Friday, March 30, 2012

This Week’s Epiphany

Middle kids have it made.

First kids get the experimental parents.

Last kids get the worn out, lax parents.

Middle kids get the parents who are just right.

That explains why this middle child is nearly perfect in every way!


Could I be biased?  Absolutely.

Monday, March 26, 2012

The Kissing Gardener

We’ve had the same gardener for a couple of years.  He’s a great guy and eager to please.

There’s just this one little thing.

He’s very friendly.


Ordinarily, this would not be a problem.  Except.  He likes to kiss. Me.

It started simply enough.  I asked him to do a little extra in the yard last year.  Change out some plants, plant some flowers.  He was happy for the work.  He kissed me.  OK, I thought, he’s just expressing his gratitude.  That’s cool.

But then, the next time he saw me, he greeted me with a kiss.

I swear, only through my lightening quick reflexes did the kiss land squarely on my cheek.  Otherwise…!!!

It became a pattern.  A greeting kiss.  A see you later kiss.  And, I’ve really had the practice that quick face turn.  There have been many a near-miss! 

Last week he “greeted” me as I pulled into the garage after driving my husband home from a medical procedure.  Did I note a little surprise when Jeff got out of the car and he had just planted one on me?

Now, I like kissing as much as the next girl, but I’m kinda old fashioned.  Spouse, family, close friends. 

You can never overestimate the value of a good handshake.  I’d even settle for the ever popular air kiss.


OK, I’m a little uptight.  My friends keep telling me it’s nothing.  De nada.  It’s cultural. 

My response has been to hole up somewhere away from the windows on gardener days so he doesn’t know I’m home.  Even better, I plan NOT to be home.  I swear, he finds excuses to talk to me.  I know, now I’m just being paranoid.  It’s not like I’m overwhelming him with my revealing attire and flirtatious ways.  Kind of the opposite, I think.  Maybe he likes slightly dowdy middle-aged ice maidens?

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Happy Birthday to my Honey Cousin

Today is my cousin Cathy’s birthday.

It would also have been Grandma Virginia’s 91st birthday. (Happy Birthday Gram!  I still miss you!)

Williams Family 1991

I share Grandma’s name (my middle name is Virginia), Cathy shares her birthdate.  Grandma always said “honey cousin” instead of “cousin” in order to give full weight to this very special relationship.

lisa & cathy circa 1975a

Cathy was the first one who called me after I learned our Grandma had died.  She was the first one I wanted to talk to and I’m so glad she called me since she lives in Italy now and I have no idea how to call her.  She’s smart like that though, and she was so good to call our Grandma all the time and amuse her with funny stories about goats and vineyards and tractors.  Who knew when we were growing up that Cathy would come to know about goats and vineyards and tractors?! 

lisa & cathy 1979

Cathy was the cousin nearest to me in age and we had many a caper growing up.  She was my person for so many years.  She talked me into shaving my legs and plucking my eyebrows for the very first time (Mom wasn’t so sure it was time but I thank you!).  I trusted her because she was older and wiser, and let’s face it, way cooler than me in the social hierarchy (we went to the same schools).

lisa & cathy circa 1979

When we were young we grew our hair long and measured to see whose was longest.  She always won because mine was straighter than straight and hers was curly so when you stretched hers it was always longer.

lisa & cathy circa 1975

She always wanted straight hair and I always wanted curly hair.  We used to get our hair done at the same place and she would be getting hers chemically straightened while I was perming mine. 

lisa & cathy circa 1972

We spent many days together at our grandma’s.  Grandma had a closet with all of her fancy clothes and old prom and wedding dresses of my mom and aunts.  There were accessories and dyed to match shoes and Cathy and I would spend hours trying things on and pretending we were in pageants.

lisa & cathy circa 1970Cathy & Lisa circa 1970

One time Cathy was over at my house and talked me into running away because she was mad at her mom for some random reason.  I wasn’t mad at mine, but somehow she convinced me that we should take my life savings ($.49, no lie) and hike to grandma’s 40 miles away.  We were convinced grandma would never rat us out so we started walking.

lisa & cathy 1968

We lived in a small town so of course we ran into someone we knew (Cathy’s aunt on her mom’s side) at Circle K when we went in to spend my life savings (which only purchased a small grapefruit juice which neither of us liked but we thought we should hydrate).  Just out for a stroll, we said.

Cathy & Lisa circa 1970_2

We continued on but regrets started creeping in.  By the time the sheriff spotted us, we were totally ready to go home.  Cathy returned to a hero’s welcome and I was grounded.  Really?

Cathy & Lisa circa 1977

I love my honey cousin.  She is beautiful and funny and thoughtful.  I don’t know how I’m going to get through this weekend without her. 

018 (2)