March 06, 2010

Lessons about Life

So, over the last few days I've had a few random stories come up from my past in response to some friends current lives. And I've thought, "OO! I should tell them this Perfect Situational Story from Abigail's Past" to help them through their current predicament. But, I've been too tired. I have not been sleeping well. And who's to say why?

I wake up to pee ALL THE FREAKIN TIME. And then, no matter how hard I try, I cannot go back to sleep because it is always at 1:30am, and 3:30am and 5am that one can think of alllll the things in your life that are out of your control, or alllll the things that you haven't done that you need to do...or ( and this is everyone's favorite) allll the things BRETT hasn't done that you'd like him to do. ( hahaha!) Anyway, at the end of the day ( or the night) I haven't gotten enough sleep and therefore by Friday I was a complete zombie mess.

So I went to bed somewhere between 7 and 7:30 and slept until 8:30am. SCORE! GO! ABIGAIL GO!

And now I will tell you Stories that have shaped my life:

The first one is about my Grandmother. And this story is brought to you by my friend Amy's post entitled Expiration Dates

My grandmother, who died when I was around 14, was really something else. There are SO many great stories about Grandmother ( as she was so practically called by all her grandchildren...because she made us PRACTICE till we could say it right.) that they could really fill a book. And, since she's been gone, those stories have grown and gotten wilder and more fantastical so that she really has become the ESSENCES of what a Grandmother should be. But, this particular story about Grandmother happened after she had already passed away. You see, Grandmother had SUCH a strong personality she could actually effect your life from beyond her OWN life. Which is amazing.
Anyway, something you should know about Grandmother was that she was a CHAMPION shopper. For one thing she could do it for long periods of time ( something I've never mastered), she could some how finagle sales people to give her special deals and let her go back into the store room and 'root around' if she wasn't satisfied up front, and for another thing she recognized a good deal a mile away and then she STOCKED UP. And thus, my grandmother had a gift closet that had a gift option for every possible gift experience. Birthdays, Christmases, SummerHolidays, Babies, name it, there was a gift in that closet ready and waiting. But, this story is not about her gift closet, its about her PANTRY. Which was really ( to my child's eyes) as big as a room. And it was STOCKED from floor to ceiling with "good deals". There was never just ONE of something, there was always fifteen of somethings. And so, when you visited Grandmother you always got this sense that things would be taken care of...that things were prepared for...that, in fact, Grandmother had been preparing for your visit since the beginning of time. And to be specific, she'd been preparing for your visit since last May when they first put cans of fruit cocktail on sale for 35cents a piece.
So, after she passed away, and her house started to loose the feeling of "Grandmother-ness" my sister and I would go in the pantry. Because, you better believe it was still stocked to the brim. It was as if she'd known that we'd need another two years worth of canned goods to help fill the "corners" that had been left empty after she was gone.
Anyway, on one such visit my sister and I were trying to scrounge up something to eat and so we entered The Pantry. And there was a large block of Velvetta Cheese! So, of course, some Mac and Cheese was in order and so I busied myself getting out pots and pans as my sister opened the Velvetta. Now, I know that you all probably know that Velvetta is the most amazing man-made-color-orange in the history of the world. And that usually, on a good day, if you plugged a light bulb into a brick of Velvetta it would probably light up a city street just on its Neon-ness alone. But, this particular block of Velvetta had seen much better days In fact, its "good days" were so long gone, all that was left was the color BROWN. And it was there, standing in that kitchen that I realized that ALL THINGS have an Expiration Date. That no matter how much I'd like them to last and last and to be there when I need them to be, eventually I was going to need to go ahead and USE THEM. I needed to embrace the moments. I needed to stop storing presents up in a closet, but actually start givingthem away!
Ok, ok, I probably didn't think any of that at the time, I as 15 years old for pete's sake! At the time I think my sister and I laughed until we cried over the gross Velvetta because we realized that it wasn't just ONE YEAR over expired it was about FIVE YEARS over expired! So, even my "perfect" Grandmother, may have had a little too much of a soft spot for a good deal and a little too much of a penchant for not actually USING her purchases! I bet HALF of her pantry had pretty much ALWAYS been filled with expired items, because "Hey, they were a good deal! You can't pass up a good deal!!"
The thing about this trait of Grandmother's...the trait of buying up a million of something if she liked it, or if it was "a must buy" , or if "this might be the only time" that it's TOTALLY hereditary! And I know this for a fact because of my very own father! If you were to go into my parents pantry RIGHT NOW, you'd find a giant stack of Handmade Pasta made in some fancy far of place. And it makes me happy to go in there and see the large quantities of pasta ( and also rice, who knows why the rice) because it reminds me of my Grandmother. And it reminds me that I too have the tendency to buy not one or not three, but maybe fifteen of things that I reeeeally like. Yes, Grandmother lives on-pantry style. And THAT doesn't expire.


S.P. said...

Great story!

Lyds said...

Haha! I'm totally like that too! I've got to downside though - my new flat I share with 3 other girls means a tight kitchen. I've had one kitchen pretty much to myself for the last 9months - I'm gonna learn a whole new way of organising ;-)

Anonymous said...

This as a FANTASTIC trip down memory lane. Thank you for this!!!!