Snacks and a seek & find book can only mean one thing.
When I was a kid, family road trips happened just once a year ... immediately after school ended for summer break and before summer really hit. And always to the same place ... Springville, Alabama, to visit my grandparents.
One of the highlights in preparing for our road trip was choosing snacks, purchasing new puzzle books, and selecting a few toys to keep us company as we traveled.
No iPad, smart phones, movies, or other electronic devices to entertain us. Air conditioning meant the windows were rolled all the way down and music selections were left to our parents and a sketchy AM radio station. Motels were costly and not always available. Often my parents would pull in to a road side rest area, along with other travelers, and catch a few before hitting the road again. Road side picnics always included cold friend chicken and a butter sandwiches. And on more than one occasion, one of my sisters would touch me and the other one would look at me.
It's a wonder I even survived.
And yet, I looked forward to it every year!
I love a beautiful garden ... especially this time of year when everything is in bloom.
Recently, I stepped into a garden that was lush with green plants, fragrant flowers, and singing birds. In the center of the garden, the gardener talked to the birds as they fluttered around him. His face was full of wonder and love as he held out his hands toward the birds. His eyes crinkled with laughter as the birds rested on his outstretched arms.
I didn't think he knew I was there as I silently watched him interacting with the birds.
But I should have known better.
The Gardner knows and sees all who enter into His garden. And He welcomes all with wonder and love and outstretched arms.
Pacquins hand cream. This is the hand cream she would use every night. After dishes were cleaned and put away and after she changed into her nightgown and robe. She'd sit in her chair next to dad, under the glow of the living room lamp, and she would massage her hands with Pacquins.
I had forgotten this scent and memory until recently when I took notice of the aging of my hands and therefore decided to show them some love. Upon opening the jar of hand cream, I was immediately transported back to my childhood days and the sweet memory of my mom.
Recently we cleaned out the home of my late mother-in-law. As we walked into her home, immediately we were greeted with the scent of an apple cinnamon plug-in. This will forever remind me of her.
Scent is a powerful emotional trigger. I'm so thankful for these scents and the memories that come with each sniff.
Love is in the air.
Confession. I'm not an early morning person. My body seems to prefer a solid 10 hours of sleep and I'm ok with that.
My mom, on the other hand, loved her early mornings. And by early mornings, I mean up-before-daylight mornings. I'm talking o'dark thirty mornings.
Rumor in our house was that she would have a load of laundry hung on the clothesline before the birds were even awake and a second load in the wash. And if laundry day consisted of washing bedsheets, then you better be up with beds stripped by the time the second load was on the clothesline.
The woman loved her early morning routines and I loved this woman. Oh to just hear her voice one more time as she hollered up the stairs ... "Staci Jo! Time to get up! And throw down your sheets!"
Today is an early start day for me. My body is not yet awake and yet here I am. The birds are singing and the sun is rising. And my heart is flooded with sweet mom memories.
It's going to be a good day.
May. The month of all things mother-ish. Mother's day. May flowers. Memorial day. This month is all about moms. And when your mom is now in heaven, May becomes a month of sweet memories
What was the best advice your mom shared with you? What words of encouragement did she often share with you?
This was the question asked of me today.
While I'm sure there were many moments in my growing up years that my mom offered advice (sometimes wanted but most times not), what I really remembered ... and cherished ... was the encouragement that came just by hearing her voice in my grown-up years.
While she may have not always said the right words I had hoped to hear, she always said just the right words that made me feel better as a wife, a mother, a daughter, a sister, a friend.
She was my encourager often and my mother always.
I miss her voice of reason, encouragement, and most of all ... love. Oh, to hear her voice. Just one more time.