Friday, August 31, 2007

"Papa with no legs"

My great nephew, Gaege, called my Father, "Papa with no legs". I think that was to distinguish him from his "Papa with a hat" and any other people known to him that went by the name of Papa. This title has given me great cause to think about giving someone such a shocking name. I guess too, because it describes what Dad didn't have, and not what he did. Could he have been called be called:
Papa with distinction
Papa with a carpenters hands
Papa with a sideways grin
Papa with dignity
Papa with determination
Papa with bravery
Papa the farmer's son
Papa the "Insurance Man"
Papa with Tennessee Walkers
Papa with Nana
Papa with Christmas Spirit
Papa the fix-it Man
Papa the father to Betty, Merry, Judy and Hugh
Papa with the steam engine
Papa with a workshop
Papa with frog gigs
Papa the good neighbor
or maybe
Papa the very handsome Man?

You get my point! There wasn't a lot that Papa wasn't, to those that loved him. He was the best he could be, and never gave up, even in his last three years, when he had no legs...
Wow, I guess Gaege was right! That name gave Papa something to stand up to, and he did, with great dignity and courage. Gaege didn't see someone who was impaired by a disability nor was he embarrassed by it. He really saw Papa as he was, and was as proud as the rest of us were, of "Papa with no legs".

What a great guy, that Papa!

Are you smiling yet?

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Thursday, August 30, 2007

My Mama's Kitchen

Each time I visit my mother, we spend a fair amount of time at the kitchen table. I will always remember the kitchen table as a place for good conversation, a time for picking guitars and singing familiar songs, looking at old photos, drinking pots of fresh brewed coffee and eating fried chicken, chicken and dumplings, bacon, lettuce and tomato sandwiches and strawberry shortcakes (my favorites).

The kitchen was always warm, colorful and inviting. Mom liked to have something beautiful in the middle of the round table, along with a fresh table cloth covering it. The big fan, complete with fluted light bulb shades, is always circling over head.

In recent years when I visit, I like getting up early in the morning, before Mom rises (which isn’t hard to do since she sleeps late into the morning these days and my body clock is an hour earlier than Murfreesboro time). I try to be as quiet as a mouse as I go about making the coffee and empting the dish washer of dishes washed the night before. I can’t resist turning on the CD player, as low as it will go, that sits on the end of the counter top. I usually play songs by mother's favorite, John McDermott, or something my brother sang and recorded for Mom years ago. I love the way the music fills the kitchen. I go out the back door, so as to keep the noise at a minimum, walk around the one hundred year old house to retrieve the Daily News Journal that has once again been thrown in the front yard. Home…it feels like home, more than any other place that I have ever known, it feels like home.

I love sitting in that kitchen, the smell of that old house brings back so many memories. These times of morning solitude are a perfect time to reflect. I can see Mama cooking for Daddy and Daddy waiting to be served all the things that he likes. “Pass the pie, Mama", rings in my ear, late night account balancing, the first meeting of “Rococo”, fashion shows, “me got one”, the children at the table on Christmas day, tearful confessions, and on and on. There is something really nice about being in the same house for 50 years. You just feel at home there, no matter where time has taken you; you are back to your roots.

When Mom rises and shuffles into her familiar place at the table, the side in front of the stove, and pours herself a full cup (she likes it filled all the way to the top) of a good smelling brew, we may spend another hour or two just sitting there talking about everything we can think of, before beginning the events of the day.

Yeah, I really like a round kitchen table and in that big kitchen on 600 North Church, that same table has made a lot of people feel like family for 50 years, it isn’t fancy, but it works.

So go home, whenever you can, so you too can sit there once again and make a memory. Connnect with your roots.


Friday, August 24, 2007

The Day that changed my life forever...

From the day this child was born, August 25, 1965, I have been graced with pride and I have never been totally alone. Michael truly came to rescue me. He gave me joy and purpose. Good or bad, he taught me everything I know about being a parent to a little boy! I was such a young, frightened mother, so far away from home. Mike was my light and he was loved. A year later; Mike gave all that love to his sister and we became a family. That unbreakable bond and devotion has turned into a loving family of twenty, and for me, it all began that sweet day in August, 42 years ago. My life took it's path the day he was born. I have loved being his Mother.

Today, Mike is a successful father to Joe and Isabelle, loving husband to Mary, attorney, sports participant, and still the precious son I share with his dad and with Terrence.

Happy Birthday Son!

*(P. S. On September 18, 2007, Mike is has volunteered to be arrested and held hostage at the W Hotel, until he raises $2,500 "bail", for Muscular Dystrophy (Jerry Kid's).
Let's show our support by giving a small (tax deductible) donation, to help free him, and to this wonderful cause. Attached is a web page which will enable you to make a donation.

His Mom (I) will be grateful because, as you with children know, I can't let him stay in jail for very long. I will have to bail him out one way or another. Thanks!)


Today's blog can't be finished until it is mentioned that it is also the birthday of another special boy who is turning SIX years old! I will let his mother give all the brag facts about him, but I know, after just spending a week with him in Grayton and then another four days in Driggs; this is one fine grandson! I especially enjoyed our time hiking and drawing and working on Mimi's Project together.

I love you Aidan and I hope you have a wonderful Birthday!!!


Final from Driggs

Saturday, August 18, 2007

More from the Grand Targhee Resort

A morning of hiking in the Rockies....WOW, how lucky are we!

I wish you all were here with us.
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Friday, August 17, 2007

Rocky Mountain High

Our flight into Jackson Hole was met with a little rough weather and delays but the reunion with family and acquaintances has been lovely. What a great place to meet. How nice it has been to don a sweater again and feel the cool wind on our faces.
Kris and Shannon have reunited with the extended family they were born into...Kim and Tom have been the bridge that unites us together.
Terr and I have enjoyed seeing his siblings again and putting the children of nieces and nephew's faces and names together.
Our bunch is meeting in the morning at 8:00 for breakfast and then a two mile hike with the lodge pole pines and aspen permitting.

Allie and Layton will have a recommitment ceremony tomorrow at 3:00. God bless their ten years together and their faithfulness to each other.

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Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Beth turns 35!

From what I have been told, on August 16th, Bethann entered this world fighting for her very life. Getting here wasn't easy, but look at her now!

Successfully transplanted to California, with a wonderful job at the Princeton Review as one of only five regional directors, she continues to make her presence known.

Happy Birthday Beth, we are proud of the things you have accomplished and how hard you have worked for what you wanted. May this be your best year ever!

Stay in touch, you are loved by us.

-Mimi and Dad

Sunday, August 12, 2007

It's time to go home

"Day O, Day A-A-O, Day light come and I want to go home..."

Some had to leave early so the Day-O dance line wasn't quite as long this year, but none the less the tradition was honored.

Thankfully we all arrived home safely, brown as well-done biscuits and ready to sort out the sandy beach paraphernalia, piles of mail, backlogs of email and work. Kate and Jeremy are headed back to Brooklyn, the kids are getting ready to start back to school and Kristin and the boys, Shannon, Kim, Tom, Terr and I are getting ready to head out west for a Croft family reunion. This is one busy family.

We have hundreds (if not a thousand) beach pictures that will long remind us of another wonderful year on family vacation.

Maybe Molly will write the highlights of this year's trip again for our memory books. Kristin or Tom has volunteered to make a photo CD of every one's collected pictures and I hope someone got a film of Fweakijam 2007 that I can edit and have a copy made for the kids. We'll have plenty to share with anyone that will look and listen...look out Mama, Judy, Natali (Hugh?) here I come!! What a great finish!

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Our Men of Grayton in '07

Speaks for itself...every gal could use one of these around the beach.
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Thursday, August 09, 2007

The Reason for William's Smile...

We have two more days of sunshine with an added ocean breeze and endless laughter and children's chatter.

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

A word from the Grandchildren....

Keegan and Aidan had to leave us this morning, but these are favorites (so far) for the other grandchildren:

Ford: "Skim boarding is awesome."

Andrew: "I love playing in the waves."

Joe: "My favorite is skim boarding too."

Emily: "The lake is fun to play in." "I like spending time with family too."

Morgan: "I like the beach and Fweakijam!"

Isabelle: "The lake and the pool are really fun to play in."

William: "I go to Mimi's house!"

( Mimi's project was performed successfully last night! The kids did a great job and we ended it with all nine playing; 'Take me out to the Ball Game', on kazoos! honor of Nana!)
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Tuesday, August 07, 2007

No Brag, Just Fact...

My girls at the beach. :)
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Friday, August 03, 2007


14 hours and counting....then


(For anyone that doesn't know; the entire family (except sadly not Beth,
who is working hard a her new job position in California) is
headed for the beach in the morning for a week long vacation together!...
All twenty of us!!!)

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Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Birthdays, birthdays and more birthdays!

Tonight Terrence and I had birthday dinner to celebrate the birthday's of Ford and Molly. A little belated but none the less a wonderful celebration! The good thing about this family, is that we are so big that we always have something or someone to celebrate!!! These are the good times and memories are being made, enjoyed and I hope treasured.

Happy Birthday Ford and Molly!


Indulge me for a moment as I pay homage to another special birthday outside of our immediate chatterbox family. My precious sister, Judy, forever beautiful, forever young, has a birthday, August 1st. I will be thinking about you today as I go about doing the many things I have on my list before going on family vacation. I hope you make it a perfect day, realizing you are are loved by many...and that's the greatest gift of all. Happy Birthday, you all are loved by me!


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