My family is, shall we say…competitive.
And by competitive I mean, cut throat, winner take all, Hunger Games competitive.
So it was with fear and trembling that I watched my seven grandchildren scour my sodden and muddy yard for the 108 eggs we’d carefully hidden.
Some eggs were real, but most were shiny colors with shiny coins or camo colors with candy inside.
Before the back door even opened, my oldest daughter laid down the rules:
NO cutting in on the little ones (youngest is 3, and so cute it hurts..no one will mess with her).
NO cussing (which was met with looks of confusion, and one “I won’t” from her 7 -yr. old son).
The door opened and I was reminded of the beginning of a Hunger Games competition. The looks of sheer determination were…intense. And that was just the parents.
Then I looked at the kids.
They looked determined to get ALL THE EGGS for themselves.
It was muddy, it was sloppy, it was chaos, and it was hilarious as egg after egg was discovered hiding under bushes, in trees, in wasp-filled BBQ pits.
They ran, like a flock of birds, first this way and that in a tight little group. The bigger kids not letting the little ones branch out on their own, all the while remembering where they saw eggs missed by the group and quietly circling back to pick them up.
In the end, we don’t know if all the eggs were found but there was no crying, minimal cussing, and lots of mud.
We got a couple of group pictures and traipsed back inside.
All was quiet until I heard a whispered, “So, what does the winner get?”
I couldn’t resist. I just couldn’t. I had to say it, I did.
“You shall receive income from the Capitol for life!”
Not one of the grandkids got it…but their parents did.
This is from BuzzFeed, and Sheridan’s quote about airbrushing is perfectly eloquent and spot on.
I’m inclined to agree.
I’m sure this is based on the science of physics, but I prefer to think of her as a wizard.
I noticed the very elderly, very stooped, gentleman as he shuffled in front of me in the grocery store. Guessing his age to be near-90, I was actually impressed just how well he got around as he pushed the little cart along one hand gripping a small list.
As he neared the produce I noticed a grocery-store employee walk up to him, greet him warmly, and then ask to see the list. The employee then walked him to each item on the list in the produce section, helped him pick out good stuff, and placed it in the cart for him.
How nice, I thought. That’s a very good employee and store ambassador.
I turned my attention to my own list, gathering items as I wandered the aisles.
Then, I saw the elderly gentleman again. This time another employee was helping him choose just the right kind of pancake mix. I imagined his wife at home, scolding him for buying the wrong brand, and smiled at another good employee at work.
A few aisles later, again here he was and this time an employee was helping him pick out chicken pieces in the meat department.
I decided to follow more closely and pay attention, because I was pretty sure I was witnessing an extraordinary sequence of kindness..nothing random going on here.
Sure enough, as I followed along first one employee then another escorted the gentleman up and down each aisle. Pausing to allow him to rest, or showing him different items as he pointed to them and asked questions. Holding him by the elbow, supporting him, helping him, and in no hurry whatsoever.
Finally, I finished my shopping at about the same time as he did and I watched as employees flocked around him, one emptying his basket onto the conveyor belt. One bagging his groceries, and one assisting him with payment. The cashier took great care to go slowly, lest he have any questions.
By this time, it was obvious I had something in my eye..both my eyes. They were watering fiercely.
When I got to the cashier, I asked if she knew him. Shaking her head she said, “No, but he comes in here often and we try to be helpful.”
That’s all it was. No fanfare. Nothing but people being people.
News and notes from the road trip to follow. It’s always an adventure when you are me.
Like, all the time…
In November of 2013 we adopted a rescued feral dog.
Actually, that’s not true.
In July of 2013, this feral dog was trapped at the plant where I work and subsequently went to live in East Texas with a truly lovely woman and her 2 other dogs.
Unfortunately, this woman was not equipped to rehab a feral and her other two dogs were constantly fighting with the new addition.
So, I got a call that the dog we’d trapped was going to a shelter if I didn’t come get her.
Sigh…I had ‘lived’ with this dog around the plant for a year. She was typical of the feral dog..with one exception..she seemed to like humans. Well, most humans. She’d bark furiously at the ones she didn’t like.
I asked hubby if we could get her, knowing she’d be a big challenge, and given the fact that we are gone from home like 10-12 hours every day, he said yes.
Of course he did.
Since the day we got her we’ve been working on socializing and rehabbing her. Today, she’s nearly a total transformation. She still displays some behaviors typical of unsocialized dogs, like growling at new visitors, running from people – particularly new people – and not really being all cuddly.
She’s sort of like a cat in a dog suit. A white shepherd/Lab mix dog/cat. It’s that complicated, and that simple, too.
But, look at this face, and tell me how you can’t love it?
However, that sweet face can also look/sound menacing when she’s confronted with a frightening situation, even though in every way she’s sweet and submissive.
So, last week we had some AT&T U-Verse kids (they weren’t kids, but I swear they weren’t far from it) come to the house to install some new fiber-optic contraption thingy for the Internet and phone in the house.
When they came to the door, the dog immediately growled and paced and barked at them from her post in the kitchen.
“Don’t worry about her, she’s fine.” I said.
“Really?” Kid #1 was not convinced, and of course I couldn’t resist adding to his nervousness…
“Wellll…she’s fine so long as I don’t say THE WORD.”
(there is no word)
“What word?”, he asked, his voice an octave higher.
I raised an eyebrow.
“Wait, DON’T SAY IT!” he said.
At this point, I’d given the dog her command to stand down. It’s small and subtle, so Kid #1 hadn’t seen it, but he did see her lay down to watch him.
Enter Kid #2, “Whoa! Is she okay?” he asked as she stood to growl at him.
I gave the stand down signal and she laid down again.
“She’s okay.” I said.
Kid #1 and Kid #2 started to work.
“So, how long will this take?” I asked, since the agent on the phone had said it would be 2-4 hours I was going to make myself comfy in another room and read or whatever.
“Oh, we’ll be done in about an hour or so.” Kid #1 said.
“Awesome.” I replied.
“Is she really okay?” Kid #2 asked Kid #1.
“Unless the lady says ‘the word” Kid #1 replied, working with one eye on the dog.
“The word?” Kid #2 asked looking at me.
“Yes, all I have to do is say one word so you two better behave.” I said, barely able to contain myself.
“Yes ma’am.” they replied in unison.
Work commenced and about 30 minutes later they were ready to leave, but my husband had just walked in the door and the senior tech – Kid #2 – was about to launch into his sales spiel..you know the one where we need to bundle all our services and save money and so on.
An aside: I’ve actually looked into this bundling thing, and doing so would cost us about $5 more a month. Certainly not a deal breaker, but I’ve not heard good things about AT&Ts television reliability.
I had been in another room, the dog with me, but when hubby got home I walked out to the living room where Kid #2 was talking to hubby, and the dog followed me.
Kid #2 spotted the dog and stopped mid-sentence.
“Well, we’re all finished here and if you’d just sign the work order we can get out of here..I mean, we can leave and let you enjoy the rest of your day.” Kid #2 said, shoving the work order and pen towards hubby.
Perplexed, hubby signed the order and the kids nearly ran out the door.
“What did you do?” he asked as they left.
“I resent the implication.” I said, the smile spreading on my face.
Hubby stared at me.
“Okay, I may have implied there was a word I could say that would make the dog attack them so they better behave.”
“You did not!”
“You need a babysitter. All. The. Time.”