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Showing posts from 2010

Magical Moment 330, "3...2...1...Happy New Year!"

"We will open the book. Its pages are blank. We are going to put words on them ourselves. The book is called Opportunity, and its first chapter is New Year's Day." -Edith Lovejoy Pierce
Tomorrow morning, we will travel nearly 2,000 miles back to our New Jersey home. We've visited Eddie's family in Texas, and my family in Nebraska. Something that's never been done before and may not be done again for a very long time. 
Tomorrow morning begins a new year with new chances and possibilities. But tonight, I can think of no better way to spend New Year's Eve, than with my three favorite guys.

Magical Moment 329, "I Saw My Grandpa Today"

I saw my grandpa today. It's been a few years for me now. I drove out quite a way, through the country where farmers plow.
Out past the school with only one room Where Grandpa went as a kid. Now it's deserted as a tomb, With field mice and birds amid.
And when I arrived at Grandpa's place I didn't play like before. It was a small, quiet, and gentle space, And I couldn't roughhouse anymore.
We talked mostly of the changing times, The bait shop is closed now too. "Did you know my last name is now Grimes?" He wasn't there, but he knew.
Not much else to speak of and yet, I lingered there for a while. Among Iris, Rosemary, and Violet, I bid goodbye with a smile.
I saw my Grandpa today. It's been a few years for me now. And I left a wet tear on the ground where he lay, "I'll come back soon," I vow.

Magical Moment 328, "Be Right There"

I settled down for a quiet evening in. Jammies on with my thick slipper socks, a movie picked out, and left over cookies and milk for a snack. It was one of my last nights "home" before we drove back to New Jersey. As soon as I cozied up into a warm, thick blanket, my phone rang. 

"Hi Aunt Beth! Can you come over and read us a bed time story?" asked my 4-year old nephew.
I paused for only a moment and considered a child-friendly way to say no. I would see him in the morning after all. Luckily though, I thought again. 

In a few nights, I won't be 4 1/2 minutes away from my nephews, but 1,293 miles away. And should they call and want to play, or read a bedtime story, I won't have a choice anymore. 

"Yes sweety. I'll be right there."

Magical Moment 327, "Abuelas"

I've never won the lottery. I don't win contests, drawings, or raffles. But somehow, miraculously, the 2 best Grandmas on the planet are mine! How it happened, I can't say. All I can do is be grateful. Come to think of it, on our trip home to Texas and Nebraska, we've been surrounded by quite a few wonderful Grandmas.

                        "Grandmothers are just antique little girls."  ~Author Unknown

"Grandma always made you feel she had been waiting to see just you all day and now the day was complete."  ~Marcy DeMaree
"There's no place like home except Grandma's."  ~Author Unknown
"Grandmother-grandchild relationships are simple.  Grandmas are short on criticism and long on love."  ~Author Unknown
"A grandmother is a babysitter who watches the kids instead of the television."   ~Author Unknown
"A grandmother pretends she doesn't know who you are on Halloween."   ~Erma Bombeck

A few other "Grandma&…

Magical Moment 326, "The Sounds of Bedtime"

It starts with the phrase, "Okay, jammies on!" Next we hear one great yawn.
A groan or two will naturally follow. "Gulp," as the the milk goes down with a swallow.
A bedtime story is read allowed Of bears and bunnies and birds on a cloud.  
"Goodnight mommy. Goodnight Aunt Beth. "Goodnight Uncle Eddie," he takes a short breath.
"Goodnight Ironman, and Spiderman too." (Pet fish after all deserve a proper adieu.)
"Good night dear Jesus, and thanks for my mom." Finally he's tucked in, and all is calm.
And the final sound, makes barely a noise. Just silent dreams, and a whisper, "Goodnight, sweet boys."

Magical Moment 325, "A Lincolnite Comes Home"

I am a 3rd generation "Lincolnite." That means, like both my parents, and all my grandparents, I was born and raised in Lincoln, Nebraska. We have an odd camaraderie in this part of the state. Recognized nationally for only our football team and being the home of Warren Buffet, I get some strange reactions when I tell people I'm from Nebraska. Specifically, I remember once as a little girl on vacation in Colorado. A woman from a different state asked me where I was from, and when I said "Nebraska," she replied with, "What state is that in?"
But if you are from Nebraska, specifically the Lincoln area, you'll find that we have very strong feelings about our home. Pla mor Ballroom, O Street, Lee's Chicken, Pioneers Park, the State Fair, the stadium, the Hay Market, and the Capitol Building, are all things that you could mention to any of us, and we would immediately light up with recognition and pride. 
I've been away from my Lincoln home for n…

Magical Moment 324, "Christmas Magic Moments"

Merry Christmas! Today has been full of magical moments. Here are my family's favorite moments so far:
My mother's magical moment, was opening her gift from her daughters. A set of hand-painted Ne' Qwa Art Nativity ornaments. 
My father's magical moment, was sitting at the beautifully set Holiday dinner table, looking around at all his family.
Eddie's magical moment, was when little Trace saw him, and immediately reached out to him. Trace never reached for another person the whole night.

My older sister's magical moment, was watching her boys being unconditionally showered with love by their Aunt and Uncle.

My little sister's magical moment, was after Christmas Eve dinner. She was hand-washing the china and I stood behind her, french braiding her long, black, beautiful hair.

Mine, was Christmas morning, when little Zach brought me a book to read and sat on my lap. Only a few seconds later, Ethan came over and sat on my other knee. We read the story of the baby…

Magical Moment 323, "Like Mother Like Daughter"

Eddie and I are on the second half of our Christmas trip. After a week with Eddie's family in Texas, we drove 10 hours straight north to Lincoln, NE where I'm from. Only two hours into our trip, we crossed the Oklahoma border. Upon first site of an Oklahoma oil pump, an old memory was triggered and I told Eddie this story.

My mother lived in Oklahoma when she was younger and to this day dreams of going back. On a family vacation when I was 16, we drove to Florida passing through Oklahoma on the way. This was the first time my mom had been back for years. Sitting in the front seat of the car, she suddenly squealed with such excitement, randomness, and intensity, that everyone in the car jumped a mile in the air. I was terrified that maybe we hit an animal in the road or something horrible. When my mother calmed down, she explained that she had seen an oil pump, and it simply reminded her of a happy childhood memory that she hadn't thought of for years. I told Eddie this sto…

Magical Moment 322, "Cradle Song"

I learned the song, "Wiegala" a few years ago when I was asked to choose and play 2 songs for a Holocaust Remembrance Observance in the Army. I was drawn to this song because of its simple, haunting beauty. It's a lullaby meaning "cradle song" and was heard in work camps as mothers tried to sooth their frightened children. With my great interest in World War II, this song has come to mean a great deal to me.

This video is from the Play Me, I'm Yours project and was taken at Central Park's Merchant Gate.
To see photos from the Play Me I'm Yours project, click here.
To see more videos, click here.

Magical Moment 321, "What's in a Gift?"

I put great thought and care into the Christmas presents I got for my loved ones this year. Gifts are one way I can to say to someone, "I appreciate you, care for you, think about you." Although they may not be expensive or extravagant, I hope that when they are opened, the receiver will feel special and know that I care for and value them.

And the reason I think this has been heavy on my mind this year, is because I've been quite fortunate in the gifts I've received...from my husband. Not just at Christmas, not just on our anniversary, not just for my birthday. But the flowers I receive when he comes home from the grocery store on a Tuesday. Or the fuzzy socks he saw at Wal-mart and thought of me when he stopped to get anti-freeze for the car. Or the Chewy Sweetarts he grabbed at a gas station because he knows those are my favorite.

These gifts have been a reflection of Eddie's feelings for me, his love, his thoughts, his heart. It comes out in his gifts. What i…

Magical Moment 320, "Cute Critters (and Animals)"

We took our niece and nephew to the zoo in Gainesville, TX today. I held 2-year old Evie in my arms and pointed to a goat in the distance. "Look Evie, that goat only has one horn!" (The other horn had broken off). "It's a unicorn." she said. I suppose she's right.
Precious little Evie
At the flamingo cage, I asked 4 (almost 5) year old Jack, "What are those birds?"  He said, "Flamingos! They take a drink of water and stand on one leg." As you can see, he demonstrated quite nicely with his sippy cup. 

Magical Moment 319, "The Grimes Solstice"

I took an astronomy course my freshman year of college because I heard it was an easy "A." Though I haven't retained much from the class, I do know this. The universe is far more complex than I could ever imagine. I thought the earth was complicated enough - the animals, the different species, the plants, the humans, and the way they all work together - but throw in an entire universe on top of that, and my brain is smoking. Tonight, in case you haven't heard, will be the first total lunar eclipse to occur on the day of the Northern Winter Solstice since 1638. And the next one will be in 2094. How's that for mind boggling?

Now here's something that has never happened before, and may not happen again for many years to come. A man and his wife got to visit both of their homes for the Christmas Holiday. And one day, four generations were in the same room at the same time. When I ponder how all this came to be, how everyone met, married, and moved just to capture …

Magical Moment 318, "Texified"

This morning, I woke up to the smell of biscuits and sausage sizzling in the kitchen. After I ate breakfast, I attended a small Baptist church in the middle of nowhere along a country road. After the service, we ate dinner together at a church potluck - a scrumptious combination of country ham, red beans, and cornbread. Later, I fed and watered the chickens and collected the hen's eggs - a dozen and seven (which I know to be fewer than normal lately). Then, I snuggled up in a handmade quilt (made by Great-grandma Grimes), and watched the Dallas Cowboys on TV. Outside, the fish are swimming in the pond, the chickens are clucking in the pen, and the tractors are collecting dust. I said my first "ya'll" a few minutes ago. I've been Texified.
They do have some beautiful sunsets though
The newest rooster, a Banty
Merry Christmas, ya'll

Magical Moment 317, "I Heart My Auto Harp"

So far, my favorite Christmas gift this year is my auto harp. My father-in-law, a great collector of all things random, scarce, useless, and priceless, had this little treasure tucked away in his warehouse. I spotted the black case which I recognized immediately as some sort of musical instrument. I dusted it off and strummed away. It's an acoustic instrument with buttons that press the strings to play the correct chords, sort of like an accordion, only with strings rather than air to make sound.

The auto harp came with Christmas music and a "how to" book for beginners. It's the perfect gift for me. I was mourning having forgot to pack my guitar on our Texas trip, and with no way to make music, I didn't know what I would do so far away from my piano. This was one of my first attempts at a complete song, "Away in the Manger," it only has 3 chord changes. :)

Magical Moment 316, "A Kid Again"

I went to a majestic castle yesterday. There were look out towers, draw bridges, and great stair cases. I ran up and down the entire length of the castle, then I jumped from the walls and landed on the gravel below. I fought villains and monsters. It was dangerous but I felt quite safe with my sword at my side.

The kingdom was surrounded by a vast, sparking ocean and we fed the enchanted ducks that swam in it. Next, I flew. Really, I flew. Just look at the picture if you don't believe me. My feet were high up in the air. It was fascinating place and one I would never have found if not for my 4 (almost 5) year old nephew, Jack. I never knew such magical kingdoms existed in the middle of Texas.

Magical Moment 315, "Hubble Painting"

My husband has been working on a special Christmas gift for his dad this year, a painting based of an actual photograph from the Hubble space telescope. He painted layer by layer, color by color until he created the swirling, smoky light effect. And the final layer, the stars. He used a layer of clear glass beads, which he then hand-painted each one. When the light is just right, they really do glow like stars. 
I think it's a beautiful painting, and more importantly, his dad knows it was created with great care and love.

Magical Moment 314, "Home, Home on the Farm"

My husband is a country boy, whose southern draw grows consistently thicker and slower, whenever he is around his family in Texas. This Christmas, we are making the trip to both of our homes, first to Eddie's in Texas, then to mine in Nebraska. After 25 hours in the car, all Eddie wanted to do was go "home," and for him, that is his grandparents farm.

His memories are endless and you can feel the warmth, hospitality, and comfort in this old farmhouse the moment you enter. If I could give Eddie any gift in the world, it would be an instant transporter from the show Star Trek, so that he could come here any time he wanted. But we only have a week.

I spent time with my chicks (who've gotten so big since the last time I saw them!) And Eddie spent time with his grandparents, soaking in the happy, sweet memories of his home.

The Farm House
Country fresh eggs, anyone?
I collected them myself
Eddie and his Gramma

Magical Moment 313, "Moon River"

At a piano in TriBeCa Park in downtown Manhattan, I played "Moon River" from my all time favorite movie, Breakfast at Tiffany's. I was a fan of that movie before I was old enough to even realize what it was really about. I also realized that the silver bracelet I'm wearing in this video came from Tiffany and Company in New York City! It was my 3rd anniversary gift from my hubby. Enjoy the video.

To see more videos from the Play Me, I'm Yours project, click here.

Magical Moment 312, "Radios"

Somehow, I'm always aware of music playing in the background in department stores, people's cars, or somewhere in the faint distance no matter how high or low the volume. Suddenly with the sense of a wolf, my head raises and my ears turn towards the sound. It usually doesn't matter the genre or radio station, chance are I know the song and begin to sing along. I was mostly unaware of this fact until a friend told me back in college, "Beth, I love how all you need is a radio playing to make you happy."

I actually remember my very first radio as a child. It was an am/fm dial clock radio that my mother used to set her alarm in the mornings. She must have got a new one and passed the old one along to me. I was so young, that I had no concept of the radio station call letters or frequency numbers, and I went through with a permanent marker, turning the knob and making dashes on the plastic cover to mark the place of the good radio stations. I remember turning the volum…

Magical Moment 311, "Blanket of Snow"

One day, when my nephew was a baby, he cried and cried. Nothing could calm him. Not a funny face, not a bottle of milk, not a new toy. In my last effort to sooth him, I laid him on his back on the living room floor and found his blue cuddle blanket. In one motion, I held two of the four corners and raised it above my head, then let it slowly fall in one horizontal sheet right over his face. I pulled the blanket gently back towards me and it softly brushed his delicate cheeks. He ceased crying long enough to flutter his eye lashes and glance curiously at me, What was that? I did it again and again. Each time the blanket came towards him in the air, he anticipated the touch with bated breath. And when it stroked his face, he let out a peaceful sigh and deliberately blinked his large eyes when it passed over them. "Shhhhhhh." I whispered. And he was calm.

That's how I feel about the first snow fall. I look straight up into the sky and watch the large flakes come slowly towa…

Magical Moment 310, "A Pleasant Ride"

Tired, frazzled, and thoroughly exhausted, I boarded the bus from Manhattan to New Jersey, looking forward to 40 minutes with my eyes closed and listening to my iPod as I made my way back home from a long day in the city. My head was pounding, my feet were blistered, and my muscles ached from shivering non-stop for the last 8 hours. Thankfully, I was early enough in line to be assured a seat, which I decided that I would take, no matter who I saw being force to stand as the crowd gathered. I don't care, I thought. I was here early enough, and I deserve a seat! I vowed.

When I finally sat down near the front of the bus, I breathed a deep sigh, took out my earphones, and put the Raising Sand album on repeat. I closed my eyes and rested my head on the back of the chair. One by one, the seats filled with people anxious to get home and inevitably, some were forced to stand in the aisle - a miserable ride I know from experience, dealing with jerks, bumps, sudden stops and accelerations.…

Magical Moment 309, "Night Out in the Big City"

Eddie and I are gradually crossing items off our “things to do in New York City” list. Although we’ve been to Lincoln Center before, we’d never attended a performance at the Metropolitan Opera House until a few nights ago when we saw La Boheme. It was an early Christmas celebration, and one of those night-outs that have to be pre-budgeted.
I was looking forward to the show for days. I picked out my dress, planned for a manicure, and dug out my red heels. Eddie brushed off his suit and made dinner reservations at The Grand Tier Restaurant. I was very excited as I got ready for our big night on the town, thinking the last time I got this dressed up was for a military dining out banquet in college.
The evening didn’t disappoint. Everything was stunning from our dinner, to the artwork in the lobby, to the crystal chandeliers hanging from the ceiling. The show was unlike any beauty I’ve ever seen or heard. The stage sets alone were images taken from a movie screen, or painted work of art. Th…

Magical Moment 308, "The Light at the End of the Tunnel"

Photo by Vincent Belford
I’ll never forget my first trip into Manhattan from our new home in New Jersey. It was on a bus that went straight through the Lincoln Tunnel and right into the middle of Times Square. Those few minutes in that dark, narrow tunnel underneath the Hudson River, I kept wondering, “What am I gonna see when we come out the other side?” The answer was an awe-inspiring array of skyscrapers, traffic, people, and lights.
Since then, the novelty and excitement from that first trip has worn off a bit. I’m still amazed and privileged to be here, doing what I do, but the city can be rough at times. After a 9-hour day of fighting crowds and constant shivering through the dirty streets and subways, I long for a quiet place to hear myself think, warm my hands, use a clean bathroom. A corner Starbucks just doesn’t cut it.
After my last battle with the subway for the day, and my final fight with the Port Authority Bus Terminal, I once again long for that tunnel. Only this time, t…

Magical Moment 307, "Shoulda, Coulda, Woulda"

There are a million things in life that we feel like we have to do, or should do. It is the people that have the ability to ignore that nagging voice, that potentially break barriers, create change, or have a great impact on others. There is a woman named Edith who lives in an upstairs apartment from the small, New York City theatre she has owned and run since 1972. She is 94 years old.

I am currently playing the piano for a play in this theatre, Touch the musical, and attend rehearsals a few times a week. Yesterday, I arrived early to find that Edith and I had the place to ourselves. She was huddled near an automatic heater with a blanket over her. "Is that Elizabeth?" she asked. I smiled and greeted her, then sat down and waited for the others to arrive. We soon fell into easy conversation and as I began asking her questions, I became more and more enthralled with the life she's led.

Her family has lived a life of music and show business and I was struck to learn that …

Magical Moment 306, "I Tip My Hat to Friendship"

Jenny (left) and I from a million years ago...I think we won a cake walk?
I'm proud to say that I've been able to hold onto a few friendships for 20 plus years (I'm 27). One of those friends is Jenny. We've managed to stay in touch despite school changes as children, out of state moves as teenagers, marriages as adults, and major life decisions ever since. 
I was thrilled to learn a few years ago, that she began creating the most charming headbands, inspired by her adorable young daughter, Haley. Soon her variety and unique style expanded to hats as well and she began a successful business selling them, Haley's Headbands. I often find myself browsing through photos of her creations, completely delighted and picking out my favorites. She takes her own photos for most of the advertisements as well, which I find equally beautiful:

Today I came home to find a package on my doorstep. I tore it open with excitement when I saw the return address, Haley's Headbands, and i…