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Archive for October, 2017

Superhero Grandma

There is an unfinished portrait of me that hangs in our dining room. It was painted by my father, who was a great dad  but definitely not a great portrait artist. I have written of this angry-looking alien baby before, and would never have mentioned her ever again, if it weren’t for my four-year-old grandson Max. Max has been having some bad dreams  lately. Pretty typical for that age, but not fun. One would think this scary-looking portrait that hangs on my wall as a joke would be the stuff that nightmares were made of, but once I told him it was me, Max began to laugh. Every time he looked, he laughed some more. I told him that the scary baby was really a Superhero Grandma, and she could really kick some butt. Four-year-old boys like superheroes, and they also like words such as “butt” and “poopy head”, which he quickly learned is not an appropriate name to call someone at day care. Grandmothers really are superheroes, you know.  One of mine was a widow with three young  children who managed to feed and clothe them during the depression years by cleaning and taking in other people’s  laundry. My grandfather had a life insurance policy but cashed it in two weeks before he died to buy a new furnace for their home. My other grandmother raised five sons, which should elevate her to superhero status without a word being mentioned about how they moved every few years to follow my grandfather’s work. I have few hardships, unlike those strong women before me, but I can change into a Superhero Grandma when help is needed.  I mixed a few kid-safe essential oils with water in a spray bottle and labelled it “Happy Dreams Spray”.  I hope it works. If not, I will pound a nail into the wall of  Max’s bedroom and hang that portrait over his bed. That baby is scary enough to chase away even the worst bad dreams.

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The Ladies’ Room

I didn’t think I would have time to write a story this week. Between work, travel, reunions, and a wedding, it has been hard to find the time to write something witty, thought-provoking, or even mediocre. Writing is harder than you might think, and sometimes my own inspiration comes from the oddest things. BATHROOMS would be the perfect example. After the usual “hurry up and wait” business of travelling by air, the flight crew tempts everyone with a variety of beverages in a plane that holds 185 people and two small bathrooms. You can do the math here. They don’t let you stand and wait in the aisle anymore either, so it is every woman for herself. Even if you had a snowball’s chance in Florida of getting in, who would really want to? You can barely turn around, much less be seated. About the time you get in, the turbulence starts, and you always wonder what is happening out there. I waited. So did 125 other club- soda-with-lime sipping ladies. I waited when we got off the plane,  holding the carry on baggage. HE used the men’s room, while I eyed the 10 women in line next door. We hiked to the next one, and there were 15 in line for a 10 stall ladies’ room. The men’s room had no line, of course. We waited. And waited. Rumor from the front of the line described the same conditions down the concourse. A desparate sounding voice came from somewhere behind me: “Please, ladies, I’ve got to go now!” Poor thing is probably one who carries a water bottle with her all the time and hydrates. I would have been more sympathetic, but had three minutes to board my next flight. We rushed over to our gate, only to find out that the flight had been delayed. HE wandered off to find something to drink. Not me. I can wait as long as it takes, even if it is all the way home to Minnesota. 

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