Wednesday, February 3, 2016


    Caucus Day February 1,2016 - From a First Timer.   What a day.  Exciting, educational, tiring and social.  We started our day out by traveling to Cedar Rapids to hear Donald Trump. We knew we were going to be scanned like at the airports; but when we got closer Jason (our son in law) turned to us and said, does Dad have his pocket knife?  Yes, why?  The guy ahead of him was turned back as he wanted to keep his and took it back to his car.  So we asked Dad (Bill) if he wanted his (which I already knew, it was duller than a kitchen knife).  We (I) panicked and said go put it in that flower pot over there; Dad said NO, they'll see me.  LOL   So a couple of more steps and we were next; emptied pockets, then told the officers and they took it and Dad said, just throw it away.  So, they did. LOL
    Huge crowd, standing room only.  We got very good seats.  We sat right next to a good couple who were very social.  During our conversation he mentioned, Minnesota.  That perked up my ears and I said where in Minnesota?  Park Rapids, Fargo Moorhead and Dilworth areas.  Well, drop my jaw and call me Betty!!   Small world.  We had a laughing good time.  They now live in Cedar Rapids; but go back to the area to visit family.
     From the time we sat down to the time they arrived, it was an hour.  Trump was 20 minutes late, they had planned on flying from Waterloo; but the fog was so bad - they had to drive it.  But everyone was very patient.   First on stage was Sarah Palin, she only spoke for about 5 minutes and then introduced Donald Trump.  We really enjoyed his speech and he shared many viewpoints with humor as well.  We are supporting Donald Trump, if you have not figured that out by now.
     We do not want any longer the career politicians!  We need someone who has an established record of getting things done with a superior mind and a clear vision.  Someone who knows how to get things done; bring back our military to where it should be; negotiate deals for America's benefit and foremost says it like it is and means what he says.


     Later that day, at 6 pm we went to register at our local caucus. We meet at a middle school here in Vinton.  After registering we were told to find our classroom #2 and find a seat.   There were 6 adults and 2 children in our own group.  At 7 pm the chairman addressed our own room (the town was divided up by precincts).  We stood and Pledged Alliance to the flag.  After which, he opened it up to the audience to speak up for their candidate.  Several spoke up for Cruz, a few for Rubio and finally Bill spoke up for Trump.  Once he shared, several others did as well for Trump.   
     Finally, there was a paper ballot where we wrote down our choice.  Ballots were counted in the open; a head count was taken to match the ballots.  Trump won in our precinct.   One thing I was astounded at, was the courtesy and respect everyone gave to the other.   Our chairman, at the end, reminded us all what our goal was in being there and in the end to be united for our party.   There was laughter and good times by all.  
     There was one man there in his 90's, on oxygen and stood up.  You could tell he loved his country and said it would probably be his last time at a caucus's but wanted to share his thoughts.   It was at a time, when the chairperson, opened the floor for any of us to bring "planks" to be brought up at the Regional Convention in March; he wanted it brought up about Climate Control insomuch as the wording to be changed to reflex a broader meaning not just climate. Others brought up: Term Limits, Abortions eliminated, emanate domain, and in Iowa to have a law to protect you from bringing harm to anyone entering your house against your wishes, without being put in jail.  If you harm them in your home, you had better keep them inside before calling the police now. It's called Standing your Ground. Finally, they asked for delegates for the regional and national conventions.  In all, it took about 2 hours. 
     It was an enlightening day.  Won't be our last and Bill won't bring knives to the fight again!  

Saturday, September 12, 2015

When the angels came that fateful night,
I never knew that would be my last hug & kiss with you.

You knew Heavenly Father, while we drove up in those early morning hours,
That you needed us to stand in place for Chrissie and Molly Rae.

After our lives journey of pain & suffering; I always said "I can stand anything",
But Lord, my son? My son? I know Lord, I know you love me.

Thursday, April 2, 2015



Out of the blue it slams my heart again
I think of you and my heart grieves so deeply

Days pass and life regrettably moves on
I know time does not stand still, then

Every fiber of my being feels the deep sadness
A sickening feeling comes over me and

When a thought, a memory, a holiday
Comes rushing into your daily life

No one, not one
Except those who have walked this path, knows

I know who holds tomorrow
And I know who walks beside me when

by Randy's mother
Betty Jeanne Short Thorsvig

Friday, February 27, 2015

I am now probably for the first time in my life the person I have always wanted to be. Oh, not my body!   I sometimes despair over my body, the wrinkles, the baggy skin and the aching bones. And often I am taken back by that old person that lives in my mirror (who looks like my mother!), but I don't agonize over those things for long.

I would never trade my amazing friends, my wonderful life, and my loving family for less white hair or a flatter belly. As I've aged, I've become more kind, patience towards others, taking this life more seriously in regards to eternity.

I don’t chide myself for eating that extra cookies, or for not making my bed.  I am entitled to a treat, to be messy, to be extravagant. I have seen too many people not appreciate the great freedom that comes with aging.

Whose business is it if I choose to watch TV till 1 AM or play on the computer until 3 AM and sleep until noon?   I will dance with myself to those wonderful tunes of the 50's & 60's, and if I, at the same time, wish to weep over a lost one….. I will.  I know I am sometimes forgetful. But there again, some of life is just as well forgotten.  And I eventually remember the important things.

Sure, over the years my heart has been broken. How can your heart not break when you lose a child, or when your children suffers.  A heart never broken is pristine and sterile and will never know the compassion of others during your grief.

I am so blessed to have lived long enough to have my hair turning white, and to have my youthful laugh be forever etched into grooves on my face. So many have never laughed, and so many have died before their hair could turn silver.

As you get older, it is easier to be positive. You care less about what other people think. The best part is not having to go to work!   And,  I've even earned the right to be wrong.

I, for one, do have many regrets and what if's.  Some say, if they had to live life over - they'd do it the same.  Not me, I would want to change many things. We were not the best parents, but we did the "best" we could do.

So, I do not like growing old. Even though it has set me free.  I like the person I have become. I am not going to live forever; but I will live eternally with my Heavenly Father in heaven for eternity.  But while I am still here,  I shall eat dessert every single day. (If I feel like it)

Saturday, April 26, 2014


I never thought it would be me
the joy of my first child
a part of me

memories of a growing child
the joys, trails, disappointments
heartbreaks and heartaches

always there, always a parent
always a Mom
then and now

waves of "Memories, pressed between the pages of my mind
Memories, sweetened thru the ages just like wine
Quiet thoughts come floating down
And settle softly to the ground
Like golden autumn leaves around my feet
I touched them and they burst apart with sweet memories"

the night is silent
with only memories of you
of missed opportunities, guilt, regrets, what if's

those sudden unexpected memories of
holidays, football , Kentucky Derby,
Christmas fudge, St.Patrick's day, Sunday's

times when I can't think of you
for bearing it is too great
that overwhelming rush of grief and disbelief
I never thought it would be me,
Your Ma

Sunday, December 22, 2013


In the year of our Lord 2013, I was thinking today as we were driving into Cedar Rapids about my childhood memories of Christmas.  
Thinking as far back as I can remember, my sister Sharon and I would try to open our Christmas presents very carefully as not to disturb the tape.  Many Christmases we already knew what we were getting.
We were not rich people by any means; but Mom and Dad always tried to make Christmas special for us.  I can remember all the Christmas baking mom used to do and we always helped.
Have you ever tried pulling taffy - by hand?

Some of the presents that I can remember were cross country skis and a necklace watch.  Of course, there was always the big Christmas meals down the road at Grandpa and Grandma Fitzpatrick's with the "very, very special" Irish plum pudding (which there are NO plums in it, lol)

One other thing I remember is Dad would always get Mom a Christmas gift to surprise her even when they had very little money.  He did that up to the year before he passed away. Usually it was jewelry. 
When they say Christmas is for children - it is in a way.  I'm   saying,  Christmas is for family's.  I have fond memories of Christmas as a child growing up but also wonderful memories raising our children.  Memories with our children would include trying to get that certain gift they wanted; taking them to Santa for a bag of goodies at the Fire Hall; school Christmas programs; Sunday School programs ; for a country sleigh ride; to a special movie; building snow igloos; snow ball fights; hitching the dogs up to the toboggan; and Christmas sugar cookie decorating to just name a few. 

Now that they each have their own children; they are forming unique family memories .  At this time of year I long for my parents and I long for my children.  I wish, well you know what I wish.  By the way, it's snowing outside, Merry Christmas.