Tag Archives: memories

Thinking of someone to find out they have been thinking of you


Today I called an old friend from back home that I have been thinking of this week.  As happens many times with us, she was also thinking of me this week.  It was good that I called.

I guess I haven’t spoken to her in longer than I had thought as there was much to catch up on.

I didn’t meet her until I was in high school.  She was a city girl who had been living with her Dad and siblings in the city but got a little too ornery and was banished to live in the country with her Mom who had married our widowed neighbor.  Neighbor on our street was about a 1/4 mile away.

She joined the country crew of her new family that had two boys and a girl, but she was older than the others – and wilder – so she wasn’t much for hanging out with her new found family.  Instead she opted to come to the farm quite often and hang with me mostly. (we can all admit to a crush she had on my brother though)

The thing about hanging out on the farm is that if there is something that needed to be done and you were there, you were expected to help out.

She was a trooper and a little intimidated by my Dad so she would attempt anything we asked of her. Problem was, she didn’t have the vocabulary of farm knowledge to know what we were talking about sometimes.

I remember telling her to go up in the haymow and throw down 4 slices of hay for the calves.  After a few minutes of seeing no hay coming down, I climbed the ladder to see her standing in front of a bale of hay just looking at it.  I’m sure I asked what she was waiting on to which she replied “I don’t know how to slice hay!”   Of course in instances such as that, she received only laughter in response to her lack of knowledge.  It still makes me giggle just thinking of it.


At any age, we didn’t attract alot of friends who wanted to spend time at the farm – that ‘you have to work if your here’ thing kinda puts a damper on people coming over too much.  She definitely spent the most time at the farm with our family of anyone I can remember.

As we were catching up on my drive home, the conversation came around to my current adventure.  I let her know there was a blog involved and said when I got home I would send a link.  I told her that my Raw Challenge friend and I were Wilma and Betty and she was somewhere between surprised and not.  Turns out as  she informed me that she and her sister are Wilma and Betty in their alter egos. She is also the Betty character.

I sent the link and the site views started clicking away showing that she was indeed going through the pages.  I messaged her that it wasn’t recommended to read all the posts in one sitting as it hasn’t been tested and could cause mental damage!  Read on she did anyway.  She loved the one about the Robin’s Return and Mom as she had heard that one while her time at the farm.

The actual messages were:

“I love it! All of them. I like the memories of your mom…and when you reflect on your past and bring that into your present.
 It’s really good.
 It makes me miss you..”
What a great statement to hear.  It affirms that my personal tone is actually coming through and still recognizable to someone from my youth.
I haven't changed

KB, It was great to catch up with you and  since you have read the blogs, you know that I write about what is on my mind at the time of the post and tonight you’re it.  Lets plan on you coming out this summer.

Wilma, keep sending me what I need to pack.  My co-worker checked the weather and it looks like rain is in the  forecast for a while still.  No problem.  What is a mud challenge without the mud?

To my guest Bloggers who have already sent in your submissions, I will definitely post them sometime soon in between some of my own.  Thank you and keep them coming if you feel obliged.

Love Betty




The Guest Blogs


step  up to the plate

I have to say that I am thrilled about the number of you whom have expressed a desire to possibly write a guest blog for me.  I just might take a month off!

Oh, probably not, but it would be nice to have some extra blogs in the Betty email that can be drawn upon. Those times after a long and drudgerous day when there are no words coming from my head or fingertips. (Wiktionary has drudgerous in there, so quit thinking I’m making up my own words – even if I looked it up to make sure that I wasn’t the one making it up)

I do not have a date that I know I will need your guest blog as I cannot see the future and do not know when life will throw a curve ball.  If you send them to the betty@thelaughyouknow.com, I will post them in the general order that they come in – but on the as needed basis. I could end up keeping it in my back pocket for a while, so if you send one be patient and I will be sure to email you the day it goes up so you will not miss it.

I’m looking for stories to share and you may choose your own format as long as the content doesn’t get me booted from my own site!

comfort zone

I have a trip planned a month from this one, so you needn’t worry that you can only write one and it will be used in the next two weeks or not at all.  I will continue until we are all tired of sharing stories.

There might even be a grander trip on the horizon so you can write a several part story if needed to keep you from writing War and Peace all in one post.

go for it


Thank you for the help.

Wilma, you actually get to choose when your guest blog goes up if you write one.

I guess for the rest of you, if you have one for a particular day that you would really like the blog to post, I can consider those as well.

Love Betty

Death and Taxes


Ben F death and taxes

Today is a day of death and taxes.

My weekend was already planned for getting enough of the taxes figured out that I can file a somewhat accurate extension.  We haven’t filed on time in 25 years, so I’m not about to start now.  That would surely draw attention.

My sister texted that her mother in law passed away.  It wasn’t a shock as she had been ill and this past week had taken a turn for the worse.

While it can’t totally change my focus on what needs to be done this weekend, it is a reminder that life is fragile and where the real importance lies.

tax lineToo many times we find ourselves standing in the wrong line.

My brother in law lost his father many years ago and while this isn’t a shock it is still the moment when you realize you are an orphan and now the generations all reside after you and not before you.


I think back on that time when it happened for me and realize how very blessed I was/am with the aunts and uncles from both sides of the family who made sure we knew we could count on their presence in the absence of their lost siblings.  Thank you to all of you for your continued support.  It is immeasurable in importance.

I love the ones

I thought when Mom died that there was nothing more cruel than the closing of the coffin.  I couldn’t bear the thought of not seeing her physical presence. I would have preferred to have her stuffed like a lion and have her where I could still visit. ( I know that is bad, but it is honestly how I felt at the time).  I needed not worry about that as I now sometimes hear her in the choir or playing the organ at church or she pops into a dream.  I am now myself even past the age that I remember her most vibrant and that is sometimes  hard to wrap my mind around as a concept.

And with Dad, I still will visit somewhere or go to a restaurant and think that I need to bring him there the next time he is out for a visit.  Neither of my parents share the physical space, but they have not left me.

So to my sister and her family and her husband’s family I have no words that properly tell you how much I wish I could be there to share in the stories that could be told that help you to remember the days of laughter around the pool (once it was built),  of the antics from your childhood, or other stories to bring back more quickly the younger healthy Mother into your vision as that is the one we all hold most dearest.

tears are words


My love to you all.

Wilma,  I wish you were here and I could bribe you to take a look at the taxes as I am liking this task less every year.

Love Betty

How we perceive ourselves


busy bee

Yesterday as I was looking for photos/quips to put in the blog, there was “The Busy Bee” picture that reminded me of a story of misunderstanding and how clueless I can still sometimes be.

When I started at my current job, the department was small and they had just promoted from within so if you had been there and outlasted those around you, “manager” was put on your placard.

The gal that was the manager didn’t like change or customers or me trying to go above and beyond for the customers.  It seemed to infuriate her that I would treat everyone with kindness and do as much as I could for them.  It got to a very contentious point and ownership finally hired a director for our department and her level of involvement diminished.

We were and are a department that communicates via messaging on our computers to pass along vital information while we are taking phone calls.  Sometimes the messaging is just personal between two co-workers.

One of the new people that had started just prior to me  had recommended the director for the position and they would message frequently to communicate policies and changes and what was happening in certain situations.

The manager whom was losing her stature quickly could see the screens pop up from her desk, but could not read them so one day when the co-worker was outside taking a break, the gal manager went over to the co-workers computer and brought up her messages to read.

get a life

I let my coworker know that her privacy had been compromised.  She confronted the manager and she admitted to looking through her messages.  The coworker let me know that the manager eventually blamed it on me and called me a nosey B.  (excuse me, but I wasn’t the one poking in someone else’s personal messages).

I of course envisioned myself as the nosey bee – the little bumble bee buzzing around the room.

A couple of days later I was speaking with Wilma on the way home from work and she was asking if there had been any new drama.  I relayed the story of the manager and the coworker and the the comment that it was really my fault for being a nosey B.  Wilma immediately replies that she cannot believe the manager called me a bi@tch!  Seconds pass before I realize, Holy Cow, she probably did call me that!

I go into work the next day and ask my coworker what was actually said and of course Wilma is right. I’m just the Pollyanna who hasn’t considered that anyone would think I was anything but the affable person I consider myself to be.


seeing yourself

It is a story that my coworkers still find hilarious and every now and then one of them will call me Bee.  (for them it is not short for Betty either)

liar liar

Wilma, I got your email with the link for getting the Visa and you were correct.  It was super easy and quick to do.  I can now come and go to Australia for 3 months at a time as many times as I wish for the next year starting today.  I leave three weeks from today!  Mind Blowing.

Love Betty









Synchronicity of Dates


As I referred to yesterday, there have been dates on the calendar that have synchronized and developed into amazing experiences in my life.

The first one that I recognized began just before my senior year in college.

I was fortunate growing up to get to spend time with both sets of grandparents and enjoy them for differing reasons. Today’s story involves Grandmother.

sal iphone 150

For most of my remembered years, my Father’s parents – Grandmother and Grandfather – (not ever shortened to grandma and grandpa and never a pet silly name was used) lived in the winter months in Florida and came up to be near the farm in the summers.  I have many many memories of riding with Grandfather on the tractor as he did whatever field work was needed and sitting under the large maple tree out in the front yard with Grandmother and helping shuck peas, snap beans or pluck elderberries  as she told stories.  She had a phenomenal memory and was an excellent story teller.

After Grandfather died, Grandmother would have one of us grandchildren drive her to or from Florida and we would fly on the opposite leg of the trip.

Just prior to one of the times that I was fortunate enough to be a part of, I had completed renting part of a home just off of campus at Ohio State.  Knowing she had gone to OSU for her degree, I considered taking her by the house to show her where I was to be living. I rejected the idea based on the thinking that it had been so long since she had been around campus, she probably would just say it was nice old house and we would simply move along.

We take a couple of days to drive to FL and she is regaling stories all along the way of times in her life.  Sometime along in the second day as we were driving through Georgia, she is going through some of her college stories of attending Ohio State.  It was during prohibition so there are some really great stories.  She gets to a point and says “and then for my junior and senior year, I lived at 48 East 17th Avenue”.  I nearly drove off of the road as I turned to stare at her as the house I had just rented was at 48 East 17th Ave!  I ask her to describe the house as they could have renumbered the homes since the time she was there or even moved streets.  She describes the house from the outside and I know it is the same one.

sal iphone 152

When we get to her home in Florida, she digs through some old photos and finds ones of her and friends in front of this old stone block home that we both lived in while attending the same college generations apart.  Today I cannot locate that photo but here is one of the gals in front of the house.

sal iphone 151

I can hear some of you thinking that while that is all incredible and great, it has nothing to do with coinciding dates.

So the timeline is this:  My Grandmother attended Ohio State University from 1921 until 1925 and lived at 48 East 17th Avenue at the time of her graduation on June 14, 1925.

I attended Ohio State University from 1981 until 1985 and lived at 48 East 17th Avenue at the time that I graduated on June 14, 1985.

sal iphone 155

Sixty years to the day, a grandmother and granddaughter shared the same home and graduated on the same day.  On a campus of it’s size, it is remarkable by any standards.

She came to my graduation and somewhere I have the photo of both of us together on the steps of the house on the day of our graduation albeit sixty years apart.  Obviously, I put it somewhere sacred and special so that it wouldn’t be lost.

Unlike the pseudo names and photos that are generally used in this blog, all photos today are real as are the dates and addresses. The house has since been torn down and replaced with a newer campus rental home.

48 east 17th ave


There are a billion calculations that could have made this a non-event.  It could have been that I didn’t drive Grandmother to Florida that year and thus never would have heard that story.  The house could have been razed years earlier. Either one of us could have gone to a different college and graduated on a different date. Either one of us could have lived at one of the other 50,000 houses around Columbus.  The odds make it almost unbelievable yet it happened and is a treasured story to share.

Wilma, Make fun of my college graduation photo and I will find one of your ’80s photos and post.  Workouts have been sporadic at best the past few days.  I did some sumo squats – hello inner thighs, and some pushups and jumped some rope.  I have not however gotten them all strung together to do the tabata workout.  After such a gorgeous week — tonight it is snowing again.

I hope your week got better than when we last spoke.

Love Betty



Sweet Memories


sweet memories

Earlier this week one of my cousins posted a link to a group that her father loved and she commented on how it brought her to tears each time she heard it.  Well P, it got me verklempt as well.

I have a similar story of memories and music associated with my mother.  She would play the piano and when I was growing up, I always heard the story of one of her aunts saying that you were really a piano player when you could play the “Robin’s Return”.  There are oh so many things that made my mother an amazing person with more talent and grace than I could ever hope for, but because there was this age old high bar that she reached, it became in my mind a little anthem of achievable greatness.

After she passed away, I started asking folks who said they played the piano if they had heard of or could play the Robin’s Return.  Each time, no one had heard of it.  I kept asking and one day a few years ago while I was doing my job of customer service for another company I found myself speaking to a gentleman who stated that he couldn’t perform the instructions for repair that I had sent as he is a concert pianist and couldn’t risk his fingers in the mechanics of something.   I then asked the question I had posed  countless times and he said why of course he has and proceeded to send me an mp3 recording that he had just made.

I sat at my desk that day and wept.  It was the gift I had been waiting for many years to receive and it immediately placed me in a hug from my mother in heaven.



What is equally amazing to me, is that I immediately passed it along to my siblings and some of my aunts as I was sure this was just as an incredible memory for everyone else as it was for me.  But alas, it was not.  My brothers hardly remembered the song at all.  It goes to show that we all grasp onto different moments based upon our own perspective.

remember moments


So for those of you who have heard the Robin’s return before, below is a reminder.  For those of you who have never heard it, let it be your introduction.  For those who can play it…. I stand and applaud.

Love Betty