With the wild and wooly winter weather we have had in the past months, my thoughts have gone to old familiar places. Let's start with one of the new catch phrases that has come out of Covid. This actually applies to all women (and I am sure some men - not trying to be sexist, God Forbid!) The Speaker of the House made headlines for it. Okay ladies, you know what I mean . . . "Essential Services".
I would certainly like to know who designates what is essential and what is not. Obviously food and medical care are essential. Electricity and other utilities are essential. Police and Fire Departments and personnel are essential. These are no brainers. Eating out? Definitely essential to those who own restaurants and are trying to hold onto their businesses.
Who on God's green earth decided that seeing your hairstylist is NOT an essential service?!!? No woman would ever designate a hair appointment as nonessential. Definitely not a women who has crazy stripes going down the center of her head and/or gray hairs springing up everywhere to haunt her!
It all takes me back - both the snow storms and the whole "essential services" debacle - to about 27 years ago. We had plenty of warnings about severe snowstorms heading our way. But, let's be honest. How many times have you listened to a weather report, hunkered down for the big storm, got the kids excited about a probable snow day only to have the whole thing fizzle out. Politicians and weathermen (and women) are the only professions I can think of off the top of my head, where you can perform your job incredibly and outrageously poorly (not sure that is grammatically correct, but you get my drift) and get paid to do it! And sometimes a lot of money for a long time!j
Well 27 years ago, we got those warnings. My husband (silly man) suggested that I stay home. Is he crazy? I had a hair appointment scheduled! My usual routine for hair appointments is that I go along for significant periods of time and suddenly wake up one morning with unruly, uncolored and impossible hair! I don't know when it snuck up on me, or if there are evil elves that play games with my head in the middle of the night, but there you have it. I had an appointment and I could not and would not miss it!
So, I set off to the salon which was 45 minutes away with at least two kids in tow. I got there, got my hair done and noticed some snow as I left the salon. Okay, maybe it was a little more than some snow, but I could handle it. Doc had made me take his truck with four wheel drive "just in case". The snow got heavier as I got closer to home, but no big deal, until . . . I was only a mile from home and had to come to a complete stop. The snow had drifted across the road in front of me and it was as high as the truck. I was not going to admit my error or defeat, so I turned around and headed to the road south of our house. It was like I was in a different world. Not a snowflake on the road! And then I turned up our road and to our driveway. I was staring at snowdrifts that were no less than six feet tall. I actually had difficulty locating the driveway.
So, I called Doc and told him there was no way to get 1/4 of a mile up the drive. From his vantage point in the warm cozy house it looked fine and I was exaggerating. I was given instructions to put the truck in four wheel drive, back up a little and gun the engine! OKAY, even though I disagreed, I did as I was told. Two days later, when the farmers pulled the truck out of the middle of the farm field that I buried it in, I finally stopped saying "I told you I couldn't make it!" Doc has never stopped reminding me of that day every time we get a storm.
You know, if I had to do it again, I would. I am thankful that God is there to help me out of some of the messes I get into. I just wish he would help politicians and weathermen(women) do a better job so I could trust them a little more. Enjoy the season, God gives us snow, rain, warmth and cold all in due season. No matter what the weather, remember to stay humble. Have a beautiful week.
Sometimes my life can remind me of a bad horror movie. You know what I mean. The hero spends the entire movie running from the zombies or the crazed murderer. Just when you think the hero has made it to safety . . . disaster strikes and the murderer is back!
Worse yet, one movie isn't enough. The same zombie or murderer never goes away. He comes back over and over and over again in one sequel followed by another. I used to wonder what movie directors were thinking. This isn't life! But wait . . . it is. And I have proof!
His name is Yahooty. He has been around for generations. He lived in our house when I was a kid. He lived in our house when my gang was little. And he has come back with a vengeance in the homes of my children. (To be quite honest, they sort of deserve to have him.)
You know Yahooty. Grape juice gets spilled on your carpet, to hide the stain, a match is lighted and the stain is blackened by the match. (I know there is logic in that action in their devious little minds, but I haven't been able to figure it out.) When you ask who did this, miraculously they all look at you with wide-eyed innocence. It wasn't me. It wasn't me either. Well, then; exactly how did this happen. The answer is simple. Yahooty did it.
As parents, we are under the delusion that our beautiful innocent babies will gladly admit their guilt and accountability. The one time I asked who put the cat in the toolbox, I actually expected that it was Yahooty. It is one of the rare times "Calvin" actually admitted his guilt. He couldn't explain why, other than "I just wanted to see if he would fit."
There are a litany of questions like this that any parent could ask. Who spilled nailpolish all over my couch? Not me, says the small child whose hands and face are covered in nailpolish. Who got into the treats in the pantry? Not me, says your beautiful child who looks like she is enjoying a facial masque made out of chocolate. And now, my adorable grandchildren are being haunted by Yahooty. In "Mini Me's"s family, he is known as the Potato People (but that is another story).
"Mommy" got the full experience recently. Their family has two rabbits. (After what we went through with "Mommy" and her line of rabbits, I cannot believe she has let the girls have them! And again, that's another story.) Unfortunately, they have a boy rabbit and a girl rabbit. The idea is that they are in separate cages and the hope is that never the twain shall meet. It is so sweet that my daughter is that innocent and naive at the ripe age of 37. It is not unusual, apparently for one rabbit to get out. Also apparently, this rabbit is a mastermind at picking locks and should be part of a gang of robbers. I guess there have been several times that "Mommy" has gone downstairs to the rabbit winter home to find one cage open. This last time however, he was in with the girl rabbit and he even managed to lock himself in! Sweet girl that she is, "Mommy" decided to ask who put him in the cage with the girl bunny. Do I really need to tell you who did it?
Well, raising children is always a challenge. It is rewarding, but still a challenge without Yahooty. With Yahooty, just make sure you make time to pray for guidance from God every single day! May you have a blessed, Yahooty-free week!
Everyone who knows me, knows that I am not crazy about a lot of "modern" things. There are things that technology can do that makes our lives easier, but... It leaves us open for things like identity theft, telemarketing, pfishing(?). Computer games keep us from interacting on a real level. Texting...don't even get me started. You cannot see the face of the person texting, you can hear inflections in their voice. It has cost us some of our humanity.
All that being said, Covid has now forced us to be more remote. I used to go to the grocery store frequently. Now I am able to order my food on line, drive to the store at a designated time, sit in the parking lot in my car and have my groceries brought to me. All this with little or no human contact. Of course it took me quite a while to learn to do this. My first experience took one hour on my cell phone only to have my whole order disqualified. I didn't give up though, I tried it on my laptop with success. Apparently even my phone objects to being used in this way.
Anyway, I have thought about this a lot. Years ago, when all my children were small, I used to take all six of them to the grocery store. ALONE! There was no such thing as a quick trip. Loading them into the car was an experience in and of itself. On arrival, we commandeered two grocery carts. I would push one and pull the other with the help of the two oldest. Two would sit in the seats and two in the carts. (Keep in mind these children ranged from infant to 12.) Off we went! It was somewhat of an Olympic event catching items that they tried to sneakily toss into the cart. Keeping my cool while they cajoled me into buying snacks and treats was a lesson in psychology.
These trips were never accomplished in less than one and a half to two hours. Now, for anyone who has been around small children, you know that they have a limit to how long they can "behave" in public. That limit arrives at about one hour and 15 minutes. First comes questions, like "how much longer"? Then comes comments like "this is boring", "I'm tired", I'm hungry", "I have to go to the bathroom", "Can I have this?", "Why can't I have that?" This is quickly followed by squabbling. "She touched me!" "He's looking at me!" "Stop pushing me!" "Can I ride?"
If you don't get out of the store soon, temper tantrums start. These can range from screaming or crying to flat out laying down on the ground and refusing to move. You haven't lived until you have experienced a full out temper tantrum in the cereal aisle. "Mommy" has personally experienced this as a parent herself. Now, with six children you have no choice but to endure the event as well as the looks from people with no children or those who have forgotten. If you have one or two or someone helping you, the solution is simple. You football carry the offender out of the store!
Well, I guess my conclusion is this. I survived and so did my kids. Maybe we all learned from it. But, where on earth was the ability to order groceries and pick them up without ever leaving the car when I needed it!?! Be a little patient and kind when you see a parent in the store with children. Try to remember the "good old days". Smile and say a little prayer for the parent and children. God bless you and have a great week!
Happy New Year! And I do mean this today. Here's the thing, for me at least, a new year being celebrated on January 1 is simply unreasonable to me! First, we are ONE WEEK past Christmas! I don't know about you, but all of my Christmas decorations are still up at that time. Maybe I am crazy, (and I certainly will not attempt to refute that!), but I think we all need a month in between Christmas and the new year to get our bearings! For sure I need two to three weeks to clean my house and put decorations away! And did I mention the need to sleep a bit?! Following the chaos of Christmas I need a break! And I am absolutely positive that I am NOT the only one. Now I fully admit that we have a little more than the usual chaos in our house, but COME ON!
And, how about those resolutions. I don't know about you, but I am still in a fantasy or stupor from the holidays. Call it what you will, but I believe my altered state of mind causes me to make irrational resolutions and promises. Ones that include "I will never swear again" or "I will begin my new diet tomorrow" or "I will keep my kitchen clean." (That last one is a real pipedream for me!)
So, I propose that we take the month of January and use it as a recovery period, plain and simple. We slowly drag ourselves into reality. We put away the glimmer and shine and blinking colorful lights that have mesmerized us and placed us in a trance during that month. We slowly regain our composure and reenter the mainstream of life. We think about the resolutions we can reasonably make.
So Happy New Year! It is February 1 and I am starting my new year today. Of course, I will still make some of the same idiotic resolutions. I am planning to watch my diet and continue exercising, but I am going to start by keeping a notebook that will include weight and measurements (God help me!) Truth be told, I am significantly heavier than the day I got married! But, here we go! The legal eagle in our family is getting married in June, the last of the children. Although the first one got married fifteen years ago, which incidentally makes me fifteen years older, I still think I could make some effort to look "hot". Age does not necessarily mean unattractiveness, right?
I do want to watch my mouth also. I know, and God knows, I am not perfect so I will slip up. That being said, I plan to try to throw in Lord Have Mercy! or God Forgive Me! or Lord Help Me! rather than an expletive during my more explosive moments.
My most important resolution is to continue to reach out to people that I have been lost to over the years. It doesn't matter why I have been lost, it mostly matters to reconnect! Time to forgive and move on. As I learned in a sermon at church, carrying the hate, anger, jealousy, and general negativity around daily is quite a burden. The idea was planted that it isn't too tough to carry around a pound of sugar, but add a pound every day and it eventually becomes overwhelming!
So, Happy New Year! Start today. Lighten your load physically, mentally and emotionally. Take baby steps in meeting your resolutions. If you fall down, get back up. You can start a new year every month if you need to until you get it right! Oh, Lord Have Mercy! Kids are arguing, my house is a mess, and I need to at least clean one area of my kitchen! Have a blessed week. God is there for you every day, just seek Him!
Wife, Mother, Mother, Mother, Mother, Mother, Mother, Mother, Nurse, Grandmother, Friend...that's me in a nutshell!