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Monday, August 13, 2012

Monday Musings.

Having just lived through the planning, schlepping and celebrating of my dad's surprise 90th birthday party, I have been musing about family.  That is always a rather frustrating muse.  I am very lucky in that my parents are a) still together after 60-something years; b) relatively healthy for their advanced ages; and c) still living pretty much on their own.  Because I live the closest, I am the 'overseer' of their affairs.  I also am the one to tote them to non-local doctor appointments, the chauffeur for visiting relatives (very important to them as the years stack up), and I check on them every weekend.  I love my parents.  They are funny and dear, and (mostly) a joy to spend time with.  My friends love them and the feeling is mutual - as witnessed at my dad's party.  For a while there, we thought it might have been TOO much of a surprise, but he rallied.

After spending any time with my sisters, I always muse about what it would be like if we all got to choose our own siblings.  Would you choose the self-same sisters?  Brothers?  Trade up?  Try another ethnicity?  Get older/younger siblings?  Mix it up?  I know a young woman who was raised in a fairly unconventional family.  When each new baby was born, the older siblings got to choose the name.  I can tell you there are some 'unusual' names in that family.  When she had children of her own, I believe they followed suit - for the first.  Whose name is Birch (names changed to protect the innocent).  Let's just say it is a type of tree.  I think that it would be fun to be able to choose your own name.  I would never leave that in the hands of my sisters.  Heaven only knows who I'd be today - Howdy Dotty?  Hopalong Cassie?  Bugs Bunny?

We have a very small family.  And a scattered family.  Once upon a time in Ohio, I was very close to my Great Aunt Edie and her brother, Great Uncle Ben.  They were two of the most regulated old people I have every met in my life.  GUB was a curmudgeon - who ate his meals at the exact same time every day, same thing every meal, with some slight variations during the dinner hour.  He was very bright and invented all kinds of things.  He invented a bird feeder that fed birds by body weight - he hated squirrels.  My GAE was a corker.  I spent a lot of time with her - she could knit a highly complicated pattern, in mohair, while carrying on a conversation, listening to the radio and watching television.  One of my first memories of her was when I was around 5 and we had moved to Ohio from Virginia into a rented house (the house that caused my fear of bathtubs).  The house was an odd configuration - you had to go through a bedroom to reach the bathroom.  GAE was staying with us and late one night, as I started to make my way to the bathroom, I was gripped with fear -- there was a wild beast in the house!  A tiger waiting to pounce on me and eat me!  I ran screaming into my parents' room, hoping they could rescue me.  It turned out to be GAE sawing lumber in the guest bed.  Holy Moley, that woman could snore!

18 comments:

  1. Cute post-I love family stories.

    And I snore.

    LOUD.

    :D

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  2. I will gladly trade in my sibling. Where is the return/exchanging window located? And hopefully no receipt is needed.

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    1. Oooh, sorry! You had to return him within 30 days of birth! Heehee.

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  3. Ah, family...it's a shame we can't REALLY trade them in! Just kidding, I love my brothers even if we are bad about staying in touch! :)

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    1. Most of the time, I like them just fine - most of the time when we are not all together.

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  4. hey my grandma had a house like that - you had to walk thru the bedroom to the bathroom. my grandma minnie was a corker too...i loved her so much.

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    1. How fun to have had a Grandma Minnie! None of my grandmas were corkers, but GAE made up for that.

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  5. I don't think I would ever trade my siblings in...but there was a time! I'm the sister that does NOT help with mom...I love her, but don't like her...my sister and younger brothers get to share "running her around"...she always liked them better, anyway! I don't envy my siblings at all and I'm very greatful they are "the good ones"...me?...well I don't mind being the "black sheep" one bit....Life Is Good.

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    1. I don't think there's enough said about the positive aspects of being a Black Sheep....

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  6. Where did you live in Ohio Susan?

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    1. Hey Spiderjohn! I grew up along the coast of Lake Erie, between Cleveland and Lorain. Then I lived in Lakewood, Ohio City, Cleveland Heights, and a couple other dozen neighborhoods and outskirts of Cleveland. And Cincinnati for a spell, too.

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  7. Ah, family stories. Love 'em. I don't know of a single family that doesn't have at least a couple of relatives that would gladly be traded in for a replacement. Any replacement. Or a couple relatives who add humor and/or "interest" to the family.

    P.S. I think I'm working on a new record for Word Verification. I am now going to try to "get it right" for the FIFTH time. Wish me luck.

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    1. Yes, I have 'interesting' relatives, too. heehee. I don't know what is going on with the word verification - it seems as if there is some sadist behind it.

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  8. I think if I had the ability to trade my little brothers back then I would have definitely exchanged them for dogs or goats LOL... if I had the ability to foresee how awesome they would be once we had grown up though they would definitely be keepers :)

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    1. I guess that's true - we should have to hold onto them until they've mellowed and aged, like cheese! However, that said, I would have handed over ALL my relatives for a horse of my own...

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  9. I always wonder how my siblings and daughter describe me when talking about me to others.........nope, would not trade in any of them now but when growing up.....hum, there was a great possibility for a trade with both my siblings.

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    1. So, do they get better with age, or do we just get more mellow and accepting?

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