Friday, May 21, 2021

One Less

 I found a text message on my phone this morning. My brother-in-law let me know my nephew died lat night. His 49th birthday was less than a month ago.

He is the son of my sister who is in a nursing home because of a stroke she suffered several years ago. She does not yet know.

My brother-in-law will not be allowed to see her until June 2. That is the earliest appointment they will give him. I asked if they could make an exception for the emergency. He said they would not.

My nephew has been sick for years. There was something wrong with his pancreas. It periodically became inflamed causing him a lot of pain. In and out of the hospital. 

My sister made him promise her that he would not die. He tried so hard to keep that promise.

When I spoke to him a few days ago I could hear the pain in his voice. He sounded terribly weak. I had no idea that he was going to die.

As we got ready to end our call I said, "You know I love you." He said, " I know. I love you too." I am finding some small comfort in that.

Wednesday, May 12, 2021

Trees Waving In The Summer Breeze

 We have two big trees in front of our house. By big I mean huge. They stand at either end of the house.

The tree closest to the corner of the streets is much larger than the other. It grows out everywhere. A good strong wind drops pieces of the tree in the yard and occasionally onto the roof. It makes a huge noise and I have even been awakened thinking the tree had fallen onto the house.

It had one gigantic branch that grew out over our street. This spring smaller shoots grew from it and hung over the street. They were low enough to brush cars as they drove on the street.

We decided to call a tree trimmer and have both trees trimmed.

The man came out and my son told him what we wanted done. He quoted a price. It was certainly more than we wanted to pay but it was fair. We told him to do his thing.

He came with two trucks. One had a 'bucket' on a hydraulic lift arm. The other had a big hydraulic claw the laid in the bed. He parked them on the street and left!

When he finally returned he went to work. He trimmed pieces first. He had to be careful because that big branch could possibly fall onto the propane tank of the woman across the street. 

Then he began cutting larger pieces. They gave big thumps when they fell to the ground. He was here and busy all day. Toward the end of the day he used the claw to pick up everything he had cut from the tree. Boy was there a lot.

But he was not finished. When he returned he had an assistant. He climbed back into the bucket and up he went. He cut and cut and cut. His wife/assistant stayed on the ground and cut the branches into smaller parts. 

They worked steadily all day. Again at the end of the day the claw came out. The truck with the claw was so full of branches.

The tree man and his assistant returned the next day. He still had to trim the back side of the tree and trim the second tree.

Back into the bucket he went with his wife doing her job on the ground. All morning long we heard the saw and then the thump of a branch falling to the ground.

At lunch they left and took the truck full of tree pieces with them. When they returned it was back to work.

They finally finished with the big tree. Now it was time to trim the smaller one.

The smaller branches dropped more quickly. I was surprised at how many there were.

Out came the claw again. And once again the truck was full. 

They cleaned up all the fallen pieces. It is really amazing how even the smallest pieces were managed by the claw.

Then they cleaned up the rest with a rake and leaf blower. 

I must say they did a fine job. I had no idea it would take three days. I also had no idea what a big job it actually was.

So I have two nicely groomed trees. It feels right.

Saturday, May 8, 2021


 I miss my mother.

When I was a child Mom was the person I looked to for almost everything. She fed me. She kept me as clean as she could. ( I was always playing in the dirt.) Most of all she loved me.

My hair grows fast. Mom used to braid my hair each day. That was the style for little girls. When teenagers began to wear pony tails she realized they were easier and faster. I was the first little girl in town to wear a pony tail.

When I was about 8 years old I started to beg for shorter hair. By that time I had to take care of it and it was not easy. Finally Mom gave in and cut my hair and gave me a permanent. Anybody remember Tonette perms for little girls? And they came with a paper doll to keep me busy while all the processing happened.

I was happy with the results. Mom  was pleased. Daddy was furious. 

I am the oldest of 7 children. That meant I was Mom's main assistant. I did not mind. It was that way for most families at that time.

She taught me to cook and do other household chores. I liked cooking. The rest of it not so much.

Mom was a calm person who took everything in stride. On a driving trip we took together we stopped in Salem, Massachusetts, to get a reading from a witch. Salem is full of them. The young man commented that Mom was like a calm, smooth-flowing stream while I had sparks shooting everywhere. It was so true.

Mom loved to write. When I was in early grammar school she had articles published in some of the popular women's magazines of the time. 

My mother was the most intelligent person I ever knew. (My mother-in-law was the wisest by the way.) It seemed as if Mom knew the answer to any question we might have. But she also taught us to find the answers for ourselves.

We actually went to college together. If either one of us was writing a paper and searching for that perfect word we would grab the phone. We would bounce words off each other until that word came to us.

As I matured my mother became one of my best friends. We both loved baseball. Her grandchildren would sit in the backyard in the summer so they could hear us yelling at the TV during a game. They did not know we also heard them laughing at us.

There were so many things we did together. One of the best was the driving trip we took through New England. We took turns driving. We stopped to see whatever one or both of us wanted to see. We bought souvenirs for everybody. It took us a week before we ended the trip in Kentucky at my sister's house.

I miss Mom. Since it is Mothers Day I miss her a bit more.

Happy Mothers Day to all mothers.

Sunday, May 2, 2021

I Have Been Replaced

 My sons were talking on the phone today.  I was not paying attention. Really I was not.

Then my ears picked up the word eggs.

They were discussing recipes. 

Both households have hot air ovens. We use ours often. As it turns out so does my other son.

Someone gave my son some eggs. He had heard us talking about hard boiled eggs and he wanted to learn how to make them. He called his brother instead of his mother!

Soon the talk turned to the best way to make vegetables. At first I found it amusing. Can you image two men discussing recipes in the 50's? Both would have been sent for conversion therapy.

Then I realized I have been replaced. No calls to see how long to leave a roast in the oven. No more calls to see how to make refried bean and chili. No more asking me about which spices to use. 

I must point out that when they were young I taught my boys to cook. Similarly I taught my daughter  to change oil in the car and change tire. I wanted Them to marry companions not mommies or daddies. I guess I did too good a job.

By the way for any one wondering how to make hard boiled eggs in the hot air cooker here goes:

Place 6 eggs on the tray and place it in the oven. Set the oven at 250 degrees and cook for about 23 minutes. Then place the eggs in a bowl of cold water. When the eggs are cool keep them in the refrigerator until ready to eat.