Susan Spess Shay

Still playing make believe.


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♥♥♥ Here’s Jazzy ♥♥♥

Jazzy here. I know, I know. Susan’s been trying to follow the rules and keep me quiet.

Susan: Jazzy, you’re a character. Characters from books aren’t real. They don’t have a life. They can’t impose their will on the author.

Me: Snort! If I’m not real, who’s been talking inside your head all this time? Besides, when have I ever  been quiet? You can ask Bella, my minutes older twin. I came out kicking and screaming and haven’t stopped since.

Susan: You’re right. I give.

Jazzy: So, let’s talk heat. Yes, you heard me right. HEAT. Being a member of the animal kingdom (a werewolf) it’s something I have to deal with once a year. But to be honest, it isn’t pretty. Listen, you think PMS is bad? Ha! Being in heat is killer! (Sometimes, literally.) You can check with Bella on that one, too.

Usually she tries to take me away from my natural habitat when “my time” comes. It might only happen once annually, but even one time can be horrifyingly memorable. And if there’s one thing sister-dearest doesn’t want, it’s for anyone in our everyday life to remember me like that.

This particular time, she dragged me off to Colorado. And she didn’t tell a soul.

* * *

I waited in the car when Bella got back patting my foot in annoyance by the time she started it. “Did they have our reservation?”

“Yes.” When I shifted into blasting-words-mode,why did she speak in slo-mo?

“Full living room? Two bedrooms? Shower or tub?” Rat-a-tat tat.

“Full living room, big screen TV, shower and Jacuzzi tub. But I asked for a one bedroom, two queens.” I could have climbed Mount Everest in the time it took her to finish.

“One? One bedroom?” I screeched. “That’s ridiculous! Why would you ask for one bedroom? You knew I’d want time alone.”

Not only were her words slow, so was her smile and the light that shifted to brighten her eyes. “Of course I knew you’d want privacy, and that’s exactly why I got one bedroom. To protect you from…that.”

Anger exploded in my chest, leaving a prickle of something on my skin. Sweat or bristle, I wasn’t sure. “Who do you think you are? My keeper? My trainer? Did you bring a leash and a muzzle, too?”

Somewhere in a detached part of my mind, I noticed the sun drifting toward the western horizon, turning the snow a delicate shade of apricot while the sky darkened from blue to purple. In just minutes, the apricot would become a dramatic shade of peach, then flame to burnt orange while the sky would shift to indigo.

Bella put the car in park.

“Let’s get unloaded. Fast.” I shoved open the door and rushed to the back to grab our bags. Not bothering to wait for her, I snatched the suitcases, slammed the door with a hipshot and headed for the entrance.

Bella hurried to catch up. “Let me take something.”

“Just get the doors.” I marched on, trying to expend a bit of my scorching energy.

“This one. Room 111.”

I gave a growl of acceptance, low and deep. One, one, one. The only one. I was alone. Oh, there’d been others. My maternal grandmother, for instance. And probably her grandmother. But for now, I was the only. Lost in a world of snow.

And growing very, very hungry.

By the time we were in the room, the fur was shoving its way through my skin. Knowing how horrified Bella became during my transformations, I excused myself as if I were going to the bathroom, which was off the bedroom. As I walked into the room, I saw my salvation. A door to the outside world.

Hoping Bella wouldn’t enter anytime soon, I luxuriated in my change. Strength turned my muscles to steel. No longer did the energy surging through me hurt as if I were an overfilled beach ball. Now it belonged inside me. It made me powerful.

Before I had no choice but to drop to all fours, I opened that door then let the effect of the rising moon take me.

Exhilarated, I raised my face in adulation. With a long howl for Bella, I bounded into the night.

So you can see, being born with the werewolf gene isn’t exactly easy, but at least things don’t get boring for me or my sister. Or you either, I can practically guarantee.

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Learnings

I’ve learned a few things in my life. (As old as I am, I’d have to be super dense not to!) They might be true only in my mind, but I thought I’d share a few with you this morning anyway.

  1. Love is. Real Love, that is, is. The kind of love that makes one person willing to lay down his life for another as opposed to the, I-love-you-for-what-you-do-for-me kind. Real Love doesn’t die, wear out, fade out or turn off.
  2. Real Love is, it doesn’t die, wear out, etc, but it can be killed.
  3. There’s not much a child can do to make a normal mother stop loving him.
  4. There’s a lot of things a child can do that can make a normal mother want to kill him. (Especially telling tales in Sunday School.)
  5. Falling in love might be easy, but staying in love for a lifetime isn’t. Sometimes it takes work, sometimes amnesia, sometimes stubbornness and tenacity, and nearly always a sense of humor . (Sorry to burst romantic bubbles, but it’s true.)
  6. No matter how much you plan or how many hours each person works, when the children come, somehow most of the responsibility falls on the mother. (Especially if you give them the gift of breast feeding.)
  7. Nothing’s easy. Well, maybe a few things are easy for some people, but for the most part, anything worth your while is going to take some work.
  8. The only thing in life that doesn’t change is the fact that everything in life changes.
  9. Exception–God never changes. He’s the same today, tomorrow and forever.
  10. God is Love. I think I could make a case that when you fall in love with another person, a man/woman relationship or a mother and her baby, whether you’re a Christian or not, you have God in your life. I’m not sure everyone (or anyone) will agree.
  11. If you want to be loved, you have to love.
  12. If you want to be forgiven, you have to forgive.
  13. The happiest people aren’t looking for happiness themselves but rather for someone else.
  14. One person can’t make another person be happy. (Not really an exception to #11, but it sounds like it.)
  15. True happiness comes from your heart, not the things around you or the size of your bank account.
  16. “Tomorrow is another day,” said Scarlett. IOW: If at first you don’t succeed, give it another shot.
  17. God has a fantastic sense of humor. If you don’t believe me, think about human reproduction. And just look at Giraffes, anteaters and chimpanzees.
  18. God loves a good laugh. He gave us freedom of choice, didn’t he?


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I Hope You Dance.

A friend of my newest DIL posted on Facebook a couple of pictures of #2 son and me, dancing at his wedding.

I LOVED dancing with my Matt. He’s a great kid (Okay, I know he’s not a kid anymore, but he’ll always be my baby. Sniff!) and someone I’d want to know even if I weren’t related to him.

He made me laugh as we danced. We chatted and had a great time. I don’t know how much fun it is to have daughters (my siblings have some great daughters) but boys are a blast to raise! (Being a natural-born tomboy didn’t hurt.)

Near the end of the song I told Matt what a pleasure it had been to be his Mama. One of the four best gifts in my entire life that God gave me was him.

I shouldn’t have said it. I knew better. But, hey! He needed to know.

Guess who I made cry. (Again.)


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Countingdown Tension

The wedding is a week from today.

Each time I write week today, it comes out weed. Might be a glitch in my brain. Or maybe it’s countdown tension. Yeah, lazy, laid back me. Tense. Who knew?

Too much to do. Too little energy. LOL. See, I decided to cook the rehearsal dinner. Martha Stewart’s stuffed chicken breasts. Fifty of them. 😉 Thank God for sisters and great friends who give me help and advice.

I’m going to try to do the centerpieces with hydrangeas that Deb and I’ve grown. I love those big clusters of tiny blossoms!

This is from a couple of summers ago, but I have some just like it growing out there. Now if I can keep them from drying up and blowing away before next week, I’ll be a happy mama.

So the dinner is planned, I have the venue (the church!) and I have the best help in the world, which is an answer to prayer! Sister Debbie, who has been there and done that (she’s helped cater more than a few meals and cooks regularly for our entire family, and works in a flower shop) has volunteered to help.

Knowing that, I might even be able to sleep tonight!

Anyway, keep us in your prayers. More than anything, we want God’s blessing on the wedding and the marriage!

I blogged about Matt today at my writers’ group blog. Please come over, check out the photos and (please, please) say hi!


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♫♪ There’s a Hole in the Middle ♫♪

Watermelon with yellow flesh

Image via Wikipedia

When I was a little girl just so high
Mama took a stick and made me cry
Now I’m a big girl and Mama can’t do it
But Daddy takes a stick and hops right to it.

Okay, I got that out of my system. (Mama used to say that little poem. I don’t remember why she said it or where it came from, but it always made me laugh.)

Grandad Ray was a fantastic gardener. He always had big gardens. (Yes, gardenS. He wasn’t one to put all his eggs in one basket–or tomatoes, as the case might be.)

One year when I was in grade school, Grandad Ray grew a bunch of watermelons–both red and yellow meated melons. One day he told Sister Debbie and me that we could sell them if we wanted to, and keep the money.

Naturally, we took him up on it!

Grandad and Grandmother lived right next door to us, and he stored his melons in the garage where it was a little cool. (They would have baked like potatoes if the weather had been as hot as it is now. Whew!)

Anyway, every morning Sister D and I would roll several watermelons up to our front yard, out next to the street and sit behind them. We charged twenty-five cents for red meated and thirty-five cents for yellow.

One day a young man pulled to a stop, rolled down his window and hollered, “How much for a yella watermelon?”

“Thirty-five cents!” I yelled back.

The price was right, so he climbed out of his car and picked one out. Before he left, he dropped a quarter and a dime into my palm, then he jumped into his car and screeched away.

When we looked at our money, Deb and I noticed the quarter had a hole in the middle. When Daddy got home that evening, we showed it to him. “Is a quarter with a hole in it still good?”

“Nope. You might spend it in a vending machine, though.”

I think we went out of the melon business after that. Even though we made 100% profit, getting money we couldn’t spend for sitting out in the sun wasn’t much fun. We decided we liked playing with friends much more than have a watermelon stand.

Today whenever someone mentions The Watermelon Stand, my dad sings,

♪♫ “Well, I walked around the corner and I walked around the block. I walked right in to a bakery shop. I picked up a donut right out of the grease and handed the lady a five cent piece.

“She looked at the nickel and she looked at me. She said this nickel ain’t no good to me. There’s a hole in the middle and it’s all the way through.”

“Says I, ‘There’s a hole in the middle of the donut, too.’ Shave and a hair cut, six bits.” ♫♪

I know my posts are kind of sporadic lately, and I’m sorry about that. Come back tomorrow and I’ll tell you what’s going on. Ü Or  maybe you can guess.


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Wedding Horizons

Have I mentioned there’s a wedding coming in the Shay household? Two, actually, but one isn’t until next spring. One is this summer.

Ow!

Did you hear that? It was my heart hurting.

This is what they should look like. They should still be little and playing, having a great time. That’s #2 in the back, lying down and yelling his head off. #3 is squinting at the camera, being very quiet. (Stayed out of trouble that way.)

Really, don’t you think kids should just stop aging when they get to such a cute age? If they did, I think this is the age I’d choose. They were so fun and innocent! I remember being kind of tired all the time, otherwise, it was a perfect life. (They say memory is the first thing to go. LOL.)

I swiped this pic from Matt’s facebook. I’m not sure of his age here, but the black and white makes him look so extremely young.

I love this boy!

In school he played the sax and piano, but rarely plays either these days. He loves to work, though. I used to keep him from going to work rather than grounding him back when he was in middle school.  One other thing he loves? Sports.

 OSU’s sports are the best. (Just ask him.) He tries to get season tickets to the OSU football games each year. He got caught by the camera at one of the OSU games.

And I love his sense of humor. (He’s wearing orange in the big fist here.) I love the way he teases me about his “other” mothers. I love that he’s there when I need him and doesn’t mind asking if he needs a hand. I love that he succeeds where other people are afraid to even try.

The Meet– Miracle of miracles, he met Nikki at a New Years Eve party he went to with a friend from college. (Isn’t she gorgeous?) She’s cute and funny and has an infectious laugh that makes you want to join in, even if you don’t know why.

And just like with the women in my other sons’ lives, we all fell in love.

Aren’t they sweet? My wish for them is that they have a marriage as perfect as the one my parents had. And as rambunctious as the one G-Man and I’ve had. (Never, ever boring!)

I think they have a pretty good start. 😉


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You Might be from a Small Town World . . .

 –if you’re related to more than half the town.

 –if your car breaks down outside of town and news of it gets back to town before you do.

–if the local gas station sells live bait.

–if you know cow pies aren’t made of beef.

–if football coaches suggest that you haul hay for the summer to get stronger.

I have a real love for Small Town jokes. Kind of like a blonde who grooves on blonde jokes, I guess. Since they don’t have brunette jokes, I’ve adopted these. 

I posted this one on Facebook yesterday–You might be from a Small Town World if you ever used to “drag main.”— and it brought back so many memories and lots of smiles!

I hardly ever dragged main. Whenever I went anywhere in high school, one or the other of my parents (or both) always said, “Go straight there and come straight home.”

In other words, “No dragging main.”
And no side trips.
And no hanging out.
And no parking on South Hill to make out.

*sigh* My parents didn’t want me to have any fun. 

Funny thing is, I nearly always obeyed. Not just because I lived in a small town and knew my parents would find out anything I did before I got home. (Probably before I was finished doing it.) And not because I was afraid of being punished.

It was because I didn’t want to have my parents disappointed in me. (Yes, I was that big a dork.)

Mom opened a dress shop while I was at Ozark, and I loved it. A few years later I started running it for her.

The schools in C-Town had an open campus at that time, and most kids either had a car or a friend with a car, so at noon the marjority of the kids dragged main.

Every school day there was an almost constant symphony of horn-honks (had to say hi!) for the entire time school was out for lunch, and turning onto Broadway, where our dress shop was located, which was also the most highly dragged street, was nearly impossible.

The kids burned hundreds of gallons of gas as they went back and forth on the drag. It was so much fun! LOL.

You might be from a Small Town World if the whole school went to the same party after graduation.

Okay, I didn’t go to a party after graduation (yup, a dork) but if I had, there probably only would have been one.

How about sharing your favorite joke? And no naughty ones, please. I’m still a dork. 😉