Crystal Clear Raindrops
Wednesday. 11.28.07 10:56 pm
Crystal Clear Raindrops
All is quiet in my little corner of the world. Lazily, I lengthen my body
and stretch, arms over head, lying on my sofa. My family moves
around me, engrossed in conversation that I vaguely hear. I am
mesmerized by something else. It is raining. It falls lightly from
above, hitting the roof with a soft, "tink, tink, tink".
I turn my head slightly, reaching over to the table next to me to fondly
stroke the black and white picture of my grandfather. I close my eyes
and breathe in deeply. Slowly, I move from the sofa to the sliding
door, pulling it open and stepping outside. The sound of the rain
landing softly on my patio is soothing to my ears. I am like a wilting
flower in the hot desert sun. With every rain shower, I am reminded
of how much I love thunderstorms and the memories they bring with
them. The clapping of thunder heralds in memories of a thin, gray
haired man slapping his knee and laughing until tears ran down his
face. The streak of lightning as it crosses the sky chases a young girl
running down a well traveled path between two houses. The sound of
rain landing on the ground conjures up images of two strong arms held
tightly around me. I have missed the rain almost as much as I have
missed the man that lives in my memories. Standing outside, the rain
falls upon me and my arms open upward like the leaves on a desert
planting parched from the hot sun. Yes, for whatever reason, there is
something about the sound of rain falling that propels me backward to
I grew up in northern Indiana where rain is abundant. I can still see
the rows of corn that lined many of the roads in the country where I
grew up; just as beautiful were the acres of swaying, golden
wheat fields that followed after them. My parent's built their home
next door to my paternal grandparents; one yard blended into the
other, sharing a common walking path that I used daily to visit my
grandparents. We didn't live on a farm, however, we did have a
garden. My mother loved to work outside with her flowers. My six-
foot, three-inch father would till the ground making it softer for his
petite, four-foot, nine-inch wife to dig in., But daddy never disturbed
our path. He knew that there would be constant sugar runs, mail
calls, and any other excuse that I could come up with to skip my way
down that thin, dirt covered little path. My ultimate goal was to just
get to the lap of my grandfather.
Saturday evenings were ours, my grandfathers and mine. "Come
here, Teeny", he would say, patting his lap as he sat in his rocker. I
would scramble up onto his lap and feel the safety of his arms as he
hugged me soundly. If all were right in the world, there would be a
thunderstorm brewing outside the front window; it meant I would have
a good excuse to spend the night. Grandpa would pull his pipe out
and the smell of cherry tobacco would surround me. Grandpa always
smelled of cherry tobacco and his evening Schlitz beer. We would sit
in the rocker and I would tell him everything that had happened to me
that day. I would tattle on my younger brothers. Grandpa would raise
his eyebrow, not both, just one; I was always impressed with that. He
always knew just when to laugh and when to look astonished at
whatever came out of my mouth.
We would sit like that, two soul mates a generation apart, watching
the Lawrence Welk Show. It was our favorite. We would dance when
the champaign bubbles floated across the television screen; then
hurriedly climb back into the recliner to watch the rest of the show.
Who needed the Beatles, when you had Lawrence Welk, my
grandfather would reason. And I, being too young to know better,
believed him. Grandma would be in the kitchen, busily making sugar
cookies, and always giving them to us while they were still warm.
"Just this one time", she would say. I would receive another glass
of milk and grandpa another beer.
We enjoyed our Saturday evenings together until I was sixteen-years-
old. On a sunny day, my grandfather had a heart attack; dying in the
hospital before I could arrive to see him. The nurse said he told her
he was waiting for his favorite girl to get there, and then smiling, took
his last breath. I would like to think he was talking about me, but I
know he was talking about my grandmother.
Grandma Beryl was twelve years his junior and a remarkably unique
woman. She was, early on in her life, diagnosed with what would now
be called bipolar syndrome. She could on occasions become suicidal.
My parents built their home on my grandfather's property, in part, so
that my mother could watch over my grandmother as she watched us
children, keeping us all out of danger. As I became older, my
Grandmother's occasional trips into "Berylland" became uncomfortable
for me. It was embarrassing to have the school bus drop me off at
home and have my grandmother hanging her underclothing out for the
whole world to see, twirling and dancing as she did it. As a teenager I
had certain responsibilities and one of them was to be cool and
"groovy". A twirling, panty-hanging, grandma just didn't fit into my
plans for popularity. It was my grandfather who finally made me see,
not by words but by actions, that conformity is not necessarily the best
thing for everybody. After he had retired from working, there would
be days that I would come home from school and he would be in the
back yard with her, hanging their underclothing, dancing and twirling
together. He embraced her occasional trips, going on the explorations
with her, and loving every minute.
Standing in the rain, these crystal clear memories flood over me like a
security blanket, I look back into our home and see my two teenage
children I hope that one day my husband can sit in his recliner, his
grandchild on his lap, making memories that will outlast our lives and
continue into theirs. My cookies are not quite as good as grandma's,
but that's okay, I'm sure my grandchild will love them anyway.
I close my eyes. The rain continues to fall around me. Blowing a kiss
toward heaven, I hug myself lightly and head for the door. Yes. I do
love a good thunderstorm.
Saturday. 1.27.07 10:31 am
I have decided to stay in my pj's today. I'm not getting out of them for anything. I'm gonna lounge on my sofa, get a stack of movies, and do nothing. I don't think I have been so excited about something since, well, at least 1998.
It feels good to feel lazy. Even if it just for one day. I am going to baske in my freedom to do nothing. (well, I may have to get out of them to take a shower, I need to be clean...but I am going to put them right back on!!!) No jeans, no shorts, etc...just my fuzzy lined pj's.
I wish this day would never end......
Wednesday. 1.24.07 10:31 pm
My mom was a people watcher. There were days when I would walk into my parents living room and find my mother, binoculars in hand, staring out the living room window. She was a little freaky about. I thought she was just bored. She couldn't drive...she had an inner ear problem that made her off balance behind the wheel...my dad had to stop trying to teach her because she keep driving to the right into trees! She couldn't ride a bike for the same reason. So, she couldn't escape to the mall without someone driving her. She didn't work...outside of the house, either. What with six children she really didn't have time to do anything other than stay at home. So, we sort of let her have her obsession with staring into the tree-lined field across the street. The laugh was on all of us though. Later, when we were all grown-up, she confessed what her obsession was with the field across the street. We were told by her that the teen-age boys of the neighborhood would walk the teen-age girls in the neighborhood back there, and well, use your imaginations. She was making sure, my sister or I were not one of the girls (or my brothers one of the boys). When she passed away, I inherited those binoculars. Too bad we don't have a field across the street.
Color me Blue
Tuesday. 1.23.07 9:33 pm
I don't know why, but I feel tired today. Maybe I'm getting sick. (No, eleezar, not in the head, but in my throat!) It hurts to swallow. I let a friend use my phone the other day not knowing her throat was soar and now, four days later, I have a sore throat. Good grief, I hope it's not strept throat. It really hurts to swallow, though.
I cringe just thinking about the germs that must have been on that mouthpiece. Ugh. Gotta go lay down. Write some interesting things to keep me busy with, will you? Thanks.
Wednesday. 1.17.07 9:13 pm
The Dancing Baby vs. Daveland
Sunday. 12.3.06 6:58 pm
I have become intrigued by the dancing baby. Does he live in "daveland" or does he live in the real world? I don't know whether to believe the blogs or not. Does anyone really know? I am going to take a poll. Comment and let me know what you think.
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