My Grandma Gray passed away this past weekend at the ripe old age of 96. She lived a long, productive, lucky life. In her 96 years she lost her spouse only afer 68 years of marriage. She raised 4 children, watched 6 of 8 grandchildren marry, and enjoyed 9 great-grandchildren. She survived the Great Depression, welcomed a son home from Vietnam, and changed her long-held Republican status after the second term of George W. Bush. This she did at age 88. She was stoic and soft-hearted at the same time. She nursed baby kittens and lambs with such gentle care while chasing unruly boys with a wash stick. I don't feel sad, exactly. It's more like I am taking mental notes. I am looking at all these people whose lives were touched by her (some more figuratively than others) and thinking that I hope she knows she did it right. She didn't do it perfectly or elegantly, but she did it right. How do I knows this? Because we all have stories to tell. And a life well-lived is full of good stories. Thanks, granny, for being such a central character in my story.
Wigs are for people who have no hair, who don't like their hair, or simply want a different look. Imagine my surprise when I was able to accomplish two of the three while trying to trim a wig that didn't seem to look right. Oh yeah. The wig was on my head while I was trimming it. The pieces that fell were black and silver and a lovely brown.......and my hair dresser is in Paris for a week!
I found myself in a little tiff with a 20-something at the bookstore. He was claiming frustration with the political system and therefore will not vote. I replied, "You are too young to be jaded. You have to live through more than one president to have that right." Ok. Maybe that was harsh. Everyone is jaded, but I liken it too parenting. It's just hard, damn it, but we can't give up the fight. Cast your vote because there are people in this world who don't have that choice. Cast your vote because so many men and women fought for our right to do this. I always think of a time when I heard Dr. Maya Angelou speak. She was addressing young black men in particular when she said, " Your debt has been paid." Her point was that so many people fought so hard to get you the opportunities that you have today. Don't mess it up. Respect it and keep working for better. I know, I know, I know. People rant and rave and drink tea and coffee and call each other names, but in the end if people would just stop....they might be able to listen. The only way I feel I can be heard at this time is by my vote. Good families, good schools, good communities all function when everyone does their part. We all know what we can't do. But there is this one thing, small or large depending on your view, I can do. I will and I hope you will, too.
Really? I found 126 of them. Apparently they are under the couch, between chair cushions, stuck at the bottom of back packs, and hiding under rugs. I also found 12 erasers, 5 plastic sharpeners, 7 pairs of scissors, and 4 partially chewed rolls of tape. I assume the dog did the chewing, but in this house it could have been anyone. There is also one large green dragon head perched at the head of the table. Nobody seems to be missing him though I wish he would scram. I felt him watching me as I victoriously culled the house for missing school supplies that were exactly where everyone left them. The dragon dude needs a name, I need to examine why I have a life that involves a 4 foot dragon dude, and my kids do not need to ask me for pencils.
Talking about books in front of 30 captive people may not seem like a good time for everyone, but it is for me. We had our fall Book Lover's Night at the store and I made my pitch for a few favorite titles (Consider the Lobster by David Foster Wallace, The Gate at the Stairs by Lorrie Moore, and Lit by Mary Karr). I also quoted my husband who says this of my favorite genre, memoir, "Most of it is self-indulgent crap". This got big chuckles and a few nods of agreement, but I pressed on with my pitch for Mary Karr who is anything but self-indulgent. In the end there were whoops and claps and I can compare it to a runner's high without the sweat. Why it's so much fun, I can't tell you, but I like it!