Sunday, January 8, 2012

Grand Returns

Well I am finally back in London and it is amazing how this city always manages to cheer me up. Even on the grayest day London can make me feel more alive than the brightest day in Houston. Maybe because I will always see it as I did on my first visit 20 years ago. I sometimes find it hard to believe it has been that long since I walked these streets for the very first time. We spent those three weeks in the theater and at the Tower of London, mom unfortunately kept asking us where we wanted to go and to a 12 year old and a 9 year old a castle is the only cool place to be. Think we found every nook and cranny that you are allowed to explore there and maybe a few you weren't supposed to. I do remember the theater and being depressed we were unable to see a Shakespeare play while here, even back then I had a troubling obsession with the Bard thankfully I have extended it to Marlowe and a few others now :). The Jack the Ripper tour in the dark and being told not to touch the walls as we wandered through alleys and dark parts of London that even now are easily pictured as the hunting ground of Jack.
The great trip out to Duxford and mom misreading the bus schedule and of course getting in trouble for having our pictures on a apparently still used run way. How were we to know?

Maybe it was finding a postcard at Grandmothers of this long ago trip that brought it home a bit. I spend a great deal of time wondering if she was proud of us lately. I know silly to wonder since I can't ask now, and even if I could who knows if she would answer truthfully. I also wonder if she would still be here if I had chosen to go to SMU or the University of Texas for school instead of the University of Greenwich. Suppose that is the only regret of the last three years and while it is a big one it is the only one. Suspect that is what has me studying away for these tests this week and trying to move on. It was a rough three weeks back in Texas. To have to pack up 50+ years of someones life and try to make sense of the reason she was gone is hard. The what if's are the worst. What if I had not gone, what if I had said no there is something wrong and forced grandmother to get in the car and away from my cousin. Hell what if I had stood more firm behind grandmother when she refused to have that PIK line put in in the first place. She would probably still be here, well there happy in her home in Houston. Instead my last memory was leaving her in that horrid place my cousin put her, for her own good according to Dian, looking so small and lost and I guilty for not trying harder. Even sadder is the theft that went on before grandmother even became sick. There was a reason my cousins wanted her in that home and didn't want her to leave. They had already started taking things from her house. Hard to believe that a "Good Christian" woman like my cousin would do that, except when one remembers she is an utter hypocrite. And unfortunately my cousin is why I find it hard to trust most Christians.

That was the hardest bit to find out grandmother had left us everything, but to walk into the house and see the things they had stripped from the house out of I can only assume wholesale greed. Most of it I would have gladly given them, but no they had to sneak into the house and steal. My grandmothers jewelry, even her wedding ring was not  sacred to them, just things that they coveted and took as if they had the right to do so. Well I have the faith that nothing goes unpunished and what goes around comes around. I am just angry and upset more because they have betrayed the faith my Grandmother put in them and she can only watch now. Oh well it has given me more of a reason to be sure that my will is clear and straight.

But enough of sad things, especially as Grandmother would not want me to be sad. She, as she said many times, was old and had seen the world and would not want me to miss out because she had passed. Probably I should enjoy the fact she is in a better place and much happier since she no longer has to wait for my weekly calls but can watch me constantly. Now that is worrying, who wants there Grandmother spying on every aspect of their life? No matter how saintly we are, we all have things we probably wouldn't share with people and especially our grandmothers. Though knowing her she is probably still yelling at Grandfather, I know she died in September but well she did have a bit of a long list of grievances with him the last I checked so she might be distracted for a bit longer. Though he is probably hoping she will run out of them soon, he must have been relishing the intervening years of peace and quiet he had enjoyed. But the whole thought of possible dead relatives spying does give one the heebee geebees. Dad has been gone for 27 years now and some part of me doesn't like to think of him spying on me and my various lovers through out the years, it seems a bit incestuous and disturbing really. And well we won't get into the various things I enjoy that well are very naughty to say the least. Makes one wonder though since we never want to think of our parents having sex how much of a trial we shall be for our own children at some point.

If anything death begins to make one think and wonder about children and I have begun the tap dance I do every so often when I think of having kids. At first it seems like a great idea and I find myself making funny faces at other peoples children on the bus. Then I start reminiscing over my own childhood and it sounds good till I remember how many times David and I were lucky to still have all our limbs let alone still be walking amongst the living.

 There was the bebe gun incident where we had an actual gun fight, it resulted in a broken window in the billiard room and 20 min of my brother trying to get the bebe out of my arm with a pair of tweezers. There was the time we decided if we broke our right arms we wouldn't have to do our homework and it might also have the happy result of making us ambidextrous like Grandfather Sailboat. Luckily it turned out to be too painful and David also figured out if he broke my arm first I would be unlikely to break his with the sledge hammer. Then there was the tiger trap/foxhole we dug in the back yard, it was about 8 ft wide and 8 foot deep. Luckily mom was not as oblivious as we thought she was and she didn't fall in. Then we had that joust on the ponies and then the trick riding luckily Sonnet, Rapunzel, and Ara were smart ponies and wouldn't have any part of either idea. Thankfully the cows were placid so the bull-riding incident only ended up with "Stubby", that was the bulls name, being slightly annoyed that he had two children hanging off his back and interrupting his meal. The hide and go seek on horse back that ended with me having 15 stitches and David coming down with the flu he caught from coming with me and mom to the emergency room. Then we snuck into town by hiding in the horse trailer. I swear I get grey hairs just thinking of the trouble we could have gotten into especially when we decided to make our own fireworks. And the thought of having kids quickly becomes one of utter terror, because I know no matter whom I dilute my genes with I doubt it will be enough to have all the kids survive to adulthood.

Heck if my mother is to be believed it gets worse with every generation. The stories of my great grandmother Bennett, well she would have been a Blair at the time of the incident, would make your hair stand on end. The mildest of the stories was her tricking the ostler at my great great grandfathers inn in Springfield to let her have the carriage so she could go joy riding. She would tell him she would drive it around for him since her father wanted the carriage and then take off in it herself. No wonder she was married off to a man twice her age. Oh well either way this has been the thoughts for the last few months and I am sure that I shall still think them, but well till the end of May priority numero UNO is graduating. I will be 33 this April and it is time to finish and become and adult even though I would rather not. And once I graduate it is time to join the real world and realize that kids, marriage, and all that are not as scary as I think. And that one way or another Grandmother would be proud of me no matter what happens, even if I end up the crazy old cat lady :)

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