Monday, November 26, 2007


Been sitting at my dining room table this morning designing a playset to connect to the boys' fort. They call it a fort but actually it began its life in my mind as a playhouse. They poo-poo that designation. Sounds too girlie but you look at it and tell me just which name sounds more accurate. Its the picture directly above this post, dead center of the collage. At any rate, handsome husband and I were out to eat last week and he says to me over his poached salmon What are we going to get each other for Christmas? and I said Oh we're doing that this year? and he said Yeah, you know, collectively, for the house and I said Well I don't want to get anything that requires the initiation of any ongoing projects and so here's how that goes. I say how bout this and he says nahhhh, and I say how bout that and he says mmmmm nahhhhh, and I say well ok how bout the other thang and he says well uhhhh hmm nahhhhhh don't think sewwwww, and I say ok then Mr. Man what are your ideas and he says I du-nno I just thought maybe we could go sort of big ticket and get ourselves something we both want and also knock out something we've sort of been needing, but if you don't like the ideeeer. . . .

Kiss my tiara, big foot.

Y'know, they just like to turn up the volume and watch you dance. Then if you don't do the steps they like, they take away the music. But they don't ever join you on the dance floor. It ain't fair, it just ain't fair. Ain't fair.

So. I smiled sweetly, sorta like Melanie did to Ashley, and I said Welll, you know there IS one thing I have really been wanting to knock out for several years but it would - nah, it costs too much.


Nothing. And actually, we - the boys - can just wait and you can do it. It's one of those things you can do better anyway. You said you wanted to do it and we've been waiting, its on your list. Never mind.


It'd be a lot cheaper for you to do it and . . .


And that's how I got the playset for Christmas. It's been on "the list" of "things to do" for three years. The boys are going to be in high school by the time you can get to it I've been saying, as he rolls his eyes. Guess I just caught him at a weak moment. It's a gift that will pay us both back all year long. Kids come over to play with my boys all the time. I have a backyard full a couple of afternoons a week. This is an investment. What better place to invest than your children and their creative play? Besides. I'm hanging my airchair from the breezeway that's gonna connect the playset to the fort. Playhouse. Everwhat.

So as I sit here and play with designs, which elements to put on the thing, I think about the words to this song I love.

A family on my mind
I'm 45 for a moment
The sea is high
And I'm heading into a crisis
Chasing the years of my life

I don't think I'm heading into a crisis but 50 isn't a party I was begging to be invited to exactly. Not complaining, just reporting,

15 there's still time for you
Time to buy, Time to lose yourself
Within a morning star
15 I'm all right with you
15, there's never a wish better than this
When you only got 100 years to live

and I'm so looking forward to my childrens' lives, all every single minute and week and month and year of them....playgrounds and teen years. Everyone says I'll change my mind about the latter. I'd rather be here for it than not, that's my statement.

Half time goes by
Suddenly you’re wise
Another blink of an eye

Sure don't think I'm wise now but when I look backwards I was such a dummy then. Another blink and they'll be grown and then I'm looking forward to being two again. We were a couple before and we'll be a couple again but richer because. Wow so many becauses - years together, children, families, friendship, crises, memories, all that sappy stuff.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007


We went to visit my Mom and Dad this past weekend. During the course of the visit my sister and I made the executive decision to go shopping. I know you're shocked. Handsome husband, brother in law, and Daddy were attached by the posterior to the couch, by the eyeballs to the football game.

I'm leaving our children with you honey.


Seester and I are going shopping.


Our kids. They're here. Sister and I are leaving. In the car. Watch them.

Watch hu . . . who?

Y'know here are a couple of facts you may not be aware of. When a game is on, the volume on the TV is permanently set on BLAST YOUR EARDRUMS and the remote does not function.


OK, I git it. AHHHHHHHH, TOUCHDOWN!!!! Y'don't have t'yell, for cry'n ayut layoud. Young. Ayr yung. Hunh. Fpmpt. Pass it pass it pass it paaaaaaass iiiiiitt.......... I'll put'em on m'back and hobble around and pertend I'm dayid if sumbuddy points a bagel dubba barrl at me. WHOA, DIDJU SEE DAT????? Ho, me. Thatuz a goodun......


On the way home that night, we had a conversation about a new vehicle for handsome hubby. Went something like this.

Weeeeehoo, ju see thet?

What, what?

That pea cup thet just passed us?

Oh. No, I missed that. Durnit.

Well here, lemme ketch up.

Oh no no no neeeeeeewwww, that's OK!

Oh you gotta see it - it's a bagel thang. Be turble if you mist it. It's what I wonna replace this ol' peesa sh - err, this older Volvo with. (Insert nice, smarmy smile here)

But baybee. That thang's a deezel. Eeewwwwww sheeewwweeee. Ba the way, haintchu bedr git outa the lay-uft lane?

Ahsposo. Leesn. Deezel doan smayal so bad eeny mo-ahr. An I kin git a great deeel downtown 'Lanna. Listen, see? It's not even thet loud? Juhere?

Mmmmm. Good grief, I bet that thang's goin' 90 maul anar. Here. Jauntsamore a these cashoos? I'm done. Well you find out whut the innerst rate is, we'll go from thar if you find one you like, I reckon.

So we got home. Kids were asleep. Carried them upstairs, put them to bed. Next morning, they're sitting at the breakfast table eating their waffles and Dad is reading the Sunday paper. "Ewww, thur's a fly!" says Jr. Mint. "Git the floss water!"


Friday, November 09, 2007


And thank you is just something we say so often it hardly means anything anymore.

I guess by now we could call this shameless laziness, copying a previous post, but my preference is calling it a deep, important connection. A couple of years ago on Veterans Day I posted this letter. It's a letter from my Dad to his Uncles on Memorial Day. Pretty self explanatory. He copied my siblings and myself and sent it to me in a plain white #1o envelope with a little note attached in his (usual) henscratch that said something simple like that he thought I might like a copy, that this was something he felt strongly about, needed to get out, something, I don't remember now. I have it in the "treasures" box.

My Dad has a way of writing that goes right to the core, right to my core. This is one of his most powerful pieces and I only read it once a year, but on that one occasion I read it over and over and over. And over. Then I have to go wash my face, thank God for my Uncle Paul and Uncle Ralph, my Dad. Wash my face again.


Dear Paul and Ralph,

I guess I would not have started this letter had not some things come together. Mainly the publication of the book THE GREATEST GENERATION by Tom Brokaw, the observance of Memorial Day by the nation, and the need I have to tell you both that you have always been my heroes. I'm sure I culd not say that face to face without making a fool of myself. My son and I have frequently talked of the selfless, noble self-sacrifice of your generation during World War II, and have lamented the passing of that great large-hearted outlook in defense of your country. It has probably not been said as it should be said yet, but Tom Brokaw does a credible job while we are waiting for perfection.

Both my son and I are in awe of your generation. That something horrible has happened to the American heart and spirit between then and now we both know, but we do not know how to say it. The wonder for both of us is that the people of your generation are not affected by the current one. There remains the same spirit of manners, helpful cooperation, humility and the total lack of pretension as were present when you served.

Among the several blessings I realize regarding my children is that they all three got somehow the gene for analysis and the ability to see, quickly, to the core of a matter, and as a result we talk of the two of you more than you realize. I know you have seen the "media" coverage of Memorial Day and all the hype attendant on such an occasion. I doubt that all that meant much to either of you. Well, this letter is a poor attempt at bringing the hyperbole right down to the most elementary level, in an effort to persuade you, fifty four years after the fact, that, if you both had not risked getting you ass shot off a hundred, a thousand times, we would all likely be speaking Japanese or German now.

So never doubt that, in the extended family, everyone in my age range and younger, whether they say it or not, realize that we all owe you, both of you, a debt that we can never pay by simple thank yous. And it is not strange that the attempt to express what we feel chokes us up so that we feel like fools trying to get out what we feel.

We all know that you are heroes, and you will always be.


It's a common myth that in order to be called a veteran you have to've served in a war, but actually you just have to've served in the military. Clearly there are distinctions, particularly to a mother, a family, a friend, but I believe I want to say thank you to anyone who served. In the miliary. Who signed up. Wore a uniform. Learned how to be a soldier. Took the chance that while they were "in", they could be sent somewhere or called up somewhere dangerous or far away, and, well, bad things could happen. So thank you from me. Thank you. If you were here I would hug, bake, have you sit at my kitchen table and pour you a cup of coffee, offer you a beer and some nachos..... but cyberly speaking I am just so grateful for you. It's about all I can do from here.

Locally there was a Veterans Day breakfast at my childrens' school, where I had the honor of serving veterans coffee. I've never waitressed, but every year I am honored to don an apron and refresh coffee cups. It's MOST difficult to do it dry eyed because rather than seeing a cafeteria full of humans sitting at tables talking and eating, what I see is a room full of senior relatives of the children in our school, the 'people' of our kids, (that's what we call 'em in The South - yer 'people') a sea of folks who've every single one served our Country. Every. Single. One. And I get to serve them. Just coffee, but I get to serve them. It's powerful, it's humbling, and I couldn't dare say it out loud because it would sound EVER so melodramatic, and I know it must be so because every year I look around and no one else is fighting away tears but me. Well hell. Screw 'em. These folks deserve a wrenched tear or two.

Friday, November 02, 2007


This morning as I was helping the kids get their breakfast, I made the mistake of lamenting how old I felt, due largely to an untimely cortisone shot in my derriere. posterior. hipbone. my butt. Yup, my ass is grass but that's another story for another post. So Jr. Mint says Ohhhh Mom, 60 is young! Now he thinks he's bestowing a compliment because he's five and learning numbers and number relationships, so the look on his face is one of pure joy until he sees the demon in my eyes which has come out quite by accident and immediately, I might add, upon the number 60's entrance into the room. It would have come out had the number 50 joined us as well, but the point is, how come? Why did that lil demon pop right out there I mean I look like I look. I feel like I feel OOPS! BINGO! There it is.

Sometimes when my handsome husband and I have spent time discussing a subject and suddenly the answer bonks him on the head from outa nowhere and flows from his lips as if given to him on a plate, his famous statement is And there it is. Arrright maybe not famous but I always know its coming. But this time I didn't know this was coming. This birthday has been a lesson, a struggle. I didn't look forward to it, I was on the verge of tears during most of it, and now that I'm on the other side of it, I'm glad it's over. I feel pretty alone about the way I want to celebrate my birthday, fairly misunderstood. I guess that happens when you live with boys. Don't care much about material gifts of financial import, there's nothing I really want of much meaning in that respect. My body wasn't keeping up with me. I limped with my hip, a limp that of a person twice my age, someone who has had a hip replacement or a broken hip. I limped like Gramma Nell, the one who used to squeeze our cheeks and wear too much bright pink cakey powdered blush. As she walked, her head would bobble back and forth like a metronome, from high center to low left, high center, low left. It was her left hip too, just like mine. She was ninety if she was a day.

So it's just a birthday. That's the thing. There are wildfires in the west. Droughts in the south. A war in Iraq. I have friends who need prayers for family members who have real problems, my friends have real problems. My handsome husband comes home every day saying if he has to work one more millisecond he'll explode and he has too much to do and too little time to do it in and he's forty million hours behind and so stressed out and his cell phone rings every two seconds and he's a Crackberry, checking his phone email every twenty three seconds.....

I'm so lucky I'm alive on my forty eighth birthday, well, luck has nothing to do with it. God is good. But it is what it is. And a blog is where you do this. Say what you want. And so I did. Say what I wanted that is. Now what I wanna say is this: This ain't my first rodeo, an' akshully, come to think about it, if things got any better I'd have ta hire sumbuddy ta hayulp me enjoy it. So.

Time to swap spit and hit the road. I'm gone!