A Hundred Dollars

This afternoon I shopped at Target and spent a hundred dollars without even thinking about it. Some of the items I purchased were necessities (e.g. toilet paper), while a couple were “wants” (e.g. hot chocolate flavored marshmallows). I didn’t even blink an eye when the clerk hit the total button.

There have been many, many times in my life, though, when a hundred dollars felt like a fortune. Past Christmases for our whole family were often funded with less than what I spent in one silly Target run.

I still remember the first time I saw, or at least paid attention to, a hundred dollar bill. I was only six or so, and I was hanging out with my beloved grandaddy at the coffee shop. Before he paid the check, he leaned over and showed me the contents of his wallet. There were a bunch of hundred dollar bills in there and I remember being in awe. I figured Grandaddy must be rich to have that much money, and I asked if he was. He just laughed, and told me no, saying, “A hundred dollars doesn’t buy what it used to.”

I have to wonder what Grandaddy would think about the value of a hundred dollars in 2018. He was a pretty savvy businessman, so I doubt he’d be surprised. One thing’s for sure, it certainly doesn’t buy what it used to.

Peace, people.

A Little Tied Up

I didn’t write anything yesterday, but I asked my granddaughter to sub for me and she did so admirably. Today I totally spaced out and got nothing written. But, I did take the grand dog to get a pedicure, and I drove our grandson to play practice, and in just a few minutes I’m leaving to escort the youngest grandchild to her hip hop dance class.

My visit with my daughter’s family in western Illinois comes to an end tomorrow, and I’ll miss being with her and my grands. I’ve been a little tied up here, but I wouldn’t trade it for the world.

Make It So

My daughter was being prepped for surgery this morning. She’s a real trouper, following every direction, asking smart questions, seemingly super relaxed. But she has tiny veins, and when it was time for the I.V. needle to be inserted she knew she was in for a bit of an ordeal.

The first nurse searched and palpated for a friendly vein on both arms before calling in an R.N. to help. Most R.N.’s are no-nonsense, and this one certainly fit the bill. She spied a spot, injected a bit of novacain, and inserted the needle in the back of A’s hand in the span of an eye blink. I happened to be holding my daughter’s other hand at the time and probably won’t be able to use that appendage for a month or so. There were big old tears coursing down her cheeks. I don’t care how old one’s child is, when they cry, you cry. So I cried.

In the midst of her pain and tears, though, my daughter quipped, “Why can’t they invent wireless I.V.’s?”

Now there’s a plan. Could someone make that happen like yesterday?

Peace, people.

Happy Place

Happiness is…

…being in my daughter’s home.

…listening to my eldest grandson talk about a book he’s writing.

…watching our middle granddaughter practice her cheerleading routine.

…waking up to the exuberant sounds of our youngest grandchild greeting a new day.

On this Wednesday morning, I am so incredibly happy.

Unpacking to Repack and Freaking Out

I might’ve used this title before. If so, my apologies. Surely no one is keeping tabs, least of all me. It just seems that my life is divided into two unequal parts: 4/5 a yawn worthy routine and 1/5 “holy cow I’ve got back to back events, and I’d better freak out a little.”

Freaking out is my go to mode when the routine is broken up, and since I’ve had the same reaction for as much of my life as I can remember I recognize it for what it is and just roll with the feelings. Sometimes I can even use them to help me focus on the task at hand.

Studly Doright and I broke up our normal routine and spent Friday night in Orlando, FL, so I’d packed an overnight bag with just the essentials. Of course in freak out mode the essentials ended up being the entire contents of my cosmetics drawer and enough outfits to have stayed for a week instead of just one night.

Saturday was used to recover from a Friday night spent at Universal Studios Halloween Horror Nights, and once we were back home I slept much of the day. Getting scared silly multiple times for five straight hours is exhausting. Part of me knew there was something I was supposed to be freaking out about, but I was too tired to care.

So on Sunday morning, I’m back to full on freak out. I’m flying from Tallahassee to our daughter’s home in Illinois on Tuesday to stay for a week, hoping to help out around the house after she undergoes surgery. I say “hoping” because sometimes I’m more of an annoyance in those situations than I am a help. I have given myself pep talks, and made promises to myself not to be a nuisance or a hoverer. Hovering is my unwanted super power.

At least my bag is still partially packed from the trip to Orlando, but if I needed seven tops for an overnight trip I’m going to need at least 49 for a seven day trip, right? And at least 40 of those need to be sweaters because it’s way colder at her house than it is in Florida this time of year. And boots. I’ll need boots and socks. No flip flops! Maybe just one pair, you know, just in case the temps warm up, and a coat. Will I wear the coat on the plane or should I try to pack it in my carry on with the 40 sweaters? Everything has to go in the carry on. I’m not checking a bag! That’s an extra $60 both ways. Well, maybe I should just pay the extra, but wait, what if my luggage gets lost and I have to go buy all new clothes while I’m there? Better to cram as much as I can in my carry on. Or not. Argh!

See? Freak out mode. BUT, I get to see my daughter and my Illinois grandkids in a few days! Totally worth the freak out. Right?

Now, where is that other pair of jeans? No, not those, the dark blue ones.

Peace, people!

The Lady Wore Heels

Studly Doright and our son, Jason, spent the past three days playing in a member/guest golf tournament at Prestonwood Country Club in Dallas, Texas, while I did some shopping and spent time with the Texas grandkids. After the first day of the tournament my guys were third in their flight. On day two they took the lead, and on the third day, Jason sunk a six-foot putt to win their flight in the tournament on the first hole of a playoff. Exciting stuff!

The tournament culminated in a dinner for players and their guests at the club. Since my daughter-in-law was out of town for the weekend, I was on my own with these two chumps, er, champs for the event.

Studly had his eyes closed, but I still love this photo of these two.

Those who read my posts know I’m not a dressy kind of girl. It’s almost impossible to get me out of flips flops, but guess who wore heels on Saturday?

Yep, these are my actual feet.

We had a lovely time at the dinner. The menfolk received a great many pats on their respective backs and I basked in their reflected glory. It’s good to be queen.

Studly will leave Dallas on Sunday morning, but I’m hanging around for a few more days of fun with Jason and his family. I’ll miss this guy, though.

Peace, people!

Reparations

A friend in Illinois shared on Facebook this week that her young son’s bicycle had been stolen from their front yard. Somehow in their busy day they’d neglected to bring the bike into the garage, and her son’s pride and joy disappeared, most likely forever. I felt her pain.

Many years ago our son’s bike was stolen in much the same way. It was a beautiful blue Diamondback that we’d scrimped and saved for in order to give him exactly what he’d asked for that Christmas. And that kid took great care of his bike. Until one afternoon when he didn’t.

I still remember the anger I felt knowing that someone had come into our yard and in just a few minutes stolen something that had taken us months to save for. Our son was heartbroken. Studly Doright, though, was determined to get that bike back.

We thought he was nuts, of course. Dumas, Texas, was a town of about 19,000 back then. Certainly that bike was parked safely in someone’s garage waiting to be painted or sold to some kid in another town.

Then one Saturday afternoon a couple of weeks after the bike had been stolen Studly and I were in his old pickup truck driving home from mowing lawns. We both had full time jobs, but mowing lawns provided extra cash for purchasing extras like new clothes for the kids and bicycles for Christmas. Money was tight back then.

As we neared our home, a kid on an older bicycle turned down our street, and Studly went on point like a bird dog.

“Those are Jason’s wheels,” he said.

He dropped me off at the house and took off after the kid. I’d seen the bike, a run down rusty banana seat affair, but hadn’t paid attention to the wheels. Studly, though, had been vigilant.

He was gone for a couple of hours, but when Studly returned to the house he had three teenaged boys crowded into the cab of his pickup and a tangle of bicycle parts in the back. I watched from the living room window as he supervised the crew in putting Jason’s bike back together. The lecture he gave them as they worked was one part fatherly and another part mafioso. I have no doubt he made them an offer they’d better not refuse.

Our son received a similarly stern lecture when he arrived home that afternoon, with the bottom line being that he’d better not ever leave that bike outside overnight again. As far as I know, he never did and that bike went with us to North Dakota and beyond.

Getting the bike back felt like a small victory during that period of our lives. Not much was going right for our little family at that time, but Studly turned things around. He’s still doing that, just in different ways. I’m pretty lucky to have him.

Peace, people.

What I Didn’t Ask

She was sitting alone on the beach under her umbrella, this pleasant looking middle-aged woman, reading her book and looking up occasionally at the brilliant blue Gulf. I watched her surreptitiously from my own chair for many minutes, imagining the scenarios that might have led to her being there.

I wondered if she, like me, has a husband who travels frequently leaving her to her own devices during the week. Perhaps she was a recent divorcée trying to find herself in the timeless rise and fall of the waves before moving on with her new single life. Maybe she was an international jewel thief, hiding out on Florida’s Forgotten Coast until she could find a place to offload her ill-gotten booty. Oh, the possibilities were endless.

Then, she spoke to me, “Come, share my umbrella.”

The temperature was 95°. I could hardly refuse an offer like that, even if she was an international jewel thief, so I picked up my chair and settled in beside her, instantly relieved to be out of the direct rays of the sun. I thanked her and for the next hour we chatted like old friends.

She was closer to my age than I’d thought when watching her from several yards away, and attractive in a gamine sort of way. Her name was Tammy or Tammie, maybe Tammi. I didn’t ask for a spelling, and she and her husband were spending the week camping near St. George Island. Her sister and brother-in-law were planning to join them later that day.

Tammy/Tammie/Tammi lives near Thomasville, Georgia, where they farm. They grow pecans among other crops. Her husband of 40 years had contracted skin cancer from spending many long hours working in the sun, so he stays in the camper during the day and comes to join her once the sun starts to set. It’s their routine.

She’s one of four children, three girls and one boy, and their father died when they were all very young. Her mother was a strong woman who kept their family together and raised good kids. Her husband’s family is very big and boisterous and fun.

I told her about Studly and me, our kids, and grandkids, and our many moves from state to state in our 42 years of marriage. How we hoped we could retire and live out the rest of our lives in Tallahassee, but how hard it is to be so far away from the rest of our family. I told her about my deceased parents and how much I miss them. I told her about my brothers and their families, and about Studly’s own boisterous family.

Soon it cane time for me to leave. I thanked her again for the shade and also for the conversation. As I walked away it occurred to me that she hadn’t mentioned children, and I hadn’t asked if she and her husband had any. Surely the existence of children would have come into the conversation at some point. Still I wish I’d asked. That, and about the jewel thief theory. That could still be a possibility.

Peace, people.

Remembering My Dad

Today would have been my dad’s birthday. He’d have been 82, I think. I wrote this post about him the first year I blogged, way back when I still used two spaces after a period.

It’s hardly a perfect post. My paragraphs are too lengthy and the piece is not constructed all that well, but if you take the time to read it I hope you can tell just how much my Daddy was loved. I miss him every day.

https://nananoyz5forme.com/2014/08/16/not-just-any-man/