Friday, January 4, 2013

Hey Grandma, what’s for breakfast?

Several years ago I posted about the classic Hee-Haw skit; “Hey grandpa what’s for supper?” I got to thinking how ironic that statement is for me because I only remember one of my grandpa's and that memory isn’t a very good one. Truth is he never made dinner for us. Truth is he didn’t cook, he only drank. And that is the only memory that I have of him. I can barely even remember when he died. The funny thing is that the original post is one of the biggest feeds into my blog. It is amazing how many people search for that phrase and one of the links takes them here.

My grandmother’s did cook though and they were both great cooks. My grandmother Lottie not only cooked for her family, she also used to be a cook for Ormond Elementary School. It was Corbin Avenue Elementary at the time. She also drove the bus for the school. She would get up, fix breakfast for her children and get them ready for school, then drive the school bus, fix lunch for the school children, drive the kids back home and then take care of her children when she got home. And she did it all by herself. We have it so easy these days.

Grandma lottie could make steak out of hamburger. She knew how to stretch what she had and make it into something great. I used to love her chicken and rice (mostly rice) and her meatloaf. Someone once asked her why her meatloaf tasted so good and she laughed and said; because it doesn’t have much meat in it. It was mostly crackers….and a lot of love.

Sometimes on weekends we would get invited to Grandma Lottie’s house for breakfast. She would make waffles and sausages. She had an old waffle iron that she got at an auction. She loved going to auctions and they knew her by name at the local auction house. That old waffle iron must have made thousands of waffles. It wasn’t very fancy but it worked great.

Grandma Lottie died while I was out at sea serving in the Navy. I remember getting the death notice and whishing that I could be there for the funeral. It was almost a month though before I made it back home and when I got there I went to see her house one last time. I had hopes of finding some little memento to remember her by.

It was sad seeing the house empty of furniture and all the other treasures that she got from the auction house. The only remaining items were in little piles on the porch where they had been claimed by all the relatives. Anything with any monetary value was already gone so the stuff that was left was basically worthless to anyone but family. As I sadly looked over the remaining items, I spied the waffle iron. So I took it. I deserved to have it as much as anyone else. When she was alive, I spent more time with her than any of her other grandchildren. I mowed her lawn because no one else would do it for the 50 cents that she paid. And it was a big yard too.

I cleaned that little waffle iron up and I still use it to make waffles for my family. I used it just last weekend in fact. And it always reminds me of Lottie.

Have a great day,


Thursday, January 3, 2013

Thankful Thursday, I have no intention…….

On the last day of 2012, I took a Yoga class. I knew it would be a great way to end the year and it was. During the class just like in most classes the leader suggested that we set an intention. For those that don’t take yoga, what this means is that you pick an object or thought to focus on during the class. It can be an object like a flower or a bird or something less concrete like love or peace. In this class we were told to try and think of an intention to set our focus for 2013. Try as I may, I just couldn’t come up with just one thing.

All kinds of ideas were popping into my head for what I want to accomplish in 2013 but there was no common theme to focus on. As in the past, I do want to lose weight this year. I want to get in shape. I want to become healthier by eating better, drinking less, exercising more and minimizing the stress in my life. I would like to do more volunteer work, help others more, and reach out to those in need. I would like to make some new friends and get rid of some old habits that no longer suit me. I would like to strengthen my spirituality. I would also like to try my hand at some new things this year. All good things but there is no central theme.

After giving several days of thought, I have decided that I really don’t have just one direction. So what do you do when you have no clear direction to go? The answer was so obvious that I just couldn’t see it; When you have nowhere to go, just stay put. It’s ironic that several weeks ago when I was getting ready to start my yoga class, the instructor came over and asked how I was doing. I told her that “I” was doing great. There was trouble in the world all around me but in my little space everything was perfect.

And that is how it usually is for me. Any turmoil or grief in my life is caused by some external force or person. If I were all alone, other than feeling alone, I would have nothing at all to complain about. My little world is calm and serene. Inside I am happy and content. It’s only when I have to deal with the chaos around me that I get upset. So where does that leave me?

I guess that I need to focus on what I already have and try to strengthen it. I need to make improvements and take care of myself so that I can face the turmoil all around me. It is obvious to me considering what is going on in Washington that no one else is going to watch out for me so I must do it myself. And maybe, just maybe, if I strengthen myself, I can start to make changes to the world around me instead of having it affect me.

So today I am thankful for my will to survive and knowing that all things are possible through God. I know that no matter how bad things get in the years to come, I will make it through. And even if I don’t have a direction at the moment I still have a purpose for being here.

Have a great day,