Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Ratty Clothes and a Scrungey Day

Spending a day at home is one of my favorite ways to spend a day. I came close to doing that today. I wasn’t positive when I got up (very late) if I would need to visit my daughter in town or not, but I thought I probably would not be needed in any way since she had a doctor’s appointment followed up by an afternoon of planned activity. So I hurriedly dressed in the rattiest stay-at-home clothes I could quickly find. Since my hair is a mess right now, I did not see any purpose in putting on makeup although I usually do.

Now wearing ratty clothes is another of my favorite things to do. I love not caring if I spill something or snag something. I love wearing something that might bring back good memories of when the garment was not old. Some days I love looking and feeling scrungey.

Is there such a word as “scrungey”? It’s not in my spell check. But if there is not such a word, there should be because you know exactly what I mean, don’t you? Stains. Faded. Out-of-date. Deliciously scrungey. Of course.

Don’t completely misunderstand me. Sometimes I enjoy dressing up also. And I can delight in a new piece of clothing if it truly “feels” like me. But that is another story. Today I wanted to be scrungey. And I was. Top-notch scrungey, in fact.

Then a phone call came. The doctor was running late. My daughter was trapped there in his office. Could I do a favor for her? So deliciously scrungey, I set off for town, which was not what I had dressed for.

But no one was at her house where I did the needed errand. And except for two other errands I decided to do for myself, I would not have been seen by anyone. My first errand: fill the empty gas tank. Of course, the gas release grip messed up and I had to march over to get help from the attendant. I tried to play like I was invisible. The young man was kind and helpful and did not act like I was a bum. He probably thought I could not afford decent clothes what with the price of gas being what it is.

Next I stopped on the way out of town to recycle the newspapers in the trunk that I didn’t get recycled on my last trip to town. Although I ran into the attendant and one other patron there, I was grateful for old clothes as I ran back and forth in the hot mid-day sun with inky newspapers to throw them into the big cardboard collection box there. I got home just in time to prepare lunch for Gerald, and I didn’t have to worry if my hurry made me messy or if I dropped food when I ate, which I am capable of doing.

One unexpected brief afternoon guest also got to see my beat-up clothes. Otherwise I was home alone with husband and thoroughly enjoyed the relaxing day catching up on some emails, putting away laundry, and doing a bit of reading to rest between chores. In fact, it was a deliciously scrungey day.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Playing and Cluttering at Grandmother’s House

Driving home from the exciting program that novelist Laura Benedict presented for Southern Illinois Writers Guild tonight, it occurred to me that last night was Wednesday night and I had forgotten to write in Woodsong Notes.

After a fun flurry of company from Wednesday through Sunday, I guess I just forgot last night was Wednesday night. I was concentrating on getting ready for tonight’s meeting and had also been busy catching up on life’s details.

After a visit from the grandchildren, life’s details increase. I clearly heard Jeannie explain to her 9-year-old to pick up before they left for their seven-hour trip back to Freeport. However, there had also been a 17, 15, 13, and 11 year old here; and with all their activity, there was much too much for her to put away.

I really don’t care. I completely understand that there is no time to put stuff away as we stop the kids from one activity to scurry them onto a movie or whatever is planned next. Parents say it is time to go, and kids have to go. Often the grandkids want to return to some unfinished project later, and stuff needs to be left out.

Frankly, I like to see that the kids have gotten into to closet for old clothes (“costumes”) that I keep for them in the den. (Now that most of the grandkids are teens, I’ve changed the name of “their” room from “art room” to den.) The little plastic chairs they used to sit on are still there for Aidan and future great grandchildren. And I started shopping before Easter for another couch so I could move an old one in there for the teens, but I got busy with other things and never completed that shopping task. It is on my summer to-do list.

Despite the change in name, the den with its beat-up table still sees lots of art projects carried out. I love it when I see the children working with all the scraps, ephemera., crayons, and papers that I keep for art supplies. Often they are using every minute they have to write a book or create a game with so many pieces that, of course, they will leave behind a lot of discarded junk. I have to admit that I would rather see them their limited time here working and creating than cleaning up. (Let’s admit it. Cleaning up has never been one of my favorite things to do, so why should I want grandchildren spending their precious time together doing clean up.)

I know it is good training for them to put all the colors back in box, and I really do want lids put back on magic markers. Since I delight in keeping things from years ago, I definitely want materials treated well. Children need to learn to be neat and to be responsible. I know all that and believe all that.

But I figure one of the joys of being a grandparent is that I can let their parents teach them all those good things. Not that I don’t appreciate it when the grandchildren neaten the rooms. Nevertheless, I really don’t mind doing part of that decluttering myself as I think about the fun they have had and the occasional glimpses I’ve been able to enjoy as they have used their imaginations acting, drawing, writing, and creating.

The collection of hats is now returned to the large leather hat carrier I once bought at a garage sale. The assortment of clothes (some their parents used to wear in the “old days”)has been gathered up and carried to the den. Maybe tomorrow I’ll hang them back in the closet so they can find them next time they come and need to put on a play or make up a story glorified by a costume. I’ll be smiling when I do thinking of the children I love.

I am also smiling because we had two high school freshmen in attendance at Writers Guild tonight. Both girls from local high schools miles apart are already busily writing fantasy, and both girls had a parent attentive enough to their daughters’ talents that they were willing to use expensive gas money to bring their daughter to hear Laura Benedict.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

A week ago we left Oklahoma City. I woke with a mild sore throat that vanished early in the morning, so I believed it was the drainage problem that I sometimes have. By the time we reached my sister Rosemary’s in Amarillo, I was a little stuffed up but was hoping it was just the continuation of allergies I had experienced in Oklahoma. By the time we retired in our motel that night, I knew I had a cold and was trying to stay away from people. But that is not easy to do when you are seeing loved ones you have not seen for months.

By Saturday night on the way home, I noticed Gerald sniffling a bit. Sure enough he woke up with a very sore throat the next morning. He has been coughing and choking ever since. I will feel better one day and worse the next, but I am counting on this being over soon. Gerald has pretty much stayed with his regular routine—working outside and coming inside to rest or work on photographs. Even today after his getting stung three times by a wasp that had decided to make a nest over our garage door into our kitchen, he managed to accomplish a lot including killing the angry wasp who did not understand that this was our home first.

When I called Rosemary yesterday, I heard my cold in her voice and knew that the one thing I did not want to give her had happened. And yes, when I asked, Phil had waked up yesterday morning with a very sore throat. I feel like a heel carrying a cold down there, and I am hoping that none of my three nieces and husbands picked it up.

Nevertheless, we had a wonderful relaxing time in Amarillo. I tried to sleep off the cold. (It didn’t work.) Gloria took me and Rosie shopping so I could see a store called Tuesday Morning conveniently located next door to Big Lots that we also had to wander through. And finally we stopped at Target although all I bought in any of the three stores was a big box of tissues.

Friday night is the night I want to be at Rosemary and Phil’s, and Gerald kindly allowed us to stay through that evening. Phil prepared his great brisket for the gang, and there was the usual variety of delicious side dishes Rosemary prepared followed with chocolate upside down cake and some more of the yummy frozen dessert recipe she had served Thursday evening. I think there were 14 of us there that night, which is a common number although sometimes there are more children as we only had Eric and Desi. Both had grown up a lot since last fall.

Jerry and Cyndi drove up from Hereford to see us Thursday night, but Herman and Gloria and Chuck and Candy showed up for the Friday meal. I especially appreciated Candy coming over as she was sick all week.

Because of conflicts, we missed seeing niece Heather and nephew Tydale and their families this time, but there was still a breakfast bar full of the young adults laughing and enjoying each other’s company. We especially appreciated seeing quite a bit of Shiloh this visit because he drops in after work to see if he can do anything for Rosie and Phil, and Rosemary loves having him at the supper table.

The next morning I woke us up coughing and we could not go back to sleep. The motel started serving breaking before the appointed 6 a.m. hour, and I was amazed at all the early morning diners. We were on the road to Illinois by 6.

We didn’t plan to make the trip in one day, but even though we stopped mid-morning and mid-afternoon for breaks as well as for lunch and supper, we were home by 9:30. No bed could have slept better than ours. When I am not coughing or blowing my nose, I am still trying to catch up on everything. Geri Ann was playing softball with a local team last night at Crab Orchard and Gerald ran over, but I was just not up to being in the heat.

Jeannie and daughters Leslie and Cecelie arrived late this afternoon as Leslie is making a required trip to Belmont. They are leaving at 3 or 4 in the morning to arrive in Nashville by 8 a.m. Cecelie is staying with us, and we are excited to have her. Brianna is coming down to join her when her dad comes down to farm on Friday. So things will be livelier here at Woodsong for awhile.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Posting Blog that Hasn't Appeared on Book Page

We got home from Amarillo Saturday night, and I posted on AmazonConnect last night about the tourney in Oklahoma City. The post appeared in the blog there, but oddly has never appeared on my book page. So since it has been so long since I have posted on Woodsong Notes, I am going to copy and post the blog here. Then I will try to post on schedule on Wednesday night on Woodsong Notes.

We Had Fun!
by Sue Glasco at 10:57 PM PDT, June 8, 2008

The NCAA World Series for women’s softball, as seen through Gerald’s camera lens, is now on display in the living room at Woodsong, which is temporarily serving as a gallery for the photographs. We had fun, and being second in the nation only to the fantastic Arizona State team was quite a thrill.

Despite the horrendous heat the first two days when we played afternoon games. Despite having our car vandalized for the GPS navigator we’d forgotten to hide when we went to the game in Mary Ellen’s vehicle. Despite the day and a half that it took Gerald to talk to police, insurance agents, and then find a glass shop that could get tempered glass to replace the broken window. Despite never really figuring out the roads in Oklahoma City with or without the help of navigators. Despite the disappointment of losing both games in the championship playoffs. Despite my waking up with a cold on Wednesday morning when we left for Amarillo to see my sister and family. Despite Gerald’s waking up this morning with my cold. Despite it all, we consider it a successful trip and we will always cherish those happy times.

Meeting the parents and grandparents of Virginia Tech’s Angela Tincher in the rest stop as we traveled before we arrived for the Thursday afternoon games started our softball pilgrimage. Angela had been chosen Player of the Year at the tourney banquet the night before. And though Virginia Tech quickly fell to the losers’ bracket in this double elimination setup, Angela was among those chosen for the all-tourney team for her phenomenal pitching.

By the time we had seen the first day’s games, we realized that every one of the eight teams who had advanced that far were capable of beating any other team under just the right circumstances. No game was going to be easy, and we were exhilarated as we remained in the winners’ bracket.

Yet although the teams in the losers’ bracket have a more difficult path, the possibility of their entering the championship playoffs remained real. So when we played Florida Sunday night after they had given us our first defeat that afternoon, we were thrilled to come back and give them their second loss in that nine-inning game, thus, knocking out the team many expected to win the tourney,

Texas A&M, who started the year with two All American pitchers, had what many thought would be a season destroyer when Amanda Scarborough had to have surgery on a fractured foot. She spent the season on crutches and on the bench. Amanda and Megan Gibson had grown up playing together on summer teams and would have been an amazing pitching and batting duo to have brought to the World Series if life had gone as expected.

Instead, Amanda proved her outstanding character as she worked hard in the dug out tracking statistics for calling pitches and helping her coaches and teammates in multiple ways. But sadly she could not alternate with Megan as in the past. So senior pitcher Megan Gibson dueled alone through exhausting inning after inning. To leave the tourney with the second-place trophy was a feat that reflected Texas A&M’s grit and determination. Indeed it was fun for the Aggie fans.

Adding to our fun was getting to be with Gerry and Vickie and Geri Ann, Bryan and Tara and Aidan, Mary Ellen and Brianna. We even had a couple meals with our favorite catcher Erin, although most of the time, team members were not available for family gatherings.
Fortunately Saturday, Aidan and his daddy Bryan’s common birthday, was a free day for our team. We celebrated the birthdays with lunch at the Cheesecake Factory and with supper at the team’s tailgate party. The Archibalds were able to stay through Sunday before Bryan’s job necessitated their leaving for the Chicago area.

By Monday, Brianna was sporting a manicure with maroon nails and Texas Aggie spelled out on ten fingers. Mary Ellen’s birthday supper that night was diluted by our first loss to Arizona State and all the difficulty we had finding a restaurant open that late after the game. But we still found some things to laugh about, and we were proud to just be in town after six other teams had left.

When Gerald phoned an Air Force buddy from over 50 years ago (whom he had only seen once since then), he found him in the hospital as a precautionary thing while a new med was being tried, and so John welcomed company there. After Gerald delivered the car to the glass shop, Mary Ellen dropped him off to visit his friend. And the next afternoon after we picked up the car and had all the glass fragments vacuumed out, we were able to return to the hospital for a second visit.

Although we would have been delighted to stay on to play two out of three games, that was not to be, so we took what pleasure we could from the early departure on Wednesday morning. The extra day would make our visit with my sister Rosemary and family more leisurely. Gerry, Vickie, and Geri Ann were already on the way to Johnston City when we left, and Mary Ellen and Brianna slept in before heading back to Missouri. It had been a fun week with memories for a life time.