Susan Spess Shay

Still playing make believe.


Pinky Update

I’m so excited!

The pinky specialist I saw yesterday said I WOULDN’T have to have surgery to fix my smallest digit. YAAAAAY!

All I have to do is wear this little brace thingy for six weeks (6!) without ever (ever, ever!) letting my finger droop. So pinky girl is gonna look like a pug nose for 42 days. Wait! It’s only 41 now. LOL.

I told the pinky specialist that if we didn’t have it off before July 23, we’d have to paint it a pretty color for MS’s wedding. Gotta coordinate!

And SMALL TOWN WORLD connection–the pinky specialist I saw in the big city used to work in the emergency room in C-Town. 🙂 He has to be good people!


Please, Help!

I need your help.

For some reason, I’m not coming up with a good story about how I did this–

Gross, huh? How I did it is a boooooring story. So bad, you’d probably fall asleep before I finished . . . zzzzz.


As a fiction writer, I thought I’d just adopt a little pretend story so I don’t leave a trail of snoozing people wherever I go.

So far I’ve come up with these ideas–

  1. Pinky wars! I fought a good fight, but had to pay my dues.
  2. Pinky swear. I broke that promise and paid the price.
  3. Mom warned me about this. (Sounding mysterious.)
  4. Walking on my hands and stubbed my pinky.  (I kinda like that one.)
  5. Making scary fingers (Ooooooooo!) and sprained one. (Meh.)

When at Ozark, I had a great friend named Bomber who would have had several quips for me. I can practically hear her now.

“You really nailed it, Spesser.”

“Guess you pinked punked out.”

The honest truth (is there any such thing as dishonest truth?) is I most likely a ruptured tendon. Fixable only with surgery. I’ll see a finger specialist on Wednesday and we’ll find out for sure. Yes, I’ll have the surgery ASAP because I don’t want to go to MS’s wedding like this–

   We’ve got to finger this out. 🙂 (That’s another Bomber quip. She was good at it!)

So I need your suggestions. What’s your idea for an exciting story can I share?

All suggestions will be considered. Nothing is too sappy. (Time travel, maybe???)

BTW: Thanks! And you don’t have to tell me how yucky it looks. I know. LOL.


Old Small Town World


Image via Wikipedia

Uncle Frank was at the office the other day, and I finally had the chance to catch a few of his memories. (Recorded on my iPhone so I won’t forget them.) Mike, one of my aunt’s sons, was hearing the stories for the first time.

At one point, UF kind of paused in his storytelling, so I said, “Tell Mike the story about Granddad Mitchell stealing watermelons.”

“I don’t know that story.” I was disappointed, but my suggestion sparked another memory for Frank.

“A man leased Granddad Mitchell’s place in the Basin after Granddad moved to town. The man planted several acres of watermelons, along-side the ditch.”

The area has changed a lot since Keystone was built, but if I remember right, there was a  road that went right beside Granddad’s house, and I think the ditch was next to the road. I should have asked, but I didn’t want to interrupt his story.

“I was working on the farm close by and kept an eye on that patch of melons. You know, you can smell a patch of watermelons before you can see them. I passed that patch day after day, until I thought they ought to be about ripe.

“Finally, I couldn’t stand it any longer. One day when I’d finished working, I went to that patch and picked me a melon. I pulled out my knife and cut it right there. It wasn’t ripe, so I threw it in the ditch and picked another. It wasn’t ripe either, so I threw it in the ditch. Finally, I found one that was ripe.

“Boy, oh Boy! You know, a sweet melon is really good on a blazing hot summer day. I looked up, and there was that farmer, just awatchin’ me eat that melon.”

“He never said a word. Just turned around and went back to the house.”

♥ ♥ ♥

Here’s the story Uncle Frank said he didn’t recall. Learning that Granddad had leased his place to someone who farmed melons makes me think at least part of this story is true. I heard it from my dad, who probably heard it from his dad.

Knowing that, be warned: Part of it could be embellished.

When Granddad Mitchell was a young(ish) man, he loved to play practical jokes.

He and a friend decided to steal watermelons from a farmer one day. They sneaked up to the patch and, after checking to see that no one was around, they started pulling melons.

All of a sudden, the farmer ran into the field with a shotgun.”I’m sick and tired of you hooligans stealing my melons! Well, you won’t steal any more of them.” The farmer raised his gun and fired right at them.

Granddad Mitchell slumped to the ground. His poor friend  was so frightened, he didn’t know what to do. He couldn’t just leave his buddy to die in the watermelon patch, so he slung Granddad over his shoulder and ran with him. The sandy soil slowed him and watermelons and vines tripped him, but he struggled on.

Image via Wikipedia

I’m sure he sobbed, “Don’t die. Please don’t die,” as he scrambled to get out of there.

The man did his best to get my only-pretending-to-be-shot Gread Grandfather to help when he felt a warm liquid soaking the back of his shirt. “Oh, my God! Oh, my God! He’s bleeding to death!”

The guy probably wanted to make granddad bleed when he found out Granddad had peed down his back. It was only a joke.


Twenty Years

Friday was the 20th anniversary of The Wreck. Sister Amy has been in a wheelchair for two decades now–and without a whine. The Day is never easy, but the day after is usually even harder. I don’t know why. Maybe it’s because we gear up for it and when we let down, we get hit.

We’ve learned not to dwell on what we lost. Instead, we try keep our great memories alive.

Going to market with Mom to buy for Four Seasons Fashions, and how she’d think of each of our customers and what they’d enjoy.

Vacations with the entire family–skiing, Yellowstone, Branson.

Weddings. Her hard work getting ready for them. (Wedding planners had no place at the Spess Girls’ nuptials.)

The day we moved to C-Town with all the packing and unpacking, Mama stopped working long enough to read to Sister Debbie and me. (I can still see all my books scattered across the new wood floor.)

Mama’s fear of tornadoes. And appendicitis.

Her ability to teach kids to dive, even though she couldn’t dive. (We didn’t find that out for years!)

Her love for her grandchildren and her entire family.

Celebrations at Christmas.

The few times I saw her cry. (Three, maybe?)

The way she could outrun me, way into my teens.

Her dreams. Her hopes for her kids.

Teaching my sibs to play basket ball.

Enjoying basket ball games, no matter who was playing.


Her love of God, and her joy at being in the Lord’s house every time the doors were open.

Her death was senseless and tragic, but her life sparkled. So that’s what we remember. Mom’s life and her heart.