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Monday, November 30, 2015

Mrs. Geise, I Finally Get You

When I was growing up, our pastor's name was Pastor Geise. This pastor stuck around our little church long enough for the pastor and his wife to become actual friends with my parents.  They were good enough friends that they let us use their lake cabin once a year for family vacations.  It was a cute little cabin on a hill, next to a lake.  We swam.  We fished.  We played card games.  We read old ladies magazines (not "old lady" magazines...but old, lady magazines - punctuation matters kids!)

Pastor Geise had once shot and killed a bear and it was made into a rug that was hung on the wall right as you came into the cabin.  There is no scarier site when you are little, I promise you, than walking in and staring into those glassy eyes with those razor sharp teeth in your face.  Trips to the bathroom in the middle of the night after you have imagined that bear coming to life..and just laying in wait for picnic either.

This cabin was just a 2 bedroom cabin, so my sister, Karen and I usually ended up sharing the 2nd bedroom, big deal really, since we shared a bedroom at home.  But, at home, we had twin beds (although once upon a time we shared a double bed at home but, sadly, that was during my bed wetting years....and neither of us like to speak of that time in our shared history.)

Oh, another helpful tidbit to this story is that Karen and I didn't get along.....really, until I turned almost 18. She didn't like me.  I adored her.  I wanted to be her.  I would snoop through her things with the silent hope that somehow I would pick up that little intangible "thing" that made Karen so spectacular.  She hated it.  She hated me touching her stuff.   She hated that I always copied her...tried to dress like her...tried to wear my hair like hers.  She wanted nothing to do with me.  Really.  She even created an actual line (I think it might have been yarn) down the center of our room for me not to cross under any circumstances.  Of course I did.

Of course, I let mom and dad use me to do the occasional clandestine spy job on Karen and whomever she happened to be talking to at the time.  Usually someone of the boy persuasion.

I think you get the general idea.  She was not a big fan of me.  In general, we were not big buddies.

Fast forward to one of our stays at the Geise's cabin.  I do not remember a lot of details from this particular vacation...other than the fact that the Geise's were actually there too.  I cannot remember if they were just there for the day.  If they slept in the master bedroom and my parents slept on the hide-a-bed.  I don't know.

I just remember Karen and I were in our usual bedroom one night and...wait for it....we were getting along.  We were laughing.  We were giggling.  We were talking.  At bedtime.  Got that picture in your head?

Mom asked us to quiet that polite voice she used in front of other people.  (You know that voice.  You probably use it yourself now...right?)

We did.

For a little bit. Then something was really funny again.  So, we started up laughing and giggling all over again.

Then, Mrs. Geise's stern voice rung out over the whole cabin.  "Girls (dramatic pause here)....your mother has asked you to be quiet."

Uggg....who did she think she was!?!?  I mean....geeez.....we were getting along and everything.  It wasn't like we were fighting and being mean.  We were laughing.

Get the picture?!?

I can still totally remember this to this day.  How about you, Karen?

Anyway.....the memory really came crashing in last night at bedtime.

I had gone to bed sort of early, because I had a headache...and I was just tired.  (Not sure my new thyroid medicine is keeping up)  Anyway, I am laying in bed, lights off and I hear shenanigans in L-girls room right next door.  She was playing a card game with a few of the littles.

S-girl had gotten tired of the game and  was coming in to snuggle in bed with me.  As she lay down, I asked her to go tell the other kids that enough was enough.  Mom was in bed....with the lights off.  Mom was tired.  Be quiet.

She did.  She climbed into bed and the ruckus next door kept going....there was even a few bangs into the wall.  (Which happens quite a bit since L-girl has her bed against the wall).

S-girl realized she had forgotten to go to the bathroom - just one more time - (just like her mommy) as she was leaving, I asked her again to be my messenger.  Tell them I mean it.  Tell them mom is getting mad.  I heard her sweetly telling them them needed to be quiet.  Mom was trying to sleep.

The fun in the next room continued.

S-girl slipped back in and as she was climbing into bed started relaying what they had said.  "The bump was an accident...V-girl just....(blah, blah, blah).  They won't do it again....(blah, blah, blah)."

At this time, a great roar or laughter erupted from next door.  At which time, I shouted at the top of my lungs, "It wasn't the banging that was bothering me.  It was the laughing and giggling!  Stop it!"


Oh.  Mrs. Geise....I owe you and my mom and apology.  All these years, I had just decided you were a cranky old lady that didn't want anyone to have fun.

Now, I know.

You were just a tired mom....looking out for another tired mom.

I get it.

I am sorry.