Two Families with a Surprising Connection!

January 20, 2008

About 15 years ago, I saw the engagement announcement in the newspaper of a young man who had been a friend of Gunny’s in grade school.

Several months later, I happened to run into the young man’s mother.  I asked her about her son’s upcoming marriage, and she said, in fact, it had taken place just a couple weeks before. 

I asked her how it went.

She said it had gone great, except for one minor incident, and giggled.   And then she told me the following story: 

At the beginning of the wedding, as soon as the families were seated, before the groom and his attendants came out, and before the bridal procession, she and the mother of the bride were supposed to go up to the altar and each light a single candle taper, and then return to their seats.  These would then be used during the ceremony by the bride and groom to light together the unity candle, to symbolize the joining of their two lives.

But, surprisingly there was going to be a “uniting” of their two families sooner than expected!

It was a formal wedding and everyone was dressed “to the nines.”  The groom’s mother was wearing a long beaded gown.  The bride’s mother was also elegantly dressed — in a lace gown.  (Can you see where this is going?)

After the two mothers had gone to the altar to light their candles, they turned around to go back to their seats.  But, spontaneously, they turned to each other and hugged.  And, when they stopped hugging . . . . they were stuck together!

The beads on the bodice of one gown had hooked into the loops of the lace on the bodice of the other gown, and the two mothers, to their great surprise, were “united” by the bodices of their dresses there at the beginning of their childrens’ wedding, in front of the filled church!

At first, they worked quietly to “uphook” themselves as inconspicuously as possible, but the longer they worked, the harder it was not to giggle at the ridiculousness of the situation. 

The pastor, who had been waiting “off stage,” when he saw their dilemma, came out and quietly asked if he could help.  No, they were sure it would just take a minute to disconnect themselves.  So, he exited again.

But, try as they might, they COULD NOT get that loopy lace to let go of those pesky pearls.  The congregation was all abuzz by now, and there were chuckles beginning to be heard. 

Luckily, the pastor hadn’t just gone off stage and assumed they could handle the problem.  He had realized, before the mothers’ themselves did, that they were probably going to need help.  So he returned, this time with a pair of scissors!  With their gladly given permission, he cut them apart in short order, and they returned, relieved, to their seats, to applause from the congregation.

She said, after that, the rest of the wedding was beautiful and elegant, and went off without a hitch. 

But, of course, any time someone talked to one of the mothers for the rest of the evening, I’m sure it must have been hard NOT to let their eyes glance briefly at the slightly mangled bodice of their dress!

There’s no doubt in my mind that, even 15 years later, when that wedding is discussed, the first memory that comes up is very likely the unexpected “connection” of the families, even before the marriage.

Don’t Mess with Mama

January 19, 2008


When she was in her eighties, Mama still have some good ol’ common sense, demonstrated by this conversastion:

Mama:  “I had an obscene call last night.”

Me:  “You DID?  What did you do?” (I certainly wasn’t going to ask never-let-words-like-poop-and-butt-pass-her-lips-Mama to repeat what he SAID!)

Mama:  “Well, at first I thought maybe it was somebody who was sick wanting me to get them help — all I could hear was breathing.  Then, I realized it was one of those calls you hear about.  You know the ones, where a guy calls and just breathes real heavy?”

Me:  “Wow!  So, did you just hang up?”

Mama:  “No, I just breathed real heavy too.  After we both did that for a while, he finally hung up.”

A “Bumps in the Road” Morning

January 17, 2008

Well, what a way to start a morning.  It’s only 9 am and I’ve already had two little “bumps in the road.”  Not earth-shattering, but both life changing, in little ways.

 First, Hubby and I enjoy word games.  Besides enjoying them, I consider them “mental gymnastics” that are good for keeping our  minds sharp (and we certainly feel the need to do THAT).  Hubby does crossword puzzles and I do sudoku’s ( I know — not words, but the same idea). 

Also, we both enjoy a good game of Scrabble (although I have to watch him or he makes up words and tells me they’re “crossword puzzle words.”  I was SURE he was lying about “ort” until I looked it up and found it in the dictionary).   And, we have both gotten alot of enjoyment out of the hand-held electronic Boggle games we have laying around.

Unfortunately, we’ve had the two Boggle games for about three years, and they are wearing out.  Not the batteries (we’ve replaced them), but the games themselves are getting slow, and are, I think, just literally wearing out. 

So, I have been looking for replacements in stores and haven’t found any.  As a next step, this morning I went on the internet to look for them.  I finally found a picture of one on Hasbro’s website, but couldn’t find a way to order one.  So, I just now called Hasbro.  They stopped making all hand-held games two years ago.  Rats.

Then, as I was reading the paper with my coffee this morning, I came across an article about ownership of pictures on the internet, which piqued my interest, because I use a picture from the internet as a “spot of color” at the top of each of my posts.  The article was about people who have taken pictures and then put them on the internet and are unhappy with businesses that use their pictures without their permission.  And, when businesses have used them, litigation has sometimes been threatened.  The article didn’t actually mention individual bloggers, but it did mention bloggers who were connected to the businesses.

Welll, I’m certainly not a business, and I don’t make any money at blogging, but I guess I’m going to have to go back through all my blogs and take off the pictures, just to be safe.  A pretty big task, since I have attached one to almost every one of the ninety posts I’ve done. 

And, even more than the inconvenience of removing the pictures is that I hate to lose that little bit of color at the beginning of each post.  I have always enjoyed writing a post and then going to the internet and looking through pages and pages of pictures, trying to find one that does a nice job of representing the story.  That was fun, and I’ll truly miss it.

This second “bump” is a little bigger than the first.  I’m not a good photographer and I’m not even good at scanning pictures in that I could attach to my posts, so right now I’m feeling a little blue that I’m going to have to stop attaching internet pictures.  Sometimes I feel like maybe I’m a little out of my league in this blogging business.

Hmmm.  This sounds suspiciously like a pity party.  Could you send a little cheese to go with my whine? 🙂

An Inadvertent Nickname for Her Sister

January 17, 2008


When Paula was only a few years old, her parents gave her a new baby sister, and they gave the tiny new baby a BIG name — Elizabeth.

Try as she might, little Paula c.o.u.l.d n.o.t pronounce the baby’s name the way Mommy and Daddy did.  So, to this day, a nickname that Paula sometimes calls her sister, and the name Elizabeth sometimes signs when writing to Paula, is “Lilly.”

Are you thinking, “Where did that come from?” 

“Elizabeth” may have been the baby’s name in Paula’s little girl mind, but when that name came out of her little girl mouth the best she could do was “Lilly-butt.”

These are two very lady-like sisters, so when Paula told me this story recently, I was totally charmed by the thought of her calling her sister, “Lilly-butt.”

“Buzzing” Familiar Places with Lee!

January 15, 2008


Lee and I were friends in high school but she has lived in the Dallas area most of her adult life, so we only see each other occasionally when she is home to visit family. 

When she was in town for Christmas a year ago, we had lunch and then came back to my house to talk.  Talking (and laughing) is something we were both verrry good at as teens — and apparently we’ve still “got it” — evidenced by the fact that when we finally felt we had said just about everything we needed to say, it was 8 in the evening!

So, when she called this year and we made plans to have lunch, I had an idea for an option she might enjoy for our visiting time.  When we had finished lunch, I proposed two choices — we could go back to my house for a marathon talk like last year OR we could take a drive and revisit the old neighborhoods and gathering spots from high school!

She chose the “drive” and I’m glad she did.  Even though I live in the area, I myself had never really done a tour like I was proposing. 

So, for the next couple hours we drove around “looking at our past” and talking about the memories associated with each place.

We drove past where the high school was then.  It’s now the junior high.  But, you can still see the addition on the end of the building that had been added just the summer before we started as freshman.  It was the Girls’ Gymnasium and its entire interior was trimmed in pink tile!  I don’t imagine that  they would build a “girls gym” on a school today, especially one done in pink — so not PC.  But, at the time everyone thought it was really neat.  

In addition to being used for all the girls’ phys ed classes, it also gave the school a place where dances could be held without removing your shoes (!) because it had an easily maintained tile floor.  Also, it had an outside entrance onto a side street, so students could come and go from the dance as they pleased (long before administrators would have thought about any special security at a school, other than some stern-looking teachers). 

Before this gym was built, any school dances had to be “sock hops” (you left your shoes at the door) because they were held in the main gym that had a hardwood basketball floor that street shoes with hard leather soles would have damaged.  (Gym shoes were seldom worn for anything but gym class or basketball back then.) 

When I think of the dances in the girls gym, I remember the “cool guys” (including hubby-to-be) all standing in groups along one wall, working at their coolness and only venturing over to ask a girl to dance on the slow dances. 

Thank goodness for our friend Denny Z.  He was a guy in our class who was a verrry good FAST dancer.  Denny managed this and was still “cool” so I’m sure he was secretly envied by the other guys.  And, because he was one of the few guys who actually enjoyed fast dancing, he could dance as many dances as he wanted — all of us, even those of us who had non-dancing boyfriends, enjoyed a fast dance with Denny.

There was a small park in front of the high school and on the other side of the park was a drug store with a lunch counter. (It’s now a chiropractor’s office.)  If we didn’t feel like eating lunch in the cafeteria, we would dash through the park to get a seat at the counter in the drug store.  If you didn’t get there fast enough and there wasn’t a stool available, you would stand behind someone who WAS seated, more or less “in line” for that stool next.  Needless to say, no one lingered over their lunch — someone was always breathing down your neck, waiting for your seat. But, also, I remember the lunches we ate there many times being just an order of french fries, drenched in ketchup, and a coke.  Doesn’t take long to eat a “meal” like that! 

One of our favorite pasttimes when we were in high school was called “buzzing,” so on our tour we drove to the drive-ins where that activity took place.  Only one of them is still standing, and even it is no longer a drive-in with car hops — too bad — we could have stopped for a coke for old time’s sake. 

Anyway, in high school “buzzing” went like this.   In the evening, we and our friends would pile into a car and then drive to the three popular drive-in restaurants in town and “buzz” them.  “Buzzing” involved driving through the parking lot that circled a drive-in verrry slowly, with the windows down if at all possible (the better to see and be seen), waving to people we knew (and sometimes my flirtatious friends would wave to cute guys we DIDN’T know — but never going-steady me!), looking to see who was there and, most importantly, who was with who, and sometimes actually stopping at one of the drive-ins and BUYING something.  But, let me just say, I don’t think those drive-in restaurants made much money on the “buzzing” crowd, because we were also the  mostly not-gainfully-employed crowd, so most of the time, if we ate at all,  each of us in the car would buy a coke and then maybe SHARE an order of onion rings.  A car hop brought the food to the car and I don’t remember if we tipped — I like to think we did, but at that age, we were pretty clueless about things like that.

On our little tour down memory lane, we also drove through the neighborhoods where our friends had lived.  We could always drive right to the block a friend’s house was in, but sometimes we were rather surprised that we couldn’t remember exactly which house it was. Memories get a little fuzzy after 40 some years.  

In the case of my old house, it was a cape cod in a neighborhood of all look-alike cape cods.  Thank goodness, our next-door neighbors had painted theirs a dark red, so I could always tell people we were “next to the red house.”  I’m not sure my friends could have ever found me if it hadn’t been for that landmark. 

As an adult, when I worked for the truck manufacturer, I actually worked not too far from my old neighborhood, so I had driven by this house a couple times, and I was amazed each time at how tiny it was and that now the tree in the front yard appeared to be larger than the house.  But, looking at it brought back many great memories of my parents and some of the great times we had.  (The living room was so small that when Daddy leaned back in his recliner so that his feet were elevated, his feet were the first thing someone saw when they walked up to the front door!  Well, at least they didn’t have to wonder if someone was home!)

The farm house Lee had been raised in had been torn down.  That had happened several years ago, so it wasn’t a surprise to Lee, but it was still a little sad when we drove past the spot. 

We talked about the time I had literally dropped her off in front of her house.  I was driving Hubby-to-be’s standard shift car, and I was not very good yet at the standard-shifting part.  So, I didn’t want to come to a complete stop, because I had trouble getting started from a dead stop.  Well, teenage logic said then, I should slow way down and then she would jump out — made perfect sense to us two rocket scientists!  She did it and, by the grace of God, she wasn’t killed, in fact didn’t even fall down.  What’s the saying?  “God takes care of fools and drunks?”  Welll, we weren’t drunk, so you know what that made us! 

We had a great afternoon of “buzzing” the old haunts, and remembering some of the events and people who made up our high school years.

 Memories are especially fun when you’re reliving them with someone who shares those memories. 

Two Late Blooms

January 14, 2008


Hubby has known Ed all of his life.  They grew up in the same grade school and church, and attended the same high school.   

Ed and I were in the same class in the high school and worked for (and are retired from) the same truck manufacturer. 

We all still go to the same church in which he and Hubby grew up, but it’s a large church, so we don’t necessarily run into him regularly.  But usually we chat a little when we see him. 

So, it’s one of those relationships where we’ve known him forever, but don’t know much about what goes on in his life.

Ed has never married.  I think I remember seeing him with dates at different things during the years, but never anyone serious.  He and one of my divorced friends spent quite a bit of time dancing at one of our class reunions, but nothing came of that.

So, imagine my surprise when I found out yesterday that Ed is getting married next month!  Since we were in the same class in school, I assume he is my age — 61. 

The same person who told me about the upcoming marriage, said that the bride has never been married before either, and is about our age too.

I can’t remember the last time that I have been this thrilled to hear of an upcoming marriage.  Ed is a nice man.  Articulate.  Well-read.  Always nicely dressed and well-groomed.  Not movie star good-looking, but nice looking.

Just personal speculation, here.  But, Ed’s Mom was widowed while raising him and his older brother, so when he became an adult, his brother had married and moved away, and Ed continued to live at home and took care of his mother.  So, while others in our age group were socializing and meeting future mates, he had responsibilities that girls he dated may not have been able to relate to in their young minds.

Anyway, for whatever reason that he never married — he’s going to do it now! And, I for one, am absolutely THRILLED for him.  I hope that this is the match of the century, and they have many happy healthy years together.

In case you’re thinking, “Can this possibly be a marriage that can work?”  Let me tell you, I’ve seen another example that is similar that gives me great hope for them.

Some dear friends of ours married when he was 45 and she was 42.  Neither had been married before.   That was 20 years ago, and that is one of the happiest marriages I know of.

So, I have great optimism that this one will be wonderful too.

May God bless Ed and his wife with wonderful years of married life.

He Touched My Heart

January 11, 2008


He:  “When you get a chance, would you print those things off for me?”

Me: “What things?”

He: “Those things you wrote for my birthday.” (the posts DD and I wrote)

Me:  (very surprised) “What are you going to do with them?  Put them with all your OTHER  keepsakes?” (sentimental he’s not)

He: “Well, I just thought I’d put them in my desk.  You know, in case I want to look at them sometime.”

Me:  “Okay!”

That’s what’s great about “He” and “Me.”  “We” can touch each other’s heart in simple little ways.

Apparently DD and I touched his heart with our posts.

And I KNOW he touched MY heart, when he asked for copies of them “in case he wanted to look at them sometime.”