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Afternoons with Puppy by Dr. Aubrey Fine and Cynthia J. Eisen

HeavyGlow Flash Fiction Anthology Edited by Stacy Taylor

Blue by J.D. Riso. Also available at lulu


stressful and emotional week

i just got back sunday night (really monday morning) from the land of (i'll let you guys supply the appropriate, negative of the crazies, land of the ignorant, land of the oh my god that just can't be...take your pick)

as i said, thanksgiving was nice. i had to kind of chuckle at the z-man sister lives in a small, very small, probably not even a post office or "town buildings" small town. her kids, for the most part, were raised in van buren. z's dad's mother lived in van buren, and she refused to come to ft. smith because "i don't come to the city and i don't like driving there"...ft. smith is barely 70-80 thousand people. hardly a city, still more of a town..

anyway, so my niece's husband and my nephew were watching "thanksgiving day" football, and also talking about buying "tool boxes" and "muddin'" z texts one of his friends and says, "dude, my family is so country." which is kind of funny because my mom and dad really aren't (they're just southern) and of course my oldest sister isn't by any means (she didn't know what "brushhogging" was)

at any rate, early friday morning we got up and headed to okla city. my mom and sis went in to view the body, z and i stayed in the lobby (i've already expressed my opinion of this ritual)

that night we started going through some of grandmother's things. i had no idea she was such a pack rat. she was so anal about cleanliness and keeping the perfect house, and yet, i assume, because she came from such a poor family, she kept damn near everything, including every tv dinner tray, those plastic grocery store cake trays (with lid) and apparently every stinking plastic store bag every given to her.

we packed up her china for me...which was special because now i have the china of both my grandmothers.

we looked and looked for her big box of pictures. i wanted some of her when she was younger. i've seen them before, with her twenties hat and flapper dress. but we couldn't find them (we didn't go through everything)

the next day my aunt betty came over. i feel bad for her because my grandmother treated her like crap. she didn't like betty and i think two of the reasons were because a. betty took my uncle donny away from grandmother. he was the youngest and spoiled as such. in grandmother's eyes, donny could never do any harm (even when in his teens, he stumbled in the door drunk...and grandmother was a tee-totaller, and yet, she pretended it didn't happen). and after donny's death, it seems my grandmother consistently went down hill in her health. the other reason...betty's family never hid the fact that betty's mom was full blooded my grandmother's time and generation, only indians were ranked lower than black people.

come to find out...grandmother's mother was either full blood or half indian herself. grandmother and her sister ruby had kept and denied that fact all of their lives.

also quite shocking was when my mother expressed to me and my middle sister that she has not one good memory of her mother. both of us were shocked. but it explained a lot of my mother's actions during this time.

however, we went to the funeral in a family car. there were quite a few people there considering my grandmother had outlived almost all of her friends, and definitely all of her immediate family.

come to find out, grandmother and her second husband, tommy, and her had picked out matching caskets (only grandmother would be buried next to her first husband)of silver in a 20 guage...after tommy died, grandmother went back and upgraded to an 18 guage white casket with pink lining and pink roses on the outside corners. i have to love my grandmother for her spunk and total "i don't care" attitude.

we actually saw some snow flurries during the outside graveside service. the pastor who officiated has known my mom's side of the family since 1947!!!! amazing (and my oldest sister said, "wow, he's still alive?") middle sis and i broke down in tears during the playing of amazing grace.

my aunt donna (who is in a feud with my mom, she is/was tommy's only child) didn't even know who i was.

because of the threat of snow for sunday, we all headed back to ft. smith saturday evening.

z (stepping up as the man) insisted we load the car up saturday evening so we wouldn't have to worry with it before we left sunday morning.

the drive home (through two and a half states) was harrowing to say the least. it rained from ft. smith to knoxville, and just outside of nashville, for about 60 miles, the interstate was a parking lot. at one point it took us an hour to go five miles.

so we were an hour later getting in than what i had originally planned.

my sergei was soooo glad to see me. he hopped in bed and demanded i give him some attention.

so today, i've been pricing rental trailers, and packing up some of my kitchen ware that i refuse to part with.

we should be packing up and leaving monday morning for our new place in florida.

z requested that the first order of business should be to get out internet connection...since we'll have no cable or internet, i'm thinking that is not a bad idea.

while the place has already had a "once over." by the middle of next week, it should be properly "de-lauried"

hope one and all had a wonderful holiday!


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