Monday, July 29, 2013

Looking back

It's been a time of introspection for me. I have been cobbling things together to try to keep this job, but what I am starting to discover is that my experience seems to be that, in a field where kindness is, or at least should be, a requirement, it is unfortunately not.

I have a crack at a full time job, one that would permit me to keep my part time COTA hours. A quiet message from an old acquaintance has told me to avoid the job, that it is a not a nice place to work.

In the darkness last night, it has come to me, plainly and simply: I cannot bear to work one more place where kindness is needed but, unfortunately, seems to be in short supply. Perhaps I am an idealist. Maybe just stupid. I don't know for sure, but what I can be absolutely certain of is that I simply cannot bear to go through this again. It would break my heart.

I've decided to apply for a factory job. I know that I am a hard worker. It's time to return to what I know best.

Late edit: This is just a simple statement of fact. I've had some very big blessings in my life lately. Am I disappointed? Of course, but it is what it is. I know my own limitations.

Thursday, July 25, 2013


So you know how sometimes you just see something, and just know that you have to have it. No reason really, except for that it is really old.

Really old.

You totally 'get' this, right?


I beg you.

Just tell me yes, that you totally understand this.

I know, I know.

It was set along the curb, and I couldn't leave it.

I tried.

Quit laughing! I honestly had quite a conversation with myself about this. I said to myself, "What in the heck would you even do with something like this?" and I answered, "But this is really old." And then I said, "The Changeling scared the mess out of you." And I answered myself, "Quit being stupid. Do you see George C. Scott lurking anywhere?" and I didn't. As hard as I tried, the next thing I knew, I was wrestling it into the back of my car.
It's really Tim's fault. If he hadn't left bungee cords in the trunk, I couldn't have brought it home.

The Rest of the Story

On yesterday's post, Cappy told a story of his sister's Hoosier cabinet:

My sister bought a Hoosier cabinet when she lived in an apartment building that was built in 1904. Nice high ceilings. (Each floor of the building was originally two large apartments, then they split them up and my sister had the maid's quarters, the original dining room [complete w/ bell button on the floor to call the maid] and one bedroom.)

She was moving and wasn't sure what to do w/ the Hoosier. She was pulling out drawers and such and found a signature and a maker's label from some town in Indiana. So she emailed the city hall of the town where it was made. The town had a small museum and they were very happy to get the Hoosier "back home." Turns out the gentleman that made it lived in to his 80's and passed away in the mid '70's.

It was pretty neat, all in all...

Our Hoosier cabinet has a story too.

I told your husband the history of the hoosier, it was first owned by the former funeral director, H.H. Hull and was shipped to his funeral home and furniture business for his wife in downtown Youngsville across from Dick's gas station. Mr. Hull went out to measure concrete vaults that he manufactured and did not come back for supper. Mrs. Hull went to check on him and a vault fell on him and killed him. She subsequently gave a promotion to Earl E. Young who drove the team of horses to the cemetery in the horse drawn hearse to become an embalmer. She paid for him to go to Eckels School of Embalming in Philadelphia for 6 weeks and when he returned she eventually sold him the business and he became the owner of the hoosier. Mr. Young bought the Kay Mansion and moved the funeral home business and he and his wife to its present location and took the hoosier with them and the entire time they lived there, it was in the upstairs kitchen( they had a full time maid and cook, Blanche Buelly who my dad said was a fantastic baker!). My dad came to town in 1948 after the War and lived with Mr. and Mrs Young and worked for them for 17 years before he sold the business to my Dad, thus my dad became the owner of the hoosier. My mother moved it out of the kitchen when we redecorated and she put in horrible metal cubbards which are still there. I worked for my dad and grew up above the funeral home and when I bought the business, I became the owner of the Hoosier. So, that's the story!

I told Cindy that I planned to copy her story and tape it to the back of the hoosier. The thing that I love about old furniture is that they all have a story. My very favorite thing is to know the stories, and to save them. The McKinney funeral home in Youngsville is well known to most locals.

Thanks for your story Cappy. We will examine the bottom of the drawers in our cabinet to look for a maker's signature.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013


Come on in! Hang up your hat!
This is the new curio cabinet.
Tim picked it up today.
He was actually just as excited as I was.
We both think it looks like it belongs in the library.
           He said, "You know she's selling a Hoosier cabinet."               
I don't know what it is about them, but he's always wanted one. I think it must remind him of something pleasant about his childhood. But he's always wanted one. I think they are cool too. The cabinet was a different place than the curio cabinet, so he didn't actually see it, but she sent him this picture. I said, "Well, do you want to go and look at it?" and after the briefest of hesitations, he said, "Yes. I do." So we hopped back in the car and went off to look at it. Tim wanted it very badly. The woman was taking bids on it, and so we made our offer. She IM'ed me this afternoon. She has a feeling about us. She decided not to take bids. She considers our offer good and fair, and she accepted it.
We have the Hoosier cabinet.

You may not know this, but Tim has bought another house which he fell in love with. He wanted to move. It was a hard decision, but in the end, what I decided was that Tim has sacrificed a great deal for me, and it was my turn. I decided that our relationship was more important than our house. I told him I would move, under two conditions. The first was that the house be completely done. I'm not leaving my beautiful house to live in the middle of ongoing projects that may or may not get done. The second was that if I had to make a sacrifice for him, he could make one for me.
I could have a dog.
No dog.
How about a cat.
And the deal was made.

Today, sitting at our table eating our lunch, Tim said, "You know, you get a piece like that Hoosier cabinet, it's got to be the focal point of your kitchen."
 I agreed.
He ate for a while, looking around.
He said, "I'm going to rent out the brick house."
Surprised, I said, "What?!!! We're not moving?"
And he said, "No."
A Hoosier cabinet does belong in an old house like ours.
Kind of hard to visualize it in a brick ranch style house.

I guess he really wanted a Hoosier cabinet even more than I knew.

I'm not at all sorry now that I bought that curio cabinet without asking.
Buck and Bob talk: "Did you hear that? We're staying right here!"
Bob says, "It wasn't the stinking Hoosier cabinet. It took four people to wrestle me up on this wall. It would take that many to get me back down. Plus, I really don't think I'd 'fit' in a 1970 style ranch either. I think I bring a certain ambience to this room, don't you?"
Buck snarled, "It's always all about you, isn't it?
Let's just back out of there and leave them bicker, okay?
Let's go hang out in the livingroom.

Wanna hear a secret about Nash?
Under all that hair, he's a she.
Vet will be called tomorrow.

In Trouble.

I was on line, and I saw this.
The price was $100.
For an oak curio cabinet.
So, very quickly, I typed in, "I'll take this."
After the initial excitement wore off, I realized that I'd done it again.
I made kind of a big purchase without talking to Tim.
When I saw him next, I said, "I want to show you something," and I went to the site, and found the picture, and let him read it, as I tried to come up with the words to explain why I should never be allowed at auctions, EVER, online or otherwise.
And Tim said, "$100?!!!! You tell them we want that."
I said, "Okay. I wanted to talk to you first..."

Is there a 12 step program for furniture addicts?
There should be.
I need it.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Tic cats, please.

 Tonight, I went drove up to the clock shop and picked up my funny little clock.
It gongs on the hour and chimes on the half.
I just stayed up way past my bedtime to hear it one more time.
I'm a goof like that.
On the way home, I stopped in and visited my friend Mary. They live at the top of a mountain, and oh my good gosh. What a storm we had! The lightning streaked from one side of the sky to the other. It was short but strong enough to get the road crews out and working on the roads. I encountered a washout on the way home.
I had a chance to porch sit and drink wine with another friend, and then I was back home.
 I tried to get a picture of Nash. He's camera shy, apparently.
 He's adapting well.
I guess this is the best we can hope for tonight. He is a very sweet tempered cat. He sat by the door today. I took a deep breath and opened the door. He stepped out and sat quietly on the porch. He made no move to leave it, and came back inside as soon as the door opened. He seems to really enjoy being an indoor cat, and given the choice, I'd rather he choose to stay inside.

Sunday, July 21, 2013

The cat comes back.

It's been pretty hot here, and I have not see hide nor hair of Nash. Tim catches a glimpse of him, but he doesn't stick around. When I get home in the evening, he's gone to where ever he gits to.

In any case, I saw him straggling up the driveway today as I was headed for church. I asked Tim to feed him and then William and I took off. William was headed to church in his wagon, and there was no holding him off that once he was loaded and ready to roll.

I got home today, and Nash came back. He looked just exhausted, and it appears that he'd been in a cat fight. Doesn't surprise me, because we have one mean bob-tail next door. I felt so sorry for him that I brought him inside. We were all gathered around the table eating. I offered him some meat loaf, and he tore into it like he was starving.

It's become a problem...I cannot leave food for him outside anymore. It's drawing a lot of cats, which makes Tim unhappy. It's also drawing at least one raccoon. I chewed on my meatloaf, and I said to Tim, "You know, we need to bring him in."

Tim chewed on his food and he said nothing.

"We've talked about it, and you agreed to it. Is this going to be a problem?"

"No. It's fine."

I said, "Buck was a problem."

And Tim said, "It will be okay."

We went to Walmart today. We bought a litter pan, and some good litter. We bought dry catfood, and canned cat food (yes, Bob...I sprang for the expensive stuff that comes in little cans.) We bought Advantage II. A brushing glove (Nash has long hair.) A place mat for his little china dishes. We spent $80, which just goes to prove my theory that there is no such thing as a free cat.

He has the run of the basement and the kitchen so far, and as I become sure that fleas are not going to be a problem, he'll be allowed on the rest of first floor. As I become sure that he doesn't have any behaviors that we need to be concerned about, he will be allowed free run of all three floors.

So far, he is a quiet cat who studies us closely. If you remember, there were two cats that looked alike, and it appears that we got the quiet one. He has been a perfect gentleman.

I just walked into the kitchen and saw him sitting quietly under the kitchen table, with a cobweb across the top of his head from a recent explore through the basement. "Hi, Nash," I said, reaching down to pick off the cobweb and to give him a little pet. It felt like the most natural thing in the world.

Late Edit: This morning, when I got up and went into the kitchen, Nash laid sprawled on his fuzzy blanket. I went to the basement to check the thing that I was most worried about, and was very relieved to discover that he understands full well the purpose of the litterbox. I came back upstairs and opened a can of cat food, and he eagerly came over to eat. I made my coffee and filled his dry food. When I returned to the kitchen for a refill on my coffee, he was once again stretched out on his blanket, studying his new situation through sphinx eyes. I reached down to pet him and after a hesitation, I felt his little body relax, and he began to purr.

Another late edit: Last night, getting ready for bed, I looked out our new french doors and saw the image of my cat standing outside looking in. I said to Tim, "Look! There's Nash's brother." He said, "Just come to bed." I said, "They must have a bond, that this one is staying so close to the house," and Tim said, "Just never you mind about that."

Saturday, July 20, 2013

This little dude is hep.

Our bedroom is on the first floor. It has an old picture window that was not in good shape. Tim was pretty sure that it was allowing moisture to seep inside the wall. We knew that it was going to be replaced.

Time is tight, with both of us working, and so we've hired some Amish to come in and paint the house. They charge $500 a day, and think that they can do it in 3 days. It's worth it to us, just to have it done since neither one of us can take the time off.

Of course, before the house is painted, we might just as well replace that window. Since it has a sweet stone paved area right outside the window, we decided we wanted french doors. Since we were replacing a five foot long window, it was kind of convenient. The doors are the same width.
William was here and thrilled beyond belief to find the huge hole in the bedroom wall. The hammering was pretty exciting too. He ran from the room to his bedroom and got his little hammer and nail set and came back calling, "Gra-paw, gra-paw, I hep you. I big hepper."

 I don't know how gra-paw could have done it without his 'hep'.
 Justin and Tim hard at work. Their little supervisor takes it all in.
Tim thought it was so darn cute, he hammered a nail part way in, and asked William to finish the job.
William spent a good 15 min hammering at it with his little plastic hammer, jabbering a blue streak. Tim gave it a good couple whacks when it was time to move the doors into place.
The doors are in! Our little 'hepper' has been moved to the bed of the truck, given a piece of wood and he is hammering away, so as not to be tripped over as we maneuvered the 400 lb unit into place.
Just in time, too.
Within a matter of hours, the clouds opened up once again.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

What I do

Sometimes, when you work with a severely handicapped population, you re-realize the importance of a small kindness. Today, a man began to cry, and I went to him, and I put my face close to his, and I rubbed his shoulder and talked to him. He turned his face into my shoulder and rubbed his cheek against it, making eye contact, lapping up our little time eagerly.

When you think about it, it breaks your heart a little...they are cared for and they do their activities, and they are fed and all of that, but sometimes, it is brought home, clearly, sharply, that what is missing from their lives is to one contact...a hug...

I can do that. I see the need and I can do that.

At the end of the day, I walk out, and I'm take a moment to thank God that I am where I am at, doing what I am doing. I thank God for the eyes to see the difference that a hug can make. I recommit myself to giving the best I can give, and giving it with love.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Have I missed something?

Today, at work, the radio was reporting news on the royal baby.

I said to my workmate, across the room, "What? Has the baby been born?"

Peg replied, "I don't know. I didn't hear."

"Cripes, Peg! You've missed it, and that might be the only report there ever is about the kidlet! This is not the sort of thing that will receive non-stop coverage!"

She laughed, and said in mock shame, "I'm sorry."


An online friend and I were discussing the Trayvon Martin case and our unhappiness with the verdict. We both have sons, and we both can understand how a young boy might react if followed by a menacing man in the dark and unable to get away. 'Stand your ground' doesn't just apply to men with applies to teenage boys in hoodies.

She is a practical person, and I messaged her precisely because I needed to hear some sensible discussion on it.

She lives on the other side of town, not far. I could walk. I know that we have a great deal in common, perspective-wise. We share the same sense of humor. She is currently dealing with a lot. A teacher, off for the summer, confined home with a loved husband who deals with a progressive and debilitating illness. Her children grown and gone. She's adrift, her life roles redefining themselves.

I've been in those shoes several times in my life. I understand the loneliness and uncertainty of it, as you struggle to regain your footing in the ebb and flow of life.

After talking for several minutes, my friend said, "I have a big porch, and a manicured lawn. When are you coming over to sit on my porch and drink wine with me?" I told her that Tim worked second shift and that I was free most evenings. Her response was simple and stark. This busy active woman said, "Please come. Sometimes I get so lonely, I can't stand it.

It gave me pause. Several times in my life, I have been in her shoes. When my marriage broke apart, when Tim and I married, when I struggled with our difficult extended families, cancer, school...I struggled and doubted, and quietly carried on as best I could. I find myself wondering what would have happened had I just raised my head and looked at another human being and said, "I'm so lonely, I just can't stand it."

Would it have made a difference? Maybe. I don't know. I wasn't as brave as my friend, and I never had the courage to utter the words.

Sunday, July 14, 2013

A Day Dream and a Shock.

Today, I bought a set of livingroom furniture. We honestly do not need it, but the fact of it that it was such a nice set, white shadow casting on white upholstery, and the lines were so nice and...well...

See for yourself.

At $150 for the set, I just couldn't NOT get it. It has been in storage for some time, and looking on line at the manufacturer, we realized that this is a very expensive set of furniture. We decided to spring and have it professionally cleaned.

I am beginning to realize how much I love furniture. A friend asked me, "What on earth do you do with a house that size?" and I said, "I fill it. One piece at a time, and I am enjoying myself a great deal."

He said, "Well, if you ever see a sofa table or something like that, I am looking for a table to put in my diningroom when I make a fancy meal."

I promised that I would keep my eyes open. While brushing my teeth it came to me. I had the perfect table. I quickly e-mailed the store on the other side of the state, got dimensions and a photo and forwarded it to him.

I felt like a matchmaker, and I couldn't wait to see what he thought.

I found myself dreaming. Wouldn't it be fun to do this for a living? To collect furniture and resell it?

I had a shocking experience today. Tim and I were at the Walmart. We checked out and I saw my friend. Stopped me dead in my tracks as I recognized her smile, and that thick beautiful hair of hers that I always admired so much. I am afraid that I gaped a little. I couldn't help it. My dear friend has been dead for a couple years.

"Don't think I'm strange," I began, and my voice sounded gaspy and not my own. "Did you have a sister Kathy?"

That smile that I loved so much came again, and it really was remarkable, the similarity. She assured me that she did not.

"You look so much like my friend..." I marveled, and Tim stopped too.

We walked to the car in a stupified silence.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Mish Mash.

Turns out that quite a bit can be accomplished simply by unplugging your computer modem and wandering off to read the paper.

I have not had access to facebook and yahoo for 2 days, and it is frustrating, esp. since my yahoo is my business address and I had a couple projects due. I called Dan the magic man, our computer guru. I was a little confused because initially, I thought it was our new virus control (we'd switched from McAfee to AVG). Then I discovered that I couldn't get my tablet to work right either, and I hadn't installed the AVG on that.

Dan came up with a couple of scenarios, but suggested I try unplugging the modem. I was pretty doubtful, but told him that I'd give it a try, but that I'd most likely be dropping in to see him in about 45 min. Oh me of little faith!

So now I have a computer again, and for that, I am everlastingly grateful.

Remember a while back, when I wrote about the Newbold estate? Someone local read that, and I was invited to be involved with a joint project with the National Forest Service and the Historical Society. The mansion cannot be rebuilt, of course, but the plan is to restore the gardens, the orchards, the old ice house, to clear away the overgrowth and expose the foundations of the mansion, to erect signage. An abandoned railroad runs past this, and the plan is to turn it into a walking trail with an old fashioned gazebo for hikers to relax in and enjoy the view, and ponder what it was like. I am excited about this, and very grateful to be invited to participate.

It was fun to be at the poorly attended meeting and listen to the stories of the two sisters who continued to rattle around the house. Locals did the groundskeeping, and one of the sisters would stand at her bedroom window shouting down instructions to them at the beginning of their day. Once she caught a man hocking a stream of tobacco spit in the weeds, and she fired him on the spot and told him to never step foot on her land again. I love these sorts of stories.

It is raining yet again, with rumblings of thunder and lightning. Tim's family reunion is Saturday. Tim has fired up the brick oven for the last few years under the tutelage of Uncle Herman.

Uncle Herman died this year, and I can tell you that it will not be the same without him sitting next to that brick oven. Tim knows how to do things. He had an excellent teacher after all. But Uncle Herman sat there next to the oven, and because of that, the bread oven became a social center, everyone coming up to talk to him.

I don't believe that we've ever had a rainy day for the family reunion, and I hope that our luck holds. This is an important year in a way. The family has lost a number of its elders this year, and maybe that is why it seems so very important that we all make sure that the tradition continues. For their memory, I suppose, but for our own sakes as is good to know where you belong.

And this is the man who has enabled me to belong. Thank you, Tim, for the gift of this extended family.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

White Stone

I did not know WhiteStone, not in person anyway. We were on-line friends. We met when we were first dealing with cancer, and discovered we had quite a bit in common besides cancer. We both finished cancer treatment. Her cancer came back. Mine has not. *knocks wood*

One of her final blog posts was about her upcoming PET scan. After a couple weeks with no further comment on it, I told Tim that I had a sinking feeling that the news was not good.

I was not sure how to approach it. There is a lot of unbloggable stuff. I did not want WhiteStone to think that I was pushing for more information than she wanted to share. I sent a carefully worded e-mail that said, "I have a bad feeling about your PET scan, and I want you to know that I continue to pray for you and Jim both."

She wrote back, a short note, and said that she could not blog everything, that her 90 year old mother read her blog. I understood, and it kind of confirmed my fears, although my questions were not answered.

Sunday, I was very excited to see an e-mail from her. I settled back in my chair, and opened it and saw a message from her husband, Jim. He let us know that she had died on June 23rd, and gave a link to her obituary.

Even though I kind of guessed, it still came as a shock to me, and I cried. For Judy. For Jim, who in the midst of his own grief, in the midst of his own cancer treatment, took the time to notify everyone in her address book.

Judy took her blogger name 'WhiteStone' from a Bible verse "I will also give him a white stone with a new name written on it, known only to him who receives it." (Rev 2:17) This is said to symbolize that when we meet our Maker on Judgement Day, there will be no public humiliation. He will know our transgressions, and the judged will know them too. In the old days, a person was give a pebble of acquittal in Greek courts. Our white stone.

Judy believed what she believed with an unwavering faith. It brings me great comfort to picture my friend holding a white stone, smiling her big smile, and when we meet again some day, we'll introduce ourselves once again, using our new names.

Good bye, my friend. I love you.

Hello? Anybody out there?

Is anyone out there having trouble with blogger besides me? And yahoo? And facebook? Are all these things related? Late Edit: What I mean is that I cannot access either Yahoo or Facebook. I can only blog from Html, which I'm not all that good at. Is anyone else having the same problem? (Esp. you local readers...) Signed, Confused.

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Pint Sized Vignettes.

Over at her place, Stevie posted a picture of pint sized vignettes. It made me smile. It also made me take a look around my own house. There are things that I love, little places and spaces that make me happy.
This is above the livingroom door. Such a hopeful thing.

 The little table at the end of the couch holds an assortment of remotes, and whatever books I am reading right this very minute. There should be a pair of reading glasses there, but it would appear that I have misplaced them yet again. *sigh*

                                                          My flying pig.
                                                      I'm a fan of whimsy.
                                              Tim's Galileo thermometer.
                                                     He's a fan of clever.
Kabluey II, my fish has lived for 7 months now. He comes to the front of his tank to be fed when he hears (feels?) me coming. Unlike Kabluey I, this fish has managed to avoid drains. That makes me very happy too.

My latest find. Well, later-ish...It was orange. Tim repainted if for my birthday. It fits so perfectly into the kitchen. I really love my kitchen. Tim wants to remodel it. I want it to remain as it is.

 My very latest fine. $3.99 at the Goodwill. We've been having a time with our cordless phones. Lots of thunderstorms and power outages have lead to some problems. Sometimes when the phone is hung up, it does not register as being hung up, and people cannot get through to us. Other times, the phones will be ringing, and when you try to pick it up, it continues to ring. When you are running up and down stairs trying to find out which phone is malfunctioning THIS time, it gets annoying. So I wanted a non-electric phone, an old fashioned corded phone. Look what I found! It is heavy and the 'rotary' dial is actually a touch tone phone, but I love the looks of it, and I love the big satisfying old fashioned ring of it.

This hangs on the wall right next to the previous phone. My uncle updated it so that it can be plugged in, but inside it has a rotary phone dial, so we don't use it.
                                                                 My bed.
                                 At the end of the day, I'm always happy for my bed.

Late edit: don't know what's up with the spacing, but I haven't got time to figure it out. Always something, innit?

Friday, July 5, 2013

Big Night for the Oldies.

Back to work today, but after work, Tim and I will be heading back to New York State to the Chautauqua Institute.

We'll be seeing all of 'em, plus Player and Robbie Dupree, two groups I don't remember all that well.

Tim and I are almost exactly the same age, one month apart to the very day. This music provided a sound track for a big part of our 20s. I'm not sure why, but I find myself looking back lately. How life has changed from those days when I was long haired and skinny, and there were no cell phones, or computers. From a time when there was no Tim in my life, from a time when there was no Debby in his. How things have changed!

We are now 56 years old. I don't think our 20 year old selves ever imagined ourselves living the life that we live now. Our reality completely eclipses anything that we could have imagined back then. We both consider ourselves to be two of the luckiest people we know.

PS: In an final act of extravagance, guess who else we will be seeing in August? Garrison Keillor.

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Plain talking mamas.

Today, we slept in until 7:30. A rare luxury.

We ambled downtown for our town's big 4th of July Parade. I'm not a fan of parades, but I do have to say that I like people watching. Today was no exception.

We sat down next to a couple. She had long gray hair, and was dressed like an aging hippie. He was heavy and bald.

Their daughter was shapely with crooked teeth. She must have been 18, because she was smoking. She wore blue glittery eye shadow that extended to her temples and the rest of her makeup was not applied with any lighter hand. She wore short shorts with a spangly red, white and blue insert running up each leg. Her black barely-there top exposed her pierced belly button with a star and dangling rhinestones. I guess it was supposed to look like a shooting star.

She sat there next to her parents, but every now and again, she'd get up to walk slowly back and forth, swaying her hips. Men and boys passing by on the sidewalk would look. At least one stopped to talk. "I hope you know how fine you look. Really. You are fine." She looked amazed and her mother and she giggled together, shaking their heads at the nerve of some people.

It was then that I realized that the red haired boy sitting on the other side of her was part of their group. No one had spoken to him. No one had looked at him. When the fellow stopped to talk to the innocent and unsuspecting daughter, the red haired boy-man got up and came to her side. He put his arm on her shoulders and she shrugged away, angrily.

He stood there unsure of what to do next. He finally went off to have a cigarette. When he left, the father wished aloud that he would not come back and the little threesome laughed together.

He did come back and he sat down and was ignored for the rest of the parade. He looked miserable.

The mother in me wanted to head after him the next time he left to have a cigarette. The mother in me wanted to say, "Listen, you're not my boy, but I'm going to say what I would say to any of my boys: She might be sexy, but if she treats you like crap, the sex will not make anything any better." I wanted to say, "Hey, you're not my kid, but I'm going to tell you that you are worthy of respect." I wanted to say, "I'm not your mother, but what the hell are you thinking here?"

But I didn't.

I sat there, and I switched back and forth between watching the parade and watching that little scene play out. When they left, the parents walked with their daughter, the three of them laughing together. The young man trailed behind.

I didn't say one word, and you know, it's bothered me all afternoon. I've been working in the garden, and hoping that boy has a plain talking mama.