Thursday, July 28, 2016

Dumbo, Elephants and me


I remember being a small child and watching "Dumbo" with my mother.  I also remember crying (quietly so mama wouldn't hear), when Dumbo went to visit with his mother one last time while she was in the railroad car.  I could never, ever re-watch the movie.

While working on my master's degree a professor of a class I was in showed clips of movies to emphasize points being made in his class.  I don't recall the class, some sort of psychology/social work/sociology type.  I really do not remember lessons taught.  I do remember clips of two movies teaching two seperate ideals or something or other.

I remember clips of the "The Matrix" but no memory on what the clips meant.  I believe that it stuck with me of the many we saw because I hated that movie.

A few weeks later, on a new subject, I began to slip down in my chair.  For I realized, somehow, the clip which was coming would be of a tremendously sad scene. The scene of Dumbo and his mother.  I barely made it through that class, that night, because of the emotional thoughts deeply stirred.

By that point in my life I had lost my mother.  She had died about 8 years or so before in 1990.  The scene this time around was not just representative of a child feeling sadness about a baby elephant losing it's mother.  Now the scene contained not only that but also a new sorrow.  Not only of a baby elephant but also of an 18 year old girl becoming a young woman with no mother.

When my brother Gary died in 1979 I was nearly 8 and Gary 27.  My mama and daddy settled, I guess that's what it was, into grief.  My mama and I had talks of Gary, and death and God and Heaven.  She prepared me for my future death you'd say by giving me a peace of what would come.

The one lesson mama never, ever taught me? Was how to live without her.  How to live without a mother......

Elephants are iconic to me.  They fascinate me through their deep bonds of family. Of being a matriarchal society-mothers raising and forming deep bonds with their babies. Of their ability to mourn, in the future, of family gone if they cross paths with the bones of past elephants of their group.

Perhaps part of my admiration of the elephant was born of "Dumbo" followed with my loss of mama. I became a sort of "Dumbo" in my shared experience of "Dumbo".

Thursday, July 21, 2016

First dinner with my parents....




Hmmmmm.....going to tell a homey type story for Kathy Eyman to wake up too. Chris's first meal with my Daddy, Momma and I would have been around February or March 1990. (We began kinda seeing each other after his birthday in January 1990.) Momma was cooking her normal, large, country every night meal, which always contained cornbread and milk for Daddy.

Chris wasn't at the house yet. I walked into the kitchen to find Skeeter, my Australian Shepherd dog given to me by my big sis Sharon McNutt, leaning on top of table eating the meatloaf.  I cried out, "MOM Skeeter has eaten some of the side of the meatloaf!!!!!!!!!!!"  I was hysterical!!

Momma came in and made Skeeter go away.  She proceded to calmly cut away the side Skeeter had nibbled on. Momma in her always classy, cool, and collected way said, "Chris will never know".

And he didn't.  Untill after we were married in 1996.  Figured I needed that piece of information hidden until we were hitched.




Skeeter went everywhere with me.  Slept in the floor beside me and would play to exhaustion with his beloved football. 





Wednesday, July 20, 2016


Chris will refute till his dying days what I'm going to write about wifely duties haha

When momma died in 1990 cooking fell to me. ( I wasn't as good as her).  Three course country food.  Daddy didn't like leftovers and didn't care if we always have meat-Daddy could do without (but cornbread EVERY night).

When Chris and I married in 1996 and I carried the cooking tradition of country meals on.  Only Chris didn't have to have cornbread but had to have a meat.  No leftovers for Chris, just like daddy.

We ate late every night-around 8 or 9.  We'd be in barn and I'd quit around 8 to come in and cook supper.  Till 2006.  Then things changed in our lives to not cooking every night.

2010 Chris became the cook.  My chemo for a year then radiation for 36 treatments wiped me out.  He has turned into quite the cook and a much better homemaker than I. He was a fantastic nurse through 4 years of up and down illness.  I'll never,  ever be able to repay! Honestly.

Chris learned to cook "exotic" things.   No country cooking.  He cracks me up when he cooks.  He likes to add 50 different ingredients where I only used 2 or 3.  He learned things so now he prefers his meals best.  I cannot cook like he wants.  I can't win so I just let him cook.  He would correct everything I tried to cook sooo....I just stepped back and let him have at it. Ha ha. Chocolate in chili! I prefer my 3 ingredient chili.  lol.

I often feel guilty I've been a "bad" wife since illness.  It's hard to return to "Marna", the woman who began cooking for a father when she was 18, continued that tradition when married but now it's gone.  How do I go back to being "Marna" who had basically 3 jobs:  Work, then home to ride horses and clean stalls, and cooking large meals every night. No one can understand the almost impossible task of owning my life that was all encompassed of horses and cooking.  And add age 44 into mix of things and a body which will never, be the same.  Chris may want the old but things cannot go back.  Just forward to....chicken pesto pasta and exotic things Chris prefer.


Now I'm trying to be a better wife.  A year of keeping stalls pretty immaculate is over. Bone spurs in my neck, seizure leftover issues and now extreme arthritis in both hands and two fingers. There's just no way to continue the level of barn perfection I must have  (sorry customers, I'll try  more. Better.  I cannot stand unclean stalls.) Cleaning stalls exercise is better than paying gym fees.

I'll do my best to be in barn but no hang out time. I'm selfish and like my Christopher Robin time and my hodge lodge garden mess.  Chris promises to help with some great ideas.  Yea!


Saturday, July 9, 2016

Kid's water slides

Driving by kid's birthday parties with huge air water slide rentals in yards reminds me of my childhood.

One summer, probably around 1979, Daddy bought some sort of rolled up plastic from the hardware store.  He unrolled on a small slope at our house and put a water hose at the top.

Jamey and I had fun for a couple days. However, after many grass burns, plastic cuts and a sore chest we let Daddy roll up the plastic.  On for us to ride bikes again.   (Until 1 pm.  "Days of our Lifes" came on at 1....)