Thursday, August 26, 2010

Baby Steps

So I'm trying to think of an object lesson. 

Because object lessons illustrate things. 

Things I want to convey. 

Remember when I went to Mt. Carmel to reconcile and reconnect with my past and my people? 

And remember when I said it's very hard to write about it? 

I didn't mean hard painful--over that part--I meant hard complicated! 

See my dad's family had an extremely complex family dynamic.  With very little food available to cope with that dynamic.

You get me?  

Manipulation, guilt and endless projects are so much easier to take when you've got Cheetos and Ding Dongs and Oreos to shove into your pie hole.  

And there's nothing like a Code Red Mountain Dew to take the edge off religious zeal.

I used to have food issues, btw.  (And I still have religious zeal issues.) 

It would take mounds and mounds of words to make you feel what I felt, and help you understand what I understand. About Psychology.

Let me just say that my dad was the favorite.  Everybody lubbed his guts.  Especially his sisters and his brothers and his mother and father. They missed his guts excessively when he died. Insomuch that they did feel that they were the only ones who missed his guts. And they did clutch and cling mightily to the memory of his guts.  Or at least to their memory of his guts, minus our memory of his guts. 

In other words, they didn't know about half the crap we went through. 

Just keepin'  it real. 

But it wasn't all crap. Family dynamics can be hilarious.

For instance, while I was in Mt. Carmel a few weeks ago, one of my dad's sisters mentioned that she had a couple of boxes she'd been saving--boxes full of my dad's stuff that she felt ready to turn over to me and my siblings to distribute amongst ourselves. 

Imagine my excitement! 

I don't have anything of my dad's (unless you count my extremely charm-your-socks-personality and the cowlick motif going on in my hair.)  

"Do you want some help carrying it down," I asked, anxious to see the treasures.

"No, I can get it," she said.  And she could. She really, really could.

She returned with these two boxes:

Photos are scaled to actual size. 

It's a reel to reel tape entitled The Road to Bethany.

And a check book box full of a tiny magazine cut outs, a poem, and a list of funeral arrangements.

Not sure how I'm going to divide it amongst the seven of us children.

At least I have first pick of the Jesus pictures.


DeNae said...

So, was this a "tell them about the crap you went through" kind of visit? Or a "them rebuke you for how everything turned out with him" kind of visit? Or a "let's ignore all of that and just look at these pictures and this reel to reel tape" kind of visit?

How does your mom feel about these trips to Mt Carmel?

Mariko said...

The problem area isn't a problem anymore?
What is that picture?

when I got married my aunt sent some very strange stuff. Maybe that's what makes it valuable. If it was anything else you could just buy it yourself, right?

Andrea said...


I wonder if my kids would duke it over my collection of Harry Potter books (I have them in five different languages you know :)

I haven't been around in forever, I know, bad me. Just lots of...stuff going on.

Stephen said...

My vote is for Color Copies. I think you should keep the originals. You took the time to search them out. What is the road to Bethany?

OldBoatGuy said...

Crash, I have a reel-to-reel tape player. Just offering.

Garden of Egan said...

Those are amazing.

So is your religious zeal!

The Crash Test Dummy said...

Ha ha ha I'm LOLing. Old Boat Guy has a reel-to-reel. That's awesome. My mom says she's already copied the Road to Bethany onto a CD. I guess my dad had two copies.

Also LOLing at Stephen. ha ha ha Stephen is my brother, which makes his comment that much funnier. Stephen you've been on a roll lately. (You were joking, right?) You don't know the Road to Bethany? You really aren't religiously zealous are you? Don't you remember dad listening to it over and over? I sure do.

I'm also LOLing that Andrea has Harry Potter in five different languages. hee hee

DeNae, it's always a "let's ignore the white elephant in the room" kinda visit. I would never tell them all the crap. I used to want to but they have a way of turning it around on us and it would end up being my mom's fault. My mom is allergic to Mt. Carmel.

Mariko, I'm so happy to see your hoity toity face here again. I lub that that magazine cut out caused you pause. It caused me pause too. It's a head scratcher. The other side of the picture is a pretty blond girl sitting in a fancy car. Maybe that was the side he intended to cut out. ha ha

T said...

yeah... "the problem area isn't a problem anymore is definitely perplexing"... I don't think it's referring to the area of Mt Carmel though!

by "a few boxes" I was expecting... you know, at least a handful of things... did you laugh out loud when you saw the actual boxes?

The Crash Test Dummy said...

Yes, I laughed out loud. Inside. I think my aunt was disappointed that I didn't tear up when I saw everything. haha

Sandi said...

Hmm. I wonder if my little stash of stuff would seem to be this strange to the casual onlooker? I don't blame your mom for being allergic, sounds like it's best that way.
I'm curious- do the Mt. Carmel peeps read your blog?

Colleen said...

So the problem area isn't a problem anymore! Don't hear that enough. Can someone embroider that? Keep that one for sure! Also, after looking eight hours through all our "important papers," i.e., a dozen boxes,at least, of memorability for a blankity, blank blank birth certificate, I can't help envying the simplicity of that box, and the focus!!! although it sure leaves a lot unsaid. A-n-y-thing anywhere else? A journal might be nice!

The Crash Test Dummy said...

Oh Colleen I am so happy to see you. I miss you so much. I LOL'd about the problem area embroidery. hahaha You're such a nut. It's a little haunting isn't it. I hear you about searching through boxes for important blankety blank documents. I am in a mess that way. Did you find the certificate? How are you doing, btw? We need to talk. Is Dolly there right now?

Yes, there were other things. And I have read all my parent love letters and his notebook/journals. These little pictures weren't all he left behind. I just thought it was hysterical that this is what his sisters saved for us. They swooped in and grabbed a lot of his stuff when he died.

Sandi, the Mt. Carmel peeps don't. A few of their kids may.

Donna said...

OK, I can totally fix this for you,,,,the next time you do a tour across Southern Utah, cruise down to Las Vegas and let me cook for you, I will fix all of your problems and set you free. the reason I can is I "understand" wink, wink.

IWA (e - va) said...

Im so glad everyone laughed too!

I say, spill your guts.. even if its long winded and lots and lots of words!

I really love hearing stories about your dad!

Kazzy said...

Family stuff, it can be fun and aggravating all at the same time. And sometimes it is just annoying by itself. Sorry you have those struggles. And sorry for your mom. I am sure she is lovely like you.

Alyson (New England Living) said...

Oh, how I can relate to crazy family visits and "let's ignore the elephant" in the room kind of visits too! Gosh, doesn't that just make you so happy to be sealed to all that? :)

Yay for keeping it real! I'm all for keeping it real! Wish I could keep it real as funny as you, but that's what makes you so awesome!

WV: shemicat - shame a cat. I guess that's better than shaming yourself.