19 Things your mom did back in the day or ‘how I survived my childhood’

Let’s be nostalgic for a few minutes shall we? Mom.me originally posted this list of 19 items that instantly brought me back to my childhood (good, bad, or indifferent)…

  1. Ride in a car without a seat belt. Yup. The shoulder strap keeping you from slamming your head against the glove compartment was mom’s arm that instantly stretched across the car not unlike the Stretch Armstrong toy. No matter how large the vehicle was, mom’s arm shot across you shoulder to shoulder.
  2. Style your hair with her spit. Yup. She had every ‘dippity do’ and extra strong Aquanet eating the ozone but her spit to keep my bangs out of my eyes was good enough for me.
  3. Put coke in my lunch box. Nope. We were not the high fa-luting type to afford Coke and didn’t have soda in the house until I was much older. We had powered milk; just add water (while the milk dust fills your nasal cavity and lungs). On special occasions we had Zarex syrup. A school lunchtime drink was using the dime in the foil in the lunchbox or mitten to pay for the 4 oz container of milk that, when finally opened, lunch period was over. The milk struggle was real.
  4. Send you to the store for bread. More like a pack of butts from the corner market. Society now frowns on the 8 yr old walking in alone and purchasing Virginia Slims.
  5. Tell you to walk to your friends house. Yup. Your friend list extended as far as you could walk-before the streetlights came on of course. For me, my shifty brothers stole a bike for me, painted it another color, and my ‘neighborhood of friends’ instantly expanded a few more streets away.
  6. Meet your date when they picked you up. Yup. The nervous sweating was not about actually going on the date, it was the 100 questions that he would be asked without even setting a foot in the door.
  7. Send you to the neighbors to borrow a cup of sugar. Yup. If you switch sugar with egg its right on the money. Lots of baking from scratch went on and to keep the household fed, the last of something was used the day before payday and the neighbors always helped each other.
  8. Talk to your neighbors. Yup. Not only talked to them but we were encouraged to visit. Hmmm maybe this was my mother’s way of giving herself some alone time under the guise of ‘saying hello to’ that old neighbor who could never remember who you were to begin with.
  9. Let you walk near a glass table. Well this one is not really fair we didn’t own one. I can say, however, that we did have a coffee table that I slammed my head on while I toddled around like a drunken sailor. She was kind enough to share that story with me later in life.
  10. Not answer the phone when away from their kids.Yup. How many times would I call to get permission to eat over my friends house and curiously no one would pick up the damn rotary phone. I know she is there! its dinnertime and she is cooking. WTH.
  11. Go to the pool without sunscreen. Yup. Sunscreen? Try lather up with baby oil to get that dark shiney glow! and not the pool but walk to the lake (another thing kids wouldn’t do these days; a two mile hike alone).
  12. Let the neighborhood teenager babysit. Nope. I had no need. On the very rare occasion my parents left the house, I had the pleasure of one or two of my three older brothers to beat me um, make sure I was quiet and put to bed on time. I may have been safer with Son of Sam.
  13. Let you eat your Halloween candy as soon as you came home. Yes and no. Although I was allotted my share of the booty, the parents had first dibs on everything dumped on the floor. I like to think of it as the ‘vig’ – house gets their cut right? Mom was big on Squirrels and Mary Janes – two things to completely rip your teeth out of your head. Mom was living on the edge.
  14. Leave you in the car while she ran in real quick. Well, here is the thing about this one. My mom learned the hard way to never do that again. She ‘ran into the store real quick’ only to return and find her daughter screaming blue murder because she decided to put her finger on the hot coiled cigarette lighter. The skin quickly bubbled up and to much of my surprise, I didn’t lose any feeling in the tip of that finger. Lesson learned mom, right?
  15. Let your friends pierce your ears. Nope. We went to Cherry and Webb were I chickened out in the seat and my mom had her’s done instead. So not a completely wasted trip.
  16. Let you sit behind the wheel of the car and pretend you were driving. Yup. We felt all grown up sitting in their lap and ‘steering’. Brittany Spears can attest to the harsh reality that this is a big ‘no no’ these days.
  17. Ride your bike without a helmet. Yup. Not only did I not have a helmet I was self taught and wrist guards would probably have been more helpful. I do have to throw out there that where I live, flipping your bike over and using the pedals to spin the wheels and pretend you were an ice cream sales person was reality. It is surprising to hear that some kids never did that. Brienne F. –  I am looking in your direction.
  18. Let you use a pair of scissors on your own. I cannot truthfully answer this. I can only remember using the rounded scissors growing up. Maybe we didn’t have any real scissors as it was too much of a temptation for my mother bringing up those three boys. I, of course, was a saint.
  19. Buy you candy cigarettes. Yup. Smoke’em if you got’em. Although I will admit actually inhaling the candy cigarette and choking on all the powder that is used to create the ‘smoke’. Whoops. Blow out not in. I needed the remedial class on smoking candy cigs apparently.

And there you have it. Have more that you want to share? Please do. It’s nice to know of other people’s childhood horror.

Mom and Me (high school) rocking the hair

Mom and Me (high school) rocking the hair

A silly moment in my day: stuck in an elevator

Heading down just a few flights in the elevator, the button lights go out and the elevator does the ‘bump’ that let’s you know something is not right. After pressing all the buttons to see if there was even the slightest possibility that the doors would open onto another floor, it is time to hit the HELP button.

The voice on the other end asks, “how can I help you?”

me: “I am stuck in an elevator”. voice: “where?” me: “gives street address”. voice: “well what is wrong?” me: “the doors wont open and the lights on the panel are out” voice: “did you try the open door button” me: “no, hold on” (damn it, the one button I didn’t try) me: “no not working”. voice: “ok we will send someone over”.

And then I think, well I am not hungry, don’t need the bathroom, so I am good for a while.

And then a knocking comes on the elevator door to which I respond “occupado” (you have to do it in a sing-songy voice to get the full effect)… and I hear chuckling on the other side of the door, who then says, “I know that’s why I am here”

Then we all lived happily ever after. The end.

Love – the motivation for bail money

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If this doesn’t sum up the love we all have for our partner and yet… no one really wants to talk about it (especially Disney). We deserve to be told the truth about love when we are growing up, why is it such a secret? It only creates disappointment by not being prepared.

One day you can’t stop smiling, can’t stop laughing, can’t stop thinking about that getaway you are planning, and either later that day or the next, your thoughts turn to – how to make it look like an accident – but you don’t, nor would you, follow through. Why? because that is what love is.

Taking the good days with the bad; the sheer bliss with the overwhelming desire to run as far as the dirty crumpled dollar bill, warm gummy bears, and torn tissues in your pocket will take you… the compromises, the stolen glances that still make your heart beat just a bit faster… It’s a packaged deal and there is no way that your relationship will last if you don’t know this going into it.

Love gives you more patience than you ever thought imaginable. It also gives you motivation to start a collection – also known as bail money.

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I have a Rendezvous with Death

I Have a Rendezvous with Death

BY ALAN SEEGER

I have a rendezvous with Death
At some disputed barricade,
When Spring comes back with rustling shade
And apple-blossoms fill the air—
I have a rendezvous with Death
When Spring brings back blue days and fair.
It may be he shall take my hand
And lead me into his dark land
And close my eyes and quench my breath—
It may be I shall pass him still.
I have a rendezvous with Death
On some scarred slope of battered hill,
When Spring comes round again this year
And the first meadow-flowers appear.
God knows ’twere better to be deep
Pillowed in silk and scented down,
Where Love throbs out in blissful sleep,
Pulse nigh to pulse, and breath to breath,
Where hushed awakenings are dear …
But I’ve a rendezvous with Death
At midnight in some flaming town,
When Spring trips north again this year,
And I to my pledged word am true,
I shall not fail that rendezvous.
Source: A Treasury of War Poetry (1917) via PoetryFoundation.org
I read this on the train coming home last night. It rings just as tragically beautiful as when Seeger first wrote it about a year -/+ before he entered WWI.

The love-hate relationship with October

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I love Halloween, it is my favorite holiday EVER, period. However, it is also the most painful month too.

Gone too soon, only 21 years old for a few months… I am reposting this because of the 33 yrs anniversary:

It is with great displeasure that I write this post. What I wouldn’t give to have my brother back these 30+ years. To see whom he would have married, his children, his choices in life. But instead he chose one of the most unselfish ways to spend his short time here among us, he joined the Army and became an elite Ranger. Consequently he was killed during the second wave in a very small town, on a very small Caribbean island called Grenada, giving coverage to many American medical students forced to return home during a hostile political event.

A devastating time for my parents; to be told you will never see your child again, to never say good bye one last time, to say I Love You one last time. It’s one of those things we take for granted I think, saying I love you, taking for granted you will see or talk to the person tomorrow and remember ‘next time we talk’. Even saying it in passing is great to hear, but not quite the same as if you knew it would be the very last time…the very last time… heart breaking, devastating, it goes beyond that. There is just no word for the amount of empty left behind.

He was just a great person, not because he is no longer here and fond memories can sometimes overshadow the bad times, he was truly one of those people who would go out of his way for you to make sure you were happy, to help if he could, a kind and gentle soul and so very funny. He loved music, was artistic, and put up with his kid sister always tagging along when he just wanted to hang with his friends.

Ah, his friends, they were bountiful and from so many different crowds; neighborhood, school, church, sports, he fit into all the groups with ease because there were so many different levels of him to love. I could go on for pages giving him accolades, and all would be true, but I won’t.

Recently I have been given the opportunity to have him, and his unit, honored for years to come as I have been requested to submit his picture (shown above) to the National Museum, United States Army for a permanent exhibit in their halls. How proud we of him, how much we miss him every day, how I would give anything to change that day and have him back.

Operation Urgent Fury

Operation Urgent Fury

#MemorialDay

Fab-u-lous at 50!

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The age of 50 may not seem ancient to all, but as my birthday to turn the big 5-0 was just last week, it feels ancient. It is a new decade. I am no longer in that 40-49 bracket (gasp!). Waking up in the morning creates the sounds of new pops, creaks, and snaps (and ouchies)…

I am trying to make the best of it, comes to terms with it, and thankfully Goose threw me a birthday party to remind me, things are not all that bad…maybe I am not as old, decrepit, and ancient as I tend to think. She rented an enormous house-6 bedrooms, 3 bath, and a third floor ballroom!! (courtesy of my Pop wish he could have attended…), I was surrounded by amazing friends (who drove upwards of two hrs to celebrate with me), laughs all weekend long (ever played the game “cards against humanity? say no more), won $$ at roulette (yes!) and danced the night away (no hokey-pokey here). I am not sure if it gets any better than that.

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What would I do without my Goose? An amazing young woman who goes above and beyond for those she loves. I would be lost without her.

cheers!

cheers!

Cheers to another year! Thanks Mom – wish you were here – you would have shown the gang a few moves, at the expense of throwing out a hip! God Bless you!

The value of time? Priceless.

There are many things we cannot put a price on; love, trust, time…especially time… The value is priceless – it is just that simple.

goose

My daughter’s laugh; priceless (and contagious)

There is just not enough time for us to have fun together; we always want more.

If I could pay for more time with her, I would surely rob a bank.

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We paint, we plant, we indoor skydive, we vacation, we explore, we adventure…never enough time… value of time is priceless.