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…a Day in the Life, a Very Good Life

Feeling so good, I can’t quite believe it. After so many months of pain, nausea, fatigue, and mental fog, I am finally on the mend. So fucking glad!!

Started getting ready today for a fantabulous trip to Crater Lake. Haven’t ever been there and am soooo excited! Especially since I’m feeling healthy. Got the ok from the doc to hike from the rim to the lake and can’t wait to make it happen.

Also looking forward to spending five days alone with my honey. No kids. No furry. Will miss them all but will also enjoy the man…

Some People’s Kids: Happy. Healthy. Vacationy.

A Friend for Grams

Life was looking up a bit for Grams. She had a friend. Perhaps her first and only friend. Josie came to the house daily to clean and dress Grams’ wound (you remember, the maggot infested wound from spilling grease). She also cleaned and cooked meals. Basically Grams got a friend and a break. She had worked so hard all of her life especially since she lost her ability to walk. Wow…pushing a chair around to get from the stove to the washboard to the clothesline…She even did her own dry cleaning – with gasoline! The youngest (my mother) passed at school after breathing the fumes. I’m surprised the whole class didn’t have to be evacuated! That would certainly be done today, in a heartbeat.

Josie lightened the load not for Grams but also for the son and the youngest. The son could spend even more time away and the youngest could have a bit more carefree kid life. Grams could confide in Josie and Josie could just smile and everything seemed better. As a child I was always more excited to go see Josie than I was to see any of my crazy family. Her world was somehow safer and more joyful and well she made the best tortillas in the southwest. Josie passed this talent on to the youngest (my mother), when she was an adult, who improved upon the recipe to ultimately make the best tortillas in the universe! I’m not kiddin’.

There was an added benefit to Josie’s relationship with Grams. It seemed that Gramps didn’t spend as much time at the house. Once Grams was healed, she continued to spend time with her friend and they remained so until Josie’s death.

Some People’s Kids: Healers…

On the Road…

A wonderful day for a drive with my honey and my daughter, the elder! Miles and miles of songs at the top of our lungs and laughter. Is there anything better? The only thing missing was my daughter, the younger, and the furry…definitely something to look forward to.

There’s not much that I like doing more than taking a road trip with loved ones and my tunes. I don’t really know where I got this trait. My mother was never much for drives or music blaring but I certainly passed it on to my chillens…

Oh, and how could I forget?! I found out about my daughter the elder’s strange attraction to her cat. We were all happily riding along when she shared that her cat had been looking quite sexy the day before. She claimed that she didn’t actually feel sexually attracted (my god I hope that is true!) but that she could appreciate that another cat would find her sexy! Hmmmm…quite disturbing is all I can really say…

Some People’s Kids: Drive. Sing. Laugh. Think lovingly of their cat.

Life is Looking Up

Great day today! Feeling so much better than I have in over two months. The body is an amazing thing, just when you think it has let you down it shows you a future full of promise! Even for this old lady…

Some People’s Kids: Happy. Healthy. Wise?

Give Me That Ol’ Time…Religious Freedom

Freedoms aren’t just for some of the population they are for all. I was listening to a story on NPR about Judge Walker’s decision that Prop 8 is unconstitutional. An official in a small town in southern California near the Mexican border stated that we live in a democracy (we actually live in a republic) and “that” (overturning a vote) isn’t how we do things. First of all, I don’t know who “we” is but in the U.S. “that” is exactly how we do things. Any vote of the people is open to legal and constitutional scrutiny. And…if found wanting…may be overturned. Yep, that’s how it works.

Second of all, just because a majority of people think something should be a certain way doesn’t mean that they are right i.e. slavery, child labor, denying women the right to vote (btw 90 years ago today that changed! huzzah!!)…Really, there should be some sort of civics voter test required periodically just as we have to be tested for a driver’s license. Just because someone can sign their name or read English or recite their address doesn’t mean they know shit about our system of government.

This brings me to my frustration with the uproar about the proximity of the New York community center/mosque to Ground Zero. I don’t know what to address first. Religious freedom or perspective. Let’s start putting things in perspective. Terrorists brought down the towers. They may have used religion to justify their actions or, more likely, to rev up their courage but flying into the towers was NOT a religious act it was an act of terror. An act intended to make a political statement and instill fear in the American heart.

That brings me to religious freedom. I have heard it said that if the center is allowed to be built, then “they” (the terrorists) have won. Well, I beg to differ. “They” only win if we allow the rhetoric to overshadow what is the foundation of this country. The foundation of freedom in general and religious freedom in particular. The foundation that demands a line of separation be drawn between faith and bad acts performed in the name of faith. Let’s face it, if we paint all Muslims with the brush of terrorism, then we have to paint all Christians with the brush of the Crusades. I’m pretty sure there isn’t a Christian anywhere who would go for that.

Have we all forgotten that there were Muslims, other than the terrorists, among the dead on 9/11? I wonder how their families feel to hear talk that a mosque in the community center is a slap in the face of those slain that day?

I can understand the turmoil within the hearts of the family members. I’m sure their pain is still raw and easily inflamed but the rest of us…we should know better…

Some People’s Kids: Stir the pot. Revel in the carnage.

Thank You, FDR

So I have been gone for for a couple of weeks due to technical difficulties but my trusty personal IT guy (love you babe) fixed my broken site…thank goodness! As well as a variety of other reasons but I have returned.

Well, it’s Church day! It’s funny that I would choose this day to write about my family and start with my Gramps since he was sooo anti-church and always referred to himself as an atheist. Or, then again, maybe it’s completely perfect.

Following the death of his favorite middle child, Gramps became harder and harder to live with. If the son made a wrong move he was beaten. A particularly nasty beating came when the son broke a pane of glass. Oh yeah…uh huh…a beating offense if I ever heard one!

The youngest (my mother), though never beaten, heard with regularity how she didn’t measure up to her sister. She wasn’t outgoing enough. She wasn’t smart enough. She wasn’t entertaining enough. She simply just wasn’t enough!

My Grams, however, was the primary recipient of his verbal abuse. Every little thing that went wrong in his life was her fault. Her defense system caused her to shut down and her silence just made him more and more angry. I’m sure that an objective observer might say that it was his own shame and guilt that fed his anger but that really wouldn’t have made his victims feel any better. After all they were the people he was supposed to love. To care for.

I guess in their own dysfunctional way they went about the business of living their lives. The youngest attended school. Her shyness made any public speaking almost unbearable. During one school project, she chewed most of the collar off her dress. A dress that Grams had painstakingly sewn for her. She always sat in the back of the room and as a result it was months before anyone realized that her eyesight was so bad she couldn’t see the board. She became very successful at remaining unnoticed. No one knew how smart she was and how much potential she embodied.

The son just tried to stay out of Gramps’ way. There was no father/son relationship to worry about. Survival was the order of the day. He spent as much time away from the house as possible. He brewed rootbeer (I guess he shared more with his dad than he thought), hung out with his dog Fido, and kicked around town with his friends.

Grams went about her daily chores. Pushing a chair around in front of her like a walker while she cooked, cleaned, and did the laundry. She withstood the periodic rages from her husband and entertained her kids with stories of the family.

Once, while cooking, she spilled grease on her leg and although a scab formed, she developed a terrible itching. It turned out that the wound hadn’t been properly cleaned (remember no doctor visits for this family) and as a result, she had maggots living under the scab. Since she couldn’t really care for herself during this time, Gramps thought it would be appropriate to have the youngest (my mother) stay home from school to nurse her back to health. The school however took a slightly different view. They helped the family access one of the many social programs put in place under FDR. It is through this program that Josie, a wonderful woman, became a part of their extended family. She would prove to be Grams’ closest friend and beloved by subsequent generations…

Some People’s Kids: Are Lifesavers…

Good Morning and welcome to the Church of the Wholey Bizarrely Insane otherwise known as my family history. We’ve journeyed through immigration, bootlegging, illness, and death. Where shall we go today? I’m thinking the brain is just not really working so I will just have to see you next Sunday…

Some People’s Kids: Brain dead.

PTSD and This American Family

Wow…just watched the new video for the Eminem/Rihanna song, Love the Way You Lie! The spontaneous combustion of a troubled relationship, takes me back…

There were many times that I wondered how such a sweet love turned so ugly. Sometimes, I guess, it is just the chemical reaction between two people. When my buttons feed off his and his off mine and on and on…Scary, hateful, romantic, dangerous. Definitely not healthy.

This video as well as the lyrics made me cry, made me sad for all of the hurt we caused each other as well as those we love and who love us. My girls suffered through fights, tears, silence, anger, blame, divorce. Sure there was also laughter, love, happiness, hope. But it is often so much harder to remember. As adults what scars do they carry, how has it effected their relationships. The elder experienced her own violence, anger, tears, death of the relationship. The younger seems to have lost her exuberance for life and love. They both seem so eager to settle. Settle for less love, less caring, less honor in their lives from those around them. Or maybe for themselves from themselves.

Wow…suddenly I seem to have more clarity. When a relationship combusts, the collateral damage is widespread. If there are children then they can’t help but get burned. What is the remedy? There’s no magic salve so what can I do, what can they do? I’m feeling sick at the thought that I may have done irreparable harm. That the shrapnel is so deeply imbedded that they won’t be able to see it’s relationship to what they feel today, to the choices that they make, to the journey they are on.

I’m not sure I have ever been so effected by a video. I don’t know if I have ever seen quite so much of myself on display. My discomfort is palatable…

Some People’s Kids: Implode. Explode. Destroy.

Oh the Sea, the Beautiful Sea

Great day playing in the ocean with the furry and the elder daughter. Sometime I forget how important it is to spend one on one time with each of the offspring. Even when they are grown. Mayhaps even more importantly when they are grown. After all how will they know that their company it truly enjoyable until you choose to spend fun time with them as adults! Hmmm…definitely worth a thought or two.

The sky was such a deep blue and the water alternately cool and warm. Mmmm, simply a delicious way to spend the day. Laughter and singing in the car, splashing and playing in the water. The furry ran and pounced and chased the ball with seemingly boundless energy. Forget the “energizer bunny”, it is a puppy that goes and goes and goes and…you get the idea.

My daughter, the elder, lent her beautiful voice to Sarah McLaughlin and Rush (I know, go figure) while keeping me company. Note to self: must remember to make room for this kind of joy on a more regular basis. I am so lucky to have birthed babies that have grown into women who are funny and interesting and so much fun to be with!

Can’t wait to do it again…

Some People’s Kids: Wonderful!

Too Hot to Move!

And yet another day of great news! Elena Kagan has been CONFIRMED as the 112th Supreme Court Justice!!! Whoohoo!!! Makes me sooo proud to be an Hispanic woman…

I’m sorry but it is too freaking hot to move let alone write. As I sit here I am dripping sweat! Not a pretty sight. I hope the rest of you out in the blogosphere are more comfortable than I. Anywho, I am off to the cool cave to munch on cheese ravioli and peas, takes me back to my childhood…

Some People’s Kids: Can’t stand the heat. Getting out of the kitchen.

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