The Absent-Minded “Loser”

As the Schultheis family once again begins the process of healing from our most recent loss,  I will attempt to refocus this blog on the more mundane aspects of the Clark/Schultheis saga which more often than not reads like a script from the sitcom, “The Middle”!!

Nate, Dylan
Nate, Dylan

Back-tracking several weeks, I must share these photos that I discovered had been taken on my camera “in secret” on Thanksgiving Day by niece, Chelsea (who shall one day pay

Jo, Tom
Jo, Tom

dearly for this infraction!!).  It seems that she seized an opportunity to borrow (a.k.a. steal LOL) my camera in order to pull a prank on me, aided by these quite willing accomplices, by providing a little “surprise” when I downloaded my pictures!!!!  The irony of the “loser” hand motion shown in these pictures is that after she had taken the pictures, and before I became aware of her mischief, several of the “co-conspirators” sat down with me to play a card game after Thanksgiving dinner.  Throughout the card game, I unwittingly used this very same gesture to  show my “superiority” to the other players when the cards happened to be falling my way.  It seems that just like Rodney Dangerfield………………”I don’t get no respect!!!”

Kathy
Kathy
Bobby
Bobby
Chelsea.............whose "dreams" shall henceforth be forever "crushed"
Chelsea………….whose “dreams” shall henceforth be forever “crushed”

Anyway, despite the fact that there are apparently some “losers” :) in this family………….the younger crowd sought to make up for them by embarking on their own card game…………………..5 card stud!!!!!!  They were aided and abetted in this by the Dads………..Chris, Jim and Joe.  We could hear shouts of I’ve got 2 pair………look at my hand – 3 of a kind……….I’ll raise you two………..all coming from the mouths of kids ranging in age from five to thirteen!!!  Whatever happened to Crazy 8’s and Old Maid??

2012-11-22 17.39.49

2012-11-22 17.39.35

The "pot"
The “pot”

The day after Thanksgiving dawned blustery, damp and cold for the 3rd Annual Clark Turkey Bowl leaving it to the hardiest Clarks to vie for the honor of winning the best

There is that dreamcrushed Chelsea again standing over me........next time I see that girl I am going to have to tie her hands behind her back!!!
There is that dreamcrushed Chelsea again standing over me……..next time I see that girl I am going to have to tie her hands behind her back!!!

of 4 games.  This year I begged (LOL) to be a “captain” putting me in charge of choosing the players for my team………………thus guaranteeing that I would not end up being one of the very last players to be selected (as I have been for each of the previous years…………..could it be because I am old and slow…………and………… because I notoriously duck whenever the football is thrown anywhere near me???????).  Anyway, the powers to be ended up granting “captain” status to the four Clark sisters……….me, Kathy, Jo and Christine.  I am proud to say that my team came in second, thanks in large part to my infamous propensity for staying out of the way of the ball!!!!   LOL.

Those of you who grew up in Clintonville in the 60’s & 70’s are sure to appreciate this conversation which took place between granddaughter Natalie (age 9) and me on Thanksgiving morning.  About ten years ago, Crick and I began another one of our rituals………………….attending Mass on Thanksgiving morning and then going to breakfast at the only restaurant open in the neighborhood on Thanksgiving Day………………..Tee Jayes Country Place.  In recent years, Jennifer, Jim and their kids joined us, and so it was again that this year, as we were placing our orders for breakfast, I mentioned to Olivia, Sam and Natalie that “back in the day” when Crick tee jayesand I were at Watterson, after many of the football and basketball games, there would be a mass migration of students from the school to this exact location which at the time was known as Jerry’s Drive-In.  I related how we used to “walk” up the alley way from Cooke Rd. to the Morse Rd. location in small and large groups (note: small groups would be the “couples” who happened to be dating at the time) (additional note:  I was always part of the large group……………..Crick was more often than not in one of small groups LOL!!!!!).   Anyway, I was telling them all about how it was back in the day, and also sharing my memories of the old pizza restaurant, “Riccardi’s, which sat on the opposite corner of Jerry’s Drive-In.   Riccardi’s was rather small and the wait for a table could be quite long …….your group just might be asked to leave (a.k.a “thrown out”) for taking up a big table and only ordering colas and no pizza!!!!  I think eventually Olivia and Sam lost interest in the story, but I still had Natalie’s attention and I soon found out why.  When I had finished reminiscing, she chimed in that their third grade class had just recently learned about Jerry’s Drive-In during a history lesson on Clintonville…………………………..oooohhhh nnnnoooo…………………..my high school memories are now incorporated into my grandchildren’s history class!!!!  How did this happen?????  (the following you-tube video was taken in 1985 at one of the occasional “cruise-ins” just before Jerry’s closed forever, and gives a pretty vivid explanation of how “historical” those days have become!! )

Actually, this all should come as no surprise to me……………I prove my age every day by my forgetfulness!!!  Case in point………………..a couple of weeks ago I was over at Jay and Rayne’s and we were discussing how we all seem to be experiencing more and more frequent occasions of misplacing items or stopping mid-sentence to search for a name or a word, or, in my case……….showing up for work at the wrong office, or on the wrong day!!!!  Well, after I had said good-bye and had driven home, I walked into my house and saw that my phone was blinking, indicating that someone had left a message.  My ears perked up when I heard the voice…………………it was Rayne trying unsuccessfully to control her laughter……………….it seems that I had left my cell phone on their table!!!!!!!! :).  What can I say??  I have no defense!!!!  And to make matters even worse………….. the very next day, I woke up late and so I called Dr. Lori to leave a message that I was running a few minutes late and also phoned the office leaving a message there as well.  As I was driving (a.k.a “speeding”) up I-71 towards Sunbury, my cell phone rings and it is one of the front desk staff………………………………………….. “Mary Margaret??  We listened to your message…………………………………………………………………….. do you think you are working today??!”  Oooohhhh nnnnoooo!!!  Yep!!  I did it again, I was one week early, and as the next freeway exit was still ten miles up the road, I had to continue all the way to Sunbury, thirty miles from my house.  One might think that incidents such as this would be cause for some embarrassment on my part, however, these days, pride has given way to humility!!  LOL   That surrender came some years ago when I called to schedule a check-up with my dentist.  Priding myself (darn that pride!) on having committed the phone number to my memory, I heard the voice on the other end ask if they could help me (oh, if they only knew!) and so I said that I had wanted to schedule my cleaning appointment.  There was a bit of a pause, and then the scheduler began suggesting certain dates and times.  I chose one, and then as she repeated the date and time back to me, she stated that this appointment would be with Dr. Harmon.  Suddenly, a little tiny light went on and I repeated back to her, “Dr. Harmon??” ” Didn’t I just dial 885-@#@?”  She said that yes I had dialed that number, and then I began to explain that I thought that I was calling my dentist’s office…………..from the other end of the phone all I could hear was her laughter.  She proceeded to tell me that in all of the years that she had worked at the front desk, she had never had anyone call their office asking for a “cleaning” appointment……………and further stated that I had just made her day and she could not wait to share this moment with the other staff!!  If you are family and you have heard this story before, you know very well that Dr. Harmon happens to be my doctor………………………………………………and………………………………………. an OB/GYN!!!!!

Unfortunately, one cannot just make this stuff up!!!  LOL

On a much more somber note, in closing this post, I would like to share an excerpt from an article I read as I  know how everyone’s minds and hearts are with the families and children of Newtown, Connecticut:

This is not a time for political noise. It’s a time for compassion and introspection. There’s nothing more to be offered than heartfelt prayer for all of the families and the innocent school staff and children who were murdered, injured, and traumatized by a madman devoid of respect for life.

One of the most moving stories of heroism involved the music teacher who hid her students in a closet and prayed with them in whispers to keep them calm.  Faith has come under fire so frequently in the schools.  Yet, under fire, it is faith that sustains eternally.

We as individuals, and as a nation, will always have moments of darkness, when everything seems hopeless and life events seem overwhelming, but the Scriptures are a reassuring source to remind us of God’s presence.  God is always, always, always with us in our joy and in our sorrow.  His steadfast love and faithfulness are promises to which we can cling.  God alone will never let us down.  He promises His strength, His peace, and His comfort.  All we need to do is to trust, to believe, to hope and to depend on Him.

Blessed is he whose help is the God of Jacob, whose hope is in the Lord his God, the Maker of heaven and earth, the sea and everything in them……….the Lord, who remains faithful forever.                                                            Psalm 146: 5-6

TNT

TGW

P.S.  One day I will figure out how to correctly add pictures to my blog without all of the irregular spacing which seems to occur between some of the sentences, but for now……………. what you see is what you get :)!

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