Thursday, August 29, 2013

Salad Surprise!


Why do we sometimes overlook the obvious? Especially women. I suppose that’s why men enjoy referring to us as airheads or ditzy.

This afternoon, I was looking for a way to be certain a Tupperware bowl I hadn’t used for a while was totally clean and germ-free. I said to Mr. H., “I’d spray it with Clorox but I’m afraid it would damage the plastic.”
The look he gave me spelled i d i o t. But it took me a few seconds to realize what I’d said. And then the light dawned – but not before he said, “What do you think they ship Clorox in?”
“Plastic bottles,” I admitted, feeling foolish.
Mr. H., loving it, smiled triumphantly.
Why didn’t he know, after living with me all these years that, before this evening was over, I’d even the score?
Mr. H. and I are total opposites. That’s why I make individual salads when we have salad. We like different things in it… right down to the dressing. I like Ranch and he prefers Thousand Island.
When I started putting the salads together for dinner, it struck me that Mr. H. hates cucumbers. He doesn’t just hate them. He detests them! Gags at the very thought of eating one. Hmmmm, I thought. And choosing a nice chunk of cucumber, I took great pains to hide it under a beautiful green lettuce leaf. I then piled tomato and onion on top of it, added more lettuce and VoilĂ  – Salad Surprise!
When we sat down to eat, Mr. H. covered his salad in Thousand Island dressing but, instead of digging right in like most people do, he likes to mix it up a bit. I was sure he’d find the cucumber chunk so I kept talking, hoping to divert his attention.
It worked.
I breathed a sigh of relief when he finally started eating. But suddenly, a strange look appeared on his face and he stopped chewing. He stirred around in his salad again and said, “I think you gave me the wrong salad.”
It must have been obvious that I was trying not to laugh and he said accusingly, “Did you put cucumbers in my salad?”
“No,” I said, unable to hold back the laughter. “Not plural. Just one small piece!”
Running his fork through his salad again, he said, “Are you sure?”
“There was only one. I swear. Eat your salad.”
Skeptically, he began to eat again, with nary a smile on his lips. Yet, I couldn’t stop chuckling.
I don’t think Mr. H. enjoyed the salad as much as I did.
~~~

Monday, August 26, 2013

Who Will Take Grandma?


   Who will take Grandma? Who
will it be?
   All of us want her; I’m sure
you’ll agree!
   Let’s call a meeting. Let’s
gather the clan,
   Let’s get it settled, as soon as
we can.
   In such a big family, there’s
certainly one,
   Willing to give her a place in
the sun. 

   Strange how we thought she’d
never wear out,
   But see how she walks, it’s
arthritis, no doubt.
   Her eyesight has faded, her
memory’s dim,
   She’s apt to insist on the
silliest whim.
   When people get older, they
become such a care!
   She must have a home, but
the question is where?
 
    Remember the days when she
used to be spry?
   Baked her own cookies, made
her own pies?
   Helped us with lessons and
mended our seams;
   Kissed away troubles and
patched-up our dreams.
   Wonderful Grandma! We all
loved her so;
   Isn’t it dreadful she’s no place
to go? 

   One little corner is all she
would need
   A shoulder to cry on, her Bible
to read,
   A chair by the window with
sun coming through;
   Some pretty spring flowers
still covered with dew,
   Who’ll warm her with love so
she won’t mind the cold?
   Oh! Who will take dear Grandma
now that she’s old? 

   What? Nobody wants her? Oh
yes, there is One
   Willing to give her a place in
the sun.
   Where she won’t have to worry
or wonder or doubt,
   And she won’t be our problem
to bother about.
   Pretty soon now, God will give
her a bed,
   But who’ll dry our tears when
dear Grandma is dead?

                     ~Author Unknown
 
~~~

 

Friday, August 23, 2013

A Disturbing Dream


I worry about things.
I worry about world hunger, global warming, child molestation, cruelty to animals, the suicide rate and a whole host of other things. I know I’m not supposed to worry, but can’t seem to help it. I believe, when consciences were handed out, I was mistakenly given mine and someone else’s, too.
It upsets me when people mistreat others. I wonder why everyone can’t treat everyone else fairly.
I had a disturbing dream last night about a woman I knew a long time ago. She was married to a very nice man. They had three children, a lovely home and both of them had good jobs. To outsiders, it looked like a fairy-tale marriage.
And then one day, the woman shocked everyone she knew by walking off and leaving it all for a man she’d fallen head-over-heels for at her place of employment. She never looked back!
The husband was devastated! And so was I. How could she do such a thing? I wondered. It’s just wrong!
But life goes on.
And so it did. The husband survived, the children grew up, went to school and spent time with both parents. Eventually, the husband remarried.
Apparently, the woman was happy with the man she left her husband for because they’re still together today, after many years.
All’s well that ends well, you might say. So why am I still thinking about the incident and having related dreams that upset me?
I honestly don’t know. It’s not easy for me to forget about injustice.
I worry about things.
~~~

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Help Feed My Children

On the way home from shopping, Mr. H. and I passed a rather young man standing beside the road holding a sign that read:
“Need help. Please help feed my children. God Bless you!”
It bothered me that not one car stopped! It was as if the man were invisible. But as each car passed, he waved and smiled. It touched my heart. I smiled back. However, I had left the house, as I often do, without cash. I had my checkbook and credit card but regretted not being able to stop and give the man a little something.
Later, when I told a member of my family how much it bothered me, he said, “Don’t ever stop for anyone like that!” 
“Why?” I asked.
“Because there are ‘Help Wanted’ signs at every gas station and convenience store! If a person wants to earn money, he can. Truth is, what he probably wanted was money to buy beer… or drugs.”
“What do you have in place of a heart?” I asked.
“I’m serious.” He said. “Besides, you could get yourself killed doing that!”
My mouth O’d at the very thought!
But later, when I was alone, I thought about the man with the sign again. And I remembered what my dad used to say about beggars. It was common, when I was a child, for people to knock on your door and ask for food or money. My dad never turned anyone away empty-handed.
He said, “It doesn’t matter why a man does it, or what he does with the money you give him – that’s on his conscience. What matters is that you want to help him. Furthermore, God sees you and rewards you for it!” My dad often quoted Hebrews 13:2. “Be not forgetful to entertain strangers: for thereby some have entertained angels unawares.”
I have no doubt my dad would have stopped to give the man a few dollars. And despite the risks, that’s what I’ll do next time.
Even if I have to write a check.  
~~~ 
 

Friday, August 16, 2013

Back in Time

When my mother passed away it was my responsibility, as an “only” child, to sort through her belongings and decide what to keep and what to discard. This looked like an overwhelming task and I didn’t look forward to it but, when I discovered several picture albums, looking through them transformed the job from a dreaded experience to one that brought back many bittersweet memories. 

A well-meaning relative warned, “It’s too soon; looking at them will only hurt you, and besides, that was another lifetime. You can’t go back; just put them away for now.”  

As much as I knew it would hurt to look at them, I wasn't ready to put them away just yet. So I ignored the advice and decided to chance “just a peek.” 

One of the first pictures to catch my eye was of my mother and me. She wore a beautiful robe, and looked very young.  On the back, in her handwriting, were the words, Sunday morning, May 20, 1945. Of course she looked young; this picture was taken on her 26th birthday. 

Next, was a shot of my dad as he looked after a day at the coal mine, his face black with coal dust. A weary smile belied his trademark cheerfulness and made him look older than his years. 

Many pages later, among pictures of other family members, I found more pictures of my father. On these pages, he looked altogether different; he was wearing his Sunday best, and was very handsome! There were updated snapshots of my mother, too, looking beautiful with auburn curls, an engaging smile and a slim figure. My parents were a handsome couple!  

There were pictures of me at different stages of my life: baby pictures, a fifth birthday party, junior high and high school graduations. Me… with a pony tail, dressed in rolled up blue jeans and black and white saddle oxfords. Me.. in high heels and evening gowns. There were pictures of me and my best girl friend, and of me smiling shyly at my first boyfriend. Proms, recitals, and holidays were all recorded! 

I even enjoyed pictures of many of my beloved pets who were long departed! 

The final albums held pictures of my husband and me, and our children.  

A new generation! 

These gave me even more reason to reminisce, as my children are grown now, with children of their own. 

My father died much too young and my mother lived 26 more years, alone.  She was still beautiful when she died at 85; the auburn curls turned silver, but the figure remained slim and the smile just as engaging! 

I spent days virtually lost in these albums, reliving many wonderful times and a few unhappy ones, my emotions swinging like a pendulum from sadness to happiness and back again – laughing or crying with each swing. 

Now, I can put the pictures away, but the memories will live in my heart forever.

Who says you can’t go back in time?
 
~~~ 

 

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Look At Us

A song for Mr. H. and me. 
Sappy? Maybe.
But we like it!
 
 
 
 
 
~~~ 

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

You Can't Fix It


 Mr. H. has been having some trouble with sciatica in his left leg. I don’t know if any of you are familiar with sciatica or not, but it’s very painful. Even doctors agree that about the only thing that really helps is rest. Lots of rest. Years ago, when he was working, he had a bout with it once and ended up in the hospital. In traction. It didn’t help much. Nor did the exercises they prescribed for him. (But, of course, I think the object was to actually DO the exercises).
Anyway, after all else failed, his doctor insisted he take some time off from work and rest. It was difficult to convince him, but he finally agreed. After two weeks of doing nothing and being waited on hand and foot, he was much better and went back to work – reluctantly admitting that the doctor was right!
This morning, we were comparing, as we often do, how we’d slept last night. I said, “I hardly slept at all! It was 4 a.m. the last time I checked my watch and then, every time I’d doze off, I’d wake up again in about an hour. It seemed that I was awake every hour on the hour. It was not a good night!”
After listening to my complaints, he started describing his night: “My leg hardly hurts at all,” he said, “if I lie on my left side, but if I turn on my back or my right side, it’s only a few minutes until it hurts terribly and I have to turn back on my left side to relieve it.”
“Isn’t that strange,” I said, “that the only relief you get is lying on the leg that’s affected by the sciatica?”
“Yes,” he said. “I guess it’s a good thing, too. Otherwise, I’d be lying on my right side all night looking at…”
(Oops! What did he almost say?)
“Oh, yeah?” I said – grabbing the remark and running with it. “You’d be lying on your right side ‘looking at me all night,’ huh?  Would that be so terrible?”
“I didn’t mean that!” he sputtered. “You know how you’re a little self-conscious about anyone looking at you too closely.”
“It's no use. You can’t fix it!” I said, smiling. “The damage is done.”
Looking at me skeptically, he said, “I’m going to be the subject of your blog post tonight, aren’t I?”

"'Fraid so."
~~~

Thursday, August 1, 2013

August First


 
August 1st.
The first day of the eighth month of the year 2013.
A new beginning.
Life seems to be made up of new beginnings, doesn’t it?
New Year’s Day, your birthday, first day of school (elementary, middle, high school and college), graduation, wedding day, divorce, retirement – and finally – retirement community. All new beginnings you might say.
I always breathe a sigh of relief when a month like the one just past is over. I look forward to another new beginning. In the southeastern part of the US where I live, the month of July can be described with one word.
Wet.
I’m sure many of you had ideal weather during the seventh month of the year, but we had rain and dreary days for the bulk of July. And we had frightening storms that uprooted trees and caused flooding in some areas. It was not a pleasant mid-summer. My daughter and her family love boating. She summed it up this way: “It was not a good summer for boating!”
~~~
The second thing I, personally, will remember about this July is the number of sicknesses among our family and friends. And it hasn’t stopped yet! These haven’t been minor illnesses either. There were three serious surgeries! One heart-related, another, an intestinal problem and yet another, even more serious, involves cancer. 
A family member has been ill for months. She rarely gets out of bed and is getting weaker by the day! Every time the phone rings, I fear it’s more bad news.
This is not a good way to live – always in fear.
When 2013 started out badly for me in January and continued until late spring, I said I hoped the year passed quickly because it seemed to me that the number 13 was a bad omen. At least for me.
A friend told me I was wrong – that 13 was just a number. “There is no such thing as an unlucky number,” she said.
I attempted to agree with her and put my feelings aside, but bad things just kept happening.  However, with more than half the year gone now, I’m beginning to feel hopeful. If I can hold on for five more months; 153 days; 3,672 hours; it'll be a new year.
AND A NEW BEGINNING!
~~~