Monday, April 30, 2012

Brothers and Sisters Day

I just saw something that said this coming Wednesday was Brothers and Sisters Day. Interesting that came up because I have been thinking a lot lately, actually the past year, about my little brother. We were 6 days shy of 2 years apart in age but really were like twins. We grew up in a very small town so we were playmates and best friends. He was tragically killed in an unintended firearm discharge. (A friend recently explained the difference in that and the word accident so I am choosing that for now)
My world changed the day that happened. I recently read an article about grief and it said that we need to celebrate all the time we had with someone instead of concentrating on the day they died because that was only one day in their life. I choose to do that. So this is about Charles Spencer Grover and his life, not the day he died.
I started this blog to put into words my journey into a new life after my husbands death and to share those experiences with you but I believe it is time to pay honor to my baby brother, Chuck, or as I called him, Chuckie. Thinking of him is a big part of my journey. 
If he were a child today he would be diagnosed with ADD or some other alphabet soup something or other. We could not have been any different in looks or temperament. He was blond, piercing blue eyed with a light complexion just like our dad. I was darker skinned, brown eyed and dark hair like mom. He was always, always, always in trouble for something and I was the good kid who never got in trouble. Maybe I played the game better at not getting caught. Who knows now.  It would be nice to share some of those memories and hear what his take was on all of it. I am sure he would be picking on me in some manner and maybe even remembering events differently. The good side of that is there is no one to dispute my side of the story. My memory is pure fact!

He was insanely musically talented even at a young age (I could only turn the radio on). He constantly found injured, wild animals and brought them home to nurse back to health. I like to think he would have been a veterinarian  or a very popular musician. No matter what he would have done with his life he would have been my brother and best friend to this day had he lived. We had another brother who was 7 years older than me and we were never close. He ended his life when he overdosed on cocaine many years later. His alcoholism and drug addiction prevented us from ever being close so my memories always go to Chuckie when I think of a brother.

A few years back a client of mine was sitting across from me and looked peculiar suddenly. I thought perhaps it was just the personal questions I was having to ask as a mortgage banker. She told me she had a gift and I could choose not to believe her if I wanted but she needed to tell me there was a young spirit with me and it was the purest soul she had ever encountered. She asked me if “Chuckie” meant anything to me. Whoa! She went on to tell me he was always with me. Still not certain what I think about all that but for her to know the name “Chuckie” and then to tell me he was always with me was startling to say the least. I don’t know a lot about guardian angels but I like to think he is mine.

I keep a picture of the two of us on my bedside table and frequently look at it and smile. Is he really by my side always? I don’t know but I do know he is in my heart always and no matter how many years have passed he will always be my little brother and I will always have the good memories. This is my homage to Brothers and Sisters Day on Wednesday and to my brother, Chuckie.
Do you have a special brother or sister you want to tell me about?

Monday, April 16, 2012


I have lived alone 3 times in my life. Just after college, after divorce and now widowed. I don’t like the reason I am living single but I can say that time has adjusted my brain and I now remember how much I like it.

I saw some information today that said 50% of US residents are single. That doesn’t mean they aren’t living with someone but the telling number was that 1/3 of US households had only one resident.

Why are more people choosing to live alone? It is just easier in many ways. I can’t fathom the idea of living with someone else at this point in my life. I am liking the independence far too much.

I can sleep in the middle of the bed.
I can eat when I want and what I want.
I can watch what I want on TV without having to go to another room.
I don’t close bathroom doors.
The only mess in the house is mine.

There are other advantages but if you are living single you know them already.
I have a female friend who has been in a "relationship" for 8 years. He shows up once a week and it is pretty much for dinner and sex. They will do social engagements with each other if needed but other than that they live seperate lives. She wants it that way because of liking living alone.

Does living single mean aloneness? No is the answer in my case. I am blessed with a network of friends who I stay in pretty close contact with and have a pretty busy social life. Then there is Facebook.....
Who can feel alone with Facebook in our lives?
You can connect and communicate with so many people on very different levels. You can see how pathetic some of your friends lives are (you know those whoa is me people) and really feel better about yours while you are sitting in your pj’s, hair in a ponytail (or in a male friends case with his headband on to keep his hair back but don’t tell him you know), no makeup, etc. You can look at other friends whose posts would make you think they have an ideal and exciting life when you know it isn’t so. With communication technology there is no reason to feel alone or lonely. Well, I guess if you are just a real loser and don’t even have Facebook “friends” then you are destined to be lonely and alone, really alone.

A big downside is groceries. Too many jars and bottles in my refrigerator get thrown out because they are beyond their expiration date. Food packages should be made smaller to fill the need of those 1/3 of US households that are just one resident. Ever thought about offering a half loaf of bread?

My periods of time living alone are adding up and maybe the longer this one goes the more I am going to like it and will probably always do so. Except when I am really old and my dearest friend and I are going to move in together and have wild, crazy parties with young men.
What do you think about living alone? Advantages? Couldn't do it?

Monday, April 2, 2012

Clearing Brush And Mending Fences

Really random thoughts…..

I disconnected Sunday to do some much needed yard chores and things on my honey do list was cleaning up the property line area between me and my neighbors and mending a lattice fence that needed repair.
The young people who have bought into my neighborhood are apparently pretty lazy. They have the worst looking yards of all. My 90+ year old neighbors take better care of their yards than the young people. The ones who bought behind me cut down the majestic 50+ year old camelias, are letting the shrubs grow willy nilly and letting cherry laurels take over. Cherry laurels are the kudzu of trees for those not in the south. They have also let vines grow into the beautiful dogwoods on our property line and it is killing the trees. I did my best to reach as far as I could over the fence to cut out some of the vines and the cherry laurels. All the while I was thinking I wanted to go into their house and yank their lazy asses out into their yard to do some work. They barely even cut their grass.

While clearing their brush and mending my fences I was doing a lot of thinking during what really was a peaceful and beautiful day. My thoughts about what I was doing made me think of the 10 Commandments. I wonder how many children even learn the 10 Commandments or are taught by their parents a version of them. I really felt like murdering my neighbors (6th Commandment) for their laziness and the work I was having to do because of that. I didn’t/wouldn’t because I know it is wrong. I probably have broken many of the commandments at some time in my life but I have not resorted to murdering anyone. Not that one is worse than the other I guess. God didn’t give them degrees of importance. Those commandments were instilled in me from birth I think and I really do try to live by them.

My other random thoughts while working was about clearing the brush from our minds and hearts. When you clear brush it allows the sun to shine through and new growth happens. If you allow the brush to hide everything you never know what is under there and new growth of the good stuff is hampered. Face your feelings and deal with them, clear away the brush. Snakes usually hide in overgrown areas. That is probably why so many people have snakes in their heads. Just a thought.