Monthly Archives: June 2013

Technical Difficulties

The Grandmother exploded in frustration yesterday because in all this mess of re-hauling the house the doorbell stopped working. I came down the hall to a lively explanation of running to and from the door to have no one there. Were there kids playing pranks and ringing the doorbell and running? Was the doorbell now a super hero doorbell that had supersonic sensitivity and could be pressed by a gentle wind? To make matters worse, the doorbell must have been shorting out so that it was only sounding the first tone. It wasn’t even committing to a full ding-dong! What is the world without a full ding-dong???

never a ding-dong

The Mom and I were attempting to calm her, since it has been a rough week with the house ripped up and everything in a different place. I explained I hadn’t heard the doorbell problems, but if it didn’t stop we could definitely go purchase a new doorbell for very little money. Once everything settled down, The Mom went back to work painting and I was boxing up some pictures. Then The Grandmother exclaimed that it was happening again! Did you hear it? Did you hear it? A single tone doorbell with no one to greet you!

I still hadn’t heard anything that sounded remotely like a doorbell! I started to wonder if I had not only gone crazy but had lost my hearing. Why couldn’t I hear something so loud as an old doorbell? That’s when I heard the email ping from The Mom’s iPhone. Needless to say… The Grandmother is no friend to technology newer than the cassette player. The idea that a phone could make a noise that threw off the entire day? That was absolutely unacceptable… (but pretty hilarious for me!)


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Cross-County Coconut

While in The Grocery Store a few months ago, I felt flippant about fruit and exclaimed (in jest) that we should purchase all of the too-difficult-for-its-own-good foods like a whole coconut. The Man got that gleam in his eyes, and the spirit of adventure took hold. Why not buy a coconut? Doesn’t everyone want a coconut? After all, any food that requires a hammer can only say something that is a sick mixture of cave man antics and Martha Stewart: “I am a man. I hit things. They taste good and may be used for many delicate desserts.”


So we bought a coconut.

The Man then proceeded to read all things internet-based on coconuts and became something of a coconut connoisseur — a cocosseur? We had raw coconut, baked coconut, and coconut trail mix within the first week. This would have been stupendous if I liked coconut in any way other than covered in chocolate and… well… not really coconut-like in any way. He also attempted macaroons, which is basically the only coconut-based product that I’ll get excited over. They immediately fell apart into what he has affectionately dubbed cocoslaw. Hey if it tastes like macaroons – who cares what it looks like!

The food products have become means to an end, however, since the dining room table has become the workshop for a massive coconut guitar pick business. The Man has even become a hipster about it, too! No power tools will touch the process, only antique hand tools and hours of labor. For the first coconut, it was a fun pastime. Four coconuts later, he has been sending an assortment of sizes cross-country to several guitarist friends to try out the new material, sizes, and textures. All these guys are thrilled to talk about coconut tone and how it would normally cost so much for a pick like this. Did you know this would be nice on nylon strings? I wonder if you make a big one if it would do nice things for a bass. Oh! What kind of oil are you using to finish them? Do you think I could also become a cocosseur? There is a national cocofrenzy!


Somehow a flippant fruit day has united guitar buddies around the world. The Dad even got a batch of picks for Fathers Day. The Dad could not have asked for a better gift! There was even a complimentary tutorial of each of the tools, how to file appropriately, and then a final concert of each pick and what their purpose might just be. I guess we know now that The Man doesn’t half-do any hobby. I wonder what food-based artisan effort will hit our apartment next!

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The Nameless Silver Fox

The Mom and I are in Indiana for the week to help The Grandmother around the house. This all started as a whimsical idea of helping empty out the “junk room” that could have its own episode of Hoarders, and then the Grandmother got excited. We have now completely re-carpeted the house, moved all the furniture into other rooms, and we will paint at least 2 rooms in the next two weeks. Maybe… maybe we will get to the infamous “junk room” by the end of the week.

so much to do

Apparently completely re-doing a house is a normal step in the moving-on process when a spouse passes away. The Grandfather died about a year and a half ago, and now we have been recruited to do every household process he didn’t like in the span of 6 days. He kept saying no about the carpet? TA DA! He kept saying no about new paint colors? TA DA! And let’s go spend all the money because… well… we can! I have been recruited for such a massive rehaul and deep cleaning of the entire house that you may not be able to recognize it from the previous house (though the endless collections of Precious Moments and teddy bears may give it away).

It should be said that my family has always had a fairly healthy outlook on family members passing away. Grieving takes time, and it’s important to remember the person – good and bad. And it’s completely okay to experience every emotion in the book. To put it into perspective, every time I called during the week of The Grandfather’s funeral… it was like comic relief. One time The Grandmother was talking lovingly of the 55 year marriage, the next she would be saying if he were there she’d kill him herself because she had just found another drawer full of receipts from 1957. There was also a massive plot to hire a cowerson of bagpipers (THANK YOU GOOGLE FOR THAT WONDERFUL WORD) for the funeral because The Grandfather hated… and I mean comically hated the idea of a bagpipe version of Amazing Grace. It was almost too perfect to pass up, as it had always been a family joke that at his funeral he would certainly rise from the dead if a bagpiper walked through the door. I’m sure some people would have been shocked by the playfulness that we all associate with that week, but it brought everyone closer when The Grandmother needed it most.

bagpiper dream

It’s been fascinating to watch The Grandmother go through so many changes in the past year. She hadn’t driven in 5 years. She had not ever lived on her own, and she had never managed bills or written a check. She had also never made a political decision on her own. A 55 year marriage when it starts at age 20 didn’t leave time for too much individual exploration. So each phone call is filled with new discoveries that you may associate with a teenager really getting to know herself. And, honestly, for the first time I can really relate to The Grandmother. She’s learning what she loves and what she wants at the same time I am. We’ve bonded over paying bills and pursuing new dreams. I never ever thought I’d have some of those conversations with her.

The funniest part of this transition, though, has to be her newfound awareness of other men in her life. Life doesn’t stop at 77, folks! Add some classy pick up lines, and you can easily get one embarrassed Grandmother! There’s this Wayne – a churchman that is too smooth and talkative. Why on earth would he ever say so many things in so little time? He wears fringed jackets, and she will definitely tell you what that fringe means. There’s also men who act too old. And then… there’s the Silver Fox.

Within four whole minutes of walking in the door yesterday, The Grandmother started to blush telling me all about this man she met at the Walmart Pharmacy last month — a place of infamous romance, I tell you. He was very tall and had wavy, silver hair. And, he was a dandy. A true Richard Gere type! He entertained The Grandmother with stories of wintering in Texas, where the selling points are that nothing is open after 6 pm (a hot commodity). He also fishes, and he’d love to see how she does on a boat. (Though the last time she was fishing, she was told she talked too much. Oh the hilarity!) And get this… he finished filling his prescription and then escorted her to the counter and waited on her. That’s modern day chivalry! He just talked and talked and told story after story… and really, who was The Grandmother to refuse? He was a gorgeous, tall man who was “just the sweetest” she had talked to in a long time.

grandmotherly swoon

Oh, his name? She has no idea… he’ll forever be the nameless Silver Fox at Walmart. A brush with fate. A brush with gorgeous, tall, wavy fate.

A week full of hard labor and boy talk with the Grandmother? This is gonna be a hoot!


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