“The early bird may get the worm, but the second mouse gets the cheese in the trap.”    —-Larry the Cable Guy

Disclaimer:  I use too many commas and parentheses, make up words when I deem necessary, and have a penchant for dots, dashes, and run-on sentences (among other moving violations).   I also tend to be a bit long-winded, but it seems to run in the family so it’s probably genetic and I can’t help it. If any of these are known to cause hives,  light-headedness, loud outbursts, or any other unpleasant reactions—just click out of here!!    Still here, huh?  The other thing about most of this schtuff is that what isn’t totally true is based on actual events……as I know ‘em……or at least think of ‘em……whatever.

In my life I have truly been blessed.  Somewhere in one of the  corners of my little mind I have always known this.   But, human nature being what it is I guess I let myself get distracted from time to time.  Over the years I know I have led a fairly interesting life. I’ve never really considered it to be particularly exciting or remarkable until I sit down and take a breath.  Time to take a breath.

In the past I have repeatedly found myself in the position of caregiver.  I have seen what is probably not the very worst, but some really bad shit happen over the years to various friends and family members concerning hospitals and health issues.  For whatever reason, I seem to keep running into some woman in the mirror who is in the middle of helping somebody in the throes of a health crisis.  When there are so many things going on and there doesn’t seem to be anybody else around to lend a hand, it’s like:  the genie wants the day off—aw what the heck,  she’s not doing anything right now.  She can handle things for the time being.  While I don’t really think it’s genetic, I do believe that it can be inherited.  Mine just happens to be both, having come from my mother.  That and my dimples.

How she ever managed to raise the seven of us, live up to the expectations of being my father’s wife, and still greet everyday with a smile on her face and a twinkle in her piercing blue eyes is one of the mysteries of time that will probably never be solved.  Nor should it.  Some jerk would just probably figure out a way to use it for evil, and that would be way too much power.  I blame her for my sense of humor and my Peter Pan/Pollyanna attitude, and I will always feel especially grateful for both.

I don’t think it really dawned on me until I had left the nest that there were other ways to be.  Don’t get me wrong, I did my share of rebelling and thinking my side of the lollypop had all of the fuzz on it, but silly me still thought that most people were basically happy with their lot in life…otherwise, why wouldn’t they do something to change it?  I always did.  Thanks, Mommy.

I didn’t begin to appreciate how unusual it was that my family all liked each other so well.  Not to say that we haven’t had our share of differences in many aspects of day-to-day stuff—but by golly we got along.  We weren’t hit or allowed to do so (at least when anyone who’d tell was looking), and the final outcome was never, ever supposed to leave hurt feelings.  Pretty simple rules, huh?  I can remember one day shortly after both of my folks had passed away, a bunch of my friends were sitting around one day discussing the phenomenon of my family.  Speculation early on was that we’d all be at each others’ throats fighting over the carrion of the parents’ almost sixty year old estate.  Are you kidding me?  Don’t you think for one NTH of a second that each and every one of us kids (AND spouses) weren’t sure that my mom‘d be back here in a heartbeat, forbidding us from behaving so badly toward one and other with Daddy standing there with his hand cupping his chin, looking over her left shoulder with that expression of amused wonder that he frequently wore when it came to her.

In addition to the great fortune of my relatives, I happened across a man from an equally agreeable family…..and I really liked him.  A lot.  So I did something I swore I’d never do again in this lifetime.  I married him.  While I realize that had anyone been making book on this the odds would have been somewhere in the range of “slim-to-none”, it did happen.  The both of us had been on our own for many years and certainly were not interested in dating anyone for any reason, but a mutual friend from beautiful Bandera, Texas got it into his head to get us together.  We finally met for a drink in our hometown (more to get this friend to find another hobby than anything else), and he’s been my one and only since shortly thereafter.

I’m not too sure exactly when it was that our friend realized he needed to make such a recommendation—most likely the fact that I had a seemingly endless supply of cold beer on hand at that time had something to do with it—but I am truly grateful for the tip.  If he were only as good at setting up his own bed as he was in setting up ours, he could probably bring about the advent of world peace.  Or at the very least cooperation……more’n likely it was just a matter of how hard Saturn’s outer rings were pulling on Uranus, now that I’m thinkln’ about it.

At any rate, I’m feeling a bit like that second mouse.  Life as I know it is by no stretch of the imagination perfect, but it’s pretty damned good when you take all things into account.  Now, if I could only come up with those winning lottery numbers……