Tuesday, January 20, 2009


Sunrise......... by Linda Hogeland

In the early morning hours as I rise from slumbers sweet
I search the dark and black horizon
Longing for my eyes to meet,…..
The morning with its subtle dawning,… the colors stretching as they wake
Greeting me with glorious splendor,….bidding me my prayers to make

Oh my precious Lord and Master,.. How I wonder at your plan
Who am I to share this beauty? Who am I,… but mortal man?

Such a gift you’ve given freely,…colors bursting from the sky
Wonders of your vast creation,…
How can man your love deny?

There is hope within each sunrise
Hope to face the brand new day
Gone are yesterday’s demises
Hope replaces my dismay

Like the promise of the rainbow,...
That you hung across the sky,
Sunrise stirs the love within me,…
Thinking how you bled and died,….

Thinking how you suffered for me,….
Passed through hell so I could live,…..
Live to see each morning’s sunrise
And your hope to others give

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Judy Laree

Paul, Judy, Linda and John a few years back when we were in Oregon visiting Judy and Paul.

Written by Lynnette (Linda's daughter): This post was written by my mom for her sister Judy. She died last Friday and Mom is on a airplane today, on her way to Oregon. This will be read at her memorial service. Mom wanted me to link it to Wednesday's Walk Down Memory Lane since it is full of memories - but she knows it's quite long and said if you don't have the time to read it, she understands. It was more for her heart, but she wanted to go ahead and link up.


My dear sister Judy Laree passed away yesterday, Jan.16th 2009
I will be going to her service in Brookings, Oregon this week and this is what I will share at her memorial.

Judy Laree~~~~~ Written by her sister,....Linda

How do you start to describe a person that you've known so long, and loved so much? How can you possibly put into words all of the deep feelings inside your heart? Well, I think it is impossible to put it all down on paper in just one sitting,..and I also think it will take the rest of our lives as we continue to remember Judy,... for us to even scratch the surface of the depths of love she held in her heart for each one of us.

But at times like these it does us good to open the doors of our hearts and our minds,... and at least try to express how much she meant to us. I encourage you to write things down as they come to your mind, and there will be a time of sharing later. These are some things that have come to me, and I would like to share them with you.

Judy was born on October 8th,1942. Since I am 8 years younger than her, I don't remember where she was born,...but I think it was in the Napa Valley area of Calif. She was the only daughter born to Joe and Margie M. They had a son Ronald Joe M. born 5 years previous. I am sure that Judy and Ronnie were close when they were little, but when Ronnie was 13 and Judy was 8, Ronnie went to live with his father after the marriage had ended in divorce. I am sure that it was very hard on Judy to lose her brother and playmate at just 8 years of age. I have often wondered how that affected her.

Our mother remarried and then I was born. Judy focused her love and attention on her new playmate,...me! She always was like a second mommy to me. About three years before Judy was born our mom lost her right arm in a car accident. She had been right handed and had to re-learn to do everything with her left hand. Judy was a lot of help to mom and she often said she was like her... "right arm." I know this was hard for Judy, but she became a very capable person growing up in a home with a handicapped mother. When Judy was about 11 years old our baby brother Danny was born, and once again she claimed him as her baby doll, and her mothering skills were used to help Mom with him when she was needed.

Growing up Dan and I loved Judy so much. We thought she was a fun big sister. When she was only about 13 she had a job as a car hop at a drive-in restaurant and she would get tips, so she always had a bag of change, and Danny and I would bug her to give us money for the bread man that sold donuts from his truck, or for the ice cream man when he came by, or the little merry -go-round truck that came through our neighborhood. She was always generous with us and would freely give us her coins,...and sometimes she would be asleep and we would just take them!

At only 15 and 1/2 Judy married William LaVern W. who had turned 21 the day before they got married in April of 1958. Danny was about 5 years old and I was almost 8 when she was married, so Vern became our big brother and we loved him,... and he was also a father figure in our lives, since there had been another divorce and we didn't have a daddy. Judy was once again generous, and she shared Vern with us. She would let us kids come and spend the night sometimes, and Mom and Danny and I were often invited over for dinner.

It was a couple of years or so before Judy and Vern started having babies, but when Laura Evelyn was born we were all ready for her! Especially me. Judy taught me how to take care of babies,...and it is a good thing, because just 13 months after Lori was born, Sandy Lynn came along, and I became a helper for those two little bundles of joy. Judy was an excellent wife, housekeeper, cook and mother! And she had fun with her children. She would always be the room mother at school when they were little. She dressed up like Hobo Kelly, (a local tv program clown), and the kids loved it. I'll never forget how she talked me into dressing up and doing that once too,...but I wasn't nearly as animated and lively a clown as she was. One year at Halloween Lori had a hurt leg and so Judy came up with the idea to wrap her up like a mummy and have Uncle Danny pull her door to door in a wagon so that she wouldn't miss out on trick or treat. Judy always had ideas on how to live life to the fullest, and how to fix what ever needed fixing.

Judy had a zest for life. She made holidays and birthdays fun,...and every meal was an occassion. She taught me how to cook, clean, decorate, wrap gifts real pretty, and how to dress up and how to do my hair and wear make up. She had very good taste. When I was a teenager, and she was a stylish young married gal she would let me get in her closet and wear anything I wanted, and that was always fun. She had a certain flair,...and next to her I always felt ultra conservative. I often called her a gypsy, ...and I was more like a pilgrim, if that gives you a mental picture! (:>) Although we were quite different and there was an 8 year age difference we were always close and had a good sister relationship.

There were times that Judy reminded me of a colorful balloon blowing in the breeze. Sometimes she needed someone to bring her back down from the clouds, and kind of anchor her,...(and several of us have been her anchor from time to time). But sometimes she just made you want to join her in a big balloon bouquet and bounce and bob along with her, and let the breeze carry you along through the amusement park of life!

She could get me to do just about anything. I remember how she talked me into helping her build a brick planter all across her huge yard, which meant pushing a wheelbarrow full of bricks a hundred times from the driveway to the back yard, and then spending the whole day on our knees stacking them and putting mortar between each one. Boy were we sore after that project,...and we just told everyone we planned it to be crooked when we were all done! (:>) We also poured a patio once,...and both these times we really didn't know what we were doing,...but Judy read how to do it and we proceeded from there! There wasn't much that Judy couldn't do back then when she set her mind to it.

Besides being a stay at home mother for several years, she had outside jobs too,... like working at Buffums department store before her kids were born, modeling and doing tea room fashion shows. And after some training she even worked as a medical assistant for awhile. There was a time she waitressed at a Country Club where she made good tips, and where she learned how to cook some pretty fancy meals, as she ate in the kitchen and watched the cooks and got their recipes. She got brother Danny a job there being a busboy when he was a teenager,...and if I remember right, that was the same time frame when she bleached his hair blonde. I wasn't there when she did that, so I don't know that story, but let's just say that funny things were always happening when you hung out with Judy. She also did some less attractive jobs too, like taking in ironing when the kids were little,... and I helped her with that sometimes too. She was much faster than I was at it,...and in fact she did everything quickly and correctly. She was a very hard worker, and I admired all of her abilities.

After I was married and had my own kids, the things Judy taught me came in very handy. When Judy was pregnant with David I was also pregnant with my second child, so that was a fun thing for sisters to enjoy together,....watching our bellies grow!!! Judy loved her little girls so much, but it was fun to see her excitement over having a boy. Vern was very proud too to have his son David. They loved their three kids very much and they were a happy family back then.

I went on to have three children too and the cousins loved to play together. Sometimes a little too much,...like when David and my daughter Lynnette, (who were just 3 months apart), had a magnifying glass and discovered that you could start leaves on fire by holding them under the glass in the direct sunlight! Judy and I knew we had to keep a close eye on those two kiddos. David was always hyper like his mama,...and so was Sandy as a matter of fact. Lori was more sedate and calm,...like her Aunt Linda!

The years passed quickly and Lori and Sandy were grown and married and Judy and Vern and their kids moved from Southern Calif. to Northern Calif. and lived in Redding, where Vern's folks were living. David did a lot of his growing up there. So I missed out on most of his teenage antics! These years in the story would need to be filled in by the kids, and some by Uncle Dan who lived in Redding during some of those years. I had moved to Colorado, and later to Kansas. But I do know that whatever life brought them they faced it together.

It was in these years that Judy and Vern started going to church, and gave their lives to Jesus and they had His help to get them through the tragic car accident and death of their daughter Lori and her husband Pat. I know that this was the greatest sorrow that Judy ever experienced. And I am sure it is true for all of them. She drew her strength from God and from that fortitude that she learned growing up. And as a family they clung to each other during their great loss.

Judy went from working in group homes, to managing group homes for troubled girls. She and Vern did this for many years and Sandy and John assisted them. They all became attached to the girls and they made a difference in their lives, but it was a very hard "24/7" job. They were able to take some cruises during that time when they needed some time off though, and that was a special time for Judy. She had such a spirit of adventure. And after a short time away she would come back refreshed and ready to work with her girls again.

It was during these years that Vern and Judy met Paul who would come to the group homes to do inspections for the State. And I know that Judy had no idea back then that after the illness and death of Vern that Paul would one day become her second husband. But I think Vern would be so glad that Paul would be there for Judy, and take good care of her after he was gone,...but of course only God knew what the future held.

Judy was lost after Vern's death and then the closing of the group homes. She came for a visit to see me in Kansas and my heart ached for all that my sister had been through. I prayed for her and kept in touch with her over the years, but with the distance between us in miles, and the cost involved, and the busyness that life brings, we didn't see each other for many years after that visit.

But during that time of her life there was a friendship, and a budding romance with Paul, and after a few years,... a marriage. Judy was coming alive again. Paul is just the person she needed in her life at that point. He is a very kind and loving person, and he met a need, and filled an empty place in Judy's heart. After she was with Paul, she sounded happy again when I would talk to her on the phone. She was back to her fiesty self! I was glad that she was no longer alone. She was on a new adventure with Paul by her side. They made a good couple because they both liked to tease each other and both were kind of onery!

Over the years they spent together they enjoyed the beauty of God's creation as they did a little traveling in their motor homes and trailers. I never thought of Judy as one that would like camping or RV-ing, but she did. She sent me some nature pictures that she took on some of those trips, and also one of a beautiful bird, and one of a rose,...these were from her time when she was trying to be a photograher! (Just for a hobby, not a profession). The pictures were good and they brought me a smile.

Judy did like to look at the beauty of the earth. Once when we were driving to Branson Missouri in the Fall, and all of the trees were turning pretty colors she smiled and looked at me and said,..."Let's give the Lord a handclap!",...and she clapped her hands like a little child who was excited over seeing something wonderful for the first time. I have done that ever since when I see beautiful trees or mountains, or the ocean. I smile and say, "Let's give the Lord a handclap!",...and my husband smiles back at me, as we remember where we learned to do that,.... and as we remember our sweet sister Judy.

Ten years had passed since I had seen my sweet sister, and my husband John and I and brother Dan were able to make the very long drive from Kansas to Oregon to see her and to meet our dear brother -in-law Paul. Having been so close to Vern I wasn't sure how I would feel,...but I was instantly impressed with his love for her, and with the way that he took care of her. And I could plainly see how much she cared for him, so my fears were set to rest. And we had a very nice visit with them, and it was fun to see Judy so happy with Paul.

On that trip they showed us around Brookings and Paul drove us along the coast. I told Judy she was blessed to live in such a beautiful place. The ocean has always been something we loved to look at, and it brings back memories of our childhood. I am happy that God 's beautiful ocean was something Judy could enjoy anytime she wanted, since they lived within walking distance of it. On that visit we all walked to the beach and along the sand and we took pictures and had a great time.

We even got to go to Redding with them to see the rest of Judy's family on that trip. Judy was glad to show us all of her grandkids and even her sweet great grandbabies. She was so happy to be there with them,...and so were John and I and Dan. It was hard to leave Judy when we had to go back home. We smiled and waved good-bye, and through the tears I kept looking at her sweet face and I wondered how long it would be before we would see each other again.

Well, it was about 4 years, but recently John and I flew to Oregon again and were blessed to spend a couple of weeks with Judy and Paul,... and a couple of days with Sandy and John and their family too. I am so thankful for that visit. Judy's health wasn't so good, but we got to express our love for each other and spent some special time together.

Judy now found joy in simple things like reading,... watching cooking shows, and telling Paul what she wanted him to cook for dinner! (He's a very good cook by the way, and we loved the fresh tuna steaks he cooked for us!) Judy and I both enjoyed watching Millionare together and trying to guess the answers along with the contestants. Some of the other little things she enjoyed were her Sierra Mists,( which she drank way too many of), and candy bars and ice cream! It didn't take much to make her happy. She loved the bouquet I made for her from her very own rose bushes, especially the cream colored ones that were tipped with purple. She would lean over and look at them and say how beautiful they were,... and then she'd smell them, and I thought of the old saying,...."take time to smell the roses"! ... Judy was doing just that! (:>)

On this trip I was the one putting make up on her, and doing her hair,...and I was the one sharing my clothes with her. I brought her a few surprises. It was my joy to give back just a little of the love that my sister had always showed towards me. It was very hard to see her so much weaker. She had spent most of last year in and out of the hospitals due to her pulmonary fibrosis and other health issues.

Who knows why life is so hard for some people, or why Judy has had to suffer so much in these recent years with her repeated illnesses and hospital stays? We only see the underside of the tapestry and won't know until we get to heaven why God allows such trials. But Judy faced them like a trooper, and with Paul's help she had managed to get through so much pain and physical suffering. I applaud Paul for all his efforts and for his loving care of my sister, as I am sure that Sandy and John and their kids do too, and also Dave and Shawna and their kids.
Paul,.......Judy told me many, many times how much she loved you and how very much she appreciated you. Brother,....you are in my heart forever! Thank you for all you did for my sister, and for how much you loved her! It was a beautiful thing to behold.

And my dear niece and nephew and spouses and kids, I also know that your mother and grandmother loved you with every beat of her heart. She often told me about you all and what was going on in your lives over the years, and we'd pray together on the phone for each one of you. This is also true of Paul's girls, Julie and Michelle and their families. Judy was a very kind and loving person. She had room for us all.

Now I know I have left out so much,... and as I said,... it is just impossible to write it all down in one sitting........
But I can't close with out adding this..... Judy always called me "the preacher" in the family. And as much as I didn't like being called that, I have to take this opportunity to say,...that Judy was connected to God,...she had a personal relationship with him. She loved Jesus and accepted Him as her Savior. She loved to read her Bible and to pray, and she knew without a doubt that when she died she would instantly be in Heaven with her Lord. It was her desire that everyone that she loved could know Jesus too and accept Him into their hearts and into their lives. She wasn't perfect, and none of us are,...only God is Holy.

But I would urge you to consider where you will go when faced with eternity. Heaven can be ours when we admit that we're just sinners,... and that we believe that Jesus died for our sins, and that we accept His free gift of salvation.
Judy prayed that we'd all be in Heaven together someday. Her "someday" came quickly,...66 is really not very old. None of us know when our day will come. So please take time to get right with the Lord, and be ready when that day comes.

Let's make this time a celebration of Judy's life and not grieve like those that have no hope. Judy's hope was in the Lord! He can be our hope too. The beauty she is experiencing in heaven,....is something we can only imagine right now,... but it can be a reality for us too if we will put our faith and trust in the Lord that Judy loved so much.

I thank the Lord for Judy Laree, and for the privilege of being her sister...and I thank you for letting me share my feelings with you.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

A Very Special Friend

Join me today for Wednesday's Walk Down Memory Lane, Hosted by Dancing Barefoot on Weathered Ground.

Have you ever had a friend that you knew so well that she really felt more like a sister than a friend? Someone who knew you so well that she knew all of your faults but she loved you anyway? Someone who’s door was always open to you, and who wouldn’t mind if you called her late at night because you needed her to pray for you or a family member who was ill, or going through a trial? Someone who would cry with you when your grandchild died and would always take the time to listen when you just needed to talk?

Have you ever had a friend who would let you into the secrets of her soul and share with you her deepest hurts or greatest blessings? Someone who couldn’t wait to share a funny story with you so that you too could experience the joy and laughter that tickled her so! Someone who made several copies of a funny email so she could pass them around and bring smiles into people’s lives?

Someone who let you feel like a part of her family and would share the special moments when her grandchild did something for the first time? But better yet,…before she even had any grandkids and you had several, she listened with her heart when you shared all the antics of your many grandchildren with her,…over and over,…and over again?

Have you ever been so blessed to have someone desire your presence at important times in her life like graduations, weddings, births, and funerals, because it just wouldn’t feel right for you not to be with her during those special times? Also in times of searching for houses when she had to move, and for the furnishings for those houses because she valued your opinions and thought you had good taste? Or a friend who wanted you to have a sleep over when you’d come to see her, and her husband would go on to bed and you two would stay up talking half the night just to catch up with each other,…or you two also stayed awake half the night to watch her favorite movie that was interestingly enough titled,…“While You Were Sleeping!” Ha!

Have you ever had a friend who was so giving that you actually felt guilty because you knew she’d give you the coat off her back if she knew you needed one? Someone who was always looking out for your best interest, and kept her eyes open to find something that she knew you needed,…or even just wanted,…because she wanted you to have just the perfect thing? A friend you could appreciate because she wanted everyone to be as blessed as she was and often shared her blessings with those in need.

How about a friend that knew your heart and what was in it so well, that at the times when you were regretting what you might have said or done to someone she would give you a pep talk and help you come to terms from a realistic point of view, and not let you beat yourself up about it, but encouraged you to look at the situation from a different angle, and somehow you ended up feeling a whole lot better?

Or a friend who would turn to you and listen to you, and actually take your advice when someone else had hurt her and had made her to feel bad,…but you knew your friend’s character so well that you knew it was absolutely not true what that person had said about her,…and she knew she could trust your opinion of her,…because you two were so very close for so many years?

A friend loveth at all times,…and that includes times when you aren’t at your best, or your loveliest. Have you ever had a friend that didn’t care if you were still in your pajamas in the afternoon and wants to stop by anyway because she doesn’t care what you or your house look like,…she just wants to see you, or give you something?… Like the time she knew your birthday was coming up but she had forgotten the actual day and she had made plans with another gal to go out to lunch,…so when you mentioned it was your birthday she runs right over with a gift for you and an honest admission that she made the other plans before she remembered it was your birthday!… And it was perfectly ok with you because that’s the kind of easy relationship you have together, and you know it would not have been meant to hurt you?

Have you had the kind of friend who prays for you and for every member of your family by name on a daily basis and knows all of their needs because she cares about them and always asks you how they are and what they are doing? And she also shares the needs of her family and knows that she can trust you to pray faithfully for them and not to tell others the things that they don’t want spread around? Trust is a big part of friendship and without it the friendship will fizzle.

Have you ever had a friendship where you laugh until you cry over the silliest things and those memories linger year after year so that you can laugh again and again when you think back on them? And a friend that you can laugh at yourself with when you say something, or do something stupid? A true friend forgives and doesn’t hold things against you,…have you had one like that?

It is wonderful to have a friend who is a sister in Christ and one with whom you can go to the house of the Lord with and worship Him together. But have you ever had a friend who hands you a hymn book when you are visiting at her house and she says,…“let’s sing!”, and it feels perfectly natural and wonderful to raise your voices to the Lord together and then she wants to pray and pray and pray again for the needs of other people with you before you leave? Now that is a special friend to have!

Have you ever had a friend who has a thing for pianos and has had about a dozen different ones as she upgrades until she finds just the perfect one and then she lets you plunk away on it and play for her when you don’t even read music but just like to sound things out by ear and you make mistakes along the way? A true friend puts up with you. Have you had one like that?

Have you ever had a funny friend who borrows a Christmas card from you then sends it to you so that you‘ll smile when you open it and it looks familiar,…or a friend who gives you a dozen sweet cards one after another to say thank you when you have helped her move when her business was closing and she wants to be sure you feel appreciated?

Have you ever had a friend that likes to have two of everything because she likes “balance” in her life, and she doesn’t get mad when you tease her about it? How about a friend that likes to tease you back and tries to make you believe she’s serious when she’s telling you a story, but you know her so well that she most of the time can’t pull it off?

How about a friend who runs out and buys you clothes to wear to your brother-in-law’s funeral because you say you have nothing to wear? And because you are flying and you are going to be gone for several days she buys you several cute things just to make you feel better! Huh? Have you ever found a friend that generous and kind?

How about a friend who knows you bought a curio to start collecting purple glassware and with every birthday or Christmas or times in-between she blesses you with a pretty new piece of purple to place in that cabinet?

Have you found a friend that fills both big and little spaces in your life with acts of her affection towards you? Like two cute vases to put on a shelf that she found for a dollar a piece? Or one that gave you money to buy a memory bench for your backyard when your mother-in-law passed away? I dare say these kinds of friends are few and far between and very hard to find.

But my special friend came into my life nearly 30 years ago and she is all of these things and more! She needs me to be kind and loving and gentle with her in this season of her life because she has lost her husband of nearly 40 years and she is missing him so very much! She says she hasn’t “lost” him though because she knows right where he is,…in heaven with the Lord and she will be with him again someday because of her faith in God.

I try to be the kind of friend to her that she has always been to me, but it is a challenge because she has such a gift of being a good friend, and it just comes natural to her. She is fun and cheerful and giving and forgiving, and kind. Her name is Myrna and I thank God for my,… very special friend!

Wednesday, January 7, 2009


Join me for Wednesday's Walk Down Memory Lane!

Isn’t it funny how vivid children’s imaginations are? When they are playing “make believe” they sometimes actually think it is really happening, because they get so wrapped up in the characters they are playing.

When I was little, my brother and I would go in the backyard and make a tent and pretend that we were in the jungle, and we were surrounded by natives. We said his name was John and my name was Mary. Sometimes Mary would get captured by the natives and was tied to a stake,(which was really our clothesline pole), and then John would take his toy rifle and sneak into the enemy territory and cut Mary free from the stake and they would run to safety. Many times he would say that they were on our trail and he would shoot at them, or act like he was fist fighting, our wrestling with them. In those times of play my little brother was my protector.

When we were safe in our little tent I would use my play dishes and serve him food. He would go hunting for food for me to cook! And we would play for hours as we thought up all of those adventures of “John and Mary”.

At other times we would play like we were “Sky King and Penny”. It was one of our favorite TV shows. We’d get into our mom’s big 1956 Buick Roadmaster and pretend it was an airplane. We’d act like we were flying high in the sky. Take off and landings were always exciting as we’d have many near death experiences! Ha!

Sometimes he would play like he was "Superman". He would take my mama’s red lipstick and draw a big S on his bare chest and then he would safety pin a towel around him and pretend it was his cape. I remember him getting the ladder from the garage and climbing up on our roof and jumping off trying to fly like "Superman"! (Thank the Lord it was a one story house we lived in, and he never got hurt doing it). I was scared to death,…but once he even talked me into going up there too. But I never did jump off,…I was barely able to move because I was so petrified of heights! (:>)

Once we got some neighborhood kids together and decided we would have a circus. I was the “Fat Lady”. I strapped on two fluffy pillows with my mama’s belt, and slipped on one of her dresses and a pair of her shoes and a hat! I think we had a strong man, and a clown, and a trapeze girl, (who did tricks on the swing set), and my brother did magic tricks. We made signs to advertise our circus and we carried them down the street in a “circus parade”. We charged a nickel to get in to the circus. People actually came!

We also had puppet shows in our garage and charged money too. And also sold lemonade and kool-aid out in our front yard under our tree. We were kind of poor kids, but I guess we were always thinking of ways to make money. I remember pulling a wagon to the store to cash in pop bottles for the deposit return. And then we’d walk to the “Dime Store”, (as we called it), and get a whole bag of candy with our hard earned money! Ha!

We made go carts and had races, and made rubber band guns and shot them to see whose rubber band would go further. We played with cap guns and made all kinds of noise. Sometimes my brother would hit the whole roll of caps at once with a hammer to make an even louder noise.

We’d have competitions to see who could jump the most jumps on our pogo stick, or who could hit the paddle ball the most without missing. Or do the hula hoops and see who could go the longest. I loved to play jacks on my front porch and I thought I was an expert,… and I was quite good at it,… if I do say so myself! (:>)
My brother and the neighborhood boys would go across the street to a vacant lot and dig trenches and holes to hide in, and they would play “Army”. I would be the nurse with my little toy doctor’s kit and I would bandage their war wounds, and give them the candy pills to make them better! We would come home absolutely filthy and need a bath after spending time in the trenches!

There weren’t many girls my age on our street, and my little brother was my very best friend, so I’d catch tadpoles with him, and watch them turn into frogs, or we’d Indian wrestle on the living room rug and try to flip each other over. Or just chase each other in a game of tag or play hide and seek outside until it got dark, and them we’d try to catch fireflies and put them in a jar.

I often played baseball with the boys too. We lived across the street and just around the corner from the school yard and the baseball diamonds, so we played baseball a lot. I loved it! It was close enough that my mama could step out on the front porch and yell “Kids,…. Supper!”,…and we could hear her and come running home!

But on occasion I would make my little brother play girlie games, or school with me and I would be the teacher and he would have to be the student. But he didn’t like me telling him what to do, and so that wouldn’t last long.

We’d often act out things we saw on “The Little Rascals”. My brother looked a lot like “Spanky” back then, but of course I wanted to be “Darla”, so sometimes we’d give him freckles and twist his hair up in the back so that he could be “Alfalfa”. We’d sing and tap dance like they would. My mama had bought me some tap shoes at the thrift store, so I loved to go out on the porch or patio and make up dances in my tap shoes. And I also loved to sing so I would sit on the swing in the backyard and make up songs and sing my little heart out.

Oh the memories of my childhood! I cherish them. There were so many care free hours back then. (:>)

When I had my kids they loved playing make believe too. I loved playing with them. We played “Mother May I?”, and “Red Light Green Light” Or I’d chase them with my scary voice from the “Wizard of Oz Witch” and say,…“I’ll get you my pretty,…and your little dog too!” They would squeal with delight until I would catch up to them and find them hiding behind the bathroom door. They’d feel trapped and start to cry,…so I would smile and say,…“it’s ok,…it’s only mommy!” And we’d move on to play something less threatening.

Over the years that I have been a grandma, I have also played with my grandkids and we have let our imaginations run wild. We would line up the kitchen chairs and make believe it was a train and I would take their tickets and say “All Aboard!”,… in a loud voice and we would chug along to make believe lands.

In the future I hope I will have opportunity to play like this with my great grandkids, and share with them the delights of being a child!