Sunday, November 29, 2009

Beautiful Goodfellows Firemen

Being one of the poorest families in our neighborhood, a fact totally lost on us because we didn't know any better, several boxes were dropped off at our home during the Christmas season with some great stuff in it. I assume a teacher or the school had given our name to the local chapter of the Goodfellows.

I was six years old. The door bell rang and Three. Tall. Muscular. Beautiful. Blond. Men walked into our home carrying several boxes.  They were all over six feet tall and they were wearing their firemen gear.

One of them made a big impression on me.  Maybe it was the uniform or how high I had to look up to see his face, or how blond he was or that deep voice when he offered the boxes to my Mom, but I was instantly smitten.  Up to that point, all the men I knew were friends of my parents.  They were short, flabby, and all brunettes.  This was a new revelation of manhood never before experienced! It was as though Superman had walked in the door.

To have strangers in our home was exhilarating for the five of us. My Mom was incredulous.  all this for us! In the boxes were foodstuffs, white t-shirts, toys for my brother, and dolls.  We were touched.  My mother cried when they left.  The Goodfellows came several years after that always wearing their uniforms.  They were sometimes police officers or firemen and it was thrill to have them in our home.

My family think of the Goodfellows with great affection.  I saw them today selling their newspapers and it always transports me to that day when I discovered tall gorgeous blond men that others actually cared about our family. They made sure we had a good Christmas and we will always be grateful.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Acting Squirrely

Squirrel.  Big fat brown squirrel chewing on my back porch.  Begone you stupid squirrel!

Holes, someone is digging holes into my newly seeded lawn area out front.  Everyday find a new spot. They're more like shallow cups not exactly holes.  Wonder what's doing that and why?

Oh, squirrel.  Big fat brown squirrel is messing with me.  He's eating my back porch and digging up my lawn.  Where's the pellet gun?  Lucky squirrel.  I don't have a pellet gun.

Gigantic seed pods.  How did these seed pods get here half eaten and strewn across all four steps? Who leaves gigantic seed pods as a booby trap to kill innocent women carrying their groceries in the house?   I know it's on purpose because who ever it was spread them across the full length of the steps so I had to step on them. Is that you squirrel?

Urban tumble weeds.  They blow between the houses, swirl a bit, then down the street.  Why can't my neighbors put lids on their trash cans?  Hey! don't you know you can recycle those bags?

Door window.  Big brown squirrel looking through my door window.  WTH?  What's up squirrel?

Getting creepy.  Squirrel antics making me  uncomfortable.  Going on for weeks. Is this really an ordinary squirrel or a zombie squirrel?

Barking.  A supposedly sane woman barking like a ferocious chihuahua at big bad brown squirrel.

No more squirrel. Yeah!  But I think he still had the last laugh.

Go over to Keely at UnMom.  Check out how random folks can be. randomtuesday

Sunday, November 15, 2009

The Daughter I Used to Be

I don't like to be touched.  My personal space is hallow ground. Step too close and I might bark or give you a swift kick to the knee.

My mom's a hugger and a kisser - to EVERYONE.  Be careful because you might meet my mom on the street one day.  And if you look down or disheartened, don't be surprised if a four foot nine, redheaded, 78 year old, looks you empathetically in the eye and with an impish smile, rushes up to give you a big hug and a kiss.  You think I'm kidding?

One thing that annoys my mother is when some of her friends during a conversation keep touching her on the knee or arm every few seconds to get her attention or to emphasize a point.  She tells me this all the while she is touching my arm every few seconds to keep my attention and to emphasize a point.

After about the ninth tip touch, I can't take it anymore, "Mami, stop doing that, okay?"  "What?"

Living with all that love, empathy, and need for human connection, finally got to me. I can't help myself. At our martial art school, students are regularly greeted with big hugs and a few kisses.  Children and adults stay with us for five years or more so they become closer to family than clients. My mother taught me that people all need to feel wanted, welcomed, and understood.  Instead of being the growling grouch of my youth,  I have become a loving, hugging fool.

Vodkamom posted some posts about her mother that got me thinking again about my dear Mami.  I realized that as you get older, real intimacy is sometimes lost between a parent and child. There are a lot of grandchildren and my brother and sisters, and there is plenty of love, but intimate moments are few yet cherished by her.  My dad is not a demonstrative man, very closed, never was.  My mom is a complete opposite.  She needs lots of love, but she is not too selfish.  Because what she gives will tenfold exceed what she needs.

So at church today, watching the multitude of children in our congregation, and I mean multitude, I witnessed the little one's need to hold a parents' hand or to be picked up in those loving, safe arms. The complete bond, that oneness between mother and child was something my mom hasn't experienced for a long, long time. So I decided to be her little girl again.

I slipped my hand into hers as a five year old would, and we held hands the whole service, as daughter and mother, reliving the oneness we used to feel.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Potatoes are Free Balling

This week's Spin Cycle is anything goes.  We can choose our own topic.  My Spin is my challenge with language.

I have always had a problem expressing myself verbally.  You will find a rather lengthy post describing my problem.  An example I used in that post was when I wanted Queenmaker to get the milk out of the fridge for me.

"Honey, could you, um, um get, ah, ah grass! COW! um, um, you know, liquid-y WHITE!  Cold! in big box?"

Poor guy, he didn't have a clue. He even looked around the room trying to find what I'm talking about. Bless him.

The other day I said,

"I'm going downstairs to stitch, jeans, um, um, Water! Soap! Switch-y machine! ah, ah Clean. Basket. Stuff."    Translation: I'm going downstairs to start some laundry.

But my latest, Potatoes are Free Balling. Whew. Wow. I don't even know what to say.

QueenMaker and I decided that in the future we would bake potatoes without wrapping them in foil -  Aluminum - Alzheimer connection scare. We now bake potatoes in a casserole dish.  They taste better.  Or maybe I think they taste better than being foiled because its supposedly a healthier way to go, so of course they taste better.

Anyways, I was trying to express to QueenMaker that the potatoes had a drier texture than those wrapped up in foil, which produced more steam.  I said,

"They're drier but still tender.  These potatoes were not harnessed, um, they were free from, um, um, they weren't wrapped up, um, um (hitting my head hoping for clarity). The potatoes are free balling it!"

QueenMaker, "WHAT!"

Go visit Sprite's Keeper for more individual Spins on any and all topics.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Random Germ-y Family Affairs

Yes, we gathered together for yet another family event. This time it was my beloved niece's birthday.  Whenever the clan gathers, and we gather a lot, there is at least 22 or more people in the house ages four months to eighty years old. These events despite their joyful, fun filled, somewhat harmonious family state of affairs have a more ominous side to them.  I'm beginning to dread them just a little.

They have become a germ convention.  All the kissing and hugging, the clasping of hands, the carrying of sick babies and snotty children.  Carriers of disease coming from all quarters, college students whose campuses are under siege, old folks just out of the hospital THAT day, parents who left a child behind at home because "he threw up just before we left," children that stayed home all week because of fever, not to mention the overtaxed bathroom that over twenty people have use. Aaaugh!

Checking vitals everyday now.  Was that a little soreness in my throat just now? Was that a regular sneeze (my, is this place dusty) or was that a sickness sneeze? Are my glands *engorged?

My Beloved is a tea connoisseur, working at the Crazy Wisdom Book Store in Ann Arbor, for the last two years.  He brought home a tea called Beloved's Don't Get Sick Tea, one he blended himself. Sweet kid, always thinking about his mommy.  (Oh yea, and his daddy too.)

What? Fever for the last two days? Aaaugh! He's got the sickness too!

This past Sunday my mother and I got an unexpected treat at church when we found her goddaughter there.  Maria is a nurse.  There is a point in the mass when we offer each other a sign of peace, which means shaking hands with everyone around you.  It's the only time that people will actually look you in the eye and smile, otherwise its stone face. Well as soon as it was over, Maria grabbed her purse in a fury and took out hand sanitizer.  She grabbed her sister's hand and put a dollop, then she grabbed my mother's then mine.  It was so overt that everyone we shook hands with turned to look giving us the ole fish eye. Usually I try to do things like that on the sly.

Well at first I thought she was overreacting until I look to my right and saw a man helping his eldest daughter.  Her head was in her lap and he was stroking her hair. I wondered if she was sick.  No.  He was removing the lice from the back of her head.   Aaaaaaauuuuuugggghhhh!

Now go visit Keely at UnMom for more Random posts.  At least they won't be a sick as mine although I could be wrong about that.
* that's for jim styro

Thursday, November 5, 2009

No Room to Think

The Spin Cycle this week is parental confessions.  Check out more Spins on Jen's Sprite's Keeper.

Confessions of a mom when her child was three years old.

Aaargh. I'm going mad.  There were times when the only voice I could hear in my head was that of an adorable somewhat high pitched voice belonging to an equally adorable little boy. He learned not only to ask questions and form sentences, he's learned he could ask them non-stop.  Question after question would fly my way, which I dutifully answered as best I could and I have to admit, I was pretty good at it.  

Then he would check my answers by repeating what I had said over and over.  We moved from two word phrases like "Look mommy." or "What's that?" to requests for full explanations about the world around him and then ask why, until each explanation needed another until he was fully satisfied. Then he would take the information and talk and talk about what he had just heard, peppering me with, "Isn't that right mommy?"

After a while I realized that my willingness to answer all his questions was a way for him to keep me near him, which was really sweet of him.  It was a way to get my full attention, every second of the day, the unconsciously sweet little manipulator. If I started to move from the room or look in another direction, he would recognize the body language to flee and ask another question.  He sometimes grabbed my chin to make me look at him.

At one point I told him, that he needed to give mommy a break because the only voice I heard in my head was his, that I couldn't hear my own thinking voice anymore, that my head was full of his questions and that there was hardly any room for my own questions.

After a while, he looked at me with concern and asked, "Is there room up there now mommy?"  Yes baby, there's room.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Random Errands


My mom has been lonely lately.  She sees all five of her children at least once a week, some of them more, but she still gets lonely.  Trapped inside that 78 year old body is a 22 year old girl trying to get out.  She loves life.  She loves people.  She loves adventure.  One day trapped in her house without something to do and no visitors means a day of gardening, or cleaning, or sorting.  She loves to sort her stuff. Two days and she gets anxious with no contact.  Papi's sitting in his chair putting together a puzzle.  The dresser in his room is piled high with jigsaw puzzle boxes.  But he doesn't count.  He hasn't counted in ages.  He's home and stays alone, maybe a little lonely, but she definitely gets lonely and needs to get away.

So I called her and asked if she wanted to keep me company while I ran errands the next day.  When I awoke and the sun was shining. becoming a beautiful crisp November morning, I knew she would be pleased. I know I was.

I always drive a circuit.  I plan my drive for minimum miles per gallon.  I also pile my errands together to make sure the trip to one place will yield another place to stop.  So if I go east, I visit every store that I usually frequent in that area.

First I take her to the a polish meat market, the only one left in the area.  Been there forever. Yea, no line. We munch on samples of bratwurst,  kielbasa and jerky.  Meat is king! She wonders from one end of the store to the other munching on cajun and garlic roasted peanuts.

Then off to the italian meat market, the only one left in our area.  She's amazed that so much can be packed into a small store.  I buy fresh ricotta, freshly shredded mozzarella, and freshly ground parmesan.  Cheese is king! I get a pepperoni and grab a dough out of the freezer.  Guess what we are having tonight.

Oh, don't look at the cannoli.  Back away, pretend it's not there.  Don't buy a cannoli! Hey mom do you like cannoli?  No sweetie, I don't.  Thanks Ma.

Then off to the fabric store.  I need some black satin to make black sashes for the upcoming black belt test. I love this store or any fabric store.  Unfortunately they are going the way of the dinosaur.  Even this store is a fabric slash craft store, but I'm grateful for any space in a store for fabrics. It will be a sorrowful day when I won't be able to see and feel all these lovely textiles.

The little woman is meandering around.  I see her up an isle and I hurry to catch up to her.  What the hey! She turned the corner and she was gone.  I call her, Ma!  She's two isles down and cruising in the direction of the call.  But I've moved too, moving fast to head her off, but she'll already turned around and is out of sight.  Ma!  Now she's confused and heads left and down another isle.  I hit the isle and again, What the hey.  Where is she?  I've got to stop calling out Ma.

I finally corner her and we're off to the bank.  Then to the post office.  By the way the Christmas stamps are in.  Just saying.  The post office was the only place where I encountered a line.  So off she went to check out what's cool at the post office.  She came and found me in line to tell me that a little old lady was coming in the door and that she was going to keep an eye on her.  Oookay.  I wondered what my 78 year old mother thought an old lady looked like, but I kept that to myself.  Besides she moves like she's 60 and acts like she's 22.  She helped me place a hundred postcard stamps on a hundred postcards, reminding me that we are so grateful that they are self stick.

Then off to the dentist's office to drop off a payment.  She stayed in the car and was delighted that I put on the classical station for her. Throughout my circuit, I went down the less traveled roads or chose the roads where the scenery was pleasant.  She always thought she was lost until she realized that the stores were on main roads. She was pleased. We were lucky and were serviced quickly at each location.

QueenMaker just walked in the room and looked at my post.  What?!  He started with the usual, people write way to much information on the web.  You just told the everyone in the world how to track you down.  There would be no way you could go into hiding if you wanted to, because you just told everyone you love to hang out in meat markets, that you need and love fabrics.  When they come looking for you, they'll just stake out those places.  Who knows what other info you've let out on the web... His voice is trailing off as he walks away.  He's been reading 1984 lately, so excuse him.
But he is right.

Anyhoo.  Mami and I were back by noon.  I dropped her off at home and raced home to make dinner.  We had a lovely morning. I felt very daughter-y.

Now go visit Keely our hostess for Random Thoughts Tuesday.
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