Death of the Red Hornet

When someone says “Have you ever been in a car crash?”, immediately I have 2 memories that come to mind.  The first involves Grandma Is and the brown Mercury Comet. 


I don’t remember how old I was, but Grandma Is and I were running errands that involved going to the post office.  She pulled into the angled parking spot, turned the car off, and went inside.  I stayed in the car.  Have you ever had one of those moments where you just knew something was going to happen even before it actually did?  Well – I had one of those moments and I just knew that we were going to be hit.  Sure enough, not more than 3 minutes went by and BAM someone ran right into the back end of Grandma Is’s car.  I wasn’t hurt and I don’t remember if there was much damage to the car, but a gentleman had been coming into the parking lot and in order to avoid someone else coming in behind him too fast, he ended up turning right into our car.


It was a beautiful January afternoon.  The air was crisp and the sun was shining.  It was time to head back to Eau Claire after our winter break. Mary and I had the radio playing full blast and even though it was winter, we had the windows partially open.  We had made it about two-thirds of the trip and were about 5 miles outside of Black River Falls when I was getting sleepy.  I woke up when I was on the left shoulder of the Interstate, over-compensated, and went off into the right ditch, crossing 2 lanes of traffic.  I took out a deer crossing sign, put a hole in the catalytic converter, a hole in the radiator, and a hole in the gas tank, and blew all the windows out of the car.  We actually ended up with glass in our jeans pockets!

We were so shocked by what had just happened.  A few people stopped to see if we needed assistance and a nice guy even used some duct tape to mend a few of the holes.  We were able to drive the car 5 more miles until the exit and then we pulled off the Interstate.  Someone must have called the police about the accident because we were met at the exit by an officer. He inquired if we were trying to flee the scene.  We told him that we were just trying to get to a phone to call my mom and dad.  It must’ve been very apparent how clueless we were as we didn’t get a ticket for leaving the scene of the accident.

I called mom and I don’t recall exactly what was said except for the part where I said “Aren’t you even concerned if I’m ok?” and she replied, “Well, you are talking to me right now, aren’t you?”  She will argue with me about this, but I know I’m right.

That was the end of my red hornet.  The next car I got was a 1972 Datsun 240Z.  Dad cracked that one up!

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Manifesting the Perfect Day

perfect day

Engagement–a few months before

My wedding was going to be intimate, serene, and perfect. I imagined it that way and worked thoughtfully on the details.

Few events in life have as many deep customs, subtle nuances, and crazy rituals, AND opportunities for things to go wrong–like a wedding.

My wedding day, July 7, 2000, began sunny and bright with POSSIBLE showers later in the day. We were celebrating the event at the Heidel House. It was a quaint, secluded resort on the shores of Green Lake in Wisconsin. Continue reading

59 Years and Counting

weddingWe got married quite young.  I was engaged as a senior in high school.  My fiancé at the time, now my husband of 59 years, was two years older than me.  We had dated on and off since I was 15.  Unbelievable.  They said it would never last. Continue reading

Details Worth Remembering

For so many, their wedding day is one of the most memorable events of their life.  For me, with my swiss cheese brain, the complete details are a bit lacking.  I do, however, remember a few details worth mentioning.

Wedding shoes

rememberingI was adamant that I would NOT go barefoot at my reception regardless of how my feet felt.  None of the shoes I found were anything that I liked, so  I found a simple pair of white satin heels and applied beaded appliques.  I hate it when brides are wearing a beautiful gown and then proceed to either barefoot or wear stupid comfortable shoes.  So – even though my feet were killing me, I kept my wedding heels on for the duration of the day.  (My toes were numb for the next week in Jamaica) Continue reading

I Need a New Bucket

dreamsIt is now called a bucket list, I called it dreams, goals, and accomplishments.

I have lots of dreams, never really considered them on a bucket list, but I guess they really were.  Continue reading

Plastic Eggs and Yummy Bunnies

Judy, Uncle Lloyd and the bunny cake

Easter traditions for us are filled with plastic eggs and yummy bunnies in all different shapes and forms. Holidays in our family are always chock-full of happy memories.  Continue reading

Easter and Moldy Money

I remember Easter as being disappointing when I was young. My focus wasn’t on family or food. Jesus wasn’t the primary reason for this season. It was mostly just another opportunity for presents. 

I’d get sidewalk chalk or a skateboard and a jump rope…but would be unable to play with these toys because there was always snow on the ground. Once, I got a cute little sleeveless sundress that I would freeze my ass off when I wore it to church. One year I wore a wide-brimmed white Easter hat. I’m actually not sure if I wore it or not, but it had its own drawer for years afterward–never worn again.

When I was a bit older, we would always have breakfast after Easter service at church.

The tradition of decorating hardboiled eggs began when I was a child and continues now with my children. The smell of vinegar at any time of the year brings me right back to this activity with my Grandma Is. Now we go to my mother-in-law’s house to craft our beauties. As we cover the table with newspaper and pour vinegar into coffee cups–the memories come flooding back.  Continue reading