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Ann

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About Ann

  1. A Question For Grandma

    I have seven grandchildren; six grandsons and one granddaughter. The six eldest are now teenagers ranging in age from 17 to 13. Our youngest grandson turned 5 this past July. When the six older grandchildren were little, I started calling them all Roy, including our granddaughter. I told them I was doing this in case I became forgetful as I got older and couldn't remember their names. The boys thought it was hilarious that I also called our granddaughter Roy. The fun thing was that when all the grandkids were at the house and playing outside I would just yell Roy and they would all come running, laughing like crazy. I thought of it as something special between us. When our youngest grandson was born he was known as Little Roy. Something else I always did with my grandchildren was to randomly ask them "who loves you". Their answers were always "you do". I realized the other day, after a conversation with my youngest grandson that I haven't asked that question of my teenage grandchildren in a long time. I will have to remedy that. I have never seen myself as a very demonstrative person. I always knew my parents loved me but I don't ever remember hearing the words. Saying "I love you" is not always easy for me. With age comes wisdom and I'm working on that, consciously saying the words especially to those who are important to me. I don't want them to assume like I did, I want them to hear the words and know they are loved. Unfortunately old habits and patterns are difficult to break and my most recent reminder came from Texas. Hubby's cousin Patsy moved back home with her husband, Len. They are two very kind, thoughtful and caring people. Patsy's mother, Aunt Marian, was such a loving, kind, thoughtful woman who loved freely and shared that love with everyone. The first time I visited Aunt Marian and her family as a young bride, I remember feeling so uncomfortable. They were not the cause of my discomfort, it was something within me. You see, Aunt Marian and her family hugged each other just leaving and entering a room. "I love you's" were said like "hello's" and you knew they were genuine. Aunt Marian was always telling someone "you're so special", "you're wonderful", or "you make me so happy". Patsy reminds me of her Mom and has also reminded me that the words are just as important as the actions. The other day Little Roy was riding along with me as I drove to finish my last errand, and as always he talked about everything. The changing colors of the trees, the shapes and colors of the clouds, what his brothers did, how he cracked his Mom's cell phone and was grounded. We were chatting along and I asked him "who loves you". "You do" was his immediate reply. He then started talking about how he won't be going to kindergarten because he doesn't like school and his next question was "Grandma, will you love me when I get big"? "Of course I will" I told him, "just like I love your older cousins". "Will you love me when I get older" I asked him. "Grandma, you're already old" he calmly told me. "Yes, I know I'm old but hopefully I'll get older. If my hair turns white and I get wrinkles (luckily he let that go by), will you love me then" I asked him. "Yep" was his short and sweet answer. He changed the subject to where we were going next and we talked about that; one question leading to ten more. "Will you love me forever, Grandma" he asked out of the blue. "Yes I will" I told him. "Forever is a long time Grandma" he reminded me. "Yes, I know. That's exactly how long I'll love you". Three little words, so very important to say. All rights reserved.
  2. Just For Today

    Driving home today I noticed that the leaves are starting to change colors. I actually saw some leaves turning yellow with hints of orange. It seems like just yesterday school was ending for the summer. Now it’s August and time to think about going back to school in a few short weeks. Seeing back to school commercials on the television I mentioned to Grandson #7 that he'd being going back to school soon. "I'm not going to school" he told me and the look on his face spoke volumes. I just laughed thinking that will be Mom's battle when the time comes. July was a month of heat, humidity and celebrations. Sister #5 hosted a 4th of July picnic, we attended a nephew’s wedding, and our youngest grandson turned 5. "A whole hand" as his older cousin once said. I hosted our monthly sister meeting which was rather low keyed. There were no games or disagreements, just conversation and being together. I did try a new recipe, BLT pasta, which was good but nothing that would tempt me to make again. No garden was planted this year as hubby wasn't feeling it. He said it was good to give the ground a rest. I told him that excuse worked for me. However, our daughter-in-law discovered tomato plants growing among the weeds in hubby's raised beds so she got busy pulling weeds. It was a pleasant surprise to find several nice cherry tomato plants growing from last year's tomatoes. A little gardenner helped her with the weeding. I asked him about the winter boots he was wearing. "Grandma, the snakes can't bite me when I wear my boots". When we bought our home in 1981 my Dad gave me a cutting from a wild rose bush that he let grow beside a shed. The words "let grow" are important because Dad was not a flowery kind of guy but for some reason he liked that rose bush. Hubby planted it for me and it took root and grew. It has always been a tempermental rose bush, blooming like crazy some years, not flowering other times or only sharing a few roses. Last Autumn, my youngest sister decided to sell the family home and she told me to take Mom's rose bush which was planted in the front yard. Last summer Mom's rose was a cream colored flower with a salmon color around the tips of the petals. In years past, when the petals would drop after blooming, a few weeks later, another rose would bloom. It wasn't always the same color, it might be a solid cream or a solid salmon color. This didn't happen every year but when it did it was special. Again, Hubby planted Mom's rose bush for me next to Dad's rose bush. "I can't guarantee this will take root" he told me and I told him not to worry, it would grow if it was meant to grow. Well, I'm happy to say Mom's rose bloomed this summer, just once, and Dad's wild rose bush was full of roses. It was kind of nice seeing them bloom together. August began with expectations of Hubby's surgery on the 7th to correct a very painful large tear in his shoulder. The insurance company, however, decided that it wasn't medically necessary and up until the evening before his scheduled surgery I was discussing the matter with "advocates" at the insurance company. To say it was frustrating is an understatement. I realized it wasn't the advocate's fault but knowing the conversation was recorded for review I politely stated that it wasn't as if Hubby decided he had nothing better to do on the 7th so lets have someone cut into his shoulder. I also pointed out that we pay for Medicare and the Medicare Advantage plan we have yet a "for profit entity" is determining what services we can or can not have. His surgery was cancelled. I was very frustrated and angry and I held on to those feelings much longer than I should have. My bad but typical for me. While driving home from the store this afternoon the phrase "just for today" popped into my head. I thought about that as I drove, wondering where it came from. Thinking about it for a while, I realized I wasn't remembering the important moments. Mom and Dad's roses blooming. The little gardener pulling weeds to help his Mom find the tomato plants. The beautiful, sunny summer days full of bird song. The music the trees make as the summer breezes blow through their leaves. The beauty of a clear, brilliant, blue summer sky; a beautiful canvas for the cotton candy like white clouds as they slowly drift along. The sound of thunder as it rumbles across the hills surrounding our home during a summer storm. Joining together with family to celebrate life's moments. Visiting with Hubby's cousin Patsy and listening to the music they created, he on his guitar and she on her ukulele. The sound of their voices blending so wonderfully as they sang together while we sat together on her porch on a warm summer evening. The fact that each morning I wake up is a gift, to be enjoyed and cherished. Someone was reminding me that I needed to take a look at what I was allowing to be important in my world. I have said before that I tend to hold onto stuff when I should be letting it go. I work daily on changing how I react to things and not let myself go into the land of "what if". Sometimes I win and sometimes that bitch, anxiety, wins. I constantly remind myself to believe that what is meant to be is what will happen. Fretting and over thinking won't stop anything from happening. Three little words. Just for today, I will treasure each moment, great or small. Just for today I will let go of all that belongs to yesterday. Just for today, I won't worry about what tomorrow might bring. Every morning I'll try to remind myself to think "just for today". All rights reserved. I hope you enjoyed my story but please remember it's my story so no using or copying any content in any manner without the express written permission of the owner....me.
  3. Can You Believe?

    Have you ever had the feeling you weren't alone when you were the only one in the room? Have you ever thought you heard someone call your name when there wasn't anyone there but you? Have you ever known something was going to happen before it happened? Do you believe there is more than what you can see, hear, touch, taste or smell? I'll admit to all of the above and then some. Intuition, sixth sense, call it what you will, I believe there are some who are blessed with abilities we can't understand. I also believe each of us has some ability to tap into that area of the unknown, especially when needed. I'll often get the feeling someone's there and the feeling usually starts with chills. I'll look behind me thinking it's Hubby or the cat but nope, no one's there, that I can see. Just the feeling there's someone there. I still remember the time I woke up screaming because someone grabbed my shoulder and shook it until I was awake. It was definitely a hand and I felt it even after I was awake. My banshee scream had Hubby up and ready for battle but there was no one to fight. In case you're thinking it was just Hubby reaching out in his sleep, he was facing away from me and I was curled up to his back. That scared the shit out of him, and definitely me, but he told me I was probably dreaming. He was able to go right back to sleep but I lay there wondering who it was that was trying to get my attention and why. I even got out of bed to check on our eldest son who was a baby at that time. This incident happened when we were living in the old farm house where Hubby grew up. I used to hear someone call my name. The kids would be napping, no television or radio on, just me and my book and I'd hear her call me by name. Now, at that time, in the late 1970's, there was a local well-known psychic who had a weekly radio show. Looking back it was funny how I never had any trouble getting through to him each and every time I called in to the radio station. I also remember how he'd be spot on in what he told me. When I asked him about the lady I'd hear calling my name he told me I already knew who it was, just answer her and ask her what she wants. He was correct. I knew it was my Grandmother but my mind said that couldn't be possible, she had been dead for years. By the time I was ready to answer her she stopped calling out to me. I knew the day my Dad was going to die because I “saw” something that morning. I drove my mother nuts because I kept calling her by telephone all day asking how Dad was feeling and every time she told me Dad was having a good day and feeling much better. Until he died that afternoon. I was sitting beside my mother-in-law's bed at the moment she died and saw her look up as if someone entered the room. I felt it too, a slight movement of air and also looked up to see who it was. There was no one there; she was the only one who could see whoever it was that came to show her the way home. My brother-in-law shared that experience with me. What I'm about to share now is the absolute truth. It happened, I don't understand how or why, because it was just that one time but it did happen. I was 16 at the time. My sister Andrea, who was 13, was living in New Jersey with Mom's sister and her family. It was early evening and we were gathered in the living room watching a show on the television which was on a stand in the corner next to a window. Something drew my attention towards the window and I saw my sister Andrea's face and she was crying. I immediately knew something was wrong. A few minutes later the telephone rang and it was Mom's sister calling to let Mom know that Andrea had run away and that the Police had been contacted and were searching for her. That was the beginning of a very strange night full of worry, fear and confusion. Throughout the evening and early morning hours I "saw" things like tree lined streets, houses, lamp lit streets with businesses closed for the night. I saw the rain soaked sidewalks and felt the moist, chill air. I "heard" the sounds of passing vehicles. I felt so afraid and had no understanding of what was happening. At one point in the early morning hours I had to use the bathroom. As I pushed open the door to enter the darkened bathroom I was overcome by such a sense of fear. I "heard" music playing; tinny, old-fashioned music, the sound of people talking and laughing, I smelled the odor of cigarette smoke and alcohol, heard the clinking of glasses. I could not bring myself to go into the bathroom so I backed out into the kitchen and slowly closed the door. I "saw" a building with colored lights in the windows and a sign with the word Tin flashing. Mom was talking to Aunt Dell at that time and I knew I finally had to tell Mom what had been happening, everything I was seeing and hearing, even though I doubted she'd believe me. I had no idea what was going on but I felt a sense of urgency so I told her everything and she in turn told Aunt Dell. I'm not sure how much later it was, but Aunt Dell called again, this time to tell Mom Andrea had been found. She was outside a Bar and Grill called the Tin Lizzy huddled up against the building wanting to get out of the chilly rain. She'd opened the door to go in to the Bar but was afraid to enter. I knew then that I was feeling what she was feeling when I had tried to go into our bathroom. My sister and I somehow connected with each other in a way that to this day I still don't understand. I don't know if she reached out to me or I to her but I was there with her, sharing what she was going through, seeing and hearing what she did, feeling what she felt. Certainly, through the years, there were times when I had the feeling something was wrong and I'd reach out to her or go see her, but nothing like that particular time. I really wish it had happened again because I've always wondered why I didn't have a clue as to what was happening to her the night she collapsed three years ago. I'm coming to believe the answer is so simple. It wasn't meant to happen again; that was a journey she had to take alone. As I'm writing this I also realize she did reach out one last time; not to let us know she was in trouble, but to let us know she was alright. We were all with her when she was removed from life support but Sister #4 knew she wouldn't go anywhere without her make-up and teeth. Sister #2's daughter put her teeth in and Sister #4's daughter fixed her eyebrows and applied her lipstick. If you knew Andera you would understand. Her hair was always perfectly styled and her make-up just as perfect so it makes sense she wouldn't go anywhere without looking her best. Not even to go to Heaven. Just as my niece finished applying Andrea's lipstick I saw a "shimmer" rise up from my sister and suddenly she looked like she was 30 years old and so beautiful and peaceful. I believe what I saw was my sister's soul leave her body as she took her last breath. This time I wasn't the only one to "see" something. Sister #4 and her daughter also saw this and were taken by surprise not knowing what was happening. "What's that, what's happening" Sister #4 kept repeating. “Can you see that" she asked the others. "I saw it” I told her. No one else saw anything. We were the lucky ones. In that moment I knew what had happened. Andrea had reached out to us one last time and showed us something beautiful, something to remember and hold close, showing us that death isn't the end but the beginning. I write things down, stuff I won't or can't say to someone, ideas, feelings, things that happen in my world. I don't share everything. It's never been easy for me to open up to others, even my own family. I've found the courage to share with you now a few special moments I've experienced, memories I’ll never forget. I will also share my belief that there is more to life than what you can see, hear, touch, smell or taste. You just have to be able to accept it when it happens. And believe. All rights reserved. I hope you enjoyed my story but please remember it's my story so no using or copying any content in any manner without the express written permission of the owner.....me.
  4. The Caregiving Saint

    A prayer this afternoon asking for help and I read this this evening. I’m trying to listen. Thank you.
  5. The Apology

    I'm thinking about closing a blog site I've used, well..... haven't used in a few months, but I wanted to save some prior posts that I feel were good stories. I thought perhaps if I focused my attention here and shared some of my olders stories another problem would solve itself. You see my ideas and words have no problem floating around in my mind, even when I'm sleeping, but when it comes to shaping the ideas and words into a story, poof, everything disappears. It's frustrating. So that's why I'm sharing something I wrote a year or so ago. Hopefully re-reading and editing some of my older stuff will open up the blockage between my brain and fingers. Fingers are crossed. This is a first for me. The first time the last sentence of a story was written before the story itself. The reason is simple. I couldn't forget four words our youngest grandson said. A moment that stayed with me as I've thought about what he said and what those words really meant. Our youngest grandson was spending the day with us and something was quickly very clear when he arrived early that morning. He was starting his day tired. Anyone who has spent time with a tired 3 year-old knows how your day can go. As a seasoned Grandmother now, I readily admit I have much more patience when it comes to the grandchildren than I did when my boys were growing up. It doesn't seem fair, to the kids you are raising at the time, but I guess that's the way life goes. With age you gain wisdom and it's your grandchildren who benefit from your parental growing pains. As I was saying, Grandchild #7 was spending the day with us and Mr. Contrary came with him. Yes, he wanted Lucky Charms for breakfast, nope make that faffles (waffles). Grandma didn't have any faffles how about pancakes. Nope, he wanted meatballs (Spaghettio's with meatballs). Sorry, that's for lunch so you have a choice of Lucky Charms or Lucky Charms. This conversation was overheard by Papa who didn't like the little guy's tone of voice. Lucky Charms it was with a side dish of "don't talk to your Grandmother like that". Our day had started. It's possible the little guy took exception to Papa's interference in our breakfast conversation because after that, hand in hand with Mr. Contrary, the little guy seemed to do anything and everything he could to get Papa's attention, if you know what I mean (wink, wink). It was also at this point Mr. Annoyance joined their little play group. I was in another room when I heard Hubby's raised voice telling the little guy to stop whatever it was he was doing. When I checked it out, the little guy was on the couch with his head under the pillow, and Papa was in his chair watching him. Papa's usual smile was MIA. The phone rings at that moment and it's Mom calling to see how things are going. "I talk to her" the little guy says as he gets off the couch with a look at his Grandfather. Said look told me Papa had told him he had to stay on the couch until Papa said he could get down. The phrase "pissing contest" came to mind as I watched the way he looked at his Grandfather and Hubby's return stare. I hand the phone to the little guy and since he's standing next to me I can hear Mom too. "How are you doing buddy". "I pissed off Papa" he tells her. There's a very brief silence on Mom's end. Mom starts to say something at the same moment our Grandson looks at the phone and pushes the button for speaker. "He's got you on speaker phone" I warn her while trying not to laugh. I can tell by Hubby's facial expression he's not amused. Knowing this boy the way I do I shouldn't have been surprised that he knew how to do that with the speaker button. We have a brief four-way conversation about things and it may have been my imagination but I thought I detected a wee bit of concern in Mom's voice. She and I both know he's tired and a nap is a priority. I've come to realize that's not always a logical excuse for poor behavior as far as most adult males are concerned, however. Maybe it's that men are from Mars, women are from Venus thing, not that I really ever understood that either but it sounds good as excuses go I guess. Anyway, Grandma decided it was time to get the boy settled. He had his meatballs for lunch and while eating we talked about this and that. I knew that he knew what was coming after his lunch. Nap time. Of course, he tried his best delay, distract and annoy tactics but Grandma, as usual, was going to win this one. After lunch it was bathroom time, wash your hands, get another drink and then to the couch. He protested, of course, cried a bit; that cry without real tears just to make noise cry. Within minutes he was fast asleep. "That boy was tired" Hubby told me. "You're right Hon". Two and a half hours later our little guy wakes up. Sitting up, but staying on the couch, he watches his Grandfather who is resting in his chair by the couch. After a few seconds, he climbs off the couch and moves to stand in front of Papa's chair. "I no dick Papa" he tells his Grandfather, standing there and waiting for Papa's response. I watch as Hubby holds his arm out. That's all the encouragement the little guy needs to climb up and snuggle in with Papa. Apology accepted. P.S. His father can explain how he knew that he was or wasn't behaving like a dick. All rights reserved. I hope you enjoyed my story but please remember it's my story so no using or copying any content in any manner without the express written permission of the owner.....me.
  6. This is why proof of residency should be required. I believe 5 years is reasonable.
  7. I’m afraid Willie will be disappointed when it comes to his raccoon “willie” sales but I give him 2 thumbs up for trying.
  8. Yep, big time. Are they so friggin blind they can’t see it?
  9. It doesn’t fit the agenda. What’s the word I’m looking for.....?
  10. Would You If You Could?

    If someone told you that you could go back in time to a day of your choice and change it, would you? I asked one of my sisters that question and she immediately answered "No, I have no regrets". "I'm not talking about regrets" I said, "Is there any one day or incident that you would change if you could"? Her answer remained a firm "no". For me one moment in particular came to mind, a snowy day in January, 1978. "I would have left the laundry soap in the car" I told her. "Regret is a waste of time" she said. I didn't see it that way at the time but Sis was right, I was talking about regret. January, 1978, was a very snowy month and another storm had hit the area two or three days prior to that day so there was still a foot plus of snow on the ground. I was unloading the car after shopping for our second son's first birthday celebration. Maintainence for the apartment complex where we living had still not cleared the sidewalks so I was being careful. All bags were in the house except for the laundry soap. "Leave it" my husband said, "I'll bring it up later". I should have listened. While carrying that single bottle back to the apartment I slipped and fell. I don't know what happened because I didn't feel anything. There was enough snow to cushion my fall and all I was aware of was the loud pop I heard echo through the apartment buildings. Evidently, that was the sound of breaking bones. When I tried to get up I found I couldn't move. I tried a couple of times but I just couldn't move and I didn't know why. Luckily someone saw me fall and my struggle to move and the next thing I know Hubby's kneeling by me telling me not to move. My ankle was shattered and the two bones above the ankle were broke. I can still see the faces of my two little boys watching from the bedroom window as I was loaded into the ambulance. Their tears broke my heart. In the operating room they told me my toes were where my heel should have been. I was in a cast up to my hip from January until July and then a cast from the knee down until September. That was nothing compared to the fact that I missed my son's first birthday. To add further insult to injury, two weeks prior to the accident I had interviewed for a position as a nurse at the Elmira Psych Center. The call that the position was mine came while I was in the hospital so I had to decline the offer. Thinking about the four surgeries, bone grafts, many, many casts and knowing I have not had a pain free day in 40 years because of that accident I was positive. "Yep, the laundry soap would have stayed in the car that day", that's the moment I would have changed. But then I started thinking about how my life and that of my family's might have been different if I changed that moment all those years ago. Working at the Psych Center meant I wouldn't have taken the various jobs through the years working with several different lawyers, which in turn eventually led me to my last position as a Court Clerk. I would have met and worked with different people. I wouldn't have met my youngest son's wife who also worked at the same municipality. If I hadn't met her my son wouldn't have either and we wouldn't have the two wonderful grandchildren they gave us including our only granddaughter. So many little things that would have changed that I couldn't even realize or the effects those changes would cause. If I had been able to accept that position at the Psych Center I believe that eventually the home we bought would have been a different home. Our boys would have grown up in a different neighborhood, met different friends, probably worked at different jobs. It's also possible my other sons may not have met the wonderful women they would eventually marry. So many things probably would have changed, some minor but some could have been major and definitely life altering, possibly not at all positive. Changes that could have been much worse than a few broken bones. The difficulties we have dealt with through the years resulting from that snowy January day have made us the family we are now. My sons grew up seeing their father cooking, cleaning, doing dishes and laundry every time I was recovering from another surgery or was in a cast. He has always been and continues to be my helpmate. To this day he's always concerned about me falling. I'd like to believe that in some small way my sons are the caring, loving, hands on husbands and fathers they are because of the example set by their Dad through the years. I will admit to having many "why me" moments through the years and will probably have more of them in the years to come. I try to keep to myself during those moments because I will admit to sometimes being a bit irritable. Hubby always knows when I'm having a bad day. On the plus side I always know when it's going to rain or snow and that can come in handy. I have often joked that in a past life I was a very mean, unpleasant diva ballet dancer who is paying for her actions in this lifetime. Was that day just a random accident or did things happen exactly the way they were supposed to happen? A long time ago someone once told me that everything happens for a reason and I've come to believe that is true. I was wrong when I told my sister I wasn't talking about regrets because that's exactly what I was feeling. Regret for a choice I made on that long ago day and the consequences of that decision. I will admit Sis had more wisdon than I did at that time. Regrets are a waste of time and I now try not to let that emotion into my life. Despite the daily aching joints and difficulty walking most days, I wouldn't change that day or any other. All those days, moments and choices through the years have led me to where and who I am right this moment. It may not be a perfect life but it has been and continues to be a good life shared with those I love most. If offered the opportunity to go back in time and change any one day or moment of my choice my answer would also be a firm "no thank you". Have you ever had one of those moments? What would you do? All rights reserved.
  11. Maybe it’s time to change the “Welcome to Elmira” sign. Home of see nothing, say nothing, hear nothing.
  12. You've A Gift Within

    I remember this episode, one of my favorites.
  13. The Lottery Ticket

    Prior to retiring my co-worker for nine years was one of my sisters. It made for interesting and sometimes frustrating work days for both of us because we are definitely two different personality types. Sister #4 is direct and to the point. She doesn't waste time or energy on anything she has no control over. If you piss her off you will know it immediately but once she's said her piece it's over. She has a wicked sense of humor and an exceptionally quick wit. I speak from first hand experience about her wicked sense of humor. This is a story I shared a couple of years ago and thought I'd share again, especially since I figured enough time had passed that I could get even for what she did to me. What she did to me: "I stopped at the Dandy on my way to work and saw they had a new scratch off lottery ticket so I picked up one for you" Sis says while handing me the lottery ticket and a banana. "Well thank you" I tell her as I get out the two winning scratch off tickets I had picked up the night before. I won a whopping $9.00 which is big for me because I don't usually win anything. I think she was able to get me because of the banana. I mean when someone is thoughtful enough to bring you a scratch off lottery ticket and a banana why would you expect them to pull a mean trick on you. "Well good, maybe you'll be lucky on the one I got for you too" my loving sister tells me. I set her ticket aside on my desk and started working on some files. Sis takes my winning tickets to look for numbers and letters because, according to her, that usually tells you the value of your winning prize. "Aren't you going to scratch off your numbers" Sis casually asks. That should have sent off warning bells but like I said, I'm gullible, so I reached for the ticket she gave me. Reading the front of her so thoughtful ticket it said to match three of the same dollar amounts and you win that amount. Starting at the first spot, I scratch and reveal a $10,000 winner. I scratch the second spot and it's a $5,000 winner. The third spot revealed another $10,000 winner. At this point my excitement is rising and I'm bouncing a bit in my seat. The fourth spot was a $100.00 winner, the fifth spot was a $1,000 winner and the last spot revealed a $10,000 winner. Hot damn, I matched three $10,000 prizes. I'm stunned and then my heart starts pounding and my hands are beginning to shake. I stare at the ticket not believing I matched the $10,000 three times. I keep counting to make sure that there are really three $10,000 symbols showing and I'm not seeing things. At this point I'm now rocking back and forth in my chair while muttering something like "oh my god" over and over. "We won $10,000" I tell my co-worker/sister. My voice is trembling and my eyes are filling with tears of joy. Again, I should have picked up on her lack of enthusiasm but I was too enraptured by the thought of winning $10,000. Evidently my face got very red as a result of my absolute joy about winning because Sis quietly tells me to read the back of the ticket. I turn it over and see the usual spot where you fill in your name and address, blah, blah, blah. "Read the small print" she tells me. So I glance at the back of the ticket again. "Yeah, I'll put both our names down when I fill it out" I tell her, a huge grin plastered on my face. "No", she says, "You need to read the small print". I hand the ticket back to her. I'm simply too excited about winning $10,000 to worry about little details like fine print. I don't care what it says, let me sign our names and collect our winnings....$10,000. I was going to share my winnings with her. She starts reading the fine print to me but I'm only listening with half an ear. All I'm thinking is I WON $10,000. When she reads the part about claiming more than $100.00 you have to go to Fairy Dust Lane, I ask her to repeat that and she finally cracks up laughing. Mind you, she never cracked a smile as I was getting more and more excited while scratching off my ticket. It finally sinks in what she did and to say I was not amused is putting it mildly. I wanted to share with her alright but what I wanted to share at that point wasn't a good idea because of that workplace violence issue. She did admit later, when I had cooled off a bit, that she felt bad when she saw the excitement in my face. To admit to feeling bad for the prank she pulled on me was unusual for her. I mean she never expressed any remorse over the time she fed Sister #3 a dog shit cookie. My imaginative vocabulary has made my husband blush on the very rare occasions something upset me and I expressed it verbally. I won't repeat what I said to her. Eventually, however, I saw the humor in what she did. It took me a while, and though I felt my dashed hopes blowing away like dust in the wind I could see and appreciate the humor in what she did. I didn't forget, I simply filed it away waiting for my opportunity to get even. However, being the sisters that we are, we decided to prank someone else and crush their dreams of being a big lottery winner. I mean misery does love company after all. I "dropped" the ticket on the floor by the employee entrance making sure the winning dollar amounts were facing up. Someone did pick up the ticket but who ever it was never said anything to anyone. I hope they read the small print on the back before trying to claim their prize. Present day payback time: Sister #4 celebrated her 60th birthday at the end of March. I picked out a sentimental card with heartfelt words expressing how much she means to me and the joy I feel in having her as a sister. I purchased several scratch off lottery tickets to place in her card. I also included one fake lottery ticket figuring she'd be so busy scratching tickets she wouldn't notice. She called to thank me for my gift and said she'd probably be busy until August scratching off all the lottery tickets she'd been given for her birthday. "I hope you have some really good winners" I told her. Now, picture the smile on the Grinch's face when he realizes he's going to ruin Whoville's Christmas. That was me as I gleefully thought about getting back at her for what she did to me. I received a telephone call from her a week or two later. "Nice try", she tells me, "I spotted your fake ticket right away". I should have known better. She doesn't have a gullible bone in her body, a slightly twisted sense of humor, yep, but definitely not gullible. No problem though.....patience is my middle name. All rights reserved. I hope you enjoyed my story but please remember it's my story so no using or copying any content in any manner without the express written permission of the owner...me.
  14. Can’t wait to hear more from Whipjibber Mountain.
  15. Barely love, you eat barley.
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