Saturday, February 25, 2012

Nap, interrupted

Despite the fact that their are some bigger, more unpleasant things I could be complaining about, I decided to hone in on something that is really just a slight blip on the radar.

My nap (which I had high hopes for as a cure for this nagging cold and cough I have acquired) was interrupted today by a phone call from a local man who seems to be quite convinced I am trying to steal his identity and rob him blind. Evidently not satisfied by the fact that I have already talked to the bank 3 times, his wife 3 times, two different vendors AND had money immediately transferred from my account to his as soon as I was made aware of the problem, he had to call just to throw in some condescension and unasked for advice on personal banking matters. Awesome.

Now in all fairness, the man involved in this bank issue has reasonable evidence to suggest that I am indeed trying to use his debit card number. Since he does not know me, he obviously cannot know what a lovely and honest human being I am (no laughing, please. It is my blog and I have a right to my delusions). But trust me when I say that if I did ever decide to go into a life of crime, I am going to take off with A LOT more than $26 and some change. And I probably am not going to call you back and straighten things out in less than 15 minutes of being notified there is an issue. All of that aside, I understand you being upset that there is a problem. But once it has been resolved, please LEAVE ME ALONE! Phone calls to my home to say things like "do you not look at your card when you type the number when you order things online?" and "I know you have already taken care of this, but I thought *I* might just need to get involved" are not only annoying, but kind of offensive.

I know there are bigger things to worry about...Death, cancer, rocky relationships, the fact that Grant's teacher just called to tell me there is a case of head lice in his class. But complaining about a small blip makes me feel better. Now I am off to wash some bedding and check noggins for parasites.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Goodbye, Grandpa

When you make it to 38 years old with all of your genetically related grandparents still living, you begin to think that maybe they are going get the better of this death thing after all. But as was stated at a funeral I recently attended, death is coming for us all. Whether or not we want to admit it, and no matter how uncomfortable it is to talk about or think about, we are all going to end up there. Yesterday, after 92 years of living, death came for my grandpa, George "Ray" Hudson.

The child in me remembers my grandpa as the guy who rolled around on the floor and played horsey with the grandkids. He shucked endless ears of corn with us for family reunions, kicked the ball around the yard with us and taught us to draw (unfortunately, I never caught on despite the fact he was a talented artist). He took us to big buildings where we sat in big chairs and he taught us about politician-y things. He sent us to bed when it was time for the adults to have a beverage and talk about adult things. Many hours were spent whispering in rooms of that house in Hinsdale while the adults downstairs solved the world's problems.

The teenager in me remembers a generous man who had many opinions, many friends and was very active. He willingly went to dinner theaters and countless musicals when I went to visit. He loved to talk to people and always had a smile and a kind word for anyone he met. He went out for a daily walk and had a nightly drink. His driving was scary as hell and the late night lectures from he and my grandma regarding proper dating behavior were exasperating and out-dated. Dinner conversation had to include current events and the latest political developments and the nights often ended with a viewing of one of the many old movies out of the video collection.

The adult in me remembers my grandpa as a passionate politician (a little too conservative for my taste, but passionate nonetheless), a devoted Christian, a loving family man and a caring husband. As time claimed many of his physical abilities and most of his mind, he retained two things...his love for his wife and his sense of humor. He always knew where my grandma was sitting and never failed to recognize her voice, even when I don't think he knew who anyone else was, he knew my grandma. During my last visit there, we were talking about the ability to catnap. My dad mentioned that my grandpa was always able to catch some zzzzzzzzz's no matter where he was. A couple of minutes later, I looked over at my grandpa who was breathing heavily and unevenly (not a comforting thing to see). When I asked if he he was OK, he informed me he was trying to fake snore so he could pretend he was taking a catnap. He said he obviously needed some more practice.

My grandpa was guided by a very strong sense of right and wrong. I am betting that he, like everyone else I know, wished for a couple of "do-overs". But I think any of the decisions he made that may not have turned out the way he had hoped were a result of doing what he thought was right using the information he had at the time. What more can you ask for from a person, really?

My grandpa loved to sing- I can't hear Edelweiss without hearing his voice in my mind. He didn't like people going without shoes and more than once reprimanded me for being barefoot. He loved to take pictures and filled countless albums with pictures of he and my grandmas vacations. It would have been helpful if digital cameras came about a bit offense, Grandpa, but I don't think we will keep ALL of the sheep, cow and countryside pictures.

A speaker at the same recently attended funeral talked about "home"- that place that stirs that feeling in your heart when your eyes light on it after being away. I get that feeling when I cross over the Mississippi River bridge and head toward the Memphis skyline. I don't know the physical place that gave my grandpa that feeling. I never asked. But I know he had that feeling yesterday when he laid his eyes on heaven. Rest in peace, Grandpa. I know that the angels were there to welcome you home.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Of lice and nuns

Kind of like mice and men, no?

It is well past time for a blog update, but I just haven't had much to say. Actually, that is not true...I just haven't had much to say in public. Because despite the fact that I started this blog as my journal, ready to throw it all out here, there are still a few things I keep private. Shocking for those of you who know me in real life, I know...I tend to not keep much to myself. The long and the short of it is that I am still struggling with tidying up my relationship world and just can't seem to quite get there. There are some relationships I have held on to that I need to let go and some relationships that I have let slide that I need to hold on to. When I get it sorted out, I will be sure to post. Actually, I probably won't have to - my screams of joy and accomplishment will be heard the world over.

Anyway, back to lice and nuns...

A few weeks ago, we had our first encounter with head lice at the Reed house and if I never experience that again, it will be too soon. Bryn acquired the creepy crawlies somewhere, was duly mortified and is now lice free (knock on wood). I have learned more about the life cycle of lice than I wanted to know, exactly how hard it is to remove nits from hair and that Tonganoxie Elementary School is completely non-sensical when it comes to keeping the school lice free. On the bright side, I figure I am now a valuable community resource as I have become somewhat of a lice expert.

In January, I went on a "nun retreat" in Atchison, Kansas with a friend and had a fabulous time. I had some time for reflection, got to eat in a nun cafeteria, bonded with my friend, stayed in a cool Victorian house and got to experience Benedictine prayers (they sing. I did not know this). Said friend and I have already signed up for nun retreat, Round 2 in September...needless to say, it was relaxing and refreshing.

I also has a fabulous trip to Memphis with my friend Lisa. We were there for the funeral of Lisa's childhood friend's parents, but it was the most fun funeral trip I have ever had! I finally went to Graceland, ate some good food, saw friends and family, met some neat people and got to spend 16 hours in the car bonding with Lisa.

Christmas was great...nice and relaxing with Aaron's parents and brother at our house. Although I have a tough time staying still, it was really nice to have a slower paced holiday. Of course the kids were spoiled rotten, I got more presents than I needed and I ate too much. I love holidays.

I just got back from a trip to Chicago. I met dad there and we stayed with my grandparents and it was as nice a trip as I have had there in years. My Grandpa was more talkative and engaged than I have seen him in eons and my Grandma seemed to be feeling pretty good. She was playing Scrabble on her iPad when I left. I am thankful for the time with them and with my Dad - it was a truly lovely trip.

There are, of course, a million other little things both good and bad going on, but those are some of the highlights. Now back to's a new semester and the grading is piling up.