Category Archives: Mommy Blogs

Small Town Life – The Snowcone Returns

This Christmas our girls were gifted a more than reminiscent Olaf Snowcone Maker!
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I see them going through the same process I did all those years ago. Yes, I myself was gifted one of these fun contraptions in the shape of a Snoopy doghouse…

I was six and it was the best present that year… I think. I could barely wait to get ice out of the freezer and make snow cones. I was going to be the talk of the neighborhood when I made my snow cone shack and blew that kid down the street out of his barely flavored water business.
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I pulled it out of the packaging, my sister dancing at my side from one foot to another, barely containing her excitement. We broke a bunch of ice out of the tray and shoved it down Snoopy’s chimney and started turning the handle. But…. no snow came out. I hired my sister on as labor and had her pushing the Snoopy shaped stuffer as I churned the handle as fast as I could. Minuscule pieces of snow began to emerge from the dog house door. It floated down into the snow cone cup. We had been at it for 10 minutes…. We recruited my dad to churn and my mother to stuff the ice and apply the necessary pressure to the Snoopy stuffing handle. After an eternity (or 30 minutes, whichever came first), the cup was half full and we squeezed food coloring and sprinkled sugar over our hard earned snow cone. I ate one bite and my sister had the other and that was it for the snow cone as the majority of it had melted to the bottom. My six year old mind began to mull over the business plan. Labor (we were going to have either use my mom and dad or not have a business at all and they were expensive), cost of ice and sugar… then I realized that I was just going to equal the competition as in reality, the sum of all our current efforts were just barely flavored water…
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I gave up my snow cone stand ambitions but every now and then, my sister and I would get out our snow cone maker and work at making one just for ourselves and just for the fun of it.
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Small Town Living – A Little Love Story

imagesThe thing about growing up in a small town is – it’s alot like a soap opera. Everyone knows everyone from birth or not much later and when it comes to dating and love, people are passed from relationship to relationship like the cup game. So the reality is, many young people from this small town want to leave in their adulthood simply to find love outside of all the people they know. They want to escape the soap opera of the town to find love in the big big world out there.

It can really go either way. Either you marry that one that you loved since you were 6 or you go out and find that soul mate who didn’t grow up in the same town you did.

I left. I needed to leave my small town. I had already stopped dating for a while in college. But it was still a place where we all knew each other and the soap opera was prevalent. I went out into the world thinking I would actually take a break from all the crazy dating game I had been seeing and “take a year off.” I moved to Pennsylvania to work at a school that presumably was staffed by married people and where there would be very little chance of me meeting anyone. I was wrong.

First day and Andy sat down my me. He asked me to dinner. We were never friends. We ARE best friends but maybe it was better that we never knew each other in childhood. Maybe the fact that we had both graduated from college before we even met is the reason we are able to have such a great marriage. There is no history or craziness to cloud our relationship. wedding gift flatIMG_9963 8x10

The thing is, I met the love of my life and it was IT! I knew I was ready for a real relationship because I had finally stopped looking for a relationship. I wasn’t needy, he wasn’t lonely. We were happy with ourselves and it made it easier to be happy together.

Now we are back in my small town and I’m teaching him about all the people I know and the past and everything but it’s just a story to him. It’s not his life. Our life now is his new small town living.

Small Town Living – Free to Be a Child

I grew up in this town. We moved here when I was 8 and the majority of my eNorman_Rockwell_-_Fishing_Trip,_They'll_Be_Coming_Back_Next_Week_-_Google_Art_Projectsage brush sunrise flatarly childhood was spent in what we still call “the big house.” We lived on 5 acres of sage brush. We spent a TON of time outside.

We built houses out of tumble weeds and made little trails through the chico, pretending like we were cars speeding around corners. We had a little puddle out back that was deep enough to float a blow up raft in and we spend hours paddling around in it. Whenever we were angry, we “ran away” across the field to a neighbors house who would give us a cookie and call our mother to let her know where we were.marble-champion-1939

We road bikes up and down the dirt road, visiting neighbors and speeding past a house where there was a mean dog that chased us every time. We named him Saddam Hussein. Politically incorrect? Maybe. Our dogs name was George Bush (the first one).

The one time I remember our parents really playing with us, not just taking us somewhere or facilitating play, but actually playing with us, was the Family Olympics where the got cards with numbers and kept score and we kids participated in foot races around the yard and jumping contests and ice skating on the puddle. It was amazing.

Once, when my parents had a bunch of friends over and the kids were left to their own devices, we used our kite string to make a giant spider web around the whole living room.Norman_Rockwell_-_No_Swimming_-_Google_Art_Project

Truth: Childhood doesn’t have to be perfect and your kids don’t need to be entertained by you. Let them enjoy their imaginations. Let them come up with their own stuff. They won’t die or be stunted.

Small Town Living – Saved by Amazon

Truth: Not only is this a small town but we are enclosed by mountains and the nearest mall is literally 2.5 hours away. There is nothing learned in a small town if not patience and planning. Plain and simple, there is no where to get certain things… at least right away. We have the essentials – depending on what you believe the essentials are.

There is no where to purchase nice men’s clothing. My husband actually subscribes to a service that sends him clothing in a box in just his size and he can try them on and send them back if he doesn’t like whatever was in the box.

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Trunk Club for Men

He just keeps what he likes. But if there is a clothing emergency… he’s basically limited to Walmart’s selection.

So for those of us who can’t find what we want in a local store, internet shopping is the only way to go. Living here has taught me to wait and maybe… that not everything is a NEED. Maybe, I just need to save money. When forced to wait, I’m forced to think and well, it’s easier sometimes to just say, “I don’t need that now and I won’t need it then. Let’s save that money for something else.”

But when I do NEED something, I’m usually saved by Amazon…

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Small Town Living – I need to do something nice…

So we are sitting in church and I’m realizing how small it is. I’ve been in bigger churches. You know, a few hundred people and everyone is in their own seats and kids are sitting with their parents (or there is provided childcare) and everyone is disconnected and responsible only for themselves and they listen and they sing and they leave. However, in our church, we know EVERYONE! There is no childcare. Kids are wandering around the church at liberty to sit with whoever they want or wander from pew to pew collecting candy from every kindly old lady. They are visiting quietly with their friends and parents are sending Facebook notes to each other about afternoon activities or night entertainment or lunch plans. A little girl notices the pastor is back from a trip and yells out that she’s glad to see him and is invited up to the platform for a hug and a rendition of a favorite song. This is my idea of a great church life. Let the little children come… Let the adults participate and love each other and interact with each other. Let the visitors be invited to our homes and into our lives a bit for the day.Norman Rockwell, 22.05.2013

To keep the chaos down a bit, Andy and I insist on a reason for leaving our pew from the kids. This week, Abby’s reason was, “I need to do something nice.” Now this isn’t alot of information for a mother but what can I say? I decided to leave it alone and allow the pass to the rest of the church. She took a handful of colored pencils to a visiting child so they could color a picture provided by the children’s department earlier. It was a nice thing to do. Only in a small town church does this happen…

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Small Town Living – A Grown Up Job

Today Abby (6) asked me if she could get a grown up job. She wants to make money so she can buy things that she wants. She also wants to feel important in this world. I get her. However, she’s six. I can’t even get her to clean her own room or do things around the house without alot of prompting. Hmmmm….

The thing is, I remember this. Those things like cleaning my room or helping mother were not on the priority list for me – even if I got paid for helping, it felt fake. I wanted it to be real! I wanted someone to appreciate me for my skill and my contribution and I couldn’t understand that with my parents.

Even now, it’s hard. I work for them. I run their business and I feel every minute like I need to justify the job I’m doing with profit margins or payable reports or whatever. I get my six year old. Now how do I help her?

Here in a small town, I’m sure there are people who would allow me to use them as parenting helpers. I’m thinking about finding a neighbor and asking them to allow me to use them as a front man. She’ll come in and do something and I’ll give you the money to pay her. I mean, I think I could work that out. Is that lying to my kid?

Yeesh…. Parenting ain’t easy!

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Finding jobs in a small town
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Kids spending hard earned money

Small Town Living – Horses on Main

Today as I was driving to church I saw three guys in old school tack and chaps riding horses down main street. Where can you go through the drive through at McDonald’s on horseback? Only in small town America!cowboys flat

It’s not totally unusual for people to have their horses in town. We arebreakfast time flat in an agricultural community. Most of the time they aren’t actually riding across the country. Most of the time it’s in modern clothing but one of these guys had actually come all the way from Louisiana. Took him 2 months.

They are building a horse rescue ranch here in the valley. Now I’m not an animal person. I’m hesitant to let my child have a fish! However, people who are HORSE people or DOG people or ANIMAL people… well, I’m all about supporting them in that mission. They are doing something amazing for which I have no desire or talent and that is amazing to me. Keep on keepin’ on, horse guys!

 

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Two Months on the Road from Louisiana!!!

Small Town Living – Small Business

rockwell11In small towns, you will find small businesses. I happen to run one. My parents own the business and the building and it’s a small clientele that I mostly know by first name. The newest of the 7 employees has been with us for 7 months and the oldest employee has 16 years under his belt. I’m saying, there isn’t alot of turnover. Everyone likes the job enough to stay.

It’s not a glamorous job but as an employee once pointed out to me, “I could move to another company, bigger with more benefits, but I would be a number in a line of possible budget cuts. Here, I’m a name.”

Small sometimes means appreciated more. Small means being known. Small means a human answering the phone that you can see when you walk into the office. Small sometimes means not getting what you want right away but being heard and understood and getting answers faster because you aren’t transferred to 3 different departments. Small means being able to bob and weave as a business because you aren’t to big to move.

I love it.

images1 All images found on Google.

 

 

Small Town Living – Walking on the street

We live in a very small town. Population is actually less than 10,000. There are some colleges that are bigger than this town. Growing up here was interesting but even more interesting is coming back after a time away. I constantly compare my life here to a Gilmore Girls episode. I walk down the street and inevitably I will see someone I know. gilmore_girls

There are people in this town who have lived her forever and know very few people. However, it’s hard to go to the local Walmart with my mother as we will run into people she knows in every aisle and it takes us an hour to get three items.

Today I came back to the store I run from an errand and there was a client there and I knew his name. I knew what he needed. I see him around town and well, I almost started humming the theme song to Cheers.Cheers_S11_early

The truth is, we all love to be where someone knows our name and small town living makes this very attainable. If you are willing to introduce yourself to the supermarket checkout person (even if you don’t use names… you just say hi, how are you and be real when you talk to them) it’s easy to make friends. These are the same friends you will see at the local Mexican restaurant and the dentist waiting area.

Walking down the street can be fun and very sitcom like if you live in the smallest towns in the world.

– the wifey

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Skagway, Alaska

All Images found on Google.

Childhood Remembered

I remember. When I was young, maybe 10, I started journaling. Even before that, I remember my feelings about life. I might remember more than any of my siblings. Although I was never the touchy feely type, I did always have very strong feelings. They were feelings of wanting to be treated like a grown up. I had feelings of indignation and embarrassment and I felt like I should have been born knowing everything. How could I possibly mess up and have to deal with the consequences?

Abby (6) is learning to write. I’m hoping that she will journal as much as I did. I go back to those old journals and look at my writing and my feelings and it helps be to understand her. I’m not always the best mother. I hope I can be better by remembering my own childhood as much as possible. I always want to do as much as I can to understand her every time something happens.

This is soooo hard. When the rush of life has me in a hurry, it’s harder to stop and think about her feelings and why her reasoning is headed in a direction. But when I take the time, when I stop, it’s better.

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