Saturday, July 5, 2008

Sisters from a Normal Family, Independence Day, Nightmare Naps, & Lazy Afternoons

It was a clear & sunny Tuesday. The temps were unseasonably warm for November; it was Veterans Day so many people were enjoying a mid-week break from work.

That was the day I moved to an apartment, alone. A couple of trusted friends had helped me load up a few belongings onto a trailer, then unload them in my new home. I was glad for their company as much as their help. I was very fragile, emotionally, though. I was undertaking a major life-change. By mid-afternoon, I stood in the living room, looking at the few pieces of furniture I had and the packing boxes. I'd taken a couple of chairs, a dining room table, and my piano, but otherwise left the furnishings that were in my previous home -- where I'd lived for nearly 30 years.

My sister dropped by to check on me. Becky's not one for a lot of chit-chat, but as she stood looking at the semi-organized chaos of my apartment she asked, "What are you sleeping on? I dont see a bed." I explained to her that I didnt have a bed, but was planning to just get an air mattress for a few days until I could buy one at the second-hand store. She just nodded, gave me a hug, and left.

I began unpacking a few things. I made a trip to the store to pick up a few necessities like a broom & dustpan, dishpan and rack, a welcome-mat to make it seem more like home. Shortly after I returned to the apartment, I heard the doorbell ring. There was Becky, driving a truck on which she'd loaded a bedframe, mattress & springs. She also brought some sheets, a couple of pillows, some towels, and a few pots & pans for the kitchen -- all things she'd observed that I needed.

What gratitude I felt! To this day, now several years later, whenever I see my sister, I remember her love & generosity -- how she helped me without being asked.

We dont talk a lot; like I said, Becky's not much for chit-chat. In retrospect, I suspect that I inherited the "talking genes" b/c she most certainly got all the "mathematical genes." :o) But there's a lot we share that doesnt NEED words. I see many of the positive attributes of our parents & grandparents in her, and I'm blessed that she's in my world. We grew up in a "normal" household: both our parents worked; they expected us to go to school during the week & to church on Sundays; they didnt drink or smoke or cuss and we didnt either; they honored their parents & grandparents (teaching us by example); they didnt entertain us all the time -- they expected us to learn to do things and then supported us while we experimented (like music, crafts, reading, other projects). Nobody screamed at anybody; nobody hit anybody. Like I said, we were pretty "normal."

It was only after I grew up that I realized that "normal" really wasnt all that common. And most people with whom I've come into contact with as an adult never had it so good as my sister & me. Seems to me that more often than not, folks deal with a lot more "stuff" than Becky & I have had to. I once had a counselor tell me that my growing-up family was so "functional" that I had absolutely no clue how to deal with folks raised in a "dysfunctional" household! And you know...I'm thankful for that.

So here's just a note to my sister, my mom & dad, & my grandparents -- THANK YOU!!!!!!!!!!! You guys are the BEST!!!!


David & I spent yesterday & last night at Lake Tillery. My sister always has a cookout on July 4 at her place on the lake. It was a lot of "family fun" -- even my grandma Eula Belle was able to go this year! (By the way, she'll be 95 in a couple of weeks!) After lunch, my kids left, & so did my parents & grandma & one nephew. That left Becky & Gene and their kids Tommy & AnneMarie with David & me. We rode in the boat; Dave skiied (how do you spell the past-tense of ski???); we napped in the sunshine. Then Tommy began asking us some questions about mama & daddy & Pop & Belle. We had a good time, sharing stories with each other, laughing, and just being a "normal family" with each other. David even got to tell some of his USMC stories that kept us in stitches!
At dusk, the fireworks began -- and they glittered and splashed colors well into the night.

We had a good night's sleep, then rode the boat early this morning. The lake was smooth as glass and there were just a handful of people out in the morning -- most of them were fishing. Then we headed home.


Ever had nightmare naps? **laughing** I stretched out this afternoon for a nap & the tv was on. I began having a series of crazy irrational dreams, and eventually woke up from one that was just a nightmare, about thugs trying to get into the school. In part of my dream I was running down the hall only to be stopped by a kid in a motorized wheelchair that ran off of burnt cooking oil -- and when I woke up, I realized the tv had been on, broadcasting a story about people dumpster-diving behind restaurants to take burnt cooking oil to run vehicles! hahahaa I guess that was dream interference????


Just a lazy afternoon. Some days Dave & I go "full-tilt" at different projects or activities. Like a couple of days ago when we spent the whole day washing the living room carpets. But every so often, we have a day or two that are just deliciously lazy. Some folks might find it boring...but it's just a day in which we can re-group and re-charge.

Sometimes on lazy days, we are presented with learning opportunities. Like just now, when I explained to Dave that when Springsteen the Outdoor Cat coughs, it's because he has a hairball and NOT that he's contracted feline leukemia.
That poor man, raised in the city...he has so much to learn!!!

That's all for now, y'all have a beautiful & blessed day!


Angela said...

Anita!I am so thrilled that you made it safely back "home" to Ghana, and I am thoroughly enjoying reading your blog and checking out the wonderful pics of our home away from home. Have a continued beautiful journey. Angela Thibodeaux

Angela said...

I love reading your writings! I can relate to them on every level. Funny, crazy, retrospective, and engaging. That's my friend Silver! ~ Angela Thibodeaux