Thursday, December 31, 2009

Life Was Exciting Back Then

I’ve seen so much change in my lifetime it staggers the mind. I remember my family going to town to see an air show. As I recall the air show consisted of a few airplanes lined up and everybody could get up close and really look them over. It was a big deal. Somebody flew one across the sky and all the people stood and gawked at it. Then everybody went home and talked about the air show for weeks. If we happened to hear one flying overhead, we would all run outside and shade our eyes and watch it until it went out of sight. Then we had something else to talk about the rest of the week. Life was exciting back then.

My grandparents had a telephone. It was a big monstrous thing that was attached to the wall. My Grandma was kind of short and had to stand on a small stool to use it. The stool was always on the floor under the phone. We happened to be there one day when it rang, and it scared me. I’m sure glad I got over that, with all the sounds we hear today. I was only four years old at that time.
Our neighbors invited us over to listen to their radio. We had never seen one before. We all sit around the living room and the voice came on out of the big box, and was talking. It was just mind boggling, as to how it could do that. We talked about the radio for a month or more. We never dreamed we would be able to own one some day. Life was exciting back then.

I remember my folks buying a motorized washer to wash our laundry in. It was before we had electricity, so the Washer had a motor such as a lawn mower and ran on gas. You had to yank on a cord to get it started. My mother fell in love with it at first sight. She no longer had to stand over a scrub board all day doing our laundry. Starting the Washing Machine was kind of a big deal. At least for us kids, we all begged to pull the cord. We were not allowed to, but we could watch our father as he pulled the cord and the machine would come to life. At that point we had to clear the area so Mom could get the laundry started. Life was exciting back then.

How life has changed. You know how much so I won’t get into that. Life may have been exciting, but it can’t compare with what goes on today.

***Happy New Year***

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Bullying Incident

This is a true story. I swear it is. I wouldn’t kid around about something like this. I went shopping at Wal-Mart today. I was standing near the end of one aisle and was looking at something, when out of nowhere I heard this big loud thunderbolt sound. It sounded exactly like a huge gas leak or blowout, explosion or how about fart. At that moment a lady pushing a cart with a little girl in the kiddy seat came around the corner. The lady says, "Say "excuse me". And the little girl in her little squeaky voice said, "cuse me". She couldn’t fool me, I know that big honking sound did not come out of that little girl. How could she blame it on an innocent child, I would never do such a thing. No, I would never have thought of it.

I had another experience while there. I was about to ask a clerk where the crackers were and the clerk was my Grandson, AJ. That is not what I my experience was; I just thought I’d throw that in.
When I checked out and she was adding it all up on their handy dandy computerized adding machine, I realized I had taken my wallet out of my purse and forgot to put it back in. Yes, I forgot. My middle name should be ‘Forgot’ Retha Forgot Lemaster. Now spell check says my first name should be spelled "Retch". Well, I prefer Retha. I never use my first name except when I go to the doctor or fill out important papers.
Back to the missing wallet. I had my checkbook and thought I had saved the day, I would just write a check instead of using the ATM card. Guess what!! She wanted ID and it was in the missing wallet. I am also breaking the law by driving without a driver’s license with me. I showed her insurance cards and medical cards and handicapped card info and it didn’t help. She called in a supervisor and I told her that I have a grandson that works here. "Did that work"? You ask. No, they didn’t seem to give a fig if I had a grandson that worked there. I’ll never mention that again.
They said that if I would go get the ID card they would save my stuff until I returned. Wasn’t that big of them? So I had to come all the way home and pick up the stupid wallet and go back out there. If it weren’t for Wal-Mart I’d have no blog material at all.

When I haven’t blogged for a few days you will know I haven’t been to Wal-Mart. The Big Bullies.

I know one thing. The next 80 years is going to be a lot harder than the past 80 years was.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Road Rage

I had an appointment this morning so I had to take Nellie Bell out of the garage. She is old and tired and on top of that she let me know she does not care for cold weather. She proved it to me by dying at every traffic light. I had no idea she was so sensitive to cold weather or I would have let her warm up before I took off. Highly irritating, and especially at one traffic stop. The man behind me tried to help the situation along by blasting his horn a few times. That time the car died about three different times before it would keep going. When it finally stayed alive enough for me to move forward I was so tempted to give the man behind me a ‘Thank You’ sign or whatever you call it. I decided it probably wouldn’t be a good idea.
That’s all I have to say about that.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Nobody Will See It

Look at my childhood picture on the right side of the page at the top. You can see a big knot on my forehead. I was eight when the picture was taken. I remember being so upset about the ugly knot on my forehead because we were having school pictures taken the next day. Mom said, "It won’t show in a picture so don’t worry about it, and it might even be gone by morning". The knot wasn’t gone by morning and she said, "Nobody will see the picture, but us, so it’s okay". Little did we know I would post the picture on the Internet and the whole world can look at it. I’m proud of that battle scar. When you survive to adulthood with two older brothers, it’s quit a feat. I’m just kidding!!!
The funny thing is that I can’t remember how I got the knot at all. I just remember being upset because I was going to have my picture taken. I’m sure my own clumsiness had a lot to do with it. Bottom line:
Nobody will see it and nobody will give a rats rear if they do see it.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Pearl Harbor Day

My oldest brother, Cecil, joined the US Air Corp in the summer of 1941. He was sent to the Hawaiian Islands shortly after he enlisted. He absolutely loved it. He would write long rambling letters on a regular basis. He told us all the latest news and in one letter he told how he was working in the bakery dept of the Mess hall and learning so many things about cooking and baking.
He was stationed at Pearl Harbor. He always mentioned how perfect the weather was and the beauty of the flowers and ocean. He was a 19-year-old boy that had never been off our Oklahoma farm, other than a few ‘running away episodes’, and a little jaunt to Colorado when our parents were seeking their fortune. He was in heaven as far as he was concerned. He already had his entire future laid out, when he retired from the US Air Corp, he would retire there. He never wanted to leave the place. We thought he was so highly dazzled with it, he may never return and visit with us again.
Meanwhile back on the farm, we were living our lives and getting along the best we could. It was a mild December day, we had returned from church and had already eaten our dinner. Mom and I were cleaning up the dishes when Mom said, "Look outside, I see your boyfriend rode his horse over to see you". Everybody in the family thought I had a crush on James. I looked out and said, "He didn’t come to see me, he came to see Ray." I thought my crush was a deep dark secret. I guess when you’re 13 years old, you can’t keep your mouth shut about such things. In a few minutes we found out he was delivering some news that his family had heard over their radio, and they thought we would be interested. The Japanese had bombed the Hawaiian Islands. In fact most of the bombs had struck Pearl Harbor and most of the ships in the harbor. It was a very dire message. We immediately turned on our radio and my parents kept their ears glued to it the next few days. We heard all the casualty reports and were praying Cecil wouldn’t be among them.
Wednesday night we had a knock on our door about 8 o’clock. It was our neighbors that lived a half mile North of us. They had a telephone and had received a message from the telegraph office in Stillwater. Since we didn’t have a telephone, and the Welch’s were the nearest neighbor’s with a phone, they were called. The Telegraph office relayed the message to them and asked if they could deliver it. They would follow up with it in the mail. Somehow I knew when I opened the door, they were bringing bad news about Cecil.
They told us that the news was from the war department, and Cecil had been reported as missing in action. The telegram would arrive in a few days in the mail.
Needless to say, we were deeply saddened and spent the next few days praying that he would not be among the causalities. We talked about it constantly and felt that he must have been killed, or they would know where he was. The grief was unbearable.
Three days later, on Wednesday evening, my brother Ray was visiting the Welch family because their son and Ray were friends.
Ray was standing at the door ready to leave when their phone rang. The Grandma said, "Ray, don’t leave, this call might be for your family". And it was.
The message was another telegram, this time it was from Cecil, and it said, "I understand I have been reported missing. I am absolutely okay".
Ray took out the door and ran as fast as he could the half mile to our house and came bursting through the door and was so out of breath, he couldn’t say anything. He just stood there bent over and breathing as hard as he could. We were all wondering what in the world is the matter with him. Finally he was able to blurt it all out. We couldn’t hardly understand what he was saying, but understood the part about ‘absolutely okay’.
At that exact same moment our uncle Vincent and Aunt Mary drove into our yard. They came from another city to offer their condolences and found us all sky high with joy. It didn’t take long to explain our good news to them.
I wrote a letter to Cecil shortly after the news, and in the letter I asked him, "What exactly did you do while the bombs were being dropped, did you run?" He wrote back and said, "In answer to your question as to whether I ran or not; I don’t know if you could call it running or not, but I passed some that were running".
He ended up making a career of the US Air Force, and passed away in 2000, he never returned to Hawaii after the war ended.
Happy Birthday to my little sister, Carol, and many more.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Are We In Kansas Yet

I went to our new Wal-Mart the other afternoon. While there I decided to see if I could make an appointment for a perm. They could take me at that very minute so I jumped at the chance. By the time I got out of the place it was dark as midnight and I hate driving in the dark and avoid it when I can, but here I am in the dark and I have bad eyesight until Monday. I am squinting at all the headlights and for some dumb reason I left the same way I came in instead of going straight out to Nobhill.
My brain must have stalled or something because I am going out via 64th Ave. instead of Nobhill. So I take a right, thinking I am on Nobhill (remember my brain is on pause) and go driving down the street and there is a lot of traffic and headlights so I can’t see the landscape and I think I’m heading for my house. I was really heading out into the country.

All at once I came to my senses, sort of, but not totally. How in the world did I get on this street? Where am I? Why can’t I see a street sign? I keep driving because I can’t stop or turn around in all that traffic. Finally I was able to turn left and I need to turn left again to get to Nobhill.

I ended up on some road that didn’t seem to have a name and I must have driven four or five miles on that road. Here I am out in this God forsaken country road and there are headlights behind me and I couldn’t see any place to turn around or get off of that road. I was getting a little uneasy because there is a car behind me and what if this road comes to a dead end. I thought, "I must be dreaming, I’ll wake up any minute." I just kept driving and now I can see the city lights way off to my far left. All I have to do is drive over to those lights. There was no road that went that way. Now I know I must be in the twilight zone. Finally the car behind me disappeared and that was a relief. I finally saw a street I recognized and I got on it.
Sixteenth Avenue never looked so heavenly to me. Remember I started on 64th Ave. Are we in Kansas yet?