Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Remembering Terry

She was a little bit of a woman, but she was a powerhouse. She had strength and determination that belied her tiny frame. I think she took many people by surprise.

Terry was as full of fun and friendliness as she was work and business. She loved her kayak, and she loved the beach at Maidstone Park. She would walk every day, keeping her spirit at peace, and would paddle her vessel in local waters whenever she had the opportunity. She loved her plants and gardens, and spent much time puttering in her yard after permanently closing the flower shop/small nursery she owned. Like myself, she liked to place many flowers in the soil together for that 'natural' cottage garden look.

She'd lived for many years in an expanded ranch house where she reared her children alone, after being widowed at a young age. Some time later, she remarried a widower, and after some years together, they parted ways. Terry came into possession of her grandmother's little house, one block from the her beloved Maidstone beach. It needed a lot of work, and she hired my brother in law, George, to do the work. Using her wonderful ideas and his skills, together they transformed the place into a new home for Terry. It was perfect for her, with enough room for guests and family, but not too big to be a bother. Terry faithfully collected grey stones of a certain size and shape at the beach, to be used as cabinet door and drawer pulls. She carefully chose the countertops for her rustic wood cabinets, and chose one that looked to her like the edge of the water at the bay. She chose soft, serene colors for the furniture and walls, giving the home a cozy feel. When taking down old wallboard near the fireplace, she discovered a huge old beehive, long since abandoned by its residents. She decided to keep it, exposed, so that others might enjoy it as well. She had an end table built, with a window of panes for it's top, so that if she wanted to, she could use it as a display box. There are beams exposed and an open ceiling in the living room, adding to the charm.

It was Terry's idea that the home should look like a little Nantucket Cottage. To further that concept, she planted climbing pink roses that would one day reach the roof and creep to the peak. Her small 'islands' of gardens showed a lovely burst of color during the seasons, and like Terry, were celebrants of life in the sun. She created a dry stream bed, with river rock in it, in the side yard, which served as a drainage ditch when there was a lot of rain. Because she loved the birds, Terry placed stakes which held small glass containers full of water for them to drink.

This little woman, who involved herself in community and environmental organizations, was full of life for as long as she had it. She loved people, she loved nature. It was always a pleasant visit with much talk, much laughter, much unspoken love when we spent time with her. Too soon she was taken from us all. She was a perfect example of how to live life, expecting good things of the day and making them happen for others. The world needs more people like Terry. We miss her.
We remember her often, and think of her whenever we see the Black-Eyed Susans and soft peach Daylilies she gave us.

I hope that God has given her a beach home in Heaven, with gardens to tend and birds to look after. Whatever God has given her, I can almost guarantee that she is actively involved in it and is doing it with the utmost joy!

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Sunday Afternoons....

Around here, we have very quiet Sunday afternoons. We arrive home from church, have a bite of lunch, and slowly drift and serenely drift into some interest or another. Sometimes we have a visit with neighbors on our front porch. Sometimes it's computing or books. Lately, though, it's been football games.

It all started when my husband's home state team, the Seattle Seahawks, were playing in the play offs for the Superbowl, against the New Orleans Saints. Hmmm...what chance did the team with the poorest record in history have against the Superbowl winners? Since Mike is unethusiastic about watching a game by himself, I told him I'd watch with him, though with pure honesty I'll tell you, I've not one iota of interest in football. However...that day I watched, and as the game went on, I became more interested until I found myself whooping it up with every great play of the Seahawks, and every fumble by the Saints. Secretly I thought, "this isn't so bad, after all."

After the Seahawks won the game, miraculously, I slid, effortlessly, into the next game, which happened to be the NY Jets. It wasn't as exciting a game, and I wasn't much interested in it. I realized today that what I thought would be just the watching of the Seahawks until they were beat, was not going to happen until after the Superbowl, which I always watch with Mike. So...
today was spent watching the Chicago Bears fall to the Green Bay Packers. Now begins the second game of the day, the Pittsburg Steelers against the NY Jets. I'll have to be loyal to NY since I am a born and bred New Yorker, though I'm not particularly interested in who wins or loses.

I will poke my head up every now and then, from whatever computer game I'm in the middle of, to find out what all the hooplah is about on the tv....but in the recesses of my mind, I'm reliving the wonderful time we had earlier this afternoon, sharing lunch at the bbq restaurant nearby with the company of our beloved Pastor and his wife, Diane. Shhhh....don't tell Mike.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

One of Those Nights...

It was one of those nights that happen far too often lately. Last night we watched Meryl Streep in "Mama Mia" and loved it. I may have been a bit more appreciative than Mike, because I actually saw the end of the movie, which I rarely do, no matter how excited I am to be watching it.

I woke up in the dark just minutes before I heard the two gongs signifying the two o'clock hour. I struggled to rise from my cozy nest on the couch, wandered to the bathroom, and got ready for bed. Climbing between the covers, I remained in a dazed state of half-sleep while I put my head on the pillow. I waited. I heard the single gong of the clock....2:30 AM. I prayed for everyone I knew that I'd promised prayer for. Gong,Gong, Gong! 3 AM . I mentally shopped for material for the kitchen backsplash. I pictured the plastic-type of ceiling tin made for the project, and wondered about it and it's durability. I pictured the small, glass tiles...greys,white, black....too modern I decided. Do I want to explore the myriad of ceramic tiles? I tried to imagine some of it, and wasn't very enthused, as I don't really want tiles at all. What else could I work with for an easy -to-clean surface that will hold up well? Gong...3:30 AM. Husband gets up for his stop in the necessary room, and then he continues to the kitchen for that middle of the night snack. He came back to bed and I heard the four gongs.

Moving on, I wondered about the prayer shawls knitted by a friend, and her knitting group. I tried to imagine what they look like, and wondered if she would sell/make one for me. A mental note was made to contact her with the query. At that point, I also realized that I needed to send a check for a handcrafted item I'd ordered. One gong...4:30 AM.

I rolled from one side to the other, and then to my stomach, then returned to my back. I heard my stomach growl as it continued to process the cabbage and ham dinner we'd eaten hours earlier. I thought it was taking a long time to digest, and then realized that I might be hungry instead. I'd wait until breakfast. The heating unit seemed unusually loud, and then I heard the five gongs. It was useless. Sleep was definitely illusive and wasn't apt to show up as daylight moved closer. I got up.

All the plans I had made to run out and do errands today diminished as I took my morning vitamins and waited for the coffee to brew. I made some eggs and bacon and rye toast, and turned on the early news. After my habit of Facebook with coffee, I tried to gather my thoughts from the fog in my head, and determine whether I'm up to doing any errands at all. Feeling dizzy with the lack of sleep, I reckoned that it might be safer to stay at home and do whatever demanded my attention. Certainly it had better not be anything requiring much attention because I don't have any to spare after a 4 hour sleep.

I think my crystal ball is indicating a nap will be had this afternoon....and a welcome one, at that.