Aunt Charlotte Flies Away

Not too long ago, Mother Goose wrote a story about a family reunion, and shared the sad news that the Matriarch of the family had been diagnosed with thyroid cancer, and it was looking pretty bad for her. Aunt Char fought the fight with much courage and and strength and faith, enduring a very painful and mostly unsuccessful surgery. She was unable to swallow food or liquids for two months and also suffered from breathing issues as the cancer pressed against her bronchial tubes. It was agonizing for her and for those of us who love her.

Early in the morning this past Saturday with all of her dear children gathered around her, Aunt Char flew away to be with the Lord, her long-departed husband, Bob, and her parents and others whom she loved. Rumor has it that she is dancing now on streets of gold in a city where there are no tears, no pain and no suffering. It’s a real place where the light is always shining and the pastures are greener and the waters are more still than any beautiful place here on our planet.

I have been imagining the banquet they’re having, the party they’re throwing, the music they’ll play for the lady who hasn’t been able to eat for two months. All the choicest foods with the best sauces and oh-so-colorful and tasty! Imagine the chocolate in heaven! I’m thinking about the finest vintage of the fruit of the vine, and how it will be so sweet to her palate.

Aunt Char and her niece, Suzanne, remembering how she was the flower girl in Charlotte and Bob’s wedding fifty-five years ago.

We will miss you terribly, Aunt Char — you’re a wonderful and amazing woman, such a good momma and friend to many, many many. We’ll see you in the morning…

The Good Guys Wear White

It’s been true for more than twenty-one years…

Adam and Erik with the mother of Mother Goose.

A couple of stand-up comics.

Even without front teeth.

Tom Sawyer and Huck Finn

Dress whites.

Two of the sons of Mother Goose, Adam and Erik, are home on leave from the U.S. Navy. Mother Goose is honking and flapping about that! Can a mother get any prouder than this one? God bless your days and nights, love from MG.

Never a Plain Jane

She was born with a fancy name, Jane Marie Belongea. Though she entered our world in the usual way, she was in Wisconsin. And if she stayed there, she’d never meet Mother Goose. So after many teenage adventures, Jane learned the trade of fashion design, earned the degree of textile delights and moved to Illinois, where I was already waiting for her but she didn’t know it.

Because we were both living incognito lives at a local grocery store, she as a Salad Bar technician and Mother Goose as a Bake Shop clerk, Jane and I immediately recognized in each other the mysterious presence of the Holy Spirit. There is sometimes a wonderful, knowing look in the eyes of a new friend when you just know this is going to be good.

We shared a back room, behind-the-scenes work space at the grocery store. It was a dark and stormy evening outside, but where we worked the air was filled with the sounds of laughter and camaraderie as I prepared the bread and rolls for baking and she assembled hundreds of chef salads.

Suddenly Jane shrieked in horror — I went running to her side. “What is it, Jane dear? Are you OK?” I asked with much concern.

“I’ve lost my heirloom pearl earring,” she exclaimed with great sadness. “I thought I was wearing it when I got here, but now it’s gone. I’ve looked on the floor, but I just can’t find it. Do you suppose it fell into one of the salads?”

Mother Goose looked at her new friend with amazing compassion. “I will help you find it,” she offered.

Jane smiled gratefully.

Together, the two friends opened and perused the hundreds of pre-made chef salads. With our delicate touch, we carefully dug through the cheese, the turkey and ham strips, the hard-boiled egg halves, the lettuces and carrots. For hours we searched for the lost pearl earring — salad after salad — trying not to disturb the artfully arranged beauties in their clear plastic houses. The pearl, the pearl….where can the pearl earring be?

Of course, we never found it….because it was at Jane’s house, lying on her bedroom floor where she had accidentally dropped it!

And so began our sweet, always interesting friendship which has amazingly lasted nearly twenty years.

She was hysterically present at the birth of one of my babies. She designed and stitched my most recent wedding dress as well as several other fancy dresses for me. She has always been a great source of inspiration and good cheer. She has weathered many storms and tragedies. She has redefined and redesigned herself so many times, I have nearly lost count of her many identities. Oh, but she has always remained a true sister in the Lord.

Here are just a few of her many personas — you may begin to think that she is like poor Sybil with all the fascinating characters she has living inside of her:

Bridal and formal wear designer
Salad bar technician
Personal tailor to a well-known midget gentleman
Loving mother
Faithful wife
Wilderness camp director
Missionary to the children of Cabo San Lucas, Baja, Mexico
Professional stylist to Christian recording star, Virginia Hill
Devoted coach of the high school girl’s track team
Stephen’s Ministry counselor
Avid cross country skier and able canoeist
Licensed real estate professional
Amazing and forgiving friend…

We don’t see each other often because of our crazy schedules, but Mother Goose is all in favor of a good texting session. Just last Saturday we brought each other to tears of joy and incontinence with the following text conversation. The cell phone of Mother Goose sometimes predicts what she wants to say — with hilarious results. By the way, we were attempting to encourage one another with some paraphrased thoughts from God’s Word…

Jane: Hey sweet dear Mother Goose…hope u r doing well! Sorry for the late response… working 3 jobs lately…LOTS of hours…coming to an end soon! Luv u!
MG: Oh precious friend…let the joy of the Lord be your strength
Jane: Oh ya! He is sew faithful!!! 🙂
MG: His mercies r new every morning!
Jane: Shelter in the time of need!
MG: By his grace I can leap over the wall
Jane: Praise the Lord, I heard His call
MG: He rejoices over us, singing love dongs
MG: Ha ha songs
Jane: wat r love dongs?
MG: I’m laughing so hard, tears
Jane: lol!….ouch!
MG: Kum BA yahoo my lord
MG: OMG hilarious
Jane: Tears…!!!!!! Wetting pants now!
MG: Thx for the laughs honey
Jane: U too!
MG: Love u Jane Marie dear
Jane: 😀

Overjoyed with Jane.

In Love With a Goose

Mother Goose has a feeling that this news story will make you smile. Thanks to Mark for sharing it with us. Smile. Honk.

All About B, a friend of a goose

Mother Goose is honking very excitedly today to tell you all about her friend, Bridget. And from now on, whenever Mother Goose says the name “B”, you must know that I am talking about Bridget. However, I shall call her “B” for all time. And here she is!

She’s so pretty! And not only that, B is an incredible businesswoman. She’s an entrepreneur for all the right reasons! B is the principal at Blush Wallets — a crafty place to get eco-conscious products such as wallets, jewelry and sketchbooks. B knows that being environmental-friendly is the best way to get her crafts noticed, and she’s absolutely right about that. More and more often, craft fairs and shows are looking for special products that are made from sustainable or recycled materials or made locally. And that’s exactly where B is at.

Just this past weekend, B’s wallets and sketchbooks were featured at a craft show in Elmhurst titled “Envision” — a market place to shop, enrich & nourish, a place to focus on women in Art, Design, & Wellness. It was very special, and I tell you right here and now that Mother Goose is not easily impressed with craft shows and craft fairs AT ALL. In fact, I typically avoid them and go running in the opposite direction if I see one in progress. Slap slap slap and flap flap flap… (sounds of a goose running into the wind to take off and fly away…)

B and her booth at Envision.

Did I mention that she was the President of the Entreprenuer’s club at Columbia College Chicago last year?

Did I mention that just two weeks ago B was awarded a $1,000 grant from the Self-Employment in the Arts Conference?

And did I mention that later on this year, there will be a very special designer hair salon opening in a very cool west suburban town, and the upstairs of the salon will be a sweet boutique which will be managed by “You Know Who”?

This is all well and good — in fact, it is a blessing. But the most important thing that I want to say about B is this: she is so very kind and patient, so loving and caring, such a good listener, so positive and supportive. I just love her! She deserves all the good, and a round of applause goose-style and a standing ovation today.

A Grand Daughter of a Goose

Mother Goose is not a grandmother, but I do have a grand daughter. She’s just so grand — I have to tell you about her! Although I respect the privacy of my wonderful offspring and don’t often tell stories about them, I simply must stand up and announce today, with much honking and flapping, that my daughter Jessica is the most incredible and beautiful person on the planet.

She looks so realistic.

When she hatched nearly twenty-five years ago, we suspected that she was headed for greatness. Our hopes and dreams have been answered in Jessi (who is the most incredible and beautiful person on the planet). Did I mention that I love her dearly?

She is a blessing — to be sure. In the past few weeks Mother Goose has had some terribly ill days, but Jessi has risen to the occasion and sacrificially given of her time and energy to care for the rest of the family whilst I lay in my sick bed. Not only has she put on her nurse cap and compassionately cared for Mother Goose, but has also done these other things:

* Washed every dirty dish in the kitchen TWICE — and at the home of Mother Goose that is a huge undertaking as Mother Goose does not believe in automatic dishwashers.

* Prepared delicious and nutritious meals for her brothers and her sister. And the cupboards were BARE, I tell you! She cooked creatively and miraculously!

* Hiked five miles uphill in both directions in below zero weather just to buy some dog food for our best dog ever, Fran.

* Completed her “next to last” semester at Columbia College Chicago with High Dean’s List honors.

* Answered the call of duty to her employer, Munch, when they desperately needed additional help with serving and catering to the recent vegan convention in Oak Park.

* Filmed, edited and re-edited six promotional videos for a small airport in Griffith, Indiana.

* Successfully balanced a very busy and complicated social life, both online and in real life.

My dear friends, please give a warm round of applause — nay, please give a standing ovation to my precious and GRAND daughter, Jessica Leigh Stevenson!!!! She’s the most incredible and beautiful person on the planet!!!

And did I mention that she’s a blessing?

Braggin’ on Mark Day

Mark deserves a day of accolades! So here’s to you, babe!

Mark is the owner and CEO of Big Black Pencil, a growing and innovative marketing agency with so many clients I can’t even keep track of them. He has been working in various geographical, topographical and regional areas over the past eighteen months — borrowed office space in Greektown, public libraries all over the western and southwest suburbs, Starbuck’s everywhere, hotel lobbies and in our bedroom (of ALL places! hmmmph…).

Well, I am very proud to announce that now Mark is working in his own office space which he built with his own hands. And he also used the hands of his good friend, Greg. And friend Joe’s hands. And he might have used son Eric’s hands also. And maybe Ben’s. And mine.

Happily the new home of Big Black Pencil is up and running.

Mark dreams big and has always been good with his hands. And I mean that in the most respectful and pure sense of the word. His father, James D. Cramer, taught Mark at an early age to pursue his dreams, make a plan, and execute the project. They used their own hands to make this cool Scouting project when Mark was just a cub. (That’s Mark and his big daddy in the middle!)

Please join me in giving my husband, Mark S. Cramer, a standing ovation and a roaring round of applause!

P.S. YES, he did the masonry!

Important Stats for a Goose

  • 79,310 honks to date

What’s New? What’s Old?

March 2023