Life is Lovelier with Lace. . . And a Trusted Father

Ludvigson Lace Lady: Don’t forget Father’s Day, Hummer!

Hummer: Father’s Day? Oh, yes. Next Sunday. Right?

Ludvigson Lace Lady: Yup.

Hummer: Well, let’s see. It’s quite a different day than what it used to be…

Ludvigson Lace Lady: You’re right. The boys and I would be preparing for a week. And the table would be set for not just Tim, but for either Tim’s or my dad also. And the moms, of course.

Hummer: Yup! For the younger years in Arkansas, that would be Tim’s dad. And for the older years, that would be your dad.

Ludvigson Lace Lady: Yes. And the boys would be so excited. They loved their dad and their grandpas!

Hummer: And they loved a party. The energy let loose on that day was massive. At least it sounded like it from the kitchen, where I was putting the dinner together!

Ludvigson Lace Lady: It seemed like a testosterone explosion one year!

Hummer: Are you thinking of a Father’s Day in Arkansas when you finally sent them to their room, during the meal?

Ludvigson Lace Lady: Yes! I can’t believe I did that!

Hummer: They must have been truly rambunctious!

Ludvigson Lace Lady: Oh, they were. To be fair, I believe it was before we had all four boys; there were only two at this time.

Hummer: Oh, so we can narrow it down.

Ludvigson Lace Lady: You can, if you wish. It doesn’t matter. We called the highly active tendancies, presidential material. And it was! It just got to be a little much sometimes!

Hummer: Well, there won’t be any rambunction around the table this year.

Ludvigson Lace Lady: No. There sure won’t. In fact, I will be working!

Hummer: Maybe Tim should dine with your friends again, at Buckner Westminster Place, while you play receptionist in the lobby!

Ludvigson Lace Lady: Now that’s an idea! They can all reminisce together, of Father’s Days gone by!

Click below for Hummer’s Blog, “Hummingly. . . The Dad of Four Sons”:

Ludvigson Lace Lady: I still relish Father’s Day, even though the boys are grown. If they lived near by, we would hopefully celebrate the same as before.

Hummer: Yes, that would be nice. But you can make the best of it as it is.

Ludvigson Lace Lady: Ha! Yes, the always wished for Sunday afternoon nap will rule!

Hummer: I am so glad we have a day set aside to thank Dads for all their labors of love. For they truly do both labor and love every day of the year, on behalf of the family.

Life is Lovelier with Lace. . .

Yes, Tim will have opportunity for a Sunday afternoon nap this Father’s Day. For all the years when naps were only a dream, a quiet time with his feet up will be quite welcome.

Not that he won’t be thinking of his four grown boys. There is not a day that goes by that Tim and I do not speak of them. Usually the stories don’t need to be repeated – only a key word – signifying a highlight, and we are smiling.

Or not smiling. And then we remember, parenting isn’t for cowards. Each day holds opportunity for success or for failure, as a parent.

It’s a walk of faith. Trusting God. Period.

And knowing that He, of whom we trust, loves them more than we do; thus, we will succeed.

And in the same way, each of our boys will succeed, as they trust God.

Trusting God.

As I pick up my crochet hook and weave the thread around the fingers of my right hand – with a particular tension, and then hold the crochet hook in my left hand, saddled between thumb and fingers – exactly right, I know my stitch will be uniform. And uniform is what makes the lace lovely.

As parents, we rise up each day with a desire to trust and obey Him with every step of our parenting. God sovereignly acts on each child’s behalf, to produce – in unique fashion – a child after His heart.

It may not happen the way we think. Or in the time we hope. But, by faith, it will happen. As we trust God.

My crochet stitches, when carefully handled, will look lovely. I know this, because I have other lace pieces for proof. I must plod on, one stitch at a time.

As parents, we have God’s Word to believe and act upon, in the same way.

Completion of a lace project might be delayed because of various circumstances. I might have to work at Buckner, unexpectedly. Or a trip might interrupt our routine. Even though the crocheting might lay waiting for an hour, or a day longer, I know it will someday be complete. And it will be lovely. Lace always is!

Each lovely stitch resulted from my explicit patterned positioning of the thread and hook.

So it is with trusting God and His Word.

And so it is with trusting God and His Word – with parenting. In His time and in His way, there will be beauty. As we trust Him.

Happy celebrating Trust on Father’s Day,

Debbie Ludvigson

The Ludvigson Lace Lady


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Life is Lovelier With Lace. . . And the Deer in the Headlights!


FB_IMG_1504208202363“Oh my! August is almost done!”

Time was flying for the Ludvigson Lace Lady!

“They say that happens as you get older.”

And that is true. The month of August was filled with activity. But she can’t recall anything majorly earthshaking.


“At least for Tim and me!”

Earthshaking for our country? Yes! First there was devastation in Charlottesville, Virginia. And now we are into the midst of Hurricane Harvey!

“Our prayers have been focused on our county’s needs, for sure.”

But the Ludvigson Lace Lady and Tim, needless to say, still carved out time to celebrate 37 years of marriage!


“Out to dinner!”

Yes, just as they did from the very start. They have always loved the cozy, quiet, candlelit tables with soft music. Just the two of them.

“And we did it again this year!”

The atmosphere of the restaurant gives perfect opportunity for talking together. For sharing. And what has been shared down through the years has now become so vast, it would be difficult to compile a list of topics!


“We could even admit that now all we have to do is stare into each other’s eyes, and communication is complete!”

They pretty much know what each other is thinking.

The Ludvigson Lace Lady has been so blessed with Tim. Sometimes she just has to get the Kleenex box out and let the tears flow. She becomes overwhelmed with how good God has been.

“He has been by my side through the good and the bad. Through difficult circumstances, Tim as been sure and strong. Like a rod of steel. And as for fun times, we have laughed through many, together.”


Sometimes the laughter is a nightime regular. And quite possibly a nuisance to the neighbors!

I can’t help it! Tim is so funny!”

Let’s see. If a list could be compiled:

•Major Job Changes •Pizza Parties Times  Friends Times Encore •Sweeping Moves Across the USA Times Three •Neighborhood Block Parties • Emergency Room Visits Times All Members of the Ludvigson Family •Symphony Concerts •Wedding Diamond Lost


•Infertility and Adoption Times Four •4th of July Mega Picnics •Diabetes Discovery  •Camping in Colorado •Diabetes Low Blood Sugar Times Many ER Personnel •Disney World •Pneumonia Times Three – Simultaneously •Broken Wrist •Ludvigson Lawn Service – Spring Care •Playing Canadian Brass Music •Car Accidents •Homeschool High School Graduation Programs •Meningitis Emergency


•Ludvigson Lawn Service – Summer Care •Smashed Thumb Emergency •Hymns for Him •Homeschool Rivalry Medical Emergencies •Blue Grass by Hymns for Him •Back Surgeries •Ludvigson Lawn Service –  Autumn Care •Ludvigson Lawn Service – Winter Care •Saxon Math •Mille Lacs Lake •WBLA •Ludvigson Boys Videorama  •Ect…

“Oh! Please stop! TMI! And this is just a drop in the bucket. No wonder we just stare into each other’s eyes in the candlelight!”

There is no way to contain the experiences through the years. Many times the major ordeals do not hold as much value as the minor momentous particulars of a day.


It all carries significance. Every single moment. And when the Ludvigson Lace Lady slows life down enough to reminisce, that is when the tears start to flow. She knows there is no way Tim and she could have survived their married life alone.

“Without our Significant One (God) the whole thing would have crumbled. Marriage. Family. Life. Crumbled.”


Life is Lovelier with Lace…

And so, what can I say? To summarize a romantic candlelight dinner to celebrate 37 years in a few words? It makes me think our glistening eyes would look more like two deer in the headlights!

There is more than we can say. And there is One Who is More than we can understand, regarding His love and care for us.

In the years ahead, whether our eyes resemble romance remembrance or the deer in the headlights, Tim and I will know Who is with us every step of every day.


And so we continue on to year thirty-eight.

But how does my lace crochet play into this memory recall? Oh my! Without the hook and the thread to slow me down, I would not remember anything! Crocheting is so very soothing. It creates a time to reflect.

So yes, I will continue crocheting – and reflecting –  as I move on into another year with my Tim ♡.


On to ~ 38 ~ with Tim and my Hook,

Debbie Ludvigson 

The Ludvigson Lace Lady 


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Life is Lovelier With Lace. . . And Birthdays!


“A birthday!” She was excited! “When?” A big smile overtakes her face, “Ok! Let the planning begin!” 

This would be the Ludvigson Lace Lady.  Yesterday. Today. Forever. She loves planning birthday celebrations!

“Put together some whimdingers for my boys, growing up!” She recalls vividly.

“And Tim’s surprise birthday party back when he was turning 30 was a wambang success!” She giggles like it was yesterday. “Can’t believe he had noooooo idea!” 

But it was the last big party for Tim.


“He finally had the guts to tell his birthday party planning wife, that he preferred to NOT EVER DO THAT AGAIN!”

She heard him.  Never again has he had to endure the glamor of multiple friends blowing noisemakers in his face!

And some of those participants continue noisemaking, to this day! “They love to make a citywide event out of life!”


Of course, before the surprise 30th birthday party for Tim, the Ludvigson Lace Lady had successfully caught him off guard for a couple other birthdays.

“Like when I secretly made 100 cupcakes and personally delivered them to be eaten by 100 Sparkies at AWANA that night…for his birthday.”

Tim was the Sparks director. What a fun way to feed the Sparkies!

“If I remember right, we even had a life-size Sparky there celebrating Tim’s birthday that night.”

When the boys were added, birthdays on the Ludvigson Lace Lady’s homefront were always a bit sparky also. “This was after we moved away from The Sparky!”


It was the beginning of, ‘How Should We Celebrate Our Boys’ Birthdays Extravaganza.’ In other words, ‘How Deep Will The Pockets Go?’

“I never put money down at Chucky Cheese or any place like that!”

No, the Ludvigson Lace Lady would not dream of overspending! But she began planning and accumulating birthday ‘supplies’ a month in advance. By the time the day had arrived, Chucky Cheese would have been economical!

“Won’t go into the details of all those parties. Of course remembering makes me happy –  for the fun, but tired for all the hours of prep, in the wee hours, when the wee birthday child was sleeping!”


Let’s just say there was

•a banner to be made to match the party theme

•cake to be made and decorated

•balloons to blow up and hang

•party games to create – matching the birthday party theme

•special birthday meal requests to prepare

•presents to wrap

•and ALWAYS…a bowl of candybars!


“That was because we didn’t have much sugar around the house normally!” 

Birthday parties happen because the celebration of another year of someone’s  life is worthy of celebrating.

“Yes! That’s right! Life is precious!”

Should I now mention that the Ludvigson Lace Lady just had a birthday? She successfully kept it a hushed event!

“Yup. 61 years! And it was a wonderful time! Life is precious – even mine! And enjoyably celebrated, quietly.”


This old Ludvigson Lace Lady has been depleting of her birthday party vim and vigor in recent years! Maybe it is because the family has grown and the empty nest is quiet. “And a quiet celebration is appreciated as well!”

But there is another real reason:  the quiet celebration is the preferred option for her!

“Just like Tim! What he was telling me years ago about himself, is and has been true for me as well! The noisemaker party times were for my kids! Not for me!”

She is suddenly deep in thought,

“I hope they wanted the noisemakers!” 


Then she quickly snapped out of it,

“Oh, of course they did! Kids and birthday parties go together, like a hand and glove!”

But as for this old 61 year old Ludvigson Lace Lady,  the quieter celebration was her style.

Life is Lovelier with Lace…

So what did she do on her birthday?

“I blissfully crocheted!” The LL Lace lady cheerfully reports.

“Well, it had been hectic. I was tired. The family celebration was the day before…and it was lovely time!


But for THE DAY: after appearing at Chick-fil-a – incognito – for lunch with Tim – I enjoyed the loveliness of  Legacy Letters – just my hook and me!”

Someday soon the Ludvigson Lace Lady will have to chat about introverts and extroverts. And the Myers Briggs Personality Types! It rather goes with this flow, doesn’t it?

A happy, crazy, fun -filled or quiet birthday to you – until 62!

🎉 Debbie Ludvigson 🎉

The Ludvigson Lace Lady 


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Life is Lovelier With Lace…and Christmas Popcorn Tins!

b5bbed36ed0341bf662c0bdd72439361Christmas Popcorn Tins. Very useful containers after the popcorn is gone!

With a discerning eye, immediately following Thanksgiving…

…my self- proclaimed job

…was to bring home from Walmart,

…a popcorn tin for family ‘fulfillment’…eating,

…while “decking the halls with balls of holly.”


In other words, there were Christmas decorations strewn everywhere around the house,

on every counter,

every chair and table,

and supper was otherwise no where to be found!

Well, yes, we did have the Thanksgiving leftovers in the frig,

But you really had to be motivated to take the food from the frig, find room on the counter to prepare the plate and actually insert it into the microwave.


Some did this – those that were not fond of popcorn. This was one of those times when, “Mom rules,” and “…excuse me, but how can you NOT like popcorn!”
Those Christmas tins had their Christmas routine on this day of Christmas decorating.

With helping hands of notably capable young men,

(our four boys) – living members of the household under ‘holiday reconstruction’


– the tins would travel from the Christmas storage area, to the Christmas staging area.

In the staging area we would try to be organized in the removal of the goods. If possible, “let’s place the decoration in the same place as last year!”

(Novel idea!) NOT usually what happened.

Thus, the process would take days…a full week, to finally be done.

But somehow, now (hopefully before December 1st) the tins were finally empty!

Ready for the next step in holiday prepping:

Fill the tins with Christmas cookies!


Another day.

Another memory.

Life is Lovelier With Lace…

You know, “…there is a time for every purpose under heaven,”

and as much as I wanted my Lace Counselor in December, it was very hard to come by.

Christmas celebration, to be truly celebrated requires time and effort.

To bring joy to the ones living in you home.

And the ones you wish to BRING INTO your home.


And even beyond that,

time and effort is necessary for the Christmas celebration you want to share with those OUTSIDE the realm of your own family and friends.

If lace making can somehow fit into that groove, then so be it.

If not, the hook and thread must wait.

Another time.

It will come.

But Christmas is here.

“Roll out the holly!”

~ Debbie Ludvigson 

♡ The Ludvigson Lace Lady ♡

“We Need A Little Christmas By Johnny Mathis” on YouTube


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Life is Lovelier than Lace… and the Christmas Wrap



We spent a lot of time at Perkins drinking coffee, in our earlier days – Tim and I. But one evening he invited me over to his apartment to wrap Christmas gifts. I suppose this was a creative way to “kill two birds with one stone,” as practical as I know he is now.


I must have been speaking to Tim of my new oil painting endeavor – oil painting Christmas gifts. Even though I had not painted oils since my high school art class, “…I invested in the equipment to make Christmas gifts!” My excuse for this expensive investment was gift economics.  (If you can believe that!)



In reality, I know now, “I’d rather paint than study…”

So we wrapped gifts together on Tim’s dining room table, at his apartment. With artful perfection, this young single man proceeded to wrap. I probably watch, more than partcipated. I did not want to interfere with his strategy. “My, he’s a professional,” I thought.


Many years later, I can now say this is true: he is a pro at wrapping gifts. Precision. Excellence. Now I lovingly call him, “9.9.” And he has to agree. He can’t help himself. I admire this characteristic in Tim. I remind myself not to be intiminated, but to enjoy this perfectionism. What a great asset in our dual efforts as a married couple!


So we wrapped the Christmas presents that year together, only later realizing that it was during this ‘task time’ I was falling in love with this man!

Tim’s gifts were perfectly wrapped. My oil painting (the only present I can remember wrapping that night) was wrapped WET! Wet oil! The painting was for my Grandpa Dahl!

I only remember Grandpa Dahl on Christmas Day, with a pile of gifts on his lap, resting his albow on top. My gift to him was on the bottom, I think. It wouldn’t matter. Top or bottom, the shirt box containing the painting would collapse wherever it was in the pile! (Typical college student…)



“Ewe! That could be disasterous,” I said to myself! I finally found a way to suggest a different placement of his gifts. The oil painting survived, by the way.

So many, many years later, Tim and I are still wrapping gifts together. And you should see the strategy in place! Quite impressively set up! And not because of me. I am the assistant.


First, Tim gathers all the gifts and begins calculating: how much Christmas paper does he have for adult gifts. And how much paper for the kids.

Then, he arranges a place to cut paper, per box. And finally,  he arranges the place for me to tape. It is there I settle in for a night in the elves’ shop.


We ‘elves’ are not allowed to begin wrapping until the ‘youth’ are in bed,  fast asleep. ‘Youth’ being the age anywhere between toddler to adult! For any aged person could walk into this unveiling of the wardrobe box! (See ‘The Wardrobe’ blog, 12/2016)


So the wrapping customarily begins late in the evening. And it doesn’t end until done. Late. The wrapped packages are then placed back in the empty Christmas Tree Wardrobe Box, where they will wait until Christmas Eve.


The wardrobe box is secured in its natural habitat, unbeknownst to the boys as they ‘travel’ around it the next day, and many more days after. Until Christmas Eve. When the gifts come out, along with a half eaten Christmas cookie on a Santa plate, with a cup of drunk milk.


“What fun it was playing Mrs. Claus with this Santa!”

But, we were exhausted at the same time. We discovered a retro Christmas CD somewhere along the way that became a necessity during the wrapping process. Evie narrates most of the song. Her narration was not discovered until many Christmases of listening pleasure had already gone by. But when I finally heard the words, I was in absolute wonder, that she had not been speaking of the Ludvigson family!

Now I know we are not the only mom and dad feeling what Evie shares. By this point in the month of December – preparing for Christmas – we are tired. The Christmas tree has been ‘danced around’ a few times, by little feet. And all the beautiful decorations have become a bit disheveled.



As the narration goes, the lonely shepherd, who has been lost under some ‘stuff,’  is crying out to be placed back where he belongs – beside the baby Jesus, in the nativity set – beside the piling up of presents.


What a wake up call for me, the first time hearing Evie’s words. Probably the noise level in our home had always been so high that the narration was not heard. Unheard, until one of these late night wrapping routines. Previously, all that was heard was the music. But now I heard the shepherd’s cry, “…move me closer.”

Now, Tim and I make it our cry too. And we play Evie’s Christmas CD while we wrap!



Life is Lovelier With Lace …

Evie speaks of ‘settling in her favorite chair,’ after her Christmas ‘chores’ have been done for one more day. This is truly me. The LudvigsonLace Lady has a ‘special chair’ where she sits with her Lace Counselor. This is where she crochets. She doesn’t need a workshop. She just needs her chair.

So when Evie hears the shepherd crying out to move him closer to the baby Jesus, this is my cry in my ‘favorite chair.’ Crocheting as I move closer to the Baby Jesus. My Savour. Messiah. Wonderful Councelor.  I love my chair. I love my Counselor.


Merry Christmas!

May you ‘bring the Savior closer’ this Christmas season.

~ Debbie Ludvigson

The Ludvigson Lace Lady




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Life is Lovelier with Lace. . . And the Charm School Challenge


“I beat her this time!” she announced to her older sister upon entering their pink ruffly bedroom. (“Decor, not by me!” the young Ludvigson Lace Lady  would adamantly point out. ) Her sister, Sheryl – 15 months older – was responsible.

“We did everything together. Or we used to, anyway.  Sheryl had gotten so…feminine.”

The Ludvigson Lace Lady was 11 years old at this time. And quite a fighter at the tether ball court.

Her family had moved to this tetherball house (tetherball court included in the purchase) just at the beginning of her sixth grade year.  No one else in the family seemed interested. So she easily claimed the court as her own.


“And I needed it,” so she claimed. For in the neighboring household there just happened to be a tetherball rival. Same age. Same school.

“But not the same class, thankfully!” 

When not playing for blood at home, they were playing for blood at school. “Recess. Twice a day.”

But back to Sheryl. She couldn’t care less. She was in a different world. Surrounded by teen magazines, she was cutting out pictures of dainty models in trendy clothing.

“She didn’t even hear me enter the room. So engrossed.”

What this young tomboy Ludvigson Lace Lady really meant was, “so gross.” Because, “well, it just was!”


While Sheryl spent more and more of her time with, “prissy stuff,” the tomboy separated herself from her sister to do quite the contrary. If it wasn’t tetherball, it was baseball.

There was a neighborhood baseball field just beyond the wooded area behind their house. This is where the tomboy and her three younger brothers would hang out.

“If enough kids would come around, we could play a game!” 


Baseball gloves were part of a good game. And there were plenty of gloves around. For most of the players.

“But not for lefthanders,” tomboy Ludvigson Lace Lady recalled, with severe recollection. “So I asked my dad!”

And Dad came through for her. What she did not realize is that while Dad was buying a baseball glove, Mom was diametrically purchasing something else…

But this was unbeknownst to the tomboy – daughter.

Her thoughts were flowing with confidence. The lefthanded baseball glove equipped her to conquer. All was well on the baseball field.

Unless she must assist in an outfield disagreement.


Then there might be a fight. Or…well, just a wrestling match. With Scott xxxx. But I could easily get him down. It only happened because there was no umpire,” she quickly points out. “Or they were bullying my little brothers.” 

Yes, this was the Ludvigson Lace Lady speaking!

With this backdrop, let’s reenter the conversation with sister Sheryl in the dainty bedroom:

Sheryl: “Mom signed us up for Charm School next week. It’s once a week for four weeks. And at the end, we will be modeling in a style show! Complete with a runway!”

Tomboy: “What!”


Sheryl: “Yes! I just heard her telling xxxx about it on the phone! It’s the very one I had asked about!”

Tomboy: “Well, not me! Maybe you, but not me! And anyway, what in the world is a runway!”

Sheryl filled her sister in as to what a runway was. She also gave her all the unwanted details as to what would be expected of each participant. Including the tomboy.

And Mom soon confirmed every jot and tittle of what Sheryl had said,

“In the Brookdale Mall, Conference Center. Hosted by Dayton’s.” 

And now the tomboy Ludvigson Lace Lady was cornered. No way out. Because, as we all know, ‘what Mama says, we do!’


A Moment for Psychological Insight: When an individual is paralyzed with fear, they tend to erase the details. And this is just what happened to the Ludvigson Lace Lady tomboy! She did not recall any of the instruction! Or was it rebellion…

Either way, it was not a figment of her imagination.  Because there was one portion of the Charm School course that the Ludvigson Lace Lady tomboy vividly remembers: THE RUNWAY!

“Or rather, the run – away!” 

Dazed as usual through the lectures, the runway tutorial came and went without comprehension. And the next thing she heard was,


Charm School Instructor: “So we will meet behind the curtain, to your left. Please arrive fifteen minutes before the program starts. You will line up, taking your turn – one at a time – down the runway. At the end of the runway,  do your charming pivot, and make your way back to the starting point. Then the next in line will take her turn.

When all are done, please return to the classroom area, and you will receive your certificate of completion. Congratulations!”

“Oh boy,” thought the tomboy, “Now what did she say? Go down the runway. Pivot. Go back. Certificate. Done.”

This was good. And this was bad. The good was that it is almost over. “Done.” The bad is the lonely trip down the runway.

And, pivot? Did I miss something?”


Thank goodness for Sheryl. By her, a Pivot Review was believed essential for the flunky and gladly offered. And even though the tomboy felt confident at the moment of execution, there still was trouble – at the end of the runway.

Her mind went in circles. As did her feet. Circles ruled! Around. And around she went. Where was the front? Where was the back? Finally, her feet circled just to desperately locate her exit!

“That weren’t no pivot.” The Ludvigson Lace Lady flushed with embassassment. And the next class member was on her way.

No one had laughed. No one had even snickered.


“Polite bunch.”

“Embarrassing!” She vouched to never do it again. “But only one thing matters now, according to the Charm School instructor: I’m done!”

Life is Lovelier with Lace…

What can I say?

▪Tomboys like lace?

▪Crochet needles are essential tomboy items?

▪Is it possible to be a Tomboy Hooker?

Possibly deep within the old Ludvigson Lace Lady is still a tomboy!  I certainly had been. More incriminating evidence could be laid out to assure you that I was a bonifide young tomboy. But now, age has a way of concealing!



“Can’t wrestle like I used to – even with the grandchildren. Tetherball is quite a reach. And my baseball mit – lost.”

Wrestling my tethered hook simultaneously wondering where my mit has gone,

~Debbie Ludvigson 

The Ludvigson Lace Lady 


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Life is Lovelier With Lace…and Our Seniors


Even she was deathly afraid to step out of the vehicle and enter the premises. “Why did I even set this up?”

“But I must take courage. Follow through with this commitment. For their sakes. My sons. If I turn and run, they will learn to do the same.”

So she placed her foot on the frozen parking lot. Then the other. Slowly. Carefully. Like she was walking some sort of plank. How would this end? With failure? Success? Would they like us? Will we irritate them?


It was December, 1998. With her guitar case in hand, she helped the youngest of her four boys out of the car to enter the local nursing home. “We will sing the songs we practiced at home. Remember to smile.”

They seemed to like us. We seemed to like them.

So we went again. And again. And again. First, monthly. Then, twice a month. We were encouraged to come weekly.

“Just come and read children’s stories to them. Their piano pieces don’t have to be perfect. Have them play here, like they were practicing at home!” encouraged our new friend/Staff-Activity Director.


So we did. The youngest was three years old at the beginning. He didn’t have to do much of anything, except show up and let them hug him.

But this three year old did more than that. He sang with his brothers. Solos? Probably. Quite honestly, I can’t remember all he did at the start. But the residents loved whatever he did. They loved him. His youthfulness gave them life.

As this three year old grew, his program contribution also grew. He joined his older brothers in piano solos, four part accapello harmonies.

He joined the brass ensemble we engineered to sound like, (akhem), Canadian Brass! (We played off their music, we must have sounded like them, right!)


Blue Grass developed when a banjo and harmonica was acquired by the next older brother. After he had his piano, recorder and trombone practicing under his belt!

The next oldest brother was interested in violin. This was way beyond me. Don’t know anything  about how to read its music, let alone, play!

But he did it!

And THEY loved it. The residents.


“Enunciate and project!”

Your voice, that is. When reading stories, reciting child-sized poetry, I reminded while rehearsing.

“We want them to be able to hear your every word.”

Yes. No longer was I fearfully entering the nursing home with just a simple song. I was now organizing Hymns for Him programs, lasting over one hour a piece.


Just an opportunity for each of the four sons (and Mom and Dad) to play instruments, sing some harmonies and read to them. With a bit of a theme to each program.

What was happening to the audience…the residents ♡

Marge and Miriam, dorm mates – as they referred to themselves as – would not let the boys leave for home without a visit to their “dorm room” for some treats. Cans of pop, candy and cookies would regularly accompany our return home.

A birthday Cake was even ordered and given to us on one occasion!


We invited them to our home for a birthday party one Minnesota spring day. But, they declined. We learned that leaving the security of their ‘home’ was more than they could sometimes bear.

So we brought the party to them! Those Ludvigson Boys had a water balloon fight outside the windowed activity room at the Villa. Picturesque, to Marge and Miriam. And to many of their friends who joined them to watch the show! And don’t you think those Ludvigson Boys enjoyed the water balloons? Think again!

Weeks at the Villa turned into years. Some residents came. And went. New residents became new friends. Some were easier to warm up to than others.


Towards the end of our time there, we had a ‘hard-to-befriend’ friend. But she was always there, when we came. I so much wanted to soften her with Love.

When the day came that we had to announce to our Villa friends that we were moving, and had to say a final goodbye, she began  to cry. Big tears. Truly  dissappointed.

As grieved as I was in saying goodbye, what joy I felt to see her, once ‘hard -to-befriend, now candidly showing her softness. Love. Relationship. It was there.


And there was Violet, who could not hear anything. But she shook her head when we played/sang a sour note.

Babe. She came stretched out on a wheeled lounger. After every song, “What’s wrong everybody! Don’t you like it!”

Then of course, on one of those nights, showing up to do a program, when there I felt like we should not go because of a boy’s naughty behavior on the homefront.

“With this, how can we encourage them?”

I announced before we left.


Only to hear our ‘well-aquainted-with-my-boys’ male/resident/friend, ask quite publicly, with a smirk on his face,

“What’s wrong, ____, have you been into mischief today!”

Silent. Laughter. Unquestionably. Suppose. To. Be. There. Tonight.

Although it took quite literally ‘blood, sweat and tears’ to prepare and perform at the Villa each week, to me – THE TYRANT – it was worth it.The experience and the relationship greatly outweighs the multitude of ‘trauma’ in the program construction.

Especially now. Christmas. Even though I can still remember one sweet resident complain as we began ‘Silent Night,’:


“Oh no, not that one again…”

I loved them. They taught me so much. And I hope never to forget those lessons. Or them.

Life is Lovelier With Lace…

My Lace Counselor works with me, sometimes when the rest of the family is in bed. In December, with the Villa Christmas programs added to the hustle and bustle of prepping at home, the late hours up lace crocheting did me better than sleep. That’s just the way it is! For me.

Please enjoy my lace,

~ Debbie Ludvigson


The Ludvigson Lace Lady 

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Life is Lovelier with Lace…and Swimmimg!



“How many summersaults can you do?” my cousin asked me as we both dove into the water once again, with the renewed challenge.

“Three!” came Diane’s response.

“Let’s try for four! Ready, set, go!”

We were just off the dock, waiting for Uncle Jerry to start up the speed boat for waterskiing.


“Who’ll go first?” 

“Oh, I don’t  care. You want to?”

And the fun began. Again. Another day in the lake. One of those Minnesota lakes. Not all of them were fit for swimming. Fishing, yes. Swimming, no.


“You must have an unmucky lake bottom! There was nothing worse than your toe slipping into slimy…umm, let’s see now. What does the muck remind me of?”

“Oh, I know!” The adult Ludvigson Lace Lady just took a moment to google muck synonyms, to no avail. But after some of her own thoughtful remembrance, she succeeded with her own:

“Cow Manure!”


And if the Ludvigson Lace Lady youth could be revisited, she would add,

“Freshly ‘spilt’ after the milking was done – at the Hietke’s dairy barn, just down the road from our lake!”

That would be Knife Lake. With that being said, Knife Lake is still remembered with fondness. Regardless of the bottom.

“But the bottom is nothing to be fond of!”


Swimming began before Knife Lake for the Ludvigson Lace Lady.

“Dad was always in the water with us kids. He would sneak up and grab our feet, to scare us.”

In reality, he was intensely motivated to teach all five of his kids how to swim. Beyond that, having fun in the water was all that mattered.


The raft was an unswerving motivator for the young Ludvigson Lace Lady. In her elementary swimming years, there was a raft out in the deep water.

“Twin Lakes, possibly?” It was in the heart of Minneapolis.

Oh, how I wanted to get to the raft. And jump off!”

But her dad would not allow floating devices.

“None of the kind.”


So with swimming came the rite for the raft. And once on the raft, jumps and dives.

“Without touching the lake bottom!”

“And I did!”

It was a highlight of her life.

“At least if you could help it,” remembering Knife Lake. “As a shallow lake, you have to be brave if you want to ski.” And she was not talking about putting waterskis on top of the water, with you feet in the rubber slippers.


She is speaking of touching the manure/muck on the lake bottom!

“Turtles, too!”

Yes, the turtles could be found snapping in the grassy areas of the lake.

“You must plan your falls in the middle of the lake. And then, when you fall, make sure you paddle your feet.”


Not to hold you up, but to keep the fish from nipping at your legs!

“We never swam in a pool as a child! Dad didn’t like pools. Probably the chlorine.” Or maybe because there were no pools around.

“Minnesota didn’t need pools, boasting of the ten thousand lakes,” she can hear her dad say.


But later, the Ludvigson Lace Lady lived in Arkansas. Ten thousand lakes? In Arkansas? Arkansans only believe 10,00 lakes to be Swedish folklore. But no lakes was no problem to the Ludvigson Lace Lady. The pool life was introduced, and loved!

“The pool has great bottoms!”

As her days were soon filled with one boy, then two, three and four, pool time was almost daily, May through September!

Lots of swim time!”


“No flotation devices, until you can swim in the deep end!” Memories of the Ludvigson Lace Lady’s dad swirled around in her mind, as she watched each of her boys in the water.

“Well, the wings weren’t around in my day. They will certainly help in the swimming process.” She gave in, much to her dad’s chagrin.

She used the wings. She also bent the rules and had the boys enrolled in YMCA swimming lessons!


“One of the best investments ever!” 

What fun this Ludvigson Lace Lady/mom had watching each of her boys learn how to swim with expertise, under teacher instruction!

“No fears invaded my mind when we swam anywhere else after that!”

In fact, as the years rolled on and they were swimming well at the city pool, you might have seen the Ludvigson Lace Lady once again in the deep end, hanging around the diving board.


“Closest thing to a raft!”

And if you could hear her thoughts, you’d hear her debating with herself about summersaults.

No, don’t embarrass your boys.”

(The real reason being, old age equalibrium issues.)

“Otherwise, I’d do it. Three or four, maybe.”


Life is Lovelier with Lace…

“I don’t know why I don’t jump in a pool now. It surely is hot enough.”

The real reason might be:

▪ To be seen doing summersualts is just not acceptable at 60.

▪Acknowledgement of lost swimming abilities is just too humiliating.

▪Swimsuits just don’t enhance her body beauty!

▪Crocheting Lace is more fun!


And with that reason, the Ludvigson Lace Lady bows out. With swimming on her mind, she can crochet to the raft. She can dive in the deep. She can do multiple summersaults…with the hook.

Hooking with chlorine on my mind,

~Debbie Ludvigson

The Ludvigson Lace Lady


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Life is Lovelier With Lace. . . And Storms!


“Get down in the basement,” my dad was yelling from our back yard. He saw it coming across the empty field just beyond our house. We lived in a new, but flourishing housing development. We were one of the first houses on the block. So the tornado, unbeknownst to this little girl, was enjoying open area very close to her.

“When Daddy speaks like that, we don’t fool around,” the little Ludvigson Lace Lady thought as her five year old legs carried her obediently down to basement safety.

As we gathered at the foot of the stairs, with our mom hovering over us, we waited for Dad to appear and tell us what was going on!


“There were five of us,” she remembered, “from one year old to seven.” 

Daddy finally arrived. With relief. Then the siren sounded. “Interesting,” the little Lady Ludvigson surmised, “the siren came after the tornado!”

Our instructions were to gather under the laundry folding table, in the corner of the basement. With blankets to match the five young kids, we cuddled together in our newly created hut.

“A Tornado Hut,” or so it seemed to them! “And Mom served us hotdogs while we played in the hut!”


It really was a lot of fun. We had no idea about the severity of the weather. “Mom and Dad were good at that.”

So as the days, years, decades have gone by, this mommy – this Ludvigson Lace Lady grown-up – continues to enjoy the storms.

“Similar storm hiding places were made with my four boys and myself!” This time in Arkansas. No basements are to be found in this part of the USA.

But with no basement, where were we to find cover? There was our hallway. There was the bathtub. And always a blanket, a pillow and a toy. For many storm episodes in Arkansas, we made due with just that.


“The storms were not that bad. And there were only at the most two or three little boys to hover over.”

But when a phone call warned me that this one forthcoming was quite severe,  better coverage was needed to be found.

“Let’s empty these two closets and camp in them!” The younger mothering Ludvigson Lace Lady suggested, using her playtime voice.


Believe it or not, the closet interior, became exterior.  And the four boys plus Mommy made a Tornado Hut inside the closet.

“Deja vu…” she grinned. “Oh, wait! Stay here everybody! I’ll be right back!”

There were no hot dogs, (“How did my mom make hot dogs!”) but there was something else!

“I knew this would come in handy someday! “ She pulled a chair to the refrigerator,  stood on top, and reached way back in the upper cupboard.


“A bucket of old Halloween candy!”  She smiled. “Very minimal sugar passes the lips of these boys, but there comes a time. And that time is now!”

So with candy, pillows blankets and a batteried radio, we played the waiting game.

Many tornadoes passed through our area that day. But we were safe. In a fun way.

We may not have had the hot dogs my mom had somehow prepared, but we had all the rest. The same relief.


“Thanks, Mom.” That is to Grandma, my mom –  from the next two generations, on how to enjoy a storm.

Life is Lovelier With Lace. . .

You know what I was doing last Sunday night, when a tornado invaded our neighborhood? Crocheting. Listening to the wind and the rain. Enjoying the peacefulness of the sounds of a storm!

Crocheting a CloverFields wrap! This one will be in Natural. A color quite similar to Ecru. You will love it. I know I do!


But, right in the middle of, ‘ten doubles, turn, picot, chain  one double,’ the power went out!

“Oh, it will come back on in a minute,” I said, holding my needle and crochet thread in a frozen position, so as to avoid loosing my place or my count.

But that minute turned into days. And many in Longview waited for power.

The hook and thread came to a halt, as I joined the many learning how to maneuver without the electrical benefits so engrained.


Yes, I so much appreciate the efforts made to bring the power back to us city dwellers. But I also appreciate that this Ludvigson Lace Lady  was able to continue to crochet on her porch, in the sunlight.

While many wondered what to do without social media!

Storms: Hot dogs. Halloween candy. Power Outages. Social media.

Life has some ‘twists’ in it many a time, bringing upheaval and routine change. But the twist of my crochet hook remains steady.

Loving my crochet twister,

~ Debbie Ludvigson

The Ludvigson Lace Lady 



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Life is Lovelier With Lace…and War Movies!


“I don’t want you to end up like me and not know your history,” she could be heard more than once per child in the Ludvigson household of boys.

“You see, in my History class, the teacher was the football coach…” She could almost see their eyes rolling to the backs of their heads, as they braced themselves to hear once again another historical documentation. This time it was their mother’s. Yes, she could tell stories. And then forget she had already shared them, only to tell them again.


But I want to make sure they learn the lessons I never learned. So they won’t have to bare the same consequences I had to bear,” the Ludvigson Lace Lady/Mother desperately wanted to explain to them, one more time.

You may ask, “Well, what DID you DO with all the class time slated for History?”

Good question. And the Ludvigson Lace Lady replies,

“I remember investing in the Keebler stock market. You know, the little elves! So cute. So I chose them. Who could resist.”


“Bring the newspaper from home and check your stock holdings every day. Right here, in the classroom,” the teacher directed.

While we were enjoying the newspaper, and probably not the stock market pages, Mr. Xxxx/football coach was writing football diagrams on the blackboard.

A few years before the ‘stock market class’ at a different school, in a different city.

“My recollection of 7th grade ‘Social’ class is a film describing the meaning of the hit song, “Lucy in the Sky With Diamonds” as the hallucinating effects of popular psychedelic drugs of the day (LSD).


The end of the film dramatized Spin the Bottle as follows:

▪Youth sitting in a circle, on the floor.

▪Empty bottle in center, lying sideways.

▪Bottle spinned.

▪Spinned bottle stops, pointing at one of the youth.

▪Youth identified as winner.

▪The winner takes the available gun and shoots himself in the head.

▪End of film.


“Interesting history. Something I have not forgotten,” the Ludvigson Lace Lady ponders.

“Hindsight now reveals that those were the days of burning draft cards and rioting in the streets for ‘Peace, Not War.'”

“Know your history,” she begged her boys. “Or you are bound to repeat it.”

Well wouldn’t you know it, those boys did soak up the genuine, authentic, real history!  And soon were instructing me! And I was all ears.


“Please replace ‘Spin the Bottle’ with something else!”

One of the most entertaining resources for war history is old war movies. The Ludvigson boys watched them all. And once in a while the Ludvigson Lace Lady/mom was able to sit in on one!

Today, she is still catching up.

To get a glimpse of the courageous sacrifice of our American soldiers, she highly recommends a regular dose of any and/or all war movies you can get find.


“Documentories too,” she adds. For they truly gave the Ludvigson Lace Lady the history that she never received.

Life is Lovelier With Lace…

And with crochet hook in hand, the long lost history education was ignited, and the flame continues to grow as each dvd/video is placed into the war machine.

Crocheting lace works its way into all of life, you know! Can’t live without it!

So if you already know your history, good for you!


“Learn more! You should see Mr. Ludvigson Lace/Husband divulging more every day!

He touts, “The more you know, the more you realize you don’t know,” as he pulls another book off the shelf, illustrating to his wife, “There’s always something more to learn!”

Me? “Yes, I want to learn. Hand me another video, Dear.”

With wielded hook in hand and ammo in the war machine,

~Debbie Ludvigson

The Ludvigson Lace Lady



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