Tuesday, February 12, 2008

The Rest of the Story

I'm feeling a bit of "Paul Harvey" here as there is actually a bit more to the story in my last post -the one about my daughter's birthday, etc. By birthday, I mean the actual day she was born. And there are a few more thing to add to her day yesterday too.

First -on the other post, if you recall I mentioned I had gone into major cleaning mode the day before she was born. So, mark that date - February 10, 1976 - on your calendar as it is a very historic event for me, anytime I go into a major "cleaning mode."

If you recall, one of the things I said I had done that evening was to spray the oven with oven cleaner and then, I went to bed -leaving that stuff to work its magic throughout the night while I slept.

However, one small problem here - I didn't mention this to anyone that I had done that - sprayed the oven, ya know.

My Mom relayed the rest of this story to me, as she was here with my son, having got the older daughter up, fed, dressed and off to school. Mandy was born around 6:30 a.m. My ex-husband arrived back at the house Mom said around 10:30-11 a.m. and he decided he was going to have a bite to eat. No problem.

Mom said she was washing up dishes when he started rooting in the refrigerator and pulled something out to heat it up. I have no idea what it was - don't remember THAT much detail as to what our refrigerator might have held at that time - but anyway, whatever it was, he decided he would heat it in the oven.

He opened the oven door to find a really big mess! Ya'll know what an oven looks like when it has had that stuff sprayed in it and you let it set, I'm sure, don't 'cha now? Yeah, well that's what he was looking at there!

The first words out of his mouth were "Oh SHIT!" Understandable enough, isn't it? Then he tossed out a few more expletive deleteds to go with his first statement.

My Mom and my ex-husband never got along very well - at all -EVER! Do you see where this story is heading now?

Mom told me she glanced over her shoulder, saw what he was cursing about and turned back around to continue doing the dishes. She said she never offered to clean the oven out for him. Never even offered to lend a hand, lift even her pinky finger to help him out of his dilemma.

Her theory was "let him find out a little bit of some of the things involved in running a household."

Here logic worked fine and dandy with me! I came home from the hospital three days later to a nice, sparkling clean oven, I did.

So, that's the rest of Mandy's actual "birthdate" story. Now, on to more recent events.

Last night, while Mandy was still at work, the phone rang. I answered it and it was her Dad on the end of the line. He was calling of course, to wish his baby girl a "Happy Birthday." I'll give him credit right here and now in that although there were many years when the kids were growing up that he NEVER remembered any of their birthdays and if he did, it was usually just a phone call, often one that ended with that particular child in tears too. But, since the fall of 1993, he has been pretty good about remembering birthdays with a phone call and has usually sent a card and monetary gift. Once in a blue moon, he has actually maybe sent a present -picked out by either his last wife (#4), or his girlfriend before the one he has now -his current fiance, ya know.

He asked me if a delivery had been made to the house yesterday. "No" I replied, "nothing came. Why?" Then he said he had sent flowers to her for her birthday and was just wondering if they came. Ah, the lightbulb in my mind lit up then as I understood why he'd called her Sunday night to ask me for our street address here. (Our mail up until recently just came addressed to our post office box number but since they instituted the 911 system in our area, all mail now has to include our actual house number and the street name.) I'd given him the number - he remembered the street name though. How about that for a reasonably good memory for an old man? I said maybe they would arrive today and promised him I wouldn't tell her anything about the call last night.

We got up this morning to school being cancelled because we are in the throes of a big winter snow storm today. Heavy snowfall - at least six inches in most of this area with heavier accumulations possible in the area "north of Interstate 80." Yeah, ya know I live about 4 miles north of that old Interstate highway now, don't 'cha though? Certainly! So we can probably expect an accumulation of perhaps 8 to 10 inches here. Lovely. NOT!

By noon, although the snow had been falling since early this morning -and yes, it is accumulating -it wasn't that terribly deep as yet that it would have been a major hindrance to a delivery of any type. But nothing had arrived as yet. Around 1:30 p.m., I said something to Mandy that I was afraid maybe a package Dad was sending her might have gotten messed up or something cause I was figuring if he used the good old FTD floral delivery, they should have arrived by then. She asked what he was sending, if I knew, and I told her I couldn't say any more. Then she said well, maybe somethings here now cause she'd just seen the FedEx truck stop and then leave. But I hadn't heard any one knock on the door. Mandy went to the door and opened it and lo and behold, there was this big box there that obviously contained flowers.

If I'd been a bit better prepared then, I should have had the camera out to get a picture of the look on her face as she started to open the box.

It wasn't a look of shock or surprise -just a big smile, that "knowing" kind of grin folks often get when they get a surprise gift but have figured out already what it is and know who it is from too. Just a really pretty very happy look on her face as she removed the bouquet from the box, carefully unwrapped all the trappings around it and put it in a vase.

Every stem in this bouquet was closed buds! She got the vase all settled with water and such and we've been watching the buds slowly start to unfold.

She pulled the little gift tag card from the envelope on the front of the box and read it. I could see traces of tears in her eyes then too. It just said "Happy Birthday, Sweetie Pie." Love, Dad and Linda.

Yes, he can be a very sentimental slob at times and when he is, it's one of his saving graces in my book.

Here's my big attempt to photograph a "still life" with my still new camera! Keep in mind, my photography efforts might be considered to be at about the level David McMahon's (Authorblog, ya know) were when he was maybe about six years old! A whole lot of work and study needed here on my part, as you can see. But still, it will give you a little idea, I hope, of what Mandy's Dad sent her for her big Thirty Second birthday yesterday.

And here's yet another shot of the flowers -when they were first unwrapped, those yellow blossums were just tiny buds and they've opened this much in an hour's time.
The first picture I took - which is at the opening of this post - is a trifle on the fuzzy side. These two above aren't all that hot either but they give a little idea anyway I hope, of Mandy's gift from her Dad.

She said last night, at work, no one knew it was her birthday as she'd never mentioned a word to anyone there about it. Until her last table came in and her co-workers then knew what the day was to her. Her last table? Her brother and his girlfriend. Clate's girlfriend left a hefty tip on her card for Mandy and her brother gave her a really cute, musical card, with a nice sized "bill" inside it just for Mandy.

Sometimes, my son is really his father's child in his actions too, ya know!

All in all- yesterday and today as well - both really good days as far as Mandy's been concerned.

And what did Mom give her? Two books - "DaVinci's Code" and "Eat, Pray, Love." (Along with the eight other books I ordered from B&N last week that arrived on Thursday -but they're for both of us to enjoy too, not just specifically for her as the first two are. I finished reading one of those eight books last night - "Change Baby" by June Spence. A good book in my opinion and I found it in the "Bargain Books" section - where I normally shop when visiting B&N ya know!

Now - hope everyone's day is filled with lots of love maybe even mixed with some flowers and snow -which if it is nothing else, is really pretty to watch it falling, ya know!


Sunshine said...

My February 10th girl is quite a keeper too!

And my dad and your ex sound the same, he forgot most birthdays as I was growing up too but thanks to my stepmom, he's no longer allowed to miss.

terri said...

I was wondering about that oven cleaner!

What a sweet gift for your ex to send to Mandy. Sounds like time has softened him up a bit.

Dianne said...

I'm watching snow fall right now and smiling about the oven and loving the flowers.

Your photos are fine. I can see the beauty ;)

Linda said...

It's snowing here now but I don't know how much we're going to get. Frankly, I'm sick of winter and it can move on anytime now!

The flowers look lovely and it's so nice that they were able to get through despite the weather. I didn't know FedEx delivered flowers - pretty cool!

I was wondering about that oven, too. Good thing he wanted something to eat or you might have had to clean the mess when you got home - ugh!!

Mushy said...

I'd love to have some snow here, but is seems to miss us anymore.

Sweetheart, if you're going to take existing light shots, you need to steady the camera either on or against something, or use the flash!

Sorry...I'm a brutally honest person sometimes.

Smalltown RN said...

I love stories with happy endings...that is wonderful...I am glad the flowers arrived for her and that it put a smile on her face and by the sounds of it, it put a smile on your face as well.

Now as far as that easy off oven spray....that is damn toxic stuff girl....even when u r not pregnant.....the last time I cleaned an oven with oven spray I ended up removing a layer of skin from my forearm...that I mistakenly got the spray on and didn't get it wiped off fast enough.....that's the last time I swore I would clean an oven...and I have been true to myself...it's self cleaning oven now....just have to contend with the wipe out and askes afterwards...which I think is a tad better...

Keith said...

That was a very cool story about your ex-hubby. I can really relate to him sending Mandy the flowers too. As you know, I was not the best father either, because of my addictions. But my youngest daughter Shannon who lives at home has seen me change and we have a father/daughter relationship. My oldest daughter from my ex-wife lives in California and wants absolutely nothing to do with me. In my recovery I have tried to make amends to her but have to let the good Lord do the rest. I have apologized, and asked to be forgiven. It's all I can do, I can't go back and change the past, and I'm okay with that. I'm a better person today and thats what matters.