Monday, May 31, 2010

Memorial Day

Dear Mom,

I know you had brothers who served in the war and I’m sure it wasn’t easy wondering if they’d make it back. In honor of those who have served in the war and are now serving, I express my sincere thanks. These are just some of my relatives and friends that I know and I’m sure there are many more that I’m unaware of (forgive me). I’m also ignorant of the fact as to what capacity, and which line of the military (working on that so I apologize if I have it incorrect). To those now serving, may God bless you and keep you safe.

Husband Norm Obermoeller – Marine (Vietnam)
Brother Warren Moellering – Army (Vietnam)
Brother-in-law Frank Malawey – Navy (Vietnam)
Brother in-law Dale Obermoeller – Army (Vietnam)
Exhusband #1 – Green Beret/POW (Vietnam)
Friend Harvey Stanbrough – Marine (Vietnam)
Friend’s husband Thom Lemmons – Army (Vietnam)
Uncle Mike Behlmann – Korean War
Uncle Joe Bippen – Korean War
Uncle Bob Teabeau – Korean War
Uncle Earl Obermoeller – World War II
Uncle Red Raup – World War II
Uncle Jim McCullough – World War II

Resting in Peace:
Uncle Alvin Moellering – Korean War
Uncle Harold Moellering – World War II
Uncle Lawrence Moellering – World War II
Uncle Shorty Laramie – World War II
Aunt Rose Laramie – Rosie the Riveter/World War II
Uncle Mart Bippen – World War II
Uncle Henry George Bippen – World War II
Uncle Fred Obermoeller – World War II

Now serving:

Children’s little brother Erik Hunt – Army (Iraq)
Cousin Clifford Moellering and his son Cliff Jr. – Army (Iraq)
Friend’s nephew Ken Pondrom – Marine (Iraq)
Friend’s son Joe Brockmeier – Marine (Iraq/Afghanistan)

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Memorial Day Weekend

Dear Mom,

When I was little I remember barbeques at different relatives and at our own house, but can’t really remember what holiday it was on, although I’m sure that Memorial Day wouldn’t have been passed up without celebrating since we have so many relatives that served in various wars.

A few of my uncles had tattoos, which I’m guessing was symbolic for those who served. Representing a kind of war wound. At least that’s the way I took it when I was a kid.

Dad could barbeque some mean chicken. I think I remember someone saying how he’d get drunk, drop some pieces on the ground but then would douse them with beer and he’d claim they were as good as new. I could see him doing that.

When I start thinking about things, like previous wars and who served, there are so many unanswered questions. Why didn’t Dad serve in the war? I thought someone said he was too old. What’s too old?

As we head to a barbeque tomorrow and although I don’t drink and can’t toast to those who served, I shall toast with my heart—wishing all who served my sincere gratitude and who are now serving—a safe journey home.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

More on Haggling

Dear Mom,

I guess I just wanted to make it clear to you that I don’t always haggle. Sure, I love a bargain and cannot stand to pay full price for anything unless I’m really desperate in finding something that I need and time is running out. I have no problem paying full price for something if it is truly worth it. But there are some things that I just can’t seem to pay a high price for no matter how in love with it. I suppose that’s the value of something on either end—what one is willing to sell it for and what one is willing to pay.

I’ve had garage sales—and refuse to ever have them again because believe it or not, I’ve lost money having them—and I would be so irritated with folks when I would have a dime on something and they’d ask me if I’d take a nickel. Come on. Now that’s a professional haggler. I’m an apprentice haggler, only haggling when some serious haggling needs to be done.

Friday, May 28, 2010


Dear Mom,

I’m not a good people person. I never know what to say to people that I’ve just met and always feel rather awkward. But sometimes I surprise myself with things… like haggling.

I’ve always wanted to grow clematis, but our mailbox (where you usually see clematis growing) is nowhere in sight to view it since our driveway is about 1,000 feet long. We lost a Dogwood and a Bradford Pear tree in front and I thought it’d be fun to add some kind of trellis and grow clematis on it.

I have a hard time envisioning if something will look right with its surroundings and after looking at different things that I thought would work, I needed Norm’s opinion. The one I liked best was the most expensive that I spotted at an antique mall. I asked Norm what he thought would be a good price and so I offered that to the sales person and he refused. We left. We headed to another place and I couldn’t believe when I spotted the exact same thing. There was no price. The salesperson told us what it cost and I turned and said, “But would you take $?” He didn’t hesitate and said, “Sure.” I stopped myself from jumping up and down.

Not only do I have something for my clematis to climb up and around on, it is a tree as well—one that will never die. All because I haggled.

Mom, you were pretty thrifty so I wonder if you ever haggled.

The metal tree: Looking up:
What will be growing on the tree:

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Milk from the Dairy

Dear Mom,

I’m sure you remember Dad going to the dairy to pick up milk for you. Ruthie and I always wanted to go along in the hopes of conning Dad into buying us an ice cream cone or a package of Chicklets or some other kind of candy. We’d go for the ice cream cone first. We’d be excited riding in the old green Ford thinking about what we might get. When he’d pull into the dairy and tell us to stay in the car, our hearts would sink because we knew then we wouldn’t be getting anything. That didn’t happen often. Sometimes he’d surprise us anyway and throw us a pack of Chicklets when he’d slide back into the drivers seat.

We’d get home and you’d have your Carnation powdered milk out, with additional empty glass milk bottles. Some of the bottles would already have a mixture of Carnation and water in them. You’d add the milk from the dairy—making your own what they now call 2 percent. Not sure whether they had that back then. Seemed like you saved wherever you could.

When Norm tells me I’m being cheap, I think I need to remind him of how it could be, and that I’ve clearly inherited that trait from you.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Dirt Rings

Dear Mom,

I remembered playing outside in the heat, not thinking anything of it. Dirt rings wrapped around my neck, and you’d have to call me in or I’d stay out there forever. We didn’t have air conditioning and I’d stand in front of the attic fan talking to it so I could hear my voice sound like a robot.

I worked out in the garden for a while, probably had a dirt ring around my neck but I praised the Gods when I stepped foot in the air condition house.

Dad loved this kind of heat and would sit outside all day long if you let him even as he aged. I guess that’s the farmer blood in him. I know I have that blood too but as I get older, the less I’m able to tolerate the hotter weather.

Working in the yard helped exercise not only my body, but my writing brain. I came in, showered and pulled out my pen and paper. I might need to do more yard work to keep me inspired. Just like pulling out the excess growth in the yard, I pulled out the excess writing material and now my story has a new look.

before: after: before: after:

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Dear Oh Deer

Dear Mom,

Smeagol, our cat stood at the door doing his chattering thing which caused me to look up and there stood a deer drinking from our pond. I figured by the time I grabbed the camera to take a picture, it’d leap into the woods. I carefully inched my way to the door tiptoeing being as quiet as I could. You wouldn’t believe how well those deer can hear you even with the windows and doors closed. I aimed through the glass and snapped the first picture. The deer immediately turned around and stared at me. I stood like a statue just like the deer. We watched each other motionless. I worried if I took another picture he’d dart off, but I decided to snap a shot anyway knowing the deer wasn’t going to stand around in the garden all day. I slowly lifted the camera lens to my eye and clicked the button. The deer still didn’t move. His one ear stood up cocked and he continued to stare. Then I guess he figured he’d better get the heck out of dodge so he trampled over my flowers and headed toward the woods.

I don’t mind that the wild animals eat and drink from our yard and feel rather fortunate that we offer them a place of some peace.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Yellow Water Iris

Dear Mom,

The water iris in our upper pond keeps sprouting seeds throughout the pond and in the yard. It seems like every time you turn around, there’s another bunch of yellow iris’ popping out of the ground. I like them, but I wished when they reseed, they’d be a different color. Now wouldn’t that be a sight? It’d be like using a 64 pack of crayons instead of coloring with just yellow.

Another flower that has been sprouting all over the back is the Black-eyed Susan. It’s my favorite. I tried growing that plant in the front where it gets all sun and never could get the plant to take hold. I gave up. At the time, the back was all shade. Then we lost a bunch of trees. Then one year up comes a mysterious plant. You can imagine my surprise when it turned out to be a Black-eyed Susan. They’re starting to take over. Norm thinks I’m secretly planting them, but I never planted one in the back. He doesn’t like them as much as I do. I think he wanted a little more variety—just like I want different colored water iris.

Mother Nature has her way and I’m all for whatever manages to birth on its own as I know it’s more likely to survive.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Didn't Sprint

Dear Mom,

I have completed the cleanse and didn’t sprint out of bed after the seventh day, so I’m really disappointed. Didn’t need to sprint to the bathroom either. I became constipated. Go figure. Eating soup that was all vegetables and mostly everything else I consumed was fruits and vegetables, I don’t understand what the hold up was. I ate some (organic, no hormone) beef at the end. I drank tons and tons of water. Now you tell me, how does that make you constipated?

When we were little you would give Ruthie and me these little chocolate crumbs after dinner. Not the brightest bulbs in the package, we’d gobble them up and want more. You’d tell us, “No, you can only have one spoonful.” Later when we learned the chocolate crumbs were to help us with our bowel movements, we didn’t want to gobble them up so much after that. Can you mess up someone’s system in their early years?

Norm says it’s a women’s disease. If he ate what I had all week, he’d still be in the bathroom. He may never have left the bathroom. As for me, my tummy looks like it’s ready to give birth—to a poop baby—a term my daughter’s friend called it when she was constipated.

Wonder whether it will be a boy or a girl. I’m hoping for octuplets, but I’ll settle for twins.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Homemade Chocolate Chip Cookies

Dear Mom,

I baked homemade chocolate chip cookies while I was still on my cleanse. Not sure why I’m into self-torture. I didn’t even lick my fingers, although I’m not a fan of raw cookie dough, so that part wasn’t that difficult to resist. Just smelling the aroma made me want to pop them in my mouth. I could hear them sizzle while they burned my tongue and I wouldn’t have cared. But I was good. Ate some zucchini. That soup. Oh boy.

I made the cookies special for someone and doubled the batch to also have some for Norm, Mr. Sweet Tooth. I don’t think my sweet tooth is as bad as his, but he never gains weight and always has an abundance of energy. I don’t get it. Mr. Sweet Tooth is older than I am by ten years, but he’ll probably out live me because of the added sugar—he calls it his body’s preservatives.

Anyway as I mixed the batter, I added extra love. The person getting the cookies can surely use it. The extra love won’t hurt the hubby either. Probably need to throw in a little extra love for myself too! And always love to you.

Friday, May 21, 2010


Dear Mom,

I play Bunco once a month with my cousins (your nieces) and your sisters and sister-in-law, and of course my two sisters. I love how my aunts are in their 70s and 80s and they get out and play. They’re always dressed up, putting us younger ones to shame—their hair styled and make up on, jewelry to match their outfits. Watching them I wonder how you’d fair—whether you’d be up to it—what you’d be like, not as a mother but as a person. I wonder whether I have any of your personality traits. No one has ever said, “Oh you act just like your mother.” Or “That’d be something Vera would do.”

When I do or say something, my girls with a bit of sarcasm will say, “Oh, now I know where I get that from.” And to be fair, sometimes they laugh and giggle, “I’m just like you.” But then they’ve had me a lot longer to rub off on.

Every now and then when I’m in bed, I’ll swing my arm over and prop my arm across my forehead. That’s something I remembered you did. I’d walk into your bedroom, wanting one last thing before going to sleep and you’d be lying on your bed with your right arm over your forehead. I always found that kind of odd, but as soon as I do it, I think of you.

Tonight is Bunco and you’ll be in my thoughts.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

More on the Cleanse

Dear Mom,

I’m on Day 6 of this cleanse and all I can say is that I still don’t have any energy and my headache has lasted almost the entire time I’ve been doing this. I still drool while watching my husband eat Butter Biscuits covered with Dark Chocolate or Lemon Tart. Then again, I drooled watching him eat something healthy—marinated chicken tenderloins and asparagus, both grilled. I ate my soup.

Doesn’t seem like you ever had to watch what you ate, but then I was a kid and never paid any attention to that sort of thing. I wonder if it was hard for you with anything. I don’t remember you ever whining like I seem to do.

But I’m going to stick it out as I’m this far now—only one more day after today. If after Day 7 I’m not sprinting out of bed with my head no longer pounding and if sweets are passed under my nose with me not turning them down, I doubt I’ll do another cleanse. I do hope however to watch my intake of the bad things, but with my addictive personality it’s going to be a tough battle. I did manage to beat booze, drugs and cigarettes, so this should be a piece of cake. Mmmm cake….

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Heel of the Bread

Dear Mom,

I remember Dad telling me about the time when Uncle Joe lived with you two. He said Uncle Joe would never eat the heel when he’d reach in for a piece of bread and it’d make him so angry. You could hear Dad’s voice getting riled up all over again. I always thought it was silly. Who cares?

It was silly until we had family move in. I guess we each have our own hey that gets on my nerve kind of thing. Like not eating the heel of the bread. Mine was not scooting the chair back into the kitchen table. I could handle it for a while, but then a spark would ignite and I’d find myself, just like Dad, crabbing about the chair not being put back.

It reminds me when my cousin came over and stood at the kitchen door. “Why are your cabinet doors open?”

I looked around and saw about three of them open exposing the inside contents. I shrugged, “I have no idea.” Unconsciously I’d leave the cabinet door open after removing something.

It’s the same thing with pushing the chairs in—people aren’t purposely leaving the chair out to get on my nerves. Uncle Joe didn’t leave the heel of the bread to tick off Dad. Sometimes we do things just because. No rhyme or reason.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010


Dear Mom,

I had the pleasure and experience of learning what it was like back in the day when newspapers and publishers printed by setting type on a letterpress. You have to put the type upside down and backwards in order for it to come out the right way on the paper. I was pretty quick at it and figured I may have been a typesetter in a previous life. Being a writer, it has to start from somewhere.

My good friends (and writers) Bob and Carole have this letterpress set up in the basement of their home. They’re involved in a letterpress organization and continue to keep the small press alive.

Carole finally decided to start a blog—Lasting Impressions—where she talks first hand about her experience growing up as the daughter of a letterpress man and continuing the legacy. Bob has a book out, Recasting a Craft: St. Louis Typefounders Respond to Industrialization by Robert A. Mullen, published by Southern Illinois University Press.

Who would ever think there could be so many fonts that you can actually touch rather than pick on your computer screen? I’m always encouraged to come and print something but I get overwhelmed with the choices. I need to just get over it and do it because it was so much fun. Hmmm, but what to print?

Monday, May 17, 2010

A Cleanse

Dear Mom,

Lately I’ve been eating too much bad food, sweets mainly since I’ve inherited Dad’s sweet tooth. I have to blame somebody. I decided to do a type of cleanse. I’ve tried several that were pretty awful and could never make it through to the end. This one sounds like something I can handle and it’s only for seven days. Only.

You make a huge pot of soup with specific vegetables and you can eat as much as you want all day long. You’re encouraged to stuff yourself. Each day you get to eat something else with it. Day one is all fruit (except bananas). Day two is all vegetables. You get the idea. Also, you’re to drink water—half your weight in ounces. I have travelled to the bathroom more times this morning than I have all week. My belly feels like the weather outside—rainy and sloshy.

But I have hopes I’ll feel great by the time it’s over and be able to fight off the Sweet Tooth Monster. Guess I need to be realistic—at least curb its appetite.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Reading, Dreams, and Poetry

Dear Mom,

I don’t remember you ever reading, but you did crossword puzzles. To me, that’s harder.

Last night before I went to sleep I finished Meet Me: Writers in St. Louis by Catherine Rankovic. Excellent book. I had no idea we’re so fortunate to have so many writers from St. Louis. My reading list just got longer.

I also listened to Sightlines by Janet Riehl. It touches your heart in so many ways, and what a beautiful tribute to her family.

Then I read a chapter from Stranger by the River by Paul Twitchell.

I knew when I went to sleep, traveling to other places, writing—particularly poetry—would surface. And sure enough as I entered back into semi-consciousness, here’s what I heard:

Pounding head!
I stay wrapped in the covers.
My bladder demands more attention—
slither out of bed,
drag my body,
feet shuffling like my Parkinson’s Dad,
back and hip hurt too,
shoulder has a kink,
eyes less than a slit.
This cleanse gives you energy?
Hurry up coffee maker!

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Does it Matter?

Dear Mom,

Family situations are kind of odd sometimes, don’t you think? My ex-husband (#2), the father of my three children called yesterday. He was getting his will in order. He wanted to know if I had his daughter’s address. This would be his first-born daughter from his first marriage. He said, “I don’t even know her last name.” I told him her last name since she is married and has children of her own now. I also gave him her address. I secretly wished he’d actually contact her.

I can’t imagine not talking to my own children. He probably doesn’t even remember what brought it all on to begin with. And I would have to think, what does it matter?

I understand when one has to use tough love for major situations, but that’s not the case here. It’s simple miscommunication and hard headedness. Why not clear the air and move on? But I can’t interfere. Tried. I’ve learned I’m not the fixer-upper of people and their relationships—they have to do that on their own.

All I know is if one of my children had an issue with me, we’d be wrestling around until we got it figured out—even if we agreed to disagree.

I asked the ex if he had my address. He didn’t get it at first but then busted out a hearty laugh. I took that as a no. I wouldn’t want anything from him, but let me tell you I’d certainly deserve it.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Local Raw Honey

Dear Mom,

The garbage can has more motivation than I do right now. I want to nap and eat raw honey mixed with black walnuts.

Pat and I went on a little day trip yesterday. We stopped at this local farmer’s market although by the time we got there, there wasn’t much going on. One table had black walnuts packaged for sale from Martin Walnut Tree Farm. Sitting in a bucket were the whole nuts, I guess for those who’ve never seen them. Since we have walnut trees it wasn’t new to me but I imagined the work involved. He told us of the yummy treat of black walnuts, honey and cinnamon that the beekeeper shared with him earlier. We took a few steps to the table where rows of raw honey sat from said beekeeper Grant F.C. Gillard.

A friend had just given us a jar of raw honey, so I wasn’t interested. Pat decided to buy some and he asked her what variety.

“Is there a difference?” Neither of us thought there could be.

The beekeeper handed us a tiny plastic spoon and dribbled the first of many varieties to taste. He then dribbled Mid-Summer onto our spoon.

The honey hit my tongue. “Oh my God.” I was transported to a field of spring flowers.

Mr. Beekeeper chatted about the process—too technical for me to explain. All I know it was the most delicious honey I’ve ever had.

Is there a difference? I’ve never had spring flowers explode in my mouth before.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Mr. Groundhog

Dear Mom,

Saw Mr. Groundhog the other day. I just love seeing all the different critters that come and go in our yard. I’m sure I miss half of what is out there. This groundhog must live under the deck. He comes out, makes his way down the path and heads toward the other side of the house. I don’t know where he ends up or why he heads in the same direction each time. Maybe he’s searching for food.

I thought the raccoons were the ones eating our Koi fish in the upper pond, but now I’m wondering if it’s the groundhog. This is the second year that the huge fish have disappeared. Because they are expensive, we’ve decided not to keep spending big bucks just so some wild animal can have a nice meal.

One time Norm and I thought it’d be fun to feed the baby raccoons. You know babies—they’re so cute. But when they got big and started scratching at the back door for a handout we realized we had made a mistake.

Whether it’s the raccoons or the groundhog eating the fish, they’ll soon find out their meal ticket is gone—time to be responsible for yourself and get your own food.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Momma’s Day Photo

Dear Mom,

Thought you’d like to see your granddaughters on Mother’s Day. I asked Norm to take a good picture of us. As a photographer he said it was good. If you remove me and although not the worst picture I’ve ever taken, how could I look anything but old and pale sitting next to some gorgeous girls. How cool it would have been to have you in there as well. I love photos of people where there are three and four generations.

We spent a lazy time together later in the day. One had to work and one has a bum leg and it would have been fine for them not to come over. We see each other a lot, but they wouldn’t hear of it. I told them no presents. Seriously, I need nor want anything. Okay, maybe some energy. A few less pounds, few less wrinkles. But even at that, I’m okay.

They still don’t listen and brought me some goodies. Rita made some homemade, quite delicious, cupcakes with her own creation of strawberry glaze made with real strawberries. Jessica picked up some candy from Crown Candy. When she handed me the box she said, “I know you said no presents, but I had to get this… umm… I know you’re watching what you eat, but….” And I knew there was some yummy treat inside. Most of which I ate already. I’m watching it alright—going right into my mouth!

My girls are sweeter than the treats they gave me.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Wandering Mind

Dear Mom,

Did you ever have one of those days where you can’t seem to concentrate and your mind keeps wandering off, and you pull it back in? It takes a walk down one path, comes to a turn off, and heads on that path. Next thing you know it’s lost.

The Spirea in my yard is in bloom and seems to be a late bloomer compared to the other’s I’ve seen around town. This is the bush I talked about (Here Comes the Bride) when I was a kid. I planted something next to it with dark leaves and had no idea it was going to turn into a bush. Two years ago, that dark leaved plant sat just a foot high. It’s kind of similar to the Bridal Bouquet (found out that’s what they really call that variety). This dark leaved bush must be the pink version. You’d think I’d be better at remembering names of plants, but there’s too many.

The information in there, like the wandering mind, gets lost too!

Bridal Bouquet Spirea

The two together

The pink bouquet

Monday, May 10, 2010

Break My Heart Again

Dear Mom,

Wow, never knew it could be so rough sometimes being a mother. My baby called me and at first was really happy telling me about a surprise she was anticipating by her honey. A few minutes later she informs me she has some bad news. I thought the phone was cutting out. “Hello?”
“I’m still here.”
“What’s your bad news?”
“Hello? Are you there?”
“Yeah, I’m still here.”
And then I thought I heard sobbing.
“Are you crying?”
Sniffles, “Yeah.”
“Oh my God, what’s wrong?” I was expecting her to tell me that she got fired or something. Just listening to her sob brought tears to my eyes. When she told me a dear friend of hers was dying, I had to choke back my own tears—to help her. She’s experienced death of grandparents and relatives. Although painful, you expect your grandparents to move onto another life. With others, not so much. When it’s unexpected, it seems to tear at the heart a little more, I guess.

We talked about death, the advantages and disadvantages of knowing or not knowing. One way can be just as painful as the other. It was odd that I had just journaled about wishing I could have said something meaningful to you before you died. But the truth of the matter came out—I had wished you had said something meaningful to me. Some words of wisdom that could be tucked away for moments like this.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Honoring Mother's Day

Dear Mom,

If you were alive, I’d make you breakfast, lunch or dinner—or all three, along with your favorite dessert. Although I don’t know what that is. I don’t think you’d be disappointed with my homemade cherry pie—and not the canned cherry pie filling kind—but real red tart cherries. Maybe I’d create you a poem that would go something like this…

For All That You Have Done

Knee pressed pedal, makes the black Singer hum
Sewing flowered dress, for the little one
Ringer washer rumbles, churning the clothes
Squeezing through rollers, water drains from hose

Hauling laundry out, drying on the line
Ironing out the wrinkles, all pressed just fine
Preparing dinner, for everyone to eat
Still not a break, to rest your weary feet

Helping kids with homework, bath, and to bed
There’s this and there’s that, no time to be read
More dishes to wash, and counters to clean
And not to mention, all the things unseen

So thank you Mom, for all that you have done
Despite your short time, I’m the lucky one.

Happy Mother's Day!

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Happy Anniversary Ruthie & Bud

Dear Mom,

It’s Ruthie’s wedding anniversary. I don’t remember how long she and Bud have been married, but it’s the second marriage for both of them. Ruthie lost her first husband to cancer. Bud’s to divorce. They say divorce is like the same trauma as a death, but I would have to think death is more so. I never lost any husbands to death, although there were times I wanted to kill them. No disrespect intended, and of course, I never would. Just an expression.

Death has more of a closure. Whereas divorce—depending on the situation—can be more like an opened wound. That’s my opinion anyway and I’ve been through enough to have some experience.

Ruthie is married to my best friend’s brother. I wondered if they would hit it off and I mentioned it to Ms. Matchmaker who ran with that thought and there you are. Some matches do make it—the fire always burning.

I think it’s interesting how couples meet and I don’t think I know the story of how you and Dad met.

Here’s to Ruthie & Bud—may the fire of your love always warm your heart.

Friday, May 7, 2010

More on My OB-GYN

Dear Mom,

It just goes to show that when you have something that is in your head that you know how it played, doesn’t always mean it comes out that way when you are writing. (Read: My OB-GYN if you haven’t.)

Apparently a blogger friend misunderstood that my OB-GYN wanted to be involved with me, but NO that wasn’t the case. Dr. M was calling for his son, although his son had no idea, hence why I said, “Oh my son would be livid if he knew what his ole dad was up to, but I just thought if you weren’t involved with anyone….” Dr. M was trying to play match-maker with his son and me. I don’t know if Dr. M ever confessed to his son what he did.

Mom, just wanted to set the record straight so that no one thinks Dr. M was some kind of weirdo who wanted to date me. Dr. M was one of the kindest Souls I’ve ever met. He had a bright sunny disposition, took time with his patients, made them feel comfortable, but also didn’t sugar coat anything. If he thought you were gaining too much weight in your pregnancy, he said so. He was compassionate and caring. Sometimes I’d bring my kids with me and he always took time to talk to them. I hated to see him retire.

Knowing that Dr. M’s son could have inherited some of his father’s traits made for the heavy heart.

Dr. M has passed away, yet he’ll always remain in my heart.

Scattered Brain

Dear Mom,

I thought menopause was causing my scattered brain, but I just remembered a time when I was in my early twenties, married to husband number one for about a year. We had just moved to Corpus Christi and had been eating at McDonald’s. We left and after we were on the road for a bit, I realized I had forgotten my purse. The husband turns around, we pull in and I jump out to get my purse. It’s not where I left it, so I stand in line to ask the folks behind the counter. I had never done anything like this before. I guess it was taking too long because husband marches in, past the line of people and shouts, “Did you find a purse, brown in color?”

The guy behind the counter bends down and grabs something, holds it up and says, “You mean this?”

Husband snatches the purse, glares at me, storms out and I sheepishly follow. He proceeds to tell me that I’m a moron or something along those lines and why didn’t I just go up and ask rather than wait in line.

Mom, to me it seemed like the right thing to do, wait my turn.

I saw a side of that husband that day I didn’t like and I’m sure it was the start of all the things that came tumbling down to end the marriage.

Thursday, May 6, 2010


Dear Mom,

Here’s something you missed. Something I wished I could have asked your advice on, although there are many moments like that in my life.

After my second divorce, I received a call from my OB-GYN. He had since retired, so I was taken by surprise when he called. I loved him. Not in the romantic way, but in a fatherly way. He delivered all three of my children. Joe, the children’s dad questioned the doctor whether I was really in pain during labor. Dr. M said, “Well, it’s like this. Imagine putting your balls into a vice grip and you keep on cranking it.” Dr. M was my hero.

Dr. M had a son who’d recently divorced. He remembered I had gone through a divorce too and “Oh my son would be livid if he knew what his ole dad was up to, but I just thought if you weren’t involved with anyone….” A whirlwind ran through my mind realizing the significance of the moment regardless of my answer. The outcome of my life would change in ways I wouldn’t be able to imagine. I told him how sweet it was to be thought of, but I was engaged.

I hung up the phone with heaviness in my heart. I wondered whether I had made the right decision.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

I Wanted My Hair Curly

Remember the time I wanted my hair curled like our neighbor, Katie. I think they called it the duck curl—layers and rows of flipped up curls in the back of your head. You weren’t feeling very well and you made Warren do it. “No Mom, not Warren, I want you to do it. Warren won’t do it right.” Warren assured me he would and since you weren’t going to do it, I agreed. The next morning my hair looked like the fit I was having. Tears ran down my cheeks, “I told you Warren couldn’t do it!” I did not want to go to school that day.

Many years later I found out that the neighbor’s mom was a beautician, and Katie had naturally wavy hair. My hair was straight and I had Warren—clearly not a beautician.

That same beautician turned out to be my best friend’s mom, and who is now Ruthie’s mother-in-law. Yeah, it’s a small world.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Don't Try This at Home

Dear Mom,

I bought a Philadelphia Buttercup Pink bottle of OPI nail polish to paint my toenails. The lid wouldn’t unscrew. I struggled and struggled. I saw that someone must have tried out the color as dried up polish was at the base of the lid. I got out my fingernail file and tried to loosen the paint. Nothing doing. I poured nail polish remover in the base of the lid thinking that would melt it away. Nothing doing. I decided to tap it like you do to get a pickle or mayonnaise jar open. I went over to the sink and gave it a tap. With the second tap the lid and the top part of the jar snapped off and polish went flying. All over the sink, all over my hands. Thank goodness I was at the sink since it caught most of the mess.

I recommend if you can’t get a bottle of nail polish open, return it. Definitely don’t try the tap tap method of opening a jar.

By the way, did you ever paint your toenails? I remember them being thick as soda bottles but never painted. If my toenails weren’t so ugly, I probably wouldn’t bother especially after that episode.

Monday, May 3, 2010

You'll Get Dirty

Dear Mom,

Here’s a vivid memory. We were going somewhere—yeah, real vivid—and apparently had some time to kill. I begged you to let me ride my bike in the schoolyard next door to where we lived. You told me no because I’d get dirty. I whined and begged and said I wouldn’t get dirty. “Please, please let me ride my bike.” You finally gave in. With a smile on my face, I peddled away on my bike—the wind blowing in my face. Not a care in the world, until…

I crashed.

Got all dirty. Skinned my knees. Dreaded coming home—bawling.

I didn’t get a lick of sympathy from you. I received this look and a “Didn’t I tell you you’d get dirty?” I lowered my head in shame. Where does that come from? I didn’t really do anything wrong. I wanted to ride my bike. You agreed—with some prodding. But I crashed. As a kid, I felt God punished me for not listening to you to begin with. That seems all messed up now, doesn’t it?

Sunday, May 2, 2010

My Poor Sad Babies

Dear Mom,

Did your heart ever ache when one of us hurt? My two girls were over the other day. One down and out over love and the other down and out over stomach issues. I fed them some homemade bread like little birds as they sprawled out on the floor. I couldn’t help myself and grabbed the camera. A moment captured—me wishing I could take away their hurt. One physical and one emotional. But such is life. They’re smart and will figure things out. They’re a lot smarter than I ever thought to be at their age. Smarter than me now in a lot of ways.

I sometimes don’t always know what to do to comfort them. No offense, but you weren’t exactly the warm and fuzzy cozy kind of mom. It probably turned out to be a good thing—helped us to adapt better with your loss. But I have a tendency to question whether I’m doing the right thing. Sometimes I feel rather heartless and cold. “Buck up, get over it, better things are to come. If you think that’s bad, well I’ve gotta few stories for ya!” I’m usually more subtle than that, maybe.

I can say my heart aches worse for them than it does for my own stuff. Maybe it’s my age or maybe it’s a mother thing. I don’t really know.

Here are the little stinkers:

Saturday, May 1, 2010


Dear Mom,

The grandkids were over the other night and wanted to play this game called Sharks and Minnows. Not a game I can join in. When they lived here, it would drive me crazy—mainly because they’d always whine. “That’s not fair!” “You can’t do that!” “You’re cheating!” Eventually someone would get mad, quit and stomp off. I could never figure out why they even liked to play the game. When I hear Sharks and Minnows this tingling thing runs up the back of my spine.

Mom, I wondered if you ever felt that way about us. I know Ruthie and I fought a lot, which I can’t fathom why. Okay, I have my theories. Mine was jealousy as she always got the attention. When we’d fight and she’d get the best of me, I was the one who got in trouble.

I love Ruthie to death and I have no issues with her any longer. It was what it was. I was no angel—she’ll attest to that. I wish I had been more kind to her when we were little, but we did play our own kind of games and probably drove you crazy too! Good ole karma.