Telling Tales – Heaven

Wednesday, June 30, 2010  

They say that nobody knows what heaven looks like. They – would be wrong. I know exactly what heaven looks like and, I’m here to tell you, it’s grand!

As we vacationed this week by the beach and strolled around the town of Seaside, I explained to my husband that “If heaven doesn’t look like Seaside, I’m going to be really ticked off when I get there.”

Not missing a beat, he responded, “Really? What makes you think you’re getting into heaven?”

If we were any other place, at that moment – but heaven – I’m sure I would have told him exactly what I thought. But in heaven…I let it slide.  

For those who have never been to heaven, let me give you a first-hand glimpse of what’s in store for you.  First off, the sandy white beaches go on forever and ever. And the ocean is so blue you can’t tell the ocean from the sky. The center of heaven looks a lot like Nantucket with perfectly identical pastel cottages on cobble stone streets. Every cottage has a porch and every porch has a swing. The people of heaven (we’ll call them Angels) ride bicycles to their favorite little bistro, artisan studio or perfectly divine bakery. And the Angels wear shorts and flip flops every day of their fabulous lives. Of course, there is shopping in heaven and well, let’s just say…I’m sure God, himself, hand-picked the fantastic finds!

“I am meant to live here,” I gushed to my husband. “These are my people!”

“Are you kidding me? Your people? We’ve been married over 15 years and I’ve never seen you ride a bike. Can you even ride one?”

Once again, I let it go…because in heaven…turns out…I’m a much nicer person.

And so it went …all week. We spent the mornings at the beach, perused the local artist’s studios in the afternoons and dined with our family and friends, in quaint little seaside restaurants, each evening.

It was perfect.

But there is a surprising thing about this heaven on earth, turns out at the end of the week, if you want to stay longer, the Angels charge it to your card.

So on Saturday morning as Becky and I packed up (come on, do you really think I’d go to heaven without her?), we wondered what it would take to become permanent residents of heaven.

“Maybe we can win the lottery. Let’s buy two tickets before we leave. But you have to promise to split it – if your ticket wins – ok?” she said.

“Split it? You know I hate to share. But if I win, I‘ll buy a house in Seaside and you can stay at a reduced rate. How does that sound?”

“A reduced rate??? Brody is right – you like it here so much – because Seaside is quite likely the only heaven you’ll ever know.”

They’re probably right…but if, by chance, I do make it to heaven…and it doesn’t look like Seaside – God is going to have some explaining to do!

Angel Kane can be reached at angel@wilsonlivingmagazine.com. This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it To read more of Angel’s and Becky’s columns go to www.wilsonpost.com and hit Columns & Blogs.  

 

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Telling Tales – A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words…

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

I was on a cleaning gag last week and during said gag I found an old roll of film. Yes, film. For those readers who may not remember, film is what us old folks put in cameras to take pictures. So this set me on a mission to find out what this little piece of history had stored on its cellulose.

When I picked up the developed photos I couldn’t wait to see the faces and places that would show up. Was this the long lost photos from the summer I lived in California? Or the film from my oldest son’s first birthday party?  Or, even better, completely embarrassing snapshots of my college roommates? Either way, I couldn’t wait to see. As soon as the clerk handed over my purchase, I immediately started perusing.

The first was my 11 year old, Jacob, who looked to be no more than 3 years old. Next up, my husband and Jacob dressed for Easter. These glimpses were beginning to make me a little weepy. The next photo jolted me out of my nostalgia. For a moment, I couldn’t figure out who the woman was or the baby she was holding. Suddenly, the sweater she was wearing looked familiar. It was mine! The baby was a friend’s. The woman was me. I could lie and say the lighting was off or the picture taker (JAY!) got me at the worst possible angle or that the baby I was holding was mine and I just had not lost all the pregnancy weight. Truth is the lighting wasn’t off, the angle was ok, the baby was a friend’s and at the time, my baby was almost 3 years old. I was going through an awkward stage and had been having regular late night meetings with my two best friends, Ben and Jerry. I was a little (70 pounds)heavier than I am now.

Later that day I stopped by Angel’s and wanted to show her my discovery. Flipping through the photos she stopped suddenly and said,

“Who is that?” She said, referring to the less than flattering picture of me and a baby.

“That’s me and my friend’s newborn. Isn’t he cute?”

“That’s you and that’s not even your baby?! Were you pregnant?”

“No. I wasn’t pregnant.”

“Oh my God! You were huge. What happened?” She was looking at me as though I just told her I had some terminal illness.

“Nothing, I was still trying to lose the weight from Jacob.”

“How old was he?”

I changed the conversation and convinced myself that the lighting was bad in Angel’s office and the picture didn’t look ‘that bad.’

The next morning I was pouring a cup of coffee and my husband walked in and started thumbing through the photos left sitting on the counter.

“Who is this?”

Without turning around I said,

“That’s Jacob 8 years ago.”

“This isn’t Jacob!” He said this sarcastically and with a little laugh.

He was talking about ‘that’ picture.

“What!”

He looked scared like he was trying very hard to choose his words.  

Finally, he said, “Nothing it just looks like a big Becky ate the smaller Becky.”

And this my friends is why I have since thrown out that particular snapshot and insist that no one ever speak of it again in my presence.

Email Becky at becky@wilsonlivingmagazine.com This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it

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Telling Tales – Boss of the House

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

On Saturday, after a long day of swimming, Neill and Jackson (Becky’s son) raced inside to find me.

Neill: “Mama, can I go to Jackson’s house for dinner?”

Jackson: “Please, please can he come?”

I looked at the sunburned and tired little boys and said “No, its already late, you probably should just stay home.”

Then in unison it started:

“Oh Please. Just dinner, he won’t spend the night. Please, please, please. I’ll be so good. Just one time Ms. Angel. Oh PLEASSEEEEEEE!”

Finally, tired myself from a long day in the sun – I broke down – and said – “I don’t know, go ask your Daddy.”

The boys looked at each other, smiled and then raced to find Neill’s daddy and as they did – I heard the words that I never thought – in a million years – would  come out of Becky Andrew’s son’s mouth…

“ Yes, let’s go find your Daddy because everyone knows Daddies are the bosses of the house!”

My mouth flew open and just then Becky walked in.

“Where’d they go.”

“What in the world is being taught in the Andrews house these days?”, I exclaimed.

Becky’s face went white. “What, did he say a curse word?”

“Worse.”

“Two curse words.”

I paused, as I knew what I was about to tell her was going to rock her world.

You see, if you haven’t already figured it out by now, our little Becky is Wilson County’s biggest feminist. She actually has a photo of she and Gloria Steinem posing together after a speech Gloria gave – prominently positioned on her refrigerator. She reads all her books, quotes her incessantly and secretly believes that she is Gloria’s long lost daughter.

So – I had to be careful, because I knew Becky was not going to take it well  – – – and that a young boy’s life was now in my hands.

“He said Daddies ….are the bosses of the house.” (Becky’s left eye immediately began to twitch – a sign Becky was not taking it well and that  – – Jackson was a dead man.)
 
“He did not! JACKSON!!!!”

The two little boys came running towards us – with big smiles  –  because apparently the BOSSMAN had said Neill could go over to Jackson’s house.

“Jackson Andrews where did you hear that Daddies are bosses of the house? How many times have I told you that girls and boys are completely equal.”

I could almost see the inner struggle deep within Jackson. If he took up for the men of the household – his play date was doomed. On the other hand, his Father had told him that the lady posing with his mother on the fridge – was nuttier than a fruitcake.

Jackson pondered and then looked right at me and said, “I don’t remember saying that.”
 
He didn’t deny he had said it but didn’t admit to it either.

I looked over at Becky, “It looks like Jay has trained him well!”

Angel Kane can be reached at angel@wilsonlivingmagazine.com. This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it To read more of Angel’s and Becky’s column go to www.wilsonpost.com and hit Columns & Blogs.

 

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Telling Tales – Bathing suit season’s here! Time to start praying….

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

I love shopping for bathing suits. I love it like a cat loves a bath, like a 2 year old loves naptime or like my husband loves complete strangers giving him hugs. The very process of finding that perfect suit is poetic. There are many things to consider before purchasing a piece of material so small even the larger ones would be considered indecent in some countries. There’s the print, the color, the amount of medication you will need to feel comfortable wearing that thing in public.

Not only does it cling, it’s tiny too. I’m not talking about just the bikini. Those became a thing of the past after having my first child. Since then my tummy has more closely resembled a deflated balloon with a sad face for a belly button. And this is why I opt for a one piece but even those don’t hide the parts I think they should.

One of my most embarrassing bathing suit shopping experiences happened a few years ago. Jackson was just 6 months and Jacob, a newly minted 5 year old. Because of their ages, I had to bring both boys into the dressing room while I tried to get a bathing suit on and off before the security cameras had a chance to record this spectacle. I know I’ve got issues.

Jackson was content sitting in his carrier as long as he could see me, but Jacob was a little less patient. After promising a new pack of Pokémon cards if he would just give mommy a little piece and quiet he agreed and started playing with his hot wheels.

With both boys distracted by the full length mirror, I get the first of two selections on. I give it a quick look and decide against the color. In between getting that suit off and the next on, it looks like bringing the boys was no big deal at all.

Jacob soon grows bored and starts asking questions.

“Mama, why do girls wear swim suits?”

“Because, we like to torture ourselves.”

“Why do you HAVE to wear swimsuits?”

“Because you could get arrested for indecent exposure if you didn’t.”

“Why do you still look like you have a baby in your tummy?”

“Ok, that’s enough. Just play and let me try one more on and we can go.”

So I continued with my last selection and said my favorite little bathing suit prayer. “Dear God, please, please, please let this be the year that cellulite is as coveted as the next installment of the Harry Potter book series.”

As I was removing the last swimsuit, and silently putting a jinx on the person who thought spandex is a material suited for everyBODY, Jacob broke into song. He had been listening to music with his dad and the tune he was singing sounded a little familiar. At the top of his lungs he sang,

“Oh big belly bamalam! Oh big belly bamalam! Big mama’s got a child that nearly drives her wild!”

And he repeated this over and over and louder and louder. When I finally got my clothes back on we quickly left the store. I then said my new bathing suit prayer. A prayer that I still say before, during and after swimsuit shopping. “Dear God, please use lightening to remind me to NEVER take my children with me when I try on bathing suits. Oh and God, one more thing. Please, please, please when you get a chance could you work on the cellulite thing. Amen.”

Email Becky Andrews at becky@wilsonlivingmagazine.com This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it
www.wilsonlivingmagazine.com

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