everythingyoualwayswantedtosaybutwereafraid

Things you always wanted to say but were afraid

Archive for the tag “small town life”

If I don’t like it, I can walk away!

The story begins with a check we received in the mail.  A $15 check from a hospital that The Man was in over a year ago.  Just a check; nothing else.  It wasn’t worth trying to find out the source or the reason, so I stuck it in my purse to cash it for a little pocket change.  Of course, I forgot about it and got a bit panicky when I thought about it and realized it had been a couple of months since I received it.  Fearing there was some sort of expiration date, I whipped into the bank’s drive thru when, in the little town 13 miles from home, I was picking up The Man’s prescriptions.  I don’t use the bank much; I said I was going to close the account when my favorite officer retired, but as usual I had procrastinated.   Hurrying to the drive-in window, I stopped, turned he check over and signed my name to the back.  The  bank teller asked me for the last four of my Social saying, “Ms. McCoy I don’t think I’ve ever seen you here before.”  (I have only banked there since 1980.) After what I believed to be somewhat of a wait to cash a $15 check, she returned to the window to tell me that they were unable to cash the check because it was made out to The Man, yet I had signed it.  I protested, “We both sign on the account.”  “Sorry, Ms. McCoy, it’s policy.”  Of course, it was too late to just pull out of sight and sign The Man’s name, and I should have just looked at the front before I arrived.  I always sign his name anyway; he never wants to.  (So arrest me;  I don’t think he will testify.) I took the check back out of the little moving box and tore it into approximately 100 pieces and put it back in the little moving box and thanked them for the experience, telling them I completely understood policy and respected their need to follow it.

I pulled around to the front, went in and saw them all huddled together presumably talking about the crazy lady that just came through the drive thru.  Picture this scene:  the entire staff of women were in those Friday football jerseys for the local team – some pink, some gray, some green.  The only person in an office was browsing through a yearbook.  Saying, “You can stop talking about me now; I’m here”, I proceeded to the only teller that appeared to have that color thing worked out (She was in a gray spirit shirt.) and told her I wanted to close the account.  I explained that I had really intended to close the account anyway when my favorite bank officer had retired, so now was as good a time as any.  I could tell they had been well-trained in customer service when she told me that they could reassemble the check (I should have let them do that and then closed the account, but the old brain just doesn’t always think too swift.), deposit it in my account, then I could write a $15 check and get the money that way.  Clever, but too late at that point.  The teller than proceeded to tell me that I should really take that money in the form of a cashier’s check instead of cash. (She should never leave an opening like that.)  I explained that I had already had trouble cashing one check at their bank, so I really didn’t want to take any chances on another check.  Just cash please.

I hope I just made their day more interesting with something more to talk about instead of looking at yearbooks and worrying about the spirit shirt color for Friday night lights. Aww, you’re right; spirit shirt colors are more important.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=siW8MkUSo1s

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Rain, rain and glorious rain

Finally, a really good, soaking rain here in drought stricken Texas.  For old farmers that means a great deal.  For example, it means I have had to watch more weather than I want to since I am married to an ole farmer.  It also means I have been relegated to checking the rain gauge several times a day. (Often while it is still raining!) (The Man just can’t do that walk to the rain gauge anymore.) Being raised in the city, I never did either of those things.  I just couldn’t go outside and play when it rained; all outside activities were suspended.  Of course today during one of the information gathering conversations with The Man I asked him why rain gauges were such a funny shape – meaning tapered down to the bottom.  The answer, built in with a bit of smuggery (Is that really my made up word?) was to measure small amounts of rain, such as a tenth or two tenths.  Older rain gauges, back in the “ole farmer days” were flat bottomed.  Then, someone got smarter or someone gave a flip and fixed that. 

Once upon a time, a man we affectionately know as Red (who aggravated the hound dog out of The Man for more than a few years) was complaining about not having a rain gauge.  The Man found one of those old ones and went to Red’s house armed with hammer and PLENTY of nails.  He proceeded to place that rain gauge right up next to Red’s front door as far under the porch as he could get it and attach it with all PLENTY of nails.  Red is long passed away.  Now, The Man and I are wondering if that rain gauge is still on that porch. 

I’ll ask the people that bought his place at church this Sunday.  Story ending to come after I find out the answer.

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.

Feeling Complete

What a lovely afternoon.  Sitting with the number one son and his family.  The familiar feeling, getting comfortable again.  Seeing the number one grandson sleep on our couch.  How can that alone be so satisfying?  Talking to the first-born granddaughter and realizing that she is a young lady now, not the little girl who left here six years ago.  I could spend a lifetime talking with her, learning from her, sharing with her.  And the younger boy, how sweet he is to tolerate our attention at an age that he really would prefer to be left alone to grow up without attention.  And how many times I have wished to have the daughter in law here to ask her about painting, decorating, choices of details…  Well, they are out with a friend for the night, but tomorrow I get to savor another day of a complete family.  The Man was weak but happy, but he rallied well for the important occasion.  He is sleeping so peacefully beside me tonight that I must ask myself, “Is there really anything more?”  I can’t imagine that there is anything worth more.

The 24 hour rule

As  see the Olympians getting involved in “twitter wars” I am reminded of a great rule that took me years to learn.  I’m not even sure where I picked it up, but it is the best rule to live by when dealing with people in any media form.

No matter how mad you get, let it sit for 24 hours before hitting the send button.  Oh you can go ahead and write while you are mad, but do not under any circumstances respond for 24 hours.  After that time has passed, reread your message, and if you still believe you should send it then go for it, repercussions and all.

It was the most successful rule I ever used in business and only once did I go ahead and send the original statement I had made while mad.

Twenty four hours is not a long time in a life time of maintaining relationships.

It’s such a prick

 

After several days in the hospital, the Man’s 40 plus weight loss issues were finally discovered with a scope that gave the most gruesome pictures of a large ulcer on the top of his stomach.  The thing was huge.  The doctor said it was the largest he had ever seen, but he probably says that to everyone just so they can brag.  The blood loss has stopped, and I was encouraged by his clarity of mind after he began to hold food down again.  I decided the unnerving loss of his mental capacity slowly day by day had been due to the massive blood loss and so it seemed.  But alas, after a couple of days of an almost back to normal existence, I walked in and asked him about breakfast and could tell when he looked at me I knew it wasn’t the blood loss.  When he asked me if it was bedtime at 7:00 am I was devastated,  beaten, scared, and resigned to our fate once again.  What a prick tease to let us have that week of normality (however weak he might be), then jerk the chair out from under us.  To be grateful for the time-any time- is becoming such a gift, like a newborn baby to be nurtured and loved and cherished.  We are in this together, just like he told me the first time I met him.

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.

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

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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