The Quiet Ones

I spent the first portion of my life avoiding talking to almost everyone.

Painfully shy, I avoided talking to almost everyone. Answering a question in class would bring on tears and mute panic. I tried to get away with saying as little as possible, which would end up coming out as quietly as possible to anyone outside my small circle of family and friends.

Now many years, kids and one husband later I have gotten over it.

I can make small talk with the checkout lady at the grocery store, call up stores to ask dumb questions, and talk to other mothers at the park. These may not be things I love doing, and I doubt I will ever be able to talk to a group without my face doing it’s best tomato impression, but for the most part things are fine.

Until I run into one of those people.

Those quiet, sneaky, sometimes shy people.

The ones who watch and listen attentively but say almost nothing.

Suddenly my confident, chatty, grown up persona disintegrates into remnants of my shy childhood. Yet, unlike my reaction as a kid, I instead start to babble. I talk, and then I talk more, and then I realize what I am doing and I try to stop but it just.. keeps… going… Meanwhile the poor soul I’m talking to starts to get a deer in the headlights look, which only makes my reaction worse. I try to stop and let them say something and when they don’t my hands get involved and I start gesticulating.  The babbling starts veering off topic, my face turns red and it all ends in an embarrassed flurry as I try to literally remove myself from the situation.

There are a handful of people that I run into semi regularly that I know have this affect on me. One of whom is my quiet, retiring dairy farmer neighbor. I’m quite certain the first time “we” talked, I stunned him back into his silent, friendly wave for the next three years with my outpouring of blabber.

Then there are others, the really sneaky ones whom I’m convinced know just what they are doing. They watch and laugh behind their eyes as I talk on, sounding more and more like a lunatic, until I desperately wrap up the entire conversation and run.

I know who you are.

I know what your doing.

I can see the laughter in your eyes.

Unfortunately I can’t seem to stop myself.

Logomania – it’s a problem.

Originally written (over two years ago) in response to an episode of Prompts for the Promptless. Turns out I’m so promptless I can’t even follow a promptless prompt in a prompt manner. Thanks Rara (and Dave too) for the inspiration, sorry it’s a bit late!

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Was I Supposed To Bring That?

I am a great list maker and a great list forgetter.

I like making lists, shopping lists in particular are a must. But I’d be lying if I said that the list made it to the store with me more than 50% of the time.  Often it never leaves the house. Sometimes it gets left in the car. Occasionally I misplace it in my pocket, and on one memorable and confusing occasion I brought an out of date grocery list into the store with me.

Then of course there is the handwriting/spelling factor. You are perhaps blissfully unaware of the fact that my handwriting is mostly illegible because you are blessed with being able to be able to read what I type instead of what I write. Don’t even get me (or anyone else) started on my spelling. I confuse spell check. Regularly. What all this all means is that when I do make it to the store list in hand there is a good chance I may spend half my trip trying to decipher my own handwriting.

Pathetic.

Here is my last list. Created for a Menards run, it never left the house.shopping list

Later that day I found it still on the counter covered in scribbles. Now days later, it’s still sitting here and have no idea what the last word is.

2 Outdoor Lights

Doorstop

White Lights

Broom ___?

I think it was “thing.” Why did I feel the need to write “thing” after broom? Why if seized by such a need did I attempt to spell it “ting” and leave out crossing the “t”? Is that what my scribbler was attempting to help me out with?

I’m not sure it’s worth the psychoanalyzation because, as usual, I remembered everything on the forgotten, illegible list but forgot to buy the item that wasn’t written down.

I make lists because they help, even when I don’t bring them.

Written in response to For The Promptless S.3 E.10 Shopping List hosted by Queen Creative.

She Picks Up An Item…

She picks up an item and puts it in a box.

A kid shows up.

That item has never looked so interesting before! In fact, I don’t think I’ve ever seen it before. And now, now, that it is half wrapped and buried amongst the rest of the contents of a cardboard box, it’s AMAZING! So why, does Mother insist I not touch it? Clearly she can not realize how amazing this never-before-seen item is! Probably if I took it out and showed to her she would realize – No… she does not realize.

She picks up an item and puts it in a box.

A kid shows up.

Panic! It’s a favorite-almost-forgotten-haven’t-seen-it-for-the-last-six-months-best-toy-ever! Why would she take away the best toy ever?! I haven’t seen it in ages and now it’s being packed away and it’s going to get lost again! Mother doesn’t care. This is an injustice of the highest order. No other more played with and previously favorite toys will ever do! I need the toy! Mother packs it anyway. I tell her we will never speak again!

She picks up an item and puts it in a box.

A kid shows up.

It is a boring item, it is her item. But wait! Why is mother not packing our things? Will we leave them behind? I know she said we are bringing everything but I also know we are not bringing the chewed on recliner or the refrigerator or the trees so what if my things are getting left behind too. Wait! ” Are we bringing my toys? Are we bringing my books? Are we bringing my toothbrush? Are we bringing the dogs?” Phew! Everything is coming.

She picks up an item and puts it in a box.

A kid shows up.

It’s a boring item. Packing is boring. Nothing is fun. I’m not getting enough attention. NO, I don’t want to pack my own box. NO, I don’t want to pack your box. NO, I don’t want to clean my room. NO, I don’t want to go play. I just want your attention!  I shall stomp to my room so she understands the full depth of my hatred of this packing.

She picks up an item and puts it in a box.

She picks up an item and puts it in a box.

She picks up an item and puts it in a box.

No kid shows up.

Concern.

Search.

Find.

But I just wanted to play with the stuff in the box! I NEED these things! I’ll pack it again later!!!

The mother is unsympathetic.

The kid is upset.

The Dad goes to work.

She picks up an item and puts it in a box.

A kid shows up…

Written in response to Prompts for the Promptless Season 2 Episode 11 -Qualia hosted by Queen Creative

A Bad Day for the Lawnmower

It was the first mowing of the lawn and, in case you are unaware, I hate mowing the lawn.

After John did the requisite lawnmower maintenance,  (gas, oil, reattaching loose parts, and mouse nest removal) I went to work on the lawn.

I cruised around contemplating if I could not mow the lawn anymore because we might be moving this summer. Failing to come up with a legitimate reason to justify that line of thought I continued unhappily driving in circles.

Until I hit a fence post. (Which, in my defense, was lying flat on the ground under the grass – at least until I mowed over it.)

Then I stopped.

And swore.

And wondered why my list of things I’ve run over includes, wheelbarrows, tractor chains, logs,  dog toys, golf balls, giant holes (that’s really more of a fall into) and now fence posts, (but not dead cats so that’s something).

Then I wondered if in any other household someone with as terrible a record as mine would still be the preferred lawnmower – darn colorblind husband.fence post meets lawnmower blade

So, I removed the offending fence post, got back on and went back to work contemplating ways to avoid mowing.

Suddenly a six inch long, wiggly, black, object flew up in the air and landed on my lap.

After the initial shock, realization settled in.

I stopped.

And swore.

And wondered why I have never replaced my lawn with AstroTurf.

And bemoaned the fact that my least favorite chore now needs to happen on a weekly basis.

And mentally grumbled about a trip to the hardware store.

But then I realized that with one sleeping kid, one about to get on the bus to come home from school, two days of rain in the forecast and a shredded belt,  I had no time to make it to the hardware store. No time to mow any more lawn before the rains came and therefore no point in even attempting the lawn mower fix this afternoon.

It was a bad day for the lawnmower… a bad day for a lawnmower…but, I got to quit mowing for the afternoon.

And, no matter the condition of the lawnmower or how poorly the rest of the day went, I always consider not mowing the lawn to be a positive state of being.

Written in response to Prompts for the Promptless Episode 12 – Silver Linings hosted by Rarasaur.

I liked this prompt ,it is why I blog, to find the silver linings – well, that and to not become a ferret .

Still Here

She’s still here.

I catch glimpses of her happily bounding through the field with the other dogs.

Her gawky, grass stained, adolescent face makes grin when I see the chew marks on the counter tops.Piper looking down

Out of the corner of my eye I see her flopping down on the bed with a giant sigh.

When I walk by the apple trees, she’s still overseeing the planting operation.Piper by apple tree

The sound of running paws on the porch finds me bracing myself for the crash against the door that doesn’t come.

She’s still here.

But now, as we make plans to move, I wonder, once we are gone, where will I see her then?

Written in response to Prompts for the Promptless Episode 10 – Saudade hosted by Rarasaur.

If like me you have no idea what Saudade means here is Rarasaur’s definition:

“Saudade is a Portuguese word that describes a deep emotional state of nostalgic longing for an absent something/someone that one loves. Moreover, it often carries a repressed knowledge that the object of longing will never return.”

Lullaby Litmus

When I was very young my Grandpa sang “Go Tell Aunt Rhode” to me at bed time.

I can’t say for sure that this hampered my singing ability in the opposite way that one says playing classical music to infants will enhance theirs. All I can tell you is that not even my Granny’s lullabies could outweigh the effects of the rest of the family’s singing and my innate lack of musical ability.

Well meaning people try to convince me that I exaggerate and that I must be a fine singer.

They are wrong.

All that being said, I also have children.

Which means that, they have been, or are, babies. Babies require lullabies, which means that I, their mother, need to sing.

So I sing.

The songs I choose to sing to my kids have one criteria – they must fall into my lowish, five note range. A range, that I have discovered, could be named the “drunken, dying range.”

I sing songs about, dying of sickness, and drunkenness, horses falling through the ice, dying at war, drinking whiskey, drowning, and people who have gout. Not your average nursery themes.

Unorthodox as the songs may be my singing, like my Grandpa’s, puts the kids to sleep. Whether it’s the soothing sounds of our voices or self defense is still a subject up for debate.

Written in response to Prompts for the Promptless – Episode 8 The Litmus hosted by Rarasaur and accidentally published before final editing due to a slip of the thumb -sorry!