Posts filed under ‘Life’
Today my third oldest daughter graduated with her masters degree from the University of Phoenix. Because the college has branches all over the place, she chose to walk in Baton Rouge, just one hour from my sister’s house. How sweet is that, to have her big day far from her classmates so that I could spend time with my sister? I have great kids. It was a crazy day, 850 graduates each of which had about 5 family members in attendance. It took forever to get through everyone, but Pap and I sure are proud of her.
Since my last post Baby Preslie has begun to eat, but still weighs only 12 pounds at 6 months old. She’s the cutest little Tinker Belle baby, big blue eyes, a pair of dimples. The doctor is not worried about her lack of progress in the outward development stage. She can roll from her back to her stomach and that is it. Apparently, all her energy is dedicated to developing that digest system, lungs and other internal organs. I don’t wish premature babies on anyone. But as regards Pres…all is well. She’s growing and thriving, just slowly.
Pap had a minor heart attack on Easter Sunday brought about because of a blocked artery. He had new stints put in and is back in physical therapy. That caused some havoc around the old homestead, so I still don’t have my business plan finished so I can go to the bank. Grrr…I’m not mad at him, but sheesh, I’d just like to catch a break once in a while. I’m sure he would too.
Rehearsals for the “spring” play are now rehearsals for the “summer” play, because in addition to Pap’s set back (he plays Grover in this production) we lost our director, Alice. Alice is one of those people that make the world a better place. She is lovely, kind and has the greatest sense of humor. Right now she has both a tumor and a lesion on her liver. We’re so worried about her. While she waits for test results and some kind of news on what the doctors are planning to do about this illness, she gets weaker and weaker. Pray for her please.
Everything I know about life I learned from fairy tales. Not the Disney versions mind you, the originals from the Brothers Grimm. Not a whole lot of happy endings there especially if magic was sought or employed to resolve a problem. I think that’s my problem with this current trend to make heroes out of mythical beings. Honorable vampires? Puleeesse. Ghosts, witches, goblins saving the day? As if. Even the Harry Potter series, which was a wickedly fun read, got it wrong. What I learned from the original fairy tales and have found to be true over a half century of life is that bad things happen to good people and magic, aka “the easy way”, comes with a price.
The man that can help you marry a prince really will get your first born child in payment. If you want everything you touch to turn to gold…you cannot touch the ones you love. The wolf really does eat Little Red because she was too stupid to notice the smell if not the big nose and teeth and run away. The Grimm Brothers gave us haunting stories that would spring to mind when faced with a life quandry. Stories that illustrated the value of hard work and an honorable existence, if only between the lines.
While I won’t say 2010 was the worst year of my life (that honor goes to 1995), this year has sucked enough to nearly take over the title.
My husband, Pap, spent half the year in the hospital, lost a toe, and went sufficiently crazy to leave our marriage as strained and stretched as it’s ever been. My youngest daughter got married, pregnant, toxic and had a baby with colic and acid reflux. She screamed in High C for the first four months of her life. These events combined with my inability to get a job managed to drain our savings. So here we were living paycheck to paycheck when Pap totaled our car (you must look both ways before entering an intersection). That’s when he told me he hadn’t paid for the car insurance. Alrighty then, fast forward through the fines, tickets, and increased insurance premiums to the lawsuit by the driver’s insurance company. His hospital bills are costing us more than the car we had to pay for.
But it just gets better! Pap didn’t pay attention to the mail after his court appearance, his license was suspended and then he got a speeding ticket. The fun just never stops around here. We’re struggling to pay rent and utilities, daughter is struggling with credit cards and babysitting. They have a big house, sounds like a good idea to join forces, right? Well….it’s seventy degrees outside when we make this decision, snowing and below zero a few days later when we actually move. The men pile everything into the garage helter skelter because of the weather, two weeks before Christmas. I couldn’t find a change of clothes for days.
We survived all this, made it through Christmas and I was really beginning to think we’d slide out of 2010 with no further damage. I miss all my extracurriculars and being able to see my friends on a daily drop in basis , but all in all, the move was a good thing. That’s what I get for thinking….today, one of my daughter’s friends called frantic for a babysitter. In the process of bringing the toys, the food, the clothes, and the baby into the house, my dog ran for the hills. He’s never been gone this long. So right now, 2010 has made a clean sweep: my house, my lifestyle, and my dog. Pfffttt on this year, good riddance.
I don’t know why, but the thought of those old time capsules we used to make in grade school popped into my head this morning. Did you do that when you were a kid? Some kind of box or cylinder, everyone would put something in it that they felt best represented the times we were in, and then somebody buried it with instructions to dig it up sometime in the far future. When I was back there sticking my Bobby Sherman poster in the cylinder, we imagined 2009 would look like what we saw on the Jetsons. I’m really bummed that I don’t have a Rosie cleaning this place up and cooking for me so I can go about my business.
I don’t remember when I started keeping lists, but I suspect the first one was made with stick figures in crayon. Without a list, I tend to just wander through my day piddling at this and putzing around with that. So I have lists, calendars, day planners and random notes of things I might have done that weren’t already on the list. Now what, you may be saying, does any of this have to do with the first paragraph of this post talking about time capsules? I can’t throw any of these lists away.
Eventually I’m going to die of old age, which means there may be boxes of these weird lists and notes among the serious paperwork everyone leaves behind, especially if they’re a writer. I’m trying to imagine what future generations will make of this mess. For instance, last week’s list includes various things I needed to do at home, for the paper, for my writing group, the arts council, and the theater. Scribbled all around are notes like “make octopus”, “work on Living Live!”, “jungian plot—what does that mean???”, “check dog’s poop”…. it makes perfect sense today, but I’m not sure even I will know what that means a few years from now.
When Pap and I took custody of the oldest two grandgirls over a year ago, removing them from the nightmare our oldest daughter had created through alcohol, drugs and men who treat her like a punching bag…I commented to him that I was concerned that the girls were not exhibiting the anger, fear, frustration, or angst I thought they should considering what they’d been through. They settled into my house with very little problem. They laughed and giggled all the time, had good grades at school and really enjoyed their visits with their mother as she got her life back on track. When Children’s Services cleared my daughter’s case and the girls moved back in with her, they were excited to reunite their family. Happy to be back with Mom. Most of the family thought we’d dodged a bullet…call me pessimistic, but I knew the gavel would eventually fall. Nobody goes through what they did without getting totally and royally pissed.
My daughter is finding out that nobody exists in a vacuum. Everything we do or say affects somebody else and results in repercussions. If you’re sending out good – that’s what bounces back. If not – you get the ten year old daughter from Hell. Now that the pressure is off and life at her house looks like it did at my house, Jazz is thoroughly and completely furious at her mother. From screaming tantrums to name calling to open rebellion on chores and curfews…she’s giving it back. But the worst part of this ugly scenario, is Jazz doesn’t know why she’s angry, she’s just mad all the time and usually out of proportion to the situation at hand. What’s saddest to me is seeing the light seeping out of this child that occupies such a piece of my heart. Counseling is forthcoming, and my hope is that the psychiatrist is successful, because too many of these pictures keep showing up on my camera.
Now that we’re settled into our new little jewel box of a home, a few truths have emerged:
- It grows larger any time you have to mop the floor.
- One thing out of place makes the entire house look trashed.
- Spiders that invade a small house are just as big as spiders that invade a large house.
After two days of breaking my back trying to get the garden in shape at this new house, I was very happy to see rain on Saturday. This town was built on clay, you might think you have top soil, but it’s no more substantial than foundation and blush on a ladies face. I had forgotten this fact after working on the gardens of my old house for 15 years. Luckily, we had this early great weather, I’m nowhere near planting anything.
Progress on my new book continues with the exception of my main character’s sidekick who has gone totally rogue. I keep telling him I’m going to write him out and replace him with a girl if he doesn’t knock it off, but he’s not listening. Lest you think I’ve gone totally insane, remember the story acts itself out in my head and I just record the action. Despite this technique, I do have a plan and a rough outline for where I want the story to go…then something like this happens. Punkin’ headed supporting character keeps pushing his way to the forefront.
The sun is shining and I have a new flower bed filled with dandelions. Back on Monday!