Breaking the Sleep Barrier

Do your teenagers sleep too long in the morning? With summer vacation coming up, are you concerned about the number of teenagers who will be  “sleeping in”? Do you get irritable waiting for them to wake up and assume their daily chores? Who am I kidding? Can anyone make a teenager do a chore these days?

Notwithstanding, nor with sitting, I have just the thing to help you rustle those lazy teens out of their beds. There is no need to open the door and attempt to physically remove your offspring from their beds while dodging a shoe or a book being hurled at you from inside. My foolproofish technique can be used without entering the abode of such offspring, be they male or female.

To wake them up, simply follow these simple steps to breaking the sleep barrier.

  1.  Have your own parade! I’d begin by whistling softly and as the tempo becomes more insistent, increase your volume and stomp around the house clapping in rhythm to the music. If you have younger children in the home, definitely encourage them to join in.
  2. March enthusiastically up and down the stairs. Your offspring will yell at you to quiet down, so try to bring your parade down a notch, but make as much noise as possible quieting down, like dropping kitchen utensils, stepping on the cat, or yelling “Good Morning” to the neighbor as though he turned deaf over night.
  3. Then, just when those big whippersnappers (teenagers) are dropping off to sleep once again, hit them with a louder, more intense parade tune that busts their heads open. I highly recommend John Phillip Sousa’s many colorful marches, or my personal favorite “76 Trombones.” Marching and clapping to these tunes is exhilarating and will do the job!
  4. I suggest when you have reached this point, that you remove yourself and younger siblings to a safe place until the teenagers in question are fully awake and in their right minds.
Have a good day!

Still Proud to be an American

In honor of all the men and women who have served in the Armed  Services of the United States, I would like to remember Memorial Day. As a young child, I watched family, neighbors and friends in uniforms going off to fight in WWII. My parents told me these men were going to fight in the war, but I had no concept of what that actually meant.

One such relative was my second cousin, Bobby Double. We all lived in Pittsburgh at the time, and my mother had lived with Bobby and his parents for several years before she married my father. Mother and Bobby had developed a close relationship. Bobby seemed to love my sister and me, and he was always friendly, visited often and always played games with us.

During the war, my parents were probably quite ill-at-ease, because my father was German and my mother was of German descent, not exactly an honorable heritage at the time. One day mother told us that Bobby had been drafted. When we realized he would be going oversees, we cried, but our lives went on. Mother told us how brave the men were to go and fight for their country. I felt respect for the people who were fighting the war, especially Bobby.

Sometimes I would ask for more sugar on my cereal and Mommy would tell me that we had very little, because sugar was being rationed. I remember listening to her long explanation of rationing, imagining mean men on ships stopping the sugar from coming into the United States. Mostly I wished for more sugar.

One day my mother and father seemed to be particularly happy. Bobby came over in his army uniform, smiling from ear to ear. My parents were hugging him and everyone was laughing and hugging each other and picking me up and twirling me. I was happy too, but I had no idea why.

Only many years later, when I was in my twenties studying history, did I realize that was the day WWII was over. Even though I was only three at the time, I remember V-E Day, the celebration that occurred at the end of WWII, in May of 1945. The United States had helped win the war against Hitler. Bobby no longer had to be deployed, and we would soon be able to buy as much sugar as we wanted. Praise the Lord, our side won!


The Secret Passageway

In fifth grade I started at Winchester-Thurston Preparatory School for Girls in Pittsburgh, PA. It is a prestigious school and at the time was housed in a very impressive building with huge columns and a tall brick fence on Fifth Avenue in Oakland.  Our parents explained to my sister, Gretchen, and I, what a good school it was and how we should be very studious, because if we did well, we would have a very good chance of getting into college. They explained that they had to pay to send us there and we needed to appreciate that, and that it was good that there would be no boys at the school to distract us from our studies. I’m not sure I completely believed this, even at the age of nine.

Things went well for the first few years. I made many good friends, including Chrissie, Molly and Susan W. and I did well in my studies. It took a while to get used to the strict and sometimes pompous teachers, who expected nothing short of perfection, but eventually I learned acceptable behavior. For instance, we had to thank each teacher when we left the classroom and curtsy and shake the headmistress’ hand when we went home for the night.

Chrissie is the best friend I have from my years at WT and we had many sleepovers. Her parents bought a gigantic home in Fox Chapel and she invited me to spend the night. We were sitting around in the den watching TV, when she started telling me a secret.

“My father says there is a secret passage way from the den(library) leading to somewhere else in the house.”

“What?” I exclaimed, my eyes as wide as saucers. I had been reading Nancy Drew Books as though they had nutritional value, and the idea of a mystery was very exciting.

“Where is it?” I asked.

“We don’t know,” answered Chrissie. “Want to look for it?”

Before she was finished asking, I was up knocking curiously on the beautiful wood paneling. Chris and I spent hours that day trying to slide pieces of wood to the left or the right, and moving our hands over the walls trying to discover a secret button or latch. We knocked, we pushed, we put our ears to the wall, and we searched diligently for some kind of opening.

Over the length of our friendship, we must have spent at least a month trying to find the secret passageway, but never did. Chrissie told me just a few years ago that the passageway was never found, and she wondered if her parents had made it up to keep us busy. That was fine with me, because I had so much fun looking for it, how could I be mad?

Rattling on about Nap-apnea

You’ve heard of sleep apnea, where you stop breathing suddenly while you’re asleep. I think I have nap-apnea, where I take a nap suddenly, when I’m supposed to be awake.

I get really tired in the evening and I often fall victim to nap-apnea on the sofa while watching TV. My husband is usually sitting with me, but he often finds me asleep during parts of the show. I also usually have the part of the food chain called Popcorn. I love this food. I don’t think it can make you fat. It’s really just a bunch of corn seeds that have been heated. So, I tell myself I’m just eating a ¼ cup of seeds. It just seems like a bowl full of yummy popcorn.

One night I had a nap-apnea attack while eating my popcorn. My husband turned to look at me and my head was hanging down, my hand was next to my mouth and I was holding a piece of popcorn to my lips. And I was asleep, mid-bite.

“Nancy?” he said. I woke up and realized I had a bite on my lips, so I ate it hastily. Why waste time laughing (or crying) about it? It was funny. We had a good laugh, I finished my popcorn and we watched the end of the show.

Held Captive by the Food Chain

The food chain is a description of the way different species survive on the earth by feeding on a food source from another plant, animal or organism. Grass grows by sucking the nutrients from the soil, cows eat grass, and people eat cows, and so the chain proceeds from microbes to elephants, each having its food source.

One could describe the food chain as a cycle of “I’m bigger, so I’ll eat you!”

Being of unsound mind I always envision a chain made of food when I hear this phrase. I imagine it is made of noodles and looks like the construction paper chains we made in grade school to decorate Christmas trees. There are many foods that would make good food chains: bagels, pretzels, cheerios, green and red pepper rings, hamburgers(with holes in them), over-the-hill carrots and my all time favorite, donuts! Can you imagine sitting down to watch TV with a long chain of donuts? YUM!

However, we must stand firm against being held captive by the food chain. We can eat microbes and bacteria if we want to. Arise America. Eat whatever you want, no matter where it is on the chain, or if it’s the chain itself.

P.S. I once tasted a popcorn chain that had been on my Christmas tree for a few weeks. UGH! BLAW!

An Open Letter to Mom

Dear Mom, It’s been so long since I’ve seen you and I miss you terribly. I miss the way we used to walk in the woods and pick violets. I miss the old washtub you let me play in and my Annie Oakley gun set and the way you used to hold me by the window so I could watch the snow. There’s so much that I want to tell you.

When I was fifty years old I discovered that I have multiple personality disorder. I know if you were here and could talk to the psychologists and psychiatrists you would understand me better. I acted crazy when I was growing up and you had no idea what to do with me. Thank goodness, now I understand it. I had several personalities doing things that were not socially acceptable and acting out against you and Father. Please forgive me.

I had a problem with rage, as I’m sure you remember. The rage was not against you, it was against the babysitter that abused me when I was four years old. Mom, she held a butcher knife over me and threatened to kill me if I told you or Father. If you think back to the summer of 1946, you’ll remember that I started acting strange. You kept asking me what was wrong, but I couldn’t tell you. I was hoping you’d figure it out, but you didn’t.  So I know you formed a great dislike for me because I failed in every way to be the daughter you wanted. Again, please forgive me. I know it may be a few more years before I see you again, and that day is in the Lord’s timing. Just know that I love you dearly and I’ll see you when I get to heaven. Love, Nancy

A Childish Alter in Monterey

Other Multiples

If you know someone with multiple personalities, please tell them about my blog. I would like to connect with them