Yes, “damnedest” is a word; I looked it up.
Making my way through one of my piles o’ stuff that threaten to put me in the lead as the next “Hoarder“, I came upon a box. It was filled with stories and artwork produced by College Girl and Miss Peach when they were young. Specifically preschool through second grade. “Oh, how sweet”, I said to myself as I opened the box of memories. Then I remembered.
This box contained all the evidence of a group gene fail. Yeah, yeah, every family has the funny relatives and ours isn’t short on them. Some of my California cousins have amazing tattoos, they live in California, duh! And my hilarious cousin, MSuey, worked at a bingo parlour on an Indian reservation one summer. And I did have an uncle who thought Beach Blanket Bingo was a porno movie. But never in my wildest dreams did I consider that my darlings would publicly expose us as lunatics so early in the game. Guess it was that family mantra, “Oh well, what the hell!”, combined with a strange sense of humor, a cup of spill-your-guts any and everywhere, gallons of high drama, and an upside down take on most everything.
Preschools LOVE to hang kids’ art all over the walls. At one parent function, we all admired the childish masterpieces created around the theme, “What are you thankful for?”. Amidst all the adorable, loving tributes to mommies, daddies, flowers, babies, puppies, and kittens – both daughters – independent of each other and over two separate years – answered this sweet question with the exact same words: “I am thankful for fried chicken.” Granted, there were a few other strannge tributes such as, “I love $$$”, “I hope my dog never dies”, and “I saw a rock sink”, but really, FRIED CHICKEN? The darlings had a definite food vibe going; each had recipes published in a local magazine. Peach’s concoction, Fried Shrimp Soup, consisted of some shrimp, vegetables and hot water, cooked for 10 minutes and then “stored for a day you need it.” CG and her friend came up with a recipe for French Toast; the ingredients were “stuff you sprinkle, lots of bread, and 4 oil pours. Say the blessing. Cook the bread for 8 minutes at 12-degrees. Sprinkle stuff on it. Put in 2 oil pours. Even if it doesn’t taste good, the dog will eat it.” YUMMY!
When Peach was in first grade, her story was posted – again on the wall – for Parent’s Night. She wrote an essay about her senses which began and ended with, “In my home, I can smell bread and perfume and dirty socks.” A proud moment.
Her Mother’s Day composition was published in the school newsletter. She said, “I think my mom is the greatest because she has two jobs and two little girls. She wears funky fashions from all over the world. She has a very messy closet but that doesn’t matter because I love her.” This one also liked to answer the phone. If the call was for me, she would say, “My mom is having a nervous break” and hang up. She was absolutely correct. But if Miss Peach was opening up our can of worms for the world to view, College Girl slashed the tin in half and threw the contents as far as the eye could see.