Monday, August 29, 2011

Vintage Girl


One of the {myriad of} things
that I love about blogging
is the way that blogging
women often refer to other
blogging women as girls.

Like ~ Good for you, girl....
or
Go for it, girl!
or
Girl, I just love you.


And since anything
older than 30 years
is considered vintage,
then I guess that
makes me {and many of you}
a vintage girl.

Girl or girlfriend doesn't
roll off my
tongue,
pen or
keyboard
very easily, though.


That type of slang just wasn't
common among my peers
when I was growing up and
it feels a bit forced to use it.

But girlie? 
That's a different story.

And this is why.

{Please....have a seat.}

My grandpa, aka Pa, called
 his sweetheart of 55+ years
 Girlie,
as if it were her real name,
until the day he died,
at the age of 80.

As a kid, I thought it was
fascinating that he called my
Mie-Mie Girlie, since really,
she was old.

She was 47 
when I was born : )


As I matured and became
interested in romance, boys 
and all the rest, I thought 
that Pa's pet name for Mie-Mie 
was really something 
special.

The years rolled on and 
they grew older.

I grew older.


Because of their example,
Girlie came to mean
comfort,
sweetness 
and unending
love.

Even after my Pa 
and his Girlie were gone.

Girlie's favorite color:  purple.

Now I'm aware that
 girlie
isn't a term that feminists
would likely embrace.  And 
some of you may find it just 
plain annoying, feminist 
or not.

But if I leave you a comment
or send you an e-mail that
includes girlie, please indulge me 
and know....



It comes straight 
from
my
heart.

xx 
Suzanne


All photos by me,
the vintage girl
who likes vintage : )



Thursday, August 25, 2011

Just a smile

A smile is the light in 
the window of your face
that tells people you're
at home.

~ Author Unknown


Smiles for me are a
barometer.  On a normal
day, I smile a lot.

at my kids 
at my buddies at yoga
at the clerk at the grocery
at the UPS man
at a funny e-mail 
at a special blog-comment



And on a really great day,
that smile will be joined
by a big 'ol belly laugh.

Those are THE best.




So earlier in the summer
when my daughter said,
You never smile at me
anymore {because in teen
lingo so many things are
labeled always or never....}
it was like a splash of
cold water on my face.

What???



I don't remember what 
was bringing me down at
that time ~ probably just
tired ~ but ever since, I've
made a conscious decision
to smile at each member of
my family, early and often, 
each and every day.

But what if ~
what if ~
you were unable 
to smile?




Yes, it happens.

Every three minutes a baby
is born with a facial deformity
such as a cleft lift or cleft palate,
which makes it impossible to
smile and often impossible to
eat or speak.


{I know you've all seen
the before pictures of these
precious children in magazines.}


Thailer from Venezuela, before.....

In many cultures, these babies
grow into children who are
shunned and rejected.

In 1982 an organization was
formed that has been restoring
smiles all over the world ever since:
Operation Smile.


Thailer, after : )

These amazing medical professionals
and caring, huge-hearted volunteers
travel the globe to provide free surgeries
to children and young adults that will 
give smiles back, along with the 
chance for living a normal life.

What a gift.


Grace from South Africa

200,000 patients in over 60 countries
have received this gift, so far.

In addition to donations from generous
souls who give directly to Operation
Smile's website, they also receive benefits
from caring business partners through
their Shop to Benefit program.


Ibrahim from Egypt


One of these,
is giving a percentage of each rental
fee to Operation Smile, with the goal of 
providing at least 1,000 
life-changing 
surgeries.


Tatyana from Belarus

So, as college students work towards
their future dreams, Operation Smile 
will benefit and help others fufill
 their own dreams. 

To smile. 



Have you smiled today?

If yes, how very lucky you are.
If no, what are you waiting for?




Sending you a big smile, along with
a huge hug, today.  Because you 
make me smile.....

And I never want to take that
simple blessing for granted.

xx
Suzanne

For more information about
the Campus Book Rentals
Making a Difference Program,
click here.

Photos:  All family members,
except for the sweet faces
from Operation Smile.

Linking with


Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Striking Out the Blues



It's always hard
to say good-bye.

Those of you who
have read P and H for
a while, know that
I generally fall prey to
 the blues when I
say good-bye to my
parents and fly home...

For a while.



I have to talk myself
UP ~

count my blessings
smile at our summer memories
look forward to future visits




One of those UP thoughts
that often recurs is the one
about families living far, far
apart from one another
in the old days, before


trains
planes
cars;

before telephones
or even reliable mail service.


 In other words,
it could be much worse.



So it seemed fitting
that on our last night
in Washington State
the five of us
{me, kids, Mom and Dad}
got to step back in time
for one glorious evening.




Three things that I love
intersected and swept my
blues away for a few hours.

History,
vintage
and baseball!

Seriously, as we sat under
huge trees, picnicking and
cheering on vintage baseball
teams at historic Fort Vancouver, 
it was like being a
time
traveler.














See what I mean?

Imagine being a young solider
or a military wife in the 1860's....
Far, far away from family,
friends and all that you'd 
known and grown up with.




Imagine the time it would 
take, if it was even possible,
to go home, again.

Imagine how much you
would have to pack 
for such a journey.




Imagine doing the laundry
when you got back home!
{And the time and the
method to wash it.}

Gosh, I'm feeling better,
already.



If you could step back in
time, when would it be?
I'd love to know.


As for me, I'll be right here,
 counting my blessings
and running lots and lots
and lots of laundry : )

Have a wonderful week!



xx
Suzanne

Friday, August 19, 2011

Making Tracks: A Virtual Tea


Hello, sweet friends.

If you were really here
right now, in person,
you'd be sitting across
from me in an Amtrak
train dining car, heading
up towards Seattle.

clickety-clak,
clickety-clak


Dappled forests,


snow-capped mountains,


Queen Anne's Lace


and lovely old barns

whizzing by in a flash.....

as we lean across
the little table to talk
softly, steaming cups
of Darjeeling with milk
sitting between us.


If you were really here,
I'd tell you that while
my visit out West was
filled to the brim with
big events, like a family
reunion, a wedding,
college visits and a
trip to the sea, it was the
 little moments that
I will carry with me,
always....










If you were really here,
I know you'd nod and
laugh, smile and listen
intently ~ because you're
you and that's what 
you do : )


I'd ask you to tell me
about your special summer
memories and while you
happily elaborated, I'd
pile our plates with 
 yummy tea goodies.


Then I'd regale you 
 with tales of antiquing and
junking and reveal that
I've decided on Lavinia Rose
for my best thrift find of 
the trip, a gorgeous silver
over copper tray already 
winging her way back to 
Minnesota via U.S. Mail.


You'd ask after my parents
and their loveable pooch
and I'd sing their praises
for putting up with me and
my kids for nearly a month
{and my hubby for ten days},
spoiling us with great food,
great talks outside on the gliders
and great times simply
 being 
together.

You're blessed, you'd agree,
and for a few seconds we'd be
 silent, digesting your words
along with our scones.



And if you were really here,
I'd get even more serious
~ just for a moment ~
and grab your hand and
thank you for taking this
ride with me, because 
I love you
and you're the best.

And since you 
are you,
you'd know that I
wasn't just talking
about the train.

More tea?

xx
Suzanne


Linking with
maxabellaloves.blogspot.com