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. 

I SHOULD NOT HAVE TOSAY IT... DRUGS ARE BAD! 




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. 

Friday, June 14, 2024

The Black Velvet Band

I had wanted to go to an Irish Rovers concert for years. At the start I lived in an area where there were few concerts of any kind. After we moved to the big city no one wanted to go with me. It is no fun to go to a concert alone. 

Then came the year that a group were going from a local community college. They were taking a bus to the next state to see the Irish Rovers. So I decided to go.

I had not yet signed up for the trip when my daughter went into labor. She had a baby girl and I was happy to take care of my grandson and help with my new granddaughter. No Rovers for me.

About four years later I read the Irish Rovers would be nearby. I was complaining to my son (who I lived with) that no one would go with me. My granddaughter was spending the weekend with me. She immediately said she would go. I immediately ordered the tickets.

We had such a good time. After the concert the band gathers at a table to sign autographs. My granddaughter was in love.

We went to see them every year after that. 

During a concert the Irish Rovers encourage everyone to sing and clap along with them. Everyone has a good time together.

One year we were in the audience happily clapping and singing along as usual. My granddaughter leaned over and asked if she and I could trade seats. I told her of course we could so we did. Then I asked her why. 

I could see the stage well. I could hear just fine.

She told me that the woman sitting next to her told her she was making too much noise. Naturally I was angry and smoke started to come from my ears.

Instead of being nasty I very nicely leaned over to the woman. I explained that the band wanted the audience to clap and sing. I also told her that if she had a complaint about a little girl the correct way to handle it would have been to speak to me rather than rebuke a child you do not know.

The next thing I knew she was crying. She had her husband leave with her. All because she wanted to pick on a child.

By the way "Black Velvet Band" is one of my favorite songs.

Tuesday, June 11, 2024

To Go Or Not To Go.

My husband's aunt was a nice woman with a lot of love to give. She had been married to a man who died the same year I was married. I will call her Aunt Beenie.

Aunt Beenie had worked very hard all her life. She kept her husband comfortable for his life. He did purchase and rent two buildings. They had four apartments each. He rented them so he did have an income. They had no children.

Aunt Beenie continued to work until they made her retire. Then she managed the apartments.

Eventually she met a man. They enjoyed each other's company. 

He decided to take a few days and drive to see the sights in Colorado. Of course he invited Aunt Beenie to go along. 

She would need to pay for her own expenses. He did not have a lot of money.

Now Aunt Beenie was not rich. She did have enough to take care of herself though.

She agonized over whether or not to go. She really wanted to.

When she talked to me about it I told her that saving the money was senseless in order to not do what she really wanted to do. She would not have to scrimp and save in order to do it.

In the end she talked herself out of going. He went without her. He had a good time.

About two weeks after he returned home he suffered a heart attack and died. She could have had that nice trip with him.

My opinion is that a person should not forgo pleasures to save money that does not need to be saved. 

Sunday, June 9, 2024

I Wish...

Starlight, Star bright 

First star I see tonight

I wish I may, I wish I might

Have the wish I wish tonight

It is a favorite poem to make a wish on a star. It must be the first star in the night sky or your wish will not come true. And of course you cannot tell anyone what you wished for or it will not come true.

On your birthday people make a big show of bringing you a birthday cake. On the cake are a number of candles to represent your new age. Once they are all lit you make a wish then blow out the candles. If you can blow them all out with one try your wish will come true.

When my children were little they would find "wishes" in the yard. A "wish" was what they called dandelions that have gone to seed. You make a wish and try to blow all the seeds off. If you are successful your wish will come true.

Many prayers are wishes. You ask your God to grant your wish.

Going back to the stars if you see a shooting star you can make a wish on it. If you finish the wish before the star disappears it will come true.

Raindrops on your window are fun to watch as they run down to the bottom. You can make a wish on a particular drop. If you watch it carefully your wish will come true right before it combines with another drop on its way down.

Do you have favorite wishes? 



Tuesday, June 4, 2024

The Friendly Clown

My mother told us stories when we were little. Her favorite was about a circus.

Once there was a circus with many animals and human acts. There was a frontwards donkey that said, "Hee-haw", a backwards donkey that said, "Haw-hee", a giraffe with a big loooong neck, an elephant with big floppy ears, a mean ferocious lion who roared and clawed at everyone, and a friendly clown.

Every morning the friendly clown would get up draw on his big red lipstick smile. Then he went to say "Good morning, Friend Donkey," the frontwards donkey. The frontwards donkey said, "Hee-Haw." Then he said, "Good morning, Friend Donkey," to the backwards donkey and the donkey would say, "Haw-hee". Next he said, Good morning, Friend  Giraffe", to the giraffe with the big looooooong neck who would bend his big looooooooooooooooooooooong neck. He moved on to the elephant with the big floppy ears and said , "Good morning, Friend Elephant," and the elephant would flap his big floppy ears. Next was the mean ferocious lion who roared and clawed at everyone. The clown with the big happy lipstick smile would go to the wagon of the mean ferocious lion who roared and clawed at everyone. The clown with the big red lipstick smile would say, "Good morning, Friend Lion." And the lion would say, "Meow/"

One morning the friendly clown woke up late. He did not have time to put on hid big red lipstick smile. So he went to say "Good morning, Friend Donkey," the frontwards donkey. The frontwards donkey said  "Hee-Haw." Then he said, "Good morning, Friend Donkey," to the backwards donkey and the donkey said, "Haw-hee". Next he said, Good morning, Friend  Giraffe", to the giraffe with the big looooooong neck bent his big looooooooooooooooooooooong neck. He moved on to the elephant with the big floppy ears and said, "Good morning, Friend Elephant." and the elephant flapped his big floppy ears. Next was the mean ferocious lion who roared and clawed at everyone. The clown with the big happy lipstick smile went to the wagon of the mean ferocious lion who roared and clawed at everyone. The clown with the big red lipstick said "Good morning, Friend Lion." The mean ferocious lion roared and clawed at the clown. The mean ferocious lion broke out of its cage and ran away.

The clown with the big red lipstick smile suddenly remembered that he was not wearing his big red lipstick smile. The mean ferocious lion was afraid. He was also mean and ferocious. They had to find him.

In order to go faster the clown with the big red smile rode the frontwards donkey who said, "Hee-haw.," until he was tired. Then he rode the backwards donkey who said, "Haw-hee," until he was tired. The clown with the big red lipstick smile rode on the giraffe with the bid loooooooomg neck. He could see much farther but he saw no mean ferocious lion. Soon the giraffe with the big long neck tired so he got on the elephant with the big floppy ears. He rode until the elephant with the big floppy ears was tired. 

They sadly went back to the circus with no mean ferocious lion.

In the morning the clown got up and put on his big red smile. Then he went to say, "Good morning, Friend Donkey," the frontwards donkey. The frontwards donkey said, "Hee-Haw." Then he said, "Good morning, Friend Donkey," to the backwards donkey and the donkey said, "Haw-hee". Next he said, Good morning, Friend  Giraffe", to the giraffe with the big looooooong neck who bent his big looooooooooooooooooooooong neck. He moved on to the elephant with the big floppy ears and said , "Good morning, Friend Elephant," and the elephant flapped his big floppy ears. Next was the mean ferocious lion who roared and clawed at everyone. He was comfortably back in his cage. The clown with the big happy lipstick smile went to the wagon of the mean ferocious lion who roared and clawed at everyone. The clown with the big red lipstick smile said, "Good morning, Friend Lion." And the lion said, "Meow/"

And all was right with the world.

Thursday, May 30, 2024

Last of the Line

My youngest nephew is getting married. It is wonderful news. We also have another reason to rejoice. 

My father wanted his part of the family line to continue. Several of his children have children and so on. But none have the same last name. 

I had 4 brothers. Two of them never had children before they died. Another has a son. He has the last name. However my nephew has a daughter whose children will carry the same name as their father.

So this final nephew belongs to my youngest brother. Same last name. If he has sons they will carry the family name. My father would be happy. 

The really strange thing is that this nephew was born years after my father died. He looks so much like my father. Maybe a son would look like him. That would make it even better.

We just found out that my nephew and his wife are expecting a son!!!! Daddy would be ecstatic.




Saturday, May 25, 2024

March of Dimes

When I was very young in the 1950's polio was probably the most dreaded of childhood diseases. It caused children to be crippled for life. Some were put into iron lungs which looked like medieval torture devices. Those breathed for them so they would not die. Many died anyway.

Easterseals was an organization that was known to assist polio patients. People bought the seals that looked like stamps and used them to seal letters. They also reminded parents to watch their children for signs of polio if they displayed any.

Every year around Easter there would be a drive to collect funds for Easterseals. Each of us took a small donation. I always thought it happened all over the country and they raised a lot of money. Maybe they did.

Everyone was encouraged to give at least one dine. That became the idea of calling it the March of Dimes. It became synonymous with the search for the cure of polio. 

One year someone came up with a fun idea. Mom took a strip of Scotch tape as long as me. Then we covered it with dimes from one end to the other. It must have cost my parents a fortune. Thank goodness only three of us were in school then.

Now because of the March of Dimes polio has been almost eradicated in the United States. I like to think my dimes helped.

Monday, May 20, 2024

Neighbor

 The woman across the street died.

She was older and a bit frail but she seemed to be doing fine.

Then we saw a lot of cars gathering there. That was not unusual. Her loving family gathered around her for special occasions. She was loved by her family.

The cars kept gathering for days. I thought perhaps things were not good.

Then one afternoon I heard some commotion. I knew she had died. 

The cars were no longer there in large numbers. Every once in a while someone comes. I believe they are cleaning her stuff. One of her sons lives behind her house in his own place and he comes to assist.

I like to think she lived a good life. I know she was loved by her family. That is what is important.

Friday, May 17, 2024

Mmm Mmm Good

One of the things that gives me great joy is listening to my sons exchanging recipes.

As you know I have four children... three boys and a girl. I decided when they were very young that I did not want them to marry a mommy or a daddy. My boys learned to cook simple foods and my daughter learned to change a tire.

There were rules. No one was allowed to cook on their own until they could stand flat-footed on the floor and see over the top of the stove. No one was allowed to jack up a car without someone else close by for safety.

My daughter is the youngest of the four and has a tiny body. She was quite a bit older than any of the boys were when she was allowed to cook alone. However she now works for a car dealership. She has earned bonuses and won prizes for her work. Her father would be proud. But she has never been interested in cooking.

The boys are all nice big men. They did not make any difficult meals but they would not starve if left to their own devices. As they got older they all relied on others to cook their meals. Although my youngest son has become a good baker. He makes all their Christmas cookies.

Then I had a stroke. When I came home from the hospital it was unsafe for me to use the stove. My son began to cook for us. He now is not only a good cook but he has begun experimenting a bit. He makes the best chili ever. He made his chili for his brother and gave him the recipe so he could make it for himself because he liked it so much.

Now my second son made his brother's chili and was successful. He has decided to try a few new things of his own. Just last week he sent pictures of the turkey with vegetables he had made. It was gorgeous.

Every now and then the boys will be on the phone discussing food. They talk about the best ways to season meats and how to make their vegetables. They talk about the meals they have made.

I just sit and chuckle with pleasure. 

Monday, May 13, 2024

Hope Chest

Like many teenage girls of that time I had a hope chest. A hope chest was a storage of items intended to take into a marriage. The best ones were wooden trunks. Mine was a cardboard box.

To be honest I did not think about a husband. I knew I wanted children and I would need a husband to accomplish that. Old-fashioned thinking I know but I am glad I did it that way. And I did love my husband.

I worked at odd jobs and babysitting so I had a bit of money. I mostly had practical things like cake pans, a non-stick skillet, and other items for my kitchen-to-be.

My one extravagance was a beautiful hurricane lamp. It was white with flowers tracing up the sides of the chimney. How I loved it.

I would go through my hope chest every so often to admire my possessions. And I spent a lot of time admiring my lamp. I wonder what ever happened to that lamp.


Wednesday, May 8, 2024

Down

 I have never been called graceful. I am a person who trips over her own feet. It is embarrassing. 

As I became older my sense of balance became a part of my clumsiness. Walking into the house I would get to the top step and become disoriented. I fell off the steps so many times. Thankfully I was never hurt.

My son got so tired of helping me up that he bought me a cane. That third leg gave me a sense of balance. It really helped me. I had been vain about using it before I got it which was so foolish.

Then a couple of years ago I had a stroke. It affected my left side. Since I am left-handed my recovery went a bit faster.

I still use a walker.  My walking gait is uneven. I can take a few steps on my own but I keep my walker or another steadying spot close. 

Unfortunately I still fall now and then. I try to be careful but sometimes it happens. At least so far I haven't been hurt. Still it is no fun.

For the most part getting myself back on my feet is the hardest part. I have to get to a place that can help me help myself. Then I have to find grips to keep myself steady.

The last time I fell I pulled the microwave (not in use at the time) on top of me. Thank goodness it was not the dishwasher because it was running.

So I am trying to be more careful. 

Saturday, May 4, 2024

Competition

Last post you will remember me ranting about gambling. I am against it. At the same time I do encourage competition. It teaches one how to lose gracefully and how to win gracefully. It teaches a person to try their best and be proud of their effort.

We played board games until we wore them out. We played a lot of games with paper and pencil. We also played card games. Lots of them.

Mom never 'let' us win. If we won we knew we had really won. 

We began with easy games like Go Fish and Lay Four Out. As we grew and understood more we graduated to more difficult games. All the time Mom was teaching us the right way to play and strategy to help us win.

There were also solitaire games. Mom taught us several games we could play alone. How wise she was using a deck of cards to keep us out of her hair.

Mom taught my children to play Dungeons and Dragons. In grade school all of my children could keep track of their points and weapons. They even knew how to draw and follow maps. They even made their own games for all of them to play.

These days I relax by playing solitaire on the computer. I have about 15 games that are favorites. I even play a couple of pencil and paper games alone. It all keeps my mind busy and I have fun.


Saturday, April 27, 2024

You Lose

I must first tell you I am not a gambler. I am pretty good at a game when it involves skill. If left to chance I want no part of it. I am not a lucky person.

I do like playing games. I have been playing all my life. Some require other players. Some are for one player only.

Knowing me as I do I can see a problem with slot machines. I would just know if I left the machine the next person would win my money. So I would never play the slots. 

I am strongly opposed to gambling casinos. I suppose if a person has enough extra money to consider it lost before he began to play he might enjoy gambling.

The problem I see is that too often the casinos are placed in areas where poor people live. I can picture a poor mother with $20 left and several days left before her next check. How will she feed her children? There is a good chance she will go to the casino hoping to turn her $29 into more so her kids can eat. She will lose the $20. It is a bad situation.

I am against gambling.


Tuesday, April 23, 2024

What Was That?

There is a perfect brown leaf blowing in front of you. Or maybe it is a nice scrap of paper. Or an empty can. What is it? It could be a fairy.

You hear an acorn falling on the roof. Or maybe a pebble hops up off the road for no apparent reason. Or a pop in the bark of the tree by your ear.  It could be a fairy.

Fairies hide behind commonplace things so we cannot see them.

A fairy is thought to be a tiny winged human-like creature. While we usually think of them as being female there are also males. They do need to perpetuate their species. Oh and they are magical beings.

There are many types of fairy. Dryad, troopers, and nymphs are but a few. Some attach themselves to things like trees. Some are warriors who fight wars. Some have trades to benefit humans like making shoes. Some are devoted to making mischief. 

There are changelings who take over a human body and live that human's life. Babies are especially vulnerable to changelings.  

Anyway fairies are all around us. We simply have to be observant enough to see them.



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.