Tag: daughters

My Fave Gadget…by JoAnn

When cell phones first hit the market, I had no intention of purchasing one. I was pleased with my “home phone.” But being a mother of three growing daughters, it made sense that having one could be pretty convenient.

My husband had bought me a “bag phone” first. I’ll try to do it justice for any of you who have no idea what that is. It looked exactly like a house phone; only it came in what looked like a handbag, complete with a shoulder strap. This was in the early 1990s when I was traveling long distances with my three children to visit family. My husband worried about a mother and three little girls traveling and felt it was excellent protection. He was right. It gave me a lot of confidence when traveling. Not to mention that goofy-looking bag phone could pick up reception even in the mountains of Northeast Tennessee with crystal clarity. I have never had a cellphone with such good reception since.

Fast forward to when my oldest daughter turned 16 and became a licensed driver. Not only was she stuck driving her Mama’s big old Ford Grand Marquise, but she was also stuck with the goofy bag phone as well. She can share stories of the embarrassment she endured when she and her friends would be hanging out in the parking lot where it was cool to congregate, and out of nowhere, a very loud telephone would begin to ring. I can see her face now! I am sure it could be heard from all over that parking lot. Everyone would ask where in the world that loud phone ringing was coming from. And of course, she had to be the one to answer said phone. And nine times out of ten, the person on the other end was me! I know she hated that at the time, but I will always appreciate how safe I knew she was with a phone that she could get clear reception no matter where she may be. That was priceless given the fact we live in a very rural area.

Fast forward to everyone having a cute little flip phone that fits neatly in their pocket. I resisted again, at first. Then I realized my teenage daughters needed one for their safety and my ability to track them and know they were safe. And since they had one, I needed one since I was the mom. Pretty soon, everyone in the family had the latest and best phone.

The cell phone is, without a doubt, the most convenient gadget I have ever owned. It has gotten better and better over the years as well as more and more expensive. But it’s funny to think back at how it all started. From desktop computers to laptops, tiny flip cell phones, large “smart” phones that now do everything your big clunky computer once did! It truly is impressive.

I realized just how addicted I was to the convenience a smartphone gave when mine began to act up after almost five years of use. It began to cut off on me and no longer hold a charge. It had gotten to the point that it could no longer keep up.

I panicked! What would I do without my smartphone? I had no way to communicate with anyone! What if I needed my daughters? What if they needed me? I can’t even use my laptop now without driving to McDonald’s. Ha, ha, ha! I was pretty bent out of shape for several days.

I had to calm myself down and remind myself that it was not the end of the world as it felt. I was simply being inconvenienced, not attacked. I could get some kind of phone that I would at least be able to make calls or texts from, and I would save up my money for a new phone. I was not above visiting a place such as McDonald’s to use free WiFi so I could do my writing on my laptop. I had done that very thing for several years, and I could do it again.

Just as I had my plan in order, a special angel in my life gifted me a brand new smartphone. Maybe I should call him my smartphone angel because he also gifted me my very first smartphone. The one that just died. Ha, ha.

So I sit here happy as a fat cat who just finished a plate of tuna. Glad I have a new smartphone and no worries about being inconvenienced. Oh, that sounds just horrible. We are spoiled, folks! Something else to ponder.

One-on-One Time…by JoAnn

I am a huge advocate that parents need to spend occasional one-on-one time with each of their children. From the time they are young, during their teen years, and after they are adults.

I have three grown daughters. This year, their ages will be 39, 37, and 30. I love my daughters more than life itself. Being their mother has been an essential part of my life and has been the reason for the most joyful times I have known.

With everyone having their own life to live, it becomes a real challenge to have one-on-one time with an adult child. A genuine effort has to be made by both parties. It was easy to keep up with each other’s daily routines, good days, and bad days while living under the same roof. But when the chicks begin to fly and leave the nest for their own, the busyness of life and the world’s stresses have a way of pulling loved ones apart. We have to try harder!

Lately, I have felt an authentic, heartfelt need to connect with each of my girls. They each seem so busy with meaningful projects in their lives that I have not had the heart to ask for their time. One of the worst feelings in the world for a parent is to feel like a burden on our children. I felt as if it would be very selfish of me to do so.

Sometimes life just has a way of working things out for us. I have been in desperate need of help with cleaning and organizing my apartment. It was built in 1970 and requires some major repairs. Repairs that will require me to move out for at least a whole week. I will also have to take my belongings with me so the floors can be replaced entirely.

I can no longer do things, like cleaning fast and furious, as I did in my younger years. Much less move furniture around. I knew I needed help, but I became silent in asking, hoping, and praying it would somehow all workout.

And it did. My beautiful Chelsea, my sweet baby girl, saw I needed help and came to my rescue. Like a little angel with the power of a tornado, she came into my home and got more done in a matter of days than I could have done in one year! She amazed me, and she also took a burden from me that was so heavy.

I never asked Chelsea for her help. She offered. Somehow, someway, my youngest daughter grew into a kind, loving, generous, and empathetic adult. I couldn’t be more proud of her. I doubt she realizes just how much her help means to me. She probably won’t be able to until someday, when she is older and in the same need for help. That is how life lessons work.

But that was not the only blessing to come out of this story. My daughter and I ended up spending much-needed and valuable one-on-one time. It had been way too long. Yes, we were sweating, and yes, we were doing not-so-pleasant chores, but the magic happened anyway. We laughed, cried, hugged, and were able to catch up on each other’s lives.

When Chelsea walked away, I was left with a clean apartment, organized rooms, and a heart full of love for my youngest. I felt revived, renewed, and ready to face Spring with a happy attitude.

Chelsea plans to return this weekend and help me finish a few loose ends. I can’t wait to see her. Not just for the help, which I am very grateful for, but for the one-on-one time we will be spending with each other again.

Now to find a way to spend some overdue one-on-one time with my other two daughters. It will be a challenge, but no doubt it will be worth it.

Daughters Are A Blessing!

Daughters Are A Blessing

😊 The other day my daughter and I were involved in an uncomfortable telephone conversation, and she said to me, “Dad, you don’t know me very well” I thought for a moment and replied, “Only since you took your first breath.”  She responds that she is trying to gracefully end this conversation, and I reply that I know exactly how to, and I lean forward and hit the button that stops the harangue.  I walk away fuming over our conversation and 30 minutes later she calls again and we talk as though the previous conversation never existed.  There was no trace of the bitterness we expressed those few minutes earlier.

I know how important I am to my daughter and my son.  They lost their mother in 2014, and they are fearful they will lose me.  I understand their feelings because I felt the same way when my father died, and only Mom was left. I have always felt that my daughter and I had a special bond and that feeling probably extends to all fathers with daughters.  When my son was young, we were involved in sports, cars, school, or something that involved physical activity.  With my daughter, it was more social than physical.  We sat and talked, mostly about her interaction with others.  Often it pertained to her current boyfriend, or her girlfriends.  She has always been a social butterfly, and I’m confident she will remain so.
My advice to dads that don’t have daughters; keep trying!  Daughters are a blessing from God.
“We’ve begun to raise daughters more like sons.  Few have the courage to raise our sons like our daughters…. Gloria Steinam

😊 “To the soul, there is hardly anything more healing than friendship.”…Thomas Moore
I believe that most of us will agree with that quote.  There are many times in my life that I needed a friend to sit by my side and listen to me express whatever frustration I was experiencing at the time.  Friends are like flowers, lending beauty and a delightful aroma.  I believe we discover that as children but lose that knowledge as we grow into adulthood.  Just like flowers, friends have to be cultivated, nourished, and given constant attention.  I’m sure you have heard the old refrain, “If you want a friend, be a friend”.  My wife and I strive to include our friends in our activities, and we find that in doing so, the activity becomes many times more enjoyable.  Some of our most treasured moments happen with people we hold dear. I have made friends on a tour bus, attending church, walking a trail and driving thru a neighborhood looking for a particular house.  There are limitless possibilities for finding and making new friendships, but you gotta be open to the need.  Try each day to speak to someone you do not know.  You’ll be surprised at how easy it is to make life more interesting.

😊 Glenda Jackson (81 years old, two-time Oscar winner and former British parliamentarian) was interviewed for Time Magazine and was asked: “Is there something you mourn about growing older?”  She replied, “It irritates me that I can’t cut my own toenails.”  Really, is that what bothers you?  I can list a lot of things that bother me as I grow older, but not being able to do that is not one of them.  I do believe I could come up with a more significant complaint.  Of course, we know that a Man’s biggest gripe would be losing his libido. For a woman, from my point of view, it would be losing some of her exterior beauty (the beauty that is within stays with her for all of life’s journey).
Glenda was asked, “How has theater changed since you left?”  She replied, “A theater is a theater, is a theater.  It’s a dark space which strangers fill, and you’re in the light.  Hopefully, something from the light goes into the dark, and the dark increases that and sends it back, and you create this perfect circle.”  What a wonderful way to describe the theater.

😊 A few days ago my wife and I sat down to watch the war movie “12 Strong”.  It was based on a true story and described America’s first response to the 9/11 tragedy.  As expected, it was filled with violence and within 10 minutes my wife was asleep.  She would be jolted awake occasionally by the noise blasting from the screen, but within a few minutes was cutting some more zzzzz’s.  Finally, she got up and headed for the kitchen to wash our dinner dishes (I would dry them after the movie was over).  I think that men need to see a war movie every so often, it seems to be the way we are built.  For some unknown reason, our DNA requires that we either participate in something violent or watch something violent.  Maybe, it’s testosterone driven, who knows, but something makes us fascinated with all things violent.  Sure, there are those of us that are not, but one thing for sure, we are certainly different then women.  American Football & boxing come to mind as violent sports belonging primarily to men.  I have pretty much concluded that without women the world would be less peaceful.  In countries where the female voice is suppressed there is unspeakable vehemence.
I remember as an 18-year-old, going through basic training for the US Air Force at Lackland AFB, in San Antonio, Texas, and being around only men for 7 weeks.  I was pulling KP one day, washing pots & Pans and taking the plates that were thrust to me by strong looking arms thru a hole in the wall.  Suddenly, without warning, through the hole came a woman’s arm, small, tender, with fingernails colored bright red.  A wonderful feeling swept over me.  This marvelous looking arm meant to me that civility was still present somewhere.  I knew that men would only be so violent if women were present.  They seem to instill restraint in men, to encourage their better nature to come front and center. Nevertheless, we men still need some violence in our life, and watching an occasional war movie does it for me. Don Marquis said, “Man cannot be uplifted; he must be seduced into virtue.”

😊 The other day my wife and I went with our friends, Don & Louise, to eat dinner and attend a play afterwards.  After dinner we had some extra time before the play started, so we toured a nearby historic site. There was levity and chatter amongst old friends as we drove slowly thru the maze of old buildings, forts, and homes.  After about 30 minutes of touring, we headed for the theater to watch the play and arrived just in time.  After it was over and we were safely ensconced in the car, and before I started it up, I asked everyone to rate the play on a scale of one to five.  All three gave it a rating of 4+.  I gave it a rating of 3.  I could tell they were disappointed in my rating.  My reasoning was that each ticket cost $48 and at that price I expected much more than was presented.  If the tickets were $15, then I would have given it a score of four.  To put it another way, I don’t expect to pay $35,000 for a car that has the same features as that of a lower priced car.  I expect more because I paid more.  I believe that expectation is a driving force for life. I have always heard that if you don’t expect anything, guess what?  You probably won’t get anything.  So, yes, I expected more because I paid a considerable amount for that ticket.  Andre Godin said, “The quality of our expectations determines the quality of our action.”  Yup!  I’m ridin’ that horse.

I hope that wherever you live on this wonderful planet, you are safe from harm, secure in a happy life, and that you have enjoyed the view from “My window on The World”.  If you get a chance, drop me a line.

“To send a letter is a good way to go somewhere without moving anything but your heart.” …Phyllis Theroux


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