Tag Archive: friends


Maintain the Silliness.

Our wedding story isn’t typical. Unless you consider that we had plans, and some of those plans didn’t happen. Then, I guess, it’s a pretty normal wedding day story.

But let me take you back. It was September 1996. Me? I preferred to be at home and let my friends come hang out at my place, but I was feeling restless. I had all these great friends, but I felt like there was some type of connection missing. I didn’t have a “music” friend. I didn’t have that friend that I totally bonded with on music and that had been the case since I’d graduated high school and moved away from home.

All my new friends from college and beyond listened to a bunch of chill type music. Music I despised (Phish and The Grateful Dead? Ick). I mean Dave Matthews Band has its moments, but one can only stand to listen to that for so long before one needs METAL! Until college, I thought everyone felt that way. Apparently not.

So one night in September, I caved into my roommate’s (here after known as Lady) pressuring and went to watch the Rocky Horror Picture Show at the Greek Theater on campus. There we met the roommate of Lady’s new co-worker (co-worker is here known as COW and co-worker’s roommate is LCR). I was immediately smitten, but I’m crap at meeting new people. I always feel self-concious and awkward and stupid beyond all belief so I didn’t say much. I probably barely made eye contact. In the end, it turned out he was fairly shy and felt painfully awkward, as well. (could have fooled me, but whatever.)

After the show and after COW had closed Club Red, we headed over to our place (on Betty Jo Drive, because you know that’s where ALL the fun happens!). The only way I can put this is that LCR and I bonded. We sat in front of the stereo and talked music and played song after song. We talked about what music meant to us (His favorite was Nine Inch Nails, but no worries, I forgave him) and we talked about bands and we talked about albums and we talked about lyrics and we talked about shows. AND WE TALKED. Until the sun came up.

Then we proceeded to talk as much as possible every day. This was hard for me because I was working 55 to 60 hours every week and trying to go to college. My talking time was very limited. So I gave up sleeping and eventually school and then decided to marry LCR.

I asked him. At the time, I wore a bunch of silver rings on my fingers. I pulled on off my thumb and asked him. He said yes. So a year and  a month after we met, we got married.

********************************************************************************************************************************

Kids, really. Just kids.

We were kids. We were broke. We weren’t always sure if there would be food in the fridge. We sold items to make money so we could pay the rent. We got second jobs. Hubs went to work for Wal-Mart’s corporate office. (it was horrible, you should ask him sometime.) (on second thought, don’t ask him. It dredges up bad memories.)

Our wedding was simple. It was small. And it cost $50. I borrowed a shirt from my friend, Raye Donnovan, because I liked it so much. We bought $30 worth of daisies and made a bouquet and various flower arrangements for decoration. We had $20 to pay the JP. Hubs wore clothes he had, and I wore this black, floor length skirt that I was in love with at the time and the borrowed shirt. My mary janes were doodled on with markers. We packed our little town house to the rafters with friends.

My parents and brothers came all the way from IL and my grandparents came all the way from NM. Hubs’ friends from high school drove down from Chi-town and then went with him to kidnap his brothers. As many of our friends as could make it came to celebrate with us.

Everyone was gathered. And we waited. And waited. And waited. The JP never showed. To be fair, it was the University of Arkansas’ homecoming game that day. FOOTBALL WAS HAPPENING PEOPLE! How dare we get married. heh. Anyway.

All was not lost. My dad, being a minister in a past life himself and having married other people, performed the ceremony. So he walked me down the aisle (stairs), gave me away after asking himself who was giving me away, and then read the ceremony. It was amazing.

Wedding Cake

My Grandad took us all to have pizza on Dickson Street and there we ate and ate and had cake, made lovingly by Lady. Hub’s best man, D, gave a toast and food was had by all.

After the adults left, because, HELLO! WE WERE JUST KIDS!!, we had a largish party that was BYO. This party was attended by almost everyone I’d ever met and hung out with in Fayetteville. It was a grand ole’ time and the crossing of all the paths of all the people who didn’t normally hang out together was so amazing. There was no drama. There was just good times and new friends being made.

In fact, two of my most favorite people met that night and they’ve been married for 14 years, now. Pretty cool.

So, now, here we are, 15 years later. I wouldn’t change a thing about any of it. In fact, I’m looking forward to the next fifteen and the next and the next and on and on into the end of the universe.

Happy anniversary to us, Hubs!

Zombie Earth

My youngest children were plotting the demise of humanity in the back seat today.

 

Pynni:  What if the zombies won?

Pieces: Yeah.

Pynni: What if the zombies took over Earth?

Pieces: What about the aliens?

Pynni: What if there were only zombies? What if the Earth became Zombie Earth? When the aliens came they’d see only a big giant zombie face because the zombies are all that live on Earth.

Pieces: Yeah. The zombies would eat the aliens.

Pynni. Yeah. And I’d be in charge.

Do you remember, Mom?

Do you remember, Mom, teaching me to make cookies? The dough was always my favorite part. I remember.

Do you remember, Mom, watching the Sound of Music and Little Women over and over and over with me? Watching Singing in the Rain? I remember.

Do you remember, Mom, how we were too chicken to try out the subways in NYC until the very end of our trip, and how we swore we’d go back, just to use the transit system properly? I remember.

Do you remember, Mom, the awesome birthday parties when I was growing up: the backwards birthday party, the slumber parties, the parties centered around really fun games, the McDonald’s Caboose parties? I remember.

Do you remember, Mom, singing songs to each other and to my kids? Do a deer, Favorite Things, Second Story Window, and others? “Girls in white dresses with blue satin sashes. Snowflakes that  stay on my nose and eyelashes. Silver white winters that melt into spring. These are a few of my favorite things.”  I remember.

Do you remember, Mom, when you would wet my hair and braid it? Sometimes it was one braid and sometimes two, but always it was this perfect French braid. I remember.

Do you remember, Mom, when we would sing in the car together? I would sit on the armrest of the Malibu like it was my own personal chair and we would belt out songs. I remember.

Do you remember, Mom, teaching me the nursery rhyme song and how much fun it was to try and come up with as many nursery rhymes as we could? “Old Mother Hubbard went to the cupboard to get her poor dog a bone. When she went there, the cupboard was bare so she threw it out the window. The window, the window, the second story window. With a heave and a ho and a mighty throw, she threw it out the window!” I remember.

Do you remember, Mom, teaching me to play Nardle? I remember playing over and over, and having SO much fun. I ended up teaching friends, I liked it so much. I remember.

Do you remember, Mom, building a snowman in the snow? I think we were in Ft Smith, which means you were pregnancy encumbered, but I had a blast. Thanks to you. I remember.

Do you remember, Mom, drying my hair and ironing it on the ironing board? I remember.

Do you remember, Mom, laying face to face on the bed (or floor or where ever) upside down to one another? Do you remember the funny upside down faces and the laughing? I remember.

Do you remember, Mom, playing boardgames in the camper at the end of the night when we all went camping? I remember.

Do you remember, Mom, just you and I going to the movies and seeing tear jerkers and crying on each others shoulders? I remember.

Do you remember, Mom, going for drives and getting Sonic sodas and beef meximelts from Taco Bell? Do you remember sitting at the lock and watching the river flow by? I remember.

Do you remember, Mom, going shopping in Little Rock, just us? I remember.

Do you remember, Mom, swimming at Meemaw and Grandad’s house for hours on end? “Fish on land!!” I remember.

Do you remember, Mom, going to see all those musicals? I remember.

Do you remember, Mom, teaching me to play the piano? How I preferred to memorize the songs as opposed to reading the music? How I hated theory? I remember.

Do you remember, Mom, all those duets we loved to play together on the piano? You always played the bass clef because I was ruined from playing the clarinet for so long. Bass clef required all kinds of counting and figuring out what was what for me anymore. I remember.

Do you remember, Mom, being there for the birth of my children? I remember.

Making Memories

Do you remember, Mom, holding me and loving me? Yeah, all those times you’ve always been there. I love you, Mom, I’m so thankful for you and all the memories we’ve made. I may not know your birth story the way your mom tells it to you, but I know your life story as I’ve lived it with you. I look forward to all of the memories we will make going forward and all the times you will hold me and love me.

Happy birthday, Mom. I love you.

My heart is all splintered apart and part of it has returned to California to be with their mom for the school year. I can’t seem to let go and move on. I have to keep forcing myself to do something else besides wallow in sadness.

Today, I made a commitment to face forward and move on with life. I know that sounds melodramatic, and maybe it is, but the sadness is real. The depression is dragging at me like weights in the deep dark waters of time. I have to make myself turn away from the darkness and start swimming in the direction of the light because that’s where the air is. I feel like I can’t breathe. I need to breathe.

This summer was great and we had a royal blast. We did a lot and time flew by unheeded. I’m thankful that we had this time. I hope it’s not the last.

I made a video documentary of sorts because the list of things that we did and their stories would fill up too much of this white space.

Enjoy.

I may elaborate in the future. I don’t know yet.

Kids Galore

It has been a crazy busy summer. Five kids are loud. Five kids are messy. Five kids eat A LOT. Five kids make a lot of dirty laundry. Five kids are needy.

And yet, as summer draws to a close as we near the day that Kip and Mae will return to their mother, I find that I am not relieved.

Five kids are loving. Five kids are funny. Five kids are snuggly. Five kids are helpful. Five kids are entertaining. Five kids say the silliest things. Five kids make my heart HUGE. Five kids fill the minutes and hours and make them fly.

Part of my heart will head to California in less than two weeks and I am at a complete loss. How do I impart my love for the two that are leaving? How do I leave them with certain knowledge that they are loved, here at my house, unconditionally?

I will miss these kids tremendously and I will look forward with excitement to Christmas break, when we will get to see them again.

Kip, Chi, Pynni, Mae, and Pieces

I may write about some of the things we’ve done this summer later. Right now, I just want to hold them close to my heart.

Notice the beautimous hair.

Mae says, “Aunt Beo, Pieces is upset.”
I say, “Oh really? Why?”
Mae says, “I told him his hair was pretty and he ran away.”
I go looking for Pieces. I didn’t have to go far. He was just around the corner with his hands over his face, whimpering a little.
I tell Mae, who is next to me, “No worries. His hair is pretty.”
Pieces squeals a little at that, but I leave it alone.
As I’m walking away, I hear Mae say, “I mean that your hair is awesome, Pieces.”
Pynni says, “Awesome like Sonic.

Awesome like Sonic AND Mario.”

Pynni, Mae, Chi, and Pieces

Chi Cure

Cousins

DJ and Mae are with us for the summer. They are the son and daughter of one of my two brothers, Doodle, and near in age to Chi with DJ and Chi being a year older than Mae. They come to stay with their dad during the summers and I’m lucky enough to get to keep them during the days while Doodle works.

Chi on the left

DJ is five weeks chronologically older than Chi, but he is decades older in maturation. DJ is one of those kids that was born middle-aged, and that is not to say that he can’t be silly and have fun because, lordy, that child has a wicked sense of humor. It just means that he is mind-bogglingly responsible and has insight that blows my socks off.

COOOOOKEEEEEES

This may not come as a surprise, but Chi has difficulties with daily things that most folks find just ho-hum. Most kids find his inability to cope and/or function to be strange at best and his little quirks that indicate that he is dealing and/or stimming flat out weird. He never really seemed to care until some time during the second half of second grade and even that was more acknowledgement that he was different without any real understanding as to why he was ostracized or what he was supposed to feel or do about it.

Mae, Abby, Chi and DJ

The one shining exception to this rule about other kids is DJ. DJ and Chi have always been close and DJ has never judged Chi as weird or strange. He seems to understand that Chi is Chi and will even say, “Aunt Beonin, he’s just being Chi” or “He’s just doing Chi things” when Chi has some sort of out of proportion reaction to something.

SUPER DJ!

DJ never loses his temper with Chi. When Chi loses his cool, DJ is there to talk him down. When Chi has a complete shutdown, DJ is able to get Chi out of where ever it is he goes. I have learned to ignore Chi’s reactions, when applicable, and DJ will take over and smooth things out.

On the stool at Grammie’s house

EXAMPLE: Chi and DJ were playing Starcraft 2 on the computers upstairs when it was time to go to the grocery store. I told those who were playing games to turn off their systems and told everyone to get their shoes on and go potty. Chi became floppy. He does not like the grocery store much and he really doesn’t like the store when he’s doing something he enjoys as much as video games with DJ. He REALLY doesn’t like the store when I spring it on him with no prior warning. (Yay, me!)

Fun on the water

So he’s the last one out the door and he practically lays in the seat instead of sitting. DJ just carries on a conversation with Chi as if there is nothing going on. As if Chi isn’t flopping and moaning and squeaking and twitching. When we get to the store, DJ grabs Pieces’ hand and Mae grabs Pynni’s and I forcibly push Chi into the store. I get the big cart that’s shaped like a car for Pynni and Pieces (two less to keep up with, right?) and admonish the older kids to keep up. Chi trails behind. Far behind.

(I’ve come to a point in this journey (the whole entire childhood one with Chi) that I don’t even react to the lagging behind. He never lets me get too far away.)

Goofiness

DJ says, “Aunt Beo, I’ll walk back here with Chi to make sure he doesn’t get lost.” I smile at him and

Best Buds

thank him. We get through the produce and past the deli. As we round the corner into the meat section, I hear a peal of laughter. I look behind me and there is DJ with his arm around Chi, cracking Chi up. There was no issue after that.

No, it’s not that Chi’s issues cease to be when DJ is here, but I am ever amazed at what DJ is able to accomplish with Chi. They are complements of one another and DJ loves Chi, Chi-isms and all.