P.S. The M&M Wars

calvin & sitting on the couch

Every morning in my in-box I receive an e-mail from the retired Calvin & Hobbes and Cathy comic strips.  The creators of these two cartoons were so spot-on with their humorous characterizations of human nature and human relationships that whenever I read them, I realize that the thoughts, feelings and emotions of this “nut” are far more widespread among the populace than Crick may have realized when he christened me a “nut”. :)  When I saw this particular strip, I thought, “OMGosh……………this has definitely been the story of my winter!!”  Up until a few months ago, I was a two-mile/day walker, but something happened this winter to squelch my motivation to put on my coat, scarf and gloves (I, unlike Calvin, never wear a hat……..remember?? that would mess up my “poofy” hair!!) and march out into the cold, brisk, windy Ohio weather.  I seem to be able to come up with all sorts of rationalizations…………….it’s too icy out and I would not want to risk falling and breaking any old bones…………………..its raining………………………….it’s too late…………………it’s too early………………….the grandchildren are coming over…………………I am needed to baby-sit………………..I have to watch the President’s speech ………………………just threw that in to see if you were paying attention LOL!!!! (ooohhh nnnooo…….. I suddenly feel a panic attack coming on at just the thought of “you know who”!)   Well, you get the idea!!!  Maybe now that I have just announced my laziness to the blogosphere, I will be sufficiently shamed into getting myself off of the couch!!!!

As a matter of fact, I have been staying pretty busy, if not “active” …………………..the grand-kids have been winding down their basketball seasons and with five of them playing, I was able to attend at least two games for each grandchild over the course of the winter……………I might have gotten to more if some of their games weren’t played on the other side of the city or at the crack of dawn on a Saturday morning (or in the middle of my Bob Evans’ breakfast LOL!!!!).

I am also happy to report that Stephanie has passed her RN national licensing exam and is hoping to find a part-time nursing position within a hospital setting.  We are all very proud of her accomplishment in pursuing her “dream”, especially given that her dear, “dream-crushing” Mother initially thought she was crazy to try to add one more responsibility to her already hectic family schedule.  Kudos to Stephanie, Joe and the kids for the many sacrifices they all made to see this endeavor come to fruition……..the paybacks are certainly going to be worthwhile.  In addition to Steph’s recent achievement, the entire family is looking forward to welcoming Jessica into the Catholic faith community at the Easter Vigil Mass on Holy Saturday.  Every week since the middle of  October, through a process of inquiry, discernment, prayer and instruction, she has been preparing to accept the teachings and practices of the Catholic Church.  I feel greatly honored to be chosen by Jess to serve as her sponsor and to attend the instruction sessions with her.  It became not just Jessica’s spiritual journey, but mine as well.  A journey enabling me to, not only develop a greater appreciation and a deeper understanding of the truths of the Faith in which I was raised, but also an opportunity for me to give witness to Jessica’s prayerful dedication in following the path God has set before her.

As my fingers were hovering over the keyboard, I realized that like the OSU basketball team, I sometimes struggle with “transition”:)!   With the motley collection of thoughts emerging from my addled mind, it is not always easy to find a phrase that will make a smooth “transition” from one topic to another.  Maybe a picture is best at this point:

OSU-69   Northwestern-59
OSU-69 Northwestern-59

My youngest brother, Tommy (please note I chose youngest over baby) rescued his oldest sister, Moi (please also note that I chose oldest over big……….yes, at this stage of my life I choose to be older rather than bigger!!!!!!) from what could have been a very boring Valentine’s Day evening at home.  Many thanks to Maria (Tommy’s wife) for giving up what should have been a special day for the two of them so that I could sit in her seat to watch the Buckeyes play up close and in person.  On the ride down to the Arena, I asked Tommy if he had any concerns that the Kiss Cam might possibly focus its sights on our section.  We decided that nah……..the Kiss Cam would just assume that Tommy was being a wonderful “son” who was treating his “Mom” to a night out (arghhhh…………….the trials of having a sibling seventeen years younger than yourself!!!).  Fortunately, the “better” Buckeye basketball team showed up as they fought their way to a decisive win over the Wildcats.  This game was to be the Bucks only win in a two-week period that saw them lose three out of four Big Ten games……………guess Tommy and I were their good luck charms!!  (Note to Thad Matta……………………………..I (good luck charm #1) am making myself available to attend the Big Ten and NCAA tournaments…………………….just sayin….. LOL!!!)

Since I had been looking for some extra income over the last several months, Stephanie, Jennifer and I came to a mutual agreement to help each other out……………….I, (their OCD neat freak Mom) would clean their homes and in return, they would enrich my piggy bank.  While I was at Jennifer’s I found this note on the floor in Natalie’s room which she had written to her older sister, Olivia.  I thought that it gave some pretty good insight into how sibling relationships develop from the earliest ages :) so she granted me permission to share it.

IMG_0426

It seems that Natalie felt that Olivia was acting above her station in life and that if she would just “Do what Nana says” (I am still not sure how I became a party to reforming Olivia’s behavior!!) then Olivia could elevate herself  once again to the status of “the best sister I know” (in Natalie’s words) LOL!!   Natalie is never ever short on drama!!!!!

I often think of Crick whenever I encounter these situations with the grand-kids as I know how much he would enjoy their antics (and egg them on of course!!!!!!).   You know, he can still cause me an occasional sleepless night such as the few that I randomly experienced during our forty-two years of marital bliss :).  These typically followed one of our famously animated and impassioned “discussions”.   Hours later, after Crick had quite effortlessly put the unpleasantness between us into one of those little boxes inside his head, closed the lid on the box and fallen fast asleep;  I would lie wide awake, rehashing all of the ways that he had not seen my point of view and trying to figure out how I could turn the next “discussion” into a learning experience for him (LOL)!!  Anyway, several nights ago I found myself unable to shut down the old restless mind, as little unexpected memories of Crick kept popping up into my consciousness.  The very next day, I clicked on my Facebook page and saw this post that my sister-in-law, Rayne had shared:

I needed this today.  Thanks Misty.

When I read this, I thought to myself that perhaps Crick had been channeling Rayne (LOL)!!!  Once again, it seems so coincidental that the moments when I seem to struggle the most, someone or something always, always, always intervenes to bring comfort and hope to my sagging spirit.

from Jesus Calling:

I am all around you, hovering over you even as you seek My face.  I am nearer than you dare believe, closer than the air you breathe.  If My children could only recognize My Presence, they would never feel lonely again.  I know every thought before you think it, every word before you speak it.  My Presence impinges on your innermost being.  Can you see the absurdity of trying to hide anything from Me?  You can easily deceive other people, and even yourself; but I read you like an open, large-print book……………………Since I live in you, let Me also live through you, shining My Light into the darkness.

TNT

TGW

P.S.  I just remembered that I wanted to ask if anyone has ever heard of M&M wars????!!!  I was having breakfast with Christine and Bobby the other day and we were reminiscing about our childhood experiences.  They are both in the “younger” half of our family of eleven and were lamenting to me that after I had left home they were so poor (cue……. “how poor were they?”)……………………”they were so poor” that when Mom was passing out M&M’s they only received a small handful; and so in order to make them last longer, they would spread their “small” portion out on the carpet, sorting them by color.  They would then pick up two M&M’s place them between their index finger and their thumb and then press the two M&M’s together.  Usually one of the M&M’s would get crushed a bit while the other remained intact.  They would then eat the crushed one, pick up another and repeat to see how long the intact M&M could last…………………..if it survived for any length of time, that one M&M would eventually become a multi-colored candy having born the battle scars from crushing so many varied colors of M&M’s!!!!!!!!!!!!!  OMGosh……………….today’s generation has absolutely noooooooooooo idea of how to have a really good time!!!!!

P.P.S. I knew if I kept writing long enough, I would finally come up with a title for my blog………LOL!!!!

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