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
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
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
for the warmth, comfort and strength
this decades old blanket
made with Thompson Love
through the fall, winter and spring
June 17, 2013
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
to yellow, pale blue, two-tone
the other colorful iris
that will follow
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.
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.
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
My youngest son is home sick-ish today. Mostly feeling lousy with a headache and overtired. Oh. How I know. That’s been me this week too. That’s why, mid-afternoon, my sweet, nine year old boy is tucked into my side of the big bed resting. I came upstairs to check on him and heard myself say, “I’m kind of shivery.” Then that wise child o’mine said, “You could tuck in too.” Hmmm. Don’t mind if I do! So, I grabbed my favorite romance novel of all time, the one I started rereading yesterday, and crawled between the flannel sheets and savored the weight of an extra comforter…the comforter my Grandma made for me, and a matching one for my little sister, long ago and far away, when I was still a child. Dog is pacing. Woofing too. This cozy moment won’t last long. Rest time is a nice thought though…
December 21, 2012
my sister texted me this morning
a note about her oldest son being back home in Arizona, from his two month visit home to Illinois, where he stayed and played with his grandma and papa, aunts, uncles and cousins too, over summer break
she wrote, “Kids were elated to have him home. It felt great to all be under one roof again.”
All is well
As it should be
The missing piece of your heart puzzle back in place
I’m so glad
For all of you
Hugs and love
she replied, “That is exactly the way I felt to… Kinda off all summer and just felt complete. It was so fun watching all three kids walk inside the house together with smiles.”
then she added, “I love u so much Janean.”
making my heart squeeze and my throat close and my eyes water because Arizona feels really far away today.
August 3, 2012
Dear Queen Anne,
I love your lace.
I always have.
When I’d tuck a stem behind my ear and the delicate blooms would tickle my face.
I picked a dozen and wove the long stems into a crown, oblivious to the minute white petals in my hair long after the crown was gone.
I chose the prettiest blooms and presented them to my grandma in a great big bunch.
Flowers, flowers everywhere in her multilayered gardens, but the only one I was allowed to pick was your lace, Queen Anne.
That young girl, once so carefree, grew into a woman with a family of her own.
But I’m still me.
In the light of early morning, walking my sweet pup on a new path, I spied a familiar flower.
For I never could call it a weed, with a name as lovely as, “Queen Anne’s Lace.”
Hello my friend.
Thank you for waking up my memories, of those childhood days long gone.
My grandma is gone now too.
Smiling down from heaven as I snapped off a single bloom and kept on walking.
Puppy slowing down, pulling less, heeling more.
I know full well it’s against the rules to pick flowers in a public park, as they are there for everyone to enjoy.
I rationalized no one would miss one weed…
Even though in my heart I didn’t think it so.
Thank you for the beautiful, pure white, intricate blooms of your lace, Queen Anne.
I’ll be walking that way again and a flower may or may not follow me home again…
(Depending a bit on who is reading.)
July 21, 2012