If I Could Turn Back Time

If you could return to the past to relive a part of your life, either to experience the wonderful bits again, or to do something over, which part of you life would you return to? Why?

If I had the ability to turn back time, I definitely would.

Just to be able to spend one more minute with Grandpa. To be able to sing with him just one more time. Singing “Here We Go Round the Mulberry Bush” while raking hay. That was our time together.  He had a deep voice. One thing is for sure, he did not care who heard him sing.  Grandpa Shorty had a wonderful voice. He may have been a big man but he was a teddy bear at heart. Grandma Helen had him wrapped around her little finger.

I loved being in the kitchen with Grandma Helen. She taught me so many things. One thing she taught me was how to sew a button on. The first time I tried, it was all wrong. I had gone out to check for eggs. When I came back in, she chuckled at me and told me to start over. Somehow, I had managed to sew the button on but was unable to button the shirt! One time, she and I had made a cake. I don’t remember which ingredient we had forgotten to add. After the cake came out of the oven, it didn’t look right. It still tasted goo, though. Grandma and I had a good laugh over that. Grandpa still ate it.

To be able to spend more time with Elvin. He was my uncle. He was born with a disability but he sure didn’t let anything stop him. He stood at least 6’4″ and thin as a rail. He was so strong. Baling hay may have been hard but Elvin always made it fun. He would always drive the tractor. Me and my sisters would always be on the wagon stacking the bales. He had a radio on the tractor. We used to sing to the music. He taught me to not to sweat the small stuff. He always wore a smile.

My sister, Mindy Jo. What a precious creature. She was taken from us way too soon. To have one of her hugs one more time.  To see her beautiful smile just one more time. I often wonder how life would be if she had been born healthy. Or even if she had won her battle with cancer.  She lived in her own little hell here on earth. She was another one that taught me so much about life.

If I could turn back time, I would love to make my children babies again. I was blessed with four sons and one daughter. They grew up way too fast. Just give me the chance to rock them and sing to them again. Being a mom is the best job ever. It is hard work but at the end of the day when your child gives you a hug and kiss, well, that’s just wonderful. I miss reading to them and tucking them in at night. Those four little words, “I love you, Mommy,” at bedtime always made me feel blessed and grateful.

Life is way too short to be negative. Enjoy each day to the fullest. Enjoy your friends and family. Don’t be afraid to hug and say I love you to those who mean the most to you.

May your day be filled with blessings!

Laurie Jackson

 

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Why?

Why do children have to grow up? Why can’t they stay small? Don’t they know their Mamas need them? Where is it written that children have to grow up and move out on their own? Could someone please show me where it’s written?

My beautiful, wonderful, loving, adorable children have been on their own for many years already. That doesn’t mean I have to like it!! I know I do not like the empty nest syndrome. That stinks!!

I did not write the following post. It sure did hit home, though.

“It’s not a death. And it’s not a tragedy. But it’s not nothing, either…”💔 I feel like this little boy walked out the door today, not the fine young man we’ve raised. Today is hard. Very hard.

“I wasn’t wrong about their leaving. My husband kept telling me I was. That it wasn’t the end of the world when first one child, then another, and then the last packed their bags and left for college.

But it was the end of something. “Can you pick me up, Mom?” “What’s for dinner?” “What do you think?”

I was the sun and they were the planets. And there was life on those planets, whirling, non-stop plans and parties and friends coming and going, and ideas and dreams and the phone ringing and doors slamming.

And I got to beam down on them. To watch. To glow.

And then they were gone, one after the other.

“They’ll be back,” my husband said. And he was right. They came back. But he was wrong, too, because they came back for intervals — not for always, not planets anymore, making their predictable orbits, but unpredictable, like shooting stars.

Always is what you miss. Always knowing where they are. At school. At play practice. At a ballgame. At a friend’s. Always looking at the clock mid-day and anticipating the door opening, the sigh, the smile, the laugh, the shrug. “How was school?” answered for years in too much detail. “And then he said . . . and then I said to him. . . .” Then hardly answered at all.

Always, knowing his friends.

Her favorite show.

What he had for breakfast.

What she wore to school.

What he thinks.

How she feels.

My friend Beth’s twin girls left for Roger Williams yesterday. They are her fourth and fifth children. She’s been down this road three times before. You’d think it would get easier.

“I don’t know what I’m going to do without them,” she has said every day for months.

And I have said nothing, because, really, what is there to say?

A chapter ends. Another chapter begins. One door closes and another door opens. The best thing a parent can give their child is wings. I read all these things when my children left home and thought then what I think now: What do these words mean?

Eighteen years isn’t a chapter in anyone’s life. It’s a whole book, and that book is ending and what comes next is connected to, but different from, everything that has gone before.

Before was an infant, a toddler, a child, a teenager. Before was feeding and changing and teaching and comforting and guiding and disciplining, everything hands -on. Now?

Now the kids are young adults and on their own and the parents are on the periphery, and it’s not just a chapter change. It’s a sea change.

As for a door closing? Would that you could close a door and forget for even a minute your children and your love for them and your fear for them, too. And would that they occupied just a single room in your head. But they’re in every room in your head and in your heart.

As for the wings analogy? It’s sweet. But children are not birds. Parents don’t let them go and build another nest and have all new offspring next year.

Saying goodbye to your children and their childhood is much harder than all the pithy sayings make it seem. Because that’s what going to college is. It’s goodbye.

It’s not a death. And it’s not a tragedy.

But it’s not nothing, either.

To grow a child, a body changes. It needs more sleep. It rejects food it used to like. It expands and it adapts.

To let go of a child, a body changes, too. It sighs and it cries and it feels weightless and heavy at the same time.

The drive home alone without them is the worst. And the first few days. But then it gets better. The kids call, come home, bring their friends, fill the house with their energy again.

Life does go on.

“Can you give me a ride to the mall?” “Mom, make him stop!” I don’t miss this part of parenting, playing chauffeur and referee. But I miss them, still, all these years later, the children they were, at the dinner table, beside me on the couch, talking on the phone, sleeping in their rooms, safe, home, mine….”

– Beverly Beckham

— with James Joseph Williams III

Enjoy!

Laurie Jackson

Life Before And After Blogs

Life before and after blogs. Seriously?

I grew up in a time where the internet had not even been invented yet. (Yes, I just dated myself, or is it aged? but whoop de do!) If the internet had been invented, I had not heard of it. I was raised on a farm and we did not have time for such a “luxury”. We did not have a television for many, many years. Saturday nights were piling and cramming into Dad’s truck going to my grandparents’ house to watch Lawrence Welk and Hee-Haw.

If the internet suddenly disappeared in this day and age, I would use a paper and pen. If I decided to write a blog without the internet, it would be some interesting reading for my kids after I pass. I used to keep a diary. Guess what? It was hand-written. OMG!

If I didn’t have my blog, my life will still carry on. With tongue in cheek I say this…You all would not be able to read my awesome blogs. 😉

Have a super wonderful day!

Laurie Jackson

 

 

 

Witness Protection

When you do something scary or stressful — bungee jumping, public speaking, etc. — do you prefer to be surrounded by friends or by strangers? Why?

I prefer to be surrounded by strangers. Why? Well, if I make a fool of myself, I know I will never see these people again.

An example:

Last June, Alexander and I went zip-lining. Yes, that’s correct, zip-lining.

When Alex first told me he had set a date for us to go zip-lining, I was excited. The closer we got to the date, the more nervous I got.

Alex and I were the last ones to cross the sway bridges, besides our guide. I believe there were twelve of us. There were seven bridges to cross to get to the first jump off tower. I kept telling myself not to look down. I ended up looking down a couple of times. At first I thought it wasn’t too bad. Wrong! My head started spinning. Yep! I am scared to death of heights!!

When my turn finally up, I told the guide that I would probably scream. He said a lot of people scream and worse. He hooked up and told me to go. As I took that step off, I screamed, “I love you, Alexander Maxwell Jackson!!!” When I reached the next tower, the people laughed at me. I didn’t care. One lady asked me why I was zip-lining if I was scared of heights. I told her that it was on my bucket list. She just smiled at me.

The next tower I didn’t scream. I enjoyed the ride and the view. By the time we got to the last tower, I was almost disappointed that it was over already. At the end of the day, it had not felt like we had gone zip-lining at all. That it was just a dream. I did enjoy it and am thinking about going zip-lining again sometime.

Anyway, being surrounded by strangers would be better for me. If they want to talk about me and how I reacted, well, so be it. With people that I know, they can talk about me behind my back, which is fine. They can also make comments to my face. No thanks!

Enjoy life and don’t let people get to you!

God bless!

Laurie Jackson

 

 

 

From Grandma’s Country Kitchen — Easy Cinnamon Twists

EASY CINNAMON TWISTS

This recipe makes about 2 dozen rolls.

3 3/4 cups all-purpose flour

1 tablespoon sugar

1 teaspoon salt

1 package Rapidrise Yeast

2/3 cup hot water (125 to 130 degree)

1/4 cup margarine, softened

2 eggs, room temperature

3 tablespoons margarine, melted

TOPPING will be after the recipe.

Set aside 1 cup flour. Mix remaining flour, sugar, salt and yeast. Stir in hot water and softened margarine. Mix in eggs and enough reserved flour to make soft dough. Knead three minutes.

Divide dough in half. Roll into 2 (12 inch) squares; brush with melted margarine. Sprinkle with 3/4 topping mixture. Fold 1/3 dough over center; brush with melted butter, sprinkle with remaining topping. Fold over remaining 1/3 dough. Cut each into 12 (1 inch wide) strips. Twist strips, place on greased baking sheet. Cover. Place boiling water in large shallow pan on counter. Place sheet over pan. Let dough rise 15 to 20 minutes.

Bake at 400 degrees for 12 to 14 minutes. Remove to rack to cool. Drizzle with glaze if desired.

TOPPING:

Mix 2/3 cup sugar and 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon.

Enjoy!

Laurie Jackson

From Grandma’s Country Kitchen —Chocolate Marshmallow Bars

1 cup brown sugar

1/2 cup white sugar

3/4 cup shortening

2 eggs, beaten

2 cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 package chocolate chips

1/2 cup nutmeats

20 large marshmallows

Prepared fudge frosting

Combine sugars and shortening. Add beaten eggs. Sift flour and baking soda together and add to mixture. Add vanilla. Add chocolate chips and nuts. Bake in a greased and floured 9 x 13″ pan at 325 degrees for 20 minutes. Top with marshmallows, return to 300 degree oven for 15 minutes longer. Cool and frost with fudge frosting.

Enjoy!

Laurie Jackson

Makes No Sense

Why do we complain about the weather? What is the point? Is it because we are not happy unless we have something to complain about??

That makes no sense!

We complain about the weather when it’s too cold. We complain about the weather when it’s too hot. We complain about the rain in Spring. We complain about the leaves in Autumn.  What is the matter with us?

It’s not like we have any kind of control over it. Let’s just learn to accept it and enjoy the day and each season to the fullest.

God bless you!

Laurie Jackson

Believe

There is always a reason to believe, if it’s a hard earned day or not.

I always try to thank God for all my blessings each and every day. I have to admit that I do forget. I am sorry, Lord! Please forgive me!

When I am lying next to Alex at night, he always asks me how my day was. I tell him that I survived it. He, then, reminds that it is one day closer in meeting our beautiful granddaughter, Ava Rose. It’s one day closer in getting a result from my disability hearing.

There has to be a reason for me being here. There has to be a reason God gave me life. Was it to raise my five beautiful children? Maybe. Was it to spoil my grandchildren? Perhaps. Was it to grow old with my gorgeous, handsome husband? Possibly. Was I put here to write? Definitely.

Whatever His reason for me being here, I will always believe. He works in mysterious ways. I will trust Him and believe in Him, no matter what. I have faith and I have trust.

Each day is a brand new beginning. It is a gift. Life is too short and too precious not to appreciate it. Give each day a chance. Do not waste it.

May your day be filled with tons of blessings!

Laurie Jackson

 

 

How Do I Learn?

I am a visual learner. You can talk until you’re blue in the face in trying to teach me something. It won’t work. Hearing instructions just doesn’t sink in for me. To my ears, it is nothing but jumbled, mixed up words.

Show me over and over. Sometimes I am a bit slow, I’ll have to admit.

When I was in the fourth grade, I had to go to the blackboard. Mrs. Landford had written a math problem on the board. She wanted someone to go in front of the class to figure it out. (I was already a shy person. Going in front of anyone always made me nervous. Still does to this day.)

I was the unlucky one she called upon. I stood in front of the blackboard, staring at those numbers. Time passed and passed some more. By this time, Mrs. Landford was angry, not upset but ANGRY at me. Finally, I wrote down what I thought to be the correct answer. It wasn’t. She smacked me on the upper part of my arm, called me stupid and told me to sit down. I was embarrassed and wanted to cry. That night, I told Dad that the teacher had hit me and called me stupid. He said I had probably deserved it. Those words were hurtful and has stayed with me all these years.

When I was a freshman in high school, I had general math. I wasn’t smart enough for any other class. The teacher I had was Ms. Steck. It wasn’t Mrs. or Miss it was MS. She made that perfectly clear everyday. One day, she tells the class she was going to make each one of us to go to the board and figure out the math problem. The nightmare I had with in fourth grade came rushing back to me. I wanted to sink down deep into my chair. Or better yet, a deep, dark hole swallow me up. No such luck.

When she called my name, I walked slowly to the board, staring at the problem trying with all my might to figure out the answer. Unfortunately, my brain had seem to run out the door. Again, time passed. Ms. Steck started laughing and drew the class in with her to laugh at me. She would say stuff like, “Look, class, Laurie can’t figure out such a simple little math problem.” Then, she would laugh.

Dad and even my uncle tried to explain math to me. I just could not get the hang of it. Dad always blew up at me. He called me names that were so hurtful and painful. To this day, I dislike math. No one had really taken the time with me to understand it. Math is a mystery to me.

So, when it’s time for me to learn something new, please take your time with me. Do not get aggravated in teaching me. If I ask you to show me over and over, promise me that you will stay calm. I am a slow learner. Once I have learned it and have caught on, I’ll know how to do it.

I hope your day is full of sunshine!

Laurie Jackson