Ggma’s version of Hide & Seek

30 01 2015

You’d think with all of my years of experience this would be no big deal.  Things go missing almost daily so I stop and prepare myself for getting into the “hunt mode”.  Those TV commercials about finding the wife’s keys in the fridge are such old news at this point.  At this stage we are talking about Hide & Seek v4.0.  I take my time and try not get rattled and remember it is just stuff (most of which can be easily replaced).

My chronically messed up sinuses look forward to a good bath each morning from a squeeze bottle netipot.ggmhs2 I used it yesterday – took it apart, washed it properly and left it in the sink to dry.  Or so I thought.  So this morning I microwaved the distilled water, added the saline mix and went to screw on the top…and…suddenly the top was MIA.  I had seen it during the day yesterday hadn’t I?  I looked in all the places I thought it could have gotten on its own – then I switched gears.  Freezer?  All kitchen drawers?  Bathroom?  Floor?  Garbage?  Under the microwave?  It was about an hour’s worth of hide and seek before I decided to just consider it another one of those mysterious vanishing things that will some day all be revealed.

My last resort is always to ask. Ggma gave me that blank stare like I was talkin’ gibberish…”What?  The black tip to a squeeze bottle with a straw kind of thing attached to it?  What?”  #($*0)@#%#&2 is what she heard.

Then I noticed the two week old wilting arrangement of birthday flowers.  Daily she will pull out whatever looks past gone, add more water and enjoy it for yet another day.  She’d moved it off the kitchen table yesterday when I was out picking up her prescriptions and put it on another surface.  I stepped closer.  Tucked into the lovely last days of the arrangement was exactly what I expected to find…ggmhs1

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hands down

24 06 2009

hands

We were at a friend’s house the other night, sipping wine and catching up with a couple that has moved to Morocco to started a custom, sustainable furniture business there.  At one point a half a dozen or so of us had landed in the livingroom and the subject of Shop Girl’s bump came up.  “So, how’s it going Grandma?”

I have to admit – I was in the middle of hugging the hostess when I almost continued the motion to put her in a full headlock till she cried “uncle”.  “No, I don’t think so…” I continued – she quickly got my point.  I can’t be Grandma.  Not because I’m not going to technically be that but names are everything.

So the discussion started.  GiGi, MiMi, Nana, Noni, Yaya…the list began and we were trying them on for size.  I like Monkee myself.  Got mixed reviews.  How about Queen Mother of the Universe?  Try as we’d like – sometimes we don’t get to choose.  Out of the mouths of babes come the best choices.

There was always a distinction between the two sides of my family.  There was no maternal grandmother alive so we only had the name for my mom’s dad – which was Grandpa Cummer.  The watchmaker.  Thick glasses, bushy squared off moustache, hearing aids with the little amplifier resting in his shirt pocket, honky-tonk piano player – and the one that would plaster his whole body in front of the TV if while babysitting a beer or cigarette commercial would come on.  Seriously.  Like Superman – arms firmly planted on his hips, inflating his tiny chest to do whatever he could to avert our innocent eyes from the evils of the world.

On the other side – was the Granddad – who died before I was 8 or so.  The black and white squares from a Brownie camera show us frequently gathered – separate shots of the grandkids (I was the youngest of 14), others of the siblings and wives/husbands.  I don’t remember the early years but I do remember after he had his stroke.

My dad would go various times a week to shave him.  He’d been left almost completely paralyzed and bound to a hospital bed that replaced a dining room table.  Having spent time working in a rehab hospital myself – I now wonder about a million more details of his situation and can’t for the life of me figure out how my grandmother and aunts’ hands managed his 24 hour care.

The hands of grandparents…the things they do and the memories they shape.  Soon enough someone will have a new perception of me.  The Mrs.’ hands that once stroked my eyebrows and traced the outlines of my face as I dozed away sleepy Sunday morning sermons…did the same for my kids.  The same hands that labored making my wedding dress made some of my kids’ favorite “dress-up” costumes.  Nothing beats her recipe for the best chocolate cake with cream cheese icing from her mother, Georgia’s hands to the Mrs.’ to mine to Shop Girl’s.

Maybe I’ll get to teach Baba Louie how to blog…

You can re-read some the history of the mix here.





stranglehold

1 08 2008

It’s 7:15 p.m. and they are both on their way to bed. It was one of those days that I felt like I was a bumper pad on a pool table. He couldn’t talk to her without growling, but he’d talk to me and then I’d talk to her – then she couldn’t say anything right to him so it’d bounce back from me to him. When this is bad – it is really really bad.

Somehow at lunch we got on the subject of a certain nursing home here in town. Was it a veiled threat on my part? No, we were just talking about her experience there after a total knee replacement a few years back. “It was pretty nice, I thought. But there is one thing I couldn’t figure out…why are there so many people in wheelchairs parked in the hallways all day long?” OH – Even I know the answer to that one today.

It’s because they can be plopped down in one place and pretty much stay put. End of story. No more fussing. Like time-out rugs with wheels. If I am only dealing with two here and could figure a way to sting them both with an immobilizer gun – you bet your bottom dollar I would.

It all pretty much makes sense to me now – that tone in her voice on the phone at the end, or in the middle or at the beginning of one of “his” days. Torture day. Pure torture. Suffocating. There was NO food that he’d eat, NOTHING that tasted good to drink, pants too TIGHT and on and on – all the stars in the universe in chaotic misalignment. I mean big time.

But today I managed equivilent of the wheelchair trick…he got a haircut. He sat there captive for all of a quarter of an hour – quiet, pained look on his face and too scared to move. Can that be replicated?

Since he officially announced he was going to bed, I’ve shown him how to take off one of the two shirts he was wearing, helped him take off his socks (only to be shocked at the sight of his swollen feet – a given by product of the heart disease that would send you running to the ER), complained that he didn’t want a sheet over him, shown me how he snuggles up to lay right beside the wall (don’t ask me why – but I’m sure there is a reason), gotten up to get his water bottle (which he won’t drink) and gotten up to go to the bathroom one more time…I expect that I might have time for one or maybe two Bravo shows till he’s out of bed again.

He’s not a happy camper and there is no way to help him today…except maybe by just sharing it.