Saturday, July 10, 2010


I just came across this while cleaning up the files on my computer.  Nearly three years after writing it, I laughed again as I read it.....

Matt was at the house for a few minutes this afternoon and called Dawn, who had watched a movie with me while a realtor showed their house, to ask a question.  Their telephone exchange went like this:

Matt asked, "Where's the mayo?"

"In the refrigerator."

"Where in the refrigerator?!"

"On the shelf...."

"Why is it in the refrigerator?!?!?"

Dawn looked at me with a puzzled look on her face and replied, "Because that's where the mayo is kept."


Then, "I said mail.  Where's the mail?

"Oh.  I thought you said mayo.  The mail is still in the mailbox.  I didn't bring it in yesterday."


Dawn and I laughed so hard I had to pause the movie.  We could see Matt, a puzzled expression on his face as he looked at the phone, wondering why the mail was in the fridge, then shaking his head in exasperation as he walked out to the mailbox.

Dawn said she's going to put the mail in the fridge tomorrow.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007


This is Sophia’s first week out of school for the summer.  Dawn now drops her off here at 9:00 on her way to work.  Brandon will be out on the 7th.  It's going to be a long summer.

Sophia arrived as expected this morning.  It seems that she prefers to eat breakfast here.  Apparently my Pop-Tarts taste better than the ones at their house.

Sophia and Kelsi finally got together around 10:30.  They played together very well.  An occasional she-did-this or she-won't-let-me-play-with-that, but way better than a year ago.

Sherry fixed them lunch and when they were finished, we put water in their little wading pool.  Of course, after a few minutes of sitting and playing with the water toys, their imaginations went to work.  While Sherry and I sat nearby, the girls suddenly disappeared from eyesight.  Then they were back at the pool.  And then they were gone.  Sherry saw them go into her garage.  When Sherry asked what they were doing with the water, Sophia replied that they were drinking it.  (Sure they were!)  Instead they were filling glasses with water and dumping the contents on the potted flowers in the cozy seating area in the garage.  An area covered with several rugs.  Wet rugs now.

Once they tired of the water, the girls went into Sherry's condo.  When they didn't reappear quickly, Sherry went to check on them.  She was speechless at what she found.  The girls had taken a dining room chair, moved it to the kitchen and climbed up on the counter where they could now reach the kids' suntan lotion.  Sherry found white hand prints on the chair's wooden back and Kelsi was on the kitchen counter handing napkins to Sophia so she could wipe the lotion off the carpet, tile floor and chair.  We promised ourselves then that *if* we gave them permission to go in the house again, we'd check on them every two minutes.

When Brandon came home from school, Christian was already here and the boys played catch outdoors.  Then Brandon asked if they could play with the beanbag game.  Given permission, the boys took it into my unit to play.

I gave them a couple minutes and then went to check on their behavior.  Good boys!  They were in the kitchen and throwing the beanbags through the target which they'd placed in the laundry area.  So I went back to sit with Sherry while we watched the girls playing outdoors.  Then the girls asked permission to come in to get a toy to bring outdoors.  Good girls!  But almost immediately they came back out to say the boys were throwing the bean bags at the ceiling fan in the living room (which I'd set on high) and one had hit the fan blades.  And, well, you know what happened.

Sherry and I rushed in to find itsy-bitsy plastic balls the size of BBs scattered throughout the living room -- under chairs, on table tops and behind furniture.  Brandon was given the job of vacuuming them up.  *He* thought that was great fun and had a hard time not smiling.  Christian just tried to make himself very small.

It's a good thing the kids are still young.  We can forgive their lack of good judgment.  But they're not *stupid*.  Certainly the girls (especially Sophia) knew that climbing up on the kitchen counter to get the lotion was wrong.  And most definitely the boys (especially Brandon) knew that he was not playing with the toy in the way it was to be used.

Now Sherry and I will retrain the four of them in appropriate, acceptable behavior  As I said, I envision this is going to be a long summer.

Copyright ©2007  Kitty Park

Sunday, June 10, 2007

SUMMER SWIM (June 2007)

Summer days are often uncomfortably hot and the kids like to play in the small inflatable 2-ring wading pool I have for them.  It doesn’t hold much water, but they can splash each other and cool off.

One day last summer while Kelsi was taking her nap, Sophia had the pool all to herself.  She laid down and put her head on the pillow-soft top ring which allowed just enough room for her legs to stretch to the other side.  After a few minutes of hearing no chatter and no splashing, I looked up to see her totally relaxed, her eyes closed and arms floating at her sides.  I got out of my chair and upon closer inspection, I realized she was asleep.

I didn’t want to wake her (she was finally quiet, for heaven’s sake!), but I wanted her protected from the sun.  I asked Sherry to help me place the lawn chaise over the pool to put Sophia in shade.  The task was accomplished and Sophia slept on.

Several minutes later, the lawn service crew came by.  They cordially greeted me and I signaled with a finger to my lips that they should be quiet.  I received a quizzical look, so I pointed at what was in the pool under the chair.  They slowly lifted the chaise and with gentle smiles on their faces, shook their heads in amazement when they saw Sophia asleep in the water.

In order to get on with their work, the men moved the chaise into the shade of the garage and Sherry and I lifted Sophia onto it.  Once the fellows moved the pool to the driveway, they continued to mow.

And Sophia continued to sleep.

Copyright ©2007  Kitty Park

Saturday, February 10, 2007

SPARKY (February 2007)

The By-Laws of this condo association specify that each owner is responsible for maintaining the yard light in front of his unit.  These lights are not only decorative but functional in that they light the path from the driveway to the front door.  A sensor turns it on and off.  Visitors who arrive after dark should find the pathway lighted for their safety.  Because of insurance liability concerns, it is mandatory that those lights work.

It seems that residents living here have had to replace those bulbs on the average of every six months.  I am an exception.  I have been here for nearly two years and that little bulb burned faithfully from that point and before.  I was thinking about naming that bulb.  Sparky perhaps.

Tuesday we suffered through miserable snow squalls.  When I went to bed Tuesday night, it burned brightly -- I could see its reflection on the bedroom ceiling.  But Wednesday night, oh, no -- *no* reflection!  In the morning, with temperatures in the teens, I wasn't about tackle the task, rules or no rules.  But yesterday, Saturday, I decided to get the job done, knowing today would be colder and the forecast for the next several days included a combination of rain and snow.

One of my neighbors who has replaced her bulb four times had told me, "The screws that are the obvious ones to get to the bulb aren't the ones you use."  I remember her saying that; I don't remember what followed.  When I looked at the lamp, I recognized the screws that obviously held the top on.  When I removed them, the top should lift off and I could change the bulb.

So I unscrewed all three and in the process dropped two in the foot of snow beneath the lamp post.  Then I discovered that these were the screws I wasn't supposed to remove.  So I replaced them (after using the snow shovel to dig for the two I'd dropped).  I cleared a place in the snow for the ladder and after climbing it, I found two fasteners on the top of the light.  After removing them and lifting the top, I was able to extract Sparky who was very dirty and sitting in the middle of the dried carcasses of dead bugs.  And look here -- Sparky was a 100 watt bulb!!!  The replacement will be a mere 40 watts.  I replaced the screws in the top, climbed down the ladder, gathered tools and moved them back into the garage.

Dusk came, but the light that should have come on failed to do so.  Crap.  I knew I should have checked the bulb before putting it in the lamp.  Come morning, I'd have to go through the process again.

While lying in bed this morning, knowing that it's still cold and probably snowing again, I remembered that some people had turned off their yard lights challenging the must-be-on rule.  There is a switch for this somewhere in the garage.  With fingers crossed, I went out and found a plug, one with a "reset" button.  I noticed that the display of the clock radio plugged into the outlet was dark.  So I pushed the reset button and the clock's green display began blinking 12:00 at me.  Somehow the night of the big snow the circuit breaker must have kicked off, killing Sparky’s glow!  Tonight I should have light at the lamp post.

So poor Sparky wasn't dead, isn't dead.  Now I'm pondering going to the trash can and pulling Sparky out, dusting it off, and perhaps displaying it in the china cabinet in honor of its long service.  I am confident that if I return it to the lamp post, it will burn out in a matter of days if not hours, and I'll have to climb that ladder again and way too soon.

Copyright ©2007  Kitty Park

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

HAPPY DANCE (January 2007)

The other day Sophia and Kelsi were doing "gymnastics" -- their versions of pushups, sommersaulting, and splits.  Sophia began rapidly side-shuffling through the room and I had the brilliant idea to show her how to skip.

I found that although I can walk well, this large backside I carry has me anchored firmly to the ground.  To skip, I need a spring in my hop and folks, it's gone.  I darned near fell flat on my face when I tried to skip on the second foot before the first lifted off the floor.  The girls looked at me with quizzical expressions on their faces and I mumbled something about not being as agile as I once was.  Sherry (Kelsi's grandmother) was laughing so hard she nearly had to go home to change underwear.

Then Sophia's eyes lit up and she said, "Grandma, do it this way," and merrily took off skipping through the living room.  Later Dawn said she's been able to skip for a long, long time.  Humph.

Copyright ©2007  Kitty Park

Friday, June 10, 2005

GOD LOVE HER (June 2005)

Like many (most?) kids, they are normally adorable -- how they do what they do, the expressions on their little faces, their uninhibited display of affection.

As we did for Brandon, there is a list of naughty words whose use will result in punishment.  Calling someone "stupid" for example.  Then of course, there are the distasteful adult words -- damn, shit -- well, you get the idea.

When Sophia's disgruntled, usually with a person (parent or grandparent), she'll strike out with her hands, often resulting in scratches to her offender.  And the look she gives -- remind me not to cross her when she's older!

So picture a 2-1/2 year old who's been denied what she wants.  Her hands are being held so she can't hit or scratch.  Nailing you with venom in her eyes, she says with clipped words, "Stupid shit!"  Disciplined for her disrespect, she sits on the floor with her back against the wall, crying.  She looks at you, tears running down her face, and says, "My sorry, Mommy/Daddy/Grandma."  (We've all had a turn or two.)  Allowed to get up, she comes for a hug, then pulls away, looks at you very seriously and says, "Stupid shit!"  And then she smiles.

God love her..............

Copyright ©2005  Kitty Park

Friday, December 10, 2004


Brett moved to San Diego in August and he's loving California living.  The challenges of his new job with the landscape design firm have enabled him to travel to many places, the most exotic being Hong Kong.

In the last few years, probably since Brandon was born in 2000, Brett has flown home to be with Dawn's family and me for either Thanksgiving or Christmas.  Brett said he wanted to come back this year, too, but being the person with the least seniority, he expected that he'd need to be available if any problems arose.  A week or so ago, he confirmed that he wouldn't be coming.  And frankly, I didn't expect him because any seats on holiday flights would have already been taken days/weeks earlier.

We talk frequently and this past Tuesday he asked if I'd be home Wednesday, December 22, because he wanted to have a three-way conversation on the phone.  When I asked who the third party was, he said it was a secret.  He said to expect the call around 11:00 PM.  But at 9:30 Wednesday evening he called to say it wasn't going to work and perhaps they'd try again today, the 23rd.

At 6:00 this morning the phone rang and I answered from the extension in my bedroom.  It was Brett, and it was 3:00 AM California time.  He didn't sound like he'd been partying.  Brett asked why I was still in bed.  Didn't I have to go to work?

Yes, I told him, I do have to work, but not until 1:00.  "So, why are you calling me this early?"

"Here," he said, "talk to this person."  I listened, but there was no voice.  In the background, I could hear a doorbell.  A few seconds, and I heard it again.  And then again.

"Brett, are you ringing my doorbell?!!"

Snicker......  Soft laugh......  The doorbell again.

I uttered some four-letter expletive, hung up the phone and scurried to the door.  There he was, damp with melting snow, grinning at me.
His plan had been to fly into Canton, but weather grounded planes in Detroit.  After standing in line to book a later flight (which wouldn't have gotten him here until Christmas Eve day, maybe), he and three other stranded passengers rented a car and drove to town.  The three-hour drive took six hours, but he's here now, sound asleep in my bed.  And Dawn didn't know he was coming, so later today we'll spring the surprise on her and Matt, and the party will begin!

Sometimes the best gift comes in no package at all.

Copyright ©2004  Kitty Park