Welcome to my world!

My life's been crazy since my Daddy moved in with me immediately after my mother's death in October 2010. My one and only kiddo headed to college at Carolina at the end of August. So...I lived on my own, for the first time in my life, for a total of a blissful six weeks. Then, I started the parenting gig with my dad. He's a combination of a grouchy old man, a surly teenager and a temperamental toddler. Needless to say, I get very close to the brink of insanity sometimes. I get through life by finding the humor in difficult circumstances. And for some reason, I wind up in the weirdest situations. I couldn't make this stuff up. So I wind up having lots and lots crazy adventures which make great stories to share with my friends. Writing about my life is so therapeutic. My ramblings range from funny to sad to angry (full of cuss words) to sweet. While my focus is dealing with the trials and tribulations of being a parent to my Daddy, I have lots of random, totally unrelated posts. Whatever's on my mind. I love to make people laugh, and I'm happy to think my readers will get my strange sense of humor. And maybe, people who are in my situation will be encouraged. That's all I can hope for...

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Bittersweet Birthday

Wow. I surprise myself sometimes. Somehow, I managed to pull off a little birthday party in honor of Mother last night. I couldn't have done it without Shernitra, though. She stayed late (without my asking) to clear out the dining room - no small feat. We set the table with my china and crystal. She bought groceries and we made a chocolate buttermilk sheet cake with yummy fudge frosting. She peeled potatoes. Cleaned up my cake-baking mess. And best of all, she was just there. Her companionship is balm for my soul. Working from home can be isolating but when Shernitra's here, I never feel lonely. And The D likes her, too. He'd never say it, but he does. The other day, he was heading out for his walk and I heard him ask her if she wanted to go. Whoa. I'd thought he was just tolerating her. Turns out, he always asks her. So sweet. That makes me happy.

I've walked with him a couple times, but the truth is, he walks too slowly for me. I guess since I'm always in a hurry these days, I just can't bring myself to slow down. And I run out of things to talk about. Shernitra says he talks up a storm with her. He's been telling her about the trees and flowers that are starting to bloom. Complaining about the windows in the new house. Making observations about the neighbors and their pets.

Back to the party. The last time I orchestrated a real meal was at Thanksgiving. And that was just Daddy, Deb and me. Last night, we had eight adults and two little ones. A crowd, in my book. We managed to fit everyone around the table for dinner. And everything turned out perfectly. I made pork tenderloin for the first time in forever. I have a great recipe for a sweet, tangy sauce - apple jelly, chili powder, vinegar and catsup - so easy. Mashed potatoes, asparagus, green beans and Sister Schubert rolls rounded it out.

But the best part was the company. I had called our new friends, Ruth and Jerry, with a last minute invitation and happily, they were able to come. They were the first to arrive, with a bottle of wine and a beautiful bouquet of exquisite daffodils. My sister-in-law and niece and her family came next and having two little ones livened things up. The D has always loved his grandchildren (and now, great-grandchildren). He's just an overgrown kid, himself. I got Kiddo's Brio wooden train tracks out of the attic and that was a big hit. I love those things.

Just as we were sitting down to eat, the phone rang. It was Deb. She was at mother's grave. She was pretty hysterical. I asked her if she wanted me to come get her. I finally convinced her to come over. I knew it would be good for her. And it was. It was good for all of us. I can't imagine our family without her. She's so sweet and funny and tender-hearted.

After dinner, we lit the candles on the cake, sang happy birthday to Mother, and Daddy and the kiddos blew out the candles. Perfect. We had vanilla ice cream, whipped cream, sprinkles and cherries to go on top. And more candles.

When things were winding down, BFF Angela stopped by. She's always so happy. She has a contagious laugh. I'm smiling just thinking about it.

When everyone left, I retired to the den, burrowed under a down comforter and gabbed on the phone. I heard The D taking the dirty dishes from the dining room to the kitchen. He poked his head in the den to give me his good night salute and told me to put the cake up.

When I went to bed, I felt content and happy, with just a little bit of sadness mixed in. And I have a feeling Daddy felt that way, too...

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