I still have too many of those nights when I just can’t sleep; last night was one of those. Some people read when they can’t sleep; I probably should read but I usually write. A lot of those go to the recycle bin because they belong there; these two may be in that category but I’m going to post them anyway.
Suddenly I’m Part Of The Old Generation
A few days ago I was talking to one of my sisters; just a weekly how’s it going conversation. A few minutes into the talk she asked if I knew Aunt Ruth had passed away; I didn’t know. Aunt Ruth was my dad’s baby sister. I think it dawned on both of us at about the same time; we had become the old generation. We no longer had a living aunt, uncle or parent.
Uncle Allen and Aunt Ruth lived in Oklahoma when I was a kid; they had kids about my age and we spent some time together. Uncle Allen always wore overalls; I think he wore his new ones and a white shirt for special occasions. He liked to fish and he liked baseball, and was just a nice guy. He passed away in ’81. Aunt Ruth was a fun person to be around, she was funny, she laughed a lot, and she made those around her comfortable; she just seemed to enjoy life. She made the best dinner rolls I have ever eaten. In ’59 better job opportunities took them to the lumber industry in Oregon. I saw Aunt Ruth and one of her kids at a family reunion about 30 years ago; I saw another of her kids at a reunion about ten years ago.
After I got off the phone I took a long look at how I had let life interfere with keeping in touch with my extended family. I think that may be a little bit typical of my generation especially if our parents were from large families. I think my “don’t look back” approach to life was more of a factor.
Dad had five sisters and two brothers; mom had three brothers and a sister. A combination of the great depression and the dust bowl sent about half of them to various locations on the west coast; one uncle followed the oil patch to south Texas. Communication was pretty much limited to letter writing; most of us didn’t have a telephone, so if you only see someone every ten years or so, about the only thing you have in common is grandparents. I don’t have an excuse for not keeping in touch with those who remained here in Oklahoma; I think life just kind of got in the way.
Sharyl and I talked about going to the Pacific Northwest; a visit with Aunt Ruth was always a part of those conversations. That trip is another of the things we talked about but never took the time to do. Don’t wait.
Our family is a little smaller, communication has improved significantly, so maybe just maybe when my time comes, my nieces and nephews won’t find out as an “Oh by the way did you hear about Uncle Dave” in a routine phone conversation with one of their siblings.
Rest In Peace Aunt Ruth.
Another Silly Little Thing
I know it is another of those silly little things, but it is my blog and I want to share it with you. I also know it is your choice to read it or not.
Since late June or early July every time I enter the produce department at the grocery store, I focus on the watermelons and get a little emotional, the lump in the throat thing. Wal Mart even has them sitting in the entrance; I see them there if I’m going after paint or a quart of oil or toothpaste.
Sharyl loved a good watermelon, not the kind that rode a truck from the Rio Grande Valley or even further south. She loved the ones that ripened on the vine and tasted like watermelon, the ones grown north of the Red River. I should include myself, because I also like the things. After she was sick she always made sure my shopping list included watermelon, and cantaloupe “if they smelled like cantaloupe”.
About ten or fifteen years ago I started having a reasonably serious allergic reaction to something. I probably should change reasonably to very in the previous sentence, because it was serious and kind of scary. After a trip to the Allergy Clinic, a lot of Internet research and trial and error, I found I was allergic to aspirin, foods that contain salicylates and a few other things.
I control it by avoiding aspirin and eating those things that contain salicylates in extreme moderation. Watermelon is one of those foods. Watermelon isn’t something intended to be eaten in moderation. I am okay with a half-cup of grapes, or one small plum, but not with a half-cup of watermelon. I wish broccoli were high in salicylates so I would have a reason to eat it in moderation or better yet not at all.
We continued to buy watermelon and I did the best I could to eat less than I really wanted, and avoided other things to offset the watermelon, I walk the tightrope so to speak, and keep Benadryl and an EpiPen handy just in case. I have taken a boatload of Benadryl over the years; so far I have avoided using the EpiPen.
I don’t think it is because of the allergies but for some reason I haven’t wanted any watermelon this summer, not even in moderation.
Please keep me in your prayers.
Good Night and God Bless.
Two good posts Dave, enjoyed reading them as usual.
As coincidence would have it, I also had an Aunt Ruth. What a sweetheart she was. I loved her dearly. I haven’t thought of her in years. Funny how everyday life kind of causes us to “not contact some of our extended family”. Actually, it is not funny. It is sad. I will try to do a better job going forward. I have one Aunt left of my parents generation. Aunt Trelma O’Neal. I stay with her every time I go home, even though I could stay with my brother. Somehow, I just want to be around her as long as we both can. She has COPD, is on oxygen 24/7, and has a heart condition along with other dibilitating ailments, yet when I am there she always makes me biscuits and gravy with sausage and eggs for breakfast. She says that is the only time she cooks breakfast, and I can tell she is glad I am there. We watch all the sporting events on television, and talk about our family history for hours. I will really miss those times “when I can no longer go there”. One of these days, I too will be the “older generation”.
The best watermelons I ever ate were the ones we use to get down by Ruggles curve just before you get to Little River on the east side close to where Sings place is, or was. We used to sneak in there at night to get them. Even got shot at with a shotgun filled with rock salt. At least that is what we were told. Boy did that make them taste good !!!
Dave…. Thanks so much for the memories of my folks. It is sad that we get so busy with our
personal lives that we let it interfere with extended family. I too have such fond memories of all
the cousins, aunt and uncles getting together at Grandma/Grandpa’s for various celebrations. In
your blog about watermelons, I remember eating the yellow meated ones that Grandpa grew in his garden just east of the house. Gene & I would spend a week with them in the summer and always
were visiting with you and your family and the Hunts. Lots and lots of wonderful memories.
Thanks again for writing about your memories and freshening mine. Mom will definitely be
missed, but she and Dad both left us with a lot of memories.
Charlene Wheeler Irvin
Dave, i always like hearing what you are thinking! Thank you for sharing.