A blog by Lori Lyons

Friday, December 28, 2012

Oh Christmas tree -- a poem

It's the third day after Christmas.
Santa came and went.
So has all my money,
Every penny spent.

All the gifts have been given,
Except one or two or three.
If they don't get delivered soon
They will belong to me.

In the dining room is a basket
Filled with home baked treats.
A four-pound tin of cookies,
And assorted jars of sweets.
My village has gone dark.
No one bothers to plug it in.
And all the batteries have run out
And must be replaced again.

And the Christmas tree once green
Is withering as we speak.
 I know it's time to take it down
But the spirit in me is weak.

Everyone loves their Christmas tree
Until they don't no more,
Usually about the time
The needles pile up on the floor.

Some do live, some do fake,
Some do flocked with snow.
Some do tall, some do small,
Some do both for show.

                                                              Then some decorate in color themes
                                                               With ornaments all one hue.
Some do themes they think are cute
And hope that you do too.

Ours was live and once was green
And shined in all it's glory.
And every one of our ornaments
Tells a different story.

 Some tell tales of places we've been,
And people we no longer see.
We have lots of apples red
And plenty of fleur-de-lis.

 There are photos of our little girl
And my stepchildren when they were small
We ooh and ah and laugh a little
As we hang them all.

There are reindeer made of hands and feet
And Santas made of clay
Put together by little hands
And made at school one day.

We commemorate the Saints success
And our love of baseball too.
One shows our love for adoption
 And the birth of our little boo.

We had a few more ornaments
That I loved so dear
They were lost when the tree fell over
A couple of times one year

So now it's time to say goodbye
To this tree once bright
The ornaments are sliding off
And it's no longer standing upright.

These memories I'll tuck away
Until this time next year
But a couple of those pine needles
Probably still will be here.


Sunday, December 23, 2012

Husband shopping

Don't ask me what I'm getting for Christmas.

Or, if you do, don't expect me to say, "I dunno."

Because I do know. Everything. All of it. Every last thing. Because I bought it.

Some husbands get hints from their wives. Some get a nice, detailed list.  Some get catalog pages torn out with item numbers circled. In red.

Then they summon up their courage, brave the mall, fight the crowds and spend the time to get their wives exactly what they want. Warriors, they are.

My husband? He just goes shopping with me.

Here's how it works: The two of us (who are pretty much always together), go to a store. I see something I would like/love.

Me: Ooooh. Look hon! You could so buy me this for Christmas.

Him: <Picks it up. Puts it in the cart. Smiles>

No mental notes. No cell phone photo so he can come back later. No Amazon.com search. He just buys it. Right there.

Then he takes it home and hides it in the closet until Christmas Eve, when he takes it out and expects me to help him wrap it.


At least I know I'll be getting what I want. (This year is a very Martini Christmas!)  But while everyone else ooohs and ahhhs over their gifts, I'll open mine and remember where we bought it. And how much we paid for it.

At least I won't have to exchange anything.

Merry Christmas to all! I hope you get what you want too.

Last year I had a BLUE Christmas!

Saturday, December 22, 2012



She would have been one.

Should have been.

My husband's first grandchild. His son's first daughter. More steps for me.

A perfectly beautiful baby girl named Parker, she was born one year ago today. But instead of a joyous celebration of life, this date is one we will never forget.

She was born sleeping.

I saw that in a post by another heart-broken mother somewhere. I liked the way it sounded, though it's no less sad. No less tragic.

She was otherwise perfect in every way.

And this should be her first birthday.

She should be blowing out her first candle, receiving her first birthday presents, mushing cake all over her adorable face.

Born in December, this should be her first magical Christmas. We should be picking out presents and little red velvet outfits with lacy pants and tons of toys. She should have sat on Santa's knee for a picture and screamed for her mommy.

So much we must imagine.

When I lost my beloved cousin this year, the officiant at her funeral talked about her dash, the mark between the date we arrive on this earth and the date we leave. Some people, like my cousin, fill that dash with a full, rich life. Others do not.

Parker didn't even get a dash. She only got one date. This one, for all of us to remember.

So we gathered today as a family. A Louisiana family, of course. There were boiled crabs and beer. And laughter and love, a cute smooshy baby boy and beautiful little girls.

And chips and dips and candy and cookies.

But no cake.


Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Empty arms

She barely comes out of her room these days, unless it's to feed or to grab another soda from the fridge. Or to let some out.

Sometimes it's to show me some "hilarious" video she has found on Youtube, that isn't really funny at all but I stop what I'm doing to watch anyway.

Or to show me the latest item she needs for her newest "Cosplay" costume, which I totally don't understand but I say yes anyway because I certainly don't want to stifle her creativity. And it's usually pretty cheap -- even the makeup she had shipped from England.

Yes, I pick on her about the acne she's getting on her face and try to explain (gently) that if she would just wash it regularly....

Same with the dandruff....

And I try hard not to roll my eyes at the wrinkled pants she pulled from the bottom of the pile to wear to school today. I have to pick my battles I guess.

I do try hard to hug her more. And harder. And closer. Especially since Friday when a madman with insane weapons went into a quiet little elementary school in a quiet little town and massacred 26 people -- 20 of them first graders as they huddled in their merry classrooms with their teachers. Some in a tiny bathroom.

I can picture the tiny bathroom our local elementary school has for the first graders, some of whom have tiny bladders and short attention spans. I don't want to picture her in there with her friends, cowered in fear. Or their teacher, mulling any and all options when there are none.

I can still see the little girl with the beautiful curls, the big brown eyes, the pink sweater and the pink sparkly shoes. The bright-eyed, sharp-minded little girl who loved to entertain herself in her room most of the time, but would come out every once in a while to show me something she had drawn or written or made, or to repeat some hysterical line from her latest favorite TV show. Kim Possible mostly.

Who refused to wear anything but pink -- or a princess costume.

Who lost her two front teeth.

Who sang with no fear on a stage in front of a full crowd of Saturday night fair goers, after which she was asked for her autograph.

Whose daddy would pick her up and put her in my bed in the morning as he left for work so that the two of us could cuddle until our alarm went off.

Of course, now that she is an all-grown-up snarky tween it's harder.

She won't come out of her room enough, or hold still long enough, to let me hug her much. And when I do, she just rolls her eyes. When I try to tell her how much I love her and how happy I am that she is here, she sings that exasperated "Mo-oom" song that really sounds like "let me go."

And her dad and I can no longer pick her up at all (except in the pool).

But he still wakes her up every morning. And every morning she groggily climbs the stairs to crawl into bed with me so we can cuddle until our alarm goes off. Then, and pretty much only then, she is still my little girl. Still my baby.

And I can't even begin to imagine what it would be like if she wasn't. Or what it must be like for those parents who no longer have their babies to cuddle with. Ever again.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Calgon, take me away!

So, you may have heard this story about this Pennsylvania mom who went to the grocery store and didn't come back. For two weeks. She was found yesterday.

No, nothing horrible happened to her. She's safe and sound. Right as rain. Hungover maybe?

It seems she just decided "she needed to get away." Her life got to be too much and she decided she needed a little vacation. So, she left the husband, left the house, the kids, the car, the dog (if she has one) and the mother-in-law (maybe) and took her little ol' self to Florida. Alone. Without telling anybody where she was going or when she'd be back. Or if.

She is my hero. Really.

Imagine that.

No, really. Imagine that. 

I am.

I can so picture myself walking out and leaving behind my house with the bad plumbing and the broken heater, my snarky tween who ignores me every chance she gets, my puppy who refuses to pee outside, the neurotic poodle who ate my bowl of tuna yesterday, my mother-in-law who threw a bonafide temper tantrum this morning because she can't have salt with her grits, her helper who is getting more and more exasperated by the moment, my mother who is selling her personal belongings one by one so she can buy an iPad with  built-in WiFi. My resume. And even my cranky husband. He'll be leaving me in a few weeks. A lot. Baseball season is right around the corner.

Come on. We all dream about it, right? Fantasize a little? A lot?

I wonder what made her snap. The thought of having to go home and put away all those groceries? Having to come up with a dinner menu, slave over a hot stove and serve it up, only to have her teenaged daughter ask, "Can I fix macaroni and cheese?"

I wonder if she has her mother-in-law living with her too.

Just imagine... walking out the door. Right now.

 OK. Wait I have to go pack a bag first. Need the contacts. And the glasses for when I need to take the contacts out. And need makeup because, can't go off on some tropical vacation without a little makeup. And need some makeup removers because, can't wear the same makeup for two weeks. And need deodorant, because can't go to the beach without it. And need a bathing suit because, well, I sure as hell ain't going to a nude beach. And some clean underwear because I might get into an accident. And I need my Kindle. And the charger. And the cell phone charger.

OK. Now I'm ready.

Now I've got to stop for gas. .....And some snacks, because it's a four hour drive to the beach from here. Something sweet. Something salty. Something to wash it down with.

Oh! Vodka! Can't leave without the Vodka! And the blue raspberry mixer. And the Mojito stuff I haven't tried yet.

OK. Now I'm really ready!

I'm getting in the car, driving to Florida, plopping myself on a beach somewhere, drinking lots of vodka with blue stuff in it, flirting outrageously with some hairless young bartender until I convince him he should rub my feet, sleeping until noon, staying up until dawn.
Alone. All by myself. No one talking to me. No one needing me. No one snoring next to me or hogging half the bed. No one calling me. No one arguing with me. No one knowing better than me. No tissues in the laundry or chewed up on the floor. No booster seat on the toilet. No goddam beeper.

OK. I'm going. Right. Now.

Aw who am I kidding? The farthest I'll probably get is Walmart. That's where I went the one time my husband and I had a fight. I walked out, slammed the door, peeled out of the driveway like a teenager and drove like a bat out of hell. The problem was, I had no where to go. So I went to Walmart for an hour or so. And didn't answer my phone the entire time.

Take that, world.

I don't think they knew I was even gone.