Happy Father’s Day!

My father stuck the butcher knife in the large, oblong, striped watermelon. Craaaack…the melon split open, and a black seed or two fell onto the counter. I had anticipated this moment for a couple of days.

Daddy purchased the watermelon, at a low cost I’m sure, from a roadside stand. He had an ear for a good “thump” of a melon. The melon had cooled all day in the milk cows’ water tank.

“Just look at that color—it’s a good one all right,” Daddy said and handed my brothers and I each a half-circle slice. We hurried outside and sat on the porch step.

“I won! My seed went the farthest,” I said as juice dripped from my elbows. I was proud of my watermelon seed spitting ability.

I recently purchased a small, round, seedless melon at the supermarket for $4.99. After cutting it into small chunks, I cooled it in plastic ware in the refrigerator. I ate the pieces with a fork. The experience was not exciting.

So, I’m going to buy a big, oblong melon with seeds, invite the grandkids to share, and eat on the deck’s steps.  Daddy would approve. I miss him.

Happy Father’s Day!

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The Concert

I wasn’t going to watch it. My excuse was poor–my heart didn’t handle hurt well. The true, emotional stories told by actors and actresses of friendships, courage, love of country, and loss always brought tears to my eyes. It had been a near perfect day—an indoor picnic with cousins not often seen. I wasn’t sure I wanted to end the day with sadness.

Yet, I couldn’t hit the remote button to skip over the PBS channel. So, I watched the National Memorial Day Concert. Each year it honors those who gave their lives for our country, those who served, and those who now serve in our military. I cried and my heart ached.

My father-in-law and my uncle served overseas during World War II. They sacrificed for America. My husband and brothers served in the Reserves and Guard. While ready if called, their sacrifices were smaller than those called to active duty.

Yes, America is now troubled, but it remains a free country. I am grateful for those who served in the past and those who are now serving.

I’m glad I watched the concert.

Daddy’s Razor

I did not need fourteen used tooth brushes. But, there they were–hidden behind three dried-up bottles of nail polish and thirty-five small bottles of shampoo, hair-conditioner, and body lotion. (All collected from hotel rooms over the last fifteen years) The fourteen toothbrushes clearly proved I had resisted all desires I had ever had to scrub the bathroom tile grout.

An unexpected joy resulted from my cleaning the bathroom cabinet. I discovered my father’s old razor. I paused in my cleaning frenzy and reflected on those long-ago Sunday mornings when I would watch Daddy lather up and shave before church. Sometimes a small nick required him to wear a small patch of toilet paper until time to leave the house.

An unpleasant experience was combining the last remaining quarter inch of liquid hand soap from five different bottles into one bottle. It did not produce a satisfactory product. The brownish, purple-green colored glob smelled like mud and did not foam.

As a result of my cleaning, I have shortened the time spent getting ready for my day. Best of all, I am sure I always use the right tooth brush. (In my defense–some of the tooth brushes could have been left by grandchildren….)

 

Mother’s Day

We will soon celebrate Mother’s Day. My mother died during a very busy time in my life. My children were ages 21, 24, 28, and 31. While they were mostly independent, there was still some parenting happening—whether appreciated or not. (I do know they appreciated help when moving from one apartment to another.) Also, I spent hours at a job I thought important. It wasn’t.

Oh yes, I carved out an hour each week to spend with my mother, but I didn’t listen as she told the same stories over and over of happenings in her small town. I didn’t listen as she told me about her neighbor lady’s health. Not only did I not listen, I didn’t ask her questions. I now have many questions only my mother could answer.

Why did Great-grandpa move to Kansas from Ohio? What was the name of the horse she rode to school? What was her favorite subject in high school? I would like to hear the story about the above picture, too. What happened to that hat?

I’m older now, and sometimes I repeat stories to my children. They don’t always listen either, but I still love them. That’s what mothers do.

Happy Mother’s Day!

Plastic

I recently purchased a new ping pong table cover. Said cover was folded neatly and encased in plastic. The table cover might as well have been in Ft. Knox. How do they even make plastic so strong?

My first thought was to cut the plastic casing open with the kitchen scissors. However, I realized using my kitchen scissors to cut plastic might dull them and render them useless for snipping homegrown chives. (Don’t laugh, I might do that someday.) Anyway, I abandoned the kitchen scissor idea.

Next I thought about a butcher knife. Fortunately, I remembered it was 6:30 in the morning, and I had not yet had coffee, and I do value my fingers.

“Maybe this will help,” John said and handed me a screwdriver. After four or five stabs, a small crack appeared in the edge of the plastic. Finally, I inserted a larger pair of scissors in the small opening and managed to cut away enough casing I could pull the ping pong table cover from the packaging.

Just in time, too, as I was losing patience and considering the butcher knife option again. I only hope the cover itself is half as strong as the packaging.

Strange

Wow, it is strange not posting today. Rest assured, though, I have been cleaning and sorting…well except for today when I am going to the dentist.  Hope you will check my blog next week.

Let the Fun Begin

“I’ve finally finished cleaning and sorting closets. I’m ready to go,” my mother said. For some reason, Mother thought she couldn’t die until her closets were organized. Several years later she did go—to heaven, I’m sure—leaving behind clean closets. If clean closets are required before I can leave this earth, I’ll be around a while.

However, I recently began a cleaning project. No file drawer, closet, cabinet, or under-bed will be spared. Already, I’ve shredded several reams of papers, and a plastic bag filled with odd socks awaits a clothing drive.

Still, much remains to be sorted. How did I accumulate so much? As a child, all my toys fit into a medium-sized, cardboard box. After college, my possessions fit into my old Ford Falcon. I’m not a materialistic person, so how did I accumulate such an abundance of material items?

When I’m gone, I want my children to remember me with fondness. I do not want them to think unpleasant thoughts of me while discerning treasures from trash. Therefore, while I sort—and maybe discard—I will blog every other week rather than weekly.

How did I get all this stuff?

Happy Easter!

Sticky, sugary, candy Easter eggs, milk-chocolate, hollow Easter bunnies, peanut butter cups in pastel colors, pink and blue M & M’s, jelly beans, and Peeps are some of the reasons I like Easter. But…there are two Easter traditions I dislike.

The first is the fake Easter grass normally placed in Easter baskets. Sure the colorful eggs are pretty resting on the green, yellow, or pink indestructible strands of grass. Those strands, however, are not so pretty wrapped around the brush of the vacuum cleaner come July. Where do those stray strands hang out most of the year? It doesn’t matter how carefully I vacuum, one surfaces periodically throughout the year. In fact, if there is Easter grass in the house in April, there will be Easter grass in the house in June, August, September, and December. Alas, if that were only true about Peeps.

The second Easter tradition I dislike is coloring hard-boiled eggs. How many yukky, mud-colored eggs can a person eat? Fortunately those do not randomly roll out from under the sofa months later.

Additional Easter happenings I enjoy are egg hunts, family dinners, and attending church during Holy Week and Easter morning.

“He is risen! Glory Halleluiah!”

 

The Real Reason for Turtlenecks and Scarves

There comes an age when a woman should not look in the mirror on the back of the car visor in broad sunlight. I passed that age some years ago. There was just too much on my mind to pay attention to the gradual increase of small lines on my face and whatever was happening to my chin (s). In my defense, I worked full time, and I paid attention to where my children were and what they were doing.

So, I was shocked when I inadvertently caught a glimpse of myself in the car mirror last week. I immediately ordered a half dozen turtlenecks over the Internet. Fortunately, they shipped overnight without incident, and the special order of neck scarves should arrive tomorrow.

While I heeded the warnings about cigarette smoke and sun, I failed to apply an anti-aging lotion to my face while watching late night…after late night…after late night Letterman monologues. After experimenting for a week, I determined I looked younger when I smiled. So, I’m now committed to reading the Sunday comics and checking out the late night comedians—with wrinkle resistant lotion in hand and on my face, of course.

 

Age Appropriate Apparel

“I’m not sure anyone over the age of 70 should wear leggings.”

“Body size should be considered.”

“Maybe with a long top?”

I had heard opinions about who should and who should not wear leggings in public, yet I bought a pair. They are warm and comfortable. Mine are made of some heavy-duty, stretchy type material. On that same shopping trip I added a long, comfortable, green sweater to my wardrobe.

One freezing morning, I threw caution to the cold, north wind and wore my leggings and new sweater to the grocery store. (Even though I don’t drink milk, I needed to get some before the predicted snow storm.) I had just rounded the corner to the produce aisle when—WHOA—I saw my grandmother in the mirror above the Brussel sprouts. She was wearing the black ski pants with stirrups I purchased in 1965. But it wasn’t grandma, it was me.

The words “over 70—body size—long top—over 70—body size” repeated in my mind.

On the good side, if I get some yellow, or red and white striped leggings, I might find seasonal work as a Christmas elf. Does anyone have a pair of boots with curled-up toes?