Monthly Archives: February 2014

Car Spider


We’ve had a little puffy spider sticker stuck on the upper left corner of the rearview mirror throughout the past several cars. It’s been moved whenever we change cars. He’s a cute little fella perched upon what was once a lavender spiderweb. It probably used to be a darker purple but over the years has faded and isn’t even very attractive anymore but we keep him nonetheless. After all, I’m thinking that he must be our ‘lucky spider’ or something! Here’s why:

When I was left alone to raise 3 young kiddies that were ages 5, 6, & 8….we had a Dodge Aries that’d been selected by my USAF Officer husband. ANY and ALL vehicles I’d ever driven had been chosen by either my husband or by my Daddy before that. I’d never gotten to decide. When our divorce was finalized a few years later, I got a car that I finally chose!! I was in my 30’s and finally selecting my own car; YIPPEE!!! By this time the kids were in elementary school back in my small cozy hometown in Indiana. It started out that I kept having difficulty finding the button on the dashboard for the rear-window-defogger so 1 of my intelligent young’uns came up with the idea of placing a puffy frog sticker over that button so that I could easily find it in the dark without having to stop the car in order to do so. Since my children were young and creative, they had plenty of ideas to be ‘helpful’! These ideas (mostly stickers) wouldn’t have been allowed in the car if it’d been owned by their staunchy Air Force Captain father! The Spider was small and went on the upper mirror while other stickers went onto a few of the other dashboard buttons. This was such a fun project for the kiddies….all the while I was having to memorize which sticker (shape and feel) was covering which button. I sometimes think that my precious children were SOOOO helpful that they nearly forgot that I was not a blind person that was driving the car! What fun they had!

As the kids grew….through a Taurus, my Daddy’s prized old El Camino, 2 Cadillacs, a Saturn, a Toyota, and now a tiny Kia Spectra….only the spider is left on the mirror while the frog is on the button of the hazard lights (for some reason my daughter was having trouble finding that triangle….OR WAS SHE? hmmmm?).

Fast-forward a couple of decades. My oldest son is 31; he and his wife have an Explorer. I no longer drive due to neurological issues….I still CAN drive and I still HAVE a license but it’s just
probably not a good idea anymore. My daughter is 29 and she has the little Kia with the stickers and the revered froggy has broken apart. My baby boy is 28. He was driving a Hybrid vehicle until 3 weeks ago when he and I had a beach day but unfortunately totalled that car returning home. (THANKFULLY we only had bruises and sprains.) The end result is that he’s now getting the older uglier Kia because she’s going to get a small SUV as a trade-off.

Yesterday my son’s fiancee and I were cleaning the dashboard, preparing the car for their journey northward. I sadly removed the broken bits of the frog sticker. Then I reached up to start to peel off the spider sticker….I was surprised by a curt, emphatic, loud “NO!” from my son. His fiancee had a puzzled expression on her face as we told her the story of ‘our lucky spider’.

I reckon throughout all these years I’d taken for granted something as small as that teeny-tiny, or should I say ‘itsy-bitsy’ spider? It’s always been there and even though I’d not really forgotten about it….I suppose I’m so used to it being there that I didn’t realize that this small token of my children’s childhood had become such a fond memory and I am very glad of that! Come to think of it, the Hybrid car that we just crashed 3 weeks ago didn’t have a ‘lucky spider’! Oh my! My daughter is going to take possession of her Ford Escape in a couple of days….I’m thinking that I’d better go and buy a spider sticker for her rearview mirror right away!


Pearl’s Pearls

ImageMy Gramma Pearl went to heaven 10 years ago on Easter Sunday. Gramma lived next door to us, with just an acre of corn between us, in our tiny town as we were growing up. She most definitely was the “World’s Best Gramma” to my brothers & I plus a wonderful Great-Gramma to my kiddies. I have a feeling that my dozens and dozens of cousins would readily agree!

Gramma was our babysitter while our parents took their many vacations & would let us ‘get away with’ things that out folks never knew about! It was wonderful having her closeby so that she could be our confidante, referee when we quarreled with our folks, baker of numerous goodies, & she made sure we grew up in church. Big family get-togethers meant a lot to Gramma & really instilled a sense of FAMILY in us & I’m sooooo thankful for her. She liked telling people that she got 15 grandkids out of only 3 kids….but my favorite was the delightful twinkle she’d get in her eyes when somebody would ask her how many great-grandbabies she had because she’d say she wasn’t sure but that she knew it’s a LOT! (she honestly didn’t know!) She enjoyed telling others that she’d obeyed the Lord’s command to “be fruitful”! Seriously tho, it gave her tremendous pleasure to know that she will live on through (or dare I say ‘vicariously’?) her many offspring. She told me this numerous times; she loved us so much!

I got the strand of pearls for my Gramma that she wears in this photo. Many, many times I’ve enjoyed living in Hawaii and/or vacationing in these awe-inspiring islands of paradise. This particular time, my family was returning (once again) from a 14-month tour-of-duty in Hawaii & we managed to time it so that we could attend her 75th birthday celebration. I’d asked Gramma what gift she’d like from Hawaii this time (after soooo many visits, she had all the usual gifts that tourists bring to their loved ones back home!) Anyway, the subject of pearl earrings came up & Gramma mentioned that she’d have nothing to wear them with….upon further conversation I learned that my precious Grandmother was almost 75-years old & nobody had EVER given her a pearl…..AND HER NAME IS PEARL!!!! Oh My Goodness! I made up my mind that above all other gifts that I’d be bringing all my kinfolk this time, my Gramma was getting the best gift above all others. I would make sure that I found the prettiest pearl that I thought she’d adore since I adored her. It took me 2 months of searching (and saving money!) before I decided that I’d splurge and buy her a lovely strand of pearls because I knew that she’d wear them with pride. So that was my special gift that year, & she did wear them many, many times. Of course, I think she told anybody that’d listen about those pearls that her granddaughter brought to her from Hawaii!

After Gramma died, I got the pearls back. Now I proudly wear them every Easter in remembrance of the anniversary of her leaving us to go to live with our Lord, and also on every Mother’s Day, & on her every birthday! I love & miss my Gramma Pearl Jane Princie Bell Gross Spicer Zimmerman Nicoson! I was so very honored & privileged to have her as a constant part of almost 1/2-a-century of my life!

Kindred Spirits

small zoo in Kauai 1987

I look sideways to smile at my handsome son as we stop at the convenience store…..he mutters “what?”, to which I reply that he’s still such a cutie after all these years. He makes an annoying-but-oh-so-familiar double-click with his tongue & rolls his eyes. However ‘macho’ he may be at age 28, I can’t help but notice that he’s still stifling a bit of a grin! He asks if I want anything in the store….nope, just the usual weekend lottery tickets.

I think back to when he was in elementary school, the class clown yet still a straight-A student…..a little guy yet always surrounded by a dozen little girls…..ornery but somehow still managing to be ‘teachers pet’! My Joey, my baby boy, the youngest. My Big Surprise–arriving exactly 2 weeks less than a year after his sister. I’ve been told that means they’re ‘Irish Twins’ & that it’s more difficult than having real twins. Nope! He was always the calm one, the easygoing child whereas the other 2 were as hyperactive as could be! But not my Joey! Having 3 children within 4 years kept me extremely busy but the time just flittered by. I always wondered that God knew that I couldn’t handle another hyper kiddie so he gave me my darling Joey. What a blessing!

I somehow knew that Joey would be the best driver in the family and that has most definitely turned out to be true. I did NOT plan for him to have to take over MY own personal driving though, at only age 57, because of my health! I feel bad, and often angry, that I now have to call upon my kiddies to take me places. This leaves me feeling useless & I don’t like having to be reliant upon someone else for transportation. Grrrrr! But of course he doesn’t even complain. God has surely blessed me with this wonderful son!

I glance over at the car parked next to me. There’s an older gentleman a bit older than me. A lady comes out with 2 cups, gets into the car, & hands 1 to him & says “here’s a treat for you, Dad”. His eyes light up, then he takes a sip & tells her “I just won’t test my blood sugar today”! How cute (and, oh my….but don’t I do the same thing once in awhile? Shhhh)! Probably another parent-child pair doing the same thing. I catch a glimpse of the the older gentleman’s eyes. I’m thinking that this probably isn’t the way that he’d expected his so-called ‘golden years’ to have turned out either. For a swift moment in an otherwise uneventful day, our eyes meet and we share a teeny bond that 2 old folks understand and that our kids probably do not and will not. Hopefully they never will either. My prayer is that my children will not have to become dependent upon their children as early in their old age as I did. This wasn’t how it was supposed to be; I most definitely didn’t have this in my plans, nor even within the outer reaches of my imagination!

Well, there they go, the lady and her dad…..and here comes my Joey out of the store. So off we go to do my banking & have lunch out someplace for OUR treat!