Monday, April 30, 2012

How It All Began

I decided to go ahead and start writing my story from the beginning, since I don't feel like discussing anything current at the moment.

My mom was raised Southern Baptist in the hills of West Virginia. Her father was a minister, and at different times a coal miner, delivery truck driver, and glassworker. I love the big chunks of glass she still has that he brought home from the factory. They were part of the runoff. She used to put them in the garden as decorations. Her mother raised 6 children in poverty, and no one was better at stretching a dollar and keeping up appearances than my grandmother. She was an excellent seamstress, and made them each a new outfit every year when it was time for their doctor visit, so the doctor wouldn't know how poor they were. They had one pair of shoes a year, and wore them only to church and school. (My mom had me in shoes practically from birth, hehe. I guess it was important to her that she could afford shoes for me; but I can't go barefoot at all now and I have very poor balance. I encourage my children to go barefoot.) Her father resigned his pastorate after years of dissension with her mother, who was very controlling and would stand up in the church and argue with him.

I've never fully understood my grandparents' relationship. My grandfather adored my grandmother, and would bend over backwards for her. But she was extremely jealous of him. Although she raised his children in the face of hardship, with amazing perseverance and endurance, she seemed later in life to carry bitterness and resentment towards him for not doing enough for her. She recently passed away, and I hope I can finally have a chance to get to know him without her constant interference. One of my aunts expressed the same feelings.

My mother is a very private person. She comes from a private family. I don't know the details of her relationship with her mother. Only that there was a great deal of conflict as far back as I can remember, and apparently farther. My mother and one of her sisters left home after graduation to attend college in another state. My mom made dresses for the wealthier girls and worked part time at a newspaper to pay her tuition and rent. She is very smart on the IQ level, and an amazing pianist. She majored in music.

My dad came from California. I know very little about his childhood except from pictures. From what I know it sounds like a very typical, all-American childhood. His parents lived most of their lives in the San Fransisco Bay Area, and he attended public school there. He had one sister, 7 years younger. My grandparents were atheist, but encouraged their kids to look into religion as a healthy and productive thing. They vacationed every year to Lake Tahoe. My dad was often accused of being the actor from Dennis the Menace and people would request his autograph. His dad ran a printshop, and when my father was old enough, he worked there as well. His school years sound quite normal; he pestered the girls mercilessly, pulled jackass stunts on occasion with his friends, had two escape artist dogs that kept his dad busy trying to improve their fencing, and loathed cats. Still does.

After graduation he went on to CalPoly and earned a degree in engineering. I don't know the exact name of the degree. When he graduated college, he joined the U.S. Navy as an officer and began to fly helicopters. A romantic interest became an engagement, but fell through. He was sent to Florida and stationed at the naval base near Pensacola. When he left, his mother told him, "Don't marry a Christian. Don't marry a Southern girl."

Meanwhile, my mother and her sister were in the market for a car. They found one that would suit their needs. The couple selling the car invited them to visit and became close friends. More specifically, the woman became close to my mother. She was about twenty years older, from an interesting background. She had become a Methodist/Nazarene, wrote poetry, and played music very well. Her husband was a dental technician; he made dentures and false teeth to order. They had common interests with their musical talents and love for old-fashioned religion (or so they perceive it).

My mother graduated and began to look for a teaching job. She found one in Pensacola, FL at a Christian school, teaching second grade. Her new friends paid her moving costs and helped her to get settled. She attended the chapel there on Sundays.

My dad looked around for a church to attend and discovered the same chapel. He attended for a short while before my mom's boss (I think it was the principal, not sure) set them up for a date. My dad started dropping by her classroom and hiding behind the door at the end of the school day, making faces and silly animal noises to disrupt the kids. Hehe. They dated for about four months and got married on a short vacation to Georgia, at the home of a friend, a Nazarene minister who performed the ceremony. My mother's family attended, and so did her new friends from Tennessee. My father's sister came also. His parents did not. And his mother was very angry that he had not heeded her instructions.

Friday, April 27, 2012

A Poem on Nursing My Daughter

Curl my arms into a nest,
Tiny fingers clutch my breast.
Perfect lips that open wide,
Searching for the milk inside.
Questing little feet explore,
Unfamiliar yet with floor.
Stroke her chubby baby fat
(Proof that she is healthy, that).
Button nose and perfect chin,
Little dimple when she grins;
Perfect ears and cheeks so round.
Precious little baby sounds.
Golden hair with hint of red
Soft as silk upon her head.
What's this fretful noise I hear?
Mama needs a break, my dear.
Lift her up and hug her close,
Listen to what matters most;
Tiny voice in baby song,
Light within her feels so strong.
Sapphire eyes begin to shine;
I am hers, and she is mine.


Just to clarify, moving my blog had nothing to do with family. It had to do with my husband's past, and my gut feeling that I was revealing too much of who we were and might be found by someone who would still like to hurt him. I intend to keep this one more anonymous, although I dislike anonymity. Even though I was using a pen name, it was one connected to his family, so the person would certainly have recognized it.

There's a lot I want to say about it, but the time isn't right. A lot of it is spiritual and I think he knows when I'm talking about him. Maybe later I will feel safe, but I may never want to put it out in cyberspace. 

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Spinning wheels

I have about 4 different posts going through my head. All of them are burning to come out on (virtual) paper, but will take so long to write that I simply can't get to them. So at this point I have to accept that until we get internet access at home, and a computer, they have to wait. Caring for an infant and two active boys does not allow time for chilling at Mom's house typing away. Plus the stuff I want to write is very private, and there's my snoopy little brother to contend with... And Mom has been using her computer a lot lately, so the breaks take away my train of thought.

Bottom line: I'm sorry I'm so boring right now, and I promise more interesting posts in the future. Including an explanation of how I got here.

Monday, April 23, 2012

I am Marge Simpson

Every time I watch The Simpsons Movie I feel like it's the perfect description of our family. Except that Homer is handsome and popular, Bart is really smart, and Lisa is a boy. And of course, I don't have blue hair. Still, the similarities are disturbing...

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Ahh, Taxes

So, I was planning to sleep this morning. I still haven't caught up from spring break; and although Princess Berry sleeps "through the night" fairly often, she always wakes up at 6AM when she does instead of sleeping until 7. So that doesn't translate to much extra sleep for me.

Instead, Mom asked me to sit with my grandmother while she went out. My grandmom has Alzheimers and is quite up there in years as well, so she's getting to the point where she can't really go places easily. I decided to do my taxes over again because I was too tired last night to focus properly. I waited so late because I lost my W-2s. Not surprising. I finally called the hotline and they said to file the form for missing W-2s and send my last pay stub with it. Thank God I had that!

Every year that I've worked and applied for the EIC, they have applied it in turn to taxes DH (Dear Husband) owes from a fiasco many years back. He was young, and naive, and got taken advantage of by a jerk who claimed they were business partners, but somehow managed to keep his name off the books. He maxed all of DH's credit accounts, didn't pay him for the last few months of work, then declared bankruptcy. DH chose not to join the court proceedings, not realizing how badly the guy had screwed him over, and not thinking it was important to look into. So the jerk walked away with a new house and a couple of brand new cars, and DH lost his credit, the house he had just paid off, and a whole lot of motivation. Then a few years later, insult was added to injury when the IRS sent a bill for a large sum of back taxes. The guy had paid him a low amount when he did pay him, claiming it was off the books; but in fact he reported having paid DH quite a large amount, and we had no proof otherwise. He could have taken it to court, but The Man always wins those anyway and DH has a very hard time with conflict.

Anyway, point being that I wasn't very motivated to do my taxes. However, we are hoping this year will complete the amount they are claiming is owed. And I'm glad I redid them, because I must have been suffering from dyslexia last night and not realized how much I qualified for. I think I may get a little back after all! That would make the exhaustion I feel worthwhile.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Hello All!

So, I'm basically here to learn all I can about God and parenting. I appreciate those who have been willing to share their struggles for the benefit of others like me, and I'm joining the crowd. Hehe. Thanks for stopping by!