Thursday, June 8, 2017

Join Me In Gina Waite

Photo courtesy of Mike Terry and Brighter Side Art
I'm always glad when June comes around. The warmer, longer, sun-filled hours urge me to sit back, drink the lemonade and ENJOY the blooming beauty all around me. June also causes awareness of days gone by...just the smell of fresh-cut grass transports my senses and memory back to the time when I was a child.

If I close my eyes, I can still feel the sensation of slightly damp grass across the bottom of my feet as I played games in my backyard on Rimrock Drive. My younger siblings and I played for hours and hours in our backyard ... only stopping for lunch, bathroom breaks and the sound of my Dad's truck as he pulled around the house to park in back near his cabinetry shop. I'd run out to greet him almost every day! He'd swing me up to his shoulder, kiss me on the cheek and tell me that I was his little, "sweetheart of the hills." One of my FAVORITE things to do then, and remember now!

As June is here and Father's Day approaching on June 18th, I'd like to do something to encourage not only my mind ... but yours, too! June is ALSO the month of my parents' anniversary so I'd really like to do something fun to remember them. Starting June 12th, and everyday leading up to June 18th, I will assign a letter in the word "F-A-T-H-E-R" that corresponds with each day of the Father's Day week. I will share, and hope readers will do the same, a memory associated with my Father/Mother/Family that corresponds with EACH of those letters! I'm excited to share my memories and REALLY look forward to you, sharing yours! Start thinking of memories associated with those letters...this is going to be FUN!

Just to recap here's the schedule for the upcoming Father's Day week of memories:

*June12th - Memories associated with the letter "F"
*June 13th- Memories associated with the letter "A"
*June 14th- Memories associated with the letter "T"
*June 15th- Memories associated with the letter "H"
*June 16th- Memories associated with the letter "E"
*June 17th- Memories associated with the letter "R"
*June 18th- Father's Day!

Have a wonderful week and PLEASE ... Join me in June!

♦ Hope you'll let us share your stories and photos here at our residence "In a Nutshell." Email us at 

Monday, May 29, 2017

Happy Memorial Day

We hope your day is filled with joy in remembering loved ones lost and honoring those that are still here. To celebrate and honor those who "courageously gave their lives...and those that bravely fight today" is so important. 

It was a quote by General George S. Patton that rings true of this day of remembrance and is definitely something we can all learn from..."It is foolish and wrong to mourn the men who died. Rather, we should thank God that such men lived."  

♦ Hope you'll let us share your stories and photos here at our residence "In a Nutshell." Email us at 

Sunday, May 14, 2017


HAPPY MOTHER'S DAY to all the Moms out there! May your day be filled with gratitude and love! Always remember..."To the world you are a Mother, but to your family

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Monday, May 1, 2017

A Mother's Jim Terry

Here it is…already the month of May. Can you believe it?...Me either!  It’s the month where we know that the showers from the previous month bring May’s flowers. It’s also a month where we, or at least I, start feeling like old man winter may be loosening his grasp, and may finally be "on his way." Simply put, the snowstorms we experienced throughout the winter and spring, rapidly fade into memories past. With the lack of snow, we then begin to see plants leap from the earth, tree buds burst to form leaves which provide shade in the summer sun and grasses that really start to grow. And with the continuation of spring rain, what once was a dingy, dead, brown backdrop that filled our lives throughout the winter, quickly becomes a landscape that is replenished in a beautiful Technicolor hue.  And although all of these points I mentioned about the month of May are wonderful and exciting, I cannot help, but think of, and mention one more very important reason why May is so important to me.

My Mother, Marlene, and I in 1971. 
Some might jump to the conclusion that my heart felt warmth towards the month of May might be because it's my birthday month, an anniversary of a great accomplishment like a graduation, or even the month with which I completed my first marathon...but no!  The one thing that makes this month so special to me is also one of the most important things we all have and can experience in this life, our mothers.

This is definitely a time of year, especially now that I am older, when I take time to pause in my busy life. During that pause, I take a deep breath, put some quiet music on and I get out the old pictures and the hand written cards I received, over my lifetime, from that one very important person.  While reading the cards, I embrace some of the things that belonged to her and quietly gaze at the pictures that stir up feelings of nostalgia. I then realize that this person has been my FOUNDATION. The one person, next to my father, that has given me the most love and support in my life. That one person that tucked me into bed, sang the bedtime songs, kissed the “owies” better and the same person that helped shape me into the person I am, my mother.

Left to Right...Me, Marlene (Mom), Angie and Lora
It was not in May but March 31st of 1970, in which I came into this world.  I can’t say as I can remember anything from that first day, but I sometimes wonder what it would have been like to be a fly on the wall during that moment of my first breaths of life? To see a young mother, barely 27 years old at the time, hold her third child, but her first son, and experience and feel the warmth that only a mother’s smile can give…To hear my first cry, only to be subdued and quieted by the gentle whisper and peaceful humming of a mother’s voice…To witness the warm embrace and joy of an innocent mother, completely exhausted, still able to hold and cuddle her child as they fall to sleep…to witness a mother’s love.

When I was about twelve years old, I read a quote about mothers that I wanted to share with you that really impressed me. It impressed me so much that even as a young boy, I cut out that portion of the article and saved it for over thirty years in order to share it at special occasions such as this. I can’t remember exactly where it came from, but I feel it is one of the best-written expressions of what mothers should be and mean to all of us. 

“To my mind, mothers are the closest things to heaven there is. Even in their humanness they give us a glimpse of what heavenly parents must be like. I honor them for their courage; I praise them for their sacrifice: I love them for their ability to laugh and cry (and to do both at the same time). If ever there were a sacred title, to me at least, it would be that of Mother.”

My beautiful Mother who started this blog.
So even though I don’t have my mother here on earth to tell her I love her, I will do my best to ponder in my mind and in my heart how much I do care for and love her. And I hope with enough meditation and thought, that my message will be carried on the gentle breezes aloft all the way to heaven to let her know I will be thinking of her on her special day. 

The message, you might ask, is really quite simple…”I love and miss you Mom! Please thank God for allowing me to have you for forty-three and a half years as a mother. And even though it still hurts to not have you here with me, I understand and realize that there must be a much greater purpose for which God needed you by calling you home…Oh, and P.S., THANK YOU, from the WHOLE of my heart, for allowing me to experience a mother’s love!!! OXOX”

HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY, on the 14th, to all the Moms out there. And for those of you that have your mothers still here with you, make sure to show them you care because, “A mother is she who can take the place of all others but whose place NO ONE else can take.”

♦ Hope you'll let us share your stories and photos here at our residence "In a Nutshell." Email us at 

Sunday, April 16, 2017

Monday, April 10, 2017

"I HATE THAT GINA WAITE" the aforementioned, Gina Waite

I love long drives in the car during Sunny, Spring weather…the car windows down, recently-rained-on-grass smell and the feeling of HOPE for things to come almost tangible, in the air. I think Spring is pretty aptly named, don't you? It's a season of awakening that puts a spring in my step and a desire to be a happier person. I wonder, friends, if I'm the only one who feels this way in Spring? I feel like I'm normally a pretty happy person, anyway, but I definitely think there HAVE been times where my attitude toward happiness has been called into question. The more I think of it, the first time I really invested time in thinking about my happiness was after eavesdropping on a conversation between my son and daughter.

Eleven years ago this month I was preparing to throw a birthday party for my then, four-year old daughter. With both children in tow throughout the day, we ran errands, baked and wrapped to the point that after the birthday party was over…ALL three of us had over-extended what was left of our energy storage, patience and pancreas. Over-sugared, freshly bathed and beyond exhausted, I ordered my kids to bed to get some sleep so that in turn, I could get rest, too. Pleading with me to stay up longer and allow them the chance to show me just how good they could be, my children utilized the BEST mediation skills they had by teaming up to say,

“Mommy…please. Please make a good choice; please let us stay up with you!”

Unable to appreciate the talented, negotiation skills of my small children, I responded,

“Kids look. I’m not your Mommy, right now. Do you see the clock? It’s ten-o-clock. That means Mommy is OFF duty and Gina Waite is here to take her place.”

Now as this scenario had been repeated multiple times previously, my children knew that when Gina Waite was “in the house,” there wasn’t much negotiating for them. When the ALIAS
"Gina" was there, it was ALL business and, at that point, NO exceptions to a bed time hour would be happening...and most of the time, this method worked so well there wasn't a thing the kids would say about it! It was magic!

After laying down the law and walking out of the room I quickly became aware on that particular day, that the kids were really taking the idea of the grumpy, no nonsense "Gina Waite" to heart. Normally, after the pleading of their bunk bed release, together...and the obvious snub to their plea...I would hear little giggles and discussions about how they would work it the next time. This time...the room was completely quiet. I snuck back down the hall and hugged the corner of the children’s room. As I looked through the crack of the slightly opened door, I could see the two kids looking at each other from around the railings of their bunk beds...completely disgusted and deflated. About 5 seconds passed and my daughter grabbed her well-used, night time pacifier, put it in her mouth and forced out the following, muted statement, 

"Jordan...I HATE that Gina Waite!”

Now, I realize as well as the next Mom…you can’t laugh OUT LOUD at that statement. It would only encourage weeks and weeks of my daughter saying the phrase over and over, just to get the desired response…LAUGHTER. I held it in and tried to walk back down the hall to the kitchen as quickly as I could…that is until a loud sound, similar to that of a whale blowing air up through it’s blowhole...left my mouth and I burst into laughter. At that point the gig was up, the kids started laughing and my time as grouchy, evening-rule-enforcer, Gina Waite, was up.

It was in that moment of walking down the hall, laughing with my children in their room...that I contemplated how I wanted Gina Waite to be known. Just like most, she was a generally happy person, at least I thought she was...but apparently the only side my kids had witnessed was someone who was grouchy. I decided from that day forward "Gina Waite" would be a happy person to her children. How'd I go about doing that you ask, "decide every morning to be in a good mood" whether it's Spring or any other season of the year. 

*Hope you'll let us share your stories and photos at our residence "In a Nutshell." Email us at