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...

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Olives and Life Lessons

Olives were first on my list of favorite things in yesterday's post. That's significant. My love for olives is pretty intense. Always has been. One year for my birthday (probably my 8th or 9th), when my mother asked me what I wanted, all I asked for was a jar of olives. I can't remember any other gifts, but I'll never forget that big jar of olives that was all mine. The fact that I didn't have to share made them even more special. They were off limits to everyone but me.

See, Mother always made a big deal that any food in the house was for anyone in the house. So with four kids, competition was fierce. I remember my brother with a Whitman's Sampler. He licked every single piece in front of me. Pretty smart, huh? Needless to say, they were all his. Funny that no one bothered my olives. I'm sure I took a daily inventory. Maybe they just weren't that crazy about olives. More likely, though, was our respect for Mother's rules. There weren't that many, but she never wavered from the ones she had. Here are some I remember:

Never lie. Never.

Use the good towels. In fact, none of our family's possessions were off limits or set aside for company. We never got in trouble for breaking something. A few weeks ago, Sarita called me in a panic. My first thought was that something was wrong with The D. Imagine my relief when I realized that she'd broken a pyrex dish. I have about 20. Half belong to my BFF Angela, I'm sure. She brings me food all the time and I never remember to return the dishes. But she has about 50. Sarita kept apologizing and saying she'd replace the dish, but I finally made her understand that I didn't care and that she shouldn't give it another thought. People are more important than things. What a beautiful legacy from my mother.

Never open someone else's mail. Respect privacy. Somehow my brother didn't get this one. I was seven years old and he read my diary. Teased me about writing that I liked a boy in my class. His name was Michael. I suppose that was my first crush. Followed by the teen stars plastered on our bedroom's walls. During the three years we lived in Puerto Rico (from the time I was seven to ten years old), the three of us girls shared one room. Bro had his own. Older sis had Bobby Sherman and David Cassidy posters. I had Jack Wild. The Artful Dodger from the movie "Oliver!" He was also on the TV show "HR Pufinstuff." I was crushed when I googled him a few months ago and found out he was dead. From smoking and drinking. I felt the same way I did when I learned the truth about Santa.

Never run from Mother when you were in trouble.

Be honest. In everything. Besides never lying, if a cashier gave you too much change, give it back. The other day, I noticed The D's change in the basket on his night stand. I needed some quarters for the coke machine at my church client's office. I asked him I could have some and he was happy for me to take them. That made me remember that when I was in college, I'd raid his basket of pocket change on his dresser. He always had lots. Sometimes I wonder if he didn't spend it so it would be there for me. It really helped so much. I worked my way through college, with some loans from my parents when I needed money. They paid my car insurance. Mother kept a ledger. When I graduated from college and went to work for a big eight accounting firm, I paid it back. Happily. It made me sad to realize that my salary was more than either of my parents made after working over 30 years. Back to Daddy's change. One day, Mother asked me if I'd been taking it. I remember how embarrassed and guilty I felt. After that, I asked. And Daddy always said yes.

In addition to these very important tenets, there were a few silly superstitions Mother held dear. Never put a hat on a bed. If someone did, you had to spit in it. If you spill salt, throw some over your shoulder. If a girl lifts up her feet while someone sweeps under them, she'd be an old maid. If two women make a bed together, one of them will get pregnant.

I guess you can tell by these random musings that my mother was really special. One of a kind. So when my friends say that about me (probably a nice way of calling me a weirdo - which I take as a compliment), I think of Mother. Isn't that what she meant when she said, "Just because everyone else jumps off a cliff, that doesn't mean you should." Wiser words were never spoken.

No comments:

Post a Comment