Susan Spess Shay

Still playing make believe.


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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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Snow Day!

Okay, it’s not really a snow day in the strictest sense. I think I can still drive to work without being in danger of sliding off the road, but it’s a snowy day.

snow-in-the-hoodIt’s been so long before we had much snow, I’m excited to get whatever comes down.

snow-deckNot much yet, but still it’s white. And cold. And wet. 🙂

snow-fenceRemember when you were a kid and they called off school because of the snow? Wasn’t it fun?

Mom made hot chocolate for us. We’d dress warm and go outside to play, play, play. Then we’d come in, take off our wet clothes and drink the chocolate and warm up in front of the fireplace.

As soon as we got warm, we were ready to go out again. And mom let us.

She never complained about the wet floors or the extra laundry she had to do. (Who wants to put on cold wet clothes to go out and play?)

Once in a while, if she didn’t have babies too small to go out, Mom would dress warm, go out and help us make a snowman or have a snowball fight with us.

Coolest mom ever!

Read more about her here: Snowing and Blowing.

Our dad was pretty cool, too. Read about the sled he built for us kids and all the fun he and his friends had with it, here. “Sleddy Memories”

Guess I’ll call work and see how the roads are looking. Wonder if schools are out today?


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☺Mama’s Birthday☺

What were you doing eighty-one years ago today? 😉 Okay, you probably weren’t a glimmer yet.

Eighty-one years ago, my grandma was having a baby. A beautiful baby with black hair and big eyes. Many years later, that baby became my mama. 🙂

She’ll probably smack me when I get to heaven for telling her age. She used to say, “A woman who’ll tell her age will tell anything.” (She also told me, “If you don’t start lying about your age, I’ll have to stop lying about mine. LOL.)

This is Mama.

And this–

Mama at about 14 or 15–(Holding Cousin Liz.)

And this is Mama, all grown up. Or maybe it’s her senior picture. I’m not sure. 🙂 But that was pretty close to grown up. She got married three or four months later.

When I was a kid, once a month Mama went to Birthday Club. I’ve never known exactly what it was about, but several women here in C-Town would go out and eat. The women whose birthday month it was got a gift.

I hated that night. Not because Dad took care of us (Grandmother, next door, was always available to help) but because it was a part of Mama’s life I couldn’t be part of, too. (Aren’t kids weird?)

By the time I was an adult, the women were celebrating Birthday Club at individuals’ swimming pools around town. I never was a part of it, even though other women my age were, because by that time I loved it that Mom had something that was hers alone.

Funny how we change, isn’t it?

Today is Mama’s birthday, and a different Birthday Club will be celebrating. The BC at work goes out once a month, and for July, we’re celebrating today. We’re supposed to be telling Mendy and Rick HBD, but in my heart (and many of the people who’ll be there–Jeffrey, Amy, Kyle, Laura, Hope, Faith, Mallory and with luck, Deb) we’re celebrating Mama.

We’re having Mexican Food–Mom’s favorite. 🙂

And we’ll have a great time!

Happy birthday, Mama. We love you!


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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


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A Gift from God

Ever notice how God sends things into our lives to trigger wonderful memories?

Yesterday, I went to my friend Cindy’s mother’s funeral. While we’re all sad to lose her, it was a celebration of her life and the joy we’d all received knowing her.

This morning, God sent the thing into my life.

The thing was a movie called, “The Beast with Five Fingers” starring Robert Alda

The Beast with Five Fingers

Image via Wikipedia

and Peter Lorre. I haven’t seen (or even heard of the movie) since I was in the sixth grade and stayed all night with Cindy for the first time.

Memories all but drowned me.

  • Cindy and I stayed up to watch the late, late show that night on a channel that was fuzzy with snow. (This was before the days of Cable and Satellite TV.)

Besides being scared to death that whole night, I remember my friend’s mom, Mavis, made me feel as if I were part of the family. I was never one to sit on pins and needles, but this woman went out of her way to be sure I felt at home.

  • The only fried egg sandwich of my life was made by Mavis.
  • Watching “Rebel Without a Cause” at a slumber party at Cindy’s house, with Mavis in the next room ignoring all the noise we made.
  • Mavis was the Worthy Advisor for our Rainbows for Girls chapter. That says a ton for the woman. Can you imagine dealing with a room full of teenaged girls? All the blooming hormones? The explosive emotions? 
  • After I was grown and married, she treated me as if I were a friend, not the daughter of a friend.
  • Working in the kitchen at Mavis’s son-in-law’s funeral dinner, she stopped long enough to tell me how right it looked for me to be there. Kind of like having my mother working there, in the old days.

I’ll miss seeing Mavis in my Small Town World, but I’ll cherish the memories she left there with me. They’re a gift from God.