T, G, and G Part 2

Welcome back! I hope you had a chance to read through the first post, if not, you can access it here.

Continuing with the theme of most cherished gifts…

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One of my favorite gifts was a bud vase with a copper base that (a dear friend) gave me on my 21 birthday. It’s on an antique piece of furniture from my Great Grandmother. It started me collecting copper. Now I know who to blame for that obsession.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cindy B D

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My children💖

Meredith H R

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My grandmother LOVED to garden. Some of my earliest memories are of “helping” her in the garden. I think I was six when she moved into an apartment complex and had no space for her own garden. She had five grown children, three in the area with their own houses and yards. She moved through each one, attempting to keep up with an allotted plot on their properties, each garden failing. By the time she moved her plans to my house, I was ten. The youngest of fourteen grandchildren, I was the baby of her baby, and obviously her favorite. Her son, my dad, let her work with a good sized corner of our back yard. She taught me how to prep the soil, what to plant as a seed and what to plant as a seedling, when and how much to water, pruning, mulching, deadheading, the whole shebang. We worked very well together, she used to joke that I was born with a green high five (as opposed to a single green digit). My grandmother gave me the gift of the love of gardening. The Bachelor’s Button (her favorite flower) bouquet from my garden adorned the casket at her funeral.

Stephen L.

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Two things: 1. My father built me a canopy bed for my 10th birthday. It is the least girly canopy bed in the world. Walnut, straight lines. Gorgeous. No nails. I love that he thought ahead so that I would have a bed that lasted beyond my lifetime and one that I would want to sleep in for the rest of my life. 2. After my grandpa died my grandma was willing to hop in the car and go anywhere with me. We had some great adventures. We drove to AZ and back. We drove from Portland, OR to home (Shirland). She made sure we ate at least one good meal each day on the road. And we had a lot of little adventures just driving around the neighborhood.

Susan H.

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My most treasured possession are my children. As far as a gift, it was a poem my mother wrote for me.

Carol K.

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Last week I was going through old files and found this written by our young son 20+ years ago.

Della L.

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WOW. I am so proud to be sharing these stories and perhaps spreading some happiness. So fun.
One more post tomorrow!

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The Thanks, Gifts, and Giving Post pt.1

THANK YOU to everyone who participated in my “gift” story request. I was pleased with how many of you wanted to share, and surprised by those who submitted. I expected many of my writer friends and family members to provide a tale–I even imagined what a couple of them would say was their most treasured “gift”. I got a few from friends and family, but interestingly enough, I received several submissions from people otherwise unknown to me.

I was provided enough stories to require multiple blogs. Please take the time to read them all! Some are very short, others are full essays. A few are complete stories, others are passing comments. All are important to the writer, whether they be the giver or the given.

I consider each of these a gift.

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An antique sterling silver evening bag from my dad. He tucked a 50 dollar bill in it. I still have the bag😁

Tess I.

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When my mom was first diagnosed with bladder cancer I ordered her this. She was Catholic and even though I am an atheist I thought it would comfort her. She loved it. She never took it off. She would rub it between her fingers for comfort. It saw her through bladder cancer, and then breast cancer. She wore it until she passed away back in May while holding my hand. My dad took it off of her neck and gave it to me and I have worn it ever since. It means more to me than any possession I own.

Amanda W C

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The story I want to share is not about a traditional “gift” but I think it’s perfect for your blog about Thanks, Gifts, and Giving. In 1985, I was a rebellious, hormonal teenage girl. After (another) particularly rank argument with my ridiculously stupid parents (fifteen year old me’s words, not mine), I stormed off to my bedroom, slammed the door and flopped onto my unmade bed. That was it, I had had it. I was outta there. I grabbed one of the old suitcases stashed at the back of my closet and started pulling shirts off hangers and stuffing them in. Pants, socks, repeat as needed. When I got to my underwear drawer, I stopped cold. Up until this moment, I had held the focus of my ire on my clueless parents. Now, I was awash with fresh anger at my eighteen year old brother. He had stayed out of the parental exchanges and pulled a ‘Switzerland’ when they’d tried to invoke him. Not only had he been in MY ROOM, but he’d opened my underwear drawer! On top of my panties and bras was a handwritten note from my brother. It said, “Be patient. They’ve never raised a 15 year old girl before. They’re learning on the fly. You have to help teach them.” It was so stupid. “Learning on the fly”? What the hell was that supposed to mean? “You have to help teach them.” BUT I’M THE KID! The note tripped me up. And slowed me down. I unpacked my bag—well, I shoved things back in the drawers and closets. Baby steps. He and I never discussed it but I’ve never forgotten that note. His stupid words clung to the back of my brain. Cling still—talk about a gift that keeps on giving! Oh, and BTW, my parents are totally awesome now. I credit their teacher. LOL.

Sharon R.

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My most precious possessions are my daughters & family. One of my favorite gifts was the year I asked for photos of my daughters together. They asked a good friend of ours to take the photos. I was delighted and so touched when they gave us photos of the the three of them together dressed in winter jackets with colorful scarves while it was snowing! Photos of my loved ones mean so much to me! ❤

Kelly S.

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When I was young, maybe four or five, my dad gave me a charm bracelet that he’d picked up at a gas station. He traveled a lot, was always on the road, hardly ever home. It was a Christmas themed bracelet with charms like a tree, Santa, reindeer, etc. He started picking up charms on his travels. Charms that represented the state he was in, other holidays, our family trip to Disney, etc. My mom took it upon herself to add each new one to the original bracelet, filling every link, eventually attaching a second bracelet to hold all the charms, then a third. There were so many charms, all cluttered beside each other you couldn’t really tell what anything was. I would get SO MAD because they wouldn’t let me wear it! Nearly two decades of memories collected together. My mom and dad have both passed. That string of bracelets and charms hangs on the wall above a family portrait of the three of us.

Dee A.

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In high school I was best friends with a girl. Let’s call her Puri. Well, I was starting to find myself, as kids do in high school, and flexing my wings of independence. I was trying new things and branching out. Well, Puri’s friendship started to feel confining and clingy because everything new I ventured into she tagged along. I’m sorry to say I resented her. Then one day she showed up at my locker with a gift. In a white box she’d brought me white sand and a few shells from a trip she’d taken to Florida. It was a cool gift. And I had not expected it. I fumbled for words. My already strained patience with her rubbed the awkwardness of receiving an unexpected gift and I did not accept it gracefully. My “thanks” was insincere, my hesitation awkward, and my glare, for I’m sure I glared, was cruel.

Soon after that our friendship ended. We went separate ways in school, joined different clubs.

The last year of high school I wrote a poem for her, apologizing for how I treated her, and I put it out there in the school paper. Though we never talked about it I feel that she saw it and forgave me.

That gift taught me a lot about myself, about how I handle receiving unexpected gifts, and about how to treat people.

Karen K.

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Thank you for checking in on today’s Gift Stories.
Stay tuned for more to come…
Can’t wait? Read my original gift story here.
And access the column that inspired this idea here.

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One Cherished Gift

I want to say thank you to everyone who has shared a “Thanks, Gifts, and Giving” story with me. I hope to run them next Monday. Consider this your tissue warning.

To kick off the story sharing, I thought I’d offer my own tale of a personal gift that inspires humor and fond memories. A cherished gift that lingers.

Faraway Smile and Cracker Jack Ears

When my son was born, he had, hmmm, how shall I say this delicately? I’m not sure, since ‘delicate’ is the opposite of adjectives.
He had big ears.
So what, right? He was (is) adorable.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

My Aunt Rosemary, a collector of antiquities and other interesting items, gave me an old magazine ad, because, she said, “It reminds me of Zach.”

I love this gift.
I framed this gift.
I have this gift hanging in my hallway.

A friend once commented on how she would have been offended.
I just smiled. I mean, offended? Why? Because my aunt was uniquely reminded of my child? Because she focused on the obvious? Because she took the time to offer a gift?

The picture makes me happy. Who doesn’t need more of that?!

The gift wasn’t expensive. It probably has no monetary worth whatsoever. Yet, to me, it’s invaluable. It captures a place and time long past. Because, you know, my son grew into those ears.

I’m proud to say, the story continues with a relatively new addition…
My grandson, Evan, shares his uncle’s ears, making the page all the more relevant.

 

 

 

 

 

As you may know, we lost my Aunt Rosemary earlier this year. But thanks to this silly little ad displayed in my hall, I am reminded daily of her. Of her humor, insight, and generosity.

I hope my story connects with you on some level. Whether it be a wonderful aunt, big ears, or a cherished gift.

“The look of summer is a bemused faraway stare, set off by false ears from a box of Cracker Jack.”
I also love the caption.

This post was inspired by a column entitled, “Gifts that stay with us a Lifetime“, by Heidi Stevens. If you would like to share your own story of something personal that’s been gifted to you, please send a write up to LiteraryMary@comcast.net

Thank you. ❤

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TILT

I was introduced to Things I Love Thursday (TILT) by a friend through Facebook but when I looked it up online, I found many sources for the quick little lists of things folks are grateful for.

In honor of Thanksgiving this Thursday, I thought I’d share a couple of things that I am  thankful for.

  1. NaNoWriMo. National Novel Writing Month always gets my creativity flowing. I’m proud to say I’m on track to “win” this year as I work on completing book two of The Pandoran Legacy series.
  2. Freshly raked and mowed lawns (for the last time of the season!). Bring on the packing snow–the yard is ready for crisp, clean snowmen! (And a White Christmas…)
  3. Mini Reunions with amazing women I’ve been lucky enough to keep in contact with for over THIRTY years.

4. Large Diet Cokes from McDonald’s for one dollar.
5. Getting a tour of an old friend‘s new house.
6. FINALLY (after three years) putting pictures on my walls. LOVE the photos, hate the nail holes (but that’s a list for another day).

(Just a couple of the MANY prints I’ve had made recently through Walgreens photo.)
7. Weekly JOY MAIL. And Amazon love, lol.
8. Holiday movies. Hallmark Channels. It’s a Wonderful Lifetime.
9. Modern Love on Amazon Prime. WATCH THESE SHOWS. They are excellent.
10. I love THIS TIME of YEAR. ILTTOY.

A quick list. The first 10 things I thought of.
I will easily think of ten more as soon as I post this.

THERE ARE WORSE WAYS TO SPEND A DAY.

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On Thanks, Gifts, and Giving

I read an article in the Chicago Tribune this past Sunday that literally moved me to tears. Full disclosure, that’s not actually saying much, I’m kind of a crybaby.

BUT STILL.

The article, titled “The Gifts that Stay with us for a Lifetime” by Heidi Stevens, was about the best gifts that people have received. The columnist asked about their most “cherished gift ever”.

Reading through the responses made me happy, sad, and grateful.
ALL THE FEELS!
It got me thinking on how I would answer the question.

And also, how YOU would.

I’d like to spend the next few weeks collecting stories about the gifts you have received that resonated. A thing or experience you’ve been given that changed your attitude, made you respond in an unexpected way, or otherwise impacted your life. What do you hold onto after all this time? The gift doesn’t have to be a physical thing. It doesn’t have to be holiday related. It just needs to be important to you.

I want you to share your story about thanks, gifts, and giving.
And then I want to share those stories in a Monday Blog.

I hope you accept this assignment. I hope you have accumulated so many wonderful gifts that the only challenging part is deciding which story to select.

Please send your Thanks, Gifts, and Giving story to LiteraryMary@comcast.net

And when the stories are posted, I hope reading them makes you happy, sad, and grateful.
ALL THE FEELS!
But beware, you may tear up a little.

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It’s beginning to look a lot like…

Veterans Day.
Yes, that’s right, the annual national holiday celebrating those who have served in the military. Trivia tidbit, did you know that it is “Veterans Day”, plural, no apostrophe? Because it’s inclusive, not possessive. Veterans Day honors all those who have served in the military, dead and alive.

Armistice Day, as it was originally called, marks the day that World War I officially ended. The eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month. It has been an observed holiday since 1938.

It’s a good day.
Flags fly proudly.
People thank those who have protected vital national interests.
We honor those who made sacrifices of time, family, and self.
There are parades, praise, and remembrance poppies.
There are handshakes, hellos, and tearful hugs.

So, yeah, it’s beginning to look a lot like Veterans Day.
Thankful, appreciative, and respectful.
The most wonderful time of the year.

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Fun Facts about the Fall Back

Having adjusted our clocks and lifestyles by an hour this past weekend, I thought it might be interesting to share a few fun facts about Daylight Saving Time (DST).

Fun Fact #1
We are currently on Standard Time NOT Daylight Saving Time.
That means, THIS is the Correct Time, lol.
Also, it’s Daylight SAVING Time, no plural, not Savings.

Fun Fact#2
The idea for Daylight Saving Time was first suggested by Benjamin Franklin in 1784. It’s believed that the essay in which he references changing sleep schedules to get better use of daylight may have been in jest, a subtle mockery of lazy Parisians and a jab at new taxation opportunities. (Shhh, maybe I shouldn’t mention that part!)

Fun Fact #3
In 1905, Englishman William Willett led the first campaign to adjust the time by 80 minutes between April and October. He died before the 60 minute change was adopted in Britain with the British Summer Time (BST) act of 1916, following the first European country, Germany, who enacted DST as a direct result of World War I.
In 1918, the U.S. followed suit in an effort to save on wartime resources.

Fun Fact #4
It has nothing to do with farmers as is commonly believed. Since farmer’s work by the sun, not the clock, the practice proved disruptive to their day. So much so that rural interests fought for a repeal. Urban interests continue to win out with almost 40 states toying with the idea of making DST permanent.

Fun Fact #5
Two states, Hawaii and Arizona, do not observe DST at all.
Unless the federal law changes, states cannot opt out of Standard Time, only Daylight Saving Time.

Falling Back is my favorite. I LOVE that extra hour the first weekend in November.

No Fun, just Fact
Daylight Saving Time returns Sunday, March 8, 2020
We shall Spring Ahead (and lose an hour, sniff, sniff) at 2 a.m.

For more DST Fun Facts, also known as an easy way to waste the hour you got back,
check out these Resources:
History.com
USAToday.com
CNN.com
MentalFloss.com

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