August Blues/ The Daily Post

As a kid, were you happy or anxious about going back to school? Now that you’re older, how has your attitude toward the end of the summer evolved?


I don’t know about you but I liked school. I missed my friends when summer arrived. I cried when I realized I would not see most of them for three months. Back in those days we were let out of school on Memorial day and returned the day after Labor Day.

I had a good time in the summers. I rode my bikebikes. I played with my dolls, 1960s-chatty-cathy-doll but in the end I couldn’t wait to go back to school.

When I became a mommy and was forced to send my kids one by one off to school, I cried.

I hated giving them to others who may not care for and love them like I did.

I didn’t want my kids learning bad stuff that I had cautiously kept them from seeing and hearing.

I looked forward to all breaks and vacations they had. I guess I was maybe considered an odd-ball as I loved my kids being home.

In the end, I saw myself loving school as a child, and not being that crazy about it when I became older.

Daily Prompt; Toy Story

What was your favorite plaything as a child? Do you see any connection between your life now, and your favorite childhood toy?

Photographers, artists, poets: show us MEMENTo

Every once in a while these prompts are things I have already spoken about on a previous post of  my own. This seems to be one of the topics so you may become bored easily and move on. It is alright if you do. Who wants to read the same thing over?

But when I was a kid my favorite pastime was playing with my baby dolls. Chatty Cathy and Baby Thumbelina.thumbelina1chatty cathy

If they cried I picked them up and cuddled them.sad-face If they were wet from my magic disappearing milk bottle, I changed their diapers. I bathed them and clothed them. I pushed them in my baby buggy. I talked to them like they were my best friends. I guess in a way at a young age, they were my constant companions.

Now as an adult I care for those who can’t help themselves. I am still feeding them. Changing briefs and holding their hands when they cry. I talk to them through idle chatter as I can’t understand what is being said.

I used to be told when I first entered the medical field that adults slowly revert back to their childhood when they become ill.

I really do believe this. There can be temper tantrums in a grown-up way too. Cussing and trying to hit, pinch or bite can be common. I guess the only big difference between today and when I was nine is I can’t carry these adults like I could my babies.

Everything else is pretty much the same except in bigger sizes.

My Brother’s Life Journey Chapter 8

Al never did move a way from the family home again. I think Mom had just had enough. Him being so homesick and then the nasty movie he was watching. I felt Mom believed he was better off at home with her watching over him and keeping him in a good church.

By now I was back from Germany and my husband and I and our daughter had rented a small home about a mile or two from my parents. It was out in the country and I loved it, but I loved more that I was close to Mom and Dad.

Life went about the same for several more years. People got sick and healed. There were birthday celebrations and the holidays. Mom used to make Al and me an angel food cake. She would use this frosting recipe called Seven Minute Frosting.

Original recipe makes 2 layer (filling and frosting)

    egg whites


    1 1/2 cups
    white sugar


    1/3 cup
    cold water


    1 1/2 teaspoons
    light corn syrup


    1 teaspoon
    vanilla extract


  1. Put egg
    whites, sugar, water and syrup in top of double boiler. Beat until
    mixed well. Place over rapidly boiling water. Beat constantly with
    electric beater while it cooks for 7 minutes or until it will stand in
    peaks when beater is raised. Remove from heat. Add vanilla. Beat.
    Fills and frosts 2 layer cake, 8 or 9 inch.

We  kids loved this frosting. The first day you ate it, it was so light and fluffy. Mom would tint it blue for Al and pink for me. With the size of an angel food slice and all that heaping frosting it was a kids delight. She also added those candy decorations on top. Remember those? They came on a piece of white paper that you wet the back and then the candies came off. They had letters and flowers and candle holders. When you are a kid biting down on those crunchy candies was so much fun.

Christmas was so much fun. Al got trains for Christmas to help him get over his fear. I got baby dolls. I remember getting a Baby Thumbelina one year and another year I received Chatty Cathy.

Mom and Dad loved buying us gifts at Christmas. Dad got the biggest kick out of watching us open our gifts. He loved to Christmas shop. Our special gifts were always unwrapped under the tree and I can still see Al and I racing to the tree to pick up Santa’s big gift.

One year Al and I opened a home-made marble game. Al was fascinated by it much more than me. He would spend hours and hours dropping the marbles down the maze of zig-zag shaped slots. All the marbles would eventually end up in the bottom in a flat tray. Then he would do it over and over.

We always spent the holiday with all of our family. Then through the year as the family got smaller we started going to Mom and Dad’s on Christmas Eve. By now I had my own family and we always enjoyed her home-made lasagna and home-made candies.

Then when it was all over my family would go home and put our kids to bed. After they were asleep we would finish doing their gifts for the next morning.

Al lived at home so he and Mom and Dad would have their own little Christmas in the early morning. Al never knew what to buy anyone. He would go to our Grandma’s, our mom’s mother and she would write down ideas for him. He still struggled, so one gift per person was written and then he would go buy it. Grandma would always wrap his gifts for him and he would tuck them under the tree.

Life changed for Al quite a bit when Granddad passed a way. There was no one but Grandma who went out of their way to help Al with all the problems he had. Mom worked and so did Dad. Granddad had Al with him all the time, and then suddenly he was gone.

Our whole family changed. Al was more alone and there was so much sadness floating through out the house. Now when Al went to Grandma to talk or get help with a problem for a few years she just was lost without her spouse and we became lost in her world too. Not by choice but she was mourning.

Dad had to start doing more for Grandma plus his own job and I think he became tired. He started jumping on Al’s case easier and it became more often than before. Mom spent her free time with her mom who was still mourning. I didn’t live there any longer, and our

"angel food cake pan"

half-sister never got along with Al.

I know for me I was so jealous of our sister. Even though I understand much better now that I am older, I didn’t get it then. She got new clothes from more expensive stores. In fact, she got almost everything she wanted. She went with friends a lot. She seemed to have quite a few over nite parties. While Al and I were much more quiet. But we have to remember that Al and I were ten years older than our new sister. We had been taught to be quiet, while the sister was laughing and much louder.

I think Al never knew what to think of her. As he saw himself getting yelled at for being stupid, he never saw her in trouble. I think in Al’s mind this bothered him and he felt less wanted than he should have. He always felt like he was the bad kid and he was in the way.

The Sign

Southern Pacific telephone directory

Southern Pacific telephone directory (Photo credit: trainman74)

Last night Al and I met our friends at a local buffet type restaurant for supper. Al insisted that we take the wheel chair. He said that his legs are just too tired to walk. It went pretty well. Nice conversation. Al didn’t speak near as much as he usually does. Usually when we are in the presence of others, he turns into a Chatty Cathy doll. He seemed to get more enjoyment out of people watching. We all said our goodbyes, and were on our way home. Once home, he didn’t sit down and read the newspaper, which I figured he would. This is a daily routine for him  Supper, paper. He went straight to his room. I got on the computer, as this has become one of my favorite friends, and he continued to stay in his room, with me checking on him off and on. I went in to his room the last time to check and he was reading his Bible. I could tell by the familiar red in his eyes, that he had been crying. I sat on the edge of his bed, thinking of what I could say to help him feel better, I was running out of nice calming things  to say. I don’t mean that in a bad way, but I just didn’t know what to say anymore to the repeat situation. What I didn’t know was that there was a wrench thrown in this twist. He wanted a minister. Yes, a minister. He said he didn’t have much time. I sat there more calm on the outside than I was on the inside. I asked him why he thought he was not going to have much time. He then threw that wrench at me. He said two nights a go he was reading his Bible, and  this light came on his Bible, and  that he was pretty sure it was God. I gulped back, both in the throat and my eyes. I sat speechless, my mind racing faster than any horse on a track. I was thinking back to how many times my best friend and I had discussed the issue of what we would do if we ever saw God. Would we be ready, we talked about the bright light. I had heard about the bright light so many times from my years of taking care of elderly and hospice patients. This was my brother though. Mentally challenged. Could this be true? Should I try to talk him out of this theory? Could he be right? I was all of a sudden fearful to argue, or try to change his mind, as a part of me could be arguing with God, and this was just not in my best interest. I continued to gently question him, trying to get more of the story, and I think I was just as curious. The weird thing was, that he was holding his Bible, and his tremors were not active. It was almost strange to see this. He was telling me that he didn’t have much time, and he wanted a minister again. Back to the subject. Minister. 10:45 pm, minister would be in for the evening,maybe in bed. What to do, what to do. I stood up, and walked to the edge of his bedroom door way,  trying to fix this problem without having to wake the minister up. He scared me. He didn’t scare me because he wanted a minister. He scared me because he was barely having any tremors. The tears were barely falling now. He was more calm than I was. He looked at me saying nothing. I inhaled a deep breath and walked to the internet to look up the phone number. Since we have moved to this location, I have not used the phone directory. I just use the internet. I found the church, and called it. I got a recording. It was a general recording, letting me know when services would be held. No emergency number. I went on through search going by his name through the white  pages. Nothing. You can not get anything for free anymore. To get a local number over the net, you have to pay. If I called information through the phone, it was $4.95. I thought of a dear school friend that I stay in touch with, and felt comfortable enough to call her this hour of the night. She came up as private, just her city. I went back in and checked on Al to see if he was doing alright, and he was. He was sitting still, soft tears falling, and still very little tremors. There was something to this tremor thing. This is not normal. Normal was watching tremors affect his whole body movement. Maybe God had been here. I felt ashamed  of myself. If this was anyone else, a friend or family member, I would not be questioning or wondering. Does the mental handicap always have to be a part of everything? I didn’t think so , until tonight. This was what was making me question him and myself. I immediately said under my breath, I am sorry Lord. I went back out to the living room, glancing at the clock, noticing it was now after 11pm, and I had achieved nothing so far. I ignored the time, maybe proving to myself, Al, and God that I was not going to be a doubter, no matter what. I rummaged through drawers and shelves, looking for that phone book. What color was it this year? If I just had a clue. Within one minute, after not having seen it for seven months, I found it. No real looking. It was laying right on top of my middle desk drawer, waiting for me to pick  it up. I looked through the people until I found the last name of the minister. Nothing. Well, I am not stopping now, I will look up my friends number. Nothing. What is it with people anymore. You can share your personal information on social media websites, including your phone number and street address, if you choose, but you can’t make public your phone number in the local telephone directory. I sat down at the computer desk mentally tapping my brain, trying to think of other ideas. I just didn’t have any. Al came out of his room with a nice big smile on his face. This was a relief. No tears. Maybe this was all dementia related. He would take his bedtime medications. I would put the telephone book back in its familiar spot. We would carry on the evening as usual. I, for a brief second let out a sigh of relief, when he said Satan isn’t sitting on my shoulder anymore. I said, this is wonderful news brother! His last words to me this night were God just told me when I was reading my Bible that he would give me one sign.  He continued talking in a calm matter. He said God told me I would know what the sign was and understand. I said nothing. Finally I found my tongue. I asked him if God said anything else, and he said with his smile, nope! He just said I would recognize it and then it would be time to go!