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Happy Memories - A&I BSG Challenge Blog - Week 4

Saturday, April 28, 2012

This week’s blog assignment for my BSG challenge team is: We are often so focused on the bad things that happened to us that we forget to honor or even acknowledge the good things and the things that make us happy. Share some of your “happy memories.”

I really don’t dwell on any bad times that I’ve had…I am fortunate to have so many happy memories from my past! In fact, this blog is a little difficult for me in that it’s hard to decide which happy memories to write about. I do remember that I wrote a happy childhood memory blog last April, so I went back and read that blog again and relived all those happy times.

For this blog, I have decided to share some favorite general types of happy memories I have instead of just a few specific ones.

I have so many happy memories of times shared with my loved ones over the years, many of which I shared in the blog last year. From lots of laughter when playing all kinds of board and card games with my parents and sister growing up, to holiday and birthday celebrations and all our summer vacations…I am very fortunate to have such a close family and many happy times to think back upon!

My pets have always been an important part of my life and I think back on all of them with such fond memories. My first cat growing up was Maynard G. Krebbs – named after a TV character on the show Dobie Gillis, because he had a black goatee on his white chin!! He lived to be 18 years old and survived all 9 of his lives, including recovering from a major stroke where one side of him was completely paralyzed! Then there was Ashley, the border collie mix that my fiancé and I rescued from a shelter as a puppy and gave my parents when I was in my twenties. My parents always had cats, except for an outside dog when I was little, and they were not happy with us when we brought her home to them right before Christmas. But she soon became the love of their lives, and my mom made a ceramic statue of her after she died (she also lived a long life.) My favorite memory of her is how she wrapped herself around my mom’s neck when she sat on the couch. When I first got married, Dave had a Rottweiler named Shane, and I’ll always remember how he flung his spit all over the walls! He was so gentle with Sean when he was born – I have some great pictures of them side-by-side on the rug together, when Sean was just a baby crawling on the floor!
After Shane passed away we got a yellow lab named Weber, and he was my first real dog love, since he was with me the longest. He was a great dog. We had an invisible fence and he’d spend lots of time in the front yard…all the neighbors loved him and would stop to pet him as they passed by on their walks around the development. On snowy days we would have a blast with him out in the yard running around, and he’d run down the hill after Sean and me when we were sledding. The only dog toy we could give him was a hard plastic kong, because he would chew up rubber toys or tennis balls in a matter of minutes!!! Then, of course there are my current dog babes; my Cairn terriers, Max and Sophie – I have shared a lot about them in other blogs. They make each day happier for me with their antics. Sophie gets me laughing every time she does her spinning whirl whenever you get her food out, and I love how Max is always a gentleman and lets Sophie have the toy when they go streaking across the kitchen floor to retrieve it!
Who can forget all the special times when you go away to college and experience your first time being independent from your parents? I went to a four-year state college for teaching, and my favorite memories there have to do with my long-time friendship with the girls I met on the floor of my dorm my freshman year, and also times with the Little Sister group of a fraternity that I belonged to. When I was at college, I skied and backpacked for the first time, and fell in love with hiking on the Appalachian Trail. I also had a blast going to Ocean City, Maryland and Rehoboth Beach, Delaware in the summer with some of my friends, as well as my first time on a plane to Florida –to Fort Lauderdale for spring break! Yes, I learned to party when I was in college, but I wasn’t too wild!!!
I will always cherish the special memories I had with the first man I really fell in love with (after college) and became engaged to. Dale came from an elite family (his dad was a university professor,) but he was a down-to-earth guy who loved the basic life (kind of rebellious to the academic life although he was really smart!) I met him at a dance club (he asked me to dance to the song, Aimee by Pure Prairie League, and I still remember him grinning at me as he danced in his funny, happy way!) He picked me up for our first date at my parents house in his “religious truck” as he called it – it had a hole on the floor and you could see the road, so he said it was holy!!!!! He was a hunter and he made a rabbit dinner for me in his little stone house he rented in the country. The back yard bordered on a state park, and we’d take lots of walks there, as well as going on backpacking trips with our friends. He was so different from anyone I knew before-he was such a free spirit, and he was very affectionate and built up my self-esteem with all his compliments and love for me. Unfortunately, he died while running only ten days before our wedding. Of course I was devastated for a very long time, but I feel so fortunate to have known him and loved him! I have a special box of pictures and memories of him that I take out from time to time – it seems so long ago-a whole other life!

I’ve been a teacher for 29 years, 3 in first grade and the rest in second, so I have so many fond memories of teaching children over the years, that I can’t begin to tell about them! Each class is so special, and I have several crates full of pictures, cards, and letters from my students. A big project for me lately is going through all my memory boxes and thinning them out, since we are getting ready to move. It’s very challenging to decide what to save and what to throw out. I have a goal to save the most special items for one “warm, fuzzy memory box” to look back upon when I am retired.

My husband, Dave and son, Sean!!! These are my two most special guys (besides my dad, of course!) and we have so many special times just the three of us! It’s been sometimes challenging to be the only woman in the house for the last 24 years, since sometimes they just don’t “get me” and/or “gang up” on me! But I wouldn’t trade them in for the world! I have so many special memories with them, from Dave and my wedding and honeymoon in Maui, to giving birth to Sean and being a mom for the first time! I never wanted to have an “only child” and was sad about it for a very long time, but I gave in to Dave about it, since he is 9 years older than me, and we didn’t get married till I was 28 and he was 37! Sean has always been a challenge to raise, but we have many, many happy memories together, especially when he was little before going to school! Some of my favorite memories were watching Sean in baseball, football, and the marching band, as well as all our summer vacations together-some of which were tent camping in PA campgrounds, and our trips to the Canadian Rockies, San Francisco, and Walt Disney World!!

Our close-knit friends: Finally, I feel very fortunate that Dave and I have a special group of friends that we made over the years, stemming from people he has worked with at his old job. We get together throughout the year for things like picnics, weekends in the Poconos, Penn State tailgating, Christmas and Super Bowl parties, and RV trips, and recently weddings of their children. I have supported many of them through sad times when their family members have died or they have been through serious illnesses like cancer. I know that they will always be there for me when I need them as well!

I really didn’t think I would write such a long blog when I started out, so if you made it through to the end, thanks so much for sharing in my happy memories. I love these assignment blogs since they really make you think about topics you wouldn’t normally reflect upon. I wasn’t going to do this one, but I’m so glad I decided to, because it makes me so grateful for all that I have in my life.

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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    Amy, you have some great memories. I love your pics. When is your next RV trip?

    2218 days ago
    You always write such great, in-depth blogs! I wanted to write more but didn't have the time. emoticon You have such great memories and you made me feel like I was there with you throughout your life. I too am glad that we have these assigned blogs because they do make you think about things you might not otherwise think about. We are truly blessed to have such wonderful memories. I'm so glad we are Spark Friends and feel blessed to know you. Thank you for sharing so many of your happy memories with us!!

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    2219 days ago
    Your memories of these precious relationships is beautiful. Thanks for sharing and including pictures of those who mean so much to you. Getting to know you is one of my happy memories! emoticon
    2219 days ago
    2219 days ago
    Thank you for sharing your happy memories. I love my memory box. As a matter of fact I just went through it a couple days ago. I loved your use of photos.
    2219 days ago
    Oh, Amy, I always know I'm in for a treat when I'm reading your blogs. It's almost as if I'm sitting right beside you, listening to you talk.
    I know we would be real life friends if we were closer geographically, although I'd have to look past the Big 10 vs. Big 12 conference issue first. emoticon

    I'm so glad you were able to write these words, because I am confident that writing them helped you look back, reminisce and hopefully feel better when you were done.
    P.S. I REALLY like the pink and the tulips on your page. No matter what my mood is, coming to this page makes it better.
    2220 days ago
  • BARBIE176
    What a beautiful blog. Thank you for sharing your happy memories with your spark friends. I truly enjoyed reading about your memories and seeing the photos. I really liked this blog assignment because it does the heart good to remember all of the happy times we have been blessed to have, and it even does the heart good to read of friends' happy memories! I love that you don't dwell on the sad times. I try to do the same. emoticon
    2220 days ago
    what a great blog, so many memories
    2220 days ago
    emoticon Thank you for sharing you show that focus is everything in going on and choosing to being happy. Have a happy weekend.
    2220 days ago
    What beautiful memories! Thank you for sharing them. We are truly blessed by our loved ones.
    2220 days ago
    I truly enjoyed this blog.
    How sad to lose your 1st love prior to even being wedded.
    What a blessing to get restoration later!

    2220 days ago
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