Showing posts with label memories. Show all posts
Showing posts with label memories. 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. 

Saturday, October 21, 2017

Fall Activities and Ghost Pancakes

          Four years ago yesterday, our friends Cheryl and Miguel decided to take their niece Payton to the Cornbelly's activity at Thanksgiving Point.  They asked if they could take Jenna with them.

          Jenna and Payton got along well together.  Payton was two years older than Jenna, but shorter.  Many people who saw them together believed they were sisters.  I did not go with them, but had remembered the event as Cheryl had tagged me in several photos on facebook.  I had the opportunity of seeing them again when facebook memory page showed me the photos.  

Cheryl had taken quite a few pictures;  I
don't have permission to post the ones
she took - there were several of Jenna
and Payton.

          I thought it fitting to see the photos while thinking about Jenna and commenting about the weather I hoped wouldn't spoil yesterday's plans.  She did get to go to the corn maze after all, and rode the hayride and brought home a huge pumpkin that she had retrieved from the pumpkin patch.  It was a great day.

          Roland started breakfast/dinner early as his clock is on mountain though we live in Pacific.  After the oven was warmed up (guess we did use it after all) and had cinnamon rolls ready to go in, he looked at the clock in the kitchen and realized that the missionaries wouldn't be arriving for almost two hours.  Whoops.

          I love to watch Roland cook.  He is so thoughtful and so precise.  He made everything on the small skillet, though I had found a much larger pan to use.  He ended up using it to put all back into the oven just to keep it warm.

          Dinner was wonderful.

transferring the potatoes from Stove to oven

keeping potatoes and meats warm

ghost style pancakes with blueberry faces

scrambled eggs made last

you can't tell, but the gravy boat contains
fresh blueberry syrup 

dinner table ready to serve yourself


Sunday, October 15, 2017

Toddlers and Stories

                My sister had posted this to her facebook page.  We laugh because it is true.  Surely most mothers will have several stories to go with each picture.  Here are mine:

1.         Although this first example does not involve pillows, it does involve a child's ability to sleep  anywhere that an adult couldn't possibly.  Before Kayla was born there was a time when my brother Corey had gone missing.  My dad and I had searched the house high and low for him.  We had gone outside.  We had called neighbors.  We were frantic.  We both said prayers.  We called his name over and over again . . . he wouldn't respond.

            During the course of searching, I had dropped something and had crawled under the table to get it.  There, on two chairs that had been pushed up against the table, was my brother fast asleep. 

            I also have taken pictures of my nephew, Brian and daughter Jenna in half-standing/half-leaning positions.  Brian in his cowboy boots and shorts.

2.         This was a favorite outfit for my nephew Kimball and his sister Candy - not at the same time, mind you, but when they were the same age.  Kimball moved swiftly from window to window to watch the dumpster retrieve garbage cans from the curb.  He obviously had not made time to get dressed. 

            The time I remember Candy running around after one of her siblings, and it was not grandma visiting them, but the other way around.  I think Candy had soiled her clothes or something.  They had been removed, but she took off before they could be replaced.

            I think Kimball must have been embarrassed about the situation as he kept saying, "I feel sorry for her like that."  I laughed because he had done the same thing.

3.         Some children never outgrow that.  Just as with my Jenna, Kayla's husband also likes to dress up.  I don't think I've ever seen him wear a cape though, except in costume.  He is one that will not only don himself for whatever occasion, but dress the family as well - mostly for Halloween, but like Jenna, I could see him doing it for pizza.  (see this post) 

4.         It's not just Toddlers that can/will eat the same food for all three meals.  My youngest son is 28 and would still rather have a bowl of cereal over anything else.  Not only is it enjoyable to eat, but the only dishes required to wash are a bowl and a spoon.  Toddlers don't consider what a chore is often present when doing dishes.

5.         As an adult I can't perform in front of others.  Even when I am out in public and have to use the facilities, I find it difficult especially when there are others waiting. 

            I remember a time I had taken Ellen into the bathroom with me.  I don't even remember how old she was, but I think she might have been talking in sentences (she did have quite a sophisticated vocabulary at an early age).  While sitting on the toilet with loose pants around my ankles, Ellen looked at me and said with every bit of sincerity,  "Aunt LaTiesha, you look beautiful"  Thanks?

6.         I can't think of a laughable example at this time.  Toddlers are blunt and don't tend to hold back, but I remember receiving comments for Kayla, Ellen and Jenna in which their toddler eyes found me to be more attractive in something that I would only wear around the house.

            Jenna and I used to have make-up parties when she was older than toddler age. I was a masterpiece in her eyes.

7.         This was me - not only as a toddler - but at least up through fourth grade.  I'm guessing my toddler acts would have been easier to sit through and not as lengthy as trying to put on an entire musical.  Ellen did it to.  She and her friend would set up chairs for us and have us come watch them in the backyard.

8.         I think bathtubs got a lot shorter than when I was a kid.  I realize I have gained weight, but come on.  Great tubs at Old Faithful Inn in Yellowstone. 

Not recommended for a toddler

9.         I think it was Corey who used to draw on the walls.  He would make smiles with arms and legs.  He would write letters in addition.  Crazy how he had actually labeled one drawing "cattle" and another "phantom".  Though he had watching "Sesame Street" at the time, I don't think he really knew how to spell then. 

            Corey did know his letters though.  One time we had gone to Arctic Circle (a local fast food chain in Utah and Idaho) and while my dad was ordering food, Corey was standing by the high chairs pointing out the letters and saying what each stood for:  "P is for pirate and peaches" etc.

            Jenna still enjoys drawing and hanging her own art work on the fridge.

10.       I don't remember any of Sunny's and Patrick's children taking selfies when they were younger. I don't even know if Sunny and Patrick had cell phones at that time.  I do remember when their three oldest received disposable cameras from one of Corey's friends.  The older two had been wise about using their cameras.  Brian used his film up within minutes.  I called it abstract photography.

            Jenna didn't take selfies so much when she was a toddler - though the last photo in the above picture my suggest otherwise.  I have posted some recent "selfies" here.  
            Updated technology:  my youngest nephew likes to "Google" - he'll say something foreign and Seri will give suggestions.  I don't know if he fully understands but he smiles at the ability of having made Seri talk.

11.       The night Candy was born, I watched her brothers.  Kimball was on the couch and I had Brian with me in mom's bed.  I heard Kimball call to me and went out to the living room to check on him.  When I returned to the bed (which was a king) Brian had managed to reposition himself and was hogging the entire bed!  How is that even possible?!? I ended up on the couch opposite Kimball.

12.       Grandmas and Grandpas used to whip out quarters to give to Jenna every time she flashed her smile and charm.  One time when we were leaving Big Lots, a man asked if I could hold his dogs while he went inside.  They were huge!  The man told Jenna that they were Scooby Doo dogs.  When he returned (less than two minutes later) he gave a dollar to Jenna.  Hey!  I was the one that held those giant dogs!

13.       Riding in the cart - especially the car shaped ones - was the most exciting thing ever.  

Assisting mom and dad with filling the cart - also awesome.  My mom had been shopping for a Relief Society activity.  I don't know how old I was at that time.  Mom hadn't noticed my "contribution" to the cart until after she returned home.  Amongst her RS purchase were three bear shaped containers full of chocolate milk.

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Reminiscing 70+ years part 4

A continuation of list started yesterday

13.    She's a complete technophobe.
                            I don't think she did ever learn how to set the VCR
14.    She makes me feel needed.
                                                Each of us was important and she let us know why and what talents we could offer that maybe someone else could not.
15.    She showed me a great example of a successful marriage.
                        I had believed that all families were like my family - that the mom and dad loved one another and that the children enjoyed being a part of the family.  I didn't realize that there were many who had squabbles or came from broken homes.  When I think about it,  I guess even mom came from a broken home.  Her parents used to squabble.  She said there really hadn't been harmony in the home until after her dad left, and that it was all somehow shaken up again when her mom remarried.
                        Mom had set several goals for herself - one was that there would never be a divorce.  She also would do her best not to have to raise her family in an apartment. Mom and dad were a great example of a great marriage and great family life.  I have often told people that I must be from a "fairytale" family as people don't believe we could love and respect one another the way that we have. 
16.    She was a good wife.
17     She loves to travel, and we love traveling together.
                        Corey relates the experience of the two of them riding the hovercraft - which is hilarious.  I am actually the only one of mom's children who hasn't been to Europe.  
                        When mom had dementia, she believed she had traveled to places that she really hadn't.  I brought a map and put it in her room.  We put silver stars on places where she had been to physically and colored stars marked all the places she had only been to in her mind.  For the most part she had  "just driven there for the day" .  Greenland had been among those places
18     She took us on many family trips
19     She taught me not to judge people.
                        Mom always saw people for who they were on the inside.  She didn't take notice of a person's race, religion or scars.  She worked with a guy who had a disfigured face and she managed to overlook it.  When he showed up at work one day to share the exciting news that he'd be getting a facial operation she asked him why.  He was puzzled that she'd ask, but she really had learned to look beyond the deformed features that most people saw.
20.    She lets me live with her still.
                        I suppose many parents are anxious to see their children leave the "nest" - mom was not.  We could have all lived with her forever as far as she was concerned.  For 39 years I believed I would.  It's not that she didn't want to see us spread are wings and grow.  She was encouraging about that, but still melancholy with seeing us leave - especially when it started feeling permanent.
21.    She helped me gain an appreciation for current events and the news.
22.    She often agrees with me politically and has some liberal views.
                        I thought one of us had posted to our blog about the painful experience we had with taking mom to vote for what would be her last time.  She was very confused, and Corey had asked her who she wanted to vote for, and wrote down the names on a paper and asked for someone to guide her through figuring the punch card would be even more of a challenge.  (We don't have that in Oregon; the entire state votes by mail.  See here) It would have been easier if we had been able to do it that way that particular year.            
23.    She let me have a cat when I was young.
                                    I don't recall Patrick or Kayla ever showing an interest in an animal as with did Corey and I.  I think I actually had gone through more cats than did Corey. Mom had also had at least one cat when she was growing up.  She said her pregnant cat had babies in her closet on top of a slip that had been left in there.  The cat was quite protective of her babies and would snarl at mom, I guess.  Mom was not so fond of cats after that incident.  And yet she allowed over a dozen into our house over the years.

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Reminiscing 70+ years part 3

               At the time we had mom's party I had not yet started my blog nor do I think I had started reading Corey's.  Perhaps I did and I just don't remember.  He hasn't posted for a while, and so I haven't looked at his blog page much the last year and a half.  I did open his blog page yesterday to see if he had mentioned the event or what he said about it - but I couldn't find anything - not at the time the event took place anyway.  He had his own personal trial he was dealing with.  I don't know if he ever got around to reminiscing the events that took place that summer my mom turned 70. 
               He gave mom a copy of the list he had created, but not the stories he had shared at the party as he paid her tribute and entertained those who came; thus I will share his list and my own examples as I can remember them.

70 Things I Love About My Mother

1.      She's always supported my career and seen just about every show I've done.
2.      She encouraged me to serve a mission.
3.      She loves me just for who I am.
4.      She loves to play games.

                                As I hadn't started my blog until the last year my mom lived in my childhood house, I hadn't recorded much pre-dementia.  Playing games with my family was just a part of life - I thought all families did it. 
                               Mom and dad had taught Patrick and me how to play a card game called 500 which I mention here.  We would play board games.  I remember one time when the power had gone out, we played a game called SKUNK; we played by Candle light.  Even after daddy's health deteriorated, we'd continue playing games.  There was one called Encore which is a singing game.  Dad had had a series of strokes and it had become difficult for him to get the words out of his mouth, but you could see him light up, and he would think of a song, and it didn't matter which team's turn it was or how long he took - we allowed him to provide an answer and would give it to whatever team's turn  it was to play.
                               Mom didn't seem so competitive as a team player, but boy, she was competitive when it was player against player.  Corey and I were her rivals.  She would play all games with all people, but there were specifics that I talked about in this post.

5.      She's a worry-wart.
6.      We love to go to lunch together.

                                            Mom enjoyed food and loved having the company of her children. More times than not it would be just her and only one child.  I remember her telling me about going to the mall when Patrick was working at one of those gift cheese stores.  She would stop by and ask him to go to lunch and one day asked if that embarrassed him as he was having lunch with his mom.  He told her that some of his co-workers were actually jealous about it.  All of us would always have good discussions with mom when we would go out to eat.

7.      She supported my educational pursuits.

                               Mom helped each of us with our education, but we all seemed to notice it the most with Kayla who really struggled in school.  Her mind was much slower than any of mom's other children or Kayla's peers.  She required extra attention for focusing and it did not help matters that the phone was always ringing off the hook as her friends would constantly call or come over.  Thus mom removed Kayla from the neighborhood environment for a couple of hours each week, possibly every day . .  I can't remember. 

                During the summer mom would take Kayla to a local drive-in for breakfast and they would hang-out for the required time that mom had set up to help Kayla understand whatever subject that Kayla was expected to understand.  She was so diligent in making sure that Kayla received a proper education.  I have always admired that

 8.      She helped me get my first job.

                            As I had mentioned in this post: except for dad, all of my family had worked at Snelgrove's Ice Cream Store - not at the same time, mind you.  Patrick and I had both started earning wages at age 13 or 14 with paper routes, but for Kayla and Corey, Snelgroves was a first job. 

 9.      She instilled good work ethic in me.
10.    She instilled in me an appreciation of theatre and movies.
11.    She instilled in me an appreciation for reading.

                                                Both my mom and Corey were avid readers.  They could have three or four books read before I had even completed one.  I do enjoy reading.  It just takes me a lot longer.
                                             Mom was reading books again while in assisted living.  She could never tell you what she was reading, but we do know she did read.

 12.    She read stories when I was young.
                                             She also read to/with the grandkids

Monday, September 11, 2017

Reminiscing 70+ years part 2

                Roland brought some corn into the house the other day.  He had picked it from our garden. 

I took pictures of the produce and went out to the garden to take pictures of each bed and started a post on the progress (or lack thereof) of our garden.  I stopped my thought flow around 2:30 as Jenna gets home from school between 2:30 and 2:45 and wanted to be in the front room to greet her when she returned.

            She asked if I could drive her to the youth center which she hasn't gone to for over a year.  I knew  I would have to fill out paperwork as the center requires that the information be updated each year.  It appears that the paperwork packet increases in size each year.  This year felt like a small book.

            Roland and I were in the middle of slicing apples for applesauce and apple pie.  I chose to take the paperwork home rather than to take the time filling it out at the center - besides I had the entire weekend.  For the most part Roland was okay by himself, but would call me in to assist for a few minutes here and there and so I sat on the couch and started to fill out the forms.

            Though the packet seemed thick enough to write on without something underneath, the surface was too flat and I needed for the forms to be at an angle so that it would be more comfortable to my arm, thus I grabbed a binder that seemed closest to my reach.  Now, I don't create these posts in memory of my mom's death - the binder I had grabbed turned out to be the scrapbook we had given to mom for her 70th birthday. 

            My brother, Corey, does not believe in coincidences. Perhaps my subconsciously grabbing mom's photo album was meant to serve a better purpose than a temporary desk for the paperwork I had.  Certainly these posts now are much more compelling than the topic of our unbalanced garden.  Perhaps this will trigger memories for others - if not my mom, perhaps your own.

            Of course I have gone through the album as it was already in my lap, and have read kind words and have smiled knowing how much my mom was/is loved.  My aunt had enclosed a few pictures from the past.  She said that when she met my mom, she reminded her of  Jacqueline Kennedy.  Until then I had not known that anyone had ever made any kind of comparison between her and "Jackie".

            Some of the same values that she instilled into her children were also expressed by former co-workers.  Roland drew some illustrations with captions "It seems like the older you get, the younger adults and professional become.  Children seem smarter . . . technology goes by you . . . But best of all, you have seen it all"  Her traits were addressed:

compassion, humble, enjoyable visits,  great example, service, devotion, blessing, giving, memories . . .  Each letter indicated that each had been so grateful to know my mom. I am grateful to have this great treasure in my possession.  The last page contains a card from my mom's brother and his wife.  He passed away the year that we put mom into assisted living.  His wife also had some sort of dementia and was put into an assisted living also.  She passed away just this year.  Of those who had come to the party or had sent letters, there are at least eight who  have joined mom on the other side.  I am grateful to have known them all and to read how much they loved my mom.


Sunday, September 10, 2017

Reminiscing 70+ years part 1

            I enjoy looking at the memories that facebook reminds me for each day.  The thing I enjoy most is reading comments from friends who have since passed away - like yesterday morning for instance, I was reading thoughts to wish my husband and I "Happy Wedding Anniversary" for almost each year I'd been on facebook.  The last comment I read was from my mom.  I think that's cool.

            Mom was not an avid facebook user.  She seemed to allow herself to get flustered with modern technology.  The year I started my facebook account was also the first year her children all wondered if there was some instability happening with mom's mind.  I don't know if that was the first year she'd been tested for Alzheimer's.  I do know she was tested at least twice, but the results didn't show Alzheimer's - but she was in the early stages of dementia.  Many people assume they are the same thing as Alzheimer's is a form of dementia.  I personally don't understand the difference, but here's how it was explained to me:  Dementia is like a wheel and Alzheimer's is just one spoke on the wheel -  

thus everybody that has Alzheimer's has dementia, but not everyone with dementia has  Alzheimer's.  I have never heard any other names to refer to dementia except for Alzheimer's.

            Corey is more well read on the subject than any of the rest of us are - plus he has friends who had been schooled in the subject.  There are seven stages one goes through when he or she has dementia.  My mom passed away during stage five - which provided us with fun memories.  I have always been grateful that none of us had to see her at stage seven.  

            My mom turned 70 the summer of 2009.  Sunny had suggested doing a tribute themed party for her.  We would invite everybody in the ward, everybody she had ever worked with, everybody that we could remember she had known.  I made up some fliers - I don't even know how many.  I had mailed about half, emailed a few and hand delivered quite the rest.

            A neighbor had called me to ask if watch her girl who had been in pre-school with Jenna.  I told her that I had to run some errands, but if she was okay with it, I could take Amber with me.  That actually turned out to be an awesome blessing for me, as I didn't even have to stop the motor on the car.  I would hand the fliers to the girls, tell them which houses to leave them at, and made a game of it.  I think I must have picked a day that my mom was not home as we were able to hit all the houses in her neighborhood without having met her.

            When I was down to my last six invites, I asked one of the neighbors if the girls could play in her yard until I came back.  As it turned out, the neighbor was doing some gardening and the girls volunteered to assist.  The neighbor was disgusted by the amount of snails that she'd come across while gardening. Jenna and Amber would eagerly pick them up and play with them.  They each had three snails on the table when I returned.  They were watching them "race". 

They wanted to keep the snails but I told them that snails were not allowed to ride in the car.  The neighbor put them in the garbage can after we left.

            We encouraged those who couldn't attend mom's party to send a letter which might include any memories they had of mom.  Sunny provided paper and pens for those who wished to write a letter during the party.  We held it at Patrick and Sunny's house.  Their children had made a giant banner and hung it over their garage. The birthday party was great!  Mom was certainly surprised.

            Corey had a special tribute to share and read a list of 70 things he loves about mom.  He read the list of simple words or phrases, but would pause to relate an experience of why a certain thing had made it to the list.  It was an awesome program.  Wonderful memories.  Enjoyable night.

            All of her children took pictures, and Bill asked us to send in what we had and he would put ALL of our pictures on one disk. We started a scrapbook  for my mom to put the cards and letters and I added the pictures.  I had created 15 pages on the computer, but had added handmade pages with photographs and incorporated them with the letters - more than 65 pages total.

            I don't know how often she looked at it.  We brought it to her after we had moved her to assisted living.  I pasted this to the top of it: 

            I thought if she looked at it every day, she wouldn't feel so alone (not that she was, but before she met Harold, she often felt that she'd been forgotten) but she kept it in a drawer - which defeated the purpose.

            I'd forgotten that she had passed away the day after my 12th wedding anniversary date to Roland - or that she was buried the day before dad's birthday (which he didn't seem much for celebrating on earth - probably not in heaven;  though I'm certain that their reunion was a great birthday gift)

Thursday, August 31, 2017

Remicing a Picnic April 2016

            I forgot to mention the office chair we had picked up at the yard sale, as the one I have been using seems to be falling apart.  I pushed it across the street with no problems, but got stuck with the loose gravel in our hillbilly driveway and stopped before I got to the paved cement walk that leads to the house.

            I was reminded of when we had first moved in - there were items that had been moved into the house, but the washer, dryer, and dining set were still outside.  Roland had gone to McDonald's and we pulled the chairs around our dining table and had a picnic in our front yard


            Took these pics of the sunset last night:

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.

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Shop, Summer, Mail

        Sometime between the birth of brother Corey and the arrival of my sister Kayla, my parents decided to finish the basement.  I moved from my upstairs bedroom to the coolness of the basement.  They also had a phone put in at the end of the hall next to the laundry room.

        I don't know how old I was, but suspect it was after I had graduated high school when I heard the phone ring.  Mom had already answered the upstairs phone by the time I got to it.  Out of curiosity, I went upstairs to inquire about the phone call.  Mom said that it was her visiting teaching partner and she'd be leaving pretty soon.

        She had just started watching the movie "The Shop Around the Corner" with Margaret Sullivan and James Stewart and asked me to continue watching it for her so that I could tell her what she had missed.  We had a VCR, I think I offered to record it.  Or perhaps the recorder wasn't working.  I don't remember why we didn't record it.  I allowed myself to get roped into watching. 
        "The Shop Around the Corner"  is an old movie from 1940.  It surprised me that mom had not seen it already it, as she certainly had watched a lot of old movies and I had suspected everything with Jimmy Stewart but either couldn't remember or had missed this one.
        The characters' names were Klara and Alfred.  They both worked at the curio shop (at least I think they did) and didn't seem pleasant toward one another - mostly her to him. During the course of the movie we learn that each of them has a penpal they are currently writing but it is done secretly so not as to reveal each other's identity.  Eventually Alfred learns that he and Klara are penpals to each other, but she doesn't learn the truth until toward the end of the movie.
        The entire time I was watching it, the plot just seemed so familiar to me.  I know that I had never seen "The Shop Around the Corner"  before, but I was able to predict what events would happen.  How is it that I knew?  I finally figured it out  just before my mom returned.
        She had been watching "In the Good Old Summertime" just a few weeks prior and had been telling me that Judy Garland's character had been receiving anonymous letters from Van Johnson's character, and she'd been writing to him - and he knew, but she didn't.  I really hadn't been interested nor do I recall ever seeing it the entire way through.  But apparently I had watched enough to see the similarities.   

        So when she returned home to ask me about it, I turned to her and said, "This is In the Good Old Summertime without music."

        I don't know why she didn't want to believe me.  So I started pointing to different characters and described what their role was.
       "Okay, that girl, there (I did not know Margaret Sullivan by name) she and Jimmy Stewart have been corresponding using false names.  And he knows it, but she doesn't know it."
        She asked me two or three questions which I don't recall, and I answered accordingly.  Finally, she came up with a question that only applies to one movie, but not the other.

        "What about the violin (or other stringed instrument; I forget)"
        "What violin?"
        I can't even remember what explanation she gave of why it was important to the story.
        "There is no violin.  But there is a curio box"
        "Oh, this is not the same movie at all."
          According to, "In this musical remake of The Shop Around the Corner, feuding co-workers in a small music shop do not realize they are secret romantic pen pals." We did not have (or know about) IMDB back then and so I was unable to prove my point.

       Several years later, "You've Got Mail" was featured in Theatres.  Instead of Penpals, Kathleen Kelly (played by Meg Ryan) and Joe Fox (Tom Hanks) would email one another.  Rather than exist as co-workers, they were actually business rivals.  I love that movie.  I loved Meg Ryan's character.  Of the three, it is my favorite.