Friday, April 19, 2024

Spoiled

 I happily admit that I was a pampered child. My mother's family had two older babies and another was born 6 weeks after I was. But all of them were half a country away. I got all the attention that would have been shared by 4 of us.

My grandmother had small children as was common then. My youngest uncle is 3 years older than me. Even so all the aunts and uncles even the little one treated me like the most important thing in the world. Grandma and Grandpa doted on me like grandparents will do.

During World War II when my father was in the Navy, he bought kimonos for his wife and daughter. He did not even know my mother then. I was that daughter so I have always felt special because I was What Daddy wanted.

My parents were there for all of us which made us all feel so secure. We had love and attention.

One of Mom's older sisters was married. She and her husband wanted a baby but it just was not happening. So I filled an empty spot in their lives. And I loved it. 

I spent many weekends with them. I had special meals. We did fun activities. There was even a box full of toys. My favorite was a toy telephone. I remember it well.

As a quick side note my aunt had her first baby the same year I had my first baby. Life is good.

Grandpa's brother and his wife also spoiled me. We called them Uncle and Aunt. She spent the school year away because she was a teacher at a public school on one of the Indian Reservations. Still I was treated to movies and treats. 

During the summer I would sometimes stay with them. My aunt worried about me for what I thought were silly things. I slept on the couch. She would line up chairs by the couch to keep me from falling. I was around 8 years old for goodness sake.

My uncle would take me with him when they cut the hay. He never did any of the work. He hired others to do it. It was fun to watch.

Then when the cut hay dried it was time to build the stacks. My uncle hired Indians from the local tribe for that job. I was fascinated listening to them talking to each other in their native language. I am sure they were talking about how cheap my uncle was.

These are only a few of the people who made me feel special. I am happy. 

Sunday, April 14, 2024

Sew Sew

 I do not sew. When I was a child my mother taught me to do embroidery which I also cannot do.

We had a sewing machine. It was the old kind operated by a treadle made by pumping it with your feet. I often used it to repair clothing. 

I also attempted to make clothes using it. I would be pumping the treadle and picking up a little speed when suddenly I made a mistake. I am naturally a calm and collected person. But I have been known to throw a tantrum and rip the cloth from the machine. The needle attached to the machine would come with it.

At school the 7th grade girls were required to take one semester of home economics. We learned to wash our hair, change our underwear daily, and arrange cut flowers. They also taught us to make a cake from scratch. Then we had to make a skirt.

The pattern for the skirt was simple. We cut a circle from our material then made a waist with a zipper.

 When I finished by hemming the skirt one side was at my ankle. The other side was just below my hip. How did that happen?

My 3 sons and my daughter all take care of mending their own clothes. My stitches do not hold. 

My mother, both of my sisters, and my daughter could all sew. It is not fair. But I am really good at changing my underwear.

Tuesday, April 9, 2024

Controversy

You may have noticed that I have not posted political subjects. That is on purpose. I do not want to insult anyone but my political feelings are none of your business.

I do have strong political convictions. I have participated in many local elections. I have demonstrated, conducted telephone polls, rung doorbells and of course I always vote. I have since I was old enough.

I am registered with a political party. However I do not necessarily vote the party line. I vote for the person I feel is the one who will try to accomplish the things I believe in. I have voted for members of the other party if I feel they are best qualified for the job.

Now I hear people saying that I should vote against a candidate that these people do not like. I never ever vote against someone. I only vote FOR people. If they are not what I wish for a particular position I will vote for a candidate who meets my criteria.

There is no person in this wonderful world with whom I agree all the time. I have my own mind and my own desires for this country. Yours may differ from mine. We are both entitled to our opinions. As long as you do not try to bulldoze me into agreeing with you we will get along.

I am happy to have pleasant debate about issues. A person may even cause me to change my mind. But force will not do it. Intellect might.

I tried to raise my children to think for themselves. I believe I was successful. Some of them have completely opposite views to mine.

As long as they have done their research and know what the candidates stand for that is fine with me.


Friday, April 5, 2024

Down

My brother-in-law and sister-in-law lived in a two-story house with a basement. In the basement was the washer and dryer. The bathroom was on the second floor.

The house was designed so a person would not have to carry dirty laundry to the basement from upstairs. There was a laundry chute in the bathroom. Dirty clothes were dropped into the chute upstairs into a bin in the basement. Easy to do.

At that time they had three children, two boys and a girl. All three of them were overly 'adventurous'.  It seemed they were always into something they should not have been. Perhaps my niece was worst of all.

One day she decided to take a trip down the laundry chute. She was small so there was little danger of her getting stuck. She did not.

However the chute was not smoothly finished. After all who would see it?

As my niece fell down the chute she discovered that although there were no nails sticking out to snag the clothes the ends of the nails were right at the surface. They took no pity on a little girl. And the wood was not smooth.

By the time my niece landed in the bin she was screaming in pain. No bones were broken. But she was covered and I do mean covered.in small cuts and scrapes. 

Needless to say she only put clothes in the chute after that.


Sunday, March 31, 2024

Magic

 Do you believe in magic? Most people would say no. I believe.

When I am out for a drive to the top of a hill and see all the scenery I gasp. I can see farms, animals, and fields. Occasionally I see a stand of trees or a river. It is beautiful. It is magical. 

The tinkle of a toddler's laugh makes everyone laugh too. That is magic.

The clean sweet smell of a baby after its bath is magic.

Seeing a tree full of migrating birds stopping to rest is magic.

One day I watched thousands of little ants scurrying to some destination. I was fascinated. It was magic.

In the spring lilac bushes, jasmine, and honeysuckle magically fill the air with their lovely scents. Dandelions, crocus, and violets peep up to cover the ground with colors of magic. 

Fruit trees leafing then blooming are magic. Those blossoms becoming fruit that we can eat is magic.

Seeing a small herd of deer fills me with wonder. Seeing a flock of wild turkeys fills me with fascination. Seeing a herd of buffalo fills me with awe. I am in the presence of magic.

Snow and ice in the winter are magic. Special magic is reserved for a hoar frost. Everything looks like it has been covered in powdered sugar.

Even the occasional garden snake I find coiled in my yard is a magical creature. How do snakes move simply by wiggling?

Brussels sprouts. They taste so good. Along with other vegetables they magically nourish us.

Computers were science fiction when I was a child. Their magic is such that almost every home is now online.

Grass magically grows during the summer. It is enough that people mow their lawns every week.

Have you ever seen the wind blow so hard that trees bend over double? After the storm there stands the tree tall and proud. Magic.

I once saw a triple rainbow. My son took pictures of it. That is magic.

Mother and child. Father and child. Man and woman. Any two people who love each other are creating magic.

The fact that you are reading this is magic. I guess you believe too.

Monday, March 25, 2024

Tell Me A Story

Before humans had organized methods of writing there were storytellers. Depending on the culture they had different names. The Irish and Scots had The Seanachaidh. In India there were The Kathakar. The Skald told the tales of Norway and Iceland.

The storytellers of the area around Turkey and Iran were called The Ashik. In Japan there were The Hanashila. Central Europe relied on The Minstrels for their stories. The Griot told stories in Western Africa.

In Hawaii a person would tell the mo Ľolelo. Chants and hulas also convey the history of the islands. Native American tribes relied on the storytellers to keep their traditions.

Every culture had storytellers. They were necessary for members to learn their history. Of course there were often exaggerations. These built the heroes memories and gave birth to myths associated with each culture. The storytellers were honored and treated with reverence.

The Irish say that to know who you are you must first know who you come from. I believe that to be true. We are not all descended from royalty or great warriors but our ancestors were important. Without them we would not exist.

When I was a little girl I would quietly sit and listen to the adults telling stories of my ancestors. It was not only great fun but also I learned who I came from.

There are probably storytellers in your family...usually more than one. Learn from them. They are keeping your history alive.

Friday, March 22, 2024

Good Girl


Every so often during the day my son's Alexa will suddenly say, "Delilah. You're a good girl." Sometimes she will add, "Maybe even the best girl."

Delilah is his dog. The moment she hears her name she jumps up and runs to him to be petted.

It just shows that every vreature including us needs to be appreciated now and then.




Friday, March 15, 2024

Superman

I am a Daddy's girl. When Daddy was in the Navy during World War II he bought kimonos for his wife and little girl. He did not know either of us yet. I am the little girl he wanted and I have always felt special because of that.

Daddy was not perfect but I was a teenager before I knew that. He is close enough for me.

Daddy could build or fix anything. At one time he had a business. He was a plumber

. It seemed to be successful. His wanderlust kicked in and we moved.

He was town marshal in two small towns. In those little towns he was also dog catcher, water commissioner, jailer, and chief of the volunteer firemen. He used to come home with stray dogs. Or maybe he would have a bunny in his shirt pocket. We had great fun with the homeless animals he could not bring himself to destroy.

He was working for a farmer. One day Daddy was standing on the back of the tractor as the farmer backed up to hook up to a plow. Somehow Daddy's foot was struck in between the tractor and the tongue of the plow. His foot was broken.

Have you ever seen someone run over by a house? Daddy was working for the local house mover. People would buy a nice house and have it moved to another piece of land.

One day they were moving a house near to where we lived. Mom took us to the little country dirt road they would be travelling so we could see what he did for a living. They used back roads like that so they would not disrupt traffic. 

Daddy had a long pole with a forked end he used to hold power lines up so the house would pass without catching them. He was holding up power lines in the crossroad. The house was mounted on special little trailers and pulled by one of the big trucks. 

One of the trailers ran right over his foot! Luckily his foot was only pushed down into the deep loose dirt of the road. He was not hurt. 

We built a house for our family. A cement truck deposited cement for the floor of the basement. Daddy smoothed it all out and waited until it set. Then he built the foundation with cement blocks and cement he made himself.

Daddy did most of the work but we all helped. I can remember him telling me I used the hammer like a girl. He showed me the correct way to pound a nail. 

We all loved that house. It is one of two buildings that I feel strongly about. It still stands and I drive by every once in a while to say hello to it.

One summer Daddy took a job in Washington state. He worked on a dairy farm. There was another employee from Germany who spoke no English. He and my father worked well together. The man had a daughter about my age who went to the fields with them because she spoke English and could translate. Daddy arranged for me to go along to keep her company. I wish I had been smart enough to learn German from her.

While we lived there Daddy got real sick. He had the Asian flu. The doctor quarantined him to the boys' room. We were not allowed to see him at all. Poor Mom was the only one who could go in to see to his needs.

Daddy was alone in that room for about a month before we saw him again.

My father was a superman to survive all he did.

He did not have a happy home growing up. My grandfather was a drunk and my grandmother was not a loving person. Without an example of good parenting my father was a great father.

He volunteered to chaperone school functions. He umpired ball games for my brothers and uncles. He was a good man. And he was my Daddy.

Sunday, March 10, 2024

Superwoman

My mother was a wonder.  She cooked, cleaned, and raised seven children. I really believe she could do anything she set her mind to. Not to mention she was the smartest person I ever knew.

My grandparents used to play for barn dances. Grandpa played fiddle, bajo, and guitar. Grandma played the piano. Unfortunately they did not teach their children to play.

Mom decided to learn to play the piano. She got some 'how-to' books from the library. After studying them she bought some simple sheet music. Mom was playing music. Not just with one hand but both. 

My mother was a published author. When I was around 6 or 7 she sold several articles to women's magazines. I do not know which ones . I was never privileged enough to read any of the articles. I do remember well that she was excited about them.

Mom grew up on farms. She only faced one problem about eating. She was allergic to milk. As she got older she could manage small amounts of milk. She loved ice cream. Two of my granddaughters inherited her allergy. One is severe.

On television and in movies glamorous people drank martinis all the time. Mom was not a drinker. One time Mom and Daddy were invited to a function for Christmas. She told me before they went that she was going to have a martini. And she did. She said it tasted terrible.

Mom could not stand to have her face covered. My oldest son is the same way. Because of that she never learned to swim. As I told you in an earlier post she saved my sister from drowning in spite of not being able to swim.

Because she grew up on the farm Mom rode horses. They did not even own a bicycle. So she never learned to ride a bike. She wanted to know how. She bought herself a bicycle. 

She practiced and practiced. It could not have been easy when her grandchildren rode circles around her and laughed. But she learned.

One day my sister came to show off her new car. Mom wanted to show her that she could ride the bicycle. My sister patiently watched her as she leaned against her new car. Mom rode to the end of the block and came back. As she got close to my sister and began to stop Mom lost control of the bike.

She began to fall and the bike got away from her. The handlebars went right through the windshield of my sister's new car. Thank goodness for insurance.

 Mom decided to collect the discarded bottles and cans that everyone was throwing to the side of the road. She wanted her own car that she bought and paid for herself. She would turn the bottles in for the refund every week. In little time she had the money for her car and for the license plates and insurance. Of course she was proud and we were proud of her.

It was an older car and the paint was mottled. Mom set about painting it. She had several cans of fluorescent blue paint from crafts she had done. That would be a nice color. When she was finished with it the car looked nice.

Mom and Daddy were sound asleep one night. They were awakened by a huge commotion in front of their house. Apparently someone had reported an eerie blue glow. First a police helicopter was dispatched. It flew as low as it could toward the glow but the trees kept them from being able to identify it. 

Several police cars then appeared. When it was discovered that it was a little car glowing they tried to find out why. As Mom explained why it looked like that and there was no nefarious reason they left laughing. 



Tuesday, March 5, 2024

It's A Date

 Remember dates? 

A young man would notice a young woman and wish to know her better. When he built up the courage he would approach her and ask her out. Maybe to a movie. Maybe to the stock car races. Maybe to a dance.

He hoped she would say yes. She usually did.

Fridays were considered to be date night. I suppose it was because there was no school the next day. Also there was no church in the morning.

The young man would go to the young woman's house and knock on the door. He always picked her up and met her parents. The parents would remind them what time she had to be home.

She would dress up to be pretty but to be dressed appropriately for the activity. He would be dressed appropriately too. Off they went. Sometimes he had a car and sometimes they walked.

After the date the young man would see her home. He would take her to her door and see her safely inside before he went home. 

One date did not necessarily mean that there would be another. If they really enjoyed it there might be. They were not looking for exclusivity. But perhaps there would be more dates. 

Now these youngsters 'hang out". They meet a group of friends and maybe do something maybe not. Sometimes a couple would form and 'hang out' together with all the rest.

The innocence of dating is lost. They do not know what they are missing. 

Tuesday, February 27, 2024

Lose Something?

 I just saw a commercial that made me laugh.

Man: "I'm sorry you lost your mom."

Woman: "Thanks."

Man: "Did you look in the bookcase?"

Actually it was an advertisement for life insurance. The woman's mother had died. They were searching for her insurance policy.

I really wish writers for ads would pay attention to the way things are said.

Monday, February 26, 2024

Out Of The House

I once promised you a funny story about an outhouse. Here goes

Once again we were moving. Daddy had taken a job on a farm just outside of Spokane, Wahington. He was already there. That left Mom with the job of moving.

We did have help which was good because we were really too young to be of any help. My aunt, two uncles, and a couple of their friends were there.

Mom had to take care of some errand or another and left the rest of us there. My aunt (like most of the females in our family) was bossy so she was in charge.

One of our cousins was there too. She is the same age as my sister. They would not be seeing each other for a long time so they were having a last day together.

We had been packing and moving things to load on a truck. It was a hot day and my aunt granted us a nice rest period to relax and cool off.

Suddenly my aunt realized it had been a while since she saw my sister and cousin. She called them to make sure they were not getting into mischief. No one answered. She called several times with no answer.

She sent my brothers to get them. They were not found.

My aunt started to be concerned. We lived close to the train tracks so a rescue party was sent both directions on the tracks. No girls. 

We checked inside the house. We checked outside the house. A couple of us even rode our bikes to a lake we were not allowed to go to.

We were about to go into cornfield behind the house to look for them. That is not a safe place to be.

Then my brother decided they were dead. He could hear their ghosts calling for help. We ran to the spot he was standing in. We heard them too.

As we tried to locate where the voices originated we moved closer and closer to the outhouse.

The girls were inside. We told them to come out. They were crying that they could not open the door. The boys pushed but it did not open.

Finally someone realized that the girls had locked the door. The lock was just a metal hook that fits into a metal eye. 

My aunt convinced the girls to stop pushing the door from the inside. She told them to pull a little and try to unlock it. It worked!

Those girls were so overheated. They had been in there for so long. We were almost as happy as they were that they were finally safe.


Wednesday, February 21, 2024

Ow! Sticky

My mother loved succulents. She was fascinated by all different kinds of cactus. She always had at least one little pot with a cactus in the house.

She was especially fascinated by a hen and chicks plant that grew at my grandmother's house. Grandma being Grandma refused to let my mother take a cutting. Mom being Mom would not take one without permission. It was years before she got one from someone else. We did not live there long enough to see the chicks begin to spread.

One year Mom decided to plant a garden of cactus around the base of one of our trees. I do not remember if she planted cactus or seeds. I suspect it was the plants.

She faithfully tended her little garden. Since it was newly planted she gave it a little water every morning. She watched it carefully.

The garden was not thriving. All the plants looked dead. Thinking that perhaps she was giving it too much water she watered it only every other day. Still her garden was dying.

Finally Mom gave up. That was not like her but she realized that this was not a garden she could grow. She gave up on her garden and felt a great sense of failure.

Then came the day she went to get some vegetables from the regular garden. She glanced at her failed cactus garden. It was gloriously alive.

She learned that in order for them to grow she had to ignore them.

Friday, February 16, 2024

Miss Hayhurst

When I was in second grade I had the best teacher of all teachers. Her name was Miss Hayhurst. She taught Kindergarten, first, and second grades. It was a small town so the teachers all taught three grades at a time.

Each child in her room felt like teacher's pet. Each and every one of us!

Every morning after reciting the Pledge of Allegiance we sang a little song wishing her a good morning. Then she sang it back to us. It was a cheerful way to begin the day.

I loved school. Whenever we had a test I tried to be the first to turn in my paper and to have the best grade. It came easy to me. I often had time to write a little note to her on my paper. She replied to the note when the paper was returned with the grade on it. Usually it was nothing more than me telling her I liked her sweater and her saying, "Thank you."

There was a little girl in first grade who always had the prettiest clothes. Each day we drew a picture of her clothes that day and wrote a bit about why we liked them. At the end of the semester we connected all the pages with yarn and had a book we had written and illustrated.

Every morning we had recess. If the weather was nice went outside to play. Otherwise Miss Hayhurst would find a fun activity for us. Often we would gather musical instruments. We had triangles, blocks of wood, kazoos, and other fun things. There were also three bird warblers. With a little bit of water in them they warbled in the tuned we were celebrating. Miss Hayhurst would play the piano and we marched around the room playing our instruments.

After recess was nap time. Each of us had taken a small throw rug to school at the beginning of the year. At nap time we picked a spot on the floor to spread our rug so we could lie on it. It is surprising how often we all actually fell asleep for a few minutes.

Polio was still dangerous for children then. Dr. Salk invented a vaccine to keep us from being infected. All children across the nation were encouraged to be vaccinated. Schools were the logical place to do this because that was where children would be. But as I said we were a very small town with a very small school.

It was decided that we would be transported to a larger town nearby. The boys were accompanied by some of the teachers on a bus. Miss Hayhurst drove us girls in her car. There were only about a half dozen of us so we had plenty of room. And we were all vaccinated. Adults wanted all the children to be protected from this crippling disease.

Every month there was a school wide assembly. Parents were the audience. Each teacher chose a song, dance, or small play for their students to perform. Because there were so few girls in the town we were usually borrowed by some of the other grades as well as our own. It was great fun.

Mis Hayhurst discovered that I was good at memorizing long poems. I often had a spot alone too. I recited poems like The Owl And The Pussycat, The Gingham Dog And The Calico Cat, and Little Orphant Annie. 

Later Miss Hayhurst told my mother that it was not appropriate for me at that age but she felt that when I was older I would enjoy the works of Shakespeare. She was correct.

Mom said for years that she wished all of us could have had Miss Hayhurst because she was such a good teacher. Unfortunately we moved away a couple of years later so most of the younger ones could not experience her.


Friday, February 9, 2024

Pinochle

When we were little there was not a lot of money for indoor activities. We all learned word games, Twenty questions, paper games, and card games. We usually got board games for Christmas. They were often worn out by the following Christmas.

My parents also enjoyed these games. In fact they had a weekly pinochle game with another couple. 

They would play cards and have snacks. We loved the snacks. Most of the time when it began to get late we would just go to sleep on the floor. We loved it.

My parents both believed in competition. Because of them I do too.

I like to win. If I do not win I know I have done the best I could and am happy for the winner.

One night while my parents were playing pinochle there was an unusual situation. My father was dealt a perfect hand.

A perfect hand means that if he gets the bid he can take all the tricks. I have never had a perfect hand.

There was a problem though. The other man also had a perfect hand. Wow!

Each of them wanted to get the bid so they could take all the tricks. The bidding was epic. Neither man wanted to give in.

Eventually the bidding was a lot higher than the points they could make. They kept bidding not wanting to let that perfect hand go to waste.

The two women began to chuckle. Soon they were laughing out loud. It was a funny situation. 

I do not remember how it ended. 

My best guess is that the evening ended and all had a good laugh over the whole thing.



Sunday, February 4, 2024

Love

My brother-in-law was in the hospital recently. He had bleeding on the brain. They were able to successfully treat it and he seems to be fine now.

He is a few years older than my husband was and they were quite close. 

When my husband left us he was not as attentive to our children as he should have.  My daughter was especially affected. Her place to be had always been on her daddy's lap. His lap wasn't available.

My daughter began to spend a lot of time with her aunt and uncle. One of my nieces is my daughter's age. I wanted my children to remain close to all their family.

I did not always get along with this brother-in-law. I have so much respect for him because he was there for my daughter when she needed someone like him the most. 

One day my daughter laughingly asked him who his favorite niece was. He said, "Do I have any other nieces?" (There literally are dozens.)

They love each other. My brother-in-law had to love his wife, kids, parents, etc. He did not have to love his niece and she did not have to love him. It is a beautiful thing to see.

I was talking to him a while ago and laughingly said we were getting old. He angrily said, " You are getting old. I'm not!"

So with my daughter being so incapacitated with cancer and him with the brain bleed they have spent a lot of time talking to each other. It has been therapeutic for both of them. 


Wednesday, January 31, 2024

Plumbing

Remember outhouses? They were the little buildings a person would visit to eliminate waste from the body. Every home had one. After all everyone had waste to eliminate.

I hope to never have to use an outhouse again. They are cold in the winter. They are hot in the summer. They always stink.

Most of them were little wooden structures behind the house... quite a ways behind. Inside was a wooden bench with a hole in it to deposit eliminations. Some were fancier than others. On the farm my grandparents' outhouse had three holes along with a little one off to the side for smaller members of the family. 

Toilet paper was considered a luxury. Every year the mail order companies mailed big thick catalogues for people to order goods. Most of the catalogues ended up in the outhouse to use to clean oneself. 

In order to keep the accumulation of eliminations down lime would be poured generously occasionally. I think that may have smelled worse than a normal day out there.

Halloween made targets of outhouses. Teenagers routinely tipped them over. It was difficult for the owner to set it right again.

My father heard a rumor one year that our outhouse was the target. He and my brothers moved it forward so that anyone who tried to tip it over would instead end up in what was under the outhouse. No one showed up.

I do remember one year as we were driving home a bunch of high school boys were busy hauling someone's outhouse to the main intersection of town.

My father-in-law decided it was time to change the location of their outhouse.  He was also in a bit of an ornery mood. There was no door on the outhouse. So he set it up facing the highway. Anyone driving by could see what you were doing. My mother-in-law made him fix it.

I do have one funny story about outhouses but that will come at another time. Right now I want you to understand why I hate outhouses with a passion. I want indoor plumbing..

Wednesday, January 24, 2024

Repeat

I enjoy watching movies and television programs. I have favorites of course. 

I watch these to be entertained. I do not want to have to think or look for the hidden meanings. I want mindless enjoyment.

I drive my children crazy. I am like a little kid. I can watch the same thing over and over if I like it.

One of my favorite movies is Grease. Back in the days of VHS I bought it. Then I watched it over and over non-stop until my children threatened me with no more television privileges if I did not give them a break.

So now I try to watch my favorites in my room by myself. I can watch them as often as I wish.

Saturday, January 20, 2024

Gone


My little family and I were going on vacation. I had two toddlers at that time.

Both of my sisters and I had been shopping for last minute things. The vacation began as soon as my husband got home from work. We were having a good time.

As we drove up to my parents' home so I could drop my sisters off we were laughing and singing. By changing stations on the radio we heard a song that was a favorite to all of us. We had heard it three times in a row. What fun.

We pulled up in front of the house and Daddy rushed out. His eyes were all red. Since he worked in a chemical factory I thought there must have been a spill.

He hurried over to the car and told me to turn it off. I told him I was not staying but he insisted that I turn it off. So I did.

He told us that my brother had been killed in Viet Nam. I thought I would cry immediately but I was shocked instead. He was my little brother. 

In full disclosure I had felt for more than a week that we would be called home from vacation for his funeral. Feelings like that happen to a lot of people and never come to pass.

I gathered my two little boys and went in to see how my mother was. Did she need a doctor? There on the couch sat my littlest brother and sister. Others were in various places around the room. No Mom.

I went to the phone to call my sister-in-law to tell her that if my husband stopped over there after work (which he planned to do) to have him come to my parents' house instead of going home.

I looked again for my mother. Since she was not there I assumed she was lying down. I took my boys outside so they would not be a bother to others.

When my husband arrived I was still sitting on the front steps keeping an eye on my boys. He ran to us to find out what was wrong. He was sure it was a mistake. He and my brother had been quite close.

We gathered the boys and went inside. Mom was sitting on the couch with my brother and sister. I went to her to see what I could do for her.

As we talked she asked me why I had not said anything to her when I was in the house before. She had been sitting there the whole time!

I have no idea why I did not see her. Maybe it was just too much for me to see both of my parents crying.

Monday, January 15, 2024

Delete

My Nephew died a few years ago. He was not yet 50 years old. 

I did not know how ill he was. He had promised his mother who was bed-ridden that he would not die before her and he intended to honor his word.

He was her only child and they adored each other. He held on longer than he should have been able.

My Sister who was his mother was in a nursing home. She had a stroke several years before and could not get out of bed. She told me she has made him promise not to die before her.

We were unable to tell her that her only child had died for several days because Covid limited visitors to her. She was devastated. 

My sister died a couple of years ago. They are together now.

One thing that gives me comfort is that the last thing I said to either of them is that I love them. Now I drive everyone I care about crazy by making sure the last thing I say to them is I love you.

But that is not what I am writing about. One of the few things I really like about my cell phone is my contact list. All those numbers I used to keep stored in my head are now safely stored on my cell phone. 

The thing is that every once in a while I see my nephew's number or my sister's number. I know I should delete them. I cannot bring myself to do it. Is there a right time to do this? 


Friday, January 12, 2024

Modern

 

I live in an electronic house. By that I mean that my son has installed many modern features. The locks for the doors are computer operated. The lights are all operated by voice command. The televisions are operated by voice command. The bathroom fan measure the amount of humidity in the air and automatically turns on when needed. Our kitchen range and refrigerator are both connected to our computers and therefore our cell phones. There are motion detecting security lights outside.

It is all so convenient most of the time. To turn off the lights when I am in bed all I have to do is say, " Alexa, turn off the light." She replies, "Okay." and does so.

Coming into the house after dark all we have to do is tell it to turn on the lights and suddenly I can see.

Now all this sounds like fun and it is. I have a problem though.

I have a problem with names. I can be thinking of a correct name and another name comes out of my mouth. I have one lovely daughter. She just had her 50th birthday. I have called her by her own name maybe half a dozen times in her life. Not to worry though. I call my oldest granddaughter by my daughter's name.

So there are several different names for our electronic devices. They must be addressed by name to make them work. Do you have any idea how hard that is for me?

And then there is the TV in the living room. Why I keep wanting to call her Chloe I do not know. It is not the name of anything except in my mind.


Friday, January 5, 2024

FIRE!!!!

 My son just called. His neighbor's house burned last night.

My son woke up in the middle of the night to all the noise outside. He went out to take a look and saw that his house was on fire too. 

He had to practically force the firemen to put out the fire on his house before it burned down too. They got the fire on his house out. Next come repairs. And there will be a lot of them.

The most visible is the siding on his house. And he just had it replaced. Part of his roof will need some attention.  There is some water damage inside. His upstairs window was blown out by the force of the water. There is a bedroom up there. The carpeting was ruined and he was dumping buckets of water out the window as he was cleaning up. 

I am certain there will be more found as they begin the work.

The important thing is that my son was not hurt, the dog was not hurt, and insurance will pay for the repairs.

Wednesday, January 3, 2024

Oops


As I have told you many times I am the oldest of seven children. I had two younger sisters and four younger brothers. 

As was common for that time many babies are born in a short period of time. One brother was only one year younger than me and the next was barely one year younger than that one. 

My family are composed of tall people with big bones so there are no runts in the lot. We are not abnormally large but you would never mistake us for tiny.

As with any big family the oldest child often has more responsibilities than the other children. I did not mind. Actually I am a little bossy so it worked well most of the time.

One night my parents were at a Boy Scouts leaders' meeting. I was left in charge of my siblings. The two older boys really did not need a babysitter. At times I thought they needed an animal trainer as boys in their early teens often do.

The two of them began picking on a little brother. He was about eight years old and one of their favorite pastimes was to pick at him. This night was no exception.

I saw that they were getting a bit carried away so I decided to put a stop to it. Then I realized that they were not going to be easy to stop.

I decided to separate them. That might make them calm down. It did not.

So I managed to get the younger of the two into the kitchen and onto the floor. Then I grabbed a wooden kitchen chair and held it over his stomach.

Just like in the cowboy shows we watched I said, " If you take one more step I'll break this chair over his stomach!" 

My brother paused. Then he leaned forward as if to come at me. I faked a move to smash the chair on my brother.

Imagine how surprised I was when the chair fell apart in my hands.

My brother was howling like I had mortally damaged him. 

Immediately the boys left to go tell our parents that I tried to murder them. I on the other hand was foolish enough to try to hide the evidence. I threw all the pieces of the chair out the back door.

Now please do not ask me why I thought my mother would not miss a kitchen chair or wonder why there was a chair in pieces in our back yard.

My parents came right home. We were all properly checked for injuries. Then we were all properly punished. 

What fun a big family is.