Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Annie Oakley

I know I was supposed to be "Annie Oakley".  I believe it all began when I was about three.  I know when I was in kindergarten I always wanted to wear my cowboy boots.  My Mom was accommodating by cutting my bangs short and putting the rest of my hair in braids.  I owned a cowgirl skirt with a matching vest and it seemed to go perfectly with my cowgirl shirt.

Our play time, way back then, consisted of playing cowboys and Indians.  We tried to copy what we witnessed on the Saturday morning television shows.  You know the ones, "Sky King" with his daughter, Penny, flying around in the Songbird.  There was "My Friend Flicka",  "The Roy Rogers Show" with Dale Evans.  "The Lone Ranger" with his friend, Tonto, and of course, "Annie Oakley".

I didn't understand much about her at the time, but I knew I liked her hair, western clothes and that she always turned out to be the heroine.  I was lucky that my mom went along with my fantasy, so in the mind of a six year old, I felt a small piece of Annie's bravery and attitude.

When I was in second grade, my parents announced that our family would be moving from Albion, NE to Los Angeles, CA.  I truly thought I had just been transported to heaven.  I had heard about the gold rush and had conjured up in my mind, that it must still be going on.  I pictured living with the cowboys and cowgirls out west and certainly my attire would finally fit in with everyone else in California.

We made the move and I realized my vision was not quite like I had expected, but never the less, I continued with my plan to be Annie Oakley.  Moving to Los Angeles in 1957 was a total cultural shock for our family, especially my father.  My dad had been a Lutheran pastor only in the mid-west and now he was ministering to people in sandals, shorts and flowered casual shirts.  Dad was also trying to keep his cool while trying to navigate the freeways while Mom read the map.  Not a pleasant venture I can assure you.

Our family home was the destination for a number of relatives and friends due to living quite close to Disneyland.  I loved it when we had visitors because then I could wear my favorite cowgirl outfit and escort our vacationers to Disneyland.  I felt it was my park and I could show everyone the best places to go.

My parents bought my older brother a Tennessee Walker palomino horse, Regis.  They boarded the horse at a place where a number of the famous horses that were ridden in the Rose Parade in Pasadena stayed. Sometimes even I got to ride one of the smaller ponies.  My dream come true.

I am no longer "Annie" but I still feel the excitement and bravery of her ventures in my heart.

Getty up,

Friday, October 7, 2011

Grow Garden Grow!

Steve and I have been traveling this last week, so sorry I have not updated the blog lately. This was our first trip out of town since my back surgery so that gave us a few challenges in itself. Sitting for a great amount of time is not comfortable yet so it required us to stop often to stand and stretch the old body.

We started out with only one intention and that was to visit my Mother's sister. Alva is 93 years old and is now placed in hospice. We were able to meet with her son and daughter-in-law, David and Nancy. I was surprised at how much my Aunt and Mother looked and sounded so similar. (I imagine that's exactly how I will soon look, after all I already have the white hair.) Alva was very alert but did tire easily. I'm glad we took the time to see her. I hope our children learn from our example how important it is to stay in touch.

Two couples moved this past year, from our neighborhood, to Minnesota. We were able to see both couples. Bob and Jane are motivated to complete their new home due to moving closer to two beautiful granddaughters and their own two daughters. Steve and I could feel the anticipation and pride of completing a grandparents' dream. We are so excited for them.

Denise and Gary also welcomed us with open arms. Their move was work related and they have encountered a few trials along the way. Denise is undergoing chemo and while we were there, she was scheduled for chemo so we decided to stay to keep her company since Gary needed to be out of town. Good to report, all went well.

A few more bits of trivia, Steve and I were so happy to be a part of a special birthday party for two of our grandchildren. Katie is now fifteen and how gracious she is. She's a diligent student and has unendless possibilities for a great future. Evan turned two, but please don't tell him. I believe he thinks he is much older. While Katie sat through the party as a demure young lady, Evan decided to take over and make sure everyone was involved and had a good time. It's these special days fitted In-between the everyday ones that help us keep track at how fast life goes by.

Our friends and family are like a garden and we recognize our garden needs to be tended to in order for it to continue flourishing.

May you tend your friends,