Monday, March 25, 2013


Time for some lightness of being for a change.  I know I could use it, I bet you could too. 

As I sat trying to think of what I wanted to write, I turned to my Pinterest Pal, Another Pinner for some blog post inspiration.  Another Pinner has always proven to be Genius! Brilliant! Epic! and those other overused Pinterest superlatives.   Forget Wikipedia, I have Another Pinner to guide me through life. Want some proof?  Allow me to copy and paste their pins and my reactions for you:

Another pinner said "AMAZING Homemade Crescent Rolls! I will never make another roll for the Holidays again. AMAZING". Need to try it.  (Please note the  use of double amazing in all caps designed to entice you never to whack that tube of unhomemade crescent rolls on your counter again.)  Which won't happen.  I LOVE whacking that tube.  That sounds dirty.

Another Pinner said "This is how our pit bull, Roxanne was when I was growing up! Dad couldn't spank us around her! Lol"  Hmmm.  Dad's spankings make me and the crescent roll tube feel much better about our relationship.

 Another Pinner said - Did this tonight with a ball between my inner thighs and another one behind my back.. down an inch and up an inch. RESULTS!!!    I suspect you have a visual all made up for this, don't you?  Now you're feeling dirty too. Let's just say that at this point I am totally at peace with the crescent roll tube.

 Another pinner said, "I've made pouches before but this one is just adorable! Perfect for all my scraps!"  (Wow, a pouchmaker.  I missed that one in the "useless degrees you could have had"). 

And let's not forget Another Pinner's Coup de grace, feeding the Churchies.
Another pinner said she made this for a Church event, and people raved! 

Anyhoo, we are back to my regular typing in a normal size font and I am here to tell you that one click of the Pinterest header and Another Pinner was right there for me, ready to dispense inspiration for my boggy writing brain.  Under the pin Journal Prompts to get you writing I found the following gems; which I have answered truthfully for you:

1. What is your favorite color,place, food, song and movie?

Cerulean blue in Key West eating milk chocolate with Prince watching Sixteen Candles.

2. What do you like to do?  How does it make you feel?

 Well, I like to drink.  I like to drink vodka.  It makes me feel 100% better. 

3.  What is something you're good at?  What makes you good at it?

Karaoke.  Vodka.

4.  What keeps you up at night worrying?  Is this realistic?  Can you do something about it? What can you do?

My dancing skills. No. Yes. Vodka.

 Another Pinner, this is not working for me.  This is not journal inspiration, this is more like the questionnaire notes I got passed in tenth grade.  I fully expect to turn around and see Jake Ryan sitting behind me.

So here I am, still fairly uninspired but intent on giving you something light.  

Thank God we need new tires, for now I have my very own journal prompt.

Because we need new tires I "get" to shop for them.  Like any good consumer I called around for prices, and like any good consumer I spoke to a ratio of one normal person to four idiots.  My favorite idiot conversation went down like this:

me:  Hi, I am calling for prices on a set of tires for my 2010 Saturn Outlook.  It's an XE base model (because we're poor) front wheel drive.

Discount Tire Idiot:  OK, well let me just check here (clickity click of the computer keys) uh OH, did you know that they no longer make your vehicle?

me:  Yes, I am aware that they discontinued Saturns.

DTI:  Well, that's a problem.  You're vehicle is no longer being made.

me:  Yes, I believe we have established that.

DTI:  This is a problem.

me:  We've covered that, too. So, you don't have tires for my car?

DTI:  Well, they don't make your car anymore.

me:  Perhaps you're suggesting I trade it for a car that you DO have tires for?

DTI:  (clicking on his computer again)  Are you SURE it's a 2010?  It's not a 2009? 
(and then; the kicker)  "Maybe you'd like to put your husband on the line?"

At this point, I remove the phone from my ear, ready to press the "end call" button and obliterate this imbicile from my day.  Then, mercifully, my inner warrior kicked in.

me:  Why yes, yes sir, let me get my husband on the phone.  That way, you can sit there diddling yourself while he walks out to the car and attempts to figure out what color it is, let alone what size tires we need.  Let me assure you sir, that despite my unfortunate possession of an X chromosome and  functioning uterus, I can identify the year, make and model of my vehicle.  Now sir, I am going to let you go because surely you are late checking on the little lady at home rolling out AMAZING homemade Pinterest Crescent Rolls while barefoot in an apron.  Send her my best wishes and thank her for enabling you to be the condescending turd that you are today.

Disclaimer:  Bill knows what color car we drive (I think).  And he may or may not know what size tires we have.  More than likely, he does not care.

I should wrap up my light hearted, happy post now.  I'm off to Belle Tire where they recognize that in order to get me to buy ridiculously overpriced tires they need to treat me like a chick who knows what P255/65/R18 means.  Even if I don't. Or don't care.  Or both.  Pass the vodka.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Fly Me Home.

Memories are funny things.  They can make you suck in your breath with wonder, make your stomach drop like a roller coaster ride, or they can make tears run down your face before you have time to think about swiping them off with your fist. They can be subtle and sweet, or hit you like a ton of bricks when you least expect it.

I think about her often. It's been a week now, and she's still an automatic reflex when I do things like turn down the frozen food aisle and stand in front of the Lean Cuisines, habitually ready to pick the requisite five or six boxes she considered "her dinners".  Then I remember, she's gone.  She doesn't have to decide between Sesame Chicken or Stuffed Peppers ever again.  And suddenly, I am the idiot in the frozen food aisle who appears to be crying because Hollywood Market is out of Salisbury steak.

I suppose eventually it will get easier. My friend sent me some words today that I treasure.  We both lost grandmothers that were larger than life and we long ago decided we were friends because we don't feed each other sugar coated cliches in times like this.  His words were perfect.  Here is what he wrote:  "I wish I could tell you that things will be okay, things will be alright, the pain of losing someone special will eventually lessen or that time heals all wounds. All of that is crap and the truth is that when we lose someone that has loved us unconditionally their memories will always make us laugh, make us cry, make us yearn for the days past and make us look forward to the future and seeing them again."

His words make me ponder something I can't always make myself think about.  The "what's next" part of death.  For Nana, and for me, too. During those "what's next" times, I watch as people with strong beliefs take solace in all the things they have been taught, surrounded by their church families and lifted up in their worship.  My non-conforming Catholic childhood is not giving me a lot of assistance at this dark time.  Instead I work to tap into my spiritual side, preferring to cut to the chase and simply talk with Nana, knowing fully well she isn't going to answer. I ask her how things are going in her first week on not-Earth, who she has seen and if she has found my dogs yet.  I tell her about my day and firmly believe I am telling her things she already knows.  I am pretty sure she's watching as I pick my way through this whole grief thing.

After Nana died, a young man came to Hospice House to pick her up.  His name was Levi, and he could not have been much older than my Travis.  He made such an impression on me;  the old, bereavement obsessed nurse who demands her coworkers leave the room if they "can't handle" a grieving family.  Levi asked me if I would like to help get Nana ready for the ride.  Memories of my Gramps getting wheeled out of his bedroom in a bag make my stomach turn even to this day, but I pushed that thought away and told Levi "of course, I wanted to help." Together Levi and I picked up all 85 pounds of Nana and wrapped her in a soft sheet.  I reached for the blanket to put over her and looked for the body bag that I knew had to be hiding discreetly under it.  No body bag.  Levi smiled at me as he said "we don't need one, she will be fine".  Levi gave me space as I pulled the blanket up, kissing Nana one last time and telling her how much I loved her.  Together we clicked the seat belts over her and tightened them up around her little body.  He maneuvered her gently out of the room and out of the tasteful bay-jeh walls of Hospice House.  I spun on my heel and grabbed my things and walked into the bright morning sun to drive home, swiping the tears off my cheeks with my fist.

As I pulled onto the road, I had the wintery waters of the Black River on my left and the memories of three months of long drives, nursing homes and tears on my right.  Neither option appealed to me so I looked ahead.  I sighed, wondering how those three months came spiraling down to end like this; no Nana riding shotgun, no errands left to run, no panicked reminders that the light in front of me "might just turn yellow any second".  The realization that an enormous chunk of my life was now traveling the opposite direction in a hearse hit at the exact time I looked up to see them:  two swans, flying along over my car for five, maybe ten seconds before they broke off for the river.  Two swans who were not the cardinals I always swore represented my Gramps.  Two swans who knew that cardinals would have been too small to see through my tears and who wanted me to know that finally, almost twenty years later, they were together again and would always watch over me. 

I drove home to the people that are my world, ready to continue making memories.