Saturday, September 21, 2019

Leaving a Legacy

Book Three is now available
As our children and grandchildren grow and head out on their own, we have fleeting unsettled moments of doubt. Have I prepared them to be successful adults in a confusing world? Do they embrace, or even know, our core values? Will they be okay?

Our awkward efforts to have these important conversations are frequently met with an embarrassed "I know, Mom" and a hastily manufactured excuse to terminate the discussion leaving us wondering if they really do know.

Completing the Summoning Stone Trilogy and publishing the last book gives me an opportunity to continue that discussion in absentia as the teen characters face challenges, mature, and make decisions. When the last page is turned, I hope my sons and grandsons, nieces and nephews will find themselves in those characters. They were, after all, the models.

Monday, August 26, 2019

Grandfathers, Please Step Forward

This summer marked a turning point for me as I watched Dillon connect with his Pops over basketball and a campus tour in Oregon. Where did the years go? I still give hugs and support in the way of grandmas, while Cory and Dillon chat basketball strategies and the latest trades and statistics. I eavesdrop whenever possible.

In the same way, our youngest grandson, Parker, and his Pa have bonded over a shared love for fishing.

At the moment it seems grandfathers have found their rightful places at the head of the mentor line, where they quietly usher their preteen and teen grandsons toward adulthood. 

Some day the boys, in a lightning fast blink of an eye, will realize how privileged they have been to have their Pops and Pa modeling what it means to be a man in today's tough world.

When I held our first grandchild as a newborn, I hoped he would teach me how to be a grandmother. Fifteen years later, both he and his younger brother continue to gently mold me as a grandmother and love me unconditionally, only now they're riding in the front seat where the big boys ride and talk "man stuff."

Friday, July 29, 2016


When the boys were in their preteen and early teen years, Cory would take up their challenge to play “Around the World” at the basketball goal attached to our garage. Cory, a basketball player in his own right, played by the rules: you earned a win fair and square; no trophies for showing up here. Games involved wagers with imaginary money, and to this day, I think one of our sons owes Cory several million basketball bucks.
When our older son was a young teen, the inevitable happened. He beat his dad and documented the hard won victory with a celebratory lap around the outside of the house. During our last visit with our grandsons, Cory shared that story with our grandsons. Dillon, not yet a teen, and Parker, four years younger, had been playing “Around the World” with Pops in their driveway for several years, but now the stakes were higher. Pops had dangled a victory lap in front of them.
Shortly thereafter, that very same day, I heard a squeaky preadolescent boy’s voice as he made his first  victory lap around his house. Dillon had bested Pops and, in his best imitation of his own dad’s celebration thirty years earlier, was letting the world know that the baton had been passed.

Thirty years: the blink of an eye!

Thursday, June 2, 2016

Unexpected Opportunities

I met Dillon, my first grandchild, when he was just a week old. As we snuggled back to sleep together in the recliner after a 3 a.m. feeding, we came to an agreement: I would try to help him embrace the values passed down through the generations in our family and he would teach me how to be a grandmother. In the past twelve years I’ve watched him begin to live out the family values he’s seen modeled at his home and ours: respect for self and others, trustworthiness and honesty, the rewards of hard work, compassion for and service to those less fortunate, appreciation for the environment, and the importance of using good manners.

In return, as we’ve played games and hiked and camped and cooked together he has taught me so many great things about being a grandmother. To name just a few, I’ve learned that gingerbread houses don’t have to be architecturally perfect; it’s all about the icing and candy. If you really want to play basketball or football, ask Pops. Kids sometimes have a better eye for pictures than grandmothers. You’re never too old to try a zip line. Back to school shopping and enjoying a day at Silver Beach are perfect ways to celebrate the end of summer. Boys like to get daily, goofy email jokes to share with friends at camp. And, finally, being asked to write a paragraph for your twelve year old grandson’s autobiography opens the door wide to tell him how much he’s loved without having to subject him to embarrassing hugs and kisses.

Thursday, September 5, 2013

A New Generation of Warrior Women

This uncharacteristic post honors the emerging and growing number of warrior women in each of our lives.  They are the brave women across all generations that include our sisters, mothers, daughters, friends, and granddaughters. They have unexpectedly come face to face with the toughest of life situations and are making hard decisions for themselves and their families. Even though illness, loss, or separation try to define them, these brave warriors are fighting back.

I named my blog Generations and the Illusive Lines That Define Them. I stand corrected. In this case the line that separates me from the warriors is clear: they are the fighters and I am a humble observer.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Imprinting is for Moms, Too

"He's just like his dad!" But what about his mother? It seems awkward to say a boy is just like his mother, so are the mothers of sons destined to have their genetic contributions go unrecognized?

Our younger grandson, ready to start kindergarten, has taken to diving just like his mother, a gymnast and diver. Perhaps Mimi and Pa have shared stories and pictures of Dia in her younger years. Or maybe Dia has videos from competitions that Parker has seen. Or maybe his talent emerges with a gentle nudge from his mother's genes. I'll acknowledge that, as the younger brother, he has to be more daring to play with the big boys, but his skill is the result of more than just reckless courage. No big belly smackers for him. He prepares, jumps, extends, and goes. 

Now where did a 5 year old get that? I say proudly "He's just like his mother!" Thanks, Dia.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Just Do It ...Right!

Nike almost got it right with their Just Do It slogan, but in my opinion, just doing it is not enough. Let's do it right!

As Camp Plainfield 2013 comes to a close, I recall a time 30 years ago when I watched my husband and our sons delve deeply into the time honored tradition of passing the torch.  Today, at 9 years old, our grandson, Dillon is eager to learn and try and do all the chores that accompany responsible adulthood. He wants to embrace Nike's advice and Just Do It! Good for him. It's his time.

Whether it's fixing bicycles or mowing the yard for the first time, adults do eager children, like Dillon, a disservice if they don't teach them to Just Do It Right! The first lessons are always the hardest. Pops pointed out missed spots on the grass, safety precautions for using tools, and all the other basics that provide an important foundation for developing a strong work ethic.

Like most overnight camps, Camp Plainfield is filled with fun activities and one on one time with adults who care enough to call children on cut corners or emerging bad habits. And children get that, despite the momentary inconvenience of do overs the first time around.

Dillon will puff his chest out a little farther as he tells his buddies about mowing the yard, using wood burning tools, and fixing bicycles. He knows how to do it right!

In another four years, younger brother Parker will be the main character in these pictures and he'll learn to do it right. It will be time for him to carry the torch.