Dee Dee Voltron

voltron

When I’m jogging I’m thinking. Thinking about the good old days. Thinking about the movie I watched last night. Thinking about soaking my feet when I get home. Thinking, thinking, thinking. Sometimes I’m in such deep thought that I can’t remember jogging up the hill I just came down. Now that’s scary!

Today I thought about Brandon, my first grandchild and how he picked out names to call all his grandparents, except for me. For some reason, he couldn’t decide on a name for me. Maybe, because I was the youngest, in his mind I didn’t fit the typical granny image. Maybe he just couldn’t figure me out, I don’t know. Whatever his reasons, he didn’t have an endearing, grandmotherly name for me.

Then, one Sunday afternoon my daughter-in-law smiled and said, “Brandon’s picked out a name for you. It’s Dee Dee. He was trying to say Sandi but it came out Dee Dee instead.”

“Well okay then. Dee Dee, it is.”

Brandon loved for me to tell him stories. In the car, at the mall, in the grocery store, on the porch swing . . . everywhere! All I’d hear is,”Tell me a story, Dee Dee! Tell me a story!”

Now, there’s just so many stories a granny can make up about the two of us riding on Mrs. Eagle’s back over the highest mountains or talking to Mr. Tree in the enchanted forest or creeping into a really dark, really spooky house deep in the woods. But if I didn’t make up something he’d drive me crazy until I did. That’s the way it works for those of you who haven’t figured it out yet. 

His most favorite story was when the two of us teamed up with Voltron and battled all the bad guys. We’d wield our shiny swords, conjure up our magic powers and fight till the bitter end. Then, we’d crawl into a cave where we’d regroup and strategize our next sneak attack.

 Suddenly, in Brandon’s eyes, Voltron was no longer a plastic action figure. Voltron was me, his hero, the one who came to his rescue, who bandaged his wounds and killed all the bad guys. Never again would I be just plain old Dee Dee. I was Immortal. I was invincible. I was Dee Dee Voltron!

And after all those battles I had to fight, and all those stories I had to conjure up, I earned that title and wore it well . . . at least in Brandon’s eyes.

Brandon’s now grown with a family of his own. And, although he no longer begs me to tell him stories, he remembers them all so well and still fondly refers to me as “Dee Dee Voltron!”

Mirror, Mirror on the Wall

Old Woman

Mirror mirror on the wall

I am my mother after all

My face is lined and wrinkled

My eyes are growing dim

My throat looks like a turkey’s neck

And hair’s growing on my chin

My butt’s the size of a barn

And my belly’s not far behind

All my body parts are sagging

And I’ve nearly lost my mind

I hope I’ve finally made her happy

As she looks down from heaven on high

To see that her fateful words came true

Before I roll over and die

~Sandi

Squirrel Capers

Squirrel By Colin

Every morning he amuses me

Scrambling up and down the tree

Chasing his buddies

Jumping from limb to limb

Sitting on the ground

Eating from his tiny hands

His white belly glistening in the sun

He’s so cute

Until he jumps on the bird feeder

Chases all the birds away

Costing us a fortune

Dumping birdseed on the ground

That’s when I want to wring his scrawny neck

Cut off his bushy tail

And hang it on my car antenna

For all his fellow critters to see

Instead

I let the dog out

He likes squirrels

As much as I like snakes

Like a raging bull

He charges out the door

Barking and growling

His hackles sticking up

His Iron jaws clamping down

Barely missing the little guy

As he scrambles up the tree

Where he belongs

Where I wish he’d stay

Forever

But then

I’d miss all the fun

~Sandi

Never Give Up!

Every Halloween the supermarket where mom shopped in Newark, Delaware held a contest. The store manager challenged local school kids to draw scary Halloween pictures on the store windows using soap. There could only be two winners, a girl, and a boy, and the grand prize was a spanking new bike for each one.

I entered the contest, not because I was a great artist, and surely not because I was overflowing with confidence. Quite the contrary. I dabbled in art as an outlet. And I was so shy and timid that I rarely participated in group activities. I felt more like an outsider than a member of the human race.

But a million times more than I was afraid, I wanted that bike.

My brothers did a number on my old, rickety bike. Every time I’d go to ride it I’d find the seat missing, or the handlebars or fenders. One day the chain was missing. Not gonna happen if I win that new bike. They’ll be lucky if they even get to look at it!

With paper and pencil in hand, I knelt on the living room floor and leaning against the big round coffee table that daddy made, I sketched the best picture a thirteen-year-old could conjure up. Little did I know that I was making lasting impressions on the beautiful pine table. All I thought about was winning that bike.

It was freezing cold and dark, except for the lights outside the store and parking lot. Like a tiny mouse, I stood before the stark, towering window, wondering what I had gotten myself into. Ignoring my doubts and chattering teeth, I removed my glove, picked up the bar of soap and began my masterpiece.

Giggles and laughter pierced the night, warming my spirits and coaxing me through the bitter cold.

About an hour into my drawing, my fingers were so numb I could barely feel the soap. Most of the other contestants were finished and horsing around and scribbling on each others windows, being totally annoying. But I wanted that bike. And I wasn’t going to quit if it took me all night long to finish. Stealing a glance at the boy to my right, his face etched with determination, I knew he wasn’t going to quit either.

Several hours later, I was finally finished. Much to my relief, mom and daddy had arrived, and feeling like the abominable snowman, I climbed into the toasty warm car, wondering if I’d ever thaw out.

The day finally arrived. On the way to the supermarket, my heart pounded with anticipation wondering what the next few hours would bring. With mom and daddy by my side, we stood shivering in the parking lot, anxiously waiting to hear the winners names announced. The sun was shining. The growing crowd was buzzing. And I was dreaming of riding my new bike.

Finally, a tall, slender man walked to the podium. I couldn’t tell you what he was wearing, if he was bald or what color his eyes were. But I can tell you his voice was that of an angel when he heralded through the microphone, “Sandra Baylis! Come and receive your new bike!”

I could have kissed a frog that day!

As daddy carefully secured my shiny blue bike in the trunk, I noticed a boy pushing his shiny new red bike. The same boy who was persistently drawing at my right.

When mom told me that I didn’t win because my picture was the best, but because of  my persistence, I was not discouraged. I was not crushed. I was empowered with the knowledge that, in spite of my weaknesses, I have a strong determination to reach my goals if I don’t give up.

My message to you is, never give up. Believe in yourself. And when the going gets rough . . . keep going.

~ Sandi

 

 

Nap Time

Maybe as a baby I liked taking naps. But as a six-year-old, with the great outdoors to explore, it was boring. Inconvenient. A total waste of time. The only one who benefited from it was my mother, who was relieved to get me out of her hair for awhile.

Most days, after a bit of tossing and turning, I could finally doze off. Other days my overactive brain just would not go to sleep, telling me I could be outside playing in the warm sunshine, swinging on the swing or looking for lizards under rocks. And I could even be wading in the creek if I didn’t have to take a stupid nap.

Beneath my bedroom was a back room; our everything room where the kitchen sinks, water pump, and galvanized tubs were. It even had a small heater standing in the middle of the large, unfinished room where we would stand to get warm after our baths.

Whenever I’d hear a noise down there, I’d sneak out of bed, crawl to the hole in the old wooden floor and have a peek. One day my fourteen-year-old brother had taken a bath and was standing stark naked in front of the heater. When he looked up at the ceiling I jumped back in bed for fear he’d catch me looking at him and tell mom.

Then the day I’ll never forget was when my three-year-old brother was in the back room. Jealous that he was up and I wasn’t, I snuck out of bed to see what he was doing. Quietly, I crawled to my look out, placed my eye over the hole and saw him sitting on his potty. He was so cute with his plump, rosy cheeks and big bright eyes. And he was doing good sitting there too, till he looked up at the ceiling. Suddenly, he jumped off his potty, and with his bare butt shining, he ran out of the room crying, “Mommy! Mommy! There’s an eye looking at me!”

One thing good I can say about nap time. When I couldn’t sleep, I had plenty of entertainment.

~ Sandi

The digital painting is of my great-grandson, Gideon. He is now going on three. He doesn’t like nap time either!

The Old Woman in the Mirror

My mother would tell me, “Don’t get old, Sandi. It’s not any fun.” And as usual, I didn’t listen to her. So here I am. I look in the mirror and don’t know who the heck that old woman is or what she did with my red hair and freckles. She was so sneaky about it too, sprinkling a few grey hairs here, lots of wrinkles there, and a bunch of other stuff I’d rather not talk about.

But I thank God every day that He has allowed me to hang around this long, and that no matter how scary old age is, He promises to walk with me every step of the way, to calm my fears, and to love and protect me from harm. And when I take my last breath on this earth, He will take me to my eternal home in Heaven where old age is not allowed! In that, I find hope, peace and comfort.

~Sandi