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


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


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.