The New Baby

It’s January 1954, in Iowa. My Dad says, “It’s colder than a well digger’s ass in Montana.” That means it’s really cold! My brother and I have been waiting for our Mom to come home to us. “She went to get a baby!” My Grandma Ross says.

She’s been staying with us for a few days. I don’t know why it takes so darn long to pick out a baby, but I guess when you’re making a big decision like that, you need to take your time.

Grandma won’t say much about where this baby is coming from, or what it is. I guess we’ll find out when dad gets home.

We live on the river bottom. Dad says, ‘cause our house is real close to the river. Sometimes it floods our barnyard and fields. I think its fun when that happens. We wade out in the yard in our bare feet. The cows are up to their bellies in muddy river water. Dad cusses a lot when it floods.

Our house is big and white, and has two stories. Don’t know why they call them stories, but they do. Grownups have funny words for things. Our windows go to the floor so we can see out really good.

Grandma just said she heard a noise. We all go to look out the North window, and dad’s car is pulling up.

Grandma says we have to be quiet, cause we don’t want to scare the new baby. She’s real bossy…grandma. I guess she’s knows a lot about babies cause she had eight kids. Our Dad is the youngest of the bunch! Grandma says, my Mom got the “pick of the litter!” See…there’s a funny word, for a bunch of kids.

Anyway, I watch dad walk around the Buick and open the door for Mom. She’s holding a bundle in her arms. She walkin’ kinda’ slow.

Grandma hurries to the door and in walks my Mom with the new baby. Dad gives me a wink and messes with my brother’s hair. Mom looks tired, but she smiles at me. She sits down and peels away the blanket. I look at her and say, “What’d you pick out?”

“We have a girl!” She answers. “Her name is Eileen.”

We’re all gawin’ at Eileen like she’s somethin’ real special, but I feel a little mad, cause now I’m not the only girl. But, at least it’s not a stinkin’ boy!



So that’s the way it went, sixty-three years ago today!



Happy Birthday, Sis. Love you!



Seven Decades

Well, today is a milestone.

A landmark.

The big one!

Who’s turning seventy today?


Not me…that was my Grandmother, my Aunt, my Mom… the lady that sat in front of me in church, when I was a kid, whose dress always stuck in her… well you know.

My mind can not wrap around this figure.

I am 16, getting off the bus, and I hear Neil Sedaka belting out “Sweet Sixteen.” My Mom scraped  together enough for a hi-fi, for my birthday, and of course had to let the world know.

I’m eighteen, walking on stage to get my high school diploma.

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I’m twenty repeating my wedding vows.


I’m twenty five giving birth to my first child, my daughter, Kate.

Twenty six starting my first teaching job.


Justin in overalls

Twenty nine welcoming my son, Justin into the world.

Thirty, feeling like I’ve reached middle age.

Forty, celebrating with my sister and her family in Kansas City, scolding our kids for ordering seventeen dollars-worth of OJ from room service.


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Fifty, my neck still looks pretty good. Welcomed my first grandchild, Izzy.

Dealt with breast cancer.



Sixty, welcomed my second  grandchild, Daniel.

Knee replaced.

I’m thinking about a face lift.

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Callie Rose

Seventy, two more grandchildren, I’m definitely thinking about lifting something!

But seriously, I’m glad to be here… to celebrate a life!

A life that has experienced valleys and summits, sorrow and extreme joy!

A career filled with the children from our community who kept me on my toes, and young. And, who enjoy seeing around town and on Facebook!

Colleagues who were there from my first day in the classroom until the last bell sounded.

My children who challenged me, filled my world sleepless nights, and busy days, but most of all, love and joy.

There are so many experiences that flood my memory today.

It’s my goal to make the next decade memorable, healthy, and filled with the love of family and friends.

To making new friends.

Baking more cupcakes, and taking more walks.

And, maybe getting a book or two written. I’ve still got lots to say and do!

God willing I’ll be writing about the next decade, ten years from now.

I CANT SAY IT… it starts with “E” and you do it, when you ice skate.



I’ll be here!

Tune in…