Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Home Away From Home

Image By: Warm Whispers

May, 1991

Dear MaryJanes,

You and I have been on our own as I have been working at my sister & brother-in-law's campground. Your father has not once taken the 45 minute drive up here to visit with you and it breaks my heart to know that you must feel something about it, yet you don't express anything to me. I think you might be wise beyond your years. This is a trait my sister has as well. Some times it seems like you are more like my sister than myself. Oddly enough her daughter. Jenny is more like me. It's as if we are each raising our sisters. You are happy here and Kim and Roy include you in allot of their family outings and make you and I both feel integrated into their family. Roy shows you how to drive the truck when you go out on garbage runs with him. Something he does with all of his nieces and nephews. I think you might be their favorite! I love being here with them and we all work hard. You help out in so many ways. You run messages, help bag up candy orders and are actually quite good at math and giving change. I like that you are learning skills that you will need in everyday life. You spend allot of time tagging along with your older cousins and they include you like some one their own age. You seem to enjoy older kids rather than those your own age. Kim and I help each other keep an eye on each others kids and so you always have an extra set of parents watching over you.
Kim and Roy gave Jenny a beautiful quarter horse and she will be showing him in the local fairs. Since I was raised with horses, I hope to spark an interest in you as well. I hope you are doing as well as you appear to be doing.

I am so proud of you.

Now stick around.
Love, Galoshes

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

What Have I Accomplished?


April, 1990

Dear MaryJanes,

I am 28 years old today and I look back and wonder where my life has gone. You are my meaning in life, but some day you will grow up and ask me what is the meaning of life and I can't say for sure that I will know how to answer. It often seems that I am just going along the motions and trying my hardest to make everyone else happy and I just want some solid ground to stand on myself. I put on a good smile and make everyone around me get the impression that everything is honkie-dorrie, when in truth, life is hard. Twenty eight years old and soon to be thirty. Other than giving birth to you and making sure that I do my best to raise you, what else have I achieved in life other than trying to help your father mature as well as keeping him alive. Some times I feel like I have two children rather than one.

I will tuck this little pity party away in my box of letters to you so that one day when you open them up and read them, you will know that on those days that you felt like the world was getting the better of you, I have been there and thought that.

Now Cheer Up.
Love, Galoshes

Monday, September 13, 2010

Bare Feet & Fancy Shoes

Galoshes fishing, notice the muddy feet!
March 1990

Dear MaryJanes,

You like pretty shoes, in your words, "Momma, I want those fancy shoes" You are attracted to the bright dress shoes with a little bit of a heel. Anytime I go out for some "me time" you notice that I put on higher heels. "Momma, where did you get those shoes?" you will ask. I suppose you notice shoe styles so often because for the most part I am bear footed. I prefer to go without shoes and if you look through the pictures of me, you will notice that I am most always without shoes. There must be some Indian blood in me somewhere along the lines, though my folks say not. Usually once or twice a year I manage to get some kind of foot injury, but this doesn't stop me. It's in my nature to walk with my feet to the earth.
Galoshes with her grandmother
Galoshes and Nephew

Someday when I am an old woman, I suppose you will find me out weeding the garden in my bare feet. You will call out to me, "Hey, mom, look at these fancy shoes I just bought." I will just smile and be content to wash the mud from feet, as they are the best pair of footwear I own.
Galoshes and her lamb

Now one..two buckle your shoes,

Love, Galoshes

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Needing A Push

Image by: sixthandmain

October 1989

Dear MaryJanes,

I want you to try new things, get involved and venture out to find what suits you. I hope when you grow up you can look back and know that I wanted you to experience events in your life that would help you develop a wide range of interests. It's not so much pursuing everything you are exposed to, but rather to pick and choose those things that bring a smile to your face. Things that make you say, " I want to do that again!" There are things I wish I'd had the chance to try but for one reason or another wasn't given the opportunity. I have complied a list of some of the things that I think I would have been good at, if only someone had given me a little push to start.

1: Barrel Racing Horses. { I could have excelled at this}
2: Dirt Bike Racing.
3: Archaeologist.
4: Artist / Drawing.
5: Poet / Story Teller / Song Writer.
6: Go - Go dancer...{I wonder, do they pay you to do this when your clothes stay on?}
7: Dog Training.
I was in 4-H and competed in dog shows and went on to State, but always with toy poodles. My father would not allow us to have any other size of dog. I wanted so badly to have a German Shepard or Collie. I think my life would have taken the direction of police dog trainer or training rescue dogs, had I been able to have a larger dog breed do to work with.
8: Loving Wife and Mother.
I would love to have 1 more child and own a house with the whole white picket fence thing going on. I want to stay home and keep house, bake cookies and just take care of you are your father. If only he wanted life to go in the same direction as me. But he wants to live on the edge and be free of domestic life in any form.
I look over my list and relies that I am an odd duck. No where on my list are normal things like, accountant, secretary, doctor or teacher. And why wasn't I born in the 1800's. no one really wants to stay home and be a house maker anymore, not since the late 60's anyways. I don't know what I will ever "be" when I grow up. I want you to get a better sense of who you are and what you like. I will give you a little push.

I suppose your list will entail things that I might over look to expose you to. I will do my best to give you the opportunities to try new things { what ever I can afford to do that is.} And someday when you are grown, I hope you can look back and say, "I may not pursue all of those things, but I am glad you gave me that push."

Now give it a shot.

Love, Galoshes

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Who We Become

 Galoshes, collecting junk

August 1989

Dear MaryJanes,

Ever since I can remember I have loved digging for treasures. I grew up out in the country on a 5 acre farmet surrounded by woods and fields so exploring was always a favorite past time. I would dig up old cans and stash them away. I loved thinking about how they ended up buried where I was digging and exploring. I would usually end up with some story in my mind of how someone had camped out in the woods while on a hide out from civilization. My imaginary stories were usually so good that I would frighten friends that were along with me. They would sit on edge waiting to hear what happened next. After wards we would have to run home quickly in fear that my stories might actually be true and those hobos were still out there! Nearby there were railroad tracks that traveled along the woods edge, so it was easy to imagine hobos hitching a ride and hiding out in the tall grass. I often dug up old arrow heads and stashed them away in a tin can along with broken bits of dishes and glass pieces. It's funny that those little trinkets of the past captivated my interest far more than any store bought toy.
Some times I would ride my pony out into the woods and just find a soft place to lay in the field and watch the wind blow the trees above. I enjoyed time alone and seemed to enjoy the company of animals more so than people. I never really did fit in anywhere when it came to school peers or groups. I suppose I was more of a natures child than other kids my age. When the other kids wanted to watch TV or stay inside and play dolls, I wanted to go explore.
 Galoshes and her pony

You don't seem to have that nature girl in you. You love to style your dolls hair, sit and read your books and cut and paste art creations. There are times when I wish you would want to go outside and dig in the dirt with me, yet I realize that you will fit in better with your peers just the way you are.
As I got a bit older, I would go and spend most weekends with my Grandma Borge. She never did get her drivers license but that didn't stop her from driving. She would take me out junkin' at the local thrift shops and garage sales. She would heckle the people running the sales to discount their prices for her. I would watch her get bargain after bargain on antique plates and bowls. If we were driving along and she saw a yard sale sign, she would always make an illegal U-turn without hesitation or concern for other drivers. It's a wonder that I ever survived as a passenger in her car. On one occasion as she rounded the corner, the door to her big, white car popped open and I tumbled out. The case of hair rollers that I had in my lap spilled to create a salon landscaped road way. I tumbled and rolled down the road and when I came to a stop my grandmother caught up to me. Without asking if I was ok, she simply said, "Oh, don't tell your mother this happened!" She hurried us back into the car and sped off. I realize now that if she had gotten caught driving without ever going through the proper channels, our junkin' days would have been over. I never did tell my own mom, somethings are best keep secret. I loved those weekend outings with her and I learned allot about vintage items from them. We would return to her house and she would unpack all of her treasures and ask me which of them I wanted. It must have been her influence that led me to like all things old and worn.
Galoshes as a girl

You on the other hand like the big stores and shopping. You seem to be attracted to things that sparkle and shine. School clothes shopping will be done at the retail stores this year rather than at the thrift stores. You defiantly have your own taste in clothes, anything I pick up, you scrunch your nose up at. I am raising the daughter my mother always wanted, a frilly dress kinda girl. It is fun to see your personalty and sense of who you are come though. You walk on side walks and I walk on the grass.

Now don't step on the cracks.

Love, Galoshes

Friday, September 3, 2010

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Blowing Off Steam

October, 1988

Dear MaryJanes,

I feel like a rotating door as your father has asked me to once again get back together and see if we can make it work. He tells me he will do his best to be a better man. My traditional values of marriage make me yield to his request. I want so desperately to believe his words. We now have two VW camper vans and so my own father has asked to purchase one of them. He said he needed one for the nights that his job has union meetings that run late and since he is the union VP, he is obligated to stay till the end. We sell him your fathers van and everyone is happy. My folks had purchased a second house about an hour away and have been fixing it up for their retirement home. The house that my sister, brother and I grew up in is too big for their needs and has since been turned into two living quarters. The three of us will rent and live in the larger part of the house, while a young couple will be renting the other half. Everything goes along well until we decided to visit my folks at their new house. Something was very wrong about them, I could sense trouble in the air from their actions and communication. We made our visit short and left for home. I called my sister to tell her that something just wasn't right with our parents. I told her that trouble was brewing. My instincts proved to be right a couple of days later when my mom stopped in unexpectedly. She looked worried and asked if we could talk. We went into the living room and sat down as she began to speak, " your father has been having an affair with a younger woman." She then told me she confronted him as to why he has been coming home so late and acting so different. Apparently the VW van was the cheap hotel for his short comings. I feel like I was blind sided for selling him that van. I was making his affair easy to get away with. That van's status went from hippie mobile to the love shack for a cheap fling. I am going to divorce him she told me. In a half second I said to her, "I know you won't understand this now, but I am happy for you" I went on to say, "Dad is a controlling man and it makes it hard for you to be able to spend time with your grand kids." "In time" I tell her, "you will see that your life will be fuller and happier on your own." "I am sorry that you hurt right now, but trust me when I tell you I am really happy for you and this new direction your life will take" I explain. My mother looked at me in disbelief. I am sure she must have thought I was insensitive to her loss. Frankly I was ecstatic about the whole situation. Be rid of him I thought, a thought I am sure that the rest of my family thinks for me, regarding your father.
Galoshes and her Mother

It was two days later when there a knock at the door. It was him, that man I privately refer to in many words other than dad. " Am I allowed to come in?" he asks. "Yes" your father responds. Funny, it is his house and he is asking permission to enter, I like this arrangement. I invite him to the living room to sit on one of his chairs that was left behind for us to use. I place myself directly a crossed from him on the couch, his couch. and then I blow off steam...26 years of bent up steam. I let him have it like I have never let anyone have it before. I start with telling him how low he has stooped and that if he given my mother anything health wise that she would need to worry about he would have hell to pay. He tells me that this is none of my business. I tell him that all of my life I have played the role of the good girl, always being silly and acting goofy to break the tension of the house. I have kept my mouth shut and let him insult me, call me stupid, tell me that, "only someone with half of a brain would do something that stupid." And now it was my turn, he stands up and says he does not have to take this. I stand up and yell, "Sit down, I am not done telling you how I feel about you yet!" He sits down, he actually sits down. Who's the stupid one now, I wonder? Oh my goodness, letting this steam go is better than a pound of chocolate. I never spoke back to him or gave him lip. I held it all in and now I switched the pressure gauge valve. I have nothing to loose, he can not use my mother as collateral and I do not need to worry about stepping on any egg shells. I have turned a page to a new chapter of my life. As he leaves and walks out the door, it suddenly occurs to me that he is a mean, shallow stupid, little man. He will not have an influence on your life and I feel really good about that.
"The Good Girls"
From left to right, Galoshes, Sister, Mother

The following week, our family is all reunited back to the family house. Discussions are made about the division of property. My father is being a jerk and I say to him, "I despise you!" He turns to me and as if with no feelings at all and says, "Lisa, I have lived 26 years without you in my life, I can easily live the remainder of my life without you."

And so he will, good reddens to him.
The tune Ding dong the witch is dead plays in my head as I write this.

And so some day, I will let you read this letter, so that you will know what happened to that man that got so mad at you when you accidentally touched him with the frozen fish that we had put in the freezer to show off your first catch. The man that in turn took that fish and rubbed it onto you as punishment for touching him with it. All of this happened as I sat frozen in fear like a 3 year old child myself.
You will be better off without him and I will now heal from his words, well, I hope I heal.

Now know why.

Love, Galoshes