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My, Granddaughter, What Big Eyes You Have!

, , , , , , , , | Related | September 16, 2023

My younger sister has had glasses since she was a baby — like ten months old. She’s extremely farsighted, so her glasses make her eyes look much bigger than they really are. She can barely see without her glasses, but her glasses are always somewhat heavy and can get uncomfortable, so despite that, she sometimes takes breaks from wearing them.

When she was little, like three to six years old, she had trouble saying the word “glasses”, so she’d call them her “eyes”. It made sense to me as a seven-year-old since her eyes looked so much smaller when she took her glasses off. This would lead to a lot of funny stares when we went out in public and my sister, who was otherwise quite an eloquent toddler, would announce loudly that she was going to take her eyes off and no one in my family would bat an eye.

As my sister grew up and added the word “glasses” to her vocabulary, most people forgot about the time when she’d tell us she’d taken off her eyes — most people, except for our grandmother.

My sister just finished her freshman year of college. She still wears glasses almost all the time, but she has contacts for special occasions when she’s going out. She tried contacts for a year in high school but found them too uncomfortable to do every day.

My sister started dating for the first time this year. One day, when she was with her boyfriend, she had a massive headache. She suffers from random headaches sometimes, but this was a pretty bad one and the first one she’d had around her boyfriend. She was basically crying because of the pain, so he helped her Facetime our grandma. (She first tried our parents, but both were busy and didn’t answer the phone.)

Our grandma’s first question was:

Grandma: “Did you take your eyes off recently?”

Sister: “No, I’m not wearing my eyes now.”

That was the only part her boyfriend could hear. Her boyfriend was already pretty panicked, and he was so shocked that he started to look up their school’s emergency mental health hotline; he was convinced my sister was going insane or something.

It took my sister about ten minutes to convince him that she was totally fine, which took her mind off the headache for long enough that it went away.

“Do You Know Where Your Children Are?”

, , , , , , , , , | Friendly | August 27, 2023



When I was a kid, sixty years ago, my parents took us swimming at a pond where you had to pay to get in. I have no clue where it was other than in Connecticut.

Besides the pond, there was a playground. For some reason, this was not adjacent to the swimming area; you had to cross the parking lot and it was surrounded by woods. My parents stayed in the swimming area with my baby sister, while my brothers and I went to the playground.  

We had a great time, playing with kids, making friends, and just having fun. Eventually, my brothers and I tired of this and returned to our parents.

Unfortunately, everyone was out of the pond while it was “being cleaned.” They were using equipment I had never seen before, but it looked unpleasant. I had not heard of anyone cleaning a pond before, and certainly not while it was open. But I was maybe in second or third grade. What did I know about pond maintenance?

Eventually, they let everyone back in the water.

What had happened was a kid went missing and was presumed drowned. They were dredging the pond for his remains.

He showed up maybe half an hour after we had returned to the pond area.

He had been one of our playmates at the playground, and apparently, it was easier to dredge the pond than it was to check for him there.

His poor mom!

Putting Holes In Your Future Piercing Plans

, , , , | Healthy | August 26, 2023

When I was about six, I decided I wanted to get my ears pierced. My mom was enthused about the idea and took me to the mall to get it done at one of those little jewelry shops. (Yes, yes, I know, that’s a terrible place to have it done, but it was the 1990s, and that fact wasn’t as well known, and it’s not the point of this story).

I was nervous about it, but I was excited, too. My mom was honest with me and told me it would hurt a little bit but not for long, and she was sure I could be a big brave girl.

When we got there, there was another mother there with her daughter, who was slightly younger than me. The little girl was less sold on the idea of getting pierced, but she was also very tempted by the pretty jewelry she would get to wear if she did, and she was having a hard time deciding one way or the other. My mom, clearly bursting with motherly pride, offered to let the little girl watch me get mine done to see that it wasn’t that bad.

Now with an audience, I was extra determined to be a big girl. I sat down in the chair, the piercer got the ladybug earrings I’d selected ready, and in a few seconds, I had them newly attached to my earlobes.

To be honest, it really didn’t hurt that badly. I even said so after the first one, all smiles, and barely flinched for the second. But about thirty seconds later, as my mom was talking to the other girl’s mom and the little girl was starting to pick out her own set of earrings…

Me: “Mommy? I feel kinda funny…”

And that was how we learned that I have a vasovagal response exacerbated by orthostatic hypotension. Or, to put it more succinctly, I faint a lot and with very little provocation. They had to lay me down on the floor and put me in the recovery position until my blood pressure stabilized while the other little girl looked on in horror. She did not get her ears pierced that day, and my mom apologized to the other mother profusely.

And now, more than twenty-five years later, I am very familiar with the recovery position, and I can’t have any of the piercings I want!

“Don’t Look Up” Was Just A Title, Not An Instruction

, , , , , | Working | July 19, 2023

Last February, my doorbell rang, which is unusual. I answered the front door and greeted a well-dressed gentleman with a briefcase.

Man: “Have you considered adding solar to your home?”

Me: “Look up.”

He looked up to see some 750 square feet of thirty-two solar panels covering the south-facing roof he was facing.

Man: “I’m sorry. The list of prospects I was given is based on aerial photos from Google Maps and other sites.”

My installation was only a few months old, and obviously, the photos were older.

I’m betting he never again rings a doorbell without looking at the roof first.

This Is Inspirational, But It Should Never Have Had To Be

, , , , , , , | Working | July 16, 2023

Our area experienced an unusually early major snowstorm one year. The amount of snow and ice on the wires knocked out the power at the convenience store where I worked. There was no electricity or heat in the store, so we were unable to ring up sales or dispense gas.

Crazily, employees were still required to work their shifts even though the place was freezing.

I was very much surprised when our regular customers (and some people that live nearby) took care of us. They brought us coffee and cocoa, blankets, sweatshirts, food, and other things. The power outage lasted several days, and these people kindly took care of us the whole time.