Things you always wanted to say but were afraid

Archive for the tag “grandkids”

Whoops! A red light

Red Light

Dear People, (City of Fort Worth, Automated Red Light Enforcement)

It is plain to see that I ran that red light.  The worst part of the whole ordeal is that my granddaughter was in the car.  We had spent the day shopping for material to make doll clothes and she had said, “Oh Grannie, that light was red.”  Of course, it was too late.  I had desperately tried to get over, but being unfamiliar with the new roads, waited too long.  (No one was being too friendly.)

I do want to say this, ” I was sure the intersection was clear, but could not get even one more look up to check the light.”

So, to sum it all up – I am really sorry for breaking the red light rule.  Here is my punishment along with sending you the knowledge that my granddaughter (who was in a very tragic accident when a drunk driver hit her mother) will probably only remember that her Grannie Pam ran a red light and that, my friends, is a far worse punishment than the fine!

Love to All


I heard children play today

The Man was asleep after a long battle to get him down and still.  I sat in the porch swing and listened to the sound of far off thunder wishing that rain would come on through.  I heard the faint sound of children laughing.

We sat on the front porch on many such evenings, the Man and I while the kids played in the front.  Too little to be running the roads or having friends other than each other, they were content to catch a ball or climb a tree or push a toy truck through the dirt around the large oak tree.  We always hurried through our supper on those days to get outside and enjoy the remaining hour or so of the day while the breeze blew away the summer heat and the locust sang their mighty song.  The sounds of nature were startling with no engines or air conditioners or mechanical toys to drown them out.  I always wanted to sit close enough to the Man to be able to touch him, put my feet in his lap, or reach and steal an occassional kiss.  Our kids were happy and laughter filled the end of the day and washed away all the worries about money and weather and crops.  They had no idea we were monetarily poor.   They were so rich in all other ways.

As they sat outside a week ago, much older, and talked and laughed, they fell right back into their rhythms of constant one-liners and laughter.  Now, their children played with the same ease as if they had known each other all their life.

If only there was freeze frame that we could step back in to when we needed the strength.  Oh yeah, they call those memoies.

Looks like a stork thru up here

Two in the kitchen

This was one of the better lines of the day.  What a wonderful day.  Pure chaos.  The Man oblivious to most of it, or so I thought, until he whispered to me, “Do I have a nerve pill I can take.”  One of those, “The Best of Times.”  We had a blast.  We had a great cook, good food, great company, and a lot of laughter.

When the kids were running in and out and all over everywhere and I said, “What happened here?  I swear I only had three kids.” That was when the number one son came out with the line that it looks like a stork thru up here.

A list of highlights of the day:

The anticipation of the arrival of the kids and their families for the first time in six years.

Two brothers hug.

A three-year old telling us that she has new friends!

The arrival and emotional reunion of a grandmother and great-grandmother.

The magic show. (you’d have to be there)

The make-over. (bless you Bay)

The four-wheeler tow truck.

The basketball.

The 1976 truck ride.

The desserts.

The hugs.

The songs accompanied by Jake one guitar.

My brother the electrician and plumber.

Make believe hospital.

I’m sure there are many more memories that will come to my mind as days go on, but these alone will make for conversation for many months to come.


Papa’s hands can fix anything – even tired grandbabies

Ah, my love

I have a hard time deciding to write about the Man.  From a strapping six-foot plus man of a man, he has come to be very dependent on me.  He is very ill.  He is 87, and I believe he has gone to looking to the end.  He has not embraced it yet, but that will come.  Right now, we are in a game of him loosing his mind.  I hate to say this out loud, but it really is a funny stage if you can let go and let God and laugh about it.  Some examples:

“The Rifleman lives in our small town and has four kids.  Two boys and two girls – What is that boy’s name?” he says.   I answer, “The only one I know is Mark.”  He comes back with, “I know that one.  What is the other one’s name?”

“I saw a mouse in the bathroom last night.  Do we have a mousetrap?”  I answer, “No, but I will get one when I go to the store this week.”  Later in the day he tells me, “Right there is the shaving cream to catch that mouse with.”

He decides to lay down in the afternoon.  This takes several minutes to manuever.  We get him to the bed, and I’m hoping to get a rest as well.  I have some green beans on the stove.  I ask him if he would like some dinner in a couple of hours when he gets up.  He says he doesn’t want any dinner; his stomach is bothering him.  I lay down next to him.  he jumps up and says, “What’s for dinner?”  I’m shocked, but I am glad he’s wanting food so I say, “Are you hungry?”  He tells me yes, of course, isn’t it time to eat?  I hurry to the kitchen and throw a really good supper together – green beans, okra, avocado, watermelon, and cornbread. He eats every bite.  I guess it was time.

After supper he decides to go to bed.  I get all his bedtime medicine, and after several very slow trips to the bathroom to brush teeth, shave, etc. he lies down in bed.  Before I can walk around to the other side, he jumps up and says he has indigestion and is going to sleep in his chair – which he does.  He sleeps really well for a while.

One afternoon, he is asleep in his chair, and I am napping on the bed.  I am startled awake by loud static sounds coming from the living room.  I run in, and he has unplugged the TV and several other things as well as thrown several things into the middle of the floor.  When I ask, he replies, “I can’t find the remote.” This one made me laugh and later cry.

These are just a few examples that we have laughed about.  He remembers doing them; he just doesn’t know why he does them.  He still tells me he loves me, and I get hugs at times.  He likes to talk about the grandkids.

Today, he said, “I am just trying to make it to see **** (our first-born). ”  He is coming the first of August.

I hope he makes it too;  sometimes I don’t.

Ain’t life amazing??

I was such a city kid, and he was such a country boy.  I moved into his house in June because the well at my house had broken.  He had been hauling water to me and my animals for several weeks when he suggested it would be easier for us to move to his house till it was fixed.  Once there, I never left.

Five people settled into a two bedroom house with the only bathroom in the master bedroom, so everyone could traipse through our bedroom to pee.

We went immediately to get a pull out bed for the boys and the baby slept in what I called the junk room, which was really a second bedroom, but because the house had been built with very few closets, the Man kept all his stuff in there.  That make the port a crib sort of lost in a sea of junk.  But you know, we were happy.  We had Saturday night TV night and watched wrestling and made popcorn and all slept together in the living room.  The kids began to look for him to come in from work and could hear the old red Ford’s motor about two miles away.  This would generally cause a jumping up and down reaction with choruses of “Daddy’s home.”  He asked me one night who told them to call him Daddy.  I had to confess that no one did, I guess they just began to think of him in those terms.  The well got fixed, and we were sitting on the porch when I told him that I really hated to go home where we were alone again and he replied, “Well, don’t go.”  I didn’t, and I’m still here.  I wonder if he realized how significant those three words were.  Much more life changing than I love you.

From June until August of the next year (fourteen months later) I asked him everyday when we were going to get married. When we went to bed each night I would say, “When are you going t make an honest woman out of me?”  He would answer the same everytime, “Soon.”

Fourteeen months passed, and I don’t think any of us had ever been that contented.  We were sitting on the porch one evening after supper, the kids playing outside when he said out of nowhere, “Do you want to get married?”  I didn’t know what to say; I mean I had pretty much given up on the idea of him getting married.  After all, he had been a bachelor for fifty-six years.   I almost fell out of my chair before I could get the words out of my mouth, ” Of course, when?”  “On Friday,” he replied.

Friday was four days away, and I had final exams that week in order to graduate university, but I was so afraid he might rethink the entire idea that I said o.k.

The entire week I was nervous.  Of course, it didn’t help that he teased me constantly about standing in front of the JP and when they said the part where he answered, “I do” he would instead say, “Well, let me think about it.”

August 3, the day the first-born and family arrive after an eight year absence will be our 28th wedding anniversary.  Ain’t life amazing??

An ache in my heart

The excitement of our first grandchild on the day of his birth was indescribable.  We actually rushed to the hospital and for those of you that know the husband “rush” is not in his vocabulary.  This was especially meaningful since we were watching a John Wayne western “Big Jake”.  Within three days our world had collapsed, and I had seen the husband, all six-foot two inches of stoic farm and ranch ancestry, actually on his knees.  Jacob Allen was born a Down’s child.  For all our initial anguish, within a few months Jake had rebuilt our faith in the world and humanity, and as we approach his seventeenth birthday (which I find so hard to believe) I thank God for giving us such a gift to change us into the kind of person that Jake came into this world already being.

Jake never just hugged; he hugged and patted your back at the same time.  Jake never watched musical programs; he acted them out in their entirety.  His rendition of the munchkins singing “We welcome you to the lollipop guild ” is one well worth seeing, followed by his run behind the couch when the wicked witch suddenly appears.  It brings the Wizard of Oz to a whole new level of entertainment.  The sureness in which he rolls down his back window and begins telling the speaker at McDonalds what he wants starts as we drive in, and he can make any TV, VCR, DVD, etc. work better than any of us (especially those of us that are older).

There is no matching the amount of love that he gives, and the day he left to move to Wisconsin was perhaps the saddest day of my life.  I have never missed anyone so much and the ache in my heart never leaves knowing we can never make up the time we have lost.

The unique thing about this is it’s not just me.  The husband, the uncle, the aunts, the great-grandmother, and the great-great grandmother (who lived her remaining years without him) have all said the same at various times.  My mom (the great-grandmother) tells when she was flying home from visiting and Jake saw her with her suitcase, how he cried when she left to get on the plane and how she cried as well.  She still feels deeply about that.

There is no way to change the fact that kids grow up and sometimes move far away and do just fine, but I long for the days when families stayed within a few miles of each other and were there to help, love, disagree, agree, laugh, celebrate and just generally be a family.  I guess I’m just getting sentimental as I and they get older.

Happy Birthday Jake.  You will never know the time and space that your love covers and the healing powers that it has.

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. 

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

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