Tuesday, April 27, 2010

And Then There Were None...

In loving memory of my Aunt Thelma
Thelma Lucille (Fulkerson) Liddell

She is the end of an era...
the last living sibling of my mother's,
taking away that generation.

Aunt Thelma & her sisters & sister-in-law

sister Hazel, Thelma with daughter Hazel Dean,

sister Paulene, sister-in-law Mary Ruth

& baby sister Darlene (my mother)

Thelma was the first born of my Grandma & Grandpa Fulkerson's,
probably on the old home place near Hallsville, Missouri.

R.T., Thelma & daughter Dean
with silly brother Jim peaking around the corner

When my mother was 7 years old, Thelma & R. T. Liddell married.
Most of Mom's childhood memories were with Thelma being a married lady.

The Liddell's
R.T. & Thelma
with children, Hazel Dean & Russell
Thelma on Mom's patio

I'm not sure I had a favorite aunt...it just depended on which one I was with at the moment, as I loved them all.
I thought she was the most gracious lady & she always held a special place in my heart.
We were always so excited when we found out we were going to Omaha for a visit.
It was always fun to stay with Uncle R.T. & Aunt Thelma!

Thelma had a way of getting tickled & I remember her laughing a lot.
She kept a beautiful home & loved her flowers.
Perhaps that is where I got a little bit of the gardening fever.
I remember a table full of African violets that she had & they seemed to be in perpetual bloom. I thought they were beautiful. She loved her home & her family & took great pride in both.
Carol & me with Aunt Thelma
The last 28 years of her life were spent without R.T.
She lived alone after his death until she moved to Fremont in assisted living.
Aunt Thelma had Alzheimer's
but it seemed that the stages did not advance on her quickly
& she lived several years functioning quite well
& recognized her loved ones until not long ago.
These pictures are from the last time I saw her.
I was so surprised & thrilled when she looked up at me & said "well Sheila!".
I was so pleased as I knew that for at least a fleeting moment, she knew who I was.

Carol, Luana & I had a sweet visit with her that day.
But she brought tears to my eyes, when in her confusion she asked about Mom & Dad, & when I didn't answer her directly, she sadly said "Am I the only one left?".
We changed the subject & the sad thoughts seemed to go away.

Cousin Luana & me with Aunt Thelma

Longevity seemed to be in her bones & she lived a good life,

living until she was 97 1/2 years old!

Aunt Thelma & Mom
at her 90th birthday party

Aunt Thelma & her family
Evie & Russ
Dean & Sid

Aunt Thelma in her home in Omaha

with her siblings
Jim, Darlene (Mom) Thelma & Millard
The Fulkerson kids

Just the name of Aunt Thelma brings back a rush of childhood memories for me.
We lived in the small hometown where all of the Fulkerson kids were raised
and that is where they would return for summer vacations, holidays, & hunting & fishing trips.
It would be an exciting time when the Liddell's were coming home!
I remember the sisters gathering in Grandma's kitchen, cooking up a storm, preparing a meal for all of the family. In the fall the men would go pheasant or quail hunting while the women stayed at home, content just to visit with each other.

Aunt Thelma was my last living aunt-or uncle-on either side of the family.
It is a sobering thought to realize that our parents generation is now gone...
& we are the ones that remain...
the ones to carry on family traditions, to try to keep the family connected.
Thankfully, the cousins have been close & even though we are somewhat scattered apart,
we plan on keeping the family together.

She was a beautiful, sweet lady, & I loved my Aunt Thelma very much.
I was so disappointed that I wasn't able to attend her Memorial Service.
But I know she would understand & in my heart I said my "goodbye" to her on that last visit, just a few years ago.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Our Little Miss Sniff

She gets it honest. Her great-grandmother had a nose that could sniff out a peculiar odor a mile away! And Paige seems to have inherited it.

Bob used to say that his Mom could smell a cigarette inside the house even if someone was smoking in the next yard. And she could tell if you had eaten garlic in the last 24 hours...or maybe even an onion. Her sense of smell was very keen & she was sensitive to offensive odors.

Paige seems to be the same way. If there is a strange smell even close to her, she pops up & says "What's dat smell???". Just like her great-grandma....and maybe a bit like her Grandpa Bob.

Well, I told you that in order to tell you a little story that just happened recently.

If you are familiar with our beautiful little city, you are probably aware that our sewage treatment plant is right downtown & empties into the White River. About 5:30 in the evening is not a pleasant time to cross the bridge into Columbus!

A Sunday or two ago, the twins were riding to church with us for the evening service. Paige & Peyton were carrying on their own little conversation behind us & Bob & I were chatting away. As we crossed the red bridge, I heard Paige repeated say "what's that smell"...& we ignored her as we kept on talking. She kept it up saying something stinks! And then we heard her very plainly say to Peyton, "Well, it MUST be Grandma & Grandpa"! We looked at each other & burst out laughing. I guess she assumed since we were ignoring her, it must be us. How embarassing!

You never know when she is going to sniff out something and loudly ask out loud "WHAT'S THAT SMELL?" Kids....you never know when the next embarassing moment might be!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

The Busyness of LIfe

The past few weeks have found me bustling around here with more things to do than I can seem to accomplish. And my list just keeps getting longer.
We have some rental property & thanks to the economy--or maybe just bad renters--we had two units become empty at once. I'm always flabbergasted at how filthy people can leave a place, and wonder about the dirt they evidently lived in. The past few days have found us painting, scrubbing, scouring, steaming (the floors!) & wondering if there is an end to it. I knew the time would eventually come for a wallpapered bath to have to be redone....& it's here. Much to my dismay, I discovered that at some distant time, I had wallpapered over wallpaper & now have to remove 2 layers of the horribly ugly stuff before we can even begin to paint in there. I always dread for renters to move out as we have found no one takes care of the place like we would our own home. I see several more days ahead of me working in there.
Of course we are having perfect weather & I would just love to stay home &  get all of my flower beds cleaned out, weeded, mulched &  ready for plantings once we get past the frost danger mark. I have managed to sneak in a few hours but have barely made a dent in my monumental chore.
And then I caused a huge mess when I hung one too many shirts to be ironed in my "ironing closet". Actually I was moving a few of my winter sweaters in beside the ironing &  that caused the whole mess to come crashing down. So...it looks like whether I like it or not...I'm going to have to iron! I've been wanting different clothes rods in that closet & maybe a different shelf, but I wasn't ready to tackle the job quite yet.
So I won't be having time to dream sentimental dreams for a while & thought I should let the world know that I'm working hard at all the busyness that seems to have come my way recently. It takes us both longer to get our jobs done anymore...partly because we have become night owls &  find it hard to crawl out of bed too early in the mornings. And it looks like we've done it again....it's already past midnight!
Hoping to find time for more sentimental journeys one of these days...

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

If It's Storming...It Must Be Spring!

We have had unseasonably warm weather the last few days here in Indiana. I actually saw 86 degrees on my car thermometer yesterday afternoon! Now, I'm not complaining...but everything is growing like it's the middle of June! It seemed like some of our trees blossomed overnight & some are almost through their peak color season. It's been beautiful!
I finally had to drag myself outside to begin cleaning out my flower beds. And that is always when I wonder why in the world I've done so much! This afternoon found me spending a little over 3 hours around the back patio & I was amazed at the difference just cutting back the dead winter foliage, hoeing out the weeds, & raking around the perennials made. Definitely worth the effort. But I've only made a dent in my monumental task...& my back is already aching!

I plan on moving a few things in the courtyard area. Last year was my first try at Knockout Roses & I see they are going to need more elbow room! And the older I get, the more I want to make this area more simple. Roundup & mulch to the rescue!

I've never been a bulb person but put a few out last fall.
And I love them!
I can definitely see more tulips in my future...
along with about a zillion daffodils!

I have two clusters of orange tulips out by the gazebo & they are gorgeous!

I don't remember the name of these...
but which I did as I need quite a few more.

At this very moment we are having a severe thunderstorm. I'm only hoping that the temperatures don't drop enough to hurt the early blooms. We may be in for a long, stormy Spring! Right now I'm drinking in the beauty of God's wonderful creations.

Spring...my favorite time of year.

Oh dear...Bob just read me the weather report & tomorrow night's low is supposed to be 35 degrees. I knew it....

Clipart courtesy of www.thegraphicsfairy.blogspot.com

Monday, April 5, 2010

More Pages From My Scrapbook...

It was over two years after Mom's passing
before I was able to work on my scrapbook.
During her illness I snapped all kinds of pictures of her,
knowing that someday they would be treasures.

I don't look at my scrapbook very often.
Even after almost 7 years
I still miss her more than I ever imagined I would.
Spring time brings those memories rushing back...
being in Kansas for my birthday in March-
Mom's birthday in April-
and that last Mother's Day
when we knew her days were few.

This morning I found my scrapbook
& remembered Mom's birthday by thumbing through the pages.
Some are more personal than I care to share.
But here are a couple for you to see...
to help us remember our Mom
on what would have been her 85th birthday!

I think God put Mother Nature on overtime that year

as those last few weeks of her life,

every spring time tree, every flower, every plant

seemed to be in full bloom.

And now she celebrates every day where it is

"Forever Springtime"

'Don't cry for me, I'm going Home to see my Saviour

There's a garden He's been tending just for me

Why, I can almost smell the sweet perfume

of roses on the vine...

Dry your eyes, don't you cry

I'm just going where it's forever Springtime!' "

Happy Birthday, Mom!!!

"Forever Springtime" by The Bishops