I am more stable than I am interesting…but I’ll share with you anyway!

I must admit that I may have set myself up for a larger task than I anticipated when I promised to make the month of March “all about me.” I really don’t know what in the world I was thinking in saying I’d share about my life. I’m pretty simple! I thought it might make sense to start with the basics, however, which includes the fact that my childhood was quite traditional and very stable. Good for me, but not exactly riveting story material!

Stability is a great gift to a child. For the first several years of my life we lived next door to my maternal grandmother, with aunt, uncle and cousins living on the same property. We frequently had Sunday after-church dinner with my other grandparents who also lived nearby. The closeness of so much loving family undoubtedly left a very strong positive imprint. Anyone who knows me observes how a great deal of my life is clearly embedded in my family today.

It might surprise you to know that we have lived across the street from my parents for thirty-eight years. I’ve weathered years and years of raised eyebrows, questions and comments from friends who clearly think this is a bit strange. Maybe it is unusual, but the benefits have been enormous, and I think it was a generous gift to my children who experienced the same kind of closeness to their grandparents that I enjoyed as a child.

And now we have the delight of watching our two darling granddaughters come to our house and move back and forth to their great-grandparents’ home. I treasure this. It’s quite basic–I value relationship more than independence.

A friend gave me a fun book written by Wendy Reid Crisp, “When I Grow Up I Want to Be 60.” The book is full of quotes; many humorous and some quite thoughtful. One quote was particularly meaningful to me. Submitted by a woman named Suzannah, I think her words mirror my thoughts about what I choose to think about at this birthday juncture:

“Sharing is what I select. Sharing is what keeps me looking forward to sixty-five, seventy, eighty, ninety. I want to share laughter, hugs (especially from grandchildren), chocolate cake, good books, funny e-mails; I want to share my days with friends and with my husband, the love of my life. I want to share adventures, great wines, and singing.”

So that is about all I have to say to simply start my birthday sharing!

You might notice a new look to our blog. Well, it was unintentional, but “playing around” tonight I don’t know what I did but I lost our original theme. I started my morning very early, getting on the road long before sunrise to be with my granddaughters for my weekly babysitting…so obviously I shouldn’t be near technology when I’m tired.  I’m not sure I like this one all that much, so perhaps we’ll have a go at a few more themes.

Let me tease you with my next topic, though. See the picture below? That’s me at around one year old. About seventeen years later my picture was in Life Magazine. Are you just a little curious? Stay tuned!


38 thoughts on “I am more stable than I am interesting…but I’ll share with you anyway!

  1. Well, you can probably guess where I stand on the issue of family living nearby. Those who would raise an eyebrow, simply do not know what they are missing, bless their hearts. I think you did very well for your month’s first post and that picture couldn’t be cuter. You even ended in a cliff-hanger, of sorts. I can see this is going to be a fun month!

    1. Oh yes, John! I sure do know how you feel about your family! I’ve so enjoyed each and every time you share about growing up! Your family living arrangements appear to have been even closer over a longer period of your life than mine. After age seven we moved from the home we all shared, but my grandparents remained very close by. I don’t remember feeling a loss, so I think we were probably still very much in each other’s almost daily lives. Importing my scanned picture completely destabilized the WordPress platform, so I’m not sure what that meant! Now I’m wondering how to include my “Life” magazine “spread.” I’ll be googling today 🙂 Another learning curve! Debra

  2. Oh, I definitely am curious about your venture onto the pages of LIfe Magazine, Debra. What a darling picture this is.

    I am rather apprehensive about changing my banner, certainly my blog will self-destruct, or some such thing. This is a nice, fresh look.

    I grew up in a multi-generational home and think it was the greatest gift of my life. Until I was five, we, my mother, father, sister and I, lived in the same house as my grandmother, my aunt, uncle and cousin, and another uncle. My cousin and are the same age, 26 days apart. He still teases me as the oldest one. What fun we had and we had a bit of adjustment when we moved next door to each in the suburbs. We were used to playing sunup to sundown in the same house. I envy you having family so close and understand all the richness it brings.

    1. You really did have the multigenerational household, Penny! I think it is just a wonderful start in life. My cousins are also close in age, and I’m only seven months older than my next-in-age cousins. She and I went to the same school and to this day have a very close relationship. I love to tease my children that they would really be better off to come and live with us. I’ve for years said we should start our own compound, “Like the Kennedys”–but so far no one else is buying into that 🙂 And as for changing the banner, Penny! I wasn’t trying to do this…it was a mistake, and I am not sure how I feel about this one! There are limits to my technological savvy! 🙂 Debra

    1. Thank you, Elizabeth. After hours of trying to simply crop and post the picture from a larger scan, this was the result. I don’t know why I couldn’t seem to do it, except I really was tired, and so perhaps that’s all it was! In the end, I tried one thing and the next I knew I’d deleted my entire original template picture, which I couldn’t retrieve. It’s funny how brilliant I can feel one minute, and completely incapable the next 🙂 I’ll have to see what I can do later…google to the rescue! Debra

  3. I love that you are all about family and sharing. We moved a lot when I was a kid, but going to Grandma’s house for long visits was the stabilizing place for us. The photo of you is the sweetest, and I’m sitting on the edge of my chair waiting for the next report…

    1. Thank you so much, Natalie. I thought and thought about what to share, and realized that more than anything else, the things that probably mean the most to me involve stories connected to family and friends, and since I’m a “connector” I don’t have as many truly independent adventures to share in the first place 🙂 I should ask my family to sign waivers or permission slips so I know what is fair game! I really do believe that grandma’s provide a lot of stabilizing! Mine were so important to me, and I do miss them! I’m glad you had the time to come by, Natalie! Debra

  4. I can really identify with this post, Debra. For almost all my childhood I lived next-door to my only set of grandparents (my father’s parents died very young) and it was a given that they were an essential part of our everyday life, yet with their own privacy too. it worked wonderfully. Sadly we weren’t able to duplicate this with our children and grandchildren. Life has changed so much and young people scatter for college and after. I look forward keenly to the next instalment. 🙂

    1. I do think families have lost a lot of support with the way they spread out and move some distance. Perhaps they have gained something, too, in more independence, but I wouldn’t change a thing about my own childhood, or that I have remained close to my own family. I do try to entice my children to live even closer, but they patiently just smile at me 🙂 I am glad you share with me the joyful memories of grandparents in your daily life. I think it gives us a good start in life, don’t you? Debra

  5. I think it’s lovely that you have had such a close family, I see that my neice has similar benefits having grown up around extended family, her relationships with the older generation are precious. It’s not something that I experienced, but I can see the pleasure it gives. And a cliff hanger? I’m tuned in 🙂

    1. Thank you, Claire! I do think that it has taken me “this long” to perhaps really see the benefits of my very close family ties. There are times when it becomes a little chaotic…planning around an entire “group” is at times cumbersome 🙂 But the result is a lot of support and in the end, I’m very grateful! My cliff hanger is a fun memory for me, anyway! I’ll have to see how I can translate it effectively! Thank you for sharing with me, too! Debra

  6. When I was born, my maternal grandmother lived a few blocks away from us. Later we moved and she was five miles away. We saw more of her than any other relative and were closer to her as a result. It’s wonderful that your grandchildren have their great-grands so close.

    1. You do know the benefits, Sharyn! I think because I’ve always had family so close (and I had both of my grandmother’s still active in my life in my 40’s and up to 50!) I don’t always stop and reflect upon how unusual it is for my grandchildren to have great-grandparents. Friends so often comment and remind me that this is indeed uncommon, and to be treasured! And we all do! 🙂 Debra

    1. I’m getting used to it, Aimee! I wish I’d had you with me last night when I was having some much “technical difficulty!” Either the computer had gremlins, or it was my old brain…I won’t readily admit to that one! Ha! Glad you like the look, because I think I’m stuck with it for a while. I have other photo issues to deal with 🙂 Can I rent your youthful expertise soon? oxo

  7. Hi Debra, love the new look (even tho the computer gremlins may have caused it)! I view it as part of the “all about me” campaign and the approach to the new decade ahead for you. The quote by Ms. Crisp so fits you on the sharing and caring part of you with your family and friends. I’m so pleased to be part of the friend circle. Oh, that photo–it’s you absolutely! I see that face ever present now! Warmly, Ellen

    1. Thank you so much, Ellen. Isn’t that just a wonderful quote! I immediately grabbed it and made it my own! You are a huge part of my decade going forward, my friend. Let’s see how much trouble we can get into! As for the picture–don’t we all just chuckle at our own baby pictures? I see my children in my own picture. That always makes me smile 🙂 D

  8. Ginny Rood

    I’ve never thought it odd that you live across the street from your parents. I’d call it very convenient. I’m envious.

    1. I know you wouldn’t scoff, Ginny! You’re right in there with me in that old “connectedness” of friends and family! And I know you miss your own parents, so there’s no way you wouldn’t like to have this arrangment. You remind me of that often, even if it is just as you reminisce. I’m very mindful of the special quality of this particular season! oxo

  9. Debra, I am enjoying learning about you!! How wonderfully beautiful that you had such a strong family. Family is SO important to God! It sounds like you had a very wonderful strong foundation and you are now able to offer that same foundation to the next generation, what a true blessing! Thank you for sharing about your life, not boring at all. Looking forward to hearing more about Life Magazine! Hugs, Corri

    1. Thank you, Corri! I’m very blessed, and thank God often for my family.Thank you, too, for acknowledging the gift that it is! And yes, my Life magazine story isn’t due to my “greatness” in any way…mostly circumstantial, but a lot of fun for me! See you then 🙂 Debra

  10. Dear Debra,
    Indeed I am curious! Oh how you’ve whetted my appetite for more.

    This sharing you are doing is truly part of growing into ourselves–or so I think. This kind of sharing helps us find the meaning of our lives: the meaning that has enriched the lives of all the people who have loved us and whom we have loved. There is a true blessedness to sharing our lives. I’m glad you’ve made this resolution. Thank you.


    1. I do have a fun little piece of personal history to share, Dee. Again, I’ve learned from you! You post in installments and I’m always looking to see what’s next! That was part of my little tease 🙂 Debra

  11. The reminder of Sunday dinners with family takes me back to a time that is no more … sadly. BTW – did you get the idea for your pic from me post to long ago. 😉 … and yes – the new look did through me off. Looks good though!

    1. Yes, I think you influenced me, Frank! Baby pictures, especially ones 60 years old, are an easy share 🙂 And yes, I’d like to have those family Sunday dinners back, too. I think I will always miss my grandparents! Thanks for the still finding me with the “new look.” I still don’t know what I did with the old one! LOL! Debra

  12. Debra- This is so cute! I also grew up seeing both sets of Grandparents every day and I am so thankful my parents chose to raise my family near them. What a treasure to see your Grandparents and family all the time…not to mention all the spoils that come with it 😉

    Can’t wait for the rest of your March posts!

    1. Oh, yes, Jayme! Good for you for mentioning the “spoils” that come from living so close to grandparents. From time to time my daughter has to call me on that one, too! So maybe it’s better for THEM that they aren’t right next door! I’m so glad you shared that experience as a child. I wish our American culture and lifestyle even better supported the idea of multi-generational living. But on top of other pressures, families need to move and go where they can find work. It’s not always a simple decision! Thanks for stopping by and sharing, Jayme! Debra

    1. I know how much many others would like to be closer to family, Speccy. I also know it isn’t always possible. I am fortunate in this way. I hope your young family won’t stray too far 🙂 Debra

  13. I think it is wonderful that you have had the advantage of family surrounding you. So many people never get to experience that. I know we will all enjoy this month of celebration.

    1. Thank you, Karen. I do believe my close family (in proximity and support) is a distinct advantage. I have many friends who have been completely on their own almost their whole lives. I admire them greatly, and also see how hard it has been for them. I am grateful, and try to share mine with others when I can! 🙂 Debra

  14. Diane Beglin

    I always enjoy reading your posts. But I am chuckling because I am reading them in the wrong order! I didn’t get to enjoy your enticing tease:/ When my kids were small I remember reading how important it is for children to have strong relationships with adults other than their parents. Of course, a good relationship with parents is also important. How fortunate for you to have extended family in your daily life. And to be able to continue that tradition with your own grandchildren. Family has always been important to me but the older I get the more I realize just HOW important!

    1. That’s so funny, Diane. I do the same thing with reading others’ posts and sometimes it makes me want to go back and check to see if my responses were also a little off! Yes, you did miss my tease, but did you like my baby picture? LOL! Family is important to all of us, I think, but having a close physical relationship has been personally very satisfying. Like so many other things, I hadn’t given it a fresh look for quite some time, but it really hit me the other day when Sophia and Karina were asking to go over to my mom and dad’s house. They love playing over there! And they also bring my parent’s joy in return. I know we have been fortunate. My husband hasn’t had the same luxury with his own family, so we’ve had this discussion many times through the years. I’m just pleased you read the posts, Diane. I never care about the order! 🙂 Debra

  15. In these crazy times where anyone can unexpectedly be handed a pink slip, we need our families even more for the security, and unconditional love. I envy you still living so close to your family.
    My husband and I live in this huge city far away from our family. When my mother passed away last year not everyone could make the funeral because my siblings and our children live in 4 countries in 12 cities.

    1. After I posted about family I had so many friends tell me their own feelings of loss and for some, regret, wishing they’d lived closer to family. And it’s something we’ve never even talked about before. I treasure what I have and realize how fortunate I’ve been. I have a sense that your family must have a delightfully independent spirit and it can often take courage to venture off! It would be particularly difficult, though, during times of profound loss, not to be able to be close together. I’m sure at the time of your mother’s passing it would have been very comforting to have them close. Thank you so much for sharing with me. Debra

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