Tag Archive | precious memories

Ready for Anything (A memory from 2009) ☺

Here’s another oldie but goodie! ☺

The other week, we had to have our septic tank pumped.  This meant that Dave would need to dig a hole and find the top of the tank so that when the pumper people came, they could do their thing.  Dave went out and started to dig.  Katie announced, “I’m gonna help Daddy!” and out the door she went.

Next thing you know, in comes Dave and he heads for the basement.  He came back up the steps with Katie’s toy garden tools so that she really could help him!

Katie and Dave are out there digging away, when suddenly, Katie makes a beeline for the house.  I didn’t think much of it, just figured she had to go to the bathroom.  She comes flying in the door all out of breath and says to me, “I’ll be right back!  I need to do something!”

As she went down the hall, I hollared out my usual “Don’t forget to flush!”  (Little did I know that she had other things in mind instead of going to the bathroom!)

Next thing you know, here she comes!  She is wearing a play hard hat that she got when she built her own bear at Boyd’s Bear Country, and she is wearing a pair of gloves.  I say, “What are you doing?”

She replies, “If I’m gonna help Daddy, I need to have everything I need.  Now I’m  repaired for anything!” and out the door she goes.

She’s out there digging away in her “workman’s outfit” while I stay inside rolling with laughter over her “repairing” herself for work!  What a kid!

This was taken around the time of this story in 2009. Boy has Katie grown up since then!

This was taken around the time of this story in 2009. Boy has Katie grown up since then!

♥Miriam

Crazy Ladies and Sliding Boards

I found out last night that my Great Aunt Jane passed away. She was 93 years old. I only wish I had a few digital pictures to post with this so you could relive one of the craziest memories I have of Aunt Jane.

Jane was not her real name. Her actual name was Ruth, but because there were several “Ruths” on my dad’s side, they decided to call her by her middle name….Genevieve. Now apparently, she didn’t like this name and she would often say, “I’m just a plain Jane”, so the name Jane stuck.

She was a little woman, not even 5 foot tall. I always remember her just being generally silly! When I was little, we would go to Aunt Jane and Uncle Elmer’s house and visit each time we went to see my Grandma Beideman. I’m an only child and so, there really wasn’t anyone my age there to play with, so she would do her best to act my age and play whatever I wanted to play.

The first few times we visited, I remember her youngest son, Andy, was still at home…a teenager then at the time (I believe he’s in his early 50’s now). His room was in the basement and I was fascinated by him. He had a psychedelic looking room with black lights, disco balls and a bead curtain for a door. I loved it! He’d spend his time in there strumming a guitar and I would sit and watch him in fascination.

When I was a little older, Andy had left home and then there were just boring adults to visit with. But Aunt Jane would pull out whatever toys she had or run down the steps to the basement dragging me along so we could play pool. We’d play pool for hours. Neither one of us knew what we were doing, so often we would just roll the balls across the table aiming them at the holes. We’d cheer loudly if one of them actually made it in!

Time goes by and kids grow up, and we didn’t visit as much as we did. Uncle Elmer passed away, but Aunt Jane continued to enjoy life to the fullest. She was constantly busy doing something or going somewhere.

The year I graduated from high school, she called and said she’d like to take my mom & dad and I to Ocean Grove, NJ for a weekend. She got us rooms at a bed and breakfast. We were really close to the “Great Auditorium” that is part of the Ocean Grove Camp Meeting Association. Many concerts are held there, and there is Sunday morning worship each week.  We had a blast with Aunt Jane! We swam in the ocean together, played on playground equipment like we were little kids and had overall fun-filled weekend together. We attended church together at the Great Auditorium that Sunday and she I heard Norman Vincent Peale speak in person. That was a first and last for both of us, as he died not long after that time.

In recent years, she developed Alzheimer’s disease. But, that did not dampen her spirit one bit. At one of our last family reunions, she came up to me and said, “I know you! You’re Richie’s (my dad) wife!”

“No, Aunt Jane, I’m his daughter, Miriam.”

“Oh silly me! Are you out of school yet?”

“Yeah, for about 20 years now!! I’m married now, Aunt Jane. That’s my daughter over there (pointing toward Katie’s direction). She’s 3 years old.”

“Well, I will just have to check her out!” and off she trotted. Now this woman was 85, mind you. And she went sprinting up to Katie, told her who she was and said, “Let’s go play!”

Katie took her by the hand and they went running to the playground next to the pavilion. Next thing I know, I hear excited giggling from Katie and a loud “Weeeeeeee!” coming from Aunt Jane. We all turned to look and there she was, all 90 or so pounds of her, sliding down the kiddie slide, hands waving in the air! Katie hollars, “Again!!” They both climbed the ladder and went down together. They did this so many times that everyone was grabbing their cameras and snapping photos left and right. What a sight to behold!

It was a sliding board like this that made Aunt Jane young again

It was a sliding board like this that made Aunt Jane young again

Finally, Aunt Jane started to tire out and came back to the pavilion. “I must be getting old,” she said. “I can’t keep up with these little ones any more!” Then she came over to me and sat down.

“Did you have fun, Aunt Jane?”

“Sure did! Now, tell me, how long have you and Richie been married? ”

I began to explain once again, that I wasn’t “Richie’s” wife. But I stopped. “Look at Miriam over there sliding away! She sure is cute. I always loved to play with her!” she said.

“And she always loved to play with you too, Aunt Jane,” I replied. She took my hand and looked at me so lovingly. “So, how long have you been married?”

“Richie’s been married 37 years, Aunt Jane.” I couldn’t bear to correct her again. My heart was just over-flowing with love for this little woman that I could always be crazy with growing up.

Rest in peace, Aunt Jane. We’ll go sliding again in heaven!

♥Miriam

♥♫♪Oh, I Love a Thursday Night!♪♫♥

I just LOVE Thursday nights!! Is it because it’s near the end of the week…maybe….but it’s much more than that! The love of Thursday nights happened gradually over time over a period of years. Let me tell you how it all happened.

(Here’s where I need one of those wavy effects like they show in movies and on TV when someone is going back in time. I’ll try to recreate that….))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))((((((((((((((((((((((((())))))))))))))))))))))))((((((((((((((((((((((((((

And poof, we’re there!

Picture a cute little strawberry blonde 2-year-old (yes, I WAS cute at one time!). She’s standing in front of her small church congregation, being prompted by her mother to sing. So, I did. I sang “Jolly Old St. Nicholas.” That’s appropriate for church, right? Well, what can I say….I was 2 for crying out loud! That began a lifetime of singing performances and musical experiences that led to my love for Thursday nights.

Around age 10, I was “forced” to take organ lessons. (I say I was forced because no kid wanted to play the organ….the piano was way cooler!) My mom and dad often sang together at church and many Saturday evenings, they would practice together. Dad was on the organ and mom would turn the pages and sing along with him. It was around this time that one evening, they heard me humming along and realized I was humming in harmony with them. Tada….add an instant alto and now there’s a trio! We sang for many years together until my dad started to lose his hearing.

When I was 13, I was sort of a rebelious soul. I thought my parents were weird (but what kid didn’t at this age?). It was at this point that my true love for a Thursday night was about to take shape. A girl in my homeroom, Kim, wanted to try out for the highschool choir. However, she was too afraid to go to the tryouts alone. So, she conned me into going with her. I had NO intention of joining a “sissy” choir. We waited together outside the band room and I heard girl after girl sing the first verse of “My Country Tis of Thee.” They’d sing and walk out, being told that if they made choir, they’d find out next week when they posted the results. Soon it was Kim’s turn. She went in and began to sing. Oh, she was terrible!! (Picture a cat howling when it’s tail gets stepped on….now magnify that about 4 times!) Oh my word! My ears hurt. She walked out with a huge smile, confident that she had done well and was a shoe-in to get in the choir. Then came my turn.

I walked in and met Ron Eshelman. Little did I know this man would change my life. He played the intro to “My Country Tis of Thee” and I began to sing….”My country tis of thee, sweet land of liberty, of thee I sing.” He stopped playing. I was confused. I hadn’t heard him do this before. He said, “Do you know what a scale is?” (Well, duh…of course I did….I had three years of exciting organ lessons under my belt!)

I replied that I did. “I want you to sing these scales. Just sing the word ‘la’.” He began to play scale after scale as I sang, “La, la, la, la, la, la, la, la, laaaaa.” Finally, after what seemed like a 100 scales. He stopped, folded his hands and said, “You have a HUGE range, and a beautiful voice! You’re in my choir.”

WHAT? I had no intentions of being in the choir. Little did I realize that I was the first one to find out that I’d made it. When the list came out, sure enough, my name was at the top. Kim’s name was no where to be found!

I went ahead with joining choir, after all it seemed like it would be an easy credit. But, choir ended up changing my life! Mr. Eshelman became my favorite teacher. He was a good friend and mentor as well, and I will never forget all he taught me. When I graduated, he encouraged me to continue using my God-given gift, and I guaranteed him that I would. I loved to sing now….especially for the Lord!

A few years later, the Gospel Tide Hour Choir came for a concert at my church. The choir director would usually lead a congregational song during intermission. For whatever reason, that night, I was asked to do it. I led the song, “When We all get to Heaven.” After the concert, perfect strangers from the choir came up to me and said, “You need to join us!” Then the choir director came and asked me as well! I was delighted!

For the next 7 years, I went to choir practice every Thursday night!! (You wondered where the Thursdays came into this….I know!) I had a solo every year and loved every moment of choir. The choir disbanded in 2002 shortly after my daughter, Katie was born. I was devastated! I grieved…literally grieved for months. I’d cry when I thought about it.

Six years later, I ran into Fred Keener, the former director of the Gospel Tide Choir and he told me he was directing a new choir. He asked me to come sing. I could have hugged him!!!

So, in 2007, I joined the Cumberland Valley Christian Choir. This choir has grown from 30-something to 105 members this year! I am so blessed every Thursday evening to join in song to my Savior with these wonderful people!

Some of the greatest singers I know!!

Some of the greatest singers I know!!

I’m still a soloist and love lifting my voice in praise! Fred is now my “musical mentor” as well as many other good friends I have made through being in choir.

So, now you know why Thursdays are the highlight of my week!

Keep on singing!

♥Miriam