Saturday, July 25, 2009

When Memories Attack

I just had a long buried memory come to me. How weird is that when something you had totally forgotten comes to the surface? I was reading a post from Vodkamom and I remembered something from my childhood.

My friend Sue and I were walking across the street in our hometown and we were having a conversation as kids do. Sue was having a hard time keeping a secret and just had to tell me. As kids do. She told me that the women at her church had taken up a collection to buy my mother a new washing machine.

Now this was a big deal for us as my mother had been hand washing lots of her clothes as we could only get to the Laundromat once a week and she was in a wheelchair all day while my father slept. He worked nights so he could be home with her during the day. I was in school during the day and spent nights sleeping downstairs to be near her in case she needed something while he was at work. Many times I saw my mother hand washing small items and hanging them on a rack to dry in the downstairs bathroom.

Money was tight in our family as my mother had to quit work when her illness became worse. She had her own hair salon when I was young but gradually tapered her business down to nothing as the Multiple Sclerosis became more debilitating. Her health insurance was cancelled because of her illness. My father was the only breadwinner and her first Social Security Disability check didn't come until the day she died. She had a hard time proving she was disabled evidently to the government.

Anyway, when my mother found out about the washing machine she cried. I think that was the first time I ever saw her cry over something that made her happy.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

My 100th Post Was a Long Time A-Coming

It has been quite an experience writing this blog. I have met some amazing, witty, kind, talented people. I have met people that I feel a real connection with. I have met people that I enjoy reading and they actually read my drivel in return. I have received much more than I have given.

My first commenter many posts ago was Far Side. I was so pleasantly surprised when I saw that I had a comment about my cat Bob. I went on and on about how poor Bob got sick and how he passed away. I cried when I wrote it. It made me feel better but sad anyway.

And then I met Jeanne and Andrea. They are so different but I just enjoy them so much. I was Andrea's first follower. Now she has over 100 and growing....Her photography amazes me. I love her animals. I know them by name. And Far Side's old family photos remind me so of my grandparents and my parents. I love to look at them on "Wistful Wednesdays". Jeanne is so smart and such good entertainment. I felt a connection with her the first time I read her blog. She is a friend.

My first follower Suzanne is a grade school friend. She is always there for me and has never commented but I know she read all about our history teacher and heard about my grade school embarrassing moment for the first time. I hadn't even told her about sitting on T's head and smashing it into the playground!!!!

I have told all of you about my father leaving me at the park at the family reunion and taking me to the gypsy camp on Easter Sunday after our fifth grade teacher reminded us not to go there because "gypsies steal children". I have more stories about my dad taking me to poor families on Christmas Eve and leaving my gently used toys for them as Christmas presents. Their families couldn't afford a Christmas and he thought that my toys would help them be a bit happier. I hope it worked.

I have mentioned many times how my mother died young and I felt so abandoned at age 16. I never mentioned how my dad married the "Wicked Witch of the West" a month and a half after my mother's death and basically turned his back on me and my brothers and left me at a crucial time in my life. I forgave him later but it still hurts and I can cry at the drop of a hat. One day I will tell the story of my stepmother and you can make up your own mind.

I have whined about my husband's back problems and talked about all his medications and how he loses his balance and falls down. I don't know how much longer he can work. There I go whining again.

I have talked endlessly about my cats. I told you how my poor Bob got sick and died on election day. I talked about Stefanie's cats. And I even showed a video of my friend's cat punching me. I'm sure you are sick of my cats. But I love them and I am sure that T isn't sick of them. She is the biggest cat lover I have ever come across. Bless her.

And of course, I talk about my daughters. I complain about them. And I love them soooo much. They are amazing. They are beautiful inside and out. And they are the best thing I have ever done. I am so lucky.

There you have my year in review. I have so enjoyed writing these posts. And I hope maybe you have enjoyed reading them. Thank you for being there for me. And commenting. And emailing me when you haven't heard from me for a while. All that means so much. Thank you.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Stefanie is Gainfully Employed at Last

I have been very lax lately. I think about blogging. I read a couple of my favorite blogs and something stops me from starting a new post. I am just not feeling it lately.

Anyway, just a quick note to let everyone know that Stefanie DID get a new job. Yay!!!! She found this job all on her own and had two interviews and landed it all by herself (with lots of coaching from me but that doesn't count). I am very proud of her and she seems to be doing fine. She is a bit surprised to find out that she knows nothing. She is quite overwhelmed actually by all that she doesn't know. She is used to jobs where after a brief training period she knows everything there is to know.

Not so here at the optometrist's office. She has lots to learn and will continue learning until she quits. She even made flashcards yesterday to help her learn new terms. We talk "optical talk" every evening. I will continue to do what I can to help her without interfering (I hope).

I plan to be back in blogging order shortly just in time for my 100th post. See you then.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Sniff, Sniff, Snort!!!!

Anyone else ever use the computers in the library? It really is wonderful to have these computers at our disposal. I can check email, research any material I can think of, and browse to my heart's content. I love the library.

So what am I going to complain about you might wonder? My computer neighbors always have a cold or sinus troubles. It doesn't matter when I come here, day or night I seem always to get the same annoyance. My neighbor to the right of me sniffs and my neighbor to the left of me snorts. They never have a tissue. I never see them blow their noses. After a while, I am just about ready to offer them one of mine.

The other problem is the cursing over the computer and or website they are on. Personally I am not interested in the trouble they are having. However, constantly I am hearing complaints about what they are trying to do. I would assume that these are the same people that cannot read to themselves without mouthing the words aloud.

There is also one gentleman that wears earbuds and just browses through pictures, etc. He has to have major sinus problems and is there everytime I go to the library. Lovely. Sniff, sniff, snort!!!!

Thursday, July 2, 2009

The Importance of Being Janet

Last Saturday I left my normal Saturday routine of grocery shopping and vacuuming and drove to Indiana to visit with a bunch of women that I went to high school with. Actually one girl went to kindergarten with me and several went to my grade school. I ran into construction, an accident, and had several stops as I did take my 57 year old bladder with me.

But I am so glad I went. We laughed, ate, and reminisced over old times. We talked about the grade school principal, other people we went to school with, our kids, our husbands, and most of all, we took a few hours out of our weekend to connect with our roots. Sometimes I forget where I came from and who I used to be. These people knew the old me. The policeman's daughter, the athlete's sister, the history buff's sister, and my mother's daughter. They knew the original me, the person I used to be before I left home sad and hurt. They knew "Janet" not "Jan". I left "Janet" back in Plymouth, Indiana. I don't know her anymore, but for a few hours last Saturday I became that person again. And I had fun.

I am so grateful for being included in the group even for just one afternoon. I am grateful for the laughter, and the companionship of old friends. Now I am back at home and back at work and in a few minutes I will be back in the grocery store. However, I am just a little bit changed. I remember being "Janet" and it wasn't bad after all.