Tough times-

My week in review:

This past week, the strongest, bravest woman I know had one of the toughest times of her life. She entered the hospital last Monday, for what should have been a two to three day stay, for a routine (albeit major) surgery. The actual surgery went well, but she suffered a couple of major setbacks. Although she is finally on the mend, and scheduled to be released tomorrow, she has a long way to go in her convalescence. I’m not well when she’s not well, and those closest to me know this all too well. Thank you, Sister Agnes Delores, my run away nun, for simply walking into the room. Thank you, TT, my laugh out loud partner, for working tirelessly to help me keep the tears at bay. Thanks, LarKay, godmother extraordinaire, for looking out for me and my littles and thank you, thank you, thank you, my littles…for being…MY LITTLES —!

#onmysix24/7

#hesheryoungestbutimthebaby

#notoutofthewoodsyet

P.S. special note: Thank you to my super man, Chuckie, who outgrew his cape when we were kids, for hanging in there and doing all the things I couldn’t do, and his Lois Lane for always being ready with hot tea and hot towels and for taking such great care of Sir Finn.

The Family I Never Dreamed Of—

(This is the eighth and final chapter of this short story. Follow the links below to read the previous chapters)

http://wp.me/p5AbPX-O intro         http://wp.me/p5AbPX-Ox  chapter 1

http://wp.me/p5AbPX-OH    chapter2    http://wp.me/p5AbPX-OL     chapter 3

http://wp.me/p5AbPX-OQ    chapter 4    http://wp.me/p5AbPX-Pj     chapter 5

http://wp.me/p5AbPX-Pw   chapter 6     http://wp.me/p5AbPX-PV   chapter 7

Chapter 8

(This is the eighth and final chapter of this short story. Follow the links below to read the previous chapters)

Thank goodness the other bathroom was complete or we might have had an entire family of critters living in the walls. What I wanted to say was, “I wish the other bathroom had been incomplete, that way I could have had my own little family “living inside the walls”, but you never know who might be reading this. I wouldn’t want the reader to think I’m weird or anything, you know how people can take one little comment and run with it. Hell, one opinion like that and the police might be at my door with a battering ram, a search warrant and a strait jacket.

Ok, I have total and complete recall of that yellow painted room with the divided towel closet and the long white vanity top. That towel closet was the perfect hiding spot. When Lil Renny and Chuckie would try to force me to play games like “hide and go choke the middle child” or “ring around the middle child’s head with the barb wire headband”, I would hunker down in that closet behind the towels and stay there until they forgot they were looking for me.  Naturally, they caught me one time – just before I got into the closet, they dragged me out into the yard. That’s when I learned to play “red light, green light, middle child lights out”. You’ve seen enough of how my life went to understand how that was played without my even going into detail. They also taught me their version of “Simon says” that day, only it was called “Brother Says” and I was the only pigeon playing. After several rounds of “Brother says go spit on yourself” and “Brother says go lick that chicken”, the chickens got wise and ran into the henhouse. That’s when I got away from them and ran inside and got into the towel closet. Unfortunately, there were no towels in the closet that day so I did like all little kid’s do… I covered my eyes with my hands so they couldn’t find me and guess what?  They searched that bathroom high and low for more than 3 hours looking everywhere from inside the towel closet to down the bath tub drain but never found me… and they say the middle child is always the slow one, hahahahahahaha!

More About Aunt Maggie

If you’ll recall i introduced my Aunt Maggie to the blogosphere back in July in “Aunt Maggie’s power Outage”- http://wp.me/p5AbPX-zG . Well today while driving home from mass I thought of her again and decided to share another of my precious “Aunt Maggie” tales.

My Aunt Maggie was a six-foot-tall, full- figured woman. She wore a size 44 double D brassiere, often bragged about wearing nothing but the best, white cotton granny panties on the market, size 22 triple X. Aunt Maggie said that wearing those little nylon and lace things was too much work.  She said all of that twisting and pinching and pulling and digging all day long made her fingers and arms sore, and it kept her with an awful rash, too.

Anyway, I didn’t care about any of that. Aunt Maggie was my favorite. We spent hours and hours together, especially when school was out. I specifically recall the year I stayed with Aung Maggie during my spring break. It was April, and boy oh boy, was it windy outside. We used a pair of Aunt Maggie’s bloomers to make parachutes, and we jumped off the barn into the duck pond. That was so much fun… until we saw the snake. That was the longest, fattest snake I’d ever laid eyes on. It had fangs hanging outside its mouth and it had two rows of teeth. Now most snakes have little beady eyes, but not that one… the eyes in that thing’s head looked to be as big as golf balls, and they were oozing some kind of green slimy looking stuff. To make matters worse, I think it was blind but it apparently had some kind of heat sensing ability.  That fat, long, double row tooth, fanged, blind thing was swimming right for me, and no matter which way I went, it stayed on my tail. I was screaming and splashing and trying to get away from it when I saw movement out the corner of my eye. I looked over my shoulder and there she was – Aunt Maggie- in all her glory. I wanted to give up and let the snake eat me because life as I knew it, would never be the same after seeing all that up close and in person. She gave a whole new meaning to “naked and afraid”. She was naked and I was afraid… and nauseous… and ready to die.

Aunt Maggie wasn’t having it. I saw her take one deep breath then trap the air inside her cheeks. In one swift move, she released something that was pure evil, it was repugnant and noxious, and at the same time, it was as hot as fish grease. I immediately smelled hair burning…my eyebrows and eyelashes were gone in that instant. Luckily, between the heat and the shear fear and panic, I managed to either subconsciously block or ignore enough of that atrocious odor to limit the blood loss from my nose; but that poor snake never saw it coming. It hit him dead between the golf balls. Aunt Maggie immediately flipped on her back then lunged forward taking that snake’s head between her 44 double D’s and that, dear people, was all she wrote. When her girls let him go, I watched as he lazily slithered to the bank, curled up in the snake fetal position, put his tail in his mouth and sucked himself to sleep.

 

 

Young Teen v. Old Mom (still at it)

My young teen and I are at it again and I’m winning!

A pitiful looking stray dog wandered into our yard several days ago and per the norm, my young teen wants to keep it. You know how kids love puppies and kittens and baby bunnies– right up until they become dogs and cats and adult rabbits? Well, that’s exactly how my girl is. You see where I’m going with this? Yep, she loves em either until they outgrow their cuteness or until it wears off or until they become adults. So, she asked if we could keep the pup and of course I said no. Here’s the conversation that resulted in my taking the lead:

Young Teen: “Ma, can we keep her?”

Old Mom: “No”

Young Teen: “Ma, please, I’ll feed her”

Old Mom: “No you won’t, I have to force you to feed the one we already have”

Young Teen: “I promise I’ll feed her. If I don’t you can take my phone”

Old Mom: While laughing hysterically–“Girl, I can take you phone anytime I want, what else ya got”

Young Teen: 1                       Old Mom: 2

_________________________________________________________

The Family I Never Dreamed Of—-

 

(This is the fourth chapter of this short story. Follow the links below to read the previous chapters)

http://wp.me/p5AbPX-O intro

http://wp.me/p5AbPX-Ox  chapter 1

http://wp.me/p5AbPX-OH    chapter 2

http://wp.me/p5AbPX-OL     chapter 3

                      Chapter 4

Since you last saw me curled in the fetal position outside my mom’s bedroom door, I guess that’s as good a place as any to get started again.

Let’s see… I’m looking across the hall, in the recesses of my mind, and I see “the boy’s room” as they referred to it. In all fairness, until I was about 12 years old it was my room too. Or at least it’s the room I slept in. Did I have a room of my own, especially since I was the only girl? Actually, I did, but don’t forget I was the “middle child”, so expecting it to be furnished, appropriately, was another story. First, I’ll share my childhood memory of the room the three of us shared, then I’ll tell you about “the other room”.

There was a set of twin beds separated by a three- foot span of floor space between them. Looking back, I can picture Chuckie in the bed farthest from the door and Little Renny nestled all snug as a bug in the other one. Oh, you’re getting good. You guessed it. I was able to tell you about the distance between the beds because that’s where my mat was. It was a thick and fluffy mat with colorful butterflies and red and black lady bugs on it. Little Renny’s live bumble bee collections (jars 1 and 2) were housed, lids off, under the beds and if I didn’t do too much tossing and turning I could make it through the night with only a few stings.

I’m surprised I’m able to conjure this one up but let me tell you about the night I remember getting shocked and stepped on then stung in the nose… 4 times… in the same nostril.

It was a cold and rainy night, and in the country nobody had central heat or air. It was either window units, electric heaters and fireplaces or hand held fans and electric blankets, or a combination of all that.  Well, in our house, we had the latter which turned out to be unfortunate, for me… per the norm. I was on my mat, trying not to disturb the bees, when I felt a sharp burning sensation that seemed to be moving from my toes up toward my face- on both sides. At the same time, my arms and legs stiffened up on me and I started trembling uncontrollably. I can remember Lil Renny looking over the edge of his bed, directly into my eyes. He looked as if he was seeing a ghost. The next thing I knew I was hearing an almost unbearable screeching noise coming from the right. My head was locked, but I managed to move my eyes just enough and just in time to see Chuckie screaming and bearing his tooth at me. (He’d lost so many teeth that year and so fast that mama had resorted to making me chew his food up then feed it to him). He was pointing toward my feet and when I looked in that direction what I saw horrified me too. His big black shepherd, Princess, was in full squat relieving her bladder on top of, around and through the chewed up electric blanket that I’d been so graciously given after Lil Renny used it until the electric wires were shredded and showing. The open wires and my little metal leg braces were in a tangled mess fighting to let go of each other with neither one having a mind to actually ungrip the other. The boys’, as I knew them, became nothing more than screaming, sniveling useless little pansies… but man oh man, could they move! They jumped up, in tandem, and stomped all over me trying to get out of that room. What made it even worse was the fact that they too felt a shocking jolt when their feet touched my face. The jolt caused them to jump up, and with all things going up… they must come down. In this case – right in my gut which was a brief, barely felt stomp that I must admit pailed in comparison to the first two. They made it out of that bedroom door in record time – about the same time that the shocking sensation subsided and the bumblebee stings began. They came at me like bats out of hell. No amount of swinging, swatting or swearing would stop that onslaught of furious creatures and apparently, they thought my nose was a hive. They flew inside my left nostril, one at a time, mind you, and stung me so hard my dead man eyes watered and my smutty throat burned. When I thought it was over for me, I saw my mama run into the room and grab the first thing she could. I guess the fact that it was Chuckie’s baseball bat didn’t even occur to her until she saw the blood. It took 47 stitches to close the gap mama created with that bat that night – but that’s ok. I just wish she’d used a different color fishing line and a smaller needle to do it.

The Family I Never Dreamed Of—

(This is the third chapter of this short story. Follow the links below to read the previous chapters)

http://wp.me/p5AbPX-O intro 

http://wp.me/p5AbPX-Ox  chapter 1

http://wp.me/p5AbPX-OH    chapter2

The den (as only I remember it)

Obviously, I survived that little accident (incident). My eyes began to adjust to light much better, but only after the bandages from the second surgery were removed. That first pair of cadaver eyes were no match for those boiling hot, steam baths mama gave me the first time I was released from the hospital. She felt really bad about the way my head and hair smelled since she’d tried to clean my eyes. The judge added a “no contact with hot water” clause to the paperwork the next time I went home, so my skin stopped peeling off and I was able to stop drooling so much, too. I remember the doctor saying that my tonsils were darker than the other parts of my throat. That was probably because of all that hot ass funny, sweet, frothing tea they were giving me. Oh, well, believe me, it gets even more interesting as I look back even further into my own mind. Let’s take a walk into and through the den.

Picture this if you can, burnt orange, thin, carpet with flicks and flakes of some colors I don’t remember. Being a smart ass isn’t a very cute attribute. Yes, I forgot the colors, so what? That’s not the important part of this memory… again, you get what I give you and you know the rest…

Now this was the room that was most lived in. It had a long chocolate colored leather couch that sat facing north, which was where the sliding glass patio door was. Through it, we had a picturesque view of the cinder block fence that daddy and his friend, Mr. Dunston, built with their own hands. I would have said with their own four hands but Mr. Dunston had a hand and a hook so technically that wouldn’t have been a true statement.

On to the memory:

I think I mentioned earlier that the utility room was just off the kitchen, which connected to the den. I always, always followed my mom around. When I was half blind (from the black pepper incident) for that year and a half or so, I discovered that her scent was easiest to follow early in the morning. I had fewer trip and fall and walk into wall accidents before 11 a.m., which is probably how I became the morning person that I am today. I know it’s how I almost got run over by my own mother. No, not in the car, she was running… from a mouse. See, she was in the utility room doing laundry and I was standing next to her. She (apparently) saw a mouse and without any warning whatsoever, she bolted out the door into the kitchen and through the den—and this is where it gets tricky— she leapt,over that chocolate ass couch, lengthwise, with my country ass daddy sleeping on it. She never checked up. She moved at warp speed, and I, running as fast as my little braced legs could carry me, threw up everything I’d eaten for at least the last week. I would imagine my screaming is what woke daddy and when he got mama’s shoe dislodged from between my shoulder blades the lurching finally subsided. Oh, yes, I realize this is the first mention of, my braces but they were of no real consequence. Mama was moving so fast I couldn’t have caught her if I’d had jets tied to my shoes. I eventually crawled down the hall where I fell asleep knocking on her locked bedroom door.

 

The Family I Never Dreamed Of—

 

This is a casual walk down memory lane filled with the truth as, often, only I remember it.

As life would have it my childhood was fraught with the many trials and tribulations as come with growing up “in the middle”. Yep, I’m a middle child and a girl to boot and as if that isn’t enough, I grew up on a farm way back in the woods. Lucky for me boarding school and the witness protection program saved me from a life of being picked on by my brothers, overlooked by my parents and identified by the old man I stiffed for two chickens and a guinea.

Memories, memories, memories… where shall I start?… Ok, how about this… a memory for each room of the house I grew up in…

—up next—Chapter 1 The Playroom