Monday, February 27, 2012
L.J. Holmes. Before We LEAP into March
March is days away, so we're running out of time. I've got more to ask before we can
LEAP into the next month's postings,
L.J. Holmes, A.K.A. MOM! I happen to know, being your daughter, there are a lot of things you're still keeping close to your chest. So, I'm going to ask some questions and I know you love me enough to answer every single one of them.
Why do I have the feeling you saved the worst for last?
Oh I don't know. Maybe because you know me?
Hmmm. When are you going to be on one of my blogs again?
Judging from the look on your face and the tone of your voice, the first...
the first time I can't get out of it. :>)
So Mom...tell us your ten most favorite things?
That's easy. There aren't any. I don't get attached to THINGS!
Come on, Maaaaa. You know what I mean!
I'm going to assume you want me to do this chronologically as they appeared in my life.
1.) My Grandmother. Nonnie gave me unconditional love, taught me to treasure simple things, and cherish the things that stir the soul. Without her the L.J. Holmes I am today would not exist.
2.) Heidi. I was thirteen when Heidi, my pure bred German Shepherd came into my life. I grew up in an area where there weren't a lot of girls, and those that did live nearby were still too far away for my parents to allow me to spend time with. My brothers were surrounded by boys as snarky and annoying as they were, so Heidi became my best friend and companion...my everything.
When I turned sixteen and could drive all I had to do was say the word "ride" and she'd get all excited. The minute I opened the kitchen door, she'd make a bee-line to my car, leap to her full standing height, her tongue batting happily at the air, and wait for me to unlock the door and let her in.
I went to have gas put into the car once, and could only open the wing window to pass the money out. Heidi wasn't just my friend, she was my protectoress as well. Get anywhere near me, as the gas station attendant tried to do to collect his money, and she'd bare her teeth, raise her hackles and defy them to get any closer...They never did.
3.) Your brother.
His place in my life might not have remained strong enough to weather the battles life sent us, he still is a blessing...My Little Man...and of course it helped that he looked a bit like a turnip. (Don't you just love that turnip curl?)
4.) You My Darling Kat.
Who but you would give me a bathing in orange juice before you were even born? To Kat's readers, I made the mistake of using the ledge my unborn Kat made in my pregnant body to rest my OJ glass on. My little internal linebacker (or whoever the kicker is) took offense at me using her as a shelf. She kicked and the glass flew; orange juice landed everywhere. What a mess, but I never used my pregnant belly as a shelf again. I'm a quick study.
She was born with her fists up and ready, and she's been my little champion ever since.
5.) Now it gets tough. Suzie, (and I wish she would have allowed us to take a picture of her, but she didn't.) She was the first person after my marriage ended who made me feel clean again. An outsider who didn't HAVE to like, let alone love me...yet she did. I miss you Suzie every day.
6.) Herb Friese. (No picture here either, unless we try to raid my old college year books...any idea where they are, Kat?)
Herb was my Criminal Justice Prof. I took his first class to fulfill one of my Liberal Arts requirements. This incredible man who spent his life with the NYPD and created the curriculum for some of the most prestigious criminal justice universities in the country, boosted my self esteem...(I took every one of his classes after that first one and never got less than an "A")...Herb honored me for being a survivor of all we'd gone through. ME! Can you imagine?
I miss you too Herb.
7.) JJ...I've already explained why, and no I'm not sharing the only picture I have of him. Time moves on and some things are best left in the past.
8.) Glenn Kleier Best Selling Author of
The Last Day and
The Knowledge of Good and Evil. Glenn, your words gave me the will to live when I needed them, and your friendship since shows me the magnitude of Heaven's Grace. Thank you for being one of my favorite PEOPLE!
9.) It's got to be two names here because they both took up where Suzie had to leave off. Claire and Winnie. Winnie is a survivor of the
Blitz and also the cruelty of loving a black man in the south where she could not take her daughters into the
white only bathrooms, but had to march them to the black only bathrooms and then could not go in and tend to them there either. The depth of this woman's heart inspires me every day in every way. Love You, Winnie.
Claire, Not since Nonnie have I been comfortable with anyone hugging me. Kat you and I do not do hugs well even between just us, but Claire...in her arms I truly felt Nonnie's spirit. Thank you Claire for giving me such precious moments.
10.) Lea Schizas, Litsa Kamateros, Delilah K. Stephans, Tiger Matthews...
To simplify it, and save your blog space from me naming everyone...ALL of our family at Muse Publishing, Inc.
Muse IS Home. Just as Glenn gave me the will to live, Muse has given me the will to shine.
I honor, respect and cherish all that Muse is.
11.) I have to throw in an eleven though because I cannot not include our Kitties in this. They love us without condition, they also seem to know when we need to laugh and will immediately do something that will bring us instantly out of the darkest of funks...So Mama Bear and
Spatz, you both rock, and we love you from the bottom of our hearts.
I totally agree.
How about we now list the ten things you dislike and since we started at the beginning with the last list, I guess we'd best do the same here too.
That's probably best since I'm not sure I have ten CURRENT dislikes.
1.) I don't know if this is the very first of my dislikes. I went to Catholic school and I'm sure there were a few nuns, and a few snotty girls and annoying boys I could mention...like Susan L. (Do you still have the pope blessed rosary you stole from my desk my aunt brought me back from Rome, Susan?)
But they were trivial things. This isn't.
Nonnie died when I was eleven. My uncle, a non-Catholic, bought the burial sight. The priest refused to attend Nonnie at her final resting spot because it wasn't consecrated. I couldn't understand how anything of God's could be impure. If God created everything, then all the ground had to be pure too, right? Yet the priest was adamant about this little spot of land not being Godly enough.
Eleven year olds don't understand such nuances. All I knew was my beloved Grandmother was being denied her final claim to God. That made me angry for a very long time.
2.) Parallel parking. It is pure EVIL!
3.) Guys who wear their pants down so far I have no choice but to see their butt cracks. I really have no desire to see guy's butt cracks, and I don't know anyone who does. Is this some form of modern day attempts at butt-air conditioning?
4.) Reality TV. I live in NJ and have never met anyone like Snookie. I do not understand making bad behavior popular and those that think drunken brawls are funny, celebrities. When I think back to
Lucy not being able to tell Ricky she was pregnant with Little Ricky on TV, I sigh.
5.) Promoting me...as in what I'm reluctantly doing here, A.K.A. bragging!
6.) Having the school bus stop right outside my bedroom window. The MOUTHS on today's kids!
7.) Stop signs in our complex that no one stops for. I don't know how many times I have had to toss the trash bag that way and dive the other way because some idiot sails through their stop sign as I am trying to reach the
8.) Not being able to drive any more. I was in a car accident eleven days after 9/11. Okay, technically I can still drive during the day...can't drive with the oncoming headlights at night, but by the time I endured all the surgeries, four years passed before they cleared me enough to day-drive. I haven't driven at all since the accident...and that's both scary and sad.
I miss the independence of driving. One day, when I am a rich and famous author, I will hire a
chauffeur to take us everywhere and then
thumb my nose at para transit and out sourced medical transportation.
9.) And speaking of OUTSOURCING...How many Bobs do you know who sound like their real name is Raji and then get upset with you for not understanding a word they say no matter how many times they say it or how slowly they repeat themselves?
10.) Migraine headaches. I bring that up because I've got one coming on like gangbusters right now, so I'm going to have to take a break. It's bad when your hair hurts.
I'll be back for the next set as soon as I can look at you without having to squint against the pain of the light from the computer screen. Now all I have to do is find my bottle of
fiorinol. Here little bottle...where are you hiding? Come to Mama.
How's your head Mom?
Still attached, I think. I haven't bothered looking in the mirror. Afraid of what I'll see, but at least my hair doesn't hurt, and my right temple stopped bulging.
I guess we can get back to work then.
So much for my medical leave of absence. Don't suppose I can claim my ingrown toe nail as reason to call 911 and head for the ER? Think they'd admit me into the hospital long enough to Leap into March and avoid more
tooting about me?
No Mom, I don't, and besides I've hidden all our phones just in case you came up with such a
So let's get back to business.
Somebody's got to reign you in.
Might as well be me.
What are the ten things you are most dreading in the months to come?
I'm assuming you're asking this because of the stream of
colorful words I screamed when I cut my head on the wall shelf while disassembling the plastic shelves I had my computer stuff on last week? What's a little gash and some blood, right? Not to mention a mild concussion. Man though, that hurt. Hmmm. Do you think that's what brought on the migraine?
Okay, Okay, I'll stop procrastinating.
1.) Packing! We've lived here for twenty-one years, and when we weren't looking, we accumulated a whole boat load of dung. Now I must wade through it and de-dung us.
2.) Visiting our neighborhood vampires.
Yep, we have vampires. I have baby veins, and even when they use the
butterfly needles, they miss them and I end up with both my arms covered in bruises and all so they can get maybe a total of five drops of my precious and RARE AB+ blood.
I only JUST had blood work done last month, but of course they didn't test for rheumatoid arthritis, so I must venture back to the incompetent nest of vipers and willingly let them aerate all my veins...again.
3.) The long and winding road between here and Alabama. I'm technically allowed to drive during the day, but not since the car accident eleven days after 9/11 have I tested my driving skills.
I used to drive between here and Washington, D.C. a lot when you and your brother were little. The Beltway scared the bejeeburs out of me then...NOW?
I wish I could do a Burt from SOAP, snap my fingers and REALLY disappear, reappearing in Alabama with all our belongings magically carpet riding in behind us. Somehow I don't think that's likely to happen.
4.) Cancelling everything, like our Netflix, my automatic rent payment here and my renter's insurance premium.
I hate talking on the phone, but I'm going to be doing a whole lot of that in the weeks and months to come.
5.) Traveling that distance with the kitties. They are going to be SOOOO mad at us.
This is the only home either of them have known, and they like their well ferreted hidey-holes. Let's face it, neither of them enjoys car trips. They'd hate bus or plane trips even more.
We are going to be on their shit-lists for a long time to come.
6.) Leaving our Primary Doctor. It takes a long time to find someone you can trust with your ailing bodies, and warped psyche's. I'll miss Dr. F.
7.) Leaving the people we ARE close with. Admittedly there aren't that many we allowed into our worlds. Actually Winnie and Claire are the only ones I really think I'll miss. We have a lot of acquaintances we're friendly with, but Winnie and Claire...they're more.
8.) Finding out my body really doesn't like me as I grow older.
I used to have such a cute, petite little body, even after giving birth a few times...but then all of a sudden decrepitness set in.
It's truly ignobling to wake up one morning and discover your blonde hair is coming in WHITE, and your knees make these strange popping sounds all of a sudden.
I won't bother to tell you what it's like to have to pry my boobs away from kissing those knees. Gravity is NOT my friend!
9.) Housework. Over the years I've discovered I don't HATE housework. I'm ALLERGIC to it...That's my explanation and I'm sticking to it!
10.) My dwindling bank balance each month as I pay bills. It was so much easier on my psyche when I was little and my parents had to deal with these diminishing numbers. Of course I didn't realize back then how lucky I was not being an adult...Maturity sucks!
Let's close this posting out with the ten things you are most looking forward to.
1.) The move. It'll be like starting over with no baggage from this area.
2.) The companionship you and I will have down there that we've never had anywhere before.
3.) Being surrounded by people who understand what it means to be who we are and what we do. Most people do not understand
authors...they think we spend hours "PLAYING" on the computer. They devalue the energy, research time, creativity, and angst we put into creating the manuscripts we write. They do not give credence to the hours we spend doing stuff like this...promoting ourselves, our books, our worlds.
In Alabama we will always have that understanding right there.
4.) The support for us both and for them since all of us have health issues. We cannot continue to do this alone, nor can they. Together we will give compassion, comprehension, and camaraderie and receive it back.
5.) More possibilities in Alabama to take time and smell the roses.
6.) Peace. Without the baggage left here, pure, soul soothing peace.
7.) Picking up a southern drawl. I've never sounded like what people assume New Jerseyites sound like, but I am looking forward to picking up on southern speak.
If Vivian Leigh from England could do it to play Scarlett O'Hara, surely I can too.
8.) Dr. Who. Our friends in Alabama are addicted to this Time Travel show and have promised to get us just as addicted.
9.) Learning how to update my Commodore 64 computer expertise by having someone who knows what she's doing showing me everything I need to learn.
10.) Sharing our doll making process. You and I turn factory Barbies into designer One of a Kind Barbie Mermaids and other One of A Kind designer dolls.
All of these things, plus the one thing I know with all my heart will happen once we've moved...I will see your beautiful smile, Kat as you blossom away from the baggage here in the north.
Me too, Mom. Me too.
I want to thank you L.J. Holmes, my very prolific Mom for spending February with my readers. As always you've made it fun and relatively painless.
For those that want to read some of my mom's free short stories, check out L.J. HOLMES' BLOG
Till next time...Thanks Again.