It seems everyone has a blog these days. Not that I'm giving in to the "norm." I just want to have a place that is mine. These are my thoughts, my opinions, my hopes, my dreams, my fears. I am a Daughter. I am a Wife. I am a Mother. But above all, I am a WOMAN.

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Monday, February 27, 2012

The Case of the Stolen Snowman

For some reason, I've had this story circulating in my head lately.  I don't really know why, but I thought I would share it with you.  The story is true. . . unbelievably true.

When I was a little girl,  a very, very long time ago (only 2 "very"s, so I'm not as old as dirt), my family moved to Illinois for six month.  Something to do with dad and the military, but the "why" is really irrelevant.  The "where" is important, though.  We were all from Mississippi where it snows maybe once every seven years.  Kind of like a plague, and, yes, most Southern adults treat it like one.  Kids, of course, are enamored of snow.  It is the stuff of which dreams are made.

You can have fights with snow. . . and clobber your baby sister repeatedly with snowballs all in the name of fun. :-)  (Sorry, sis.  Well, no, not really, but it sounded good!)

You can get free days from school with enough snow.

You can make snow-cream instead of ice cream.

And, you can make snowmen.

So, picture this.  This little Mississippi girl, just turned 6, with blonde hair and blue/green eyes got to build her first snowman.  It was just my height (so it was maybe 3 feet tall).  It had arms made from sticks.  I don't remember what we used to make the eyes and smile, but then Daddy did something special.  He broke two icicles off of the bottom of his old Dodge car and stuck them in the top of the snowman's head......Angel's snowman now had horns.  :-D

It may not have been the prettiest or most conventional snowman, but it was perfect to me.  It was lumpy, asymmetrical, and lop-sided. . . and it was mine.  My very first snowman.  I was so proud.  If you grew up building snowmen, you can't imagine just how proud I was.  Not only had I never built one before, I knew in my little 6-yr-old mind, that I probably never would build another one.  This was a Once-In-A-Lifetime Event!

We smiled, we took pictures, we celebrated.  Then we went inside to our neighbor's and ate popsicles.  I don't know why we ate popsicles in December, but we did.  Then we went upstairs to our apartment.  I, of course, ran to the window to check on my snowman.  IT WAS GONE!!!!  "Somebody stole my snowman!" I screamed at the top of my lungs.

"What?" asked my dad.

"No, honey," said my most reasonable mother.  "Some kids probably just came by and knocked it down."

"Uh-uh!  They STOLE it!"  Nobody seemed to understand that.  My snowman was gone; therefore, someone stole it.  It was not broken up into a million pieces.  It was not melted.  It was GONE.  Stolen.  Snowman-napped.  To say I was mad is like saying Mother Theresa was a "nice lady."  Un. Der. State. Ment.

My parents (reasonable adults dealing with a very UNreasonable child) took me downstairs to show me the snow spread all over the ground that would be the destructive particles left remaining of my once proud accomplishment.  Boy were they fooled.  No extra snow.  There was still a flat and level place where my snowman had been.  There were footprints!  "See?  He WAS STOLEN!!!"  I shouted with the self-righteous anger only a 6-yr-old can have.  "I TOLD you!"

I forced my father to follow the footprints with instructions to retrieve my snowman.  Dutifully, he followed them.

I watched from the upstairs apartment window for him to return with my snowman.

Her returned without him.  He said he followed the footprints for 6 blocks and then lost the trail (an Indian tracker my father isn't!  Maybe I should have sent my mother since she has the Cherokee blood.  Hmm.......)

We spent 6 months in Illinois.  I had my 6th birthday there.  And all I can really remember is the day my snowman was stolen.

I hope those thieves enjoyed him.  'Cause this little Mississippi girl is STILL upset about that.

Yes, I do carry a grudge about some things.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

More Moments from M

M:  What's for supper?
Me: Macaroni & Cheese!
M. Mac & Cheese!!!  I LOVE that stuff!  I've never had that before!
Me Thinking to Myself:  Well, which is it kid?  Lol.

M.  was swing a toy flashlight he pretends is a nunchuck and it dropped on the floor.
M:  Mommy, did I break my neck?
Me:  No, darling, you didn't break your neck.
M:  Well, did I twist my ankle?
Me:  No, darling, you didn't twist your ankle.
M:  Well, I felt something in my ankle twist.
Me:  Do you even know where your ankle is?
M: Noooo. . . .
Me:  It's right here (I grab his ankle)
M:  Well, my ankles are in my neck.
Me  Thinking to Myself:  Kid, you are something else!

Me:  Get back to the table and eat your supper!  Don't pet the dog while you're eating!  That's just gross!  You don't know what he's been doing!  He's been rolling in the mud!
. . . . . . 5 Minutes Later. . . .
Me:  M, I told you not to pet the dog while you're eating!  STOP THAT!
M:  I'm not petting him, Mommy.  I'm trying to get him to lick me!
Me Thinking to Myself:  YUCK!   I think he missed the point.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

"Home Is Where the Heart Is"

Pliny the Elder sure had it right.  Home IS where the heart is.

I have moved 22 times in my life.  I've had 18 different addresses (yes, I admit, I moved back in with mom a time or two, and I discovered college dorms weren't THAT bad).  I have lived in 3 states.  But only 1 place is home.

I spent the years between 3 and 15 in a very small community called (believe it or not) House.  I say that is where I grew up, though maturity is another matter entirely.  The closest town is a half hour away.  Growing up I was bored to tears.  I could NOT wait to get out of there!  I was going to go to college.  I was going to be a lawyer - a Prosecution Trial Lawyer.  I was going to be rich, have a very nice, large house.  I was going to drive a Jaguar.  I was going to marry a rich, powerful man and have 2.3 children.  I had PLANS!!!  Note the emphasis?

Guess what?  Not much of that happened.

I went to college, but I dropped out after 5 semesters.  I got married, and I got divorced (thankfully with no kids!).

Then my life got back on track . . . sort of.  I went back to college and got a Bachelor's in Accounting.  Somehow over the years, I lost all desire to argue and confront people so being a trial lawyer was definitely out.

I remarried a wonderful man even if he was as broke as I was.  Well, maybe he wasn't THAT broke as he wasn't paying off student loans.  We have 2 beautiful, sweet, bratty,charming, brilliant (okay, maybe just very, VERY smart), loving, annoying,  boys that drive me crazy and I wouldn't trade for all the gold in the world.  Most of the time.  Other time. . . . another story.

My plans changed.  But home?  That never changed.  I was always still that small town country girl from House. I still wore t-shirts, and jeans with boots most days.  I still wasn't comfortable in a fancy dress.  I still liked to walk anywhere I could, and my idea of fun was curling up with a good book in a quiet corner somewhere.  And being who I was, the place I called "home" never changed.

Oh, I used that word to any residence I had, but it was just a word.  Home (with a capital "H") was always that small community where I grew up.  I could still remember the way the sunlight would shine down through the tall pines and make the water in the creek sparkle where I would walk in the summer afternoons.  I could hear my grandmother's voice calling me to come out of the woods and eat.  I could remember the sounds of the whippoorwills calling at night.  I remembered Home.

And I went home.  The place I thought was boring growing up suddenly seemed like the place I wanted to raise my children.  Quiet, old-fashioned, moral, peaceful.  I didn't have to worry about drive-by shooting, gang related violence, or drug deals at the end of my driveway.  The local gas station still closes at dark.  My boys play outside without me having to supervise every move they make.  I don't have to worry about strangers talking to my kids.  I even live on a dirt road if you can believe it.

And Home now is just about 1 little within-walking-distance mile of Home where I grew up.  Thomas Wolfe said "you can't go home again."  He may be right.  Home may not be exactly what it was while I was growing up, but it's close enough for me . . . and my family.

My heart, my family, and I are Home.