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Wednesday, March 17, 2010


Something about Spring just lifts ones spirits. When the temperature starts to rise and the sun is shining, the first thing that I want to do is clean house. Open those doors and windows and let the breeze blow away the winter smog, so to speak. Get out that old feather duster, and the pledge and start to work. That is where I found myself a few days ago. The temp was quite nice outside close to 70 degrees, and since Spring fever usually hits me pretty hard just about this same time every year, I was ready to begin my spring cleaning.

One of my favorite things, when I clean house is to move furniture. So, you never know when you walk in my front door which direction you are going to be facing on that day. I rearranged the living room a couple of times until I got things just the way I wanted it. When I was finally done with the furniture, then I started on the accessories. All went well, until I got down to Sally. I could not find the right spot for her. She just didn't look right no matter where I put her and I tried every available empty spot in my living room. I knew that she needed some sun and I knew that the most logical place was in front of the big window. Plus, a nice warm spring breeze would do wonders for her, I was sure. For you see Sally is a house plant. Some kind of Ivy vine that I am quite attached to. After much deliberation, a good drink of water, and some tweaking of brown leaves, I finally found Sally a spot in front of the sliding glass door in our living room. She looks really happy there.

Why would you name a plant? you asked?... Well, you see, I have to go to another story in order to tell this one. So here we go..........

My mothers name was Pauline, all of us kids and grand kids called her 'granny' after she got up in her older years. She ended up being 'granny' to the whole town I think. But I can remember growing up and being a kid, I thought her name was Sally. I can still here my dad yelling from the front porch "Sally would you bring me a glass of tea". Or he would say "Sally you better get these knick-knacks put up high before the grand kids get here, I'm not gonna listen to you yelling at the grand kids if they get broke". So, being a kid myself I just thought her name was Sally. Now granted, after I got older, I realize that 'Sally' was just a nick name that my dad had chosen for her, but by then it just kind of 'stuck'. So, as the years went by, if we didn't call her 'granny' then we called her 'Sally'.

Sally was like a precious green gem. She was strong, endured a lot of storms through her long life. She went through some droughts in life I am sure. When the winter would hit us hard, she would brace herself against the cold and try to keep us all warm and fed. By the time the cold months were over she would be withered and tired looking, but when spring came she would flourish with new life, plant her garden, and home can any fruit or vegetable that she could 'will ' to come up out of the ground. By summers end she would have hundreds of mason jars filled to the brim with the results of her hard labor. She would mend our clothes, the old winter quilts, and our socks. If there was a need for her to work in the fields, then she would fit that in with her daily tasks also. Yes, she was a gem.

So, I found it only appropriate to name my ivy vine after her, for my sweet ivy vine has endured some hardships also in her short life. In July of 2005, Don and my house caught fire, and we lost a lot of precious belongings that will and can never be replaced. The house didn't burn all the way down but the inside was gutted really bad and was totalled by the insurance company. A few days later, we went back in to access the damage and salvage what we could. While fumbling through the nasty black char and rubble I stumbled back to the bedroom, and there turned upside down in the middle of the floor was my favorite house plant. The pot was cracked, and the paint was bubbled up from the heat of the fire, and dirt was all over the floor, and even though it looked a little bewildered and pale it was still green and trying its best to keep on living. I picked it up and held it in my hand and promised it that I would keep it forever. This particular plant was always special to me. Some kind soul had bought this nice Ivy vine and sent it to my mom's funeral. After the funeral all of us kids picked out the ones we wanted and so I picked out this one. Ever since the day I found it almost at deaths door, right there in that charred, blackened bedroom I knew that no other name would suit her but Sally. When the weather gets a little warmer out, I will buy my Sally a new and bigger pot to live in so she can continue to grow and flourish. She is strong like her name sake. She endured the hardship of life, and even though she has moved and had several different homes since her near death experience, she has survived. I have to say that she now looks very hardy and healthy. I really don't know how long house plants can live, but when she gets to the point that she looks like she is ready to give up on life, I am going to clip a piece of her off and put it in water and start a whole new generation of little grand children vines for my Sally. Hopefully, there will be a part of Sally around for years to come. I am confident that she or a part of her will live a long, healthy life and flourish and give a bit of happiness, if, to no one but me, for she will always be my Sally, or at least my Sally's grandchildren....................

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Rolling on the Floor

Since Cardinal Baseball is almost upon us again, I thought that I would share my very most favorite Cardinal story with you.

Being from the small town that I grew up in and lived for 40 plus years, I never witnessed the electricity of living in a baseball town until we moved to the St. Louis area. Oh, there were always baseball fans and every once in a while, in the cafe there would be a minor disagreement on who was the best pitcher or hitter. There was always a game board made up during the world series, where you could buy a square for a dollar or so and pick the winning numbers. I even won it one time. I just happened to pick the right numbers, and at the time thought that it was a pretty easy $100.00. I myself, really don't care one way or the other. I suppose of all the professional sports out there, baseball would be the one I would have to choose, so I choose the Cardinals. But actually, the Cardinals have always been a part of my life.

My Cardinal baseball experiences started when I was a kid. I remember going to bed at night with the radio blaring!! Dad had that old box radio sitting close to his bed and turned up as loud as it would go. I would hear names like Bob Gibson, Ken Boyer..... and of course Harry Karry(sp)? Ever once in a while, he and mom would yell out something like "go, go, go" or may even an "ugly" word. Listening to the radio in the summer months was just life around our house.

I think I was somewhere around 10 or 11 years old in 1964 when the Cardinals went to the world series. I don't really know why I was not in school on this particular day, being that the world series always takes place in the fall of the year, but for some reason I was home with mom. During this time we were lucky enough to have an old television. Such a rare thing for us to have one, matter of fact I can remember NOT having one much more than I can remember having one. Now, being a kid at the time, I can't remember all the details that led up to this game, but I am thinking that the Cardinals were playing the Yankees. I am not sure, so forgive me if I am wrong here. Being the absolute Cardinal fan that mom was, she insisted that we watch the last game of the series on this old half worn on t.v.

Now you have to get a mental picture going. Women back in the 1960's wore dresses all the time. You never saw a woman in jeans or long pants unless they were headed out to the barn, or to a cotton field. Along with the dress comes the underskirt that goes underneath, better know as a 'slip.' The slip usually had (and still does) some kind of lace or ribbon on the bottom of it.

Well, here we were, mom and me, with me laying on the couch and her pacing the floor glued to the snowy, fuzzy, gray screen of the t.v. . Things must have not been going the way she wanted it to in the game, for every once in a while she would yell out something or other. I wasn't really paying a whole lot of attention to her until all of a sudden she let out a scream like a Banji Indian, and started jumping up and down, up and down, up and down and  twirling around. Scared me to death.  I finally realized that her 'team' had just won the World Series!  Weeeelllllllll, during all of this excitement and her jumping and twirling, the heel of her shoe got caught in the lace on her slip. She ripped that baby down her legs and unto the floor. Still jumping up and down.and twirling.. her feet got tangled in the wad of underskirt now laying on the floor, torn in shreds, and the next thing I know ... "BAM" she hits the floor. By this time, I was FALLING off the couch laughing. That had to be the funniest thing on God's green earth that I had ever seen. By now, she, being ecstatic over the Cardinals winning the series, realized what had just happened and she just laid there rolling around on the floor laughing We both laughed until we were in tears. When she finally calmed down enough to pick that underskirt up, we started laughing all over again. As much as she always mended and patched everything we wore, there was no 'fixing' that slip. She had done one fine number on it. She just took it and threw it in the trash.
As the years went by she and I had many laughs over her tearing her slip off of herself over the Cardinal ballgame. Not realizing it at the time, it made one of the most fondest memories that I have of her. She has been gone now for over 6 years. But I can still see that laugh on her face. It is burned in my heart and will forever stay there. And I know that if she were alive today, that anytime we thought of a Cardinal baseball game we would remember the day that we both were literally ROLLING ON THE FLOOR LAUGHING.....................