Wednesday, May 25, 2016

What I Did For Brown

*****Author's note: This is a post I've had up several times but it still makes me giggle. Hope it does the same for you.*****

I'm not big on housecoats, especially this time of year when it is so hot. I don't have central air, I have three window units but only two can be turned on at a time.

You can't have the microwave, hair dryer or coffee pot on while more than one unit is running either because that will result in flipping the breaker, which is a bad thing.

The breaker box is in the basement which wouldn't be a bad thing if you didn't have to go outside, down the steps, move the pole that holds the two basement doors closed, grope your way through numerous cobwebs, try not to step on the big toad that lives there, work your way past the riding mower that won't budge and hold your breath because of the worm farm that Janie Bell kept down there back in the 50s. (It's a really old house and Janie Bell was one of the characters that used to live here over 50 years ago.)

All of this results in taking certain liberties within my own home. Namely, I like to air dry myself when I get out of the shower. Since there is no air conditioning in the bathroom I usually go into the kitchen and stand in front of that unit--which is right beside the door--and which also has another window with a curtain but no shade.

Recently, I had an unexpected visitor, the UPS man. We have become quite friendly this past year. He had noticed and commented on my mini greenhouses that I raised over a 100 tomato plants from seed in since early March of this year that I planned to take and sell at the flea market.

He usually backs the truck down the driveway because there isn't anywhere to turn around out back. I usually hear the truck because they are pretty loud. I don't know if it was the radio blasting, or the window unit roaring, or I just had my head up my ass because I heard a knock at the door and then everything seemed to go in slow motion.

I jumped, looked through the shade on the door, saw him, screamed and crossed my arms across my chest.

Brown's eyes shot straight up, he stumbled backward and nearly lost his balance and dumped my packages on the chair outside. "Nothing to sign," he said. "Have a nice day."

I didn't move, I was too mortified to budge. I had just flashed the UPS guy. Goodness, with my luck, the Jehovah Witnesses will be pulling in next. After the shock wore off, the worry set in: What was his reaction? Will it make things weird between us? Maybe, I do need to wear a housecoat?

Later in the evening I was sitting out on the porch when I was surprised to see another UPS truck pull into the driveway. Yep, it was him and he had a package in his hand. Oh crap, what am I going to say to this guy?

Before I could say anything this is what he said: "In all of the excitement this morning, I forgot this one, and by the way, nice package."

Monday, May 16, 2016


When I was growing up back in the 70s our family reunions were usually held in the area where my mom was raised. The area is located in northwestern Ohio south of Toledo in a town named St. Marys.

I really enjoyed visiting the area because I usually got to stay at my cousin's house. They had the coolest house around. They had a volleyball court set up in their side yard where all the neighbors would come and hang out. The house was also located near the lake about a block from the beach and the nearby snack bar that was only open during the summer. How cool was that?

My cousins usually had a camper set up in the yard too for all of the relatives that seemed to show up only for the reunion. It was jam packed-kids everywhere. We had a blast.

One of my earliest memories of the family reunion is planted firmly in my brain. We were making plans for that last needed run to the local grocery store before the reunion and my little cousin was very excited. It seemed that he loved going to the grocery store and he usually ended up getting a treat of some kind.

"Goin' to Krogritz!"

"Goin' to Krogritz!"

"When we goin' to Krogritz?"

He was running and jumping up and down wanting to know when we were going to Krogritz. I remember looking blankly at my mom and asking what is Krogritz?

She told me that Krogritz is actually Krogers. My cousin has called it Krogritz from the first day that he learned to how to speak.

And it stuck. To this day my entire family calls Krogers, Krogritz!

Don't ask me why?

Friday, May 13, 2016

In Through There

I talk a lot about my family and the adventures that we have. I've mentioned several times about growing up on a small farm on Cherry Fork Road and the struggles that Mom and Dad had to keep us clothed and fed. I can't say that I remember every little detail because I can't. Sometimes, at family gatherings, one of us will mention a story that we had long forgotten, bringing us to tears and cracking us up at the same time.

Our family likes to tell stories. Nobody could tell a story better than Dad. And every time he told a story each important part would be punctuated with the saying "in through there". I don't know why he said that. He probably didn't realize he was saying it. Maybe, it was how he collected and ciphered through all of those tall tales in his head. One such story might go like this:

"Back when I was a kid, in '43 or in through there, there was a boy lived up the holler that we scared so bad, that he lit up a tree and didn't come down for three days. Damn, chicken shit, what he was. See, one night we was coming home from coon hunting and he got distracted, in through there and got left behind. Us fellows decided to teach him a lesson and hid behind a rock down there on Island Creek. You 'member where that is, don't you? Shit, he come around the corner, in through there, and we all just jumped out at him and he jumped back, screamed and took off a running, straight up the holler and up that big old oak tree, pissing his pants and carrying on like a girl. That was the funniest damn thing I ever seen."

I've heard this story many times and I still get a laugh out of it. Besides being a great story teller, here are some other things, in through there, about Dad:

He got drafted into the Army in the 50s and saw Elvis over in Germany.

He was scared of heights.

He loved watching Westerns on television.

He taught all of us how to play poker and shoot pool.

He could cuss a blue streak like no other.

He got up at 3:30 AM every morning without an alarm clock. (We never knew why)

His nickname was Diddy.

He planted a garden big enough (we all helped) to feed our family and still have enough left over to give away to family and friends.

Both of his pinky fingers had been cut off due to accidents as a child.

He liked Hudepohl beer.

He was a pattern marker for the Hercules Trouser Company in Manchester, Ohio, for 25 years.

He could out run anybody in the neighborhood, including Sheldon, the boy from Hawaii.

He loved his family, deeply.

Sadly, he left us 14 years ago on this date.

Wherever you are, in through there, we miss you very much.

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Remember When The Country Was Upset About This?

****Author's note: This is what I wrote about the President having a Blackberry (Do they even make a Blackberry anymore?) in 2009. Interesting how it isn't even mentioned in this election (except for Hillary's emails), everyone has a mobile phone, even the Donald, but you know his is HUGE!

That is the question. Call me old-fashioned or something, but, do we really want our President to have a Blackberry? Potentially, a lot could go wrong there.

Even if you have just an ordinary cell phone, those pesky buggars can go off at the most inopportune times.

But what if you are the President?

A few examples:

"Excuse me, your Majesty (Queen of England) I gotta take this call."

"Hey Osama, it's Obama, can you turn yourself in?" (This could be a could thing.)

"Michelle, can you (bbbbuuuzzzzz)( No, Hilary, I don't know if you can be my running mate in four years.) pass me the potatoes, please?"

"No, Pete (Rose) I am not God. He's the only one that is going to be able to get you into the Hall of Fame."

Do you think if other world leaders got his number if any of them would call and maybe so some heavy breathing on the end of the line?

What about just calling and hanging up?

I'm not sure if it is a federal offense to call and hang up on the President or not.

What about during the State of the Union address? "My fellow Americans, it is with great (Ring, Ring, Ring, Buzz, buuzz) Sorry about that, it was supposed to be on silent mode. Now, where was I?"

Maybe, I watch too many movies or something, but it would seem that the technology is certainly there to hack into any phone system. They did it to Paris Hilton and Sarah Palin.

The one thing we won't have to worry about is the President trying to send a text message and drive at the same time. But will the Blackberry be so distracting that he loses focus somewhere else? In his speech he quoted scripture "to put away childish things," I'm not saying a Blackberry is childish. But, when you are the most powerful man in the world holding the keys to the largest military arsenal in history, do you really want to be distracted by the buzz buzz of a cell phone?

To Blackberry or not?


Sunday, May 8, 2016

What Moms Really Want This Mother's Day

Wouldn't life be so much easier for moms if we had one of those magic 8-balls to make all of the decisions for us? Starting from the morning dilemma of Should I wear the black heels? (cannot predict now) or Should I wear the blue flats? (check back later) our day could begin with the preciseness of a military drill team.

Having conquered what to wear we could move on to the next question of Should I brown bag it today? (As I see it, yes.) or Hope that I will actually get the time I need to go out to lunch (It is certain.) before we head out to sit for close to an hour (most likely) in traffic while taking the kids to school, dropping off the dry cleaning and running through a local drive through before realizing that you left your purse at home (better not tell you now) while frantically checking your console for the needed change to pay for a Grande Mocha Latte (outlook not so good). But hey, pay it no mind, it's all good; you've arrived at work now and it's going to be a great day (don't count on it).

You've survived a morning spat with the copy machine, a run in with your administrative assistant who is very hormonal (without a doubt) or extremely hungover (signs point to yes) before you get the courage to ask your male supervisor for a week's vacation during the busiest time of the year (My sources say no.) because that was the only slot available that the entire family could be together in one place to enjoy your family's timeshare in Panama City.

Lunch was totally skipped because you were completely overwhelmed with the new government regulations (It is decidedly so.) that your company was being forced to incorporate into its bylaws and it was late afternoon before you found yourself staring into your glass reflection as you tried to choose between sweet or salty. (Reply hazy, try again.) Just when you had decided on sweet and salty you remembered that you had no money your assistant came running and said the school was on the line: Little Johnnie had been puking everywhere and needed to be picked up. (You may rely on it.)

You are slammed and can't really leave so you call your spouse whose day off is today to go to the school. (Yes!) On the way there, he is called into work and since he is on-call he needs to go right away. You call the sitter who is actually a freshman in college (very doubtful) but she is studying for an exam before you call your mother. (Yes, definitely.)

Someone hands you a piece of birthday cake (outlook good) before you gather yourself to (concentrate and ask again) meet with your supervisor once again before you leave for the day. You explain that a decision must be made this evening or you won't get to use your condo at all. Bracing yourself for the answer (My reply is no.) you are surprised when your boss opens a drawer and pulls out a magic 8-ball, the one you had brought as a gag gift to the company Christmas party last year.

"Let me ask the magic 8-ball," your boss says. "Magic 8-ball, should I let her have off the week she wants?"

Seriously, now. This man is only joking, right? Yes, he is incompetent on even his best day but letting a magic 8-ball make a decision for you? Well, why not roll with it. "Okay, whatever it says, we'll go by. Deal?"

Looking up at you with a grin "Deal," he agreed. "Magic 8-ball, should I let her have the week off?"

We both looked intently at the black sphere as he shook it violently and placed it on the table. The ichyshericon inside bounced around a few times before settling on the answer. (Reply hazy, try again.) Frowning slightly, he shook it again (concentrate and ask again) before it settled on the answer (signs point to yes). "Okay," he said. "You can have the week off. Besides, I've been wanting to try out Louis in your position to see if he can handle the stress."

Walking away with a signed leave form in hand you wonder if you made the right decision (Better not tell you now.) but your stomach growls and it's time to go home to a sick child and another decision to make about dinner: Chicken? (Very doubtful.) Or beef? (Cannot predict now.)

No, even decisions made through the magic 8-ball are not as cut and dry as they should be. (Ask again later.)

Happy Mother's Day!

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

You Keep It Where

In my family we like to have more than one bank account. I'm not sure why but I think it started with my Mamaw, who was my father's mother. Her name was Mary Lou Leonard Palmer Pitzer and she had money in every bank within a three county radius.

I never knew this until later, after she had passed away. I may have accompanied her to the bank once or twice when I was little but I can't say for sure. What I can say for sure is that I knew where Mamaw kept her spending money: in her bra. I wonder why she did that? She always carried a large pocketbook, full of all kinds of junk, but she kept her money close to her heart.

I've thought about doing that sometimes too, but I really don't have any extra room in there other than what is supposed to be in there. (If you know what I mean.) Over the last couple of years, more than one bank that I am affiliated with has gone belly up. The next thing you know the old signs have either been removed or covered up by a new bank's banner from somewhere that I've never heard of. Then you get new cards, checks and all sorts of other junk from the new bank and you're supposed to chuck the rest.

Sometimes, I don't do that.

A few days ago, I had to visit different locations to handle several different transactions. Normally, this wouldn't be a problem. But someone forgot to tell me that. As I waited in the drive thru line mentally checking off items on my to do list, I realized that the lady at the bank was trying to get my attention.


"Ma'am? Excuse me?"

"Ma'am? Hello? Earth to lady in the red Mustang..."

"Yes?" I replied.

"What account do you want this to go into? And while I've got your attention, are you sure you're at the right bank?"

"What do you mean, what account? Of course, I'm at the right bank." This lady had my attention now.

"Well, ma'am, you've given me a bank deposit slip from a bank that was shut down five years ago and you didn't write down the account number."


"Oh, goodness! Can't you just look it up by my name?" I asked.

"Sure. I just need some identification."

"Okay." I began looking frantically for my license but it was soon apparent that I had forgotten it somewhere. I must have left it at the previous bank. I told the lady that I would be right back and drove back to the other bank.

The nice lady there saw me approach, waved my license in the air and offered these sage words of advice: "You know, you ought to keep that thing in your bra. My Granny taught me to do that after I left mine once. Yes sir, I keep it tucked right here, up close and personal. You have a good day now!"

Monday, May 2, 2016

Memories Of The Past

After my recent yard sale, I decided it was time to reevaluate some of the items that I have been keeping over the years. People keep different things for different reasons.

I've mentioned in the past that I used to keep every card that was given to me for whatever occasion. Instead of keeping the cards now, I'll scan them so I 'll have a record forever or until my next hard drive crashes. It took me several weeks to accomplish this task but I can happily say that my house is card-free.

When digging through a long forgotten box of stuff from my childhood, I happened upon a stack of cards that I had received for my high school graduation. It's been 30 years, do I really need to keep them? I flipped through the cards and read what my friends and family had said to me in the past:

You will achieve great things!

Good luck in the future!

Be sure and keep in touch when you become the most famous author ever!

Be sure and write once you move to Georgia!

Remember, God loves you and so do we!

And never forget where you came from...

Those messages hold true to this day. What particularly struck me about the cards were the names of those that are no longer with us:

Granny and Tommy
Mammaw and Papaw
Uncle Harry
Aunt Susan
Aunt Alice
Aunt Evelyn
Jane Downing
Rhonda Edmisten
Sonny and Rachael
Mrs. Stevens
...and Dad

I continued to reminisce about those no longer with us and the roles they played in a young 18-year-old's life as I stacked the cards neatly into a new cedar-lined box with a few other things I had decided to keep.

Sometimes, I thought to myself, it's okay to hold on to things from the past...


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