Wednesday, April 29, 2009

The Zoo and the Roommates

My daughter and her roommates came home for the weekend for the sole purpose of going to the St. Louis Zoo. She goes to school in Indianapolis and her three roommates are all from Indiana, so this was new for them. I think I have mentioned that the Zoo is one of our favorite places to go. My husband and I went there on our honeymoon and we started going regularly when the kids were still babies. When my daughter decided to go to school in the opposite direction I didn't renew our Zoo membership because I didn't think we would be going again for a few years. But we all immediately missed it--or maybe just missed the thought of not going since it hadn't been that long since we last went! I renewed! I decided even if we don't get to go very often, I would still like to give the Zoo our support. I think good times were had by all, even though it was extremely crowded and extremely hot on Saturday! It's been so cool this Spring, but it got up to nearly 90 degrees that day! My husband and son both tend to be a bit antisocial, and don't like other people in their "territory" so I wasn't sure how they would do with 3 extra girls in the house for two nights, but they did well. I know I really enjoyed the girls' company! It brings back alot of my own memories from my late teens, my own college years.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Disfunctional Families 3

The funeral went better than I expected, especially after the obituary came out all wrong! Corrections were made, but one has to wonder who made the mistakes, since they were all on our names, but "their" names were all correct! I personally was a bit insulted when the lady-friend's children were listed before my husband and sister-in-law. I have seen a bitter side to myself through this whole ordeal that I didn't even realize I had. I was afraid I would get mouthy if something negative was said about any of us, but everyone was cordial, and we didn't actually talk to them as much as I was afraid we would have to. I went by my father-in-laws house yesterday and things were being removed. I thought about saying something, but I've tried to talk to my niece several times this week and have gotten no response. I think at this point I'm keeping my mouth shut. I know my husband wants nothing to do with any of it (possibly including his sister) , so unless someone contacts us with something that needs taken care of, I'm done with it. Quite honestly, my sister-in-law hasn't liked me for a long time. Why should I care if that changes now? We don't have Sunday dinners together and haven't even spent holidays together for over 10 years. This isn't going to change anything, although I thought it might. I've gotten so used to taking care of things for my husband, it's hard for me to turn it off and say "This is your deal, take care of it yourself. Or don't. Whatever. I'm out." We'll see. Maybe.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Disfunctional Families 2

Well, the old man died yesterday. It's been a tense few days. We never did get over to see him--my husband watched his mom die, he didn't really want to sit in the lady-friend's house and watch his dad die. I fully understand, especially since they weren't close. Funeral is tomorrow. Let the fun begin!

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Happy Easter!

I quit going to church several years ago. The church I grew up in closed over ten years ago and I started going to another church here in town. I tried. I taught children's Sunday school for several years, I chaired Bible School one summer, and I attended Adult Sunday school. But they couldn't keep a minister. The last one gave me the creeps. Plus, money seemed to be a part of the service too often. I quit going. I went a few times to the church my Mom had joined, but again, money was brought up during the service. I'm not talking about passing the plate here, I'm talking about money being a topic of discussion. The church I grew up in never talked about money. They might announce that the new envelopes were in, but money was discussed in a separate meeting once or twice a year following the regular service. I guess I'm too sensitive about it, but it really bothered me. My extended family is very religious--several preachers in the mix, even. And I just never had their faith. I told my Aunt once that I was probably Agnostic. The look on her face! Now, I just keep my mouth shut. Told my kids to keep theirs shut, too! But on Holidays, I do actually miss it.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Disfunctional Families

My father-in-law is dying. That is, if he hasn't already died. The man has another family. In this case, he never remarried, but he has been with the same woman for over 40 years. In all of those years they never actually lived together until the last year when his furnace quit working and he stayed at her house until he could get it fixed. Only, he never got it fixed! She was a widow with three young children, he was divorced with three (adopted) children. For whatever reason, he had custody of his children, and they spent every other weekend with their Mother. I think it was probably a very unusual situation during the late 60's. My husband rarely talks about his childhood, and when he does it isn't the fun type of stories I have to tell. I think it must have been very difficult. When we first were married I tried to have a relationship with him, especially after my own Dad died. The kids were still just babies and I believed they needed a Grandfather. My efforts didn't go very far. My husband basically said "I told you so". So, altho I have tried to stay in contact, I haven't put much effort into it; my husband none at all. His lady-friend's children have taken care of him. They have run him to his doctors appointments, they have spent holidays with him. I might say here, I was willing. I was never taken up on my offers. So now he is dying. We weren't even contacted until he had been in the hospital for 5 days, and then through an e-mail. I offered to take my niece to see him--the hospital is almost 100 miles away--but she decided to call before we got very far just to see if we could even get in to see the man. One of the daughters suggested she just talk to her grandfather on the phone, that maybe she wouldn't want to see him like that--that she keep her memories of him as she had seen him last, which has been over 5 years ago. I want to believe that she really believed that, but I have to wonder if they just don't want us there. They consider him as a father, and we are a reminder that he isn't really. My feeling is, they are the family he wishes he had had, while we are the family that he was responsible for. He had a heart attach 10 years ago and was only given 3 to 5 years at the time. We've always wondered if they would call us right away when he died, or if they would wait until they had some things arranged. My niece and I went and visited with the lady-friend yesterday since we didn't go to the hospital (her health is also bad and she isn't able to make the trip) and we spoke with her other daughter. We very plainly said we wanted to be kept up-dated, but we haven't heard a word all day. And I'm not sure why, but I feel such a need for this woman's children to understand that we did not stay away all these years because we chose too, but because we felt pushed away, both by my father-in-law, and by their mother. I have a large extended family, and we stay in close touch during trying times. It's hard for me to understand my husband's family. I really don't want to have to do the next few days, but I'm going to be so relieved when this is over with. I'm just praying that he has a will--we don't even care if he leaves everything to the other family. Hey, they took care of him! They should get it! (if there is even anything to get.)

Sunday, April 5, 2009


I'm so ready for Spring. Except the pollen is already making me sick. I try not to take very much medicine because I've gotten too dependent on it in the past, but I think I'm going to have to if the last couple of days have been any indication. I was so looking forward to this summer--our money situation is much better and I had planned on taking several trips. But I'm getting a bad feeling about things. Too many people in my extended family are sick, meaning cancer. It's like my body knows what is coming and already doesn't want to fight it. I'm not the best at handling things. I fell apart just before Dad died and ended up on medication for the last month. Maybe things are different now--I don't have a toddler and a new baby plus a new job to also deal with. On the upside, I have a job where I can take off whenever I need to so I can help the ones that need help. Maybe I won't get pulled to the breaking point this time. Maybe it just won't be as bad as I'm afraid it's going to be. Maybe.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Down Wind

Spring is here! The forsythia and crocus have done their things and already are starting to fade. The daffodils and tulips are making their appearance. And the ornamental pear trees are blooming out. They are beautiful in the early spring covered with their bundles of petite white flowers. They are popular in our town--the streets are lined with gorgeous white trees right now. The ornamental pear is well shaped and grows quickly, which I thought was a good choice when we moved into this house 10 years ago and realized the only tree in the yard was a blue spruce by the garage. Something I didn't know about them, tho, was the smell. While they are blooming they put off a horrible smell that reminded me of something, but I couldn't quite put my finger on what. Then it came to me Thursday at the park. My husband and I had gone to Subway and gotten sandwiches and stopped at the park to eat. As I took my first bite I got a whiff of rotten tomato. Only I could tell by the taste that the tomato on my sandwich wasn't bad. Looking over my shoulder, I realized we were downwind of a pear tree! And it hit me--they smell like rotten tomatoes! Thank goodness they only bloom for a couple of weeks!

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Listening From the Edge

My daughter is home from college for the week. It's nice, but I realize how easy it was for me to adjust to her leaving. I'm not saying it didn't effect me-- I think I was on the verge of crying the first whole week, and just a bit less the next week. I miss her, but I also realize this is what I worked the last 18 years for! I try to go to bed a bit early each night so that she and her younger brother can have some time together. I can hear them talking and laughing and think how lucky I am that they get along so well. And they don't even know what a gift their friendship is. My brother and I didn't have that kind of a relationship. I love him to death and really enjoy the time I spend with him, but that didn't come until later in our life. To be honest, I don't think I even liked him until I was in college! So, for the next three nights before she goes back, I am going to lay in bed and listen to them laugh. It's probably one of the best gifts they can give me!