Posted in Conversation Time, Uncategorized

Conversation Time #4

This week’s Question:

What memories do you have of your mother (her name, birth date, birthplace, parents, and so on)?

She’s still alive, so I’m not giving most of that away, either.

My mother is my best friend and always has been. I could never lie to her, she could see straight through me. I learned that pretty early on. It just meant I stopped bothering to try to lie to her. I told her everything and still do. She’s one of the few people in the world I can be honest with and her opinion of me won’t change because of it. I walk around with her face and freak people out (that’s a lot of fun), and we always know exactly what the other is thinking, because we’re pretty close to the same there, too! I’m always surprised when I can do something she doesn’t know how to, and just like Dad lets me talk him into some new form of geekery, Mom lets me talk her into new forms of craftery!

Mom stayed home with us until I was in third grade. She stood at the bus stop with us if she didn’t take us to school, herself. She picked me up from Kindergarten, because it was a half day. When I sent a kid to the hospital for bullying me, she didn’t scream at me! She nodded and let it go! She taught me how to scrub baseboards with a toothbrush for inspections and drove us home to Georgia when we moved back from Louisiana. When she went back to work, she trusted me to be the one with my head screwed on straight. I was the one with the key to the house in my backpack so we could get in after school every day. She taught me to cross stitch when I was eight and to crochet when I was twelve. I taught myself to sew, mostly because I watched her do it for most of my life. She made our clothes and Halloween costumes until work took her time away for that stuff! She crocheted afghans for our beds and was one of the three mom’s in our neighborhood yelling, “Time for Thundercats” while we were on base housing. She would shake her head and let me get away with reducing a chicken leg to scattered shreds of chicken instead of eating it and made me sit at the table for hours until I’d finished my steak. I forced down a fork full of collards and black eyed peas every New Years from birth because she got that “mom look” on her face and I wasn’t going to be the reason we didn’t have money that year!

When I was in High School, she was constantly supporting her overachieving geek of a kid through whatever endeavor she’d thrown herself in. She advocated to get me a better car because I had to be at school so early or so late doing everything from Band to Student Government and life would be easier if I had the means to get myself (and my poor sister) there without waiting for them to get off work or make them late for work taking us. She was at every game, football and basketball, cheering from the sidelines while I did my thing and working her tail off every other minute. She sent me to school with a bucket full of change because the band director told us to “Save our pennies” for a trip to Myrtle Beach that Spring. She could’ve taken it to the bank and exchanged it for paper money, but what fun would that be? It earned her a smirk from Mr. Macleod and then he made me count it all and take it to the bank for a deposit! Everyone loved my mom, too. She was the Band Mom everyone wished was theirs. She was supportive and overlooked silly stuff while still keeping her eye out for stuff we shouldn’t be doing. She was genuinely happy for everyone she adopted as her own, which was almost every member of a 100+ piece marching band. She cheered for them, cried with them, helped them get dressed and french braided their hair (She learned to do that so my hair would stay out of my face while I marched, people!).

In college, it was Mom who did most of my laundry because I fell asleep on the couch waiting for the drier and she didn’t have the heart to wake me up. It was Mom who told me to bring the poor screaming kitten that was under my apartment to her house and she’d take care of it. It was mom who brought a kitten into my apartment to keep me company. It was Mom who sighed with relief when I broke up with my boyfriend and groaned when I started dating another 300 miles away via the internet. It was Mom who was upset when I moved out and didn’t talk to me for a week because it was just too painful that I wasn’t at home where I should be. It was Mom who stocked my cabinets that first month, because “Everyone should have butter and ketchup, Tiffany.”

After college… she knew exactly which wedding dress I would fall in love with the second she laid eyes on it. She planned my wedding and reception and made it look EASY. She was there holding my hand when I signed myself into the hospital for my first C-section, and refusing to let Dad drive as she sped down I16 for the second one, fear for both me and my little Tadpole and tears at not being there earlier streaming from her eyes. When Peanut developed acid reflux and I hadn’t slept in three days? Mom was on the way and stayed with us for a week while I rested and still handled feedings and diapers and, now, medication. After each baby was born, she was there for two full weeks while we settled into life with a newborn! When I broke my ankle, she drove down to drive the girls to school because I couldn’t drive my car and Dana couldn’t be THAT late so often. She’s the one who changed the ice on my ankle after surgery and woke me up for meds. Who else but Mom does that?

Everyone wants their Mom when times get tough, but I can honestly say that I have the mom that EVERYONE wants when times get tough. I have loaned her out quite a few times to people who needed that support in their lives. She’s a great mom, whether she gave birth to you or not!

And now? Now she’s in the SCA, too. Know what? I’m still loaning her out. People still love her. I’m the envy of so many because my mom is the one I can call and don’t even have to ask if I can leave my girls with her while I handle disaster at home (Hurricanes, people. DISASTER!). She’s angry because she can’t help me more. Yeah, you read that right! She says events are different if I’m not around and enjoys them more when I am, even if I’m dragging her around because I can’t sit still. People who live closer have adopted her as theirs, too. So much so that I’m never sure which of the people on her friends list are now my family and which ones are still in the friend zone! And once you’re adopted, she’s got you! You’re screwed thinking you’ll get away with doing stupid stuff like forgetting to eat or not drinking enough water. If you have a baby, you better NOT get anywhere near her without letting her hold it for at least an hour while you go away and do whatever you need to do! She is the perfect grandmother, letting nothing get in between her and time with my monsters, and she accepts their quirky little selves, too.

Because that’s the way she is.

And she’s mine.

And yours.

And yours.

And yeah, yours, too.

But I want her back, got it?

Until next time!

Posted in Conversation Time, Uncategorized

Conversation Time #3

This week’s question:

What memories do you have of your father (his name, birth date, birthplace, parents, and so on)?

He’s still alive, so I’m not giving most of that away. However, I can talk about my Dad all day long. The problem is always, “Where do I start?”

My Dad is a really great man. I’ve always heard that a girl compares every man she meets to her father and it’s absolutely true. He’s not perfect and never claimed to be. He’s not “totes gorg!” but he’s not half bad to look at, either! He’s not a lot of things. What he is, though, is the best Dad in the world.

When I was little, my Dad encouraged every geeky thing I could think of doing. My friends and I wanted to play “Thundercats,” and not only did he approve, he cut a Sword of Omens  out and decorated it for our “Lion-O,” complete with a bike reflector over the eye! I grew up watching old Star Trek reruns enough to know what a Tribble was and why they were trouble and that Klingons would happily spill your guts for smiling at them! I saw every one of the Star Wars movies in a dark setting (no joke! The living room was pitch black the first time I watched A New Hope and Return of the Jedi was in a theater on base!). I was encouraged to explore Madeline Le’Engle after my 5th grade teacher read it to us, and that reintroduced me to The Lord of the Rings, too (the animated movies!). My Dad (Mom, too!) encouraged my reading addiction, fed it, even!

As I got older, my Dad was the one everyone adopted on the Band bus. He was one of four who were always at every game, helping the drum line unload their instruments from the back of the bus and flipping burgers in the concession stand until I was pretty sure Sponge Bob would’ve been jealous of his skill! Everyone loved my Dad! Even more, everyone knew my Dad would be the one who helped them if they needed it. He bought my first car and took me with him to the salvage yard to find missing pieces for it! He’s the one who showed me how to change my tires and oil, even if he never let me actually do it. He is the one who shook his head and laughed when I told him about my exploits in keeping that car running when I drove it to school and home again, too. He never once let me believe he wasn’t proud of me, that his love for me was anything but full blown. Don’t tell him, but I really didn’t hang the big dipper all by myself. I’m pretty sure he thinks I did. Shhhh!

When I got into college, he was the one quietly making sure I got dinner on Sundays when I came over to wash my clothes. He changed the oil and rotated the tires on my new car, and spoiled my cat. He grilled pork chops and made sure there were a few extras, all while I crashed on the couch because I was overworking myself. He bought my first legal drink when I turned 21.

Since college, he’s supported all my crazy hobbies and trusted me when I said, “Dude, you should really try this. You’ll love it.” I’ve never steered him wrong! First was Harry Potter, then the Wheel of Time. Then I talked him into DragonCon and along came JordanCon. Now, it’s the SCA. He tries to put me off, “Tiff I don’t have time to read such a long series!” and “Do you think I have time for that?!” IN the end, he always gives in and he always sighs a few months down the road and tells me I’m right, while cursing me because he’s antsy to get on the next thing involved in this wonderful new thing I’ve drug him into.

In every single case, though, he doesn’t spend much time being “Tiff’s Dad.” Just like High School when everyone loved my Dad, everyone STILL loves my Dad. His identity becomes his own very quickly, because he is naturally charismatic and friendly and will talk to you about whatever you want to talk about for however long you want to talk. You can try drinking him under the table, but I should warn you that I get my tolerance honestly and so does he.

Just in case that wasn’t enough, I have the pleasure of learning new things about him all the time. I am 38 years old and in all that time, I have never once witnessed his PTSD. Don’t think I was ignorant about it,  though. My Dad survived Vietnam. You don’t get through something like that without long lasting scars. I grew up knowing there were conversations you didn’t start with him, movies he couldn’t watch, and actors and actresses who were forever on his crap-list. I heard stories about his reactions to things, though never actually witnessed it. At least, not until recently. I know part of him always thought anyone knowing his suffering would somehow diminish him in my eyes and nothing could be further from the truth. If anything, I love him more for it. I’m not alone, there, either. Witnessing it didn’t lower my opinion, it reinforced why my opinion is so high.

Memories of my Dad? I have many. I’m the lucky one who gets to keep adding to them, too.

Eat your heart out. He’s mine! 😉

~Until next time!

Posted in 2017, About me, Conversation Time

Conversation Time-2

This week’s Question is:

 

When and where were you born? Describe your home, your neighborhood, and the town you grew up in.

 

I’m not exactly going to tell you where I was born, but I will totally tell you about the first place I remember every single detail about… Base Housing in New Orleans. We moved there when I was 4 and moved away when I was 8, so there are some really good memories in there.

First, the building we lived in was one of three apartment style buildings that made up one of the many horseshoes around a circular road. Inside the center of all of those horseshoes was a HUGE playground, the likes of which I wish my kids had access to these days. The buildings had condo-styled apartments, with common spaces downstairs and bedrooms upstairs, and smaller apartments that were just on top or bottom. Ours was a 3 bedroom, 2 and a half bath condo. My sister and I shared a big room on the back side of the building, my brother was in the room next to us, then the Master was on the front side of the building. There was a full bathroom in the hallway outside my parents’ room, and they had a bathroom, too (it might’ve just been a half bath, I honestly don’t remember!). There was another half bath downstairs. We had both a dining room and a breakfast nook, a living room, and foyer on the first floor. There was also a storage shed outside and to the right of the front door, AND, I believe, we were allowed two parking spaces out front (one covered and one not).

In the center of our little horseshoe was a big grassy space that was surrounded by more parking spaces. It was kind of shaped like a mushroom, so that’s what we called it. I spent more time in that grass than I did anywhere else. My best friend lived across the mushroom in the building opposite ours and another friend lived on the end of that same building. We would go out and play every day, school or no, and be outside until Thundercats came on. Then one of our parents would open the door and yell that it was time for our show and we’d all pile into that house for 30 minutes. I don’t know if it was arranged or planned, whose house we were hanging out in that day, but the other parents never had to wonder where we were at that time. We’d be out again when it was done.

The sidewalk fronted all three buildings and connected each horseshoe together, too. One side had steps that adjusted for the height of the buildings from the main street, the other side had a handicapped ramp.

During the year, the Charles Chips truck would come through the neighborhood and deliver the shipments of potato chips and cookies we looked forward to every month. My mom went to Home Interior parties and I vividly remember the stacks of petit fours I would devour while all the kids were packed into a bedroom to play or watch TV during the parties. On base, there was a bowling alley and a movie theater, both of which we frequented. My parents were in a bowling league and we used to go see movies for 50 cents during the summer, too. I saw Return of the Jedi in that that theater; The Last Unicorn, too. We’d go to the BX, which shared the parking lot with the bowling alley and movie theater, stock up on junk food, and go have a picnic in front of the front row where we could stretch out and munch food.

There was a creek across the street that we used to go craw dad fishing in, and we’d feed the craw dads to the fish in the huge tank my dad had in the living room. They were oscars as long as your forearm and they’d scare the crap out of anyone but my dad. Watching big burly guys scream and flinch when those fish came to take food out of your hand was entertaining!

So many memories I have of New Orleans and most of them surrounding that apartment. I hope yours are as happy!

Until next time,

~Tiff

Posted in 2017, About me, Conversation Time

Conversation Time!

 I’m going to post one of these questions every week. They’re from the article I found yesterday, so, no I’m not dreaming them up. You can find the list of them here! 
You can answer this here, in a journal, on Facebook… wherever! If you don’t know the answer, find out! 

This week’s Question: 

What is your full name? Explain why your parents gave you that name.

 

So, let’s see if I can answer this one!

My name is Tiffany Anne. My mother said she decided my name was Tiffany when she laid eyes on me after I was born. She said it just sort of… fit. Anne is also my cousin’s name. Where she found either of them, aside from the obvious, I have no idea!

TIME TO ASK HER!

 

What about you?

Until next time,

~Tiff