Archive for May, 2015

Some Of My Grandmother’s Memories (Part Five)

May 29, 2015

“I had heard of a typewriter, but never seen one.  I made me one with some short planks like I thought they might look like.  I put them up on some rocks or something Papa had fixed for something.  It was about waist high to me.  I found a box to set on and I just typed up a storm pretending I was writing stories.  I would write them on paper and then tear them up.   I was afraid Mama would get hold of them.  I didn’t want her or anyone else to read them.  I don’t know why.  I guess I was afraid they would laugh at me.  My dream then was to be a writer and an artist.

It was years before I saw a typewriter.  When I finished high school, they didn’t have typing then at school, and for some reason after all those years, I still want a typewriter.  Now when I can get one, I don’t know if I could use it with this arthritis in my hands.  I guess when you have a dream as a kid, you want to hold on to it.”

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Some Of My Grandmother’s Memories (Part Four)

May 28, 2015

“Mama and Papa decided to move to Oklahoma.  It seemed to be his idea, but I guess she wanted to move too.”

“On or way there, we camped out two nights.  The first night, we camped close to a creek.  Mama cooked our supper on a campfire.  She fried potatoes and flap jacks, called pancakes now.  We had butter, molasses and other things they brought.  It sure tasted good after we had rode in a wagon all day.  When you ride in a wagon, it seems like you will never get to where you are going.

The second night, we camped over the line in Oklahoma.  It was dark.  We hadn’t gone to bed.  We still had a campfire going.  Here was s a terrible noise in the woods coming toward us.  I saw a light.  They said, “Oh, it’s a train”.  I had heard them talk about trains, but they didn’t tell me that they ran on tracks.  So I tore out running.  I thought I had to get away from it.  Papa caught me and took me back to the wagon.”

Some Of My Grandmother’s Memories (Part Three)

May 27, 2015

“Little girls wore white dresses, white long stockings and black patent leather slippers with a button strap.  How I hated them slippers.  They were hot and hurt my feet.  In the summer, I had stone bruises on my feet from going bare footed and stumping my feet on rocks.  I don’t remember having but one stone bruise at a time.  That was enough.”

“People took quilts to make pallets between the seats on the floor [of the church] for kids to lay on if they got sleepy.  I have lay on a pallet a lot of time pretending I was asleep while I rubbed a stone bruise, thinking church would never end.  They preached long sermons then.  All the shouting and singing took up a lot of time.”

Some Of My Grandmother’s Memories (Part Two)

May 26, 2015

“It wasn’t so far down there [to the church], but it took a while to walk it.  We walked about half way and stopped off at a neighbors house to walk on with them.  They had a bunch of kids.  I don’t remember how many.

They set out a bunch of glasses.  They put whiskey, water, and sugar in each glass.  They called it a hot toddy.  It was supposed to keep them warm while they walked in the night air.  They drank it, kids and all.  I didn’t drink mine.  I didn’t like the taste of it.

We went on to church.  Papa carried the baby.  She was too little to walk.  I have wondered since then how many people at church had whiskey breath.”

Some Of My Grandmother’s Memories (Part One)

May 25, 2015

Last week I did a lot of household reorganization, and in the process I unearthed some memories my grandmother set to paper before she died, so I thought it’d be nice if I spent this week sharing a few of those memories here.

Note:  Like my mother who originally typed these pages up for me, I’m choosing to not make any editorial corrections to grammar, spelling, etc.  Sadly, my grandmother wasn’t at her best when she wrote these pages, but this is the way she wrote them, and I feel it’s important to preserve that save for when I feel some spacing is required for ease of reading.  Under better circumstances, her writing was far more crisp.

“Papa took me with him to the field, maybe to give Mama a break.  I imagined I was pretty much of a stinker.

He sowed wheat to thrash and grind into flour for bread for the winter.  I guess he let me throw down some seed.  I thought I helped.

Some man came by.  I told him that we were going to raise some biscuits.”

This Never Ceases To Amaze Me, But It’s True

May 22, 2015

Writing is the only profession where no one considers you ridiculous if you earn no money.

Jules Renard

Status Check . . . Failed

May 21, 2015

After a tiring Tuesday with my son, and a Wednesday with him that went beyond wearying into full-bore exhausting, I’m starting to wonder about the effects of this week on my sanity.  On one hand, I’ve always believed that so long as you’re still concerned about your sanity, you’re probably okay, but on the other hand, I’m pretty sure it’s a bad sign when you start getting defensive about your sanity because your dog looked at you funny . . .

Today’s Alarming Lesson

May 20, 2015

This morning, son, we both got the opportunity to learn something important.  I learned that when I’m awoken by an unfamiliar sounding alarm combined with the sound of you screaming, I can move calmly but swiftly toward your room as I prepare myself to do whatever is necessary to get you out of the situation . . . the worst case situation in this case being fire.  (I recently replaced all the smoke detectors in the house, so when I heard the alarm, my first sleep-addled thoughts naturally led me there.)

Fortunately, all that was actually required of me (this time) was to turn off your ridiculously harsh sounding alarm clock that neither of us knew had been turned on.

In the process I learned that I am indeed capable of keeping my head in that kind of situation (one never really knows that sort of thing until it happens), which is nice to have confirmed, and, hopefully, you learned there’s a reason I keep telling you to stop pressing buttons at random, even harmless buttons like the ones on your clock, particularly when you don’t know what will happen . . .

No Further Story Work For Me This Week So I Can Better Listen To My Son’s Voice

May 19, 2015

No, it’s not a very good story – its author was too busy listening to other voices to listen as closely as he should have to the one coming from inside.

Stephen King

Because Just Friends Respect Your Feelings And Don’t Try To Use Them To Their Advantage

May 18, 2015

Sooner or later, son, you’re going to have to deal with a “just friends” situation.  Maybe you’ll be the one starting to say it, or maybe someone will say it to you, but either way it’s unlikely you’ll never have to face those words, and I have some advice for both eventualities.

My advice to you if you realize you are starting to say something like “just friends” is STOP!  I mean it, just stop and say what you actually mean instead.  The phrase “just friends” comes with a slew of baggage for most people, and you’re better off avoiding those words if you can.  If you mean, for instance, “just coffee” or “just dinner” then say thatIf you have to clarify further beyond that, then by all means do so, kindly if you can, but always clearly and, if necessary, firmly.  If you want to preserve an actual friendship out of this situation, bluntly, the odds don’t favor it, but the slightest ambiguity, however unintentional, moves those odds from unfavorable to next to nil.

For what it’s worth, I’m sorry.

Of course, nobody is ever likely to be that clear with you in return, so you’ll have to learn to interpret that typically “just friends” translates to “no sex,” and while that may not be welcome news, it’s important to accept it graciously.  Easier said than done, I know, but that doesn’t make it any less important.  If someone wants to be “just friends,” that can be not just a good thing, but a great thing, and if you think about it, you’ll realize that you have lots of friends that you don’t have sex with (That’s true for me, at least), so while it’s understandable to feel the sting of disappointment when you hear those words, it’s not really that big a deal.  It’s good to have people in your life who are “just friends.”

Just watch out for the ones who use that phrase so they can be UNjust friends.