If you live in Seattle, at least you live in Seattle.

Words of wisdom from Hannah, whereupon I exclaimed, "there's a blog title!" (My family probably gets a little annoyed with my continual pronouncements like "blog post!", but rest assured it's not my only annoying habit.)

At any rate, "If you live in Seattle, at least you live in Seattle" may well find its way into my permanent lexicon. Especially during October in Minnesota.

Of course at the time we were talking about -- what else -- the weather which has been, to say the least, disappointing. For days on end.

Our collective gloom was probably also due to the fact that Hannah and I have both spent the last week under it (the weather) and engaging in all kinds of exciting events like coughing contests and phlegm face-offs.

I guess she won, because her cough is still raging and mine seems to have finally slipped away to pester all the people I may have inadvertently coughed on at the grocery store (while aiming for my elbow, of course) --


Good riddance.

So I'm going to offer illness as my answer to the question, "Didn't Susan used to write a blog?!" and then also say to myself "Welcome back!" because I spend a lot of my time talking to myself

so such a conversation won't seem a bit out of the ordinary.

My mother talks to herself as well, as does my father (although he mostly sings to himself, inventing a song for whatever the situation may require) so I guess it's an inherited trait. To my knowledge, however, I don't say the kinds of silly things the cast of adults from my childhood regularly interjected (although sometimes those phrases still flit as part of the wallpaper in my head).

If we could turn back the clock to listen in . . .
we would probably find the most tidbits peppering the talk of Aunt Lillie. She not only loved to gab, but also regularly applied one catch phrase or another to punctuate her sentences with the desired emphasis.

There was "By ye saints!", or for even more dramatic effect,
the occasional "By ye saints alive!"

Probably even more common was "By grab!"

I, to this day, have absolutely no idea what "by grab" means. My mother later shortened the phrase to just "Grab!", which leaves me even more bewildered.

Another Lillie favorite was "For the love of Mike!" (I have never known who Mike is, but I suppose one could pose similar questions about the origin of the Pete of "For Pete's Sake" fame.)

And whenever I get a little homesick for Aunt Lillie's house, I have only to think to myself, "Oh, would you EVER!" and I'm immediately transported back. Because that is surely the quintessential Aunt Lillie-ism. Apparently Aunt Lillie WOULDN'T ever, although plenty of people in the world WOULD, since she was shocked into this pronouncement on such a regular basis.

From my mother (also a product of Aunt Lillie's tutelage) we continue to hear "Fudge, call a judge!" and "Well, for dumb!" or the slightly less-politically-correct "El-dumb-o!"

Will someone please stop me if one of these phrases ever sneaks out? I'm only concerned because of all the other ways in which my children insist I'm becoming my mother.

From my rough-and-tumble Grandpa Kenneth, we heard slightly saltier language such as "Holy Muck-eye!" which on one occasion I recall he raised to "Holy Schmuck-eye!" and was immediately and sternly shushed by my grandma because we kids were in the room. It was not a swear that had a lot of shock cachet for me because I had absolutely no idea what a"schmuck-eye" might be, nor had I ever heard another living person say it.

My brother later secretly clarified things by explaining to me that "schmuck" was not a nice word.

My father, being raised by Grandpa Kenneth, undoubtedly heard worse during his growing up years, particularly while Grandpa was beating his tractor angrily with a 2 x 4. But Dad is usually able to limit himself to "Crap, Crud and Criminently!" (sp?) He did on at least one memorable childhood occasion let a "Hell" fly, which to our ears was shocking in its reverberations because in our house that particular expletive existed only as "h-e-double-toothpicks."

But we were also not allowed to say "shut-up" or even unseemly words like "pregnant." Which may be an explanation of how all those other ridiculous phrases got started.

What any of this has to do with today is that when I opened my eyes this morning and THE SUN WAS AT LAST SHINING

and I was neither coughing nor blowing, I was quite literally speechless and couldn't think of a single thing to say that would express my utter delight at simply being alive and living in Minnesota.

Some days you just have to appreciate the little things.

Or as my dad would say,
"it beats a poke in the eye with a sharp stick."


Allie said...

Now how funny is it that I remember so many of those phrases - not from Grandpa, who swore like a sailor regularly and with passion, but from Grandma who wouldn't be caught DEAD with a curse word in her mouth. How two such different people managed to stay together for so many years still makes me wonder!

VO said...

Regional swearing! I don't think I've heard any of the catch phrases. Well, except for "For the love of Pete."

When we were kids the only swearing we could say safely was golly. But we pronounced it Golllll-lee. Like 2 words. We never said golly.

Now I swear like a sailor. It's not nice but it's true.

Once, I said the F word in front of my father. I might have to write about that in my own blog one day.

I hope both you and Hannah get over the illness. There is cold and flu here - And my best friend has strep. Stay warm, get healthy and stay that way~

Daryl said...

I'd love to know who Mike is as well, since he lived at our house too.

susan m hinckley said...

VO -- dropping the F bomb in front of your father?! Now that IS a blog post I'd like to read. And thanks for the well wishes.

And Gollll-lee sounds like Gomer Pyle from Mayberry. I might rather hear you swear.

Nancy said...

You know another brilliant blog title you just came up with? "the wallpaper in my mind"! In fact, I bet that could be an entire blog site.... I just love that concept and am rolling it around in my head rather the same way I am rolling m&ms around in my mouth for breakfast.

susan m hinckley said...

Oh Nancy -- how I miss you and your m&m's on a Sunday morning!

stfrank said...

Certain I could swim faster than drive the freeway in yesterday's downpour my thoughts were not in the least leaning towards at least you live in Seattle. In swimming, protocol is to tap someone's toes when you want to pass. This; however, is not acceptable on the roadways on the mainland and such actions illicit swear words I have only heard once...streaming from my own mouth when a bleach blonde boy hit my Dad's car with me at the wheel. Fortunately I return to my little Island where folks here move out of my way or accept the "bumper bump" as that's just Miss Susie the swim teacher needing to pass. This is always followed by a friendly finger wave and a cheery "Frank, you pass, go!"...how they know my last name is Frank, I'll never know. Love the art, love the site, love the blog!

Lisa Cannon said...

I have to agree with Nancy. I love the idea of the wallpaper in my mind and I think it will require my own blog post to explore it as a concept. Sorry you are having winter but Minnesota IS winter just like Phoenix IS summer. We broke a record yesterday--104 degrees on October 17. Hooray!

susan m hinckley said...

Suey T?! Is that really you?! Welcome to the blog, old friend. Perhaps the reason Hannah is so good at the "bumper bump" is that she had so many years as a swimmer (I just always assumed it was because she was a bad driver and I will now charitably reconsider that conclusion . . . . no, I think she's just kind of a bad driver)

Bad weather is bad weather, no matter where you live, but if you live in Seattle at least you live in Seattle. I'm standing by it!

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