A New Friend

Vince was raised by parents who immigrated to the U. S. as teens, met, married and had a family. I cannot even imagine how hard that must have been. Having lived almost my entire life in Louisiana, then moving to Kentucky was culture shock enough for me. Even with no language barrier (or not much of one!), just moving from one area, probably even within the same state, to another area, though so many things are the same, so many things are different.

I grew up in the deep south with parents who had a close relationship with their families; both my mom and dad would strike up a conversation with complete strangers and end up inviting them over for dinner. I spent lots of time at my grandparents’ farm growing up, which was just down the road from my great grandparents’ place (grandpa’s family). One of my grandpa’s sisters and some of her children and grandchildren still live on my great grandparents’ old home place. My mom’s brother and his wife lived next door to us growing up and I’m still close to him and his wife, and they have an ever closer relationship with Chad and Nicole. I love that!

Vince, on the other hand, never knew any of his grandparents, nor did he know his aunts and uncles. We have totally different ideas about family and there’s often a bit of a clash. He doesn’t understand the importance of grandma being in Addie’s life. I understand that so much of how we are, and how we think, is related to how we grew up and the values we learned as children. It doesn’t mean I’m moving over to his way of thinking about the relationship with grandchildren but . . I just threw that in so that every time I go to MO, you know there’s been a lot of grumbling and eye rolling around here before I leave.

I suppose Vince’s parents were more of the “keep to yourself” type people and therefore, Vince isn’t real outgoing. We can walk through Walmart and I’ve stopped and chatted with 3 or 4 people, exchanged recipes, email addresses, and talked about quilting or knitting. Vince never speaks to anyone in the store. Often, even if he knows someone, it’s a mere nod.

Probably there are some personality differences, as well as learned behavior differences. 

When we were dating, we were deep within cajun country at a very popular restaurant waiting in line for a table. There was an older couple behind us and I struck up a conversation with them. By the time our table was ready, it was a table for 4 and I asked them to join us. We were all talking and laughing and when we left, Vince said “What were the chances of you running into someone you knew?” I said “I didn’t know those people!” I think he almost thought of heading back to Georgia and never seeing his crazy Louisiana woman again! He still talks about howhe thought those people we were old friends and we didn’t even know each other.

Yesterday Vince wanted to go eat Chinese. I’m not a fan of those all you can eat buffet places so Vince bribed me . . if I would go, then I get to pick the next two places we eat. I told him “OK. But you’re going to forget you said that when it’s time for me to choose!” He said “No! I won’t. You can take my picture!” Huh?

So, we went and I was sitting picking at my food; Vince had gone back to get more. A lady had walked over to the table next to me where two ladies were sitting and they started talking about knitting. KNITTING?!? My ears perked up and I said to myself .. go talk to them! So I did. We hit it right off, exchanged contact info and I’ve already been talking to one who wants to learn to knit socks. Hopefully we’re going to get together this week. 

Vince came back to our table so I returned and he said “Do you know those people?” No! He said “Why do I even ask any more?” I don’t know! Then he said “You just gave your phone number to strangers!” Yes, do you remember back when there were phone books and everyone had access to everyone’s number and most of the time, addresses too? I’m not worried.

But, I think he’s worried about anyone who strikes up a conversation with strangers and makes plans to meet and sit and knit together. I’d be more worried about that lady from Louisiana who met that man from Georgia on the internet and got together and got married almost 19 years ago!  πŸ™‚

 

Chicken Pool

It is so hot. This is the time of year .. well, from about the end of June til the first of October, when I wish I could talk to original folks who settled in Texas and ask them WHY? Why did you stay here? Why do people live where it gets so hot, so dry and with so many evil bugs and critters? They would probably ask me the same thing. I halfway have a choice . . or I will when Vince retires. I can’t imagine living here back when there was no running water, no air conditioning, no pest control, no black lights for finding scorpions, no mosquito spray. Yes . . my question to myself is . . Why the heck are you here? Of course, it’s the job, but I wouldn’t be one bit surprised if even after Vince retires, we stay here. There’s a whole lot about Texas that I love but it is not the heat and the bugs.

Anyway . . I had a blog post in my head before I got off on that “I don’t like summertime in Texas” thought.

Chicken Pool

Chicken Pool

This is not the first time I’ve caught this chicken in one of the water containers. We have about a dozen different water containers around for the chickens. Most of them are more traditional waterers but when it’s this hot, I put water in everything I can find for them. Our water comes from about 150 – 180 feet underground and it’s cold so I go out 4 or 5 times a day and give them fresh water. When it’s 107ΒΊ outside, who wants to drink water that’s 107ΒΊ or warmer.

After seeing that hen in the water container again, I came back in and asked Vince if I could put a little pool outside for them. He didn’t care.

Chicken Pool

Chicken Pool

I didn’t put much water in it and we’ll see if/when they get in. The sides are a bit tall. I may go by the dollar stores tomorrow and see if they have a shorter sided pool but I’m thinking all the pools are gone by now. Maybe I won’t go.

Buckeye

Buckeye

Buckeyes are known for being nosy and there she goes . . over to check it out.

Dominiques

Dominiques

The Dominiques are all standing way back .. being chicken!  πŸ™‚  They’re going to let the Buckeyes check it and see how that turns out.

Nosy Buckeye

Nosy Buckeye

One of them walked right up to it but last time I checked, none had tested the waters. Last time I went out there, the same hen was in the same water container . . again.

Speaking of pools . . 

Vince in Addie's Pool

Vince in Addie’s Pool

After Addie left, Vince scrubbed down the pool and then decided he’d just fill it up and sit in it for a while. How do you like his plastic bucket that he’s using for a table for his water cup?

The pool is now all packed away . . all that remains is dead grass/weeds.

Pool Was Here!

Pool Was Here!

. . a reminder that they have come and gone and I miss them every minute of every day! But, we had fun and I’m counting down the days til I see them again. It’s barely weeks . . I could get used to seeing them so often.

Ten Years Ago

It’s hard to believe this week it’s been 10 years since my nephew, along with two of his friends, were killed in a car accident.

Chad & Daniel

He had lived with my parents for years and as they get older, and their health is failing, I think they miss him more every day.  I’m surprised that after 10 years, as I type this, tears are flowing.

We lived in Kentucky at the time and had a house in town and a house in the country. I had stayed in town that night (Friday) and Vince had stayed in the country. I told him I was staying up late quilting and I was going to sleep late. I told him . . do NOT call early or show up wanting breakfast before 8 a.m.

My phone rang at 5 a.m. and my first thought was . . Vince is in big trouble. It wasn’t Vince . . it was mom with the terrible news. I called Vince and he rushed into town to help me figure out how Chad and I could get to Louisiana as soon as possible.

Here’s a chilling but neat part of the story.

Vince called the airline to see about getting tickets for Chad and me and they needed more info about the accident/funeral to verify that we were truly in need of immediate flights. All I knew at that point was that there had been an accident. I didn’t know where, what time, how many cars were involved. Vince told me I had to get more info. I managed to get control of myself enough to call the Louisiana State Police office in Lake Charles. From all my years of working for attorneys, I remembered their phone number so when I picked up the phone and started dialing, Vince was surprised I knew the number. This wouldn’t happen again in a million years but the guy who answered said “Louisiana State Police Troop D. This is Sgt. Havens.” I said “Bruce?” And he said “Yes!” I told him who I was and that I needed more info so I could get a plane ticket home. His voice was quivering and he told me where the accident had happened, and what had happened.  Then he told me if we could get the airline to call the police department, he would tell them everything they needed to know so Vince gave them the LSP number in Lake Charles, told them to talk to Bruce, and before long, we had our tickets. What were the chances that a guy I had gone to high school with, and whose wife I had been friends with in college, answered the phone at the police station?

Tow Truck Fabric

The guy (Randy) who owned the tow truck service and actually made the call to pick up the car took it to his storage area for wrecked cars. He was a guy who had a gas station in our home town for many years and he and my dad had been good friends. He was so nice and helpful to dad as dad tried to get a few things out of the car. Chad and dad went out there several times and took pictures but I never could bring myself to look at them.

I ended up making a quilt for Randy and was so happy to find this fabric for the backing.

Daniel is missed terribly and I would love to see where he would be, what he would be doing, if he would have a family .. what life would be like for him and those of us who loved him.

I’m not sure how life goes on after losing a child or grandchild you’ve raised and I hope I never know but Mom, Dad, Pam . . I’m thinking about you all this week. It’s an anniversary no one ever wanted to have.