Saturday, January 25, 2014

Windows To The World

In the last few years, I have seen the potential of death infect so many of my friends, via heart attacks, breast cancer, etc.; as it creeps in and takes control of their bodies. I have seen too many children taken long before I or anyone else was ready; which certainly shines a light on just how fragile life can be. A year or so ago I made one of the most serious decisions of my life; however putting it into motion would prove to be the hardest part.

I love the smell, the feel and the sheer power of what is inside; the places you can see and experience and never leave your home. The emotional gamut one can feel from head to toe, the exhilaration of happiness and desperate sadness.  With no help from anyone else, you can experience these feelings all on your own; if you know how. If you are brave enough to discover the secret to the most private of places to go.

I attended a baby shower last week, and one of the requests in the original invitation was that books for the baby were more than welcome as gifts! How refreshing to know that another mother, a very young mother, has the same ideas of the perfect beginning of childbirth as I do, as I did, all those years ago.

I read to both of my children long before they ever saw this place we call our world.  While they were still safe and secure, swaddled more warmly than if they were in their own favorite squishy blanket that they would later drag around for months; I would read stories of nothing but beauty, sweetness, compassion and laughter; all the things that we always want them to know about.  To this day, both of my children love the written word, and though they read very different genres of material, one loves fiction, the other non-fiction; they both like the places words will take them on a lazy Sunday afternoon when the rain is pouring down and nothing but a couch, a blanket and a good book will do.

Last Spring, I finally made the first step. I bought three books for my first “installment” to the Grandbaby book collection. I have no idea when I'm going to have grandchildren; most likely not anytime soon, but I am dang sure banking on it. But I also have to know I can still be a part of all that goodness should I not be here when it happens. As we all get older and health issues arise, it has become crystal clear to me, that being prepared is so much smarter than being left out.

My book collection count is now up to sixteen. I’ll of course write inscriptions inside the covers just in case, but I sure plan on being here to watch those beautiful faces and their expressions of joy as I round up my “Miss Walt Disney” voices, get in character, and read.

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Country Living and Plow Boys

When I moved here 16 years ago, I knew I was about to drop kick both of my children into a life like they had never known. We were city folk, we drove on concrete driveways, not dirt; and we had cul-de-sac’s at the end of our neighborhood roads instead of cow gates.

My youngest child who is now eighteen was three years old when we moved here. For him, it was inevitable that he would fall into the black hole of country speak and country living. But for my oldest son and me; well, we still had some learning to do.

Country living is:

Driving home from work only to see your neighbor herding his cows off the highway and back onto his property; as you sit in your vehicle and watch the show and your children's eyes are big as saucers.

Learning how to unclog a sink by using the water hose and dragging it in through your back door and into your kitchen, putting the hose down one side of the sink and closing up the other side until it gargles and gives way. You wanna talk about a victory dance! You would have thought I had won a million dollars.  In the city, you call a plumber, pay him $75 an hour and cry.  

Taking your boys to their first country fireworks at the local high school football field; you let the tailgate down, look up and watch.
Not needing to hire a man with a backhoe to yank up a bush. Instead your husband hooks one end of a chain to the root, the other to the back end of his truck, and proceeds to pull it up; inch by inch, until that mamma jamma is out of the ground.

When there are fruit and vegetable stands on most every block in town. 

Walking onto the back porch, opening the screen door and lizards fall off the top and ONTO YOUR HEAD! Your children come running to your screaming aid, only to find you swatting your own head and flinging around like a crazy woman; which they will re-enact for hours. 

However, my tales of new discoveries would not be complete without adding this to the list: country living for men is different, much more special if you will, than it is for us ladies. The greatest joy of every man’s life is to “relieve himself” outdoors. No need for gasping or acting offended; you know what I'm talking about.  Matter of fact, when we moved into the city limits in 2005, a whole re-training began. My son was nine by then and you’d have thought that he would have known better; however, I continued to catch him behind trees, sheds and bushes.  He still relapses every now and again, in secluded parts of the yard, taking care of business.  
Ahhhh, country living at its best with wide open, country spaces full of seclusion, privacy and joy. How could they possibly resist all that full-frontal freedom? 

Saturday, January 11, 2014

And There's Always A Catch

I know that you thought I would be over this by now. Heck, I thought I would be over it by now; but sometimes things have a way of rearing their ugly head again when you’re least expecting it.

I think all of life’s grand events should have a grace period; a time of becoming familiar, comfortable; a time of reckoning to get it together. You know, like when you become pregnant, even if it was planned or a surprise, you and your partner have nine months to get ready; mentally and emotionally. Or when you get married; usually there is an engagement period that lasts for several months or in some cases, years!

Well I didn’t get any of that. I mean sheesh, suddenly it was here, and it was mine to claim and own. And I was right in the middle of trying to do that, to be a grown up about it. Embrace it. But never expecting to be thrown into the deep end of the pool, knowing full well I haven’t quite mastered swimming yet, just to watch me fight my way back to air and life.  

Exactly 57 days later, I opened my mailbox and there it was, the dreaded 2 x 2 piece of plastic that will allow me hotel discounts, restaurant discounts, and even a free tote bag. As long as I am willing to tell everyone I encounter that I am now part of the “Fifty and Over” club. But I’ll tell you one dang thing, THEY know it’s going to make the recipient feel bad; because it comes in an envelope that is completely white on the outside with no return address or hint of what’s inside or about to cause its holder to hyperventilate once they open it. They don’t WANT you to know beforehand; because the odds of you trashing it before you open it are too great.

AARP = Absolutely Agonizingly Real Proof …..that you’re old.  I know, I know, I have had all kind of people reciting its wonderful benefits and all the money I could save by using it. But I’m telling you right now; I’m not far enough into this nifty fifty deal that I will be saying it out loud to hotel clerks, in crowded restaurants, or before I board a plane anytime soon.

I mean seriously; I am still coloring my hair to stay thirty-nine for at least ten more years! And you can believe, somebody “cards” me for any reason, that ain’t the card I’m yanking out to show! I’m not even ready to tote it around much less show it to anyone for proof of anything!

Six months. I think that’s fair. Let me gently roll into this whole “I’m fifty years old deal” gracefully and elegantly. Not grasping for paper bags to blow into or buying new mailbox lids to replace the one I snatched off the hinges. I’m really trying to be a proper lady; help me succeed. 

Monday, January 6, 2014

Blow It Out Baby!

As strange as this will morning today began..yesterday. I told him he could borrow it. But emphasized NUMEROUS times, that he had better bring it back. I would need it. And although he made several cracks about the color of it, he promised he would not forget to bring it home. To his credit, he did remember to bring it home. Just not out of his truck, back into the house, and back where it belongs.

At 7:20 this morning, I am right on schedule. Because contrary to popular belief from the men in my house...I DO have a schedule that I follow every day. It's tight by golly, but it's a schedule.

I walk into the room to get started and it's not there. I stand there for a minute trying to force my mind to catch up with my eyesight. Then suddenly...I know. SO now the only question is, did he leave it where he took it, or is it riding around in his truck..with him? Because he had already left for TCC (college) about 20 minutes prior...and it's not looking good for either of us.

So I'm calling him now, wanting to know where my bleep bleepedy bleep HAIR DRYER is....I'm standing in the bathroom, hair soaking wet and this BOY on the other end of the phone says to me, “Aw #**#(….do you really need it?”. The phone went silent before another barrage of ugliness spewed from my lips. In all that carrying on, I asked where he was and he told me he had only made it to Midway which is about 15 minutes from our house.

Let me tell you people something, for those of you who have never seen my hair in’s TIGHT curly. The amount of product required to look presentable would ASTOUND most. It HAS to be blown dry to some extent to get all the Shirley Temple out of it. I must stress that there is also a fine line in this “blowing out” process so that I do not end up looking like I stuck my finger in a light socket. It has happened. And it’s pretty dang scary looking.

The next thing that I had to consider, was he REALLY only in Midway, or too scared at this point to tell me he was sitting at his desk in his first class. However, he must have been telling the truth because 15 minutes later he slammed back into the driveway, got out, stomping, but holding, my PINK hair dryer.

And yes, the rest of my day really did go JUST LIKE THAT. It was discombobulated from the get go. I tried to prepare myself for it, because that’s just how it works. And I think I actually did pretty well considering; until the end of the day. I had had enough, I was starting to feel a little bit of puny going on, and I was ready to see the house and my recliner.

Now for those of you who may be wondering what in the world my 18 year old son wanted with MY PINK HAIR DRYER…well…he bought himself a new shotgun last week; a totally black one; that he intended to paint with the help of a friend of his. The hair dryer was going to be used to obviously dry the paint faster. I don’t know where that shotgun is, or what it looks like now, but I DO know where my PINK hair dryer is…and it had better stay there.