It’s Still A Wonderful Life – My Childhood Vision Of Adult Life

This post is inspired by WordPress’ Daily Post.  The question yesterday was “How does life as an adult compare to what I envisioned as a child?”

My Vision

While growing up, I envisioned life as an adult to be similar to my childhood.  My sister and I would graduate college, find good paying jobs with plenty of opportunity for moving up the ladder, marry the perfect men, and have perfect children (probably 2 each). Even though I did not have a strong desire to become a mother, I figured once I met Mr. Perfect, my desire would change.

I saw the same for my two cousins.  The four of us would get our families together for birthdays, cook-outs, and holiday dinners with the one cousin who lives out-of-state attending when his schedule permitted. When not able to come to Ohio my sister and I would take our families and go visit him and his family.  Our children would grow up together and be like brothers and sisters to each other.

Those of us who live in Ohio would attend church together, the same church 5 of our ancestors founded. We would be active in the community, with possibly one cousin working at the sheet metal shop our great-grandfather founded.

But my vision did not come true.

Pop! Goes The Bubble

Well that bubble burst.

My sister went to college out-of-state, fell in love, got married, had children and still lives out-of-state.

Our cousin, who has always lived in Texas, is married and has a child. He also got laid off after 10 years with a telecommunications company and now stocks shelves. His lovely wife works and they are raising a wonderful daughter.

The other cousin has worked in a factory for 30+ years and married but got divorced.  He also followed his dream to be a rock star.  It did not work out but at least he followed his dream, which is more than what most people do.

As for me, I:

  • graduated from Kent State with a Communications degree.
  • moved to Texas.
  • moved back to Ohio.
  • fell in love.
  • got married.
  • had no human children.
  • became a parent to a golden retriever.
  • had careers in retail, banking and collections.
  • got promoted to Team Leader (Assistant Manger) in a collections call center.
  • got laid off after 13.5 years in a collections call center.
  • became a widow at an age society considers young.
  • started this blog.
  • became a loan officer.
  • had an offer to enter into a relationship with a married man in his late 60’s. (EEEWWW! Gross!)
  • became a freelance writer.
  • took a seasonal job in a high-volume call center.

There are items on this list I never dreamed would happen, including getting married because men my age were never interested in me. That is why I always knew I would go to college and enter the work force as the boys all ran away from me in high school.

I also never envisioned the periods of unemployment I have gone through.  The toughest was the one that started in 2009, just a year after Joe’s passing.

Looking Back

Even though life did not turned out as expected and has been very painful at times, it has been and still is a wonderful life filled with joy.

May you feel the same way about your life, even though it may not have turned out as you envisioned.

Bio: Michele Kearns is the founder and HUG© (Hope Unites Globally) Award-Winner of JoyReturns. She shares her widowhood adventures hoping to encourage widows to move through grief and rebuild their lives. A graduate of Kent State University with a Bachelor’s degree in communications, she’s used those skills while managing call center teams, co-facilitating a grief support group, and helping small businesses with various writing and administrative assignments. Michele is a bookworm, and a lover of history, chocolate, red roses, and golden retrievers. She is also the amateur photographer behind the blog


Thankful For Memories

Happy Thanksgiving Everyone!

Brunswick Reformed Church hosts a unique service. No long-winded, boring sermon that will put people to sleep. Instead it is a service where those in attendance stand up and say what they are thankful for.  It is in that spirit in which this post is written.  However, instead of listing the current people, places, things and events I am grateful for, I am going to focus on one category – childhood.

So hold on to your handlebars with plastic streamers it is going to be a wild and crazy ride.

Backyard Memories

  • Chestnut tree that doubled as a trapeze. (“We flew through the air with the greatest of ease…”)
  • Swingset that doubled as gymnastics bar.
  • Sandbox
  • Picnic Table
  • Rolling down the hill and getting all itchy from the grass and grass stains on clothes.
  • Sledding down the same hill on the saucer sled.
  • Making a swing out of rope and the saucer sled (saucer sleds get lonely in the summer.)

Bedroom Memories

  • The railing in our upstairs bedroom serving as a counter for Mom’s no longer wanted/needed makeup.
  • Walk-in closet with a slanted ceiling – makes a great “house.”
  • The whole row of cubby-holes that lined the entire outer wall, making great “tents/houses/apartments.”
  • Flowered linoleum flooring, which makes a great ice-skating rink.  My sister and I use to start at one end of the bedroom, run and then slide while doing Arabesque’s, jump’s and turns like Peggy Fleming, Dorothy Hamill and other ice skaters.  The trick was to stop before slamming into the wall. If not we heard mom say:

“What’s going on up there?”

Sis and I would honestly and very innocently say:


Mom knew better, as most Mom’s do.

  • Crayola Crayons – So sis and I had something to drop down the register, without hitting the metal sides, into the fiery furnace below. If we hit the sides, guess what?  Yep – another round of “What’s going on up there?”
  • Using card tables, chairs, and other pieces of furniture and blankets to make tents.  Rommie and I decided to recreate this tradition for this post. 
  • That painting of a little girl in pink clothes from the 1800’s.   It had a smoky gray background and looked like it belong in the TV show “Dark Shadows.”  It was very creepy and the kid looked like she was going to jump out of the painting.  Little sis loved it, probably because she knew it crepped big sis out.
  • Dressing up Fifi (poodle) in baby doll clothes and putting her in the baby buggy. (she didn’t stay in there long.)

Church Memories

  • The old ladies in the back screeching out “Sweet Hour of Prayer” in about 20 different keys. Sis and I always  would sit with maternal grandparents so we could snicker and make fun of the old ladies.
  • The clankity-clank noise of the communion glasses as people put them in the wooden holders.  Switching to plastic glasses for the grape juice took the fun out of communion. (I know, communion is not suppose to be fun.)
  • Mom and paternal Grandmother elbowing Dad when he fell asleep during the sermon.  (which was about every week)
  • Working in the nursery so I did not have to sit through a boring sermon.
  • Mom singing solo – “I Asked The Lord” (link to Elvis)

Neighborhood Memories

  • The Mustard House – yes a house painted the color of French’s Mustard.
  • Running all over the neighborhood – back when it was safe to do so.
  • Our street zig-zagged so us kids would start at the top and build up speed on our bikes and hope no car was coming through the cross street so us kids could make a sharp right turn and then an immediate sharp left turn onto the bottom section of our street.
  • Maternal grandparents living 4 houses down the street.
  • Playing kick-the-can with the neighborhood kids.


Speaking of neighborhood kids, thank you God for:

Linda, Lisa, Teri, Steve, Jan, Bobby, Stevie, Jo Ellen, Chris and Holly (R.I.P.) and Judy who lived on the top section of our street (R.I.P.)

So there you have it, some childhood memories I am thankful for today – and every day.

God Bless You and have a wonderful Thanksgiving Day tomorrow.

Love, Hugs and Sloppy Wet Kisses,

Michele & Rommie

Coming Black Friday – Out Takes 

Photos taken by one of my most awesome neighbors – Anina. Thank you. 

“Now That I Smiled Pretty – Can We Go Play Ball?”

Michele Kearns is freelance writer and social media strategist.  She edits, formats, and re-writes blog posts for three different companies through Jennasis and Associates, a company of virtual business associates.  She is also a contributing writer for “Inside Brunswick” a new magazine debuting January 2013.  Michele co-facilitates a GriefShare support group and is an Independent Consultant for Tastefully Simple.  Michele and Rommie live a very interesting life in the make-shift tent in their dining room.  Contact Michele at Michele dot Kearns