A Special Woman Update 2012

This post is an update of the birthday post published last year in honor of my favorite Auntie Arlene, whose birthday is today.  Much of the post is not new, just made current.  I spoke with her an hour ago, wished her well, told her I loved her and we’ll get together in the next couple days.  Here is the post:

Today my Auntie Arlene turns 94.   Regular readers have heard of her and seen pictures on this site before.  What makes her so special?  For one thing, it is through her that I own the Homestead.  She married one of my dad’s brothers, Uncle Elmer ( a twin), years ago and they raised their family here at the Homestead.    I spend time with her as often as both our schedules permit.  That’s right, both our schedules. 

     Auntie Arlene has a full life, full of family and friends and as of just recently, twin great grandchildren, a boy and a girl, that she got to hold yesterday!!  The newest additions bring the grand total to 13 great grandchildren.  Arlene Buelow, daughter of a twin, wife of a twin, mother of twins, is now great grandmother of twins – how cool is that?? 

She loves pro football, especially the Packers and she knows stats, more than I do.  She challenges her mind against the contestants on certain television game shows,  remains current on civic and community events and continues to engage in lively debates;  for the two of us sharing a meal  (my lunch is her dinner and my dinner is her supper)  topics range from people to politics to religion.  She’s an encourager, a woman of strength and conviction – always ready to go to prayer over whatever the need may be.  And she lets you know she’s praying for you!

      I’m thrilled to be part of her life and to have her as part of mine.  We have a conversation or visit as close to every week as possible.  When I’m in school she’s pulling for me all the time, especially when I appear tired or frustrated; I know I’m in her prayers because she tells me so.  She knows about my health, my children, my life.  At 94 she’s seen a lot and has a beautiful, serene wisdom and grace.  She’s quick to share a chuckle and loves to show you the photographs of her expanding family.

     We’re sharing lunch/dinner in a couple days.  I’ll take some new pictures of us and maybe post one here, but regardless, to me, Auntie Arlene is perennially as young and happy as she appears in that old photograph below on the left.  The photo on the right was “re-staged” last summer and we had a grand time doing so  🙂  Our newest fun time together is for me to bring my laptop and we go online together.  She gets a giggle out of seeing and reading the posts, understanding that this is on the World Wide Web and anyone in the world with an Internet connection can see and read about us.  We’ve gone to FaceBook and looked at lots of photos and she knows how Internet commerce is conducted.  I just called her again to do a fact check on her dad being a twin and told her that when we’re together next week, I’ll bring my laptop and show her this post; we laughed together.

                Happy94th Birthday, Auntie Arlene,  you are so loved!!  



A Time to Mourn and a Time to Dance revisited

A couple of years ago, I wrote about the different seasons and times in our lives.  As Solomon said long ago, there is a time for everything in our lives.   At that time, I was commenting on the passing of one of my aunts, my dad’s youngest sister and how, while it may be a time of mourning in our lives, I believe it was a time of dancing as my grandmother welcomed another of her ten children into heaven.

     I’ve been away from this blog for a while, the longest time ever since beginning  back in 2008.  First there was the celebration of Easter, my birthday and five years cancer-free, all spent in South Carolina, visiting my daughter Meghan. It was awesome, a weekend in Charleston, Easter Sunday on the beach, fabulous meals in historic restaurants, then a week as a guest in Meghan’s home. During that time, I was still in my Spring semester of school, more challenges along the way, including a technological failure that was fairly stressful being a thousand miles from my home computer with critical homework due. 

     Back here at the Homestead, that semester rolled on to completion, not the usual two A’s , but two B’s, in two very challenging courses. While not overjoyed with two B’s, it beats the daylights out of two C’s or D’s 🙂   I encountered unknown technical challenges with this blog site, only recently resolved,  made some changes  on the business side of my life, piano lessons for the spring were completed and I decided  not to attend summer school, the first time in three years that I skipped summer classes.  I needed a break, as those who know me up close and personal will attest; the time had come to lighten up a bit.  It’s been a good summer, once it finally arrived. 

     But the seasons in the title don’t refer to calendar seasons.  It has been both a time to mourn and a time to dance, as is typical of all of our lives. The annual reunion with high-school friends was fabulous, a Cowgirl theme this year, love and laughter and new memories made, while old memories were shared and indeed, it was a time to dance. The time to mourn came with the passing of two our group’s mothers, followed immediately by the passing of an old friend’s 29 year-old daughter. That’s been a tough one, as the young woman was precious not only to me, but as a big sister to my girls. We’ve spent good time on our memories, even in the time to mourn was a time to laugh as we’ve shared favorite stories about this special friend.
      That  is life on planet Earth, life in this fallen world; one minute filled with joy beyond measure and next with sorrow beyond compare.  My message today?  Love with all your heart and let those special people know for sure how much you care.  Love unconditionally, as we are loved by our Heavenly Father, not for what anyone does, rather for who they are.  Spread grace as you go, show the compassionate face of Jesus to those who may be desperately in need.    And dance, take time to dance even in the face of sadness.     À bientôt.