Friday’s Child…

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I realize it is now Sunday, July 2nd but I was just musing about a child that was born on a beautiful, sunny morning.  It was July 1st several moons ago.  I was little, between toddler and pre-k, and my life was about to change monumentally!  The day before my Mother held me in her arms, gave me a HUGE hug (other than my Grandfather, she was the BEST hugger in the world!) and kiss and told me to behave myself for my Father and grandparents.  She said she would only be gone a week and when she returned, we would be a family of four!  With that, she handed me to my grandfather, entered the car and she and Dad drove away.  The next morning I woke up very early.  Dad was already awake and pacing around the house as far as the telephone cord would permit.  When he saw me, he ended the conversation and asked if I wanted breakfast.  I said yes and he replied he was going to make me something special – French Toast!  I had never had this before and, even though I was quite a picky eater, I was eager to try this new dish as I LOVED breakfast!  I watched my father prepare the toast – eggs, milk, vanilla, cinnamon and nutmeg mixed together.  He dunked the bread and placed it in melted butter on the griddle.  When it was brown on both sides, he put it on a plate with a pat of butter gently melting in the middle…nothing else!  It was delicious!  I asked for another slice and his face lit up!  As he was preparing my “order” the phone rang and he answered without saying hello.  “Uh huh…uh huh…uh huh.  You know what to do.  They’re both OK?  Thank You!  I’ll see you later!”  Click.  He hung up and turned to me with a BIG smile.  “You’re now a big sister!  Mommy and your baby sister are doing well!”  I put my fork down and asked when I could see them.  My Father responded that children are not allowed to visit people in the hospital but my Grandfather had an idea to sneak me in.  With that, we finished breakfast and he cleaned the plates and pan.  I played in the backyard for a little while until it was time to walk to my grandparents’ house.  My Father took my hand and we walked down the street to the brown and white house on the corner that my grandfather had built just before World War II started.  He left me with my Grandmother and I watched him walk back to our house, get into the car and drive away from the big picture window in the living room.  My Grandmother called me into the kitchen and on the table, in a huge yellow and white striped bowl, were potato chips!  “Have a little snack to tide you over,” my Grandmother said.  Tide me over?  I looked in the kitchen and down the hall to the bedroom but I didn’t see any water!  I didn’t understand and tried to ask my Grandmother but she was very distracted.  She drank cup after cup of coffee, smoked incessantly and played one game of Solitaire after another until my Aunt arrived.  Together they both drank cup after cup of coffee and smoked even more but my Grandmother responded more now that another adult was in the room.  I nibbled on potato chips and played on the porch until my Grandfather came home.  I ran into the kitchen and he was positively beaming!  “How are they?  Were there any complications?  How is the baby doing?  Is our daughter doing well?”  He was bombarded.  He picked me up and twirled me around shouting, “You’re now a BIG sister!  You’re going to meet your baby sister this afternoon!”  My Grandmother sat him down and gave him lunch.  In between bites, he answered all my Grandmother’s and Aunt’s questions.  “She looks just like Baby #1 but is slightly bigger.  If she had gone full-term, she would definitely have been MUCH larger!  She’s quiet for now but wait until her original due date.  Our daughter and son-in-law will not get any rest after that!”  I twirled the bowl of potato chips.  I so wish I had that bowl now – the memories of that day encapsulated in a serving dish!  My grandmother gave me some chicken and cucumbers but I was too excited to eat!  My Aunt was laughing every time my Grandmother attempted to sit me back down again.  “She’s eager to see her Mom and new sister!  Cut her some slack!”  My Grandfather finished his lunch, excused himself from the table (he always had impeccable manners) and headed off to wash up.  I followed him down the hallway and peaked into the bedroom that I slept in when I stayed over.  There was a crib in room that hadn’t been there yesterday.  “Why is there a crib in my room?”  My Grandmother responded that the baby and I would be sharing the room whenever we visited.  My Aunt started to giggle and said, “I see there is trouble on the horizon!”  I heard the hall closet open and close and my Grandfather reappeared with his winter coat in his hands.  “You’re going to sneak the baby into the hospital under THAT during the SUMMER?!?” both women shouted.  He nodded yes, gave each a peck on the cheek, took my hand and we walked out to his car.  I may now be the BIG SISTER but I still had to ride in the backseat!  When we arrived at the hospital, my Grandfather laid down the ground rules for the visit, “You stay with me at all times.  Do NOT run to your Mother or try to have her pick you up!  She just had a baby and her incision is healing.  You can hug her but GENTLY!”  With that, we exited the car, he put on his winter coat and buttoned me inside!   My Grandfather was a General Practitioner who had privileges at this hospital.  His second grandchild had been born that morning via Caesarian Section and he was in the room when his new granddaughter made her debut.  We passed what was considered Security for that time and he received quite a few chuckles.  “Doc, I don’t know if feet that tiny will help your balance!”  When we reached the Maternity Ward, my Grandfather unbuttoned the coat a little and told me to peek out.  “Do you see the pink door?”  I nodded.  “Push that door open.”  I did as he instructed me.  When the door opened, standing there in a pink bathrobe and slippers with a pink bow in her hair was my Mother!  My father was with her and they were GLOWING for lack of a better word!  I could tell my Mother as slightly annoyed at SOMETHING by the look in her eyes but I didn’t know what.  My Grandfather removed his coat.  I looked up to him and he nodded.  I walked SO SLOWLY to my Mother and wrapped my arms around her leg.  “Why aren’t you giving me one of your usual hugs?” my Mother asked.  I told her I didn’t want to hurt her.  “Sheynes Kind, you could NEVER hurt me!  Would you like to meet your baby sister?” I jumped up and down.  My parents each took my hand and walked me down the hall.  She looked at my Father and whispered to my Grandfather, “We will talk later!  You two have some explaining to do!”  I looked at everyone but didn’t understand “Adult Talk.”  As it turned out, my Grandfather and Father had changed my sister’s name but didn’t inform my Mother or me!  I only had one thing on my mind – my sister!  We stopped at a window and my Father picked me up.  A nurse on the other side of the window put her hand up to her mouth, let out a little gasp and immediately wheeled a bassinet to the front of the window.  “I knew this one was yours!  She looks identical to her sister!”  I stared.  She was sleeping.  I tried to knock on the window but my Grandfather stayed my hand.  “No, you’ll wake the other babies.”  There was only ONE baby I was interested in and she was sleeping in front of me!  To this day I don’t know if I willed it or if it was coincidence but she opened her eyes and appeared to look right into mine!  Her eyes were SAPPHIRE!  I had never seen anything so blue!  I raised my hand and waved to her through the window.  At the same time, she raised her little walnut of a hand and appeared to wave back.  She then yawned and fell back to sleep.  Was it love at first sight?  No, it was sibling rivalry pure and simple.  Our relationship totally changed when I went off to college.  She is the best gift my parents ever gave me!  I will never be able to express the love and respect I have for her!  She is my greatest sparring partner and chief supporter!  I was never meant to be an only child!  Mom, if you’re looking down from above…THANK YOU!

Disappointment…

Last week I was given the name and contact information of a recruiter from a friend.  My spirits lifted as I reached out to this individual.  This organization had an open position with a client that was right up my alley.  Before the client would meet with me, I had to complete an applicant survey that included a PDF version of my resume, a questionnaire to test my mettle in the position and a spreadsheet detailing how I would book a multi-stop business trip for one of the executives.  I put a great deal of effort into this survey, had an extra set of eyes proofread everything and said a prayer over the laptop before I sent everything off to the headhunter.  The next day I spent an hour on the phone with one of the partners…not the one I had originally been in touch with…at the recruitment firm going over my background.  I didn’t exactly have the warm fuzzies when the call ended; however, I still had hope.  Today all I feel is disappointment as I was informed the client has decided to go in a different direction.  I have been unemployed for almost 15 months!  When am I going to catch my lucky break?!?

Well Rounded…

Now, now, now!  I’m not referring to my shape although I am down about 20 pounds since last year at this time!  I am well-read, enjoy a good opera or visit to a museum, am not averse to learning about different faiths.  I would even say I am fairly well-travelled although I still haven’t visited any areas across the Pacific Ocean!  I am not well-rounded linguistically which is a hindrance nowadays to finding a new position.    While performing my daily employment search over the past year, I have stumbled across numerous bi-lingual positions.  I wish I had practiced the Spanish I learned in elementary and high school; however, this hasn’t been the most requested language I have seen.  French is another but I only took one semester in college and confused this tremendously with Spanish!  When we visited France, I always relied upon my sister to communicate for the two of us EXCEPT in a restaurant!  She is devious and playful enough to pull a fast one on me!  I wouldn’t be surprised if a plateful of escargot was delivered for my gustatory delight – NOT!  French also is not one of the most asked-for languages.  I have seen requests for German-speaking applicants.  Too bad when my family emigrated to this country they decided the only language they would speak is English.  If not, my sister and I would be well versed in German and Hungarian!  There have been Portuguese, Korean and Japanese positions advertised on the different sites but the two languages I have seen the most have been Mandarin and Cantonese!  Once I find a position and have an income, I am going to invest in Rosetta Stone!

High Hopes…

FullSizeRenderWhen I was laid off from my long-time position, I was absolutely crushed.  I was worried that my age (not that I am ancient) would hinder me from finding new employment.  I remembered what my Mother always imparted to my sister and me…always keep hope in your heart.  I have been holding onto hope but there are times when this is SO DIFFICULT.  This has been especially so since the hubby lost his job.  He has been going on interview after interview but has been absolutely glum which impacts upon my mood as well.  Yesterday, I had a telephone interview with a headhunter.  I started the conversation feeling on top of the world but by the end I couldn’t read the direction the call had taken.  I felt very low and when the hubby came home, my feelings plummeted even more.  He had been on a promising third-round interview; however, he exuded nothing but doom and gloom.  My sister took one look at my face and knew what I was feeling.  She is NOT a tactile individual – she doesn’t really enjoy light touches or hugs.  She took my hand and roughly paraphrased Kathryn Stockett, “You is good.  You is smart.  You is important.”  I love my sister to bits!

Nasty Neighbors…

FullSizeRender copyIMG_8184The neighborhood we live in at one point was very friendly.  Everyone used to keep their doors open and would yell “Knock! Knock!” whenever entering someone’s home.  Times have changed, neighbors have moved.  We still have some very nice people we chat with but there are a couple of individuals who have made their opinions well known how they feel about us!  We have pets or should I say they have us wrapped around their paws!  If they bark, one neighbor yells at them through the window to “Shut Up!”  This happens when the dogs are in the house – not when outside as we are with them.  The other neighbor makes derogatory comments about us if our dogs are outside and “communing” with the furry neighbors on the adjoining properties.  One has alluded to the fact that pets are not children and we should be on medication if we consider ourselves “Pet Parents.”  The most recent insult is a note we received in the mail simply addressed to “Homeowner.”  The envelope contained a printout of the zoning rules for our town regarding upkeep of the property and a poorly written note stating we do not have any pride in our home or land.  Mind you, this was mailed in an envelope with a window for a monthly invoice as the back was printed with a memo reminding the recipient to include their payment.  As I have mentioned several times, I have been unemployed since last year and my husband was laid off recently.  During the winter, a very large branch from our neighbor’s maple tree crashed into our backyard.  Not the front where it would be an eyesore for the neighborhood but the BACKYARD!  Due to financial reasons, we have been unable as of yet to remove this branch.  This note referred to the fallen limb.  Only one neighbor can see this quite clearly, the other has an obstructed view.  Our other neighbors all have fences that prevent them from looking into the backyard. We realize who sent the nastygram and would gladly welcome any financial assistance removing the limb if it is truly a hindrance to the neighborhood. Walk in our shoes for a while…pay our bills…see if you have enough left in your wallet to have someone come in and cart the branch away.  Enough with the venting…  Here’s to a brand new day!

Well…

Emergencies still happen even when you don’t have a job!  Our house does not have central air and, we have been informed, due to its age, we will need to stick to wall/window air conditioning units.  Last summer one of the units gave up the ghost after 20+ years of loyal, cooling service!  Today the hubby and I bit the bullet and purchased a new window unit for the small bedroom on the second floor.  The hubby, who in a prior life believed that he was Hercules, decided to carry the newly purchased A/C upstairs resting on his shoulder and only holding it with one hand!  Lo and behold, he lost his ‘grip’ on the item and it tumbled backwards down the steps…and hit me in the face and wrist!  I AM FINE!  I have a big bump on my chin and a bruise on my wrist but thankfully no other injuries!  I have learned my lesson!  I should feed the hubby plenty of spinach but remind him after eating he is NOT Popeye the Sailor Man!  The heaviest item he can handle up or down the stairs is laundry!