(Not So) Tall Tale Tuesday: Bringing Joy in the Midst of Sorrow

Today’s (Not So) Tall Tale Tuesday prompt:

Write about a childhood memory that changed your perspective.

I could probably write quite a few stories about childhood memories that changed my perspective but for now, I’m going to go back to a memory from a long, long time ago that I barely even remember.

I am not sure how old I was but I was young enough to not understand death, funerals, or visitations.  However, my great grandmother on my Grammy’s side had passed away and we were in Lincoln, NE at the visitation at the funeral home.  I remember being there and there were so many people.  And they were all crying and they were all sad but they would brighten up as soon as they saw me.  I was just glad to be with so many of my family members.  I kept going to the many tissue boxes scattered throughout the room and pulling out the tissues one at a time.  I think I emptied all of them.  I might have picked a few of the flowers too.  I found it quite odd that they were all over the room.  They smelled so good, I couldn’t help it.  And for once, no one said anything.  I was shocked I didn’t get a spanking right then and there, to be honest.

At this point, you may be asking how this changed my perspective.  It didn’t change my perspective as a young child but what I got from this and the many other visitations and funerals that I went to as a child is that death is an inevitable part of life.  It’s something all must face and it doesn’t have to necessarily be a bad thing.

The other thing is this- I sometimes feel funny taking my children, knowing that it will be awkward for them (and possibly a hassle chasing the flock around).  But then I think back to the smiles that I brought the many grieving visitors and family as a child.  I see the same smiles from those that we share our kids with in these times of sadness.  Children bring joy in the midst of sorrow and are a constant reminder that life does go on.

Deep for me, I know….

017f89537a0905d084e75ed02fa953ccc6ceef910cMost of my (Not So) Tall Tale Tuesday posts have been a bit more upbeat, positive, or funny than this but it honestly was the first childhood memory that came to mind in terms of changing my perspective.  Sorry.  Not sorry.

However, if you need a laugh after this sobering post, check out this one.  It always gives me a chuckle.

Photo credit- Garen Graves Photography


(Not so) Tall Tale Tuesday: What Makes a Great Mom

Today’s prompt for (Not so) Tall Tale Tuesday is:

Write about the woman who has had the greatest impact on your life.

This didn’t take more than a few seconds for me to know exactly who I’d write about- my Mom.

We’d both freely admit that we don’t always agree about everything- far from it. But I have a long list of the great reasons she’s had the greatest impact on my life and what I think makes her a great mom:

  • She’s taught me to love unconditionally. I was a hard teenager to deal with. If I could take it back I would. But I can’t. What I can do is learn from how she continued to love me despite it all. I have a feeling I might need it- what are the chances that none of my four kids are not going to give me some heartache?!?
  • She loves my dad and he’s her best friend. I have married my best friend I aim to keep him happy and show him how much I love him every day.
  • She’s the money-lady. My mom has diligently kept the financial side of my parents’ companies going for 30+ years. She’s taught me how to save money and how to spend wisely. Many think I was brought up in a house where I got whatever I wanted. Ha. So far from the truth. My mom was pretty close to the budget-Nazi growing up. And while I was sometimes upset that I didn’t get to always have Tommy Hilfiger or Guess brand clothing (am I dating myself???), I sure am glad now that I got to experience that.
  • She gives freely. Part of her above mentioned budgeting always went to either the church or to fundraisers, etc. I don’t remember her ever turning anyone down unless she had already bought more Girl Scouts cookies than our family could eat.
  • She taught me to love to read. Not just because she read to me or made me read. She also was always reading and was always willing to help find me a book that I found interesting. This is something I worry about at our house because my books are now on my phone and iPad so it looks like to the kids that I’m “playing” while I’m really reading my book on my Kindle app.
  • She loves family get-togethers and has hosted them almost every holiday for a long time, especially as my grandparents got older. Getting together with aunts, uncles, and cousins has always been a big part of our life.
  • She’s taught me to party plan and to cook for others. This is similar to the above point but still a little different.  It drives Garen (only a little) crazy but I love planning parties.  I’m pretty sure the cooking doesn’t drive him crazy (unless he ends up cleaning it).  I’m not as good as my Grammy or my Mom but I think, like them, I’m getting better with age.

I could probably go on and on but I’ll stop. She’s a pretty great Mom and an even better Mammy! Happy (not so) Tall Tale Tuesday!  And thank you, Mom, for being a great Mom and friend.

(Not so) Tall Tale Tuesday: Pride and Coffee 

It’s Tuesday again and you know what that means???

Yes, that’s right… it’s (Not so) Tall Tale Tuesday.  See the first of these posts for the background of these tales. The next prompt in the list on A Medium Corporation by Bianca Bass is:

Write about a lesson you learned the hard way.

Man, I have to admit that this one was another  challenge for me. And mostly because there are a few big life lessons you sometimes learn the hard way but that you don’t want to share on a blog for the world to read. Sorry world. We’re just not that close yet. 

So, I’ve got a somewhat lighter (not so) tall tale to share. I call it:

Pride and Coffee 

It was my first day of work at Texas Health Resources in the HR department. We had a very nice sized break room, complete with a commercial-grade coffee maker. During my first trip to the break room for coffee, I came upon an almost empty coffee pot and I was about to pour the last cup. I didn’t want to be that person. You know…the person that drinks the last cup and then doesn’t make anymore so the next person that comes in has to make a pot and then wait around for a cup of coffee. Nobody wants to be that person (or at least wants to be caught being that person… especially not the newby on the floor). 

So, what did I do???  I decided to make another pot. 

Now, understand that I rarely make coffee at my house. I’m very spoiled and my loving husband usually makes it but I get the basics of a traditional coffee maker. This one seemed pretty similar, just larger so I didn’t want to bother anyone with asking how to use it. Too much pride. 

Instead I hunted through the cabinets to find the filters, etc and poured the water into the top of the machine. I turned it on. Then I stood back for it to do its thing, thinking to myself what a good person I was for not being that person and for figuring out the big coffee maker all by myself. 

Then it happened. It started leaking everywhere. Panic insued. 

What was going on?!? Hadn’t I done the right thing?!? 

At that point one of the senior Administrative Assistants on the floor came in to find me trying to desperately stop the leaking and clean up the gigantic slip hazard I’d created. Did I mention I was the program manager of Employee Safety so it was my job to prevent things like this from happening???

Luckily, she was very kind and understanding about it, explaining that this coffee maker had integrated water built into it. However, by me pouring water into it, not only did I cause it to overflow, I also managed to break it. 

The entire floor had to go without coffee the rest of the day and the following thanks to the new girl attempting to make coffee. 

Lessons learned the hard way:

  • Don’t ever let pride get in the way of clarifying the right way to do something. That’s a nice way for saying don’t be too proud to ask for help. 
  • Being the newby is tough. Be kind to those folks. Everyone has been there at least once. 
  • Don’t drink the last of the coffee. Wait until someone else comes and drinks it so they can make a fresh pot. (I’m kinda joking.)

Happy (not so) tall tale Tuesday. I hope you all sleep well and wake up to a pot of coffee someone else made for you!

(Not so) Tall Tale Tuesday: Mr. $hitter

Introduction to (Not So) Tall Tale Tuesday:

Have I ever mentioned that I’m a matchy-matchy person? I like things to go together and I guess this has bled over into my blogging because I feel an overwhelming desire to have my titles coordinate with the day of the week. If you know me very well, this probably comes as no surprise. Coming up with a title to go with Tuesday has been somewhat of a challenge for me though. 

Don’t get me wrong- I’d love to have Taco Tuesday as my theme and go eat different tacos everyday to blog about that. That would be AWESOME but….since that directly conflicts with my whole “well being” efforts I thought I should explore more options. 

So what does any good millennial does when trying to find an answer or a solution??? 

I googled blog themes for Tuesdays. To my surprise, there weren’t all that many articles or blogs about this subject that weren’t already being used by everyone already. I did find this blog about Cheryl Strayed’s writing prompts on A Medium Corporation by Bianca Bass, along with some of hers. I really liked it but rather than daily themes, these ideas all struck me as ideas for stories. 

Then it hit me- the “t” word I was looking for was tales. But then I realized most of these prompts are not really tales– they’re truth. From there I came up with (Not so) Tall Tales. 

Ok, I can admit it. I’m cheesy. But, hey, I happen to think it’s a loveable trait. With that background explained, I’ll start with my first (not so) tall tale: 

          Write about a time you realized you were mistaken.

This prompt honestly made me laugh because I’m mistaken about 10 million times a day. Ok, maybe that’s an exaggeration. And if you ask Garen he’d tell you that I think I’m never wrong. 

This was a tough one for me because I’ve done many things in my life that I regret. And, let’s face it, do I really want to share my dirty laundry with everyone???

Soooo…Let me tell you a little tale about me trying to be a smarty pants and how my potty mouth actually had a pretty shitty ending for my pride. (If you’re offended by the word “shit,” please stop here and sorry, Mom and Jacquetta, if I embarrass you). 

We were playing a card game with most of my mom’s side of the family. I think it was on my dad’s birthday, which that year fell on the day of my dear Grammy’s funeral. (Side note: the only reason I bring that up is because she would’ve loved this story). On that side of the family, somehow potty talk inevitably seems to become a joke at some point.  

Why, I have no idea. (Maybe for the same reason Chandler Bing didn’t get the job when his future boss started talking about his duties). Whatever the reason, the subject came up. 

And when it did, my memory of my Aggie education prompted me to share some knowledge with my loving family from one of my many history classes. I proceeded to tell them that “the shitter” is called that because “Mr. Shitter” invented the toilet. They quickly told me that it was actually Mr. Crapper who invented it and that’s why it’s called “the crapper,” not “the shitter” as I had so eloquently announced to everyone. 

Here’s a prime example of when I’ve been mistaken

And my family still gives me shit about it. 

However, evidently they might’ve been wrong too. Per Wikipedia, the origin of the word “crapper” actually comes from the combination of two older words. Does this mean what I learned in one of my college courses was actually load of…

Ok. Ok. I’m sorry for the shitty language in this blog. I just couldn’t resist. 

If nothing else, you may have learned something new tonight. This may even provide some good reading material for a friend while they’re on “the crapper” so feel free to share. 

Happy (not so) Tall Tale Tuesday to you!