Things you always wanted to say but were afraid

Archive for the month “June, 2012”

Giving memories away


For almost a week, I gave away memories to grandson Coleslaw(his current favorite nickname).  I did this because I have such wonderful memories of being with my grandparents.  They didn’t spend all their time trying to entertain me.  They went about their normal life, and I just followed along for the ride – I mean for the memories.  Here are some that I hope will stick.

1.  Stalking a squirrel that is stealing our peaches.

2.  Feeding and watering the pony.

3.  Cooking breakfast every morning and sitting down with Papa and I to eat.

4.  Working in the garden.

5.  Cleaning some part of the house every day.

6.  Watch old TV shows – Gunsmoke, Rifleman, Perry Mason. Counting the shots at the beginning of the Rifleman.  Betting that Perry would win the case.  Knowing that Matt would win the gunfight.

7.  Watch weather every day and most of the times at least twice.  (As if our 100 degree heat will changed from the lunchtime forecast to the evening forecast.)

8.  Sitting on the porch while watching him ride the four-wheeler.

9. Shooting the BB gun.

10  One shot from the 410 shotgun. (That was all he wanted of that.)

11. Wondering how he felt when everywhere we went people commented on how he was the spitting image of his daddy at that age – especially when he started wearing his dad’s old baseball cap around town.

12.   Seeing the rainbow after the rain and talking about the possibility of gold at the end of it.

13.  Building a dinosaur puzzle together.

14.  Doing the “taco” tuck in for bed at least four times a night.

15.  Buying the old-fashioned cap pistols and having an out-and-out war with the cap pistols.  Papa and I were full of holes.

Maybe just one will stick.  At the end of the visit, he began to tell us just don’t answer his mom’s phone calls.  Then he said to tell her he was moving in with us and going to school here where he could ride the four-wheeler to school.  She finally forced him home after about a week.

He’ll be back.  We have much more excitement to live.  Enjoy every minute. 


Title IX and the athletes left behind




Not feeling very motivated to write lately, this one has caught me by the heart.  I am 58 years old.  In 1972 President Richard Nixon signed the Title IX legislation that made it illegal to discriminate against women in sports.  I graduated in 1971.

I was a tomboy from birth I guess.  I had little toy guns on my diaper pins.  My daddy was a baseball playing fool, and I benefited from that with many evenings of catch in the backyard.  Fortunately for me, my dad did not believe in cutting any slack to anyone (not even a girl) and I learned to catch a hot pepper just as well as any boy.  It was that or get hit with the ball and catching it was much less painful.  At the age of 12 we moved to a small town that had girls’ basketball, and even though it was three on three, I loved it.  By the time I was a freshman, the game had changed to the boys’ version of five on five, and I existed for sports.  The by-product of that was my coach made sure we kept our grades up, and I excelled on both the field and in the classroom.

By the end of 1968 our school board in Everman, Texas had decided that they could no longer afford to fund five  basketball teams.  At that time there was a varsity girls and boys team and a junior varsity girls and boys team and a boys freshman team.  That board, made up of entirely men, decided it could only fund three teams.  I imagine you can see where I’m going.  So behind the cloak of secrecy, it put in a girls’ coach with instructions to let the program go as far downhill as possible.  She held not one practice the final year we played.  Imagine – a team that did not practice one time.  We even went so far as to go to the gym on our own until we were barred for lack of supervision at which time our parents began coming with us.  We were then banned completely without a coach and our coach would not come – I imagine for fear of her job.  We got a petition up with many, many community signatures that was presented to the Board.  They thanked us.  That was all they did.  We lost miserably.  I had already had college coaches talk to me about playing for them, but with our program completely deleted when I was a sophomore that went down the drain as did my will to continue.

I lost the thing I loved and that motivate me the most.  I quit caring about school;  I experimented with things better left alone and who’s to say that wouldn’t have happened anyway, but I don’t believe it would have.  You SOB  bigoted all male school board took the very thing I was the best at and loved the most at that time because you were making decisions for women without any regard for women’s’ feelings.  I will always resent that and will never forget it.

Kind of reminds you of today doesn’t it? Leave my vagina alone and guys — give up trying to make decisions for women.  We are quite capable.  I hope the young women and their parents of today are stronger than we were.

How many stories are there like this?



In like a lamb; out like a lion

Well, the two granddaughters left today after staying a few days.  We have worked in the garden, fed the horse, planted some flowers, canned squash and rummage relish, cooked, cooked, and cooked some more, played games, had talent shows, shot the bb gun, shopped out every little antique store in our small county seat, gone out to eat chinese food, and generally had a great time until it ended with a big boom. The smaller granddaughter like to ride the pony; the older one not so much.  Of course, it was her that was riding when Flash decided to pitch a fit about something, and he pitched her right off on the ground.  Well, she actually rolled off on pretty soft ground (luckily), but it was tragic.  The younger one told her she rode longer than any of those cowboys she had ever seen, but it didn’t make the older one feel any better.  She called when she got home.  She is fine.  Kids aren’t used to getting hurt anymore.

We did have a great visit.  This is the first time that Papa and I have really had them visit for a few days sans parents.  I like that.  Those kids are so good and even more so when they are at our house.  They help with chores and are good eaters.  They are polite and give lots of hugs.  This has been one of the benefits of retirement that I was hoping would be a good side effect.

The most enjoyable part was our afternoon quiet time when they got a book, and I got a nap!!

A little recuperation time and grandson will have to come.  All he will want to do is tear it up on the four-wheeler.  My job will be to sit on the porch with the kill switch, ready to push it if necessary!

One of the little ones, just two years old says she wants to come.  “I come to your house, o.k.?”  she says.  She wouldn’t stay once it got dark.

The left-handed one.

Ready for the pot

Grocery shopping in a small town

Image Detail

Today I learned a recipe for carrot pie.  Yes, that’s what I said – carrot pie.  Today is grocery store day for me and with granddaughter Trin staying with us, she and I took off for the weekly ritual.  It was really nice to have some young bones to reach up and down to get all those things.  She also kept up with the list that kept me from having to and made sure I didn’t leave without everything on it.  Of course, everyone that knows me asks the question, “Which one is this?”  The poor child never gets to just be a granddaughter; it has to be she’s the middle one’s oldest child.  Anyway, back to the carrot pie.

We had quite a few groceries so I let the little old lady with the walker and just a few groceries go ahead of us.  Out of the blue, she asked us if we had ever eaten a carrot pie.  I have had carrot cake, but never carrot pie.  She said that it was so much better than pumpkin pie and told me just to substitute carrots (run through a blender) for pumpkin and make the pie.  I can’t wait to give it a try.

How many of you have trips like that to the grocery store?

Visit from grandkids

I am in the midst of the first visit from one of my grandkids.  My middle child’s (that I have often talked about)daughter (age 9 I believe) came for a few days.  This is our first round of grandkids coming anytime just to come and is a result of my retiring.  Already we have had such a super day.  I was bound and determined not to feel like I had to entertain her the entire time, but rather just to let her hang around and see how we spent our days and help out around the place.  It is the very thing that I remember so much about my grandparents.  So to recap.

1.  We cooked lunch – biscuits, butter and jelly, bacon, eggs.  Finished off with banana cream pie.

2.  Made a batch of squash relish.

3.  Worked in the garden.

4.  Fed the horse.

5.  Lay down and she read 8 chapters while I slept.

6.  Taught her how to play dominoes.

7.  Cooked supper – spaghetti, sliced tomatoes, rummage relish.  More pie.

8.  Went outside.  Sat in the swing and talked about things when I was a kid.

9.  Continued talking but this time about her boyfriend! Ahhhhh say it isn’t so.

10.  Watched the red birds, mocking birds, dove and squirrels.

11.  Got the BB gun and gave a lesson in shooting plastic buckets.  She hit on the first shot.

She liked killing buckets

12.  Had to reload. She liked killing buckets. Just in case she ever needs it for the boyfriend.

13.  Mosquitoes ran us inside.

14.  Took showers.

15.  Watched TV.

16.  Went to bed and listened to the rain.

Great day.  Tomorrow we buy groceries and maybe start on painting the bathroom.  In the evening we pick up the other granddaughter and the cousins will stay until Saturday.

Oh yeah, one more thing.  Mom said don’t let her shoot her eye out.

We only lost one

More to follow

The loss of a child

I was reading about a young couple that lost their first child unexpectedly.  As they contemplated having another child, a support group of couples that had been through the same adversity gave them added strength.

My grandmother had been married for 17 years to a philandering man, when she found herself pregnant for the second time.  Her only child was already 16 when she delivered a seemingly healthy baby boy.  Richard gave her joy in a relationship that had never been ideal.  He was a happy, fat little one, born in February.  Come June he was obviously not thriving as he should. He had trouble breathing, and in the Texas heat with no air conditioning in 1947,  it was greatly exacerbated.  She finally took him to the doctor; one of those old family doctors that had even been known to make house calls.  As he listened and examined Richard, it was obvious something was wrong with his heart beat, but being an old country doctor he could do little.  He sent my grandmother with her four-month old baby to a specialist that very day.  My grandmother did not have a car and had ridden the bus to the doctor’s office.  She had only prepared one bottle and an extra diaper not realizing she would be going to another doctor.  She called my mother then 16 to get on the bus and bring her the necessary supplies to make another trip across town to another doctor knowing the entire time that it couldn’t be good.  Resupplied she went alone with Richard to the specialist.

The specialist gave her the bad news.  There was nothing he could do.  Richard had an enlarged heart, and he would not live very long.  All she could do was take him home and love him for the time she had left with him.

In comes her husband, my grandfather.  He had not been home much since the baby’s birth, and as I said he was a playboy so that was not unusual.  When she told him the news, he refused to believe it and insisted that they take Richard to Houston (they lived in Dallas) to a doctor that he swore was some kind of miracle man.  These doctors in Dallas just didn’t know what they were talking about, so he had a relative with a car come and take his little family to Houston while he stayed home.

It was breathtakingly hot at the beginning of July, and cars with no air conditioning were the norm. For those that understand the heat of the southwest,  you know it is just indescribable how stifling it can be.  Upon arrival Richard was gasping for breath, so they rushed to the hospital.  The relatives dropped off my grandmother and Richard, and they took my mother to another relative’s house in Houston to stay.

All alone,


in a strange hospital,



my Mama Lou held her precious baby as he died in her arms a few minutes later.



He was buried in an unmarked grave in a city far from home.



There was no one to support her.


She divorced my grandfather shortly thereafter.

A very serious post

If I am talking to a friend about a teacher at school, and I don’t really care too much for this teacher, so I say to you, “Mrs.  Teacher said Little John was really bad and should win the class idiot award.”  You would take that information to help form your opinion of Ms. Teacher, and you might share that information with several others before you investigated the source, if you even ever bothered to find out whether that was true or not.  Deciding to dig deeper, you questioned your own child who was in the same classroom. He/she told you that in fact they were having a discussion about the awards ceremony with the teacher explaining the different awards that would be given and another student said, “Little John should get an award for the class idiot.” While talking about how cruel children can be to each other, Ms. Teacher was conveying the conversation to another teacher in the teachers’ workroom where I was working as a volunteer.  Whether or not I heard the entire conversation and deliberately was trying to turn sentiment against Ms. Teacher, or whether I only heard the part that made me believe Ms. Teacher did say it makes little or no difference to the people who have now formed their opinion of Ms. Teacher based on the misinformation.

Is this right?  What if it is deliberate?  What if the truth came out and I still refused to acknowledge my misinformation even though it was damaging to Ms. Teacher’s reputation?

What do you think?

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