Wednesday, July 17, 2024

Taking Care Of Mom

 My children take good care of me. And do not think for one second that I am ungrateful. However there are times that they go a bit too far. 

Now I tried really hard take care of their wants and needs when they were little. I like to think I did a good job. I not only love my children but I like them too.

One year my youngest son and his wife decided they wanted to host our Christmas celebration at their house. When I asked what they wanted me to bring they told me, "You always do everything, This time you will do nothing." So we all had a wonderful time and all I had to do was enjoy it.

My daughter was all of 18 years old. She was the manager of a pizza store. She was required to work long hours and often quite late. It was not a bad neighborhood but it was not really a good neighborhood. She was careful as I knew she would be. She never had any problems thank goodness.

One day I mentioned to her that I had a doctor's appointment coming soon. She immediately began to scold me! "Mother you know I have to work that day. I won't be able to take you." I told her that I had been going to the doctor by myself for many years. Then she said in her most imperious voice, " But that is different. I can take care of myself." Kids...

As you know I had a stroke a couple of years ago. I am so fortunate that it was not more serious than it was. My problem was that my taste buds and salivary glands were affected.  Because of that I could not eat. 

When I told the doctors they would tell me things like just eat what you can. Which was nothing. I tried in the beginning. Eventually I gave up. I was eating nothing. My son was thinking of putting me in a home hoping they could get me to eat.

Then one day he had an idea. He bought child sized foods like applesauce, yogurt, and smoothies. Every few hours he would bring me one to choke down. If you notice all of them are wet foods.

I began to feel better. Eventually I would try a piece of toast. Then some scrambled eggs. I now can eat whatever I want.

That was when I realized that I had been dying of starvation. It really was not so bad. I did not desire food at all and I just kept getting weaker and weaker. My son saved my life.

So you can see my children take care of me.


Saturday, July 13, 2024

The Boy With His Head In A Cloud

One of my brothers is an enigma. There were seven of us. We fell into groups. I was one of the older girls and we were referred to as the girls. The older two boys were the boys. The last two were the kids.   That is only six you say? You are correct. We were the boys, the girls, the kids, and David. (I use that name because it is my favorite name for a boy.)

This does not mean that David was left out of things. It was just a convenient way of referring to us.

David seemed to be in his own little world. He liked to be alone while he was playing. I used to say it was like his head was in a cloud. He loved playing with his cars and trucks. He made elaborate roadways for them. Some were half a block long.

Animals loved him. They let him put his hands in their mouths (ew) and never complained. One day he went up behind the family dog as she was eating. She did not realize he was behind her. When he jumped on her back (as he often did) she turned around and bit him before she was sure what was happening.

David was bitten on both lips. Mom rushed him to the doctor whose office was half a block away. The doctor cleaned him up and recommended that he be taken to another doctor the next town over. Our doctor was quite old and his shaking made it impossible to do jobs that required a steady hand.

The new doctor said that normally wounds like these would require stitches but they tried not to stitch animal bites. He said that in the future David would need plastic surgery to repair the damage. I am happy to say that his lips healed and except for a tiny scar on his upper lip there is nothing to show that it ever happened.

We built a house. It was located on a small hill. There was one house across the street from us and another way up at the end of the street. David loved to ride his sled down the hill in the winter.

One day there was a knock on the door. When Mom answered a man stood there with his hands on David's shoulders. The man was pale with fear.

David had ridden down the hill and into the street just as the man in his pickup truck was driving on the street. David and his sled had gone right under the pickup. The man did not know whether David had been hurt.

David was fine. After a few minutes to collect himself the man went on his way.

It all happened decades ago. David has still not done himself any serious damage. 

Saturday, July 6, 2024

White Boy

My sister-in-law died a couple of years ago. There were times we were very close and others when we did not speak. She was always good to my children. I loved her children.

Her mother was American Indian and her father was French. She did not see much of him and little of her mother. She was mostly raised in an Indian boarding school.

She told me that once at a basketball game she gushed over a cute boy on their team. Her older sister explained that he was her brother. She had no idea that she had brothers. She soon found out that she had a large family.

She was close to her two older sisters. She also had three younger sisters. The older two of them had babies the same time as I did. All those babies... But I digress.

When my sister-in-law was still in school she told the nuns she was going to marry a white boy. She met my brother-in-law and fell hopelessly in love. 

Against the wishes of his parents they married and promptly had three children in three years. 

Now my brother-in-law was not always the best husband. For one thing he tended to wander and carry on with other women. My sister-in-law was naturally hurt but she was the best wife she knew how to be. She always forgave him.

Once she went to visit her old boarding school. When she was talking to one of the nuns she told her about her husband. The nun asked her why she ended up marrying a white boy.

When my brother-in-law was in prison she stayed by his side even though he had been wandering before he went in. She found out she had inoperable cancer.

She lived with the knowledge that she was dying. She told me that she had prepared herself to die but she hoped for another year so she would be there when her husband came home.

She was still alive when he came home. I worried that he would carry on with the woman he had been seeing before. Instead he went with her to doctor appointments. He helped her get around. He even went to church with her. He made her last days happy.

All she wanted to be was his wife. In her last days he was finally also her husband.  

Saturday, June 29, 2024

Music Appreciation

 My oldest grandson was about three years old. He and I were riding in the car listening to music. Suddenly he laughed heartily. 

He said, "They are saying Hit The Road Jack!" I believe it was the first time he realized the words had meaning.

When he was a few years older the song his parents were listening to went, "Who Let The Dogs Out?" And then my grandson started to bark. His parents looked at him like he had lost his mind. I laughed because I knew the song and it was obvious they did not. 

The first song I sang to each of my grandchildren was The Unicorn. It took three times through the song for my second grandson to fall asleep. 

One day he walked past the radio which was playing The Unicorn. He looked at the radio. Then he looked at me with a puzzled expression on his little face. He looked back and forth several times before I explained that other people sang it too.

Grease is a favorite of all my granddaughters. We have gone to see the movie several times. Usually it was one of them having a special night with Grandma. We have also seen plays and even Grease On Ice. All were special times.

My daughter's daughter was the only person who would go to see The Irish Rovers with me. She was so little that she sat with her little legs completely on the seat. After watching for a few minutes she was in love. She loved the songs and she loved (and understood) the jokes. 

She was actually glowing. I think I enjoyed watching her more than the concert. The man sitting on the other side of her did too. 

After that she and I went every year. 

It has been such fun appreciating music with my grandchildren.

Tuesday, June 25, 2024

Water Water Everywhere

I am sure many of you have read about the flooding in Iowa. I live about a mile from the Big Sioux River. It is one of the many that are flooding. Actually much of this part Iowa is under water right now. 

Where I live there has been flooding like this before. I live a little higher than flood waters go. I do not worry too much about having to evacuate.

I did notice yesterday that across the highway from us was flooded a bit. Every other place looked dry enough.

My son and I had a quick errand to run yesterday. We needed to cross the bridge over the Big Sioux to go into South Dakota.

As we were crossing the bridge we saw a lot of people taking pictures of the river. It was high but not too high yet. 

We had noticed a lot of water sitting in fields on the Iowa side. That sometimes happens when there has been a lot of rain.

We went on into South Dakota. We took care of our errand and started home. It took about 20 minutes. 

We returned home the same way we had gone. As we were about 1/2 a mile from the bridge water began to trickle across the road.

I looked up and saw that the fields were suddenly full of water. It did not even take a second to happen.

 Now experts tell us not to drive through water on the road. But it was only a trickle and we knew the highway was in good shape. We had just been there. Besides there was not a place to turn around to go back.

In the blink of an eye the highway was covered. Not only was the water rapidly getting deeper but it was filled with pieces of the rows of crops. The crop rows were getting bigger.

We had to keep moving. If we stopped we would be washed away. It felt like we were driving on oversized speed bumps of crops. 

We could no longer see because of the water and debris splashing up as we moved. 

Just as quickly we reached the bridge. It sits higher so there was no water and no debris. What a relief.

We could see that the highway into Iowa was clear. No water at all.

The fields are much lower than the highway there. They were full of water.

We felt safe enough to drive home. We did so with no further incident. They were just blocking the road to the bridge as we turned the corner to go home.

Our vehicle is a Jeep SUV. It was covered from top to bottom with flooding debris. We feel lucky to be here.

Sunday, June 23, 2024

Just Say No

Most of us have known people involved in the use of illegal drugs. Most of those people do not have any serious permanent damage. Some are not so lucky.

My sister-in-law was obsessed with being thin for her husband. Her doctor prescribed diet pills. He kept prescribing them even though she was obviously addicted. There were days when she had to sit in a dark room because of those pills. I do not know how she finally stopped those pills after years of taking them but she did.

A good friend from the time he was a teenager started using drugs. He and another friend who was also using came up with a plan to get the money for their drugs. They would stand at an exit to the freeway and beg money when drivers stopped at the red light.

They did very well in the money department. Then they decided on a way to get larger amounts of money from the drivers. They would jump in front of their cars and pretend that they were hit. As long as they did not appear to be injured drivers would give more money so they did not have to contact their insurance companies.

One day our friend jumped in front of a loaded truck. The truck could not stop in time. The friend was badly hurt. He died 2 weeks later.

A nephew was in prison. When he got out he went immediately to see friends. That first night they were doing drugs. My nephew overdosed and died. 


Wednesday, June 19, 2024

Melting Teeth

When my youngest brother was little he had a problem with his teeth. They looked like acid had been dripping down them and they were melting away. They were all brown and snaggled.

The dentist would not do anything with them because they were his baby teeth. One of his favorite things to do was to brush his teeth. He said it made them feel better.

When his baby teeth fell out the new teeth were beautiful. He is still the only person I know who likes going to the dentist.

He grew up and married and had two daughters and a son. His second daughter had the same problem with her teeth. As soon as her dentist saw the buds of her new teeth start to grow he pulled her bad teeth.

Then my sister had two sons. Her youngest had the same thing with his teeth. Again his dentist advised against pulling his teeth. Poor little guy loved to brush his teeth and rinse them with a mild mouthwash. It eased the pain. 

He was a bit older when he finally lost his baby teeth. He had bald gums for several years. We thought he was never going to get his permanent teeth. The dentist said they were in there but they did not come out.

When my nephew was about ten years old the dentist said he might have to cut the gums to make it easier for his teeth to come through. Then they burst out on their own.

All of them have beautiful straight teeth now. And we still do not know why their teeth did that.