Saturday, August 18, 2007

Question #6

What is the best and worst about being a woman?

In the 70s women were becoming empowered, but not to the extent of equality. Instead of a split of responsibilities, women were being told take it all on. Work and family. Mass media promoted the image that "a woman can bring home the bacon, fry it up in pan, and never let you forget you're a man". Sure -- but how about paying for daycare out of the less-than-fair wages. I get angry with myself for buying into the culture that gets created by our media. That's my entry for the worst -- being gullible and believing all the hype.

The flip side -- maybe not the best thing about being a woman -- but my entry for being proud of it -- When the Nebraska Volleyball team won their National Championship last year, I was invested in the thrill. And not just because we do that here in this state. You see--there would not be women athletes competing at these levels if not for the girls in the 60s and 70s who wanted to play sports. And those parents and teachers saw possibilities and demanded time and money be appropriated to girls as well as boys. I feel a part of that -- I participated and by doing so, helped pave the way for the sisterhood. I do feel glad to have lived in these decades of a lot of changes for women.

Kodak Moments

There are a couple of moments in my head that I wish I had on film to share with everyone.

The first one is the instant that Jonathan and Cassie saw their brother, Adam, for the first time. It was in the hospital, and they were wearing those child size hospital gowns over their clothes and hopping all over the room acting very excited and goofy about the new surroundings, and I'm hoping glad to see me. When the nurse rolled in the baby cart, they froze and watched as she wheeled in Adam. She parked the cart right in front of both of them, and they stood there staring with amazed looks on their faces. Like they didn't expect him to be real at all. It was just awesome watching them.

The second photo I wish I had is when we were in the pet store looking for a cat. Adam was carrying the little kitty towards me saying he wanted that one. And Milo just hanging there looking as if this was just fine.

Well -- two weeks ago there was another moment. On Saturday after work, I headed to Cassie's new-old house. Cassie's family and friends were going to start work on her renovation project. I walked in and was greeted by my three grown children and one daughter-in-law. They were wearing old clothes, had bandanas covering their heads, gloves on their hands, and holding tools of some sort. Each was covered in a film of the 100-year-old dust that the house was coughing up as they knocked down paneling and plaster. And they were all smiling and looking as if they were having fun. This would be a great photo to have as the renovation continues and the problems arise. Just to remind them of the optimism that we all felt at the beginning.

Ok-- Question #5

So what is the best surprise of married life and the worst.

For me this needs a time frame as I think I am surprised and "taken back" (for lack of any good word for a worst moment) all through married life. Certainly one of the best things has been not going through tough things alone. Waiting for Jonathan to be born was a rough time. I didn't know how sick I was and how dangerously close I came to having a stroke, etc. For several reasons, I just didn't think the baby would ever be born safe and sound and healthy. Bob was there and never seemed to waiver or be scared. He stayed on track with thinking the baby would come along and everything be all right. Except for the part when he almost fainted in the delivery room after they handed him the baby.

For the worst -- well now let me tell you -- I remember one time in our first home --
shortly after we finished new wallpaper and paint in the living room and we got our first computer. Well with no den or family room, the computer was going to have to be in the living room. And as we discussed what kind of a desk we should find and where to put it, Bob thought it would be fine to put a gray steelcase desk in my country decor living room. I was astonished that I could be married to a person who could think this way. A little shallow maybe? But it was one real moment.

Best and worst -- these moments still come and go. Just don't ever think that this is "as good as it gets."

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Question #3 and #4

What is the best $ ever spent. Another struggle for an answer. Probably money spent on education. For myself, and the rest of the family. I certainly can't name any material item that I would label the best.

And the biggest waste of money. More than a few things come to mind on this one, but the biggest has to be that first pack of cigarettes years ago. Because that led to so many more packs. After quitting years ago, I added up each day how much I did not spend on cigs. By this time the amount could have easily paid for the sunroom we added to the house.

Thursday, August 9, 2007

What The?

There has been some welcome rain this past week and with it a few thunderstorms. Some nights ago after a big flash of light and a huge clap of thunder the radio in our bedroom turned on. It's the middle of the night, and my radio is set on the public radio station. In the middle of the night the programming is from the BBC.
That is -- Britains morning news. So imagine to yourself -- half awake, half asleep, a loud bang, and a man with a deep voice and a British accent is talking to you in your bedroom in the middle of the night. You might want to think it's Sir Paul McCartney come into your dreams, but more likely you're gonna want to wake yourself up and make sure God is not an Englishman.

LaDawn's Question #2 - Advice

The one piece of advice I wish I'd been given as a young person. I've given this a bit of thought and I just can't imagine really taking a piece of advice and going with it. Seems all young people have to figure it out first, and reflect on "who told them so" later. My kids do, so I guess I did, too.

It would not have hurt to have someone say --"here's some Berkshire Hathaway Stock, it will be good, buy some." Of course this would have been when I was 2 years old and had $1000, and it would be a billion now.

Seriously I can't think of any advice I was not given that I wish I had been -- I just wish I had taken more.

LaDawn -- are these reflecting questions supposed to lead to something? Can I quit if I have a revelation? :)

Fallen Soldiers

I read Sue's blog entry about the fallen soldier's funeral procession in Norfolk a couple of weeks ago. I was not aware of the Patriot Guard's role in this and now I understand what I witnessed here that same week.

On that Sunday I was driving home from an errand and as I approached 60th & Center, there seemed to be too much activity at the intersection. I saw a police car or two and figured I'd be making my way by an accident. Then I got closer and spotted the idiots with the signs on the corner. The signs said "God hates America" and "God hates Nebraska." I wish they didn't have the right to be there.

Further down Center I saw a hundred or more ordinary people holding flags and lining the entrance to the mortuary. Their motorcycles were parked in the lot. I'm glad they were there.

I've read that the idiots do this because they say America is too accepting of gay and lesbian lifestyles and that the war deaths are a punishment. This is so absurdly wrong. The idiot's actions disgust me.

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

When I was 18

How did I see my future when I was 18? I don't think I had a clue. I am sure I never even imagined being 50. I didn't see options or choices to make. I guess I thought someone would just tell me what to do next. I'm not sure who did tell me to go to business school...maybe Mother, or Suzie. It had worked out for Suzie, so I guessed I could make it do for me, too.

Before anyone just assumes here that I was a total airhead, which I would have to admit to a bit, I do state in my defense that I turned 18 just about 6 weeks after Dad died. That pretty much muds up any memories of what I may have been thinking about anything. I have wondered how my life would have been different had that not happened. I can see Mother's life different and in turn, mine. Who knows.

The second part of the question comparing the 18-year-old's vision with the reality is tough. I know I did not see this reality but I like it. There's bumps and adjustments, and things to fix, and worries to wonder about, but my family fascinates me and makes me laugh and cry and wonder.

A quick note

After having been away for a bit, I think I got up-to-date now on everyones blog and I will try a be more attentive.

Glad to hear that LaDawn's flooding problems subsided, and Emily is doin ok.

Just a note about the Potter books. I didn't even get to handle an advance copy in the mail -- they were being guarded like registered mail until the delivery date. And I am not a fan. I bought and read the first one, decided it wasn't for me, and gave it away. When I watched the first movie, I fell asleep, so much for that. I am a bit fascinated at the author's real life story. There was a note on a newsletter to which i suscribe that said it was her birthday the other day, and she is the only woman author to have achieved becoming a billionaire based solely on her writing. Obviously that will not happen to me as my sentences seem to defy all rules of structure.

Friday, August 3, 2007

The 1st of August

Well I guess that last month flew by.

We celebrated Jon's birthday on the 7th with pizza at Sortino's. April likes to have the family gathered there. She can invite all of her family and still have room to move about. I ordered a set of golf instructional videos and we gave Jon them for his birthday along with a new waffle iron he had requested. As of last Sunday, the waffle iron is still in the box, and Jon reports that he used a new technique he had learned on the video. And on that day -- he added 50 yards to his drive. I don't play but that sure sounds pretty good to me.

And the big day -- the 21st for Alex's #5. Bob & I were instructed to take Alex to lunch while Cassie decorated our sunroom and then surprise him with a party upon our return. We had to stall at lunch for a while, and Alex was getting anxious to get back home, but we managed our part fine. As we drove up to the house, Alex saw all the cars then said, "what the? Hey I know who's car that is. Oh man.. all these people are here for my birthday." He was surprised but not fooled at all. He stood on the sidewalk and carefully sounded out the sign in the window reading "hap--py birth---day Alex. 5.

Cassie had invited some friends from work, and introduced us to her boy friend, Jeremy.

Bob has been fishing and I have been working. I am reading about digital cameras, as I am getting close to going that route now. Not that I will ever give up my beloved Pentax.

I read Mary's book. A good story -- it was very clever in taking a couple turns I didn't expect, and I liked the light hearted tone -- gives the reader the safe sense that you'll be happy with the ending.

This should be an interesting month -- Adam is going to move to an apartment.
And Cass is buying a house. It is an old house with potential -- I don't know if I'll be able to keep my hands off and my mouth shut. Bob says I have to though.
But I am such an expert!!!

Oh yes -- a note to all who waited for the Potter book. According to an inhouse news bulletin --- 1.7 million went through the mail. We even had a few that had to be forwarded. Handled with the utmost care of course.