“Varicose veins are the result of an improper selection of grandparents.”

Gobbler’s Knob was the place to be this morning when Punxsutawney Phil emerged and didn’t see his shadow. Start packing away those heavy coats, hats and mittens. Spring will be early this year.

Coffee is late for a lot of reasons: I slept late, mirror under the nose late, took my time with the papers and drank my usual two cups of coffee. My calendar is empty for the week so I figure I can dawdle the days away. I’m very good at dawdling.

I live alone with two cats and a dog. When I was a kid, I’d have been labeled the old lady who lives with cats. I’d be wearing house dresses and ratty sweaters, white socks and slippers bent down in the back, and I’d be driving a really old blue or gray sedan under the speed limit, always under the speed limit. The doors in my house would be locked and never opened even in the summer. I’d fix dinner, eat at the table and hand wash my dishes.

My grandmother would have been the poster child for old ladies. She just didn’t have cats, didn’t like any animals. Never in her life did she wear a pair of pants. Her tie shoes were always black. She carried a huge, square faux leather pocketbook, and when she visited, she always kept it right by her side as if we were a house of thieves. She never used kleenex, only handkerchiefs with lace edges. I never saw a dirty dish in her house or a clump of dust in a corner. She was a horrible cook, but we never ate there often. I always thought she didn’t like us all that much.

She lived in a senior housing apartment. My father was a good son who visited her on Saturdays. If I were at my parents for the weekend, he’d try to drag me with him. Once in a while, out of pity, I’d go. My grandmother talked and talked. Sometimes she’d tell us the same thing she had just mentioned a little bit earlier. I’d listen and smile as if I hadn’t heard the story before. My aunt once took her to dinner at a Japanese restaurant where the food is cut and cooked right in front of you. I heard that story at least five times. I smiled every time. I also gritted my teeth.

P.S. We have a new citizen!!


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14 Comments on ““Varicose veins are the result of an improper selection of grandparents.””

  1. olof1 Says:

    I wouldn’t be surprised if the groundhog is right this year, afterr all You haven’t had much of a winter to be honest. Neither have we, just a few weeks. The storm is still blowing and lots of rain falls too, it will turn to below 32F and snow by the morning but after that they say we’ll get sunshine.

    When I think back of old ladies they always had brown well-fitting shoes with laces of course, I doubt that we had anything else than laces back then. They always wore a dress, preferable dark blue with some white pattern, most likely flowers. The alternative to a blue dress would be a brown one 🙂 None of my grandmothers wore that tough, they often wore trousers.

    Both loved animals but I can only remember the one on my fathers side having pets and she had cats, loads of them 🙂 My grandmothers were very different otherwise, one talked always (much like me) and the other one could stay quiet for days 🙂

    Have a great day!


    • katry Says:

      We had that one snow storm, and that’s it. We haven’t even had really cold days, no single digit cold days.

      We must be a backward country because women did not wear trousers. They did wear them working in the factories in World War II but when the men came home, the women went back to dresses and not working.

      Neither set of grandparents had pets. One had 8 kids so I’m guessing a pet would have put her over the top. The other one, the one I wrote about, would never have one.

      Have a great evening!

  2. im6 Says:

    Congratulations to NIcee. Very few Americans would probably pass the test she did.

  3. Richard Says:

    Don’t put too much faith in rodents. Phil’s been wrong before. Seems he’s holding up fine after being dropped by his (ahem) ‘handler’ last year.

    Dawdling is more than a time-waste … it’s a profession; a ‘calling,’ if you will. I’m excellent at it. To dawdle well and skillfully is an art unto its own self.

    No pets for me. Don’t want the upkeep or the expense. Also don’t need to wonder who’ll watch ‘em or where I’ll board ‘em if I want to take a day trip or an overnighter.

    My grandmother was cool. She was also one helluva baker and all-‘round excellent cook from whom I learnt many many things useful in later life. She wore, in the custom of the time, what we called ‘old people clothes’ and ‘old lady shoes.’ I never understood why people would start dressing ‘old’ after they reached a certain age. I still don’t understand that. It’s stupid. Maybe they’re living out some archetypal vision of what they believe ‘old age’ should look like. That, however, is their problem. I’m still into my jeans ’n loafers – and T-shirts.

    My grandmother and her sister (my aunt) both wore similar dress styles and bought the squat-heeled lace-up shoes … usually black, sometimes beige or grey, but always unstylish. I’m still puzzled by that … they could have said ‘no’ to that, but when I remember that all their lady friends dressed the same way, I have to conclude it’s probably a ‘generational’ thing.

    As my Mom got on in years, she began re-telling the stories all of us kids knew by heart from childhood – and which, in some, we played a role. At first I just ignored it. Later, it grew more persistent and more frequent. When the stories began to change, and the actors and outcomes became different from known reality, I became concerned.

    Eventually, I got frustrated, mostly because I didn’t know the cause or the cure. One day I told Mom as she began the re-telling of a story she’d just finished that she’d just told me that story. That, as I learned immediately, was not the thing she wanted to hear. That caused me to rethink my approach to the problem. Since what was happening was obviously a re-routing of neural memory pathways, it seemed to make sense that the key might be to ‘re-shuffle the deck.’ Next time the situation arose, my response was to say ‘Yes, I remember that – and what about the time … ‘ – which sent the neuron search down a whole different set of pathways. The story that followed was still incorrect, but it wasn’t repetitious and Mom’s feelings were intact. That’s really all that mattered.

    Tell your newly-minted American friend congratulations – and thank her for doing it with honor and respect for herself as well as our country.

    • katry Says:

      Phil has been wrong far more than he has been right. This tine, though, I’m hoping it is one of his right times.

      I did nothing today except read a bit, and I consider it a well spent day!

      I can’t imagine not having a pet of one sort or another. I grew up with pets and have always had one, even in Africa.

      To me it was always a generational thing as well. I also think the fashion industry had no middle styles. They had those sleek, lovely dresses then they had the ones with flowers most older women wore.

      Our generation has no old people clothes. We all wear what we want regardless of style. I do have one dress with flowers-it is my special occasion in warm weather dress. I last wore it 5 years ago. At that rate, it will last forever.

      My mother always called us by wrong names when she was angry. She’d blurt out the name of another of us. We’d correct her, and that always made her angrier. She passed away before any memory problems. She was in her late 60’s. We always felt cheated.

      I will pass it along to my now American friend.

  4. Birgit Says:

    Congratulations to Nicee!

    Nazi zombies on TV right now, not the 1943 ones in Louisiana you saw and mentioned on Sunday but 2014 nazi zombies in Norway/Iceland.
    Looks like bloody fun 🙂

    • katry Says:

      I love the description of this film. There is the zombie arm and there are Nazi zombies, all characteristics of really bad films.

      Nicee was thrilled.

  5. Bob Says:

    Congratulations to our newest citizen. She represents that which is best about our country. Maybe Donald Trump should visit Liberty Island and read Emma Lazarus’s poem inscribed in the base of the Statue of Liberty.
    “Give me your tired, your poor,
    Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
    The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
    Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,
    I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”

    Ground hogs don’t leave their dens to look for their shadow but to look for a mate, ie have sex. 🙂

    Punxsutawney Phil only has a 45% accuracy rate predicting a late or early Spring which is about as accurate as flipping a coin. However, February is such a dull month we hold on to anything no matter how silly of a tradition to amuse ourselves and help pass the usually dreary winter. If we didn’t have the Super Bowl and Valentine’s day the entire month would be a wash. Thank goodness it’s a short month.

    Both of my grandmothers fit the same mold of an old woman as your grandmother. When I was a kid they weren’t that old but looked much older by today’s standards. Today there are some very sexy grandmas running around. 🙂 I’m sure being a grandma today is more fun due to the invention of Viagra for grandpa. Some single or widowed grandmas are free to become Cougars. 🙂

    Today we had another warm but windy day with highs in the mid 60s under clear skies. The wind has shifted out of the North and tomorrow should be cooler with a morning low of 35 and a high of 58 degrees.

    • katry Says:

      I totally agree. I often wondered if he had ever read the Lazarus poem on the Statue of Liberty.

      Poor Phil is totally losing out on that experience. There aren’t many possible Ms Phils around for hime to start the dating ritual.

      I thought his percentage of correct years was even less than that. February had a vacation for us when I was a kid so the month was among my favorites.

      The grandmothers back then looked like grandmothers always did on TV and in the movies. Their clothes were ugly but their shoes were uglier. I have a sister and friends who are grandparents and they dress the same as they always have. They look too young to be grandmothers.

      We were in the 50’s today, and it was a nice day. I guess the cold will be back soon so I’ll relish these warmish days. Your tomorrow looks like our last few days and nights. I’m not complaining. This has been a warm winter so far.

  6. Bert Says:

    Not only old ladies dressed to age. I remember the grownups dressing much more severe as to say: Look, I’m an adult to be taken seriously. You could not mistake an adult man for a child and one stopped being a child when starting a job.
    I’m so glad to have nearly missed that, although I must confess that the dresscode in the workplace was pretty stifling too. Once I owned >20 suits, which I never wore again from the time I stopped working. Still, you can find some very fine ones in my dresser because I love the quality. No doubt someone else could make better use of them.

    • katry Says:

      Dresses and skirt were what got packed away by me. I wore dress up clothes every day for most of my 35 years in education. In Ghana at the time, all women wore dresses, and they were beautiful, made from African cloth. Now pants are acceptable. I was a sophomore in college before they allowed women to wear pants on campus.

      I think the culture of the time demanded a certain dress code for men and women in the workplace or even around town. Women wore pants when working in the factories during the war, but when the men came home, women went right back to dresses.

      I think the 60’s had a lot to do with banishing the women must wear pants rule.

      There are groups though I can’t tell you where that give away suits to men so they can have decent clothes for job interviews. I read about it somewhere. That might be a good start if you can find one.

  7. sprite Says:

    Congratulations to Nicee!

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