Family life, Paleo-ish eating and Coping with Chronic Illness

Posts tagged ‘Grandma’

Hitchhikers and Romance

We had a weird night on Sunday.  This summer we have been trying to make it to my parent’s for a visit on Sundays.  I never imagined a day when I would worry more about my parents than they worry about me.  That’s  happening.

We usually go out to eat with my parents when we visit.  They live in a small town.  This Sunday I was having a hard time enjoying my dinner.  The entire time we were eating there was a young man standing on  the sidewalk outside the  restaurant  window.   He kept looking at his watch and calling someone on his phone. It was obvious he was waiting for someone to pick him up.  He looked disheveled; messy hair and an over all appearance that stated, “I could use some help.”

I didn’t say anything about him while we were eating.  When we were almost done I spoke.  “Hey Scott, there’s a guy out there who looks like he might need help. I think he is…”

“I know,” Scott interrupted. “I’ve been  worrying about him this whole time.  I’m going to go out and see if I can give him a ride.”

Turns out this young man did have special needs.  He had decided he was going to walk to Walmart to buy some video games.  Walmart was about 6 miles away.  He got half way there, and changed his mind.  He called a taxi, but the taxi never came.  Scott and Zeke gave him a ride to his Grandma’s.

After dropping that young man off, Scott picked Olivia and I up at our  Grandma and Grandpa’s.  Scott told us that  now we can add worrying about that guy to our list of people to worry about.  That boy surely had some troubles.  What if he decides to walk to Walmart again?  What will he do when something happens to his Grandma? Where will he go?

Right while we were  listing all the reasons to worry about that young man,  we drove by a lady who was walking along the side of the rode.  She looked like she could be a Grandma herself.

We were in a tidy, middle-class neighborhood.   This Grandma put her thumb out for a ride.  I’m serious.   She really did.  Scott and I just looked at each other.   We knew we were going to pick this Grandma up;  that would bring the number of strangers we’ve picked up in our lifetime to two.  Both in the same night.

Scott slowed down.  I rolled my window down, and asked that Grandma, “Do you need a ride?”

She walked over to my window and stuck her had in WAYYY too far.

“YES!” She said. “It’s my birthday.”

Then she didn’t say anything else.

I said, “Happy Birthday?!

She just looked at me like she was trying to tell me something else.  Then I figured out she was trying to tell me it was her Birthday, and that’s why she was really, really  drunk.  I actually think she was trying to do a nice Grandma thing.  She was trying to warn me that I was about to let a strange,  intoxicated woman in to the back of my car with my children.

I told her to hop in back.  The kids get drunk with their Grandmas at least every week. They’ll be fine.

No.  I didn’t say that.  I don’t think she would have gotten that joke. We told her we hoped she had a good birthday, and dropped her at her house.  She was sweet.

I don’t know why she walked somewhere by herself to get drunk on her birthday.  And, that would make  the second person in one  day we can add  to our list of people to worry about.  Maybe we should start going to my parents on Monday nights instead.

Something is happening with Scott lately.  He’s really stepping up his game.   I know I married a good guy.   I wrote about how nice he is here.

I said Scott was  a good guy.  He is not a romantic guy.  That’s okay.  I’m not very romantic either.   When I was young I was always a little suspicious of romantic guys.  I know, that’s not fair.  Some romantic guys are really nice.  They are just also in touch with what a woman wants to hear.  But, then there’s that other group of romantic guys.  The ones who are full of crap.  Those are the guys I was trying to avoid.

Scott has set the bar for romance really low.  I’m not complaining.  I’m practical too.    We understand each other.  That’s why he is FREAKING me out lately.  Scott  has a new smart phone.  Since he’s had his phone he has sent me two messages with emoticons.  Do you know what an emoticon is?  It’s an electronic graphic used to express emotion.

Scott sent me a text that said, “See you tonight,” followed by a heart with a cupid’s arrow.  The second message had just a plain heart.

All those other husbands that have been busting their butts, coming up with poems and secret weekend getaways should take a lesson from Scott.  The problem with those guys is that they set the bar too darn high.   Their wives have expectations.   When you have a wife with expectations, you’ve got yourself some problems.

I received my text message from Scott with a heart emoticon.  When I saw that message  I hugged my phone to my chest.  I didn’t know Scott had that in him.  Completely unexpected.  I told him that I was shocked with his gesture, but that it meant a lot to me.  I could tell he was kind of proud of himself.


About a week later Scott was shopping with Olivia.   He came home with a small, deliciously scented  candle for me.  It wasn’t my Birthday, or our anniversary.  I asked Olivia later  if the candle was her idea.  She told me no.  She said her Dad just suddenly decided  they should get me something.

What is going on?

This emoticon thing is opening up a whole new world.  Scott didn’t think he had any game in him.  He does.  I didn’t think I cared if he had any game.  I do.

I can tell that my sincere appreciation for these gestures is motivating for him too.  So, now Scott has a wife with expectations, and now he has  some  problems.


Kissing and Some Other Nonsense

I spent the weekend at a big wrestling  tournament.  If you like watching  people, you would love going to a wrestling tournament like the one we went to this weekend.  There were  hundreds and hundreds of people to watch.  People watching is one of my favorite hobbies.   Way better than TV.  I  learned some things from the people I watched.

Wrestling is a super hard sport.  I should know.  I live in a family of wrestlers.  They work really hard.  They cut weight, and sometimes they smash heads.  Not on purpose, but it happens.

If you’re a wrestler, you have to get comfortable with some level of physical pain.  Wrestlers are tough.  I know that.  Here’s a picture of  Eddie’s face after wrestling this weekend.  They ain’t playin’ Hopscotch.

eddie's face


One wrestler I saw this weekend had a t-shirt on that said, “Once you’ve wrestled, everything else is easy.”   I was thinking about that t-shirt, and wondering if it’s true.  EVERYTHING is easy?  Like, everything in  your life will seriously be easy?

If you don’t k now what’s for supper, you get home late from work, and you have no groceries, that will be easy?  If  you want to knit a really cool scarf, but you don’t know how to knit that will be easy too?   You did say everything.   Why haven’t I ever thought of this before? I’m totally going to start wrestling.  I’m  going to get into the practice room and start running through the drills.  I’m going to make the team next year.  I want everything to be easy.

I told Scott about my idea.  He explained that the quote I read came from wrestling legend, Dan Gable.  Scott said that particular quote has been amended since Gable first gave birth to it.   Apparently,  now a lot of t-shirts say, “Once you’ve wrestled, everything  is easiER“.  Not just plain easy.

If I didn’t know better, I might think Scott was trying to talk me out of joining the wrestling team.  Wait.  That’s crazy talk. Sometimes I  just get a little  paranoid.

Another thing I was wondering about this weekend was public displays of affection (PDA).  What’s your stance on this?  All those in favor say “aye”.  All those opposed say “no”.  I say, “no”.

There was this high school couple  at the tournament that I couldn’t seem to get away from.  We were in a huge arena, yet every time I turned around, there they were.  She was on his lap.  He was nuzzling her neck.  They were standing in each other’s embrace,  while  cheering  for his wrestling friends.   Were they playing a joke on me?  Why were they following me?  I didn’t  want to be on a date with them. I really didn’t.

I don’t know why all that teenage cuddling and nuzzling rubs me wrong; It just does. I wanted to say, “listen, I’m happy you kids are in love, and I’m sorry your hormones are trying to call all the shots for you right now,  but do you remember some of the games you played when you were in kindergarten?   You do, don’t you.  That’s because it wasn’t that long ago. Hopefully you’re going to have a happy marriage down the road.  You could be married for 40 or 50 years, and  I promise you can kiss the crap out of each other then; literally, like you can kiss from sun up until sun down.  Most of us married people do.  In the mean time, what do you say you call  some of your friends over here and participate in some good ol’ fashion Tom foolery.  Go pull some shenanigans and have yourself a ball.  Enjoy the heck out of being a kid, because that’s what you still are.  Nobody blames you.  We all know wrestling tournaments are the coolest places to smooch.  Just maybe take a little break.”

I don’t like teen on teen PDA.  I  DO like other kinds of PDA.  I was walking in the crowd at the wrestling meet, and I saw this teenage boy give his gray haired grandma the tightest hug.  That hug made my mouth instantly turn into a smile.  How does that happen?  I also saw a tough looking teen age boy holding an infant girl.  The boy was so gentle.  He was rubbing her head, smiling at her and talking in a baby voice.    I guess I actually love PDA,  it just has to be a certain kind.

It was a pretty cool weekend.  Everyone in the family felt healthy, and we were fortunate to be able to do what we like to do.  The only thing I’m mad about is that my house didn’t clean itself.   I asked my Facebook Friends if someone would come over and clean it, but no one did.  So, I guess now we know what kind of friends they are.






Arranged Marriages Seem Alright

Many Americans are all big on freedom. They don’t favor arranged marriages. I think that’s a little hasty. I didn’t used to think arranged marriages seemed like a good idea, but now that I’m old enough to arrange one, I have changed my mind.


It’s Valentine’s Day, so I’m thinking about these things: love, relationships, marriage. My kids are just entering, or getting close to entering that stage in their lives where their parents should talk to them about all of these subjects. And, let me tell you, my kids HATE it when their parents try.

Our kids do not appreciate their parent’s insight into relationships. Our children are offended by Scott and me. I visualize our children talking to a therapist one day. They will say, “I don’t know. I just can’t seem to move past the bad memories. My parents were married more than twenty years, and they still liked each other…a lot. I still have nightmares of them hugging, holding hands and laughing with each other like they were young. It’s sick. You can’t wipe those images from your mind. Now I just have to find a way to heal.”

That’s how our kids act. Even our dog is in on it. No one likes it when Scott and I hug or show each other affection. They try to break it up. Just in case you’re not following me, we’re talking occasional, sweet, Disney version hugs here. I don’t know what YOU were thinking, but this isn’t that kind of blog.

I have to get over the guilt I have for liking my husband. Instead I foster a small hope in my heart that way down the road, when our kids have their own kids, they will remember that having your spouse as your number one favorite person to hang out with, is just a state of normal. I hope I live long enough to see it. Grandma will get some pay back then too. I don’t know how, but she will. You remember that.

I don’t have to tell you that a lot of crap comes flying our way in life. Great relationships make all of that doo doo not stink quite so badly. I want to tell my kids how to choose their mate well. They won’t let me, so I’m telling you instead. Thanks for that. Here’s are some questions I would like my kids to ask themselves about a prospective mate:

How do they treat the people they don’t have a crush on?

The kids are really sick of hearing this one. I’ve said it a lot. If someone likes you, and they’re nice to you, it means exactly nothing. EVERYONE is nice to the people they have a crush on, it’s a fact. Don’t trust grand gestures and flattery. Trust every day kindness.

Pay attention to how a person treats the people they have no interest in ever dating; if they treat those people nicely and with respect, that’s a good sign.

I dated someone once who would say things like, “I hate that person.”

I would say, “Wow. You hate them? They must have done something horrible. What did they do?”

He would usually reply with something like, “I don’t know. They just bug me. I hate them.”

I know. I know. That’s a nonsensical conversation that I wish I was never dumb enough to have. Now you know why I feel the need to give my kids advice.

Are they emotionally predictable?

Emotions. You need to keep those babies under control. I’m not talking about getting teary eyed when you see a commercial about the Humane Society type of emotions. I’m talking about people who accidentally turn their lives in to a Soap Opera; people who convince themselves that a flat tire, forgotten homework, or a bad hair cut is a real problem. People who cry a lot, yell a lot, get mad a lot, give people the silent treatment a lot, are grumpy a lot, or feel sorry for themselves a lot are going to be a lot of work. I’d take a pass on those people.

Choose people who are predictably calm and happy. That way, if they are sad or angry, you know it’s probably something worth being sad or angry about.

If you ask them to call in sick to hang out with you, will they say no?

I hope so. There’s nothing more attractive than someone who honors their commitments. As you get older, your commitments grow. If you’re married, and out in the world showing up and getting your job done, while your spouse is lying on the couch watching Netflix, avoiding theirs, you’re going to be grossed out. I’m just telling you now so you know where things are headed.

Are they interested in things that don’t involve you?

A partner who has a passion for things that you don’t know about is an interesting person. Sometimes it can feel like a really long life. It’s better when it’s interesting. If your partner can teach you things you didn’t know before, you will admire them even more.

Do you believe the same things?

You have GOT to figure this stuff out before you get married, not after. Here’s why: Life will punch you in the gut. I hate telling you that. I wish it wouldn’t, but it will. I wish I could prevent it. I can’t. When you do get the wind knocked out of you, and your family finds out someone you all love has died, or developed a drug addiction or cheated on someone or been abused, your kids (my grand kids) are going to want answers. You’re probably going to tell them to talk to God. You may say that God has a plan, and they can trust His plan.

If your spouse tells them there is no God. Life is random. That will be confusing. It doesn’t leave much for you and your spouse to talk about either.

Do they interrupt you?

Interrupters are the worst. Don’t be one. Don’t marry one. It seems like a small thing, but it’s actually a big thing. If you found someone who looks you in the eye, and waits for you to finish your thoughts before they share their own, there’s a good chance you have found someone who is unselfish. You’ll enjoy spending your life with someone who is unselfish. Feeling like you’ve been heard by someone who cares will save you money on therapy too.

Do they make you laugh?

You should find someone who appreciates humor, and who can laugh at themselves too. In our house (like most others), we have had some serious things to handle. I watched a documentary one time on stress management. I learned how important it is to find a way to manage stress so that it does not make you physically or mentally ill.

A lot of the strategies described are not ones our family has employed. Then they mentioned humor and laughing. That’s it. That’s what we do. That’s one of the biggest reasons we’re upright, functioning and moving forward.

Even at the very peak of our most stress filled moments, I would guess no more than 20 minutes pass before someone has cracked a joke, and someone laughs. Laughter dissolves tension. I thank God he gave me a husband who agrees there is almost always something to laugh about. I hope my kids find someone like that too.

If you could choose one person to live with you on a deserted island for the rest of your life, would you choose this person? Would you be happy there?

I hope it’s yes to both questions. Your mate should be able to say yes too. When you have met the right person, you do not have to ask yourself if you have met the right person. You just know.

wedding couple

I’m sorry to be so disgusting kids, it’s kind of my job as a parent though. If you’re not going to let me arrange your marriages, then the least you could do is just hear me out on these things.

I’ve got more to say, but let’s just marinate on the above for now. Do you like that turn of phrase? I heard a lady say we should “marinate” on her words once at a seminar. It made want to put her in a headlock and give her a face wash in the snow. I thought I’d try it here.

I made such a good call when I chose your Dad. And that’s nothing compared to how good a call he made when he chose me (Oh, remember to find someone who’s humble too. Like me.) I just want to help you to do the same.

Happy Valentines Day!!!!



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