Tuesday, November 29, 2011

24 years of Being A Wife

Today is the 24th anniversary of my wedding.   And to think they said it wouldn't last.  I'm not sure anybody actually said that.  But if they did, well, it's lasted 24 years.

As I went about my day I couldn't help but remember the good times, the frustrating times, the lean times, the funny times - the adventure.  I tried to mentally make a list of goals for the coming year.  I need to write them down as I am a list maker.  Here are a few:
1.  Say "I love you" every single day.  We have stopped doing that for some reason
2.  Complement my husband every day
3.  Go to bed at the same time - most days.  (Football season can mess that up!)
4.  Talk about things that do NOT involve the children.
5.  Put money in the offering plate.
6.  Eat healthy, exercise more, drink water

Our youngest child is just entering her teenage years.  Ironman and I are going to have to navigate this one together.  I think we're too tired to do it alone.

Friday, November 25, 2011


Tonight as I cleaned up my kitchen I had to think about all the Thanksgivings that I didn't have a kitchen to clean.  I had a kitchen.  Just not one that needed a massive cleaning after the Thanksgiving meal.  Because there was not a Thanksgiving Meal.  More than once I had no turkey, no dressing, no cranberry sauce.

I really don't know how it happened.  Or how anyone could allow me to be alone on Thanksgiving.  But it happened. More than once.

The first time it happened I was a freshman in college.  I had planned on returning home to a big feast.   About a week before classes let out for the holiday I got a call from Cruella saying she was going to be attending a fish fry at her friend's house on Thanksgiving Day.  Fish Fry?  Fish?  On Thanksgiving?  I slowly began to realize that meant she was NOT cooking.  She was not preparing a family day.  I would be coming home to an empty house.   I wasn't about to stay in the dorm for the long weekend.  So I drove on home.  Stayed in the empty house alone.  I don't really remember what I ate on that Thanksgiving Day.  But I remember it was quiet and lonely and horrible.

Then the next November rolled around.  Months tend to do that.  No matter how miserable the last holiday was, you always hope and wish that "this time it will be better".  Well, it wasn't better.  As usual I spent the holiday at home.  This time my grandmother was in a nursing home.  So on that cold and rainy Thanksgiving morning I drove over to the facility and sat with her.  She slept the entire time.  It was cold in the room.  And oh so quiet.  Every now and then I'd hear some voices in the hall.  But nobody ever entered the room.  It turned the television on.  Watched the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade.  Fell asleep.  When I woke up it was still raining outside.  Still cold.  And Grandmother was still asleep.  By now I'm getting hungry so I drove up and down the city looking for an open grocery store.  Found one.  Nationals.  I don't think this chain is still in existence but I can remember the Thanksgiving Day when I walked in hoping they had SOMETHING left "Thanksgiving-ish" to eat.  Nope.   No turkeys.  No stuffing.  Not even stove top stuffing.  No pies.  I wandered around and around with an empty grocery cart.  There were other shoppers there. All of them alone.  All of them just as lonely as I was.  I finally decided I'd just make Duncan Hines Blueberry Muffins.  Of course that meant I had to go back around and buy eggs and milk.  And I was a poor church mouse.  So that just about blew my food budget for the next week.

I remember yet another Thanksgiving long ago.  I was in high school.  Cruella announced she was not planning on doing anything for Thanksgiving.  She was going on a trip with her friends.  Shaggy Dog immediately made plans to go on a trip with her friend's family.  I thought about being alone.  I was too proud (or embarrassed) to ask somebody I knew if I could be invited to their family thanksgiving feast.  I mean, how do you do that?  I didn't want anyone to know I was ............ invisible to my own mother!  By some chain of events, I had a friend who casually invited me to join her at her grandmother's house.  I jumped at the chance. I'm sure she was shocked and put on the spot.  Yes she had invited me but no, she never thought I'd accept.  She probably invited me before she even asked permission to bring a guest.  Thinking back on it I'm sure that's what happened.  Her grandmother lived about an hour away.  We were going to drive up the day before and spend the night at her parent's camp.  Which we did.  And it was fun.  The next day came and went and no Thanksgiving.  She did not mention it.  I was too afraid to.  We just stayed in the little cabin alone all day.  We cooked some chicken and gravy.  That was the only food there. I wanted to ask her what time we were expected, etc but I was too embarrassed to ask.  It dawned on me that I had imposed upon her and her family and well, I just wanted to run.  RUN!  I made it through that day and could not get home fast enough on Friday.

I've had lots of bad Thanksgivings.  There are more stories to tell.  The first Thanksgiving of my married life, my new husband and I stopped by my mother's house. On Thanksgiving Day.  She was serving lasagna.  Strange lasagna, too.  Awful.  One of my cousins happened to be there and she was the star of the show.  Although she had never completed a project, never made a wise decision, never had any ambition or talent....... my mother loved her.  And that's alright.  But she loved her and showered her with attention and affection right in front of me.  Who she ignored.  I was invisible.
Ironman and I left as quickly as I could get out of there.  We were living 2 hours away at the time and stopped at a restaurant to have Thanksgiving Dinner.  They were completely sold out of turkey and dressing.  We went across to a hotel and the embarrassed restaurant manager told us they had nothing left.  I don't remember what we finally got to eat.  Maybe McDonalds.  But I swore right then and there I would NEVER darken Cruella's door again.  On Thanksgiving or otherwise.  NEVER.

I only broke that promise to myself once.  I did show up at her house once when I was expecting our second child.  I stayed for a few hours.  It was awkward.  I guess I just needed to try it one last time.  I thought maybe she'd step up to the plate and be a grandmother.  I was wrong.

And so this Thanksgiving as I spent over an hour cleaning up after our feast, I am grateful for lots of dishes, lots of food, lots of laughter, the alphabet game we play every year, all the turkeys and pilgrims and indians, all the cooking, all the preparation, all the people I love with their feet under my table.  Thank you for sharing Thanksgiving with me.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Doctor's Office

I had to have some blood work done this morning.  The reception area was busy.  Even on the Tuesday before Thanksgiving.  I don't know why I thought it would be quiet.

I've been taking a medication for 30 days.  I should be on  it for 90 days minimum.  Because one's liver may have trouble with this medicine I have to have the blood work once a month.  And so today was my first day to go by the lab.

The needle stick itself was not painful.  I've been there, done that.  I'm never nervous or upset by needles.

But now - 3 hours later - my whole arm aches.  Crazy.  I may even have to take some ibuprofen.

It's a bummer getting older.

I think I should clean up my new house.

Speaking of my new house, I will add some photos soon.  Hurry with that new camera, Santa.

An Open Letter To Talbots

Dear Talbots,

Your catalogs are beautiful.  The models are tall and thin.  Bravo to your publisher.

I do not shop in your store.

I used to shop there.  Or I used to at least browse.  But it is impossible for me.  You see, I'm a "look arounder".  I like to touch and think and try this shirt with that skirt.  I like to think about it.  I enjoy shopping alone.  I enjoy the peace and quiet of my own thoughts.

Thus it is impossible for shoppers such as myself to shop in your store.  I don't mind the "welcome to Talbots" greetings as I enter.  I'm southern.  That's what we do.  Even the greeters at Krogers say "good morning" as you enter.  I don't mind speaking and saying hello.  But once I'm past the door and browsing I do not need to be interrupted.  I do not need a sales assistant to point out the "brown skirts are over there,"  I can see the brown skirts.  I'll look at them when I get over to that side.  I don't need a sales assistant to inquire my size or what I'm looking for or if I'm ready to try something on.  I don't want to tell you my size.  I'm not really looking for anything specific.  I'm browsing.  When I'm ready to try something on then I'll find the fitting room myself.  The store is not that large.

When I tell you "I'm just looking.  Thank you"  I mean it.  Leave me alone.  Don't interrupt my thoughts.  If I need you I will find you.

Last Saturday as I left your store I made a vow not to return.  I was unable to look.  I was unable to think.  I can shop elsewhere.

And so I walked across to J.Crew.  Found "the" perfect dress.  Didn't need any help!


I Heart Red Shoes

Blog Readers


I have not left this blog.  For some reason I've just not given it any attention.  One of the main reasons is my lack of a camera.

Dear Santa,

Please bring me a digital camera.

I'll be good

Red Shoes

Until then I'll just write about my thoughts and frustrations and joys.  Photos coming soon.....