Showing posts with label laughter. Show all posts
Showing posts with label laughter. Show all posts

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Attitude is Everything

          The discussion post this week is on being an effective leader.  We need to have examples about our emotional intelligence and what skills we need to improve on and how we would improve.  Roland is always coming up with ideas that I've never thought of.  I don't see myself as a leader and I knew that Roland would have some suggestions - one was my position in the family, which of course I hadn't considered.  I tried writing a few paragraphs about that - but each paragraph felt too biography and introductory and perhaps a little too horn-blowy - which is not what I wanted.  I don't know how many times I changed it before I finally turned something in.  Meanwhile I have come up with some more thoughts for a blog post.

          I remember going to a wedding reception held outdoors.  I don't even recall what time of the year, but I remember the weather was cool but not cold.  There had been a few light breezes joined by a more powerful wind.  It had knocked over the wedding cake onto the ground.  Now there are many (I'm thinking more from bridezilla's point of view) that would be upset by it - but the wedding party - for the most part just smiled and said, "Oh, well"  

          It could have been an act - but with pleasure, they can honestly laugh about it now.  It really is a healthy thing to be able to laugh about a situation rather than get angry about it.  Our family would have never gone on family vacation if we couldn't laugh at the unexpected.  What family vacation has ever gone smooth?  Our problems were always with the car or the weather, sometimes both.

          Our muffler fell off in California.  I think it was our engine that died during our trip to Canada.  There'd been heavy rain during that trip but not like we had at Universal here

          I remember having a rooftop cargo carrier on our station wagon.  I think it was a wind that knocked it off.  My dad, normally calm and even tempered said in frustration, "Oh, just leave it" but the rest of us somehow believed it was worth saving.  Mom had a pair of panty hose that she cut into strips and she and my brother Patrick used them to tie it down to the roof, and three of us held it down while my dad continued to drive.  We may not have seen the humor in it back then, but it is hilarious to talk about it (or think about it) today.

          And then there was the time we just coming home - though I can't remember where.  My mom was driving our little orange Honda.  The car threw a rod and she pulled over.  She chose to walk to get help and the rest of us stayed in the car.  We were fortunate as to where we broke down as we were entertained by watching hang gliders soaring through the sky.  It was awesome.  Had the car not stalled where it did, we would have not even noticed the hang gliders - though I don't think mom had the same positive experience as she chose to climb over some barb wire fencing in search of assistance. 

          There was another time when we had gone to the movies during a really cold season.  The doors had froze and wouldn't open - except for the hatchback.  We sent Corey through the hatchback and asked him if he could open the doors.  We weren't really surprised that he couldn't - I don't believe he was quite four years old at the time.  So Patrick and I (both pre-teens) also climbed in through the hatchback.  The doors wouldn't budge.  Too bad mom didn't think of giving Patrick the keys to the car to at least warm it up a little.  Mom was 8 months pregnant with Kayla.  She also climbed in through the hatchback.  What a memory. 

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Car Wash Memories

        We went to get the car washed yesterday.  Though not an automatic carwash, it brought up memories - though not in chronological order.

Memory 1:        When Kimball learned to talk, he'd talk with such excitement that he'd often stumble over his words and came across as stuttering;  he would also put himself in third person.  Kimball LOVED vehicles, dump trucks, cranes, cherry pickers, tractors . . . you name it.  He really did know the names and what they did.  My mom thought he would be fascinated by the car wash as well.  He wasn't.  He was actually very freaked out.

        "I'm sorry, Kimball," (once in the automatic car wash has started, the driver needs for it to finish before exiting) "but I really thought you might like the carwash."

        "Kimball doesn't li-li-like the carwash.  Kimball wa-wa-wants to go."

        Grandma pointed out the light that was red and told Kimball that once it turned green we could go.  Kimball was so focused on that red light  that I think he forgot how scary he thought the carwash was.  As soon as the light turned green he cried, "Go, Grandma, Go!" 

Memory 2:        I don't know how old I was when this next memory took place.  I'm not even sure if I was in the car with mom or if I had just heard her relate it often enough that it felt as though I had been there.

        There is a sign with the directions on what one is supposed to do in the automatic car wash.  I think ROLL UP WNDOWS was number one, which she did.  But as she got closer to actually going through, she had to roll the window down to insert the coins.  She forgot to roll the window up and had just come from the hair salon.  Her next errand was picking up a prescription or groceries or something.  She pointed to her hair and told the cashier that this is what hair looks like before and after going through a carwash with the window down.  She said it gave the cashier a laugh.  But I remember her ragging on about it each time we'd go through that it specifically said to Roll Window before inserting your coin.

Memory #3      There was a carwash (not automatic) across the street from the ice cream parlor where I used to work.  I remember a group of teenage kids approaching the store after hours.  Instead of spending money on ice cream, they decided to go across the street and have a water fight using the car wash hoses.

Friday, April 28, 2017

Role-playing Helps Prepare

           As I was growing up, I can remember doing a lot of role playing with my family members.  What would you do if you were in this situation?  How do you think you would react?  What would you do differently? . . . I can't speak for my sibs, but I believe they felt prepared as I when we were approached with a given situation.  We didn't have to analyze because we already had the answers.

          For example, when we had been approached by the doctors in the final stages of mom's life (before we knew they were the final stages)we were faced with a decision.  We could have put mom on dialyses and had her leg amputated.  Long before she got dementia, mom had been quite vocal about not ever wanting to be on dialyses.  With her state of mind, she really wouldn't have known whether we honored that wish or having even requested it. She wouldn't have understood a missing leg . . . she would never be able to comprehend why it was missing no matter how often we explained it to her.  The decision we made was unanimous.  A no brainer - for us anyway.

          I did have one brother-in-law question how we could have made the decision to put her on hospice as quickly as we did.  We didn't think of any time involved.  We reacted to what we had been taught.  We worked together as a family.  We were of one mind.  Apparently a lot of families don't have that.  It boggles my mind that we are not the norm.

          My dad had always wanted to prepare for our finances should he be taken away.  He wanted to explore options with insurance and burial plots.  My mom never did.  To her, preparing or talking about death always seemed like a morbid topic.  He had reminded her that if he were to go first, she would have to deal at it alone.  But she wasn't alone.  She had been a den mother and one of her former scouts became an attorney and volunteered his time to straighten out her finances with every insurance company I guess dad had ever talked to.

          Both Patrick and Kayla had gone with my mom to the cemetery to pick out a plot.  When I came home and asked how it had gone, my mom and Kayla both started laughing as they related their experience.  It sounded as if they had been in a sit-com series. We were in pretty good spirits throughout the whole ordeal.  Mom was such a trooper.  I guess we all were.

          After my dad had passed away, mom said that one of us would have to take over the finances in the event that she should die.  We all voted for Patrick to have that obligation.  Only when it came time, the stress that came with it was too much on his health.  I couldn't do it because of my situation with Roland and his ex.  Fortunately for our family, Corey grew up responsible and  has allowed himself to step in.  I am fascinated with his organizational skills and willingness.  Wow.  What a tremendous blessing he has been not only for his sibs, but now his cousins as well. 

          Corey does a lot of role playing too, I would imagine.  It's been his profession, though I don't know how much of it has prepared him for where he is now.  How awesome it is that we all hold respect and high value for one another.  I wish it were the same for Roland's family.

          Roland just wrote to his brother with the suggestion of having mom update her will and give him (his brother) power of attorney.  The sister that is supposed to take over has not had the best of health and should not be in that position.  Also he (Roland) senses a feud coming amongst the sibs should mom pass. I highly doubt that all four sibs would be able to meet with an attorney all at once.

          I just don't relate to squabble and possessions.  When we met with my mom's attorney, none of us had any financial secrets.  I was a wreck and said to the attorney, "I know that this is probably a quite unusual request, but would you mind if we started with a word of prayer?"  I think Patrick said it and it really had calmed me down.

          We were told that the meeting would last at least three hours.  Apparently the lawyer had figured in some squabbling time.  But Kayla and I were there for only an hour and a half.  The attorney said he had dealt with a family like ours only one other time.

          I am so grateful for the role playing that my family has taught me and my sibs that we have been prepared.