Remembering Mom – Part 2

If you missed the beginning of this list you can find it here.

I’m realizing that this list could go on for days, so we’ll see what happens. I hope you enjoy learning about what a wonderful mother and person my mom was.

 J Perkins 90th Birthday

11. Saturday was usually Mom’s shopping day. She didn’t learn to drive until she was in her 50’s, so when we were young she depended on Dad to take her to the A & P grocery store on the weekends. Can you imagine only being able to go to the store once a week with 8 hungry mouths to feed? She did a great job of stocking up to make things last for the week, but I remember drinking powdered milk at times either because she couldn’t afford to buy more or she couldn’t get to the grocery store. I’m guessing her weekly trips were also a time of solitude that she looked forward to, but sometimes she’d allow one of us to go with her. Those were precious times when she let us help her choose food for the week and maybe even get a treat.

12. Mom would sometimes bring home delicious fresh rye bread, deli meats and cheeses on shopping day. They never lasted much more than a day because they were favorites for the whole family. That’s where I discovered my love for a good deli meal. We had Munster, Colby, Cheddar, Longhorn, Swiss and American cheese with fresh sliced Ham, Turkey, Roast beef, Braunschweiger and more. In the summer sometimes we’d add giant slices of Beefsteak Tomatoes and fresh lettuce from my grandmother’s garden. Mmmm!

13. As the family grew, Mom and Dad gave up their bedroom so that all of us kids could have one. They converted the living room to a sleeping area at night and added a sliding door for privacy. They kept their clothes in my oldest sister’s room. I imagine that was quite a sacrifice since they had no place to get away until we were all asleep in bed.

14. She often planned a once a year summer day trip as the sole adult with all of us kids to the northern Ohio amusement park, Cedar Point. We’d get up early in the morning and walk a block or so to the highway to catch the bus heading for Sandusky, then ride a ferry boat from Sandusky across the bay to the park. We spent the whole magical day riding thrill rides, seeing musical variety shows, and traversing the skies on the overhead sky ride. She always packed a substantial lunch for us, then later in the day she’d buy those famous Momma Berardi’s homemade French Fries and salt water taffy to hold us over. We’d stay as long as possible to squeeze out every drop of fun until either my dad came after work to pick us up or we caught the last bus for home.Vintage Cedar Point

15. Mom let us choose what kind of cake we wanted for our birthday and I often requested freshly baked Angel Food cake with strawberries and whipped cream. I can taste it now!

Angel Food cake with strawberries
photo by Lacy DeVeney

16. In August of each year she took each of us separately on a school clothes shopping trip – I recall riding that morning bus in the other direction this time – to the Midway Mall in Elyria – just Mom and I, eating lunch at the restaurant in the mall and buying new shoes and clothes for the upcoming school year. This was probably my favorite day of the year.  Not because I was shopping, but because I got to have my mom all to myself for an entire day!Midway Mall in Elyria Ohio circa 1970's

17. A limited budget and endless creativity brought forth unique homemade Halloween costumes for us each year. I wouldn’t be caught dead in one of those unimaginative store-bought ones.

18. Halloween parties at the Vermilion-on-the-Lake (VOL) Clubhouse were organized by her. She dressed as a witch and made witches’ brew using dry ice. I remember dunking for apples, fishing for prizes with a clothes pin on a string, costume contests and so much more.Vermilion-on-the-Lake Clubhouse

19. There was a Christmas play one year, written by my sister, Sharon and produced by Mom at the VOL Clubhouse with the neighborhood kids. The stage background was painted by Wayne Crozier, complete with his signature mouse hiding in the scene.

20. Each year she creatively decorated our 5 foot silver aluminum Christmas tree with matching colored glass balls. Since there would inevitably be breakage in the process of unpacking and packing the delicate glass, the following year she’d buy a set of a different color, then the 3rd year she’d use a combination of the previous years. The tree was often perched on top of a table up and out of the way of little hands and active pets. You can see a sliver of the tree in the background below. I remember spending what seemed like hours sitting in the living room gazing at the ever changing tree with the colored light wheel casting shadows on the walls and ceiling. It was mesmerizing!Jaye at Christmas

Looking over these memories I can see so many things that I learned from my mother. How to use my creativity in decorating, sewing, having fun. How to shop wisely, how to plan ahead for special activities, the importance of saving where needed, but splurging once in a while…so many lessons that I still use today. I’m so thankful for her giving and teaching spirit.  What a gift it was!

There’s a bit more to come, so stay tuned.  Thanks for reading!

Does this bring to mind some things that you’re most thankful for about your mother?

Simple Summer Ideas – Eats, Drinks, Decor

Hey there friends,  I have been staring at the last post for much too long and I’m sure you’ve been wondering where I’ve been, so here’s a little sumthin’ for your summer inspiration.

I know, it’s way past time to bring out the summer decorations.  It will be Independence Day next week, after all!  Can I confess that I still have my Easter decorations on my branch in the living room?  Yowzah!  Hopefully, I can switch them out for summer decor this weekend.

Things have been quite buzy around here with a bunch of changes happening, as well as more on the horizon.  Sadly, my time to concentrate on the transitions are limiting my time to post.  No worries though, there will be more news and posting to come.

In the meantime, here are a few photos of my Summer Centerpiece.  I happen to use mine in the guest bath.  Yes, a centerpiece in the bathroom!  As you know I try to trick myself into believing that I live near the water, especially in these hot summer months when our temperatures are consistently in triple digits (this week it was up around 113 degrees F)!

I keep this simple centerpiece in the bathroom where I get ready every morning.  It fills my mind with memories of sandy beaches, coastal breezes and the sound of waves lapping on the shore.  Which reminds me…I may have a chance to visit my little hometown on Lake Erie in September and I can’t wait to walk on the beach and hear the sounds of the waves as I drift off to sleep!  I never realized what a blessing it was to live just steps from the shore until recently.

For this fun candle arrangement, just find a rustic container, fill it with sand, shells, a candle (or 3) and things that remind you of summer.  Try one yourself and post a link here so we can all see it?

More ideas for your summer inspiration:

Patriotic Slipcover Transformation

4th of July Beverage Ideas

4th of July – Summer Recipes

4th of July – Patriotic Decor

Let me know your plans for the summer and have an awesome holiday!

Reminiscing about my hometown…

Lake Erie Sunset by Scott Dommin

Isn’t this just an amazing sunset photo?  It was taken by Scott Dommin.  He grew up in Vermilion, Ohio my little hometown.  I don’t know Scott, but I love his work.  So many of his photos take me immediately back to my childhood.

He just brings out the simple beauty and tranquility of that place.  Of course for little kids, sometimes it seemed a little too slow-paced.  Now as an adult I can see why our parents wanted to settle there.  I’m hoping I can go back and visit again in the next year or so.

Side note:  I’m trying this template that is supposed to choose a background color based on the colors in my photos.  I’m not sure I’ll like it, but wanted to give it a try.  Keep an eye on it and let me know what you think.

My Hometown:

Look at this amazing photo that was taken by a new connection from Vermilion, Ohio, my hometown. Scott Dommin has started posting photos on a Facebook page about Vermilion. and I’ve been enjoying a tour of the local sights.

The lighthouse isn’t functional, but is a replica of an 1877 one that stood in the Vermilion Harbor long ago. It sits right next to the little Inland Seas Maritime Museum. Immediately to the right, just past the bushes is the sometimes sandy and sometimes rocky shore of Lake Erie.

This picture reminds me of the awesome summer storms that I could see from my 2nd story bedroom window. They would roll in off Lake Erie filling the skies with this spectacular lightening show. It was mostly exciting, but sometimes a bit frightening when the thunder and lightening got a little too close for comfort.

We used to swim in the lake until the last possible moment before the storm came in, then we’d go swimming again after the storms. We would always be guaranteed great waves at those times, which made things quite interesting. I remember one time being convinced that I would never make it back to the pier because the waves kept washing me farther and farther away. But God was watching over me and I did make it back safe and sound.

Just another reminder of God’s constant protective hand on us. What an awesome God we serve! He’s big enough to create the storms, but personally involved enough to carry us thru them!

Thanks Scott, for sharing this picture.

Vermilion Ohio Visit

Here are a few more favorite pics and a link to all my pictures from my trip to Vermilion.

Unfortunately, they’re not in any kind of order and there are quite a few, but if you look at them in a slideshow you can set the speed so it goes pretty fast. Some have captions and some don’t. I got tired of doing them and wanted to get these out before the end of the year. Some will probably seem kind of random…doorknobs and such, but these are little pieces of my aunt’s cottage that are great memories for me. I hope you enjoy some of them!

There are some very cute ones of my niece and nephew (Sharon’s grandkids). Kids are always so adorable!

I look forward to hearing from you too.

Left to right (youngest to oldest) me, Sharon, Pat, Diane.

Our Favorite Cottage on the Lake

Things I love about the Cottage:

The cottage is one of my favorite places. There’s so much to know about it and so much to see that I’ll have to do it in several installments. When we were back in Vermilion this time we made some new discoveries.

This watercolor below was painted by a neighbor in 1961 (when I was 3 years old). It depicts my grandmother’s fruit and vegetable stand that was just down the road from the cottage. That’s how their family made a living and probably why she had so many kids. She was an amazing gardener with a huge farm full of everything delicious…acres and acres of fresh sweet corn, watermelon, turnips, apples, peppers and dozens of other healthy treats. I used to stay with her and my cousin, Karen on the farm for a few weeks every summer. It was heaven! Even though this painting is far from professional, it brings back wonderful memories of her place.

But I digress…this is supposed to be about the cottage.

Here are just a few of the things that I love about the place:

LURES: My uncle has a boat and loves to fish on the lake. He used to take us out when we were kids. You can see that he has all of his lures hanging on the wall at the top of the stairs for anyone who comes to visit and wants to use them.

DOORKNOBS: The house is filled with working vintage doorknobs! This one is their front door. I have more pics of the knobs, but won’t bore you with those. Once I get all my pics online, I’ll link so you can see everything.

CHERRIES: My aunt & uncle’s last name is Cherry, so the kitchen is filled with bunches of vintage cherry decor. This tray is just one example.

LOVE NOTES FROM OUR HOSTS: Over the years as my aunt & uncle having lovingly cared for and shared the cottage, they’ve discovered all the important do’s and don’ts that keep it the special place that it’s become. This bulletin board is a sampling of the loving notes from our hosts that ensure that we all have a grand time and keep the cottage in one piece.

LUCKY STONES: I showed you some of the beach glass collection in my last post and now you need to learn about lucky stones. The stones in the shot glass are called “Lucky Stones”. They’re not actually stones at all. (Click the link to find out more.) If you click on the photo you can see the “L” on each one. We spent many hours in our youth looking for these on the beach. The cottage guests have collected them over the years and we saw several cups full around the house. My aunt says that when you give them to someone else they are a gift of love and become “Lucky Love Stones”. My sweet cousin, Elaine gave me a pair of earrings and a necklace that she made from these. Wow, did I feel loved!

Well, that’s all for now…more to come.

Home again, home again jiggety jig…

Last night I arrived home after about 4 days in Ohio visiting my brother, Pat, with my two sisters. We realized that our last trip with our mom happened about the same time last year, so we’re thinking that this needs to become an annual affair in early June. My mom didn’t come along this time because this trip was kind of short notice and she wouldn’t have had time to prepare. We’ll plan another one with her in the coming months.

I’ll post a few of my favorite pics tonight, then do more later. Look closer at the one with the “Gone to the Beach” sign. The lamp base is filled with beach glass! You can’t really tell the size from the picture, but the globe is about the size of a basketball.

We stayed at my Aunt Eleanor’s cottage just about 100 steps from Lake Erie and I took bunches of pics of the place trying to capture a bit of the feeling that I get when I’m there. Time seems to stand still in that little corner of the world and we all look forward to that. We enjoyed every minute including drives around town, thunderstorms every day, walks on the beach, finding shells and beach glass, visits from cousins and aunts, delicious strawberry shortcake, fresh Lake Erie Perch dinners, amazing beefsteak tomatoes sliced and eaten with just a little salt & pepper, running into old friends from high school, and helping our brother find a new place to live.

If you look closely at the picture of the beach stones that I took after one of the storms, you’ll see dozens of tiny shells, a bit of beach glass, some sandstone (orange) and the black shale that we often used as natural blackboards for writing and drawing while lounging on the beach.

We also visited my nephew, Jason and his two adorable children Jaret & Justine.