Tuesday, October 8, 2013

A Red MG (reflections on another age)

photo via

Now an MG  is a "Roadster."   In ordinary language, it has two seats....There is an open
space behind the seat for the top to fold down into when you drive with the top down.

With the top up, you can carry paper sacks filled with groceries...About 5 sacks worth cram
it to capacity.........The owner's manual forbade  in very  harsh language the use of the rear
deck for passengers......Children were forbidden to ride there, and this was in underlined
bold  print......

So, did I ever violate this most virulent of  warnings?   Hey, C'mon, guys!   You know  the
answer to that....Of course I did!   The secret of doing it with any degree of comfort lay in
taking apart the cloth top and removing the metal framework....It was an involved process,
but it was done often........Putting it back on was worse than taking the top off.

So, who did I carry back there?   Well, on  more than one trip, Mary drove and I rode back
there........best example?    Well, when we took Grandma Icel  to her very favorite Mexican
food place on her birthday......You couldn't ask a lady in her 80s  to ride back there, and
Mary steadfastly refused to try it.........It wasn't all that bad, but it wasn't all that great either.
I got some bruises  that  were difficult to see without two mirrors.....

Ana Beth rode back there several times.......Did she get bruised?    Hey, if you think I'm
going to ask her, you're crazy!    I mean, there are limits imposed by decency  involved
here.   I'd like to think that the damages to her anatomy were minimum...but, I'd just as
soon not know. Lord knows, I tried to be gentle and avoid the bumps.

I carried Brenda and Dusti a lot of places.......Though the question doesn't apply.
Brenda would never put down her baby anyplace.....She carried her every mile of
the trip.   Why, a couple of times, I had  3 ladies sitting on the rear deck with their feet
on the  ledge......That was during parades in Dulce and the ladies were beauty contestants.

I mean, there was status in being carried in the back of the smallest motor vehicle in
Dulce......This was before ATV's.  Everybody else got to stand up in the bed of a pick-up.

So, we've established that an MG is a nominal 2 seater that can carry up to 5 people in
a pinch.......Providing 3 of the passengers are 16 year old Apache girls.

Mary and I put 186,000 miles on that little car.......Would I own one again?   My heart
says Yes......I fear the rest of my body  would veto the idea.   Why, I could even ride Ana-
Beth up to Cedar Crest and back, and she could even sit in one of the seats this time.
It wouldn't be the same without her mother along; but , I don't know, maybe she would
be  with us.......I'd like to think she  would be.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Fighting the fight, a hank of yarn at a time...

photo source
Anything that bought Mary another day was good...

Going down in a not so great section of El Paso, near the river to buy yarn  caused  some
small problems......The main one was cultural.......In the Hispanic Culture men would not be
caught dead  in a yarn shop buying yarn.   Much less, a man who knows the differences in
lot numbers,   plys of yarn, and  yarn blends.......

Yet,   Mary was fighting for her life, and
anything I had to do to improve  her quality of life, or make the struggle easier I was going
to do.......Okay, so it meant learning a lot of things.    Like?     Well, yarn called "Sports-Yarn"
has some cotton mixed in with the wool,  and there are baby yarns that may be 2 ply or 3
ply and regular yarn is 4 ply.   Oh it is a whole different world!

Well, the Mexican ladies down in this emporium of wool often sold 35 pound hunks of
yarn  for $10.   If I had been forced to buy the stuff at a regular shop.....Like Hancock
Fabrics, my customers couldn't afford it.....Then they wouldn't sit around and chat with
Mary, and she would start to brood about the horrors of the Chemotherapy.....In short,
if I had to let those clerks in the yarn shop think think I was a humpbacked whale, well
and good........Anything that would buy my ailing wife a little time and a little hope would be

She had lost both breasts and 29 lymph nodes to the cancer, and the Chemo had taken
her hair, or maybe it was the Radiation Therapy, at this point, whichever one was the culprit
is irrelevent.....I've heard it argued both ways.

So, if these little Mexican ladies thought I was gay,
so be it!  I got tired of trying to tell
them  "Mary No es mi madre, es mi esposa."    It got to the point where I didn't care if
they thought the moon was made of green cheese!    I only saw them twice a month.

Why, I even developed a set of mannerisms especially for yarn buying....Laying two
fingers alongside my cheek  and pursing my lips while inspecting the yarn....Patting my
foot,  and waving my hand and telling them that their new Alpacca yarn was simply

Acting?   Yea, You betcha!    There ain't nothing wrong with my  biological drives,
but, if nothing you say can change their minds,  why not enjoy making fools of them.

Okay, so maybe it was a little cruel,  Know what?    I'd do it again.......Anything that
bought Mary another day was good.......In the long run, it's not vastly different than
the Used Car Salesman's  spiel when he's trying to sell you a "clunker".........

Now Mary had some objections.....Not to my acting, but from the fact that the ladies
thought she was my mother......She was having some problems with her "self-image"
right then......and  her feminity was  taking a beating in her own mind.

In the end,  we lost the fight.......but we won the first 4 rounds with Cancer, and I bought
her 15 years using every strategy  I could think of.......On the whole of it, that statement
sounds concieted as all get out.........She won the fight....It was her victory, not mine.
All I did was to help, and sometimes "Helping" meant just having a shoulder for her
to cry on.........

In life, dear readers, you fight the fight, every moment, every hour, and every day.
There is time to wonder how in the world you managed everything ,when the fight is over.