Whatever Lola Wants, Lola Gets

The words belong to a popular song written by Richard Adler and Jerry Ross for the 1955 musical Damn Yankees. I often felt my furry friend was aptly named. I moved to a new area a couple years after my husband died. New neighborhood–new pet seemed like a great idea.I had lost my lovable Chocolate Lab the year before.,My four granddaughters who lived closest to me helped me choose a pup. They and then I fell in love with Pug puppies we saw on the internet. We picked up a chubby ten-week-old Pug that became my constant companion. Lola was perfect for me. She was funny and loving and loyal. I got used to her being wherever I was in the house and later in an apartment. She comforted me with her snuggles when I left an unhappy situation and she kept me busy and occupied when I was lonesome during the early days of the COVID pandemic. Lately, typical of older pets, Lola spent more time sleeping, only occasionally moved to play with her toys. But she never lost her love of people. Extremely social, she would drag me toward people I didn’t know outside my building with her tail wagging, and seemingly saying “Hey, I’m here! I’d like to get to know you.” She could be annoying with her television habit. She would react and bark at any animals on the TV. Once she aged to around 11, Lola became deaf so trying to quiet her during her TV watching was difficult. I took her to the Emergency Vet Hospital on Sunday because she was having difficulty breathing and her abdomen seemed distended. She fell over in the dog yard and could walk only a few steps and would lay down, completely spent. She ate and drank normally even then. In the hospital, the ultrasound showed a tumor which seemed to be in her spleen. There was to be a further scan of some sort the next morning and possible surgery if the growth was confined to the spleen. At thirteen, she had been strong, but I knew I would have a difficult decision to make. At three a.m. she ate chicken and the staff said she seemed more comfortable, but at the next check–she was gone. Lola was a stubborn girl. I think she heard talk of surgery and thought, “Nope, not doin’that” She died on her own terms and took away my problem of deciding her fate. For that I have to be thankful.

I am so sad and nothing looks normal in my home. Without her toys, her dish, her bed. All who have ever lost a pet know what I’m talking about. I thank God for the 13 years and 3 months of her life which blessed me every day. Rest in peace dear Lola.

Mothers of Varied Types

“The influence of a mother in the lives of her children is beyond calculation.”

James E. Faust

What sort of mother do you or did you have? There are homebody moms, executive moms, teacher moms and some who seem to do it all–and with grace and efficiency.

My mom was a housewife most of her childrearing years. When I was about nine or ten, she went to work and continued to work as a practical nurse until she finally retired. She was not a demonstrative type–not a hugger. I remember falling asleep in the car and my head would land on the fur-like collar of her winter coat. She allowed me to rest there, but she didn’t put her arm around me. In our family you were expected to bring home good report cards–there were no rewards like I heard about from my friends. She didn’t show her feelings or talk about them much. I was sick and asked if I should go to school. She said, “You know how you feel.” We were expected to go to school unless seriously ill.

I learned about her love from the things she did for me and my sisters. When I wanted to go skating as a girl of twelve or thirteen, she would rummage in her purse and come up with the fifty-cents it would cost, even though it seemed there was no money. Sometimes there was money and more often not, because of the way my father worked. He was likely to drink a lot of his pay on the way home from work. But we always had a garden and raised a beef or hog for our meat. Mom could rustle up a delicious meal when someone stopped to visit with the canned items from the basement.

That was the way she showed love, by making good meals and showing hospitality.

Because of the way she was, I determined to show my love for my kids more openly and tell them often how much they meant to me.

Regardless of the kind of mother–they are worthy of our respect and thanks, in most cases. If you didn’t experience a mother’s love; determine to do better in your life. Thank the stand-in mothers in your life, the aunts, teachers, and others who influenced your growing and learning.

I can think of a couple other women who were role models for me and helped me become the person I am. Thank you all!

#Faith,#family#comments#Life is good#Thankful

Childhood Christmases

“Christmas waves a magic wand over this world, and behold, everything is softer and more beautiful.”

Norman Vincent Peale

A neighbor shared some oranges with me today and that was all it took to send my mind back over seventy years to my childhood. My bus driver would give each of us an orange and a candy cane as he delivered us home for Christmas break. In my rural neighborhood, there was a man who became Santa and went house to house where there were kids. He had prearranged the visit with the parents so we received one gift that was something we had asked for. It worked well for small ones, but when Santa pulled my present out of the bag, I recognized the wrapping paper from the chest upstairs and the “jig was up.”

Of course, if I hadn’t been snooping around, my innocence might have been preserved a little longer.

When I read down the list of the so-called traditions of Christmas, I have experienced many of them. I have gone caroling and we always put on a Christmas play at church. We always had a real tree and if I close my eyes I can almost conjure the scent of pine. One of my memories of pine is a little different.

We had two very large pines behind our house on the edge of a field where we usually planted the garden. One day we came home from town after dark and as the headlights swung over our property my dad let out a yell. “What the Hell?” Someone had cut the entire top out of one of our pines. It was quite a feat considering the height of the tree!

Even though 2020 has been a tough year for everyone, I still sense a little excitement in the air as Christmas approaches. Masked people dart through the stores, being careful, but with a purpose in their steps. Secret bags of cookies or cards are being shared by thoughtful neighbors. When the big snow hit a couple days ago, many were out early to shovel and help clean the windshields for others. A kind gentleman shoveled paths through the snow in my neighborhood, so that the owners of small dogs could find a place for the pets to “go.”

When a Savior came to bring love and peace, He brought it for all. He is still showing the way even in 2020 if we have eyes to see, ears to hear and hearts of love. Peace, love, and joy to all!

If I could give you just one thing,
I'd give you joy that would make your heart sing.
A joy and a peace that was brought to strangers,
When a young mother laid a babe in a manger.
ccousins