Treking in the woods.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Lucy according to Carol!

On the phone with Carol a short time ago and talking as always about Dad and how he is. Which at this point in time is not good at all. We started going back in time.
I was telling her that I don't recall a lot about Lucy as a baby. I remember her crying a lot when she was just a tiny baby because he had such a bad ear infection that they couldn't seem to get rid of. She was so little and cried so hard from the pain. In talking with Carol she brought to mind the way Lucy used to play in the pan cupboard. After she told me that then yes I do remember her in a box. Lucy had a thing for containers of any kind. Forget giving her toys she preferred boxes and such. She would push a cardboard box over to the pan cupboard then climb in the box only to have to crawl out again to move the box open the doors. She would then push the box back to the cupboard and unload the shelves of their contents. She loved the pan lids and would load her box, the one she was sitting in, full of lids of every shape and size. I can see her in a little pink checked dress sitting in the box full of pan lids. Somewhere in the family we have a picture of that. I will have to see if I can find it.
I guess I could add on about Connie and the way she got a cute little scar on her other end. In one particular house that we lived in the bathroom of which there was only one, had a small gas stove. We were a frugal bunch of girls and a couple of us always took our baths together. After all we were just young girls any way. One particular evening Connie and I chanced to get our bath together. After washing the hair and the bodies and generally making the floor wet with play it was time to get out. Of course we were warm and the air was chilly with no heat save for the small gas heater. Connie got out first so she was nearest the heater, being cold she backed up to get her bottom warm and backed just a tad to far. Pssssst! You got it she nows carries a couple of little marks in the shape of a grill where her other end touched. She had a problem sitting down for a couple of days but as with kids it never lasted very long. We were tougher in those days.
Talking with Carol brought back one other very fond memory of her. Right out of high school Carol joined the Army. She was stationed very far away in Ft. Rucker, Alabama. I was very proud of that fact so needless to say the first time she came home on leave and we all went to church together Carol in her uniform of course I was stuck to her like day old gum. I was so very much, look at me, look at me with Carol she has a cool green uniform with ribbons and a name tag. Carol still lives in the south due to the fact that she met and married Cecil while at Ft. Rucker and they live in Cecil's home state of Florida. In my phone conversation with Carol I brought up her first auto accident. Remembering the way she told Mom and Dad that it happened. To lay the ground work I must first tell you she side swiped a parked car. She told them that her right foot was cold so she stuck it under the heater and operated the gas and brake with her left foot. Thus the accident. In laughing about that she told me the true fact of that story. She had Elaine, her girl friend, and Keith, Elaine's boy friend, in the car with her and Keith did not like the radio station she had on. When fiddling with the radio to find a station she hit the parked car. No wonder the rest of us couldn't drive the folks cars until after we moved on. I took drivers ed in 9th grade and didn't drive until I married my husband. See what big sisters will do for you. They mess up your lives but you know I wouldn't have wanted it any other way!
Heres to an awesome and love filled day!

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

The Good Old Days!

Growing up in the various locations that I had the opportunity to live in, all in Idaho how ever, some of my very early memories are like the one I described before on a farm in Southern Idaho between Twin Falls and Hollister. Mind you Hollister is not more that a spot in the road but it had a grade school that I remember had the coolest fire escape. It was a big metal tube like you see at water parks today. Fortunately while going to school there an opportunity to try it out never came around. Whew! Anyway the reason I mention Hollister in the first place was to tell you about the snake. See we were surrounded by fields of various types like wheat, hay, sugar beets, and the like. In those fields mice like to live and eat what was planted because of the mice we had snakes. Mostly friendly some not but that is not what this is about. The snake we had hanging around the house was a big ol Bull Snake. Every so often this snake who to a little girls eyes was the biggest snake she had ever seen made its way back to the house from the grain silo where my Dad wanted it to be. Usually when we caught sight of the snake it was not next to the house. Well anyway one day while playing hide and seek with Carol and Teri, Connie was a baby and Lucy wasn't born yet, a chanced to hide under our oil barrel. Imagine my surprise when I looked down by my little feet, yes I said little, and saw this big ol snake. Well I nearly wet my pants and could hardly make into the house to tell Dad. When I finally got in the house and wildly ranted about the really huge snake under the oil barrel he calmly gets up from his chair and walks outside to find this snake. Armed with only a rake, I wanted to be a shovel, he gingerly pulled the very large snake out of his nice cool resting place grabbed it by the tail and drug the thing back to the grain silo. He explained to us as we tagged along after him fascinated by this snake that he held by the tail above his head, that we didn't kill Bull snakes because they eat the mice that get in the grain silos. Granted Dad was never a very tall man but with his arm high over his head that snake drug about two feet on the ground. So he was about six feet long. He must have drug that snake back dozens of times but he never killed it.
Growing up on a farm is a great experience. I had a lot of fun in my younger years out there. I will have to tell you about the poly wogs we caught! I'll save that for another time.
See you later and have a great night!!

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Thinking out loud!

I use this place to think out loud, and mostly to laugh at myself. I can do that quite often and believe it or not it makes me feel better. Looking back at some of the pictures I took, which are very few, while we were on our trip to Nebraska I found the one of the Holly Hock Doll. When I was growing up holly hocks were all over the place growing wild. Now you only see them if someone has planted them. We had such fun with them. You see those were the days you had to use your imaginations to play. We had few toys but we never felt that we were missing anthing. Of course we as little girls all had a doll but taking this beautiful flower and a bud, pealing back the layers just right you had a head and if you left enough stem on the flower, had a way to push the head that had a natural hole onto the stem making a hollyhock doll. A big variety of colors gave us many wonderful dresses. A bud that had not yet opened but showed color gave us the mermaid style dress. A bud that was about to burst open gave us a head with a hat. We spent hours picking and putting those things together. I am going to assume our mother taught us how to do those. Though I do not remember it. Our Mother was sometimes not the easiest person to be around but she loved us, we ate well, had clean clothes, and we were clean. Sunday dinner was the most fun of all meals. I loved Moms fried chicken, mashed spuds, gravy, veggie and ice cream for desert. We would stop at the grocery store on our way home from church and get the ice cream. It was alway neopolitan, you know the three flavors, strawberry, vanilla and chocolate. I think the only one of us in the family that liked strawberry was Dad. I still to this day do not like strawberry ice cream.
Speaking of Mom so many little stories come to mind about her but one I really like is the day she told me about the birds and the bees. Sex in other words. I was not feeling very good so I was home from school. Mom wanted to go to a lane not far from where we lived to pick pie cherries I of course had to go with her. Mom and I climbed up in the tree with a bucket and sat and picked cherries. It had not been to long before that the 4th grade girls, me included, watched a film at school about our monthly cycle. Mom began asking me questions about that film and thus the birds and bees conversation that every parent dreads. I must say Mom handled it with great care. I never felt embarassed about all that we talked about. It may have to do in large part that we were stuck in a cherry tree or just that I discovered she really understood about being a girl. I think kids see us as only adults and that never before had we been children. I still have a hard time imaging my Mom as a young girl. Will have to ask her to tell me about it sometime.

Monday, July 27, 2009

The Gate

Go thru the gate my children,
go thru the gate!
take a step forward,
look to your fate!
See yourself for the very first time.
A clock in sync no item out of line.
Your time is so near, so little, so dear!
Put a smile on your face,
except if all with grace!
by Penny W July 09

Finding oneself!

WOW! To see your name come up on the computer when you do a search and knowing that many other people if they know how can read what you wrote it's way too cool.
I looked up my little Sisters blog spot and well can you tell the three feet in the picture are related? I sure can never really thought about it before but there are so many tell tell signs in families that speak to a relation. When in Nebraska with Dad I had the opportunity to watch my Uncle Larry's hands. No I am not weird I just notice peoples hands. Uncle Larry's and my Dads hands are very similar. Not so much in size cause Uncle Larry is over 6 foot and Dad is barely over 5 foot. The shape of their fingers are very similar if you look past the fact that Dads are gnarled with age and arthritis. It amazes me that I can see Dad younger in Uncle Larry's hands. Some day my hands will look like my Dads bent, stiff and hard to use because of the arthritis that plagues me all over my body. I have decided however that when I get up in the morning and I can stand without falling over it is gona be a great day. God has been good to me, given me a man that loves me without fail. Even when I drive him up the wall, although the same can be said of him. I have two beautiful children that are grown, married and have 4 growing and precious grandchildren. The oldest Grandson Samuel made the B honor roll this last year. I am so proud that he worked that hard and was able to achieve so much. He has always struggled in school and this is a wonderful feat for him. Christian is a whiz a just about anything he touches. Going into the 6th grade. Izzy my first Granddaughter is a tall willowy somewhat clumsy 9 year old. Typical for 9 year olds who haven't grown into their feet or size just yet. She is so full of life and vigor, she will be a 5th grader. Whew where have the days and years gone. Lainers is the youngest Granddaughter, cute little chubby 5 year old face, bold and scared of very little. She loves bugs and taught her preschool class how to pick them up. Look out Kindergarten here she comes.
I have so much to be thankful for I don't have time to feel sorry for myself. Thats not to say that I don't once in a while. But then we all do!
Growing up in a house full of girls my poor Dad didn't have a chance. He used to say I was his only son cause I liked to be with him and do what he did. Being in the middle I had to be tough or I wouldn't get enough to eat. HEHEHEHE! Not really just self preservation, I remember one very cold winter before I had started school the cows Dad milked got pink eye. He had to vaccinate all of them against it and for it. I spent a long time sitting on the top of a 6 foot high fence holding a vile and a syringe for him. He would walk up behind a cow thump it on the rump then jab in the needle. I was sure glad that wasn't me down there. I thought I was going to freeze to that fence before he got down. I never wavered from my spot I was so glad just to be there with him it didn't matter. One final note to that story. A few days after we got down with the pink eye mess I woke up one morning and couldn't open one eye. It was gooed shut. Well you may have guessed it, I had pink eye. Scared to death I was going to get a shot like the cows had but fortunately all I got was some ointment for Mom to put in my eyes. Whew! That was a close one.
It's funny when you start talking or writing about what you remember as a kid you remember a lot more. One day I will write down about the baby lamb we brought home, the snake Dad hauled down to the grainery from the house, stick houses, playing in the coolie, hide and go seek with friends, hiding in the corn field, and so many many more. Life is good, full of love, hope and family. I thank the Lord for each and everyone of them.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Hot dog days of summer!

Boy oh boy has it ever been hot. I really don't mind when I can stay in a nice cool air conditioned house but when Richard wants to go out on the boat and the only way to stay cool is to swim welllll! That is a different ball of wax. I gave up wearing swim suits of the two piece variety a long many years ago. Not a sight anyone should have to endure especially me! I have been far more demure in the last years as gravity slowly takes over and treats me like an antique chest where the chest falls into the drawers. Let it be said I do not treat anyone to that sight. I did however find a nice, long, slimming black, full of elastic, and skirted suit of the one piece variety that is okay. The only thing is I have to be prepared to stay in the water because the tightness that makes all of me stay put just adds to the heat. All you gals out there will understand the extra heat that is created by the aging process. I have long concluded that growing old especially for us women is not for sissies! From the wrinkles we try to avoid, good luck on that one, to the power surges we all seem to be afflicted with. I mean Hot Flashes, YUCK! I think they are Gods way of poking fun as our own self importance! We think we are so smart that only we can have children see girls what we get for our feeling of importance!! LOL!!!! The swim suit issue is my own self imposed bashfulness that I have always had when it comes to being almost bare in public.
I read Lucy's story on the South Hills and so many fun times and explorations come to mind. I wonder if we could go up there and find the tree, a Quaken Aspen, to be exact that Dad let us carve our very crude names into. That was so many years ago it has probably blown down or been cut down.
One of my fondest memories is the first Christmas I spent as the girl friend of one Richard Wonenberg. He has been a member of this family for the 39 years we have been married and the year and a half before that. He bought all my sisters, except Carol who was in Georgia, a bath robe for Christmas. The house we lived in was very small, less than 1000 feet, we had one bathroom and two bedrooms. Never seem small to us but anyway Richard was real tired of always having to "cover your eyes Richard I'm coming through" never failed that Connie, Lucy and Teri forgot to take their pjs into the bathroom with them when they went to take a bath. The girls were very excited by such a wonderful gift. BUTTTTTTT that did not stop the fact that they still forgot to take them in the bathroom.
We had tons of fun growing up! So many many happy memories. I can't wait to get all the stories my sisters have in a book. Our Mom will love it.
Happy Lords Day! Good week to you all!

Friday, July 24, 2009

The Book

I have decided to write a book! Not in the sense that anyone but family might want to read it but a book none the less. This book will be about the exploits of growing up in a family of 5 girls. Connie and Lucy the youngest two did not have a lot of time with us older 3 but ours lives have been interwoven just the same. I plan to ask each one of my sister, my bothers in law, my nieces, my nephews, cousins, aunts, uncles, friends okay okay anyone that might have a story they would like to tell about our family both then and now. I think one of the biggest reasons I feel so strongly about this is so much of our family history is lost because we the younger generation are not interested until it is to late. Our Dad is an old man now and his memory is not what it used to be. His Mom, Grandma Hopkins lived to be a very old woman and I never took the opportunity to talk with her while she was still alive. So get ready family I am asking for stories about the Hopkins girls, good, bad, funny, sad but stories none the less. In our recent visit to Nebraska we had the opportunity to visit with Dads youngest brother, Larry and his wife Margaret, she is our Aunt but our closeness in age makes it difficult to call her Aunt. Anyway back to the story. Uncle Larry asked us to tell our Mom Hi for him when we talked to her. She had asked us to remind him that when he lived with them one summer and of how he would pour a bowl of cereal and eat cereal until his milk was all gone. Used to drive Mom up the wall. Uncle Larry said that was the only way he could get rid of the milk. His Mom had taught him not to waste things and he just couldn't see himself pouring milk down the drain. You see he didn't like the taste of milk. He was being frugal but not really. The cereal didn't last very long. Those are the things that make our family what it is. I can't wait to fill a book with stories and pictures.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Sitting outside this morning with my cup of coffee and my husband is the perfect way to start the day. It was still cool and pleasant. We sat and talked quietly about the various things old married folk talk about from what bill needs to be paid to what do we want to do to our house next. Mind you our house was built in the early 70's and is in the process of being upgraded to what we want. I look back at old photos and laugh at the blue and red shag carpet that used to grace our family room floor. So many kids played on the ugly old carpet. The day Erin and I got rid of it was one of the greatest days in this house. We, Erin and I, had this wild idea we would lay self adhesive tile squares down before Richard got home from work. Well to make a long story short, it wasn't that easy. As with everything we do in life something always gets in the way of the short cut. I guess it pays to plan and execute with that plan. Makes for a lot less stress and a more congenial atmosphere. Today we have a beautiful ceramic tile floor that Richard and I laid ourselves. Our kitchen has been modeled not in the sense that walls were moved but new cupboards in a new configuration, we removed the peninsula and put in an island instead. Richard did all the work himself as he is so much the perfectionist he didn't feel anyone could do it as good as he could. You know he has always been that way sometimes it drives me crazy but when the job is finished it is done right and it looks great. I am then glad he likes it done right. Our conversation this morning consisted of what color of paint we are going to use on the house and the trim. Neither of which we can agree, just not green. HaHa! I also want hard wood floors and he hates the idea of that. I can just see my living room, sewing room and hall way in a nice honey oak color wood. I will keep talking maybe by the time we actually get to them I will get what I want, or in other words my way. Believe me I don't get my way very often.
Talked with Steph Hickey from Bryan East in Lincoln Nebraska, she thinks we need to have Dads competency tested as to making his own medical decisions. I will pray about this, talk with Connie, Lucy and Carol and get their input. I don't want Dad to feel like we are wanting him to die, but doing this stint thing every 6 weeks is not going to stop the process that has already began in his body. I hope that does not sound bad. Such a hard think to know what is right. Steph did say if she thought any other outcome would be possible she would have told me so but beings she feels as we do that it is really just a matter of time and I want so much to be able to get him where he wants to be and that is home. With his things his dog his house as much as it is at peace and happy.
Connie and Lucy have been such a blessing in all this. I can not express in words the joy and comfort I feel knowing they are a phone call, a text, or email away from me. It is such an overwhelming sense of joy to be folded in the arms of my sisters. God gave us the tools to put our relationship back together and we took hold of it with all our hands and did just that. Praise be to God, and thank you Lord for your love and support. AMEN.

My Sis

My youngest sister Lucy
is quite a gal you see
from making pages glitter
to loving Christ eternally
She has the nicest smile
it makes me laugh and shout
I am so glad she's Lucy
My sis without a doubt

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

My Jewel

by Penny Wonenberg

Making my day!

Just had a text message from my lil sis Lucy who has been enjoying the Stephanie Plum books by Janet Evanovich. I am so glad she has found them as funny as I have. When she told me about the Clinton mask and Grandma Mazur well you will just have to read it. I will say this knowing she laughed till she cried perked up my whole day. If you need a pick me up just give your day over to Stephanie she will surly cure you of all your blues.
The whole laughing thing reminded me of our recent cross country trip. We found more crazy dumb things that tickled us then any of had a right to. From Lucy taking pictures to document our trip and trying to get a good shot of the antelope frolicking in the green grass and kicking up dirt as they sprinted back and forth with each other. I became very familiar with the rumble strip that is ground into the sides of the freeway. Lucy would exclaim oh that is cute and snap and of course I would have to look, but you see I was the driver and spent a good share of the time riding on that strip that scared the life out of a person when you hit them doing 70 miles and hour. Lucy would get so enthralled that I could actually run over them on purpose just so she would jump. We got so tickled that all of us nearly wet ourselves. Lucy got some of the greatest pics of the trip over, of Dad, and the way home I am so glad she had her camera and wasn't afraid to use it. Made the whole thing much easier and gave us a wonderful set of memories to hold dear.
I am wishing it would cool off right about now. We have heat, heat, heat, so glad there is no humidity to go with it. Predicted a few more days of this heat then a break. Typically Idaho though. We always have a few very hot days then cool ones. It does cool off at night, mostly, sometimes not. I am very grateful for air conditioning, lived many years in this house without it.
My good friend Chris Gill is in the processing of laying her Mom to rest. My heart is very heavy for her but I was able to tell her to smile and just think of the party her Dad and Mom are having in the Lords house. Dancing, laughing, holding each other and telling Chris and her family to not to cry they will see them all one day. I pray she can smile and be happy that her Mom is in such a wonderful place called Heaven.
One Dad will be there. Holding his Dad that he lost so very many years ago, his younger brother Don, his sister Babe, and many many more that have gone before. His pain and suffering will be at an end. He will be at peace.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Thoughts for the day!

Guess I better get out of my PJ's today! Life has to go forward lest we mire in the pit of still stuck. HaHa!
I am missing the boy noise that inundated this house for 6 weeks but I know they are glad to be back home with all their "stuff". Sam is a marvelous construction engineer with his huge Lego stash, Christian is able to be with his cars and what ever else 11 year old boys like.
My girls are busy with their mom today. Dad took them to play in the fountain that graces downtown Eagle. It is a great place to cool off on these very hot summer days we are having. I will see them tomorrow most likely and they will want to fill the little wading pool to cool off. Actually it sounds like a brilliant idea.
Dad, oh Dad, what do we do?

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Lessons in leaving

Saturday the clock neared 2 p.m. and Sam just didn't want to go. He wanted to stay with Grandpa and Grandma. He was such a hoot the 6 weeks he and Christian were here. Saturday morning came much to early but we made plans to have a nice joint Birthday breakfast for Christian, Erin, and Christy. Biscuits and gravy for the boy and Crepes for the girls. What a way to start the day. When we finished eating and cleaning up the mess it was really time for the boys to get their stuff organized. With the help of Mom and with Grandma looking for stuff they tended to drop here and there they were finally packed. The very last thing to go in the bag was some frozen fish that the boys had caught while down in Buhl on the 4th of July. Sam got smart and sat down where the fish were being dumped, drew up his knees, and held his grocery sack out so he could start shoveling in the fish. They got to keep what they caught. Christian caught a couple and Sam got 6 or 7. He even gutted one with the help of Noah, soon to be newest member of the clan. We had some of them for dinner one night. WOW were they good! Forgot how good trout tastes when it is fresh. I wish I could have been there! Being with three of my sisters at my Dads youngest brothers, Larry, house was a good place to be. I sure grateful for the good time the boys had while here and hope they want to come back. Sam was so typically 13 when we dropped them off at the airport, he wouldn't kiss me goodbye in public it was all I could do to kiss him on the cheek. LOL!!!! I hope he gets over that. His dad was such a hugger at that stage of his life even in public. Christian has called me to tell me he has a friend code on Animal Crossing so our characters in the game can visit one another. This might be fun. HEHEHEHE we will have to wait and see.
As for me I am fine, still in my pjs and it is almost 5 p.m. needed it though. Been a very busy 6 weeks. TTFN!!!!


Rolling along in an automobile
4 loving sister, and me at the wheel.

Nebraska bound to see our Dad
to do what is right no matter how sad.

Five of us born to Kemp and Ellen
All ages and weights but I'm not tellin!

Carol came first she leads the way
Her birthday is April but not fools day.

Teri Jo was the second in line
Her day is in March not very fine.

Me I'm Penny came third from the front
Born in October before the cold brunt!

Connie came next fourth you may say
Her birthday in January was a cold dreary day!

Last but not least Lucy brings up the rear.
Her birthday early October was filled with cheer.

Each one of us special each one of us dear
each to her own the wonders of family mysteries unknown!

Getting my feet wet!

I have been journaling for many years now and Richard has always thought I should write a book. Well my answer to that was "Are you out of your mind"? Instead my little sis Lucy set me up with this blog. A great way to stay connected, get rid of the trash, and move forward.
I must say I am eternally grateful for the recent events that brought my sisters and I back together. I always knew it would have to be something that happened to a family member for it to happen just never thought it would be our Dad.
From the first phone call it was like the last three years were wiped away. I had been trying to move on but seemed mired in a pit of self pity and loneliness. I now feel free, reborn, whole and very happy.
Gona go see my family in Oregon, got to talk to Mom, Connie and Lucy to see how we can make the most of the few days we will have over there. I am going to be very much more aware of others feelings and not make the same mistakes over again.