Our Rainbow Wedding

Unless I’m looking in the mirror at my graying locks of hair, I find it a bit hard to believe that I became Mrs. Wayne Winquist 41 years ago this very day. Of course, there are three of the most adorable girls ever and three cute little boys who all affectionately call me “Grandma” now, so I guess that much time passing makes sense. 
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My lovely bridesmaids Cindy, Lori, Nancy, Vivian and Bonnie

Much like today, our wedding day was a perfectly warm and breezy summer day in 1976. Though other July brides chose to honor our country’s bicentennial that summer by dressing their wedding party in a patriotic red, white and blue, I opted for the wedding colors I had dreamt about since little girls begin paging through bridal magazines dreaming about being brides. Ours would be a very 70’s rainbow wedding. My bridesmaids each wore a dress of a different pastel color of the rainbow, a big white floppy hat, and carried a beautiful bouquet of daisies that matched the shade of their dress.

It couldn’t have been lovelier.
But there was one glitch. What would a wedding be without at least one funny faux pas to talk about for years to come?
The wedding was scheduled to begin at 2:00 pm at Garfield Baptist Church on Hwy 100 in Wauwatosa, WI. My bridesmaids and I primped and got ready for the event in the room known as “the choir room.” A few minutes before the hour, we slowly made our way together toward the back of the church sanctuary where we would wait to make our entrance and begin our march down the aisle. As we walked, quietly giggling down the long hallway that ran past the gymnasium windows and the church’s “library,” there was a sudden muffled gasp from one of my bridesmaids. My little sister, my bridesmaid dressed in yellow, apparently chose hot pink unmentionables that day. Even though the dresses had built-in double slips, the problem was VERY noticeable from behind. 

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Vivian making a very much more discreet march down the aisle

Fortunate for us, our dear neighbor lady had stayed home from the wedding sick that day. Though I’m sorry she couldn’t come, as the story goes, with a quick phone call from my mother, Dottie hurriedly climbed through an open bedroom window, found the undergarment drawer, and tucked appropriately colored underthings into a brown paper sack, then had her husband Byron drive like the wind to deliver it to the church.

Wedding Pictures 41 years
Amazingly enough, we still said “I do” and Wayne kissed his bride by 2:30 pm that day.
Today, we will celebrate forty-one years of crazy glitches mingled with happy blessings, and pray for many more.

Borrowing to Invest – HELOC

Caregiving can cost much more than the investment of time and energy caregivers share with their loved ones suffering from Alzheimer’s or other dementia disorders. Oftentimes loving caregivers dig deep within their own pockets to supply resources their loved one cannot afford for themselves. I’m sharing this wise investment advice from my husband knowing that there are many family care givers who have risked their own financial resources to care for a parent.

A potentially risky decision that some caregivers make is to take out a home equity loan in order to pay for nursing home and caregiving expenses. By no means am I suggesting by sharing this article that we should ignore the needs of ailing parents and loved ones; rather, that we should all give careful consideration to planning for the uncertainties of the future so as to avoid risky financial decisions which may haunt us for a lifetime.

Source: Borrowing to Invest – HELOC

Stuff Exchange Blessings

I will probably run out of friends and family before I run out of things to give away. But, in this process, I’m learning much about the value of things in comparison with the value of being a blessing to others.

IMG_0670I’ve been working my way through some of mom’s possessions which followed her from her apartment to her new abode in our home. I’ve been trying to put as many of her decorative objects into use here as I have room, so as to make her feel more comfy and at home. Though she has already been through two other downsizing events in the past two years, we are still left with way more items than she needs (or can appreciate in this stage of Alzheimer’s). As much as possible has been given to family members who have expressed an interest in her belongings. My daughter took on the responsibility of selling or giving away the furniture that was no longer needed (and I am SO grateful for her help). Each day the invasion of moving boxes on my 3-season porch gets smaller as I carve out time to go through their contents. For this, I am grateful. Continue reading “Stuff Exchange Blessings”

Church at the Kitchen Table

Sometimes “church” doesn’t just take place on Sunday morning seated in a pew in a sanctuary.

Last night Momma sat at her end of our kitchen table smiling. Seated around our table were some pretty special dinner guests: my girlhood pastor and his wife, Ed and Diane Fuller, and their son and daughter-in-law, Scott and Dianne Fuller.

I told Momma about the visit shortly after she awoke in the morning. It’s funny how certain future events linger in the mind of a person experiencing significant short-term memory loss, yet other things slip right through like sand through a chicken wire sieve. Continue reading “Church at the Kitchen Table”

A Smile from Dad

My 3-season porch is looking more like a porch than a moving company warehouse. Slowly but surely, the boxes are being emptied, things are finding their home, and order is being made of boxed chaos.

I’ve been spending time sorting through dozens of photo albums over the past few days. It’s been a trip down memory lane – complete with laughter, a few embarrassing moments, rushes of happy thoughts, a few tears and momentary sadness.

My sweet Momma spent countless hours at a little table in her basement putting the incredible number of photos my Dad took through the years into carefully labeled photo albums. Dad took LOTS of pictures. A CrAzY number of pictures. Every time you scratched your nose or stuffed something in your mouth (or so it seemed to me), he was there snapping a photo. But, he captured a LOT of family memories too.  Continue reading “A Smile from Dad”

Where do Garbanzo Beans Come From?

Good HousekeepingEvery now and again – at least once every summer – I get a hankering for a good Three-Bean Salad, so I pull out my trusty “The Good Housekeeping Cookbook” circa 1976 wedding shower gift and turn right to page 395. (I’m baffled as to why I can remember something as obscure as a page number in a cookbook I use once in a blue moon, but can’t remember where I put the book I was reading a few minutes ago). 

Momma and I aren’t the only ones who have difficulty keeping our thoughts on track though. Case in point. Continue reading “Where do Garbanzo Beans Come From?”