Tales of Christmas Past: Receiving My Doll a Second Time.

Standing tall on my bookshelf.

How many presents from your childhood Christmas’s can you really remember? I loved them all but recall very few.

One thing I could count on every Christmas morning was a new doll waiting for me under the tree. Funny, but I spent much more time playing with paper dolls instead of real ones. Maybe my imagination took me farther with them. Nevertheless, I couldn’t wait to spot the latest doll each year.

BTW, all the dolls had a certain “fragrance.” Whatever 1950’s dolls were made of left an imprint in the air that always smelled like Christmas. It is still a favorite olfactory memory often found in new shower curtains.

My 7th Christmas, I received a very special doll called, “Little Miss Addie.” She was a promo for AD detergent around 1957, and my mom had to send in a label or box top or something along some money to get her. She came adorned with a little mink stole. I was enraptured with that doll, but she was so fancy my mom wasn’t crazy about me playing with her too much. (Keeping “nice” things nice was a high value of hers.)

I remember some of my playmates received them too and we would carefully make up worlds involving the lives and times of Little Miss Addies,

I eventually lost track of Little Miss Addie but not the memories from that Christmas. She disappeared somewhere in my house when  Barbie dolls came along and later records, make-up and other must-have items for teenage girls.  She was hiding somewhere in the corners among the artifacts of my childhood.

Over 60 years later, she turned up again in a remarkable way. My mom no longer lived in the family home and it was time to sell it. My sister-in-law and brother’s family and I started in on what we called, “The Big Dig.” Fascinating items were discovered and discussed often during peals of laughter. But no Miss Addie.

The day before the sale, photos were posted by the auction company to let buyers see a preview of what was for sale. I scrolled through them and there was my Miss Addie doll! She had been found after all but not by me.

I was determined to buy her back but, as in the terms of the auction, we could no longer just take things. On the day of the sale, the kind auctioneer saw me digging in the boxes for her before someone else bought her. When I found Miss Addie at last, he told me just to take her home.

All the magic of those Christmas mornings are wrapped up in this long ago gift. I see her everyday now and don’t plan to lose her again!

Do you still have a favorite toy from a childhood Christmas?

Hope for the best,

Tish

PS. A while back,  I shared some Advent stories and inspiration in a Christmas sermon called, “Open the Advent Door: Four Things We All Want for Christmas.” Here it is, take a listen.

First Week of Advent: Eight Ideas for the Slow Down Year.

22 Days until Christmas. For the first time in decades of Christmas planning and celebration, this year seems full of time. My December calendar is completely blank for non-work appointments since I cancelled my one dental appointment next week.

For all the reasons we are way too familiar with, we aren’t visiting friends or going to parties or concerts or plays or stores like all the other years. No one is stopping by. When we put up our smallish tree this year, (not by design, that’s how it came from the order: short) I consoled myself that no one would see it anyway.

Since all the things we can’t do this year are too often front and center, I’m turning toward embracing what is now possible since there is all this extra time. Here are a few…

  1. Enter into Advent all day long instead of 10 minutes after dinner. I have a pile of Advent & inspirational books for the season and reach for them throughout the day when I might have been running another errand in previous years.
  2. Plan something enjoyable each day to feed your Christmas spirit.  One of my favorite Christmas books is Madeleine L’Engle’s,  “The Twenty-four Days Before Christmas” http://amzn.to/18hq9wd where she introduces this fun idea to celebrate the season each day. I bought myself a paper calendar with little doors to open every day and look forward to that simple task.
  3. Savor your favorite parts of the holiday that you can still do during Covid. No need to rush.  I love writing Christmas cards over the course of a week in the early morning with quiet carols in the background.
  4. Trade in your usual bedtime reading material for seasonal fun and inspirational stories and books.  My Christmas book collection is large but the on-line library works fine too.
  5. Curate your music. I don’t want mindless carols this month but holiday sounds that will bring me into worship. I’m trying out new-to-me artist and tunes. So far, so good.
  6. Decorate intentionally. Less can be more this year if everything you put up is meaningful not just rote. In contrast, you might go all out and show off your fun stuff to an audience of one or two. I’ve put off buying a wreath for years and I’m picking one up Saturday!
  7. Skip the movies that might trigger sadness or loneliness and go for ones that make you laugh or take you deeper into the story.
  8. Move often, eat well. The “openness” of the schedule allows more time for taking walks and making slow food.

I jotted some notes this morning about some things I want to do next year and it sounds like fun already. But this one is here now with the possibility of additional hours to savor, a daily date with the star of the show, and new memories never before made. True gifts.

I’m all in to see how it will unfold. You?

Hope for the best,

Tish

Thanksgiving in “Ordinary” Time

Table for 14: Not this year!

Thanksgiving this year will be in the last week of the long stretch of “Ordinary Time,” the way the church calendar designates the liturgical year.

No one I know is referring to this holiday season as “ordinary” time! I recall with chagrin how we sat around at our most-unusual Easter and said, “at least Thanksgiving will be normal.” Got that wrong! One thing we all know, it will be remembered.

While we all long for the familiarity of the sameness for all the comfort that can bring, same old-same old can become a blur. Can you really remember something distinct about the last, say, five Thanksgivings? It’s the off-the-rails ones that are most remembered.

My most memorable Thanksgiving, so far, was the one the sewer backed up. Hard to beat that one for novelty! We didn’t want to make a big announcement or forbid the use of the toilet so my husband surreptitiously slipped down to the basement between courses and with a few tools, kept the operation under wraps and the floor clear of water.  We called a plumber the next day.

All the celebrations when the toilet didn’t back up are fuzzier. I remember Thanksgivings in categories.  The childhood ones around my grandparents long table with all the younger cousins. Then the dinners at our house in Quincy with the same people. After that came the ones with Tom’s family and finally the ones with our new family. Those include the big ones and occasionally the small ones. Loved them all, but they are somewhat non-distinct. Except for the years someone played our neglected piano.

Not this year. So far, nothing seems same-old about what will be happening next Thursday. No crowd big or small, I’m still working out the menu for 2-3. Maybe we’ll do a puzzle. The only known is that we will write in our Thanksgiving journal. (Thanksgiving Journal)

I see a lot of ideas of how to pull it off “creatively” this year…zooming with family or friends, eating outside, going for a fresh rather than frozen turkey, ditching the turkey altogether, distributing food to others and more. Are you trying any of these or other ideas?

Maybe, instead of all the focus on logistic planning, this is the year to really dig deep to give thanks. More than a headline when it’s your turn to share around the table.

What elements of your life didn’t change this year or blossomed in the right direction? What basic components of the day to day are you especially grateful for? Who helped you get through the year? What delivery service kept you supplied? This year’s list might be longer than usual!

But this I ask you, don’t write it off. Grab the day and hold on to it and imprint it for the forever files. This is the one you’ll be talking about for years to come. A chance to write a new script, just this once. To really look at the components and choose what will fit: The food, the schedule, the interaction in-person or digital or none at all, the TV off or on. etc. Instead of replicating, try innovating. Re-frame is the operative skill.

It won’t be just like the others, that’s for sure, but it might be the most remembered. Make it count.

Hope for the best,

Tish

PS Are you interested in a two hour At-Home Advent retreat December 5, 8:30-10:30? Ask me for details.

PPS A year ago today I got my 2nd knee replaced. It’s doing just fine, thank you!

#tishwalks

I love the digital postcards that arrive!

Greetings from Spain! Every day I step onto the Camino de Santiago pilgrimage trail and move closer to the Cathedral at the end. I plan to arrive sometime in February. A life goal fulfilled. Sort of.

I’m doing the whole pilgrimage through an app. The Conqueror Events. The appeal is that I get to see my progress each day on the map and I love checking things off. Without a tangible goal and a way to keep track, I would likely minimally move.

My first intentional walking came during my first year of marriage when I picked up a book called, “Aerobics for Women” (Kenneth Cooper) and decided I would take that up. Running never enthralled me, this seemed doable. When I saw there were progress charts, I was all in! Tom often joined me walking around our neighborhood and he liked plotting distances.

We left that neighborhood the next year and as well as that practice and got all caught up in the stuff of life. We enjoyed hiking on weekends away but it wasn’t an everyday thing. Later, I walked to the park with the four kids and that was about it. For 20+ years.

During the Avon walk.

As I approached my 50th birthday, I wanted to celebrate by doing something officially stretching. Like hard. Like a LONG walk. Just two years earlier, Avon started a 3 Day 60-mile walk for breast cancer, and it was coming to Chicago in 2000. I signed up.

The training was grueling. Fortunately, there was a ton of support from the organization with instructions for how  to prepare and I followed it exactly.  By the time the walk started, I had raised well over the required $1800 and my legs were ready to walk for three days. An adventurous story I’ll tell at another time!

Now that I was an experienced long-haul walker, I looked for something else to conquer. Lake Geneva (WI)  or rather Geneva Lake as the lake itself is called was my next goal. It is a local ordinance that the entire area surrounding the lake, 26 miles, can be accessed by walkers. Geneva Lake Shore Path A lovely walk but not too plentiful in “facilities” shall we say.

My first attempt was with Tom and we got to 24 ½ miles when a tornado came up. So close, but no check off yet☹ The following summer I tried again with a girlfriend and we completed the walk. But we didn’t stretch at all after finishing and just climbed in the car and drove 90 minutes home. I had to be lifted out of the car!

Without a specific goal, walking became more casual again. As much as I would like to “just do it,” it was easier to find something else easier to measure or cross off. Until pedometers came along. Step counting, just my thing!

Then my knee needed replacing.  No step counting for months. Slowly I built back up again.  One day I hit 30K steps! But then the other knee started going down. Both are titanium now so no more sidelining. Hopefully.

I’m in it to win it now (again.) But it’s getting cold. I have a treadmill, but it is so boring.

Thus, the long walk through Spain. I think I’ll do the English Chanel next. If I sit out too long, I may not get going again.  I’m working up to the Appalachian Trail. That will take awhile. BTW, I feel strong!

Are you a check-it-off kind of person too? Does it help you to keep track?

I’ve got 1.65 miles to go today. The view is exquisite!

 

Hope for the best,

Tish

 

The Year My Mom Ran for Office

By far, my most memorable election year was 1972 when my mother decided to run for Adams County Circuit Clerk.  I come from a long line of politicians on both sides of the aisle, so this was no surprise.

My family of origin all grew up on farms or in small towns but various members somehow met Presidents Truman, Roosevelt, Nixon, Johnson, Reagan and got invited to Clinton’s first inauguration.  My mom and nephew ran into George W. in Austin and my daughter-in-law, granddaughter and daughter have all met Obama.  A few years ago, I was finally able to cross off “Meet a President” from my life list when I shook hands with Jimmy Carter.

In my lifetime, my grandfather, father, brother, and cousin all ran for political office. A few of them actually won!

Mom decided to enter the race early in the year and had already won the March primary. When I arrived home from doing mission work in Italy The Night I Preached in Rome in late summer of 1972, the campaign was in full swing. I was newly engaged, fresh out of college and hadn’t found a job yet. My dad asked me to hold up on that and just work for the campaign. I readily agreed.

She had a funny, competent campaign manager that she met through church connections. Walter had the last word on everything and delivered it all with a thick New York accent. We all liked and respected him.

Her opponent was a long-standing incumbent and my mom decided to run a clean campaign, no badmouthing of the other guy.  She wanted to win on the strength of her platform, not by discrediting him. Very consistent with her character.

Most of the campaigning I was part of took place behind the scenes. Getting yard signs delivered, making calls, listening to her practice speeches, and whatever else was needed. Later, we started going from house to house in town knocking on doors. It wasn’t all glamorous like on West Wing!

My main memory of that fall was of church basements for chili suppers and chicken dinners. I think we went to every small-town church that would have us and smiled all evening during the meet and greet. Mom would give her speech and the rest of us would try to get her votes.

The momentum was building, and Election Day arrived, November 7, 1972. I cast my presidential vote that year for McGovern over Nixon but moved over to the Republican side to vote for my mom and her friends. Still my voting trend to pick some of each party depending on the candidate.

The whole team gathered over a huge spread of food to wait for the results. It was so nerve wracking! The results weren’t instant like they are now but by the end of the evening we knew she had lost.

The condolences and flowers started coming in the next day, but I remember my mom stayed in bed a long time. I’m sure I was sympathetic but was probably too fast to get on to the next thing. I’ve learned a lot about sitting with pain over the years.

My mom moved on and soon was the executive director of the YWCA. Quite a change from her previous career as a nurse which had ended after a fluke accident on the job when she severed her Achilles tendon.  Her sadness about losing was overshadowed by her pride in running.

For Christmas in 2005, I presented her with a gift of a scrapbook from the campaign. She kept it close at hand in her living room.

I don’t plan to ever run for political office although some in my family may again someday. I do hope to hang on to the spunk and courage it took of her to make the decision. She won after all, just not the circuit clerkship.

Hope for the best,

Tish

Ode to a (Lonely) Piano

The family piano from my childhood.

After years of lessons, I can’t really say that I know how to play piano. I’m not quite sure what happened making those connections between the notes and my hands.

My mom was big on self-improvement and decided taking piano lessons was a good cause in that direction. She and my dad purchased this used spinet piano in the late 1950’s and found a place for it in our living room in Quincy.

A piano teacher was employed, Mrs. Jenkins, who lived up the street. I dutifully walked up there every week and sat next to her on the bench as she opened a John Schaum beginner book with such hope. Mr. Jenkins was always watching TV preachers.

I think my mom paid something like $20-25 a month for the lessons. I felt somewhat bad not really getting the concept even though I practiced at home, usually under some duress. Soon, my brother was walking up the street to Mrs. Jenkins too.

By the time I got to high school, I quit going to Mrs. Jenkins and now took lessons at school. While Mrs. Jenkins didn’t do recitals, Sister Arthurn, my new teacher, did. “Ebb Tide” was a popular piece at the time, and I chose that for my recital. Somehow, I memorized it and pulled it off. My mom was so proud! She talked about it for years.

I officially ended my piano career sometime in high school and had no regrets, even though I still did wish I could actually play. I would say hi to the piano when I was visiting Quincy but no lost love.

On a random day in May of 1986, when I was very pregnant with our fourth child and not thinking at all about pianos, my mom called. Surprise!

“The piano is on it’s way to you.” She announced rather than asked. She decided she wanted the space back in the living room and hired two guys from Quincy to drive it the 300 miles to me in the back of their pick-up truck. (Not at all close to piano movers.) “You took lessons the longest so it belongs to you.” Really?

So we found space in our living room and there it sat. The kids enjoyed banging on it and every so often someone would visit and actually play it.

Three years later, I set my oldest on the same path, piano lessons from a local teacher. He seemed to feel about it the same way I had. I can’t remember how long those lasted but kids # 2 and 3 also took part in the grand tradition of learning to play the same piano.

Our youngest asked if she could skip piano and try something else and I readily agreed. The lid stayed closed unless someone came over to play and then it really rocked!

Meanwhile, the piano became an excellent place to display the photos of the month. I rotate the pictures based on the birthdays of that month and significant events that have taken place. Halloween and Christmas decorations look nice up there too.

Enter the grandchildren! The young ones always open it and pound away. The older ones have their own piano at home and really do know how to play. It’s fun to watch them go at it and try out the pedals but I’m really done now.

Like my mom, I now want the space back and am ready to pass on the piano. It is horribly out of tune and two keys stick. I tried to donate it to a foundation, but no one got back to me. I then offered it as fr*e to all the sites and so far, no one has shown any interest. We can’t bear to just throw it out. 

As I write this, I’m listening to piano music. Kind of ironic, but it is one of my favorite genres.

I’ve discovered my hands are better at words than notes but someone can bring this piano back to the life it was built for.

Hoping it brings as many stories to the next owners as this one has for us.

Would you like a piano?

Hope for the best,

Tish

PS I still have a few pages from my John Schaum beginner’s Christmas album 🙂

The Scent of a Woman: a Memoir.

My first memory of perfume was the ever-present bottle of Revlon’s “Intimate” which always perched on my mom’s dresser. She only wore it for special occasions and regardless of the amount left in the bottle, my dad would replenish it every Christmas. It’s been decades since I’ve had a waft of that scent but if I ever would, my whole childhood would flash before me.

“Heaven Scent” was the first smell in a bottle I remember wearing, more because it was trendy, not so much because I liked it. “Wind Song” was another popular one with the girls of Notre Dame High. The hunt was still on for a fragrance that would be just mine and like countless others, I found it in Chanel # 5.

A spritz of that classic scent would transport me to faraway places where no one saw me as a figuring-it-out-somewhat-floundering-teenage girl but a savvy woman ready to take on the world. I loved the fragrance and it also began to show up for Christmas  in the iconic black bottle. I proudly displayed it on my dresser and sometimes carried it around with me if I needed a shot of confidence.

I’m sure I took a bottle of #5 with me when I left for college but soon it no longer seemed to fit the girl I was evolving into. Musky incense was the new fragrance, not the church kind.

I have no scent memories after that until a dear friend presented me with a bottle of the perfume, L’Air du Temps (The air of summer) around 1976. I don’t think it was for my birthday but a surprise gift. “It smells like you.” she said. I loved the fragrance and have been wearing it every summer since. At the end of September, I ceremoniously put it away to pull out again the following May.

“Baby smell” was my signature fragrance for many years. Sometimes the sweet elixir of newness, sometimes sour scent of spit-up. The season of life that seems to last forever comes with its own unique offerings for all the senses. My going-out times were rare in that era, and I never thought about spritzing something on for an ordinary day like I do now.

Over the following years I would try a random perfume sample at a rare visit to the department stores. Someone who looks like they are dressed to go and perform surgery is always offering a new scent to try. I was in search of something that might “smell like me” for the rest of the year and eventually found it in Cashmere Mist. Light and not overpowering like so many.

Done. Finally, by this “Act Three” of life, it’s good to have few things settled, minor as they may be, to have more energy to devote to all the things that aren’t.

But on Tuesday this week, during a sacred time with a lifelong friend, she presented me with a small bag. Inside was a bottle of the life of my dreams I was pining for in my angst filled high school years.

Chanel # 5. I sprayed it on my wrist and felt no more longing, just satisfaction.

Whatever I was hoping for, in the seasons of waiting for my life to really begin, had been delivered. It all, of course, looked different than I imagined but the end result was the same, gratitude.

The familiar scent had come back around, it now smells like contentment. I’m wearing it everyday.

Hope for the best,

Tish

Top photo credit Image by <a href=”https://pixabay.com/users/domeckopol-610494/?utm_source=link-attribution&amp;utm_medium=referral&amp;utm_campaign=image&amp;utm_content=1460067″>andreas N</

Falling Into the Season

I guess you could say, I’ve surrendered to fall. Don’t worry, I’m not going to change “favorite seasons” from summer and I don’t think I’ve ever sipped a pumpkin spice latte but by the second week of October, I’m all in.

My little orange lights arrived (Fairy lights) and I’m having fun placing them around the house. My kids would have liked these a few decades ago but I don’t think they were a thing when they were around the table. There sure wasn’t an Amazon to drop them off the next day. My granddaughters are getting my extra strands to decorate their rooms.

It’s “different” this year as everything is. I picked up my gourds and pumpkins during a masked visit to Trader Joe’s instead of the farmer’s market. Tom and I are probably the only ones who will see my cute mantle display as no one comes over right now. The pumpkin carving tools might stay in the drawer this year as the annual family event is up in the air.

The October Makeover is almost done and was quite satisfying. Only the drawers and closet need the task of the tank tops-to-sweaters transition. All the summer dishes are away, I already made chili once and the fireplace goes on every morning.

The traditions and rhythms of the season provide a stability in the midst of uncertain times, as they always have.

Even in the pandemic, the days seem to fly by in this third-third of my life and I don’t want to miss a one. Chilly, warm, damp, dry each holds it’s own wonder. Funny, but I’m intentionally adding more steps and miles to my Fitbit this fall while simultaneously slowing down to notice the nuances of the most dramatic seasonal change of the year. Amazing how the amount of leaves on the ground in the yard changes the composition of the view every day.

I don’t want to wake up on Thanksgiving and wonder what I missed by not looking up or out.

Flipping on the orange lights every night, just for me!

So this fall, I’m laying out my clothes the night before so I can RSVP yes to the later sunrises at the beach, grabbing my shoes to get out again for another walk before dinner to see what’s changed, ordering mums along with my groceries and putting them in every room. Filling up with beauty and reading less news. Autumn immersion so to speak, it’s going well.

How about you?

Hope for the best,

Tish

PS: Check out the book, Bend: When Life Dares You to Break. Here is my Amazon review: You can order signed copies from BethLueders.com

50 Year Legacy – How I Met My Husband: Part Four

Arriving home from our honeymoon.

Senior year started for us in the fall of 1971. After the fun day at our friend, Janet’s, I was hopeful that Tom would begin to notice me other than a friend, but I had to wait and see.

My new housing was an off-campus apartment I shared with a friend from the dorm. Setting up housekeeping was so much fun! I saw Tom at the Intervarsity events, but we no longer had the shared dorm as another connecting point.

The first weekend after moving in, there was a knock at our door. Tom! He brought his bike into the neighborhood bike shop in the next block for a minor repair and decided to pop by. I tried to play it cool like it was no big deal but inside I was so excited!

Turns out, that bike needed a lot of repairs that fall. Or at least that was the stated reason for all the visits. By October, Tom was stopping by without the bike. I wasn’t exactly sure what was going on but decided not to ask and just enjoy the slow change in our friendship.

The last weekend in October, he went to an IV conference in Champaign. While he was gone, I decided to knit him a scarf as the weather was definitely changing. It seemed like somewhat a bold move on my part but I kept knitting away all weekend until it was done.

Tom arrived back Sunday evening and came to see me right away which I took as a good sign, so I presented him with the scarf. He looked so happy and to my complete surprise, gave me a nano second thank you kiss. Then I knew, it was on!  Celebrate your Kissaversary!

June 10, 1972

The rest of that year we spent most of our off-school time together. I was falling deeply in love but still we didn’t talk about our relationship’s future. Our parents met each other at our college graduation and connected well. But where was this heading?

I took off for Italy for the summer for a mission program and the letters flew back and forth between us. I still have them and am rereading them now.

All along I planned to relocate near Tom in the Chicago area and find a job when I came back from Italy. He was starting seminary and the summer separation was long enough. But a week before I returned, I had one of the most powerful God encounters of my life where I clearly heard to return to Quincy instead.

August 18, 1973

“But what about Tom?” I pleaded with God. “You will marry next summer” was the answer that came. “Well please tell him!” I begged.

The day I returned, Tom picked me up from O’Hare and whisked me off to a forest preserve to walk and talk. By the end of the day, we were engaged.

I did return to Quincy and he stayed near Chicago and we saw each other once a month until our wedding, August 18, 1970.

Books could and probably will be written about all the years since then!

Hope for the Best,

Tish

PS: Coaching offer! 10 Goals in 90 Days. The number of days from now until the end of the year!

A LOT can happen in 90 Days! Once again I am offering the popular life coaching plan for 10 Goals in 90 Days. This is how it works…
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5. At the end of the 90 days we talk again.
6. You get stuff done!!

Cost: $225 but for this week only I am offering $100 off, $125, Offer expires October 8. Respond to this email for details.

50 Year Legacy – How I Met My Husband: Part Three

After four months of hanging out, Tom and I were still “just friends.” One January day, I noticed him enter the dining hall of the dorm where we both lived. This was a common occurrence, but this time wasn’t like all the others.

As I waved to him, I really noticed him and suddenly (really!) felt like I was falling in love. I also had a strong sense in that moment that we would marry. I was blown away and he was clueless. I didn’t know what to do with this but knew if I told him of my changing feelings, he would likely split. So, I said nothing (to him, my girlfriends knew all about it!)

In the ensuing months, our interactions were often both in and outside of the dorm, and we showed up at the same Intervarsity events. Tom considered me a “good friend” and once confided in me about a girl he had a crush on. I tried to be supportive but that was hard!

By the end of our junior year in college, 1971, we had known each other for about nine months and for about five of those, I was quite smitten with him. It was not reciprocal. Not that he had spurned my affections, he didn’t know about them.

Then came one of the most romantic gestures of my life! It was the last spring evening in our dorm. Everyone was packing up to go home for the summer, including me. A knock came to my door and of course there was nothing unusual about that.

When I yelled, “come in,” a friend presented me with a bouquet of field flowers in a crockery pot*. Lovely! Next, however, a pillowcase was slipped over my head and I was led away down the hall! I could hear some of my friends laughing and was definitely intrigued, “what was going on?” I was excited when I heard Tom’s voice 🙂

The little procession moved outside, and a car door was opened for me to climb in, pillowcase still on. Of course, it sounds frightening but wasn’t in the least as I trusted the friends I was with. The drive took about fifteen minutes, I had no idea where we were.

The car came to a stop and I was led out for short walk. The pillowcase was finally pulled off and the scene in front of me on the country road was the scene of a most beautiful sunset with an old-fashioned iron rail bridge nearby.

Tom must have been paying attention to my comments over the months about my love of both old iron rail bridges and beautiful sunsets because he had orchestrated the whole event.

I was so touched and hopeful than the turning of our friendship into something more was happening. Wouldn’t you? But not yet.

I returned to Denver in the next weeks to work and hang out with my friends. During the summer, we wrote letters back and forth (I still have his) but Tom’s to me were all about how to grow in faith, very epistle-like.

My feelings grew stronger through our absence. Right before school started, we met at a mutual friend’s home for a fun day. I couldn’t wait to see him again!

After that day, for the first time, it felt the air was shifting, maybe there was hope after all! To be continued….

 

Hope for the best,

Tish

*Still use the same crockery pot for dried flowers.

 

 

 



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