Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Mish Mash

Slowly, slowly, I'm starting to discover things about myself. Like for instance, I have found that I can find my youth just by going to a feed store! Yesterday I went on the bimonthly trip to Weisenberger Mills to buy miller's bran. The door was open to the storage area, and I could smell the corn, oats, assorted feeds, inside. It reminded me of going to Southern States when I was a child to buy salt blocks for my pony. I had to just stand there for a few minutes and breathe deeply the innocent air of childhood. And the day before, I got to take a virtual trip to the horse barn area at the State Fair--they had just mulched the plants in front of the library with denatured horse manure! (They SAY denatured, but the smell says something else.) And I have yet to be able to go into a greenhouse in the spring, especially when tomato plants are waiting, without crying--Daddy and I often bought tomato plants together, and their smell reminds me of him. I'm glad my family doesn't like tomatoes, because I don't have to feel guilty about not growing fresh ones.

I know I already posted about the great afternoon at Libby's. I know I mentioned how great it was to see my cousin Linda, but great really doesn't describe the feelings I had. Now that Linda is getting gray, like me, I look at her and see not just Linda, but her mom, my Aunt Elsie, probably one of my favorite relatives.

Aunt Elsie was so cool. Things I liked about her: She had two Christmas trees, one fancy one in the living room, and one that the kids decorated in their family room. She took the curves in Cherokee Park on two wheels. She wasn't afraid to discipline any of us, her own brood or anyone else's kids who happened to be there. She let me have two Cokes a day when I visited, and she kept them in the refrigerator--she was the ONLY relative who had Cokes in her refrigerator when I was little. She let me have plain spaghetti when she was fixing supper and never tried to get me to eat the sauce. She had a cat who had kittens in the bottom drawer of the dining room buffet. She had two staircases at her house (well, actually one, but it went down into two separate rooms. (I dream about that house!)She had these neat colored aluminum glasses and silverware with plastic handles. And she had the most wonderful smile in the world. Her eyes really did twinkle. They REALLY DID!!! David has an Aunt Mary who is an awful lot like Aunt Elsie--I think that's one of the reasons I really love her.

Enough about Aunt Elsie for now--Good night, and God bless.

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

You done good, Donna

Gee. I was going to a party tonight for my good friend Donna, but it's postponed because she is down in her back. She is retiring after almost as many years as I had in. She came when Lyd was in the fifth grade, and she has always been a special person to our family. For one thing, she shared our sense of humor to some extent and appreciated some of the things we appreciated. She was the kind of teacher who kept live animals in her classroom--I never was into that; my only foray in that direction was a betta fish who died. Back to the animals: She told me one day that she noticed Lyd was being particularly quiet. She quietly walked over to Lyd's desk and saw that Lyd was sitting there holding the class guinea pig. Lyd always loved puppies and most small mammals, but we had never had a pet at our house at that time. Donna offered to let Lyd take the pig home for the summer. Unfortunately, nature intervened, and the little critter died before we got a chance to keep it.

Another thing about Donna was how she laughed and loved life and kids. The year Lyd was in her room, one darling little boy named Carlton was also in there. Carlton came up to Donna one day and quietly asked, "Ms. Whit, may I go--" and then he held out his open palm where he had written PP. That's about the first thing I remember about Carlton, and I'm sure he has done great things by now. Funny what we teachers store up for years. It reminds me of an art song I once knew. The lyrics go something like this: "Four ducks on a pond, the green grass beyond, lalalalalalala (two more lines I've forgotten!)", and then the ending, "What a lovely thing to remember for years, to remember with tears."

Monday, May 29, 2006

The family of God

I'm so glad I'm a part of the family of God. I'm also glad I'm a part of the family of Banta/Hatfield. We just returned from a "cookout" (which turned out to be a cook-in--no grill)with my dear, dear cousin Libby and her family. There were folks there who were related by blood or by marriage, even folks who were once related by marriage and are now just related by love, and several good brothers and sisters who were only related because we were brothers or sisters in Christ.

We (David and I) had the privilege of taking our good friend Sam and his little boy Alex with us. Sam is one of our friends from the Plum Tree. He wrote to me this weekend that his wife, Ting, had gone to Seattle for the week, and he was taking care of Alex by himself. I sent him my home and cell phone numbers and also sent him an invitation to go to Libby's with us today. David and I thoroughly enjoyed our ride into Louisville with Sam and Precious Baby. I promised Sam that there would be at least six mama's there to help him with Alex--I hope they helped. I got to hold Alex several times myself, and boy, did it stir up desires to hold my own little grandbaby! Sam said he hadn't been to a party in quite a while, and he seemed to enjoy the activity.

Anyway, do you suppose that is what Heaven is going to be like? A continuous party with all the folks we hold near and dear? And most wonderful of all, with Jesus? Ponder that--Love you, and God bless.

Happy Memorial Day1

We just came back from eating breakfast with Aniel (or Ann and Daniel) at the Cracker Barrel. It was a great chance to just sit around and visit, drink coffee, and eat too much. David overheard someone wishing the waitress a happy Memorial Day and commented something like this, "Well, I guess it would be a happy Memorial Day, except for remembering Mom, Dad, and all those other folks who have died." So I guess we ought to be careful to whom we wish a happy Memorial Day!

Speaking of Memorial Day and associated customs: My mom and I used to love to shop, and not just malls! My favorite stores were Dollar Stores, Big Lots, the Dollar Tree, those bargain-hunters' paradises. Often in the days preceding Memorial Day, I would pick up a really tacky plastic flower display that boldly said Mother and carry it over to Mom. I would tell her, "Here's what I'm getting you for Mother's Day!" Now mind you, I was an adult, way old enough to know what I was doing. She would back off, laughing the whole time, and say, "Don't you get me that tacky thing!" Now I have an almost irresistable urge to buy one and plant it on her grave. Maybe she would come back for just a moment and fuss at me.

A great Memorial Day memory: Daddy and I would ride over to Shelbyville, to the cemetary with a load of peonies from their back yard. Then we would drive around the cemetary until we found the "family plot" by the water tower. We would get out of the car with the bucket of peonies, and Daddy would lovingly place some on each of his family graves. I remember what he said when he put flowers on Grandmother's grave: "These are for you, Mama. I know you didn't want any plastic flowers on your grave." Maybe that's why I am so drawn to putting plastic flowers on my mama's grave, but probably it would be better to take some real flowers to Shelbyville for the old folks' graves there. Morbid enough to suit you?

Really, we plan to celebrate M.D. in style, at Libby's for a cookout. Ann convinced me that would be the way Granny would want it done. Love you, and God Bless.

Sunday, May 28, 2006

Monkey Mama's News

Hello, Blogworld! I finally took the bait and decided to start a blog. Why, I don't know, except that was the only way I could post on a friend's. It amazes me that anyone would want to read my ravings. I doubt seriously that there will be many postings on this blog since I am from a fine family of procrastinators. Today has been like every other Sunday of the last fifteen years, church, then lunch at the Plum Tree, then a nap--except this afternoon we went to a drop-in reception for a friend who received her doctorate. As the card I sent her said, "Ding! You're done!" And I guess she is, for now at least. We are also awaiting the arrival of our newlywed daughter and son-in-law who are coming up to pick up some of their stuff (I hope). I'll let you know more about that when the urge to blog strikes again. Love you all, and God bless--don't I sound like Red Skelton?