Saturday, May 2, 2009

Thank God And The Greyhound...

She's almost done with her one hundred. After being laid reeeeeeeaaalllyyy low for the last 10 days, in my lucid times I realized I needed to finish something in my life and the awesome 100 is the closest thing on my plate right now to being finished.

So let's get it on...

81. I know I've showed you this photo before, and now for the rest of this story.

I almost killed my baby brother when we were about this age. It was an accident, but still...
We loved to play together, since I didn't kill him, we still love to play together. One of our early games became a lesson in life, in a hurry. We'd play bronc rider and buckin' bronc. One of us would be on our hands and knees, the other would take the rope reins we had tied around our necks and mount up. When the top said go, the bottom would buck and jump and rear until we tumbled the other one off... then we'd change places and go at it again.

On one of my rides, when I fell backwards I reflexively jerked the 'reins' and they tightened around Ben's neck. By the time I got momma and she got the scissors to cut the rope he was turning a real nice shade of bluish purple.

We could still play bronco, but our shirts were the reins... no more rope around the neck.

82. I can still taste lava soap to this day. Walter, our middle Bro, was put in charge of us after church until mom and dad came home. I was raggin' about something that happened in Sunday School that I didn't think was right, (and I was right) the teacher called on a kid to read that didn't read very good and he just kept after him and after we got home I was voicin' my displeasure. Bro was trying to reason with me and I told him to go to hell or some such and the mouth washing commenced. He was never able to get me to unclench my teeth, but I bet I had a 1/4 inch of Lava bar soap on my teeth before he quit. That soap tastes nasty.

83. When we had company, which we did a lot, there was one fellow, Charles Johnson, that got a kick out of seeing me stand on my head and he would give me a nickel. If I got fancy and stood on my head on a hassock (foot stool to you young'uns) he'd give me a dime. He and his wife were not only good friends with mom and dad, but they were active at our church so when we had a church party, if the Johnson's were there, I was going to earn a bit of money. Last time I saw the Johnson's was at mom and dad's 60th anniversary time. Charlie says I got a nickel if you can still stand on your head. I shook my head and told Charlie that I could still stand on my head, even at 45, but he wasn't getting to see it for a nickel. Inflation, you know.... It's a quarter now. He reached in his pocket and pulled out the quarter, grinning like a possum. I dropped right there in mom and dad's bedroom and stood on my head. Got my quarter. And you know what? At 64 I can still stand on my head.

84. If you haven't figured it out by now, I am totally irreverent.

85. By the same token, though, I absolutely believe in God and when the time comes I will be with God and Jesus, being irreverent and they will be laughing with me, because while I am irreverent, I try never to be hurtful.

86. A lot of times, especially when I'm washing dishes, standing at the sink, I stand on one leg like a flamingo with the foot of my other leg up resting on the thigh of the leg I'm standing on...
If that doesn't make sense I'll have Bro take a photo and post it. I'm all about honesty.

87. When I was way, way younger, I had two motorcycles,. The first was a Honda step-over, red, running 50ccs of power. It was on this bike that I first felt my little bitties jiggle. I was doing about 45 on a pretty lousy bumpy stretch of road and the girls JIGGLED. I had never felt that before... I turned around and drove back over that same stretch of road to make sure I felt what I had felt...Oh to go back to those days. My second bike was bigger, a Suzuki 250 X-6 road bike. Man I loved that bike. To this day if I come into unexpected money I would, even at my age, buy another motorcycle. Vrroooom, Vvvrrrrroooooom.

88. I was born with ears that have no lobes. They grow right into my neck. Ignore the wrinkles.

On a trip to my big brother's (the Old Fat Doctor) for Thanksgiving, I asked him if he would pierce my ears. Sure, says he, as long as you let me get your earrings. Okay says I, when do you want to do this. Well, we will just go to the clinic on Friday after Thanksgiving and I'll do it then. The clinic will be open and I'll have my nurse to help get stuff set up.

So on Friday I followed him to the clinic and he had his nurse setting things up and she and I were chatting while he was checking some charts there in the room with us.

Now, she is a tall rangy, country girl, Bill's nurse is, and she asked why I decided to get my ears pierced at a later age than most women she knew. I told her I decided that I liked the look of pierced ears, and besides, my ears grow right into my neck like elves ears and I have no lobes and that makes it hard to wear regular ear-bobs. She came over and looked at my ears and said, you know, you're right, they do grow right into your neck, then she said, but you don't have any tips on the top of your ears...

Yep, you're right I said, but there is a reason for that... at which point my brother's ears perk up cause he's not sure what's coming next. You know that I am the fifth of six children, she says yes. Before I came along it was boy, girl, boy, girl, and I was such a large baby, 9 pounds at birth, the doctor thought I was going to be a boy. Uh huh, she says, following the story right along.
When I came out and was a girl child with fairy ears, the doctor broke out the circumcision kit and cut those tips off my ears so I would look more like my brothers and sisters. My brother almost fell in the floor laughing.

The next time I went down for a visit I asked Bill if he would take off a couple of moles that were bothering me. He said sure, sister, but I have a favor to ask... Sure what do you need? He said, I've got a new nurse and she's not quite used to me yet so would you be real nice to her when you come to the clinic? You bet, Big Brother, I will... and I was.

89. I do love to make up dirty ditties... a song will pop up in my head and to entertain myself and, sometimes others, I have been known to take liberties with the words. That one of my more ornery things I like to do to shock folks a bit.

90. My favorite movie of all time is "Going South" starring Jack Nicholson and Mary Steenburgen. My next favorite is "LadyHawke". Rutger Haur is wonderful, as is Matthew Broderick and Michelle Pfeiffer is ethereal.

91. Novels I have read more than several times each are "Atlas Shrugged" and "The Fountain Head" both by Ayn Rand, and "Exodus" and "Mila 18" both by Leon Uris.

92. My favorite poets - Rainier Maria Rilke and poet/artist Kahlil Ghibran.

93. I love Nina Simone singing the blues, I love classical music, Garth Brooks, Faith Hill, Rod Stevens and Ray Stevens. Bette Midler, especially "The Wind Beneath My Wings", and "The Rose".

94. A song that will bring tears to my eyes e.v.e.r.y. time I hear it, is by the artist Tomito, on the album "Snowflakes Are Dancing". The cut is his rendition on the syntesizer of "Clair De Lune". It is absolutely breath taking to me.

95. I have a great niece somewhere in this world that one of my nieces gave up for adoption. She was born on Halloween, 1987, in Ft. Worth. I was with Punkin' (our nickname for her) when she was born and stayed with her mom the whole time my niece was in the hospital. I have a lot of photos that her grandfather and I took in those 3 days, we have her foot prints on our scrubs that we wore in the delivery room. I hope and pray that she comes looking for us before I leave this world...

96. My brothers and my sister are the most important people in my life. I cherish each and every one for different reasons. I look up to and admire each of them for many different reasons and I love them all with all of my heart.

97. I have a whole mess of nieces, nephews, great nieces and great nephews and even some great-great nieces and nephews, all of whom are totally delightful, happy adults and children. I can go play with kids from 8 months old to 59 years old... and they all do like to play with their family members.

98. I would like to think that I have touched each and every one of them and any more to come along in my lifetime in some special way. I know I've tried to and continue to try to make them feel, each and every one, very special.

99. My dream, if I won the lottery or at least came into enough money to allow me to travel, would be to meet in real life the friends that I have made on this wondrous journey out into the blogsphere. When I began blogging I didn't even think about who might read it or how connected we would become. I just wanted to tell some stories about my family, my friends and the world I inhabit. I like to think that I'm funny sometimes and can spin a pretty good yarn. But all of you that I have been fortunate enough to feel I can call my 'friends' have made me feel so very special, rich and cared for in this stage of my life. I feel enriched and I thank each and every one of you.

100. I have a poem that I have carried with me for almost 50 years now. I read it in the Daily Oklahoman and cut it out and laminated it. It is kind of brown in color, a bit more on the fragile side, but I love it and I feel you will learn a lot about me and the kind of person I've tried and am still trying to be...

"Not By Bread Alone: After Hippocrates"

by James Terry White (1907)

"If thou of fortune be bereft

And in thy store there be but left

Two loves, sell one and with the dole

Buy hyacinths to feed thy soul."

Well, folks, that finishes my one hundred. Pretty much all you ever wanted to know, and perhaps more, I sucked up my nerve and put it out there for each and every one of you. Thank you for pushing me in many ways to try and be a better person every day.


Nola said...

Great post and great you are feeling better!!
I DO understand what you mean by standing like a flamingo....which worries me slightly:) However, I do REALLY want your brother to take a photo just the same!!!
Bette Midler is one of my favourites too and in fact, Ricky and I had "I know you by Heart" as our wedding waltz!!
I expected to see the Pooh photo....not game huh???? lol

Staci said...

I so love your posts like this. Maybe you should go to 200? Please?

Debbie said...

Flamingo while drying my hair, but not while washing dishes. I dreamed this week I was trying to stand on my head. Weird. You can do it? I haven't tried lately. I used to.

Helen, this truly came from your soul and you've done a great job. I'm in awe of your memory and I love the poem. Perfect.

Twisted Fencepost said...

Glad you are feeling better!! Been worried about you!
Flamingo? Me too. Totally understand that one.
I am glad you found me and my blog, because you give as much encouragement as you receive. And I am glad to be called your friend!

darsden said...

Fantastic Post as Always. Love reading about you Helen. I laughed at you actually using a real rope around your brothers neck to play...LOL that is something I would have done..and I almost killed my brother once too!
Cracked me up on the motorcycle story...rerun the same bump *snort* too funny.
You are a hoot! I am with staci Please don't stop...keep don't have to number them just keep going. I saved yours for last this morning with anticipation and was not diappointed at all except when it ended.

Can't wait to meet you one day :-))

hetty said...

Loved your post! You made me laugh! Glad you are feeling better. Do you have to stop at 100? We want more!

darsden said...

oh forgot to mention...Never like my ear lobes...they are porkers!!

Brenda S Okie in Colorado said...

Bravo! I agree, keep going.
I have a cousin a year older than me that stood like a flamingo as a kid and her parents were always making her stop.
You truly are a daily delight. You have great blog friends because of who you are. WE are the ones that are blessed.
So glad you are feeling better.

Laura ~Peach~ said...

excellent stuff... You are who I want to be like when I grow up :) I always wanted to do the flamingo stand but with short fat legs it just dont work well...
I snorted diet coke out my nose with the elf ear story... YOU totally remind me of one of the first patients i ever had... I was working night shift.. you know the required to work it wether you want to or not cause it is just tradition... anyway Effie would sit up at night with us... she would tell us stories and you never quite knew if they were true or not but she was so adorable... one night out of the blue she said to me... "you know i was married 3 times and I killed all three of my husbands." *keep in mind this was a woman in her late 80's of the prim and proper southern lady sort* so of course I bit... said, "I am sorry what happened?"... she looked up with those blue eyes and as serious as can be said, " I screwed them to death!" that was our effie she kept us rolling each night and new nurses were totally fair game LOL
I agree with staci... can we have 100 more please :) better yet hop on your motor cycle and come on to Ga :)

jojo said...

I loved this post and hope you are around for a very long time to tell more stories and brighten my life and heart with your friendship. Thanks Helen!!

Debbie Jean said...

I loved this post and all the 100 posts. Great job Helen and I too am glad to call you friend, and I am so thankful for that. Glad that you are feeling better. David had that bug and it was terrible!!

God Bless~
Debbie Jean

farmlady said...

I'm so impressed with what you've done here. Congratulations!!
I feel like I know you so well:as if we have been friends for a long time.

Thank you for the honesty, humor and the commitment to being real about yourself. I'm very glad to know you.

That poem, at the end, is absolutely beautiful.

Karen (KayKay) said...

Wonderful, wonderful post. I love all of them. I think 85 was my favorite of this batch. Hope you are feeling better.

Mary Ellen said...

I adored reading all of your 100 things. You are an original, my friend, and I could read another hundred things about you right now.

I, too, am a one-footed stander, although I don't necessarity do the flamingo pose.

Hope that terrible bug is just a distant memory. Stay healthy, and write more, more, more.

Caution Flag said...

The Wii Fit wants me to do the flamingo stand and hold it. I find that I do the penguin a bit better; unfortunately, the Wii Fit doesn't ask for that one.

I'm with the others: why stop at 100? You are an amazingly fascinating lady, and I would so love to know you better.

Roslyn Atwood said...

You are a funny lady & we have a couple of things in common-as a kid I used to stand on my head for the entertainment of guests-& at 66 I still can, & I'm pleased to know I am not the only stork-I stand the same way often on one leg-did you know it is typical of the indigenous Australian people, the aborigines?

DocSly said...

Helen, this was magnificent and you do touch the lives of so many. I am going to check out #94 as I love Bette too. Send me an e-mail so I can send you your special package. I am so glad you are feeling better. And oh, I can't find a trumpet vine in the nursery in town so am going to Sioux Falls to search.

Lisa said...

Wow, that is a lot of information about one person....makes me feel like I know you pretty well now. I am still waiting to take your picture with the girls...when will the sun ever come out and give us some good weather??? When it does, you have got to run up here to Tulsa and lets take some pictures!!!

Tipper said...

Loved it-I'm sorry you've reached 100-it's been so entertaining :)

Robynn's Ravings said...

Dear dear friend.......

What a GREAT - FABULOUS - ENTERTAINING - and MOVING read this was. So sorry to be late getting here. I just HAD to visit some of my wonderful friends.

I wish we lived down the road from one another. You can't imagine - oh well wait a minute, yes you can - the fun we could have and trouble we could get into and, that, of course, would be part of the fun!

What a great story teller you are. You should put all these 100 things into a book. I'd buy it.

I sure hope you are on the mend and back on your feet.

Much love to you Wild Woman!


Neas Nuttiness said...

Gosh - after reading this post, I feel like I'm known you forever!
Just wanted to drop by and thank you for voting for me.