Friday, October 27, 2006

Lately, All I've Got Is Leaving On My Mind!

"Sunshine, blue skies, white sand by the mile" --- that's a line from a song on "The Golden Girls", but it's true! Unfortunately, the traffic is as plentiful as grains of sand on the beach. Snowbirds, such as I, crowd into the state along with several hundred people, who are moving there weekly. We are in search of warmth from the sun to keep our bones from barking at us when the frost is on the pumpkin. The prospect of SAD (seasonal affective disorder) looms on the horizon as the gray skies pile up along the edges of Lake Erie and our moods become a pile of gray lumps. I really believe that I could stand to hibernate indoors, shut the drapes and pretend that the snow is not there, but instead --- somewhere over the North Pole --- way up high. I can be satisfied with quilting, reading and blogging, whereas my darlin' husband would go round the bend if there were no golf club in his hand or halcyon days loafing around the pool or just plain sitting on his porch and watching the world of geriatric strollers with similar ideas. Every time we make the shift from one state to the other, we get about four months under our belts and then thoughts drift to our other home and we start yearning to be wherever we are not at the moment. The advent of cell phones has made "reaching out and touching someone" so easy, that we don't even miss the kids too much and they can visit --- if they bring enough sleeping bags.
One of our close friends called from Ft. Myers today to say they were cooking out and we could come on over. That really stinks! It is really chilly here in Ohio and he was just rubbing it in --- like SPF #15 onto my goose pimples. There are so many things to be accomplished here --- like trimming the flower beds down for the year, washing and storing the porch furniture and making to do lists for all the things we need to haul back to Florida for the winter. Talking about that porch furniture on the deck --- a crazed squirrel has attacked one of the cushions on the wicker loveseat and pulled the foam rubber out. He is going to be really constipated if he is eating it or he is going to have a lovely soft nest for the winter. The chipmunks have headed into their burrows and are harmonizing to "Christmas, Christmas time is near", you know--- Alvin and his bunch? The leaves have been dropping quietly to the ground without as much fanfare as usual. The fall colors have been muted this year as though someone gave the signal that there should be no riotous colors before we dissolve into the world of winter white.
Some time has passed since I first started on this post and I find myself with one week to cram all the last minute stuff into the few short days until we leave. We went out and voted by absentee ballot yesterday and got new driver's licenses. The husband is getting some shots into his knee to stave off total knee surgery. If it didn't hurt so much, I'd think he was just hogging all the attention. We celebrated our fifty third wedding anniversary on Tuesday and he claims he brought me a present. He proudly showed the kids his big purchase --- a new toilet seat for the guest bathroom--- for me? You have to be kidding, Charlie --- I was thinking of something with class. He has been talking about another set of Taylor Made Golf Clubs to leave in Florida and I am not in the least in tune with that. He has been through several brands of clubs and still has a couple of sets that he doesn't use. Golf widows never mind the purchase of a single club --- even when it is his sixth putter and he is only allowed to carry one putter at a time on the course --- but another whole set? Get real! It is so cold outside tonight that I am anxious to finish the housecleaning, packing and move on down the road to the land of milk and honey or beer and chips, just as long as it is sunny and hot. My daughter-in-law has been over and cleaned out my excess food purchases. Why is it that I still think I am cooking for an army and buy as though the grocery stores are going to close suddenly? But, I will arrive in Florida and immediately head for the closest grocery to stuff my pantry there. I will just pretend that I am prepared for the next hurricane. The truck is packed, the house is cleaned, the doctors have given us prescriptions to last us for six months ---look out Florida --- another pair of snow-birds are exercising their wings for the flight to paradise. Woo Hoo!

Sunday, October 22, 2006

The Only One --- Therefore --- Priceless

This is Lacey. She is one of my eight grandchildren. We have seven great boys and this one lone girl. (Thank You God! for finally sending one.) This was taken at six years old and she is now fifteen. She is still beautiful and priceless in every way!

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Lovely Tradition

This is a quickie post about a lovely tradition. Our pastor and his wife came to our church twelve years ago.
They were the parents of three married daughters, who were all flight attendants. None of them had any children. Now, twelve years later, there are twelve grandchildren and we come to the tradition. When one of the girls is expecting the stork, Grandma buys a large handkerchief from a bridal store (we found the last one online). She gives it to me, because she is craftily challenged and I have made everything from suits, quilts and wedding dresses to these adorable bonnets.
I fold the back edge to form a casing and stitch with a long machine stitch, then run a silk ribbon through the casing and tie it into a bow. Then, the front edge is turned back and I embroider silk flowers (in the proper boy or girl color) and tack them over the silk bonnet strings. This little number is the last one I made (hopefully, the very last) and is pictured adorning a head of lettuce.
Oh, yeah, the tradition --- the new baby wears this bonnet home from the hospital and it is then put into the babybook. When the child marries, the stitching is picked out and the bride carries the handkerchief down the aisle. If if is a boy child, his bride carries it. My friend, the pastor's wife, has given these as gifts and has actually seen the tradition fulfilled. I hope I live long enough to see one of this "holy dozen" carry my handiwork down the aisle. They can leave the lettuce in the kitchen.

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Just Curious

Big Dave of Blogger fame commented that he wished he were a robin or even a goose and could fly south with all the migrating snow birds. True, I am pulling things out of their hiding places and starting to pack for the other half of our year, but the only thing a robin packs is it's belly. They are fat as the proverbial Christmas goose, in anticipation of winging southward for a few rays while the rest of the world freezes their tail feathers in the north. I just noticed something peculiar about several of the robins hopping around on our deck and pecking away at the seeds we have thrown out there to assist them in their carbohydrate loading before the big trip. A bunch have gray feathers mingled with their red breasts. Are these the senior citizens of the bird world ? If, so --- how are they going to make the long trip with aging wings? We, too are carb loading (I just frosted a ton of graham crackers to get rid of the last of my five pounds of frosting), but I am not planning to flap my arms all the way to Ft. Myers. The robins are the lucky ones --- they don't have to drag their golf clubs, or sewing machine and clothes for any and all occasions. I am just curious to know if birds camouflage themselves with scattered gray patches to blend in with the drab winter colors? If that is the way it works, then HRH and I are going to blend in perfectly with the other golden agers, who live in tin cans and eat early birds every night for dinner.

Saturday, October 14, 2006

The Time Has Come

"The time has come," the walrus said, "to speak of many things --- of shoes and ships and sealing wax and cabbages and kings." Summer just arrived three weeks ago. Then, the autumnal equinox came and certainly there must be more to fall than three weeks. Last night, Buffalo, N. Y. got twenty-two inches of snow. Really --- truly! My mind cannot curl around the thought of all that snow, now that we no longer snow ski. Those were younger, more pliable times --- when bones did not cry out in dismay at thought of shishing down a mountain or more accurately falling down a mountain with the tips of my skis stuck six inches into the snow, while I lay prone beneath the chairlift. I can still hear the sweet young thing (all of nine years old) offering to help, while overhead cute ski bums hollered out words of encouragement, e.g. "Looking good' --- "Wait for me and I'll help you when I come down." I was looking about for the St. Bernard with the keg of whisky and Lord knows ---- I don't even drink! So, here we are with over two and a half months left to enjoy the beautiful fall season and someone is pushing for an early Christmas. The maples outside our deck are still green. I cannot wait for their glorious red season, but the sudden cold has caught them by surprise. Could they be kidding us about global warming? I digress from my original point, which is, that the time has come to start getting all uptight about our move to the sunny south. My darling husband sees to it that the car or truck is ready and he does most of the driving. This leaves me more to do than I even care to contemplate. Tonight I finished piecing a quilt that I need for our bed in Florida --- all 2689 pieces.
Tomorrow, I will take it to the machine quilter. I called her a month ago and put my quilt in line to be processed, even though it was in pieces at the time. The pressure to be ready on a given day makes me want to dive into bed and accomplish nothing. One thing I could do is quit reading the blogs of the wonderfully talented people here in Blogspot, but they have brought new life to this old heart. Throughout my lifetime, my compulsive listmaking has kept me sane and helps me remember most things to keep everything running smoothly. The list will look something like this:

1. Take the teaspoon I inadvertently brought home in the spring --- it matches the silverware I bought for down there.
2. Take the CD box for our personal CD that our daughter made for our 50th anniversary and we left in the T.V. in Ft. Myers.
3.Sort through the Christmas decorations and decide how I will decorate the tree, if HRH (His Royal Highness) lets me buy a tree.
4.Try to remember which clothes I left there (Why didn't I make a stupid list? )
5. Dig up all the rechargers for cameras, cell phones, razors and the cords for the computer.
6. Go through all the file cabinets and pull out any pertinent papers we might need to file our income taxes. Put important stuff in the fire box or the safe and tell our trusty son where everything is.
7. Turn off the phone, computer, cable T.V. here ---reverse in Ft. Myers. Also, unplug all valuable appliances against power surges.
8. Go through our closets before next Friday and stick the stuff out for the Easter Seal Pick-up. I'm thinking I need to part with a bunch of junk, before I die and my kids are forced to do that which I have been putting off. I don't think size 4 will ever come my way again --- unless I get cancer or anorexia.
.9. Take extra pads of checks and notify the bank that I might be transferring money from other computers this winter. (They now register the computer I.D., besides the user I.D. and password)

The list will get longer and longer as the next two weeks go on, but one thing will surely happen. We will get into the truck (Ford F150 with heated seats) and about 15 miles down I-75, HRH will say, "Did you bring my sunglasses?"---and I will kill him!