Feb 22

365 Grateful Days ~ Ordinary Moments in Photos ~ Day 52

Today I am thankful for all the moments I have to look forward to in the next 4 years that will fly by in the blink of an eye and the beat of my heart. I found this photo on my desktop and it’s perfect for now as this photo was taken in 2008 when my daughter Brittaney graduated from Narragansett and this was her boyfriends cap. When he asked to put it on he was so cute with his toothless smile and I caught my breath because standing right there in front of me was my baby wearing his future. I had to take a photo because it was the second I realized he was my last, for real. My little boy was going to grow up and there was no way I could stop time. In this moment I saw lots of moments because I had been through it 4 times already with the other kids and not just graduation, but first girl friends, first dance, first prom, 8th grade graduation, learners permits, drivers license, first car and all those other little things in between that don’t seem big, but they are.

I don’t believe I will call myself an empty nester because of the age gap between the first and the last is 13 years I am hoping to be a Grammy so there will always be those little feet growing up in our house.  Even if I am not a Grammy in the next 4 years it will be ok because I know Zach is on his way to being independent and embarking on his own journey and I’ve tried my best to help my kids be what they choose to be.  It’s not easy letting go and I am a bit slow to process that sometimes, but I always come around.    I am looking forward to the Spring dance and hoping Zach will go as that is a memory I want to share with him like the other kids and then it will be 8th grade graduation.  That moment where your teenager is on that precipice of the adulthood jump and journey.

This photo grounds me right into the present because looking too far ahead only makes you lose sight what is happening right now.  This photo allows me to see what is to come and to appreciate all the days we have to get there and that the moments will be that much sweeter for me.  This photo also reminds me that he was little and he is learning and growing and trying to find his way and being a teenager isn’t easy.  So, when I wonder what has gotten into him and how will we survive this stage, I can look at this picture and know he is exactly who and where he should be in any given moment he is at.

This photo reminds me of how blessed I am to have all of them and how much I have learned from them and what a better person they make me.  I am grateful to be called their Mom and that I can share in this last journey for me with Zach through school, but the beginning of his high school journey and on to graduation.

 

Zach 2008

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Feb 21

365 Grateful Days ~ Ordinary Moments in Photos ~ Day 51

Today I am grateful that we have a way to preserve moments in time that can be kept to look at and not just in our hearts and minds.  Pictures.  It’s great to look at them right after we take them so we know we can take another if someone closed their eyes or made a goofy face or the lighting was wrong.  Remember the days when you had to take film to the store and wait days and days for them to be developed only to realize you never had a flash or they were double exposed or… they got lost.  I still have my Minolta 35mm from when I graduated and I do use it on occasion.  Then along came the polaroid and BAM, here were instant photos and that was a blast!  I still have many of those pics and me and my friends would goof off taking photos of ourselves or nothing.

As much as I love looking at photos from a special event days after it happened, I more love looking through my pics now of years gone by at weddings, baby showers, birthdays, Christmas and just days of having a good time and bringing along my camera.  Thank goodness for cell phones too as I can capture moments and I don’t have to drag out my camera.  As the years have gone by and my kids have grown and flown the coop it’s so much harder to get them all together for a photo so the ones I do have with all of them, I treasure.  This one is from the wedding rehearsal dinner of my oldest and his bride to be.  These are all my kids and my daughter in law has been in our lives  since they were in in Junior High so we have more years with her than without.

When you go through photos at a much later time the pictures you see are once again a surprise as I had forgotten I had taken this one of them all and I am so grateful to have it with all of them in one place at one time celebrating a new beginning for a son, a bride and our family as a whole.  I can see each of their personalities in the way they are standing and they way they are smiling.  This was a happy time and a very special night and I will always be grateful for this moment that I have and can look at on my computer, in a frame or in my hands.

Wedding Rehearsal Dinner

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Feb 20

365 Grateful Days ~ Ordinary Moments in Photos ~ Day 50

Grateful.  It’s an adjective or an adverb or a noun depending on how you use the word.  It describes an appreciative attitude toward something or someone.  Some like words are thankful, favorable and pleasant.  I believe grateful should be like love ~ an action.  It’s something you can choose to be.   Love isn’t just an emotion, it’s a way to show others affection, adoration, attention and thoughtfulness.  Love is an attitude and an action toward someone else even when we may not want to have that loving feeling or do the loving action.  We CHOOSE to love through that bump in the road or blip in the nice or that bad attitude standing in front of us.

We can choose to smile or choose to frown.  We can choose happy or choose sad.  We can choose nice or choose nasty.  We can choose love or choose hate.  We can choose grateful or choose unappreciative.  We can choose this in any given moment.

Life isn’t a bowl of ice cream.  It’s not always a bed of daisies or a box of chocolates.  It’s up, down, sideways and backwards, but it’s what we focus on in those moments that may define the outcome or what we dwell on.  No, I don’t look at life with rose colored glasses, but to step back and have an action of grateful in a moment of madness helps me to see more clearly what’s right in front of me.    Taking a breath and slowing my thoughts allows me to choose even something small to be grateful for and may diffuse a bad situation.  That’s love in motion.

Choose grateful, thankful, appreciative and pleasant and love, happy and smiles always follow.  Here’s some things I am grateful for that fill my heart with wonder, make me know there is something bigger out there, and make me take that small breath in because there are no words, it’s just grateful love.

  • holding a baby
  • dinner with family
  • a hug
  • a hello
  • trees
  • the moon
  • a rainbow
  • sunshine
  • puffy clouds
  • laughter
  • puppies
  • butterflies
  • the first snow
  • waves
  • sunrise and sunset

Don’t let grateful just be an adjective to describe something you saw or felt.  Choose to be that.  Choose to have that as your way of life.  Choosing grateful brings all the amazing goodness to the surface and makes the verb love so much easier.

I’m grateful for you.  I’m grateful you have taken the time to read this.  I’m grateful I can write.

Be Thankful

 

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Feb 19

365 Grateful Days ~ Ordinary Moments in Photos ~ Day 49

Today I am grateful for the place I call home and the history that has come before.

Templeton, what it must have been like when the soldiers were given land here and had to clear it all and forge new ground to house their families, grow crops, fight the wild and begin a whole new life.  Imagine being a pioneer 250 some odd years ago, coming to the middle of this land and saying into the woods ~ ” Narragansett No. 6, I am hereby declaring you and from the cutting of this tree we will begin a new partnership with these fine folks that have come together and we will call you Templetown.”.  And so it begins and this will NOT be an accurate historical account ~ remember I am a storyteller ….

The trees were cleared and up went the first log homes and then the first frame house yonder on the South Road and all the people would gather there on Sunday’s for services and to discuss plans to keep moving ahead.  There was a sawmill and still more homes were built and together as a community there were barn raisings.  Crops were grown and shared amongst the village along with supplies and tools.  The church, general store, grange hall, the tinsmith and blacksmith, a school, the clock maker, the painters, the inventors, the peddlers and then they spread out to the other sections of the land.  So, what’s my point here?  Well, imagine what it was like to be a kid in these days.  What would their life be like and what might their memories be of growing up here. This is what I think.

They helped with the chores and they went to the one room schoolhouse.  During their recess they would play, hide and seek, stickball, running races to see who was faster the girls or the boys.  There were stories to be told of the moaning at Princess Rock. If they could get away long enough and not be caught, they would dare someone to go out and sit upon the rock and if they were really brave it would be at night.  Many years later they would tell stories of the Greatest Load.  The excitement would be uncontainable when the Peddler came to town with his wares and they would run home to get pennies to purchase some small treasure.  Homework was done by candlelight and after dinner was finished then they would read in the common room before retiring to bed.  They would whisper with their siblings into the night about what it would be like to ride a horse beyond the woods of Templetown and what they would see.  They would invite folks that were traveling through town into their homes for dinner and then around the fireplace would ask them to share what it was like in their part of the woods.  Games involved sticks and stones and a great imagination.

I would like to have lived back then as I think it would have been hard times, but it was a simpler way and I would be a part of the beginning of the amazing town I live in today and the stories would be ones I have actually lived.

This building is where our history lives.

A Home for the Past

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Feb 18

365 Grateful Days ~ Ordinary Moments in Photos ~ Day 48

Everyday I am grateful for my childhood home and this is where my Dad & Stepmom still live today. I lived at the zoo. The Narragansett Park to be exact.  Although it was no longer a zoo when we moved in, my Dad used to tell us stories about it all the time. Our home is the original homestead and the zoo stretched for many acres to the back of the house and ran past Starfire Avenue and up South Road toward the first original frame house that is now resided in by the Young family.

My father tells of a monkey that lived in the house, a bear, goats, cows, horses and many other kinds of farm animals and wildlife. There was a nickel admission to get in and they would walk there from their house way down on Dudley Road. There is a garret in up at the top landing of our stairs and we were forbidden to go in there and my father would tell us it was where they kept the animals and there were bones and such. Ya, later on in life I found out that’s where they hid the Christmas presents each year. Nice one Dad!

Every day was an adventure for an 8, 6 and 4 year old on the property finding bones of one sort or another, what we would call fossils and all kinds of other “wild things”. There was a red barn too and we would hang around and make up farm stories and pretend to care for the wild animals that lived with us. I always wondered what it was like to have a monkey for a pet, so of course we would ask for one and no, we never got one.  Life on the former Narragansett Park or as we called it the Haley Farm and Zoo was great fun.  I miss the lazy days of stories and growing up knowing we lived in one of the hot spots of Templeton.

I don’t know many people that can say they lived at a zoo, but I joke all the time with having such a large family I raised one.  If you remember anything about Narragansett Park and the Mailloux’s, please share as you know Tuesday Girl loves a good story!

Original Homestead Narragansett Park

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Feb 18

365 Grateful Days ~ Ordinary Moments in Photos ~ Day 47

Today I am grateful for our Boynton Public Library named after John Boynton a resident of Templeton. Originally the library was over across the way at the Colonol Lee Artemis building aka The Country Store and to open the funds were given by Mr. Boynton’s partner, Attorney David Whitcomb with the caveat that it be free public library.  For 12 years in rooms on the upper for of the Artemis building the library was kept and then in 1885 with $2,000 appropriated by the town, construction began where the library now sits.

This building represents a place to learn and grow at any age. Walk inside and open a book and you can go places you’ve only dreamed about. Go back in time, go to outer space, take a ride to the future or stand right beside someone as they are headed to the moon. Speaking of going back in time, walking down Boynton Street is a walk through history the homes have been there for more than 100 years and each has it’s own unique charm, character and historical significance.  Did you know that there was another church on the Common between the library and the parsonage?  Well, that’s a story for another post….

When you are at the library you can read a story to your children, pick some books with them and for yourself. Find a book to read to a loved one in the hospital, nursing home or a friend or family member that may be recovering at home.

We are very lucky to have such an amazing little library that opens up a world of possibilities to everyone that walks through those doors. We are more than grateful to a librarian that cares deeply for the building, the books inside, but more importantly those that she works with and those that come inside to visit.

The Boynton Public Library ~ a place where your imagination can take you anywhere you choose and since I love a good story I need to spend much more time here than I do now.

Boynton Public Library

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Feb 16

365 Grateful Days ~ Ordinary Moments in Photos ~ Day 46

Today I am grateful for an amazing career as a Realtor, real estate family and most importantly my clients.  Being a Realtor means helping others realize their dreams.  Helping them on that journey is an honor and a privilege and I take that to heart.  In this part of North Central Mass we have top notch agents and we all work together for the greater good on both sides of the table, sellers and buyers.  We are not only business associates, we are friends.  Prior to selling homes, I was in lending,every facet of that for over 20 years, and that’s where the relationships started and it was a great head start when I decided to become a Realtor as it was so much easier to work with people you know.  Many of the Realtors I have as friends I look up to as mentors and I have learned so much from.  When you surround yourself with people that are successful in many different ways, including top producers, you are naturally affected by that and these friends have pushed me to be all that I can be.  I am also grateful to be working with REMAX Property Promotions because there I am definitely surrounded by top producers, Realtors that have been in the business a long time and wonderful broker/owners.  I am very lucky to have amazing role models.

My clients.  I can say over the last 8 years I have THE best clients anyone could ask for.  I have help over 80 families realize the dream of homeownership.  To me, there is no greater journey to be on because it’s the largest investment you will ever make.  It’s emotional and it’s very hard not to have those emotions right along side the people you are helping.  When they are excited, I am too.  When they are nervous, so am I.  When my clients have been disappointed, so am I.  We ride the same roller coaster and I think that is what make a Realtor different from other types of sales transactions.

Many of my clients are my neighbors here in Templeton and the surrounding towns.  I was able to help my son and daughter in law buy their first home and what a great feeling that is.  I am happy to say I stay in touch with my past clients and really love to see what they are up to and hear about things going on their lives.  One of my most hectic and memorable closings was at a hospital while they were in labor ~ they gave birth to a healthy baby girl later that day.  It touches my heart to see engagements, weddings, new pets, babies, grandbabies, graduations and other important life events in the lives of my clients.  These are the events that make a house a home and I help them get from just thinking about it, to realizing it.

Thank you to all the clients that have trusted me to be their Realtor.  Thank you for all the referrals you send to me because your experience was everything you needed it to be.  Thank you for also trusting me and reaching out to me with other resources you may need.

This year my goal is surpass 100 homes so I need to help 15+ families this year find their dream.   Want to help me with that?  Realizing my goal will help you realize yours… finding that house you will make your home.

Top Producer 2015

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Feb 15

365 Grateful Days ~ Ordinary Moments in Photos ~ Day 45

Today I am grateful for my crock pot, my baking pans, recipes I have and can find online and my love of cooking. It’s been a tradition during the Winter that when a snow storm is coming you’ll find Mom in the kitchen whipping up a storm of her own.   So, when the rest of New England is running out for bread and milk, this gal is running out for all the ingredients to cook for an Army and like we might be snowed in for a week.  Oh wait, we have been!  My family has lucked out every weekend as I’ve been at the stove while they’ve been out plowing and shoveling.

I love to bake more than I love to cook, but I have fallen in love again with my crock pot.  Today’s special was beef stew and for dessert it’s cookies.  I also made brownies and a pumpkin, cream cheese crescent concoction as I needed to use up some items before they went bad.  My house smells soooo good and it’s warm enough inside that I can open the porch door and let in a bit of chilly air.   Zach likes to help me pick out a menu or asks me about things I can make or bake and that has been fun picking out things he will like too.  He’s picky, but he’s getting better about trying new things.

I am so thankful I have a warm home, a working stove, money to buy the food and for a great meal and desserts at our table.  The next snow is coming Tuesday, my favorite day of the week, and I wonder what I should make next…

 

Cooking for Snow Days

Cooking for Snow Days (1)

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Feb 14

365 Grateful Days ~ Ordinary Moments in Photos ~ Day 35

I am grateful that Elijah had the most caring, thoughtful, loving, teaching and fun day care provider in the world.  This was an “indoor beach day” because they couldn’t be outside, so why not still enjoy the time!  Julie was his world when I was at work.  Her whole family was his world and he was there for several years so I got to watch them all grow up too.  She wasn’t just a day care provider, she was a partner in parenting and teaching.  Elijah had a lot of health issues related to asthma when he was little and I couldn’t always take the time off of work and Julie would give him all his treatments and took great care of him.  She taught him his alphabet and numbers and about nature and colors and about life skills like teamwork, sharing, loving, saying sorry, manners and caring about others around him.  I couldn’t have asked for a better partner in helping me raise Elijah and I know he loved her and the family and he misses her to this day.  When he has time, he stops in to say hello and she always appreciates that.

It’s tough being a working mom and feeling like you can’t be there all the time and calling in sick sometimes isn’t an option yet there is guilt for not doing so.  Well, I had a person I could trust and who loved him just as I did and she was always there.  His first day of school, she was there right along with me crying as he got on the bus as that was her baby too going off to school.  I wasn’t there when he got off the bus, but she was and that was just as good.  There were many special firsts and moments she shared with Elijah and I will always be grateful for the love and security she provided for him.  This photo reminds me of just how much fun he had there and how instrumental Julie was in making him the wonderful young man he is today.

Elijah Beach Party

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Feb 14

365 Grateful Days ~ Ordinary Moments in Photos ~ Day 44

Today I am grateful to live in such a wonderful community. I love wandering our town and reading of our history. I especially enjoy our Common. During the Spring it’s a wonder to watch it all come to life in nature and with people. As the buds are coming back out on the trees, so to do the people come out of hiding from the Winter. After the trees begin to bloom with life the flowers follow suit like waking up from a long nap and yawning and stretching. The kids going to prom in May gather on the Common to have pictures taken with their dates, classmates, friends, family, teachers and you’ll see many from the community stop as it’s a joy to see all the colorful gowns and all those happy smiles.

The Summer is lush green and invites us to lay in the grass or play catch, take it easy and have a picnic with family and friends and see our neighbors more. The weddings at the First Church will spill out the doors and we’ll catch a glimpse of the stunning bride and groom and wedding party and that always brings memories of our own and smiles from our heart and inside we wish them well. The garden behind the historical society is in full bloom and they serve tea and desserts on the weekends and it’s a special place to go and enjoy a look at our history.

The Fall has the Craft Fair with vendors and food and the Historical Society and Church are open too. It’s always the 3rd weekend in August and it brings our community together for a fun time. We come out to see one another, the kids have their faces painted, we shop for gifts for for ourselves and meet our friends and neighbors. There is music and other fun events during the weekend so coming for both days is a great time.

I enjoy sitting on the steps of the bandstand and just taking it all in. I like walking the common and taking photos behind the First Church, on Boynton Street and in the garden across the way. I like waving to people I know as they go about their day or taking to my neighbors if they happen by. I love our small town and I wouldn’t want to be anywhere else. Our Common is the quaint New England scenery that we get to enjoy every single day.

The Common

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