Wednesday, August 1, 2018
I know, a "Diva" is actually "a distinguished female singer, Prima Donna", according to the dictionary that is. Well, I needed a title....and a tag of sorts as it seems like Ivy and Me do a lot of tracking on the dirt roads, making memories....living adventures. They aren't all dirt roads mind you, but back roads, country roads. A good friend uses the tag "backroads" so obviously it would be a "copy" if I used that, and all I could come up with for the country was Country Road Cruisers. Lame.
So, Dirt Road Diva's are we! What we aren't is distinguished female singers. We are female and we do sing. Well, I sing, and I do believe that Ivy taps her paw and hums along.
We've been in a bit of a funk since we said goodbye to our sweet Sophie. I haven't had words to write that wouldn't make me, and most of you come to tears. I haven't been able to find much of a song either and like I just said, I sing. I love to sing, I'm told by my boys and Big Pops that I can make a song out of anything. I didn't say I was a good songstress but I always have some sort of song or another to sing. Those songs have been missing here the past couple of months. I guess I just couldn't pull the joy out that I needed to find my song, and then....Ivy and I went for a long ride in Ranger Reba the other night. She is now my Shotgun Rider and right now we don't have a Miss Daisy to fill the back seat. Just the two of us. The rides have been lonely for us, that is until this ride.
I'm not sure about Ivy, but I think I can speak for both of us and say that we had an Angel in the back seat. Really we did. Or the feeling and presence of someone we love. Ever get that feeling?
It all started as we flew by these freshly baled hay and straw fields
and then as we continued down the familiar dirt road. One I traveled as a child and beyond. Over the bridge where the creek flows. The creek that we fished when I was young. The same one I waded in accompanied by an earlier faithful companion.
The dirt road that has the old boards peeking through that were laid eons ago to cross the wetland area before they used gravel. Past the corn fields....
across the dirt road from where I lived as I grew up
We pulled in to the drive of the old farm house....the house no longer stands, lost to a fire a few years back. Barely a remnant of the old beauty but in my mind I can see it all, every last detail and that's when I felt the song in my heart begin to build.
The old barn and the silo where I hung from the bottom ladder rung whenever I had the chance.
The chicken coop and the rabbit hutch that I played hours on end in
The apple and pear trees I picked the fruits of.
Old and wonderful memories. A new Shotgun Rider by my side and the presence of the past one riding back seat. I think she may have had someone by her side back there too. My Dad always said, "if you've got a song, sing it", and so we did. All the way back to the Lane I let the sorrow go and I sang a joyful song. Ivy hummed along and tapped her paw and I do believe there was a paw and a foot tappin' coming from the back seat keeping tempo with those tunes.
Old memories revisited. New memories made. Some of the sorrow released and replaced with the new found joy of today and what tomorrow will bring.
Life is short, don't forget to sing your song. Often.
From the Lane,
Sunday, May 27, 2018
we got almost and extra year with our sweet Girl, and a good year.
They called it a miracle that she pulled through and that she pulled through so strong and happy even more surprising. We were warned at the time that with each recurrence of this awful
autoimmune disease that took hold of her, it would be much more difficult to put into remission.
They were right. For the past almost month we have tried. Everything.
I prayed all the way home last night on our midnight ride from the Yoop that God would give us another miracle for our Girl, just a tiny one. Just to make her well enough to be able to come home to feel good enough to take her walk down the Lane and around the Farm. Take a ride through the fields on Reba....my Shotgun Rider.
My heart breaks as I say that it wasn't meant to be. She was a critically ill Girl and there was no modern medicine to give her those extra days or hours we so wanted with her.
I always remember a friend telling me many years ago, when at the door of making this decision for someone you love so, you must always remember to think with your head, not with your heart.
We told ourselves that over and over and although our hearts were screaming, no, no, no....our heads told us, that what was best for her was to let her go. It was time.
We made the heartbreaking choice to say our last goodbyes.
We spent time with her. Showing her the love she has always known and telling her we didn't want to say goodbye but we wanted her to be free from the suffering.
I held her sweet, sweet face and could read in those sad brown eyes the pain she was feeling and I knew we had to let her go. I kissed her soft snout as Pops caressed her forehead.
She closed her eyes, nuzzled my face and let out a long last breath.
We knew instantly that she was at peace.
We also knew our hearts were shattered. Peace will come for us in time.
We will miss our Miracle Girl every day. Every single day.
She now runs free and we choose to think she has met up with her big Sis Grace and most likely her Momma Ginger. We also believe that we will meet them all again.
God would not put these wonderful beings among us on earth if he had no place for them in heaven.
Run with the wind sweet Sophie!
We loved you more.....
Sophie Lee Schwalbach
of YellowDog Lane
January, 2010 ~ May, 2018
With hurting hearts,
from The Lane....
Big Pops, Sharon
Ivy & Isabelle
at May 27, 2018
Saturday, April 21, 2018
a well known moniker by those who work or have worked in the oil fields.
Makes it sound sort of cute, like the pumpkin patch or the strawberry patch.
Well, that would be a definite misnomer if you asked those who have spent many hours, days, months and years working from dawn to dusk and beyond in those "patches".
Not much cute about it. Time spent in sub zero weather, scorching heat and everything in between. The only respite offered, in the "dog house, most often an old and used up camper trailer remade into somewhat of a locker type room for the workers to take breaks and lunch.
Not an easy job to glorify, but this guy....the guy that many of you know personally and most of you know as Big Poppy, well he kinda liked this job.
After nearly forty years, almost 30 of those spent at the helm of this big red rig, Big Pops hung up his hard hat and those oil covered coveralls and bid farewell to those long hours, early mornings, late nights and too much time spent away from home.
As of last Friday, he has officially joined the ranks of the retired. His last day was a tough one.
Saying goodbye to many people and routines that have consumed so many years of his life.
I have been blessed enough to have spent over half of those years with this man.
He never complained of the hours, the cold or heat, the sometimes back breaking work. The days missed going in over those years can be counted on one hand. A work ethic that many know nothing of in todays world, nor have they experienced this level of hard work.
Not a glorified job by most but I am writing this to give just a bit of that glory deserved to Big Pops.
Pulling oil and gas from the ground over the years to help the country move along. Just a small cog in the big wheel that makes it all turn, but in my book, a very important one.
I'm sure you've figured out by now just how proud I am of this man and I am so excited that he is stepping into days, hopefully years, of much deserved respite and time to enjoy life.
I've been telling him that once he retired I was going to teach him how to dance.
He had his first lesson last night. No fancy dance floor or attire.
Just our outdoor work clothes and the cement garage approach.
I cranked up the mini Bose and the notes of Brett Young's "In Case You Didn't Know" wafted through the treetops as we did a sweet step on our make shift dance floor.
For his first lesson I will have to say, he did mighty fine. He even managed to dip me quite gracefully at songs end. I know, it's probably hard for you to envision "graceful" when thinking of two old fogies, in their work clothes, on the cement approach, dancing to a portable sound box.....
but I can assure you, grace was surely there.
Here's to many more dances on the cement dance floor!
Oh, and Big Poppy.....In Case You Didn't Know, I'm Crazy About You.
From the Lane,
Sunday, April 1, 2018
Thursday, February 22, 2018
and no, I'm not breaking into a rendition of the Beatles song.
My story of Yesterday......
It actually started out at around 1:30 am with Miss Lively Ivy's sweet face pushed up against mine.
She seems to feel the need to go out and explore during the night, well or at least perch herself on the Farmer's Porch and sniff the air. Most likely she would wander but she's scared of the dark, thankfully for me. I let her savor the air a bit and then get her back in and on her bed.....yes "her" bed, although she did beg quite heavily to be let up on ours.
So it's 1:45 by now let's say. I snuggle back in and of course, I can't sleep. Tossing, turning. Up, down. The night was long. At 4:20 Big Pops alarm sounds. He hops up...well, that's stretching it a bit. He doesn't hop, most especially in the morning. He doesn't talk either, his first hour or so he mainly grunts his answers. He is not a morning person. Anyway.....he is up and the Girls get to join me on the bed, usually one on each side of me. Snugged up. I am kind of like the sausage in the bun.
I fall asleep, hard. When I wake I realize I need to get going as I have the Cellar Stitchers arriving.
I jump out of bed, I do jump. Take the Girls out and get them breakfast. I grab a cup of coffee and take it to the bedroom with me to savor a bit while I get ready. In my haste at getting out of bed I failed to grab my glasses. Can't see much of anything without them. I attempt to sit my full cup of hot coffee on the night stand, I miss it completely and the floor is flooded with coffee as are my slippers and pajama pants. I grab a bath towel to sop up my mess and then go to check on the Girls. Kick my slippers off and slip on my ankle Mucks and out the door I go. They come running.
I turn the door knob. Locked. No problem, I have a key right here. Well, I usually have a key right here, someone used it and didn't put it back. I try all the doors, but of course they're locked. I lock them. My only option at this point is to attempt a crawl through the pet door, which thankfully is open for the Girls to exit after breakfast. I've done this several times in the past, mostly at the old house but once here. I wasn't almost 63 when I did it the last time. It gets harder. You need to go arms over your head first and then wiggle through. I do manage to master it and we're in.
This is when I notice that laying on the counter is the deposit that I thought Pops had made on Saturday, that needed to be made on Saturday. It wasn't. I rush to slap some makeup on, get dressed and run a brush through my hair. Figure if I'm out the door in less than 10 I can be at the drive through and back home before 9 to ready the Studio for the Stitchers.
I get to the bank at 8:45, drive up to the window. Amy and Shelby turn and look at me....and I will have to say, sweetly smile and wave. That's when I see the sign that say the window opens at 9am.
It use to open at 8:30. Now I wonder how many times I've driven up there before opening and they've always kindly tended to taking my deposit and giving the Girls a treat?
They must think I'm nuts. Which maybe isn't that far fetched I'm thinking.
I get back home and it is only when I jump out of the Blazer that I realize I still have my coffee drenched pajama pants on and my Mucks. I was perfectly dressed from the waist up.
My Lord, what if I'd been stopped for speeding?
This all before 9am. I was still a bit helter skelter when the Stitchers arrived but their sweetness and understanding quickly turned my day in a much better direction.
It seems as if I might be leaving something out but for the life of me I can't remember....
that might quite well be a good thing.
And there you have it......
Here on YellowDog Lane
Nothing but blue skies and sunshine today....
A good nights sleep and lots of stitching awaiting me.
Wishing you all a day filled with all of that and more.
From the Lane,
Wednesday, February 14, 2018
sharing the words of a husband and father
These words, handwritten on a simple piece of paper
Words of love and devotion to his Wife and his Children
Simple paper, priceless words
Truly my last thoughts will be of you ~ and the kids ~
I first read this note a few weeks ago at the memorial for Big Pops Mom and Dad.
His Mom, Ione, passed on January 2. Dad Jack, passed five years ago
The memorial was for both
As I read these words my first thought was, what a gift this simple note was not only to Ione and the kids, but to all who are connected to them and to Jack.
It confirmed to me where my husband got his huge heart and gentle spirit
His devotion to his family and those he cares about
How lucky I am to call him my Husband
How lucky others are to call him Dad, Grandpa, Brother, Friend.....
Wishing you all a day of love...
and may you all find yourselves as loved as these simple words are meant
From the Lane,
Monday, February 12, 2018
our trip to the Social Security Office.
Okay, so I'm thinking to some, this wouldn't be anything major. Just another thing that you schedule, do online or make a simple phone call. To us, it seemed rather monumental and a definite life decision (probably the same to most if they would admit it) so we decided we felt more comfortable making an appointment to go in a do a face to face.
I guess as I continue this story of a day in our life, you need to remember that it's me and Big Pops.
We are both from Small Town America. He's a Yooper. I have spent the better part of the last 45 years working from my home, Pops in the Oil Fields.
We live in the country, on a dirt road up until a couple years ago, now we live on tarvey.
We really wouldn't have it any other way. We are common folk and to us that's a good thing.
So, we get to our appointment. Both of us excited and nervous at the same time. Luckily we got the kindest, most patient young man to help us. He didn't act as if he thought any of our questions were dumb. He explained everything in common folk terms and within about 45 minutes time he had walked up through making what to us was a huge step in our life.
We make our way outside and hand in hand walk to the Blazer. I say, "well guess we just did it". He replies, "yup" and gives me a smile and a kiss. Then I make the mistake of saying, "gosh, I could hardly keep from crying in there, that's when the dams broke. Both of us, Big Ole Pops and Me, both standing there crying like a couple of crazies. We decide to take it to the car and pull ourselves together before those who can see us begin to wonder.
We need to make a stop at the Grocery just up the road a piece so we dry our eyes and manage the short trip. It was snowy and rather nasty but we managed the lot, got parked and with some small comment by one of us, we both started crying again. We gathered ourselves together once again, made it into the store and got what we needed. Outside we head. Obviously we hadn't gathered ourselves together quite enough because now, we can't find our vehicle. Finally after much searching we locate it about three rows over from where we thought it was waiting. Now we can't get the cart through the snow, so Pops pushes while I pull. We get the hatch open to transfer the groceries, he hands me the key and I promptly set off the car alarm. It took us close to a minute to figure that out at which time we finished the transfer and went into hiding in the Blazer.
This time we actually laughed, but in all honestly we both cried a bit more several times on the trek home and then cried like babies when we got home.
Most of our tears were joyful, happy to be making this transition to a new chapter of our lives.
A bit of sadness mixed in as we thought of our Dads, mine who passed at 62 and didn't reach this point of enjoyment. Pops Dad who did reach the age of 89 but because he was cheated out of many years of his SS earnings wasn't able to enjoy it at a younger age.
It seems almost surreal to both of us. Thinking we would never get to this point or when we did would we be able to swing it.
We have worked hard and tried most often to spend wisely. We aren't high maintenance and pray for good health so we don't become that way.
We shan't live like Kings and Queens but of course we don't want too...
we're Common Folk and proud of the fact.
Some of you might be rolling your eyes at this tale of our Life on the Lane and I hope I haven't bored you all to tears with it. I just felt a need to write about it.
The moral of my little tale....
If you should ever see a couple of common looking folk leaving the Social Security Offices only to break down in tears. Don't assume it's because they were denied or given bad news.
Remember our story and assume that they're crying tears of joy and relief and looking forward to this next chapter in their lives. A chapter that might seem a bit scary to step into but one that we're hoping will spell out a real adventure!
Follow along for the ride!!
Just Common Folk,
Big Poppy and Me
Sunday, January 28, 2018
The Rug Hooker Kit Makers.
I know, that's not how you remember it but just go with me on this.
Over the past few months we've had several suggestions of offering a Rug Hooking class.
I contemplate. I am a hooker, of rugs. I'm not an experienced hooker of rugs by anyones imagination.
I'm not confident I can teach anyone to hook.
This is where my dear friend Hazel steps to the plate. Now she's a hooker. Of rugs. She also strips.
You know, the wool....strips it into wool worms for hooking.
I know I can come up with a design, the wool and other needed sundries. Then we just set a class date, get things together and ready and just like magic we're teaching a Rug Hooking class.
Sure, just like magic. That's what it was.
I'm not real sure why the magic waited so long to step in but at one point I know that both Hazel and me were begging it to show it's beautiful face.
We, Hazel and me, are somewhat "kindred" in many ways. We love many of the same things.
Early country colonial home decor, wool, gardening, stitching and most importantly our family, friends and of course Dogs.
This might be where I should also add that we're both a bit "fussy" about things. This would include the making of the Rug Hooking Kits.
Mind you, we have both drawn patterns onto cloth before. We have everything we need.
We have the proper cloth, the design properly prepared, light box, marking pen. Everything we need.
With the exception of having our wits about us I'm guessing. For the life of us, Hazel and me, we couldn't put it all together to get pattern to cloth in the manner required. It almost became painful.
That's where the laughter came in, it kept the pain at bay. We tried this. Then we tried that. Then we tried something else and with each try and each failure we laughed a little more.
And then....then the magic showed up. Stepped right in and waved some wits at us. That's when I remembered the transfer pen. I'm sure the looks on both our faces at this moment were priceless.
A simple little transfer pen, the magic lending me the wits to remember it and yup, you guessed it.
Just like magic the patterns went to cloth. Some of the wool was in strips. There was zigzagging to be done, hooks to be sorted, kits to be packed and we, Hazel and me, were out of time.
The moral of this story....no matter how simple things might seem. Nothing is ever just like magic!
Just ask us. Hazel and me.
I did mention that we were both a bit fussy about things...
Just a peek at how neat we left everything. Persnickety are we. Hazel and me.
UPDATE just in. The kits are complete the mess is deplete.
Not sure about the Butcher and Baker, but
The Rug Hooker Kit Makers are tucking this day filled with sweet memories and magic away in our hearts to revisit with fondness when a smile, a little magic or the thought of a
dear friend is needed.
From the Lane,
Hazel and me
P.S. Rug Hooking Class here on the Lane, Tuesday. Stay tuned!
Friday, January 5, 2018
a strong woman. Kind, loving, giving. Feisty and tough when needed.
Mother of six wonderful children, my husband being one of them. Wayne, but she often called him "Lee" and when she called him "Wayne Lee Mario Joseph", he listened just a bit quicker and more closely. That was the feisty coming out.
A young bride and Mother. A good bride and Mother.
Loved deeply by her husband, her children and their children.
She gave the biggest, tightest hugs you can imagine. Always. Baked the best Swedish rolls and cinnamon rolls..... and the Crepes, oh my. Crocheted the best afghans. Loved her coffee, a good Vodka Gimlet and a sip of Bailey's now and then. How could you not love her.
Treated me like a daughter. Always. Never ended a phone call without an "I love you".
I will cherish the memory of our last visit.
She stood on her frail legs, wrapped me in her arms in a hug so hard that we almost ended up back in the chair together. Her words went something like this.....
"I know when I'm gone my Lee will be in good hands. Take good care of him"
I responded with tears. I walked to the door, turned to smile and give a wave.
"Love you Baby Girl"
A goodbye I will always remember and cherish. Always.
Soar the Heavens Mom
You are loved.
Alice "Ione" Schwalbach
March 1936 ~ January 2018
Daughter, Wife, Mother, GrandMother, Friend
Monday, January 1, 2018
Sunday, December 31, 2017
to begin a new one.
Packing all the "COURAGE" I was able to gain from the old year right inside me to take along the new and un walked paths of 2018.
Walking those paths with a "PURPOSE"
Purpose, "my word" for the New Year.
Have you chosen your word? Or do you think it's silly so don't even give it a thought?
It's amazing how powerful just one word can be. How it makes you rethink an action, undertake and action, calm you, encourage or maybe even put you in your place.
Purpose. I find sometimes I wake up and think I've lost or misplaced mine. I lay in bed at night and wonder what it really is....usually after a bad day. Is my purpose here so friends might use me for their joke material.....is it to cook and clean, do book work, pay bills.
Is my purpose so some will have a subject for the rumor mill, to blame or accuse.
I've given this last paragraph much thought.
Not my purpose any longer, or I will surely work hard at not allowing it to be.
I will be packing all of this and more into a big ole box today, locking it up and throwing away the key. We can't change the past, nor others actions, thoughts and deeds.
We can change how we look at each new day and live with a
A purpose to do good things and pass those along to others.
In 2018 I will work on living a life of Purpose
Purpose I choose
Thinking that bag of Courage I have packed up to take along is going to make finding and keeping my Purpose a whole lot easier.
One simple word might change your outlook on a whole lot of things
Have you got your word for 2018?
Wishing you all a safe and happy New Years Eve......
From the Lane,
I know, a "Diva" is actually "a distinguished female singer, Prima Donna", according to the dictionary that is. Well, ...
we got almost and extra year with our sweet Girl, and a good year. They called it a miracle that she pulled through and that she pulled t...
a strong woman. Kind, loving, giving. Feisty and tough when needed. Mother of six wonderful children, my husband being one of them. ...