Susan Spess Shay

Still playing make believe.


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Party Pics by Cynthia

Sister Cindy sent me the pictures she took at the Graduates’ party. As you’ll see, she’s a much better photographer than I am. Next get-together, I’m going to follow her around and learn how she does it.

Imagine, not one scowl! 🙂

She could open a business and call it Party Pics by Cynthia. 🙂

These young women (Laura and Ashley–aka Kentucky Woman) are also recent graduates–a teacher and a PA. I love being part of a brilliant family. (That way I can pretend I have some smarts, too.)

  This little guy and his mom are a joy to be with. He keeps everyone laughing, no matter what he does in his diaper. (Then discusses it like the president of the board.)

We nearly always have a couple of non-related friends at our parties.

Aren’t they cute??? (Did Nurse Cindy say,Stick out your tongue?)

Noel knows the Principal principle–at least for middle school.

Office Boss and his mama.

SIL Julie in deep discussion with Andrew.

The long and short of it. Great-granddaddy and Andrew. (Faith has a new phone.)

What are they watching? I. Don’t. Know. (Wish I did.)

A Grad Dad. (The other dad got away.)

Grad party day was also Elsie’s birthday. We sang. 🙂

#5 and #1 of Cindy’s kiddos. Aren’t they adorable?

There you go–almost as if you were at the party, too. Wish you had been. 🙂


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Blasting the Past

This blog is a rerun from five years ago, and still as true today as it was then. I hope you enjoy! I have a wedding anniversary coming up in a couple of days so it’s a good time for it. 🙂

*  *  *

As a writer, I’ve had to become an observer of life. You know, watch people, ask questions, peek into windows when no one’s looking. It’s all part of my job.

Okay, that’s a lie. I became a writer so I’d have an excuse because I’m incurably curious. (I never bought the cat story. I think someone ran over it and they blamed it on curiousity.)

BUT (and this is the truth) as a romance writer, I’ve had to observe relationships between couples. I need to know what it is that makes them good and what makes them not so good.

It hasn’t been as hard as you might think to find a perfect marriage to observe. I had a front row seat. No, I’m not talking about my marriage, although it’s pretty darn good. I’m talking about my parents’ marriage.

At 18, my mom married my 19 year old father, who was a college student at the time. Two years later, I was born. And their marriage was the closest to perfect I’ve ever seen. My dad gives my mom all the credit.

That’s when I get curious. Where’d my mom learn to be a nearly perfect wife? As the middle of 7 children, her mom didn’t take extra time out to teach her, although she set a great example. (There’s a family legend about Grandma scarring Granddad for life by whacking him across the knuckles with a butcher knife for bugging her one night when she was trying to cook. I don’t know if that’s truth or not.)

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Wedding Trads

The Spess Girls have a couple of traditions when it comes to family weddings.

Most revolve around our mom.

The first one started back in 1949, when Mama married Daddy. After Mama graduated from high school, she moved to Old Ford to live with her brother and his wife. Her parents still lived in Texas. They couldn’t afford to come to the wedding, but they sent her $50. That would be $468.20 today. (I looked it up.)

I’m not sure what Mama did with all that money, but some of it she spent on her wedding dress (bought at Lerner’s in Tulsa) and some of it she spent on a white Bible to carry in her wedding.

It’s not as pristine as it used to be, but remember–

— it’s survived six kids. One evil child even wrote Mama’s name in it.

She should have smacked me for it, but she didn’t.

Anyway, when I got married, Mama wanted me to carry her Bible in my wedding. I wanted a bouquet to throw, but I wanted to carry the Bible, too.

So Mama bought this cover. It hid the yellowing leather and my bouquet could be tied to it. (That’s what the ribbon on top is for.)

So I carried it and my sisters all carried it. (I think.) I’m not sure if Brother Jeffrey or his wife carried it. Mama wasn’t quite as pushy insistant helpful as her daughters are. 🙂 But my boys’ wives all carried Mama’s Bible in their weddings. And they not only liked the idea, they acted as if they were thrilled to have it.

Many of the grandkids have had it in their weddings, but not all. One sister lives outside of C-Town (When most of us moved home, Daddy moved to the Ford, but #4 stayed where she is.) so she might not have thought about it.

And once the Bible went home with the wrong MIL, so we didn’t have it for at least one ceremony. But many of the kids have carried it, too.

My #1 son suggested that we write the names of everyone who carried it in the Bible so we won’t forget the history of it. (I won’t be doing the writing. I promise.)

So that’s our most important wedding trad. I think the sisters tried to start one where they “fixed” the bride’s nightgown just before she left on her honeymoon, but that trad died out. Or maybe it was beaten to death. Anyway, I don’t hear about it anymore.

So, how about it? Do you have a wedding tradition you’ll share?


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I’m Named After Basketball Shoes

I promised my friend, Larry Lawrence, I’d tell how I was named after a pair of basketball shoes. Okay, Larry, this one’s for you.

🙂

My mother’s name was Mary Sue, but when she was in school, everyone called her Sue. Grandma didn’t like it, but there you go.

Now, my mama was a very pretty little girl.

And according to people in the know, she was even prettier when she got older.

I’m not sure how old she is here, but she’s a teenager.

When she was in school, she played basketball. In those days, basketball shoes were made out of canvas. Not leather. And apparently the thing in The Ford school at that time was to write your name on your shoes.

Always being ahead of the others, Mama wrote her name and my daddy’s name on her shoes. (This was before they were married and, of course, before I was born.)

Then one day, they were playing an out of town team. (I imagine a tournament when several teams were there, but I’m not sure.)

Anyway, when she wasn’t playing, Mom left her basketball shoes sitting somewhere, and went to talk to her someday husband. A boy who’d noticed her good looks saw her shoes, picked them up and carried them to her.

“Are these your shoes?” he asked, flirting with her according to my dad.

“Yeah, they are.” Mama glanced at them and nodded.

“Betcha I can guess your name.” Even though my dad was right there, the boy kept flirting.

“You can?”

“Yeah.” He pointed at what was written on her shoe. “I betcha it’s Sue Carol.”

“Nope.” In my mind, Mama glanced at Daddy, giving him a sweet smile as she answered. “But that’s what I’m going to name my first daughter.”

She did.

And they lived happily ever after.