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July 20, 2015
bitsofthepast

2 comments

Sunday Storytelling-Be Happy Where you Are

This is a post I wrote about two years ago, and for some reason, I have been thinking a great deal on this subject lately.  Maybe one of you can relate.  Enjoy!

When I was 20, I went on a spiritual retreat.  One day, we were told to be silent.  No talking and on our own as much as possible.  We could eat together, but no talking.  Everyone must remain silent.  We were trying to listen for God’s voice.  Well, I do not know about you guys, but quieting my mind is more difficult than not talking.  I think about everything and worry about more than I should.  When someone says try to listen for God, I freak out.  My mind begins to think constantly about why I do not hear His voice.

Even at age 20, which is almost 20 years ago, I felt this way.  I would like to say that things have changed, but with my anxiety, it has not.

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So that morning, I decided to take a walk.  Our retreat was up in the mountains, next to a beautiful stream with many,many wild flowers.  Oh it was gorgeous!  So I knew I wanted to hike along the stream to look for a place to sit and try to listen.  As I began my walk, I would see the best places to sit and ponder, but they were already taken.  I would get mad and say to myself, “Everyone else has the best place, why can’t I have the same spot?”

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The further I would walk, the more I realized that all the great spots were taken.  Why couldn’t I find a spot like everyone else had?  Why did they get all the good stuff?  Now I was about a mile and a half into my hike, and I was getting so frustrated.  I wanted to hear from God damnit, and I couldn’t because everyone else had the perfect spot. The interesting thing is, I did not turn around and go back, I just kept walking.  I came to a dead spot in the walk where everything seemed to be brown and crunchy.  I became even more mad and actually began yelling at God, as to why he talks to everyone else but me.  Why does he give good gifts to all the others, but me, I get a dead spot?

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Still, I walked.

And walked.

Suddenly, the trail opened up into a huge green meadow.  The meadow was lush, green beautiful, and colorful with newly blossomed wildflowers.  And I realized that God had spoken all along.  And it is a lesson that I have needed to be reminded of.

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The lesson is that I spend a great deal of time looking at other people and what they have.  Not possessions, but family, friends, spiritually.  I get frustrated and wonder why I cannot have what they have.  Why do I get to keep walking?  Why do I have the crunchy dead spots?    But in reality, I do have the most lush green beautiful life. I may have to walk and walk to get there.  I may have to go through the nasty stuff, but when I come out of it, I have beauty.  I have to focus on the beauty in the journey as well, and be happy for the people who are in there beautiful spots.  You see, they had to go through nasty stuff to get there.  I just do not know their story.

Instead of dwelling on what others have and what I do not, it is time to remind myself to be happy for them.  Love them and know that what they have been through to get there has been just as difficult or more so than what I have been through.

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Your time is coming, just keep walking.

Love,

Suzy

July 15, 2015
bitsofthepast

1 comment

Women Who Make a Difference

A few years ago, my Grandma Curtis passed away.  She had been sick a long time, and we expected the end, but somehow with all the preparation, death was still shocking.  My grandma and I are similar in many ways, and as I looked through the pictures, I began to realize how similar we were.

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Here are just a few of them.  My very favorite ones.

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Here is my grandma around high school graduation age.  She loved her high school, as there were only 20 or so in her small farm school in Oklahoma.  Every year, they got together for their reunion, every single one of them.  They even went on cruises together.  She stayed in touch with others so well, and everywhere she went, people would know her.

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This is her sister and her, and don’t they look like they like to have fun?  Trouble.

This is my sister and I when we were little.  That is my grandpa Curtis standing next to us as we travelled to one of our many camping trips.  They loved to travel, and I think this is where I got my love for it as well.  But look at how my sister kept trying to help, and I would have none of it!

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Everyone tried to get me to sit still, but it was no use I liked to go.

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See what I mean?

They could not even keep me in the tent.  My sister is beginning to get frustrated.

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As I got older, my sister became more frustrated.  I thought it was funny then, and I still think it is funny.

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My grandmother had the same mischievous way about her.  I think that is why we would laugh, argue and love so extremely together.  She had spunk, passion, happiness, joy and most importantly love for life.  She loved to go on trips and often talked about their travels around the country.  When I would talk to her about our own trips, she would mention a time when her and my grandfather travelled to that particular place.  It surprised me and didn’t all at once when she would talk about her adventures.  She could not and would not sit still, she even fought against death for so long.  Would not let it happen.

I learned from her how to enjoy and love life.  I learned from her how to argue and debate with the best of them.  I learned to get to know others by her example of knowing everyone in town.  She was an amazing woman, mom, grandmother and friend.  I am so grateful she was a great example of all those to me.

Love and miss you Grandma Curtis!

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July 13, 2015
bitsofthepast

4 comments

Sunday Storytelling-A Journey

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I have been on a journey.  Not the kind you physically go on, but the kind you mentally do.  A journey to find what is most important, and honestly, I am certain I will be on this journey for the rest of my life.

This journey began the moment I was born, but really in the past 5 years, I have thought more about this journey than I ever had.  It did begin with my daughter.  Getting her made me realize right away that what I thought was important, certainly was not as important as my husband and children.  Since then, the journey has led me to quit my job, to start a blog, start a business, to make our house a home.

This journey is continuing and the most amazing discovery is what I thought defined who I am does not.  I thought my career defined me, or being a mom or any of the things listed above.  I thought the physical things defined me, but they do not.  Instead these things are a product of how I have changed, but do not define me personally.

Who am I?  I am someone who cared deeply.  I get my feelings hurt intensely.  I love to have fun.  I love to think, and do not like someone telling me what I should think.  I like to find things out on my own.  I absolutely love to get my hands dirty, and work hard.  I will do anything for you, and I like to go overboard.  I go overboard not because I feel as though I have to, but because I absolutely care in the deepest way possible.  I am strong.  I am weak.  Sometimes both at the same time.  I am a woman who has the privilege of choices and opportunities.  I feel left out easily.

I am not defined by a career or as a parent.  I am not defined by the women who have come before me, although I may have characteristics of them.  I am not defined by the home I live in, or how many children I have or how I choose to homeschool.  I am not defined by my race or ethnicity.

I am unique, yet the same as everyone else.

I have no idea where this journey is taking me, and it is so confusing yet comforting all at once.  I am excited to find out more about this person I am becoming, this person that has been waiting to emerge for so long.  I am excited to meet you all as well, and see where you are on your journeys.

My journey is different from yours, and that is the beauty of this life.  We are unique, yet we live together.

What journey are you on?

Here’s to the journey!

Love,

Suzy

July 13, 2015
bitsofthepast

1 comment

Other Ways to Learn More

Hello everyone!

I hope you had a wonderful weekend.  Ours was pretty unexciting which is a good thing.  Lots of yard work was done, and then we had some friends over yesterday for a relaxing Sunday evening.

I wanted to tell you guys about my other two blogs.

This one, I consider my personal blog.  You will get all the day to day updates and family pictures here.  But I also have a cooking blog as well.  This blog includes modern and vintage recipes, and even gives some of my favorite cooking tools and stories.  You can get to it by going to the right side of the screen and clicking on the “In the Kitchen-Vintage and New Recipes.  You can also click here: Bits of the Past Cooking.

The other blog is all about vintage.  Bits of the Past offers history on items, philosophies and fun decorating tips.  You can find this by going to the side and clicking on the Vintage and Antiques section.  Or you can go here:  Bits of the Past.

Lastly, you can also just go to the website everyday and get all the links from there.  It will lead you to this blog, Bits of the Past, Bits of the Past Cooking and even my store.

Here is my website link.

Bits of the Past and Present

Hope to see you all there!

July 10, 2015
bitsofthepast

2 comments

Braces and Teeth

Disclaimer:  If you have a sensitive stomach or are sensitive to teeth, please proceed with caution!

Yesterday, Little Bit lost two teeth.

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Well I guess I cannot really say lost, since they could not come out of her mouth.

We thought it was pretty hilarious that the same molar was lost on both sides in the same day.

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But we also thought it was so gross when she tried to eat.  Both teeth would not stay in place, so she could only eat mashed potatoes last night and this morning until we got her to the orthodontist.

They are fixed, and she is happy to eat again.

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We are very happy for her too!

Have a wonderful Weekend Everyone!

Love,

Suzy

July 10, 2015
bitsofthepast

1 comment

Garden Update

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Our garden has been somewhat neglected this year.  Our hearts just are not in it as usual.  But even with the lack of interest, we were surprised by the amount of harvest we had the other night!

Our radishes were all ready to be picked.  Still have no idea what to do with them, so if you have any ideas please let me know!

Tonight to celebrate our potato bounty, we had mashed potatoes, and gravy with made with our onions from our garden.

So with this surprise bounty, we have been re-inspired to garden.

I am excited about the next!

Love,

Suzy

July 9, 2015
bitsofthepast

3 comments

Making a Difference

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Yes, I know it is Thursday, but every Wednesday, I would like to post a story about an everyday woman who makes, or has made a huge difference in the lives of others.  I think we forget that just bravely living the day to day is a major difference maker in the world.  I will be posting about women I know who I have been impacted by, and at some point if you would like to suggest a woman or write about women you know on your own blogs, that would be amazing.

So here we go. The first woman I would like to write about is My Grandma Helberg.  Unfortunately she passed away a few years ago, but she has still made an impact on my day to day life and I have a feeling will do so as long as I live.

She was born and raised in Oklahoma in the 1920’s and grew up extremely poor.  When I talked to her about her childhood she said that there was a time when her and her siblings lived in a barn and for Christmas only received an orange.  She had one of her parents die in her arms and helped take care of her siblings, whom were all close to the end.  She never mentioned any of these hard times until asked.  She never complained about them, instead looked back on them with fond memories.  When she met my grandfather, they fell in love and got married.  The day after they got married, my grandfather left for WWII for two years, and she did not hear from him except for one six page letter and a letter telling her she was wounded.  How did I find out about this?  When my own husband was gone for six months, I would sit and talk with her. When she told me this, I realized then, that it could always be worse.

This is just her background, but le me tell you about the woman I knew, and admired.  She loved with her whole heart.  She wanted all to feel welcome in her home and went out of her way to make sure the house was stocked with food at all times.  I truly believe she did not do this out of obligation, but instead to make sure you knew you were welcome for lunch.  Still to this day, I see Little Debbie snack cakes and remember fondly my grandmother.

She was a school cook for a very, very long time at a small Lutheran school in Oklahoma.  Pretty sure 150-200 kids everyday were fed.  For some of those kids it was their only hot meal during the day.  When I say cooked, I do not mean freezer school food that we all remember.  I mean from scratch.  She would go into work at 5am every weekday morning and make homemade hot rolls, homemade cakes, meat and veggies.  She would even prepare enough for seconds, and inspect every child’s plate to make sure they ate their veggies before giving them seconds.  She cared, and they all the kids knew it.

Shortly after she retired my grandfather passed away.  The school teachers came to visit and requested that she return as a teachers aid.  For years she had her own classroom where kids would come for extra help before, during and after school.  Again, the kids knew she cared from the bottom of her heart.  Whatever she did, she did it with love and care and hardly a complaint.

Why should any of this matter?  Because what she did made an impact on the lives of hundreds of people.  She never bragged or wanted accolades.  She never did it to get ahead or to prove that she was a capable woman and deserved credit.  She did it because she loved everyone she met.  She did it because she loved it.  SO often as women, we think we must prove our worthiness.  But what do we consider worthiness?  Worthiness is doing a kick ass job wherever you are at.  That could be at home, in the office etc.  It is doing a kick ass not out of obligation, but out of the courage to accept the place where you are, and support those who are at a different place.  It means no comparing, just supporting.  This is what my grandmother taught me.  It is not about the bad cards you have been dealt, it is about what you have decided to make of them.

I will be eternally grateful to my Grandmother for teaching me to bravely live my everyday.  Never think your life is simple and plain, because it never is that simple.  You have the power to influence so many people on a daily basis, so do it with all your heart.

Here’s to making a difference.

Love,

Suzy

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