Don't let the difficulties of the present moments overshadow the reality of God's promises. God's promises still stand. And God's promises are stronger than our failures.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Colorful Characters and the Menopause Witch

I met the nicest gentleman today. I meet a lot of nice people but this guy was what you’d probably call a “colorful character.” He was 78 years old he told me, beanpole skinny and tall, with very, very long white hair and a very, very long white beard. If he wasn’t so skinny he would make a wonderful Santa. At 78 years of age I believe he was born in 1930. That doesn’t exactly put him in my generation but he’s not that far off – at this age 16 years is not so much. He wasn’t feeling well today but he assured me he was never, ever sick and had rarely seen a doctor since he got out of the armed services after World War II. I asked him where he served, wondering if he was anywhere my father had been, and he said he never went overseas because of a back problem. Now if I remember my history lessons correctly that war began in 1939 and ended in 1945. That would mean that he was 9 when the war began and 15 when it ended. Hmmmm. Either he doesn’t know how old he is, he lies about his age, or he lies about his military service. Well, it’s not exactly a lie I guess because he really did get out of the service after WWII – a looooong time after.

He told me he retired from a government agency which will remain unnamed in this post and that he had worked there until recently. Considering his memory (see above) that could have been last week or 20 years ago. He also told me he planned to jump off the nearest large bridge when he turned 80 because he thought that was long enough for anyone to live. I told him I knew lots of people who did great things after that age and named a few but he wasn’t impressed. He just laughed and said his friends had all agreed to go with him when he went to the bridge and would put weights on his legs to make sure he didn’t “float.” I asked him about these friends and he said he had lots because he “visits a few bars every day and sips a little.”

He couldn’t understand why everyone was worried about his “pressure.” He’d always had blood pressure – even in his 20’s he’d had blood pressure. The doctors then couldn’t figure out why he had pressure and they still couldn’t figure it out. Since I’m not the grammar police I didn’t try to explain that…of course, he has blood pressure, everyone who is alive does! He might have elevated blood pressure, or high blood pressure, or low blood pressure....but if he had no blood pressure he and I wouldn’t be talking! Oops, sorry about the tirade. And just for the record, he had a temperature too. I counted to 10. Of course he had a temperature. If he was dead he’d have a temperature – it might be room temperature but he’d have one. He might have fever or his temperature might be high but he darn sure has one.

Where am I going with this post? First, apparently menopause (see previous post) also takes out your normal nice person brain and substitutes the brain of a witch you never met before. Thankfully, your normal nice person brain still has control of your tongue because I was able to keep my mouth shut. I can handle the hot flashes but this whole crying/witchy thing I'm not so sure. I've got a lot of things I want to say to Eve when I get to Heaven about why she ate that darn apple and she better hope I'm over menopause when I get there. If she's even there.

Second, I love the “colorful characters” I occasionally get to meet. Like an older lady who was standing outside her room in the most colorful robe and hat I’d ever seen (the hat was covered with pink pom poms), staring at the American Flag outside the window. When I approached her she said, “watch the flag…it’s like a beautiful lady dancing. When the wind blows it slowly starts moving, gracefully unfurling, then dancing about until the wind dies down and it slowly sinks down.” Wonderful, delightful stories about living in Manhattan and going to nursing school in the 1930s were my entertainment that day. Another gentleman I met welcomed my visit and said he’d never heard about Jesus until he got to prison. Then he taught Bible study for a while but lately he’d “backslid” and done some things he probably shouldn’t which accounted for the reason he was living in his car down by the lake. And also was why the police had confiscated his car and all his belongings. But he most certainly planned to do better – he was going to “forward slid” now. Right….

Have you met any colorful characters lately? I’d love to hear about them.


Molly said...

Yes. I have one in mind that I'd like to send along to that bridge when the time comes, or sooner. Your friend can hold his hand [tighly, please!]and get his friends to tie some weights on, since they'll be doing it for him anyway---what's one more? If they need help I'll come along and push.....

I, too, have a witch who lives in my head. There are only a few people who give her the chance to get the upper hand. The person I have in mind is at the top of the list!

Suzanne said...

Oh Marlene, you've been reading my blog for awhile and you know I love characters...colorful or pastel...I just love characters.

The phrase "colorful" is quite apropos of a couple I knew while I was working in a fabric store. They would come in and buy any and all turquoise fabric. Why? Because they were the turquoise couple! They decided somewhere along the line that they like turquoise and so they wore that color every day....head to toe.

The wife once said to me, "Do you realize how hard it is to find men's slacks in turquoise?".....yep, I can imagine. They were quite elderly and such delightful, charming people. I haven't seen them out and about in town in several years. I hope they're OK.

The thing about menopause is that there's a switch that goes off....all of a sudden you do not suffer fools...AT ALL.

- Suzanne, the Farmer's Wife

Calamity Jane's Cottage, Bonnie said...

Hi Marlene, I know several, but one that stands out is when I worked at a hospital in medical billing. She called and I had her account, she said, "I'm not paying this bill." I said is there a problem and she said, "I walked into my husbands room and he was cold, I started screaming and ya came and brought him back and then he died anyway, I'm not paying this bill." Oh my, I gave her to my supervisor. She was kinda colorful.

elaine @ peace for the journey said...

Heaven's yes I've met one. Her name is Marlene and she lives by a lake!

Too funny.


Teresa said...

LOL...I don't always read other people's comments but I just had to this morning to see what other colorful characters had shown up. Elaine's is the best ever - this Marlene is a hoot and always gives me a smile. Thanks for sharing your daily walk with us all.

Beckynsc said...

I have an older gentleman who works part time with me, everyday he tells me the same stories. I enjoy his visits, but I wish he would "remember" something new.
Have a great day and tell the witch to stay home without you.

Kelly said...

We have several colorful client/characters where I work. It would take too long to describe them all, but suffice to say, they are great patience-builders to practice on not saying any meno-witchy comments!!
HA! So true about feeling like 'who stole my old brain and planted a croney brain inside my head!" I wish I had a dollar for every time I've uttered "what's wrong with me?" over the past year and a half, because I sure do feel at times I don't know where the old real me has gone!
A lady at church in her early 70's told me though, that once you are through menopause stuff, you will feel like you are born again (again!)

Dandelion Quilts said...

Marlene. . . at least you can keep your sense of humor even while you are suffering. My one friend swears by some herb she takes. I will see if I can get the name. Obviously I am not there with you yet, but I do feel for you. As for characters, I am about to meet up with 145 new 13 year old characters in a couple of weeks. :)

em's scrapbag said...

My favorite characters are the 5 seven year olds I teach each week at church. They always make me smile. And if their parents knew some of the things they tell me they would just die.

Pat said...

Marlene, I really believe that on any given day we are ALL characters!!!! Pat

Vicky said...

Marlene, Thanks for contacting me on my blog. Hopefully, it has evolved and feel free to leave me any more feed back you have!

On a different note, I work with some individuals that are truly "characters" in every sense of the word. They make work a pleasant place with their odd wit and wordplay!


Alex said...

Hi Marlene...sorry I'm not getting to everyone's blog as much as I usually do. Haven't had the strength to get up much lately.

I hope you had a good day.

Grammy Staffy said...

My goodness Marlene, I love your posts. You are the most colorful person I've met lately.

You are such an entertaining writer!

I love your insight and your humor.

I love the cute things you write about your grandchildren.

I look forward to and enjoy the comments you make on my blog.

I'm inspired by your guilting talents... I will get to my sewing room soon. I want to organize it like you did yours and then get busy working in it again.

I love my colorful,Stitching by the lake blog friend, Marlene... and please, please, pretty please keep me on your blog reader list.

Love, Lura

p.s. I hope that old menopause witch will leave you alone soon!

Ivory Spring said...

Marlene... all I can say, between your grandkids and people you meet -- your life is a colorful one, in that, I mean, your life is definitely interesting, and hasn't a dull moment in it! ;)


Rue said...

Hi Marlene :)

I love your stories. I think you have met more characters that are more interesting than anything I could come up with :)


Rose Mary said...

Don't you love meeting them? Characters are definitely what make the world so interesting! I've met several myself lately. One being a man who owns a UFO detector! Only, he says it doesn't really work as good as the ad says, as he's seen several UFOs since he got it and it didn't sound its alarm or anything.

Another I met, just yesterday, is a woman who is involved in a lot conspiracy theory internet blogging. She talked about it for a long time and I have to say that it was. . . interesting.

There are also some 'big foot' people that I met last week. They have a picture of one that they took in California. They also believe that the 'big foot' creatures are really aliens!

Characters aside, didn't you love the rain? My garden area is already sprouting in weeds. We weeded out there for a while this afternoon but still have a ways to go! And I noticed that my dogwoods look a little less droopy than they did.

Thanks for sharing your characters!


Salem Stitcher said...

Oh, I hope I will be like my mother and sail through the whole menopause thing as if nothing happened. I am hot natured enough as it is and the witchy/crying thing...well...I have that down pat too.

I can't seem to choose just one character. I work with a bunch, I quilt with a bunch and I'm related to a bunch. I'll settle on my youngest nephew though. I was trying to get him to go to sleep one night when he was about 2 years old. I finally just laid on the big bed with him. If I laid down, he laid down. I was peeking through my squinted eyelids to see if he was falling asleep. He suddenly sits up, crawls to me, gets right in my face and grins at me. I mean he is 2 inches from my face! I don't move (or laugh). He backs off. He suddenly moves in again, grinning at me. Again, I manage to not move or laugh. He plops back down and is out like a light. Silly kid. Don't mess with the Master Possum.