Cast Iron Memories

As we countdown to retirement and continue downsizing, we have told the kids and grandkids about our plans. Nearly everyone has basically said, they’ve been expecting it. I guess we are not mysterious at all. Of course our house has a definite beachy theme going on and we take our vacations there, so maybe it isn’t so far-fetched that we would one day plan to move there.

Our daughter Michele is the only one who was at all surprised. I actually thought she was mad when we told her and her husband Chad. He wasn’t surprised at all. She asked him how he knew…of course he didn’t know, he just wasn’t surprised. He told her to think about it and after a couple of minutes she calmed down and began to at least listen to our plans.

We told each of the kids they needed to let us know if there was something they wanted from our house. A piece of furniture, picture or something because we were going to be downsizing and selling, donating or otherwise ridding ourselves of our worldly possessions. Well, that’s a little dramatic, but we really are going to get rid of almost everything. Our goal is to leave town with one truckload. The truck size has not been determined yet.

Of course none of the kids wanted to come in like vultures, but we assured them that if we couldn’t give a particular item to them we would let them know. I was surprised by their choices. Michele wanted an antique vanity that I use as a make up table. It surprised me because she’s never really been into antiques and it doesn’t seem her style. But, she used to come into my room in the mornings and sit at my desk (it was a different one than I’m using now) to do her hair and makeup. I think it’s the memories of that, that make her choose the vanity. If not, I’m going with that because it makes me feel happy thinking that’s what it is. Her husband, Chad is all about Bob’s horns and hunting stuff. He’s got a room, man cave if you will that is all about Seahawks and hunting. That was no surprise.

My daughter-in-law said, “I want that whole wall”. Referring to a wall in our kitchen that has old antique and rusty enamel ware. Most of it was found across the road from us at an old homestead up the hill. It has bullet holes and rust, it’s misshapen and I love it. It makes me happy that she wants it for her home. Our son wasn’t surprised by our decision to move, he just doesn’t believe his dad will ever retire, therefore we won’t be moving. So we’ve just suggested to him some things he might want. Dad’s bobcat that he shot years and years ago that’s always hung somewhere in the house. Some of the gifts that he’s made us over the years. “You still have this?” “I can’t believe you kept this!” … Yes my darling, I have kept nearly everything you ever made me.


Joey and the twins, 3 of our grandkids, were here so much when they were young that everything here is a memory to them. This is home to them. Not that they didn’t have a great home, they were just here a lot with us when they were young. Joey is engaged and living with a sweet wonderful girl, Bre and he was so close to my mom before she passed that he will gladly take anything that was hers. So, he gets her dishes that I have…on one condition…they have to use them. They can’t just stick them in a box. I did because i was so afraid of breaking them, and now it’s time to give them away and I really never got to enjoy them. They aren’t china, they’re just dishes. They need to be used.

Aaron has yet to name anything, although i’m sure he’ll think of something. Oh he’s asked for practical things, dish cloths, bathroom rugs, a desk, nothing sentimental yet. Caleb said, “Oh Grama, I know exactly what I want. Remember when we were using the metal detector in the field and we found that part of an old toy? That’s what I want!” I had to think about this for a while, but finally remembered, we found an old cast iron tractor toy. Actually just a part of it and yes, I still have it. Now that’s what I mean, everything is a memory.


I’m so excited about the things they’ve chosen. There will be more as we get closer, dig deeper purge more. But these things are my memories that will keep me close to my kids and grandkids. They are my heart and I think they’ve got good memories to hold on to too. I’m sure they’ll have lots of stories to tell their kids and grandkids someday too, and with any luck, I can tell them a few of my own as we play on the beach together.

I have a vitamin deficiency, I am in need of vitamin sea.


I Paint Houses

My sister-in-law, Lori is mentally challenged. She likes to be called “handy capable”. My in-laws and Lori were in a car accident when she was a baby and the results were devastating. She wasn’t “supposed” to live to be six months old, or 3 years or an adult. She’s 54 years old now, so I guess she is pretty “handy capable”.  She has had the same boyfriend for many years, she doesn’t see him anymore, he’s older than her (age wise, mentally they are about the same) and he has some health problems, as does she, that keep them from getting together. But make no mistake, he is still her boyfriend. Now that’s loyalty.

Years ago I was asking her about Morris and what sort of things he liked to do. I hadn’t met him yet and wondered about him. She told me that he liked to paint. “Oh how nice” I said. I asked her what kind of pictures he painted. She told me he painted houses. Well, Grandma Moses was 78 when she started so no reason a ‘handy capable’ man in his 60’s couldn’t do it, right? We kept up the conversation and I asked her if he was going to paint her a picture soon? She just looked at me. I said, “well, don’t you want one of his paintings on your wall”? She told me I was crazy, but I really didn’t understand why and I asked her why she wouldn’t want one of his paintings. (Read this next part with as much exasperation as you can muster) “shannon, I can’t hang one on my wall…he paints houses!” His job was a house painter! Yep, I really am that slow!

Sooooo anyway, we are sprucing up our house and needed to paint the exterior. We’ve been trying to get it done all summer but it’s been pretty windy here and we needed to spray the ceiling of the deck. We tried rolling it on, but it just soaked it up so fast we decided to spray it. Saving our necks was an added benefit. If you’ve ever painted a ceiling you know what I’m saying. The wind has been an everyday thing here this summer. I swear all we had to do was say the word paint and a gust would rise up out of nowhere! Finally one weekend, no wind. Yea! We got that ceiling painted. Nothing was sacred we were getting it done come Hell or high water. Even the apples got a light dusting. Well they shoulda moved, we were on a mission!


We have a pretty big, 2700 square foot house that The Bob built. His Mother was no longer able to live alone and neither of our houses was conducive to all of us living together in one or the other. So he built this one. As I told you in an earlier post “The Beginning”, we designed it and painted it out on our driveway of our old house. Yes, I’m very proud of him and this house.

Bob is an installer for an awning company so he is up and down ladders all the time. He may also be part monkey, the way he climbs. So he climbed up and sprayed the 2nd story. I got to roll the first floor color on. Now, I love to paint, The Bobber not so much, so I was a painting fool. He had his fun with the sprayer so I made him do the cutting in around the ceiling of the deck so I could have my fun 🎶rollin’, rollin’, rollin’ on the yellow. 🎶 Ok, sorry, I’m no Tina Turner, I’m back now, just had a little moment.


I was shocked at how much the color had faded over the years. When we first built the house, and began looking for a color, I was kind of looking for something to blend in with the landscape a bit. Normally I’m a color gal, I don’t need to blend in, but we built this house in the place of Bob’s folks house, where he grew up. I was trying to take into consideration all of the things that go with that. His Mom’s preference, his choices, the landscape. The old house was green and white, and we looked at some greens. We even brought home some samples. We both hated them so much, we quickly painted over them so his Mom didn’t see them. We are evil. Actually, we are self preservationists, we both really disliked the green and didn’t want to take any chances. Ok, we’re a little evil.

Bob came home one day  and said he found the perfect color combination.  Yellow and maroon. Now I was pretty skeptical but we went and looked at the house  where he had seen these colors together, and it looked really good, so that’s the colors we went with, yellow and maroon and actually I love it. imageYou see I had been watching the colors of the houses along the way to our house. There were 17 houses that were beige  and about 10 that were gray. I’m a bit of a non-conformist and I didn’t want our house to look like everyone else’s so bright yellow and maroon it was. Now there are three other houses along the road that are yellow and my neighbor says she looks out her window and sees our bright yellow house and thinks of a ray of sunshine that makes me happy. We actually get a lot of compliments on the color and it’s easy to give directions, “just look for the big yellow house”. image

Yep, that’s my monkey…I mean hubby!

So, the house is painted. Next comes the trim and the deck railing. Whew, it’s a lot of work getting ready to retire. Time keeps moving forward and we’re trying to do the same. I just keep thinking, one step closer to the beach! image