Cross-country chronicles

As a lifetime resident of the same state, I just spent my second Thanksgiving away from home.  The first time was during my semester abroad when I had a good excuse for not flying home for Thanksgiving.  This year, Matt and I decided to fly across country to visit my sister and her family.

I have only heard tales, urban legends, about holiday travel.  The lines, the delays, the crowds, oh my.  It wasn’t that bad, but I am very grateful that we got to see my sister and her family with relatively minor incidents.  Some, though, are just worth repeating.

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Scene:  Flight from Charlotte to Salt Lake City; 7:30AM

I am reading my SkyMall magazine, doing what I always do–wondering if people actually order things from the SkyMall magazine, like the $300 Star Wars chess set.

Matt:  They are taking us back to the terminal because there is a medical emergency on board.

me:  Really?  What’s going on?

Matt:  See the guy two rows behind us?  He’s unresponsive.

Flight attendants are standing around the guy, asking him, “Sir, sir!  Can you hear me?”  The guy said something that I couldn’t hear, but then I heard the attendant say, “How much did you have to drink?”  It became clear that the guy was just stinking-ass drunk.

Drunk guy:  I need to get to Seattle.  I’m going to Seattle.

Attendant:  No, we’re taking you back.  You shouldn’t be on a long flight.

We waited and waited to go back to the terminal.  Then they had to pull us to a gate and people with a wheelchair came on board to get the Drunk guy.

Attendant:  Sir!  Sir!  Can you hear us?  We need to get you off the plane.

Drunk guy:  Where are we?

Attendant:  We’re in Salt Lake City.  You took quite a nap.

Drunk guy:  I gotta get to Seattle.

Captain (of the plane, y’all):  No, you gotta get off this plane.  (You could almost hear the ominous music).

Attendant:  Come on sir!  (Pulling him up.)

Drunk guy:  DON’T touch me!  I’ll go with you, but don’t touch me.

It was the Perfect response.  Have you ever noticed when someone is drunk and someone gets too close to them (in a non-sexual way), everyone always pulls out the “Don’t touch me!” line?  Like, “hey, everyone….I’m being all reasonable and stuff and it’s this asshole who is touching me that is crossing the line.”

After they got the Drunk guy off the plane, they had to put more fuel in the plane because turning back to the terminal used so much fuel that we might not have made it to Salt Lake City.  Wha?  Isn’t that cutting it a bit close?  I could have totally lived the rest of my life without that bit of information.

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On my flight from Salt Lake City to Seattle, I sat beside an extremely gawky and large 12-year boy.  He picked his nose a lot.  Matt asked me what he did with his “findings” — I had to admit that I didn’t know because I was trying to avoid looking.  I hope that he wasn’t flicking them my way.

Then the little girl sitting behind me threw up.  A couple of times.  It was righteous.

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It was very wet in Seattle.  A lot of rain.  Did you know that they just voted to legalize marijuana?  But I still had to go to the pharmacy to get my Advil Cold and Sinus with pseudoephedrine.

I’m a fickle dog person.  Ashleigh and Dan have a French bulldog, Lola, and she was a sweetie pie.  So, now I want a Frenchie.  A bulldog, people.  I’m too tired to be thinking about anything else.

Lola, the Showgirl

Mama Mia — Day 10

Today I am grateful for mothers.  Specifically, I am grateful for my mother.  She’s a pretty darn good mother.  My sister and I turned out well.  We’re kind, responsible, competent women.  My biggest issue is that I tend to put a lot of people into the category of “Idiots”.  Matt might argue that I have more issues than that, but I think that is idiotic.

I am especially grateful that she taught me that I shouldn’t take myself too seriously.  She is the kind of mother that won’t be mad at her daughter at all for posting this picture of her in a blog.  A picture that she hates.  She will laugh and laugh and say, “I’m not going to take myself so seriously!”  Cause that’s the kind of mother she is.

I love this picture.  She was 17 at the time, competing in a beauty pageant.  And I love to think about her that young, that carefree, that bold.  Go, Girl!  You are as beautiful today as you were at 17.

Elder grateful month — day 2 — My husband

It’s day 2 of Elder Grateful Month.  Whoop Whoop!

Today, I’m giving a shout out to my husband, Matt.  I am so grateful that I have him in my life and that he is my husband.

Ireland 2012

Matt and I will celebrate our 5th wedding anniversary next month.  (What is that?  Copper? Aluminum?  If you ask me, 5 years should be something precious and valuable because the first five years are hard.)  We do not have a perfect marriage, because no one does, but I think that we have a solid marriage.  I really, really, really like my husband even when I wonder why I love him.  And I really, really, really  love my husband even when I wonder why I am not killing him.

Matt, in return, puts up with a lot by being married to me.  I’m not an easy person to live with, to be married to or to be in love with.  He has to have great patience, lots of understanding and a big heart.  He has all three in abundance.

Luckily, we both have oversized senses of humor, which helps us through most situations.

So, to Matt, here is a quote from The Prophet by Kahlil Gibran.  It is the Prophet’s thoughts on Love.

Love gives naught but itself and takes naught but from itself.

Love possesses not nor would it be possessed;

For love is sufficient unto love.

When you love you should not say, “God is in my heart,” but rather, “I am in the heart of God.”

And think not you can direct the course of love, for love, if it finds you worthy, directs your course.

Love has no other desire but to fulfill itself.

But if you love and must needs have desires, let these be your desires:

To melt and be like a running brook that sings its melody to the night.

To know the pain of too much tenderness.

To be wounded by your own understanding of love;

And to bleed willingly and joyfully.

To wake at dawn with a winged heart and give thanks for another day of loving;

To rest at the noon hour and meditate love’s ecstasy;

To return home at eventide with gratitude;

And then to sleep with a prayer for the beloved in your heart and a song of praise upon your lips.

Just another Friday night in my (red)neck of the woods

Time:  Early Friday evening

Scene:  Matt walks in the house while I’m walking on the treadmill, says “Hi”.  I get through walking about 10 minutes later and can’t find Matt anywhere in the house.

Txt to Matt:

Matt walks back in, rattles around in the kitchen, and starts toward the door again.  In his hands, he carries one (1) quart of moonshine, one (1) fifth of Crown Royal and some Solo cups.

Matt:  I’ll try not to burn anything down.

me:  Are you burning trash or dead limbs in the back yard tonight?

Matt:  No, I’m heading over to J.R.’s [our nephew who lives in the woods behind us] for a little while.

me:  Are you coming back [eyeing the alcohol]?

Matt:  Yes, later tonight.

Fifteen minutes later:  BOOM!  It was the sound of the “homemade” golf ball cannon being fired from J.R.’s house.

I turned up the volume of Prison Wives on TV.

Easing our way into the weekend, one redneck activity at a time.

Hell Yeah!

Source:  http://forums.jackcolton.com/showthread.php?1690-Favorite-quot-Motivational-Posters-quot/page3

Lady Mama

I named my blog “My Mama Always Said” because someone once pointed out to me that I started a lot of my stories with the phrase, “Well, my mama always said…”  And she really did have a lot to say, as I wrote about in one of my very first blogs.  I didn’t realize until I was Googling one day that most people associate that phrase with “Forrest Gump”, followed by “that life is like a box of chocolates.”  My mama never said that.  She said life isn’t always fair.  She said that you should eat chocolate if you get the chance.  But she never put life and chocolate in the same sentence.

So, I’ve spent my life hearing, listening (because there is a difference between “hearing” and “listening”) and repeating my mama’s words of wisdom, I was nonetheless shocked to realize just how hip she is.  This morning as I was driving to work, Lady Gaga came on the radio singing “Born This Way”.  Compare my mama to Lady Gaga.

me as a teenager:  I feel ugly / fat.  My hair is ugly.  I’m stupid.

My mama:  You are none of those.  You are beautiful.  God made you the way you are.  And He doesn’t make any mistakes.

Lady Gaga:  I’m beautiful in my way, ‘Cause God makes no mistakes

Who knew that my mama and Lady Gaga had so much in common?  I’m thinking of buying her a meat dress for Christmas.  My mama, that is.  Lady Gaga has been there, done that.

This Is Why You Should Have Good Health Insurance

SCENE:  Matt and I are watching TV when this commercial comes on (for the gizzillionth time).

me:  I’m so glad that you don’t wear your hair like that guy.  Flopping over in your face.  It’s messy looking.

Matt:  I couldn’t wear my hair that way if I wanted to.  My hair is so curly.  It would just grow into a big ‘fro.

*silence*

Matt:  I guess eventually it would flop over when it got big enough.  Just from the weight.

me:  I can’t wait until you’re an invalid and I can let you hair grow.  I’m not going to cut it for months, years.

Matt:  (weird stare)

me:  I’m going to let it grow until I can see what it would look like all big and fluffy and floppy.  And you won’t care because you’re an invalid and you won’t be going anywhere.

Matt:  (weirder stare)

me:  But I’ll cut your fingernails and toenails.  I promise.

Matt:  You’re too good to me.

My Russian Connection

Matt ate dinner with his Uncle Richard tonight.  Uncle Richard is a really nice man, but I think one of the most interesting things about him is his wife, Ala.

Ala is Uncle Richard’s Russian bride.  Well, actually, she is from the Republic of Belarus.  I think that her father was somebody in the Communist party, so she has all these stories of traveling around Russia (oops, the U.S.S.R) while she was growing up.  Her sister is married to the current Belarusian ambassador to the United Kingdom, so she can move in some highfalutin company.

She speaks English really well, but she still has some problems with phrases and words.  Every time we get together, she always says to me, “Cristy, it’s so good to meet you”, like it’s the first time that we’ve ever met.  I just always tell her that I’m glad to see her, too.

I love hearing her talk about growing up in a Communist country, traveling around Eastern Europe, etc.  Matt loves to drink vodka with her.  At Christmas, we were asking her questions about Belarus, winter, vodka, etc. and she told us about how the Communist party strictly controlled alcohol during her younger days.  She said, “You know, a man would be scared to have an affair with his secretary in his office, you know with his office door closed.  Because people might have thought they were in there drinking.”

Like Southern Baptists.

On another note, I found the coolest thing.  Remember my drawing of a Dead Horse, perfect for your soul-sucking meetings?

Well, there is a place where you can send your drawings and they will bring your drawings to life.  Ok, not really to life, à la Frankenstein, but at least a stuffed version.

www.childsown.com

Isn’t that the coolest thing?  Get your own Dead Horse to beat yourself with!  Or your co-worker.  Your choice.

**9-11  I’ll never forget **

Lottery Thoughts

There is a PowerBall drawing tonight worth $100 million.  I don’t normally pay any attention to the lottery because I know the odds of winning are stupid.  You know, like you’re 30,000 times more likely to get hit by lightning than you are to win the lottery, or whatever the statistic is.  (Of course, one of my aunts, my sister and my cousin were struck by lightning while they were in the car, driving down the road, and apparently that’s like supposed to be super-extra rare,and it happened to them.  So, the improbable does happen.). But I’ve been having a tougher time than normal at work recently, so I have been spending time fantasizing about being independently wealthy.

Any time I think about the lottery, it makes me think of mine and my sister’s babysitter’s husband, Roger.  Roger is one of the sweetest, kindest men that I ever met in my life, and as a distant cousin, my mom and my family have always known Roger and his family.

At our wedding (Susan Roark photography)

Roger used to talk about winning the lottery.  He had a plan.  And he always included giving part of his winnings to my mama, to help her pay off our mortgage.  When I was growing up, I thought the only reason that my mama had to work was this nebulous thing called a “mortgage”, and if this was gone, she could stay at home with me and Ashleigh, so I LOVED Roger’s plan.

How awesome was it that Roger was going to give us part of his winnings?  I don’t know many people who would give me any of their lottery jackpot…

I haven’t seen Roger in a couple of years.  The last time that I saw him, he didn’t remember or recognize me because of dementia.  I reminded him that I was Libby’s daughter.  To which he replied, “You’re Ashleigh’s sister, right?  You used to be the pretty one, but now she’s the pretty one.”

I agreed with him.  My sister is the pretty one. 

And she’s been hit by lightning.  Dang, she does have the luck.  Maybe I can get her to buy me a PowerBall ticket.

Love

“Love, hell.  That damn stuff stinks.” 

Quote by my Great-Aunt Dot Miller

When we lost our dog, Nick, I didn’t know if I would be able to ever (1) get over his loss or (2) welcome another dog into my life.

But as time passed, I really started to miss having a dog around.  Of course, I missed Nick specifically, but I also just missed having a little ball of love around, the noise of nails clicking on the floor, of having something that I could talk to, etc.  And as a couple of hard personal events took place earlier this year, including a big fight with depression, I really missed having a dog that I could just pet at the end of a hard day.

Matt wasn’t nearly as keen as I was on getting another dog.  In fact, he really just didn’t want one.

And marriage is about compromise and give and take.  I could never bring an animal into a house where Matt wasn’t full on board.  A dog totally changes your lifestyle.  It would have been wrong to ask him to change his life because I wanted a dog.

But Matt loves me and saw how often I would look at dog adoption sites.  And talk about dogs.  And draw dogs.  So, last week, Matt started looking at dogs for adoption and found the little cuties that we just adopted.

He not only found them, he encouraged me to meet Ray.  He told me that two dogs would be ok when we found out that Ray and Reynolds were dumped together and were best friends.  He kept reassuring me that he would welcome them with open arms.

As we now have dogs in our house for the first time in over a year, we also are dealing with potty accidents in the house and the smell of dog.  And we clean up pee with vinegar and water and look at each other and talk about what sweethearts these two little monsters are.

Yes, love, that damn stuff, does stink.  Right now, it smells like dog and vinegar and water.  And that’s the smell of a husband who understood exactly how important a four-legged little fur-ball was to me.