Susan Spess Shay

Still playing make believe.


Happy Heart Day, Y’all!

So . . . Valentine’s Day. Happy, happy!


Do you celebrate the day?

G-Man and I are sometimers. Sometimes we do, sometimes . . . meh. Last year, G-Man did a swell job for V Day. (Yeah, I picked it out, but he was there. That’s what counts, right?)


This year, though, I’m afraid the day just might slip past without much notice. And that’s fine. I’d much rather be with someone who loves me every day and lives it than be with someone who tries to make up for the year on one appointed day.

heart vintage-valentine-knitting-dog

So how about you? Are you a carder? A gifter? Or is your idea of the perfect Valentine’s Day fixing a big-deal-meal to share with the one you love?

How do you celebrate?

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A Brand New Year is on the Way

2013 is a’comin’!

2011 4th of july 063Are you ready?

  • Resolutions set?
  • Party plans made?
  • Christmas decorations all put away?
  • Count down started?

My answer to all those questions would be a loud, resounding, “NO!”

I still have my decorations up and my lights on.

Resolutions? Well, I’ve thought about them, but don’t know if I’ll write them down at all.

2011 4th of july 038

And a party? PARTY? I don’t think so.

The truth is, I remember very few parties I’ve given/attended on NYE in my life. As a kid when our parents would go to a New Years Eve Sunday School party, sometimes the other kids whose parents were at that party would come to our house.


But I’ve never done the stuff you see on movies about cool parties. No balloon drops. No streamers. No sparkly balls dropping.

I did take G-Man to Eureka Springs to the Basin Hotel once. We had a nice, nice dinner, then went back to the hotel room to watch movies. 🙂

We’ve had reservations at Tulsa steak house once, but it turned out to be crowded, noisy and running late and all the waiters were cranky. And hateful.

2011 4th of july 012

We’ve even been to a concert. (Not a great idea.)

A few years ago, we discovered that going to Stillwater to dinner is a good idea, at least at the Chinese buffet we like. All the college kids are still at home (or want to go to a big city for the night) and navigating that town is easy.

Tonight, though, we plan to stay home. I might make pizza or buy a carry out early in the day, along with a little finger food, then we’re going to stay HOME.

Scarlett and I will think about putting away Christmas decorations tomorrow. 🙂

What do you plan to do?


Let’s Party!


Image via Wikipedia

#1 Son’s birthday is coming soon, and that got me thinking about Birthday Parties We Have Known.

These days, parents all seem to be trying to outdo each other in the party department. A big deal for our boys was once going to the pizza place where they have the game room and dancing critters, although it petrified our youngest.

Now a party isn’t a party unless you take the kids to a place where they can shoot each other with paint balls or hire a limo, fill it with kids and drive around the Big City. (No matter how many kids there are, when they start serving champagne on those trips, I’m in!)

We had lots of birthday parties over the years. Parties where we took the entire soccer team out for pizza and a movie. Theme parties, where all the kids came dressed like a cowboy. We even had slumber parties for which I’d rent several movies for the boys to watch and hopefully doze off–and no one got any sleep.

But my favorite party, the party that will live forever in the soft place of my heart, was one year when my youngest son was turning three or four.

We had been in Pryor Creek for a couple of years, and Brad went to

a babysitter while I worked at our pharmacy. Bradley’s best friend in the world–Little Brad–went there, too. (Little Brad was a year younger, thus the “Little”.) The Brads liked each other so much, for a while they thought they were brothers.

So it was early in April and our Brad’s birthday rolled around. We sent out invitations, and the morning of the party–which was going to be a cake, ice cream and games–rolled around and I heard from one invitee’s mom after the other–“We can’t come, we’re going to be out of town.”

–“We can’t come, our kids throwing up . . . ”

–“We can’t come, we have an appointment.”

Even his little female buddy had to be out-of-town and just came by as they left to bring him a gift.

I was heart-broken. Here my sweet little boy was turning four and he was going to have only one guest at his party. At least his best buddy would be there, but it still hurt.

So, like any self-respecting Spess Girl, I called Mama. I never was much of a whiner, but when something that sad happens, what else can you do?

Mom was as upset about it as I was. “What time’s the party?”

Surprised by the question, I told her. Then she said something that will always live in my heart. “See you in a little bit.”

It was a beautiful, sunny Saturday morning (say that five times fast) in early April. Everyone in the world has something planned for that kind of day, and I’m sure Mama did, too, but she didn’t hesitate. She just called all her C-Town kids and told them to dress her grandchildren. She went to the drugstore, bought several gifts and had them wrapped. Then she picked up every grandchild she had in C-Town and headed for Pryor Creek, an hour and a half away.

When they came in the door, I nearly cried. Brad had his best friends in the world surrounding him (cousins are friends, too, in our family) and his best buddy, Little Brad. He opened one present after another. Lincoln logs, pickup sticks, puzzles, Tinker Toys–all the great kids’ toys.

And he had Grandmommie with him–the best present of all.

Someday, when I have grandchildren, and I keep praying that I will (hinting here, kids!) I hope I can be at least half as great a grandmommie as my mama was. I had a wonderful example, and I plan to give it my best shot.

So–what’s your favorite kind of party for kids? (Yours, your kids or grandkids.) Expensive and glorious or cake, ice cream and home? I’m really curious to know.