Susan Spess Shay

Still playing make believe.


Thankful Thursday–Mary

Do you have a friend you love dearly, who might be near or far but whose orbit just doesn’t cross yours? And so you go for months or years without getting together?

I did.

G-Man and I were invited to go to dinner with old friends Saturday night, and we went. Unusual! But I have to tell you we had a fantastic time!

They are the friends who set us up on our blind date, and as I’ve said before, on most days, I’m über grateful. LOL. Just joking. I’m grateful everyday!

Anyway, we met our friends Saturday night at Abuelos for dinner. It’s been several years since we’d seen them, but once we got together, it was as if we hadn’t been apart.

Mary, the real instigator of our blind date, is still just as amazing as she ever was (if not more so!) She still knows exactly where she’s going, what she wants and how she’s going to get there. I so envy that.

From the day I met her, I’ve been amazed by her cool calmness, no matter what was happening around us. When I got into a flap (think of a mad, wet hen) she waited quietly until I took a breath and then calmed me down.

She still has her beautiful, mysterious smile. Makes her look as if she has a secret amusement. Not like me at all. When I smile, my grin takes my face hostage and my eyes all but disappear. 🙂

Mary has always been slender and worn the newest fashions as if they were created for her. She designed and sewed her own clothes. If she hadn’t been in fashion merchandising, she could easily  have been a model.

And she hasn’t changed a bit. She’s still tall, cool and slender. Her eyes twinkle her smile before it eases onto her mouth, and she has the ability to make everyone in a group feel . . . well, cherished.

And she teaches yoga. I’ve never actually done yoga, but it’s perfect for Mary. “It doesn’t just affect your body, but also your mind and spirit.” (I’m trying to think of a way to get her to teach a class here in C-Town.)

I was very impressed with the way she speaks of God–as if He’s there next to her (He is!) and He just might speak up at any moment. Don’t you love being with people who acknowledge God as part of every moment?

I’m so very thankful for the time we had together! More than that, our time together filled a place inside me I hadn’t realized had emptied.

Do you have a friend you love but haven’t found time to be with? Do it. You’ll be thankful you did.

Do you have a friend you reconnected with recently? Share it. WE’LL be glad you did.


*Wedding Dress Blues Continued

I don’t know what I’m doing wrong, but I lost the rest of my last post, so here’s where we left off . . .

This is the first dress that caught my eye. Yes, that’s the entire dress. No leggings to go with it and, thanks to Cher’s pioneering efforts, perfectly acceptable for me to wear (if I was tan, svelte and had super high heels to wear with it) to my son’s wedding.

Not.  🙂

Here’s the next one I pulled out. I think I remember wearing that same dress to my first piano recital (I was 7) except in a different color.

Question: I’m not up on all the latest fashion rules and regs for MOGs, but if a mom wears all black to her son’s wedding, is she transmitting a silent message? As if she’s in mourning or something?

Because I absolutely would not want to do that either of my sons’ weddings. I love both my dil2bs. 

Back to my shopping adventure. Clears throat. Sighs.

Not a map of Russia.

Wait. Maybe that is a map of Russia worked into this jacket. I can’t remember now why this one wouldn’t work. Size? Or maybe it had a long skirt and I don’t want to wear long. (Daytime wedding.)

I remembered they have some dresses and skirts and things in the separates department, so I hopped the escalator and zipped down there. Here’s what I found.

When I saw these oversized garments on the skinny mannequin bodies, a vision of starving orphans in a foreign country came to mind. And one question.


Finally I found this dress.

I texted Sister Debbie that I now understood what Sackcloth was in the Bible.

She texted back, “Are you going to wear ashes with it?”

If I can’t find something I like better than that? YES! 🙂

I’m starting to think a new pair of jeans with a little bling on the pockets would make a great MOG outfit.

I got some great advice on Facebook the other day. Carol Moore said when her boys got married she was told to wear beige and keep her mouth shut.

I laughed out loud!

So what do you think is best for a MOG? Lockjaw and beige? Black? Any color at all as long as the spandex in the fabric doesn’t suck it so tightly, I look like the Michelin Tire Man?

Any votes for blingy jeans? 🙂

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*Wedding Dress Blues

Overview chart of changes in hemline height (s...

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*Sounds like a country western song title, doesn’t it? LOL. Okay, this isn’t the Wedding Dress Blues. It’s really The MOG’s Dress for the Wedding Shopping Blues. But that just doesn’t flow as a title.

The other night, G-Man had to be fitted for his tux for Middle Son’s wedding. When we arrived at Al’s, we stood in line for a few moments while we waited for others to pick up and try on their tuxs. Then it was his turn.

He was pretty quiet since he a- didn’t want to be there, b-didn’t want to be measured and c- didn’t want to wear a tux. (Guess I should tell him how hot a tux makes a guy look.)

Anyway, when we got to the front of the line, the measuring woman whipped her tape around his neck and started counting the inches. She had him put on a jacket, did a thing with the sleeves, asked a question or two and, tada! They were finished.

It didn’t take but a few seconds for them to measure him from stem to stern.

I wished I could just step up and get fitted, too. But for some reason, G-Man doesn’t want to go to the wedding with his wife in a matching tux. What’s wrong with looking like Pete and Repeat? I ask you.

Dreading it worse than G-Man dreaded the tux fitting, I asked him to drive me to the big mall. He knew it would take me a while–like until the universe stops expanding– to find a MOG (Mother of the Groom) dress to wear to our son’s wedding, so he opted to stay in the car. 😦

I went inside all alone and I looked. And looked. I started wishing I had Samantha’s nose so I could just Bewitch it.

I wandered around the huge store until I found dresses. But the ones I found were the biggies and the tinies. At least there was a very helpful woman in the department who seemed excited about her job. Sadly, she sent me to the right place. There, after looking for several l-o-n-g minutes, a young-ish sales clerk ambled past. “You doin’ okay?”

“No, I’m not,” I answered, hoping for some assistance.

“Uh-kay, good.” She went over to keep the register company. For the rest of the time I was there, she never budged from that place. Not when I carried dresses around. Not when I went into the dressing room. Not even when I left the dressing room and left all the dresses inside.

Maybe she thought her job was to guard the register. If so, she was fantastic!

Since I didn’t have a shopping buddy and didn’t have assistance from the store, I texted Sister Debbie, who was out-of-town. (She promises to go with me next time.)

Being the perfect sister, she kept texting me back and talking me off the ledge. (ie: Those dresses always run small. You can’t worry about the size. Just find one that looks good.)


Sweet Sleep

If you were to drive past, this is what you’d see today

if you noticed it at all.

So you get out of your car and walk a few steps. The stone isn’t cemented at all. In fact, it looks like a piece of flagstone that someone carved by hand. Who ever created this heart touching work of art must have cared so much! It couldn’t have been easy to do, but it was completed.

Hard to read, isn’t it? I’ll make it darker.

Still nearly impossible to read, but you can see one thing. The vertical line that divides the stone. (Reminds me of the Ten Commandments that Charlton carried off the mountain.)

I’ll take you closer. (Isn’t the mossy green stuff pretty growing there?)

It says, “Sweet.

This side says, “Sleep.” Figured out the vertical line? It’s a tombstone for twins. 😦

“Bennie” is on the left. “Sussie” is on the right. Below that it says, “Infants of BF White.” No mention of their mother. I don’t know if that’s a sign of the times. You know, as if everyone believed babies had to have a mother and she had to be married to the father, so the fact of her and her name (MRS. BF White, naturally) is understood without mentioning her. Sigh.

The date at the bottom sort of goes downhill and says only Dec. 23 and Dec. 27. At four days old, they died. Two days after Christmas. Doesn’t it break your heart? This had to be back in the day before ultrasounds and doplars. Could they have known there were problems before the babies were born? Was there any way to be prepared for their loss?

Is it ever possible to prepare for something like that?

Can’t you just see the twin’s father, working into the night chipping away at this piece of flagstone? It’s the very last thing he’ll ever be able to do for his children, and he wants to make it beautiful.

The parents’ headstone isn’t nearby, at least not that I’ve found. Kind of heart breaking, isn’t it, to think of these babies dying and the parents having to move away so they couldn’t visit the grave?

I’d never do it, but I’d so love to be able to take this little tombstone home with me and care for it in my garden, just so it wouldn’t be so all alone.

I just hope the tombstone has moved and that tree isn’t growing up where the babies were buried.