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Monthly Archives: December 2014

Serious Announcement of a Serious “Pastry” Nature

(This post is not related to the holiday season or to the celebration of the birth of Christ, or to my previous post about the loss of my father, which my family and I continue to grieve and process, or to anything vaguely important. This post is of a wildly different tone, but that’s who I am. I am deeply emotional, deeply passionate, and deeply goofy. There you have it. )

I have a serious announcement. An announcement of such a serious nature that inappropriate commentary–regardless how tempting to those with humor tuned to “12 year-old-boy”–would be both unwelcome and, well, inappropriate.You have been warned.

For some unknown reason, my husband bought Hostess Ding Dongs today while at the store to pick up milk. Actually, he doesn’t need a reason. He views trips to pick up basic grocery necessities as delightful challenges to impulse shop. I digress.

This is what is important. I have long been a fan of the Hostess Ding Dong. I have certainly believed it far superior to, for instance, the pasty, sticky Hostess Cupcake, which always seemed to have a mystifyingly large fan base.The Ding Dong’s contrast of creamy filling with the thick chocolatey coating all wrapped in festive shiny foil like a present was a rare treat to be indulged with joy and nostalgia. As a child, a Hostess Ding Dong was almost always reserved as a special treat my mom packed in my lunch for field trips, definitely not included in regular school lunches or daily snacks. I would unwrap the foil and press it flat with my fingernail, enjoying the silvery mirrored surface while slowing eating the biggest pieces of coating I could pry off at a time.

Today, however, I must say that I believe I have eaten my last Hostess Ding Dong. (Please refer at this point to my earlier prohibition against inappropriate commentary.) It’s true. Not only were today’s Ding Dong’s smaller, with an inferior, thin chocolate coating, but they WERE NOT WRAPPED IN FOIL. They were in newfangled white plastic wrappers, cheap white bags that offered no celebratory shine or sparkle. Why, back in my day … whoa, grandma crankypants, easy old girl

I am offended by the sacrilege, and yet I also feel strangely–all at once–freed from the hold the childhood treat has long held over me.

Nay, Hostess Ding Dong, you are but a plastic-y shadow of your former self, and I am free of you. Free to walk by your entirely unnatural little cakes in the store, free of the childhood wish for who you used to be. For you are no longer the treat of my youth, and today I bid you a nostalgic goodbye.

What childhood treats have you lost to days of yore? (Or am I the only one feeling like a cranky 90 year old right now?)

A Legacy of Love

(Note: I’ve been on a blogging break since last summer, focused on writing my book. I’d say it was a neat coincidence that my last post was about my dad, except I don’t believe in coincidences. This tough post hopefully marks my return to blogging, as I’ve stored up some stuff to share with y’all. But that’s for another day.)

Tomorrow, December 10th, will be a difficult day for my family. Although it seems like just last week, it’s been a little more than 6 weeks since my dad went outside to walk his dog, Luke, and passed away lying under a grove of oak trees. Had he been given the opportunity to choose where he would die, I’m sure that Dad would have chosen it just that way — just him, outside, somewhere beautiful.

Tomorrow would have been my parents’ 54th wedding anniversary, and I can think of no better way to honor my father’s legacy and his love for my mother and the family they created than to share with you the following piece that my dad wrote just six days before he died.

Despite how very, very much I miss my dad, and how grieved I am for my mom, I have been so comforted by the clear movement of God’s hand in the timing of events allowing my mother to find this the night of my father’s death. Dad died right at the start of a big wind and rain storm, and the power was out for several hours afterwards. Not only did the storm, the dark, and the quiet feel appropriate to us in those first horrible moments and hours, but it meant that when my mom was finally alone that evening, she could not turn to friends by email or Facebook as she might otherwise have done. She was alone and unconnected that evening in the dark, numbly looking at her tablet, when she saw the “Pages” app, which she’d never seen or used before.

The only thing in it was this piece, created just the week before, when my dad had spent a few days in the hospital. He had not mentioned it to us, but clearly Dad had some sense that his life was drawing to a close. Had the power not been out that night, it might have been days or weeks or more before my mother found it, but because the power was out she found it and was able to immediately recognize it as my father’s last gift to her, and to us.

There was nothing left unsaid between my father and I, and I cannot be anything other than grateful for the 45 years I had with him. I knew he loved me and was proud of me, and he knew I loved him. I’d had a wonderful lunch with Mom and Dad just the day before, and I am so grateful that the gift he left us, through his life and through this letter, is that we have no regrets.

I share this with you then in my dad’s honor, and in honor of the nearly 54 years he spent loving my mom and our family. I hope that after you read this, you will determine to share that same gift with the people you love.

Life is short, and we do not know how much time we will have.

Make sure your people know you love them.

by Howard Lowery

I was born July 25th, 1939, in the middle of the night in Salinas, California. I have lived 75 exciting years of adventure, love, worship, dedication, and faithfulness.

Every phase of my life has been an adventure; marriage to the love of my life, my life partner, camping buddy and confidant. Adventure with our beloved children Tara, Scott and our Grandchildren (and little squirt, the new great grandson) and Tara’s wonderful husband, David Rolstad. What marvelous descendents Carol and I created!

I have loved Carol with unbridled abandon, our children with awe and wonder and our grandchildren with devotion.

I have loved all my assorted family and enjoyed them when we had contact. I have greatly cherished brother Ken and his family and enjoyed many adventures with him and them.

My spiritual life has been with constant love and worship for my Lord and Savior, striving to share and be a blessing to others.

I have always strived to be faithful to the mission of free public education and a career well served and enjoyed.

I hope that I have been faithful and true to all my many friends over the years as they have been an inspiration and blessing to me.

There are no regrets; if I missed it it wasn’t for lack of trying.

— Written October 25, 2014, one week before his death

63597_1700747449538_261456_n 63206_1700748449563_6185717_n Dad and fish
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