Keeping You In Stitches

Quincy Michigan High School Gym

Quincy Michigan High School Gym

This morning I came across this posting (below) on Facebook.  Cindy and I were BFF’s before BFF’s ever meant anything.

I  remember moving to Quincy, Michigan, High School, my sophomore year.  Dreaded it, hated the thought of it, stood in the doorway of my bedroom and wouldn’t let the guys helping Dad move to Quincy in to move my stuff out.

There were only 3 freshman girls that year that made the varsity girls basketball team.  I was one!  I didn’t want to move because Quincy was phasing out girls basketball.

I remember when Cindy’s parents brought her and her sister Cathy to enroll in school.  We sort of were the new girls!  Trust me when you move at that age, the girls don’t like you because you’re competition! But the boys sure like you!

The above picture is of our gymnasium. At the time it was the most beautiful gym in the area. Quincy had just built a new school. Spent many hours in that gym, cheerleading practice, cheering at games, and of course the dreaded Physical Education class.

I remember one evening at dinner my dad asking me how P.E. was that day.  I said we had to do this stupid thing….run, jump hurdles, run some more, climb a rope to the ceiling of the gym, run, jump more hurdles.  He asked me how I did.  I had no clue.  Then he started laughing….that particular year our P.E. teacher was the football coach.  He went to my Dad and told him I did it faster than any of the boys!  Then he asked my dad why all he could produce were cheerleaders?  (only girls in our family)

That's me on the right...

That’s me on the right…

I was such a dedicated cheerleader!  My youngest sister, Kelly, had the measles.  Of course I caught them!  But there was a game that night and I wanted to cheer.  Remember, this was the time when cheerleaders wore heavy, bulky sweaters and skirts, altho’, we wore culottes.  I knew by the time the bus got to Jonesville, I had a fever.  Kept going into the bathroom to check for measle spots!  Oh boy, did I ever have them!  I figured I could get away with a red face, thank heavens the bulky sweater covered up my arms and stomach.  When I got home from the ball game, I remember running into the living room, and yelled, “I have the measles!”  Lifted up my shirt and both parents at the same time said “yep, you do” – I was so mad at Kelly!  She’s almost 12 years younger than I am….so as she got the measles, the mumps, etc., I got them too.  I remember one year missing semester exams because of measles, and the second semester exams because of mumps!  Three day measles were so easy to catch…..I had them a lot. This is before the vaccinations.  But when I was pregnant with Amy, the Dr. came in and said your blood work shows you don’t need to worry about measles. Told him I had them many times!

When I saw Cindy’s post, it sure brought back memories.  We double dated a lot. I remember one time Mark and her husband, Brad (our boyfriends at the time), took us to the Marshall County fair.  They wouldn’t ride any rides but Cindy and I sure did!

Yep, we both married high school sweethearts!  And we are both still married to the same person!

We both had our first girls fairly close together too.  I remember a picture taken of Amy and Holly sitting on Mark’s parent’s couch…..so many, many years ago!!!  How can we be this old!  It seems like just a few years ago!

Thanks for bringing back the wonderful memories!

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Since my daughter was so kind to sign me up for this alumni group, I’ve been flipping through “old news”.
I came to QHS from CHS my Junior year, 1963-’64.  I was not happy when my parents moved our family from Coldwater where my friends were, to what I considered “no man’s land”, a farm on Southern Rd. I was promised that if I gave it a chance for three weeks,and still thought my life had ended, they would pay the tuition (required back then) and I could return to and graduate from CHS. I remember vividly, Mom taking me to QHS to register. I will admit, my impression of the physical building was one of awe. It was “new” and beautiful. It still is beautiful! The first person we came across was, then custodian, Howard McConnell. For those of you who were lucky enough to know Howard, you will understand when I say he was a great guy, friendly, welcoming and kind. Who knows if by some intuition, the look of dread on my face or he’d “been there, done that before”, he recognized I was not happy, was on the verge of tears, and before directing us to the office, he said, “I have someone I want you to meet”. Howard introduced me to a young lady who had been in my shoes the year before. Her name was Nancy Reynolds, the daughter of then Principal Ron Reynolds. Needless to say, I got enrolled for classes, started school and when my parents asked me, after the first day if I wanted to return to CHS, my answer was “no”! I fell in love with my new friends, Nancy and I were BFF’s, although that expression did not exist then, but she’s the kind of friend that, though the miles have separated us most of our married lives, we could pick up where we left off, today! I met my husband at QHS. It was, and is, a great school, in a great community!
All this, because I read the “new” QHS fight song, which I had never heard of! I learned it, always sang it proudly, and it will remain in my heart as a precious memory.  Kathi Nutt Waligora printed it for all to see, but left a small blank where she must have had a lapse of memory, as we all do at our ages. (she’s younger than me!)
…..and, men of old, as Giants, facing reliance, shouting defiance! Quincy! Rah! Rah!….

Be proud of your school! ❤️

We spent our first Christmas in Costa Rica in 2011.  Going to the festivities in Atenas was a fun time for us.  Loved the Christmas parade and told Mark that maybe we should go in the business of selling drum sticks!

What really surprised me was everyone was bundled up.  Coats, jackets, scarfs, hats, and I thought the little babies were really over bundled!  There we were the Gringos with short sleeves and shorts on!  Thinking these people are crazy, it’s not even chilly.

Well, things have changed!  This year, I had on a denim jacket!  Guess my blood has thinned or something has happened.  Mark was fine.  But again, people were bundled in jackets, scarves, hats, etc.

I think I’ve become a Tica!

Felez Navidad to all.

Last Wednesday, the girls and I went Christmas shopping at City Mall in Alajuela.  Jean Marie was going with Ana and Joana.  Joana is in 6th grade, Nazareth is going into 5th grade.  They hit it off right away.

I followed Jean Marie and she drove right on past the entrance of the mall that I usually use.  Oops, #1. I tried calling her and she tried calling me; finally after 3-4 calls we reached each other.  We were heading into Forever 21 and we met up with them there!  Poor Jean Marie!  Was shocked to see how much Nazareth had grown!

The girls looked around there and then decided they wanted to go to Aliss. So on the way to Aliss, we found a store where everything was 50% off and Dylana thought we should stop there.  (She shops like I do!)  She found a couple of things there she wanted so that was a succesful stop.  Then off to Aliss.  I feel badly for Nazareth, because she’s 11 years old going on 25!

At one point I told Maricela to get Nazareth out of the maternity department! She had no clue that’s where she was!

Then Jean Marie and her crew showed up.  Joana saw some jeans she liked.  I am almost 70 years old and saw something I’ve never seen before!  Joana put the waist of the jeans around her neck and declared they were too small.  Aparently, if you do that you know that they’ll fit!  So of course, when I got home I tried it.  Mine were not tight because I could get a couple of fingers between the ends of the waistband.  Will wonders never cease!

Then to lunch at the food court.  Jean Marie asked me how I handled it and I said I give them each 5 mil ($10) and they go get what they want and bring me the change!  Of course the three girls and Maricella went to Pizza Hut! LOL  While they were eating, Joana was looking at the receipt and said that if you go on the internet, you might win a free pizza!  So while they were eating, and doing that, lo and behold, all three girls won personal pan pizzas!  Lots of excitement!!!!

Jean Marie and her crew left after lunch.  My crew and I stayed. Wanted to take them to Cemaco because they had the most beautiful Christmas villages set up.  I’ll be darned if they hadn’t already taken them down.  It was Dec. 8th!  Things are different in Costa Rica, rather than mark down Christmas decor and get rid of it, they store it and bring it out next year.  For a shopper like me that was a disappointment!

Meanwhile, we’re looking for a bathing suit for Nazareth, who is very developed!  She saw a swim dress that she liked and her mother wouldn’t let her try it on telling her it was for older people.

Finally, found a suit at Rosebal.  And I even found a king spread for the bed for 20 mil.

Then we were headed to PriceSmart.  Just needed a few things and $150 later, we left there.  And there was nothing really to eat in the purchase.

Asked the girls if they wanted ice cream before heading home.  So we went to the shop next to the Farmacia there and they all came out with the same thing.  Almost like a granazado!

Got home at 4:30 p.m. – left at 9 a.m., whew, I was beat.  Everyone was beat because there wasn’t much talking coming home!  All in all it was a fun filled day and they do enjoy seeing the decor in the mall.

But they know the rules, when they open their gifts, they have to ooh and aah with delight!

We have Christmas on Christmas Eve morning with Maricela and her family (mother, sister, nephews, etc.)  They’ve been talking about it since the beginning of November.  Last year I was shocked because the kids wanted to eat first, then open presents!  Don’t know many kids that would want to do that!

So Merry Christmas to all……….while you are shoveling snow, think of us having brunch poolside!

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  • Comments Off on A new brand of car in Costa Rica

Hi Friends:

Just letting you know of a new brand of car in Costa Rica and we happen to have the only model that’s available!  Yep, it’s the Ucsoi – made in Korea!

licenseplate

 

Last year on Halloween, one of my bff’s lost her husband unexpectedly.  She was a Halloween nut!!!  I know this has been a tough year for her, and I’m hoping that next year will be a little better.

raymond-ofenbeckLast week, Todd (married to daughter, Amy) lost his father.  He was 94 years old – a Cubbies fan from the beginning.  He had told the family that he hoped to see them win the World Series this year.  Alas, he passed away before the beginning of the first game in Cleveland.  He had mesothelioma – his body was shutting down but his mind was there.  Had to be sad for the family to see that.

As a father-in-law to Amy, there couldn’t have been a better one!  He was at the hospital every day, all day when she was in the Critical Care Unit.  After 8-10 weeks of that, she went to a rehab hospital and he was there every day too.  Not many father-in-laws would do that!  We can never convey what that meant to us.  Of course, we went to FL as often as we could and we were there for every surgery.

When Todd and Amy first moved to Fort Myers, she was an anchor for the ABC station. Todd worked for the NBC station.  Ray would always call her and tell her if hair didn’t look right, or if he didn’t like what she had on that day!  That cracked us up!

Ray was quite the entertainer all the hours we spent in the hospital!  Especially with the nurses!  Always had a smile and joke for them.

Hugs to all the Ofenbeck family and we are so so sorry for your loss.

One disadvantage to living in Costa Rica is we can’t get to events like this.  RIP Ray….you and Todd’s mother have a lot of catching up to do…..please let her talk too! LOL

bikerbabeHaving had 2 friends husband’s die on Halloween, and now Ray will be buried on Halloween, I have come to a decision.  When my time on earth is done, if it’s 5 days before or after Halloween, I want my funeral to be a costume party.  And believe me, I’ll know if you’re not in costume!

 

 

santajeanmarienancy

Yesterday, a friend, Jean Marie and I decided to go shopping and take a break from knitting.  I have finally found someone down here that loves Christmas and all the decor like I do.  So we decided this would be a “check out Christmas stuff shopping trip.”

Universal, which is a large department store in Alajuela, moved into the new City Mall, the largest mall in Costa Rica.  We decided to check out the old Universal because everything Navidad was discounted!  We had a ball.  Most things were 50% off and some were 30% off.  She shops like I do, check everything out and then make a decision!  By the time we were finished shopping there, it was noonish.

So we headed to  City Mall, with plans to hit every store with lots of Christmas decor.  Checked out the Universal store there, prices at the old store were much better.

Then we headed to Aliss; beautiful things there and we oohed and aahed!  By then we decided it was time to eat.  So we headed to Subway.  Finished eating and then we headed to Oxygen, we love their clothes and prices.  Tried on a few dresses but nothing hit me just right!  Then we headed to Cemaco, a department type store that doesn’t carry clothing.

O.M.G.  They have 4 different villages set up under glass in the front of the store!  I loved everyone of them.  One was like an amusement park with rides that we both used to ride at county fairs.  One was a village and I fell in love with the Pet Store and Shoe Cobbler store that was actually shaped like a shoe. The whole set up was beautiful!  Then there was a snow scene, and another scene with Santa flying around with the reindeer; ice skaters skating; let’s just say, we were both in “Christmas Heaven”.

Left there and decided to sit down and get our purchases arranged to head to the car.

I think my heart skipped a beat!  My phone was missing.  So Jean Marie stayed there trying to call it, and I tried to retrace my steps.  Maybe it fell out of my pocket in the rest room.  As I was headed down that hall I saw a female security person.  So in my best Spanglish, I tried to explain what happened.  She patted me on the back and said she would call her Jefe (boss).  So we stood there waiting for the Jefe of Security to show up.  They arrived shortly.  Kept asking me to describe it.  Kept saying is was “pink, cover was like a book with a giraffe on the front and a giraffe on the back.  Every time I said giraffe in Spanish, they smirked….I’m guessing they figured an old lady shouldn’t have a phone with a giraffe cover!  Then a guy came by and said do you need help?  So I said yes, that if I went home having lost my phone, I would probably be beheaded!  So he asked me the same questions that the security officers asked me.  The whole time the female security person was patting me on the back.

All of a sudden, one of the security guards pulled my phone out of his shirt pocket.  I got really excited and gave him a big hug (am sure he thought another loca gringa); so then he wanted some ID.  So I said we had to go where my amiga was sitting.  I pulled out my Cedula (national ID card) and he turned on my phone, laid it on the settee and took a picture.  Then gave it to me with a big grin.  I again hugged him and the female security person.  Keep in mine we’ve walked a five story mall and this was probably a 2 hour deal!

Took Jean Marie home; and since the story had a happy ending, I did end up telling Mark.  Who just stood there shaking his head! I found out he had turned on “Find My iPhone” since I had my iPad with me, I could have located it via the GPS.

Then off to Don YaYo’s for Huesos (Bones) Night with Mike and Karen Elder.  They kept us up way past bedtime! Huesos are the pork bones with hunks of meat still attached. Mike and Mark enjoy them from time to time. I had chifrio and Karen had fish and chips!

Early this morning, I’m guess it was early, Jean Marie called and woke me up and said I left my knitting in your car.  I said “no, you stuck it in one of your bags”.  She said OK, I’ll check.  Then I pleasantly went back to sleep and didn’t wake up till 11 a.m.

But I keep thinking about all the gorgeous Christmas things we saw, and the phone story ended up OK, so it was a great day!

Aunt Fran's 100th

A little over a year ago I blogged about my Great Aunt Frances turning 100; well, last Friday she passed away at age 101!  Can you imagine the things she has seen?  She was not ill, her heart just gave out.  I read somewhere that our hearts are good for so many beats and I guess it was her time.  She will be missed greatly by family.

Aunt Fran had the best get togethers at her house!  I remember how her house was always decorated for Christmas.  She used a huge corner of the living room, pieces of plywood, and put the tree on top of that.  Then around the tree was the most amazing train going around and around; I sure hope someone has that train and still uses it!  Maybe this will be the year I buy a train to put around one of my trees and I’ll call the town I set up “Franville”.

My cousin Pete, that is my age, had allergies, asthma pretty bad and they ended up moving to Colorado Springs.  We went to visit them during one summer, camping all the way from Michigan to Colorado. I hate camping! And then on to California. I still hate camping!

Dad did a lot of painting and offered to paint the outside of their house.  Well, Pete and I wanted to paint too.  So Dad had us paint one end of the house.  The only thing was every time he came to check on our progress, Pete was nowhere to be found.  The first couple of times when he asked where Pete was, I just shrugged my shoulders.  Then finally, I said, “he needed a break and rode his bike to the Quik Shake place”.  FYI, I painted most of the end of the house.  Pete reminds me a lot of Mark, always taking breaks! LOL

A couple days later he was going to some church meeting and wanted me to go with him.  Aunt Fran encouraged me to go, but there was just something telling me not to go.  So I stayed home.  Later that evening we got a call that Pete had rolled the car!  He was fine, though.  Call it divine intervention, I guess.

Another time we went up into the Rockies to have a picnic along a stream.  While things were getting set up to eat, Pete and I were throwing rocks in the river.  Then Pete got the big idea, to hope on the rocks in the river.  The river was ice cold.  You didn’t even want to dangle your feet in it.  Once again, I said, “Nope”.  So he goes, see it’s really easy and jumped onto a few rocks.  However, coming back to shore, he missed.  Yep, fell in, totally wet!  Well, Aunt Fran hooted and hollered at him.  I had trouble not laughing all the way back to the house, because she made him take off his underwear and hung it on car mirror to dry.  Everytime I looked at the car, I burst into laughter!

The Meese’s came back to Indiana one year and we had a huge family get together in a park in Fort Wayne, IN.  Someone picked up 3-4 buckets of KFC.  It was a fun day running around the park, eating, etc.  The next day, they were headed back to Colorado.  Mark and I were seniors in high school and I convinced him to come to the reunion with us.  Mark had been in a bad car accident, broken leg in many places, 3 months in the University of Michigan Hospital.  The cast went from foot too above his waist.

The next morning, I woke up throwing up something awful!  Then my Mom started throwing up; then my middle sister started throwing up.  At one point we were all three in the bathroom throwing up; one in the toilet, one in the sink and one in the bathtub.  Didn’t affect Dad or my youngest sister, Kelly.  She wasn’t in school yet and kept walking around saying – “Dad, I don’t want to do that.”

So my Dad called a couple relatives that lived in Indiana that were at the reunion, and some of them were doing the same thing!   So he calls Mark’s house to see if he’s sick.  His Mom says “he keeps throwing up in the bathroom”.  So my Dad thinks this is hilarious and has figured out the buckets of KFC shouldn’t have been sitting in the sun; not all the buckets had bad chicken in them, because not everyone was ill.

So he drags my Mother, my middle sister, and me to Mark’s house for a visit.  He thinks this is hilarious!!! And wanted to laugh at Mark, I guess.  Keep in mind when he would throw up, the leg in the cast kept the bathdoor from opening!

Figuring that the Meese’s were home after a couple of days he called them to see if they were sick.  My Uncle Ward told him it was the cheapest trip home because all they consumed on the trip was Pepto Bismol!  We all refer to this as the time “we had Kentucky Fried Fever.”

Death is hard to handle but it makes it a little easier when you have some good, funny times to remember!

RIP Aunt Fran and tell Uncle Ward Hola!

 

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