Thursday, July 26, 2007
I would have paid money to see your little “dance” on the roof.
Only those of us of a certain age know of St. Vitus (whatever the spelling) dance. My granddad had a friend who was afflicted with a condition that my grandmother called St. Vitus dance. I suspect now that he actually suffered from Parkinson’s disease. When he came to visit Granddad, he was always dressed to nines, but the poor man shook uncontrollably, and he had trouble communicating. Granddad understood him, but as a 4-year-old, I couldn’t understand a word he said.
He called this morning to say that he would be starting home in a little while. I said,
He said, “No problem. I’ll be using Jason’s ESP thing.”
I was laughing so hard I couldn’t talk for several minutes. He kept saying, “What? What did I say?”
Finally after several minutes of guffawing that settled down to sniggering, I said, “It might be better to use the GPS instead of relying on your extra-sensory perception.”
He said, “Okay, I’ll let you go so that you can get a Kleenex to wipe the tears running down your cheeks.”
Can’t help lovin’ that man of mine!
This morning as I prepared to throw in load of laundry, I discovered that I had left a load in the dryer. I decided to emulate my boys and run them through a short cycle. I noticed that there is a marking on the timing thing that says “Tumble Press.” I guess a lot people use this and eschew ironing.
I might add that I pride myself for being observant. (Mr. Fixit says I’m just nosy.) I’ve had that dryer for four or five years and never noticed “Tumble Press.” I guess I’m not Jessica Fletcher after all.
Tuesday, July 24, 2007
Me: You didn’t go into the ocean, did you?
Me: I told you not to go into the ocean!
He: How is your blood sugar?
Me: I haven’t checked it.
He: Are you taking you medicine?
Me: Yeah, yeah, yeah (mumbled)
He: That means you didn’t, right?
When did we become parents to each other?
Monday, July 23, 2007
I received a phone call from Jason this morning telling me that he had phoned his dad on the road and advised him not to swim in the ocean. Mr. Fixit said, “You mom told me the same thing.”
Mr. Fixit’s sense of direction is sadly lacking. I was relieved when Jason let him use his GPS for the trip. He said he stopped once at a fast food place. When he came out, he couldn’t remember how to get back to the highway. As soon as he started the car, the GPS unit told him to turn right and got him out of the parking lot and back to the highway. Having that thingy in the car must be like having me sitting beside him without the eye-rolling and sharp intakes of breath. I’m going to hit my piggy bank and get him a GPS for Christmas.
Ben, (I hope the campsite has internet) DON’T LET DAD SWIM IN THE OCEAN!
Sunday, July 22, 2007
I can’t wait to see it at night with the underwater lights.
Mr. Fixit’s 70th birthday is soon, but he is still as active and healthy as he ever was. He works part-time, he has helped remodel four houses in the last four years, and he is constantly working around the house when he is home. He was a paratrooper when he was in the military. That takes a lot of guts! One thing he never accomplished in his life was learning to swim. He is (or I should say, was) deathly afraid of the water. He never even takes baths; he showers. At the beach, he would only venture into knee deep water.
Today we went over to see the pool. I was a bit indisposed so I took a quick look and headed for home. He stayed. He had taken his swimsuit with him. As I was leaving, I asked him if he was going in; he said he might. A couple of hours later, I called.
“Did you go in the water?” I asked.
“I can swim!” He sounded as excited as a 5-year-old on Christmas morning.
Jason told him what to do and he did it! I think I am more proud of him than he is of himself.
Wednesday, July 18, 2007
She wanted to know if my father ever talked about being in the war. No, he didn’t. I remember asking him about his medals which were kept in box in my mother’s dresser. He only told me about purple hearts being awarded to him because he had been wounded. He didn’t say any more about the purple hearts or what the rest of the metals were for. Years later when he was in the hospital after having his first heart attack, I saw a horrendous looking scar around that reached from his knee and more than half way down his leg and from the front of his leg to the back. When I asked him about it, he said that he messed up his knee while going under a barbed wire fence. I think the scar was much to big for his explanation. He said he was also wounded in the hip when a bullet ricocheted off a concrete wall. I found out later that he had told my older brother a completely different story about that one. When I asked what his job was in the army, all he would say was that he was a scout for his platoon. The only thing he would discuss at all was being in Paris. I’m sad to say that I don’t know what happened to that box of metals. I think my older brother’s daughters probably did something with it after he died. I doubt if they knew, or even cared, what it was.
She also wanted to know how we bathed with no bathroom. The house was rented to us furnished. I think the only things we brought with us were dishes and kitchen utensils, clothes, and the wringer type washing machine. A wringer type washing machine required a metal washtub. My older brother and I were bathed in the washtub in the kitchen. I suppose Mother and Dad did the same. The house did have hot and cold running water so Mother would fill the tub using a big pot. I thought it was fun! I bet she didn't.
Tuesday, July 17, 2007
As I was loading the dishwasher, the white cat hit the cat door at full speed. As he raced to the dining room, I noticed he had something in his mouth. It looked like a young squirrel. I was screaming at him at the top of my lungs, so he dropped it. I chased him out the door.
It was another one of those “What to do? What to do?” moments. Mr. Fixit is at work and he won’t be home until 12:30. I asked myself, “Do you really want a dead animal in your dining room until 12:30?” No, definitely not. I got the broom, dustpan, and plastic bag. I quickly, I must stress quickly, swept up the remains, dumped it in the plastic bag and deposited the bag in the garbage can. Thank heaven tomorrow is garbage pickup day.
As I walked back into the house, the nausea hit. How do I put this delicately? I heaved my guts out. My hands are still shaking.
I always thought that man was the only animal to kill for pleasure, but there is no reason for this cat to “hunt.” He is well fed twice a day, and there is always dry food available to him to nibble throughout the day. It couldn’t be self defense. The worst a juvenile squirrel can do to him is to drop pinecones on his head. Call me a liberal, but I don’t think assault with a pinecone should be punishable by death. I realize that hunting is instinctual, but I wish he wouldn’t bring his trophies into the house.
My cat phobia may be returning.
Monday, July 16, 2007
When my dad came home from World War II, he and my mother managed a small corner grocery store in Paducah, Kentucky. My dad did the butchering, stocked the shelves, and made deliveries. My mother took care of the customers and filled the orders to be delivered.
Dad was hired by TVA when I was five, and we had to move to Eastern Tennessee near Chattanooga. They made a trip and found a very nice house with almost all the modern conveniences and beautiful hardwood floors. I remember those floors because my brother would put me on a blanket and pull me through the house. There was one unfortunate incident when he pulled me through a doorway a little too fast, and I leaned sideways a little too far, hit the door facing, cut my head, and bled like a stuck pig. That put a stop to that particular game.
The house was built by a couple next door to their own house for their son and his new wife as a wedding present, but the son was in the military and had been shipped out. They wanted to rent the house until he returned.
After we arrived at the house, the first thing we all wanted to do was to use the bathroom. To my parents’ shock there was no bathroom. Not even an outhouse. My mother hurried next door to ask about the bathroom. The landlord informed her that we would have to use the outhouse behind their house. My mother said she hadn’t thought to check to see if there was a bathroom. The first time I used it, I came back to tell my dad, “Daddy, we have a new style commode. You don’t even have to flush it!”
The next morning I was excited to learn that there was a “cow patch” across the road. I was not too thrilled with the smell though. I had very little experience with animals except for the dogs of my grandparents and a trip to the St. Louis zoo. I was a city kid.
I was due to start to school that fall. The school had three rooms, one of which was a lunchroom. It was only used once when one of the dads killed a deer and the mothers fixed a meal of venison and vegetables.
The school served 6 grades in the two rooms with two teachers teaching three grades each. There was an outhouse and our water came from a pump in front of the school. The name of the community was Sulfur Springs because of that pump and the spring that supplied the water. The water tasted like rotten eggs. We all brought our lunches and tried not to drink the water. The first day of school my mother sent me with a nice little brown bag lunch. When I came home, I told her that I didn’t want her to put my lunch in a bag anymore because all the other kids brought their sandwiches wrapped in newspaper. Everyday after that I took my sandwich wrapped in newspaper although my mother insisted on the sandwich first being wrapped in waxed paper, and I took my little collapsible metal cup for water from the pump. I learned to eat peanut butter without the benefit of a drink; I also learned that I could wait all day to use the bathroom.
Whew, this is longer than I expected. A further installment will come at a later date.