Monday, December 26, 2011

Monday Morning Inspiration

Good Morning Everyone and welcome to the week between Christmas and New Year's. I think this is my favorite week of the entire year. It's a quiet week, the preparation and anticipation of Christmas is behind me and although the New Year is still ahead, it's a peaceful celebration in our home. Our godson and his family will be with us for two days. We'll laugh and talk, go for a new Year's hike, eat great food and basically just enjoy being together. On my agenda for the week is a bit of sewing, I'll share that with you in another post, but most importantly...I NEED TO CLEAN MY STUDIO!!! What a mess it is. I'm sure there are a few of us singing the same messy studio song today.

My husband's favorite gift this year was a mug I had made for him. His sister had sent some old pictures in with his birthday card. As I looked at them, I thought that they are just too precious to stick into a box or a book that will rarely see the light of day. So what could I do with the pictures that he would really be able to enjoy? I thought about a memory quilt, nice but not quite right, then I came across the Walgreen's website and saw where I could order a photo mug. Score!! So I scanned the photos onto the computer, downloaded them to the Walgreen's website, chose the mug, previewed it and I was finished.  Here are the pictures I used;  
 Carl's brother Bert, his father Edgar and Carl.
Carl on the farm. 
 Another picture of Edgar and the boys.
 Carl in the river with a homemade raft and his dog.......
the Incredible!...Super Dog!...Blitz. As the years have gone by, the stories of this dog have grown every bit as much as any great fish tale.  To hear my husband and his brother talk about this dog, you would swear that the dog could drive a car, speak five languages, fly an airplane......Super Dog.

 The finished mug,
with Blitz as the showcased photo.
What I found so interesting is how my husband viewed the photos once they were on the mug, precious before but they had now taken on a new meaning for him. As he looked at the pictures of he and his brother with their father, he began to talk about the wonderful times and the adventures they had together. Until now, Carl would from time to time talk about his father and some of his antics, but not with the same sweetness that he now portrayed.
The last years of Edgar's life were very difficult. He owned a wholesale greeting card company. The big guns, Hallmark and American Greetings had begun to take hold, Mom and Pop stores were disappearing. The business as he had known it was quickly slipping away. The stress that he was under finally took its toll on his health and he suffered a stroke. His family had to take over, money was extremely tight. Then he suffered a second stroke and died. The memories of those last dark days clouded over the happier memories of a father who enjoyed a good time.
Carl's father has always had a special place in my heart. He too was a pilot, in fact he made his first solo flight fifty years to the day that I made mine. The first time your instructor gets out of the plane and you are totally in control is a day that will forever be etched in the mind of every pilot. When my instructor told me that he would not be getting back in the plane with me, I asked him where he was going. He then told me that I was ready to go alone. I was petrified. He assured me that I was ready. I shook his hand and told him that I was grateful for everything he had done for me. As I pulled away, I waved goodbye. Then when I got to the end of the runway, I suddenly had the most overwhelming sense of Carl's father. I never knew him. He died long, long before I ever met my husband. A sense of calmness came over me and off I went. I made my three take-offs and landings and came back to pick up my instructor. After we arrived back at Midway I told him that I felt as though I had not flown alone. He too is a rather spiritual man and he said that maybe I didn't. On my next solo flight, I was once again nervous. I took-off, came around to land and for the first time felt that I really could do this. On my second take-off, a hawk took off with me and flew right along side the airplane. Just as I was about to make my turn, the hawk turned in the opposite direction and flew away. A coincidence, maybe, but at that point I knew that I was on my own and that I was quite capable.
Life takes so many twists and turns leaving us with the memory of the heartaches that can be attached to those times. For my husband, a picture was able to take him back and help him remember a father who loved his family and left them with a legacy of laughter, courage and determination.

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  1. What a wonderful story! Thanks for sharing!

  2. What lovely stories, Rhonda...both the mug one and the not-flying-alone one! Thank you for sharing these. Happy New Year to you and your loved ones.