Writers’ Page

Lost is Hard

Margaret Daniels

Losing a good friend is always hard. I have known this friend better than 20 years now. Funny thing was, we met in a store when I was browsing one day and we just hit it off. Sometimes, it just works that way with friendships. As I look back now, I didn’t know that our lives would become so intertwined over the years.

When I needed to go to work, she was there to give me the needed support and to help e become more professional. Some nights I would come home so tired and occasionally lonely, I could count on my friend to listen while we just sat there. My friend was good at giving me new ideas for a report, a work project or just how to go about putting on a large conference. You can’t put price on that type of assistance.

When I entered into my master’s program, she was there to give me the added support I needed. The same classmates were in the required courses with a few exceptions. Each subject matter was compressed into eight weeks. In each subject there was a lot of reading, individual public speaking and group presentations along with written reports. This friend was there to help me get through this intense program. At the end of the program I walked across the stage with honors, thanks to my friend.

Towards the end of my working career, my friend was there to provide me with entertainment, especially on the weekends. Occasionally, I would go out with some of my other friends but I didn’t have the same connection to them as I did for her. She was smart and had a lot of good qualities that I came to appreciate over the years. When I needed information, she was always ready to share it with me without condemnation. My thinking and attitudes of life began to change as time marched forward. It’s hard to believe that she is gone. I will miss her.

What? You ask me what was her name? Her name was Sony, my computer. She died and I will miss the familiarity we had together.

Search for the Secrets

Yvonne White

“Grandma, you put crayon on your eye,” astonished Lori screamed at her Grandma! “Lori, it is just eyebrow pencil. It will wash off. This is mascara I can put on my eyelid.” “I know what mascara is. I have some!” Out of the mouth of an almost eight year old!

Eight years ago, I flew out to my granddaughter Susan’s home when her brother was born and in the morning Susan asked what I was doing. She watched patiently and didn’t ask too many questions. She even understood when I put my contacts in my eyes. Her Dad wore contacts.

Twenty years ago I visited my sister and her family. I was staying with them for a few days. The first morning I started to get ready for the day when my two nieces, Karen and Julie hesitantly appeared in the bathroom of their home, standing quietly in their pajamas. I looked over my shoulder as I was putting make-up on and saw two little girls just standing there watching me put Oil of Olay on my face, then foundation, then my contacts. Then a joint yell, “Aunt Yvette, you are hurting your eyes.” Next I had to give a lesson about contacts and if I put medicine on them, I could put them in my eyes. They continued to watch as the mascara, eyeliner and finally lipstick went on. When I was finished, out they toddled. Every morning they would come to the bathroom and just watch.

I have two boys and they never stood and watched me get ready for the day. I thought, “Why can’t I put make-up on and be alone and not have little girls watch every step and make comments? Boys give a mother or aunt their privacy.

THEN I REMEMBERED MY EXPERIENCE! It was about 68 years ago, my Dad was visiting Grandpa, who lived with my uncle and aunt, it was morning and I watched Aunt Theresa put on make-up. I thought, but never said, “Boy, Aunt Theresa sure has lines on her fact? I always thought she was pretty.” I watched each step and when she was done, I thought, “Aunt Theresa is really pretty. This is what she really looks like!” I sure am glad the grandchildren and nieces didn’t say what they were thinking!

Little girls need to watch older women put on make-up. We set an example. Then they can decide how they want to look when they go out in the world each day.

Daisy Moo

Ruby Regina Witcraft

Daisy Moo was my beautiful Jersey milk cow with the face and eyes of an angel. I gave her two names because every one in Oklahoma has three first names. Example; Jim Bob, Billy Joe, etc., and, although, my name was Ruby Regina, some Okie baptized me with Ruby Sue, and it stuck. I accepted it since I could have been called less flattering names.

Back to Daisy Moo. Jersey cows give less but much richer milk than the other two specimens, such as Guernsey and Holstein. That was almost my down fall. I easily gained 20 pounds very quickly drinking milk rich in cream and eating wild black berries, which I picked from the back 40 acre of the farm. I had to restrain myself and finally lost the weight by giving away a lot of the milk. Daisy Moo had to be milked twice a day at 5:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. She seemed to enjoy my company except for my finger nails and cold hands, then a swat on the face with her tail would warn me to be careful. The cats and dogs would always accompany me, which was reassuring in the dark, as they took care of the snakes and other creepy-crawlies. They would sit in a row and patiently await their turn and were rewarded with many squirts since she had plenty of milk to spare.

One day, for some foolish reason, I wondered if she would let me ride her. I won’t tell how old I was but,lets just say I was old enough to know better but not smart enough reconsider the notion. Now, when a horse throws you, there is time to think tuck and roll and though it usually knocks the wind out of you, you recovery very quickly. Daisy Moo wasn’t very tall so I just hopped right on to her back and the first and last thought I had was, she has no sides to grip onto! She slipped through my legs faster than a duck on a June bug. There was no elevation with no time to tuck and roll so I sat on my rear with a thud. She turned around and looked at me with those soft brown eyes and I imagined she said, “I’ll tolerate your cold hands, sharp finger nails, and singing off key, while you milk me but don’t every try that again”! I limped off and promised I wouldn’t.

The reason I wrote about Daisy Moo was because I saw Tex Earnhardt, looking foolish, on that huge bull and wondered how he ever broke him to ride. Bulls must be less touchy than Daisy Moo.

Grandpa’s Experiment with Money

Dick Nelsen

Recently I heard on a television program that children today are graduating from high school and know nothing about making or how to manage money. I have encountered on more than one occasion when a clerk at a store did not know how to make change without using the computer cash register. Somehow I am not surprised since they don’t teach cursive in school anymore and that may result in young people not knowing how to write a check, or use a bank statement to balance the check book. Many teenagers have only one awareness concerning money; how to spend it. Saving money is a word they don’t understand. As I was contemplating this facet of a person’s education I remembered something I tried with my own grandchildren years ago.

We took my grandson and his sister to Oceanside, California for the month of July and as expected we went to the grocery store. While there I told them that if they had suggestions about the food we purchased for our daily meals that was fine. But don’t ask me to buy candy, or some plastic toy, or quarters to play games. I didn’t want to be a miser or stingy, so I decided to give each of them on the first of the month a $20 bill that they could use for anything they wanted, but it had to last for the whole month, and as far as healthy food was concerned I would pay for that. Fresh fruit was ok, Macaroni and cheese, cereal they liked, and you get the idea. What happened from that day on was most enlightening.

Early on they were thrilled to have a $20 bill, it was exciting. What they did with it was interesting or should I say what they didn’t do with it. Actually they couldn’t break it. My granddaughter would pick up some package of candy and carry it around the store, but when it came to pay for it, she couldn’t do it. She diligently put it back where it belonged on the candy aisle. We visited the Scripps Aquarium, which Grandpa paid for, but as we got ready to leave you pass through the wickedly enticing Gift Shop. She walked all through the store and picked up many souvenirs, all of which were educational, or cute, but when it came time to pay for it…you guessed it she could not break that bill and actually pay for it. If truth were known I would have paid for it, but I wanted to see her reaction, it took a long time before we left the store her $20 still in hand.

My Grandson on the other hand was not quite so tight with his money. He spent some money but only money he had earned prior to my experiment; his $20 was still intact as we approached the last week of our vacation. He never asked for anything, from grandpa, but I could tell the money was burning a hole in his pocket. Not far from our condo was a pet store that they liked to visit, but only when they were with us. The store had birds, snakes, lizards, fish, even bugs. One thing caught his eye and was less in price than that hot money in his pocket. He had enough money to buy a pair of tree frogs from South America plus the clear plastic cage they came with them. Now there was another bit of a problem that came along with the frogs. The little creatures needed to be fed. What do tree frogs eat? Don’t know when in the trees, but these needed live crickets. Which the pet shop was glad to sell him, what he didn’t realize was how hungry these little tree frogs were, and how many crickets they could consume. Soon his $20 was gone and he had to dip into the money he had earned prior to our trip. In addition he needed to clean the cage every two days. One of the bathrooms had a tub with sliding glass doors that went to the ceiling. The two kids got into the shower closed the doors let the frogs bounce around in the enclosed area while they washed out the cage. It was not always easy to catch these pesky critters, but they seemed to have fun doing it.

Well it was time to go back home and of course we took the tree frogs. It wasn’t long after they were home that the tree frogs escaped and were on their own in Payson, AZ. Don’t recall if there was a decrease in the Cricket population in the area; but they were never seen again. But my experiment was a success. For a month I never heard begging for candy or frivolous stuff from either one. We did learn about tree frogs, and had a lot of laughs. However, I guess I better check and see if my granddaughter still has her $20.