Dear Auntie Linda, August 17, 2015

Auntie Linda

Dear Auntie Linda, My husband and I have been married about six years.  Lately I just feel like a housekeeper and Mommy.  Our couples class recently had a Sweetheart Banquet.  The men were supposed to name their wife’s favorite flower.  When it was Jim’s turn, He said, “Well, my mama always liked plain, but I think Becky likes self-rising.”  Everybody laughed, but it ruined the night for me.  Once again, I felt about as interesting as somebody’s granny.  I’ve kept myself nice, but Jim just doesn’t seem to notice.  He’s a good man, but has little interest in me or the baby.   It’s supper, TV, bed, maybe quick sex once in a while, but no togetherness.  He doesn’t need me for a friend.  If I try to talk, he says he’s tired, or he’s watching TV.  I’m thinking of leaving, but only because there’s no real reason to stay.  Nothing Here.

Dear Nothing, Have you told Jim how exactly how dissatisfied you are?  It’s possible he thinks you are happy as a dead pig in the sunshine.  One person can’t make a marriage.  Before you make up your mind to go, be sure to tally up the pros and cons of leaving.  It might be worth working out.  Jim may think everything is just fine   Men and women don’t speak the same language.  Auntie Linda

Dear Auntie Linda, An older man lives next door who looks like his thinking might not be that great.   His house and yard aren’t well-kept.  Quite a scruffy-looking guys are starting to hang around who look suspiciously like they are taking advantage of him.  Police officers have made numerous calls to the house, and a time or two, have left with a shady looking character.  Today, an obviously drunk man was stumbling around in the front yard with a bottle of wine.  I had the baby and my little girl outdoors and didn’t want to encounter him, so I took them back indoors.  Not thirty minutes later, the drunk man was on the back porch using an electric saw.  I was home alone with the children, so I just locked the doors.  What can be done about this situation?  Worried

Dear Worried, Sounds like time to make a call to the police if if there is a repeat wit the drunk man and adult protection.  If you don’t want to identify yourself, it can be anonymous. Things are getting out of hand.  Auntie Linda

Dear Worried

Robert Gordon, Wayne, Robbing Nanny, and Look Out Pope!

R G Holdaway Family with Johnny Bell early 1930'sL to R Johnny Bell(cousin) Mary Elizabeth Perkins (Lizzie) with Kathleen Annie Lee Holdaway, Roscoe Gordon Holdaway, John Arthur Holdaway about 1930  (note how well-dressed the children are and Roscoes’s mended overalls.  I have one of these chairs in my writing room today.  Kathleen helped Roscoe replace the bottom in 1932.  That story will be in her memoirs, soon to be published.)

Mother is eighty-seven.  She swears if she ever meets up with her cousin, Robert Gordon, she intends tell him what a hellion he was, even if he is the Pope and has a beard down to his knees.  Well, I am pretty sure our Pope wasn’t previously known as Robert Gordon and doesn’t have a beard down to his knees, but if he was, and does, please tip him off.   A whacked-out little eight-seven year old lady down in Louisiana might knock his block off if she gets a chance.  From the many stories I’ve heard over the years, I know Robert Gordon had a little brother, Wayne, who was also horrible, but nowhere nearly as mean as Robert Gordon.

Robert Gordon’s initial transgression that put him on Mother’s dirt list was not his fault.  He was her Grandma’s favorite.  Her grandma paid no attention whatsoever to Mother, or most of her other grandchildren, openly doting on Robert Gordon with warm waves of affection washing over his brother Wayne.  No matter that her cousins had lived next door to her grandma from the day of their birth.  Mother, hereinafter known as Kathleen, was still steamed to see them with the run of the place, their toys littering Grandma’s yard, and watch them cuddled in Grandma’s lap, when she was never noticed.

Kathleen’s prized possession was a little wagon that her father had acquired second-hand and painstakingly repaired by the broken tongue. The very next tme Robert Gordon visited, he ferreted out her precious wagon, sneaked the hatchet from the kindling pile, and smashed the tongue to smithereens so effectively that the wagon was a total loss.  The destructive act wasn’t discovered till after his departure.  The family later remembered hearing banging when Robert Gordon had claimed time to go to the toilet.  From that day forward, Kathleen hated him.image

Kathleen had but a handful of toys, mostly homemade or hand-me-down, so of course she cherished every one.  She had learned, to her great sorrow, that Robert Gordon and Wayne would steal, given the chance.  Before they left after a visit, her older brother, who usually only lived to torment her, held the boys upside down by ther and shook them, while she retrieved her toys raining to the ground.

One one visit, Robert Gordon who was younger than she, but bigger, entertained himself by hiding and jumping on Kathleen’s back as she rounded corners, pushing her to the ground and enjoying the ride to the ground as she fell face-first into the dirt and muck of the yard.  John helped her plot, so she was ready on his next visit.  As she pranced alluringly around the corner, he jumped.  She threw herself backwards,  the back head bashing satsfyigly into his face and nose.  Blood and snot poured from his nose and split lip as he ran bawling for his mama.  It was difficult to convince anybody she had started it when he’d jumped on her back, though he tried.

The most memorable, and adult-infuriating trick Robert Gordon and Wayne ever pulled of was The Great Goat-Milk Robbery.  Though they were as poor as any farmers during The Great Depression, her parents were excellent providers.  They had but one cow, but they kept a goat or two as a secondary source of milk.  Cows don’t produce milk just before and immediately after calving.  Milk production drops drastically during periods of low feed availability such drought.  At any rate all live stock is preciouos and to be treated well.  The Evil Robert Gordon and Wayne were beyond the Pale.  They slipped away from the visiting adults and robbed poor Nanny Goat of her milk in a way that no Christian ever should.  The repulsed neighbors were watching horrified while one boy held the goat and the other nursed, just like he was a kid goat.  Kathleen’s daddy and mama and the horrid boy’s parents got there just as Nanny was being rescued and flogged by an outraged neighbor.  Robert Gordon and Wayne’s parents left in disgrace and Kathleen’s family had another long, enjoyable talk about how hideos they Devil-ridden were. Poor Nanny didn’t give milk for three days.

This is the same chair from vintage picture above, one of my most treasured belongings.

Bear on chair

Homeless Sessions: No Shelter

We could all be homeless

chasing destino

Recently, I moved into a house. I must have my poker face on because my mom keeps asking me why I’m not more excited.

I didn’t think that I would ever move into a house. In my mind, I believed that my forever and ever housing arrangements would be rentals and subsidized apartments.

A house that my kids and I belonged to was too much to hope for. For a several weeks, I wake up and look around. I still cannot believe that I have been blessed. Is it a dream? Am I going to wake up in a rundown apartment?

About eight years ago at Christmas time, I was homeless. In some ways, I was lucky. I didn’t have to sleep on an actual sidewalk in an actual cardboard box. I did see plenty of people that had no where else to go. I saw too many children…

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