Monday, March 28, 2011

Christiansen's Comments Hinds County Gazette March 24 2011

Sunday morning of last week, the time change had me so discombobulated …my clocks were at different times…I had changed some and not others…was not absolutely sure which was which . So I looked at the time on my cell phone…changed all the clocks to that time….then Monday my phone and the clocks no longer matched…apparently ATT did not change to day light savings at the agreed upon time, the wee hours Sunday morning.. I do not know how I got to church on time Sunday morning….I must have went by the time on the TV.

So anyway, after I got the time thing sorted out and the clocks changed , Whit was here…so I didn’t get a column written.

Have I told you about Whittaker Lewis? (Angie and CJ Zadrozny’s son, Taylor Jack’s little brother, and Kay and Lewis Montgomery grandson) Whit is my buddy, my new best friend…Whit will soon be ten months old…he has the most infectious grin…he grins all of the time…and at everybody…you know the yellow circle you see every where, that has the smiley face drawn in it? No matter how often I see the yellow happy face I have to grin…Whit’s grin has the same effect on me.

I didn’t get to know Whit until later in his life, he was born last June….He came Bible school in July, Nancy McKey Hale had him strapped around her much of the day…then the other church ladies passed him around… but I never got to hold him… never got a turn.

"Asleep on the hay"
 Whit at Bible School last July.

Then one Sunday morning, I went in to the nursery, Whit looked up and grinned at me….that was it! He had my heart…and from that day on.. Everybody knew to back off….they got a turn holding him when I said so.

These days, Whit and I spend a good bit of time together, Angie lets me take care of him when she has things she needs to tend to….. I am not trying to steal him, I am just keeping him warm until his grandmother Kay Kay gets her strength back.

Before Whit came in to my life, I was wanting a puppy real bad…we at this house have not had a dog started from a puppy in years…we take in strays mostly. I thought if I am ever going to get puppy…I needed to go on and get it. Our dogs live a long time, in 15 years, I’d be up in my 80s, if I would die…nobody wants a 15 year old dog….daughter Angela said she would take the dog, but she was wanting to have a say in what kind of puppy I chose. Then along came Whit…The first time Whit’s mother let me keep him, I called daughter Angela and declared, ”I don’t need a puppy, I have Whit!!!”

I do hope I have not offended anybody by comparing Whit to a puppy… But babies and puppies are not all that dissimilar. …they both make the cutest little sounds and faces…and babies and puppies smell so good. And they love you…no strings attached. Whit doesn’t care if my socks do not match or my hair has paint in it and is not combed….he just grins and coos.

Whit and I have a lot in common too, we like the same things, Doctor Seuss…dogs and cats…sitting on the front porch, watching trains go by….listening to the birds sing and watching them fly,

Whit and Shelby

                                                  Whit and Scout
Whit is the cutest little guy….everybody says so…at least every body who wants to my remain my friend…says so. The other day, I was relaying something cute Whit had done,…I was compared to Robert Mashburn… “ You sound about like Mr Robert carrying on about his dog Lady Cotton”

I know one day Whit is going to grow up, and instead of coming here, he will want to go to Pop’s hay field, to the tire shop with his dad or over to the hunting camp and stand around the fire barrel with the hunters… I will not be important to him any more…and that is ok…..But I am preparing for that day., I am working on a scheme…to hold that day off as long as I can. Food is the way to a growing boy’s heart right?……So I have been cooking for him, he loves grits, baked sweet potatoes, broccoli soup….and cookies….when he is old enough to eat fried chicken…That might be the deal clincher….I make really really good fried chicken….

Thinking on it …As wrapped as Whit has me now…. there most likely will come a day when I will not thrilled with him and his behavior…Say for instance, If I look down Main street and see him in his car… popping wheelies and taking corners on two wheels…I will not be happy. He might as well know right now, I have both his mom and dad on speed dial…. And I will bust him out… Then he will really be unhappy with me, he might even mutter uncomplimentary things about me, call me a “busy body“ or worse. But one day Whit will grow up and have kids, then he will know, why, even at the risk, of him not wanting me as a friend anymore…. I had to do it..

                                           Whit crawling
Love to all

Saturday, March 12, 2011

"Christiansen Comments" Hinds County Gazette March 10 2011

Brain knows Gloria is old. …and he tried to tell her not to do it….

Nothing on my body works anymore, all of my joints are stiff and painful. When I get out of bed, out of the car, even a chair, it takes a bit to get going. I literally have to take several painful steps before my joints begin to cooperate and let me walk up right …. But once I get cranked up, I can go all day long, dig holes, saw limbs, drag limbs, tote cement, I am an stoppable machine…..That is until I run out of gas on up in the afternoon. (I did not tell you that to make you feel sorry for me…Because stiff, painful joints are an inevitable condition amongst the elderly. )Over the counter pain medicine will help ease the pain somewhat…but I have not found one yet that will keep me from wincing all together, when coming out of an at rest position. But they do keep me from whimpering out loud in public.

Now then, I told you all of that to tell you this…Recently one warm, and sunny, Sunday afternoon, I was invited for an afternoon of old cemetery touring. I met my hosts and fellow tour participants in the square at Raymond.

The first cemetery we stopped at was off the road in the middle of a field…..we all got out of the car, I heard the trunk pop open, I thought “Oh! how chic! We are going to have refreshments in the cemetery!” A toast of remembrance, a tribute to those who went before us,….Our hosts have a sentimental interest in this old cemetery, they are not related to those buried there, however their house is. “This adventure is worthy of a Southern living piece, with pictures“. That’ what I was thinking, then our hostess said, to her husband in her sweet southern voice, , “--------, don’t forget the Ladder.” My thoughts took a 180 ….“Ladder?! what will we be doing with a ladder….!?” So instead of wine and cheese, ------- pulled out of the trunk, a short kitchen stool/ladder.

Well, 100 yards or so into the field we came to the cemetery…it was surrounded by an old fashion, ornate, iron fence, the gate was fasten with a rusty chain and it was padlocked. You all, to get in, we had to climb the fence…the ladder was suppose to aid in that effort….Now everyone in the group I would describe as very active, but agile? Not so much….

There was one amongst us who was tall enough to step over the fence ….the rest of us got over with much pushing and prodding….you all, I was the most awkward and clumsy …. they had to physically take me by the foot and lift my legs across to the other side. I have pictures….I do not like to have my picture taken…but half way over the fence I stopped and waited until someone could get my picture….not pretty….I have the grace of a one legged hippo.

But all and all, the afternoon was perfect….and I was not cheated out of my wine and cheese ether. our tour ended with wine and cheese on the back porch of out hosts historic country home and a fried chicken dinner.

I do not give my mortality much thought…I am ready when ever the Lord is ready… But Brain does give my aging much thought. Brain is usually not sympathetic when it comes to me and my growing old, but on the way home that evening, Brain reminded me of something that he began to notice a very long time ago.

Back in the day, when I was a teen, drag racing was a big thing. Really big thing. A fast car and knowing when to shift gears is essential when dragging…but getting off the line, that is vital…if you can’t get off the line, you can’t win…. I could always get off the line…But I would loose my nerve when….You don’t need to know all of that ….It does not matter.

What Brain reminded me of was this, I am still first off the line…at every stop light. When me and my little Toyota pickup are stopped at a light and there are two of us side by side…when the light turns green, I am first off the line…. every time….. not just sometimes…in fact when, I get to the middle of the next block, and glance in the rear view mirror and many times nether lane has only just begun to move. I know you have noticed at even long green lights not as many cars get through as should…and of those who do get through at least one, most time two cars go through on yellow. Brain has declared my old body slow ….but, has come to accept that my reflexes are still significantly above average.

Brain may becoming more compassionate toward me and my physical short comings,….. Perhaps Brain has begun to notice he is not as sharp as he once was ether. I have been knowing, For a very long time, that Brain has had his own aging issues ….but I have not said any thing, because I am much kinder then Brain, and I didn’t want to hurt his feelings…he has a much inflated ego, don‘t you know…..

And I sure don’t want to make Brain angry, because even though he is obstinate and cantankerous…I don’t want him to leave me.

Love to all
call if you need me

Monday, March 7, 2011

"Christiansen's Comments" from March 03 2011 Hinds County Gazette

Here in Mid-Mississippi It is Spring for sure!

The Japanese magnolias are blooming…but that is not a sure sign of spring…they often get caught by a frost.

I am saying it is Spring, because the earth worms are coming closer to top of the ground, there are worms squirming in every hole I dig and I have dug lots of holes in the last couple of weeks. And too, those pesky fire ants are back to building their homes above the ground….great mounds. As annoying as those ants are, I still have to respect their building skills…they are fast builder too. You no doubt have noticed, fire ants don’t seem to mind, even on short notice, picking up and moving. I spread ant poison on their mounds, , by the next morning they have up and moved a few feet and began building again. You can say a lot of things about the fire ant, but you can not call them “lazy“.

It is beginning to smell like spring too, I was driving down old highway 80, last Wednesday afternoon, right there in the vicinity of Dennis Gray’s airfield, were two tractors, one on each side of the road, plowing up the ground …I slowed down and rolled down my window and breathed .….the aroma took my breath , the ground was still damp from the recent rains, wet ground has a more intense scent then dry dusty ground….But I love the smell of fresh tilled ground damp or dusty.

I would have pulled over and stopped, back in the day, when folks were less nervous and fearful of any activity out of the norm…. and got out of the truck, sat on the tailgate to watch and sniff awhile…but, I didn’t want to alarm anybody, so I didn’t …I just rode by very slowly with the windows down. …

I Sure didn’t want the men plowing, to feel compelled to call the law and report “a suspicious acting person“. Can you just imagine, when the officer arrived and I went to trying to explaining my actions , “I just stopped to sniff the dirt.” well…. They may not have handcuffed me…but they may have felt duty-bound to contact my family to give an account, of what they regarded as bizarre behavior. “She said she stopped to sniff dirt.”

I do not believe we are as tolerant as we once were of the eccentric and mildly batty souls who live amongst us. I don’t know…maybe it is a lingering effect from 9/11.… maybe since 9/11our definition of “normal” behavior has become more limited.

Now those eccentric and mildly batty persons that we are familiar with, our very own hometown slightly mad characters ….they are fine…we accept them as they are….But the stranger who appears eccentric and/or mildly batty, we avoid them like grime death….hope they don’t try and talk to us when we encounter them in the grocery or on the street. I was going somewhere with this, but I have forgotten where now…so I will end here.

Love to all