100

Happy 100th birthday in Heaven, Grr. I can hear your fiddle music playing at your birthday square dance and see Grandma smiling. Have fun calling, “chase the rabbit, chase the squirrel, chase the girl around the world.” You did. Thinking of you. Wearing my cowgirl boots for the first time this fall. Tell Copper and Santas I said hi too. Scratch their ears in the spots they liked. I am hoping that an unadvertised good thing about Heaven is: No Horseflies. Love you. Thinking of you extra today. Smiling, not crying. Just a little misty around the corners, like you when you’d hear music playing in your mind as you told a story from long ago. Love, Janean

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I’m packing away
a comforter today
the one my Grandma made
to top my childhood twin bed
twas my winter comforter
made of heavy fabric
for extra warmth
with a tangible weight to it
you know
when you’re nestled underneath
you can feel it
even as you sleep
Grandma and Grandpa’s love
always with you
they worked as a tag team
in nearly everything
my sister’s bed
sported a matching comforter
Grandma made two
nearly the same
a lot like my sister and I
for years I’ve said
(a bit tongue in cheek)
“She is the blonde version
and I’m the brunette.”
but beyond our similar look
face shape, smiles bright,
dimpled chin from our dad
we’re more alike than not
on the inside
I’m packing away
a comforter today
thankful
for the warmth, comfort and strength
this decades old blanket
made with Thompson Love
gave me
through the fall, winter and spring
now past

June 17, 2013

nice words

Yesterday I heard two things a woman always loves to hear:
1. From a wonderful friend, “You look thinner.”
2. My 14 year old nephew, “Aunt Janean, Grandma just told me how old you are.”
I reply, “I’m 41.”
Sweet teenage boy says, “I can’t believe it! I thought you were in your 30’s.”
These are words a woman remembers. If you’re looking for me today, my thinner, 30-something self, will still be floating on Cloud 9 with a mile wide smile, Artist, Poet, Daydreamer Style.

June 7, 2013

the first iris bloom
all the more special
because it is a transplant
from Grandma’s garden
Grandpa chose the colors
sent them North
in five gallon buckets
with my father
who dug up
the boring white ones
and planted vivid hues
that my grandmother first chose
and I prefer too
oh, the first iris bloom
looking forward
to yellow, pale blue, two-tone
the other colorful iris
that will follow
soon

May 13, 2013

On Friday at the post office, I thought of my Grandma Thompson as I selected several sheets of “pretty stamps.” I chose Rosa Parks. Along the side reads in great big block letters, “COURAGE.” Quiet, strong, steady, resilient, tough, unwavering, standing tall, because she knew she was right, woman kind o’courage. Best of all, other than that initial confrontation, she didn’t stand alone.
~ Janean

written Saturday, March 16, 2013
posted Monday, March 18, 2013

I made this valentine for my family yesterday. Chocolate kind. Inside and out. In the heart shaped pans my Grandma Thompson gave me, well over 20 years ago. Funny thing is, even though they’ve been mine for that long, I still think of them as hers, and think of her, with a smile, each time I use them. Happy Day After Chocolate Day! Yes, my two sweet boys had hunks o’chocolate cake for breakfast. Why not?! I count it as a pastry, along the lines o’donuts and cinnamon rolls. Plus, it’s a half day of school (Parent’s Day) and we’re going out to eat for lunch.
~ Janean

February 15, 2013

I grabbed my hotel breakfast To Go, so I didn’t miss the 7:30 a.m. shuttle I scheduled last night: oatmeal with brown sugar and sliced almonds (thankful for a plastic lid), a banana, one blueberry muffin wrapped up in a napkin (just the way my Grandma taught me long ago) all of which I shoved into my shoulder bag. Then I got a cuppa coffee and waited not too long. Coffee was gone as I was delivered, to the hospital front doors, so I bought a bigger cup and rode the elevator up. Eating now…started with half my blueberry muffin. Might get the other half, or might share…depends on how filled up that hungry man gets when he finishes The Grand Slam breakfast the hospital staff just delivered. Good morning from Loyola!

January 23, 2013
Loyola hospital
near Chicago