Tried and True Times Two

July 24, 2007 at 11:42 pm 8 comments

Well if one worries about spoilers from a movie from 1989, one should not read any further.  

Near the end of Steel Magnolias, M’Lynn  (Sally Field) talks about the death of her daughter, Shelby (Julia Roberts).  When the doctors removed Shelby’s life support, Shelby’s father left the room and Shelby’s husband left the room as well.  But M’Lynn stayed with her daughter and held her hand until the very end.  She was the only one who stayed even though “Men are supposed to be made out of steel or something.” (See where the movie gets part of its title?)

On Sunday when it came time to paint the ceiling of the upstairs hallway, I found out who my “Steel Magnolia” was.  Sean didn’t participate in any of the house projects this past week and this one no different– he watched TV.  My mother had given me ample notice that she had no interest in ceiling painting, plus she was weary from four solid days of dedicated work.  She stayed downstairs and read a book. 

It needed to be done, so armed with my roller, my white can of paint, my hiking headlamp (really good to help see missed spots) and an eccletic set of dropclothes, I commenced the chore.  It wasn’t long before I realized I wasn’t alone.  Who was with me?  Jimmie!  He curled up on one of the dropclothes and watched.   His support did not falter– He stayed upstairs the entire time.  And amazingly enough, he never once got in the way.  When I needed to stand in his spot, he took a few steps down the stairs and just waited until my work in that area was done.

Even though he’s just a dog, I appreciated his moral support. 

And where was Henry the Beagle?  Cowering downstairs.  There wasn’t a single aspect of this operation, ranging from rollers to dropclothes, that did not terrify him.  I guess I know which dog will not protect me in the face of danger.

While I am on the subject, I do have to highlight my mother and her contributions this past week.  There were things that were not fun, but she did them cheerfully.  Sometimes we were listening to her CD (Avril Lavigne) but even when we were listening to my CDs, she didn’t complain.  Her expertise and work ethic were valuable, but more so was her company.  That is a trend with my mother– I can really count on her company. 

Here’s a quick example from college.  I loved the Kids in the Hall and I really, really, really wanted to see their movie Brain Candy when it came out.  Alas, I couldn’t find a single person to go with me.   Finally, my mother agreed to accompany me.  There was a scene in the movie my mother found so disgusting she gagged— and she STILL stayed for the rest of the film and she still continues to go to movies with me to this day (though she routinely reminds me about the Kids in the Hall debacle).

I think more contemporary evidence surfaces when you look at geocaching.  My mother has accompanied me on more geocaches than any other person– even the young, adventurous whipper-snappers like Stacy.  Mom’ll tromp through the woods, dodge thorny bushes and when we get close, she’ll point out suspicious piles of sticks or leaves. 

All this stuff– helping me with home repairs, braving gag-inducing movies and finding pieces of tupperware in the woods– she does this, at least in part, for me.

And I very much appreciate it.

(Apparently I show that appreciation by making her remove wallpaper, coercing her to gag-inducing movies and dragging her out into the middle of the woods).

Entry filed under: Geocaching, Henry, Jimmie, Mom, Steel Magnolias, The Kids in the Hall.

links for 2007-07-24 links for 2007-07-27

8 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Clint  |  July 25, 2007 at 8:01 am

    So Carolyn gets the gagging-unnecessarily gene from BOTH sides of the family, huh?

    Sounds like Sean’s not doing his fair share of anything. Isn’t HE the one who wanted to move?

  • 2. tgaw  |  July 25, 2007 at 8:41 am

    I would say that the gagging comes more from Dad’s side than Mom’s. I really can’t think of another time when my mother gagged– whereas plenty of examples come to mind with Dad.

    1) Him brushing his teeth

    2) At a bridge tournament when I took off my new leather shoe and smelled it (he couldn’t smell it– just seeing me smell it made him gag)

    3) When he was removing the living room carpet, I woke up to a whole slew of loud gags

    4) When he ran over a dead groundhog with the lawn mower

    5) Once during college, I brought some friends over to the house. Right as we reached the front door, my father came barrelling out the door gagging…. with a shovel held out in front of him. On the shovel was a pile of dog vomit. That was the only way Dad could clean up dog vomit. He had to scoop it up from a distance with a shovel and even then he still couldn’t take it! It was quite a first impression of our house. Welcome! Don’t touch the shovel full of dog vomit and be weary of the gagging man.

    Gagging isn’t exactly a pleasant experience, but I do remember one time I was gagging and my mother shook her head and said, “You are as bad as your father.” and that actually made the act feel a little special. I didn’t mind it as much because it came from him.*

    I can’t say I have the same attitude with snoring. 🙂

    *I’m referring to gagging from sights, smells or sounds– gagging that was induced by my own whirlpool of anxiety never felt short of miserable

  • 3. tgaw  |  July 25, 2007 at 8:55 am

    @ClintJCL– If we are just looking at last week, your second statement is correct. There are other weeks where it would be an inaccurate claim. BUT, you did manage to accurately capture my frustration from last week with your words.

    So you’re accurate, but not accurate, but pretty darn accurate all at the same time! 🙂

  • 4. Carolyn  |  July 25, 2007 at 1:52 pm

    I couldn’t imagine if I didn’t have Clint helping with the staining. It’d never would have gotten done, and it would have been done all half-assedly. I got him to do all the hard parts. Except for the hardest part of getting up on the ladder for the enclosure wall. And the only reason I did that was because it was back-breaking work leaning all the way over like that, and when Clint attempted it, he had a back spasm.

  • 5. Anne  |  July 25, 2007 at 6:53 pm

    I can never put in words the fun time I have every time I go to Blacksburg and visit Vicky. It doesn’t matter what we do it is fun to do it together.

  • 6. Waterbed Room Progress « TGAW  |  August 21, 2007 at 11:22 pm

    […] out who is in every picture in the doorway.  Jimmie!!!  Still tried and true!  Every step of the way, he is curious about what I’m doing.  He loves […]

  • 7. Reaching Wallpaper « TGAW  |  July 26, 2008 at 11:57 pm

    […] concoction and Jimmie (Tried and true […]

  • 8. Wedding – The Pink Daisy Blanket « TGAW  |  June 28, 2010 at 1:20 pm

    […] is like breathing to my mother and still tried and true, she volunteered to take on the less fun part. When I finished a batch of squares, I shipped them […]


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