Posts Tagged With: sisters

Collecting Coffee Mugs

I’ve decided to collect coffee mugs. The other day, I was standing in line to purchase a coffee mug and some other merchandise from the Choose901 pop-up shop in Memphis when I decided that I am going to start collecting coffee mugs.

901 mug

Choose901 in Memphis

My mother collected coffee mugs. She had a make shift shelf where she displayed them at one end of the kitchen in the old house.

“The old house.” My siblings may have other names for the beloved, big house in Stanton, but that’s what I call it: the old house. It was almost a hundred years old when we moved into it. It was over a hundred years old when the folks moved out of it. It was well over a hundred years old when a June tornado swept it away.

I call it “the old house” because the house that the folks eventually moved into seemed like their new house; although, it was neither new nor a house when they moved into it.  I call it “the old house” because it’s where I grew up. I spent all but one year of my childhood there, all of my adolescence, and quite a few years of my adulthood living there. A lot of years drinking coffee in the kitchen of that old house.

My mother’s kitchen was rectangular. At one end, a window opened to the neighbor lady’s massive flower garden that, I like to think, my mother enjoyed, wishing she had the time and the energy to cultivate one of her own. She had too many children, too much to do to spend her time whiling away in a flower garden. My mother was practical like that.

At the other end of the kitchen was the make-shift coffee mug shelf where a door used to lead into a bedroom. When my father made the extra bedroom into a over-sized bathroom, he closed the door in from the other side with a piece of faux blue marble wood paneling. When in the kitchen, the door frame was left, but the opening was covered by the drab brown back of the paneling. My mother had Dad nail some left over 2x4s horizontally, making the doorway into a pocketed shelf to display her mugs. It wasn’t pretty, but it was useful.

I miss that kitchen. It wasn’t pretty, but it was more than useful. Life happened there. Sistering happened there.

Sisters around table

From left to right: #5, #8, #4, and me, #10. #7 isn’t pictured.

During family gatherings, usually Thanksgiving and Christmas, my sisters and I gathered around the brown, formica table drinking coffee or tea and talking about inappropriate things. From the looks of shock on my face and our body positions, #4 must have said something uproariously inappropriate for which I punched her in the shoulder. #8 is amused but keeping it to herself (no doubt a little later in the day one will be able to find the two of us sitting in a corner of the house discussing this exact moment) as #5 enjoys the moment.

The door directly behind #4 and me eventually was made into the pocketed shelf, but for this moment it is just a door. And we are just sisters.

It’s interesting what time will do. A door turns into a pocketed display shelf that one day disappears and is only now a memory.

We, the sisters, have changed with time, too. In this picture, we are younger versions of ourselves, some with husbands and kids, some without, connecting through advice, opinion, laughter, and coffee.

But soon, over time, the living of life changes relationships. There aren’t many pictures of this time. Advice is not sought. Opinions hurt. Laughter fades. Coffee cups are left empty. Pain is the tie that binds. We remain just sisters.

Then time does what time does best. It marches on. Each of us has to learn individual lessons about ourselves and about each other. Each of us has to learn how to reconnect with one another; how to let by-gones be by-gones and to let love be love. We can do it for others, so we learn to do it for each other.

This past Thanksgiving, we came together again over coffee around #4’s round oak table, my mother’s formica table long since lost but not forgotten. We are all a little nervous, but soon fall into an old familiar routine of chatting about inappropriate things, giving advice, offering opinions, and much missed laughter.

sisters 2015

Thanksgiving 2015                                                                                                        From left to right: Me (#10, #7, #4, #8, and #5)


It’s much easier now, being sisters. We have settled into our lives, dreams met, dreams deferred, perspectives solidified, perspectives changed. We have settled into knowing and accepting each other, understanding rather than judging and forcing change.  We have settled into relationship with one another, choosing it rather than just being born into it.

This circle of coffee ushered in a new phase in our sistering, a more mature, satisfying relationship. A relationship based on respect, honor, and love, not treading on areas where uninvited. I like this phase of sistering. It took us awhile, and many times I mourned it, believing that we would never have it. But now it is here.

Now, we are sisters.


Categories: Family, Holidays | Tags: , , , , | 4 Comments

Random Thoughts Friday #8

It’s been two months since I started Random Thoughts Friday!  Wow, I feel accomplished. Seriously.  Once I have to do something, I don’t want to do it any longer, so actually sticking with this self-imposed “have to” boosts my self-esteem.  I will stop publically gushing on myself and drive you all away.  Here is this weeks list:

1. “Ballpark Franks plump when you cook’em.”  Why? I’m not sure I want to know. I eat Hebrew National because they answer to a Higher power.

2. Dr. Seuss’s character Mayzie must have been a cowbird.

3. As of this posting, 12 days until F and Z start school.  Yay!

4. I know there are parents out there that want their children around them 24/7. I’m not one of them.  There’s a point in the day that they need to leave me alone.  And, quite frankly, it is better for them if they are not around me 24/7.   See Random Thoughts Friday #5, number 3.

5. My sisters, #1, #4, #5 and #8, used to have “sisters’ lunch” once a month. I miss those lunches.

6. While waiting for my daughter, F, to get her hair done, I overheard a couple of ladies talking about the shooting tragedy in Colorado. Woman #1 voiced her heart-felt sympathy commenting that those poor people were literally trapped in that theater and that she was so saddened that another piece of our innocence is gone.  Woman #2 nodding her head in agreement added that she wondered what was wrong with Colorado people. Honestly? Besides your unadulterated insensitivity, You live in the Nation’s top 5 most dangerous cities, and you are wondering what is wrong with the people of Colorado?  Really?

7.  Apparently, the UK’s WWII “Keep Calm and Carry On” campaign slogan reemerged in 2000.  Why I am I just finding this?  I love it in its various forms, and need to post it numerous places in my home.  Click here for more products.

8. Allow the garage door to open completely before pulling in the car, even if it looks as though the car will fit.  You could lose an antenna doing if you don’t.

9. After making peanut butter and jelly for a week, F has declared her sandwiches “famous.” Well, crap, if a week is all it takes to be famous, I better start changing my résumé!

10. Something is awkward about a list that doesn’t end in an even number.

Categories: Random Thought Friday | Tags: , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

Random Thoughts Friday #7

1. The one thing I hate most in this life is a sick kid. I don’t hate the kid. I hate the stuff that comes with being sick.  Not just minor “oh my tummy doesn’t feel well,” but an all out retching-up-one’s-guts sick child.  Momma can’t handle it.  When it does happen, it is all out battle for the toilet bowl, and let me tell, Momma’s gonna win.

2. I am in love with my Keurig. Not enough to marry it, but enough to thank God for it three times a day.  I loved my older model coffee maker, and it gave me some great years.  It pumped out two and three pots of coffee a day, got me through Grad School and a chaotic and difficult move across country, and helped make this house a home.  But after a year of caffiene celibacy and an introspective look at my life with coffee, I met Keurig. After weighing the pros and cons, I decided to put the old model away and brought home my Keurig: sleek, fast and ready to make my dreams come true at the push of a button.  I’m in love.  *doe eyes*

Ahem, why do you have that disturbed look on your face?

3. Strudel is a fun word to say.  Especially when said in a fashion akin to Dana Carvey’s “turtle, turtle” of Master of Disguises.  Strudel, strudel…  strudel, strudel…

4. Sometimes I wonder.

5. I’m thinking about starting a pictorial blog and calling it Staring Blankly. It will feature daily webcam pictures of me staring blankly at my laptop because I do that.  A lot.

6. That awkward moment when you want to comment on the over-dramatic and incorrectness of a status posted by someone who always has to be right, but don’t because of the fire storm that it would unleash from that person trying to prove that s/he is in fact right.  On the other hand, I am bored today…

7. I really need to remember to make an appointment to see the neurologist when I don’t havea migraine.

8. Sometimes I feel like I get over one migraine in order to prep for another.

9. I love talking to my sister.

“Sisters, Sisters” from Irving Berlin’s White Christmas

Now that you know what I’ve been thinking about this week, what are some of your “Random Thoughts” on this Friday?

Categories: Parenting, Random Thought Friday | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Why Do I Run

Everytime I run, I think of my sister, Ruth. I try to run at least 3 days a week. It is my preferable form of exercise. I learned to love running when I was in Jr. High school and found I was pretty good at it. Although I chose to run sprint races in Junior High and High School, it was in college that I found that I was more suited to middle distances. Not possessing enough fast  twitch muscles to be competitive in the short distances and not able to mentally focus for the longer distances, a middle distance is really perfect for me.

My sister, the fourth of six girls, and I, the sixth of six girls, shared a love for running – really sports in general but especially running. She is also most gifted in the middle distances. I didn’t feel like I could compete with her success, so I chose the shorter distances and had little to no success there. Ruth was the giver of one of the only Christmas presents that I still remember – a poster. I realize that a poster isn’t that exciting and it shouldn’t be the most memorable; however, it was the subject of the poster that I still remember.

The poster had whimsical little cartoon people in all manner of mid-80’s running attire padding their way around the boarder while in the middle of the poster there was this rhythmic, rhyming poem.

Why do I run?
‘taint no mystery —
wanna have a good medical history.
Doctor told me
runnin’ is great–
helps the blood cells circulate.

Great for the lungs,
great for the ticker
can’t nothin’
getcha in better shape quicker.

Feels so healthy,
feels so sweet
pumpin’my arms and flappin’ my feet.

Moldin’ my muscles,
firmin’ my form,
pantin’ like a pack mule,
sweatin’ up a storm.

Keeps me youthful,
keeps me loose,
tightens my tummy
and shrinks my caboose.
beats bein’ sluggish
beats bein’ lazy–
Why do I run?
Maybe I’m crazy!

My mother affixed that poster to some plywood with decoupage, so I could hang it on my wall.  (It was her way of saving money on a poster frame and using the materials we had around the house.  Yes, we had plywood.  I grew up in the ’70s.  Our entire house had panelling.) It hung on my bedroom wall until my parents sold the house 11 years after I graduated.  I don’t know what happened to that poster.

I still think about it though.  When I am reaching the “comfortable” point in my run right after “pantin’ like a pack mule,” the last stanza pops into my head, “tightens my tummy and shrinks my caboose.”  Oh, yeah, I think, if nothing else, please shrink my caboose.  Then I think of my sister and I smile, because she probably doesn’t realize that I think of her often and smile. She probably doesn’t remember giving that poster to me.  I remember it, and I remember idolizing her somewhat, and I remember how special she is to me.

Categories: Exercise, Uncategorized | Tags: , , | 5 Comments