Aren’t You Afraid You Asked?

Welcome to October. You may be saying, “It’s about bloody time! Where have you been?!”

I am fully aware that my last blog post was in August, but folks, there weren’t no way in Tarnation that this girl was going to have the time or brain cells to publish anything cohesive in September.

To be clear, I’m not a huge fan of September. It’s always a rush to get the kids back to school, and although it’s nice to have a change of routine, its usually to a much more hectic routine. Then there’s the weather. Although this September might have been an exception to the rule depending on where you live, it always rains on September 22 where I live. Always. I know this because that is my birthday.  Again, not a fan.

But this particular September was especially chaotic.

First Born Son started his second (and final) year of college.

<PAUSE> Can I just take a moment to say, WHAT THE HOLY HELL HAS HAPPENED HERE? FBS is a CHILD! It’s impossible to think that he’s ready for the “real world” in less than a year. Who determined this? I’d like a review on this decision. I call foul on the play! I APPEAL!! If you are looking at your child right now and he/she is under the age of 10 BE PREPARED. You are going to go to bed one night and wake up with them driving, drinking (not at the same time – he was born with a brain) and ready to cash their first full-time pay cheque! I understand the going to college thing, but the GRADUATING from college? NOT. COOL.

 

PRETTY BOY POUT 1

Yup, I’m going to trot this picture out any time I have a chance!!!

Truly people THIS is what he looked like last week! It’s ok….I’m better now…. <PLAY>

So this kid moved in with three other friends into a brand new apartment complex. It’s nicer than anything he’s ever lived in before. Hell, it’s nicer than anything I’VE ever lived in before, which should set him up nicely for a lifetime of disappointment, frustration and failure knowing his living arrangements peaked at 19 years of age.

Second Born Son is away from home more often than not! A number of school trips for various educational and extra-curricular commitments means that he’s constantly bringing home permission forms and asking for signed cheques! When he’s not broadening his horizons, he’s at work, heading to work, or just coming home from work. No worries here with his work ethic!

At least he’s home on weekends. My niece, MM, moved OUT, as in “has a different permanent address” at the beginning of September. How did Little Sister take this development? Well, that’s a good question. I believe she thinks she packed up her eldest daughter, who is also her co-worker, in a box when she relocated her salon. Yes, moving a business is a huge undertaking, and one that LS knows well. She’s done it twice now. You would think she would have remembered how much it sucked the first time!

Because we Bowery Girl sisters believe in drawing all the B.S. the Universe has to offer, LS also sold her house late this summer. This resulted in a closing date of late September. Great news for her, but it launched a chain reaction of events, as she had an offer in on our parents’ home. This meant my Mom was going to be moving in September too. Sweet Baby Jesus what have we gotten ourselves into here?!? LS was packing her house, packing her work, renovating her new work location, moving her work and then moving her home. Yes, I agree, she DOES hate herself. While we tried to help as much as we could, she still had to live with the day to day of upheaval everywhere she looked in her personal and professional lives. She’s amazing. Or crazy. Or amazingly crazy.

Now moving can be a very emotional experience. Personally, I didn’t find it so hard when I moved from our first house to our current house, but I know my Mother had a lot invested in her home. She helped design it, was the general contractor when it was built, provided countless hours of personal sweat equity and lived there longer than any other home she has resided in. This was going to be tough for her. A saving grace was the fact that LS and her hubby Thing 2 were going to be there so it would be loved and maintained, but I’m sure the first time she walks in and sees painted wood, my mother will have a stroke.

As with any challenge, a job half planned is a job half-assed. No. A job well planned is a job nearly done. No. Well, anyway, we had a strategy which was that we would treat it like a Band-Aid; just rip that puppy off and get it over with all at once. That is, get a truck once, move twice. Yup, we were going to try to move two households in one weekend. I must say I am somewhat disappointed in my circle of friends, none of whom had the nerve to say, “Hey Sarah, you are bat-shit crazy to be part of this.” Nope, they did the equivalent of smile and wave as I marched off into battle.

It didn’t help that I went into the weekend very tired, since my work required that I attend a week-long exhibition that involved standing outdoors in a tent with various lighting and temperature conditions. By the time Friday came, I was most definitely punch-drunk. See what I indicated above about the Universe. Not. Kidding.

As we all know, there are some do’s and don’ts for moving, and while I would think they are universal, apparently some people didn’t get the memo. While most of the moving went smoothly, there are always one or two people that you wish you could choke with their coffee cup or at least ask them to secure child care for their pre-school aged children. It’s never a good thing to roll a piano on a toddler! No, not referring to my nieces and nephew, who works like soldiers the entire weekend.

But I digress.

At the end of the day…er weekend, we had two households in two different households. Mom was fairly settled, while LS has pretty much the next 6 months worth of weekends planned out for her. If she and her hubby aren’t building shelving, they are going to be in the garage sorting the possessions that preceded them in the multiple trips that were made with non-essential items. That’s when she gets over her version of the wicked cold we all developed the day after the move. If the Universe had an arse, I’d be kicking it right about now….

So “in a nutshell”, “alls well that ends well”, or “at the end of the day”, or “we can all look back and laugh” or some other such tie-a-bow-on-it statement we survived, barely.

I jokingly told The Big Guy that since Mom and LS had new homes, it kinda gave me the “new home” real estate itch!

He just started talking to me again yesterday….

 

 

 

The Shroud of Mystery

As I mentioned before, The Bowery Girl is the latest version of The Bowery – a column I wrote for a community newspaper a lifetime ago.

Back then, as today, I wrote about pretty much anything I chose to. I think the editor was simply glad to have one less thing to assign me.

Regardless – I have always found humour in the damnedest places. Which is where one of my Mother’s favourite column came from. Since she learned I was “live” with my writing, she’s asked when I would share this one. I actually dove into the tote I stored my newsprint life in, but couldn’t find it.  So….for my Mom, I’m rewriting it….sheesh….

My Granny was my Dad’s mother. She was a tiny, tough, Englishwoman. Around her you WOULD drink tea (hence my life-long aversion to the beverage to this day), and you would be scolded for eating HER chocolate covered graham cracker cookies. Why she would bring these around two young girls and NOT think we would inhale them is beyond me. I’m sure she was distressed that my sister and I were not orderly and well-behaved as young ladies should be. We had the run of a farm with neighbours far enough away that they’d never hear your sister scream when you pounded the crap out of her……..ahem.  Around Granny you did NOT shout and you certainly did not use profanity. There’s a whole other entry on the time she heard my father in the barn over the intercom during a particularly stressful morning of chores…

When I was a teenager, Granny died. It was a blessing since she was suffering from a dementia and the last few years were difficult, especially for my father. Now organizing a funeral for a parent is stressful, but this funeral was becoming BRUTAL. Aside from the regular bureaucracy one has to go through when a hospital and nursing home are involved, there were the stipulations laid out by my Granny. We had to get her in the ground ASAP!

Let me explain….

When my Granny was a younger woman, her mother (my great-granny) would tell her daughters that when she died, she wanted to be buried in nothing but a shroud, “Just like our Lord Jesus.” What ever possessed her to decide this was never fully explained, but it was simply understood that these are her wishes. When Granny’s mother died, her sisters refused to bury the elderly woman naked, in a shroud, pointing out it was not “proper”.  So their mother was buried in a “proper” dress and “proper” pearls. Likely with appropriate shoes that had a modest heel. This outraged my Granny.

Therefore, she took on the concept. SHE would be buried naked in a shroud, “Just like our Lord Jesus.” This would honour her religious convictions, as well as her mother’s legacy.

<PAUSE>

Can I point out here that my Granny was ANGLICAN? In anything I have come to understand about religion, there aren’t too many Christian-based beliefs that required wrapping one’s dearly departed in a sheet to honour God. Judaism requires a quick burial, but I am aware of that rule being stretched to 48 and even 72 hours after death. But I only took Religion/Cult/Occult in college as an elective, so I don’t pretend to be an expert…

<PLAY>

When the time came to plan the funeral, my Dad was working as quickly as he could to ensure it was a quick turnaround. My aunt was trying to get back into the country, therefore the little “details” of the funeral were left to my Mother. And she was having some issues. We all knew that Granny wanted to be buried in a shroud “Just like our Lord Jesus”, but was having a really hard time envisioning this tiny frail woman being in the ground with nothing more on her than a bed sheet.

This is when “logic” kicked in.

Mom decides to dress Granny in one of the cozy track suits she wore in the nursing home. She picked the pink one, well, because, well, it’s a visual thing right? She can LOOK like she has nothing on. Then she comes into my room.

“I need a pair of socks,” she said.

“Oh, ok.” I said.

“Make sure it’s a pair you don’t plan on getting back,” she adds.

I give her a couple of pairs, which are deemed unsuitable. Finally I give her a pair of “pom-pom” socks. She picks a pair that are white with pink pom-poms. Even through my Granny is yet to be in the ground, I’m fairly certain she’s spinning.

So with the socks in hand, my mother collects the other items and they are delivered to the funeral home. Oh to be a fly on the wall when the undertaker saw what he’d have to put his latest client in. Thankfully, the casket is closed. Granny is in the ground JUST under the time frame allotted and we are all taking license with the “shroud” concept.

I have since told my mother that her mother-in-law would come back to haunt her for failing to deliver on the final request, and even suggested that she, herself, take on the idea. She’s not interested in being buried “Just like our Lord Jesus.” Guess that takes me off the hook!

We’ve all heard stories young women taken tragically and buried in their wedding dresses, or perhaps a teen who was a cheerleader being laid to rest in her uniform. Men can be buried in military or sport uniforms, or other apparel that has special significance to them.

So I can only imagine what someone might think, years later, if they ever had to open my grandmother’s coffin.

“Look Joe, this one was a GYMNAST!”