Sunday, February 25, 2018

We Were Driving Right by

the hospital, so The Yard Man suggested we should stop and visit his nephew, who had been admitted a few days earlier.  We weren't sure if the nephew was still in residence, but we parked in the hospital's parking garage, went into the lobby, and discovered that he'd been discharged.

"Well," said The Yard Man, "Since we're here at the hospital, why don't we go up to Intensive Care and see where you were hanging out last year today?" 

"Hmmm," I said, then, "Sure."

I have very few memories of my near month-long visit in the ICU.  I didn't know if another short visit  would elicit a shudder or not, but I was curious to find out.


Walking past the row of gurneys parked outside the door of the Intensive Care Unit gave me a brief quaking flashback, but once inside the door we spotted a nurse whom The Yard Man recognized immediately.  When he greeted her, and she turned and saw us walking toward her, her eyes opened wide.   

"Oh!" she said, "Oh!" as recognition dawned.
"I'm so happy to see you!" We hugged and tears filled her eyes and slipped down her cheeks. 
She gazed at me fondly and hugged me again.
Reader Dear, though I didn't know her well, I felt a loving connection, aware that she had cared for me as one would care for an infant!
There was a bit of fussing over me, then, by The Yard Man and this nurse, both of whom had been privy to the intricate details of my squeak-through-death's-door stay in ICU (basically, my visit in absentia).  Nay asked about the intervening year since she had seen me; she asked about my daughters and son, with whom she'd had plenty of interaction; she asked about my life story as it continues today.  When The Yard Man and I left, she said, "I am so happy that you came in! Thank you, thank you.  I'm going to tell the rest of the staff about this!"

And then she said, with heartfelt emotion, "You made my day!"

Oh, Dear Reader Dear, I am ready to give her full credit for my very survival!  Let me just say this about this loving little nurse:   "She made my day!"*

......................................


*and possibly years of them!



 

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Last Friday Night was a Cold One

in this area.  I don't know if it was what everyone would call a "three-dog night" or not*.

But, aha, that's what I got to call it. Lucky me!




Here's how it happened, Reader Dear.  The Yard Man and a bunch of his old buddies took their wives and went to a Three-Dog Night concert at a local theater.   There were fourteen of us (the group of friends with spouses) at the concert.  Good luck, again, as one of the friends has a brother who is manager of the theater where the concert was held; ergo, we got very good seats!


Now, the audience that filled the theater was predominantly a gray-haired lot, due to the fact that the performers themselves were already entertaining many of these same folks more than fifty years ago!
And, truly, it was amazing how advanced in years was that group on stage! how much stamina they possessed in spite of it!  how terrific they sounded! 



And the old crowd in the audience was enthusiastic, too!  Most of us were doing some degree of seat-dancing (you know, Reader Dear, body swaying, head swinging and limb-tapping to the beat!)  We shouted approval for each new-old song!








And, wow, there was even a musical number they meant to dedicate specifically to me (poor things, they just forgot [that night of the concert was the one-year anniversary of my death (just prior to the morning light)!])

After the concert, there was a get-together at the home of one of the friends and his wife.  The old buddies had planned a lavish spread of hors d'oeuvres, desserts, and drinks for the group, and they served them up admirably!  (So sorry for the lack of a photo, non-Viewer Dear.  It was impressive!)

All-in-all, this Three-Dog Night turned out to be a five-star evening!

...............
*(Three-dog night. So cold you would need three dogs in bed with you to keep warm)

Monday, February 19, 2018

Care to Dance?!

When the question came to me, it was actually worded thus, "Do you want to go along to a dance party?"  It was First Daughter asking.  Turns out she was taking her younger son, my Tiny Actor, to a fundraiser that was being held by the preschool he attends.  She had also invited his cousin, my Small Actor, to go along to the Saturday afternoon dance. And my Little Actor was coming, too, to support his younger brother.

"Artie (cousin, and Small Actor) will be a pro at this!" is what my daughter predicted to me.  "It's the only way to get Ira (Tiny Actor) out onto the dance floor!"

Well, we got to the party and there was a loud and lively beat going on, and an actual DJ on the stage! In spite of this, though, the three actors made a beeline for the refreshments and vowed in no uncertain terms they were not going to dance!   

"Nope!"  they all declared, their plates piled with cookies, animal crackers and goldfish.

.


More and more tots arrived (This dance was specifically planned for the youngsters, though there were plenty of adults who couldn't stand still to the music ! [I confess, Reader Dear, I was one of them,  though I did my best not to make a fool [dancing fool, that would be] of myself!*)


*That twisting-and-shouting number, well, who else, Listener Dear,  would really know anything about that dance?!

 By the time the dance was in full swing, and the Small Actor had eaten his fill of sweets, he had a look of readiness in his eye.  It didn't take a whole lot of urging and suddenly he was on  his foot and moving!   So then the Tiny Actor, just as his mother had predicted, eagerly followed the Small Actor onto the dance floor!  They lingered at the edge for a while; but, before long they were full-fledged little dancing devils in the middle of that crowd!


(So much so, Viewer Dear,  that their grandmother had a hard time turning off her camera!)


.........................................
**The oldest of my diminutive actors (Little Actor) is not into dancing (or massive crowds of preschoolers).  But he did most patiently endure the dance (kudos to him!) and he got his fill of cookies.

Saturday, February 17, 2018

Have You Ever, Reader Dear,

had Buckeyes for breakfast?!

I have a dear cousin who is not a Buckeye (those humans who hail from the state of Ohio [where grow all those Buckeye trees]),  but he knows how to concoct a stunningly tasty, edible Buckeye (those chocolate-and-peanut butter confections that make you want to stand up and shout, "Hail to the person who concocted these!"

At the breakfast table was also a bowl of mixed nuts (roasted by the wife-of-cousin, my very hospitable hostess this morning!)  I was the only guest at this breakfast table, and, in addition to the  Buckeyes and nuts, I was presented with gifts!  Perhaps the most special was the mother.  Yes, yes, you heard me right, Reader Dear: My cousin gifted me with a mother!*
*(The mother had a name, but I
don't know how to spell it. Scoby?)

*Our human mothers were sisters;  but, once again, I'm not talking of humans here.


Before you get too confused, Reader Dear,  let me say: in addition to the foods at the table there was the drink.  Kombucha!   Lest I set off on a tangent about how delicious this beverage, and how nutritious and good for the body, and how entertaining my cousin's description of making it, plus his other interesting endeavors...I'm going to quickly give you a  rundown  of the steps for creating this beverage (as told to me):

1. Brew a gallon of black or green tea (herbal tea won't do!).
2.  Add a cup and a half of sugar*
3.  Add the mother**
4.  Add extras such as ginger or orange, etc.
5.  Let sit.
*Don't be concerned.  The mother will eat the sugar! ( So said my cousin)
**See what a gift?! Without the mother,*** this tea will never be Kombucha!

***noun 
1.   a stringy, mucilaginous substance consisting of various bacteria, especially Mycoderma aceti, that forms on the surface of a fermenting liquid and causes fermentation when added to other liquids, as in changing wine or cider to vinegar.





I must tell you, Viewer Dear, that the appearance of the mother is rather enough to make a person cast their eyes elsewhere and feel a bit queasy!  The photo below does the mother great favors (shows her in the very best light)! 


But, looks aside, she is essential to the life of Kombucha.  And, too, only a mother can produce a mother. (So said my cousin).  Thus, those receiving a mother as a gift, well,  they should be looking upon her as a thing of beauty! (So say I).
Oh, the lovely mother!

(As to the Buckeyes, those two that I ate at that breakfast table this morning didn't need a mother.   Adam and Eve, I'll call them; they needed only a super-capable creator, and these two had a great  one!)
Thank you, Cuz!

Thursday, February 1, 2018

Pitching You a Question, Reader Dear


Reader Dear, oh, Dear Reader, what does one do with all the pretty Christmas cards that have been sitting on display for all  these long winter weeks, until  now it is nearly the day for more cards (the kind that are filled with X's and O's and other sweet sentiments [These cards won't be nearly as plentiful, of course.  But they will make those joyful, bell-ringing, tinsel-and-holly ones look as outdated as pumpkins and dried cornstalks!])


Do I just pitch them?!

And while I'm at it with this pitching question:  What does one do with albums filled with a half-century's worth of real, actual, pick-up-and-squint-at-them photographs (plus all the scattered non-album kind) that have been repining in an overstuffed cupboard for years and years?!
Looking at the birdie
Most of these photos are not studio pictures (Dress up, drive to the studio, sit with head cocked at whatever angle the photographer orders, look at the little bird above the photographer's head, and smile as though you mean it).  That kind of photo was and is a precious and rare type and must be saved for all of posterity, of course. But what about all the snapshots.  What about the nearly faded-to-obscurity ones, where the photo was snapped by an amateur,  timed for a few seconds, ejected from the camera  and peeled from its backing to oohs and aahs of amazement?  What about those?!

Do I just pitch them, too?!









And here's yet another question to ponder, Reader Dear:   What does one do with all those items so old and rare and infused with decades and decades (if not centuries) worth of nostalgia that it's very tough to rid oneself of them?!  (I'll make a list, but it's going to be long, and it's going to get tricky [I still want an answer])

1.  Lovely old tin box containing thick curly locks of human hair tied in faded pink ribbons, hair that was cut from my mother's head when she was a six-year-old with Undulant Fever (Incidentally, this was the very year that penicillin was discovered, though not in widespread use; she had to survive the illness without it).



















2.  Ancient German books, passed down for four or more generations by the fine folk who lent their    DNA to The Yard Man, many of these tomes inscribed inside the cover with the owner's name (or names from each generation).










3.  Tiny tea sets given to me as a child, one set from each of my grandmothers.



4.  A charming couple of acorn-head dolls, handcrafted by the paternal grandmother of the Yard Man.


5.  A hundred-year-old falling-apart leather book-bag with my paternal grandfather's initials stamped in gold.

6.  Contents of book-bag:  Certificates and school report cards of my father (whose top subject was math, I note). A faded, barely legible, penciled essay on the importance of obeying one's parents.

7.  Ah, and so much more!*  Once again I pitch you the question:

Anybody for pitching?!

..................................
*Viewer Dear, must you see it all?!  The antique dishes?  The dolls?  The paintings? The woven baskets? The braided rugs? The wooden loom?  The antique lunch box?  All of the knick-knacks?!!  Aargh.