Category: Friend

Saran Wrap It Up …….

 

Saran wrap, at times when I see it, I am reminded of my Aunt Mona.

When we were kids, my sisters and I yammered and argued when we sat in the back seat, on the way to visit our dear Aunty Mona. “There’s nothing to do there,” I’d say.

“She’s family,” my father would say.

Her fruit and scroll garland printed settee, chair and ottoman were all covered with plastic. Even the accent ruffled pillows were wrapped in plastic. The lamp shades were covered with yellowing plastic wrap.

In all the years of visiting, our family never touched anything directly but plastic.

I never once felt comfortable in her house.

There was an unspoken rule about visitors and fingerprints. I never once touched her coffee table. Even our parents arranged their bodies on the couch so that they never touched anything!

When she opened the door, we were hit in the face by the scent of moth balls. It lingered in the air making our little eyes water. We could even smell it on our clothes on the way home. Mother would shoot “that look” in our direction, so us girls knew not to blink our eyes or even mention the odor.

We visited in the heat of summer we knew it would be torture. “Have a seat,” she would say. Sweating away inside her non-air-conditioned house was terrible. We couldn’t even squirm around on the plastic. In this heat, once your legs were planted – they stuck.

In the living room, I was worried about my legs being permanently attached to her plastic covered chairs. My sisters and I always left the house thankful that we still had skin.

Life was never cleaner or quieter than at Aunt Mona’s house. My sisters and I sat there on the couch until Daddy would finally say, “We should get going.”

Earlier today, in my kitchen, I watched my nephew Doug poke holes in saran wrap. He had already made a mess of things in the den.

I’m just grateful that my nephew feels comfortable in my house.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Keep Calm – Back To School Tomorrow

 

The Greenwood Community Schools start the 2019 school year next week. Although my nephew could spend a few more days enjoying summer vacation, his mother can hardly wait until the start of school.
We spent last Saturday at stores going over Back to School Sales. Shopping for his first day of school is a task that we all agree can only be endured once a year.
Why is it that mothers and sons can never agree while they shop? I assured my sister that school shopping for the little guy will get easier as he gets older. She gave me a sneer, she knew I was lying.
Each item has to be just right — approved not only from the school but also by his peers. He is ten years old now and why would he actually want to use last years back pack? Why would he need new socks? The ones he has worn all summer are good enough for him.
The list from the school states he needs to bring four large glue sticks, a box of tissues, scissors and yes a box of Band-Aids. No ring binders are allowed in school and please bring one sealed box of children’s Tylenol. My sister wonders if she should buy a box of Tylenol for the teacher.
Perish the thought that he might ride his bicycle to school on summer days. He is a year older now and would rather walk than ride a bicycle. Can a motor bike be far behind?
When we parted at the end of the day they were still discussing how
he was going to get his hair cut.
This summer has been hot and humid but tolerable. After many happy hours on his skateboard except one – my nephew will have his cast taken off in two more weeks.
School started this week and for the most part both mother and son
are glad of it.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What’s In A Nickname ??

 


As friends relived old times during the course of last evening the subject of nicknames arose. So, I started scribbling them down — which is basically what I intended to build this column around.
I went to school with Carla whose nickname was Hurricane. While in grade school, there was an actual Hurricane that made the headlines in Texas called Hurricane Carla. She brought the newspaper to school and everyone called her Hurricane from then on.
Moose got his nickname while playing high school football. A nickname the coach gave him. What if the coach hadn’t liked his players? What other animals would he have used? A weasel perhaps?
Tiny, was a kid in high school who stood over six feet five inches. Yes he was the tallest kid in school and played center on the basketball team.
One friend has the least original nickname ever. He has natural red hair and his nickname is “Red”. My friend Charlotte goes by the nickname Char. Simple idea really, like we don’t have to use both syllables when we call her name.
At times, nicknames make perfect sense and sometimes they do not.
My cousin’s name is William and he goes by the name Will.
Yet another cousin, Michael, answers to the nickname Ronnie.
Go Figure.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hospital Bed

If you’re like me, you have trouble some days getting into the groove. Try spicing up the conversation around the office.
At the office today, the topic around the water cooler was: If you were recuperating in a hospital, who would you want in the bed next to you, excluding relatives?
Naturally, Bob the single guy in the office opted for Beyoncé. Melody, the only single woman, mentioned Kenny Chesney.
Danny’s answer was intriguing as he mentioned Captain Smith from the ship Titanic. They could discuss the grandeur of the ship and find out what really happened.
Myrna’s answer was unique. She would like The Dutchman. Maybe in his sleep he would mention if there really was a mine and its location. Carla mentioned she would pick a Kardashian. Think of all the odd visitors they might have.”
Larry’s answer was unlike anyone else in the office. He wanted no one in the bed beside him. “When I don’t feel well, I don’t want anyone near me!” In contrast, Dianna wanted Marsha who is her best friend.
Gary and Judy’s answers were distinctive, making more than one person roll their eyes. Gary would love to talk to Richard Nixon all night, while Judy could jabber with her mother-in-law.
Norman wanted to talk sports with Bob Costas, while Murl would want to visit with Babe Ruth.
Gary’s choice was Al Capone or Jimmy Hoffa. Interesting yet I’d question if I would feel comfortable closing my eyes at night.
To the question, “Who would you want in the hospital bed beside you?” Richard was quick to answer. “I’d have Donald Trump. Think of all the beautiful Russian ladies that will be there when President Putin stops by.”
Now that’s an all together different subject.

 

 

 

 

The Power of 4-H

The power of 4-H. For those who fall in the category of thinking 4-H is just about agriculture and raising animals, you do not know the whole story. In Indiana, only about thirty percent of the total enrollment comes from farms, the rest from urban areas.
4-H is a chance for youth to handle responsibility, learn new things and work hard to achieve goals. The primary benefits of 4-H are leadership, citizenship and the opportunity for youth to learn things of interest at their own ability level.
Last year’s most popular projects were: Crafts, Foods, Photography, and Clothing. There are over fifty projects ranging from Aerospace to Creative Writing. All projects include hands-on activities and the manuals are being continuously updated.
My nephew opted to take The Horseless Horse Project. This allows him to learn all aspects of the animal, without the tremendous cost that comes with owning and caring for a horse. He attended the Horse Club meetings, did posters and filled out his workbooks. It was an especially great project for him as he couldn’t at this time own a horse. He wants to be a horse racing jockey.
A few years ago—more years than I would like to admit—I was in 4-H and have a few blue ribbons in the closet to prove it. I remember the Action Demonstration Project. It allowed members to compete in a certain category without having to be judged against other entries. I stood and gave my demonstration on the steps required to make a pie, but never actually put the finished pie product in competition. I was judged for the demonstration and not for the pie. Maybe that was a good thing. I doubt if I would have won any ribbons on my pie.
The 4-H program provides a learning environment for the youth of the community. They can test their skills with various projects and animals. Like this year’s motto proclaims, you must experience “The Power of 4-H” for yourself to truly understand.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Wander Indiana

My friend Charlotte works for the Indiana Department of Tourism. She told me she was going to Samaria for dinner. No, it does not border Galilee but is located down south in Johnson County.
Last week she went to Paris for lunch. Now who would have thought Paris was a simple trip down to Jennings County. Made me wonder if anyone actually owns any wooden Dutch clogs in the city of Holland, Indiana.
My niece just returned from Girl Scout camp at Poland, Indiana. While Moscow is a town up in Rush County – Warsaw, Indiana is located in Kosciusko County.
My friend, Katrina was quick to mention the city of Hardscrabble, Indiana in Madison County. Did the city get its name from the board game scrabble?
I did know that Cincinnati was down in Greene County and next door in Daviess County is Scotland. My husband swears Bethlehem is south of Greenwood on I-65.
The city Santa Claus, Indiana is located in Spencer County, while the town of Spencer is located in Owen County. The city of Franklin is in Johnson County not Franklin County. Go figure.
I did know that Peru was home to the circus life but did not know that you could  actually visit Siberia in  January  without  putting  snow chains on your car.
You can spend St. Patrick’s Day in Ireland, Indiana or go to Jericho on any Sunday. A trip to Canaan or, if you like salsa, a trip up north to Mexico might be fun.  Visit Cuba and tell your  friends you forgot to bring them back a  Cuban cigar.
As the Indiana license plates once read: Wander Indiana.
My biggest concern now is on our wedding anniversary next month; my husband mentioned since we both have an Italian heritage we might pack a bag for Rome. I can’t help but think we’ll end up in southern Indiana.

 

 

 

 

 

…………. The “M” word …………

 

These past winter months, I noticed unusual bits and pieces in my daily life. My knees and sometimes my elbows ache. Some mornings my shoulder blade feels like it is on fire.
I told my husband one morning and he said simply, “Oh, it’s probably arthritis.”
“What?” I said. “My much older sister suffers from arthritis…not me.”
“So what’s your point?” He said with a smile.
I have noticed since last winter that my body has shifted. I have discovered a couple more changes. My hips are getting wider and higher.
I’m being obsessed with my hands. I examine my arms for liver spots. I’m afraid my hands will suddenly look like my great aunt Mona’s. Her hands looked like chopped corn flakes attached to flabby arms.
In the office yesterday, I noticed my toes were doing this strange curl up and spasm. I had to stop, remove my shoe and massage my toes and ankle.
I had a case of spring fever so I went shopping. Standing in front of the dressing room mirror I discovered a couple more changes. I think I’m looking more and more like a peanut covered M & M.
I left, stopping by the local fast food restaurant. Perhaps the afternoon out would do the trick to lift my spirits.
Then it happened suddenly, with no warning whatever! I was minding my own business in the food lane, waiting at the counter for my fries when it happened. The “M” word.
“Here’s your change, Ma’am!” chirped some freckle-face kid who didn’t look old enough to count change, let alone have a job.