Gramma's Pen

Friday, April 20, 2007

Here it is...the original without corrections

To Market, to Market...

Not so very long ago we were living in Kailua, Oahu, Hawaii. We had four wonderful children and the fifth was expected in just two more months. You’ve heard it said: “To keep your wife home, just keep her barefoot and pregnant.” Well, I wasn’t quite barefoot, for I was wearing zoris, or flip-flops, or “go-aheads,” you know, those rubber gadgets with soles and a thong worn between your first two toes.

We had only one car, and that Saturday in August I planned to leave the children with their father while I drove in to town to do a few errands and to do the weekly grocery shopping. The gang was settled at the dining room table, having a pick-up lunch of leftover spaghetti from Friday night’s supper. I gathered up my purse, my list, the car keys and took off.

“Don’t worry, Hon, we’ll be fine.” Dan called after me. I was just a little bit anxious, for he was often engrossed in study, you know, there, but not quite all there.

I did a little bit of shopping for the upcoming birthdays. Kathy’s was the 10th and Janet Lee’s was the 25th. We usually celebrated them together since the girls were only a year apart and were interested in the same things. I picked up matching rubber baby dolls since there was soon to be a new baby in our family. Then I found a doll crib and a high chair and some matching clothes.

Our needs were simple…just some meat, usually round steak for stir fry, pork chops, chicken, bacon, and lamb when it was on sale. Then there was fruit, veggies, eggs and cereal. Of course I included necessary items like t.p. and bug spray. (I fought the cockroaches the whole eight years we were living in Paradise). The grocery boy grinned when he asked whether I wanted paper or plastic. He knew I always asked for boxes. The children had a great time making trains to ride in the length of our living room.

Home again, jiggity jog. I started to unload the station wagon. Dan came out to the driveway to help announcing:

“The kids were no problem at all. Susie is enthralled in her new Nancy Drew mystery. Butch’s busy taking an old alarm clock apart. Katz took her teddy bear down for a nap. Janet Lee was so messy with spaghetti all over, I just put her in the tub to get cleaned up before her nap.”

“IN THE TUB!” I shouted as I ran to the bathroom. Dan stood bewildered with limp hands hanging by his sides.

“But I only put a little water in the tub and gave her her little duck to play with.”

The door was locked. We never locked the bathroom door. It was the most deafening silence, you could almost feel it. I called her name:

“Janet Lee, open the door. Please, honey, open the door!” I called again.”

Nothing. Frantically I tried to poke a skewer into the little hole in the doorknob. That was supposed to release the latch. It didn’t. Now, Dan was worried too. He grabbed Butch by the arm and ran out through the lanai, around the house and cut the screen on the bathroom window. He pulled out the stop and pushed Butch in through the window onto the toilet seat.

“She’s on the floor. I think she’s sleeping.” He called out.

“Hurry, just open the door.” I pleaded. He did.
There on the bathmat, on the floor outside the tub was our precious 20-month old daughter. She was curled up, wrapped in a pink towel. Her wet hair curled around her rosy cheeks and she was clutching her little yellow duck.

So the ice cream had melted. We unloaded the rest of the car.

What do you remember?

I'm feeling a little depressed and deflated this morning. What I thought was a good story for my Wayfareres' Group yesterday, was pulled apart, piece by piece by my daughter saying: "It didn't happen that way." I guess you could call it poetic liberty, but I had taken several actual TRUE incidents and wove them into one story. I'm working on "Memoirs" and this is what I remember. Does the time frame really matter? Yes, Butch did take alarm clocks apart; perhaps not in 1957, but much later in Japan in 1966. He even put the works back backwards so that the hands whirled counter-clockwise. Yes, Ladybug did read Nancy Drew mysteries. I think we belonged to a Junior Book Club. Maybe she was eight years old and not six. LaLa did lock herself in the bathroom, probably at age 14 or 15 months, not 22. Does it really matter that we didn't have plastic grocery bags back in 1957 and 1958? We certainly had boxes and paper bags. The dolly crib and high chair were no doubtably Christmas presents for big sister for the playhouse in the back yard. The rubber baby dolls were for a much later birthday, possibly in 1960. I do not remember if Kitzel ever had a teddy bear, maybe it was a stuffed kitty. It could have been that lunch that day was tomato soup and toasted cheese sandwiches, or peanut butter and jelly. Our little girl still made a mess. But, we did have leftover spaghetti, sometimes. It could be that the towel was turquoise, not pink. The ice cream DID melt while we were playing rescue. Maybe our little girl was stretched out on the floor, and not curled up. I did not intentionally tell untruths about the situation. Is it wrong to put several experiences together to make one story?

Saturday, April 07, 2007

Long ago and far away

Yes, it has been long ago...this lovely computer doesn't seem to like me...first, I'm not able to print anything at all, not even recipes. Then it keeps asking me my that I'm lost. Today, my ever-ready daughter, helper and inspiration is home and able to take me step by step through the maze. This morning, before breakfast, I started another loaf of pumpernickel bread. Because Butch gave me a bunch of flowers (flour) for my birthday back in September, I borrowed Lady Bug's bread machine and am having a great time using it up. Well, to make a long story short, we went on our errands, to the bank, to JoAnn's and to Henry's and came home to a loaf in the making (?) with loose flour on the top. My gal merely stopped the machine, took a spoon and swished it around, then pushed the start button again. We'll see what happens. Maybe I'll have flat bread. At any rate, the ingredients are all good, so I'll eat it anyway.