Guest Post — Sweet Days of Summer: #Story

cousin and Pat as children

Cousin and Pat when they were children – Photo © by Pat Ruppel

Hi everyone — I’m honored to be Susan Cooper’s guest over at “Finding Our Way Now” with my contribution of Sweet Days of Summer: #Story. It was taken from my free e-book and begins like this:

Here’s a little story I wrote back in 2012, in reflection, as the sweet days of summer wound down and cooler nights were soon to come.

It had been a rough year having come through the loss of my mother-in-law, not to mention an outsourced job along with catastrophic statewide news. I guess you could say my heart wanted to feel happy and safe. What better way than to recapture some childhood moments.

I hope you’ll drop by Susan’s site, leave a comment and share the love.

Thank You!

Pat at the ol’ kitchen table

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Guest Post on Finding Our Way Now

Grandpop and Grandmom

Personal Photo – Grandpop and Grandmom © Pat Ruppel

Hi everyone — sending a quick note letting you know I’m honored to be Susan Cooper’s guest over on “Finding Our Way Now” with contributing the following story.

Happy Happy Happy: #Story

I hope you’ll drop by Susan’s site, leave a comment and share the love.

Thank You!

Pat at the ol’ kitchen table

Guest Post on Selections of Reflections

Hi everyone — sending a quick note letting you know I’m honored to be Diana Jackson’s guest over on “Selections of Reflections” with the following story.

Happy Happy Happy ~ Guest Post by Pat Ruppel

I hope you’ll drop by, leave a comment and share the love.

Thank You!

Pat at the ol’ kitchen table

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That Special Someone

Who in your life was the most influential? Sometimes it’s a member of the family – sometimes it just a best friend. But, whoever it is, they have made the most impression in your life and even today you can think back on them and have warm feelings.

The one who was the most impressionable for me was my grandmother. She had a presence about her that was warm and welcoming. I can remember, when I was younger, teaching her how to add zip codes to an address or how to look up a number to dial on the telephone. Before, their phone did not have a rotary dial and you just picked it up and asked the operator to connect you to who you wanted to talk to. I know it sounds like I’m talking about the Dark Ages but this was only in the late 50’s early 60’s. It was a small town in Virginia and they were not privy to the latest technologies. Grandma only went through the 2nd grade but she could write cursive and add and read. Grandpop on the other hand couldn’t read or write – well, he was taught to write his name but that was all he could write. Whatever they lacked in an opportunity for an education they made up for in values, integrity, work ethic, love and compassion and passed it onto us.

What I loved most about my grandmother was how comfortable she was with herself and because of this you felt accepted and comfortable too. She allowed you to be yourself and she honored it. She didn’t try to change you. When we would talk, I would feel like we talked from soul to soul and genuinely connected. She was the type of person that because she loved you in such a pure way, you never wanted to disappoint her.

In addition to being religious, Grandma was psychic which made for some interesting events. One night after we went to bed my cousin in one of the connecting bedrooms said she heard a clock ticking. It sounded like it was in the wall just above her head. Grandma came in and listened and checked all around the room including under the bed. She went into her bedroom to look out to see if a car was parked with the engine running but no car and no clock. Then, she made one of her usual declarations, when things were just a little out of the ordinary, saying, “Someone is going to die.” Well, again, sure enough we got a phone call early in the morning that someone in the family had passed away. Grandma had a connection and an understanding of those loved ones on the other side. She was quite comfortable with it even though it freaked the rest of us out. Through all these times when things happened that we didn’t understand, she was patient and loving giving us a different view beyond the world of sight. She helped me to see a deeper side of my faith in God and spirituality that may have taken me a long time to accept and for that I am thankful.

Who is that special someone that most impressed you? How have they contributed to who you are today? Are they still alive and can you still get in touch with them and, if not, their memory will always keep their presence fresh by your side as if they never left.

I love you Grandma, wherever you are today! Thank you for influencing my life and being a big part of who I am today!

From the kitchen table – Pat

Hope you’ll come back for another visit. You’re welcome to sit with us at the kitchen table. You can sign up for free!

Family and Going Home

Starting tonight we get our grandsons for the weekend. I’m reminded how precious family is, especially this time of the year. My husband and I love having them spend time with us. They’re growing up fast (like the old song, “Turn Around”) and it won’t be long when they’ll have places to go and things to do with their friends.

Yes, we get caught up in the frenzy of job, errands, answering e-mails, etc. but more than once a year, at Christmas time, it’s important to play – wrestle, take long walks, make snowmen, talk, read stories, watch movies – and not let a minute go by without cherishing the gift of family. Whatever your family looks like, whether with children or not, it’s valuable to you and that’s what is important.

I grew up spending the whole summer, every summer, with my sister and 5 cousins at my grandparents. We were always excited to get there and cried when it came time to leave.

There was nothing special to do at my grandparents. They didn’t have toys and never took us to a movie. We just hung around every day and played together and were part of their everyday life. I think that is what was so special. We belonged and were valued and safe.

They took us fishing and crabbing and we went to the cemetery with them to cut the grass around the family tombstones. They interacted with us in their regular daily living. We visited like that with them every year until I graduated from high school. In fact that’s where I got the idea of sitting around the kitchen table and talking (see my headline).

Occasionally on the weekends our parents would come to visit – some as far as 250 miles. Because it was a long ride just for the weekend, they would leave after work on Friday and drive until the early morning hours. We’d be in bed and hear them come in and Grandmom would put on a pot coffee.

She would fix them something to eat to give them a chance to unwind from their long trip before going up to bed. We’d lie in bed catching the aromas of food drifting upstairs and listen to the quiet sounds of their laughter and talk. It’s been over 35 years now since my grandparents have died and I still miss them.

I can still hear them in the only lit room in the house, talking and sitting around the lone, kitchen table with all of us nestled upstairs in our warm beds. How do you create those memories for our children, our families? The answer: time and giving of yourself.

How did we get so busy that we barely have time for supper, a few words and homework, before it’s time for bed and then the next morning it starts all over again? Before you know it a year has flown by, then 5 years and then high school and on, and on, and on….. How do you take back control of your life? As Nike says, “Just do it!”

If you don’t make the conscious decision to live the life you want to live, it will be done for you. Life just happens. As we approach this special time of the year, become aware of your routines and demands and decide to change it. Love more, live more, laugh more and make those special memories starting this very moment with your family – your loved ones.

Here is a little something from Erma Bombeck, writer and humorist, If I Had to Live My Life Over (written after she found out she was dying from cancer).


From the kitchen table – Pat