Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Random Thoughts

Dear Mom,

I walk with some friends in the morning, but the other day I walked alone. The things one misses when alone. The reverse is true as well—what you miss not chatting with others.
I wondered why there were more walkers than normal. As I passed an outside door, the rain fell in sheets. There was my answer.
A thin elderly woman with cotton colored hair, a striped shirt and white pants craned her neck as three new mothers pushing strollers passed her. A huge smile wrapped around her face. I wondered whether she had grandchildren. If she had any, did she see them? Were they on good terms? Were they in town? I sighed feeling blessed that my children weren’t in strollers.
Across the way, I waved to a man in a red shirt that I recognized from previous walks. My friend the matchmaker wanted to hook him up with another friend. I wondered if I had the opportunity whether I’d be so bold as to ask.
A man with Einstein hair, dark shorts that were crawling up his legs, walked slow and I wondered whether he was ill and walking for his health because he looked depressed. A young girl with wavy brown hair was reading a book while walking. That looked too hard to do without running into a wall. Two athletic girls passed and one made eye contact. I wondered whether or not her mind was wondering about my story.
Next thing I know, the man in the red shirt tells me to speed it up. Sweat is dripping off my forehead, rolling down my neck into my already wet shirt. Now I remembered to be careful what I think. I was bold and asked, “Are you married?”
“Yes, I am.”
“Oh.” Now I felt kind of stupid. “Well…we had a friend we wanted to introduce you to.”
I don’t like matchmaking, but felt like I was talking on behalf of my friend. We continued to chat and walk. I didn’t want to be rude and tell him I wanted to walk alone. Nearly finished, I did an extra lap before I bid him farewell.
When I got in my car, I hoped by the time I got home I’d remember everything I observed since I didn’t bring my notebook. Most of it probably doesn’t matter anyway or does it? I suppose we remember what we need to or it pops up when it does matter. In all my observing I noticed how much I’ve changed—it wasn’t all that long ago when I wouldn’t have walked by myself nor introduced myself to a complete stranger.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010


Dear Mom,

Your granddaughter Rita had a dream that my husband died and I was in a panic as I had nowhere to live and possibly no money. She said she was crying all through her dream, obviously saddened by it. I think she worried that it might come true. I think the dream was trying to tell her something. Dreams are individual and not necessarily for other people—yes? No?

Do you remember when I asked you in the dream state if you would help Dad cross over to the other side? It felt like Dad was ready to go and yet he was hanging on for some reason. I figured since you were already there, maybe you could give him a hand.

In the dream Dad was driving and you were the passenger. Warren and I were sitting in the back seat. Dad was drunk and obnoxious. You sat there quietly like you could have cared less. I pushed you on the shoulder and said, “Why are you taking this?” You just shrugged. Then I yelled at Dad, “How can you be so mean? Here’s Mom and you’re acting like a jerk.” We stopped, got out of the car and everyone went their merry way—only I said, “I’m driving myself from now on.”

As I wrote the dream down, I knew it meant that everyone decides for themselves when it’s time to move on. It wasn’t for you to help Dad along. He had to make that decision.

Dreams can be interesting, don't you think?

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Yellow Watermelon

Dear Mom,

You’ll never believe this—they’ve created a yellow-fleshed watermelon. I never heard of one before until last week when I visited the local farmers market. The watermelons were tiny and the gal said I should try one, that they were yellow inside, but really sweet. Watermelon’s that small normally are seedless but she told me this one had seeds. And boy did it.

Since I love watermelon and it reminds me of you, I decided to give it a whirl. It seemed a little weird, but what the heck.

I chilled it, just like you said you used to do when you were younger working on the farm. Only you chilled your melons in the well. It’s about the only story I remember you telling me about yourself when you were younger. You all had so many watermelons that you’d chill them in the well, crack ‘em open and just eat the heart of the melon.

When I had cut this watermelon open, I felt like I was in the Twilight Zone—Pink Watermelon Invaded by Yellow Aliens. The yellow flesh was pretty and it tasted like watermelon. But there was something not quite right about it—whether it was not being able to wrap my head around the yellow flesh or whether I really could taste the difference, I’m not sure. I’d have to be blind folded to know.

I can never get enough watermelon—maybe because deep down I never got enough of your stories—never got enough of you.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Grand Tea Party

Dear Mom,

I had a tea party with my two granddaughters, Lily and Logan. Although they’re not my blood granddaughters, I love them just the same.

Not having had a grandmother, I envied those I knew telling stories of their grandmothers—sweet, heart warming tales. I’m not trying to take the place of their real grandmothers’ —just hoping to create some nice, fun memories.

Our Grand Tea Party began at 8 AM. We planned the menu. We decided on our pretend names. Lily—Princess Penelope (the blonde), Logan—Princess Onion, and I was Queen Grandmother Vera Sunflower. We made from scratch mini blueberry muffins, teeny chocolate chip cookies, a green salad and fruit salad cut up extra small.

I had a mini banana bread and tiny maltballs that we added. We dug out their great grandmother’s (child size) tea set and washed it. Lily and Logan polished the silver spoons.

We decorated our hats making several trips to the attic and basement for silk flowers, ribbons, glitter pens and scarves.

Decorating was ongoing as we waited for things to dry or deciding on one more embellishment. We rummaged through my old clothes for dresses and shoes. I found some hot rollers and curled the girls’ hair while over exaggerating their faces with makeup.

They both wished their straight thin hair was full and curly. I told them if their normal hair was full and curly, they’d wish it was straight and thin, and that they had beautiful hair.

We set the table, put the food on, made sure our babies (Lizard Geoffrey, Onion Geoffrey and Baby Queen Bear) were dressed and ready and our official tea party began.

We talked in our finest English accents while we sipped our hot cocoa (because they didn’t like tea) and munched on our goodies.

At 4 PM we kicked off our shoes, put on our bathing suits and finished off the day in the hot tub. I don’t know if they’ll remember, but I surely won’t forget it.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

A Disorganized Past Life

Dear Mom,

I’m trying to get more organized. My husband says I’m the most disorganized organized person he’s met. Disorganized organized? I get it, but it probably doesn’t make sense.

I knew I had kept this Indian doll and a handmitten powderpuff—both came from your firstborn Suzanne. Sue, as I called her then (and still do) back from a trip to Arizona brought me the Indian doll as a souvenir. I treasured it so much, I wouldn’t play with it and kept it in the plastic bag. Through the years her neck got broke causing her head to dislodge but she stayed hidden inside the bag in a box. When I pulled her out the other day—some 40 years later—I managed to put her head back on but noticed her right ankle was a bit crushed. I wondered at my protection of this doll and why I found her so precious, wanting to keep her safe. I speculate I may have been Native American in another life. I’ve had neck issues, and recently my right ankle has given me trouble. Coincidence? I don’t think so. I think we carry things with us from one life to another working them out as we go along.

As far as getting organized, I keep finding stuff causing me to be more disorganized. Yep, disorganized organized.