Sunday Scribblings: Fuzzy


On Sundays, I participate in Sunday Scribblings, a weekly writing prompt challenge. There are no rules within the challenge, however I am imposing the same rules that I follow for Five Minute Friday: Write for five minutes (or so). No editing, revising, or over thinking. Just write.

Today’s Topic: Fuzzy

It makes me sad that my memory has become so fuzzy over the past few years. People keep telling me that it’s just the way age is but I’m really not convinced. My best friend from childhood, Liberty, has an amazing memory. While my memory has not failed me on the big events in life, her memory can summon even the smaller moments. Maybe that’s why God has brought her back into my life; to trigger those happy days again and not dwell on the loss of my own memory.

I talked to my mom yesterday, and she had been to a party with one of my dad’s brothers, who has early stage of Alzheimer’s Disease. He’s maybe 10ish years older than my dad. My dad also has an older sister and another older brother whose memories have started failing pretty badly. It hit me last night that this could not only be my father’s near future but also my own, as Alzheimer’s and dementia are strongly related to genetics.

So if my memory is already so fuzzy at 36, what will it be like when I’m 66 like my father? Will it hit me sooner? Is there anything that I can do now to help keep it from happening?

This is why I write. This is why I blog. This is why I need to get back into the habit of writing on a regular basis again. Winter is gone, so hopefully my Seasonal Affective Disorder will soon take a vacation, as well.

Read other Sunday Scribblings posts on the topic of ‘Fuzzy’.

 

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No Room in the Inns, Part II

Tell us about the worst trip you ever took.

Yesterday I started the story about the worst trip that I ever took. If you didn’t read yesterday’s post, then go read it now and come back.

Yesterday’s cliff hanger was left with my brother and me going from hotel to hotel in Chicago looking for a room. I can’t even remember how many places we checked, but I know we were nearing ten, if not more. We did find a Super 8 who had a room for $125! Seriously? A Super 8 for that much? Ah, we kept looking.

We finally found a small motel a fair bit away from the convention center that had available rooms. YAY! The lobby smelled like curry, appeared to be run by a family and the place needed some updating, but at least the room was under $100. We were tired, and we settled. This is where is all started going wrong.

Typically unless you request a room with a King-sized bed, you get a room with two Double beds, right? Not at the Garden Inn and Suites on Mannheim Road in Franklin Park, IL (no, not the HILTON Garden Inn). My brother and I got to the room to find a single King-sized bed and a dumpy sofa across the room. I went back downstairs to ask if we could be moved to another room and was told it would cost me $20 more a night. What?!?! Ugh! I figured they just didn’t want to deal with me, and I really didn’t want to give them $40 more for the two nights we were planning to stay there. Besides, Matthew is my brother. We slept in the same bed plenty of times when we were young kids, right? Also, I was not about to have Matthew sleep on the horrible sofa in the room. I didn’t even want to sit on it!

Little did I know that when I returned to the room, I would find out that we also needed another pillow since there was only one in the room. Seriously? I went back downstairs and 15 minutes later they finally found another pillow for me. I don’t even want to know why it took so long for the guy to find one while I waited in the lobby for him to return.

Once settled into the room, Matthew was flipping through the channels while I was reading. I look up, and the TV was on a porn channel! Matthew?!?! The remote was one of those cheapo universal replacement remotes that only had Channel Up/Down, Volume Up/Down, Mute and Power. So yes, our TV had a porn channel that we had to flip past to channel surf.  I’m so glad that Matthew wasn’t a 4-year old.

The next day, we returned from a very long day of Chicago sightseeing to find that our room had not even been cleaned the whole day that we were gone. Why I was surprised is beyond me. I went back to the lobby to complain, and they said they would see if they could find someone to clean it in the next hour…or so. It was late, we were tired, and I was picturing them waking their grandma to go clean my room. I sighed and declined the offer. I did ask for more towels and toilet paper, which again took 15 minutes to get to me and once again I didn’t want to know why it took so long.

The room was dumpy, oddly shaped and in desperate need of some updates, but it served its purpose of providing us a place to sleep for two nights. It may have been the worst motel experience I’ve ever encountered, but it was BY FAR the most interesting experience, too.

I’m actually kind of surprised that they didn’t rent the room to us by the hour.

Have you had an “interesting” lodging experience? What’s your story?  

Has your life been shaped by a mentor or have you been a mentor to someone else? Tell me about your experiences!

During the month of November, I am participating in the National Blog Posting Month, also known as NaBloPoMo, hosted by BlogHer. Most likely I am following these suggested prompts, but I might just get crazy and change things up every once in a while. I‘m one wild and crazy gal! 

NaBloPoMo November 2012

To See You Again

Who is someone you wish you could see again?

There are two people from my life that I would equally like to see again, both of my grandmothers.

Nanny

Yesterday, I posted about a possible ghost experience with my Nanny, who died when I was just 6 months old. She was my mom’s mother. She was a single mother of five children who outlived two husbands and one divorce. She was only 45 when she had a massive heart attack that took her life. She lived a hard life but went way too soon. My mom was only 22 when her mother died and her siblings were 23, 17, 16 and 12.

I never knew my Nanny, but I have heard lots of stories about her. She and my mom were very close, and from what I understand, she was a very lively and fun person to be around. I was her first grandchild and have been told that she adored me. When I was a kid, I sometimes daydreamed about what it would have been like to grow up with her in my life. I always pictured her as the type who would take me on adventures and introduce me to new experiences. I still wonder the same thing today and like to think that maybe my interest in trying new things came from her. I know my mom says that she still misses her every day, even 35 years later.

Granny

My dad’s mother was called Granny by my brother and me. I feel blessed to have a memory of her. She died in 1991 when I was 14. She, too, lived a very hard life but in a different way. She grew up poor, worked hard and had 7 children. She was known for her Granny Biscuits that she made every Sunday morning for anyone and everyone who came to her house for breakfast. Her biscuits were made by hand, then kneaded and cut on the floured surface of her kitchen table. She didn’t like having a telephone in the house, so she never knew who all would show up and would cook more if the food ran out. She also cooked her bacon slow, so it was long and flat, not curly.

In my earlier memories of my Granny, she worked at the Dollar General on Charlotte Pike (that’s now a thrift store), and I remember going there to visit her. When she retired, she mostly stopped driving and stayed home most of the time. She walked down to the corner market every day to buy The Tennessean paper, and I remember thinking that was a long way for her to walk at her age and wondered why she didn’t drive to the store or get a subscription. Now I see that it was only a block away, and that the exercise was probably important to her. In the summer time, my brother and I would stay with her about once a week to spend time with her. While she wasn’t frail or had a long term illness, my mom often reminded me that we might not have too many days left with Granny, so I treasured that time with her.

Granny told me that she had to quit school after the 8th grade because it was too expensive for her to continue going to school. At the time, I didn’t understand this because school is free, right? I later learned that it was expensive to keep good shoes and clothes, as well as how helpful it was for her to stay at home to help out on the farm. She always stressed to me how important it was to stay in school and learn as much as I could, because she wished that she would have been able to finish school. She taught me the value of education and reading.

I’ve been told that I look a lot like her in her younger days, though there aren’t too terribly many photos of her in that time. If she wasn’t reading the paper, she was reading a book and would read when she went to bed (again, much like me). One Saturday night in August, she went to bed as usual, and I have been told that she either had a heart attack while she was reading or she fell asleep while reading and had a heart attack. On Sunday morning, one of my uncles came for breakfast to find the doors locked and no smell of biscuits and bacon coming from the kitchen. My Granny had died with a book on her chest. That’s got to be the absolute best way to leave this world, if you ask me.

If I could see my grandmothers again, I would fill the time with all sorts of questions for them and ask them to tell me stories of their lives. There’s so much I would love to know about them!

 Who would you want to spend a day with again (it doesn’t have to be someone who is deceased)? What would you do? 

During the month of November, I am participating in the National Blog Posting Month, also known as NaBloPoMo, hosted by BlogHer. Most likely I am following these suggested prompts, but I might just get crazy and change things up every once in a while. I’m one wild and crazy gal! 

NaBloPoMo November 2012

Five Minute Friday: Quiet

The rules: Write for five minutes. No editing, revising, or over thinking. Just write.

Today’s Topic: Quiet

START

Overall, I am not a quiet person. I never have been and never will be as long as God continues to bless me with a voice. There have been numerous times in my life where I have been called out for being too loud and talking too much. Sometimes I wish I was more aware of it, but mostly it’s just who I am. I can even remember back to grade school having comments on my report card to the effect of, “Tonya is a good student and very sweet, but she talks too much.” I feel the need to excuse myself when someone points it out, and honestly it’s embarrassing, though I’m sure necessary. When I first started working from home on Fridays, my husband said that I would babble on and on and on when he got home from work because I hadn’t had anyone to talk to all day. Luckily he didn’t mind…too much 🙂

Despite being quite a talkative person (and a loud one at that), there are times when I relish the quiet. Usually in the mornings I’m not quick to turn on the tv or even talk for a while. Also in the evenings after work, David and I might watch a tv show or two during/after dinner, but there are plenty of days where I just want quiet. I’ll turn the TV off and read.

Also, I absolutely despise talking on the phone these days unless I am in the car when there is nothing else to do. I’m pretty sure it comes from working in my previous call center jobs where I had to talk on the phone ALL DAY for 8 hours (or more) a day. Before 2006 when I got my first call center job, I loved talking on the phone! Now that I am not in a call center job, I still hate talking on the phone, but there is still a big portion of my day that involves talking, even if it’s not the full 8 hours a day. I live by the rule that I prefer texts or emails unless it’s an emergency or you absolutely cannot text or email (such as driving). I may or may not be guilty of not answering the phone just because I don’t want to talk.

Believe it or not, this loud mouth does like quiet…sometimes 🙂

STOP

Read other Five Minute Friday posts on the topic of ‘Quiet’.

NaBloPoMo November 2012
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Five Minute Friday: Roots

The rules: Write for five minutes. No editing, revising, or over thinking. Just write.

Today’s Topic: Roots

START

Each day this month I am posting to Twitter and Facebook something for which I am thankful. This morning before looking at the Five Minute Friday prompt, I wrote,

“‎30 Days of #Thanksgiving, Day 2: I am thankful to have parents who are always there for me & raised me with good values & responsibility.”

When I looked at the prompt for this morning, ideas were already coming to my mind, but nothing was too terribly clear. I decided to go ahead and find a quote about roots to see if that prompted any more clear words for writing. This is the quote I found:

“The greatest gifts you can give your children are the roots of responsibility and the wings of independence.” – Denis Waitley 

I guess this has been God’s way of saying that I have some pretty awesome parents who taught me how important responsibility is. While they have taught me independence, too, I also know that they are still right there behind me to catch me if I fall. Instances like this morning are how God speaks to me. Today he’s showing me that my roots are strong, and I will continue to weather the storms and thrive in the sun.

STOP

P.S. After publishing this post, WordPress reminded me that this makes my 100th Post!

Read other Five Minute Friday posts on the topic of ‘Roots’.

NaBloPoMo November 2012
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31 Days of Journaling Prompts: Family

Day 8: Family

Through ups and downs, my family hangs in there. We’ve all had our share of problems that sometimes affected the whole family, but we keep it together and keep going. I am very close to my immediate family and still rely on them to be there for me when I need it.

My parents have been married for 41 years now. They have a very combative but mostly honest relationship where they just tell it like it is. I remember when I was young I felt like they argued more than they should and that they were always on the verge of divorce. It took me several years to learn that that’s just how they communicate, and that they were never going to be like television families that I thought were the norm. Now I realize that television families were never the norm, and it seems silly to have ever compared them that way. Maybe it’s a child of the 70’s/80’s thing where families were portrayed as having problems that were somehow always resolved within 30 minutes. I think it warped my expectations. Now I realize that my parents get along like most normal married couples who aren’t in a sitcom. My dad retired at the end of last year and is LOVING it! My mom is most likely going to retire sometime this year. If they don’t kill each other within a year of my mom’s retirement, then I think they’ll stay together forever.

I was an only child for almost 8 years before my brother was born. With the age gap, I ended up being like another parental figure for him, especially after I turned 12 and he was my responsibility during the summer. The summer after I turned 16, Matthew went with me EVERYWHERE. I think it was my mom’s way of making sure that I didn’t get into trouble, not that I was a bad kid, but she knew that I would never do anything bad with him around. It was most likely also a way for my parents to get us both out of the house. That was 19 years ago now, and I don’t ever really recall him being a burden. He always behaved much better for me than he did for my mom. I think kids are just like that, though. My brother will be 28 next month and is quite a handsome guy. I love him dearly and feel so lucky to have him as my only sibling.

I am also blessed with some pretty awesome extended family through aunts, uncles and David’s side of the family. There’s also a few other people in my life that I’m not related to by blood or marriage that I consider my family. However, I’m going to keep this entry short, sweet and just about my immediate family. They’re fabulous enough on their own.

“The love of family and the admiration of friends is much more important than wealth and privilege.” – Charles Kuralt 

What makes your family unique? 

 

Read more about the 31 Days of Journaling Prompts
Today’s recommended 31 Day Blogger: 31 Letters To My Mother @ Leanne Penny