask her if she would like a hug and the other day, she said yes, and a kiss.  I know the not recognizing me will come more often, I hope to be able to be objective about it and not get upset.  She loves chocolate and cookies, always saying yes to them.  When she is really sleepy, I will save some of the cookies and put them in her room for later – Judy says she will have a snack in the afternoon.  I tend to put her to sleep when I read, she says that’s fine.

Every day is an education, learning experience and challenge, I am working on seeing it that way rather than a upsetting situation.  I am working on it every day and I have made a lot of progress, though I am still a work in progress.


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