Wednesday, January 30, 2013


My folks did NOT buy us everything we wanted.
They were big on allowances, and extra chores to earn extra money.
They also encouraged us to take on neighborhood jobs, like dog sitting, 
yard watering, etc.

I suspect in part, that window shopping was to give us time to want things...
to yearn for them enough to feel encouraged to make the money to buy them ourselves.
If nothing else, if all we did was save our allowance, then we were getting a lesson in managing money.
Having to save for them helped us to want to take good care of them.

They were big on that too... taking care of your things.
If my bike was noticeably dirty my dad would spirit it away to his garage.
I would go to hop on it and no bike.
The first time I complained about this disappearance,
I was told that the bike was not leaving the yard until it passed my dad's inspection.
Since I was a stubborn learner, 
I didn't have to ask the other times it went into his garage,
I just got the soap and prepared it for the old man to view.

Allowance day was a great day, but possibly the longest day on earth!
When the basset alerted us to my dad's arrival,
my feet beat their way down the stairs,
leaping the last three steps to stand at the door with my open palm extended toward him.
There was no sense in messing around... it was pay day.

He did not grumble about that.
He shelled a few quarters into my hand and off I ran...
back upstairs to my bedroom where the little metal box with the combination lock in the center waited.
Immediately I turned the dial back and forth.
I could have dropped the coins into the top of the box where a handy little slit waited...
but I wanted to join the money together while gazing at it.
What a lovely sound it made when they mixed together!

The content was dumped onto my bed, new quarters added and the counting began.
This was generally followed by a visit with the catalog...
once the loot was back in the bank.
If I spent all of it I could get... and the dreaming would begin.
But generally I would put it back into the bank and decide that
better things waited if I made it another week or so before spending any.

I was almost as bad about it as a young adult with my first pay check not connected to family or neighbors.
I knew when pay time was and I would be there...waiting.
It was my money, I earned it and I wanted it on time.
Unfortunately, the older I got,
the more experience I gained  with employer connected pay screw ups.

Checks for the wrong amount or wrong hours credited.
Checks that were delayed for hours or even days.
Snow or ice delays.
Once my check was wrong and they told me that I had to give it back and they would give me another in two weeks...
Are you kidding me?
What were we supposed to do for money for two weeks?

I liked the pay envelopes best.
Those little envelopes much like the ones used for school bank accounts
that came to you fat with bills.
They felt like pay.
They looked like pay.
The gratification was immediate.
But those days vanished away in the tide of time.

Paper checks never seemed that satisfying.
At least not until you cashed them.
They tended to be larger amounts though.
That part I liked.
But most of it was left at the bank...
not as many bills and coins to run through my fingers.

Now days my pay comes on a pay card.
It arrives mysteriously between 8:30 and 9:00.
I can view it on my computer once it has arrived.
This means many visits to the site starting around 8:15.
(Hey, maybe it will be early one day.)
Proving that the little girl who's feet beat their way down the stairs
to stick out her eager little hand is still alive and well inside me.

Its not the same of course.
The thrill is less.
I don't hold a pile of money in my hands.
I hardly see it,
unless I ask for cash back at the store.
I don't see it when it transfers into my bank account later either...
because I don't want it all on a pay card that can be lost or stolen.
Yet there I am after the transfer at the bank...
because I like to do it in person...
immediately upon my return home...
it must be checked to assure myself it is there...
and the dreaming can begin.


Wednesday, January 16, 2013


He had grown frosty....
His defroster was no longer using hot air.
Likely due to the curiosity of one of the neighborhood squirrels.
Each morning he greeted me with an icy air.

G.G. once gave me advice on dealing with the Medusa.
When I was angry, stop and think what it would be like if she died...
and the petty thing that was bothering me would seem much less important.
(On a side note, I'd like to mention that this advice was given before the Medusa poured bleach on G.G.'s dark clothes in one of her snits.)

It was 28 degrees and my hands ached from scraping ice off of 
Clown Car's windshield.
I tired to warm them with my breath and 
picture what it would be like without Clown Car.
I thought back on the day I'd gotten him.
Life without any car at all had been much, much worse.
Count it as a blessing and drive on to work 
(Work: another somewhat dubious blessing).

And really, for the price of $1,000 I'd gotten a heck of a deal for several years.
If it had not been for Clown Car, 
I might never have met my husband and certainly
would never have driven 400 + back and forth most weekends for a year.

But then the man decided we would "follow the bumper" once again...
his code for "Its a surprise"
The bumper led us to the car dealership where he got his truck.

I decided not to get excited.
The man is funny, 
in that he enjoys researching and looking at things before he buys them.
This is followed by a mulling over period.
Being an impulse reactor myself, 
it is best for me to not think of this activity as anything more than entertainment.

"How can I help you folks today?" said the salesman with a commission smile.
The man tells him the type of car I had decided that I wanted.
He added 
"And what mama wants... mama gets."

But there it was... seductive smokey silver, with tinted windows, 
and room to haul my large boys around!
Despite the fact that I have never cheated on a spouse and never would...
the instant lust in my heart for this beast challenged me to dump Clown Car without the slightest hint that I could actually buy this dream machine.

We looked inside and out.
I sat in it and felt the comfort of the seat with its adjustable lumbar support.
(Later when I spoke of this to my eldest son, he laughed and said 
"Oh an old people's car!").
I touched all the buttons and looked over the sound system 
with its six speakers.
I appreciated its large "way back" that would keep
 Roxy in a happy roomy space on trips.
I was in love.

When the salesman asked if I wanted to test drive it, the man answered
"No.  We still need to crunch some numbers yet.  If its do-able we'll be back."
That was my man alright.
Good-bye my new road romance fantasy!

The man began to crunch and I continued to freeze every morning.
Every opportunity I had, I would chat up my dream car.
"It only has 32,000 miles on it."
"Un-huh.  I saw."
At one point the man had told me not to get too excited because 
it might not be there by the time we were ready.
(Said in dull listless tone.)

I had three days in a row off.  Whoopie!
Maybe one of those days we would follow the bumper!
Not on Thursday.
Not Friday.
I was giving up.

Saturday found us back at the dealership.
The man warned me of his top payment limit.
The salesman took his time doing his number crunching.
It came out $50 more that the man said we could spend.
My heart sank... but there would be other cars on other days... I told myself.

My dissapointment must have shown on my face.
A worried look crossed the salesman's eye.
"I might could go a little lower." he added. "What is your ceiling?"
They dickered and I crossed my fingers, 
then said a little prayer.
They found a price they could both agree on.
My heart began to thump and I began to glow.
Bahahahahaha.... it was going to be mine!  

Four bazillion forms and signatures later and after an endless amount of time...
the car went off to be detailed while we visited DMV guy...
where there were more forms and signatures.
"Is there anything you need to get from your Aspire?"

It was at this point that it hit me.
This was good-bye to Clown Car.
No need.
I had already given it a good cleaning and emptied it...
just in case.
I decided that I did not want to say good-bye in person
and invite my eyes to well up.

Yes, it is only an inanimate object...
but one that gave me so much pleasure and joy.
I'd driven to my grand babies births in that car...
Ferried my large boys here and there...
met the love of my life in it.
Softly I wished Clown Car would be adopted by a young family who desperately need him and would love him as I had for so long...
and that he would continue to serve faithfully.
Then I added that I hoped that they would fix his defroster hose for good measure.

Funny how you can be both delighted and sad at the same time.
When the last signature was signed and I was free to take my new ride...
I looked for Clown Car but he had been whisked away.
So long old friend!  And thank you!

The rumble and motion of the new-to-me-car made those feelings  
dissipate to a faint sorrow.
By the time I got home, I was giddy with joy.
Inside the house, I grabbed my cell to take a picture, 
eager to share my good news.
I had a missed call... and a voice I called and listened to it.
"Hi Mrs. H.  I wanted to thank you for the lovely brown purse... 
but I'm afraid it just doesn't go with my suit."
said the cheerful voice of the DMV guy.

Yep... I was so excited that I left my purse behind.
When I told the man he laughed and said...
"Yeah, you just did that so that you'd have a reason to drive it again."
We both knew that was not true, but it what a great idea for next time!

Now I'd like you to meet my new ride...

Long may we ride together!


Wednesday, January 2, 2013


( )

Wishes to you for a bountiful and happy 2013 !

The holidays are over.  YAY!
I had as nice a holiday season as possible
with the craziness in the shopper world all around me, but...
I was never happier for 4:00P.M. on a Dec. 23rd.

Randy cooked up to surprise me for my Christmas...
not Christmas with the kids,
but almost as good.
We loaded up the red sleigh and packed the toys
Grandpa Fuzzy had made for our northern grand kids
into the back bed.

It was a very brief trip.
The reason being that finishing the gifts had taken longer than planned...
and it was too late to ship.
No child shall have Christmas without a gift from Grandpa and Grandma Fuzzy!

After the drive,
we exchanged gifts with the D. P. H.'s lot,
hugged and kissed... and said good-byes.
The visit lasted only a couple of hours.
In the morning we started out early
with an even briefer stop 
in P'land
to exchange gifts with Bear.
(Who is expecting a new baby bear!)

The next day we had diner at our local family gathering.
Before I knew it, 
we were home and I was going back to work.
The holiday had flown past.

New Years Eve found us each snoring on our sofa
when the ball dropped.
I woke up when Roxy began to freak out over
I covered the man up and left him behind.

I knew that Roxy would not be able to deal with the explosions.
I hustled her off to the bedroom
where I thought she would feel safe.

She barricaded herself under the bed.

Allow me to point out that there is NO
"under the bed".
There are drawers in a big base.
But there is a gap of about nine inches between the base and the wall,
covered by the mattress platform.

Oh well.
She did feel safe in there.
Of course we had to move the entire bed to get her out
in the morning.

The start of 2013 looked an awful lot like 2012.

But then the sun came out!
Glorious blue skies and rays that warmed the air and skin.
It felt like a promise for a wonderful new year.
I will take that optimistic point of view and run with it.

I am making no resolutions this year.
I am simply going to enjoy as much of it as possible.