Well, a late meeting in Fresno, an even later trip to Wal-Mart, and Project Runway have taken their toll on my blogging tonight. I’m beat, my brain is fried, and so I will say, “Sweet dreams.”
Today is my grandmother’s birthday. And not just any grandmother — my Grammy Buffington, the one I was named after. She died 25 years ago, but she is so present in my memories that it doesn’t feel like nearly that long.
Grammy was one of the most gracious women I have ever met. She felt that there was already enough negativity and ugliness in the world, so we should each do our part to add sweetness and grace. She didn’t tolerate gossip, and by the time I was a teenager she had totally sworn off watching the nightly news or reading the paper. Her love story(ies) are the stuff of classic romance novels, and someday I will tackle writing about them.
Other girls had mousy or dumpy grammies, but not me! I was secure in the knowledge that not only was my mother beautiful, but my grandmother was, too.
Happy Birthday, Grammy Buffington. You were the best ever.
When I realized that three of the seven “facts about me” from yesterday’s Lovely Blog post were about vehicles, it started me thinking about the others of significance in my life. To wit:
The car known as “the big Buick”. Mom learned to drive on this 1953 fully-loaded Buick Roadmaster when I was five, and then many years and as many vacations later I learned to drive on it, too. I was also the first one to put a scratch in the paint (not a scratch, exactly — more like a gouge all the way to the base metal) not too long after I began driving it. That’s what happens when an inexperienced driver tries to take a big car through a narrow drive next to a set of tall steps. I was SO terrified to tell Daddy what had happened. His response? “Well, I guess we better go get some paint and fix it.” Not only was I allowed to live, but I continued driving!
My college room mate’s shiny new 1969 VW Fastback that I totaled coming back to Fresno from a weekend at the Coast. I flipped it over going 65 mph, rolled it three times, landed on the wheels on the edge of an embankment, and walked away with a skinned shin. The CHP officer’s question to us as we returned to the car after calling home? “Does anybody know what happened to the body?” Somewhere Daddy has a picture he took of the wreck in the salvage yard. It will give you chills!
My 1959 Ford Country Squire Station Wagon that Daddy bought me to replace Margie’s wrecked VW. She was the perfect car for a college student — could go from yard sale to yard sale with aplomb, and was a great help when moving, too. This was the first car with a name. I called her Phaedra.
The 1980 Harley Davidson ElectraGlide that caused — or was caused by — a marriage proposal. We went on our honeymoon on it, and it accompanied us into our wedding-night motel room in Los Banos. (It wouldn’t have been safe parked outside.) That is an entire story in itself.
And you have probably read the horror stories about my Jeep’s new engine adventures. I don’t want to tempt fate by talking any more about that.
I think this is a story to be continued. Sweet dreams.
My lovely friend AnnMarie over at Anntogether has shared the joy with me by nominating me for a “Lovely Blog” award. In her nomination she called me a “strong, intelligent matriarch whom I admire greatly” (which as you can imagine brought tears to my eyes). There are days when I don’t think I am either of those things, but I write from my heart and am strengthened by knowing that my words resonate with others.
Part of the joy of this award is getting to pass it on to other bloggers who have impacted or inspire me. This is my short list (there are many more, but I have to draw the line somewhere):
Peace, love and patchouli is home to the most wonderful poetry ever.
Mast musings shares thoughtful and brave commentaries on the world, and knows just the right comment to make to pick me up
Laurel at My Foray Into Food shares delicious recipes, wonderful contests through her affiliates, and teaches us how to plan ahead by buying and storing food for the long haul. Her planning inspires me.
Simply said messages is a new blog by an old friend whose courage gives me hope.
the happy lifealcoholic Adi is a tiny 20-year old from India, studying and writing delightful poetry (and chattering non-stop) in the United States.
Rose of Sharon Healing With a heart for healing and exquisite photographs, she educates us about her adopted country of Korea
Ty Spaeth is madly in love with her granddaughter, and it shows! We are grandmothers together.
With this award comes a bit of homework, so as assigned, here are seven things you probably don’t know about me (my sister and daughter probably do, but they have always had an inside track). My nominees — you will need to do this, too, if you want to play along.
One: Many years ago I wrote a children’s book called Boomerschnitzel the Bashful Elf. He hangs out with his best friends, the fairy Felicity and Freddy the Frog. My children enjoyed it when they were babies, and someday I’ll get around to trying to publish it.
Two: My “dream” vehicle (if I win the lottery, perhaps) is a 1955 Chevy, pearl gunmetal grey with deep purple pin-striping and shadow flames across the hood.
Three: My favorite truck (so far) was my little red Chevy S-10 with the KLUMSYK8 license plates…I bought her after Joseph totaled my Oldsmobile, and Grant said, “I don’t care if you buy a new truck, just as long as it isn’t a red one.” The red one was the best buy on the lot — really!
Four: I learned to drive a stick shift down on Oceano Beach in Jack Barker’s dad’s International Scout. That thing had a gear box that was sturdy enough to survive the worst teenaged girl’s attempts at smooth shifting. It was also a real bear to drive, had the world’s worst shocks, and I absolutely loved it.
How did I end up with three “vehicle” things here, anyway?
Five: Of all the wild critters in the world, crickets scare me the most. I think this stems from a “story” I told Mom one afternoon in maybe second grade, where I assured her this father cricket had invited me into his home to meet his family on the way home from school. I told her all about visiting with his wife and children and seeing where they lived (under the ground…do crickets really live under the ground?). When Mom suggested that this was perhaps me wanting to be able to visit the crickets in their home, I adamantly insisted that I had really done it! Neither of us would back down, and I ended up in trouble. I have mistrusted crickets ever since.
Six: If I won the Lottery big-time (after buying my truck in Fact #Two above), my dream has always been to buy a piece of property to turn into a family compound, with homes for my siblings and our children and their families (Daddy, too, of course). Our immediate clan has such good boundaries that we could all live close by and still respect each other’s privacy. Of course, it would need to be within the sound of the ocean’s waves.
Seven: Someday I hope to make money with my writing. When I think of how hard Louisa May Alcott worked to make her “scribbling” pay, I am heartened. And you, my dear audience, have encouraged me and urged me to continue, and I treasure you for that.
Okay, AnnMarie…my part is done. Thank you again for honoring me, and helping me pass the joy on to others.
Interesting things have been happening in my little corner of the blogosphere in the last week or so. Trigger’s Horse has been “traveling” around the world, with a new “follower” in India, an Italian blogger who re-blogs my posts on occasion, and a wonderful gentleman who comments with clarity and grace.
I also have been nominated for a “My Lovely” award by my friend AnnMarie, over at Anntogether. That’s going to take a bit of homework on my part, but I’m working on it.
My heart is full of wonder tonight at this lovely universe that has been created by bloggers supporting and challenging each other. My wish is that each of us may live in a community where we are supported in our efforts and challenged to go the extra mile. Sweet dreams.
As a mom, if you are lucky you get to spend time with your children and their friends. If you are really lucky they invite you to be part of their socializing. And it is inevitable that certain ones will become very special to you.
As a mom I have been very blessed to be not simply tolerated, but invited to come “hang out” with my daughter, my son-in-law, and their friends. I’m sure my willingness to be their occasional designated driver home from the bar has contributed to that status, but probably the true secret of my success is my non-judgmental acceptance of each of them, where they are at that moment. (Sometimes I fall short, but I do try.)
I hope for and want the best life can bring each of them, but certain ones hold my heart, and when good things happen I react as though they were happening to my own. That happened tonight, and I am feeling very blessed.
One of my daughter’s friends, one who is so dear to me, is still enough of a newlywed that I haven’t had the opportunity to get to know her husband very well yet. But I can plainly see the difference in her since becoming his wife, and it makes my heart sing. She doesn’t just shine in his presence, but on her own, as well. And I am content.
Today started out just lovely, taking the third-grader to school and then staying home with the little one. But somewhere mid-afternoon as I was really buckling down to the job at hand, the vision splotches began and a migraine kicked into full gear. I’m usually pretty lucky in that I generally can nip it in the bud with a quick dose of Excedrin Migraine and a nap in a dark room. Not so today. Today was interrupted with nausea and headache to accompany the vision interference. So much for getting anything done.
I’m feeling better, but not at all literary. So I’ll say “goodnight” and plan for a cheerful tomorrow. Sweet dreams.
Since I was a small child I remember hearing about how important a college education was, and how highly college educations were valued in the state of California. Our junior college system was touted all across the United States as being exemplary, and our State college system was, as well. Thanks to generally tightened budgets, our state schools have struggled to obtain adequate funding from the Legislature, and the dream of a college education has become unattainable for many California students.
This week I made an astounding discovery about higher education in the state of Arkansas. Did you know that college tuition is FREE to Arkansas residents sixty years old or older? Not just junior college or a Bachelor’s Degree, but grad school, too! Senior citizens are encouraged to return to school in their retirement years, and their contributions of acquired wisdom and maturity are welcomed into the classrooms.
I think that is stellar, and applaud Arkansas for making a college education available to students who are in a position to really appreciate it.
This has been a busy day. First of all, it is “Back to School Eve” for my oldest granddaughter, who starts third grade in the morning and is only a bit jittery. Our lovely, lazy summer has come to an end far too soon. We didn’t have as many adventures as I would have liked, but spent a lot of time simply hanging out together.
And it was my husband-who-lives-across-town’s birthday (he who is also known as Granddad and Dad). After a bit of cajoling yesterday we convinced him to come for dinner today. The whole family pitched in, with my son-in-law playing chef (spaghetti — yum!) and my granddaughters helping me make the German chocolate cake. They even had a quickie lesson in using my Close To My Heart MyAcrylix stamps and inks while creating a card for him.
I think he had an okay time…sometimes it is hard to tell…we even got a picture of him smiling!
And now the day is done. Sweet dreams.
Today on our way to swimming lessons, my oldest granddaughter said, “Grammy, the man who was Genii [in Aladdin] died. Was it age, or was he sick?” As I tried to explain that he had a disease called depression that made him so terribly sad that he killed himself, she was shocked and horrified. “How could anybody be that sad, Grammy?” she asked.
I don’t think my answer helped her very much. Trying to describe such overwhelming sadness and despair to a bright and shiny eight-year-old was very hard. The fact that I couldn’t just wrap her in cotton balls and protect her from needing to know such things was even harder. I told her that I hoped neither she nor her little sister would ever have anything make them feel so sad that they thought they could no longer live. She said, “Believe me, I know that killing myself would never be easier than living. Killing myself would be way too hard.”
She then went on to explain, “If I’m feeling really sad, I’ll just tell myself that I need to be happy, and I will change the way I feel.” My fervent wish tonight is that we would all always have that ability to keep ourselves happy, so that no more lives are wasted by this insidious disease.
And I hope that twenty years from now when we look back in fond memory at Robin Williams, we will see that his life made us crazy happy in so many ways, and his death helped us rebuild our mental health systems in this country, and saved the lives of countless other gentle souls. RIP, precious man.