Stories About My Family & Friends

Mar. 3, 2019

My granddaughter is such a card! Her mother has a table behind the sofa that is covered in pictures. Holly knows she is not allowed to touch them so she did what any other normal baby would do while Grandma was babysitting; she went for the pictures.

Part of her play area is by the patio doors which are behind the sofa. I noticed it got really quiet which was suspicious. I called her name out and didn’t get the usual baby babble so I got up to look. This child…!

I came around the corner and said, “What are you doing?”

With her head down (as if she were really ashamed), she held up her little hand with a piece of paper in it and handed it to me.

“Where did you get this from?” I asked, not recognizing the paper.

In answer, her little hand shot up again (head still tucked) and she handed me the back of a picture frame.

“Holly, you know you’re not supposed to touch Mommy’s pictures,” I scolded.

As if I had not just finished admonishing her, she happily crawled away to the file folders her parents keep by the TV cabinet. She knows she’s not supposed to touch them, either. She had already spread them out on the floor a couple times earlier and I had picked them up unceremoniously.

While I put the picture back into the frame and set it on the table, Holly crawled over to the file folders again stood up, reached over and snatched all of them, and tossed them onto the floor. Then she crawled over to them and sat on her knees in front of the mess she’d just created.

I came back around the sofa and said, “Now, Holly, you know you’re not allowed to touch those, either.”

At which time, this child threw herself down and sprawled out on top of them. Then she looked up at me and grinned. I could only stand there looking at her as I shook my head. She’s almost 18 months now and she’s already got a head start on the terrible twos.

I calmly picked up the folders, sat back on the sofa, and smiled to myself. If Holly isn’t her mother all over, I don’t know what she is. Yup, the mother’s curse is in full swing. Welcome to the terrible twos and soon-to-be trying threes my sweet little girl.

Jul. 23, 2018

I don’t drink, smoke, or do drugs. I have to say my worst vice is I have a potty mouth so when my granddaughter learned a new word; the “S” word, I figured everyone would look at me.

When I told my daughter about her new word she laughed and said, “I thought that’s what she was saying, but wasn’t sure. I don’t know where she got it from, though.”

She didn’t get it from over here,” I told her. “You know me, go big or go home so if she’s not dropping the ‘F-Bomb’ it didn’t come from here.”

Jul. 6, 2018

My granddaughter has got her mommy and daddy wrapped! Not me, though, or Grandpa. We’re not falling for that sweetness routine.

My daughter recently called me and was trying hard to talk to me, but you could hear the baby in the background. All the while, Amber was interrupted and kept addressing my granddaughter, who I affectionately call, Angel Pie.

My poor daughter was saying, “No...Stop that…Give that back...You can’t have that...Come back here!”

“What’s wrong, honey?” I asked into the phone as I was enjoying every bit of the mother’s curse.

With exasperation, Amber snaps, “Angel Pie is not behaving!”

I can relate. She is her mother’s daughter. Amber thinks she’s not listening now; just wait until she hits those teenage years and the eye roll is permanently installed.

May. 2, 2018

When I was younger, my brother Karl attended a private high school in Holly, Michigan, Adelphian Academy. It was a church based school for Seventh Day Adventist, the religion in which we grew up.

I remember going to his dorm room several times. The movie Revenge of the Nerds has a scene where Lewis and Gilbert are standing in their (empty) dorm room looking around and surveying it with excitement. That scene always reminded me of my brother Karl and the moment he stood surveying his newly acquired dorm room at the academy. Yup, he was a nerd, too.

I was probably about eight or nine then when he started there. That same year I had written a five-verse poem that I can only remember one verse of. The poem was about Autumn. The single verse that I can remember is “Down, down yellow and brown. The leaves are falling all over town.”

When he came home for the holidays, I had excitedly shown him what I had written. Karl did not seem too interested. However, the poem did disappear. Upon our next visit to Adelphian Academy and to Karl’s dorm room, I found it among some of his papers.

“You took my poem?” I asked. I was a little hurt that he took it especially since he didn’t even seem to like it.

“I have a friend who writes songs,” he explained. “I thought he might like to use it. Is that okay?”

What could I say? I had to save my big brother from the fires of hell! I couldn’t let him burn for all eternity for taking my poem so I told him he could have it and his friend could use it.

Whew! That was close! You’re welcome, Karl. A sister’s love never fails.

Apr. 20, 2018

When I lived in Toledo, I went to Scott High School. At the time, it was reputed to be one of the worst schools in the city. There was a student body of about 1,500 students with a ratio of one white person (or other descent) to every 100 black students. That’s 97.3% Black Americans attending class. Being Caucasian, I was one of the 2.7%.

I loved the school and the teachers that taught there. Some of my best school memories come from my years as a student in that school. That’s not true for all though.

We had a substitute teacher for English. It was my freshman year and our regular teacher had moved to another state so until they found his replacement, Mrs. Levine substituted. I noticed that on her first day she was so jittery she stammered a lot while teaching.

On the second day, another one of the students pointed the stammering out and she openly admitted to be scared to death.

“I’m afraid to work here,” she confessed. “It scares me just to park in the parking lot.”

“What are you afraid of?” one of the students asked.

“I’m afraid of being attacked,” she answered, surprised that the reason wasn’t obvious.

I silently shook my head. At the end of class, I dawdled until I was one of the last leaving the classroom.

“Mrs. Levine,” I called out to her quietly. “You should have never told us you were afraid. If you’re afraid and some students know it, they will eat you up.”

She nodded her head and said, “Yes, I realized that after I said it. I don’t know what to do now.”

“Don’t be afraid,” I answered. “Just because their skin is darker than ours does not always mean they are worse than white kids. We’re all the same inside.”

I’m guessing I didn’t help ease her mind any. She taught one more day and then we had a new replacement: a substitute for the substitute.