It may be lack of sleep or my selective memory, but in my list of main characters, I forgot to list my mother, Sarah! Sorry, Mom! Sarah turns 89 yrs old Today. She lives in a nursing home and even though she has dementia, she still gives ’em hell! I have many Sarah stories, so I want her to be familiar to you. Happy Birthday, Sarie! Love you!
I am thankful for my family and my friends. Especially the last few years, you have shown your love and support to me and I love you for it! But I find myself being thankful for little things. I am thankful for clean, fresh, running water. I am thankful for heat in the winter and air conditioning in the summer. I am thankful for enough food to eat. I am thankful for dishwashers. I am thankful for wi-fi. Wait, I think I’m getting off track. Well, maybe not. Stay tuned.
This weekend is all about giving thanks for our blessings. I think. I thought it started with pilgrims and Indians and food. Anyway, it has evolved into being thankful for family, friends…oh, and shopping! We must not forget shopping! I must tell you, there is not enough money, in this World, to tempt me into Black Friday activity! Yes, I’m old and there is a real possibility that in the rush of a crowd, I could fall and break a hip; but more than that is the Parking! Parking was invented by the Devil! Since I have a handicap sticker on my vehicle, you would think that parking would not be a problem! Ha! Forget about it! Everybody has a handicap sticker! This time of year, I always end up parking in little Egypt. By the time I get into a store, I’m too tired to shop! Agree? Stay tuned.
When Doug & I had this house built, in 1979, this section of the subdivision had just opened up. There was nothing behind us but wide open land. Needless to say, that only lasted a couple of years. As the 80’s progressed, so did house building. We decided to plant pine trees across our back property line, thus blocking the view of whatever neighbors we had in the future. We had 11 white pine trees planted. We watered & fertilized and watched as they grew into tall, beautiful trees! Twenty years later, sometimes, the utility company, B.G.M.U., would come & “top” the trees to keep them out of the power lines. One morning, I’m in the bathroom, brushing my teeth, when I hear the sound of the saws. Okay. But they sound very close & “topping” doesn’t usually take this much time. I opened the shade and looked out the window. I thought I would faint! Four of my beautiful pine trees looked like very tall pencils!! There was not a limb on them! This huge bucket truck is parked in the neighbor’s yard behind me. Four men in hard hats are now working on my fifth tree and the grinding noise is unbelievable! I drop my toothbrush, and in only my thin housecoat, go flying out of the house, screaming, “STOP! STOP! STOP!” The noise, stopped, the neighbors, who were sitting on their deck, watching the show, watched as I threw myself against the closest man in a hardhat. “What are you doing to MY TREES?” He said, “We just came to top them, but that lady (pointing to the woman sitting in her robe on the deck, along with her husband) told me to go on & cut ’em down”. I then launched myself up on the deck of this woman (whom I had never met before) and screamed, “What in the Hell would make you DO such a thing?” “Well, I thought they were my trees.” “Did it Never cross your mind to check that out? You’d better go in and get some clothes on, cause before long, lots of people will be here to see you.” The men said there was no way to save the 5 trees they had cut. My lawyer and a rep from BGMU came to access the situation. We settled for a small sum, and let the hard hats remove the rest of the trees. Then everyday, until random brush grew up in the place where my beautiful trees were, I stood at my window, shades up, all lights on, and put my naked chest against the window, for my neighbors sake! THAT’LL teach ’em!
My Mother was the woman I looked up to all my life. Tall, thin, pretty, she was a kind, Christian woman, who taught me manners, etiquette, how to respect others. I also learned from her how to show my independence and respect myself first. Three years ago, she had a series of small strokes. After she was released from the hospital, she was moved into Rosewood nursing home. She had some memory loss that would come and go. As with dementia, it eventually gets worse, but at first she was only confused. I would visit her nearly everyday, but when it was time to leave her, I would never say goodbye. I did that one time, not thinking, and her nurse said she cried for hours! From then on, I would tell her that I would be “right back”. Since she couldn’t see me leave, within a short amount of time, she would forget I had even been there. I never knew, when I visited, how she was, mentally. She could never call my name, but she always knew my face! Sometimes, we could have a conversation; a lot of times, I just followed her lead. She asked me one time “Do you live here too?”. I said that yes, I had a room down the hall. Then she began to talk about the dining hall and a couple of the nurses. Very pleasant. Sometimes, she would sit and listen to me talk, but not say much. I just never knew what to expect. Usually, I would stop by to see her on my way home from work. That was quieter than weekend visits. But one Saturday morning, after a busy week, I got up, threw on a pair of jeans, kind of ran a brush through my hair & headed to Rosewood to visit. I sat with Sarah and talked to her. She was very quiet. Finally, she looked up at me and said, “Who are you?.” I told her my name and she said – “Oh, – you look like One of US”! I never went to visit again without full makeup, hair styled!! Stay tuned.
As my Mother tried to adjust to life in the nursing home, many adjustments had to be made. She became dependent on a wheelchair because her balance wasn’t good. She kept trying to get up out of the chair, so they had to put on an alarm. Even then, she fell often. She wasn’t injured as a result – just bruised. But it took awhile before she “got with the program”. (Lady is Very stubborn). She changed roommates several times. The first roommate she had was a Huge woman that only wore hospital gowns. No underwear, no socks or shoes. She stayed in a wheelchair and would “walk” herself around by her tiptoes. One day when I was visiting Sarah, she had the hospital gown pulled down to her waist, and was applying hand lotion to her underarms! As Mother and I were talking, she made her way over to us and ask me if I would rub lotion on her back! I very politely asked her to wait while I went to get a nurse! The look on Sarah’s face through this whole encounter was one of pure disgust! After I had gone home, that night Rosewood called me for the first (of many) times. They Always start the call by saying, “Miss Sarah is alright, but,,,,,”. This night they reported that Sarah & her roommate had had a physical run in. Apparently, Sarah had thrown a lotion bottle at the lady and the lady had hit Mother. I said it was probably because the lady wanted Sarah to Rub her somewhere! Anyway, they put Sarah in “time out” (where they brake her wheelchair in front of the nurses’ station for a period of time), and the next day, she got a new roommate. Stay tuned.
My son, (my baby) got married in October. Married a wonderful girl, Bethany. They have been together 3 years. All of that time, they have lived away from us. Mostly Utah and one year in North Carolina. We get to see them, maybe once a year; twice if finances allow. I’m very impressed with her – although I try not to let the fact that he picked someone that is my COMPLETE Opposite upset me (too much). She is beautiful, sweet, soft-spoken, smart, caring. Tends to cry, but that proves she has empathy. I think being the mother-in-law to a daughter is going to be Totally different than to a son. I had 2 son-in-laws. Piece of cake! They are more than halfway scared of you anyway. I just kind of went with that! In this case, I think I’m actually going to have to work at it! He chose her over me. So, even though I told her at the wedding that he was “on loan” to her for 50 years, if it comes to a draw – she’ll win! Brother! I hope they move closer so we can “work” on the relationship. Maybe she’ll read my blog and get to know me better. Brian and I used to joke when he was in school – he’d say, “I’m not going to bring her (who ever at the time) home to meet you. You won’t like her”. I said, “Brian, if you can Ever find Anyone who is willing to put up with You, on a permanent basis, I will Love her. She will be my Best Friend!” Welcome to your Best Friend, Bethany! Take care of my boy! I love you! Stay tuned.
My husband, as well as most people who know me, have always had alot of fun, at my expense. That’s okay. Some days, I think maybe that is why I was put here – to make someone laugh! That’s the Only way to explain most of the things that happen to me! (You’ll see). Back in the early ’80s, when our section of the subdivision was new, we held “block parties”. For those of you who are younger than me (and don’t know your neighbors’ name), a Block Party was where we closed off the street to traffic, and all the neighbors got together for the day. We set out food, drinks, games for the kids, lawn chairs for the old folks and just spent the day talking, visiting, getting to know each other. One year, after the day’s festivities, we all gathered in one neighbor’s backyard and built a bonfire. The kids had gone inside to play or watch T.V., so the adults sat on the ground, in a large circle, around the fire. It had gotten chilly, so I remember we were wearing windbreakers (jackets). We were telling stories, laughing, having a great time. This particular neighbor had a little dog; Jack Russell, I believe, Anyway, there are maybe 20 of us, sitting in a large circle and this dog is going around behind us, person by person, sniffing. He makes the rounds, once, twice, stopping, sniffing, moving on, His 3rd trip around the circle, he backs up to ME, lifts his leg, and for the count of 20 seconds, Pisses all down MY back! Doug laughed so hard I thought he was going to roll into the fire! We left to go home shortly after. Stay tuned.
I know what this time of year represents. I love Jesus, believe He died on the cross for my miserable self, etc. But that is the Big picture. In Real life, I believe, you have to break it down to small, individual acts of kindness. Oprah was on to something. Daily, we need to try to do one, small, thing for either a friend, family member, or total stranger! This is the season when we drop some coins in red buckets outside Walmart’s or pick angels’ names off a tree to purchase them a gift. And that is Wonderful! Good for you! But what happens the other eleven months of the year? I know – we can’t be responsible ALL the time. But let me give you a couple of examples of things you CAN do. I know of a young woman whose teenage years were troubled. Not as bad as some, but she had her problems. She came from a loving home, but her extended family, (grandparents, cousins, aunts/uncles) were largely absent. At any rate, word went out around the family concerning some of the issues this girl was having. A month or so passed. One day, in the mail, this girl received a one page letter, addressed to her, from her grandmother, who she had only seen, maybe five times in her life. The letter wasn’t much – to you & I. Mainly it said, “Don’t give up, God is good”. Something along those lines. This girl read the letter, folded it and put it in her wallet; where she carried it with her, everyday, for the next ten years. She referred to it, many times and the comfort it gave her was unmatched.
I have a card that I received from a Very Special friend in my life. I, too, carry it with me, everyday. It means the world to me to know that (at least) One person, in the world, thinks I am special. Thinks I am worth taking their time to sit down, write their thoughts on paper, and send them to me! You can Never, ever know how much a small (to you) gesture can mean to another person! Coming at a crucial point in their lives (even if you don’t know that), can forever change their outcome. We all have “those days”. Everyone has troubles – all year. Not just in December. I think, to honor Jesus, we should ALL take action to extend small acts of kindness; like that grandmother, like my Forever Friend. Take the Time, dear reader! Do a little something, for someone, all year ’round! Merry Christmas!
In 1969, Doug & I had been dating about 9 months. That April, we found out I was pregnant. We made plans to “runaway” and get married. We found a cute little church in Gallatin, Tn. With a nice little motel almost next door for the “honeymoon“. We planned for me to spend Friday night with my girlfriend, Ann. Doug would pick me up early Saturday morning and off we would go into our future. In a classic case of, this is an example of how the rest of your life is going to be, Saturday didn’t go as planned! Doug was almost 2 hours late picking me up from my friend’s house! When I got in the car, he said we weren’t going to Gallatin. He heard from a guy at work, we could get married, quicker and cheaper in a place called Celina, Tn. We started out. We finally pulled into a place that did not even have gravel on the roads! They were dirt! Everyone in town was sitting outside on the grounds, watching us go into the courthouse to have the Judge marry us. After the deed was done, we left beautiful (?) downtown Celina, to start the honeymoon. We got lost. We drove for over 2 hours; nothing looked familiar! Finally, we saw a road sign that said, Nashville, 95 miles! OMG! We finally made it to Franklin, Ky. late that afternoon. I was exhausted! Franklin, at the time, had 2 motels and a drive in hamburger joint called, Hutch’s Hut, all within 3 blocks of each other. One motel wanted $7.00 for the night; the other wanted $7.25. Since we only had about $8.50 left, we drove up & down the road comparing rooms. Deciding on the seven dollar room (duh), we walked next door to Hutch’s Hut for supper. I was starved! They had outside picnic benches to sit on. We each got a hot dog and a coke. Doug sat down & ate his hot dog. I left mine on the table to go get mustard and napkins. While I was doing that, a huge DOG jumped up on the picnic table and ATE my hot dog, in one gulp!! We had no more money. I spent my honeymoon night Starving! Stupid dog! Stay tuned.