Tuesday, March 9, 2010


Sassy the cat likes to think of this laptop computer as her own personal heating pad. She's spent a lot of time on the keyboard lately, as it's her take-off pad for flinging herself into the transom window to perch and do a weird cat cackle at the pigeons who've nested there. Actually, more like built a three story high-rise, inviting all it's drunk on worms pigeon friends to make themselves at home, and "use this colonial pillar as your toilet." And since yesterday's blog was chock full of feces references, that's all I'll say about it.

So after the ugly and unholy I witnessed this past weekend, I feel an urgency to return to my home and make it more holy. Which brings to mind my own upbringing and the tremendous impact it had~and continues to have~on my life.

When I was in 7th grade, I would be squirming in Science class~last period of the day~and could just hardly wait for the bell to ring. And it wasn't to see my stupid friends, because they would most likely be busy sharpening their blades (they'd dulled when shoved into my back earlier on) and it wasn't to see a boy, because by the end of the day, my sideways ponytail (think Deb from Napoleon Dynamite) had usually come undone, leaving the entire left side sticking straight out with Miss Clairol hairspray residue. (Sometimes I'd put my bright yellow coat over my head as camouflage, looking out through the armhole, trying to make it down the hallway and onto the bus...clearly, I was brilliant and poised)...anyway, where was I?

Oh, yes. I watched. that. clock. I'd had just about all I could take for the day~my coffers were flooding with confidence beatings and "the wrong" jeans~apparently Kings wasn't the most fashionable place to purchase designer brands, who knew?~and it was time for a reprieve. It was time for a happy Mom who was there when I came busting in through the front door with a yell, "MOM! I'M HOME!" And she'd say, "I'm down here, dear." Down here was in her sewing room and I'd wad a piece of Wonder Bread into a ball and shoving it in my mouth, where it stuck to the roof, go climb on the washer and dryer to tell her all about the crappy day.

It was time for a sunshiny home, with the freshly folded clothes on my bed and the vacuum in the middle of the living room, with instructions for me to finish up. Wish I could say I put my heart and soul into that, but alas, I was a slaphappy teenager. I fully deserve all the sloth that my own chitlins heap upon me.

It was time for a quick search for hidden candy and a stolen sip of Mom and Dad's ice cold Pepsi that would "ROT YOUR GUTS OUT" if you were under the age of married. It was table setting time, as family dinner was a daily ritual. It was FAMILY FUN NIGHT time, where we'd go to the neighborhood store and buy a MASSIVE brown bag full of penny candy, bring it home and dump it in the middle of the living room floor, taking turns choosing our favorites and then consume it all while talking, laughing and burping together. (What's that you say? Dentist and nutrition issues? Don't know what you're talking about.)

It was time for Dad's homemade popcorn that he'd oft times make for just him and Mom after the kids had gone to bed, and we'd get a whiff of the heavenly scent, come out of our bedrooms STOMPING MAD, down the hallway with the accusation of, "YOU NEVER, EVER, EVER MAKE POPCORN FOR US KIDS! WHY IS IT OK FOR YOU TWO TO HAVE ALL THE FUN...AND THE POPCORN?! THAT IS JUST RUDE AND YOU NEVER, EVER, EVER DO FUN STUFF FOR US KIDS. YOU JUST SAVE IT FOR YOU GUYS. NO FAIR!!!" And they'd laugh and giggle and say these immortal words, "When you're the mom and dad, you can do the very same thing!" And we'd say back, with extreme intelligence and foresight, "But we'll NEVER be the moms and dads!" Then go stomping back to our popcornless beds.

I could go on and on, as the memories are still fresh as laundry on a line. But can I just say what a blessed thing it is to look back on my childhood with such peace and warmth? And isn't it funny that it didn't matter what my mom was wearing (she was always beautiful)...or how thin she was (she had a soft lap)...or what kind of car we drove? (It was a hideous brown van) And money? Three words~so very poor. But somehow, we always found enough for the giant brown bag of candy, or a piece of material for a lovely Easter dress.

What it comes down to is this. Bless my mother's heart for making our home a haven. And holy. For spending her days in the service of her family. For looking "Beyond This Moment" and knowing that out of small and simple things, come that which is GREAT!

Bless my father's heart for earning and providing. He tied his tie and walked out the door every morning to teach a bunch of snot nosed kids who needed a gun to their heads to be forced to learn, and then returned home to US, with a smile on his bedraggled face and a shout of, "Who wants to go for a bike ride?!" I would imagine that was last on his list, but it was first on ours.

Bless them both for understanding that our home could~and should~be a Heaven on Earth.

And now, please excuse me, as I have a batch of bread that needs to be baked and several loads of laundry patiently waiting. Appears just putting the word holy in front of HE%#, isn't the right idea. I have a tremendous journey ahead of me~would that I were perfect~but out of small and simple things...


Krista said...

Now, Lisa, don't go deceiving your readers to believe that you were anything other than very popular in school. I don't know which titles you held, but I'm sure they were similar to Nicki's "Best All-Round", Homecoming Queen (or at least a candidate, etc. etc. You & Nicki are the best all round, still to this day!

About being holy - yeah, I need to work on that one. My kids will never be able to bear testimony that they never heard a swear word escape my lips - mainly because damn and hell aren't swear words in Australia - and I AM a dual citizen, afterall.

Lisa said...

Oh, Krista, you silly. Swearing doesn't make you "unholy." It makes you a mother. Especially when you put a rhyming word with it, like "bells." That's what my mom did, and it make it OK. And nope, not like Nick, though I wanted desperately to be. BTW, about the conference, I can't go, as I'm hosting a shower. But maybe by the next one, I'll be ready for it. Are you going?

Anonymous said...

What a BEAUTIFUL tribute to your parents! I hope that one day I will hear such beautiful words come out of my children's mouths.

I've seen Sassy on her perch when I drive by at night and think it's hysterical. I've often wondered what she was doing. Is she bored? Do you need the fish back? YES they are STILL ALIVE....ALL 4 of them!!!

BTW...we had a brown van too!With enough speed that baby could FLY over the rail road tracks. Not that I'd know that first hand as I was too embarrassed to drive it. I HAD to drive it to school ONE day and I parked it down a neighborhood street. There was NO WAY that I would be seen in it in the high school parking lot. Apparently I was a self-proclaimed princess. Stupid me. Good times :)
Love ya....Anony

kara elmore said...

Let me attest to these words of which she spake. Holy crap - that sounded SO good! Now - a reader might think that this was "not the norm" ... that we were "lucky" ... and that behind "closed doors" we were completely dysfunctional. Because isn't that what REALLY happens in "happy" homes??? I am here to tell it is it all true ... and although we had NO money (think 4 months behind in the mtg), and we drank powdered milk and ate eggs A LOT ... with spam.... we were blessed because of our family! We truly love each other. Our parents taught us well - because it mattered to them not to be selfish. And amazingly enough we all love each other still!

Anonymous said...

OK, so when I posted earlier that bread picture was not posted. HOLY moly....look at that fabulous looking bread! Can I come over and smell your house? It's passed noon-thirty, you should be out of your PJ's right?...Anony

Brenda @Just a Bed of Roses said...

Right now all I can say is you bring tears to my eyes either laughing or crying...and that's a good writer...I will strangle you if you ever stop this blog! I have to read them over and over because I am so amazed at how you do this.
You make it look so easy and I love hearing about your life all parts, farts and all.

Everyday i am having an experience and I think to myself "I wonder how Lisa would write about this experience" oh...you would have some good writing material some days in my life too.

Brenda @Just a Bed of Roses said...

It should read Everyday AS I am having certain experiences...and think to myself. should have proofed it better.

Lisa said...

Brenda, I whipped out a couple of letters yesterday and humiliated myself as I found two words spelled wrong AFTER I'd sent them...and I was trying to sound intelligent. Nothing worse than a fast shot of humility. But I thank you for your wonderful words of encouragement. You always build me up to the highest heights!

Anony, you're just so adept at wide eyed and innocent, aren't you? "Mmmm. Wish I had some fresh homemade bread. Sure would be nice if somebody served the Relief Society Pres once in a while." WELL, BAT YOUR EYES NO MORE, YOUNG LADY! IT'S ON IT'S WAY OVER! Love you!

Boo, glad you're my sis. Wonderful memories past and to be made in the future.

Mimi Sue said...

Amen, sista. Mimi

Linda said...

I want to come live at your house. Okay? I had a great childhood too. I just hope my kids can say the same! Love your blog.

Erica Borrowman said...

Lisa, I've slacked off...reading, I mean. But I knew this wonderful blog would have much knowledge and humor for me to lap up - to refill the coffers and get me going again and I was right...yet again. Yes, I'm always right. Ask my husband - or just look at him - it's tattoo-ed on his forehead "My wife is always right." Anyway, this is lovely...and reminds me of my own childhood, penny candy and all. We used to walk in the burrow pit beside the old highway, about half a mile to Peterson's Store for our little brown bag full of swedish raspberries and tootsie rolls (still my fav). And we'd go to my Dad's city league baseball games and climb all over the big fighter jets in the outdoor museum while we heard the *clack* of the ball hitting the bat, and the roars of the crowds that consisted of everyone we'd ever met and their parents. I loved summers as a kid! Rolling up my pantlegs and taking off my dirty 'tenna-runners' and wade into the ditch to catch minnows. We didn't have any money either...lots of tuna casseroles with potato chips sprinkled on top and heaven knows how many jello salads. But, it was always homemade - including the bread. Yours looks wonderful, by the way. Thanks for this...got my memories all stirred up. :)

Lisa said...

Linda, so glad to have you as a follower~ESPECIALLY since I disparaged your beautiful homeland of Vegas...but remember the disclaimer at the beginning, that I was only referring to The Strip? OK, good. Anyway, welcome, ma'am!

Erica, aren't tuna casseroles the best? Especially with the potato chip topping! LOVE IT! My dad's fav was red jello with bananas. We also couldn't afford real Kool-aid, so we had to buy Flav-R-aid, as they were like 10 for a dollar. And Top Ramen noodles...didn't know those were cheap. To us they were just FUN AND EXCITING to swallow down your throat and then pull back out. :)