Monthly Archives: July 2014

Jury Duty

Jury Duty2014 again!

What? How can this be? This is definitely my angry face! My daughter came out of the post office laughing so much that she could barely speak, got into the truck & plopped the stack of mail onto my lap and just kept laughing while driving away. My curiosity was piqued as I quickly fumbled thru the week’s mail & there it was: JURY DUTY!!! Oh no, not again! UGH! I am very upset, angry, and dismayed. After all, how many times within a one-year period can they keep calling on me? Isn’t there some kinda limit to this? Grrrrr! Perhaps it’s because I got ‘excused‘ last autumn because of my disability. It was my understanding that I had been ‘excused for lifetime‘ since my disability is permanent. Maybe the county of Osceola doesn’t take kindly to that and knows that, even though they only compensate with a daily $15 wage, it costs $30 to have the forms filled out by physicians. This is totally unfair for those of us that are on a fixed income!

My daughter-in-law gladly did her ‘civic responsibility‘ and sat on a jury late last summer for a few days so she probably won’t get summoned again for awhile. Several months ago my daughter was actually happy to have finally gotten her 1st jury summons but she didn’t get selected after waiting around the County Courthouse all day until the jurors had been chosen.

Since I was formerly a military wife and moved around a lot, EVERY TIME we got transferred to another base I would receive a Jury Summons in the mail from our previous locale. So I’d never served on a Jury. That’s fine with me because I don’t want to do it anyway.

Following my divorce, the children and I moved to my small Hoosier hometown. Even though we remained there for several years, I didn’t get summoned. Still okay with me! But now that I’ve been in central Florida for 10 years, and 3 years before that in northern Florida….I was beginning to think that I was invisible to the court systems because they never paid any attention to me! But now that I’m handicapped and am totally unable to think rationally until early afternoon, now suddenly I’m getting my 3rd Jury Summons within less than a year! Good grief; what’s up with that?

Last time I got ‘excused’ because of my disability, supposedly forever. So I reckon tomorrow it’s back to my Neuro-Doctor for another excuse! I’m hoping that the County doesn’t make it a ‘habit’ of sending me these JURY DUTY notices now. I don’t think I can afford it!

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Baby Brother

Steven & dad

 

50 years ago I got a BABY BROTHER. I didn’t WANT a baby brother. He wasn’t supposed to BE a baby brother, I already had a brother. I was supposed to have a baby SISTER for my 8th birthday. which had just been 6 days before. My other brother would be 6 in just 3 months and he’d asked for a baby brother. But a baby sister was supposed to be MY birthday present and ever since Christmas, when our parents had told us the news of the upcoming addition to our family, my brother and I had been very excited and joyously awaiting the baby’s arrival. But we also had been constantly arguing about which of us would be right. I had been positive that I was getting a sister because it was MY birthday; besides, I’m the oldest and I felt as if I deserved a sister! I’d always prayed for a baby sister and a big brother! Mama said that we couldn’t get the big brother but perhaps we could get the baby sister. I thought that meant that it was a ‘done deal’. (The photo above is the earliest photo of my youngest brother with our Daddy.)

When Daddy came home from the hospital and announced to my brother and Gramma and I that we had a baby boy to add to the family, I was in total disbelief. I did not want this news and I wouldn’t even smile or give my Daddy a hug. I just pouted. When the baby was brought home, I didn’t want anything to do with him. I wouldn’t even look at him. I winced when he cried and ignored everybody that visited when they ‘oohed and aahed’ over the new baby. As far as I was concerned, he wasn’t there. Our family was just the same as it was before: Mama, Daddy, my bratty brother, and myself. I didn’t want to hold the baby or give the baby his bottle or even sit next to the baby for a photograph. His crib was in the corner of my parents’ bedroom and I don’t remember the baby making much noise at all. According to Mama, one day she watched me pass the baby when he was 2 months old. Evidently the baby was staring at me and smiled. Mama hid so that I wouldn’t see her. I was curious when the baby grabbed the bars of the crib and was cooing AT ME….I thought he knew me and he was smiling and laughing. He was very happy to see me! I thought that nobody was around so I stopped and looked at him….then touched his little fingers and he grabbed onto mine. Then I reached to touch his chubby cheeks and was amazed at their softness! The baby boy was soooo happy by this time, and to my amazement, so was I! I kissed him!!! It just took a few moments but by now Mama had come out of the shadows and caressed my shoulder and lifted the baby outa his crib to change his diaper. This was the first diaper-change that I witnessed and I knew that I wanted no part of that! Thankfully she never asked for that kind of help! From then on I rocked the baby and he became my constant little companion. By the time school started the day following Labor Day, I was sad to have to get on that schoolbus and go to 3rd-grade but the baby was always excited to see me come home!

As we grew up, my brothers fought a lot and were constantly getting (or trying to) each other into trouble. Probably most brothers do. My other brother and I were always arguing and complaining about something or another. This is rather common since we are 2&1/4-years apart. But there’s 8 years between my youngest brother and I. We didn’t fight. We always got along. Even today, now that we’re at that dreaded middle-aged mark in our lives….I’d still consider my BABY BROTHER to be one of the best buddies and confidantes that I’ve had throughout my entire lifetime. He doesn’t even get mad at me if he doesn’t like my opinion or perhaps we don’t agree. He still calls me nearly every week, usually either right before or right after he talks to our Mama. Family means the world to him, and that is a view that we share wholeheartedly!

He has 2 daughters, but waited to have children until later in life than our other brother and I did. So when my 3 kiddies were very little, he was the younger Uncle that knew nothing about child-rearing. He bought gifts that made the most noise and that he thought would be funny because he knew that it’d annoy ME the most! And he’d laugh! He did the same thing with our other brother and his 2 children, who are approximately the same age as my kids. Yep, again he’d laugh! So when our kids were teens and our baby brother had his 2 girls, of course my other brother and I bought the noisiest gifts that we could find! And then WE LAUGHED!!! Oh yes; payback time!

On another cutesy humorous note, I had to have my gallbladder out when I was 49; so did our other brother….so all year long I’ve been asking my baby brother “how’s your gallbladder?” So I reckon he’s hitting that 50-year mark with gallbladder still intact. I find that rather unusual. My Dr. told me to quit eating fried or spicy foods. My baby brother’s wife is from South Africa and she spices nearly all their foods! So I’m wondering why he still has that gallbladder but at the same time, I’m very glad that he does because it gives him another thing to brag about, anyway!

I remember when our folks turned 50 and we told them that they were officially ‘OVER THE HILL‘! I hit 50 several years ago, as did the other brother; it’s hard to believe that now my BABY BROTHER is 50! I feel sooooo old. When our parents hit 60, I teased that “you’re not only OVER-THE-HILL, now you’re DOWN-IN-THE-VALLEY“! Oh my….I’ll hit 60 in just 2 years. Isn’t it amazing how our views of ‘OLD’ keeps getting about 20 years older than whatever age we currently are? Remember when we were graduating high school at 18 and we thought that 40 was ancient? Sure seems young now!

LAST DOLL

birthday dolls for my 58th

Yesterday my 58th birthday came and left. My daughter bought me a couple of adorable dolls, pictured above. My mind wanders back to my LAST DOLL that my folks had verrryyy reluctantly bought me more than 45 years ago for Christmas when I was probably 12 or 13. I was much too old to PLAY with dolls but I’d gotten it into my mind that I wanted a Raggedy Ann doll! You see, I’d never been a little girl to play with baby-dolls although my Mama and Gramma had bought me plenty over the years. They’d even tried to entice me to play ‘dress-up’ and ‘tea party‘ by sewing little outfits for the dollies but I still wasn’t interested. I did, however, go through a period of playing Barbies with a little girl that lived about a mile away but I think that was just an excuse to get to ride my bike alone down the country road and antagonize the big ugly bull (that was fenced-in) as I passed by! Also, I thought it was fun when it was MaryLou’s turn to come to my house because she many more Barbie dolls and so we’d sneak into my brother’s toybox and get out his G.I. Joe’s to use as ‘boyfriend dolls’ because we had more than enough girl dolls for just the Ken and Alan dolls! My oh my, how annoyed my brother would get when he would catch us! That somehow made it worthwhile. Those dolls had all been stored away or given to charity several years before, so my folks were probably thinking I was silly for asking for a Raggedy Ann doll. I didn’t really wanna PLAY with it; I just wanted it to look pretty on my bed. After all, most of my friends had one from their childhood and that’s when I’d realized that I didn’t have one. So on Christmas morning, one of my gifts was indeed the Raggedy Ann doll. Mama has the photo in her scrapbook of me in my jammies holding the doll and the inscription says “Jeannie’s last doll”. (I’m tthinking that she figured that if she wrote it down, then that’d make it true!)

Ever since my own children were preschool age, we’ve enjoyed numerous trips to DisneyWorld. As an Air Force family we did get to live in Florida a few times, plus Texas, Hawaii, and Georgia. All the times that we lived in Florida or Georgia, we kept Annual passes to the theme parks in the Orlando area. We would visit as often as possible. When the children were very small, of course we were more limited on which attractions that they could ride on. Growth spurts meant excitement because it added more rides in each of the parks that they were tall enough to go on. It got to the point that they didn’t wanna go on some of the old rides that they considered ‘kiddy rides‘….for example, my VERY FAVORITE at Magic Kingdom: ‘It’s a Small World’. Naturally, I told them that they had to go on that because it’s my favorite! It got to the point where it became a joke/battle: “Mama, do we have to go on ‘Small World’ again this trip”? I ALWAYS said, “YES, WE DO”! They’d try to trick me, make me forget about it, etc., etc. but I always won. I simply said that if we didn’t ride that attraction….well, then I’d be singing that song all evening in the motel room! Ten years ago, these same kids of mine and I became Castmembers at ‘The Most Magical Place On Earth’! Still, whenever we go to Magic Kingdom on our days off….the joke remains. Altho now I’m in a wheelchair and one of my darlings is pushing me, while trying to steer clear of Fantasyland hoping that I won’t think of ‘It’s a Small World’, we usually still ride that attraction! The kiddies are now 29, 30, & 32….they still say “Do we have to?” and I still reply “YES WE DO”! It has become our tried-and-true time-honored tradition for them to TRY! After all, I’m old now. I’m disabled. I don’t know how many years I’ll still be able to enjoy it so I wanna ride my favorite!!!

A couple of weeks ago my daughter and I were in the Disney Store in the biggest mall of the area. Normally I don’t go to malls and I cannot even recall the reason that she talked me into it on this particular occasion, but I agreed. I saw a display of ‘Small World’ dolls. She saw it too and quickly turned my wheelchair around….she was hoping I’d not seen it yet but HA! I had! Too late! I told her that I ‘just wanted to look‘ so I was looking at how cute and how BIG they were PLUS they were on sale AND she gets a hefty Disney Castmember discount on top of that. Just as we were about to turn around….that’s when I saw her at the very bottom: the Hawaiian doll! (I’ve been to Hawaii 11 times, have lived there, attended college there, my children have lived there too, many of my friends still live there, it’s my favorite place of all!) She was soooo cute and adorable. I picked her up and pressed her tummy and she sang the chorus to ‘It’s a Small World’. My daughter immediately said “Ohhhh, now that’d get annoying really fast so please don’t even think about it.” I started to put the doll back but when I tapped her tummy the second time, she sang the song in Hawaiian and I WAS IN LOVE!!! My dear daughter said “Nope” and wheeled me outa that store fast! We headed towards the food court, looking at a few kiosks along the way. I ordered my Chinese food and she ordered her vegetarian meal. We talked about our upcoming birthdays. She finished her meal much sooner than I did so I told her to leave me there for awhile. As she hurried away, I thought I heard her muttering “I know I’m gonna regret this”! When she returned, I pretended NOT to notice the Disney Store bag that she slipped onto the back of my wheelchair and tried to contain my smile!

I’d forgotten about the gift until we returned from my birthday supper last night. That’s when my daughter gave me the doll and I suddenly remembered about it; I was so thrilled that I called a couple of people and let the dolly sing into their voice-mail! Yeah, that might’ve been a bit over-the-top but it was fun! She also gave me a little Maleficent doll. Maleficent has always been my favorite Disney villianess and the recent movie of the same name was deliciously delightful. I soooo enjoyed Disney’s re-imagining of the character for this movie plus the casting of Angelina Jolie was a remarkable choice. So I got my 2 cutie little ‘dolls’ for my 58th birthday. Who would’ve ever guessed that? Hmmm, 45 years ago my Mama’s prediction wasn’t exactly correct but will this be my LAST DOLL? I just do not know! What’s this second childhood that I keep hearing about? Am I getting to the approximate age for that yet? Could all these years at Disney have helped that along? We’ll see! Oh, and as for my daughter….I’m sure it comes as NO SURPRISE that she was already tired of hearing ‘It’s a Small World’ shortly after giving me the doll! Awwww….well, her birthday is next week!

Gorillas Laugh

Gino at DAK

Ten years ago when we drove 3 hours from Jacksonville Beach to DisneyWorld to see about getting summer jobs, my youngest kids and I had no way of knowing that our lives would never be
the same. Little did we know, we’d turn that part-time summer job into full-time careers and wouldn’t be returning to Jax Beach. We’d learn a new way to point, we’d learn to ‘ad-lib’ at the drop-of-a-hat, and we’d learn to always carry a bandana in each pocket to wipe sweat. My 2 youngest kids would quickly find out that Animal Kingdom is the hottest park on purpose because of the critters and luxurious foliage and that the animals’ comfort was more important than people’s! My daughter was excited to get assigned to the Pangani Forest Trail because that’s where she’d get to educate Guests about the Western Lowland Gorillas, Colobus Monkeys, Naked Mole Rats, numerous species of birds, meerkats, hippos, and a few other animals. She was deliriously happy because she wanted to become a Zoologist and, at the time, was just beginning college. She was definitely in the right place. The gorillas quickly became her favorite, even though they were very intimidating. Her stories she told when she came home were so much fun, especially when she discovered that GORILLAS LAUGH!

I’m glad that the laughter that my children bring to my life hasn’t stopped now that the 3 of them have become adults. When they were small, their cutesy and endearing antics would be things that I’d mention in letters that I’d write to my Mama and my Daddy and my Gramma. I couldn’t help but share these wonderful moments with my loved ones because we lived far away, moving around from Air Force base to Air Force base, and these were ways for the grandparents to feel connected and to help to add a ‘personality‘ to the many photos that I’d share. The kiddies were all a humorous bunch, but each in a different sort of way. My youngest boy was a natural clown; he’d say or do things at the oddest times that would make me laugh so much that I’d often have tears coming down my cheeks! The funny thing is that he didn’t even mean to. My oldest boy was, and is, an attention-seeker. He was always looking for and making up ways to make us laugh, which often leads to some of the worst jokes ever (he gets this ability to come up with stupid jokes from my brothers, unfortunately). Both of my sons haven’t changed in this respect….they’re still silly and corny. My only daughter has a totally different kinda way of making me laugh. You see, she’s your typical average everyday ‘genius‘….and everything that comes along with ‘the package‘; and by that I mean that SHE HAS LITTLE COMMON SENSE! That, in itself, is so very funny at times. The older she gets, the smarter she gets (she’s definitely surpassed me long ago), and of course, the smarter she gets….more and more ‘common sense‘ flies away somewhere! And oh! Did I mention that she’s also blonde? But she IS SUPER INTELLIGENT! I kid you not! Of course, my brothers adore teasing her. Add her vegetarianism to the mix and family get-togethers can be quite rough on her sometimes as her Uncles have probably had about a year between visits to come up with more dumb jokes and to pick on her! I never worry though, she’s one smart cooky. Over the years she’s learned to reply with some rather quick-witted retorts!

Back to the gorillas. At Disney’s Animal Kingdom, the Pangani Forest Trail has 2 troops of Western Lowland Gorillas. The bachelor troop usually consists of 4 guys. They are separated from the family troop but Guests can view them from afar. However, both troops definitely can sense and can smell each other so this can be rather interesting at times. The family troop is a breeding troop and consists of a silverback and females and young gorillas. This number has changed many times in the 10 years that we’ve been here and I cannot wait to be 1 of the first visitors to that park when a new baby gorilla is allowed out into the gorilla habitat! Yep, those gorillas are now MY favorite too. I’ve sat and stared at that silverback for an hour or more at a time because as far as gorillas are concerned….he is 1 gorgeous specimen! He’s also a good breeder. He currently has offspring at many zoos across the country. My daughter tells lotsa stories about him.

Disney treats their animals like royalty. Their habitats are fabulous. I legally cannot tell you how nice their ‘backstage‘ areas are. They are tended to constantly by Animal Keepers & Veterinarians that specialize in their fields. None of these animals were collected from the wild. Disney is very ethical about this.

The family troop of gorillas has a big thick glass window so that Guests can view them. This only encompasses a teeny tiny portion of their vast habitat and the gorillas have the choice whether or not they want to ‘see the people‘. Often there aren’t ANY of them near the glass at all for the Castmember (who is basically acting as a ‘docent‘, explaining about this species) to refer to. There’s a heavy rope there to prevent Guests from pounding on the glass. The Castmember stands between this rope and the glass, with her back to the glass while facing the Guests and talking as folks are listening and peering out at the rocks and up the hill trying to spot gorillas. Or sometimes, especially in the hot afternoon, the big sleepy sliverback will be laying with his butt next to the glass where it’s cooler! Ohhh, how many times has my very patient daughter had to bite her tongue and NOT tell the Guest “No, I cannot tell the 400+ pound gorilla to turn over just so that you can get a better photo of his face!” Instead, the standard answer is “He’s actually displaying appropriate behavior. Facing you would be more of a challenge.” One day she came home to tell me the best story EVER! It seems that she was lecturing more than usual because none of the gorillas were visible and she didn’t want the Guests to be disappointed too much. There did seem to be an ever-growing crowd, however, and she assumed that the gorillas still weren’t nearby since nobody was taking photos yet. At this point, I must interject that these large apes are extremely intelligent primates….as of just 2 years ago, new research concluded that Humans and Western Lowland Gorillas are about 98% identical on a genetic level! My daughter and her fellow Castmembers at Pangani Forest Trail know each gorilla by sight and their characteristics, just as I know each of my children. I reckon that I ought NOT be surprised that these gorillas probably also recognize each of these Castmembers that they see on a daily basis too! Sooooo, when the silverback snuck up behind her and raised to his full big 6-foot-tall height and pressed against the glass, she still didn’t know he was there until she heard the audience gasp. Of course my 4′ 10″ daughter looked over her shoulder & was startled, jumped backed, and I’m sure her eyes were as big as those of all of the Guests as they were snapping their photographs wildly. What happened next delighted and surprised her tremendously….the silverback LAUGHED! His shoulders were actually moving up and down and up and down as he was having fun that he’d made her jump! I wish SO MUCH that I’d have been there because I know for sure that by this time, after the initial shock, she was giving him ‘the look‘ (I know ‘that look‘ very well).

A few months later my daughter left Pangani Forest Trail and moved on to another role within the same theme park–to drive the Kiliminjaro Safaris tours. It’s right next door to her former workplace so every few days she’d stop by and check on the animals that she became so fond of. On the Safaris attraction, there are many more animals that she gets to see on a daily basis and educate Guests about. Every once in awhile she’ll pick up an extra shift at Pangani Forest Trail. One time she hadn’t worn that familar green costume in a few months (her safari costume is khaki-colored) and she was looking forward to spending an hour or more with the gorillas. When she got to the family troop, the silverback saw her, recognized her, and then turned his back on her and wouldn’t look at her! She was puzzled. Later, she found out that he was probably mad at her for leaving! He didn’t understand why she’d come by sometimes in another color and I suppose he didn’t like it. Awwwww. It’s been 10 years now that she’s enjoyed her time at Disney’s Animal Kingdom, no matter where she’s working as long as she’s seeing animals daily. But I don’t think my daughter is ever going to forget the day that she found out that GORILLAS LAUGH!

Irish Twins

Hawaii 1987 Joey is 2 & Jill is 3

“Welcome to your last day of being 28!” These are the words I’ll tell my youngest child tomorrow on the day before his 29th birthday. This is a family tradition that we’ve been doing for as long as I’ve been a Mama. The morning before each child’s birthday I awaken them by reminding him/her that it’s the last day that they’ll be that particular age. It’s always been the first thing that I say on that day and they’ve come to expect it, even though my 3 children are now adults. My 2 youngest  children are what many folks lovingly and teasingly refer to as ‘IRISH TWINS‘, meaning that they are less than a year apart in age, so the day that my youngest child turns 29 will also be the day that he ‘catches up’ to his sister again! This has always been a delightful 2-week period for me each year when these 2 kiddies are of the same age. He’s always gotten such a big kick outa being the  same age as his sis for a while, but it’s always been much to her dismay! She’s always hated it just as much  as he’s always enjoyed it! My own birthday falls exactly in between the two of theirs, making each  July quite the month of celebrations for our family. Besides our nation’s Independence, we celebrate 3 Thursdays-in-a-row of birthdays this year, plus my brother’s birthday too. Try explaining THAT to an employer when your children are young and you really do need 3 of the same days in the same month as vacation days! It’s nearly unbelievable!

My adorable daughter was born exactly a week after my 28th birthday. She was 3 weeks overdue, as was her big brother 2&1/4 years before. So I was assuming that baby #3 would be 3 weeks overdue also but the Obstetrician had told me that usually only the first babies were overdue. Since baby #2 had taken just an hour of labor and we lived 40 minutes from the USAF hospital where delivery was to occur….well, I’d better get to the hospital if I even felt a teeny flutter so that I wouldn’t have this baby in the hallway with an audience of more than 40 onlookers like last time! So at about 4:00 in the morning I awoke with a thought, (however not in labor), but I nudged my husband nonetheless and awakened him too. He said “Is it time yet?” I told him it wasn’t time but that I just had a feeling that since last year I’d had our daughter exactly 1 week AFTER my birthday….then I was positive that this baby would be coming THAT DAY since it was exactly 1 week before my next birthday. Well, hubby wasn’t amused at my insight and told me to go back to sleep! I did, but it was a tiny nap because twenty minutes later I most definitely felt the first familiar contractions and suddenly I was IN LABOR! So my baby boy certainly DID arrive a week before my 29th birthday. This meant that I had 2 babies when I was 28 years old!

I’d originally wanted to have 6 boys….spaced approximately every 2 years. That sounded good to me at the time. However, having 3 children within 4 years was an amazing and awesome challenge. I didn’t get much sleep, was always busy, nor did I get any time to be by myself; but I’d not change it a bit. I enjoyed it tremendously! So much so that with EVERY pregnancy when my Obstetrician had thought that I was having twins. I’d get extremely excited for a couple of months; then disappointment would follow when the mid-pregnancy ultrasound would reveal a single baby. Of course, throughout the years I have always jokingly exclaimed that I really don’t think I could choose which 1 of my 3 kiddies that I could handle having a duplicate of!!! Oh my, I’d shudder at the thought! But now as the years have fled by and the 3 of them are adults; I’m changing my mind. They’re ADORABLE, silly, kind-hearted, joyful, compassionate adults. I’d be proud to have a double of any 1 of them or even of ALL of them!

So in a couple of days my baby boy will be turning 29. Then next week will be MY birthday. The following week the oldest of my ‘Irish Twins‘ will be turning 30 and will finally ‘pass up’ the little brother again. And of course, the day before, I’ll awaken her with these words: “Welcome to your last day of being 29!”

Cease Bickering

This quote reminds me of so very many things. I liked it’s simplicity. My 40th reunion from High School was last month, and even though my health made my attendance not possible to make

that 1000-mile journey this time, I’ve certainly had lots of enjoyment perusing the numerous photos that my former classmates have posted onto Facebook! Out of 151 that graduated, 46 were there, so I’d say that was a successful turnout! Fortunately, our class has had very few deaths, which means that approximately 1/3 attended this event. Looking over the photos and trying to remember the faces, I also recalled some of the past ‘instances‘ and ‘quarrels‘ and ‘bitter competitions‘, and am happy that after 40 years folks have finally managed to CEASE BICKERING! This wasn’t necessarily the case at the 10th or the 15th reunions. Why, oh why does it take people so very long to make amends? Human nature is a peculiar thing!

The same is true of old friends, and family members, and co-workers. When a friend is having a party, they’ll have the audacity to tell another friend that they can bring a friend (as long as it’s not ‘so-and-so’). Or lunchtime with co-workers can get complicated if you’d already made plans with just one person but then a group wants to include you but not that person. Of course, I’d stick with the plans I made first! The most difficult is when kinfolk is visiting and prior to their arrival, I have to call either my Mama or my stepmom (depending on which side of the family) to find out who isn’t talking to whom JUST SO THAT I WON’T accidentally say the wrong thing at the wrong time! This is ridiculous to me and shouldn’t have to be so. Why can’t we just all get along?

I absolutely refuse to play these games! I will not get in the middle of other people’s squabbles! I’ll listen if you really need to talk but don’t ask me to choose sides because I love my relatives and I wanna keep my friends. Next time you go to the cemetary to put flowers on the graves of your ancestors, look up and down the rows of headstones….I’ll betcha that all the spirits of those people would love to tell you that those squabbles just DON’T MATTER and that they are a waste of your time and energy! So please CEASE BICKERING and live the rest of your short life in harmony!