Wednesday, July 25, 2012

"The Phone Call" or "The Scariest Day of My Life!"

July 25, 2012 will go down as the scariest day of my life…SO far.  I am sure there will be many more, after all, I only JUST became a mother, but I suppose it was probably the scariest I have had to date, pushing into Second Place that time in Puerto Rico when before my eyes a killer hurricane-inspired wave almost knocked my husband and my father into the ocean to be beaten against the aggressively sharp rocks we were ignorantly standing out on the edge of.  In retrospect, had I not received “The Phone Call” from my husband himself, I would have spiraled into a frenzy that day that would have seriously changed the course of events, I’m sure. 

It was basically like any other Wednesday, home with a toddler, just trying to survive.  She was napping, it was around 2:30 and I received a call from my husband.  There was a heightened tone to his voice, but he was fairly calm, and even though it was serious, it was reassuring I could hear he was okay.  He said he was in an accident and a 30 foot rebar wall he was attaching into place had fallen with him on it and it had landed on him.  He said he was okay, but he was hurt pretty bad and that they were calling an ambulance for him.  I told him to let me know what was going on and call me as soon as was possible.  I then hung up the phone to sit and worry with vomit ready to spew out of my face. 

I felt nauseous.  I couldn’t believe it, or was in a state of shock or something?   I had heard his voice, I talked to him myself, he was okay, but there was still an incredibly possibility that he had internal bleeding from the fall, or had something broken that he was not aware of because of the adrenaline, or his head injuries were worse than he thought.  This is what rattled through my head while I sat and waited. 

I was in the middle of paying bills but I stopped.  I let Celie sleep and with my mind going I started text family and friends.  My friends Hilary and Dave came to sit with me and hang out while I waited.  Meanwhile, I had received a reassuring call from a man my husband works with.  After that, however, I got a call from the hospital and it was a stranger and they gave me the whole “are you Mrs. Hoover…” blab la shpeal.   My head dropped.  “Why is a stranger calling me?!!”  Finally the man on the other end of the line got out the information he meant to convey to me.  He was one of EMTs on the Life Flight and had a conversation with Joey; my husband had given him my name and number and asked him to call me and let me know he had arrived at the hospital.  Phew!  Good news, because if he is having conversations with people he must be pretty aware and not out of it, thus the head injury must be superficial (lack of better word). 

This was the last call I got, so then I was just waiting for them to run all their tests at the hospital.  I was waiting for the call to tell me that my husband didn’t have a serious head injury or internal bleeding.  Finally he called me from his cell phone and I got to talk to him.  He was obviously medicated at this point, given the sound of his voice.  He amazingly had no broken bones other than two of his transverse process, which they determined later was only one place.  After a CATscan and tons of X-rays they determined he was the luckiest man ever. 

Joey fell approximately thirty feet with a rebar wall weighing approximately 900 pounds.  He rode it down to the ground and at the end it almost whipped his body to the ground, he said.  It ended up on him; two workers had to lift it off.  His new hard hat that he had just purchased was thrown from his head.  SO THANKFUL that we had just paid 85 bucks for it!  The wall actually fell onto another rebar mat, also.  The size 6 bars that it was made out of were tied on approximate 6 inch centers.  Had they been farther apart, he could have had serious lacerations.  The mat also gave a little, as it sat just above the concrete below, so he didn’t land directly onto the concrete the surrounds them.  He also was tied off with a standard harness and not a retractable one, which would have pulled back and snapped him into the wall, possibly injuring him worse.  He said for a split second he thought about unhooking his harness and jumping from the wall, but then he saw the rebar dowels below and fearing probable impalement he decided to hang on and ride the wall down.  CRAZY!

My husband is now resting on our recliner chair, where he has also been sleeping for the past week because he can’t get into bed.  He is still in a bit of pain moving certain ways, but he is doing well and recovering quickly, although it is unclear how long it will be before he is cleared for work.  We are enjoying the time together while he is home.  It’s horrible he had to throw a wall on himself for a vacation, but hey, I’m grateful.  I’m grateful for my amazing man of steel!  He took a nasty hard fall/beating.  He says he feels like he got his ribs kicked in, but I have never been so grateful in my life that he didn’t end up impaled, paralyzed, broken, or dead.  There, I said it; he almost died.  I try to block out how terrifying his line of work is because if I focused on that every day I would be locked up.  But I still have worried about just such a thing in the back of my mind since we got together, only with a worse outcome. 

Worrying doesn’t help anything.  For a completely terrifying close call, everything seemed to go just right.  I got that call that I have ever been worrying about getting, but instead of a stranger on the end of the line it was my husband telling me about his accident.  I am grateful for that.  That is the only thing that saved me from being a complete emotional wreck during this entire ordeal; I heard his voice.  My husband was more concerned about us than he was about himself and knew that I would go insane if I heard about the accident so he called me before anyone else had the chance to.  I am grateful for that phone call and everything that I have.  I love my husband so much, I really don’t know what I would do if anything ever happened to him, but we got close this time, and INCREDIBLY lucky.  Grateful for life and all of my many blessings!  I will inhale deeply every fart that comes out of his wonderful ass!  I love you, Joey Bear.  You’re my peaches, I’m your pear.  <3

Saturday, July 21, 2012

I Partied with the Whole Famn Damily!

We had our Biannual Wilson Reunion at my parents’ house this year.  We have been having it there the past 2 times, I believe?  Ironically, this is the first place we had one when they were organized, or brought back into tradition, however it happened.  We later rented halls and other places for the event.  Now it just takes place in the yard.  It’s a good time. 

Family members come in from Michigin, Virginia, New York, all over.  We have much fun, good food, and social drinking, what more could you ask for?  My family is one of the greatest., which most people say, but it is true.  We have an excellent group of people.  I thoroughly enjoyed myself with all of my “cousins”. 

Drifting Sun has been printing the shirts for the past 3 occasions, counting this one.  (Drifting Sun is me, if you don’t know or care, it’s my screen printing business).  It was one of my first jobs in a long time.  I printed approximately 90 shirts or more.  It was something getting back into the screen printing swing.  I found what supplies I am short on and need to replace.  It was a little harder being that I wasn’t actively into it, but it got me excited about doing printing again! 

The whole famn damily wore my construction green, highlighter yellow t-shirts.  It was glorious.  They all seemed to like them and we could easily locate each other after dusk.  The food was good, pulled pork and summer type salads.  One family member had just got a reel to reel of my maternal grandfather playing the tenor saxophone at a gig back in the day.  This was the first time I was able to hear him play.  It was epic.  The CD was premiered at the traditional Friday Night Pre Reunion Bash.  This year during the fireworks on Saturday night we played the CD also.  It was beautiful.  I saw on the grass in the yard where I grew up with my daughter, Ooohing and Aaaahing about the “pretty” fireworks in the sky backed by the sound of my grandfather playing in his jazz band. We were all together and he was there with us for the fireworks.  It was a magical moment.  I anxiously await the next time we get the whole famn damily together! 

Sunday, July 15, 2012

A Lapse in Duty: "Quick! Take a picture!"

It is pathetic how few pictures I have of Celie after the moment she started walking.  It’s mostly pathetic, I supposed, because that moment was over a year ago, actually, around 15 whole months ago.  What the heck is wrong with me?  She’s just so damn fast, most of them are either blurry, or she isn’t even in the picture because she moved out of frame before the shutter opened.  

I have some pictures, but I haven’t had a chance (chasing, apparently) to get them uploaded or anything.  I’m constantly snapping pictures on my phone and I have a good amount of them but I need to put them into some sort of order out of chaos.  I need to get some of them uploaded and for gawd’s sake I need to take a family photo of us!!  My husband is still carrying my high school graduation photo in his wallet, which is ironic because he didn’t even know me in high school.  It’s bad.  For taking photography in college, it is incredibly pathetic.  There is just no better word for it! 

I guess partially why you get to feeling so bad and like a such a documentary failure, is because you start out of the gate strong as hell!  As a new parent you are taking pictures of every trivial, inane thing that your child does, stumbles upon, eats, or touches.  You spend so much time snapping pictures of anything you can, that I imagine you get a little burnt out on the entire process.  This is, mind you, all while your child is easily controllable, although you don't realize it at the time because the critter is not mobile.  Destruction is a talent developed slowly by babies, most don't get very good at it until they are toddling.  And once this happens, there goes a good amount of the time you had to piss around playing photographer.  You are able to maintain a decent representation of the growing child form, but if your child is active and/or curious you soon start to spend a lot more time on the defense. 

It’s hard enough being a mom and keeping track of all this stuff.  Does it really matter that I write down the moment that she does everything?  Will her life have any less value?  Is she going to come to me as a teen and tell me she is deeply affected and in distress because she can't find a picture of the first time she tried spaghetti or drank chocolate milk or touched a butterfly?  Probably not, but there is still that guilt that you feel as a mother because as soon as you mate it’s like you are supposed to document and photograph as much as you are changing diapers and feeding.  Well, not me, apparently, but I do vow to be better, for posterity's sake.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Fire in the Sky

Feathers in their hair and lines on their faces,
Melting down the pot, battle of the races.

Heritage is lost, nothing left of the land.
Flags are burning all around the white man.

Fenced in the Rez, selling small trinkets.
Never was a real man, never let them think it.

Give the chief a bottle; get them all to drink it.
Firewater burning down their throats while they’re shriekin’. 

It’s the 4th of July and the sky is burning,
Time will always know as the world keeps turning,
Fire in the sky and food on your plate.
For us it’s a party, for them it’s too late. 
Having us a party, but for them it’s too late.

Dirt in their hair and blood on their faces.
Take away their legacy, don't leave any traces.

Birds in the sky, the forests for the bear.
Nature's call echoing, crying bloody tears.

Lock away their customs, throw away the key.
Nothing worth being if you're not being free.  

Catching falling dreams right from the sky,
Didn't give no chances, we just watched them die.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

She Sleeps in Flowers

The crazy lady sleeps in flowers,
Her friends suggest she read the paper.
She knows there’s nothing in there,
But she gives it a try.

Empty words express empty thoughts,
Her friends suggest she ask questions.
She knows there are only answers.
But she gives it a try.

The neurosis is found in psychosis,
Her friends suggest she talk to someone.
She knows that no one can listen.
But she gives it a try. 

The crazy lady sleeps with the flowers,
Her friends suggest she read the paper.
She knows there’s nothing in there,
She knows there's nothing in there,
Oh, she knows there's nothing in there,
But she gives it a try.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

If this is only a feeling...

If this is only a feeling temporarily suspended in time,
A moment frozen in our ethos, yet lucid like awakenings,
Breathing its first air in a panicky gulp as if just released from the depths to life again,
Like a geriatric new born.
If this is only a moment in time, a thread in the quilt, a strand in the twine,
And I will surely wake up tomorrow with it buried inside of me again,
Chest bruised and concave,
Unaware, like a servant to the path, like a pawn in the game,
Not privy to the gravity of the connection, 
Blocking my thoughts with distraction and disintegration. 
If this is the case, then I want to take my time browsing the gift shoppe.
I want to eyeball every shining mounted stone and rabbit pelt inside.
I want a souvenir to take with me into the void. 
I want to hold a trinket in my hand while in my coma. 


Monday, July 9, 2012

What the Katydid

Ticking away like the hands of a clock,
Pause, as if commanding Time like a god. 
Nothing can make the katydid stop.
Nothing quiets the song coming down from the top.

Pulsing with rhythm it chooses to beat,
Rubbing its wings and moving its feet.
Nothing can make the katydid weep.
Nothing can silence what nightly does peep. 

Friction riots noise through the air,
Raising its voice and lifting fine hairs.
Nothing can make the katydid silent.
Nothing can turn its peace into violence.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

The 100th Seven Sleeper Sunday

On this day, I mostly slept off the party from the day before and watched the Seven Ages of Rock, which is excellent if you have never.  I am choosing to use today’s post in order to simply celebrate a previous post that was my 100th post!!  WOOT!  That’s an accomplishment, right?  Sure it is.  I’m using this blog to improve my writing, so the more I blog (practice) the better I’ll get, right?  Theoretically, I suppose.  Each post is an exercise in writing!  A project on the writing path.  Good for me! 

I see in reading through my writing from years ago how it has changed.  I am highly influenced by whatever media I am immersed in at the time, be it music, book, film.  I was obviously incredibly more dramatic when I was a teen, but what is to be expected?  I have matured, yet in some ways it is as though my writing is "older" from then.  I have changed along the way too.  I recently found some older writings on my desktop that I am going to post sometime.  I like to try to make this blog a collection of sorts, of my "works", a collection of me.  I don't know why, maybe for posterity?  For the future!  For sanity?  For a lot of things, I suppose.  For me, mostly.  For whatever I speak to when I write.  To whatever I write to. 

And You,
Missie Sue

Saturday, July 7, 2012

5 Years In: A Just-So-Happens Celebration

So, today is our 5th Anniversary!  7-7-07 we were married in my parents’ yard.  Annually, my parents host a 4th of July party.  This year it so happened to fall on 7-7, which fell once again on a Saturday as it did the year we were wed.  There was much to be celebrated!  I was very pleased that on our anniversary I was able to celebrate with a group of friends in the same place that we had our wedding reception 5 years prior.  It was a good time!

Celebrations are what life is about, isn’t it?  There is nothing quite like the vibe/feel/energy of a party with a group of family and friends.  I stood in my parents’ yard looking up at the sky, my polarized sunglasses over my eyes, taking in life through my amber tinted view.  A good perspective.  My family and friends moved about, enjoying food and drink, music and beer pong.  It was a good day!

My husband and I have been married for 5 years, we have been together for 9 years this November…and have known each other approximately 11 years total.  Impressive, and by that I mean that I can remember dates (kind of). Hah.  Our life is a little unconventional for a married pair, but hey, we’re a little unconventional ourselves.  We make it work, because we love each other enough.  It’s worth it.  We have a good life kickin’, an amazing daughter and are above all, friends.  We knew each other for 2 years before we started dating.  This made it a lot easier and comfortable getting to know each other.

We might not have everything in common or have all of the same interests.  We are in actuality greatly different, but at our core we are very similar.  We have enough similarities and we have the same gooey middle.  We have fundamental similarities that serve as a solid foundation for everything else.  I am very lucky to have met my husband.  He treats me better than I think I deserve, at times.  I really do believe that I married the nicest man I have ever met. 

Friday, July 6, 2012

Thoughts on Shopping With Assistance

Tonight my husband accompanied us to Weis for a grocery trip.  This isn’t exactly an exciting scenario per se, although if you have children you may disagree, but what was exciting is that we did this as a family.  My husband works away all week, so most shopping trips are done by me and Celie.  I will usually hit the store after a chiropractor appointment, or run up to the store on a Wednesday to do our weekly shopping.  This week, I had not made it to the store all week and come Friday, we are out of a couple essentials.  I had dinner ready when my husband arrived as is customary though not always done.  We ate and I had said about running into town myself, but we had decided to just all go up together because it wasn’t all that late yet.  So we set out for the store!  

Walking through the juice aisle and putting items into the cart, it really hit me.  I smiled and looked up at my husband. “This is weird;” I told him, “you’re here.”  He smiled and kind of laughed.  We took turns pushing the cart.  He watched Celie while I walked away to look at things and helped to keep her from grabbing every item through the aisles. For an anniversary treat, we picked out some ice cream, which is a bit of a guilty pleasure for both of us.  He was there to help decide what to pick out?  So strange.  We finished shopping and moved up to the check out and the craziest thing happened…he put all of the items on the belt.  He paid.  He took the lead.  I had a leader at the grocery story?  “Bye!  See you soon,” Celie said to the cashier.  We walked to the car, and even though I was pushing the cart like I did any other day Celie and I went shopping, another strange thing happened when we got to the car.  I put Celie in her car seat…and my husband loaded all of the groceries into the car.  Amazing.  It’s really funny how you don’t notice

Why is it always follow the leader?  Really, it’s a tag team effort like any marriage or two parent system.  When my husband isn’t around, I am the leader, but when he is home, we lead each other, I reckon.  He drove us home, and the oddest thing happened once we got home.  I took Celie inside, and then my husband unloaded all of the groceries from the car.  Unbelievable!   

This really isn’t much to blog about, but it really made me reflect on my gratitude while we were grocery shopping and it was a really nice feeling.  It was nice to not have to do everything by myself with Celie, although she is great company.  I am alone as a parent a lot, but I am grateful that I have my husband.  As hard as our lifestyle is, I always think about all of the single parents out there and how hard they have it.  It’s hard to be the sole provider of anything.  It's a label I don't feel is true.  I mean, it takes a village, but we all know what "sole provider" means, and even though people may have help, I imagine even with help to a single parent it must feel like you don't have any sometimes.  I feel an immense amount of pressure to fulfill both parental roles for Celie, and sometimes I don’t even feel as if I am fulfilling one to the best of my ability.  I am alone and I feel alone a lot, but I can not imagine what it would be like to have to do this REALLY alone, without a partner.  My heart goes out to single parents. I commend them for everything that they do to fulfill both parental roles.  It’s hard enough fulfilling one.  

I realized just how much easier it was to do things that I normally do alone with the assistance of my husband.  I don't need help, most people don't need help, but I enjoy having it.  I don't have that time in the evening where he gets home and can watch the baby while I finish dinner or tidy up the house or something else that needs done.  I don't have him to help me with bath time and bedtime rituals; Celie and I do these all alone.  I get her prepared, I read her stories, I tuck her in to bed, I collapse into the chair, I stare at the wall...I go to bed alone.  At least I am with my child and not in a lonely hotel room like my husband.  He must miss us just as much as we miss him. 

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Celie: 22 Months and 12

Celie is going to be turning 2 at the end of August and I can’t get over it.  I can’t get over it, I can’t get over it. I keep saying that, don’t I?  “I can’t get over how big she is!”  “I can’t get over how much of a kid she is!”  I still look at her and am mesmerized that she came out of my vagina, the thing is I have a hard time realizing JUST how much smaller she was then (hopefully!).  I keep lying to my friends.  I’ll say, “Oh the baby is napping!”  Such LIES!  LIES!  The baby?  She is not a baby.  She is damn near breaking free!  She opens the deadbolt and lock on the door.  She’ll leave if you don’t watch!  An escape artist already at 22 months! 

She is incredibly agile and I was watching last night how she will just go up and down stairs like they are nothing at this point.  “I run!” she says, going across a room at full speed.  Outside, ideally, it would be nice to have one of those electric boundaries like they have for shock collars on dogs??  Now, now, I JEST!  Please, don’t take my daughter away, I’m joking.  I mean, we don’t HAVE a shock collar for her.  Don’t get me wrong, I think it would be a useful tool in parenting to say the very least, and if they marketed them I might buy one, but it would be set on the LOWEST setting!! I’m not a monster!! :P  Here's how I put it.  Celie outside is...have you ever seen Funny Farm?  If you haven't, you are missing out.  Legendary Chevy Chase.  Anyway, they get this dog, an Irish Setter, and bring it home and as soon as they sit it down in the yard it just takes off sprinting, chasing the ducks in the pond, running circles and then just ultimately running off.  They see it periodically just running through fields off in the distance.  That is Celie outside.  That is why I could use a collar.  All I can say is I am glad I am out in the woods and not along a road or highway!  She is a spirited child! 

Celie is quite the conversationalist.  She goes on and on pretty much all day long.  That is the first thing she does in the morning. It is as though her eyes open and she just starts talking.  I hope she is talking to her stuffed puppy Scout, because she will wake up and say, “OH, hi!!” and continue to have a full conversation. 
She knows so many words that I couldn’t possibly begin to make a list.  I tried months ago and have stuff jotted down but now she will basically repeat whatever.  She likes to say the “[listening and dancing to music] iiiiss awesooome!” part from Yo Gabba Gabba!  So we were listening to Stevie Nicks the other day and she started saying “Na Na Nicks”, so cute.  Then at the end of a song she cheered and said “Na Na Nicks awesome!!” I don’t know if a mother has ever been so proud.  Actually, I’m so proud so often it’s a weird feeling for me.  I guess I haven’t felt all too much pride for myself in my life, so I’m still getting used to the feeling, ya know?  I am awfully proud of her, though, and I knew parenting, if done well, would be the source of most of the pride I would ever have in my life.  She simply blows me away.

She is so smart.  She communicates so well.  She loves music and you can catch her intently listening to and memorizing songs.  She has been singing the past couple of months.  She would always sing along with things with me or on TV, but she has recently been singing songs all on her own.  Before her first birthday she was rocking out to Black Sabbath's The Wizard with me, so much so that she made a sort of dance of sorts up for it and seemed to know and anticipate the guitar riffs and changes and what not.  Amazing.  That was her favorite a year ago.  For the longest time now she was incredibly into that “We Are Young” song by Fun.  She loves the chorus, “Tonight, we are young, so let’s set the world on fire, we can burn brighter than the sun!”  She loves the inflection in it.  She gets into it; it is one of the cutest things I have ever seen.  She also for some reason after only hearing a few times become obsessed with the Damien Rice song “Me, My Yolk, and I”.  This one has me a little concerned, as I am pretty sure the song is either about masturbation or sex or both?  She doesn’t really know the subject matter, of course, of songs yet, but should I be lettering her listen to this stuff?  I’m broadening her.  Yeah, right.  Honestly, I didn’t play the Damien Rice song FOR her, she heard it maybe once or twice when I was playing and came running into the room during the chorus.  Some things she just finds so catchy she is drawn to them.  She really is showing a certain taste in things. 

I’ll also play the guitar and she has learned a lot of the words of the songs I play just from listening to me.  Yesterday I was practicing and she had dug out a Rock Band microphone and I looked down in the middle of the song I was playing and there she was singing the correct words into the microphone. <3  Tugging on the heart, right there!  This girl rocks!

She also repeats and anticipates words and lines in songs that she has heard me play, so in the car, she is singing the words to my friend’s album he recently recorded.  She knows it?  How does she know these things?  I’ve decided that it can’t possibly be because I am that awesome.  Surely an alien came down and stuck some apparatus into my pregnant stomach?  Maybe she was taken immediately after birth and replaced by a hybrid?  I don’t know.  It just amazes me that she is so quick at picking things up.  You can look at her when she is exposed to something new, a song or whatever, and see her “examining” it with her ears or eyes.

She sings Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star pretty much in its entirety, as well as the words to a lot of her favorite songs.  She is able to count to twelve!  She knows yellow, red, blue, purple, orange...she says "I sad..." when she is sad.  She will comment that things or people are "funny", those are concepts that I find funny she even understands.  She knows pretty much all of the main body parts.  She labels everything around her, shouting out the words like some sort of verbal stream of consciousness label maker.  Now, don’t get me wrong, I don’t think she’s a genius or anything, I just think she is very expressive, very quick with learning, very musical, and very emotional.  Hopefully these are all qualities that I can help her control and use to the best of her abilities.  Trouble is, these are most of the qualities in me I am still working on controlling.  I see so many similarities between my daughter and I.  I am beginning to see which things in myself were innately there and not learned by my surroundings. 

The bad thing is that I don't even remember WHEN she said her first word, but I think I have it written down somewhere??  Juice, milk, water, more, food, dinner, noodles, [apple]sauce, yogurt, string cheese, "Pop and Grammy and Kate" "Sorry, Mama!"  "Sorry, Dad!"  She says "Thank You!" "See you soon!"  "Oh, wow, Mama!" "No way!"  "Buster!" "Dolly!" "Bye, guys!" "Where did it go?" "What is that?" "What's that sound?"  "There!"  "There's another one.  There's another one tooo!"  Her first word we think was "Hey!"  So funny.  I guess that's what we'd always say to her.  Hey, you!  Now all of these words are in Celie speak, but they are so clear they are definite.  She then rambles off in tangents that she surely sees are expressing and conveying her thoughts, but we are unable to understand the sounds she inserts.  She knows what she is talking about, that is for sure!  We're getting there.  I can remember her progress, when pone became phone.  When Ya Ya became [So]Fia.  I can't even begin to list the words she knows for things because honestly it still astounds me.  She will point to something and say what it is and I question how often I have even used that word in front of her or told her what it was??  She picks up more from television than you would think, and man...she's REALLY listening to me.  It's a really weird feeling to come to the realization that you are SERIOUSLY being heard. 
I caught her making two of her stuffed animals give kisses the other day and she would say "Friends!"  Her complete innocence and compassion and love astound me.    She is concerned when other kids are crying or upset.  She says "Sorry!" all of the time when she runs into you or something. We really do learn hatred, because I see nothing but a blank slate of love in Celie.  Parenthood is really the greatest classroom you will ever enter in your life. You are both teacher and student, and your child's mind truly is the greatest slate you will ever write on. 

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

The 4th of July Tradition

The Osceola-Mills 4th of July parade has been a tradition in our family for as long as I can remember.  Every 4th my mother would meet up with her sister and brother and their families and cart us kids to the parade.  We’ve pretty much sat in the same general area for all of these years, which I guess you could say has been at least 25 or more, as I can remember being at least 5 or under and attending the parade and carnival.  Both the carnival and parade seem to get smaller and smaller every year.

Curb-side at the 2012 Osceola Parade
The parade usually starts at 11 in the morning, but we are usually late.  We were late this year also, but my mother informed us we only missed 19 fire trucks and one band.  Geez.  We sat at a new location this year, a friend of my mother’s front lawn where there was a wall and a set of stairs going down to the road; a somewhat different layout for picking up thrown candy.  Celie enjoyed the fire trucks, but really paid little attention to the parade.  She pretty much ran around and had to be followed or restrained the whole time.  Madness.  She’s at that in between age, where she’s not a little baby but not a kid big enough to know things are dangerous or to listen to you.  I imagine this stage will go on for the next 16 to 25 years. 

The parade ended with little thrill.  The Jaffa Shriner’s weren’t even there this year?  It seemed so much more exciting when I was a kid, obviously.  But what is happening?  Everything is shrinking.  The carnival is even smaller with fewer attractions.  We made our way down to it after the parade though and had our ritual walk through of the small event.  After having forgotten at least 4 items and returned at least 4 times to the car for them, we also forgot my wallet that had at least 10 bucks in it.  My husband had one dollar on him.  We are with it!  (sarcasm)  Joey gave the dollar to me and I got 5 rings for a chance to win him a pocket knife.  I failed.  My sister, Kate, then paid my way and we played each the game of games, fish pong.

Fish Pong, or the Fish Game, I don’t know what it’s called actually, has always been one of my favorite games at carnivals.  Your prize is alive!  And it will last however long you keep it alive!  My cousin Brian won a fish at the Osceola carnival and it lived for 12 years!  Goldy is a legend in our family! We wanted a legend for Celie, so Aunt Kate decided to give it a try.  After several attempts at the fish game, we both failed.  You would think that all of the beer pong experience would have helped?   I guess red solo cups are a little wider at the top and easier to hit than those little fish bowls?  Plus they are closer together.  This carny was using dirty tricks; there was about a mile between each colored bowl.  Yeah, that was it.

Celie is at that odd age where I’m not sure she would stay in a kiddie ride so I am a little scared for her life, but one cool thing about the carnival was that she got to go on her first ride with her cousin Sofia (up until recently, referred to by Celie as “Ya Ya”).  They road the little cars together; this was one of my favorite rides when I was little.  I liked the motorcycles.  They used to have lights and buttons you could push for horns and things.  They used to have ramps they went up on.  Of course these are probably the same rides that I road when I was a child in the early 80’s.  Pretty soon the fake steering wheels will rust and you won’t even be able to turn them and pretend you’re steering!
Sofia (left) and Celie (right) riding a padiddle buggy.

After our small visit at the carnival we stopped at my husband’s uncle’s house on the way to the car.  They live locally, so we often see them at the parade and after.  It was a nice visit.  They gave us two little tricycles for Celie to take home!  Not to mention it was well into the 90’s, it was a scorcher, and their generous offerings of iced tea were most refreshing and appreciated!

We then drove back to my aunt’s house for the traditional post parade and carnival cook out.  We hung out on the patio and drank some Coors Light while the girls splashed in a kiddy pool.  Good times.  We consumed charred mammal flesh and feasted on side salads.  We didn’t even blow anything up, but it was fun.  We had one old sparkler that my cousin stuck in the fire and we watched.  Not very exciting for the 4th of July, but, it was a beautiful thing, traditionally speaking. Isn't that how it goes with traditions?  It doesn't matter how it goes, the comfort lies in repeating the pattern.

Traditionally Yours,
Missie Sue

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

First Friendships & Rett Syndrome

Today we went back to the library with our friends Julie and Lucy.  We attended two semesters of Kindermusik with them on Friday mornings and after that was over for the summer, we had decided to just go back to the library’s Mother Goose on the Loose class on Tuesdays until Kindermusik starts back up in the fall.  It has been maybe a month and we either haven’t been able to get our schedules together or something has come up, so we had not met up for an outing in awhile.  We finally did it today! 

Julie is actually my distant cousin somehow through my paternal grandmother.  We were in the same grade in school and we grew up in the same small town.  After we graduated together, she moved away for college, but after getting married and having a baby she moved back to our hometown.  It was really great to reconnect with her last year after we both had baby girls.  We started getting the girls together last year for the library and a few occasional play dates that we actually managed to work out (we are both incredible home bodies).

When we started visiting Julie and Lucy it was known that Lucy was slower than average and was not yet crawling or lifting herself up.  Lucy is approximately 4 months older than Celie.  Lucy was diagnosed with hypotonia.  She continued to miss milestones and I witnessed Julie’s story via our conversations during car rides to the library and Kindermusik.  Julie seemed to know in her gut that something was more severely wrong with Lucy than the hypotonia.  She kept pushing for doctors to test her for syndromes but it was hard to diagnose her.  Poor little Lucy (and Julie) went through test after test until in February of this year she was finally diagnosed with Rett Syndrome. 

Rett Syndrome is a condition in which a certain chromosome is either mutated or missing.  The condition mostly occurs in girls, but there are a few cases of boys with Rett Syndrome, although it is less common.  In the boys the chromosome is doubled instead of being mutated or missing, but they still display most of the same symptoms.  While hypotonia is not always found in Rett Syndrome, it is common.  That is just another thing stacked against little Lucy.  Basically Lucy has to work a hundred times harder than other kids to do mostly everything.  She can’t control her body normally and because of the hypotonia she lacks the muscle tone to support herself.  Lucy is 2 today and still is not walking or even crawling, but she is scooting like a boss!  We are still very hopeful that Lucy will learn how to walk some day.  It won’t be soon, but some day by the love of her mother I believe that girl will walk!  I don’t want this blog post to be completely about the horrible condition, because I am far from an expert on the subject and it would warrant an entire blog itself.  In this post I want to give some background on our friendship(s) and reflect on our wonderful day together, but I would like to point you toward Julie’s blog, Understanding Lu, that she started as a way of coping with her experiences.  For more information please check out The International Rett Syndrome Foundation, created to help educate and connect people. 

Julie had recently got these GirlPower2Cure cards done up through a website about Rett education that she uses to present to friends, or to present to people that seem curious about Lucy’s condition.  The cards are to be an easier way to deal with “gawkers” or people that don’t seem to understand why Lucy isn’t doing the things a girl of her age would normally be able to do.  Until today Julie had not needed to present a Gawker with a card; she had only given the cards to people she knew and associated with.  There was a woman in the library that we had seen most every week when we were taking the girls there months ago but had not seen in quite a few months.  Today she seemed very interested in Lucy not walking and being carried everywhere by Julie for the Mother Goose on the Loose activities.  Julie did a big thing and presented the lady with one of her cards saying, “You seemed like you were curious about Lucy.”  She briefly explained the card and then walked off with Lu to check out their library books. 

The woman, who was in the room with me, then, commented on the situation, saying she didn’t know about Lucy; it seemed as though she felt bad.  She must have then realized that she had been The Gawker.  I guess this is why they teach children not to stare.  It’s rude.  I can’t imagine what it must be like to be Julie and have people stare at your child because they are different.  But when you stare it means something.  It means that you don’t understand something.  And I suppose this is also exactly what the cards are intended for. 

It was a small triumph in the physical, psychological, and spiritual battle that Julie is fighting against Rett syndrome.  She told me as we walked back to her vehicle from the library that it was the first time she presented one of the cards like that to someone that was just obviously staring.  I greatly enjoy our times together.  I listen intently to her "war stories" which force me to reflect on my own situations, that seem more like small skirmishes in the shadow of the titanic drain that Rett Syndrome is in their life.  Our friendship reminds me daily that I am incredibly lucky to have what I have.  Lucy's innocence and struggles inspire me to try harder.  Julie also inspires me immensely.  In the oddest of ways, it is as though she has been rehearsing for this role her entire life, having worked with the special needs students in high school in her spare time and gone to college for a similar field.  She is obviously torn up by the situation but gracefully pushes forward for Lucy, trying to make sure she is doing all that she can to make sure Lucy has the best that she possibly can.  
I can’t imagine what I would do in her shoes.  I know that you can’t say what you would do or be like until something happens or is, but I know that there is no way I would be able to hold it together like Julie does.  She does her job well, and that is Mother.  She reads to Lucy constantly and stimulates her mind with loving conversation.  She made her all home made foods when she was a baby.  She cloth diapered for over a year.  She works with Lucy constantly on her therapies and with her communication.  She carts and carries Lucy to the numerous therapies she has every week.  She went to the 7th Rett Syndrome Conference in New Orleans with her husband to learn more about the condition.  She does what is right for Lucy despite the financial burden that it produces, even though they are by no means financially frivolous or super loaded.  She is frugal, she is persistent.  She is a super mother. 

Riding Buddies, Celie (left) and Lucy (right)
Julie always made a point of doing the right things even throughout her pregnancy, and yet this very “wrong” thing happened.  But Lucy isn’t wrong, she is wonderful the way she is, through the Rett Syndrome.  Her condition has rendered her incapable of speech and normal control of her body but she is cognitively not very different than most girls her age.  She is what she is. She is a loveable little girl with a contagious smile that warms hearts.  She is my daughter’s best friend.  She is going to teach my daughter some of the hardest lessons in life, lessons that I could never teach her.  Celie is going to grow up alongside Lucy and see her struggles first hand.  She’ll play with her, stand by her side, and hopefully one day walk with her too.  I hope that it teaches her to be grateful for what she has and to not take any of her small steps or accomplishments for granted.  

Monday, July 2, 2012

Clutch @ The Chameleon Club: April 11, 2012

(w/ Kingsnake, MonstrO and Kyng)
Wednesday, April 11, 2012
The Chameleon Club
223 N. Water Street
Lancaster, Pennsylvania

The Chameleon Club, Lancaster, PA

I saw Clutch for the first time this year.  It was on a Wednesday; an overnighter outtatowner.  Clutch is a band notorious for playing small shows at clubs and once again, I was to grow even fonder of the intimate atmosphere of the small venue.  While they had a strict no camera rule, they put on one hell of a show and sounded amazing.  They catered to the masses, and the masses were a motley crew of variety you wouldn’t believe.  The show was intimate, heated, and rockin’; the jovial moshpit almost sucked me in like a twister.

I came with my ex-boyfriend J and my sister’s ex-boyfriend H.  I had joked that it was “The Night of the Exes” at one point.  I made the drive to Lancaster down with J, and we met up with H when we got there.  We are all good friends.  H brought a friend, who actually is the one we have to thank for this ordeal, as he was the one who contacted H about the show, who then contacted me, who then told J he was going with me.  Yadda yadda.  Background.  Understand?  It was me and three guys in company at the show.

"Take only what you need to survive!"
It was a chilly day and we had arrived early.  We killed some time talking in the parking garage, located just across the street from The Chameleon Club.  We had checked out the line outside, and it wasn’t going anywhere until the doors opened, so why bother.  After the doors opened we waited like cattle in a spiral through the bottom level of the place until passing through doors finally that led to another line where we waited to get frisked and searched and that whole deal.  They weren’t even letting people take medications in.  This club was serious.  Meanwhile, we were being told repeatedly by loud employees that there is a no video/camera policy that came from Clutch themselves.  If we were seen even holding our phone up, we were going to be kicked out.  Geez.  Okay, okay.  I came to watch the show anyway, not record it.  It still made you nervous to even have your phone out texting or whatnot. 

We finally make it through the lines and searches and climb the stairs into the club.  The main room of the place has a bar, an open floor, and a stage.  All you need.  In the far back beyond the bar there is an area where merchandise was being sold.  The bar sits in the back area of the room.  There is an open floor area maybe 30 or 40 feet squared; not incredibly large.  The place is small and really nice.  There is another level above with another bar, bathrooms and a balcony that extends out alongside the stage area.  The underage kids were all crammed into the far end of the balcony on this level.  Poor bastards, their little noses bleeding down on us, had the best view in the place. 

The crowd was made of a great mix of people.  A trip to the women’s room revealed a lot about the diversity of the fans.  I had met a woman that had seen them 20 plus times!!  And I was a Clutch Virgin!  This was a special night.  People of all ages; I talked to a woman about Stevie Nicks that had seen her back in 1970-something.  I talked to a younger girl that was going to see Taylor Swift later that month.  Someone in the restroom also reported that one of the opening acts was supposedly a Pantera side project?  Whether this was true or not remains to be known.  I also found out that the bathrooms downstairs are way better than the ones on the level above.  It’s amazing the things one can find out by taking a pee. 

There were three acts on before Clutch took the stage.  The first one I remember distinctly was called Kingsnake.  I know this because it took me awhile to “track” their name down.  They sounded almost like a Clutch cover band, very bluesy and obviously Clutch influenced, and even the lead singer sported a good beard and a powerful voice.  I marveled at how much he got into his performance, eyes closed at most times, not looking at the crowd at all, but rather seemingly in his own place.  He mentioned the name of the band at least three times, neither time did we catch what he was saying.  “Kickstand!” someone declared.  I kept saying, “No, no, it has a “pink” sound…Pink something?”  We were all kinds of confused.  The lead singer from Kingsnake even came through the crowd and I shook his hand and spoke to him as he came through.  I asked hi the name of their band and it was one of those can’t possibly ask them to repeat it again, just smile and nod, things.  He repeated it 3 times and I couldn’t catch it.  Too loud.  Was that a pink sound?  Still confused.  The three guys I had gone with were jumping in and out of the modest mosh pit that had started forming in the center of the room.  The atmosphere was very positive and everyone seemed to be looking out and enjoying themselves. 

The second act was called MonstrO. “The voice doesn’t match the beard,” I remember saying.  The bassist singer had a George Harrison-esque face bush kicking.  The guitarist had a long head of dreadlocks that he was throwing about throughout the show.  Again, his voice didn’t quite fit the looks, but overall it was a good sound.  Their voices were on the higher side of rock or metal, I suppose.  The third band was called Kyng and they were decent.  I honestly don’t remember too much other than some really decent guitar from these guys, being I was getting a good buzz on at this point and getting impatient to see Clutch.   I did end up buying their CD for ten bucks before we left.

So far the atmosphere had been jovial and the humble pit had been pleasant.  My ex-boyfriend kept checking back with me.  In responding physiologically to the music, his body movements eventually became too aggressive to be in our area, so he moved into the pit.  I took ground next to a girl and her boyfriend, in front of the “Wall of Timid Men” as I called them.  The pit was on the right of me.  I spent a good amount of the time pushing guys back and standing my ground.  Everything was pretty low key throughout the opening acts.  J and I were standing there as Clutch first took the stage, and it was ironic, almost immediately a man was down directly in front of us.  A couple of people, as I said they were jovial, rushed to help him up and he began screaming in pain.  We just backed up and let them get him up and out.  Apparently his leg was buggered up.  What are the odds?  Poor guy.   During the very first seconds of Clutch too! 

Clutch was a very intense show.  Neil Fallon had a maddened/deranged almost Charles Manson-like stare most of the performance.  He seemed very into the show while somewhat detached at the same time.  Who knows, maybe he was high.  You could tell that they were aged definitely at this point, but man could they still rock.  The drummer was cracking us up, he was so aggressive and into it and casually middle aged looking about it.  I do remember their version of Space Grass was a little quicker than normal, but the audience still got majorly into the song.  The pit got incredibly excited during this one, and I was not able to keep from jumping and stomping and finger point sing shouting myself, in front of the Wall of Timid Men. 

The Wall of Timid Men, as I was calling them, was a line of taller and/or bigger sized gentlemen that were choosing not to participate in the moshpit and rather annoyed by it.  They had positioned themselves behind a body of bopping girls.  They probably had the smartest position in the club.  They had a good view, and they got to hold us up when we were pushed back into them by the moshing men.  The WOTM was actually very helpful when this would happen and I am very thankful they were there to help me from getting knocked backwards and falling over a couple of times.

1. Immortal
2. Child of the City
Blast Tyrant on vinyl!
4. Burning Beard
5.  House That Peterbilt
6.  Mob Goes Wild
7.  Profits of Doom
8.  Spleen.Merchant
9.  Escape From the Prison Planet
10. Spacegrass
11.  Crucial
12.  Animal Farm
13.  Texan Book of the Dead
14.  King of Arizona
15.  Electric Worry/One Eyed Dollar
16.  I Have the Body of John Wilkes Booth
17.  The Elephant Riders

They played a good amount of what you would want to hear, although like any band with a decent catalog, you can only fit so much into a show.  It was interesting to hear the current songs they have been working on recently.  It’s so hard to try to remember the setlist of a show and drink and bop at the same time.  I made a list in my Moleskin after the concert, but could only remember what I could remember.  For an excellent review of the show, check out the blog Root Down in the Shadow's review of the concert. 

Overall, this was one of the best rock concerts I have been to.  Mainly, I suppose, because I really love the groovy sounds of Clutch and it was so great to experience that in such an intimate setting so close to the band.  I scored a copy of Blast Tyrant's re-release on vinyl.   I love vinyl and I love Clutch!  It’s great to dance around to and get pumped up.  I have been in a big Clutch kick this year, and I listened to them with my daughter a ton.  We would rock out to Tight Light That, but her favorite song is Animal Farm.  When they played it, I got so excited and the first thing I thought of was my baby girl!!  Seems an odd band for a toddler, but the girl knows how to rock, and has excellent taste in music, I might add.

Me To You,
Missie Sue

Sunday, July 1, 2012

NaBloPoMo July 2012!!

At the beginning of the month I always think it is a good time to start something, mostly I suppose because there is always that feeling of “Oh, this month I’ll get my shit together!”.  It’s all a mirage, in the end, but it serves as a way for you to feel like Wonder Woman maybe for at least a few minutes.  Something has to motivate you in life.  A new beginning is always appealing.  “What the hell do I do now?” I say once I get going.  

I guess July's NaBloPoMo theme is Kids.  I don't have to stick to BlogHer's prompts or suggestions, but I have been neglecting my documentation as a mother.  It would be useful to focus a lot this month on Celie, especially being that she turns 2 next month!  Documentation is one of the reasons I do this stuff; again, I'm overly nostalgic.  I imagine someday I will love to look back at my blog, no matter how trivial the matter I am writing of.  

I am a mess.  I love to write and I practice whenever I can.  So I decided to participate in NaBloPoMo again.  July has just started and I think that it would be a good way to help me tend to my neglected blog.  Let’s face it, also, my blog is like my writing portfolio of sorts, and it’s also sort of my schooling.  How are we to become better writers if we don’t do the thing that we are attempting to do?  You need to write to get better at writing, so it doesn’t matter what it is---I’m going to write.  30 blogs in 30 days.  Maybe I’ll keep going then?  Maybe THIS time it will inspire me to CONTINUE.  Continuing has always been the problem.  First it’s gaining the momentum, then it’s continuing with forward movement.  Let’s see what ideas I can touch on this month, what alleys I can explore, what topics I can put my pointless twist on.  Let’s see what happens if I start writing again.  Let's see if getting back on my "therapy" wagon helps other aspects of my life.  Let's get our vent on.  Write on.  On, I go…