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Author: Carrie Ranworth

My 50th High School Reunion

I think I’ll go to my 50th high school reunion. I’m only about 35 years old inside of me. So…I’m a few years older on the outside, but….so what! I’m pretty sure everyone will recognize me. I’m still one of the tallest girls in our class. About 5’8”. The 3rd from the left in the back row of every class picture taken throughout our 12 years of school. I always looked like my chin was resting on the top of Barbara’s head. She was the girl in the row in front of me.

I’ve only shrunk 2” since then. One of my classmates and best friends is Joy, and she has shrunken 3 ½”. She was kind of short to begin with. I can now look down onto the top of her head. She has a big ole cowlick up there. As her hair has thinned, it’s more like a circle of sparse hair with a big bald spot in the center. I feel sorry for her. Don’t tell.

I have one, too. But I’m taller. Also, I know how to tease my hair over my cowlick and then spray the heck out of it with my volumizing spray. My mother had 4 girls. She didn’t have time to coddle us so we learned how to beautify ourselves. My friend’s parents hovered over her all 12 years of our primary education! Helicopter parents, I think they call them now. So Joy never had to do her own hair. My hair stays over my cowlick just fine. The only time I have trouble is in a stiff wind. I may end up where I didn’t intend to go.

I’ve never ridden in a helicopter. I’ve always wondered how short a person has to be to avoid getting their heads cut off in those whirling blades. I’ve also wondered why they even have the engines running and the blades whirling? Why don’t they wait ‘till they have the ‘copter loaded? I wonder about a lot of things. Especially now days. Being a child of the ‘50’s is a special treat but we don’t know quite everything.

I know someone who flew in a helicopter. My husband, Jack, who is now deceased, was 8 years old when he was beaten up by his next door neighbor, Johnny. Johnny, the bully. Every neighborhood has one or two. So, Jack ran home crying to his mother. The only problem was, his dad was home, too. (Let’s just say in those days, kids weren’t taken into a room with a miniature pony to play with to sooth their little psyches.) So his dad told Jack that if Jack would go back to Johnny’s and sock him a good one….his dad would take Jack to the airfield for a helicopter ride. Jack went next door, knocked on the door, Johnny’s mom let him in, and Jack went over to Johnny, who was watching TV, and gave him an impressive black eye, then ran home really fast. Jack got his helicopter ride. Trouble in the neighborhood.

Did you notice how old people can fit 6 or 7 topics into one conversation…just about without taking a breath. Old people can. Especially women. It’s like a smorgasbord.

Now, about the reunion. I’ve run out of time. I’ll have to tell you later. My son-in-law, who knows everything (he’s from Kentucky) saw a couple of bore holes in my new fence. I’m told I have to spray insect spray into the holes, let it dry, then fill them in with wood filler. I can do that! Those bees must be huge because the holes are nothing to sneeze at. Which reminds me, I pulled into the garage last night and a black spider the size of my fist ran across the garage floor. I let him run. But I’m going to have to try to find him eventually. I’ll put it off until tomorrow. (See, I told you we could put a bunch of topics into one conversation!)

So long, Bob Seger…I’m Glad I Knew Ye

Have you ever been to a rock concert? Well, my daughter bought tickets to Bob Seger’s Final Tour Concert at the Banker’s Life Fieldhouse in Indianapolis recently. I was invited! I was so excited!! I’ve only been to a Neil Diamond concert and that was probably 30 plus years ago. My daughter and I used to clean house together to their music…so we were used to be-bopping together with dust clothes in our hands to their music.

I like Neil’s music, but he’s no Bob. Neil is like a small vanilla sundae with 1 tsp. of chocolate sauce. Bob is like a large hot fudge Sundae with a double scoop of really hot fudge with whipped cream and cherry on top. Don’tcha love it when you get to the bottom and there’s still some hot fudge down there! Ambrosia!!

Well, anyway, I live 2 ½ hours from my daughter and Indy so I carefully planned my trip so I wouldn’t hit much shop traffic, even though it was Saturday. (I’m an older lady, remember). My daughter gave me strict instructions to avoid the construction on I-70W at the OH-Indy border because it was down to one lane. She says, “Mom, just get off on Rte 40 when the time comes and you’ll be fine.” OK, I can do that.

Sure enough, after about 40 minutes on 70W, I saw a sign that said “You can choose an alternate route if you wish.” Well, it wasn’t worded like that, exactly, but that’s the tone I read. So I thought, well fine, I’ll decide which one I want. I passed the Chester Blvd area, which I know well, but thought I had maybe, better choices so I went on. After a little while, I went up a hill, around a curve and ran into the biggest, longest line of cars, trucks, vans, SUVs, jeeps, Travel trailers, motorcycles, busses, you get the drift.

So I joined them. (What choice did I have now!) I stayed in that line and inched forward for about 45 minutes. Sometimes, we didn’t even inch…we just sat. I was between 2 nice semi’s. I say nice because the one in the front had lots of writing on the back (besides “wash me” written in the dust) so I had something to read. The driver of the truck in the back inched his truck over to straddle the center line so jerks in cars couldn’t zoom past. I pretended he was my protector and hero. (I felt like when I lived on Camp Pendleton back in the day…and had all those Marines to protect us.) I felt like we were in a traffic battle here. I just have to cheer when truckers take responsibility to stop jerks from acting on their jerkiness, don’t you? (unless you are the jerk!)

Well, it was a beaut of a day…with wispy clouds in the sky, forming different pictures. I saw 2 hands, a small dog with one ear, a buffalo head, and a python with one eye. I also watched a farmer harvest an entire bean field. Thank the Lord we’ll have beans this winter! I was beginning to wonder, with the wet spring we had. We finally broke out into the light of day again. I was getting to feel like I was the bologna between two slices of bread! It’s on to Indy!!

The concert was spectacular. My seat was on the aisle in a card table-type chair. Like we were afterthoughts. The stairs was beside my left foot. It was kind of exciting to see if I was going to jump around to the tune of “Rock and Roll Never Forgets,” fall down the steps and break a hip or not. I just got a little off balance once…don’t tell my daughter. She won’t let me go anymore.

We got a little turned around when we left to find our car in an outside car park. Not an easy feat to find it with 60,000 fans leaving the venue in cars, trucks, cycles, vans, jeeps….you understand. We watched them all as we wandered around trying to look intelligent. I told her to not look scared. She had a small noise maker on her keychain. I had a one inch flashlight and a small pink canister of mace, expiration date 1/2017. I figure the muggers would be able to laugh themselves to death. I wasn’t too scared although it was midnight. The crowds were thinning fast. I can still kick crotch high with my left leg, though, as long as I have something to hang onto. A nice security guard finally told us the way to our car. We said “God bless you” to him and he was grateful. We do what we can.

Bob Seger, I’m so glad I knew you. I’ll continue singing Katmandu, Shame on the Moon, Fire Down Below, and so many others…as long as I have breath. Against the wind, against the wind, against the wind, against the wind, against the wind, against the wind against the, wind…

On Becoming Unbecoming

I like words.  I wanted to be an English teacher.  Then….one day in English class, we came to the section in the text on diagramming sentences. I didn’t like to dangle parts of a sentence onto a hang down line. Like the adverbial phrase modifies the hoo-ha.  You know what I mean? I didn’t think it was fair for those words to hang down like outcasts so…..I decided to become something else.  They say you can become anything you want to in our country….I’m all for it!

But I digress…what I wanted to talk to you about were the times I was young and my behavior was unbecoming.  That’s what my Mom called it.  “Carrie, what you are doing is unbecoming for a lady.”  Where’s the lady.  I’m just a kid!

Now there’s a funny word!  Unbecoming. When we come into the world and become human, can we unbecome ourselves? What does it mean to act in a becoming way, anyhow? Is that like always going someplace and never coming back?  One direction only?  “I becoming, but I don’t be leaving?”  I’m not sure.

One way I was deemed unbecoming was when I sat in a chair.  I didn’t just sit on it.  Like a lady.  I’ve already told you I was very skinny and tall for my age.  Skinny as a rail.  (What is a rail, anyway?) Well….my rump was on the seat of the chair but one long leg could be over the back of the chair and the other one over the arm.  I could hang my head down over the seat so it almost touched the floor.  I could watch people upside down. I did that a lot.  I could have invented Teeter Hangups!!  Well, anyway, being upside down so much is probably the reason I have such a good complexion to this very day.

Mom said my sitting behavior was unbecoming.  But it wasn’t difficult to become myself again on those occasions.

I was unbecoming in my active state, too…not just sitting.  Sometimes, I could skip, hop, jump, and run all at the same time.  Mother said I was always in Perpetual Motion.  She sometimes called me Perpetual, for short.  I unbecame myself from that state when it was bedtime.  I fell asleep as soon as my head hit the pillow.  That’s what my Mom said.   I heard her breathe a deep sigh (of relief?) when she closed the bedroom door. I guess, after all, it was time for me to become asleep.  I always had a lot of things planned for the next day!

Yesirree, old Perpetual’s going to be in motion again tomorrow!!