Friday, July 22, 2011

This Time

House: Hi.
Me: What's up?
House: You know, I'm kind of a mess.
Me: What's the matter? Girl problems?
House: Very funny. You know what I mean. I'm a mess.
Me: Well I don't think you're a mess. You look fine to me.
House: Really? Cause my toilets have teetee all over them and there are a couple of spiders in my corners. Can you do something about that?
Me: Listen man. It's summer. I've been busy. Can't you just get off my back and let me chill a little bit?
House: That's fine but you know that only means more teetee for you and I guess I won't mention the green bean casserole layer of dust on my furniture. You know that's just millions of itsy bitsy bugs just crawlin around, right?
Me: Oh, you just had to go there didn't you.
House: I'm sorry. It's just that I saw you outside yesterday and I don't understand why you would rather spend time with him than me. I'm so much cooler.
Me: By him, you mean the yard, right?
House: mmmhmmm
Me: Listen house, yard has been ignored most of the summer because he's so hot. I guess I haven't spent as much time on you as I should. It's just that no matter how much time I spend on you, you just can't keep yourself clean. And that... well that...just sucks. If you promise me that this time will be different I suppose I could spend a little time with you today.
House: Yes! I promise with all my windows. I'll do a better job this time. I'll keep myself clean.
Me: You better. And I'm serious this time.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Oil of Conversation, Matters of Principle

Perhaps I've made mention before of my love of the whiskey drink. It is really something that runs in our family. When I first learned to take a "pull" of the bottle, I also learned that one should toss the cap as far into the woods as possible. This motion proves your intent. Makes you stick to your guns and if nothing else says, "If I'm going down, you're going with me."  Whiskey in our family has been used in recipes, as cough medicine and as bug repellent. Some families see vinegar as an all purpose fix, our sees whiskey as such.

I first heard the following hollared on the porch of house in Alberton, Montana where my brother was living for a spell. The next time was at his wedding. What strikes me about it most is the passion behind the words and the southern accent that I imagine in the delivery...

In 1952, Armon M. Sweat, Jr., a member of the Texas House of Representatives, was asked about his position on whiskey. What follows is his exact answer (taken from the Political Archives of Texas):

"If you mean whiskey, the devil's brew, the poison scourge, the bloody monster that defiles innocence, dethrones reason, destroys the home, creates misery and poverty, yea, literally takes the bread from the mouths of little children; if you mean that evil drink that topples Christian men and women from the pinnacles of righteous and gracious living into the bottomless pit of degradation, shame, despair, helplessness, and hopelessness, then, my friend, I am opposed to it with every fiber of my being.

However, if by whiskey you mean the oil of conversation, the philosophic wine, the elixir of life, the ale that is consumed when good fellows get together, that puts a song in their hearts and the warm glow of contentment in their eyes; if you mean Christmas cheer, the stimulating sip that puts a little spring in the step of an elderly gentleman on a frosty morning; if you mean that drink that enables man to magnify his joy, and to forget life's great tragedies and heartbreaks and sorrow; if you mean that drink the sale of which pours into Texas treasuries untold millions of dollars each year, that provides tender care for our little crippled children, our blind, our deaf, our dumb, our pitifully aged and infirm, to build the finest highways, hospitals, universities, and community colleges in this nation, then my friend, I am absolutely, unequivocally in favor of it.

This is my position, and as always, I refuse to compromise on matters of principle."

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Just Like Mine

Somebody told me yesterday that this is the "magic age" for my kids. The age that you would get along with eachother the best. "Shut the front door" I said. "Holy Cats! Cheese and Rice! Eggs and Bacon!" I missed it. "Yep, 7 and 4, those are the best years. They will never like eachother more or have more in common than they do right now," she said.  "Well, isn't that a beaver!" I said. "I didn't even know! And their birthdays are right around the corner!" "Well, your time is almost up," she told me. "Soon it will all be over."

I've mentioned here before about the friendship I have amongst my siblings. I regard the 2 of them as 2 of my closest and best friends. Sure, we've had some doozie arguments but the fact remains that we understand eachother's crazy (and I mean for.real.crazy) mind and for the most part we are always in the other's corner. All 3 of us are married now and have wonderful partners  but there's something about knowing in your heart that there's another person out there made out of the same stuff.

I tell you kids all the time that you shouldn't fight or be mean to eachother because there's only 2 of you in the whole wide world. Eachother is all you've got. I hope you remember that not just when you're 7 and 4 but also when you're 74 and 71. I hope your "magic age" turns into "any age" just like mine has.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Little Simple Summer Things

I've been beating myself up lately. Kicking myself in the stomach. Worrying that I haven't been able to give you kids a "summer to remember". I feel like I'm always trying to beat your clock. I constantly want to shove it all in; everything I think you need to experience as a kid. I want you to feel it, taste it, smell it - remember it. Remember us.

So on the days when I'm not working, I try to plan fun things. I dream up excursions. Things I think you would want to do. Things that I think you will remember and tell your kids about. It's important to me. It burns in me.

But yesterday, when Lil' and I went on a quick bike trip up to the Lil' Cricket to get a Push-Up, I started remembering my summers:

A pool so soaked in the smell of gardenias it almost made you choke.
Running through sheets on the clothesline.
A hot wooden dock under my feet.
The burn from a ski rope.
Ice Cream truck jingles.
Sippin' honeysuckles.
Diesel fuel and brim.
Jumping in waves.
Bicycle grease on my legs.

Class in session - here's the lesson: I remember that we took vacations and I know they were fun and it was so great that my Dad was with us and wasn't working. I remember that my Mom was happy and relaxed. But what stands out for me the most from my summers as a kid were the little things that we did everyday. The things that were easy and the things that I expected every summer. The little simple summer things.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

About Her

My Sista has it goin' on...

and I love that about her.