Saturday, May 10, 2014

List #10 - Reminders

May 11th is Mother's Day.  Days like this are difficult since I live so far away.  They are difficult for me; they are difficult for my loved ones.  My blog today will look at the little reminders that I carry with me about my mother.  Most of us have random things that we see or hear during our day to day lives that remind us of a loved one.  Here are a few of mine that are all about Georganne :)

  1. Fried shrimp:  This is my mom's favorite, but neither of her children like it.  She'd try and try to get us to like it.  But, we didn't.  One time, my brother even tried to shove the fried shrimp under the door to the room the dog was in.  The dog didn't eat it either.  We were busted for wasting perfectly good food.  My mother gave up and stopped cooking fried shrimp.  She sacrificed her favorite meal for her kids' happiness.  That's my mom!
  2. M.A.S.H.:  Georganne loved this show.  I was too young to really remember watching many episodes, but I remember her watching them.  I especially remember her sitting in the middle of the living room floor folding clothes and watching the final episode.  She sobbed into a towel.  
  3. Homecoming Queens:  My mother was the Homecoming Queen at R.E. Lee High School in Baytown, Texas.  I used to look at pictures of her in her old yearbooks and think she was so pretty :)
  4. Geraniums:  I don't remember my mother being much of a "green thumb", but it always seemed like no matter where we lived, she had a red geranium plant that bloomed pretty well.
  5. Parades:  My mom taught baton twirling, and her Baytown School of Baton were in every local parade.  I thought we were something special.  My mom can still pick up a baton and twirl some impressive tricks.
  6. Cartwheels:  My mother is a retired elementary school teacher.  I have so much respect for her as a teacher; she truly was born to teach little kids.  She's crazy, and the kids love her.  She had a soft spot for the struggling students.  She was great.  One memorable promise she made her kids was this - if they all scored 100% on their spelling test, she would do a cartwheel.  She did this even after turning 60.  Can you imagine how excited those kids were to see their teacher flopping over on the playground?!
  7. Luv Ya Blue and Clutch City:  Georganne loves her sports.  She watches them all: football, baseball, basketball, tennis, The Olympics, even the occasional soccer or boxing match.  College and professional (as seen by the picture she sent me yesterday about NFL draft day).  We had "Luv Ya Blue" posters on our mantle in the living room, and she had "Clutch City" signs in the her car window for a couple of years.
  8. Astros Opening Day:  We had a tradition running for several years - Mom and I would go to Opening Day for the Astros.  We were even on the big screen the last year in the Astrodome!
  9. Baskin Robbins:  When I was a kid, my birthday cake was a chocolate roll with mint chocolate chip ice cream from Baskin Robbins.  A few times as an adult, Mom bought the same cake for my birthday.
  10. Wheat Thins and Orange Slices:  My mom snacks all day long.  Throughout the years, Wheat Thins have been the favorite.  A close second is those orange rubbery jelly like slices that are covered in sugar.  These were her favorite road trippin' snack.  On the way to my grandparents' house, she'd stop, get gas, go to the bathroom, and buy orange slices.
  11. Billy Ocean:  Georganne loves to dance, and Billy Ocean was a favorite during the '80's.  She'd turn up Billy Ocean on my brother's stereo and dance with the vacuum cleaner while cleaning.  I can't hear a Billy Ocean song without envisioning this in detail.  "Hey, hey, you, you, get into my car."
  12. George Strait:  Georganne has loved George even longer than I've loved Jon Bon Jovi.  I'd have Bon Jovi posters up in my room; she had a George Strait poster in her closet.
  13. Motion Sickness:  My brother has a weak stomach, mine is much worse, and my mom's is much, much worse.  Well, I don't know...I think we're both equally bad when it comes to motion sickness.  There are many family stories that involve our motion sickness.  I'll spare you the details.
  14. Snakes:  My mom hates snakes!  Hates them!  Has peed her pants at the zoo because she was so scared at the reptile exhibit.  My nephew and I may be guilty of placing rubber snakes on her pillow or in her bed a time or two.
  15. Christmas Shopping:  I think that many mother/daughter duos do their Christmas shopping together.  My mom and I were a great team.  She's a speed walker; I could barely keep up with her.  We'd almost always have Chick Fil A for lunch and a Great American Cookie Company snack break.  We'd make lists and knock out a lot of gifts in one day.  I miss our Christmas shopping excursions.  
  16. Craziness, silliness, and loads of fun:  Those words sum up my mother.  There isn't a person that she can't talk to.  She is a bundle full of energy even to this day.  She's been called "the crazy grandmother" and "silly ol' Anne" as terms of endearment.  I've been known to lose my patience with her because of these traits.  Now, I cherish them.  I love who she is - craziness, silliness, and all.
  17. Bon Jovi - Georganne took three 8th grade girls and one 7th grader to the Bon Jovi "Slippery When Wet" tour stop in Houston at The Summit.  It.Was.Awesome!  Since that time, we've seen Bon Jovi together two or three other times.  I've been to many other shows without her, but whenever I see an obvious mother/daughter duo at a Bon Jovi concert (and there are many of these), I can't help but smile and think of my mama.  
Happy Mother's Day to my mother - I wouldn't trade her for anyone in the world.  Absence really does make the heart grow fonder, because I love her and appreciate her more today than ever before.  Living on the other side of the world, I value our talks, messages, and visits, and her care packages are the best.
I love you, Georganne!!!

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