On my way home to Kosciusko yesterday afternoon, Mom called and said Jen was running fever. It had gotten up to 102 degrees but, by about 9:00 last night, they had gotten it to come down. Yesterday was a pretty rough day, not only with the fever, but some deep back pain as well. Since I'm not there this weekend, I found some old, familiar lyrics that I think might cheer you up, Jen. Hope these bring a smile to your face like they did mine...
Dance your cares away
Worry's for another day
Let the music play
Down at Fraggle Rock
Work your cares away
Dancing's for another day
Let the Fraggles play
We're Gobo, Mokey, Wembley, Boober, Red
Dance your cares away
Worry's for another day
Let the music play
Down at Fraggle Rock
"31 Flavors," final ten...
10. When we were young, Jen and I would play "Talkshow." She would be Oprah, the talkshow queen, and I would be her flamboyant guest. For one interview, I decided to play a more 'behind the scenes' celebrity- Jennifer Montana, the wife of my all-time favorite quarterback Joe Montana. I told 'Oprah' all about my adoring husband Joe, our darling children, and having Jerry Rice over for family suppers. For some reason, this is the only interview I can remember with much detail. Maybe that's saying something... perhaps Joe and I were married in another life? Either way, I guess if the pharmacy thing doesn't work out, Jen could look into hosting talkshows. She's got plenty of experience under her belt.
9. Our dad has a nickname for nearly everything on God's green earth. It's ridiculous the crazy names he comes up with for stuff. Our younger sister alone has roughly 10-12 nicknames. Jenny and I were addicted to Fraggle Rock when we were little. (*See above theme song.) Fraggle Rock was created by Jim Henson and came on HBO on Saturday mornings. The Fraggles lived underground in a series of interconnected caves and tunnels. The 'workers' in the caves were called doozers. Because they were these little green creatures that lived in a cave, Dad nicknamed boogers, doozers. (I know, so gross, bear with me.) Now remember, we were really little. Any time we had a runny nose or needed to blow, Dad would say, "What's the matter? You got a doozer?" Well, I made it all the way to fifth grade completely oblivious that our family was THE ONLY FAMILY ON THE PLANET that called those things doozers. One day in our fifth grade Social Studies class, my best friend turned around and asked if I could see anything in his nose. "What do you mean? Like a doozer?" I asked. Oh, that's all it took. He busted out laughing at me, demanding an explanation for why I called them doozers. When Mom picked me up at carpool that afternoon the first thing out of my mouth when I jumped in the van was, "Jen, did you know other people don't call those things doozers? They call 'em boogers." In a very seventh grade, 'I wrote the book on cool' way, she answered, "Oh my gosh, Lauren. Do you mean you call 'em doozers in public? That's just Dad's thing. From now on, NEVER say that in front of other people." Good grief. All this time. Now I've got to relearn this word and censor everything I've ever heard my dad say. Lesson learned.
8. I was seven-years old when I learned Santa Claus only existed in the hearts and imaginations of little kids. It was Christmas night and Jen and I were snuggling into our warm beds, worn out from all the fun we'd had that day. Just as I was dozing off, Jenny whispered, "Hey Lauren, I figured out there's no Santa Claus." "What? What are you talking about? No! No! I won't believe it! (fingers stopping up ears) LA-LA-LA-LA-LA..." Jen sat up in bed, "Calm down, would ya. It's not like it's this great big mystery or anything and besides, it really was way too easy to figure out. You see, I noticed on most of my presents this morning that the price tags were still on. Who else do you know that always leaves the price tags on stuff?" (She didn't wait for me to answer.) "MOM! Mom's Santa Claus. It was really too easy. Can't believe I haven't figured it out before now. Oh well, 'night." Well, Merry Christmas to you too, Miss Grinch.
7. This is one of my favorites. It's how Jen and Matt met and fell in love. Matt lived just up the street from us in Jackson. One day I was lying on the couch zoned out in front of the tube, and in walks Matt Sample. "Oh hey, Lauren." Well, whadya know, I hadn't seen this guy in years. "I've been seeing these cars parked in yall's driveway with Attala County tags and figured I probably would know who was living here so I decided to come by and see." We caught up on what we'd been doing the last few years, and he told me all about Med School, "In fact, I've just taken the Step test. I'll find out what I made in a couple days." I wished him good luck and told him to let me know if he passed so we could go celebrate. He came back over the night he'd found out he passed. With an armful of beer, he banged on the door and Jen answered. She explained I was working and wouldn't be home for another hour or so. She hated to see him standing there with that great news and all that beer, so she told him she'd stand in for me to help him celebrate. When I got home, I found them out on the back deck, swinging and laughing and having the best time. "Hey Matt, I guess you passed? Awesome! Sorry I wasn't home when you got here..." He nodded a little my way but I could tell, even if I'd been Ringo Starr, Matt could've cared less. He was totally into Jen. They talked for hours and in the midst of one conversation he mentioned his love for music and listening to old records. "Oh, we should totally listen to records tomorrow night," she offered. "Of course," said Matt. The only problem was he had led her to believe he owned a record player. He spent the whole next day tracking down a record player and some cool old records. Oh, the things you do for love.
6. On our family's first snow skiing trip, Mom and Dad signed us up for ski school while they went gallavanting about the mountain. I wasn't sure what I had done to deserve that particular form of torture, and was certain Lindsey and Jennifer hadn't done anything to deserve it. Either way, we were stuck for a full day with a bunch of runny-nosed, whiny kids on the bunny slopes. That afternoon, the entire mountain was hit by a blizzard. As I was practicing my 'snow plow' through the torrential downpour of snow, I heard Lindsey calling, "Lauren, Lauren, I can't see!" I side-stepped back up to her where I discovered her goggles were completely covered in snow. I took my mitten and said, "Look Pooh, here's the trick-" and I wiped her goggles off. She was scared, I get it. That's why there was only minimal making fun. But just as I got Lindsey back in the game, we noticed Jen go sailing by us, headed right for a long line of preschool age ski-schoolers. Not able to turn her skis in time, she crashed into the last little fella. It created an all-out domino effect...and pretty soon every one of those ski-schoolers were careening down the hill on their stomachs, sides, backs...anything but skis. The instructor turned around horrified to see all his mini proteges in such a mess. The three of us were confined to our own little hill for the rest of the afternoon. When they finally came to pick us up, I don't remember ever being so glad to see Mickey and Lee Lea.
5. Right before my freshmen year of college, I got a cell phone. Jen had one for a couple years before so I already had her number memorized backwards and forward. I had the hardest time remembering mine though. After I'd given her number out to every Freshmen Joe-shmo that'd asked for mine, and she'd been called at every odd hour of the night imaginable, she finally threatened, "Lauren, you either learn your number or I'm changing mine." I couldn't risk her changing her number and not telling me the new one so- I learned mine. Who knew a little mix-up would make her so mad?
4. When I was in second grade there was an urban legend circulating through school, and it went like this: If you stick a sleeping person's pinky in a glass of water, they can answer any question you ask. The day I got wind of it, I couldn't wait to get home to try it on Jen. When bedtime came I readily hopped in the bed and began listening to see if I could hear Jen snoozing in the other room. At what I thought would've been enough time for her to slip off, I crept out of bed, grabbed the glass of water off my nightstand, and crawled into her bedroom. I slithered across the floor without making a peep and reached up to ease her hand off the bed. I let it dangle there for a minute while I thought up my question. When I was ready, I gently placed her pinky down in the water. Had I really been thinking, I would've come up with a much better question, instead I muttered out something like, "What's 7x8?" "56..." she mumbled. Holy moly! It worked! I didn't know the answer to my question, but 56 sounded right; I couldn't believe it! So I asked another, "Who is your favorite sister?" She grunted and said, plain as day, "Lindsey..." Harumph. So much for letting her borrow my roller blades. Onto the next question. As I sat there, with her pinky in the water, and thought, she sat straight up in bed and yelled, "Lauren, if you don't leave me alone and go back to bed, I'm gonna dump this whole cup of water on your head!" She'd been awake through all the questions. Guess I'll never know if it really works.
3. My sister, the pharmacist. I'm so proud. Unfortunately for her, I use her professional knowledge and skills as my 24/7 doctor-on-call. When I was a junior in college, she was in her second year of pharmacy school. I had had a pretty fun all-dayer in the Grove and topped it off with a big ol' greasy supper at Ajax. About 9 o'clock that night, I laid down to call it a day when all of the sudden, sharp pains started shooting through my chest. Certain I was experiencing something similar to a heart-attack, I called my 'doc-in-a-box' sis and told her she needed to rush over to the DG house and take me to the emergency room. I was fading and fast. When she got there, I had talked myself out of the heart attack but still couldn't shake the burning sensation. I needed something to cool and soothe the lingering pain. I hopped in her car and said, "How 'bout some ice cream?" "Lauren! Have you lost your mind?! First you tell me you're having a heart attack and now you want ice cream?! I swear! If you're ever in any real trouble, you're gonna have to call somebody else!" She drove me to the gas station where we both loaded up some cones, and she grabbed some Tums for me. We went to her house so she could finish typing a paper, and I decided to spend the night, just in case.
2. This one's not even remotely funny but it's one of my favorite memories of her... When I was in 10th grade I had to have two skin grafts done on my mouth. It was a horribly painful procedure where the doctor took skin from the roof of my mouth and then stitched it to my receding gum line. The gums in front of six teeth had to be done, so the doc thought it best to do three at a time making it two seperate procedures. After the first surgery, I was in excruciating pain for a full week. Even that lovely little pill called Loritab didn't help much. Several months passed and my mouth had healed enough for the second surgery to be performed. About a month before the surgery, Jen came in my bedroom and said she'd let the doctor take the skin from her mouth to use for the skin graft. Even after she'd seen how painful it was, she still offered. I declined, telling her I wouldn't put my worst enemy through that kind of pain. I couldn't find the words to tell her how much her willingness to endure that awful ordeal meant to me.
1. One Christmas, when Jen was about six years old, Mom and Dad gave her a globe. She unwrapped the bulging package and exclaimed, "Oh Momma! Daddy! Thank you for the world!" Boy. She hit the nail on the head. I don't know many folks like them. The selfless sacrifices they've made through the years, not to mention some incredibly trying times for the whole family, have made our parents, in our eyes, some of the strongest and most loving people we know. So there it is Mom and Pop, after this many years I think Pooh, Jen, and I would all say, "Thank you for the world."