Monday, November 10, 2014


Retired Not Tired Memory Monday
Retired Not Tired

This Weeks Prompt:  My Family

Well my family started with my Mom and Dad. Here they are in their riding gear. Apparently they belonged to a riding club yet we never went horse back riding while I was growing up. 
Dorothy and Raymond

Here we are, I'm the little one on the left. Mom and Dad, my older brother on the right is Raymond and my sister Darcy is in the middle. My parents were awesome church people and we were raised Presbyterian. They were very involved with the church, decorated it at Christmas along with making up baskets of food and leaving them on doorsteps of those in need in our neighborhood.

This must have been a confirmation for my brother. These are my grandparents, my dad's parents on the left and my mother's parents on the right. 
I believe this was a church booklet photo.
Raymond, Darcy and I' the monkey in the middle! 

My fondest memories were Christmas and family gatherings. They definitely entertained a lot. My parents had a funny tradition when it came to Santa Claus. We would go to church on Christmas Eve, my dad's parents would stay behind at our house. When we came home after church and the Christmas tree lights were on it meant that Santa came! Santa never visited us on Christmas day. 

My dad would put like 10 boxes on tinsel on the tree one strand at a time. It was amazing! Then at one point they went to those aluminum trees which I didn't like at all. 

I remember one year when my brother found where the Santa gifts were hidden. It sure did ruin the surprise. I have made a point of telling my own children never to look for hidden gifts because it takes all the fun away. We had Santa come on Christmas morning for our own children. 

Of course I have memories of my childhood but I also don't have memories because I know there were bad times. I remember hearing fighting, I remember my dad out looking for my mom and the fact that she drank. 

She was a wonderful woman with a heart full of gold but was very troubled. I remember visiting her two different times at hospitals where she seemed out of it. She was obviously drugged and the saddest thing for me now looking back is that I was never told why.  I know that I blocked out a lot of my childhood. 

I do remember going to my grandparents summer home in Union Pier, MI on the weekends in the summer. We would go to the beach and get a Drumstick at the concession stand. We would also walk to the bowling alley to get ice cream cones and go into the dime store in town to look at the candy. 

I do have fond memories of school, some awesome friends and fun at Girl Scouts! I made it through school because the teachers liked me. (Or did they treat me special because they knew) My dad worked nights running the Movie Theater and no one ever made me do my homework. I was the baby in the family and was very spoiled. It has taken me years to learn that I can't always have my way. My own family will back me up on the one! 

My mom passed away at 56 years old due to a massive heart attack. I was around 31 years old at the time. My dad is 91 years old and is doing well living in Florida. 

These are the two houses I grew up in. I was born into the first one and lived there until I was around five years old. The second house is the one I remember and lived there until I was married. We were just down the street from the grade school which took us through 8th grade. 



TexWisGirl said...

your father's mother could so be a relative of mine. :) that stern, large woman looks so much like my father's family. :)

amazing we can 'turn out' like we do. we all have our stories, don't we?

Sandra said...

I like that photo of you and your siblings when you were teens, he is so handsome and you and your sister so pretty.. i don't have a lot of memories of growing up, but sometimes they pop up when i read or hear something. My mother had jodhpurs just like your mothers and wore her hair the same way. the photo of mother in hers she was 16. i think those were the style back then and not for riding. mother never rode a horse.

Nonnie said...

Reading everybody's memories of their families have prompted more thoughts for me of mine. I like your Christmas traditions and your memories of the fun you had. You and your siblings were all good looking. :-) and I can't imagine what it would have been like to be the youngest child. I'm really sorry about your mother, but glad your Dad took care of her.

Terri D said...

I love seeing your photos, and am sad that you had hard lessons to learn, growing up. It is probably a blessing that you have blocked some of the memories. My baby sister was very spoiled too!! LOL I think it goes with the territory! Thanks for sharing your family's story!

retired not tired said...

Our memories are not always good ones however they make us who we are. Great pictures and I love that you included them.

Sharon said...

It sounds like your childhood was a mixture of good and bad. Isn't that the way with life in general? But here you are, shaped by all the things in your life, shaped by God's providential care.

I remember that tinsel!! My mom also tried to use that fiberglass stuff that was supposed to be snow! It was a MESS!!


Chatty Crone said...

I enjoyed seeing all that and hearing about your memories. Times have sure changed haven;t they? I guess the past was mixed with good and bad memories. Still made you into a wonderful woman.

holli said...

Oh my gosh that tinsel!! I remember getting stacks of those ever year to put on the tree. I actually loved the aluminum trees but my mom didn't. I wanted to buy a vintage one and now they are so expensive. The pictures of your parents are awesome. I only have one with my parents together and its damaged. I remember snooping around and I found my presents. Surprisingly I was sad and mad at myself. I ruined it for myself the surprise. I never did it again.
Memories are bitter sweet. I've had some sad childhood memories that I also choose just to push out of my mind. Great post.

Dee said...

I love seeing old photos and hearing the stories behind them. My parents used to buy a lot of tinsel every year, too. I'd forgotten about it until I read this post. I used to love decorating the tree with it... :)

Montanagirl said...

Very nice post. I always enjoy the glimpses we are given into the lives of our bloggie friends.

Empty Nester said...

We didn't have a drinker in the family but there was fighting. My parents divorced when I was 21. I hated it then, I hate it now. I just feel like it ruined everything. Maybe that's why I stuck with the alcoholic I married. Who knows. I don't blame you for blocking out the bad because, let's face it, the good ones are the only ones worth keeping! :)

Mary said...

That's so sad about your mom. I just can't imagine. You seemed to have turned out okay, though! ;)

Jacquelineand.... said...

It seems so many childhood memories centre around holidays; but it takes all those experiences, both good and bad, to make us who we are.

You have built a good life, be proud of yourself for overcoming that early adversity.

Rory Bore said...

beautiful photo of you and your siblings. I love looking at old photos: especially if we are lucky to have ones of grand parents when they were young - its so interesting to see them before they were ever "grandpa" -- or even a dad!
So sorry about your mom. I can certainly relate, and it seems many of us here today can, about parents that struggled with alcohol addictions. The saddest thing is it really can take an otherwise nice and wonderful person and strip them of their finer qualities.

betty said...

Those were great pictures you shared, Debby. Your parents made a good looking couple in their "youth". I am sorry about your mom; I think it would have helped if you perhaps knew some of the stuff going on with her health.

Your memories of growing up at the holidays brought some memories of us doing the same thing. I do remember the tinsel placed very carefully on the tree and then equally having to take it off afterwards. So true about not searching for gifts, it does take away that excitement of Christmas morn.


The Boston Lady said...

Debby, this was interesting to read and I know your memories are mixed. It's all what has contributed to the wonderful person you are today. Big hug, Ann

Secret Agent Woman said...

You look irritated in the confirmation photo.

Sometimes I think my not-so-good childhood at least gave me the ability to be a good therapist, so I try to remain aware of the gift hidden in the sadness.

Michelle F said...

Hi, Debby!

I enjoyed reading this post.
Love your picture. Beautiful!
I had a friend who kept that same style haircut.

The tinsel reminds me of Christmas trees of long ago.
I remember the mess tinsel made, but loved how they looked on the tree.

I am also the baby of the family.
I am still learning to adjust my thinking.


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