Sunday, December 7, 2008


Thelma: I don't ever remember feeling this awake.

From Thelma and Louise

One of the fun things I got to do while back in Southern California was taking a short road trip with my niece, Tooter. We drove and chatted and laughed and whined and cried. She took me to a really great store with bazillion old books. They even had complete sets of Nancy Drew, The Hardy Boys and Ann of Green Gables. I was in heaven. They had every type of antique, vintage clothing, furniture and novelty you can imagine. It was also located directly across the street from the historic Mission Inn in Riverside California. They dress the old hotel up so beautifully at Christmas complete with carolers dressed in Victorian costume and a street fair. They even have an outdoor ice skating rink. Okay I know you people up north think, “so?” It was about 82 degrees the day we were there. That is what makes it pretty cool.

This is the Mission Inn Lit up at night. Isn't it Festive?

Now when Tooter was a baby she was unbelievably sensitive. She is one of the tenderest hearted people I know. Now that she is a grown-up she is still very sensitive and caring especially if you are a four legged defenseless animal. She is funny in a silly way and laughs at her goofy Aunt Gladys. She and I have one very predominate characteristic in common, we are both major klutzes.
This is Tooter when she was little. Wasn't she an angel??? (Insert eyerolls here)

This is Lexi. She is one of Tooter's four legged kids.

I stayed with her for an extended period a couple of years ago. She lives in a two story house with her bedrooms on the upper floor. I can’t tell you how many times I fell up, yes I said UP her stairs. No I wasn’t drinking I’m just not very graceful. Then there was the time that she wanted me to look at her bruise. She had this huge nasty looking bruise on her thigh. I asked her “Tooter, what the heck were you doing? Bull riding or bronc busting?” She snorted and said “No, Aunt Gladys I was getting in the bath tub and slipped. I hit my thigh on the side of the tub when I fell.” Yeah she and I get together and compare our "battle scars". This time she showed me her burn marks from her latest cooking fiasco. I would have shown her my bruise from hitting my hip on the counter but it would have meant mooning five o'clock traffic on the 215 and honestly I didn't have any liquid courage in me.

My mother had a phrase for our affliction. She used to say “you go where you are looking you don’t look where you are going.” This was the woman who after I had been beamed by a baseball bat to the forehead, thanks to my cousin Bird, and had blood gushing down my face said “oh you’ll be ok it’s just a little blood.” Yeah I was five years old and I was ok, except for the dent in my forehead that I still sport. Her cure for a sore throat was to stick a 10 foot long Q-tip coated in iodine and glycerin down your throat and send you on your way. She was a no nonsense woman.

When Tooter was about two years old she took a tumble and blacked her eye. It just happened that it was also the week that my whole family loaded up and went to stay at a cabin in Colorado. We always enjoyed our trip to the mountains and were looking forward to the mountain air and the cooler temperatures. We arrived at the cabin and all took our stuff to our rooms when it dawned on us that Tooter would be climbing up and down the steep set of stairs. Each one of us would admonish her and tell her “Tooter, get down from there you’ll fall.” We repeated this over and over again to her and she would slowly climb down the steep staircase step by step. One afternoon my brother started up the stairs and we hear from over in the corner of the room this little voice start yelling “GEEIT DA-OUWN YOU’LL FAHALL!” Tooter was making sure that no one else would get hurt either. That became her catch phrase. We made fun of her for years over that phrase.

While I was visiting my granddaughter, Miss Priss, last month I had to climb on a chair to get something out of the top of the pantry. I was standing on the chair and out of the corner of the kitchen I heard “NANNY GEEIT DA-OUWN YOU’LL FAHALL.” That was it I had to carefully climb down off the chair and sit down. I was laughing so hard that I was crying. I looked at that sweet little face that reminded me of another sweet little face oh so many years ago. I took her in my arms and kissed her and told her thank you for the warning. It was then and there that I decided no longer would she just be Miss Priss she would now be Miss Tooter Priss.

Introducing Miss Tooter Priss

When I relayed this story to Tooter she had the same reaction. She burst out laughing and then said “I knew she was a cool kid.” Yes, Tooter if she has half the compassion you have she is a cool kid. I had a great time, thank you for the fun trip.

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