Posted in Musings and Mutterings

Awake Heather

I’ve been awake since 4:00 am. I didn’t even get to sleep until midnight. Not too sure what the deal is.

Yesterday, November 26th, was my eldest baby’s birthday. She’s now 27 years old. Wow! I called her yesterday to wish her a happy day and she sounded beat. She had 4 children with a stomach virus for Thanksgiving and was trying to manage a clothing store during the heavy holiday season. She’s come a long way and I hope she continues to endure. She has a court date soon that will determine a large part of her life. Disturbing conversations with small children were discussed as well. Poor babies.. why are people so dense at times?

Another event is marked by Heather’s birthday. It’s the annversary of the first time I talked to Frank. Heather had just turned one on Thanksgiving day that year. We had family and food and after the big Turkey meal, she had her little party. I still remember her little blue party dress and clip. She was more interested in standing on her toys then playing with them, but isn’t that normal for that age? 🙂

    Seems the child was marked for drama even then. Attending her birthday was my Grandfather, Step Grandfather and Grandmother. They posed for a photo together; something I was shocked to realize later in life. They weren’t too keen on each other. Under that strata of tension was the tension of waiting for Heather’s father to arrive to celebrate her birthday with us. He was supposed to have attended the Thanksgiving dinner, but seemed to never arrive. In the days prior to cell phones that meant I just had to wait and wait and wait to see if he’d show up. With no call and no show for hours after the meal, I had postponed Heather’s cake and presents as long as I could and I let her open her gifts and smash her cake without his attendance.

One year old babies definitely need a bath after a cake smashing session, so I bathed the child and realized that I only had a few diapers left. Yikes!! (Back in the olden day, boys and girls, there were the BLUE LAWS and NOTHING was open. No Walmart, no CVS, no grocery store, and definitely no liquor store- tho I think they wouldn’t have had diapers!!) The only place that was open was a fairly new exception to the rule and that was 7-11. My mom and grandparents were happy to play with a freshly bathed and scented baby for a bit, so I got into my Corvair and drove up to 7-11 in the hopes of finding some diapers. Lo and behold,  I found a number of things I had been looking for. Diapers and her Dad!! Strange how timing plays out that way, isn’t it?

After schooling my rage at finding Donnie out frolicking with friends, and reminding him that he was supposed to be attending his daughter’s first birthday, I left for home. Not too long after, he showed up… just as she was getting ready to be put to bed. He had brought a gift of a plastic tea set that was ages too old for her, and had many small chokeable parts, in a paper bag. (Guess that was all he could find in the 7-11) He stayed for about 15 minutes and then promptly announced that he was leaving due to some other engagement.

I was livid and hurt and after putting H to bed and finishing out the evening with my family, I crawled into my bed and lay awake listening to my CB. Close to midnight, I heard a voice that caught my interest.I was listening to a conversation between two males and for once, it wasn’t about drinking or what their “20” was. After listening for a short while, and in a gap of the conversation, I decided to make contact. I was so depressed at this point that any conversation was better than nothing. I suppose my comment wasn’t the most intelligent thing said, but it did get their attention.

 “I have a dog on my feet and can’t move or he’ll bite me.” (How’s that for an opening line… yeah I know.. pretty lame!!)

After introductions were made, I talked for a few hours to Frank and David. (A different David than the Doctor, btw) At first I thought Frank was the elder of the two. My guess had been that he was about 26 or so…  Wrong!! More like 16, and freshly so! But he had a way about him that was funny and after David had signed off the air, I gave Frank my phone number and we talked ’til dawn. Now, 26 years later, we are still verbose, we have replaced the cb with the internet and he’s still fun to talk to. For as much as I have to hold against Heather’s father, I have to thank him for being such a putz and making me so miserable that I lay in bed listening to my cb radio late at night!

Posted in Musings and Mutterings

Autumn in One Day

I’ve been watching this tree in my backyard slowly turn golden over the past week. It’s a very full tree and has been quite lovely to see. Even during the winds we got on Thanksgiving, the leaves were still clinging to their branches.

This morning we got up and the sun was shining on my golden tree, as leaves rained down continuously for about 3 hours until the tree was practically nude. It was such an odd sight to see, I took a short  video.

Posted in Musings and Mutterings

Getting the Girl

I need to be up in the morning to get moving on my way down to Salisbury to get Libby from college for the holiday. She’s been looking forward to coming home- to put it mildly- and I’m really looking forward to having her here. I was so shocked, and really happy, because when I was talking to her about baking a pie, she got very anxious and complained for me NOT to do everything, meaning she wanted to come home and help do some of the cooking. (specifically said she wasn’t interested in cleaning the boy’s bathroom, though. can’t blame her there)

Our Thanksgiving will be smaller this year. Just the family and one guest from Japan. We are excited to have him join our table and interested in finding out how he likes our part of the world.I hope he enjoys his visit.

The funniest thing was that both Libby and Sean asked me who was coming for dinner. I told them the guest list and both of them, separately, asked, “Why aren’t Dave and Jenny and Megan coming?” I guess they missed the memo last year about that being a one time thing! Actually, I was quite proud of them for accepting others to our table without any thought of who “does” or “does not” belong. Our family has always been one to accept people into our crazy world, and our crazy world has usually been better for it.

I spoke with Heather tonight. Her husband started a new job. (He had been laid off for a week due to work shortage in the building industry) Luckily he’s with a plumbing company where he can learn some of the maintenance trade and not have to rely on new installs for workload. She was telling me that she had a bunch of sick people in her house, which was sad because the girls are visiting from Mississippi. She also said that the girls were sent with only two pairs of pants and boots and no other clothes, so she was scrambling to find clothing for them. Sigh. Why, why, why, why….She said she was really tired of the fact that every time she gets things cleaned up, another mess befalls her. She will be 27 on November 26th and in her own words she said, “I want to be able to take care of my own things. I’m a grown woman.” You go Heather!! She’s had a lot of knocks and many false starts, but I really feel like she’s in a stable relationship and that she’s ready to take care of business. She also mentioned that she has the girls for longer than she expected during the winter break and that she might come up this way to see the family. I really hope she does. That way Frank and Libby can see the kids. Frank has never seen Tater and neither has Libby. And Lilli was only 4 months when she was last up here. Everyone say a little prayer, please!

We had a great time at the track for Frank’s birthday. It ended up being Frank, Jr., Dave, my sister Marcy and her husband, Jim.  I was disappointed that my other sister, Laura, had too many errands to run that day to join us and that I didn’t invite Jenny in time (thought I had, but guess I didn’t) for her to go… darn. I was really surprised that some friends that said they’d try to show didn’t even call to say they weren’t coming. Especially since we always try to attend everything they invite us to and we consider them part of our extended family. No call, no card, nothing. This is one of those times that I get a bit hurt and angry. I have  put forth the effort to be a kind an loving person, with small gifts and cards and thoughtfullness towards others and then when it does not occur in reciprocation, I get knocked a bit off my axis. I completely understand that the reason you do for others is NOT to have things done in return, and will continue to do no matter what. But it does sting me a bit when no one thinks the way that I do. I stress and worry about making sure birthday cards get to people and that thank you cards go out when appreciation is due. And I notice it bugs me the MOST NOT when people forget my birthday or don’t do things for me, but when they don’t do for Frank.  He was, after all, their friend first. How can people who know Frank, a kind, considerate and caring person who lives to help others and thinks nothing of doing something for them, not even bother to call and say they can’t come to his birthday and hang out for a few minutes. Just blows my mind and makes me suspicious off all the “inclusive” nice things they say.

I guess I’ve said enough, or maybe too much? I’m going to get the girl tomorrow and I look forward to a BIG HUG when I get there.

Posted in Musings and Mutterings

The Mitten Tree

I was really happy to see the mitten tree is still up and going at LOLMS. Every now and then you do something in life and then you move on, sometimes without thought as to whether or not the thing you did had an impact or lasting effect. I was in the Post Office the other day and the Post Master noticed I was sending baby clothes to Heather. He said, “Yeah, I’ll never forget you gave my wife her first crib.” It touched me that he would remember something I did over 20 years ago. Similarly, even though it would NEVER have been possible without the many others who have spent countless hours and effort to do it, I’m so glad I asked Daniel’s Mom if she would be willing help me do mitten tree. I’m just REALLY happy that these children have been helped through the LOLMS families and kind of amazed, really, that one idea and request has gone so far. Wow… really shows you what can happen if you only ask.

Posted in Musings and Mutterings

Slow Process

I copied all my photos from Yahoo and am now starting to insert them where they belong in my blog here. It’s been a pretty slow process. I try to get to it in between all the other stuff. Now some of my past blogs will make more sense. (Assuming anyone ever goes back and reads OLD blogs!)

Posted in Musings and Mutterings

The Two Johns

I got a call from my Aunt today, telling me that my Uncle had passed away on Tuesday and the services were this weekend. I asked her how she was and how he had passed. She was a bit shaky, but went through the story about how he had undergone surgery to remove a nasty polyp and while he did well with the surgery, the stress on his body kicked his dementia up a notch. He had been a bit difficult and was having troubles eating so they were going to give him a feeding tube, but his heart gave out before they could get to it. The polyp was diagnosed as cancerous and so my Aunt and Uncle had been faced with the consequence of going through the advancing stages of cancer or trying to remove the portion of intestine and effectively “nipping it in the bud”. Tough call when you are 92. The worst part of the story is that my Aunt was so very sad and hurt that he didn’t pass away at home, and I can’t be sure she was even with him. That thought just tears me up inside. To have been married and sharing my life with this person for so long and then not being able to say goodbye or more importantly, being there for the person who is passing.

My Uncle John and Aunt Dot have been married for years and years. More than 50 for sure. In many ways they reminded me of myself and Frank. Uncle John was calm and tall and always smiling with apple cheeks and sparkly eyes. Aunt Dot was the manager, you could tell. Aunt Dot is my grandmother’s sister and the only family I have left on my mother’s side. I have one Aunt on my father’s side left as well.

I talked to my sister earlier to discuss plans and who would be attending what and who might want to chip in for flowers, and while we were talking about it, the issue of our brother, John, came up. Ever since my mother passed away, my brother has had nothing good or nice to say about any of his sisters. We can’t really figure out where all this vituperous spewing is coming from, but he’s made sure he’s alienated himself for sure. I designated my older sister to calling him. They had been the closest all those years ago, so maybe the two of them will be able to talk to one another.

So there are my Two Johns, one I remember with fondest thoughts and the other that I find confusing and a bit disturbing with the blatant malevolence he exudes.