Showing posts from July, 2012

1998: 40 Thoughts in 40 Days

Here's a secret for all of my devoted readers ...all 4 of you anyway.

I love money.  You know, for more than the obvious reasons.  Maybe I should clarify my statement though since we all know that "The love money is the root of all evil."

What I mean to say is - I love to play with it, count it, figure out what's missing, figure out the puzzle that makes it all work.

But I wasn't always like this.  Growing up, counting money was way too much math for this artistic girl.  It was a very left brain journey that my right-sided brain didn't want to travel any more often than absolutely necessary. But I did it because it was math that needed to be learned in school and I had to if I wanted to save for the future or purchase for the present.

By 1998, hubby and I had arrived at a point in time where I had become familiar enough with living in western New York and was comfortable with my surroundings, but being a "stay-at-home mom" to the dog was just not…

1997: 40 Thoughts in 40 Days

August, 1997 - I was about to embark on an experience unlike I ever imagined I would take part of when we made the move to the Empire State.

Through our church, and through being involved on our worship team...I was heading out of the country for the first time.  (Not counting my numerous trips made to Canada - do those really count when you can practically see the border from your house?)  This trip was also going to involve {gulp} flying for the first time.

I have never felt "the call" to be a missionary.  Ever.  So when this opportunity first presented itself, I was less than enthused at the idea.  What did I possibly have to offer?  Then the panic really set in.  I had to get a passport.  Immunizations needed to be updated (ouch).  What's the Spanish word for "bathroom"?   I really should've paid closer attention during those two years of Spanish in high school...because we were heading to Central America, into the country of Honduras.

     My first tak…

1996: 40 Thoughts in 40 Days

Riddle me, riddle me, riddle me ree...A man and woman married only a few short years, become new homeowners - what's probably the most idiotic thing we could do at this point?




Admittedly, not the most fiscally responsible thing we've ever done.  Taxes were higher, cost of living was higher, EVERYTHING cost more!  On top of that, we had been in our house, only a few months really, when one day I started to think that maybe Mr. D. was missing being around HIS family since they all lived in western New York (I'm such a thoughtful kind-of girl like that).  Then I started thinking about how really sick and tired I was of seeing corn fields everywhere I went (we were "in town", but it was small and it was rural).  This led to imagining what it might be like to live in a suburban area.  Of a major city.  Becoming more...independent.

(What was I thinking?)

I shared my thoughts with the hubby, and it was almost as if that was all the confirmation that he…

1995: 40 Thoughts in 40 Days

Being married to a career mailman "letter carrier", I shouldn't have been surprised when he came home from work one day informing me of a new house that was being built on his mail route. A new build that was still available and looking to be sold by the contractor.  Did I want to go look at it?


(Don't get me wrong, our little apartment was just fine - but the idea of being a homeowner was rather exciting.  You know, in a stupid kind-of way.)

So we took the plunge...but we didn't just become homeowners, we became part of the building "process".  The contractor let us have a say in paint, carpet, flooring, bathroom fixtures, lighting, countertops, long as it fit in the budget he had initially set for himself when he began the project.

Just for the record...that's a LOT of pressure!  Signing a 30 year mortgage and picking out all of those little details for your home that yes, can be changed at some point down the road, but you …

1994: 40 Thoughts in 40 Days

As I've been writing these past few weeks, I've been taking a second each day to google news headlines and popular music of the time.  It's my way of waking up my brain and refreshing my mind for the time period that I'm writing about. 1994 was no different...except I looked at the list of music released in '94 like it was written in a different language.  What was it about 1994 that made Top-40 songs - the stuff that was played on the radio - so...forgettable?  Or at least forgettable to me!

The simple reason I don't remember pop music from that year is because I wasn't listening to it!  By that time, I had moved on from my short "career" in educational music to a job at the local Christian bookstore.  Let me just preface the rest of this by saying...Greatest job ever!!  I was a bookworm...and now I was surrounded by books.  The hubby and I had spent the last 8-10 years of our separate lives listening to our favorite Christian musicians...and now…

1993: 40 Thoughts in 40 Days

Here comes the bride!

In 1993, "the boyfriend" became "the husband" and I became a married woman at the tender age of {gulp} 21.

It wasn't a quick decision, it took him two years to pop the question - but it was a quick engagement.
(4 months - yikes!)

We had been dating since April of 1991, this tall boy man and I, whom I had met when I began attending a new church.  Two and a half years later, I was making my way down the aisle as his bride, to become Mrs. D.  My brother was giving me away, mom was in the front row crying, my uncle came in from Oklahoma to help us celebrate the day, and the "grandparent photo" had more people in it than our wedding party photo due to all of the step-families and remarriages.

Who could have asked for a better day? (Okay I could have done without the overcast skies, rain, and chilly temperature.)

It took 902 days of getting to know him before I married him.  And yet, almost 19 years later - he can still surprise me. …

1992: 40 Thoughts in 40 Days

Certainly I can come up with ONE distinctive memory from 1992, the year that I turned 20.  365 days in a year, there should be a lot of memories there, right?

Yes, there should be.  But I'm struggling to find it.

Oh things happened, I can see that as I flip through photo albums and scrapbooks.  A Whiteheart concert with "the boyfriend", seeing my first Broadway musical (a touring company for Les Miserables) with "the boyfriend", traveling to Kentucky with "the boyfriend" to visit my brother and sister-in-law, seeing my brother ordained as a minister (what? How did that happen?), friends were getting married, friends had careers, friends were having babies.

We were all doing very grown-up things and making very grown-up choices and becoming...ugh.  Grown-up.

I didn't want to grow up. some ways I did.  I mean, it's not as if I was looking to compete with Peter Pan in Never-Never Land. But is there anything wrong with still wanting to …

1991: 40 Thoughts in 40 Days

Rodney King, Magic Johnson and HIV, Clarence Thomas and Anita Hill, "Dallas" ended after 13 years, and Jeffrey Dahmer?  Well, who knew what he was thinking!  But these were the news makers of 1991.

     The biggest news of this year, however, was probably the Gulf War and specifically Operation Desert Storm that broke out immediately after the beginning of the year.  A long-coming problem, it came to a head when Iraq accused Kuwait of stealing oil from an oil field that ran beneath both countries.  During the summer of 1990, Iraq's military forces had moved in, occupying Kuwait.  The United Nations called for military action should Hussein not withdraw his forces by January 15, 1991.  He didn't....and the United States followed through.  
     Under the direction of American General H. Norman Schwarzkopf, an air campaign was initiated to disable Iraq's communications, air defenses, and early warning radar installations.  And we watched it all as news sources broadc…

1990: 40 Thoughts in 40 Days

In 1990, my future in music education hinged upon one very important day.

The day that I went for my audition at Ohio Northern University.

Yes, I had already been accepted into the school, but I had to go before the dean and play a prepared piece for him.  Thankfully, my years attending band camp there had prepared me for meeting Mr. Williams, the dean of music, and the song I was going to play was one of my favorites, a piece I had worked on for probably the past year or more.

The audition went well, I had the support of a good friend who had accompanied that day, and when all was said and done, the school offered me a scholarship.

This was to be my final step in a very long walk toward a future in music.  A journey that began in 5th grade with the decision to play the flute, followed by a decision to begin private lessons which continued on through my senior year.  Mrs. Gallehue was a very patient woman for having to put up with me in school as a student and also as her private …

1989: 40 Thoughts in 40 Days

When I was thinking about this memory, all I could think of was a movie quote....
Oh relax...I'm not going any further with that line.  Because that would be...just very wrong...and inappropriate...and besides, that movie came out 10 years after the fact.  So when I was in band camp, it was a much more innocent time.  And to be honest, it was right up there with my summer camp experiences at Lake James.  Just....different.
During high school, my summers were filled with church camp, cheerleading camp, and camp.  Every year, I spent a week at Ohio Northern University with all of my fellow band nerds, and every year was better than the last.  I have friends to this day who I met there, and I learned a number of valuable lessons there:
Never take your eye off of the director.  He will embarrass you if he's trying to get the attention of the entire group while tuning and warm-ups, and can't get you to look at him.  (Don't ask how I know this.)No matter how well y…

1988: 40 Thoughts in 40 Days

This year was all about music.  Christian music.  Christian music concerts.  My big brother dearest had his driver's license and somehow convinced mom that he was responsible enough for us to head out on our own.  With friends.  (What was she thinking?)  In all honesty, it was pretty innocent fun, and we were a group of good kids who weren't prone to getting into trouble.  Or serious trouble anyway.

I remember early concerts seeing Kenny Marks with Whiteheart on their "Don't Wait For The Movie" tour.  But it was at a local high school, and remained a nice, tame concert.  There was also Petra's "This Means War" tour in Ft. Wayne.  Again, fairly innocent other than I was meeting {gasp} a boy at this concert!   (Funny side note - met up with A boy at this concert, but I found out years later that THE guy I would eventually marry was also at the same concert.)

In 1988, we went bigger...serious concerts.  We got word in our little town that Amy Grant an…

1987: 40 Thoughts in 40 Days

If there is one experience that I think EVERY child should have, it's the experience of going away to summer camp.  One week away from parents, one week of weird and strange food, one week of making new friends that you won't be able to stop talking about when the week is over, one week of incredible memories!

For me, my first summer camp experience was at Lake James near Angola, Indiana - and in 1987, I was in Sr. High week with my brother where I had been "welcomed into the fold" by his camp buddies.  Yeah, that was fun.  Going to camp with your older brother and ending up with FIVE older brothers looking out for you by the end of the week.  Thanks guys.  Really.  But I was hoping to actually TALK to that guy....over the picnic table...never mind, he's gone now.

So, anyways...summer camp at Lake James:

Two main buildings - Memorial Hall faced you as you drove in, and what was simply referred to as "the chapel"...because that's what it w…

1986: 40 Thoughts in 40 Days

I have a confession to make.

Maybe "confession" isn't the right word.  But this isn't something that I tend to others.

If you're reading this and we went to school together - then you already know.

If you're reading this, however,  and we've only become friends in the last 15 years?...this may be a shocker.

You see, yours truly...
...was a cheerleader.  
It's not that being a cheerleader is necessarily a bad thing, and I do have a decent amount of athletic ability.  I just never cared for running up and down the basketball court back and forth, back and forth, dribble, dribble, dribble, shoot!  So, in the 7th and 8th grade, I  cheered on our Jr. High boys basketball teams.  But in the spring of 1986 it was time to see if I really had "the stuff."  So when try-outs were held in the spring for the high school fall football cheerleading squads, I practiced, I learned how to do a round-off, I perfected my cartwheel, and I did m…

1985: 40 Thoughts in 40 Days

When I think of the year 1985, I think of a leopard print jacket.

No.  Not mine.  Sadly, such a prized piece of clothing has never graced my closet.

This - the leopard print of which I speak.

And when I think of Amy Grant and her Unguarded album that was released in 1985, I immediately think of my dear friend who had this album, and it was she who made a recording of it for me onto a cassette tape so I could have it for my very own.  I tried picking my favorite song off of it...I gave up, it was an impossible task.  But it has led me to relive some great memories with the music I used to listen to...and yes, I'll be sharing that with you in upcoming days. (I sense your excitement!)

"Grant"ed (go ahead,'s a funny play on her name), I don't know if Unguarded was Amy's best album, and it wasn't even her first...but it was good stuff.  And it set things in motion for contemporary Christian music to really take off.  Thank goodness, because ri…

1984: 40 Thoughts in 40 Days

Well, eventually it had to happen.  Now that I'm a mother, I'm not particularly looking forward to seeing it happen with my daughter, but yes, it does happen in every girl's life.

That point when friendships become .... weird.

Boys become.... {sigh} cute.

And girls get....giddy...just because one walks by.


Truth be told, I suppose my first "boyfriend" was back at that elementary level in "The Cooney School".  To save him the humiliation, he will remain nameless here, but I recall being outside at recess on NUMEROUS occasions when a group of us would gather and pretend to get married...and it was always this one particular boy and I who would run off throughout the playground after the "minister" pronounced us man & wife.

But that was just kids' stuff.  (Right?)

In 1984 I became much older and oh so much wiser...because after all, I was now in the 7th grade and for whatever reason, that was the year when everything became w…

1983: 40 Thoughts in 40 Days

One of my favorite pictures (I have a lot of favorites, but this ranks up near the top), this was me serving my grandpa Parrish a piece of cake, apparently at Easter (as the cake appears to be in the shape of a lamb) or for his birthday in April of 1983.  Maybe it's because the "hair in rollers 'do" is actually pretty darn cute with the flower barrette mom put in that day.  But I'm pretty sure it's really because it's just me and grandpa.

Grandpa Parrish was a farming man.  When I was little they lived on a farm where you could still see the old farmhouse that was back by the barns.  Once he took me in his truck back with him to see the farm animals and even though I knew grandpa was a pig farmer (excuse me, "hog farmer") I was surprised to find him tending sheep.  Sheep?  Where'd these come from and what was their role in the life of a pig?  I have no idea.
Fast forward a few years, the family pork producing business was left in the hands o…

1982: 40 Thoughts in 40 Days

At 10 years old, I was spending a LOT of time with my grandparents!  In 1982 they had been married for only two short years, but he was still "grandpa" to me.  Probably because I was too young to really know any better, and at that point in my life, my dad's actual father had not really been around and been a part of our lives.  This man, "Grandpa Wright" was always grandpa.
Grandpa was...different.  Especially growing up in northwest Ohio.  Grandpa was a native of the Hawaiian Islands, so he was very dark skinned, and certainly drew his share of looks.  Surprisingly, in my genealogy habit, I have not quite figured out when he made it over here to the mainland, let alone ending up in Indiana 
The two of them had met working in Indiana at Pokagon State Park, just outside of Angola.  He worked in the kitchen, and I remember her working in housekeeping, but I memory kind-of fails me here, but maybe grandma worked in the kitchen at some point as well?  …

1981: 40 Thoughts in 40 Days

Think back in time with me, 1981 was a HUGE year!!

Ronald Reagan was inaugurated as our country's 40th president...

Immediately followed by the release of 52 hostages from Iran...

...and a short time later, an attempt was made on our president's life.

Pope John Paul II was also wounded in an assassination attempt...

The first woman was appointed to the U.S. Supreme Court

And we saw the fairy tale royal wedding of a lifetime (or so we thought at the time.)

As for me?  

It was the year of puffy coats, still doing the curler 'do in the hair, and I was stuck carrying my big brother's Bible to church because he had to sprain his ankle playing basketball. was also the year for Mr. English.  My 4th grade teacher, my first male teacher of my school career, and he remains to this day one of my favorite teachers.  (Okay, there may or may not have been a slight "crush" going on at that time, but I resolved that long ago...really!)
 He had this thing where he wou…

1980: 40 Thoughts in 40 Days

(Yes, I'm behind...still having my 40 thoughts, just more than 1 today!)
I spent this last weekend wayyyyy out and away from the city of Buffalo, leaving suburban life behind and reconnecting with my early roots from when I lived out in the country.  (Yes, that's me in the beast of a truck in the above pic)  "Country" - as in, hearing the sound of tractors rumbling down the road, smelling the local livestock first thing in the morning, and waving at every passer-by because, yes, more than likely you do know them...and it's the neighborly thing to do.

Where I lived was not on a farm specifically, but I was surrounded by farms and farmlands.  My uncle and grandfather ran farms, and we spent A LOT of time there, and I am a proud consumer of all things pork because of it.  My childhood home was surrounded by corn fields or bean fields or wheat fields (depending on what was being planted at the time), I've spent my fair share of time playing hide and seek in the …

1979: 40 Thoughts in 40 Days

August 1979, and all dressed up for church.  (Just remembering the nights of sleeping in rollers to get this desired 'do makes my head hurt.)

Today, I'm reminiscing on friendships.  Not just the current day-to-day ones.  Those are great when you feel you can call and schedule a pedicure with your best girlfriend (I just had one today!), but I'm talking about the lifelong friendships.  That one person outside of your family who you've known the longest and is still part of your life today.

The one person who has grown up with you.  Played dolls with you, had picnics with, sleepovers, and you were so comfortable around their house that you could easily have been one of the family.

And that's exactly how it was in the Towers' home.  Denise was my bestest best friend from the time I can remember, and I spent A LOT of time at her house.  (Since my dad was never big on other kids coming over to our house.)

    The most vivid thing I remember about her house was th…

1978: 40 Thoughts in 40 Days

In August 1978, I was in First grade at what was always known as "the Cooney School".  Mrs. Foster was my first grade teacher, and I remember getting into trouble for what I thought was merely helping my classmates with their math...apparently even just holding up the number of corresponding fingers to the correct answer was frowned upon even if I didn't verbally tell them the right answer.  Go figure.

When I think of first grade, I also think of my first "major" injury.  It was recess, and recess was in the gym on that dreaded day.  A group of us had gotten the brilliant idea to play Crack The Whip.  Again - this was in the gym.  Not the most intelligent thought of our 1st grade minds.

"Crack the Whip is a simple outdoor children's game that involves physical coordination, and is usually played in small groups, either on grass or ice. One player, chosen as the "head" of the whip, runs (or skates) around in random directions, with subsequent p…

1977: 40 Thoughts in 40 Days

I'm turning 40 in just a few weeks.  That's my motivation behind these recent blog posts.  In 40 days, can I find 40 memories or thoughts running around in my head about my life over the last 40 years?  You'd think it would be easy - after all, 40 years is a long time.  In that time, I've known a lot of family and friends...some mere acquaintances.  There have been moments that have happened that anyone would swear to never being able to forget. There have been eight different houses in 40 years, different towns in different states, saying goodbye to loved ones who have passed away, and making new memories everyday with my 3 kids.

So I'm sharing 40 years of my life with you - with various thoughts and memories of the people and experiences I have had while "growing up".

In August of 1977,  I was getting ready to enter the first grade - and I was apparently having hair issues as well...
Which leads me my next memory - the many times through the years we wo…