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Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Thoughts on Parenting

 I have been meeting with some ladies I went to high school with and planning for our reunion this Fall. Well, last night I walked into the room and stepped back in time. All the smart girls were already there and prepared with their lap tops, I Pads and Smart (ass) phones. I had to barrow a pen. Some things never change.
As we talked one of the ladies handed out a list of names and addresses of our classmates. She said the ones highlighted in orange were deceased, blue were in prison. We talked about high school while looking through old year books and I thought, well, at least I'm not in prison.
 I have fond memories of the time, but I pretty much hated everything about school. It's my fault, I know. I never put much effort in to anything and I made some bad choices. Every club I joined, elected me president for the following school year. And every school year, I dropped that club and moved on to something else. I never had the financial or parental support to compete at anything. My folks did the best they could, but in those days "parenting " was not yet a verb. Had it been, the definition would have read, to provide food, comfort, and shelter to ones offspring.
I'm as guilty as the rest of my generation, of parenting gone wild. It didn't start out that way. Sure, I stayed home with my little ones, taught them manners, read to them and tried to shelter them from the completely unparented  neighborhood kids. I fed them wholesome healthy organic food from my garden and limited sugary snacks. After testing and measuring all her students, a P E teacher at their elementary school, told me my children had dangerously low BMI numbers and needed to eat some fat. Soon afterward, I started back to work and we began a steady diet of Hamburger Helper. That pretty much took care of that little problem.
 But, my point is, this would never have happened to my parents. For one thing, my mom picked wholesome healthy organic food from her garden, rolled it in corn meal and fried it in her big black skillet. So I was getting plenty of fat. Also, had a P E teacher thought to speak to my parents about what they were feeding us, or any other problem she might have with our upbringing, after stepping over dogs, children and toys, she would have backed down with one look from my mother.


Sunday, August 28, 2011

Good Night Irene

  This weekend I couldn't make myself stop watching the hurricane coverage. I had other things to do, but I just couldn't concentrate. Right now I'm thinking maybe I should check to see if there is something on the news about the aftermath. I prayed for Katy in Virginia, and I prayed for Callie and Rich as Irene passed over Puerto Rico. However, I was secretly glad it was never downgraded to a tropical storm. Don't be angry with me. Your stories will be much more interesting now,than if you had to say "we were almost in a hurricane".
  What evil lurks, making me see such mayhem as pure entertainment? I believe it's the same thing that makes me love that drummer for Foo Fighters or when the dugouts empty and a brawl ensues. Power and human emotion.
 I don't want to see anyone get hurt. I don't care for violent movies and I hate reality TV, especially when it involves drunk girls slapping and calling each other the B word. I'm really not into human suffering, but the awesomeness of nature is ....well, awesome. To see so much power in the ocean and wind is just overwhelming. It's like God says, "Remember me? I'm still here."

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

School Days

 When I was a child, kindergarten was not a requirement. It was just for rich kids, and there weren't any in my neighborhood. There was no pre-k or head start program or Mother's Day Out. We stayed home with our mothers until we turned 6 years old, at which time we started first grade at Seth Ward Elementary.
Seth Ward school was a beautiful old red brick one story structure, that only held first through third grade. The principal, Miss Windwehein, was also the third grade teacher and she taught me, as well as my seven older siblings. Needless to say, she became well acquainted with my parents. Miss Windwehein liked some of my brothers well enough, she "red shirted" them and kept them an extra year.
 I remember thinking she must be a hundred years old, but when she died, at the age of 91, I did the math and realized when I was in her class, she was only 57. Even though I was a little afraid of her, I know she was a good teacher. She had no quotas to meet or politicians to please. Her only concern was teaching children.
 I also recall, all three teachers had an American flag in their classroom, but Miss Windwehein's had only 48 stars. She didn't see any reason to waste money on a new one just because Alaska and Hawaii had joined the Union.
The windows of my first grade classroom looked out on the playground, with it's 8 foot slide, tall swings and two jagged metal merry- go- rounds. Those things, along with the splintering wooden seats of the seesaws, would be considered a death trap by today's overly cautious parents.
 I watched the leaves swirl and fall on that playground in the Autumn of my first school year. I saw the windows plastered with black cats and jack-o-lanterns, only to be replaced by turkeys and Pilgrims. I was sitting by that window when my teacher tearfully announced our president had been shot and killed.
 I watched as the sky grew dark and heavy with the Spring storms rolling in. When I think of these things now, I can still hear the hollow clanging of the flag pole and Old Glory flapping in  the wind.
They tore the old school down while no one was looking. I went by there one day and it was gone. I imagined myself chained to the doors in protest, but it was too late.The red brick school house was just a memory now.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

For Melissa, Leanne & Callie

 Last night I went to a wedding. My brother, Danny, who was widowed two years ago, got married. We had a great time, and to think, I considered not going. It was a four hour drive and I was feeling a little tired, but I'm so glad I went. This family has gotten together for far too many funerals, it was time to celebrate something new.
 I always enjoy being with Danny's family, and I see them so rarely. Plus, I got to see some cousins and a favorite aunt. This was one of those gatherings, where if you stand still long enough, someone will hand you a baby. And what precious babies they were. It was so sweet to see sisters taking care of each others children, passing bottles and sippie cups over ornate dinner tables. And fathers correcting little boys for doing what little boys do, while little girls in long dresses and bare feet danced around with roses in their hands. I hope God gave their grandmothers a glimpse from heaven of those children on the dance floor doing the chicken dance.
 I know, for some, it was hard to see Danny moving on. When Lauren died, I was hurt just hearing the university had gotten a new twirler. How could life go on without her?  But it does go on. And we might as well be happy, because there are babies being born and children laughing and I don't want to miss it.

Monday, August 8, 2011

More Current Events

   That loud crashing noise you hear may be the Dow dropping or my nerves shattering and Jon's heart breaking. It's just Monday, but it doesn't look like a good news week, so far. Jon said he considered the Tea Party, but he doesn't have a tea pot to p---s in. He's so crude.
   Of all the weirdness in the world the news story that struck me as the strangest is, the three siblings on a crime spree, robbing banks and such. Have you ever known three brothers and sisters who could get along, long enough to rob a bank?  I tried to imagine my own kids doing this and this is how it went.
 Eric: " If we were XMEN we could just walk through these walls to the vault"
 Sarah: "This is not a Graphic Novel, so let's try to stick to reality. We can't walk through walls or teleport through the universe."
  Eric: "Actually, they have perfected teleporting , but the government doesn't want us to know about it"
  Lauren: "Shut up. If you guys screw this up, I'm not going back to jail. I've still got that Pink Buffalo conviction hanging over my head."
  Sarah: "These mask are stupid. I don't want to be Barbie! Why should I be Barbie?"
  Lauren: "Shut up, Barbie. Put your lipstick on and you'll feel better."
  Eric: "Actually, that's true. The government puts Valium in lipstick because all women over 25 are crazy."
   Lauren: " Shut up and put your tights on Spiderman."
 Of course, I am making all this up. My children could never have gotten this far in a plan before someone (Sarah) tattled.  We always called her the Informant.





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A wife, mother, and spoiler of small dogs, I grew up in a small West Texas town, with my eyes full of sand, and my heart full of joy.


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