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Coming home from Sarasota was more traumatic than the ride in! We had a flight at 7:00 a.m. Our plan was to pack on Monday, go to bed early, and leave the house at 5:15 on Tuesday morning. This would allow an hour to the rental car place to check the car in and get across to the airport for a boarding pass. This would leave 45 minutes in the security lines to board. No problem! Unfortunately, we fell asleep and forgot to set an alarm. I woke at 4:48 a.m. and panicked-- 25 minutes to get out the door!?
We'd never make it-- Joey and D were still asleep! Too much to do-- packing, tossing food away, finding a map, charting a route, running out the door! We didn't know the best roads to take! Yet, if we didn't go, we wouldn't have a chance! We'd miss the flight and be fired! We HAD to get going! So, like the Keystone cops, we started running around, synchronicity itself! We moved like a finely oiled machine, each attending to their specific task (NOT). After a tiny amount of bickering, we were on the road, a sleeping Demetri in the back.
Unfortunately, as we celebrated finding the airport, we blew the exit, and ended up in a parking lot. Panicked, we honked at a young man in a Yeti; after short words, he told us to follow him to the airport, and we did! With minutes to spare, Joey dropped De and me off in a long line, and went to return the car. When I tried to register the luggage, though, I realized that I'd left my small purse in the car. I couldn't do anything without one of our ID's, and I didn't have even one with me. Shit!
I burst into tears in the middle of the airport commotion. An employee approached, probably wishing to avoid a calamity. I explained everything to him, including the money/ID/airline ticket shortage! I thought all was lost, but he brought us to a counter and explained our dilemma. Soon we had boarding passes; all we had to do was show our ID's at the security gate on the way in! Oh Lord, I prayed, I need Your hand in this. Just then a gasping Joey arrived, and I took his ID, turned him round, and sent him back to the car. Ouch!
Demetri and I stood huddled on the wall, people milling all over us. D clutched his blanket to his chest. I gently took the blanket and made a pillow. "Lay down, sweetie". I patted it. "Just rest until Pa gets here, and then we'll go." He looked at me with teary eyes, "Grammie, I just want to go home now," he said. He had only slept two hours...and must have felt my panic, but he decided to be strong for me. I can't describe how I feel about this boy–I just don't have the words. My gift from God.
I knew this was it. If Joey didn't have the purse, we were done. It would be back to Sarasota, make new reservations, call work, our families..... Wait! I thought I saw him in the crowd! Yes! "There he is, D!" I sought Joey's eyes and mouthed, do you have it? And I looked down and saw the purse peeping out of his big paw! Thank you Lord! As we showed ID's to the security crew, I thought, this is too much emotion up and down. We RAN to the gate, seconds to spare, as they closed up the counter.
Of course Joey had his own mini-drama to relate! (I didn't expect anything less.) When he dropped Demetri and I at the terminal, he followed a "return rental car" lane into a nearby parking lot. He left the car, trotted inside the terminal, and noticed a box labeled "return keys here". He complied, and then ran back through the terminal to us, only to be confronted by my "I left my purse" story. Joey stopped and immediately realized he might have a big problem--but after a moment, he congratulated himself. . . .for some reason, he had left the car unlocked!
By the time we found our seats in the plane, both Joey and I felt as if we were tripping, or at least operating in the Twilight Zone. Exhaustion, panic, fear, joy, relief...how many emotions can you deal with before you have a heart attack or a nervous breakdown? The only component that kept us "normal" was our grandson, who continued to operate on an even keel. One of the phrases I once learned at a twelve step meeting was, "Act As If". When around children, it's my mantra. Let a child see your concern, but not your panic.
I have no clue if we managed that this morning, but hopefully, he was too tired to see that we were buffoons big time! I am sure someday we will laugh at this, I told Joe on the plane–but it will be a while! It felt so good to get home; there were no more problems at the airport besides not being able to find a gate! And walking outside again on the tarmac for a while....but who cared at this point? We were landed, safely, we were in Chicago, we were home. Life is good! Thank You, Lord!
Walking into my house, I was slammed into reality headfirst! We HAD to do something with this place.....I have saved much too much junk, it's everywhere you look. I never noticed it quite so clearly before this. Every surface has "stuff" on it. Things that Danielle made for me, things that Demetrius made for us, things Joey has given me, junk that I've kept for many reasons: I simply liked it, it was cute, it reminded me of somewhere, something, or someone! Are these reasons enough to fill a storage bin AND a rental storage unit? I THINK NOT!
I have to harden my heart. Should I look at these things in fifty years, I wouldn't remember why I saved them. Not Demetri's things; and I know each thing Danielle ever made for me. But I have to be cold. I have to be calculating. I have to enlist my husband for this, because he has NO baggage. Pitch it he would say. So I'm going to ask him to help me turn over a new leaf. Help me pull away from sentimentality. He'll help me; he's a wonderful person. I should mention he also HATES junk laying around.
You can't say we didn't give it the old college try; in two hours, all we accomplished was to remove "things" from various pieces of our furniture!! You see, I have a problem; I collect stuff–-all kinds of things. Whatever my grandson makes, I keep. Every card a family member sends me, I keep. You name it, I'll save it: name and address stickers, booklets from travels afar, rubber bands, how-to articles, twistie ties, cereal box games, ribbons for my hair. So you can imagine the landscape of my rooms. Bumpety bump humpety surfaces--everywhere the eye can see.
If there's one thing I love in this world, it's eating fat free pudding! I've become an addict. I hear it's better than being a drug addict, but is that really true? I think these fat hips and thighs–and now belly–is far more dangerous than getting a bit high would be. But then addicts don't get a bit high, do they? I guess it's not a good comparison when it is a serious subject like death. Anyway, I love that pudding, but then I dump walnuts on top, stir it up, pull the vanilla up over the caramel....mmmmm good!
I'm taking my lunch hour to catch up on 100 words. I haven't been feeling very energetic as of late, and wouldn't you know, this is my week to have Monday evening minutes for the Committee of the Whole, and Tuesday minutes for the Plan Commission. Blech. The Plan Commission meets at 6:30 tonight. At least the Captain of the ship likes to get out early....that is Mr. Matthews. Tonight they are discussing Design Guidelines, which we will use to change the zoning ordinance. If this sounds to be incredibly boring and a real snooze, that's because it is.
I was at work on Friday when all of a sudden my eyes began to burn. This did not happen to anyone else. At first, I thought it was new eye make-up I bought a week ago....but I washed it off and it kept getting worse. And why wouldn't it have happened days ago? So I took some eye drops that said it refreshed and moisturized eyes from the emergency first aid box. It was sealed in individual plastic applicators, so I assumed it was safe. Didn't help. What the heck can this be? I could NOT stop rubbing.
Everyone is asking me if they are itching. NO! They aren't itching at all, just stinging, hurting, really hurting. I'm trying to keep my hands off, and I HAVE to go to a wedding tomorrow. I cannot have big red eyes. I try cool cloths, nothing works. I didn't even mind that I was at work without makeup!!!! And that is very BIG for me. I usually wear make up to the mailbox. So my sweetheart buys two types of eye care products for me. I used one and finally experienced some relief. It wasn't gone, but it was better.
It took all of Saturday, naturally, to end the burning in my eyes, and since I cannot figure this out for the LIFE of me, I'm left with one horrid thought? Psychosomatic? Could it be that I didn't want to go to the wedding so badly that my subconscious stepped in? No way. I could have simply said I didn't feel good, I wouldn't have had to go there. I ponder this all day Saturday...what the heck could it be? I remember the headache in my right eyebrow. Could it be allergies? Maybe allergies, make-up and a drug reaction?
Because of this STRANGE eye thing, I have had a dull and boring weekend. The only bright spot was when my grandson came over on Sunday! I had bought him this really cool octopus, with multi-colored green, yellow and blue thinish kind of hair on the outside of it, and then when you turned it over, the bottom was sparkling metallic colors of blue and green all shining and glowing. It was so cool and he loves marine life anyway. I knew he would LOVE it and he did. The coolest thing was that he named it Sparky right away!
I've decided I use the word cool far too often. I began saying cool at about nine or ten! I thought at first it was the Beatle's influence, but there were beatniks before that–like Maynard G. Krebs for example, and they said it, I'm sure. Didn't they say "like cool, daddio!" So what to do in order to STOP saying something? Is there a procedure? I'm having the same problem with saying Jesus or Christ when I'm angry. It's so horrible I can't believe I really say it. But I can hear it rattling around my head from my childhood.
As a matter of fact, my parents said it often. Christ! Jesuuuuuuus Christ! The Jesus was always long and drawn out, then punctuated with the exclamation-Christ! The exclamation Christ! Will I be struck down for that? No, the Lord knows I love him. The other morning at breakfast, I couldn't get by my father's chair as I tried to leave. I was WEDGED there, and I had asked them to move, but no one was moving! Finally, unable to help myself, I said, "Jesus! Can you move?" And my father turned and said, "Don't use the Lord's name in vain."
What? And he repeated it!! I looked at my sister, but she looked quickly away–she didn't want to laugh in his face. We talked about it later and she said the same thing–she remembered them saying Jesus Christ instead of swearing when they were mad. And I have to give them that–the strongest words I ever heard my mother say were damn, hell, and Jeeeesus Christ! My dad said hell and damn, but also Fudge every once in a while. The meaning wasn't clear for years! When I got older, fudge and fudging turned to frikken!!! He's so funny, my dad!
I'm so late that I have to do several of these 100's at once! And it's NOT my fault–I mean, things got out of hand! We are painting our house, moving furniture in and out of storage, and setting up a website! I swear, it's not my fault, really it isn't! Life just came crushing in on me when I wasn't looking. So now, my 100 words are at home, and here I am at work, bereft. My husband bought the wrong color of paint–I said white, thinking he knew that meant eggshell, or ivory, but he bought Stark White!
And that's not all that went wrong-–remember who you are reading! We began to get rid of everything, but just moved it from one place to another–so now the stacks are just in other places. I have to go tonight and buy more paint, because my daughter and her boyfriend are going to help us paint. Or, if I was honest, I would say that they ARE going to do ALL the painting! We just can't do it–we don't have the strength. They just did their home–and it turned out wonderfully; I hope they do the same for us.
OK–so here's the story. I have to have oral surgery soon. They are going to take a lot of my teeth out, and I will have to wear a thing in my mouth–I can't even bring myself to say "dentures" or "bridge" because I don't know what it is, and I DON'T WANT TO. I've always taken pride in my teeth and took care of them. Evidently several accidents I had cracked the outside layers of the teeth like windshields. And now, years and years later, I suffer. Plus, I have a tiny mouth–which soon will be full of SHIT!
When I take a bite out of a piece of bread, you would laugh. There is a tiny mark, about 1.5 inches wide and round as half a ping pong ball! That is my bite! Can you imagine how horrible this will be with a contraption in my mouth? I am so bad that I'm still dreaming about it...how will I look in the mirror? What if I spit on someone? What if I'm talking and it flies out? What if stuff gets UNDER it! LORD HELP ME! Why? I know I'm selfish and foolish, many people have these things.
How selfish can I be? I tell you one thing–I now understand why my Grammie was always saying, 85 years old and I have all my own teeth! And she would smile, still a very pretty woman, and her teeth were perfect! How lucky to be blessed with fine teeth and to have made a point of caring for them! No car accidents for her, either, thank the Lord. Well, Gram, your grandaughter didn't do quite as well. I guess I am lucky that I didn't have to have pretend teeth while I was in high school and they shattered.
I shudder to think how much worse it might have been. It was terrible, alright, I knew everyone was staring at me–and in this case, they were! Because of the accident on the motorcycle, I clopped around my sophomore year with a cast up to my, uh, private area! It stayed on from August 14, until October when I had skin grafting to cover the burns on my leg...third degree and they still don't know where they came from...pipes? No? Friction? Perhaps....Anyway, for the whole year, I left class early and was quite an unusual sight! Crookedy!
What I mean by that is that I had one shoe, and one shoeless foot. Because of the size of the crutches, I would be pitched to one side. My right shoe wore down to a total slant–it looked like a slash mark in a web address!!! I heard people laughing behind me in the hall and I didn't even feel bad–it WAS funny! In fact, that is when I first noticed it. I got one perk--a friend left class early with me to carry my books, AND we got to take the elevator, which kids thought was mythical!
Freshman year, kids used to sell elevator passes! Which was funny, because in all of my time, with the exception of sophomore year, I never saw ANYONE get on an elevator, or off of one for that matter. It was just a mean thing that kids did to younger kids! You know how cruel they can be. They also sold maps of the school because it was so large–and the freshies would buy them, not knowing that they got one free in their freshman distributed materials. It makes you wonder what kind of a mind would think up these things?
With all there is to think about in life at that age, some people actually sat around and tried to come up with new ways to make others suffer. You may think that is too strong a word, but I don't. It was a time of great suffering for me. I was unsure of myself for the first time in my life and I became shy. There were 1600 incoming freshman students at Proviso West in 1965, but only 800 plus a few graduated. I can only hope and pray that dropouts got their GED, or went to another school.
When I think of that school, it really brings a rush of memories and I think of how totally different everything is now. People kill much more, people have sex with many people apparently, and you don't even have to wait until the second date! I don't think that would be too bad if there wasn't AIDS flying about–but there is. I never fail to be amazed at the innocence of some youngsters today. I watch them on talk shows and they honestly believe they will never get anything like that! So sad that some might perish, and not nicely.
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