Sunday, July 31, 2016

Are You Really Hitchhiking? (Colorado Vacay)

The SUV slowed down as it crossed the dusty parking lot
and the window came down. I tried so hard to pin on a winning smile.
"Are you really hitchhiking?" Asked the cute young brunette,
who might not be used to seeing sixty year old ladies thumbing it.
"I sure am." I said. "My feet won't go one more foot since
we hiked the whole Perimeter Trail."
I heard the two young gals and older lady in the back exclaim to each other.
"If ya'll don't mind a cuddle, climb in back with the baby."
I climbed in with baby Carter and told them how we missed a turn
on the "easy" trail and ended up following a goat trail a thousand
feet straight up a cliff and the extra six vertical miles of terror ruined me.
They were sympathetic to my plight and took me to Main Street.
I pointed at the three block hill to Brenny's and thanked them for the ride.
Well, those ladies from Mustang Island Texas would have none of that
and dropped me off right at Brenda's door. They said the town by them
was called, "Hitch-Up" because so few people had cars to start with.
I went to watch the convention with Tom and Brenda and Terry showed up
a few minutes later. He got lost on another trail after I bailed out on him.
He joined us in the TV room and Bren and I couldn't believe it.
Hillary Clinton had won the candidacy so we snuck out to the
front porch and started banging pots and pans as hard as we could.
They live on a hill so we were certain the entire town of Ouray heard us.
They weren't the only ones. Tom and Terry ran out to find out what was
happening and couldn't believe would would cause such a ruckus.
Well, duh...
The next day Tom fired up the tiny Toyota 4X4 and Bren and I poured
our considerable selves into the miniscule jump seats behind them
and off we went. The only thing scarier than hiking vertically
is driving vertically. I thought I might throw up down the back
of Terry's shirt and ended up holding hands with Bren most of the
way since it seemed clear to me that it would be my last chance.
Bullion King Lake is at 12,000 feet elevation and the parking lot
was at 9,000. We stilled needed to hike that last thin-air mile
but I was fairly inspired by being able to throw snow balls at Terry.
Tom caught all the fish caught and I felt bad for Terry but
he wasn't riding the jump seat like a pretzel, so not too bad.
Terry and I went over to Silverton the next day with the thought
of taking the steam train down to Durango, but we got sidetracked
driving up Mineral Creek Valley and staring at campgrounds.
It was so pretty, we stopped to take a picture, which was
huge mistake. The minute we opened the doors,
we were swarmed by horseflies, mosquitoes and No-see-ums.
Many bites later, we arrived in Silverton only to see the train
on its way to Durango. We decided to tour the world's biggest
mining museum cut our losses.
The equipment for drilling holes to insert
the dynamite was impressive and I said to Terry,
"Hold that thing between your legs like you know what to do with it."
I snapped a cute picture of Terry pretending to operate the drill.
After three days at Tom and Brenda's we moved over to the
Wiesbaden resort in downtown so we wouldn't wear out our welcome.
We decided to pick up some food for Tom and Brenda
to replenish what we had blasted through while staying with them.
The town of Ridgeway, which has the only store near Telluride,
reflected that Ralph Lauren shopped there.
Terry's face turned so pale and I thought he was having a heart attack,
but it was only Price Shock. He held up a can of coffee which was $18.00!
(We buy the same thing at Kookmore Grocery Outlet for six dollars)
The Wiesbaden was idyllic except instead of a wall clock we had a
giant thermometer. We never knew what time it was,
and we didn't care.

Friday, July 22, 2016

Isn't That Called Breaking and Entering? (Old Lady Burglar)

Thoughts of being in jail crossed my mind as I
listened to Ruthie on the phone. I look awful
in orange and had to interject, "Um, Ruthie,
isn't that called Breaking and Entering?"
To which she replied, "You just told me they
are tearing down all those houses near you kid!"
I'm not known for good judgement but at
seventy-five I trusted her. At least she had
lived a long time and that showed some smarts.
Ruthie pulled up in front of my house in her gutless
little pale blue Ford Tempo and got out wearing
an outfit identical to Emma Peel's in The Avengers.
I went out in jeans and boots & an old flannel shirt
and greeted her and nodded at the house next door.
We looked all around and crept to the back door
of the vacant house. I pulled out my masking tape
and made a little square on the glass of the back door.
Ruthie's eyes widened and she whispered loudly,
"Whatrya doin there kid?" I tapped on the glass
with a heavy pair of pliers and the square fell out.
"I saw a burglar do this on Rockford Files one time."
I reached in and unlocked the door and we crept
into the musty vacant house. "Look at all this
treasure kid!" Ruthie exclaimed as she saw
intact light bulbs and light plates. We crept up
the creaky old stairs and she filled up her pillow case
with moldy magazines as excited as a kid trick-or-treating.
We non-chalantly walked back to my house and she placed the bag
in the back seat of her car. She smiled at me
and gripped my arm with her long, claw-like nails
digging into me. Her eyes blazed with greed as
she gave me a squeeze and said, "I'm ready for
that old barn now." She took another pillow case
from her car and we walked casually along 175th
towards the Kenmore club house. The four little empty
ramblers looked dark and forlorn.
We went down the long driveway to the huge white barn
nestled down in the swamp and my skin started crawling.
We slipped inside the open door and went about
ten feet before I tripped on a piece of wood
on the floor. A eerie scratching noise above us started
and then rats began to fall from the old hayloft
in clumps, raining down all around us.
We both started shrieking and running and that
ended our life of crime.

Thursday, July 21, 2016

The Father Son Fishing Trip

Me: How was the boat ride up Chelan?
Troy: They were untying it and we had to run down
the hill with 80 LB backpacks.
Me: How was Holden Village?
Troy: It was on fire from a forest fire
so we couldn't dock.
Me: How was the campground at Steheiken?
Troy: Full
Me: Where did you stay?
Troy: Dad rented a cabin.
Me: Did you have lots of good food?
Troy: Dad spent the food money renting the cabin.
Me: What did you eat?
Troy: Turkey jerky and nuts.
Me: Did you see lots of wildlife?
Troy: I see more in our back yard.
Me: Did you catch a lot of fish?
Troy: Dad forgot the fishing poles.
Me: So how was it?

Friday, July 8, 2016

Pant Shopping Between Classes

I subbed a lot at Shorecrest high school in 2004.
I had just finished my third period English class
and decided to write my name higher up on the white board.
I wasn't tall enough
so I climbed up on a chair
and wrote my name
but then two things happened at once.
I started falling off the chair and decided to jump down.
As I was falling/jumping,
my slacks caught the sharp metal corner
of the eraser tray underneath the whiteboard.
I felt a sharp pain on my backside
and heard an ominous ripping sound.
When I straightened up I felt my rear end
and nearly fainted.
My thin, thrift store navy pants
had torn in a giant L shape
that would have covered eighteen inches
of tear, if measured horizontally.
I got dizzy with fear.
Teenagers thrive on hazing substitutes.
It was late spring and hot outside
and I didn't have so much as a sweater
with me to tie around myself!
I looked at the lesson plan
and thanked God for giving me
a one hour planning time added
to my thirty minute lunch.
The snag was,
how to get from the room to my car.
I grabbed my purse and locked the door.
Unfortunately for me,
I was on the back side of the building near the portables,
as far from the front of the building as possible.
I knew the students
didn't look at old people
and that no one would notice me
if I was nonchalant.
I stepped out of the room and waited for the
bell to ring.
Once the hall was flooded with hormonal teenagers
bouncing around wildly,
I crab-walked down the two long halls to the office.
I told the secretary
that I had a small problem
and needed to leave the building
for my lunch break.
When she asked what my problem was
I told her it was too embarrassing
and she said, "It can't be that bad."
I told her I had a small tear in
my pants from jumping off a chair
and she wanted to see it.
She came around her podium
and I rotated away from the wall
and she started howling with laughter
and grabbed the office manager
who joined in with her.
I took that to mean I could leave the building
but I knew I could not make it to Kenmore
and back before the next class started.
I ran backwards across the parking lot to my mini-van
and raced to the Lake City Value Village.
By then I didn't care if anyone saw me.
I was around a size fourteen
at the time but didn't want
to take any chances and grabbed the first
size sixteen pants I saw and
dashed in the dressing room.
My blood pressure finally came down
as I zipped them up and tore off the tag
and paid for them.
Back safely in my classroom,
I grabbed my copy of the attendance sheet,
took a few deep breaths
and looked forward to
another dramatization of
Shakespear's 'Julius Caesar'.
WITHOUT my behind on display.

The Commonalities of Teenage Boys and Spiders

There has been a rash of giant hairy spiders
inside the house lately.
I don't know why but they
have so much in common with my sons.
Here are the similarities which I think
are quite pronounced:
1 They don't talk much
2 They are mysterious
3 They have huge hairy legs
4 They don't move quickly
unless I am chasing them
5 They are okay as long as they stay outside

Thursday, July 7, 2016

Here's Your Sign

Our first kid, Troy got his first job at sixteen.
When he got home from work we went to Mazlatan restaurant
across the highway for dinner and
Troy told us all about the world
of sign twirling and how the lady at the office
picked up the sign and said, "Here's your sign."
There is a very funny comedian who does a "Here's your sign"
routine and it was the first time I'd heard it said
in real life. It was hard not to laugh!
The next day when Terry was at work Troy told me.
"Mom, I want to show you my moves for work."
I was dumbfounded because he rarely wants to talk to me
or be seen with me since I am, "Not cool." As he puts it.
So, I sat in my new green recliner and watched
with rapt attention as my sixteen year old son,
went through his, "Moves."
He jumped, shimmied, twirled, shuffled, and did all kinds
of tricks with his large sign.
Troy had that sign thrusting this way and that and had
pieces of cardboard on the floor showing me where the roads
were leading to the new condos he was advertising.
When his first paycheck arrived for $65.00 he
was so proud and happy!
He drove himself up to the Mall and bought himself
and new awful shirt of some rap group and a black and red
Mariners hat that looks like a gang member designed it.
I was so proud of my first-born child.
Despite the fact that he was born contrary
and we have been at loggerheads since he was fourteen,
I managed to produce a functional taxpayer.

Terry Bought Broccoli

Terry has been staring at me waiting
for me to cook since I got off the ships
in 2011. When I found out you could exist
and be given food without effort,
I turned in my spatula and never looked back.
Terry bought three pounds of broccoli
last month and then kept staring at me.
I think he thinks it will
wash, chop, boil, drain and serve itself.
No meat or side dishes,
just a huge sack of broccoli.
It's starting to mold in the crisper drawer.
I just learned how to spell broccoli today.
It has always come up on spell check for me.
Brenda called while I was trying to find
my dictionary
and told me how to spell it.
She said I was pronouncing it funny,
like Baracoli Obama.
Yes, yes I do mispronounce it.

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

This Baby Did Not Come With Very Good Directions

I had read all the 'What to Expect When You're Expecting'
books over and over and over again including
'What to Expect the First Year'
and none of them mentioned the situation I was in.
Troy was two months old and I was rocking him in the big gold chair
and all of a sudden his eyeballs started rolling back in his head!
I called 911 in a panic and told the lady
his eyeballs were rolling back in his head.
She asked me all these questions and after a few
minutes she asked what he was doing now.
I looked down and he was asleep and told her so.
Do you know what she told me?
She told me babies' eyes roll back in their heads
when they're falling asleep!
I was so embarrassed.
Troy was sound asleep and I couldn't help but thinking that despite
all the books that I had read about babies that There are
like a million odd things babies do not listed anywhere.
My baby did not come with very good directions.

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

How My Tom's Deoderant Made Me Gain Five Pounds

Last month after Brenny and I shopped for
unmentionables, we stopped at
Kenmore Super Supplements
so she could pick up some stuff.
I was looking for deodorant
made with natural ingredients.
Well, Brenny told me she liked Tom's.
I'm picky about smells so I smelled several
until I found peach.
It smelled like a juicy peach
and I got pretty excited
but trouble started the next day.
After I put on my new peach deodorant
I did my Jane Fonda exercise tape and the next thing
you know, I smelled like a giant peach pie baking!
I went crazy when I smelled that smell!
I craved grilled cheeseburgers, potato salad
corn on the cob, watermelon
So we had to have that for dinner a few days.
The next thing you know
I had gained five pounds.
Lucky for me, Tom's deodorant comes in a very tiny
amount for a very high price.
Way out of my league.
So I'm back to my cheap Suave Ocean Fresh deodorant
which smells unfoodlike and costs half as much.

Monday, July 4, 2016

Come Back Troy!

Terry and I sat on the picnic blanket snacking
while my mom sat across from us chain-smoking and smiling
while my step-dad, Lyle, bounced toddler Teddy on his knee.
Troy was walking around near us looking at sticks
and rocks on the ground. Someone yelled,
"Foot races ages four through ten!"
Terry and I got up and I took Troy's
tiny four year old hand and said,
"It's your turn to run honey."
He lined up on the dirt line with the dozen
other kids as the goal of running to and around
the big maple tree and back was explained.
Marymoor is a huge flat park and the third
week of July it is packed with company picnics
like ours. The NALC picnic attracts hundreds
of letter carriers and their families every summer.
I heard the lady shout, "One, two, three, GO!"
and watched as the kids took off running, got
to the huge maple tree, circled it and start running back.
I did NOT see my tow-headed mini-Terry coming back.
I frantically shouted, "Troy! Come back!"
The two dozen adults all started shouting,
"Come Back Troy!" I began running with terror
towards the tree. Two blocks past the tree I
spotted him running towards the next company picnic.
It was about a mile from our picnic.
I got closer and saw dozens and dozens of white tents
and a huge MICROSOFT banner and swarms of people
milling around. I shouted, "Troy! Troy Troy!"
A smiling lady came around the edge a the tent
holding his hand and said, "Is this your little boy?"
"He is so friendly and cute."
Relief flooded me as I scooped him up and hugged him
and carried him back towards the picnic.
He looked up and said, "I wanna walk mommy."
"I'm a big boy now."

Saturday, July 2, 2016

My Pink Pants

When I'm happy I like to wear my pink jeans.
I was remembering the Inglemoor football game
at Pop Keeny when Troy's friends Niko, Quinn,
Jr., Dally, & Travis were playing. My pal
Deneese Elfenson said to me,
"What did you buy down there?
I could see you walking around from here."
I asked her how she knew it was me and
she said the pink pants were a give-away.
I told her I was sure lots of people wore
pink jeans and when she disagreed
I looked around and sure enough,
most people had blue blue jeans.