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August 1, 2008

What, Me Worry?

I've been pretty much inspiration-free for the last couple of days. Actually I owe the Farmer's Wife a post about how Inspiration Grows Like Mold....the Inspiration is there, but it requires photos and pointers and things. Mr. Sweetie is in charge of the camera. It's one of those new-fangled gizmos with the adjustable flash and all kinds of bells and whistles. I am not camera literate. Yet. Mr Sweetie probably won't understand or appreciate taking pictures of what I want.

"You want me to take a picture of what? How is that funny?"

But that's not what I wanted to say. I got off on a tangent before I even started. Because I was going to post on one of humanities' favorite things to do EVER: (aside from shopping and eating)

Well, maybe it isn't our favorite thing, but we all excel at it ~ worrying. We are a global community of worrywarts.

Those of you whose life is perfect may be excused from this rambling.

I am a Champion Worry Wart. Meet my sister Sue, also know as Stew. She can what-if anybody under the table.

My mom was an underacheiver in the Worry Olympics. Throughout a life of circumstances and "shit happens" situations she would appear to be serene and calm, sailing through as if whatever crap life handed her things were just fine.

She was divorced in the early 60's when divorce was Not Done. She was in a car accident shortly after that and required eye surgery. I don't remember who took us four hooligans in while she was in the hospital, just that she wore an eye patch for a bit and that she acted as though this was completely normal.

She managed to clothe, feed and shelter us on a secretary's salary. Most of the clothes came from a cousin in New England after the cousin had outgrown them. We thought that getting a big box of clothes periodically was shopping. It was as big of a buzz then as mall shopping is now.

Every summer she'd load four kids and on several memorable occasions a full-grown German Shepherd into an old VW Beetle and drive from Ohio to northern Maine to visit her mother and family for a week. Calm and serene, no worries.

When we got too loud or obnoxious she'd yell "Heavens to Murgatroyd! By the Lord Harry!" We knew we'd truly crossed the line when she'd holler, "Hell's Bells!!!"

It's easy to cross the line when there are four small wiggling bodies and a German Shepherd in the back of a Bug.

I spent many of my formative years thinking that God's name was Harry.

She met and married my Dad after a two week courtship in the early 70's. She didn't spend much time at all worrying about putting a wedding together or the implications of spending the rest of their lives together. They just got on with it so they could get to the happily ever after.

The only time that she was really and truly overtly worried, overwhelmed and a jangling bag of nerves was when my Dad required emergency surgery for a ruptured gall bladder. After 15 years of marriage, and seeing the love of her life so ill, she had somehow lost the coping mechanism of saying "let go and let God." She worried and stewed and worried some more. Dad died suddenly ~ complications from multiple back-to-back surgeries led to a heart attack at 55.

Thank God for Stew, I mean Sue. Sue would make sure that Mom came to her house for lunch and a daily dose of Sue-ness. "I was taking a shower with the three-year old and she looked up at me and said, "Mommy, why do you have such big (and here I thought I'd have to explain breasts to a three year old) knees? " " A daily dose of Sue can get you through trying times.

Mom somehow managed to get through our house burning down, her mother's death, and her diagnosis of colon cancer, all within a few months of each other. Once again, she was like a duck, calm and serene on top of the pond, and paddling like hell beneath the surface. When the time came to sign up for hospice, she had the hospice nurse and a representative from Elderhostel come to visit almost simultaneously. She had an opportunity to go to New England to draw light houses, and damned if she was going to miss out. It didn't matter that she couldn't draw a stick figure or that she was too weak from chemo and advancing illness to walk more than a few feet.

Mom was moved to the hospice center when it was time. Had she been alert enough she probably would have hollered "Hell's Bell's" at her four hooligans. She was reclined in a big hospital chair with her little chemo beanie sliding over her eyebrows. We were worried that the lights were bothering her eyes so somebody (Sue) put some sunglasses on her.

The likeness to the dead guy in "Weekend at Bernies' " was uncanny, And I'm sorry, really, really funny.

We refrained from posing Mom in unlikely but hilarious positions. But we thought about it.

Apparently giggling in hospice is acceptable, as long as you don't bother anybody but the nurses.

We got a call from the hospice center the first night of Mom's admission. She'd fallen out of bed but had not sustained any injuries.

When we asked her what she was doing getting out of bed without help she said,

"Oh, I was so worried about the cat."

Moral of this hellishly long post: Don't worry about the cat. Just don't worry.

July 31, 2008

Customer Service at Its Best

I was standing in line at Wendy's today. There were several counter people taking folk's orders. One of them was a cute high school age boy.

A burly construction worker came up to the counter and asked the cute high school boy to refill his Coke. Burly Construction Guy had one of those basso profundo voices that can make your toes curl.

He could recite the ABC's and make it sound sexy and romantic.

High School Boy refilled the Coke and handed it over to Sexy Romantic Burly Construction Guy.

" Thanks man. Love you.", says Sexy Romantic Burly Construction Guy.

"Love you too. Have a good day." said High School Boy.


July 28, 2008

Growing up, it seems like kids are tagged with labels that point out physical attributes, mental capacity, or some identifying factor that sticks for l.i.f.e. Any time I run in to folks I knew in elementary school and we catch up on each other's families, they don't remember names, but ask "How's the one that was so bossy?"

Big sis K is the Bossy One. She was cast in this role as soon as she acquired a little sis to boss around. She excels at her job and loves to tell people what to do.

Brother A. is the Smart One. He's the guy that took the MENSA test on a lark but wandered out before finishing the test because the answers were "too easy."

Sis S. is the Cute One. She is adorable inside and out. She's so cute that....well, when she was 36 her daughter was a senior in high school. Cute One saw that her daughter had left lunch at home so she ran it to the school. The principal saw Cute One in the school hallway and chided her, "young lady, shouldn't you be in class?" Read the numbers. Thirty-six. All natural. No fair.

Me? I'm the one with the boobs. Now, any of the above labels have some kind of almost complimentary ring to them. Who wouldn't want to be at least respected for their authority or smarts, or admired for being so darn cute?

What the hell do you do with boobs?

July 27, 2008

Kiss Them Bricks

The Brick Yard 400 commences today. All customary activity will be suspended. Shhhh. Watch as a bevy of macho race car drivers kiss the bricks. Listen intently as track conditions and shredding tires are discussed in e.x.c.r.u.t.i.a.t.i.n.g. detail.

Say "GO JEFF GORDON" at appropriate intervals.

pop a romantic schmaltzy girl movie in the other TV for the duration.

"Pride and Prejudice" anyone?