Susan Spess Shay

Still playing make believe.


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Hap-Hap-Happy Mother’s Day!

It’s Mother’s Day. CELEBRATE! (LOL)

My boys have always been wonderful MD observers. But one of them didn’t always celebrate MY motherhood, as I mentioned in this Mother’s Day Post.  😉

When I was born, my folks lived in an old two story house in the Basin near Old ‘Ford. They always called it, “Aunt Sarah’s House.” For a long time, I didn’t know I had an Aunt Sarah.

Aunt-Sarah

This is Aunt Sarah, who really wasn’t an aunt at all. She was my g-g-granddad’s 2nd wife. She had 357 kids with g-g-granddad Okay, not that many. Actually, it was twelve, but with his three kids from his first marriage, I’m sure it seemed like 357 on some days!

Aunt Sarah was 17 years younger than Grandpa Joe. I’m not sure when Sarah and Joe married, but Mary died in 1881 and Sarah and Joe had their first child in 1883.

They had their last child together in 1901, and Grandpa Joe died in 1903. Sarah then remarried and had another child in 1908. If all her children and step-children had lived (they didn’t) imagine the Mother’s Days Sarah would have had! She should have cleaned up!

EXCEPT: Mother’s Day didn’t start until 1908. Poor woman raised sixteen children with no Mother’s Days to compensate her.

Aunt Sarah’s house had three bedrooms upstairs and one down. I’m not sure where they put everyone. How many kids can sleep in one bed?

No. Running. Water. And yes, the bathroom was outside. Imagine that many people waiting to go! LOL.

 

great-great-grandparentsIn case you’re wondering about her, this Great-Great-Grandma Mary, who died at age 30 before Grandpa Joe came to OkieLand.

When you compare 12 or 15, counting step-children, to only 6, my mama didn’t have that many kiddos. And since I only had three, I’m a real piker! 🙂

I’ve had people ask how a woman could divide her love enough for so many kids.

The answer is, it doesn’t divide. It multiplies. (I learned that at my Mama’s knee!)

How are you celebrating Mother’s Day? Flowers? Lavish gifts? A good book? (I have a suggestion if you need one. *wink*) Inquiring minds!

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Me? Mother of the Year?(snort)

Happy Mother's Day

So for our Mother’s Day celebration we met all the kids at Kilkenny’s for dinner. Yeah, one of my favorite restaurants, and since I didn’t want to clean and cook and no one else did either, perfect idea!

While we were there, I decided we should play Happy Mama Memories. You know, where the kids are supposed to remember really sweet things I did for them as kids?

  • The Halloween costumes I created for them, sewing late into the night.
  • The time I saved Brad’s life by realizing he had appendicitis and rushing him (by myself!) to the hospital in Tulsa.
  • The time I insisted we take Matt to a plastic surgeon rather than let the doc in our Small Town World stitch up his lip with a fish hook and baling twine. (Okay, slight exaggeration, but you get my drift. 🙂 )

Did that happen? Uh . . . nope.

My kids took it a step farther, as usual, and played Mom’s Most Embarrassing Moments, blow by blow.

  • Such as the time the neighborhood crazy woman decided she wanted to whack me with a shovel, and I walked myself out where she stood (with her big-mama shovel) and said go for it.
  • And the time I went nose to nose with one of my kids assistant soccer coach who didn’t go to any of the practices, but thought he should yell louder than the real coach and tell the kids what to do (even though they had no idea what he was talking about because he wasn’t at the practices.)

Coach Wannabe: “Just because I can’t make the practices, does that mean I can’t be part of the team?”

Mean Mommy Susan: “Yes!”

Coach Wannabe putting on a big whine: “Well, that’s not fair.”

 

Our party took a good hitch after that. #1 DIL told us when she started feeling loved by the family–When she told us she’d spewed all over my bathroom, and I answered, “No problem.”

I LIKED that one. 🙂

Okay, nobody ever will offered me the Mother of the Year Award, but I love the stuffings out of my babies, which surprised me and my mother. (I was so not a little girl who liked dolls!)

And I love the stuffings out of them and their wives now, even though they know where all the bodies are buried. (And don’t mind talking about it.)


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Goober Gala

I started to call this post “GOOBER WORLD” but if Dad saw it, he’d wonder what it had to do with peanuts. 🙂 I’m can be such a goober, though, I thought I’d share some of my goober-isms from the last week with you.

Can you see the baby in this picture?

Maybe not, but he’s there. How about the next one?

 I’ll bet you do. It’s a baby-ish bunny. One I rescued from the snake.

Yes, he’s cute. And he’s sweet. But Goober here (that would be me) rescued this little guy so he could eat my garden plants. How silly is that? But honestly, wouldn’t you think that since I saved him from the black jaws of the evil snake, he’d be at least a little grateful?

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The Deceptive Month

I hope everyone whose birthday is this month will forgive me but . . .

Did you ever notice what a sneaky month May is? If you think about it, you’ll probably agree with me that it’s one of the most underhanded months on the calendar.

First the name–May. Three short letters intended, I’m sure, to make us believe it’s going to be a quick month. Ha! There are thirty-one days in this month. And as many weeks as a month can possibly crowd in.

There’s so much that goes on in May, creating so many emotions that hammer us. There’s Mother’s Day, when even rotten kids do something nice and bring sweet tears to their mama’s eye. Or their aunt’s, depending on the kiddo. 😉

Then there’s graduation–which can bring joy or sorrow, also depending on the kiddo– birthdays, anniversaries, the end of school, the beginning of summer, vacations, Memorial Day. Weddings, weddings, weddings and, of course, so many funerals.

May’s days are warmer and longer, intended to deceive us into thinking we’re going to be able to kick back, climb into a hammock and swing away summertime, ♫ when the living is easy♫.

But then grass jumps up and everything starts growing and creeping around and we have to work harder than ever, just to beat it back.

May gives us flowers as if she’s trying to be sweet and friendly and niiiiiice. But remember when the most destructive (in my memory) tornados happened. May 3, 1999 and May 22, 2011!

The year my second son was born, we slept under the stairs more nights in May than we slept in our beds. (Under the stairs is where we hid from tornados.)

We even saw on the news where a wedding in Kansas had a tornado for an uninvited guest. Only in May!

I think I’ll start a movement to change the name of May to Might. Think about it–Might says it all. It’s longer, so no deception there, and it tells you that all kinds of things could happen. Good and bad. Happy and very, very sad.

May MIGHT be a good month, then again, it MIGHT not, so why don’t we just get it over with and call it that from the get-go?

Might 23, 2012. Has a very nice ring to it. 🙂

 

 


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♥ Things I Love ♥

This is one of my all time favorite Mother’s Day cards. #3 son, Brad, made it for me. I should have written the date on it, but I didn’t think of it. 😦

I don’t remember if Brad didn’t have any money that year or if he ran out of time, but he wanted to give me a card for Mother’s Day, so he made his own.

For years I’ve kept it close at hand, just like some of the letters to Santa my boys wrote. They warm my heart and make me feel very much loved.

The front says,

Dear Susan Carol Spess, Shay.

Happy Mothers Day

It’s decorated with all the things I love–Watermelon, flowers, a fountain, tulips. (Smart kid, huh?)

Inside is a poem.

 Dear Susan C Shay,

Hope you have a happy Mothers day.

Because this is a special day.

Happy Mothers Day. Yeah!!!

He signed it with a heart.

I’ve had many years of Mother’s Day cards and gifts–funny, happy and once in a while, sappy–and each one was very special because it came from my children or their father. But none of them is more special than this card from my little boy’s heart.

And the funny part? The part that makes me laugh and cry and want to hug my little boy one more time?

Can you read it?

“P. S. Sorry this is not a real card.”

I think it’s among the realest cards I’ve ever received.


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♥♥♥ Mother’s Day Torture ♥♥♥

Mother’s Day, 2012. Are you ready?

As an official Mother, I take the holiday very seriously. Hey, it’s time when Moms get to rake in gifts! What’s not to love?

In fact, each year I take out my beautiful Mother’s Day memories and polished them bright.

When I was a little girl, Grandmother lived next door. Each MD, she reminded us we were supposed to wear a red rose to church that morning, but she wore a white one. Why? we always asked. Because our mother was here on earth, hers was in Heaven.

So on MD morning, we’d ravage the rose bushes at the Spess houses. I don’t remember using clippers, and scissors went missing more often than not, so we just kind of peeled them off the bush.

I don’t raise roses, but even I know that can’t be a good thing.

When we’d get to church, there was always a contest to see who had the most kids. It started out with every mother with 1 child, stand up. (That way every mom was recognized.) Then it went on until it got to six kids. Someone (Mrs. Maxwell?) had more kids, so some years the kids had to be present just to give Mama a chance.

After Mrs. Maxwell (or whomever it was) passed away, Mom had the prize by the horns. Other moms crossed their fingers and hoped our mom would have to be gone one year, but she never missed. 🙂 And yes, her kids were nearly always there. (Hey, it’s Mother’s Day.)

One of my favorite Mother’s Day Memories stars Danny. Because of his lack of remorse over it, I’ve reserved the right to torture him as much as possible.

One year, he was in Sunday School with his two cousins, Grant and Kyle. They made Mother’s Day cards for their craft that day.

When they came out of SS, they came out together and ran up to Debbie. “Here, Mama.” Grant handed her his card.

“Here, Mama.” Kyle handed her his card.

“Here, Aunt Deb.”

Danny had made his card for my sister.

“Happy Mother’s Day, Aunt Deb.”

I laughed so hard, I nearly cried.

And to this day, he refuses to feel guilty about it. “Peer pressure, Mom. Gets me every time.”

I wonder if Sister Debbie saved that card? I would have. (Tear.)

In his honor, I found a delightful website with absolutely hilarious Mother’s Day cards. It’s called Wit and Whistle. I’m always the last to hear about these things, so everyone else has probably enjoyed them for years.

If you haven’t, check it out. It might not be your cup of tea, but at least you’ll get a little insight into my skewed sense of humor.

Front: ”thanks for loving me even though I plowed through your lady parts with my big bulbous baby head”

Inside: “you’re the best”

The perfect brand new, first time mom card! LOL.

Front: “thanks for squeezing me out”

Inside: Blank.

But what can you say after that?

 Front: ”in the animal kingdom some mothers eat their babies”

Inside: ”Thanks for not eating me. Happy Mother’s Day!”

I can’t help it. They make me snort with laughter.

This next one, I like best. It doesn’t make me laugh, but it makes me smile a really, really big smile.

Front: “you were always my favorite”

 Inside: “don’t tell dad”

Maybe #1 could buy that for Aunt Deb this year. 🙂

So how about your family? Do you go for the sweet and sappy cards or is your mom like me, just a little bit twisted?

Here’s a hint–laughter keeps a woman young. Go for it!

Ps: I don’t know the women at Wit and Whistle. I saw their website today for the first time. (Love the Bee Vomit card, btw) I’ve never even bought a card. But I have a feeling I will. Oh, yeah!


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A Ring Thing

This started out to be a post called We Nailed It.

Warning: What you’re about to see maybe disturbing. Look at your own risk.

The foot in the blue sandal is a human foot on a live person. The odd color (paleness) caused by a lack of sunshine. People with this malady can be mistaken for walking snowmen. Do not let this happen to you.

But I forgot to take pictures of all the fun we had.

So I started to take a few this morning to share. You know, Show-And-Tell?

I snapped my toes.

And I snapped my fingers.

And that’s when I noticed what I really wanted to blog about.

The rings I wear. I sleep in them, swim in them, do everything I do in them. (Except get manicures. I take them off for that.)

The larger one is the one my man put on my finger during our wedding. He has one just like it, just a few sizes bigger.

The smaller one was my mama’s. Daddy gave it to her during their wedding. She was eighteen years old. He was nineteen.

 I’ll have worn it for twenty-one years on May 20 this year.

I don’t wear her ring as a protest against drunk driving. And I don’t wear it because its gold or old.

 I wear it to remind me of a couple of kids who got married and started raising a family two years later. Who named their first daughter after a pair of basketball shoes.

Who loved each other so much, worked together so well and had such a perfect marriage, all of their children have turned themselves inside out to emulate it.

I look at her ring and remember the first year we lived in Pryor Creek. Brad’s birthday party was going to flop, and on short notice, Mama gathered up the C-Town grandchildren and an armload of gifts and rushed to be there in time to cheer after he blew out his candles.

I remember the first year I was married and she dreamed I ran away from home. In her dream, she took my man to live with her and Dad.

I remember Mother’s Day weekend twenty-one years ago. I took the kids home to be with her, and she stopped everything to fish with my boys and the rest of the C-Town grandkids.

I look at her ring, and I remember the mother-in-law, the grandmommy, the friend, wife and mother I want to be.

  Mama won’t be at Brad’s wedding, but her spirit will be there in each of her children. And her grandchildren. And her great-grandchildren.

Her children arise and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her:  “Many women do noble things, but you surpass them all.”

 Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the LORD is to be praised.

Honor her for all that her hands have done, and let her works bring her praise at the city gate. Proverbs 31:28-31 NIV