Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Church Hijinks

Church Hi-Jinks

I didn’t go to church this week, but have gone most Sundays of my life and observed some very funny things there. For instance, I once read an article in a magazine that said that most married couples have sex on Saturday night. I thought it was very interesting to look around the congregation and pick out the couples that obviously did have sex the night before. You could always tell by the exchanged glances, the closeness with which they sat, the little rubbing of their partner’s shoulder.

My husband belonged to an irreverent group of men when I first married. They consisted of the local high school football coach, the owner of the local dance hall, (a person who the minister considered was going to hell in a bread basket) and Grandpa (who one time walked right into church smoking his pipe) and a few others. They sat in the back of the church and talked football or whatever right during the service. One time, the pastor pointed them out and asked them if they wanted to come up to the front and carry on the service inasmuch as they had so much to say.

Some of these men also served as ushers from time to time, and as soon as the service started, they went across the street to have coffee! It so happened that we had an influx of late comers and when the pastor called for the ushers to get more chairs there wasn’t an usher to be found. Next Sunday was spent stating new rules for the ushers; they were to remain at their posts during the whole church service.

As I said before, my husband was extremely irreverent and one time we went to a neighboring church. There the minister, who resembled Colonel Klink, gave the announcements, read the epistle and then crossed the nave to read the gospel. Did he sit down? No, then he got up and directed the choir. At that, my husband leaned over and whispered (in a voice that carried) “All he needs is a broom up his butt and he can sweep the floor while he is at it!”

Just last Sunday my son took me to a Lutheran church I have never been to before. My COPD was acting up so I sat during the “Lutheran Aerobics” as my son likes to call them. (They do stand up and sit down a lot) But, the guy in front of me had his jeans hanging down low (if you get my drift) and every time he stood up, I had this crack staring at me in the face.

I had a neighbor once who was not a swearing person ordinarily, but she did have a favorite expression for when she was frustrated. Trying her best to do whatever the task was at hand, she would finally throw her hands up in defeat and say. “Oh, piss on it.” Somehow this transferred itself to the Christmas carol, “It Came upon the Midnight Clear”, and it ruined the lovely carol for me forever. Whenever it came to the part where it says, “Peace on the earth good will toward men” she and I would break up every time.

I leave you with the story of the time we went to church for the first time in Denver. We had just moved from Minnesota and things had not been easy. Jordan at 3 had almost died of food poisoning and we almost lost the house we had bought from a crooked contractor. We came to church to find some solace. When the pastor announced the special music for this Sunday, two ladies stood up, patted their hair, cleared their throats and proceeded to sing “Whispering Hope” in the most off-key voices Jon and I had ever heard. “Wheesp-er-ing hoooope!” We broke into that kind of helpless laughter that you try to quell but cannot control with the whole pew shaking further and further. To our frazzled minds and psyches it let loose a lot of the angst and the pain we had experienced the past week and we continued successfully with our lives in Denver. Did find another church, however.

How many funny things have you witnessed in church? Or elsewhere?

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Rewards and Blessings of Children

Here we are at the Weidner Center in Green Bay for the symphony concert.

I have had the pleasure of having my son, Jim, visiting me for several weeks. It is so wonderful to have someone here with me and we have had a good time together. Though it is only temporary, I am enjoying it to the fullest. I fear I shall have a hard time going back to living alone when he goes.

When I was 23, my mom lay dying. She looked at me and told me that when I was born she was 45, and had said " I was her “olderdom’s truyst”. This was in Swedish and I think it means having someone to care for her when she would become old. As it turned out, I was the one who took care of her in her last days as she suffered a slow and painful end. I have never regretted it ever. At the time, taking care of her at home was the only option. As I had the summer off from teaching, I was the available child.

Jim is not my youngest but he is my bachelor son and is at present out of a job. He has been living in Denver for the last 15 years and has looked for a job there and is looking here. I surely would like for him to find something around here, but I guess it would be a miracle if he did. I don’t want him or any of my children to have to be my “olderdom’s truyst”.

I have betaken (how’s that for an ancient verb!)(probably not even a word) him many places. He even accompanied me to the symphony to hear Arnaldo Cohen perform Rachmaninoff‘s Piano Concerto No.2 in C Minor , one of my very favorites, and he even enjoyed it! I have been grateful to have him go to see his dad every day and so I have been given some respite from that. Bill is in a rest home 15 miles from here so I usually drive 30 miles every day.

But he needs to live his own life and that life is in Denver, I think. His publishing stuff is there (he published a hymnbook) and other musical things and he sings like an angel. So I shall enjoy him while I can and send him off when it is time.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Cussin' Card Player

Is there anyone out there as stupid as I am to sit here and play Free Cell over and over again until I win? I never knew I was so stubborn or competitive or whatever it is that makes me sit up all hours to finally solve one of these.

It is so stupid because you don’t learn anything by doing it over and over. You don’t know what it was you did wrong to not get it earlier. It is just a chance of finding the right combination of cards to get them all in line.

I also play bridge but against the computer only. I tried going to the bridge rooms and they soon got to know me by my password and as soon as I entered a foursome the room emptied. Have you ever played the trick of filling a plate with a little water and then sprinkle pepper on it and then dropped a drop of Dawn on it and the pepper all disappeared to the edges? Well, that is how it was when I tried to play in the bridge game rooms.

And the dirty comments I used to get if I did get to play a game. Like “Go home” and “who taught her how to not play bridge.” Go back to the beginner’s room. “ And much worse which I won’t repeat. You can tattle on them if they are abusers, but I have never been a canary.

My friend says she plays Free Cell every morning just to see if all her parts are working. I guess that is as good a reason to wasting all the time I do playing this game. It is good for the mind. Won’t get Alzheimer’s they say. I also do crossword puzzles every day but I enjoy those tho I am finding that I should watch TV more and get hep on the rock bands and the rap musicians (did I say musicians?) I must be senile already!

My dad always told me that cards were sin and the tools of the devil. I think maybe he was right in that it does cause me to swear a lot.

I dare anyone to play No. 21664 and if you get it on the first try –don’t tell me. My inferiority complex is hitting me too strongly now. Now the next one I played No. 28874 was a breeze. Did it the first time. Now I feel better.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Mystery woman

I have spent the last few evenings viewing old movies as my son is making them into a video. It is a fascinating experience and a fun thing to see each child enter the family home from the same hospital and then go on to the first birthday, first day at kindergarten and so on.

The first three all used the same mat when they went off to school and opened the same door when they arrived. First Jon alone and then later with little Julie in tow playing on the climbing bars. Then Julie’s turn and eight years later Jim. Jordan started kindergarten in Denver.

What is most interesting to me, however, is that I cannot relate or recognize myself in these photos. I know it is me, but I watch her curiously as if I had never met her before; she with the raccoon eyes and the teased hairdo. Who is this woman who cares for baby after baby, who skips around 8 little girls playing “duck, duck, gray duck”, who is teaching this one to swim, who presents the birthday cakes to the birthday child? And what must it be like for her to have that dark handsome man at her side painting the garage, playing with her children, laughing with her over frosting spread all over Jimmy’s face at his first birthday

After the viewing, I sit and ponder why it is that she is such a stranger to me? When did all the 15,140 days pass and why does it seem that they never occurred tho I know they did.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Come See My Backyard

Inspired by Wanda's lovely pictures of her walks, I want to show you some of the trees and flowers I love in my backyard. I planted every living thing in my yard as my husband was not into this sort of thing at all. He just liked to sit under them and enjoy them after they grew to a height that would provide lovely shade.

Actually this is the last of my garden before winter sets in. It is still quite colorful and don't look too closely for the weeds as I have not done any weeding for quite a while. But it is a lovely scene in the summer to come into the kitchen and look out the patio door and see them.

This is my huge old Mr. Willow. It began as a small starter tree but it split in the middle so I went back to the nursery where I bought it and told them and they gave me a new tree which I planted elsewhere but left this one in and it became this big big double willow. So it is the granddaddy of all trees in my yard.

Here is another shot of my favorite willow. Jon thinks the roots probably extend under the whole block! I love the way the wind blows the fronds of the branches in the wind.

And this is my sugar maple that I planted the year I had my first mastectomy. I remember sitting at the kitchen table crying and thinking I would not see that tree grow up. I made a sort of pact with the tree telling it that if it made it to the next year, I would too. Each Spring of those first five years I waited to see if the buds would appear and the tree would continue to grow. The second year, I staked it up again and when Spring arrived, it again had made it and so had I. This went on for many years --14 I think to be exact. Then my cancer returned in the second breast. The tree was robust and growing and I took that as a sign I would make it through this one too.

In 2008 I had to have all my trees pruned and my dear old maple needed to have several branches amputated ----like me I told her and spoke more often to her as she healed. This is just one small scar left near enough to the ground for me to take the picture. Only one big difference--new branches are growing on her trunk filling her in nicely. I'm not getting any new boobs!!!

And so my walk ends with my friends and my dearest, the maple, and she is still flourishing and looks great. We're still together--she and I.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Green Bay Packer Backer

Just a few words to tell all of you that tonight in Green Bay, Wisconsin you can walk down the middle of any of our streets, go into any of our stores and be the only customer, and crowd into all of our sports bars because------------tonight we play the Minnesota Vikings with Brett Favre as their quarterback!!!!! I am willing to bet that 99% of this town will be glued to their TV sets watching this game. Whether you thought Green Bay was nuts to let him go, or whether you thought it was o.k.(and the town is a little divided on that) it will be fun to see them play tonight.

My family is as one on this night calling back and forth from Texas mainly as my grandson is a avid Green Bay fan as are his parents. My sons in Denver will be watching also but they don't call as much. Texas and I call after each big play.

Well, get on your TV and let the game begin!!

Friday, October 2, 2009

A New Award

I've received a new award from Helena. I have written to Helena twice but the e-mails did not go through. Guess I screwed up. Anyhow, I did want to thank you for your kindness in giving me the award. I hope to live up to it.

I spent the other night in a bar. I haven't been to a bar in ages but that night was special in that my no. 2 son who is visiting me was going to sing Karioki( I don't know how to spell it) for me. I knew he had a wonderful voice, but I was unprepared for the transformation it made in him.

As soon as we got there he changed before my eyes. He became a confident, happy, charming man completely in charge of himself and what he was doing. This is not the son that I have known all his life. The change was so drastic that all I could do was stare at this man that I had not known before. His normal demeanor is quite different. And he does have a beautiful voice and performs in front of an audience like a professional.

It was a wonderful experience for me and I wish I could see him like this for everyday living. Your children surprise you all your life. Nice surprise, this.


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