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Monday, February 22, 2010


I have watched the Olympics and ignored all else. Now I’m beginning to feel the heat from all the things I should have been doing. Why?? ?? I keep reading Maxine and was interested some time back to read about her creator and how “she” got started. A school friend from Germany sent the information of how it all began.

I used to think she was silly, a bad example and someone I wouldn’t want to live next door to. The older I get, the more I think she’s got it about right as far as not caring how others perceive her. Most of us follow a pattern we have fallen into because we thought that’s who we were…..no, DO NOT say I’m the only one.

As little girls we grow up with women whom we follow in line down the road going…..somewhere. We don’t really know where. We know we will grow up, get married, have children…… and become old and ugly. It was inevitable.

How do I perceive myself, how do I perceive others and how do they perceive me? I think of Maxine as Bea Arthur……I can just see her playing the part of Maxine. Bea seemed to always be the one who had to dish out rationality with a gravel voice but you knew deep inside she was a softie.

Well, the Olympics are on and I’d better hurry to finish. I have a deep-down Maxine feeling about sitting down defiantly to watch. Work? Who cares? I’m retired so I’m going to do just about everything that is allowed as a Christian and legal. They are following their dream and …….I’m dreaming along with them.

Essentially Esther

Wednesday, February 17, 2010


I can’t even remember the last sunny day we’ve had. Just when I was getting used to it I woke this morning with sun coming in my window. It was then I realized how much I had missed it.

Normally I’m not a gloomy person in cloudy weather as some. When we visited Seattle in the days my brother and sister-in-law lived there it was always sunny. My brother couldn’t figure why it happened that way because he said they were usually shrouded in gray clouds and mist. To look at the mountains looming over most of the area was breathtaking. I’ve always loved mountains and oceans and that’s probably because I have lived in the mid-west all my life.

I have traveled much of the country and the wide-open span of mountains seen for miles before we reached them somehow spoke to me. It may be partly why big city folks follow the lure of the open spaces. We don’t know how big our country is until we have an automobile trip West. For the purist in heart the automobile is best because of the opportunity to stop and drink it all in.

Flying over our country only presents the departure and the arrival. It’s good for emergencies or to save time but to vacation or to do my favorite thing…….driving is the only way. My favorite thing? My family will tell you I pick up rocks everywhere I go. My prize rocks remind me of certain trips and I love looking at them. Missouri has tons of rocks and they are prized as much as petrified wood or the many colors and sizes I have gathered.

Thoughts fly through my head when I remember trips I’ve been fortunate to make. I have written them down as they presented themselves this morning. It all started with looking at Mr. Sunshine…….

Essentially Esther

Sunday, February 14, 2010


Today is Valentine’s Day !! A day to be loved and to show your love. In the happiest of observations it is more or less expected but the thought behind the gift is the most important factor. How do we showcase the love we have inside for someone?? No matter the choice of gift, the giver is the most important ingredient.

I’ve written before about “the Valentine’s Box” in our classroom as a lower grade student. When the day finally came we were treated to candy from some unknown source and the Valentine’s were delivered to our desk. It was such a thrilling time. Emotions in the young are strong and indulgent…….we accepted the cards and candy as the best part of Valentine’s Day.

Most people my age never saw their dad kiss their mother. During the end of the Great Depression there wasn’t much love around but whatever was shown between adults was definitely not public. My head was filled with romance like the movies dished out. Romance was never shown to me any other way.

All these years later I know love isn’t something we see……it’s something we feel. In any other matter we would be bankrupt giving away all we had to give…..but the funny thing about love is the more we give away, the more we have. Love is the link to every other human emotion.

I don’t know how it works but love continually wants out of our hearts. The ones who open the door find some came out but a lot more came in. Dip out as much as we can…….the heart is never empty. It’s akin to dipping water out of a boat with a hole in it…….out in the middle of the lake. Dip all we can, we simply cannot dip enough to overcome the water that wants to come in.

There are so many people who need love……even a smile can make someone’s day. Though the holiday is different from the way it used to be…..still……there are those who are hungry for a loving word, a kind act…..a helping hand. We find when we give it away we are the most blessed. How do we give love to those who have everything and how do we give love to those who have nothing?

The same way……….

Essentially Esther

Tuesday, February 09, 2010


You’ve heard the old phrase “from bad to worse”……well, that’s what we have going here. We are having the coldest, snowiest winter we’ve had for years. I mean like 15 to 20 years.

I know the folks west, north and east of us have had tons of snow. When I see people scooping driveways to get their cars out……and the snow is shoulder high I feel great compassion. Scooping snow is not a hobby or even fun. It’s just something that has to be done.

With snow, sleet and frigid winds it is all relevant. I am in the middle of where my two sons live. George is near Kansas City……a suburb across the Kansas line. He has had more snow than here and says the cold is miserable.

My other son lives near New Orleans, on the north rim of Lake Pontchartrain. He says it is cold there but they haven’t had snow. If I remember right he said it got down to 39*

From 6* with sharp wind gusts from 30 - 40 mph we don’t qualify with the heavy snows on the east coast, or with George reporting a foot or so total accumulation. With John’s temperature of 39* it seems like a heat wave to me but “cold” is cold. Whether it’s below zero, or warmer, whether with snow or not…..if it exceeds what we are used to it seems extreme.

I am painting the kitchen cupboards and enjoying every minute. I like to paint. This is a fun color so I will take pictures when I’m finished. The picture today is from a friend of mine who lives about 6 miles away. My memory card is shot so I’ll use her scene to show you how beautiful it is with our snow. With 2 dozen or more cardinals it is a joy to watch them eat at the feeders……I hope you have warmth and time to enjoy the scenes wherever you are.

Essentially Esther

Saturday, February 06, 2010


Napoleon is growing feathers quickly now. I’m not sure if he’s as long feathered as he’s going to get but he enjoys flipping his fan up when the cats come around. He has two layers that come up together, each rattling against the other to make a sound like bamboo sticks knocking together. (My version.) Of course the cats have seen this many times before and refuse to give him any pleasure by running off. Only once have I seen him peck a cat when they were eating……and it was their food too but he thinks anything on the front walk is his. I don’t mind telling you it was a hard peck, too.

I took this picture before our big snow so that’s been a week ago. He winters smart. He has a carport he goes to when it’s icy inclement weather. He isn’t about to undergo what he did last year with the ice. When I look back at those pictures I can hardly believe what he went through.

We are getting ready for a heavy snow here beginning tomorrow night. I have filled everything up for the birds, cats and Napoleon. I can be efficient for a week if need be. When I was putting peanut butter in the holes of the tree-limb feeder, I dropped a little here and there and Napoleon quickly gobbled them up. I was surprised at his eagerness to get more as he is normally slow about eating. Now I have something else I can feed him for variety. He will eat almost anything but likes a change.

Well, now that all the critters are taken care of I’m going to get settled and make some cards for a while. I hope you aren’t in the cross-hairs of the bad weather coming……may you keep your power and stay warm. Winter is bad enough but when the power goes it adds much more suffering for all.

…….and now for the note cards.

Essentially Esther

Wednesday, February 03, 2010


A good friend of mine took this picture early one morning just as the sun was coming up. The frozen frost on the foliage was her aim but when she transferred her card to the PC she noticed the fog coming up from the ground. There are so many beautiful things to look at in this world of ours.

We don’t often get 6-inches of snow so I delighted myself watching the birds at the feeders. I have between 25 - 30 Cardinals who come routinely with other local varieties. They are a sight to behold! Keeping the feeders full and water available and feeding all the cats interrupted my bird watching now and then.

Yesterday was “girls day” and highways were clear once again. I first went to visit the friend who had the hip replacement and then to the home of the other “member” to make cards. It was like a progressive dinner…..where you go to one house for salad, the next for the main meal and then the dessert. I mention the “what” because some folks won’t know what a progressive dinner is. Those things are not popular anymore for organizations who have trouble getting the members to even come to the meetings, let alone to a dinner.

When I stop to think how life has changed it seems like a different world. I grew up in such a different environment. From the slim days of the Great Depression, to the war years and then the economy booming into a generation of heretofore unknown technology we were mesmerized with the advances and opportunities. No one seemed to notice when family life as it had always been, was changing.

Kids (when I was a kid) played outside. Anything worth doing was outside. We played after school until suppertime……and then back out until dark. The bigger kids could stay out a little longer but dark always brought me in. Playing tag until you couldn’t get your breath, riding your bike until your legs were all wobbly, hop-scotch, jump rope, sledding, making snowmen…..,,action was the common element.

We walked everywhere. I know young folks don’t like hearing us old-timers talk about the hardships “back then” but every generation has some good experience to pass on. For one thing, we were skinny. Fast-forward to today and it’s hard to find a kid who is average size. We ate at home, we all ate together at the kitchen table. We listened to Dad talk about his day (a blue collar worker) and he kept us entertained…..he was a great story teller.

The front porch had a swing. I spent a lot of time swinging on it. People talked from one porch to the other…….privacy not being an issue….they were glad to give a wave and a howdy to one another. Life as I knew it is gone forever. I have advanced in some ways but a lot of me still wishes for the simplicity of those days.

Though we have all changed in a changing world there is a lot of good to be found if we look for it. Yesterday made us who we are today….today is making us ready for tomorrow…..and tomorrow beckons with a journey yet to be traveled……….

Essentially Esther