Wednesday, February 4, 2009


We made it through.

It wasn’t fun, but we survived it with our love for one another intact and our inclination to laugh and tease undamaged. I won’t moan and cry. There are so many families that are suffering. We are blessed and we know it.

Isn’t it amazing how life can take you into a negative cycle? You think you are doing everything right and life decides to curve you into everything wrong. But you hold your breath, continue doing right, and sooner or later the cycle will break and you can start breathing again. This was the longest and hardest cycle that our family has ever had to go through, notwithstanding health matters.

We had some really hard bumps when it looked as if the stress had caused some very serious health concerns for my son. But he kept telling the doctors he wasn’t seriously ill, he was just seriously stressed. When the stress ended his good health returned. But the doctors still want to see him every Thursday for the next two months. I’m glad they do. I was seriously worried about his bodies stress reaction myself.

You will never know how much your thoughts and prayers have meant to my family and me. You have seen me through so much. I am so grateful to have all of you. Thank you from all of us.

Now on to something happier.

In the mid 90’s my son dated a woman that I’ll call M. At one point they talked of marriage, but things got complicated and the marriage talk turned to friends forever talk. I was a bit disappointed when the relationship turned to friendship, but that was their decision to make, not mine.

Sometimes the mother and the girl can forge a better relationship than the girl and the boy. She and I have developed a friendship that has only gotten stronger as the years have passed.

This past July, for my birthday, she sent me a card with a bookstore gift card in it. I called her to thank her and in doing so I told her that I had just put a book written by one of my favorite authors in my “Book Wish” notebook.

“Now I can get on the computer and order it. I’m so excited. I thought I was going to have to wait awhile before I’d be able to afford it. Thank you so much. You have really made my day. Day hell, you made my month!”

We both laughed and continued our chat about our families and kids.

I didn’t give the conversation much thought until after Christmas when I received a letter from her. She wrote, “You are the only person I know that actually writes down the books you hope to read someday in a notebook. You are the only person that I know that actually works to save the money to buy the books that you have written in that notebook. And lastly, you are the only person I know that actually buys and READS the books that you have written in that notebook. I got these for Christmas and I know that I won’t buy and read anything with anywhere near the pleasure that you will have choosing books to buy from your ’Wish’ notebook. Enjoy! Love, M.

And out fell $100.00 worth of bookstore gift cards.

You’ll never know how much joy I had going through my ‘Book Wish’ notebook and selecting the books I would buy. It was one of the greatest gifts I have been given in a long while. Is there any wonder why I love her so much?

Another Family Story -

My son and grandson did their usual weekend thing and got up at dawn and went to watch their British team play football. I took it from the bits of conversation that I overheard that it was an important game, and I knew the minute they walked into the house that it had not been a winning morning. These men were not walking they were slumping and shuffling.

My son came and sat down and said that he didn’t recognize himself. He has been into sports his whole life. He has played most of them and watched all of them, but he has never gotten so emotional about a team in his life. He said, “I actually get depressed when they lose. That’s a totally new reaction.”

So I started asking questions, trying harder to understand their love and dedication to this particular sport. He said that he got interested in British football when he started following the story of Didier Drogba. I don’t know that whole story well enough to write about it, but I do know that the two men in this house are passionately into Chelsea. They have bought shirts, jackets, and scarves on e-bay and every weekend they don their shirts and scarves and dressed for success take off for the pub that shows the games. I’ve also picked up that when a man is playing good he is ’on form’, and I’ve heard several of the songs that they sing while the team plays, and I’ve learned the name of several British breakfasts that they love; primarily a Crows Nest.

My son was so enthusiastic his best friend decided to go with him one weekend. A new fanatic fan was born. My grandson’s best friend was invited to go with them; another new fan was born.

My grandson’s best friend’s sister’s has a boyfriend that my grandson has never really cared for. The other day that boy that he doesn’t like came up to him and touched his Chelsea insignia on his shirt and said, “If I had known that you were into Chelsea we could have been friends all this time. I hear that you go to the pub to watch games every weekend. Do you think I could go with you next weekend? I love Chelsea.” My grandson came home with his head swimming.

There are several other incidents very similar that have happened when my grandson or son leaves the house with their Chelsea shirts on. I have watched this thing mushroom from just the two of them doing a father son thing into a caravan of men getting up at dawn to watch British football. It’s been fun to watch.

I also got told that no women are ever there ... None, never
The only woman is the one that serves them breakfast, but they really like her and tell some great stores about her.

Very Interesting!

My granddaughter has gotten an after school job at a local pizza shop. She is the only blonde that works there. When the owners young daughter came to the shop one afternoon she exclaimed, “Cinderella works for my daddy!”

It has been decided that my granddaughter will put on a Cinderella costume and entertain all the young ones that come into the shop for a day. For that she will receive a raise. Not bad for a girl that has only worked there for 2 weeks.

Her new job works real well for her father and brother. They love pizza. She comes home with free pizza a couple times a week, not to mention that she gets a great discount on any and all pizza that she or her family want to buy. Other than tacos, pizza is the number one taste treat in this house.

The men can gorge themselves on pizza when they come home depressed about a Chelsea loss.

I personally don’t like pizza, but I love the break from fixing dinner that her new job has given me.

Take care of yourselves friends.

Love, Pennie/Sandra


  1. Oh, how good to see a nice long entry from you. I do hope the tide has turned for your family.

  2. So happy things are looking up for your family.

  3. It was so nice to read a good, long "Pennie" post. Your posts about your "everyday life" are always so wonderful. No one else writes like you, Miss Pennie-Sandra!

  4. So sorry I haven't been by dear Pennie. I've been having some medical problems, but hopefully they will be gone in a few weeks. Ovarian cysts hurt like hell!

  5. I am glad that things are going better for your family. Seems like those Chelsea shirts are bringing new friends. Sounds like a true friendship had developed with your friend. That is great that your family now have pizza to eat to save you from cooking.

  6. Great to hear from you, Hows John doing?

  7. That was a treasure of a gift! Book gift cards! I think that is really cool!

  8. Hi Pennie, Lovely to hear from you. How lovely of M, she must love you very much. I could happily lose myself in a bookshop taking time to find the right book for the right time. Reading gives me so much pleasure that would would spend all day with my nose in a book if I could. How nice that you called it football and not soccer. My son supports Arsenal and has no love for Chelsea but then its always like that when you support a team. Football supporters in England are passionate about the "beautiful game" as its sometimes called. :o0

    Love and Hugs

    Sandra xxxx

  9. Hi Penny so pleased things have turned around for you and the family ,Ihad a giggle about your men being chelsea fans ,Your entry sounded very 'brit 'hee hee .love Jan xx

  10. I am happy to see that you are posting. Books are wonderful and I enjoy reading immensely. I couldn't get up this morning as my left hip is getting worse. Medication is helping me, but it is depressing, and I will find out when I get in to see the specialist and have MRI. Last April my lumbar lamenectomy had to be done, and it has helped greatly. Salty and I get out and walk as much as possible. He is in his large pen now, as the temp. is up to 40F, after several days in the teens. I am not on the computer a lot, but get around to journals as I can. You can find my new one, just click on my image/name. mark

  11. So good the hear from you! I am glad that things seem to have turned a corner. Love to all of you.

  12. My son-in-law is a huge Chelsea fan. He and my daughter used to live within walking distance of the stadium in London. Small world.

  13. so good to hear from you and that all is well!

  14. Hi Pennie!!! I was so glad to see that you had posted! Isn't it wonderful when things start to turn around toward the good??? Hope they continue to do so...Wasn't that the swetest gift from your friend??? She knows you so well! Hope you find just the books you want!

  15. Dear Pennie:
    Was so good to read your journal today, and hear your upbeat spirit again. Glad the stressful things are decelerating, and your fun spirit is right back. Love 'ya! LaVern