“I just didn’t have them back then.”

shipping containers

I’m having a fantastic week.  A few days ago, I watched Wanda Sykes’ Not Normal on Netflix.  (Cut to me grinning through tears when I found it on my home screen.) 😭🥰😆🙃 Watching was like getting a Prozac infusion while eating Jade-approved yellow cake.  I laughed so hard I’m surprised I didn’t get a noise complaint.  Especially since it involved a bit of involuntary running about, standing up like my seat was on fire, and hollering at the TV.

It’s just that Wanda Sykes is The Comedian Who Made Me Laugh So Hard I Hurled.  She knows how to make all my bones spontaneously turn into jelly.  She casually (and scientifically) explained everything I need to know about menopause (while I was winding down from ugly laughing.)  It all makes sense, now. 🤔👍🏽  Humans are even more incredible than I thought. 🤯🙃

Just when I discerned I’ve been playing a discreet version of Hot Lava, with my bed as the safe zone, Wanda Sykes pops up and says, hey, girl, it’s going to be okay. 🥰  (Oofda, I needed that.)  I finally got to compare notes with a woman who was also interracially adopted, recently.  It was fascinating, and my mom is now even more awesome than I knew.  She did things I didn’t realize at the time were so thoughtful and brilliant.  I’m so proud of her.

black hair

 

For example, she hired local university students to socialize with Heather and me when we were little.  (The only other black people we knew of at that time were Gary Coleman, Todd Bridges, Janet Jackson, and Kim Fields.)  My mom sensed we needed to meet black people who weren’t on TV.  I have fond memories of slumber parties in the dorms at Augustana with young women from all sorts of places that weren’t South Dakota.

We got our hair braided.  We went to concerts, plays, and sporting events with our new big sisters.  They invited us to their homes on school breaks in other states.  We visited a church with all black people, (and I wept uncontrollably from the moment we entered until a woman caught the spirit and started convulsing on the floor, and I ran over and hugged her and wouldn’t let go until I was pried off.)  I thought she needed holding, and the idea of not acting on it terrified me.  Heh.

As I’m sure you’ve imagined, Heather’s version of that event was a lot more detailed, protracted, and (evidently) hilarious.  (Recalling it was one of her favorite ways to shut me down for years afterward.)  😂 Remember that time we went to that church?  🤭 I can laugh about it soon.  Also, the convulsing woman hugged me back, so I knew she was okay, and I held on because I had so much to say to her, and no words.  Here’s a secret:  In my spirit, that hug was an I love you to my culture, and I never let go. 💜✌🏽

“I can’t believe this is happening.”

umbrella ella ella eh eh eh

I’m thinking about my mom a lot, of late.  The upcoming holiday adverts have likely penetrated my thoughts.  I have so many memories of my mom.  A part of her exists in my head now.  Often, I hear her comments in my mind.

I have what I refer to as the Greatest Hits collection.  It includes things she would often say, such as, “I’m the mom; you’re the child.”  (I’m a wee bit embarrassed by how much convincing I needed on that point.)  I accepted I wasn’t in charge, eventually, but never that I was a child.  Fortunately, the temporary nature made it moot.  🙃

I remember the horrible, awful way it felt when I first realized my mom was human, and therefore, imperfect.  (Cut to me at age six, on the phone with 911, reporting my mom for lying.)  It felt like being yanked up and back at high speed with no warning by an invisible force; resulting in utter disorientation in the universe.  The same way it felt when she died.

mother

It wasn’t the first time I lost a loved one.  I was still reeling from the loss of my brother, a year prior.  I honestly didn’t know it was possible to continue existing after losing my mom.  How the hell could I walk when there was no longer a ground?

There’s no way to prepare in advance for the loss of a parent.  When it happens, you fall apart.  Part of the foundation of your existence is gone.  You have to figure out how to rebuild it from within.  It sucks.  It’s hard.  All I know is it helps to become your parent (to yourself,) taking over the role your parent once fulfilled.

I usually know what my mom would say or do in a situation.  She’s still an influential guide in my life.  I now have a reinforced foundation built of the many things my mom taught me when she was here.  It also consists of applied lessons gifted from others who helped shape who I’ve become.

Happy Mothers Day

I’m grateful I had her as long as I did.  It’s funny how I used to resent her for knowing me better than I knew myself.  I thought it was the peak of audacity when I was a teenager.  😂 I can still remember the sound of my mom laughing hard.  It’s one of my best treasures.  I’m off to read ✌🏽💜

“Come on, Jerry, this is a security issue. Boy, you wouldn’t last a day in the Army.”

boxes

I’ve been collecting items to take with me on my visit to see my sister.  I used to keep the boxes from all my electronics in a closet.  Since my purge began, I threw away most of them.  It freed up an unbelievable amount of space.  The boxes from my electronic drum kit took up the most room.  For someone who voids warranties like there’s a prize, it was ridic to keep them.

Having a nearly empty closet feels spectacular.  I’m going to use it for tool storage.  I haven’t designed the layout yet, but I’m going to get some pegboard and paint, then make everything easy to find, reach, and return.  Probably some LED lighting.  I should go through all my tools and get rid of duplicates.  I don’t need four soldering irons.  I’m probably going to rearrange my furniture, too.

I acquired this skill/habit from my mom.  Every year we’d go through everything and weed out the things we didn’t use or want.  Then we’d rotate bedrooms and rearrange furniture.  Spring cleaning meant removing everything from a room, cleaning thoroughly, then starting over fresh.  I remember being anxious and excited about it as a kid.  I’m grateful I grew up this way.  It was especially helpful when I served in the Army.

My family had an annual garage sale along with several neighbors each summer.  I have fond memories of these times.  It was a good lesson on letting go of things.  It also reinforced the joys of being generous.  It was a lot easier to pass along a favorite toy when you witnessed its new owners delight.  I recall bargaining with other kids (and placing a far higher value on 2 dollar bills, and fifty-cent pieces than other denominations.)

tools

The only time I’ve held a garage sale as an adult, I decided everything was free a few hours in (because I didn’t want to hang out and watch it anymore.)  People are weird about free stuff.  If I list something for free on Craigslist, nobody inquires.  If I put it in my parking space with a sign, it’s gone in an hour.  It’s as if being seen accepting is a dealbreaker.  I’m going to list a few things on Craigslist this weekend, mostly because I’m curious about what leads to interest, and what doesn’t.

I haven’t sold on eBay in ages.  They keep changing their policies, and I don’t have any desire to read the revisions.  I got four TOS updates from various online entities yesterday.  I’m waiting for the law to catch up.  It’s bullshit to allow a corporation to put virtually anything in their user agreement, knowing not only will the user not read it; even if they do, they likely won’t understand it.  It’s an old deliberate trick.

You’d think a decent attorney could argue one can’t be held accountable for an agreement they can’t comprehend.  (That’s the intention, of course.)  It would involve epic tedium, but I think it could work, (based on my Court TV viewing experience.)  Heh.  (Back when it was watchable, not TruTv.)  I’m off to Lowe’s to shop for my future tool closet.  Peace.

“Kramer, there’s no way you’re sleeping with me.”

 

Goodbye winter!

My role at work is now a text-only advisor.  Yay.  I’m preparing for my next trip, but I haven’t yet picked a date.  One of my reasons for visiting my sister is to pass on things I no longer want.  She’ll pass along what doesn’t interest her to other relatives.  She’s got five adult kids, (the oldest a year older than me.)  I have a lot of nieces and nephews (considering only half of my siblings have children.)

It’s more convenient than Craigslist.  I’m going to load up my car with electronics that need a new home before I hit the road.  It’ll be fun to pack them safely for travel.  I used to enjoy loading vehicles in the Army.  It was like physical Tetris, only far more satisfying when done well.  I need to get a cheap memory foam mattress topper to protect the TV and monitor.   And locate my bungee cords.  😆

I’m already excited, which means it will probably be soon.  I’m getting rid of all my Amazon products, such as tablets, FireTV, Echo and Echo Dot.  I’m going to keep my Kindle Paperwhite, though.  My Prime membership expires next month, and I’m not renewing.  I’m a bit sad to be breaking up with Amazon, but the cons outweigh the pros.  I’m sure they’ll survive without my business.  Heh.

I’ll sleep better knowing I took a gigantic (for me) step toward reducing my impact on the planet.  It will eliminate impulse shopping.  I’ve given lots of thought to my relationship with material things recently.  I don’t feel overwhelmed by excess stuff anymore since I began my purge months ago.  Giving it away feels wicked good.  I’m addicted to witnessing the joy of others as a result.

Packed stuff

When you give someone something they need or love, they must release some form of contagious happiness endorphins.  (Not that kind of doctor, she said, unnecessarily.)  It’s in my top ten favorite life experiences.  I had the ideal parents for learning generosity.  It rubbed off on most of us.  A few times, I’ve gotten something back I previously gave away just when I needed it again.  (Furniture.)

I think it’s safe to say snowing is over for the season.  I’ll be glad when the 2 feet melting on my balcony is gone.  That last storm was a doozy.  It’s nearly 50° F today and getting slightly warmer in the forecast.  Yay.  I’m getting ready to set up my Privacy Pop tent on the floor in my playroom.  It’s going to be my ghouls (or gools.)  My safe zone.  I have a twin mattress and some string lights to cozy it up.  I think it will be good for keeping my anxiety in check.  I hope.

Amelia Bedelia will assume it’s for her, but I don’t mind her company.  I remember ghouls from playing tag as a kid.  And calling, “Ollie Ollie och-ten free!”  It’s funny to me now because we all knew these words by rote but could easily explain them.  I used to shout, Ollie Ollie oxen free (until someone noticed.)  I’m still notorious for mispronunciation and getting the lyrics wrong.  😂  I’m off to beat my drums with sticks.

“What’s your definition of scary cold?”

travel

I’m back in Sioux Falls.  We had a thunder blizzard last night.  It felt pre-apocalyptic, but I was overwhelmed at the time, (so assume a minor adjustment for reality.)   I’m sure I’ve mentioned how thunder freaks me out, (beyond my ability to pretend I’m fine.)  Strong gusts of wind against my improperly weatherized balcony doors made it worse.  The howling wind in my living room was creepy.

Today there’s a layer of ice covering everything, including my windows.  It’s as if it rained sideways, froze, then snowed.  I opened my balcony doors to have a look because the windows provide a trippy view.  It took lots of effort to open them.  Then after gawking for a bit, I struggled to close them again.  I had to dig through two feet of snow to step outside.

It’s supposed to snow all day, then twice more next week.  Punxsutawney Phil saw his shadow shiver this year, I guess.  I’ve already determined my next travel destination:  Northeast to visit my sister.  It’ll be both visit and tech consultation.  I send her my former gadgets, knowing she’ll pass along whatever doesn’t interest her.  She’s repeatedly surprised me with her interest and eagerness to learn.

groundhog

I’ve made the drive before, and there are only three turns.  Heh.  It’ll be soonish (before my sister leaves for her summer place.)  I’m a bit leery of my niece who she’ll be visiting afterward, (her oldest kid.)   I still have the occasional nightmare of her beating me up.  She punches like Miss Sophia in The Color Purple, (and from a similar training ground.)  She knocked me out when I came home from basic training for Christmas.  (Just to remind me of my place in her world.)

My sister has that toughness in her, too.  But she uses it to endure rather than bully.  I’ve only seen her be violent to a brown bear who invaded our camp.  She calmly pelted it with rocks until it fled.  😂  I’m going to teach her a bit of Photoshop and lots of tutorial links since she has a DSLR camera.  I’m also going to give her my 25-key Novation midi keyboard to try some music apps on the iPad.  And a keynote presentation on why she needs to get broadband.  She uses her iPhone for all things interweb.  (!!!)

I probably have a Wacom tablet in my retired gadgets closet.  I’d like to see her embrace her creativity digitally.  I love teaching tech to people who are older than me.  They’re so easy to train it’s delightful.  The only thing you have to do is pretend you’re doing it for the first time, and say what you do out loud as you do it slowly.  Then give it to them in writing as an ordered checklist, and done, (they master it after you leave.)  They also usually end up teaching me about features I’ve never used before.  (Probably because of RTFM.) 😂

Baby boomers tend to be less intellectually lazy than Gen X’ers in my observations.  Let’s blame corn syrup.  😶  I’m going to try and watch more Star Wars:  The Last Jedi.  I’m already anxious as hell, so I may as well knock out some anxiety-provoking activities while I’m already maxed out.  Too bad I don’t need anything from the mall, or I’d throw that in, as well.  😂  Peace.