Jekyll Island Beach 2012

Jekyll Island Beach 2012

Monday, April 26, 2010

"HEY! WHAT'S IN HERE??" the street thief cried.

The Rogue Speaks:
O.k, so most people don't put much stuff on the fridge any more. I got some really funny stuff, but not as much as I though I would. BUT, I bet you have a lot of useless clutter in your wallets, pockets, and purses!
I really don't have a lot of oddball stuff in my purse--6 or 8 ball point pens, wallet, change purse with 38 cents in it, check-book, a comb, a lipstick, and an odd assortment of store receipts, all pretty current. Nothing bizarre or exciting. Oh, I almost forgot! I have a miniature metal measuring tape attached to my key chain. I used to carry a little set of tiny hand tools like screw drivers and stuff, and a pair nail clippers, but I lost them. When the kids were little, I had crayons, one baby sock, and a pacifier covered in lint. Oh, and maybe some squashed saltines in those little packets.
My sweet and saintly 95 year old mother-in-law, on the other hand, has a purse HEAVY with the most odd collection of STUFF. The last time she came to visit us and stayed for three months, her suitcase was an amazement to me. She brought two, and the big one was filled with yarn, some neatly wound, and some not so much. She had a portable DVD player in there, a very large assortment of make-up, and one white linen skirt. The smaller suitcase contained her pajamas, many of the silk lounging kind, her robe, and two pair of summer shoes, one of which looked like it had been eaten by a dog. I was furious that none of her daughters had overseen the packing of her bags--not even the one who LIVES with her! When I brought this up to that one, she told me that Mum brought what she WANTED to bring! Do you EVEN BELIEVE THAT????
It was January here, and not warm enough for a linen skirt. So I took her shopping and bought some cozy clothes for her to keep her shrinking 95 year old body warm. While on the shopping trip she complained that her purse was making her tired. I offered to carry it for her, and when I took it, my knees almost buckled. "Mum," I asked, "No wonder you're tired! This thing must way at least 10 pounds."
After dinner that night, I took on the task of cleaning out her purse so it was manageable. Mum was safely ensconced in Rod's big leather chair, all warm and cozy in her new clothes, drinking a glass of wine, with our dog Precious at her feet in case she dropped something edible. I dumped the purse contents out on her bed. Then I just stared at it for several minutes in wonder and amazement.
"Rod! Can you come here for a minute?" He came in and stared at the heap of STUFF on the bed. "What did you do? Dump out the junk drawer?" "No," I said quietly. "I'm cleaning out Mum's purse." He backed out of the bedroom with a stunned look on his face.
O.k.,now this is what I recovered from the bowels of Mum's purse: one flashlight, a pair of scissors, a screwdriver, a battery charger, a battery tester I used to check the 15 AA batteries (all dead), two wallets, a change purse that weighed at least two pounds, a change counter with one dime in the dime slot, four tubes of lipstick, a pretty little box containing 4 ivory tooth picks from her trip to the Far East in the mid-seventies, a HUGE manicure set in a leather pouch, an adapter, twenty used kleenex, a 1970 copy of "The Upper Room," a wrist watch with a broken blue plastic band that she got from a charity for the blind, that talks to tell you the time, OR it crows! She is deaf, even with her hearing aids. Then came an assortment of receipts dating back to 1980, recipes cut out of a 1950 Woman's Day magazine, 40 or 50 hair pins, and last, but not least, a date book from 1941. There! Top that!
Let me tell you, in no uncertain terms, this woman is the salt of the earth. She is sweet, loving, devoted to her children, and she reads her Bible every day. She is a child of the depression, and has difficulty throwing even the smallest item away because even if it is dead as a post, it might one day be of use. I am blessed to have her in my life.
HOWEVER, we are not from her era. We have no excuse for the stuff we drag around. In our "disposable" world, none of us would dream of keeping the items she clings to. She even tries to re-use her Depends. I had to sneak into her room every night and confiscate it. God love her! She never even noticed. Can you imagine trying to recycle disposable diapers or sanitary---uh--you know. We are too busy with other things to be bothered to save or even purge, unless things begin to get seriously out of hand. Thank goodness, we do recycle the important stuff, though.
Tell me what you carry around that is strange, bizarre, useless, or just plain funny. Not only that, tell my WHY!! This is a challenge! GO!


nothingprofound said...

Well, I'm a guy, and a big no-clutter advocate, so I don't carry much. There's always a pen and some paper, in case the occasional brilliant insight occurs, my reading glasses, my keys, and my wallet stuffed with hundred dollar bills (just kidding!). Nothing very sensational or unusual. Most of the bizarre stuff I carry around with me is in my head.

(By the way, delighted to hear you're in Arizonian. Spent many a marvelous night there, in the desert, staring up at that brilliant sky.)

Judie said...

Thanks, Nothingprofound! I have a lot of bizarre stuff in my head, as well. If I had to list it, some people would be shocked, some would laugh their asses off, and some would never speak to me again,

The Guy's Perspective said...

Jeez, I hate to be boring again!!

I'm a minimalist when it comes to carrying stuff. I don't even have a wallet. I carry about 8 credit cards around with a picture of my family wrapped in a rubber band. Then I always have a few tissues in my pocket. Fear of runny nose, more than an actual runny nose. Allergies. And my phone. I take my Ipod when I drive.

Special note: When I finally got an ipod it was one of the greatest moments for me. Why?
I dumped my entire CD collection on there. So technically I carry all of my music with me wherever I go.

Your mother-in-law sounds too cool!

Judie said...

She is soooo cool! What she really wanted to be was a violinist, but her father, Dr. Frederick Keillor of Edminton, Alberta, Canada, ruled his family with an iron hand. He made his three daughters go into some sort of medicine. Two were nurses, and one worked in a lab. Mum was forced into nursing, but she was such an innocent and a free spirit, that she never did more than babysit very strange patients with addiction issues. She was so beautiful and sweet and innocent that she was not very successful as a private duty nurse. Then she married Rod's dad. He was very intelligent, but also very impulsive. Their marriage was less than ideal. She was dedicated, though, and tried as best she could under the circumstances. She was very supportive of him, and cared for him when he became ill. She has outlived him more than 20 years. I love her with all my heart, and want her last days to be comfortable and happy, if at all possible.

One of my fondest memories will be of the two of us sitting in my den, side by side, working on our "projects." She could no longer remember how to crochet, so I took on the task of making scarves that she wanted to take to the daughters and daughter-in-law back in Atlanta, while she spent more time unraveling yarn that had become hopelessly tangled. It was an act of love for me, but it turned into something very profitable for me when the Guild's annual Christmas show came around.

She played the piano by ear, as well as the violin. Around 10 years ago, she, and a long-time friend, had a "gig" at Bell South in Atlanta, playing oldies and honky-tonk. They played more encores than I can count! We have the entire performance on a CD.

She knows nothing about ipods or CD's, and she gets nervous about using a credit card, and tipping in a restaurant, but she has lived an exemplary life. If there is a heaven, she will be there. And if not, she will be floating around in space just like I do in my best dreams-happy and cozy and warm.

Joann Mannix said...


Your sweet mother-in-law. She sounds like a wonderful lady who led an exemplary life.

You're absolutely right about the Depression era folks. My mother in law will not throw away anything. When she's here visiting, she brings her rotting bananas with her from her house. It kills my kids to watch her eat these black, gooey pieces of fruit because she refuses to throw them away. She's an Italian gourmet cook, so her dinners are divine, but afterwards she saves every speck of food. She takes the half-eaten pieces of food off of people's plates and wraps them up and sticks them in my fridge. It drives my husband crazy, but she won't change so as soon as she leaves, my husband goes through the fridge and throws all the little wrappings away.

I have a tendency to carry big purses because I like the look of a big purse. But, along with that, my girls think it is their catchall for everything. The other day I found my daughter's bra in there. Seriously. We were out for the day and she planned on changing shirts for dinner and she needed a different kind of bra for that shirt, so she threw her extra one in my purse. The poor girl is a triple D, so I had this enormous bra in my purse.

Judie said...

Joann, honey, YOU WIN! A triple D bra in your purse! I saw the pictures in your pink tee shirt--no one would ever think that bra was one of yours, which makes it even more bizarre!

The Guy's Perspective said...

Wow, she is cool. Way cool!!!

Reminds me of my grandmother. I miss her a a ton. She was pretty hip, and evolved a ton over the course of her 91 years. Fun to be part of her life.

Judie said...

Yep, my grandmother taught me to fish, and sew, and cook. I was the third grandchild, and lived with her with my mom and my grandfather when I was an infant. My dad was in the service. I was spoiled rotten! I miss her every day.

The Girl Next Door Grows Up said...

My purse could hold a laptop it is so big!!

Wallet, lipstick, mirror, band-said, benedryl, tylenol, advil, yes a tiny screwdriver, glass wipes, glass spray, lipgloss, extra keys, goldfish, diapers, wipes, kleenex, phone, notebook, 2 crayons, and 2 Teddy Bear Graham heads.

Judie said...

Hahaha! Good going! Love the Teddy heads. Nothing as bizarre as the size 36DDD bra in Joann's purse, though.

Angelia Sims said...

Wow, I can't top (heh) Joann's item either! I had sugar free redbull in there earlier but it's long gone.

Your MIL is precious! My grandma was from the depression era too. My daughter was so mad when she told her she would have to drink the flat Dr. Pepper from the can left out and not waste it.

And thank you for your comment on my Defining Love (it's been crazy the last few weeks). I so enjoyed your magical three story!

Story Collector said...

Ah, my purse happens to be a very boring affair. Money, ID cards, keys and mints.

Your mother-in-law seems like a wonderful person. She reminds me of my grandmother, when she was trying to teach me how to sew. She was so patient, despite the fact that I messed up even the simplest of stitches!

Judie said...

Angelia, if I drank sugar-free Red Bull I would be so wired that I would never get any writing done! my MIL thanks me every time I talk to her, for all the things I have given her. In return, I thank her for all that she has given me!!

Story Collector,
My grandmother was patient as well. And she was a fabulous southern cook. She would take me with her when she went to visit her sister, and we would go barrelling down the road singing Methodist hymns.

nothingprofound said...

Judie-what you said about your dreams on my blog. I'm with you. An old journal entry of mine: "If my dreams came true I'd be living in a horror movie."

Judie said...

I have one particular theme that keeps reappearing in my dreams on rare occasions, especially if I am coming down with something and am feeling bad. This dream is filled with anger and frustration over situations that I cannot control. These dreams all relate to my past, so I am sure that I have some vague, unresolved issues somewhere. Those are my horror movie dreams, so I wake myself up.

My waking life is nothing like my dream life. I am living a life that most people would envy. Not because I have wealth, which I don't, but because I have found contentment, and balance, and love--a lot of love!

purplume said...

I used to just carry one car key and a credit card and my license.
In my car I have deodorant, lipstick, bandaides and a comb.
Now I have a tiny purse. Lucky, now my credit cards don't get bent when I sit. I have to clean it out. I have too many business cards in it.

art4allofu said...

i keep the body parts of all my victims in my purse. it's the one place where NO ONE would ever find them.

Judie said...

Purplume, you are sooooo smart! I never thought of deodorant! Good choice!

To my cosmic twin, I know about all those body parts! I helped to disassemble them, remember?? See you in the a.m.!

Sarah said...

reuse her depends??? ewww! please get her more for mother's day!! i beg you.

your blog is so great with so many artworks on it. your paintings and sculptures are beautiful.

nothingprofound said...

By the way, your "Untitled Judie McEwen" directly apposite the comment box is absolutely exquisite. Reminds me of a Redon.

Judie said...

Thanks! It is a very small piece, only 8x8, and one of my first attempts at encaustic. It is getting hot here, so I won't be doing any more for a while.

Judie said...

Sara, I know it sounds horrible, and it is! But I finally convinced her that it was unsanitary. She is just sooooo frugal!

For Mother's Day we are giving her chocolates, her favorite thing.

And thanks for the nice compliments!

Elisa said...

I'm running around reading backwards through blogs, so I'm just seeing this entry.

I don't carry a purse. I just stick whatever I need when I'm out in the back pockets of my jeans. When I had a car I left my drivers license and debit card in it.

My grandmother, being a depression-era baby, had some interesting things in her purse too. Once she pulled out a tape measure. When I bought a new car she had my license plate in her purse.

My mom? Receipts for things that made no sense (a steam engine from the toy store??) and brake fluid.

That could be why I don't carry a purse.


Judie said...

I HAVE A TAPE MEASURE ON MY KEY CHAIN!! See!! I knew we were related!! HAHAHAHAHAHA!!!