Monday, June 29, 2009
My tenth birthday was the best. It was 1985...my cousin, Patricia and I had a joint birthday party. She's two years younger than me and her birthday is one week after mine. I got a Cabbage Patch Doll and a life-size baby doll that could pass for an actual infant; those were the two things I wanted more than anything in the world...until the next day, when our very sick grandma died. I remember sitting at home with my dad. My mom was at the hospital. Dad and I were watching The Wizard of Oz, the phone rang, I answered it...it was my mom; even at age ten, I knew what had happened. She asked to speak to my dad, their conversation was short...Soon after he hung up the phone, Dad told me that Grandma Katherine was gone, I turned off the movie and went up to my room and cried. He brought me up some ice cream cake from the day before; I passed on the treat and told him that I just felt like crying.
Fast-forward 14 years...its 1999. My birthday week is approaching...I'm excitedly living my early twenties...mistakes have been made, lessons learned. Life is good...I'm married...the husband's career is taking off. Its late June...I have been to baseball games in Kansas City, Chicago and Baltimore (and I got Brady Anderson's autograph...twice). I love baseball and Brady Anderson! Things are great, except for one thing...my father is sick...but he's doing better...I saw him two weeks ago, he was spirited and seemed optimistic. I have spoken with my mom about every other day. Thinking back, I'm sure at this point she knew that my dad was losing his fight with Lymphoma, he was weak and had recently been given a permanent Dilaudid IV to 'be more comfortable'... The July 4th weekend was coming up (along with my birthday). I made plans to go back home to see him the week following The Fourth. My brother, who never calls me, did on the afternoon of June 30, 1999, he told me to come home. I was on a plane that evening...my dad died on The 4th of July...his Independence Day from Cancer...whenever I see or hear fireworks...I think of him and after a few tears I laugh, because although he loved The Fourth, he hated the hoopla that comes with it...oh the irony.
It is a very good thing that I am not a superstitious person or else I would have a serious complex about this year's birthday. My life has never been better. I have it all...almost...yeah...I *do* live in Iowa, which kinda sucks. If any of my loved ones drops dead next week...I will develop a birthday neurosis which will have nothing to do with getting older. *fingers crossed* Please. don't. die.
Thursday, June 18, 2009
Friday, June 12, 2009
I don't know if my father made a conscious effort to make me a tomboy...but I do recall a few suspicious occasions...like when I was in kindergarten and I wanted to be Strawberry Shortcake for Halloween...Dad bought me a Sleestak costume instead and convinced me that being a fictional prehistoric lizard was cooler than a cartoon character that smelled of Kool-aid. I came home from school crying...the Halloween party at school was brutal. That night for Trick-or-Treat, I was Apricot (the store was all out of Strawberry Shortcakes, Apricot was a 'b' character from the show...but at least I didn't have to be The Purple Pieman).
After kindergarten, my parents worked A LOT. I was a latchkey kid from the first grade on...cue the violins. I entertained myself with dolls and Barbies until I took an interest in the opposite sex. And then (as my dad would say) I went 'boy crazy'. Oh well...I didn't turn out so bad and trust me...I tried my very best not to.
Pitchas of meeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee...
Fast forward seven years...I don't have any pictures of myself from the ages 6-13 years.
Thursday, June 11, 2009
I hate clutter. I am definitely a throw-awayer…the anti-packrat. I mean let’s be reasonable…Yes, I own several pair of shoes and lots of clothes (some I've actually worn). I have a drawer full of lipsticks and glosses that I’ll probably never wear (but won’t toss out). I keep gift (and shopping) bags and of course magazines. The husband likes to keep certain things too…I can’t tell you what those things might be, because he’s either hidden them or I’ve thrown them out (just kidding, honey…mebbe).
But, I have a confession to make…I collect…elephants. I’m not really sure how it started. My sister started collecting frogs (no...not real ones) when I was a kid (don’t ask...I haven't a clue). She’s eight years older than me. I guess I wanted to emulate her in some way, well...some way other than, the usual stealing her make-up and trying on her shoes. And so…my elephant collection was born.
As a spoiled child, the collection went from modest to out of control pretty fast. Every birthday, Christmas, Hallmark holiday and trip someone would go on…I would benefit with an elephant knickknack or stuffed animal.
I’m now (almost) 34 years of age. I still have my elephants. Most of them are packed away in my basement…but I have some of the more sentimental ones surrounding me in my bedroom. Yes, I still receive them as gifts – once or twice a year...always from someone special in my life that I love very much.
And now (in no particular order)….some elephants:
Friday, June 5, 2009
Tuesday, June 2, 2009
I once searched five months for the perfect area rug for our family room. When I found this gem, another lady was checking it out, she had it lain across a table…I walked over and began rolling it up, I told her ‘you can’t have that’ as I hoisted it over to the nearest sales clerk. The other potential buyer looked at me like I was nuts. She has no idea.
To debut my new, perfect area rug I had a small dinner party. We shared wine and stories until around ten. I was exhausted as the night winded down. I bid my guests adieu, picked up the remaining dishes, put them in the dishwasher and switched it on. I told the husband he really didn’t *need* to finish the bottle of wine he was working on as I dragged myself up to our bedroom. I washed my face, crawled out of my clothes and in to bed. He came to bed sometime later, I didn’t notice when.
The next morning I got up, went downstairs to a whining Fergie. It was a sunny morning and he wanted the family room’s blinds open so that he could sit in the sunshine…I took one step on my precious, new, perfect rug…it was wet. I looked at Fergie, thinking bad thoughts about the naughtiness that he had done on my sought out floor art. Then I noticed it; the purplish-red hue of Cabernet. Fergie doesn’t drink Cabernet; he’s a Chihuahua…that would be silly. The husband does and did the night before…arghhhhh! I had a little fit, there were tears, expletives, a reminder of how long and hard I had searched for the perfect rug for our home and how he had ruined it. He looked at me, like I was nuts…he has some idea.
To his credit, he had tried to clean it up. He used Get Serious doggie mistake cleaner and a stiff bristled carpet brush *weeping*. Did I mention this particular area rug is a vintage piece made from silk…yeah…I know, details, details. Anyhow…he took it to a local restoration place and a month later I got it back…good as…well you get it.
A year later, the rug still lies in our family room. My husband likes to remind me...remember that time you went apeshit over that rug? Ha...ha...hilarious...grrrr. In addition to red wine…nacho dip, salsa and various flavors of soup and beverage have seasoned the silk fibers. Club soda with a touch of lemon usually does the trick…the search for patience is still ongoing…I don’t think you can buy it…unless o’course you’re a Scientologist.