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28 June 2013

Another Gift My Parents Gave Me

Subtitle:  Our Timing Sucks

Kathi's comment yesterday helped me to remember that my parents' childhoods were equally unhappy.  I have to say i find it profoundly sad that they had such unloving beginnings and continued that on with their own children so that they have known very little joy or love.  This might have changed with their grandchildren.  I don't know, as i'm around them very little for that part of their lives.  I  WILL say that had we been blessed with children, we would not have left them alone in the care of my parents.

They definitely had a gift of turning whatever around so that it can be told in a funny story.  When i look back on it, their stories of childhood were usually betrayal - siblings that passed the buck and they got punished.  Or the stories of extreme poverty.  They told us those stories in a way that came across as funny, so when we were children my sisters and i laughed at those sad, sad stories.

That has a dark side to it, of course, but overall i consider being able to laugh at your life a positive thing.  I didn't realize how much i used it until 2001.  A few days before 9/11 i was raped.  About a month later i was getting ready to have lunch with a friend.  In thinking it over i was preparing to tell her about it and i thought, "I don't know how to turn this and make it funny."  Most of the things i'd told her about my life, including childhood, divorce, money problems and other things, i had been able to turn into a "funny story."  We laughed at a lot of my mishaps.  I was not able to do that in the fall of 2001, which was a loss for me.  It did make me look at what i used as coping skills and appreciate the value of laughter.  And i recognized that my parents taught this to me.

Duane and i use laughing at ourselves a lot in our marriage, and have from early on.  We do seem to often have poor timing.  We would be sitting together watching TV and just as he was getting ready to surprise me with a kiss, i would stretch and bonk him in the head.  We learned early on to laugh at such things and say, "Our timing sucks!"  Of course, sometimes we are able to say, "Our timing doesn't always suck!" when something goes our way.

Isn't the pic at the top stunning?  It is from a house we stayed a weekend at in the North Shore/Whispering Forest area the first year we were married.  I loved that house and its views.  One of the books i've begun writing started with ideas from that house.  I was looking at some real estate online the other day (there are 3 houses in our neighborhood for sale and i was curious about their prices, etc.) and i came across a listing for that very house.  It is NOT in our neighborhood.  I was curious to know what was available in Whispering Forest, which is a higher priced area.

Part of me wishes so much that we could buy that place.  The house is built similarly to Sugarbear, but it is much larger, nearly 1,000 ft larger.  It has a real entry-way (most houses in Big Bear are built so that you walk directly into the living area).  The living room seemed larger, and there is a large family room next to it.  It has a 2-car garage and large workshop.  However, it only has 2 bedrooms (we have 3).  Also, the kitchen is not really all that marvelous.  The house is set so it has fantastic views, but that also creates an area that is very icy in the winter - the driveway and entrance to the house.  And it is $80,000 more than we paid for Sugarbear.

I was going to post a couple of pics from that house and the view, but the listing isn't up any more.  (Since i can't post those pics, i'll post this instead.)

The Whispering Forest house had only been on the market a couple of weeks when i saw it online Tuesday.  I wonder if it is sold already?  I have found, in looking at other properties, that i really love our place.  It isn't the nicest, newest, or fanciest.  There are things i wish we had money to do for it, but i really love our home.  It is part of our tradition to sing, "Sugarbear, Sugarbear, Sugarbear, Sugarbear!  Sugarbear, we're so lucky!  Sugarbear we're coming home" as we come down from Onyx summit toward home.  (To the tune of an old song called "Honeycomb," from 1954.  My cousins had the record when i was a kid, and no, i'm not old enough to remember the song when it was released!)

Today i have company coming, but i WILL take the pics of garden and sunroom/greenhouse.



Kathi said...

You live in such a gorgeous area!

It's good that you can at least see some positive in your upbringing. I think that all comes from maturing. Plus, you have been able to set proper expectations upon yourself and set boundaries in relationships. You have moved along, even if it feels like you slip back sometimes!

I hope you have a great weekend!

Mali said...

I always love your photos.

And yes, some things in our life we can laugh about. Others however, we can't - they cut too deep. So while laughing can be good for some things,and a great way to deal with more trivial annoyances (not that I am in any way diminishing your parents' difficulties) it does mask many feelings too.

Kathryn said...

Yes, Kathi, we do live in a lovely area. I appreciate it each and every day. I remember how beautiful i thought Portland the fall i lived there, but then, it was unusually sunny that year. I don't think i could deal with all your rain.

Growing older does have its benefits. :)

Hi, Mali, thank you. You are right, sometimes laughing is healthy, and sometimes it only masks things that need to be addressed.