Ask Auntie Linda, October 21, 2015

Auntie Linda

Dear Auntie Linda,  I am twenty-one, the oldest of seven children.  I work as a checker in a supermarket and take college classes but still live at home to help take care of my mother who is diabetic, on dialysis, and blind. My two sisters also work, go to college and share the responsibility with me.  I have four brothers under fourteen..  I know my mother won’t live much longer.  My father is an alcoholic and was physically abusive to the entire family as long as he was able.  He has cirrhosis of the liver and he rarely gets out of bed. He may go before my mother. I don’t expect either of them to live long and frankly, it will be a relief to have my father gone.  I am worried what will happen to my brothers when my parents die, but don’t want to worry my mother by talking about this.  At twenty-one, am I old enough to get custody of my brothers?  I don’t want them to go into the foster care system.  My sisters and I are anxious to keep them together.  We have been caring for them and my parents for a couple of years already.  Who do I talk to and where do I start?  Sister

Dear Sister, At twenty-one, you are a responsible adult.  Talk to the social worker at your mothers dialysis clinic.  She should be able to help you, and will know how to talk to you mother.  Your brothers should be eligible for social security benefits when the time comes.  Auntie Linda

Dear Auntie Linda,  The women I work with are terrible gossips.  They zone in on whoever happens to be off that day, dissecting their weight, looks, family situations and work habits.  They rotate around till they get everybody.  I don’t join in, but know my reserve makes me a target.  I either act like I don’t hear or change the subject when they try to engage me.  I am becoming more of an outsider every day.    How do you avoid gossip without becoming a target?  Quiet One

Dear Quiet, You are right not to get involved.  What you don’t say won’t be repeated.  People will gossip as they please, but at least you won’t get your tail in a crack.  They probably think you are a snob, but you have other places to socialize.  Auntie Linda

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things a Dad Would Never Say

imageWell, how ’bout that?…I’m lost! Looks like we’ll have to stop and ask for directions.

You know Pumpkin, now that you’re thirteen, you’ll be ready for unchaperoned car dates. Won’t that be fun?

Here’s a credit card and the keys to my new car-GO CRAZY.

What do you mean you wanna play football? Figure skating not good enough for you, son?

Your mother and I are going away for the weekend…you might want to consider throwing a party.

Well, I don’t know what’s wrong with your car. Probably one of those doo-hickey thingies-you know-that makes it run or something. Just have it towed to a mechanic and pay whatever he asks.

No son of mine is going to live under this roof without an earring now quit your belly-aching, and let’s go to the mall.

Whaddya wanna go and get a job for? I make plenty of money for you to spend.

Father’s Day? Aaahh-don’t worry about that-it’s no big deal.

Musings on My Father, on His Birthday (Part 1)

parents wedding pic

Bill and Kathleen Swain’s Wedding Picture, June 29,1945

family3   My father and some of his siblings.  He is the small boy with the wet pants holding his cap.

If my father had lived, he’d be ninety-one today.  I’ve been thinking about him all day.  He was born to share-croppers during the deepest of The Great Depression.  He was shaped by it, just like everyone else.  He was fourth of seven children.  His father died young, leaving a widow and three young girls still at home.  Bill was thirteen and never really lived at home again.  He worked and lived wherever he could for something to eat and maybe a little something to bring home to his mother and the three sisters left at home.  He said he worked a whole day chopping bushes in the winter rain one for a five-pound bag of meal.  He spent a lot of time at his Uncle Albert’s home.  Though Uncle Albert wasn’t always kind, he always provided him a home and something to eat when Daddy showed up.

He was over six feet tall at fifteen, and passing for seventeen, got his first job for the public, as a watchman at a drill rig.  It wasn’t far from his mother’s house, and sometimes he’d slip home to get something to eat.  His older brother got him on as a greaser in the oilfield soon afterward.

He joined the Navy at seventeen at the start of World War II, knowing he’d be drafted, choosing the Navy because he heard they got regular meals.  He never intended to be hungry again if he could help it.

Upon discharge from the Navy, he joined a construction crew running heavy equipment, and met and married my mother in East Texas.  They barely knew each other. Before long, they moved back to Northwest Louisiana, where he got on at International Paper Company and worked thirty-five years.

I knew my father as a driven, difficult man.  He was very loving to us when we were younger, but didn’t deal well with older children.  He made it clear he preferred having our “respect” than “love.”  I don’t think he understood he could have had both. I loved him dearly as a small child, but he wasn’t comfortable with girls and distanced himself from his girls as we grew older, thinking we were Mother’s responsibility then.

Daddy bought remote, unimproved acreage to build a cattle farm in my early teen years.  I thought that was wonderful till I learned the reality of what that entailed.  The place hadn’t been farmed in decades.  The house place under three huge oaks was overgrown in a locust thicket.   Locusts bushes are covered in long, sharp thorns, almost as hard as iron.  We had to help clear that thicket, pile it and burn it before the slab for the house could be poured.  Many times one of us stepped on a locust thorn and had it pierce our shoe and go into our foot,  sometimes more than an inch deep.  When you pulled it out, the tip was left to get infected and fester for days before it swelled and shot out in a purulent core.   The process was hurried along by soaking the pierced foot in hot salt water.  I don’t think any of us ever went to the doctor; it was such a common problem. We learned to dread those locust thorns.  For several years after we moved there, those locust thorns would turn up in our feet.   (to be continued)

Afternoon Funny

The Real Story

Funny Cartoon Pictures | Funny Pictures, Weird Pics, Amazing and ...Three men were shipwrecked on a desert island and where captured by the local natives. They were brought to the chief native. The chief gave the men two choices; they could have death or submit to unga bunga. The first man decides he does not want to die, so he chooses unga bunga. Ten of the natives took him into the woods, when he came back one hour later he was all beaten up. The second man chooses unga bunga and he was taken out the woods for 2 hours where the natives beat him up. The third man not wanting to go through all that torture decided upon death. So the chief said ok death by Unga Bunga

It’s a sunny morning in the Big Forest
and the Bear family is just waking up.

Baby Bear goes downstairs and sits in his small chair at the table.
He looks into his small bowl. It is empty!
“Who’s been eating my porridge?” he squeaks.

Daddy Bear arrives at the table
and sits in his big chair.
He looks into his big bowl. It is also empty!
“Who’s been eating my porridge?” he roars.

Mommy Bear points her finger through the door from the kitchen and yells, “For Pete’s sake, how many times do we have to go through this? It was Mommy Bear who got up first.


I Am Out of  Here


It was Mommy Bear who woke everybody else in the house up. It was Mommy Bear who unloaded the dishwasher from last night and put everything away. It was Mommy Bear who went out in the cold early morning air to fetch the newspaper.
It was Mommy Bear who set the table.
It was Mommy Bear who put the cat out,

cleaned the litter box and filled the cat’s water and food dish. And now that you’ve decided to come downstairs and grace me with your presence … listen good because I’m only going to say this one more time … I haven’t made the stupid porridge yet!!”

Joke of the day

Typical macho man married typical good-looking lady and after the wedding, he laid down the following rules: “I’ll be home when I want, if I want and at what time I want and I don’t expect any hassle from you. I expect a great dinner to be on table unless I tell you that I won’t be home for dinner. I’ll go hunting, fishing, boozing and card-playing when I want with my old buddies and don’t you give me a hard time about it. Those are my rules. Any comments?” His new bride said, “No, that’s fine with me. Just understand that there will be sex here at seven o’clock every night… whether you’re here or not.”

Husband takes the wife to a disco. There’s a guy on the dance floor giving it large – break dancing, moonwalking, back flips, the works. The wife turns to her husband and says: “See that guy? 25 years ago he proposed to me and I turned him down.” Husband says: “Looks like he’s still celebrating!!”

A little boy asked his father, “Daddy, how much does it cost to get married?” And the father replied, “I don’t know, son, I’m still paying for it.”

The man approached the very beautiful woman in the large supermarket and asked, “You know, I’ve lost my wife here in the supermarket. Can you talk to me for a couple of minutes?” “Why?” “Because every time I talk to a beautiful woman my wife appears out of nowhere.”

A man in Scotland calls his son in London the day before Christmas Eve and says,“I hate to ruin your day but I have to tell you that your mother and I are divorcing; forty-five years of misery is enough.” ‘Dad, what are you talking about?’ the son screams. “We can’t stand the sight of each other any longer” the father says. “We’re sick of each other and I’m sick of talking about this, so you call your sister in Leeds and tell her.” Franticly, the son calls his sister, who explodes on the phone. “Like hell they’re getting divorced!” she shouts, “I’ll take care of this!” She calls Scotland immediately, and screams at her father “You are NOT getting divorced. Don’t do a single thing until I get there. I’m calling my brother back, and we’ll both be there tomorrow.Until then, don’t do a thing, DO YOU HEAR ME?” and hangs up. The old man hangs up his phone and turns to his wife. ‘Sorted! They’re coming for Christmas – and they’re paying their own way.’

A bank robber wanted to keep his identity secret, but didn’t wear a balaclava. He told all in the bank not to look at him or he would shoot them. One foolhardy customer sneaked a look, and the robber promtply shot him. The robber asked if anyone else had seen his face. One customer, gazing intently at the ground, said “I think my wife got a glimpse”