Thursday, March 11, 2010

Happy Birthday Me...

Just wanted to take a little time and give you a run down of how I got to where I am today. I am so sorry for the long post, no I'm not who am I trying to kid. I write like I talk... non-stop!

I was born on March 12, 1957, at Elmhurst, Illinois. There were 3 of us kids. My oldest brother James was born in May of 1942 and Tom in September 1948. Do you notice the age difference here? Plus the fact I was the youngest and the only girl, I didn’t have a chance, that is my story and I am sticking to it! James said he knew about me when Mom handed me over the back seat of the car and said here meet your baby sister.

Life was good, I was told at first we lived in a small trailer in a trailer park, I don’t remember anything about that. Later we moved to Roselle and lived in a farmhouse that my dad rented from the farmers. That is where my life began.

There were several instances that stick out in my mind. I remember when it would snow, it would drift so badly, one particular time, my brother told me to go look out the front door, I was around 4 years old, and I ran and opened the door and there was nothing but snow and I started crying. Of course it was not because of what I had seen, it was because Tom had told me we were buried alive. Dad made the boys go out the back door grabbing the shovels and they had to dig their way in to the font.

I remember when we got the huge chest type freezer, or at least when I was little it seemed huge. Tom actually told me if I were not nice to him he would put me in there when mom and dad were not looking and I would be frozen by the time they found me. So needless to say I was scared to death of the freezer.

I remember in Kindergarten I came home crying one day and was so upset. Us kids had talked at recess about where we came from. I was crushed, all of them were there because their families loved them, but my story was different. My brother told me that they found me in the garden, under a cabbage head. (yeah that was before Cabbage Patch Dolls) He said that was why I was so much smaller than them.

Do you see a pattern here? lol Maybe that is why I had so many issues with self-esteem and being shy when I got a little older. Hmmm yeah let’s blame it on him. lolol Which in all fairness I might mention that I would cover my face with my hands and laugh, and my dad would think I was crying. He would holler at Tom and say "Tom what are you doing to her now, you better leave her alone." And I would look at Tom and stick my tongue out. Hmmm maybe I deserved part of it...

My brother James (above)was really not around a lot that I can remember. I do remember asking my mom who that guy was that came and stayed with us during the summer and mowed the yard. And she said it was my brother, and I remember getting upset and saying no, that Tom was my brother. See James lived in Arkansas with Grandma and our step grandpa Dolan, while he was in high school, so he did only come home in the summer.

Fast forward until 1975, I graduated from West Leyden in Northlake, IL. Our families would get together and go camping on weekends. I was pretty independent by that time, by graduation I had bought my little Jayco pop-up camper, and Dad helped me get my car following graduation. That summer me and my bestest friend Kathy took off for Colorado for 2 weeks. I posted about Kathy here.

Let’s fast forward again and it is 1978. I came home from work one Friday, and Dad asked if I was ready to go sign on that 1978 Pontiac Grand Am, she was a beaut. And I told him no, that I had decided to move to Arkansas. Mom and Dad were born and raised in Arkansas, moved to Chicago after the war and always dreamed of retiring in Arkansas. I knew my Dad would not move if I didn’t go first. Remember, I was the only girl. The smile on his face is something I will never ever forget! Still brings tears to my eyes when I think about it. So in the spring of 1979 I moved.

What an adjustment for a city girl, I think that is a post in itself. But it was the best decision I ever made.

I met my daughter’s dad in 1980. For a long time I just laughed at him because he was 5 years younger that me. I told him that age difference would bother him in later years, but we agreed if it did we would want to remain friends. I never considered it a mistake, if it was it was the best one I ever made. We married June 1982 and she was born July 1982… you do the math. Just for my benefit, you have to remember at that time I was not a Christian, I had never been brought up in church. We had a lot of good fun years together. Janice was the light of our life.

We were married for almost 18 years when he pulled the rug out from under me; decided he did not want to be married anymore. I am so glad by that time I was a Christian, there is no way I would have made it without Jesus carrying me! See my Daddy died in 1998, I lost a dear friend in 1999, and then he left in 2000. Pretty stressful, but I survived. Our daughter graduated in 2000.

In 2002 I had to have a pacemaker put in, seems I was born with an electrical short and it decided to start acting up. He said stress could of triggered it, so I blame my ex with my heart problem, he broke it! Life is good now, we are friends and I love his last wife to death. Just for the record, he was not the only one at fault. But I truly believe every thing happens for a reason.

Life was different, dating in your late 40’s was not fun, but I did not want to spend the rest of my life alone either. I met Stan online first, we chatted for around a year just as friends, and then we met in 2005. I truly believe we were meant to be together. That might have to be a post also. 2006 was a very good year; my grandbaby Eden was born in July, a rough start, but a blessing and we were married in September of the same year. And here we are celebrating birthdays and life together. A good life I might add, and next weekend I will be enjoying my kids in Arkansas.


until next time... nel


  1. What a fun post. Happy Birthday!!!!

  2. Great Post !
    You probably have a very good heart(despite the pacemaker) if you could love your ex-wife "to death".

    Your description of things and the picture accompanying them are lovely!

    Happy Birthday to you Nel!

  3. I just loved reading this. I feel like I know you now. I loved all the detail but then you may have noticed ALLl my posts are long : )

    Happy Birthday to you share it wth my dad who would have been 84 this year... March 12 is always a special day in my heart.

  4. Correction: ex's wife (not ex-wife)' pictures (not picture).
    Sorry for the typing mistakes.

  5. Happy Birthday Nel!!!!!!
    My 3 kids are the same age difference apart as you and your brothers. My first a girl born in 1984, 2nd a boy 1991, and last a girl 2000. That I say sent their Dad into mid-life he filed for divorce 10 days after she turned a yer old, after like you almost 18 years of marriage. I met my now husband online, married in 2004, and next Saturday will be our anniversary.

  6. Sweet,sweet NEL, Happy Birthday!
    Isn't is amazing what siblings can do to each other. Boy do I have stories. Hey I grew up in North Riverside, IL not far from Elmhurst! I'm a bit older born in '51. My children were born in
    '79 & '81. My mom died in '82 and then my husband left me. I am so happy that you found your solemate and you have a beautiful grandchild to love. God is good.

  7. Sorry I missed this yesterday: Happy Belated Birthday! Thanks for sharing your story...I'm a firm believer in things that happened in our past makes us who we are today.

  8. What a great post...I enjoyed learning more about you!

    Hope you had a wonderful birthday...

  9. A belated Happy Birthday. :)

    Hope you had a great day.