Tag Archives: anniversary

Short and Sweet

So it’s my birthday, anniversary and Memorial Day. Therefore my post is short and sweet. Happy birthday to me. I am thankful for another year. Happy Anniversary to my husband and best friend. At 18 yrs babe we’re just getting started. God bless the families of all the fallen warriors. Thank you for what you risked and gave for us while doing a job that is often thankless. You will never be forgotten.

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Memories… Sweetened Through the Ages by Sherrie Hansen

I’ve been thinking a lot about the “old  days” this week. My bed and breakfast, the Blue Belle Inn B&B and Tea House, in St. Ansgar, Iowa, has been open for 20 years as of February 1st, which was also my 55th birthday. It’s definitely a time to think back, to remember what things were like those many years ago.

Memories are a funny thing. I learned in Childhood Psych that 90% of a child’s brain and 85% of their social skills and personality develop before they are 5 years old. Yet most of us have very few memories of anything that happened to us in this time period.

Some of my earliest childhood memories are sleeping out under the stars with my dad and my sister Becky, on the farm where we lived in Grand Meadow, Minnesota, when we were little. I can remember Marty Hedstrom, a teenager who worked for my Dad one summer, singing “Sherry Baby” to me and rescuing me from the bumblebees who were after me in the haymow of the barn where I used to play.  I can remember standing next to my Great Grandma Matilda Paulson  and my Grandma Victoria at  First Baptist Church singing “Holy Holy Holy”.  I can remember climbing on the school bus on the first day I went to school, the day my baby brother and sister were born, and the day my Grandpa Hansen died. Some of these experiences have already ended up in or certainly may one day find themselves into books I’ve written – in one form or another.

My 25 year old nephew and his pretty wife, Kayla, sang “Sherry Baby” to me this weekend at my birthday / anniversary party. What a flood of memories it brought back! Because I don’t have children of my own, my nieces and nephews are very special to me. I hope that I have made an impact on their lives as well, and that they will carry memories of me and the fun times we’ve shared at the Blue Belle Inn and our family gatherings with  them long after I’m gone.

My 5, 7 and 10 year old nieces and nephews were at my party, too. The girls helped get people registered for the door prizes. The two youngest were waitress and waiter and helped clear plates and take them to the kitchen. They were very intense about collecting the dirty plates (Will you please hurry up and finish eating your food so I can take your plate?) and did their jobs well.

I will have to give them some tips next time I see them. (They had to leave early because it was past their bedtime.) Right before they left, the girls entertained us by singing our favorite song, “He Knows My Name,” while I played the piano.

My hope is that they will retain their memories of the very special night they shared with their old Aunt Sherrie at the Blue Belle Inn. Maybe one of them will blog about it one day when they’ve heard “Sherry Baby” played on the radio… er… computer.

Maybe it’s because I don’t have children, but it’s important to me that someone remembers that I’m not just Blue Belle Sherrie (the main hat I’ve worn for the past 20 years). I want someone to know and remember that I climbed Pike’s Peak when I was younger, that I learned to disco dance when I lived in Germany back in the late seventies at the height of the Saturday Night Fever era. I want someone to remember that I went to Wheaton College, and saw Michael Jackson’s Thriller concert at Mile High Stadium in Denver and spent a night at a Benedictine Monastery in Bavaria. And that I made the best Jaeger Schnitzel and Spaetzle noodles this side of the great pond.

I hope you have some sweet memories, too – perhaps something you’ve read in one of my books has evoked a recollection or brought tears to your eyes. I also wish for each of you someone who knows you and loves you enough to remember unique things about you.

Thanks for letting me be nostalgic on the occasion of my big birthday and anniversary. Andrew Lloyd Webber says it well…

Memory
All alone in the moonlight
I can dream of the old days
Life was beautiful then
I remember the time I knew what happiness was
Let the memory live again.

And if you’re a child of the seventies like I am, I’m sure this song conjurers up the very thing it talks about…

Memories, pressed between the pages of my mind
Memories, sweetened through the ages just like wine

Quiet thoughts come floating down
And settle softly to the ground
Like golden autumn leaves around my feet
I touched them and they burst apart with sweet memories,
Sweet memories

Of holding hands and red bouquets
And twilights trimmed in purple haze
And laughing eyes and simple ways
And quiet nights and gentle days with you.

Some of my favorite memories – and ones that will almost certainly die with me, since all my friends from that era are my age or older – are of the 12 years I lived in Colorado Springs. During that time, I heard Amy Grant sing this song in concert three or four times. From the song “I Will Remember You”…

Later on
When this fire is an ember
Later on
When the night’s not so tender
Given time
Though it’s hard to remember darlin’
I will be holding
I’ll still be holding to you
I will remember you

So many years come and gone
And yet the memory is strong
One word we never could learn
Goodbye
True love is frozen in time
I’ll be your champion and you will be mine
I will remember you

Being a writer, I’ve always thought that stories are the best way to share memories. I hope one day, you’ll read mine.

Happy Birthday to me. Cheers to 20 years at the Blue Belle Inn. And a toast to memories that live on forever in the minds of the those who love us.

(Sherrie Hansen is the author of 4 books:  Night and Day, Stormy Weather, Water Lily, and Merry Go Round.)

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Starts, Stops and Goodbyes by J J Dare

Today, I bring my oldest daughter and youngest granddaughter to the airport. After a three week visit, I’m not ready for silence to envelope my house. I’m not ready to say goodbye. Life is fickle and I don’t know when I’ll see them again.

Sunday was the first time in a long time I was able to see all of my girls on the same day. The constant noise was loud and wonderful. A kaleidoscope of people flowed in and out of the house all day.

Last week, my mother went into a “skilled nursing facility,” a fancier term for a nursing home. After breaking a bone in her leg four weeks ago and after a stint in a rehabilitation hospital, she is still unable to manage. The hope is she will rally enough to begin walking again and, in her words, “break out” of that place and move back in with me.

My childhood home is gone. The closing was only thirty minutes long. Thirty minutes and a multitude of papers to sign and that was it. It’s no longer the central hub of our family. The shift is slowly turning to my own house as it becomes the hive of the queen bee.

In addition to the goodbye we said to my mother’s home, I saw some faces in my family unmasked. The actions and reactions from the loss of the home surprised and saddened me. The start of naked greed over a tangible thing contributed to the fracture of intangible relationships.

The days in July are starts, stops and goodbyes. They contain the birthday of my partner and later in the month, his deathday. Although it’s another month among the past eleven months of my mourning, the sixty-second anniversary of his birth and first anniversary of his death loom large. I grieve for him daily, yet, this coming month will be the hardest to live through.

My writing has come to a stop. I blame it on the lack of time during the day because of the care I  have to give to so many. The true reason is my muse has left me for greener pastures until I’m ready for her to return. Will she come back next month, the month I could really use her to distract me from my sorrow? Or, will my grief keep the door shut on my writing helper? As with fickle life, muses do not always come when called.

Yesterday, I was visited by a grandfather dragonfly. As the three-inch long insect kept me company outside, I thought about how the smallest things are as important as the largest. Life is fleeting and fickle. Reality is how you make it. Muses come and go, as do the people in your life. The best you can hope for is to walk the path fate has laid out for you without stumbling too often.

J J Dare is the author of two published books, several short stories and about thirty works-in-progress.

Current enthusiasm is co-authoring at Rubicon Ranch

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