Saturday, March 23, 2013

Blood pressure

My sister has gotten herself into a mess. Sometimes, as we were growing up, it felt like she could fall into a 100 thorny rose bushes and come out without a scratch but then at other times she would  trip on an invisible crack in the sidewalk and barely recover. This time she did not fair well. She ended up in a dark and lonely place. Her mind, heart and spirit are broken. I haven’t seen her since Christmas 2 years ago. I miss her.

She sent me a letter today. She started with an inside joke only I would get, an old joke from an episode of Laverne and Shirley from when we were kids. Then she offers me words of encouragement and advice. It isn’t bad advice, but I’d never admit that to my little sister. She ended with information about how things are going for her. Its hilarious and I am going to share it here:

“Well, I am working on getting into the boot camp that starts in June. But wait till you hear this... I have to take a physical for it. This nurse went to take my blood pressure and it was really high (I knew it would be because I just came from my shrink and was a wreck). She put the cuff on (of course, she is like 5'5 not even 100 lbs) and the thing flew off and hit her in the face because of my fat lunch lady arms. The doc couldn't stop laughing after he saw that she was ok and didn’t have a flesh wound. I’m like ready to die. Needless to say they are going to call me back when they have the bigger cuff for fat ladies... “

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Observations from the back seat

When I was about 13, I remember being over at my Grandparents for a celebration. As we were all leaving (My family and my mother’s brother’s family) David, my 16 year-old cousin got into the driver’s seat. He always seemed so old to me while we were growing up because he was 3 years older so that usually put him into the school just above where I was (jr high when I was still in elementary, high school when I finally made it to jr. high, etc.)

So I watched in awe as we all got into our cars and he got into the driver’s seat. Not only did he get to drive, but my other cousin, Kim, who was only one year older than me got into the passenger seat and my aunt and uncle got into the back seat! At the time, this was very amazing to me.  This never happened in my family. I made the request a few years later once I got my license but both parents gave a resounding no to the idea of me and either of my sisters in the front seat while they sat in the back. Oh well, I tried.

Last night, after a dinner with all 8 of us, the guys took the boys to their house and the girls came home with us. Macy asked if she could drive. I could not say no. The cool awesomeness I remembered my uncle being would finally be mine! Not only did I let Macy, our 17 year old drive, but I had Pepper sit in the back with me and had Dori ride in the front passenger seat.

Here’s what I learned: Pepper was not happy with this suggestion to sit in the back. The door handle in Dill’s spot has something sticky on it. Dori, in charge of the radio, does not like the same kinds of music I do. The speakers in the back are much louder from Dill’s spot. You can not see over the driver’s seat from his spot so I had no idea when turns, bumps, ramps, passing cars, stop lights…. were coming up. Macy likes to “shimmy” the ever-slightest bit like a race car driver as she tools along the highway. From the clothes hook above my head, Dill long ago tied a balloon. The string left behind is long enough to hit my forehead. There is no lumbar support in the back seats of our SUV. I still get car sick in the backseat. My parents were much smarter than my uncle. :)

Friday, March 1, 2013

Power Outage

A big storm rolled through our area recently dumping quite a bit of snow and knocking out power all over. We did not actually lose power when everyone else did, ours was mostly a brown out. We had dim lights, use of the stove, but not the microwave or oven and couldn’t use our pellet stove or TV. We were all home together for a snow day. The kids played games and we all read and hung out. At the end of the day, Dill announced, “Hey, we got through the whole day without technology!” I think he felt like Laura Ingalls!

This reminded me of the first time I ever lived through a power outage. My family lived in Cleveland and I wasn’t more than 3 or 4. It was a big summer storm that knocked out power all over. Our whole neighborhood was without power. On day 2 of the outage, my Dad talked to the neighbor because they were both worried about losing everything in the freezer. They decided to get out their grills and just cook everything. Other neighbors joined in and it became a huge neighborhood party. The outage did not affect us too much since it was summer and when it got dark, everyone just went to bed. On about the 4th day, Mom was ready to do some laundry and was again talking to some neighbors about how long they would be without power. It suddenly occurred to my mother that the electric company should have given an estimate on how long the outage would last. She asked who had called to notify the company that the power was out and all the neighbors looked at each other and then started laughing when they realized no one had called because they assumed someone else had! Mom called and was told the power would be turned back on within the hour. J