Monday, February 27, 2006

The Sandpiper

She was six years old when I first met her on the beach near where I live.
I drive to this beach, a distance of three or four miles, whenever the world begins to close in on me. She was building a sandcastle or something and looked up, her eyes as blue as the sea.
"Hello," she said. I answered with a nod, not really in the mood to bother with a small child. "I'm building," she said.

"I see that. What is it?" I asked, not really caring. "Oh, I don't know, I just likethe feel of sand."
That sounds good, I thought, and slipped off my shoes. A sandpiper glided by. "That's a joy," the child said.

"It's a what?" "It's a joy. My mama says sandpipers come to bring us joy." The bird went gliding down the beach. Good-bye joy, I muttered to myself, hello pain, and turned to walk on. I was depressed, my life seemed completely out of balance.
"What's your name?" She wouldn't give up. "Robert," I answered. "I'm Robert Peterson." "Mine's Wendy... I'm six." "Hi, Wendy." She giggled. "You're ! funny," she said.
In spite of my gloom, I laughed too and walked on. Her musical giggle followed me.

"Come again, Mr. P," she called. "We'll have another happy day."

After a few days of a group of unruly Boy Scouts, PTA meetings, and an ailing mother. The sun was shining one morning as I took my hands out of the dishwater. I need a sandpiper, I said to myself, gathering up my coat.

The ever-changing balm of the seashore awaited me. The breeze was chilly
but I strode along, trying to
recapture the serenity I needed.

"Hello, Mr. P," she said. "Do you want to play?" "What did you have in mind?" I asked, with a twinge of annoyance.

"I don't know, you say."
"How about charades?" I asked sarcastically.

The tinkling laughter burst forth again. "I don't know what that is."
"Then let's just walk."

Looking at her, I noticed the delicate fairness of her face. "Where do you live?" I asked. "Over there." She pointed toward a row of summer cottages.

Strange, I thought, in winter.

"Where do you go to school?" "I don't go to school. Mommy says we're on
vacation." She chattered little girl talk as we strolled up the beach, but my mind
was on other things. When I left for home, Wendy said it had been a happy day. Feeling surprisingly better, I smiled at her and agreed.

Three weeks later, I rushed to my beach in a state of near panic. I was in
no mood to even greet Wendy. I thought I saw ! her mother on the porch and felt like demanding she keep her child at home. "Look, if you don't mind," I said crossly when Wendy caught up with me, "I'd rather be alone today." She seemed unusually pale and out of breath.

"Why?" she asked. I turned to her and shouted, "Because my mother died!" and thought, My God, why was I was saying this to a little child?
"Oh," she said quietly, "then this is a bad day."
"Yes," I said, "and yesterday and the day before and--oh, go away!"

"Did it hurt?" she inquired. Did what hurt?" I was exasperated with her, with myself. "When she died?" "Of course it hurt!" I snapped, misunderstanding, wrapped up in myself. I strode off.
A month or so after that, when I next went to the beach, she wasn't there.
Feeling guilty, ashamed and admitting to myself I missed her, I went up to the cottage after my walk and knocked at the door. A drawn looking young woman with honey-colored hair opened the door.

"Hello," I said, "I'm Robert Peterson. I missed your little girl today and wondered where she was."

Oh yes, Mr. Peterson, please come in. Wendy spoke of you so much. I'm afraid I allowed her to bother you. If she was a nuisance, please, accept my apologies."

"Not at all -- she's a delightful child." I said, suddenly realizing that I meant what I had just said. "Wendy died last week, Mr. Peterson. She had leukemia. Maybe she didn't tell you."

Struck dumb, I groped for a chair. I had to catch my breath.
"She loved this beach so when she asked to come, we couldn't say no. She seemed so much better here and had a lot of what she called happy days.

But the last few weeks, she declined rapidly..." Her voice faltered, "She left something for you ... if only I can find it. Could you wait a moment while I look?"
I nodded stupidly, my mind racing for something to say to this lovely young woman. She handed me a smeared envelope with "MR. P" printed in bold childish letters. Inside was a drawing in bright crayon hues -- a yellow beach, a blue sea, and a brown bird. Underneath was carefully printed: A SANDPIPER TO BRING YOU JOY.

Tears welled up in my eyes and a heart that had almost forgotten to love
opened wide. I took Wendy's mother in my arms. "I'm so sorry, I'm so sorry, I'm so sorry," I muttered over and over, and we wept together. The precious little picture is framed now and hangs in my study. Six words -- one for each year of her life -- that speak to me of harmony, courage, and undemanding love.

A gift from a child with sea blue eyes and hair the color of sand -- who taught me the gift of love.

Idiosyncrasies Of The English Language and the Philosophy of Ambiguity.

If mankind evolved from monkeys and apes, why do we still have monkeys and apes?
Atheism is a non-prophet organization.
Is there another word for synonym?
Don't sweat the petty things and don't pet the sweaty things.
How is it possible to have a civil war?
One tequila, two tequila, three tequila, floor.
At the bookstore, I asked the saleswoman, "Where's the “self- help” section?" She said if she told me, it would defeat the purpose.
What if there were no hypothetical questions?
If a deaf child signs a swear word, does his mother wash his hands with soap?
If someone with multiple personalities threatens to kill himself, is it considered a hostage situation?
Where do forest rangers go to "get away from it all?"
What do you do when you see an endangered animal eating an endangered plant?
If a parsley farmer is sued, can they garnish his wages?
Would a fly without wings be called a walk?
Why do they lock filling-station bathrooms? Are they afraid someone will clean them?
If a turtle doesn't have a shell, is he homeless or naked?
Can vegetarians eat animal crackers?
If the police arrest a mime, do they tell him he has the right to remain silent?
Why do they put Braille on the drive-through bank machines?
How do they get deer to cross the road only at those yellow road signs?
What was the best thing before sliced bread?
One nice thing about egotists: they don't talk about other people.
Does the little mermaid wear an algebra?
Do infants enjoy infancy as much as adults enjoy adultery?
If one synchronized swimmer drowns, do the rest drown too?
If you ate both pasta and antipasto, would you still be hungry?
If you try to fail, and succeed, which have you done?
Whose cruel idea was it for the word 'lisp' to have 's' in it?
Why are hemorrhoids called "hemorrhoids" instead of "assteroids"?
Why is it called tourist season if we can't shoot at them?
Why is there an expiration date on sour cream?
If you spin an oriental person in a circle three times, do they become disoriented?
Why do shops which open 24/7 have locks on their doors?
Why do you have to click the Start button a computer in order to turn it Off?
Can an atheist get insurance against acts of God?

Friday, February 24, 2006

Grandma's Tricks

A sealed envelope - Put in the freezer for a few hours, then slide a knife under the flap. The envelope can then be resealed. (hmmmmmm...) Now wy didn't someone tell us this when our kids were teeangers?
Use Empty toilet paper roll to store appliance cords. It keeps them neat and you can write on the roll what appliance it belongs to.
For icy door steps in freezing temperatures: get warm water and put Dawn dishwashing liquid in it. Pour it all over the steps. They won't refreeze. (wish I had known this for the last 40 years!)
To remove old wax from a glass candleholder, put it in the freezer for a few hours. Then take the candleholder out and turn it upside down.
The wax will fall out.
Crayon marks on walls? This worked wonderfully! A damp rag, dipped in baking soda. Comes off with little effort (elbow grease that is!).
Permanent marker on appliances/counter tops (like store receipt BLUE!) rubbing alcohol on paper towel.
Whenever I purchase a box of S.O.S Pads, I immediately take a pair of scissors and cut each pad into halves. After years of having to throw away rusted and unused and smelly pads, I finally decided that this would be much more economical. Now a box of S.O.S pads last me indefinitely! In fact, I have noticed that the scissors get sharpened this way!
Blood stains on clothes? Not to worry! Just pour a little hydrogen peroxide on a cloth and proceed to wipe off every drop of blood. Works every time!
Now, where to put the body? LOL
Use vertical strokes when washing windows outside and horizontal for inside windows. This way you can tell which side has the streaks. Straight vinegar will get outside windows really clean. Don't wash windows on a sunny day. They will dry too quickly and will probably streak.
Spray a bit of perfume on the light bulb in any room to create a lovely light scent in each room when the light is turned on.
Place fabric softener sheets in dresser drawers and your clothes will smell freshly washed for weeks to come. You can also do this with towels and linen.
Candles will last a lot longer if placed in the freezer for at least 3 hours prior to burning.
To clean artificial flowers, pour some salt into a paper bag and add the flowers. Shake vigorously as the salt will absorb all the dust and dirt and leave your artificial flowers looking like new! Works like a charm!
To easily remove burnt on food from your skillet, simply add a drop or two of dish soap and enough water to cover bottom of pan, and bring to a boil on stove top.
Spray your TUPPERWARE with nonstick cooking spray before pouring in tomato based sauces and there won't be any stains.
Wrap celery in aluminum foil when putting in the refrigerator and it will keep for weeks.
When boiling corn on the cob, add a pinch of sugar to help bring out the corn's natural sweetness.
Cure for headaches: Take a lime, cut it in half, and rub it on your forehead. The throbbing will go away.
To get rid of itch from mosquito bites, try applying soap on the area and you will experience instant relief.
Ants, ants, ants everywhere .... Well, they are said to never cross a chalk line. So, get your chalk out and draw a line on the floor or wherever ants tend to march. See for yourself.
Use air-freshener to clean mirrors. It does a good job and better still, leaves a lovely smell to the shine.
When you get a splinter, reach for the scotch tape before resorting to tweezers or a needle. Simply put the scotch tape over the splinter, and then pull it off. Scotch tape removes most splinters painlessly and easily.
Now look what you can do with Alka Seltzer. ================================================
Clean a toilet. Drop in two Alka Seltzer tablets, wait twenty minutes, brush and flush. The citric acid and effervescent action clean vitreous China.
Clean a vase. To remove a stain from the bottom of a glass vase or cruet, fill with water and drop in two Alka Seltzer tablets.
Polish jewelry. Drop two Alka Seltzer tablets into a glass of water and immerse the jewelry for two minutes.

Clean a thermos bottle. Fill the bottle with water, drop in four Alka Seltzer tablets, and let soak for an hour (or longer, if necessary).
Unclog a drain. Clear the sink drain by dropping three Alka Seltzer tablets down the drain followed by a cup of Heinz White Vinegar. Wait a few minutes, and then run the hot water.

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Thursday Thirteen

1. Thank you dear family and friends for all the birthday wishes.

2. One of the nice things about getting so old is people start trying to find nice things to say about you. And with so many bloggers, as well as professional writers in the family, I had a well celebrated birthday!

3. Like everyone else still breathing, I had a birthday this year. My birthday slipped up on me, coming so close behind last year's birthday. I wanted to discount it. In fact I stopped counting several years ago.

4. My "Blogging" children do not let me forget. They counted for me. This most recent birthday, coming on a Sunday, was celebrated the whole week-end.

5. My daughter Carol The Median Sib got up early Sunday morning to click off 83 "random" things about me. She had to scrape the bottom on the barrel to find so many positive thing to say.

6. Joan on Daddy's Roses, always knows what to say and how to say it, wrote a flattering post about me with pictures, one picture in a bathing suit (snapped by my husband a few years ago) and one more recent picture in a pulpit robe.

7. Other bloggers in the family, including my son Terrell of Alone on a Limb fame, and his beautiful wife and daughter were here to help celebrate. .

8.He is an outstanding son even if I do not always agree with his political stances. I still feel free to point out the errors of his political understanding and he does not hesitate to point out mine.

9.Beth of Blue Star Chronicles fame wrote” Happy Birthday Mother” and was here with her beautiful daughter. Large gathering. Thanks everyone!

10. Actually I am delighted to be alive and enjoying life and loved all the fanfare, gifts, books and flowers. The yellow tulip bouquet brought by MIke Bock from Ohio is a gift that keeps on giving as is the pot of pink Kalanchoe's from grandson Gil and his Naomi and sons Lewis and Mark.

11. And the food! Carol The Median Sib, prepared, on Saturday nght, the most fabulous dinner with her special chiken recipe with corn sticks, two great salads and a sour cream birthday cake with only 73 candles on it. She cooks with such ease and natural talent and invites everyone to share.

12. One of my sons-in-law (I have five) prepared the Sunday dinner of his tender beef roast, his special recipe for gravy, mashed potatoe etc. They (he and his wife, my daughter, Deborah) make their living writing. So, I tell them, they do not bother with mundane things like "blogging." But they always take time to help the family celebrate all the many reasons we find to celebrate.

13. My first daughter Jan and her husband Gil were here. Jan fits into the "professional writer" and "non-blogger" catagory, although that is only a part of her professsional profile. Jan was the most "beautiful and perfect" baby I had ever seen. She was born when i was still in my teens and her daddy was not quite 21. The tears of joy and amazement in her Daddy's eyes is a picture engraved on my heart. We were later to see six other
"most beautiful and perfect" babies and a similiar response from their Dad. When Jan and Gil would come to visit, her Dad would always introduce her as our "oldest daughter." Because "oldest' sounds negative and there is nothing negative about Jan , I decided to refer to her as " first daugfhte" on the rare acassions when i mention my children.

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Political comments.

President George W. Bush's speech was good and so was the speech by Senator Tim Kaine.

I did not see anything wrong with Senator Clinton's response to having the camera on her. Clinton responded like a politician but so did Senator Elizabeth Dole. Last year Dole was considered the woman Republican to run. Dole kept staying close to the president. She must feel left out with all the talk now of Condaleesa Rice as the woman to run against the potential Democratic candidacy of Clinton. Can you imagine the stress of being in this situation.

Televison camera's everywhere are making all of the politicians acting a little strange. Thoughtful people who observe Helen Thomas and Michael Moore, see up close and personal how they exibit their hatred for the President Bush and anything they label "conservative." As for Sheenan, a Democratic Senator this morning said, "everyone is invited" and it was proper for her to be invited but all who attend have to practive "decoram" and when Cindy did not, it was proper to take her away from the event. So the Democrats are distancing themselves from her.

I suppose we all enjoy poking fun ocassional at the politicans with whom we disagree.

But I think it is not a wise stance for Republicans nor Democrats.