My dear friend Michelle recently sent this to me. I just felt like I had to share it.
Is there a magic cutoff period when Offspring become accountable for their own Actions? Is there a wonderful moment when Parents can become detached spectators in The lives of their children and shrug, "It's Their life," and feel nothing?
When I was in my twenties, I stood in a hospital Corridor waiting for doctors to put a few Stitches in my daughter's head. I asked, "When do You stop worrying?" The nurse said, "When they get out of the accident stage." My Dad just smiled faintly and said nothing.
When I was in my thirties, I sat on a little Chair in a classroom and heard how one of my Children talked incessantly, disrupted the class, And was headed for a career making License plates. As if to read my mind, a teacher Said, "Don't worry, they all go through This stage and then you can sit back, relax and Enjoy them." My dad just smiled Faintly and said nothing.
When I was in my forties, I spent a lifetime Waiting for the phone to ring, the cars to come Home, the front door to open. A friend said, "They're trying to find themselves. Don't worry, In a few years, you can stop worrying. They'll be Adults." My dad just smiled faintly And said nothing.
By the time I was 50, I was sick & tired of being Vulnerable. I was still worrying over my Children, but there was a new wrinkle. There Was nothing I could do about it. My Dad just smiled faintly and said nothing. I Continued to anguish over their failures, be Tormented by their frustrations and absorbed in Their disappointments.
My friends said that when my kids got married I Could stop worrying and lead my own Life. I wanted to believe that, but I was Haunted by my dad's warm smile and his Occasional, "You look pale. Are you all right? Call me the minute you get home. Are You depressed about something?"
Can it be that parents are sentenced to a Lifetime of worry? Is concern for one another Handed down like a torch to blaze the trail of Human frailties and the fears of the Unknown? Is concern a curse or is it a virtue That elevates us to the highest form of life?
One of my children became quite irritable Recently, saying to me, "Where were you? I've been Calling for 3 days, and no one answered. I was worried." I smiled a warm smile. The torch has been passed.
PASS IT ON TO OTHER WONDERFUL PARENTS (And also to your children. That's the fun part.)
My family loves spaghetti. Back when we first married, I would make it the way Mom had shown me, with ground meat and mostly fresh ingredients. About 15 years ago, on a skiing trip, she showed me a new way to make it, with Prego and German sausage. It is so much easier than the old way and really just as good if not better. Frank loves it and we have it about once a week. So you can see, I should know how to make it.
Last night, in a rush to get to a basketball game, we decided to have spaghetti because it is fast, easy and good. So, I cut up the sausage and started heating it and started the water for the noodles. Katie was getting Mattie May ready and Frank was fixing the bread. I put the noodles in the boiling water, got the jar of sauce and, for some reason that we will never know, I started pouring the sauce into the boiling noodles! Oh My Goodness! I caught myself and managed to only pour about a forth of it in there.
I guess I screamed because Katie came running into the kitchen to see what was wrong. When she saw the red in the noodles she thought I had cut myself. When I told her what I had done, she very simply asked "Mom, why did you do that?"
Why did I do that? I obviously know how to make spaghetti because my family wants it every week. It is really simple; cut up meat, dump sauce over top, heat. Easy, right? So what was wrong last night?
Have you ever done something like that, taken an easy task and made a complete mess out of it? Something you do on a weekly or daily basis that should be second nature to you? Let me know.
We decided there was nothing to do other than let the noodles continue to boil in the saucy water. They turned out a bit red, but once the actual meat sauce was put on top, they looked as normal as ever. Oh, and there were no left overs, so I guess they tasted alright too.
Congratulations to the Jim Ned Lady Indians for winning the Regional Final to advance to the State Championship Tournament. I have not attended as many games as I would have liked to this year, but you all know I have watched most of you as Lady Indians since the 7th grade. Some of you (Renee') I have watched as young girls just learning the game. You are a great group of young ladies that do well in representing God, your families and your school.
I can't wait to watch you in Austin on Friday in the first round of the tournament.
Click hereto read the artical from the Abilene Reporter News.
Last week in my story about the skunk, I referenced a place called Harvey's Cabins. I was talking about places where I would stay and I have had several people ask me about this place. This is a long post and I hope it comes across as funny in writing as it does when spoken. I only wish I had pictures to share as they would add visual aid so you could see that I am not making this up, but this was before digital cameras.
When we plan our fishing trips I am usually the one that makes the reservations, just because I usually have the time. But when we planned this trip to the state tournament for CAST a few years back, some of our friends had visited a place and made reservations for everyone while they were there. We were told "they are not the best place we have ever stayed but they are close to weigh in and they OK." So we agreed. Since they were "cabins" with more than one room, we shared one with our friends Dennis & Janet.
I guess I better give just a little bit of background on Dennis & Janet. We have know them for longer than I am willing to say and they are more like family than they are friends. There have been lots of "pre-fishing" trips where Janet and I have gotten into trouble of some sort or other. Our families have been through kids & grandkids, basketball, baseball and fishing tournaments, some tears but mostly laughter and fun. Lots and lots of fun.
Big Sam (Sam Rayburn Lake) is in deep East Texas and by the time we pull in to Broaddus, it is dark, but luckily Dennis and Frank are both pretty familier with this area. As we are traveling to the cabins, the paved road turns to dirt and if you know anything about East Texas, you know it stays kindda wet; dew, fog, rain. It is really not a dirt road at all, it is a wet, slippery, clay road. It is not lit and it is extremely winding. Picture in your mind this scene from "Delivernce " and keep the tune in your mind as you continue to read. Yes, this film could have been filmed in this part of Texas. This song kept going through our minds.
We finally get to the cabins to find that they are actually not cabins at all. They are a group of four mobile homes. I will admit, they didn't look too bad from the outside, and in the dark. The guys figured out where to park the trucks and trailers and Janet and I went inside to start unpacking and figuring out who would get which room.
We kind of stopped in the middle of the living room floor and just kind of dropped the bags. There was a smell, not horrible, just a stinky smell. And of course, we sort of grin. We decided to take a tour of the "cabin". Of course we were standing in the living room/kitchen. Tile floor, a faux leather sofa (seats 3), a table with 4 chairs, and the 13" black and white television set is on the kitchen counter. As we are walking around, the floor is sqeaking/swaying under our feet and the grins turn to giggles.
Bedroom #1 one was just to the right of the front door. Then we stepped down the hall to find the bathroom and bedroom #2. We took #1, they took #2. The we decide to really check out the bathroom. Not bad; sink, toilet, bathtub with shower and hugh hole in the shower wall. Yes you read that right, when they installed the shower wall over the window, they didn't close it off. It looked as if someone fell into the wall and busted a hole in the wall. This is the point where the giggles turn into histerical laughter and the guys come in. Janet steps out to meet them in the living room/kitchen and as I am backing out of the bathroom, I find a weaks spot in the floor and almost fall through. This starts the guys to laughing.
It is now about 9:30PM in small town East Texas and we really don't have many options on where else we would stay. We decide to stay for the night and while the guys are out prefishing the next day, Janet and I would see if we could find anywhere else with a vacancy. We quickly make a list of some things we would need (candles, bleach and a shower curtain for the hole in the shower wall) from Wal-Mart to stay the night and head to Lufkin to eat and go shopping. Frank goes to our bedroom and pulls back the covers to see what the sheets look like and discovers a few fire ants in the bed. He brushes them off and tells me to add bug spray to the shopping list.
We make it to Lufkin, eat and shop and head back "home". When we get back, Frank checks out the bed again and finds more fire ants. He brushes them off, pulls the bed away from the wall into the middle of the floor and sprays the entire room with bug spray. I don't really remember who went to the bathroom first but we soon discovered that when using the toilet you had to hold to the edge of the tub to keep from falling to the left. Then when standing at the sink, you had to stradle a very weak area in the floor to keep from falling through. We gather in the living room to make a game plan for the next day. Frank decided to check out the bed again and finds more fire ants. Determined to find where these little pest are coming from, he tears the bed apart. He finds that a piece of plywood has been placed between the frame and the mattress to give a bit more support and it is covered in ants. With Dennis's help, the plywood is removed to outside and we try to get ready for bed.
The four of us sit up talking and soon realize that none of us really want to go to sleep in this place and of course we all begin the histerical laughter again. At about 2:00 AM we decide to go ahead and get a little sleep and that the guys will give up one day of their prefishing to help us find another place to stay.
I don't really remember what time we woke up but we got ready as quick as we could and headed to Broaddus for some breakfast. While sitting in the diner waiting for our food we rehashed what had transpired the night before, along with more laughter.
This nice looking gentleman, excused himself for listening in to our conversation and said he knew the place we were talking about. (Of course he did, this is an extremely small town and I would really be surprised if most people in this town were not related.) He said he and his family had a friend that had a cabin that was a little better than where we were and that he knew they were availble for the weekend. He would be happy to take us there to check them out if we wanted to. After telling us where it was the guys realized it was a ways further from way-in than where we were, but it was worth a shot. We decided it couldn't be worse than where we were, but we would follow him in our truck.
As we were following this man, the song from "Deliverance" began to play in our heads again, but the guys felt like they could get us out of this area if we lost this man so we felt a little better. As we pulled up, the back of the cabin was to us. But hey, this time it really was a cabin. A plus already. We get out and the man is already unlocking the door. So far not bad, lots of room to beach the boats so we wouldn't have to load and unload them everyday, and it was an actually cabin. But them we noticed the sofa and refrigerator on the front porch. This brought to mind all sorts of Jeff Foxworthy "You Might be a Redneck If..." jokes and we tried really hard to hold in the laughter. The guys told us to go on in and check it out and they stayed on the front porch talking to our gracious soon to be host. Luckily they kept his back to the door where they could see us. I really don't remember alot of details; furniture, beds, anything like that. What we do remember is there was a lot of dust and the deal killer - there was no shower! Really there was a tub, but no shower of any kind. Plus, we had already bleached the other place to where only super germs could survive, covered the hole in the shower and got rid of the source of the fire ants.
As we stepped back into the main room, Janet was able to get both of the guys attention and do a major hand signal, slashing of the neck, no way Jose sign to let them know we were not moving to this place. They told the man something about really appreciated him taking his time to show us this place, but that the "girls" said they didn't want to move. We left him there and the guys got us back to our trailer.
By this time, our other friends had arrived, we had this place clean and decided to stay the next three nights knowing that we would never find a place worse than this to stay in and with the agreement from the guys that we would stay in a really nice hotel in Dallas on the way home Sunday night. There were five couples that stayed at Harvey's that weekend and we became known as the "Trailer Trash" couples during that tournament. We even had a side pot between the five of us with a small trailer as part of the prize. We had a great weekend with lots of tales to tell.
So you think this is the end of the story. Oh no! There are two more things that make this a great story. We all checked out Sunday afternoon with the Rains being the last ones to do so. She was talking to the owner, he asked her how things were and she told him alright. He told her he hoped we would all come back because he was trying to do some updates. As a matter of fact, he had tried to do some before we arrived. He had purchased new matteresses for all the beds. But in one of the cabins, one mattress didn't fit. So he had to take it back to the store and get the old one out of the city dump!!! Yes you read that right and guess which mattress had been in the dump - the one with the fire ants of course! You just can not imagine how badly I wanted to get in the shower by the time we reached Dallas! I think I drained the hot water heater at the hotel.
Our tournament was in September, and at Christmas we got the prettiest post card. It had a beautiful tree sitting on the edge of a lake at sunset. I turned it over and how nice - it was from the owner of Harvey's Cabins thanking us again for staying. I can not tell you how fast we were all on the phone talking about this card!
So if you are ever in a hotel/cabin/lodge that is not quite to your standards, remember our story. I can almost guarantee that it is not as bad as Harvey's!
Grumpy had left these for her when she woke up this morning, a puppy dog with a purple rose, and a card with Micka Mouse. He also drew Micka Mouse on the envelope of the card. Thanks Grumpy. And I loved my roses. What a sweet surprise to wake up to.
I had popped over to Jessica's blog and reading her story made me laugh as I remembered the events of Thanksgiving 2006.
We had decided to spend Thanksgiving weekend with my dad and family at the deer lease. All the others stay in RVs but the cookshack was mine and Frank's. Now, I am not a snooty person who is above staying at Motel 6, but I do like to have a place to sleep that is warm in the winter and cool in the summer and a place where I can shower and, well you know, without going outside. The "cookshack", as we called it did provide both of these and was much better than staying at "Harvey's Cabins" (yet a post for a later date). This building has a large room that serves as the living area and the kitchen. The bathroom is a passageway between the kitchen and the bedroom. See the picture? Nice decor, huh, and check out the tissue dispenser. There is a shower on the opposite side, only, the sheet metal is blue and the floor is concrete. There is no sink in the bathroom so hands have to be washed and teeth brushed at the kitchen sink. The bedroom is has bed (for lack of a better term) and pressboard walls and ceiling. Someone did go to the trouble to decorate the ceiling with plastic glow in the dark stars. It was home when we were at the lease and it kept us warm and out of the weather.
At the front of the cookshack is a screened porch that runs almost the length of the building. The screen door doesn't have screen any longer but does have some wire attached to the bottom to keep the critters out. It is not The Ritz, but it does keep out the weather and has hot water, really hot water!
This was Mattie May's first Thanksgiving and they were going to be with us. Frank, being the wonderful grandfather that he is, went shopping and had her all decked out in her first camo outfit, from her bucket hat with a big safety orange bow all the way down to her tiny feet in hiking boots. We were having such a good time.
The owner of the lease lived up by the entrance and had aquired two labs. They were both about a year old, a black and a yellow. And labs are normally good dogs, but these two had no manners. They seemed to think they were ours anytime we were there. With nimal lovers in camp and having dogs there ourselves, these two were also fed and watered regularly.
I know this is a lot of information, but I have to paint this picture for you.
On Thanksgiving night we started preparing for bed because, being so close to San Antonio, and there being a new Bass Pro Shop, we were getting up early to go shopping on Black Friday (special, two game cameras for $79.00, it was worth the drive). We had noticed the dogs had been hanging around and had been barking but we just thought they were barking at the coyotes again. We never noticed any other commotion. The kids settled in on an air mattress in the living room and as he was brushing his teeth, Frank noticed the outside light was on. He opened the door and that is when it came in.
Oh, the odor! Those wonderful visiting dogs had a fight with a skunk right at the screened porch! The odor permiatted the entire shack. You know the smell. Driving down the highway you pass a dead one on the side of the road and the odor fills the vehicle. Well this time it lingered. After about 30 minutes it was so strong that it went from the skunky smell to a very strong smell of ammonia and that smell just got stronger and stronger. Frank decided the dogs had killed it right outside the door or that it chased off the dogs and was still hanging around outside. He grabbed the gun and went outside. The air was actually better out there than it was inside. The culprit was never found, dead or alive, and the the two labs were hanging out just dripping in the stench from that little fellow.
We tried and tried to get that smell out of the house but it was there to stay. We thought about just leaving for SA that night, but stuck it out. The next morning when Poppa came in from his RV and told us the smell was stronger in there than anywere else in camp.
That weekend we just crammed everything in garbage bags knowing full well that everything was going to have to be washed once we got home. After we got out of there and home, we realized that Mattie May's full can of formula had soaked up that smell and had to be thrown out. Even the air mattress made of rubber, plastic, or whatever, had the odor attached permantly attached to it and after laying out across the fence for a week, had to be thrown out.
Months later, as we were cleaning out the cookshack, the odor still lingered. Even leaving the doors and windows open didn't help. Everytime I smell that stench now, my throat closes up and I get sick to my stomach. But the weird thing is, every time we think about it we start laughing. Isn't it strange how some of the worst experinces in our lives become some of our favorite stories to tell and pass down. Even though Mattie May was too young to remember, I know I will tell the story to her enough that she will be able to tell her children and grandchildren. "Thank Lord for the time we are given with our family and even the bad bad situations that turn into funny memories. And thank you for not letting that little guy get in the building!"
Yes, Frank and I were married 24 years ago today on a very cold day in front of the fire place at my mom's house. Our family and friends gathered to watch as we took our vows. I wore blue and my brides maid wore white and made it through even though she had a 104 temperature and was battling the flu.
Of the vows we took, some have the same meaning today as they did 24 years ago. But for others the meanings have changed. "Will you love him, comfort him, honor and keep him" have been the easy ones to keep. "In sickness and in health", yes we have been sick, but for the most part for us, Katie and Mattie May, it has been health. We have seen so many families devastated by things that could not be changed and we are so blessed to never have had to walk that road. "For richer, for poorer" the poorer for us has been the same as for others. We have faced pay cuts and job loss, but have always felt richer because we have been blessed with such a wonderful family to carry us through, I have always said "I may not be wealthy, but I am richer than anyone else I know!" "For better, for worse, in sadness and in joy", these go hand in hand, but God has always been there and we tend to only remember the better and the joy.
So thank you Frank for making the past 24 years a whirlwind of fun and happiness. I just can't imagine what the next 24 have in store!