Sunday, September 4, 2011

The rest of the story ... our accommodations might not have been 5 star, but ...

... I don't think I would have enjoyed our honeymoon any better had it been '5 star'! Well, maybe, but I'm not sure we would have had the treasured memories we share!!

Our honeymoon budget was somewhere around $75-$100. I realize that costs were much different back then but that did limit us quite a bit on what we might do. But Bob, the ever resourceful one, had something pretty unique planned. And with those plans came a couple perks we had no idea about until they happened!!

I talked about being chased by my brother (and others) after we left our reception and picked up our nicely decorated car which did announce to the world that we had just been hitched!! We headed east on I-80 and decided we better look for a place to stay fairly soon as it was getting quite late! And we were both famished - we just had a cake and punch reception and I was still sort of a nervous wreck so didn't each much. We found a truck stop around LaSalle IL and ordered dinner - I do remember that I had meat loaf and then we looked for a hotel room. We laugh about some of the funny stuff that happened ... we found a Holiday Inn which had one room left - with two double beds. Usually when we share that, people ask, "Why did you get two double beds?" Well, it was simple - it was the ONLY room left!!  Some things are definitely kept private so will bypass the wedding night ...  

We had decided that we would visit old friends (yup, on our honeymoon) but when you are pretty broke, you have to make do with great friends who are willing to take in poor newlyweds!! We headed off to Harvey, Illinois where we visited a church Bob's family attended when he was just a boy! And an added benefit was that the grandson of our hosts offered to clean our car of all it's advertisements!! What a sweet guy!!! I was grateful and I imagine Bob was even more grateful!!

Our next stop was the Barberton Rescue Mission - oh, I know, what a place to go for a honeymoon!!! We were making a memory and that we did!! Especially as soon as we arrived! Bob had been there before as he helped out with a crusade there the year before reaching young people who were addicted to drugs. We arrived at Bruce and Phyllis Hawthorn's home and another gentleman was there. His shirt was wrinkled and half out of his pants and I was pretty sure by everything I saw, he was one of the 'guys' whom they had rescued from downtown Akron. Imagine my surprise when Bruce said, "I'd like you to meet my dad, George Hawthorn!" I believe it was later that evening when we received an invitation from Madlyn Hawthorn (George's wife) that she was preparing French onion soup at their home for us. However, this sheltered gal was going to try something newer to her than French onion soup. Bruce informed us that we were going over in a horse and buggy!! Oh, wow ... I wasn't sure about that but how could I say 'no' .. my 'compliant' nature hadn't taken a turn yet so I swallowed my fears and off we went. We even arrived back home in the dark and I try not remember my emotions about riding late at night in the 'open air'. But, all in all, it was an awesome evening and I will have to say it was probably about the best French onion soup I have ever had!!

The following day, Bruce announced that we were going to take an ox cart ride ... oh, wow!! Another new adventure for me and when I saw that the seat was a board balanced between the sides of the cart, well, I wasn't quite sure I wanted to ride! But, I did -- and We are not in this particular photo but it probably was the same ox cart!  somewhere along the lane that was pretty rutted, that board bounced off of one side and I found a new seat -- right on the ox cart floor!! Yup, it was funny ... buy, hey, do you know of anyone else who has honeymoon memories like ours?? Then again, probably so!

Then we were finally off to our grand destination ... Niagara Falls. Oh, but did we have reservations? Of course not but that was sort of taken care of since Bruce allowed us to borrow their pop-up camper. Not fancy - no bathroom - just one of those that folded down and then pops up - thus the term "pop up" camper. (I know - lame attempt at humor, right?) We found a camping spot somewhere in the vicinity of Niagara Falls (yes, with bathrooms / showers) and we began our official honeymoon. It's funny the things you treasure ... I remember the family who stayed nearby and how we got acquainted at the picnic table. I remember one evening when the rain was pouring down and I was happy as a clam as we ate our bologna sandwiches together - we had spent a little more than we had planned that day on a "Honeymoon Tour" of the area and received a certificate that said we had been there and encouraged us that our marriage could be as strong as the mighty Niagara River!  I really didn't care if we were in some fancy hotel ... we were together and that's what mattered! And what an awesome time we had!!!

I think our official honeymoon lasted about a week from start to finish ... and while there have certainly been ups and downs over these 43 years, I'd do it all over again!

The next question is ....

Okay, off and running again … not really but figuratively speaking ….

The next question in The Book for Bailey is: Your grandfather proposed by ….

Wow, does that take me back in time!! If you remember from what I have already shared, we did not get to go on dates alone so it was difficult to have very private conversations unless they were over the phone. Obviously, a proposal is not at its best over the phone! On this particular evening, I remember that we were sitting in Bob’s car in the front lawn of the chaperone we loved to take with us – who fell asleep on a previous date.  I can’t remember why we were alone in the car – if we were waiting on them to come out or what but I remember being so taken back at what Bob was sharing that I’m not sure I heard the whole statement prior to “The Question” … isn’t that awful?  (My memory, that is!)  But I do remember clearly him asking if I would like to make this permanent. Okay – here comes my all-time classic response -- “I guess so!”  How’s that for a lame response.  However, to explain my response, let me share that in my role as a daughter, I was an extremely compliant child. (Just ask my brother, Tim. As he shared at our dad’s funeral, “Linda was the compliant one, I was the non-compliant one!”)  It was hard for me to give a definitive answer easily. I didn’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings so would give a vague answer to make sure the other person was okay with what I said.  Evidently Bob was pretty sure that was a “Yes” on my part and we were now to the next level of our relationship.

I wish I could say that the road was always smooth but even back then, our personality differences gave us some challenges. And my parents weren’t totally sold on the idea that I was getting married – period – much less to Bob. Bob was quieter than most by nature so in church services that were not necessarily quiet, my parents weren’t quite sure where Bob fit in. It took some convincing and a few years into marriage before they were pretty convinced that we were a good match. Relatively speaking anyway ..

We were engaged for 14 months so that gave us plenty of time to get ready.  I remember one day, a group of us girls (older teens) decided to go to Chicago to shop for material for bridesmaids’ dresses.  We were not experienced Chicago drivers and at one point, our driver (who was probably the oldest – maybe around 20 and we thought that was old back then) brought the car to an almost complete stop on the interstate with the question, “Where do we go?”  We yelled, “Anywhere, just move” … probably not exactly that but something similar!! Glad that wasn’t in today’s traffic!!!

My wedding dress … we didn’t have much money or budget to work with so you do what you have to do!! The material for my wedding dress cost $35 and there were so many pieces and parts that I was beginning to wonder if it would ever look like a dress.  Oh, I missed an important part. My mother decided that we would make the dress in just 24 hours  – a unique 24 hour bonding experience – bonding in putting the dress together more than bonding in our own relationship which I was blessed had always been good.  (Not that we didn’t disagree on some issues and have some interesting discussions – but most of those came later, much later! Remember, I was the compliant one!)

I remember getting the dress cut out and the pieces spread out all over our living room floor!! We literally stayed up for 24 hours – the reason, I had an appointment the following day at Scott Studios for my bridal portrait! And since the dress wasn’t done yet and my mother was not going to cancel that appointment, we just worked ourselves silly! (Crazy term, huh?)  I think back now and wonder if we had taken into consideration that I was going to look like a zombie in the photo because of lack of sleep! Who knows!! But, we got ‘er done!!! We went by the florists to pick up a fake bouquet and headed to the photographer’s studio.

We were married on August 17, 1968 in the Asbury Bible Church in Milan, Illinois.  The question in the book is asked – and I sort of answered it – what I wore – a lace covered bodice and full length, full skirt with layers of lace over the skirt. I even wore one of those hoops (under the skirt obviously) to keep the skirt full and fortunately, there was some bending to the bottom of the hoop or we would have had a catastrophe of sorts when I sat down!! Lol!!

My attendants – my maid-of-honor was Shirley Throne. She had become a very close friend and still is!!! Marilyn Cook Darnell was another one of my attendants and I talked about her before. While we lost contact with each other for a while, we have remained close friends and she’s right up at the top of best friends in my life.  Linda (Bob’s sister for those who don’t know) was another one of the bridesmaids and Judy Patterson was the fourth. She was another one of those teenage friends who I would still consider a special friend.  My flower girl was Crystal Fankhauser and my miniature bride was Rachel, my little (and only) sister.  Of course, any story about our wedding is not complete unless I shared the “I want my dollar” story and I can see Rachel rolling her eyes already. She wasn’t even quite four years old then so what could we expect.  What we didn’t expect was that she would become very determined NOT to walk down that aisle and additionally, she was not having any part of walking down the aisle with a boy!!! Steve Antrim was our miniature groom, probably about a year older than Rachel.

Evidently, the mothers had not yet gone down the aisle when we were having this discussion. My mother-in-law had brought Rachel a doll and at first, she proclaimed (Rachel, that is) that she was carrying that doll down the aisle. That was definitely not the idea we would want shared (a miniature bride carrying a baby down the aisle) so that was scrapped much to her dismay.  Finally, we offered her a dollar and back then, a dollar would buy quite a bit – especially at the candy store where we loved to go. So, she was happy and content and walked down the aisle like she should but behind Steven, not beside him. THEN … we had decided that it would be best that she sit by my mother during the ceremony. She probably smoothed her dress before she told my mother, “I want my dollar, now!” This was going on during the ceremony and has given us one of those “unforgettable” moments that we love!! My mother gave her that dollar and without even thinking, Rachel started waving that dollar, looking at our organist, Bette Towle, and whispering LOUDLY, “I got my dollar!!”  Poor thing – for years and years, Rachel has had to listen to that story – but what she may not realize is that it is one of those neat stories that make memories for a lifetime! The flipside – or end of the story – was that before we could get everyone gathered for photos at the end of the ceremony, Rachel had headed outside to play.  She didn’t think twice about taking her bouquet with her and when she came in, the center part of the bouquet, the orchids, were missing. Another memory – but a cherished one!! Years have passed – and I am so blessed to have her as my little sister!!

There was one other interesting tidbit – I had heard from several brides that they were so nervous that they could not even remember much from their ceremony.  So, I decided to remember something but I am not sure this was the best thing to focus on.  During prayer, I counted the candles on the candelabras as I wanted to remember a fact about the wedding – 13 candles!! I know – I should have paid much more attention to the prayer or to my dad wiping tears during that time.

But, other memories keep flooding. Bob wrote a song for me for our wedding. Pretty awesome – it would have been completely awesome had he not lost his voice due to some sinus problems prior to our wedding. So, he spoke the words – but I loved them just as much as if he had sung them!!

Amazingly enough, while we cannot find the actual copy of the song, we put our minds together and remembered the first verse and chorus -- and one phrase from the second verse: "And joys will spring eternal" from the second verse!! Here is what we remember:

Today we start our lives together, dear;
The blessings of the Lord are ours.
We’ll walk in love together
And share these blessed hours.
We will not dread the morrow,
In honor walk through sorrow
As hand in hand we travel
Fore’er in love.

We’ll walk together in love forever,
With God to guide our paths to heav’n above.
This love forever no power can sever,
We’ll walk together, dear, fore’er in love.

My dad and Rev. D.V. Smith performed our marriage, my Uncle Ben sang and also Vicki Preston. It was a little difficult for my dad as I was the oldest child, his oldest daughter – and he wasn’t quite ready for this to happen. I noticed in one of the photos that he was wiping away a tear. I was so blessed by wonderful parents!!!

After pics, we were off to our reception … with a whole entourage behind us (I think we counted about 30 cars)!! But, we thought we would have some fun – actually did something similar twice that night – and rode to the reception in Moline with friends, Rick and Judy Yancey. We loved having all these people following us, blowing their horns and we felt so important!!  The reception was in the Crystal Room on the second floor of a building in downtown Moline. It’s funny that I don’t remember a lot about our reception – bits and pieces and the fact that I had a cousin who LOVED to take pictures and followed us everywhere all evening.  When one of the final photos was taken of Bob and me signing our marriage license, I looked like I was totally ‘done in’!!

We had hidden our car from folks that we knew would have a grand time using their decorating skills to let people know we were hitched.  We were very confident – VERY – that no one would know. However, our photographer came up to ask us about it and we very nonchalantly responded with the location – and he reported right back to Bob’s sister, Linda, and off they went!!! Ugh!!! Hindsight – 20/20!!  Since we were oblivious to all of this going on, we had gone to great lengths to ‘lose’ whoever might follow us from the reception to where our car was hidden. One of our ushers, Ron Barr, had a little Saab which we climbed into and then he had fun maneuvering his way through an adjacent bank parking lot which included drive through tellers which seemed to only accommodate Ron’s style of car! We were sooo proud of ourselves until we got to his house only to find out that those who were behind us had been in front of us not long before – our car was definitely decorated for the occasion!!!

 But, we were still going to have some fun at the expense of brothers and others who like to drive fast!!! When we got into our car (feeling a little subdued – especially me since I so nicely let the car – rather, car – out of the bag) and headed out on our honeymoon, we had another entourage that thought they would accompany us for a while – we were headed out on I-80 and we decided just to take our sweet, old time – driving about 50 miles per hour!! I think we bored our followers quickly as they, one by one, (have no idea if there were more than two – ha!), turned back towards home …

And we were off on our honeymoon …. And that’s another story …..

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Wow … 43 years!!   My mind is usually in a whirl when I try to grasp all those years into my small brain which seems with age to be slowing down a bit! (Not that it was ever very fast!)

I am not a journaler (how’s that for going off topic right off the bat – I do that quite well, my husband says!!)  My sister is a master at journaling and there are times when I have been envious of her ability and then think, “Nope, can’t waste time thinking on that. I am wired absolutely, completely, positively opposite from her and I would write a page for about three days and that would be the end of it!”  However, I did take up journaling for a ‘season’ and that brings up some of the topics that I will share about marriage .. our marriage in particular.

When our granddaughters turn 12 – actually at the Christmas following their 12th birthday, they know that they will get one particular gift. I remember hearing that Kasi had reminded Marley that she would be getting “The Book” for Christmas after she had turned 12 in May a few years ago.  What is the book? “Grandmother’s Memories to Her Grandchild – A Journal of Faith and Love”.  Whew … It is awesome that it has the word “journal” in it so maybe I can complete my ambition of doing some type of journaling. (I have to admit, I really am in awe of my sister’s ability in this area!!)

Once I got started on the first one for Kasi, I thought … I am on a roll!!!! How about doing it for our daughters when they turned 30 – so all four of them have their own journal of my life (and about them, too) .. and know secrets that I wasn’t sure I would share with anyone. But, it is funny that as you begin to write and look at yourself somewhat objectively – although that is hard to do – it becomes much easier to share the tough stuff.  Obviously their book has a different title – Daughter instead of Granddaughter!

Now, why did I say all of that now as we near our anniversary? I thought I would have a little fun if you aren’t too bored to have stayed with me through all of this ramble … How about I take this book and ask myself a few of the questions and answer them here but without sharing too much. You see, I just have one more book to complete before my task is done – one more granddaughter who turned 12 in March. She will be receiving “The Book” this Christmas. I did have a challenge a few years ago when I couldn’t find any more in the bookstores. Finally found a couple and grabbed them so I could complete the goal.

So …. Are you ready to come along with me for a few moments – and probably laugh a little …

Remember, this one is written for a granddaughter but I have changed it to go along with this occasion -- I'll add a little or take away some for her book …

My first crush … hmmm … does getting a love note written to you in church when you are 7 years old count? I think he wrote, “Will you marry me?”  I cannot remember what I did with that note – whether I answered it but I never forgot about it – to this day!! His name was Donnie and I did get to see his sister a few years ago.

My first boyfriend … Since Facebook has about a zillion people you can connect with (six degrees of separation), I don’t think I will list names. Then again, I will say that one of the neatest boys in my life was Daniel Cook. (Yes, Bob knows all about him!)  I do know that there are many other gals along the way who thought the same thing!  He was a great looking guy, with a great personality and talented musically. His sister, Marilyn, was my close childhood friend and as I watched their relationship, I wished I could have had an older brother. (It was an added blessing when he could drive us to various places!) I haven’t figured out how I thought I could have one then! However, Daniel faced some physical and emotional challenges that caused him much heartache as well as his family and not too long ago, he made his entrance into heaven!  Having spoken to him a few times across the years, I was glad that he remembered some of those good times and even commented to Shonna (and I assured her she need not take him too seriously), “if your dad hadn’t come along, I’d have married your mom.” At first, she was a little miffed but understood as I explained some of the challenges Daniel faced. We knew that I was just one of those who he considered to be a dear friend – and I will always treasure that friendship.

I attended a small Christian school which was related to Francis Asbury Bible College in Milan, Illinois.  We were a pretty close knit group so we did a lot of things together --  as a group. We were all friends – some paired off as boyfriend / girlfriend but for the most part, we were just all together. One of the questions in this book is “My First Broken Heart”.  This one was an interesting question and not sure how much I will share here because it wasn’t a boy who broke my heart but rather that my dad insisted that since the boy (we were teenagers) was not a professing Christian, therefore I would not be allowed to even consider ‘dating’ him.  (I do understand but had a problem understanding then since all attended the same church.) We had a comfortable friendship and I do think that I valued that more than anything. I believe that he did make a commitment to Christ sometime later and the sad thing is that he died in the Vietnam War – just three weeks after he arrived there. He was married at the time – to a gal named Lynda … and I remember seeing the video of the funeral with all the military honors. How sad!

Okay … jumping ahead .. believe it or not, the ‘journal’ book doesn’t ask about my first date – but I will share anyway – are you bored yet??? We went to Bishop’s Restaurant in Davenport (or Bettendorf), Iowa. I remember that I actually made a new dress and was so excited to wear it. Bob’s mother went with us and I share below, we were in a Christian School / Bible College setting so we had to have a chaperone with us. (I still have trouble explaining all of this to our girls. J) One of the funny things my mother has shared throughout the years was how much ‘on time’ for dates Bob was. She swore (no, not really ‘swore’) that when the second hand reached the 12 at the minute Bob said he would be there, you would hear the doorbell ring! Since Bob was dating the oldest of six children, I’m not sure how many little brothers he had to wade through before getting to me or us getting out the door. Actually, my brother, Tim, was a friend of Bob’s before I even met him – something they both like to remind me about!

(Commercial Break – I am actually following the book in order of what the topics are – and it seems at times I am going backwards – What’s new, I know!!!)

My first kiss … Believe it or not, that kiss belonged to Bob! Yes, I can remember, it was on a clear, starlit night. We were attending a Bible College and what I’m about to share will seem foreign to most of the younger set! We had to have chaperones go on dates with us – all of the students did so you tried to pick the fun ones since you usually had to take them out to eat with you, too.  So, we had hope that no one saw us kiss!  I’m going to follow “My First Kiss” with another question which sort of relates. “My funniest experience on a date”. Well, we had a ‘one person’ chaperone that night – rather than a couple, it was a married guy whose wife couldn’t come. I won’t tell you his name but his initials are D.F. if any of you from those years are reading this! We enjoyed this guy coming along because he had a tendency to fall asleep and I can imagine all kinds of ideas arising in your minds … no, we were not mis-behaving.  I decided to do something I had not done before and that was to kiss Bob on the cheek – I initiated the action and it shocked him so much he ran off the road!!!! The guy in the back seat shot straight up and was sure we were going to crash!!!! We’ve laughed over that one through the years. Poor guy!!!

Next question … How old I was and what I was doing when I met your grandfather (that being Bob, of course) … Wow, let’s see.  I knew about him prior to meeting him. After all, any girl in Nebraska probably knew about him and seemed to follow him around which I found rather annoying! However, when I was almost 15, I first saw him in the Zayre (that was a store) parking lot in Rock Island, Illinois. I was introduced to him across a couple cars and I felt so special (ha, not really) that I had indeed met THE Bob Bedford that I had heard about at youth camps in Nebraska.  Funny thing, I can’t remember shopping that day – just meeting Bob!! It was in October of 1964! Rachel was only about six weeks old!

Next question .. I was attracted to him because … oh, wow … now how do I answer that one? I had actually thought he was a little odd when I learned he and another gal had taken on a letter writing contest to see who could write the longest letter to each other. He won – 50 pages. What he didn’t know was that that particular letter made its rounds in the girls’ dorm at the 1962 youth camp of the Evangelical Wesleyan Church somewhere in Nebraska .. I’m not sure where it was that year but somewhere near Kearney or Grand Island or Ansley.  Ooops, got to rambling ..  I was attracted to him because … I think for a variety of reasons – 1) He was a very nice good looking guy with a great  personality; 2) He seemed to be well liked and even though that would come back to haunt me a little (gals liked him a lot), I was rather proud of the fact that I was his girlfriend; 3) He was talented musically as well as in speaking / preaching (he still is my favorite speaker); 4) He was fun, a sharp thinker, quick on the comeback and the fact that he had taken the challenge to memorize the dictionary made me think that my parents would think he was quite intelligent … he was and still is; 5) I liked his family and still do – they are a great family and I am blessed with a wonderful mom-in-law – Bob, too, had a great relationship with my mother; 6) He made me feel special!  I knew that he was pretty popular and since I had mastered an inferiority complex well, I was certain that someone else would come along and snatch him up.  But here we are, 43 years later, still together! Bumps along the way, absolutely!!! Tough times, for sure!  Times when we both wondered if we would weather the storms of life! But, fun times – more than I can count! Children – a treasure that we could never have dreamed of!! Vacations that have taken us to every state – most of them with our children in tow. And laughter – lots of laughter!! Just spend a few hours at our house and you will see!  Would I do it all over again … we’ve asked each other that question especially as we have discussed those differences that will be with us until Jesus comes or we go on to heaven … yes, we would, but we would probably do things differently and with much more grace and understanding. Then again, hindsight is always 20/20! As Bob told me early on (and I was rather offended at the time), I have “willed” to love you!! Here I thought that love was an emotion and he was not even tying in emotions. But, I was to learn that the “will” is what carries you through those tough times and it did!

I realize that I have gone on and on and on … and I haven’t even gotten to the proposal and maybe no one wants to know about that – when I shared it with the girls, I think they just shook their heads and thought, “Wow … that’s different ….”  Wish I could say it was on a beach or written in the sky – nothing like that but with a commitment that has obviously stood the test of time …. So, next week, I’ll finish this saga I think … I need to finish Bailey’s book – by Christmas …

Friday, July 29, 2011

Wow .... months have gone by ....

I realized that it has been months (literally) since I have posted here so the chance of anyone reading it is probably pretty slim and I would understand that completely.  It seems that with the coming of Facebook, most have sort of made the switch and while it is great, it doesn't lend itself to blogging.  I just got done reading several blog posts of a friend and what a delight it was. So thought I might just job down a few thoughts here today. (A long time since January, huh?)

It's been a warm summer but not like the heat of the north right now. I am always amused by folks who lump all of Florida into the statement "Florida is TOO hot for me! I'd never live there!"  Usually those statements come from people who might have spent a week at a time here or maybe not even stepped foot in the state but have taken the opinions of others and made them their very own. (There's a whole sermon topic there!)

We celebrated 20 years in Florida the first part of this month. Bob and I went over to the Spaghetti Warehouse in Tampa yesterday (15 layer Lasagna for $5 -- couldn't pass up that deal) and on the way back discussed how much we love living here. We live near the gulf and so we have a breeze blowing most of the time -- we are not as hot as the central part of the state (Orlando) so please don't lump us with them when making an assumption about our hot summers! We are usually about 4 or 5 degrees cooler.

Okay .. now I feel better ... don't you love it when people use their blog to vent about unimportant things and I probably just added my name to that list!!!

Time passes quickly -- it's hard to believe that our oldest is turning 41 in September and our next one will be 40 next week!! Our oldest grandchild will be 21 in November and our great-grandchild will be 3 in October. And there are others in-between ... let's see ... ages??? Kasi, 21; Marley, 15; Regan, 14; Kamen, almost 13 (September); Regan, 12; Tyler, 10; RJ, 8; Rudy, 4; and Ava, 3 in October. Yeah, I remembered!!

So many fun times -- I love the calls I get from our girls -- from "Mom, I am so sorry ..." (referring to their growing up years) to "You won't believe what your grandchild said or did today!!"

So, I'll finish this post with a cute thing that Roxanne posted on her Facebook about Ava ... 

So today I was working with Ava on her cute little singing abilities and we did what I used to do with her Mommy. We sang the word "VI-BRA-TO" and added some vibrato at the end of it. Then Ava proceeded to sing "VI-BRA-HEAD" and "VI-BRA-EYES" and then she says to me, "Mayme, your head and your eyes are much pretttier than your toe"...Love her!!

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Cold ... it's all in the perspective!!

I received this weather alert by email a little while ago. It seems we have a wind chill advisory overnight ... however, in light of the unbelievably low temperatures in the north, I was certain it would bring a chuckle or a smile or .. 'they are just too spoiled' .. or simply, 'would you please shut up'?




Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Jury Duty!!! Well, sort of, that is .....

I have been summoned for jury duty twice ... thankfully only twice!! The first time was several years ago and was the day after a hurricane had brought tropical winds to our area and many were without power. So, the time went fairly quickly as we waited ... and waited ... and shared who had lost what during the storm..  and waited some more to find out if we were going to be chosen to serve on an actual jury. I almost held my breath every time they went through the 'roll call' of numbers (I became a number there rather than an actual person) wondering if I would be 'promoted' to the next level! This is one time I would rather not be promoted at all!!!

I was at the courthouse for approximately 3 to 4 hours that time and waited through about four or five 'roll calls' before hearing a really long roll call. I had been alerted that if that happened, it was probably the list of those who would not have to serve and could go home! Yeah! I was thrilled when my number was called.

I was summoned again recently and put in for the typical delay and was granted one with the stipulation that you can only have one. Well, they scheduled it for today so by 8:15 or so (the traffic was really crazy today with traffic lights that had to have added extra time for the other direction, I know), I arrived at the courthouse! There was a long line of people waiting to go through security and off to our left was a protester who was yelling (yes, yelling) all kinds of stuff that we should know but I was having difficulty following anything he said so tried to ignore him! The guy standing next to me told me the guy is there quite often!

Through security and on to the juror assembly room except I took the long way -- imagine that. I didn't remember it was right there on the third floor and by the time I had toured three other floors and finally made it back to where I should have been in the first place (right next to security), the video telling us all about being a juror had already started! Oh, well .. I have seen it before, been inside courtrooms so had a pretty good idea of what was going to happen.

They instruct us not to talk to much about what happens there (and I think that's primarily when you have been selected for a jury and you know that it is not a choice -- it is a must to keep your mouths shut) so I will simply say that I arrived at 8:30am in the assembly room and by 10:15am was on my merry way!! Yeah, hurray!!! I had been afraid that it would be my time to serve on a jury that could take days if not weeks! I headed to the cafe to get some coffee to celebrate and wait for Bob to pick me up. He had gone on to another appointment and I'm afraid I got done a little too soon!! So, I celebrated all alone -- oh, sorry -- brain isn't working -- I actually had a diet Pepsi -- the coffee was in the jury lounge during a break time. Hard to have a break when you are only there for less than two hours!! :) Bob arrived in good time and I was home soon!

So much for my day ....

Friday, January 14, 2011

Interesting discussions ...

We just spent a couple days with Teri's children (which I probably shared in a previous post -- oh, yes, about the taxi service!) It seems that the most fun times are just sitting and talking and watching the girls responses (Rudy is still a little young to be in the 'older' conversations) to tales of when we were young -- especially when Bob was young.

It seems that Regan who is 13 has a great interest in boys -- a GREAT interest and I say "boys" because she may 'like' three or four different boys in a week. (I find it interesting that the word 'dating' has such a different meaning than it did when we were kids. It is typically associated with 'I like this guy' now.) So, I thought it was time that she heard Bob's story about how many girls he 'liked' or 'dated' during his younger years. He thinks there might have been about 200 .. give or take a few. That seems foreign to me since, except for just a couple boys, I was pretty well committed to him (Bob) from the time I was about 16 years old. I'll admit that for a while prior to 'falling for him', I thought the girls who followed him around were a little crazy -- and yet, as Marley and Regan reminded me, "You married him!"

They were further intrigued (to the point of gales of laughter) to know that girls his brother dated, Bob had usually dated previously including Bill's wife, Barb. They found that highly amusing!

I thought that my life to them must have been rather boring although I have some great stories but they don't seem to compete with a papaw who girls loved to be around during those teenage years. Of course, I've told Bob that I would much prefer having a spouse who was at least interesting to people (not that I want an entourage of 'groupies' following us around) rather than someone complete boring!

Now how's this for rambling on a Friday morning -- I do need to get to work!!

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Grandmom's Taxi Rides (Runs) Again

Bob and I child sat (when you have a 14 year old, it is definitely not 'babysitting') for Teri, Monday afternoon through this evening. I still wonder how in the world I raised four girls when I am worn out after two days there. Not because of the care but because of the taxi service it seems to take to get the kids to and from where they need to go and on time at that. Yesterday was one of those crazy days ... Let's see ...

Marley headed off to school with the girl next door who drives them both -- really early!!! 

Regan headed to school at 7:20am but I didn't have to take her .. so that was good, I think. Bailey was to go in a little later ...

So, off we headed around 9:30am to drop Rudy off at preschool at Beymer in Winter Haven. Headed to St. Joe's where Regan and Bailey are students.

Back home for a few minutes (it seemed) before heading back to Beymer to pick up Rudy at noon.

Home for a while (woohoo) until 2:45pm when I headed back to St. Joe's for the afternoon pickup!

We actually had a little while at home -- enough to have dinner, try to keep the house straight -- hard to do when you have book bags for three gals and a lunch box for a little guy!

Then the fun began .. Take Bailey to volleyball practice at 7:00 (but she found out when she arrived that it actually started at 6:00); go from there to Lake Region High School to drop Regan and Marley off to watch the JV Lake Region / Winter Haven game (great rivals). Rudy fell asleep on the way home and did not wake up except for a few minutes until 5:15 this morning ...

After getting him settled with Bob at the house, it was time to pick up Bailey at practice (there was an accident on the way that slowed me down a little) .. waited on her for a little while and then the phone rang that the JV game was over, could I please come on down to the high school and pick up Regan and Marley .. which I did, of course.

All in a day's work?  I'm worn out already and I was there just a little over two days!! No wonder we have our children when we are young! For sure!

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Am I getting old or am I naturally scatter-brained?

And, no, I am not really looking for an answer although I am sure there are several who be happy to offer an opinion on that! I usually know where I am going, how to get there and what all I need to do along the way ... you'll notice I used the word "usually" ....

Yesterday, I needed to run a couple errands so inserted the list into my brain along with necessary directions (which I know better by instinct than by actual knowledge, it seems) and off I went ... Post Office and K-Mart -- short list, I think! However, somewhere along the line, my brain got scattered (I almost didn't use that word remembering the horrific shooting yesterday in Arizona). I parked very nicely at K-Mart, not far from the entrance actually and started in -- only to realize that I had picked up the mail sitting beside me! I guess I thought I could kill two birds with one stone and send out mail from K-Mart! I caught myself in time so no one gave me odd looks for carrying a couple envelopes and two large manilla envelopes into K-Mart.

I must pay more attention to this getting 'older' thing!!

Oh .. and an addition to yesterday's blog where I was wondering if they ever grow up and not need our help along the way -- there were a number of texts / messages that went back and forth between Teri and me -- and between two nephews in Las Vegas! I think she owes me one -- then again, probably more than one! I've been doing this for 36 years for her! 

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Do they ever grow up? Or mature? Or something?

I get amused at our girls ... all of them at different times but Teri in particular today. She, Jeff and another couple are flying to Las Vegas for a couple days. Their plans have been to meet up with two of Bob's nephews who live there and she has communicated with them ... well, up until this morning. They were (are) to fly out of Orlando early this morning and somewhere along the way, I got a text asking if I could possibly connect with both Greg and Stan to see if they could meet them at a particular restaurant there. It seems she couldn't log on to Facebook this morning prior to getting on the plane.

Bob and I are heading over to Winter Haven on Monday to watch their children for two days -- no, they are not being left unattended until we get there -- two babysitters in the meantime. But, I remembered the last time we 'child sat' .. they left very early in the morning and I awoke to a short list of things she (Teri) had forgotten to do and wondered if I could take care of them. Hmmm ... I'm the mom -- I thought I made the lists! :) And a couple of the tasks were a little more complicated than dropping the kids off at school ... but, I must be a good mom because I was able to text her that the jobs I could do quickly were already done and the other one was on my schedule for the day. And yup .. it got done!

So, do they ever grow up? That's debatable .. but, I still love being a mom and somehow that instinct keeps us available to our children no matter how old they are! Did I contact the guys this morning? Of course .. and sent her a text before she got on the plane ... well, I think it was before. She didn't answer but that might be because the text was to and from Jeff's phone. Where's Teri's phone? Who knows ... she lost it again! Nope, that's not one job I will do for her .. there are some things you just have to leave to them ..