Really .. hell does freeze over ...

Really .. hell does freeze over ...

Saturday, October 23, 2010

My Utopia

Growing up in a small town had it's advantages.  Basically, everyone pretty much new everyone else.  You didn't have to worry who your neighbours were and you could play outside without worrying about perverts and preditors.

I played outside a lot.  There weren't many kids my age when I was little on my street, so I tormented the older folks.  I'd knock on their doors, seeing if they had anything good to eat.  My grandparents lived next door, and my grandmother always had something tasty just waiting for me.  I think she loved to watch me eat. "Na, na", (here, here) she would say, setting the delicious treat in front of me.

My grandparents came immigrated here from Yugoslavia, and my grandmother spoke broken English.  Half English, half Croatian .. it wasn't hard for me to understand her.  My grandfather would sit in the veranda of their house, waiting for me to wander over.  I was told he loved for me to come over for lunch.  He said it made his food taste better.  I remember he would always say to me what a nice little boy I was.  I had long, blonde hair, and I would get so angry that he would think I was a boy!  I would stomp my foot, with my hands on my hips and insist that I was a girl.  He would shake his head and say, "no.. no, I don't think so."  Always with a smirk on his face.

My grandfather passed away a few days after my fourth birthday.  I didn't understand what that meant.  I remember my grandmother crying.  I remember being at the funeral home and trying to wake my grandfather up.  To me, he looked like he was sleeping.  I often ran into his bedroom and woke him up at nap time.  This was just like nap time, just a fancier bed.

Across the street from our house was MacDonald's Pop Factory.  I loved to watch the delivery trucks coming in and going out.  Some days I would go and sit on the Factory's top step and try to look thirsty, hoping that one of the workers would take pity on me and bring me a "red pop".  Red pop or Cream Soda, was my favourite.  MacDonald's made the best tasting pop.  There was always a bottle of gingerale in my grandmother's fridge.  She bought it by the case.  A case of pop came in a wooden crate back then, and they used glass bottles.  Plastic wasn't used.  Church keys (bottle openers) were a must in every kitchen drawer, because there was no such thing as twist off caps.

All of the people on my street have passed on.  All but one.  There's just my my Mom and Dad that are still the original owners of their house from when I was born and brought home from the hospital.  I've watched them all grow older and pass on to the next life.  It's been a privilege to know each of them.  They all taught me a something, whether they realized it or not.  They say it takes a village to raise a child.  My grandparents, along with my surrogate grandparents on Pine Street, were my village, and I love and miss them.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Ahh memories ...

Where to begin.. I guess I should start from the beginning.  I have an extraordinary memory, so this should be good!  My memories allow me to travel back to the past as far back to when I was about 15 months old, maybe younger, but I'll have to get back to you on that one.  I still need to do some research on local history to make some verifications on things.  That will tell me my age by the memories I have of a certain place my parents had taken me to.

At 15 months, I took an over dose of baby aspirin.  T'heee... scared the hell out of my Mom.  I just thought they were delicious.  My Dad had stopped at the Pharmacy, because I had a cold.  I remember him dropping the white bag off and handing it to my Mom.  It was a cold day outside, too.  You could see the white, plume of cold air come in before my Dad entered when he opened the door.  

My Mom set the bad of "goodies" on the kitchen table and headed downstairs to change her laundry over.  I, of course, curious to see what was in the bag, climbed up on the table to have a peek.  Imagine my joy when I found a box of 'piddos'!  That's what I called pills.  I remember taking the bottle out and pulling the cap off with me teeth.  I lined them up in a straight line and ate them one by one.  Crunch, crunch, crunch....

Imagine my Mom's horror when she discovered that I had eaten half a bottle of 60 tablets.  I remember her asking me to open my mouth.  She told me later in years she was checking to see the pink pill residue on my molars.  Panic stricken she called the doctor, and it was decided that I needed my stomach pumped.  

Now, for the longest time, my Mom swore I couldn't have remembered that far back.  I just knew the story from her or my Dad telling it to me .. BUT .. then I told her then how come I can remember the tubes being forced down my throat?  I also can remember the sound of the pump that was beside my head.  I can remember seeing the little bits of pink coming up from my stomach through those tubes.  I can remember the feeling of my tears pooling in my ears, because I could no longer make any sounds.  I remember the cold feeling of the table they had me laying on.  I remember the doctor with the dark, framed glasses, and I certainly remember the big, fat, mean nurse telling me to, "shut up and stop crying!"  She had her greying, blonde hair pulled back into a tight bun and the base of her neck and she had a huge double child and the skin on her face was sort of mottled.  She had really fat hands, and bad breath and I didn't want her touching me.  She was too close to me and I could smell her lipstick.  I wanted my Mom, and they wouldn't let her in the room where I was.  It wasn't allowed in those days.  

After that, my Mom didn't question my ability to remember.  I can pull any memory I want at will, and I am there.  Even now while typing about my over dose, I can smell that nurse's lipstick and her awful breath.  It can sometimes be a blessing .. but also a curse.  There are some things in life you just don't want to remember, or wish you could forget.  

My head is so full.  Not only of memories, but of knowledge.  Good and bad.  Useless facts, songs, that I have learned from when I was a kid.  Sometimes it comes in handy.  I'll tell you one thing, I never ever .. well, hardly ever get lost.  It's like I have a built in navigational system.  I was always my Mom's co-pilot when we traveled.  I just instinctively knew where to go and how to get there.  My Mom would get lost in a round room.  

I always thought everyone could do this.  I'm learning as I'm older now, that it's not the case.  I've actually freaked a few people out.  I'll tell them something about themselves, that they have told me like 20 years ago, and they'll stand there with their mouths open wondering why I know this information.  Well, duh, you told me.  Then they're amazed that I remember, but it's the way I remember.  I remember the conversation word for word.  I think that's what scares them the most.  I go into detail.  Then I sound like a freak.  Especially, if I tell them what shoes they were wearing or what earrings they had on.  The looks on their faces tells me I've gone too far.

Welcome to my personal hell.......

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Are you even listening?

Why do I even speak?  I don't think anyone actually listens to me around here. No that's not true .. I know they aren't listening to me around here.  

Ladies .. we did well to take that "obey" bit out of the marriage vows but what were thinking by leaving in the "cherish" part?  What does cherish get us?  I haven't gotten any cherishing as of late.  What we should have put in was, 'Love, honour, and LISTEN'.  Now that would have helped out a heck of a lot better than that cherish garbage.  Listening would have been a great idea.

I'm a little tired of repeating myself.  Ughh.  That's got to be my number one pet peeve.  Especially, if I've been asked the same question before.  Hello?  You just asked me that an hour ago!  It must be a male thing.  Take notes or something.

Maybe I'm being a bit neurotic.  I don't seem to have this problem.  I remember conversations.  I seem to remember all conversations.  Perhaps this is something not everyone is able to do.  Or, my husband just tunes me out and figuring that I'm just babbling on about nothing important.  Only to discover later on, when he asks me a question pertaining to the conversation we had earlier, had he been paying attention, he would have not had to have asked the question in the first place.  That's frustrating.

Which leaves me with one question... are you even listening??