Susan Spess Shay

Still playing make believe.


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I Love a Rainy . . . Anything

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Did you ever have a memory hit you so hard right out of the blue, you could practically smell it? That happened to me yesterday, when I was leaving Sister Debbie’s house.

The rain was pouring down, and since I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE the rain, I wandered out to my car without worrying about getting wet. Sister D lives in the house Grandmother built, which is right next door to the house we grew up in. (Sister Cindy lives in that house.)

It’s an old neighborhood (nearly as old as I am!) so the curbs aren’t the hump kind that you’d normally think of next to a street. They’re a scoopy kind, shaped a little like a lazy J. I imagine the scoopy curb was used so the water would run off the road and into the curb so it could all go to the big puddle at the end of the street. 🙂

Yesterday, when I went to my car, that scoopy curb was running full and childhood memories came flooding back.

When we were kids, Mama always bought us raincoats

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and rubber boots

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that fit over our shoes to wear to school. One year, the coat she bought me was exactly like the coat my friend’s mama bought for her. I thought we looked like pink butterflies in them, so I made up a song that we danced to about us butterflies. LOL. I ended it with us flying south for the winter. (I couldn’t let my pink butterflies just die, could I?)

Our front porch was a big one that looked like a stage, so we performed our song and dance for anyone in the neighborhood who wanted to come. The audience consisted of our parents. But hey! They liked it.

When it rained, we nearly always waded in the water. (What are rubber boots for, anyway?) Once, when my mom had given me a permanent (WHY she gave the kid with the curliest hair in town a perm, I have no idea) it was raining when we got out of school.

I usually walked home with one of my friends and her mom came by to pick her up and offered me a ride. “No thanks. I want to walk in the rain.” Her tattle-tale mom called my mom as soon as she got home to tell on me. 😦 My mom wasn’t happy, probably because her daughter wasn’t smart enough to come in out of the rain.

“I just wanted to try out my new raincoat. Why are you mad?”

“Because, you probably ruined your new perm!”

I’m not sure how she figured that, but I was in trouble for maybe five minutes.

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Another time, Sister Debbie and I walked in the rain from the downtown movie theater to Mrs. Shriner’s house for Piano Club. Right after that, Sister D and I came down with the measles, and Mom wasn’t happy with us.

“You probably made your measles worse by walking in the rain.” That didn’t stop her from reading “Tom Sawyer” to us while we were sick, though. (She’d been told measles make your eyes weak, so she wouldn’t let us read to ourselves while we were ill.)

I loved wading in the mud next to Grandmother’s house in the warm summer rain. (Yep, I got in trouble again.)

The strongest memory though is a summertime rainstorm, walking barefoot in the water, sluicing down the scoopy curb, as the water splashed over my ankles.

I don’t remember being too strict with my kids when it came to rain and puddles. (They might have other memories, though.)

So, rainy day memories?

 

 

 

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Happy birthday, Little Lulu

Do you remember the cartoon, Little Lulu? I’m not talking about her today.

Today is my sister Cindy’s birthday. Her nickname is Lulu.

cindySome of my favorite Lulu memories–

  • I made her a (paper) birthday cake on the day she was born with one candle on it. I even put the sticker I earned that day on the back, and sent it to her while she was still at the hospital. (She must not have liked it much because she didn’t bring it home.)
  • bow-tie-cindy
  • She told one of the teachers most of us had for second grade that an upcoming sibling was “different.” (She was right, too! We’re all different!) 😉
  • Cindy and Deegan

Baby Deegan and his Grandmommy

  • When she was nine years old, Omega was born. Mom said she rarely had to get up for middle-of-the-night feedings, because Cindy got there with a warmed bottle first. (Cindy is a great mom! We learned from the best.)

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Not quite all of Lulu’s Crew. (Two babies missing.)

  • People get Cindy and Debbie mixed up a lot. Debbie always wanted to be twins.

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  • People get Debbie and me mixed up once in a while. Triplets? (Dreaming here. Sigh.)
  • hope, kyla, faith, eric and deb
  • Cindy has five (count ’em. F-I-V-E!!!) children.  Only two of these are them. 🙂

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Here’s a couple more and one from above. (Clean up well, don’t they?)

  • Another favorite memory . . . when I was pregnant with #1 Son, G-Man was on 24 hour call so Lulu attended Lamaze classes with me. Not exactly fun, but sweet.

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Saturdays when we were kids was when Mama rolled our hair for Sunday.

  • When I had #1 and no one could (or would) figure out how to help me breast feed him, I told Lulu that when she became a nurse to never let a mama go home without helping her figure it out. Today she’s a certified Lactation Consultant–or something like that. Anyway, her job is to help mamas figure out how to breast feed their babies before they go home. She minds well, doesn’t she? 🙂

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Lulu at her oldest daughter’s wedding. Beautiful, isn’t she?

So . . . why do we call her Lulu? I’ll let you guess. (If you know the answer, make up a better one and post it here.) 😛

 

 


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HBD Leekabeth!

♪♫ Happy birthday to you . . .
Happy birthday to you.
Happy birthday, Number Four!!!
Happy birthday to you. ♫♪

Kisses😛

Lisa is one of my four favorite sisters in the world, and today’s her birthday.

School age Lisa

School age Lisa

She’s one of those kids that people just enjoy being around. She’s fun and funny and a great friend.

She picked out three wonderful wives for her boys.

It's hard to tell which one is older, but Lisa is 2nd from the right.

It’s hard to tell which one is older, but Lisa is 2nd from the right.

And then she found some good looking grandsons. (I only have a picture of one, and it’s old. But the other two look kind of like him.)

Nicole, Lisa, Braden and Wayne

Lisa is probably single-handedly running all three of their stores today. She might not even have time for anyone to call and sing Happy Birthday to her.

But if you want, you can leave your happy birthday wishes for her here. I’ll send them to her later. 🙂

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, LISA! Love you.

♥♥♥


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Can You Guess . . . ?

Matt, Nikki and I took a roadtrip the other evening to a very special place.

 No, we weren’t there to pick grapes. Too early in the season.

This fountain played its magic tune all night long.

 Tables that would soon be filled with laughing, joyous people.

This creekbed was dry. I’m guessing that was just in case someone fell in. Or not. 🙂

Can you guess why we were there? Here’s a hint–

 Spectators.

Have to love a sister who can still crack you up.

 The sisters, less one. (Missed you, #4)

Sweet nephew.

Another adorable nephew.And bowers of flowers. (Fantastic job, Celebrations.)

Mama’s rose.

Final hint.

So, can you guess why we were there? (Bet you can!) I have more pictures for you . . . later!


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Happy Birthday, Sister Cindy!

Sister Cindy’s having a birthday today. Because she’s my younger sister, and it would in a way be telling on myself, I won’t tell you her age. 🙂 (Mama always said, “A woman who’ll tell her age will tell anything,” and I agree.)

So how will my sister celebrate? Probably by going to work. She works at a T-Town hospital, helping new mamas who want to feed their babies the “right” way. (She an RN and a Lactation Something-or-other.)

Little known facts about Sister Cindy:

  • A riproaring success as a preschool model in a fashion show in the basement of the Methodist Church.

  • The quietest Spess kid.
  • Told the second grade teacher who’d taught the first three Spess girls and was preparing to teach #4, “She isn’t like the rest of us.”
  • Was left at church TWICE, and had to be taken home by the preacher.
  • Wore braces on her teeth. (As did all the Spess sisters except #4. She really was different.)
  • Could have been the New Shirley Temple . . . if she’d had blond hair. And corkscrew curls.
  • Got Mama’s hands.

  • The only Spess Sister with a college degree. (With five kids to outsmart, she needed it!)

  • Uncle Charlie liked her best. (Everyone else might have like her best, but Uncle Charlie didn’t try to hide it.)
  • FFA Sweetheart!

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, Sister Cindy. Hope it’s a great one!


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Another Wowed Wednesday!

Wow! It’s cold outside!!! (19 degrees, according to my computer.) It was so warm and pretty outside on Monday, it felt like springtime. Then Tuesday, we hit a cold wall. Bam!
Now, early Wednesday morning, it’s still cold. I’m sitting here with the furnace blowing, an electric heater at my feet and a heating pad behind me and still thinking, “Brrrr!” I hear it’s supposed to warm back up this weekend. (Talk about a roller coaster weather wise!)

FC3’s Bible study was a real wow! Amazing. Truly a-m-a-z-i-n-g! This study just gets better and better. Honestly, the “gasp!” kind of better.

Last night, Sister Debbie brought her newest granddaughter to our classroom. (Because our birthdays are in April and May, we’re in the same small group.) Little Bit did fine for a few moments, then decided she needed a little snacky.

While her grandmommy was feeding her, I held Grandmommy’s book. Here comes the WOW! It wasn’t Beth Moore who wowed me so much during small group time as the depth of time and study my sister put into preparation for this class. And she’s not even the leader.

For a while I held her book and mine, but it wasn’t long before I put mine down. I learned so much reading her answers. (Shared a few of them, too.) I’m amazed at the way God is working in her life!

(Waving my hand. “My turn next, Lord.”)

Speaking of sisters, Beth Moore’s was introduced in her blog yesterday. I don’t know if you read Beth’s blog or if you enjoy Beth’s ministry or not, but my heart just broke for these women.

I’ve been reading Beth’s book, “So Long, Insecurity.” In it, she shares a lot about their formative years. She doesn’t tell in it how what they lived through affected her sister because she didn’t feel it was hers to tell. Yesterday her sister, Gay, wrote for everyone to read, what her life has been like.

If you’ve ever felt insecurity in your life, I recommend reading Beth’s book. And if you’ve ever wondered if Beth has just lived a charmed life and thought that anyone with blond hair and a pretty face and clothes could do what she’s done, think again. She didn’t just skate up, sparkle and start talking.

She’s been in the Pit, I promise you. So has her sister.

 — it is my great honor to introduce you to my blood sister, with whom I was raised and with whom I shared a room for many years and many secrets. Some crippling. We have known much pain together and much devastation apart and were so close growing up that one of us could hardly be okay if the other were not. Today – and for this moment – we are both okay. And blessed. Redeemed. Forgiven. And, in staggering ways, restored. Only because of Jesus.

If you have a moment, pop over to Beth’s blog. I think you’ll be wowed, too!