Sunday, May 13, 2018

A Loving Mother...by Jim Terry

As I was sitting here contemplating the other day and thinking about this upcoming holiday called Mother's Day, I couldn't help but ask myself a couple of questions...

"Where did it start?" Where did it come from?" 

Well, with a bit of reasearch–so easy for us to do in this day and age via the internet–I was able to answer some of my questions and wanted to share some of this knowledge with you. The following information was compiled from an article that was presented on history.com. If you would like to read the full article you can find it HERE.


"Mother’s Day is a holiday honoring motherhood that is observed in different forms throughout the world, and Mother’s Day 2018 occurs on Sunday, May 13, in the United States. The American incarnation of Mother’s Day was created by Anna Jarvis in 1908 and became an official U.S. holiday in 1914. Jarvis would later denounce the holiday’s commercialization and spent the latter part of her life trying to remove it from the calendar. While dates and celebrations vary, Mother’s Day traditionally involves presenting moms with flowers, cards, and other gifts.
Celebrations of mothers and motherhood can be traced back to the ancient Greeks and Romans, who held festivals in honor of the mother goddesses Rhea and Cybele, but the clearest modern precedent for Mother’s Day is the early Christian festival known as “Mothering Sunday.” 
© History.com
Once a major tradition in the United Kingdom and parts of Europe, this celebration fell on the fourth Sunday in Lent and was originally seen as a time when the faithful would return to their “mother church”—the main church in the vicinity of their home—for a special service.
Over time the Mothering Sunday tradition shifted into a more secular holiday, and children would present their mothers with flowers and other tokens of appreciation. This custom eventually faded in popularity before merging with the American Mother’s Day in the 1930s and 1940s.
The official Mother’s Day holiday arose in the 1900s as a result of the efforts of Anna Jarvis, daughter of Ann Reeves Jarvis. Following her mother’s 1905 death, Anna Jarvis conceived of Mother’s Day as a way of honoring the sacrifices mothers made for their children.
After gaining financial backing from a Philadelphia department store owner named John Wanamaker, in May 1908 she organized the first official Mother’s Day celebration at a Methodist church in Grafton, West Virginia. That same day also saw thousands of people attend a Mother’s Day event at one of Wanamaker’s retail stores in Philadelphia.
Did You Know?
More phone calls are made on Mother’s Day than any other day of the year. These holiday chats with Mom often cause phone traffic to spike by as much as 37 percent.
Following the success of her first Mother’s Day, Jarvis—who remained unmarried and childless her whole life—resolved to see her holiday added to the national calendar. Arguing that American holidays were biased toward male achievements, she started a massive letter writing campaign to newspapers and prominent politicians urging the adoption of a special day honoring motherhood.
By 1912 many states, towns and churches had adopted Mother’s Day as an annual holiday, and Jarvis had established the Mother’s Day International Association to help promote her cause. Her persistence paid off in 1914 when President Woodrow Wilson signed a measure officially establishing the second Sunday in May as Mother’s Day."
© Jim Terry (background photo)
So I not only give a big, "THANK YOU" to my own mother in heaven for all of her love and support but also to Anna Jarvis. I honor her for all of her efforts in creating a day for us to honor those very important people in our lives which we all call, "MOTHERS."  So take that moment today to celebrate that very important person who not only laughed with you but also cried because you cried. The same person that watched you grow. The same person that stayed up late peering through a partially cracked front door to witness your car pulling into the drive, even though it was way past her bedtime, to make sure you arrived home safely. And that very same person that will support and love you throughout your life despite all of your shortcomings, mistakes, and faults because they can still see your potential as their child. 
So with that being said, make sure to show your Mom you care. And whether that be via a box of chocolates, buying her some flowers, taking her out to dinner, a phone call to say, "I love you," or by a simple prayer in your heart if your mother is no longer here with you, make sure you do, because "of all the gifts that life has to offer, A LOVING MOTHER is the greatest of them all!"  
HAPPY MOTHER'S DAY!

Monday, April 30, 2018

"The Noblest Art"...by Jim Terry

I have been trying to find some motivation and creativity lately for the next blog.  I sometimes find it very difficult to write about the “mundane” life that I lead and try to make it interesting for you to read, but it was with the help of an older sister that recently helped with some inspiration.  I had noticed from her postings on Facebook that almost every other day was about a movie that she recently had seen that had apparently touched her emotionally and spiritually and moved her to blog about it...five times now! She also had to go to the theatre and see it there five times and had to buy it on blu ray as soon as it came out. Isn't that right Angie? 😉 This movie is one you may have seen, stars Hugh Jackman as the lead and portrays the life of P.T. Barnum who was "The Greatest Showman."

I find it hard to get to the theatre after work and with all the hours I work in a day and during the week, I would probably just fall asleep anyhow.  So I knew once the movie was available to stream or purchase that I would definitely have to watch it to see what my sister’s excitement was about.  I have to admit that I love to watch Broadway theatre productions in person but when a musical is made into a movie or a musical production begins as a movie, I generally am not as interested in watching it. 

While watching this movie and experiencing the music and the emotions of the story, I could see why my softhearted and compassionate sister would enjoy this so much. It’s a story about perseverance, family, love, successes, and failures.  Sounds like life right?  Sounds like my life.

It is the month of May and I always have to take a moment in my life to think about and mention “mothers,” but especially think of and mention my Mom.  It has literally been five years ago this month, that my mother began this blog to start her journey of hope and perseverance to continue her love of being a columnist.  Over the six months that she wrote for her blog and before her passing, she found great success. We ended up having readers in over forty countries worldwide and had an average readership of over a thousand people per post.

This blog was a medium or pathway for her to share her thoughts on life and a genuine way for us all to learn more about her. Just like all artists do, whether you are a painter, a musician or an author, each picture, each lyric to a song or each novel generally reveals a secret part of that person that created their masterpiece. I feel so fortunate to know about parts of her life in ways I could never have without her descriptive nature and talent for writing. We all have been whisked away down to the nearby ditch (canal) where “The Water Woman” lived. We learned of where her talent for writing began with her blog “Favorite Teachers.  We also have all experienced her heart and simplistic kindness throughout her writing career, but especially with recalled experiences like “I love you too.” And last but not least, we all learned of her love of Star Trek with several occurrences, but none so much as in “It’s The Crew.



After my Mom’s passing and with human nature being as it is, you always want to hold on to and cherish everything that reminds you of them. This blog was no different for me and for the family members that helped contribute writings to her blog. We simply wanted to continue her blog for her and continue what my mother set out to do. The goal?...to bring happiness to those who read and also whisk you away into places and adventures that you may not experience otherwise.   During this time, we, my family and myself, also found out how very difficult it is to write and articulate yourself correctly in order just to portray a simple situation or experience and in a way you want the reader to experience it.  As I referred to my mother earlier, she was a true professional, an “artist,” with her ability to do this so easily and effortlessly.

Well with it now being one thousand eight hundred and twenty-five days now since this blog started, and being the “last man standing” in contributing to this blog for several months now, I have decided to put this blog into semi-retirement. It has been a painful decision to do and has been months in the making because you always feel like you might be letting something go that you don’t necessarily want to but have to. 

What does this mean to you as the reader? We are going to continue to post quarterly and on special holidays but the monthly blog will be vacated.  Posting quarterly will also keep the website active and allow you to see all future posts but still preserve all of the past entries that have been written...especially those that were created and written by the woman who started this all, my mother!

So in going back to the movie and my sister that helped inspire today’s writing, I wanted to mention a couple of more things from The Greatest Showman.  First is the moment in the movie where P.T. Barnum takes a chance on promoting an opera singer that he has never heard perform and is blown away and rewarded by her talent once he is able to hear her sing a song entitled, “Never Enough.” (P.S. “Thank You,” Loren Allred for your amazing talent to move us all with this beautiful song). 

In the song and if you listen to the lyrics, they really mimic how I feel in my heart about certain circumstances in my life. This is the same feeling I am experiencing now by putting the blog into semi-retirement. It is because of you, that my Mom was able to achieve and continue her dream of being a writer at that time in her life when she needed it the most.

I’m trying to hold my breath, let it stay this way. Can’t let this moment end…Will never be enough…never, never…FOR ME.” So, "THANK YOU to you...the readers!" 

Secondly, at the end of the movie, they end it with a quote from P.T. Barnum. The quote was something that I know my mother also wanted to accomplish with her writings. When I look at all the comments, the emails, the letters received and the continued support you have given to my mother and our family over the years, I can clearly say to my mother in heaven ten times over, "Mom your mission is accomplished." 

Oh, and the quote that we should all strive to live by and the goal aspired to and realized by my mother in starting this blog...

The noblest art is that of making others happy.” –P.T. Barnum 


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





Monday, February 19, 2018

Monday, February 5, 2018

"Get Out...Life Is Good"...by Jim Terry

Ok, so do I even need to ask? Who has been faithful to their commitments and New Year’s resolutions? It always seems to be about a month later when we all tend to fall off of the bandwagon and lose vision of what we wanted to do in order to change our lives for the better.  A lot of the resolutions I have heard from friends and family over the years are to lose weight, read more, spend more time with family, be more patient or even set a goal to go on a nice trip somewhere during that calendar year.  I know I have done all of those over the years but this year I decided to do something a little different from a lesson I learned this past year from a best friend. My commitment/resolution this year to myself, and to those around me, is to always remember and acknowledge each day of my life that, “LIFE IS GOOD.”

The last three months of this past year were really tough for me personally. I lost a beautiful loving stepmother, Kathi, on the 20th of November and the month prior to that on the 7th of October; I lost an amazing and wonderful best friend, Stephanie. Both succumbed to the effects of different types of cancer. 

Towards the end of March 2017, I was fortunate enough to fly out to Salt Lake City to see my best friend Stephanie.  She had arrived in the Salt Lake area only two months earlier, leaving her husband, family, and friends in Boise, to begin her journey in trying to fight her disease while being treated at the LDS Hospital. Her wonderful mother, Marcella, and father, Jim, who became her 24/7 support, accompanied her.  

The weekend started out really enjoyable and relaxing because I was able to spend time with her and her family in the condo they were renting.  I must say that the reality of what my friend had been going through really hit me when I glanced over at the kitchen counter as I entered their condo and easily saw at least twenty different types of medications she had to take on a daily basis. And even though she didn’t have a lot of stamina due to taking all of this medication and from a recent bone marrow transplant she had lovingly received from her Aunt Michele six weeks earlier, we caught up and joked around as best friends do…like we never had been apart.

March is also my birthday month and in light of me trying to give support to my friend Stephanie, by just being there for her, she insisted that we have a birthday party for me.  Knowing that her medical costs were a huge financial strain on her and her family and also maintaining two different residences in Boise and in Salt Lake City, I asked her if I could have some food delivered. She insisted that they would take care of everything and I just needed to be there. 

I arrived from my hotel on the evening she had set up for my party. The meal they provided was appetizingly great. The conversation that evening was invigorating, fun and even better than the meal they provided. And finally, what better way to compliment a birthday party than with a really tasty and mouthwatering dessert complimented by singing? This event, as it turned out, was also the last time I was able to physically hug my sweet friend, and have her hug me back, in a warm heart-felt embrace. When I think of this moment now, I really wished it was one of those times in my life where I wished I could freeze time in order to “savor the flavor” for just a bit longer.  

So after two to three hours of fun, it was time for me to leave for the evening so that my friend Stephanie could get some rest. Before I left, however, I was surprised to see my sweet fragile friend get up, walk around to the back of the chair she was sitting in, bend down and pick something up.  Unbeknownst to me, she had carefully hidden a gift she had purchased for me behind the chair she was sitting in.  I knew it would be something that I would like. She knew me so well and what I liked and loved. As she handed me the gift, I have to admit that I was indeed taken back and surprised by her sweet gesture.  So with a puzzled look on my face and my heart in my throat, I hesitated yet appreciatively accepted the gift she provided to me that day. 

Just so you all know, my friend Steph was always one of those people who always put the needs of others before her own. Here I observed her fighting for her life, yet in spite of this, not only did she insist it was essential to make me feel important on my day, but she also still thought it was necessary to give her friend, “Trashman,” a gift for his birthday. She knew of my love for nature.  There were several times during her medical treatments, that I would send her videos of my hikes to share my experiences with her to help give her a sense of hope and optimism and to take her mind off of things, if only for just a moment. 

As I slowly opened up the carefully wrapped gift, my friend Steph said, "now if you wear this while you are hiking, I can feel as though I am there with you." I couldn’t help but to break down and cry once I saw what she had given me.  It was something simple but had so much meaning to me even until this very day.  It was a matching hat and T-shirt both inscribed with the logo, “ GET OUT...LIFE IS GOOD.” I had to quietly ask myself in that moment, "How could someone going through what she was going through still be so optimistic and still think "life is good?" 

February is the birthday month for my friend Stephanie, on the 17th to be exact, and since this is the first time that I will not be able to call her and wish her a happy birthday, I wanted to make sure I let the world know what a positive example and influence she has been in my life by sharing the wonderful lesson she taught me that day. It's not too late for someone to do another resolution, is it? After all, New Year's day is just another day.  So my New Year's resolution, on this, the 5th day of February, and the lesson I learned from my dear sweet friend...”No matter what your circumstances are "GET OUT," have fun, look for the positives and remember that, YES, "LIFE IS GOOD!" 

***One more quick idea for a New Year's Resolution. It is never too late to do. SIGN UP and help someone save a life. 
https://bethematch.org/

In loving memory of my cherished best friend Stephanie Welty (1972-2017)

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



Monday, January 1, 2018

HAPPY NEW YEAR 2018

May your new year be filled with much happiness, love and success!


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

Monday, December 25, 2017

The Magic...by Jim Terry

Trying to get everything done before the holidays begin or end is really quite frustrating isn’t it? Busy streets for driving, busy stores for shopping, busy restaurants for eating, foul weather and internet failures with incorrect package delivery are all a part of the frustration that is a part of the holiday season. And with all the hustle and bustle of people around us, I sometimes find my Christmas cheer turning into Christmas irritation and anxiety in trying to make the perfect holiday–THE MAGIC–happen.

I remember so many times during the Christmas season where the hustling and bustling of my mother and father paid off and they always somehow, seemed to create the perfect setting that happens this time of year.

The quick trip to the mountains after Thanksgiving dinner to cut the perfect tree… The trips to the grocery store to buy the perfect ham or turkey for dinner… The aroma of Christmas with the simple warming of a pot of potpourri simmering on the stove.  The pot contained the welcoming scent of fresh cut apples and cinnamon sticks that floated and filled the air of our home with a sense of tranquility and peacefulness. (This is definitely something to be experienced at least once in one’s lifetime)… The stockings “all hung by the chimney with care”…The painstaking labor of splitting all that wood in the fall, that helped create a warm and a picture-perfect fire as we gathered round to open that one Christmas Eve gift. The Christmas Eve gift, you might ask? It was always a pair of homemade pajamas carefully fashioned and sewn by our sweet mother to, "help us sleep better," she would always say.  And then off to bed we would run to await, what felt like an eternity, the arrival of good ole St. Nick who would complete our Christmas by delivering toys and gifts to those of us kids who were naughty or nice.



(sigh)…Now I don’t want to take too much of your time away from your loved ones on this special day, but as I sit here staring at my Christmas tree with its bright lights and color being reflected in my window pane and my Christmas music playing quietly in the background, I am ever so reminded how lucky I am to have the family and friends I do…my greatest gifts. 

And with Christmas Day here and the hustle and bustle of getting ready for this day now behind us, we just wanted to take just a moment of your time to say “THANK YOU” for another great year. Your reading our blogs, your thoughts, your comments are something that we look forward to and cherish. Enjoy your family, enjoy your time together and continue to make those memories–THE MAGIC–that will last a lifetime. 

MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!



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

Thursday, November 23, 2017

A Gift...by Jim Terry

It’s hard to imagine where the year has gone, but here we are, yet again, at the beginning of another holiday season.  I have been fortunate in my life to experience a lot of joy and happiness during this time of year. I often sit and reminisce about holidays past and those special times I have shared with friends and those around me, but definitely welcome and cherish those fun times, especially when I think of my family. 

Not long ago, actually just over four years ago in November 2013, our family experienced the passing of the matriarch of our family. This happened right before this holiday of thanks we call “Thanksgiving.”  I remember when I got the news and how this made me feel. I felt as though cellular death or necrosis of the tissues of my heart certainly had begun and that my heart would eventually stop from the hurt and ache I felt.  It was only through shedding many tears, looking through old handwritten cards, time passing, hearing her voice in voicemails, speaking with family and remembering her and her kindness towards me as my mother, that I was able to embrace a little bit of comfort for my aching heart.  

This incident was a big transition for me and for our family. We had been so fortunate for so many years because we had experienced so much happiness and joy in being together as a family during the holiday season. When the happiness and the familiar setting we knew turned to heartache and sadness because of the loss of our mother, we had to ask ourselves, “What were we to do? Where were we to go from here?”

Fast forwarding to January 2015, I found myself in a beautifully decorated clubhouse speaking with family while on the verge of adding another member to our family. My father, in his heartache and loneliness, had decided to remarry and we were on the verge of having to accept another in place of our mother by his side.

At first, I found myself a bit confused and angry with my father for, what was, in my perception anyway, moving on so quickly.  Through time, and because of the loving and kind person Kathi was, I found myself ever so grateful for her and coming into our lives.  Her charm, wit, and humor are unmatched. Her calling and singing to me on my birthday was always such a blessing. Her love and talent for music are priceless.  Her kind words and how she would make you feel so welcome and important are remarkable. And lastly, the warm embrace and the gentle kiss on the cheek that she would provide, when I would visit, always made a grown man feel like, well, a young boy coming home after being away for a long time only to experience the warmth, love and security that only a "home" can provide. It’s all of these things, amongst many others about Kathi, which I will always cherish and remember for the rest of my life.

So fast forwarding once again to this past weekend...I found myself on a plane headed to Boise to say one last goodbye to this sweet woman who had become a part of our family (only three short years earlier) before she passed from, what was diagnosed by her doctors as, “terminal cancer.”

As I sat by her bed and held her hand while she slept, being heavily sedated due to the pain she was experiencing, an array of thoughts and feelings went through my head. How could I express to her how much she really meant to me? How could I appropriately thank her for helping fill part of a void in our family? And how could I thank her for taking such good care of my Dad and helping fill his void as well?

So as I sat there with just Kathi and myself in the room, I decided to quietly verbalize all the reasons why I was so thankful for her and ended it with, “thank you, Kathi! I love you.”  It was just after I said this that Kathi, even though she was in the state she was in, slowly opened her eyes, squeezed my hand, and said, “I love you too” and then closed her eyes once again and drifted off back to sleep.  

It was after this experience, that if anyone else was in the room at that time, one might witness the gentle tick and tock of the clock on the wall...the peaceful sound of chirping crickets in the background from Kathi’s favorite sound machine on the nightstand next to the bed...or the quiet sniffling and whimpering of a grown man, now crying, realizing that he was provided with one last gift by hearing four simple words..."I love you too."

So during this holiday of thanks and giving, remember to value those times with your family and give thanks for everything you have.  Everything in this life can be gone in an instant. It is times like this that I personally am reminded to strive to be a better person.  I try to tell and show those around me, but especially my family and those I love, that I love them. And even though my heart aches once again due to the new void created by the loss of this amazing woman, I want to provide one last "thanks" to my second mother Kathi. “Thank you for coming into our lives. Thank you for all your love and support. And thank you for truly being A GIFT!

HAPPY THANKSGIVING!!!  
We hope you all are safe, happy, healthy and, of course, spending time with FAMILY.

In loving memory of Kathi Kelly Nickell-Terry (1941-2017)


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