Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Christmas Woes

Well another Christmas Day has come and gone. I spent mine alone for the most part as hubby had to work his normal 12 hour shift and the only son left at home worked 12 hours last night and spent his holiday sleeping. I am sick - whether flu or a severe sinus infection I don’t know yet. I already have an appointment for Wednesday so I will wait till then to find out. My nose is draining down my throat making me cough, my ears are hurting and ringing and my balance is iffy at best. I feel like crap. Spent most of the day on the couch wrapped in a blanket and shivering. All in all, not a very good holiday to be sure.
Lana is better I think. Yesterday I made stew from the turkey remains and took her a pint. She called and told me she ate it all. Today she called and asked if I had any more. My reply was yes, but I wasn’t bringing it - if she wanted it, she’d have to come get it - which she did. She has apologized profusely about being the cause of us missing our Christmas Eve ritual. I keep telling her it’s not about the day of the month we meet, it’s about the love and caring when we finally get together that matters. Folks can’t help getting sick after all.
I was reading Tina’s blog about her Christmas morning aftermath and have to say that I have noticed that since my children are grown, I miss the hustle and bustle of preparing for big morning when the kids find what Santa left under the tree. I miss the chaos, the laughter and excited squeals as they locate gift after gift they had asked for. It isn’t the same when the kids are grown. The excitement level is less, the anticipation is gone. Grandkids help some, but it is definitely different than your own children.
Merry Christmas and Happy 52 Anniversary Mom and Dad, where ever you are. We love you and miss you today and every day.

Friday, December 22, 2006

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Christmas Gifts

Throughout a lifetime, children receive many gifts from their parents. Many are expensive and much desired; others are simply to fulfill a need. Probably the greatest gifts parents can bestow upon a child are those that cost nothing, that come without strenuous physical exertion or soul-searching thought. These unconscious gifts affect children for a lifetime, they shape characters forever and are free for the taking.

1. Responsibility - Our parents taught us that we were responsible for our own actions; that any action of ours could and would affect others. We were taught to use care when making promises and to be sure we delivered as best as we could when possibly.

2. Patience - Patience was a hard learned lesson for most of my family, but when there are five children it was surely a needed attribute. We learned to take turns through necessity; our Mom only had two hands and could only do so much for so many. If you waited, you would always get your turn.

3. Sharing - Five girls born into a seven year time span meant sharing was essential for the survival of our family. Whatever one had, we all had - be it cookies or paper dolls. If you weren’t willing to share, you got none.
Vicki 11-1955
Donna 1-1958
Teresa 10-1959
Tina 6-1961
Lana 6-1962

4. Time - Mom and Dad spent time with us - Mom everyday as we grew from infant to young adult - playing games, working about the house or in the garden or chicken house.Whatever we did, Mom was usually with us until we reached an age where we thought we didn’t ‘need’ her. Dad was different - he worked all hours trying to provide for us - but during his off time, he took us hunting, played his old Bluegrass albums blaring loudly as he danced and made corny jokes. He taught us to drive a tractor and mend fences, to check our oil and change a flat tire. Life is far too hectic today; parents can’t spend time with their children as I had growing up. And it is by far the parent’s loss.

5. Honesty - My parents in all likelihood valued honesty higher than any other quality in their children. It was a requirement, not an option - no negotiating, no small white lies - they were ALL black as sin. One of Mom’s favorite sayings was “Tell a lie and you have to tell more and more to cover the 1st and pretty soon, you will trip over that pile of lies and fall down.” I could never lie to my Mom - even as I got older. She knew …….. I KNEW she knew, so it was best I didn’t even go there.

6. Humility - We were all taught to be humble, that we shouldn’t consider ourselves any better than any other person in this world. But we were also taught that no one was better than us.

7. Gratitude - My sisters and I were taught to be grateful for the gifts in our lives, whether it came from God or from our Grandmother. Always accept a gift, express thanks and then smile and walk away. Whether you threw it in the trash when you got home or displayed it with pride was a matter only you should know.

8. Faith - Now here most would expect religion to be mentioned …. but faith, to me anyway, isn’t always about God, the Bible, Heaven, etc. Faith is the expectation that all will come aright after a while, that all the ills of life will pass away and we will survive and overcome whatever obstacles we meet upon the road. We were taught to greet each day with optimism and expectation; that no matter how many times we fall, eventually we can pick ourselves up and move on. That is where we are with the loss of our parents, I believe, dusting ourselves off, bandaging our skinned knees and preparing to move forward - with a bit of luck together.

9. Respect - We were taught at an early age that showing respect to our parents or any other elder around us was a common courtesy. It was expected, ingrained in us from birth and with few exceptions, we all still do it to this day. Self-respect was another quality we were taught.

10. Hope - When all seems wrong in the world, hope always seems a beacon in the distance - my Dad lived that every day of his life. He planted seeds in the garden with the hope that it would mature into a beautiful plant that flourished and bore fruit as he plowed and hoed and tended it throughout it’s lifetime - much the same way he raised us from infants to adulthood. Without hope, what does anyone have?

11. Courage - Our parents taught us that no matter the challenge we faced, with determination and strength we could move mountains. Dad said if you never tried something new, you would never know if you could succeed. They gave us the darling to allow ourselves to take wing and soar through life.

12. Love - Probably the greatest gifts our parents gave us is the gift of love. They taught us that love was unconditional; that when freely given the rewards were great. That love isn’t always expressed with words or gifts, sometimes it’s just there in the background keeping us supported and cared for when all else is wrong in our worlds. I still fell my parent’s love, it surrounds me and my sisters and our families every day. Our parents weren’t demonstrative and mushy, but they loved us no matter what.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Meet My Son the Fireman

Meet my son Duane, (top of ladder) who by day is a Foreman in a mobile home plant and by night is a volunteer fireman. Isn't he cute in his lil outfit? I cringe when I hear his Station called out to a fire until I know he is back home. He is 31 years old but still my baby. I am so proud of him I could pop.

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Lament of a Murder

I am a vile murderer - one of the lowest of the low - belly crawling my way through the sewer systems located in the bowels of life! Does it make you any less a murder if the heinous crime is committed in the performance of normal - seemingly innocuous activities? I think not.

My son, Josh, age 24 and the only child left at home was given a pot-bellied pig. What can a Mom do but say HELL NO it isn’t staying in my house. Pigs are farm animals and belong in a pen outside a barn.
Especially pigs who grow to humongous size and will have feet larger than mine. But this pig was 10 weeks old yall - teeny tiny and cute as a button, all black and white with funky little pink toenails - and it IS winter and he is delicate (said my Son as he looked at me with sad puppy dog eyes). So I did what any Mom worth her name does - I said ok, but you have to take care of it. Right!

He did care for it - semi anyway. When it got to stinking enough to cause a funk that I could smell sitting on the couch - if I raised enough Hell and reminded him obsessively - he would clean it’s pet carrier cage. He fed it, bathed it, changed his litter and all was well. If I heard an occasional snort or squeal, well, I did my best to ignore it - all the time thinking in the back of my brain that as soon as the spring thaw came that thing was out of here. Now pigs, as it happens, have no mechanism in their brain to tell them when their belly is full - therefore earning the name Pig I suppose. At any rate, this 5 pound hunk of ham would eat as long as you fed it. As a consequence of that little glimmer of information, Josh had this critter on a diet. I scoop of cat food twice a day along with water. I liked the little thing, truly I did. It was cute, although I never did develop a sense of delight for the smell of pig piss.

Yesterday Josh had to work his normal 6 PM to 6 AM shift as a security guard. He was running late and, per usual, asked me to feed the pig his supper. I got busy - dragged all the Christmas paraphernalia I had inherited from my Mom home, divided it up between myself and my children. I put up a tree, spent an hour replacing light bulbs in numerous strings of defective lights and placed on said tree. I hauled piles of dirty clothes from the bathroom floor - left there - you guessed - by the grown son mentioned above. The pig's sniffling and snorting because it thought I was bringing it’s nightly ration of food. I decided to vacuum the living room floor - it was covered in pieces of garland, broken bulbs, and leaves carried in on our feet while dragging the debris of Christmas home.

Here I am, industriously sucking trash from the floor, shoving heavy furniture around and dusting as I went along. I am thinking - ok Donna - might as well do the hall while I was at it. Now the hall light was off, but the light on the vacuum lit up my path as I whizzed along like a red caped Hannah Homemaker fighting the never ending dirt and dust generated by normal life. Now back to the pig - as many of you know - pigs root ……… errrr dig with their snouts into anything that strikes their fancy - food included. As a result, Razor (that was his name) had strewn food all over the floor in his quest to be glutinous. In an attempt to do a quick once over - dumb Donna (that’s me) vacuumed right up to his cage and even smacked the cage with the vacuum a few times to push it back to get all the food on the floor.

After a well deserved rest, about 3 AM I decided to get a shower and some rest - AFTER I fed and watered the pig. Getting the required cup of food, I went down the hall and opened the door to empty the cup so I could get water and be done. The pig didn’t rush to the door in eager
anticipation for dinner as he usually did. I thought what the HELL? Then I said ok, he’s sleeping so I shook the cage. Nothing. Not a sound. No movement, no snorts, nada. I ran and got a flashlight and dropped to my knees and shown it inside. In the back of the cage lay a mound of what was once a living, breathing pig. I had killed the thing!

I think I scared it to death. I swear I didn’t know pigs were afraid of vacuum cleaners! But that HAD to be it! He was fine minutes before I assaulted his cage and hearing with a Hoover. I should go to jail - should roast on a spit instead of the fattest pig known to man! And dammit I TOLD Josh we shoulda named that damn pig Bacon!

Friday, December 08, 2006

Christmas past

Once again the holiday season is upon us. I for one, have yet to break out the tree, much less begin to decorate with any of the enthusiasm I used to feel. I am unsure whether it’s the sadness of the missing my parents or just laziness in general. Whatever the cause, I have got to get into the spirit for my children and Grandchildren.

Tonight my sisters and I spent several hours dividing the fabrics, ribbons and ornaments of our Christmas pasts. Fifty years worth of glass balls (glitter and writing rubbed off from years of use), a zillion strings of lights, bulbs missing here and there and tangled into a mass of green cords. Glitzy garland, silver, gold and ratty stuffed into hand mixer boxes Mom had saved thru the years - stuff that should have been thrown away a century ago. There were soft ornaments and little wooden trucks and trains Mom used when my oldest and Vicki’s oldest were first starting to toddle around; green covered garlands and wreaths bent into pretzel shapes, near unrecognizable in their present forms.

Outdoor figures of Santa, angels & candy canes, a thousand Nutcrackers of every shape, color and form. Crocheted snowflakes, made my Mom, stiffened with Elmer’s Glue and water. All were divided among us 5 girls, equally, handpicked by each of us one item at a time. Every one is a treasure to be cherished, brought out each year to remind us of those gone from our lives but not our hearts. We love you Mom & Dad. Know that for this year and every year after, you will both be at every holiday celebration in our memories and thoughts. I love and miss you both.

Saturday, December 02, 2006

Pictures for Vicki

Here we go .... I was lucky enough to scan and save many of the pictures Mom and Dad had before they all got distributed amongst us. I also have several from a few generous Aunts.


They won't upload Sis. I'll email em to you, lol