The British Are Coming!
Sunday August 05th 2012, 4:36 am
Filed under: General

I work retail alongside  a soft-spoken kind woman who provoked the following incident by asking someone if she could help her to find anything:

Customer wearing a large polka-dot hat –  “Where are you from?”

Co-worker – “England”

Customer, firmly –  “We do not like the British.”

Co-worker – “Why not?”

Customer – “I don’t know.  Just don’t.  How long have you been here?”

Co-worker – “Thirty years.”

Customer – “Well, at least you’ve mostly lost your accent.”

Of all the ignorant bigotry to cling to, working up a seething hatred for the British seems almost quaint.  I mean, as much as we may dislike those tea drinking biscuit eaters, we can’t do any real damage to them by wearing silly hats and making proclamations about them.

But, the day we get to vote on their marriages or eat chicken to spite them, that’ll be a proud day for America.

Or, not.  Yeah, probably not so much.


Sunday December 04th 2011, 8:19 am
Filed under: General

An old snapshot shows my grandfather standing over an Easter egg.  He has gently placed his foot on it.  It is there for me to “find”.  I had been running around wildly – never stopping to really look.
This is what I remember most about Papaw. He was a compass in my life and a constant.  He was the north star.

He started working when he was ten years old, delivering coal.   A little later he began “hoboing”.  The details on that are fuzzy, but I always used to think  about Papaw when I heard, “King of the Road”.  It used to fascinate me, imagining him as a rogue of sorts.  But, the more I hear about it, the more I think he used trains as a way to eke out a living, not as a way to have a carefree existence.

He never had that.

So few of us do, for that matter. But, if we’re lucky, the day to day struggles to keep afloat are met with a hug at the door when we get home.

He did have those.

He and my grandmother showed me what love is.  It isn’t about saying, “I love you.”   Love is an action word.  Day in and day out, putting people you love first.
Papaw rarely said he loved us, but if you were a member of that family and you didn’t just know it, you weren’t paying attention.
My grandmother would literally have given us the shirt off her back. If we complimented something she owned, she would offer it to us.  They gave us their hearts and souls to a degree that was concerning to me.

How does a person find happiness in such selflessness?   I didn’t exactly view it with contempt, yet I didn’t really get it.  I wasn’t a mother at that point.   Of course, the piece of my life that was for me got smaller when my daughter was born, and then I got it, and I got how it was okay.

No life spent with that much love in it is a wasted life.

As hectic as their lives were at times, they somehow managed to give us a sense of stability. The safety was an illusion.  They ran a family business that was always on the verge of going under.  Yet,  Papaw quietly did what needed to be done and Mamaw did the same, only more loudly. You would smile at that if you knew them. He was a man of few words, and she was a woman of many.

Anyway, it turned out fine. They were perfect together, and they made it all work.

Now, with his passing, they are together again.  I imagine she fussed at him for making her wait so long.

I hope somehow that he is singing. He loved to sing to us grandkids. I swear I can even remember him singing to me when I was an infant. He sang, “You are my Sunshine” in a deep soothing voice. The best cure for colic there ever was.

When we were older, he sang, “I want a girl just like the girl that married dear old dad. She’s the only girl – yes, the onliest girl – that daddy ever had…” It still makes me smile.

I’m tempted to say, I feel lost now that he’s gone. I do, of course. But, the words seem trite. I can’t bring his life onto the page the way I want to.

I guess, I just want to thank him for teaching me to sing.

I’ll Get Back to You
Sunday May 25th 2008, 10:41 pm
Filed under: General

I’m really more than o.k. with the fact that my knitting stash and many accouterments that accompany it have pretty much taken over the house. It annoys my family that there is no where to go that they couldn’t accidentally sit on, step on or potentially fall over something related to my knitting. Frankly, I’m not overly concerned about that either. If they don’t like all the yarn, they can move into the basement. There is no yarn down there, and while they are down there, they can finish painting.

But, what is rather worrisome to me is the way I keep getting trapped by my own clutter. Let me explain. My husband and I share a double recliner. It’s a love-seat with two recliners that work independently of one another. So, what happens is this. I decide I want to start a new project. I require lots of options to peruse to see what I should begin next. I grab a stack of books. I grab the yarn(s) in question. I sit down. I pop the recliner and put all that crap by my feet. My husband comes in and pops his side of the recliner.

The deed is done. I’m effectively trapped. I have knitting in my lap, a stack of books that will topple if I push down my side of the recliner, and I cannot get up to go to the bathroom without rearranging everything.

Don’t bother suggesting that I keep a table next to my side of the couch. Got one of those. There’s no room on it for even a drink. I also have a little cubby that serves as a bookcase sitting right next to me. I still get stuck. I guess what I need is a rope hanging over me, so that I can shimmy up it and swing out into the middle of the room. Nah, I’d hurt myself.

Just be aware that if you call, I can’t get to the phone right away, because I’m on the couch, and I’ll have to figure out how to free myself before I can answer. Yeah, so just leave a message.

OTN: Nothing that isn’t going to get ripped out. But, I did just finish the “Classy Slip Up” socks from Knit Socks! I used Lorna’s Laces Shepherd Sock Multi in the “Child’s Play” Colorway.

Friday December 14th 2007, 10:36 pm
Filed under: General

The girl screeched out, “Oh Charlotte!” ran over to my daughter and squeezed her in a way that’s usually reserved for returning hostages or POWs.  No more than two seconds later, no less than two other girls see my daughter and react to her in much the same way the first girl did.

Charlotte had just gotten finished performing with her chorus, and these friends of hers felt the urge to attack her while we were wending our way out of the gym.  It got me slightly tickled. As we were walking through the parking lot, I said, “So, how long had it been since you’d seen those people?”

“Two of them I had seen a couple hours ago, but Bree I hadn’t seen since before school started this morning.”

Oh, well, of course that explains their reactions. I’m surprised Bree was able to hold back the tears of joy…

OTN: Socks for my sister. Been knitting furiously on socks for Mom and Sis with no time to breath or blog. On second Sis sock. Hopefully, will be able to post pics before she gets her grubby paws on them. I’m using Cherry Tree Hill Supersock yarn. Liking it pretty well. Mom’s are in the Misty Moor colorway and Sis’s are I believe in the River Run colorway.

Lawyers, Guns and Money (Or Three Things I Don’t Have)
Saturday August 25th 2007, 8:37 am
Filed under: General

My husband and I discuss two possible futures for ourselves when we’re old and retired. One is far more likely to happen than the other.

In one scenario, we own a giant mobile home that’s completely solar powered and we drive around the states, looking for adventures. We’re just like Cain from “Kung Fu” or Jules from “Pulp Fiction”, only we don’t walk far or get involved in other people’s unfortunate afairs. I guess you could say we’re just like Cain from “Kung Fu” if he were lazy and somewhat self-centered.

In the other possible set of circumstances, we are on the run from the cops or the F.B.I., and we must retrieve our gun, our wad of thousand dollar bills and our stolen diamonds from our safe deposit box before we skip town in our convertible. Naturally, we’ll have to lay low in the desert somewhere until the fuzz lose our scent.

As you might well imagine, there was always a problem with the second scenario. That’s right folks, we didn’t own a safe deposit box. Didn’t, that is, until now.

It’s true. We’re now the proud owners of a safe deposit box. This delights M. to no visible end.

When we exited the bank,  after acquiring the box, he acted like a new father. “We have a safe deposit box together, Sweetheart. Isn’t it wonderful?” He grabbed my hand to celebrate the most romantic moment of his life – the day of the safe deposit box.

Gee, I hope he can muster up some of the same enthusiasm when we have our first grandchild, but I don’t know if he’ll have any left. He  might have used up a lifetime of excitement on this one little thing.

I’m trying not to bring him down, but as his wife, it’s hard not to slip into the role of a succubus. That is, after all, what my mother trained me to be, and I do have some issues with the so-called secure safe deposit box. For one thing, the number of the box is stamped onto the key. Hmm. I’m no genius, and I have witnesses to that fact who will happily come forward to provide evidence of stupid stuff I’ve done, but even I see a flaw with this system. If the bank needs to keep track of which key goes to which box couldn’t they use a coded number on the key itself that corresponds to the number on the box?

M. pointed out that the reason the bank doesn’t do that might be that idiots forget their box number and need to have it right there on the key. That’s likely, but I really don’t see it as an excuse. If I forget the number, check my identification, then give me the box number to my key.

Apparently, I am a bit naive when it comes to security, because I also imagined that the vault of the bank would be CLOSED during the day, and that someone would have to know a code or combination to open the vault. But, no, the vault stood wide open. It wasn’t cracked, it wasn’t ajar, it was wide open. Security smurity. Yep, I said “smurity”, that’s how dismissive I am. And I’ll say it again. Smurity.

I think I’m done now. Gotta go gather up my diamonds and firearms. Later.

OTN: “Jaywalker“s  in Lorna’s Laces Shepherd Sock- Gold Hill colorway. Scrumptious yarn. Fun pattern that seems perfect for the yarn.

Basic tam from The Knitter’s Handy Book of Patterns. Good resource for using up stash. I only wish there were larger sizes in there.  I could do the math myself, but I don’t wanna.

Tuesday August 21st 2007, 8:55 am
Filed under: General

My sister and I used to fight for who got to sleep on top bunk. The person who ended up getting stuck on bottom bunk would put her feet between the slats and lift the mattress so that the person on top couldn’t enjoy the victory too much.

One of the things I miss – now that I have to pretend to be an adult – is bunk-beds. Bunk-beds are the ultimate when you are a kid, because all you need to do to have a really cool tent is hang a sheet from the top bunk and tuck it under the mattress on bottom bunk. At that point, you have a two level yacht with a complicated navigational system – a Lite-Brite set with a sailboat depicted on it in red, blue and green pegs.

You might also use the bed as a castle fortress, retreating to the highest tier when a vicious lion and/or black poodle nips at your ankles.

On a less imaginative day, the top bunk might simply be your swingin’ singles pad in mid-town Manhattan.

Whatever you chose to make of it, the bunk-bed was a great kid accessory. So imagine my forty-year-old woman delight when I went RV camping this weekend and there at my disposal was a bunk-bed. I “called” the top bunk so quick heads were spinning.

There were four bunk-beds. My daughter and I got the coveted top bunks while my mom slept on one of the bottom ones. My mom was pretty sure I was going to kill myself getting up or down. I made my daughter a little nervous too, when I’d hang over the side to reach something on the bunk below. But, I didn’t kill myself or break my neck, and I didn’t roll out while I was sleeping. I fared much better with my bunk than I did with attempting to take a bath in what I later realized was a shower basin. I now know that the difference between a shower basin and a bathtub is about 12 inches and the ability to climb out without devine intervention.

There was no real mattress to speak of on the top bunk. What you slept on was basically a long pillow about 3 inches thick. But, that was alright. I slept like a nine year old kid, so it was all good.