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Taken By Surprise

My girlfriends want to plan a weekend getaway at a Scrapbooking retreat. Before the pandemic, we usually did this twice a year, once in the spring and once in the fall.  The last time we went, it was early March of 2020 and the lockdown came a week or two later.  The Scrapbooking Group from 2020 If you've never been scrapbooking, it's pretty impressive how much STUFF each of us brings to the event. Carpooling isn't possible because our supplies take up all available space in our individual vehicles. Seriously. It's a little obscene. Paper. Stickers. Albums. Ribbons. Stamps. Glue. Silhouette or CriCut machines. Pens. Laptops. Printers.  Yeah, it's a lot.  My favorite scrapbooking haul might have been the year I opted to work on editing senior photos instead of scrapbooking.  That year, I only had to pack up my laptop.  It was glorious being able to walk into the building with only one little bag slung over my shoulder.  I'm not sure what tactic I will take in Apr

Halloween 2022

I love the holidays. While Christmas is my absolute favorite, Halloween runs a close second. This year I celebrated it in a number of ways.  First, there was Halloween trick-or-treating at Krystal Lake Campground. Our little group had four campsites between us; unfortunately, they weren't all in a row and we had to cross a tiny field to visit with each other. We decided to leave two of the four sites undecorated and instead pooled our skeletons, spiderwebs, and lights together. When it came time for the kids to trick-or-treat, we passed out candy two by two at nearby tables. I dressed up as an old witch while Laura was an angel with her sidekick demon hubby sitting nearby.  It was someone's first Halloween camping trip. Also, you can see some of our decorations! Next on the Halloween calendar came Jimmy and Laura's annual party.  They started throwing this little get-together after Jimmy's mom passed away from pancreatic cancer. Her picture used to be on a table by itse

If the Universe Could Just Stop..That'd be Great.

 The phone call every parent with a child behind the wheel fears came yesterday morning. I was in the shower getting ready to go to work when my phone rang with KC's distinct ringtone. It's that really annoying one that yells "Your son is calling. Pick up the phone now." Given that it wasn't even 7 am yet, my heart dropped and I got out of the shower without even finishing up. I answered and there was only silence from his end. I hung up and tried calling him back. While my call was in progress, his fiance, Allie, called me. I hung up the call I was making and answered her call. I don't remember the exact order of the words but they terrified me. KC was in a bad accident. The car is totaled. While she was talking to me, he called back. I couldn't answer quickly enough. Hearing his voice was so very necessary at that moment. If he's talking to me, he's alive. He might be hurt but he's alive.   He told me his face and hand hurt. He was so upset a

It Should Be Our 28th Wedding Anniversary

I had to do the math twice. Probably because I'm really bad at math. Today should have been our 28th wedding anniversary. We only made it to 26, which is so impressive when you consider how many marriages end in divorce.  So, because I have no doubt in my mind we would have been married still today had cancer not taken him, I want to honor our special day. So, here's a Happy Should Have Been Anniversary to my hubby in heaven.  Today, as I recognize what should have been and think about what was, I figured I'd share not only some lovely pictures from our wedding day but I'd explain how this widow plans to move through October 15, 2022.  In just a little bit, I'm joining another Millington widow at a Widow's Luncheon, which is being hosted by the Amish Church in Millington. I'm a bit nervous, to be honest, because I don't know what to expect. On my best days, I consider mys

Updating the US Travel Bucket List

 I created a Travel Bucket List post back in March 2014.  The first part of the list was dedicated to destinations outside the US.  Sadly, that portion of the post remains the same.  No travel abroad for me.  However, I do need to update the Travel within the US portion.   Let's dive in! Travel within the US 1.   Yellowstone National Park - Wyoming I've always wanted to visit Yellowstone.  In 2013, we made it happen.  It was a two-week vacation filled with many, many hours of driving.  We drove across the country to get there.  We drove through the park.  We drove through Beartooth Pass into Montana.  We drove down to South Dakota to visit Deadwood, Mt. Rushmore, and the Badlands National Park.  Then we drove home.   I wouldn't change a thing.  It was one of the most beautiful trips we've taken so far.  I'd go back in a heartbeat. 2.  Badlands National Park - South Dakota Another national park we can cross off our list.  The thing is, though, I would love to go bac

Camping Adventures in My Class C

  My New Camper Before he passed away, Ken made me promise that I would keep camping. He knew how much I enjoyed it and he didn't want me to give up something that brought me pleasure. When things weren't looking good near the end, I had even asked him if he thought we should sell the fifth wheel right then because I knew I wasn't up to hauling it. He shot that idea down pretty fast. He told me I could take care of it later. In retrospect, I don't think he had the mental, emotional, or physical energy necessary to deal with selling it. My first camping trip after his passing was in that giant fifth wheel.  Gage hauled it over to Wolverine Campground for me. I followed behind in my Traverse. After getting set up, Gage and Hallie went home and I was camping once more.  It was strange for so many reasons. I had camped by myself before but this time I was a widow. I was responsible for not only the inside tasks, which I had always been in charge of, but now I was also respo

Dreams and Nightmares

It's been a little over eight months now since I lost my husband to pancreatic cancer. Overall, I think I'm doing fairly well.  The house is still standing. I am still standing. Those both seem like significant wins.  I get through most days now without hardly a tear but there are those other days, days when I find myself unexpectedly crying.  Maybe it's a song on the radio or a touching scene on the screen setting off memories or reminding me of dreams unfulfilled. I cry then. It's impossible to hold back the grief, the self-pity, the wishes for more, or the distress at what happened in those last few weeks.    But for the most part, I think I am functioning fairly well. I am keeping my shit together. I am getting stuff done. I am taking care of what needs to be taken care of, whether that's the house, the bills, the car, the camper, the day job, the kids, or the grandbaby.  Every now and again I give myself permission to do nothing, though, because the loss of a p