Thursday, July 28, 2005

Follow up on the slug out in the lunchroom

Some of you are wondering about whether Nivek got in trouble at school for punching the lunch lady. (Yesterday's post.) Nope. *Sigh*. Somehow he usually got rewarded for this type of behavior.

Older boys and men often loved Nivek. He was a fierce little boy, but he could take a lickin' and keep on tickin'. Stoic. Joe Cool. Like that. Had a case of hipatitis, that's terminal coolness. Made him popular with guys.

After the lunch-lady-slugging thing, I waited nervously for the call from the school. Days go by. No call. Ummm. What's that about? At last it's time for the regular teacher/parent conference. I expect the worst.

I go into the classroom, sit in one of those little second-grader chairs, and wait for the teacher, Mrs. S., to tell me all about Nivek. She tells me how smart he is. I know that. How sweet he is. Huh! How nice it is to have him in her class. Everything is just hunky dory. Finally, it seems that the conference is over. She still hasn't said one word about the brouhaha in the lunchroom. (I wait for months to get to use that word. SO satisfying.)

So, I decide to bring it up myself. "Do you know that Nivek hit Mrs.-Darling-Billy's-Mother in the lunchroom?"

Mrs. S. smiles sweetly. "Yes, Mr. Guy, the janitor, told me. He seemed very pleased about it."

She went on to say that Mrs.-Darling-Billy's-Mother couldn't tell on Nivek because she had first shoved him, and she had been warned in the past about getting physical with the kids when they crossed her son. She added that the janitor and Mrs.-Darling-Billy's-Mother didn't get along. No joke.

"So," she said, "Offically, I don't know anything about it." Mrs. S. had a soft spot for Nivek, and seemed amused by the whole thing. Amazing. Just amazing. But a relief to me. I figured the kid was in for jail time for sure.

Fast forward to Valentine's Day the next year. The kids all decorated Valentine's boxes for other kids to deposit cards into. There's a contest to see which decorated box is best. Nivek's box is nice, but not the best. Oh! Wait What the &*!# ? Nivek's box is judged the very best. Wins the prize. Now who do you suppose gets to pick the final winner?

Mr. Guy of course. See what I mean? Rewarded.

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Here's a picture of Kevin and dddragon's kiddie B

It's 1973. Maybe May. The weather is warm. About time for the kids to come home from school. Our son Kevin is in the second grade. He walks in the front door and immediately says, "Where's Acton Bell?"

"She's at Girl Scouts," I tell him.

"When she gets home, she's probably gonna tell you some big ol' lie about me!"

"Oh? And what big ol' lie might she tell?" I ask him.

"She's probably going to say that I punched the lunch lady in the face."

"Kevin!" I yelled. "How could you?"

"I climbed up on a chair in the lunchroom."

Oh, man! We just moved here in January. We're already those crazy liberals from California. Now everyone will know that our kids are on the road to hell to boot, or at least the road to jail.

He started explaining how the lunch lady had shoved him because he had gotten into a fight with her darling boy, Billy. Guess darling Billy hadn't learned to take up for himself, 'cause our boy Kevin was the smallest in the class. Physically the smallest that is. Walked tall. The boys had not exactly had an all out fight, but there were some ugly words flying around, and of course, Kevin was a great debater. I have no doubt that he threw a lot of verbal punches. The boy had a mouth on him.

Mrs.-Billy's-Mother had no right to shove our son, but of course HE had no right to hit her. Kevin said she got right in his face, yadda, yadda, yadda. I told him he had to call her and apologize. Not tryin' to raise a Dennis the Menace here.

I called Mrs.-Billy's-Mother and had Kevin tell her that he was sorry. Naturally he wasn't sorry, but that's beside the point. Anyway.

Acton Bell came home. "Got anything to tell me?" I asked.

"No," she said, all innocence.

"How about Kevin slugging the lunch lady?"

"Oh! That! Yeah. A cheer went up in the lunchroom when he did that."

Those kids.

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Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Just another day

Well this day was a total waste of make-up.

During the night I finished the fifth Harry Potter Book. Now I have to get my hands on number six.

Meanwhile, the modem that I ordered to install DSL on my PC arrived. So I start installing it only to discover that I don't have a NIC card port. I thought I did. Nope. Some days.

So I take the hubby out for lunch, take him to the doctor for a blood test, and then drop by Circuit City to buy an Ethernet adaptor.

The guy who waited on me was a damn ray of sunshine. Sarcasm seems to be just one more service they offer. So, my PC is four years old. According to him, it's out of date. BUT, he'll do me a favor and sell me the Network PCI Card if I really, really, want to try to install it myself. Some guys. If assholes could fly, that place would be an airport. That isn't a computer place. It's hell with fluorescent lighting.

So, I get home with the Ethernet PCI card, and discover that I have left the directions for the DSL installation there at Circuit City. Urge to kill....myself. I call them, and they have it and will hold it for me. I don't think I need it, but I guess I'll go back and get it, just in case.

What kills me is that this young guy figures that anyone with white hair can't possibly know how to open up the PC, locate the PCI expansion slots inside, insert the PCI card into an available slot, and then plug the network cable into the newly installed PCI Card.

There are undoubtedly many people my age who can do this. Now, I may or may not be one of them, but he doesn't know that. Am I ambivalent about trying this? Well, yes and no.

But I'm not tense about it, just terribly, terribly alert.

Monday, July 25, 2005

Stand back..... I'm reading

If you don't read the Harry Potter books, you won't understand. But in that case, at least you are sane.

I'm busy reading now. Can't blog. I'm lurking on your blog, and occasionally commenting, but I have to catch up with the insanity and finish Potter. No time to post.

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Friday, July 22, 2005

Happy weekend everybody

Acton Bell and her husband Ekim give a family picnic every year. The picnic is tomorrow, so it will be a fun weekend. Our former son-in-law, Namron is arriving from California later this evening for the occasion, and will be staying with my husband and me.

Namron is Aral's former husband. They remain the very best of friends. Unfortunately Aral can't make it this year. She's working. Giving a presentation somewhere. Bummer.

I'm watching my weight, so this will be a test to see if I can resist overeating.

This is a big beer weekend for the younger crowd. Some folks get a little tipsy. Not namin' any names, but watching Acton Bell and her husband giggle and using the hoola hoop while buzzed is a sight to behold. I'll try to get a picture of it.


I'm looking for a good woman for Namron. Here are his particulars:

He is handsome.
He is honest, kind, and true.
He is 36 years old.
He has a PhD in Math.
He is recommended by his former wife.
He is recommended by his former mother-in-law.
His is recommended by his two former sisters-in-law.
He lives in the S.F. Bay area and teaches.
He likes cats.
He is a weight lifter. (The picture above is him.)

There. What more could a woman ask for? Know anybody? Oh! I forgot: he has a full head of hair. I've met his father and both of his grandfathers and since they still have all their hair, I'm guessing, but not guaranteeing, that he will not be losing the hair.

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Thursday, July 21, 2005

Pennsylvania Proud

This fellow makes me so proud to be living in Pennsylvania.

Quote of the day

"Now we are forced to do something that societies often do when people can't control their desires.

We have to pass laws to stop their desires."

-- Senator Rick Santorum

Good luck with desire controlin' Ricky.

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Dirty soap

FIRST: Today is my twin granddaughters' birthday. They aren't here to give me cake and ice cream. Boo. They are so sweet. Also pretty. I miss them.


I'm out of sorts, so I think that I will pick on Little Bar of Soap. She's due for a pickin' on. Besides, being unstable and bitchy is all part of my mystique.

Little Bar of Soap is ugly and her mother dresses her funny.
How do we know she's really clean?
I heard that her feet stink. (That's better than smelling that her feet stink.)
If Jesus is watching, shouldn't we give him a good show? Soapy is trying to make us look boring.
There's a rumor that Soap is a cross-dresser. That's good news. They usually dress better than that dress she's wearing on her site.
She has no taste in politicians.
She dyes her hair.
She doesn't shave her legs.
Or her pits.

Okay Soapy. Hit me with you best shot.

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Tuesday, July 19, 2005

Not my bloody fault

Something Fred said on his blog, and then something that Girl From Florida commented about garage doors on Fred's blog, made me think of a little bitty incident that happened at my house about four years ago.

It was a beautiful Saturday. Absolutely perfect. I hadn't retired yet, the husband was at a bookstore, and I was all set for a wonderful, lazy day off. Oh! The day was just so wonderful.

I decided to go somewhere...I've forgotten just where. The day was just too nice to waste. Gotta get out and do something. I backed out of the garage, used the automatic door opener and closed the garage door. Everyone calls the remote for a garage an opener, but it's a closer too..,wonder why that is? Oh, well.

We had very recently had a new front door to the house installed. Mahogany. Boy, it was, and is, a thing of beauty. I just love that door, and we get a lot of compliments on it. As I was just glancing at our new front house door to admire it, I saw some kind of paper flyer stuck in the door handle. Geez. I hate that.

So, I put the car in park, walk in front of it, and go to the front door to retrieve the paper stuck there. I look at the flyer; it's political. Urge to kill, and decision not to vote for the perpetrator. I look back at the idling car in the driveway. It is slowly, slowly, driving itself towards the garage door!

What the $#@%? It was in park! Yes, it was! I had walked in front of it! IT WAS IN PARK! Holy S**T! It's going uphill!

I run for the car. Of course I'm on the wrong side of it, have to run around to the driver's side to stop it. Visions of killing myself or breaking a leg quickly run through my head, but other visions of the damn car driving itself into the closed garage door and all the way through the back of the garage keep me running to stop the @!#$^&% thing.

I don't get to it in time to keep it from running into the garage door, but I do save the garage itself. Since the garage is all brick, and attached to the house, this is no small victory.

Well, I go into the house and call the place that installed the garage door, which isn't all that old. "So what happened to the door?" the guy asked.

"It got driven into by a car," I tell him.

"Your husband or you?" he asks.


"Yeah, it's usually the wife," he said. Some men.

The door service can't come out until Monday. Sigh.

I'm going to have to confess to the husband. Another sigh.

Soooo, I drive to the bookstore, find the husband, and walk up to him. He looks surprised. He can tell from looking at me that something is wrong. I kiss him on the lips, just a peck, and say, "How much do you love me?"

"What did you hit, and how bad is it?"

"The car drove itself into the garage door."

"Well, I guess I love you enough to buy a new garage door," he said.

It really did drive itself into the door. I wasn't even in the damn car. It just took off on its own. Willy nilly. Like that. Not my fault. I don't know how it happened. There are some things even the great and wonderful Wizard of Oz doesn't know. How can I know?

I always wanted a garage door with "lites." Shoulda got one in the first place. That's what they call windows in a garage door. Lites. At least that's what this company called them. This new one has decorative windows all the way across. Looks very nice. Especially with that beautiful mahogany front door on the house. It all looked so good I had to buy new shutters to keep up.

Monday, July 18, 2005


Been busy with stuff that won't interest anyone. Worked my volunteer shift at the Food Pantry (have you donated to your local Food Pantry or Food Bank lately?), transported food to the Food Bank, gave blood (are you able to donate?), taught a craft at a low-income senior center, read a book, The Namesake, by Jhumpa Lahiri. Like that. Nothing big or special. Pretty blah to write about.

So I won't expand on it and be boring.
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Friday, July 15, 2005

Good Eats

Once when Mama was visiting us here in Pennsylvania, I took her to the Amish Country, which she liked a lot.

At lunch time I decided to take her to a restaurant called Zinn's Diner. Zinn's was a great Pennsylvania Dutch place. It had a huge 40-foot statue of an Amish farmer, called Amos, in front of it. Amos had a small repertoire of things that he spoke to folks as they entered or exited the diner. He told bad Amish jokes in a corny Pennsylvania Dutch accent. Amos said things like "Yumpin' yiminy, by gosh, if you're hungering for great Amish food, we've got heaps inside..."

Mama had a soft spot in her heart for stuff like that, and she was properly impressed by Amos. This place was so popular that people waited for as long as an hour for their number to be called so they could go into the feed trough.

Our number was finally called while I was still young, and we sat down at our table.

Mama decided that the food didn't suit her much. They had everything from shoo-fly pie, chicken-smothered waffles, apple fritters, dried corn, to fried scrapple and beef heart. What more could a person want? Mama didn't care for shooin' flies. There was nothing on the really extensive menu that she wanted to eat. Except a meringue pie. That Mama. Had a little sweet tooth. Maybe more than one.

I mean they had chow chow, schnitz and knepp, chicken pot pie, Bova Shankel, whoopie pies...what could little Mama want?

So she ate the pie, and I ordered and ate a nice PA Dutch meal. In other words, a starchy, greasy mess of food, with gravy on everything.

Now, Mama liked a little salt on her food. About a half-inch per square inch. Like that. She went through a McDonald's period when she ate at McDonald's probably twice a day. And here we were in Zinn's during The McDonald's Period. So after I ate, I asked Mama if she would like to go to McDonald's. She said yes, she would.

So we went from a nice little diner over to McDonald's, that most Amish of all places, and Mama ate. Probably a hamburger. Hard to tell what it was under all that salt. Some fussy little Mama.

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Wednesday, July 13, 2005

No No!

It's September 1969. Mama and I have taken the four kids shopping. We're finished with our shopping and we pack ourselves into our little VW bug. VW Bugs were smaller then than the new Bugs that are out now. So pack-in is the way we had to do it. It's hot and smoggy and the traffic in Southern California is heavy; I'm waiting patiently to pull out of the store parking lot onto the busy street.

I see the double yellow line in the center of the street, but I know that it's legal to pull out and turn left over a double yellow line, if you are exiting a business establishment. I've just read that somewhere.

Finally, I see my chance. I pull out and cross the double yellow line, and immediately hear a siren behind me. It cannot be aimed at me. I'm not doing anything wrong.

Wrong is right. A State Trooper makes it clear that, yes indeed, he means ME.

He strolls up to my rolled-down window, oh soooo slowly. You can't be too careful approaching a fast machine like a '67 bug. Maybe the kids are actually terrorist midgets. But wait, we didn't have terrorists yet. Maybe the kids were just armed midgets. Come to think of it, Mama was a midget too. Anyway.

He tells me that I have committed a traffic violation by crossing the double yellow line. I tell him that it's my understanding that when exiting a business, you are allowed to cross a double yellow line. "Ah," he says, "but you crossed a double double yellow line."

So, have you got that? I crossed a DOUBLE double yellow line. He points out that I have just driven my car across four yellow lines. Four yellow lines, side-by-side.

"In California, a double double yellow line is a cheap concrete divider," he explains.
Not so cheap for me, however.

He walks slowly back to his cruiser, radios in to make inquires as to whether or not the car is stolen, whether or not I am a wanted felon. Like that. Tell me, did people steal those old VW Bugs? Not high on the list of most wanted cars I imagine.

I do have to admit that I probably did look like an escaped con, what with my mother and four kids in the car. So I can't fault him there.

The kids are hot, tired, and getting a touch whiney. I'm hot, tired and getting very whiney. He takes forever and finally comes back to the car and hands me a ticket. This is a crushing blow on two levels.

The first level is that I got a ticket! Me! I'm young and cute. I always get warnings, not tickets. I always figured that I would know that I was old or had lost my looks if I ever actually received a ticket. Hrumph. Apparently, four little kids and my mother canceled my cuteness right out as far as this cop was concerned. Some people.

The second, and worst level was the money and telling my husband about it. I was a stay-at-home mom. Niks was a front-line, in-the-trenches, very-under-paid Social Worker in those days. We didn't have two nickels to rub together. The ticket is for about $150. A lot of money to us then.

So I tell the kids, dddragon, age ten, ActonBell, age six, Nivek, age four, and Aral, age 11 months, don't tell Daddy about this. I'll tell him. Okay? Nobody tell Daddy. I'll take care of that. When the time is right. Just don't be tellin'. All right? That's settled. Everyone nods yes, even the one not old enough to tell on me. They understand. They are NOT going to tell Daddy.

So, I figure that I will wait until the kids are in bed, everything is nice and quiet, talk sweet to Niks, love him up a little -- you don't need details.

I then work up the nerve to tell him about the expense, explaining how it is definitely not my fault that California has such cheap road dividers, and that who would know about such a stupid law as not being able to cross a double double yellow line. Like that.

A light comes on in his head. "OOOoooh! So that's it! ActonBell told me that you got a ticket for a double no-no today! I didn't know what she could be talking about."
She ratted me out! That kid.

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Monday, July 11, 2005

Eating at the Dead Fly Diner

Saturday my husband Niks and I went to the Dead Fly Diner over by the Farmers' Market. The husband likes it there. Can't for the life of me figure out why. As we drove up, I thought I might be in luck. Looked closed. Maybe burned out. Hadn't been there for a while.

But no such luck. That's just the way it looks. The pink neon light said, "Open." Well, it didn't say anything. You had to read it.

We went to the back "dining" room. The front counter-and-booth section was a bit too smoky for me to bear. Of course "dine" is not a word that one would ever use with this back room or this place.

I made myself busy counting the dead flies while Niks looked at the menu. I don't count the ones that are flying or walking around, or the ones walking in circles on their last leg, so to speak. I just count the ones that are drying out on the window stills close to us, and the ones that are skeletonized in old spider webs hanging from the ceiling.

There's a shirt hanging on the coat rack by the back door. That shirt has been hanging there for several years. I always look for it. Wondering if anyone will ever throw it out, or steal it. Just kidding about the stealing part. No one is going to steal that shirt. The hangers are covered with the kind of dust that is grease and dust mixed. You know, brown, hairy dust. You can't just dust-off that kind of dust. You have to hose it off. You'd need really hot water to do it. Need soap too. Like that.

I order a sausage sandwich and Niks gets the breakfast special. I have tea, he has coffee. Total bill is five bucks. Ah, you say. That's why he likes it. True, plus he has a serious addiction to grease.

After we order, we get to talking about Mama stories. I ask him what his favorite is. Turns out it's a little story -- not much really. And not so much a story on Mama, as it is on...well, I'll just tell the tale.

It's September 1968. I'm about 20 months pregnant with Aral 3P. I may be exaggerating. Maybe only eight months. I just LOOK 20 months pregnant. Anyway.

ActonBell has just turned 5, and Dddragon has just turned 9. Son Nivek is 3. Niks is gone for a week visiting his aged mother 3,000 miles away. The kids are nagging me to go swimming. Now I'm not really feeling like taking three kids swimming. I look like a beached whale, and I feel like an African Buffalo.

Going swimming is not going to happen. So I decide to make a run to a store and buy one of those big blow-up pools. Pretty good size. It's too late in the year to invest in one of those, plus it's too late in the day for this activity, but hey, a "what-the-heck-is-my-husband-doing-going-away-while-I'm-30-months-pregnant" feeling has taken over me.

I bring the monster home and start trying to blow it up. By mouth. Where is Monica Lewinsky* when you need her? The thing has three big rings that have to be blown up separately.

I'm bending over (as best I can anyway), blowing my very best. My head is just about at a level with little ActonBell's face. She puts her hands in my hair. She's moving my hair around. Looking for something? What the heck? "What are you doing, AB?" I ask.

"I'm looking for the rocks in your hair."

My sweet little Mama is sitting on our back porch steps. I look up at her. She gives me that little smile of hers.

I ask AB, "Did Granny tell you that I had rocks in my head for buying this pool?"

ActonBell shakes her head yes. She has a wide-eyed worried look. Worried about the rocks in my hair, or worried that it's gonna be dark before I finish blowing up that pool, I don't know. Mama is giggling by now. That Mama.

Back in the present, Niks and I have finished our food, and he remembers another pretty good one on ActonBell. I'll do that one another time. Let her squirm a little. Right now I need to see if my shoes will come unstuck from the Dead Fly Diner floor.

*that little sucker wasn't born yet in '68.

Friday, July 08, 2005

Mama was DNR

Once when Mama went to the doctor about something, he told her that whatever-the-problem-was that it was just old age, and that she just had to live with it. She was in her early eighties at the time. His name was Crockett.

Well, Mama told Dr. Crockett, "I read in the Reader's Digest that if a doctor tells you that your problem is caused by old age, you should change doctors." Mama changed doctors.

A few years later she attended Dr. Crockett's funeral.

Mama and I talked every single day on the phone. One day in February 2001, she told me that she "had taken a nervous spell." I asked her what she was nervous about and she told me she didn’t really know. "Just a nervous spell," she said. Not like Mama. She was 91 years old, and it was the first nervous spell I had ever heard about.

The next day she went out to breakfast with friends. Went to Denny's. She loved that big breakfast at Denny's. The one where you get two of just about everything in the kitchen. I don't know why since she always gave most of it away. "Anyone want this sausage? I don't care that much for sausage." She would actually tell the waitress how to cook an item like, "Please make the bacon extra crisp," and then say to someone else at the table, "Do you want my bacon? I just don’t believe I feel like eating bacon today." *Sigh*

Mama mentioned to the nun who was with them that she had "taken a nervous spell." Sister Jean persuaded Mama to go to the doctor after breakfast, and then called me. The doctor said that Mama was very anemic and he wanted to do some tests. Mama said no tests, "I’m 91 years old and I’m not going to let you operate on me, so why find out what’s wrong?"

But she did agree to have two pints of blood to treat the anemia. She'd been given blood before for that purpose. Little bit of the vampire in her little self. She was taken to a clinic for the transfusions. When she entered the clinic, Mama told them, "Remember I'm DNR." Do Not Resuscitate. She would have had that tattooed on her forehead, but she was a bit too vain for that.

The nurse told me that Mama was doing very well. In fact, she had gotten up from the bed by herself at one point while the blood was being given, rolling the hanging blood bag, etc., and took her little self to the bathroom, unaided. That Mama.

They let me talk to Mama while she was getting the blood. Mama said she was fine. She sounded just like Mama. Not worried, not excited, just Mama. She asked about my kids as usual.

But this felt different. I called my sister Doris. I called my sister Bonnie. Both Doris and Bonnie called Mama at the clinic. We all called each other. Busy phone day. Doris herself was in the hospital getting chemotherapy. We felt that perhaps Mama's nervous spell was actually that she was worried about Doris.

When the nurse checked on Mama a little later she asked for something to let her sleep through the transfusions. She had small veins and it took a long time for her to be given blood. The nurse checked with the doctor who said okay, and Mama received a mild sedative and drifted off to sleep.

Later the nurse checked to see if the first pint of blood was finished. Mama's breathing was very distressed. Mama was dying.

The nurse "coded" her, and lots of people came running to "work on" Mama. The doctor on duty came because of the "code" and quickly pointed out that Mama was DNR, and that she had made a point of reminding him of that.

The nurse assured me that they had not "worked on" Mama more than a couple of minutes. Mama had not awakened. She died quickly and in her sleep. Peacefully.
She had always said, "I hope I die in my sleep." Mama got her wish.

That Mama. Sweetest little Mama anybody ever had.

Wednesday, July 06, 2005

Mama was brave

Mama was a brave little thing. Once when I was little and afraid of the dark, she asked me, "Don’t you think that if there were something to be afraid of, that I'd be afraid too?"

"Heck NO!" I thought to myself. She was never afraid.

After we moved to Pennsylvania 33 years ago, she would fly from California to see us at least once a year. She would stay for a minimum of a month, and sometimes longer.

She was easy company. In fact, she wasn't company at all. She just fit in naturally with us. The year the kids discovered MTV, Mama sat her little self down and sang right along. She particularly loved Twisted Sister. Once while watching MTV with Aral PPP, she turned and said, "I don’t think all of this is live." Perceptive the little Yoda was.

Another year we were watching the news when a story came on about an airplane that had to land in foam because the wheels wouldn’t come down. Mama said, "That happened to me last year. We came down a slide to exit the plane."

"WHAT? You never said a word about it! Why didn’t you tell me?"

"You always say call you when I get home okay. I did call you when I got home okay."

Besides it turned out her plane's wheels HAD been down, but somehow the instruments showed differently. So she figured it was just a false alarm, and not worthy of a true story. Plus that was just the first leg of the trip. The second half of the trip was uneventful. Why bring up old news? Was she afraid to get on the second plane?

"No. I told you the wheels were actually down. There wasn't any problem at all." (What about that slide? No point in asking. Probably thought it was fun.)

Fifteen years ago she had a stroke on the plane returning home to the S.F. bay area. She didn't tell anyone on the plane that she was having a stroke. Why?

"I figured that they would land in Chicago for a medical emergency, and I don't know anyone in Chicago." Life was simple to Mama.

She told them as they were landing, and she was taken to the hospital from the airport. Worked out fine. She ended up having an operation on a vein in her neck, and she had no residual problems at all.

Tiny, funny, brave little Mama.

Tuesday, July 05, 2005

Tragedy in Mama's World

It's 1967. Hot day in Southern California. I'm driving an old car without AC. I'm tired. Just another average day in Paradise.

I drive into the garage. Start to open the door to the house. Mama is babysitting our kids. She opens the door before I do.

"Well, Neal died!" she says.

WHOOP! My heart pounds! I feel the blood rush from my head. NEAL DIED! My heart almost stops.

Wait...What the....? Who the hell is Neal? I don't know any Neal. "Mama, who is Neal"?

"NEAL! You know. Neal on As the World Turns."

That Mama.

She watched the soap opera As the World Turns for 45 years. She talked to the television, warning characters to be careful, "Don't listen to him. He's a liar." "She's up to no good!" She gave'em a piece of her mind all right.

Personally I preferred Carol Burnett's As the Stomach Turns.

I told her she'd be in real trouble if she ever scared me that way again. She smiled her little smile. Silly me.

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Sunday, July 03, 2005

Mama gets married

Daughter dddragon suggested that I post about my mother. Of course we never called her "mother." My three sisters and I called her Mama all of our lives. Mama was a hoot. She was a tiny little thing, claimed to be five foot one. More like five foot nothing. I was taller than she was by the time I was ten. Probably weighed more too. She weighed 88 pounds most of the time. Got all the way up to 114 before she died. What a tub of lard.

Once when I was visiting my sister Doris, we started talking about how much family information was being lost almost daily, because the older generation was dying off. I mentioned that a friend of mine had been hired by a rich guy in New York to interview his older relatives and to tape those conversations. Doris got the idea that I should go over and interview Mama using a tape recorder. Sounded good to me.

Doris thought that I should start out by asking about Mama and Daddy's getting married. She was particularly interested in the names of the couple who had gone with Mama and Daddy when they eloped. We'd both heard these names before, but neither of us remembered them.

So I took Doris' tape recorder and off I went to Mama's apartment. I'm guessing Mama was about 85 or so then, and time was awastin'.

Mama took to the idea of being interviewed just fine. She was tickled in fact. I started out by asking the names of the couple who took part in the elopement. She told me the names.

Darn tape recorder wasn't working right. Drat. I fool around with the recorder some. Take the batteries out. Put them back in. Like that. I'm amazing with machinery. Real genius. Start again. S**t. Thing is just not working right. I decide to take notes, and come back with the recorder later. You know, get a few things down, in case one of us dies overnight. I was betting it wouldn't be Mama.

Okay, we start again. Mama described the scene. This couple has a car, Daddy doesn't--he's a student at Memphis State College (now University), and he's home on some kind of semester break.

It's winter; they're all in winter coats. Why is this important, I'm wondering? Mama and Daddy are in the back seat. Okay, this seems like a lot of detail. I mean, we're just driving to the wedding chapel, right? They get to the preacher's house. Mama says that she believes that he's probably eating his dinner at the time. Gee, this is a LOT of detail. Get to the wedding.

I'm guessing they had maybe called ahead? This is 1930 -- they DID have phones. Anyway, the preacher comes out to the car, and leans into the opened window, and marries them. WAIT! WHAT?!?

"You didn’t get out of the car?! You sat in the car? You were MARRIED IN A CAR?" I could not believe it! "Mama, you and Daddy got married still in the $%#@ car? You never even left the car?"

Well, I have to say she got a little huffy. Pulled her little self right up straight. Looked a bit peeved. "It's perfectly legal," she said. "You want to see the marriage license? It's right in my bedroom."

Those guys. I have no idea what the names of the other couple were. Lost my train of thought completely.

Saturday, July 02, 2005

I'm not bitter

I'm relaxing now that Bonnie is GONE. YES! She's gone!

Now you probably think I'm conscience-stricken about being happy that she's gone, but you are WRONG. I'm elated. Jumping for joy. Happy as a pig in mud. Satisfied as a chigger full of blood. Relaxed as a 'gator in the sun. Jubilant as a lark in a birdbath. Carefree as...oh well, you get the picture.

She cost me a bundle, which is okay. She had a good time.
Two weeks of my life, no big deal.
She told my kids a few stories about me...that I could have done without! LOL.

I was a mean little devil to her when we were kids. Hey. She was two years older than I. She should have been able to take up for herself.
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Friday, July 01, 2005

Happy weekend all! Posted by Picasa