By Susan Hartley
December 31, 2013
If you have me pegged as a”party girl,” you probably have that right. Christmas day was Earl’s 7th birthday and I didn’t have a party, thinking family would show up. Nobody did.
That brought back a memory of the year I “picked up” those few who had no New Year’s plans. I had an unexpected day off from the hospital so I gave a little party, a last minute, small but select group, and I enjoyed it all until one of the guests said — and repeated — that she felt sorry for me because I had a party and nobody came. After hearing it the third time, I was sorry she was on that list. We have this great memory of a party when a few “crashers” were admitted. Everybody knew they were welcome here. The party was fun, with a variety of good foods, beverages, and as usual, ended with a “group sing.”
)RB and I were (in)famous for our duet rendition of “Detour,” (there’s a muddy road ahead.) We always brought the house down, which may have been a reason we were favorite guests. Plus we were free and didn’t accept tips. (none were offered.) A year I remember well, the party was coming to an end and many of the guests were preparing to leave. A knock at the door — RB answered — and a group of four, two men and two women trailed in. I’d never seen any of them before in my life. The spokesman for the group explained that he and his group weren’t quite ready to break up but couldn’t find anything open - until they saw our house lights. (They couldn’t have missed them. For parties, I forgot expense and had every light in the house glowing.) He suggested he remembered seeing RB ” some place” and he named one of his family who “probably knew” RB. That’s all it took; they were the greatest of new friends, fun, funny, and well-behaved, considering the hour and their general condition, which was acceptable (remarkable?) for the occasion. When they left, we cut the lights and locked up. Our beagle, Willie Mae, didn’t tolerate alcohol in any form except as vapor exhaled by the leader of her pack. With whom I live. Too tired to bark or wag, the dear old girl couldn’t even raise her head — and she hadn’t had a drop. It was one of the best from that decade, remembered with smiles.
Farewell to 2013! RB was hospitalized twice, once with a “little stroke” and once with a “little heart attack.” If I hurry, I’ve only had 6 little falls in the past 6 weeks. I hit my head just once. I wish I’d had my marbles counted; I dont know how many I’ve lost.
Favorite little episodes are precious memories. The oldest son at 6 intended to help his baby sister, Michelle at 4, improve her speech. She had what he saw as an area needing improvement. He’d helped her tackle the word banana The end result was accomplished by a rapidly flapping tongue — but that probably was understood as banana — or something close. Not to be overlooked was Michelle’s pronunciation of a favorite snack: “Chay -duh - chip.” He demonstrated the sounds necessary to speak of that snack. Patiently, gently correcting baby sister, he said, “No, Chelle, it’s not “chay-duh-chip. It’s Bah - Bah - Bah-chay-duh- chip.” Our little grandson wanted to teach his baby sister. We all understood what she said but that was immaterial. He wanted to improve her. The little ones called me “Granny.” Baby sister didn’t do all of that perfectly, calling me “Danny.” We all thought it was pretty sweet but — it was not to be. He began having her make the “grrr” sounds and extending them to “grrr-anny’ The finished production was priceless. Without any further correction, she proudly said, “Grrr-Danny.” One cannot improve upon perfection.
Don’t tell me “you can’t take it with you.” because those treasures are going with me! They comfort my soul.