Saturday, October 30, 2010

I bought two Christmas presents today.  I had to go purchase a new pair of glasses since mine broke while I was cleaning them the other day.  Thank goodness I had a spare but they are not that flattering so I wanted a new pair.  I met my daughters at the mall and they assisted their poor old mother in the selection of a new, according to them, more stylish pair of glasses.  Then we went shopping and I picked up the two gifts.

Ron heard from the doctor's office yesterday and they want to see him Monday at 4:15.  The doctor needs to go over the results of the PET scan and by the tone of the nurse it doesn't sound good.  Ron has been very depressed and nervous.  He stayed here last night and he's staying again tonight.  Right now he is distracted by the football game which he was too tired to attend.  I'm afraid the news on Monday will be devistating and I don't know how he will take it.  I'm scared and will be more scared come Monday.  He said today that if he were told that chemo will only buy him time he isn't sure he will take it.  He'd rather have what time he has and feel good for as long as he can.  That will be hard but I have to respect his wishes.

I guess I'll go watch the game with him and I'm not even a fan!  Just his fan!

Friday, October 29, 2010

If you are in the Dark Night of the soul, be grateful because you are on the right path. One may not find the Light of the Universe without first entering the darkness…                 Caroline Miss

All beings are lost in Illusion, yet I know they will awaken from that illusion for they are, at heart, already enlightened. What seems so hard for them is from another perspective their own personal path to liberation… Budha

We have celebrated Halloween all day.  The kids trick-or-treated this morning and then had a carnival in the therapy area.  Ron stopped by on his way to work all dressed in black wearing a hockey mask and carrying an intimidating sword.  The kids loved it!  He got right into the act.  His 6'2" frame was very menacing.  He got a little teary eyed as the children came through our haunted house in their wheelchairs and walkers.  The kids get to him every time but I remind him that they are just kids being kids.  They love to have fun just like any other kid on Halloween. 

My costume was simple this year.  I hung a dollar bill on each of my earrings.  Know what I was????????????? 
 Pause for reflection
Still thinking?
Now this is a good one!

I was "A buck an ear"!

Sometimes my wit even amazes me!

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Intuitive Knowing is when you have come to the edge of all the Light you consciously know and are about to step off into the darkness of the unknown; it is knowing in your Heart that one of two things will happen, there will be something solid to stand on or you will be taught to fly…

Puns for Educated Minds

The fattest knight at King Arthur's round table was Sir Cumference.
He acquired his size from too much pi.
I thought I saw an eye doctor on an Alaskan island, but it turned out to be an optical Aleutian .
She was only a whiskey maker, but he loved her still.
A rubber band pistol was confiscated from algebra class, because it was a weapon of math disruption.
No matter how much you push the envelope, it'll still be stationery.
A dog gave birth to puppies near the road and was cited for littering.
A grenade thrown into a kitchen in France would result in Linoleum  Blownapart.
Two silk worms had a race. They ended up in a tie.
A hole has been found in the nudist camp wall. The police are looking into it.
Time flies like an arrow. Fruit flies like a banana.
Atheism is a non-prophet organization.
Two hats were hanging on a hat rack in the hallway. One hat said to the other: 'You stay here; I'll go on a head.'
I wondered why the baseball kept getting bigger. Then it hit me.
A sign on the lawn at a drug rehab center said: 'Keep off the Grass.'
The midget fortune-teller who escaped from prison was a small medium at large.
The soldier who survived mustard gas and pepper spray is now a seasoned veteran.
A backward poet writes inverse.
In a democracy it's your vote that counts. In feudalism it's your count
that votes.
When cannibals ate a missionary, they got a taste of religion.
If you jumped off the bridge in Paris , you'd be in Seine .
A vulture boards an airplane, carrying two dead raccoons. The stewardess looks at him and says, 'I'm sorry, sir, only one carrion allowed per passenger.'
Two fish swim into a concrete wall.  One turns to the other and says 'Dam!'

Two Eskimos sitting in a kayak were chilly, so they lit a fire in the craft. Unsurprisingly it sank, proving once again that you can't have your
Kayak and heat it too.
Two hydrogen atoms meet.  One says, 'I've lost my electron.' The other says 'Are you sure?' The first replies, 'Yes, I'm positive.'
Did you hear about the Buddhist who refused Novocain during a root  canal? His goal: transcend dental medication.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Party Pics

Me and my daughter Julie 40's Birthday Party

Julie their friend Pam and Jamie

I am having trouble writing. I feel so sad all the time and I cry at the drop of a hat.  All I think about is Ron and worry about how he is feeling and how will he handle the results of the next test.  It will confirm that the cancer has spread to his lungs but I am afraid of what the oncologist will tell him and how he will react.  I suppose there is nothing I can do except love him and support him the best way I can.  He was talking last night about having an estate sale and selling his house.  We are buying matching rings and having them inscribed on the inside.   

My daughters had their 40th birthday USO party last Saturday.  Ron had so much fun.  We had our first dance and though I teared up a little it was a special memory.  He danced with each of my daughters too.  I was so happy the girls had hired a photographer and I'm looking forward to getting copies of the pictures she took. 

Friday, October 22, 2010


The results of the recent liver tests indicate the cancer has not invaded the liver.  However, he does have 3 tumors in his left lung.  This will be confirmed by a PET scan sometime next week and if it is confirmed they will not be doing surgery.  Ron will be referred to an oncologist instead.  I really don't know what any of this means so I'm still in a wait and see mode.    I don't really understand why they will not do surgery??????  I keep thinking "HURRY UP AND GET IT OUT".  So, I'm lost.

I did convince Ron to call his daughter tomorrow.  He's not in a good place today so I agree it would be better to wait until tomorrow.

Tomorrow my daughters are having their 40th birthday "USO" swing party.  I wish I felt festive.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Last Friday Ron had his CT chest exray.  His appointment was at 12:30 but he didn't get taken back until 2:30 and then he was told the room wasn't ready and had to wait another 30 minutes.  To say he was peaved is only slightly describing his mood.  Then they tried to do another test (which had already been done the week before) and upon his insistence they looked long enough and finally confirmed that fact.  Now if he hadn't known what tests had already been done they would have repeated it and of course his insurance would have denied paying for it the second time and you know the hospital wouldn't have eaten that mistake.   What a bumble @#$% mess.  This did nothing to boost his confidence in the healthcare system.

On Saturday we learned that my son-in-law's mother (who also went all through school with Ron & I) was given a terminal diagnosis on Friday with a prognosis of 12 weeks.  She went in to see her doctor with a backache and after many tests it was confirmed that she has cancer throughout her body.  This news was hard to hear on the heals of Ron's cancer return.    I have a picture of Debbie and I sitting side-by-side in our first grade school picture with Ron standing behind us.  Debbie's son met my daughter when they were in kindergarten and I have a school picture of them too.   None of this would be surprising in a small town but we live in a city of over 130,000 people, not including the university.

Friday is our big day.  We will get the results of all Ron's recent tests.  Please keep him in your prayers!  Debbie too! 

Friday, October 15, 2010


Ron is having his CT chest x-ray today.  We will get the results next Friday.  I am so glad it is Friday.  Ron is going to the football game tomorrow and I am having lunch with a friend and going to see a movie on Saturday.

My brother Mike checked himself into the hospital psych. unit Wednesday night.  He's having a lot of trouble dealing with Ron's impending surgery and the earthquake Wednesday just kind of sent him on over the edge.  I'm leaving work early today to go by and check on him and brag on him for being so proactive and recognizing he needed some help.  He didn't even call me this time, he called our older brother.  He didn't want me worrying about him......that almost made me cry when I heard it.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

For 2 years a man was having an affair with an
Italian woman.
One night, she confided in him that she was
pregnant. Not wanting to ruin his reputation
or his marriage, He paid her a large sum of
money if she would go to Italy to secretly have
the child. If she stayed in Italy to raise the child,
he would also provide child support until the child
turned 18.
She agreed, but asked how he would
know when the baby was born. To keep
it discreet, he told her to simply mail him a post card, and write
on the back. He would then arrange for the child
support payments to begin.
One day, about 9 months later, he came home to his confused wife.
'Honey!,' she said, 'you received a very strange
post card today.'
'Oh, just give it to me and I'll explain it
later,' he said. The wife obeyed and watched as
her husband read the card, turned white,
and fainted.
On the card was written:
, Spaghetti, Spaghetti, Spaghetti, 
Three with 
meatballs, two without.  
 extra sauce

Wednesday, October 13, 2010


The medical itinerary has changed.  It seems no one in the doctor's office had any idea what's going on so the CT chest ex-ray wasn't ordered until yesterday and the soonest it can be done is the 15th.  That is now pushing everything back about 2 weeks.  We won't get the results until the 22nd and I don't expect surgery to occur before the 28th and it may be the first week in November.  The good thing is Ron isn't stressed about it and in fact he actually seems more relaxed.  It has given him a little time to wrap his brain around the whole thing.

We just has an earthquake......earthquake in Oklahoma.  Our entire building shook.  It felt like a bomb! 

Just found out it was a 4.5 earthquake and the epicenter was right here in Norman.  It was 5 kilometers down.  That's the strongest one I've ever felt.  We are so accustomed to tornadoes we don't think anything about it but let the earth move and just watch panic ensue.  

Ron called me and said he thought his chimney had fallen.  My daughters called and they evacuated their school.   I just thought my stomach was growling! 

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

HBO Special

Ron and I rented the HBO special "Temple Grandin" with Claire Danes.  It was really good.  I highly recommend it if you haven't seen it already.  What an inspiring story!

Monday, October 11, 2010

I quit my second job today.  Priorities have changed. 

When I talked to Ron this morning he didn't sound very good.  He said he had a restless night and didn't sleep.   He also sounded aggitated and a little mad.  I'm sure that is normal but just hard to hear because I don't know what to do.  He said this is going to be a long week.  As long as I stay busy I can cope.  I will admit I haven't been worth much at work today.  It will get better though.  I did check my calendar and I'm thinking Ron's surgery will probably be on the 21st which happens to be my busiest day of the month.  I have a 7am meeting, 8am meeting and 3pm meeting.  That kind of stuff stresses me out but again.......priorities........they will just have to go on without me.  Last time I came in to do meetings but I don't think any were on the day of surgery.    I know it will all work out but it just feels overwhelming right now.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Sunday Night

Ron just left for home.  Today was a pretty good day.  We went with my daughter to Red Lobster for lunch and had a good time.  Ron got sick about 30 minutes after we left and was having a lot of pain.  He has to stretch out and stay really quiet for it to ease.  Of course this has been going on for at least 3 months but I guess we now know why.  Fortunately it subsided after about an hour and he felt ok the rest of the day.  He didn't eat much for supper though.  He said he hates to eat because he knows he's going to get sick.  He's lost about 15 pounds already.

I'm just trying to keep everything as normal as possible.  He was really conflicted about whether to go home tonight or stay here.  I get up about 5:30 in the morning but he doesn't have to go to work until 10:00.  He said he is really tired and thought it would be better to just go home and sleep late in the morning.  I told him if he is restless or can't sleep to just bring clothes over here tomorrow and plan to stay.  I think he just doesn't want to be alone and I would rather have him here anyway. 

I'm tired so I'm going to bed myself.  Thanks to all of you for keeping him in your prayers.  It means so much!

Saturday, October 9, 2010

What I know today!

Here is what I know today. The shock has worn off. There was some anger last night. All the what if's. What if they had realized it was cancer 6 months ago? What if they had done the surgery then? many why's. We cried together most of the night and talked about how long we have known each other, since we were 6 years old. How God has a plan and he had one for us and how we came back into each other's lives and that this is where we are supposed to be now, together. I said I just can't look back with all my questions or I get angry, it doesn't help the situation now. I have to look forward. Take the next step as it comes. I told Ron that I'll do whatever he wants me to do and I'll try to resist my natural urge to take charge. He's the captain of this ship. He's in charge. He is struggling trying to decide when to tell his daughter. Her mother (Ron's ex-wife) just had a breast removed on Thursday. They only have one child and she is already going through a lot right now. Ron doesn't want to add any more stress for her. I think she would want to know but again this is a decision he will have to make. He needs to feel he has some control over things.

Ron and I have been toghether almost 10 years now. Though we do not live together I'm closer to him than anyone in the world (other than my daughters). We never married because of financial issues. Ron made some bad decisions over the years that impacted him negatively financially. He would never consider getting married because he wanted to "Bring" something financially to the marriage. Me...I don't care about money. I've worked and made my own security. So, this has been a difficult thing in our relationship. I wanted more and he resisted.

I told him yesterday that he can move in here and we'll get through this together but it is up to him. He stayed last night and we just held each other all night and talked until dawn. I don't know where all this will end but I won't have any regrets.

Friday, October 8, 2010

CT Scan

We got the results of Ron's CT scan and it wasn't what we hoped. They didn't get all the cancer when they removed his kidney. That 2 cm "nodule" has grown to 4 cm. and it is in his liver. They will run liver tests next week and then I'm sure the surgery will be immediately following. No date yet. He was told that it could be simple or it could be disastrous. It is on the aortic artery and he could bleed to death on the table. This has been a lot to take in and I'm just numb with pain.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

My Mother's Words

Two nights before my mother died we found the following writing tucked inside an old photo album in her house. It had been written some 20 years earlier. I had the privilege of reading it to her the night before she died. She just smiled and listened to her life story written in her own words. It was a special time. I want to share it because somehow it let's me know that her words will go on if only in cyberspace and there will be others who will know that she was once here living an ordinary life but not forgotten by those who loved her.

By Lolita Simpson

It is very hard to pinpoint the years of my life when I was the happiest. Every phase of my life had its’ own reward. When I was a very young child crowing up, more carefree than I would ever be, was a happy time. Even though there were hardships for my parents, I had a happy childhood.

My adventure into the world came during a great world war, also during a time of holiday festivities, December 29, 1917. It should have been a happy time although my mother had lost my little sister two years before at Christmas time in January. At that time my grandmother’s oldest son was in France fighting in the war.My mother was living in my grandmother’s home during this time because my father was in an army camp preparing to go overseas to France where the war was taking place. My father did not go overseas. The war was over before his unit was prepared to go.

During the year 1918, my mother’s only sister was burned nearly to death. She lived next door to my grandmother. One morning while she was dressing her small son, she stooped over to pick up a shoe and her starched petticoat and long starched dress went into the open flame heater. She caught fire. She ran across the yard to my grandmother’s home and fell on the back steps. All of her clothes were burned of her body.

I was very small, just seven or eight months old. They turned my Aunt’s home into a hospital as she could not be moved, and my mother, grandmother, nurses, Doctor’s and volunteer friends, took care of my aunt. She was unconscious for three months.
During this time a young girl relative about ten years old took care of my aunt’s little boy, who was about three years old and me in my grandmother’s home. My aunt did finally recover although the doctors said she wouldn’t live more than ten or fifteen years because her kidneys were damaged. They were wrong, she was ninety-five last July. She is in a rest home in Houston, Texas.

I remember vaguely living in Joplin, Missouri with my mother and father. My father had a retail shoe store there. I also remember living here in Poteau for a short while. I may have been told about this because it is so dim in my memory.

My mother was a very pretty young girl. She was a studious person and liked school. She was also a musician. She had studied piano starting at a young age. When she finished high school here she went to Murphresburo, Tennessee to a girl’s school and continued studying music. She had a beautiful alto voice and as I grew older I studied voice. I sing soprano and we enjoyed singing together until she died in 1976.

My mother met my father while she was attending school in Tennessee. He was from Chattanooga and his father was a Methodist minister there. My mother and father were divorced when I was about two and a half years old. We came back to my grandmother’s home and lived there until my mother married again.

During the time we lived with my grandmother and three of my mother’s brothers I grew very close to them. My grandmother was very much like my own mother and I was very close to my uncles. They loved me and I’m sure I probably needed more disciplining that I got but they would intervene. This was told to me.

My mother married my stepfather when I was four and a half years old. My stepfather was a quiet and reserved person, rather formal in manner. He and his first wife had owned a mercantile store in Rock Island. His wife had also taught school there. They had sold their business and bought a home here in Poteau. They had a small son. They had not lived here very long until his wife developed cancer of the breast. She did not live long after she became sick.

My stepfather was 16 years older than my mother. He was forty-five and she was twenty-nine. We moved into my stepfather’s home. It was located right across the street from the grade school and high school, where Pansy Kid Jr. High School is now.

Moving there was a great change in my life. I had always had my mother’s total attention. It was very hard to share her with someone else. She also became stepmother to a small boy, he was eleven years old. I’m not sure how old he was when his mother died. I’m sure that his father’s marrying again upset his world and added to the trauma of losing his mother and caused him a great deal of stress. My mother was quite young and there she was trying to cope with two children who were hurting, and also trying to be a wife to a new husband.

After about three years, my stepfather lost his job. His first wife’s illness had taken most of his savings and we had to make some changes in our life style. My mother owned a farm close to Gilmore about ten miles from Poteau. There was a house on the farm and we moved there. I was starting into the third grade that fall and I would have had to walk about three or four miles to school. My mother thought I was too small, so I stayed with my grandmother. I stayed with my grandmother the first semester of the second grade and then I went to live with my mother on the farm.

Living on the farm was definitely a new experience for me. I was a very active child. I loved climbing trees, turning hand springs, swimming, skating, all of the things that boys liked to do. I was a tomboy. I had a beautiful dog. I had a horse. I followed my stepfather all over that 150 acres. I also had a swimming hole as it was called in those days.

I remember having a big garden. My father always grew beautiful tomatoes. He planted cotton and corn. I remember sitting in the wagon and driving the horses down the rows for him when he pulled the corn off the stalks. I loved helping him. He took me fishing and I followed him around when he hunted squirrels and quail.

My first Christmas on the farm my father made me a beautiful little kitchen cabinet and a doll bed painted blue and my mother made a little pillow, sheets and quilt for it, also a toll table. My grandmother gave me a pretty little tea set.

My father gave me a calf of my very own and when he was grown they sold him and got me a piano. It wasn’t a new one but it was beautiful to me.

My mother and father didn’t know too much about farming. We lived on the farm almost two and a half years. One of my mother’s brothers was an engineer on the highway that goes from Heavener through the Winding Stair Mountains to Talahina and when he got that job he hired my father as an inspector on that highway and we moved to Page, Oklahoma. I was about eight years old. My father and my uncle worked for the Oklahoma Highway Department for several years and we moved frequently. I lived in Page, Heavenor, Wilburton, and Reichart, Oklahoma during that time.

When I was eleven years old my stepfather and mother had a little boy, my half brother, Rosser Gene.My family moved to Reichert, Oklahoma when I was about twelve years old. It was a very small community not far from Heavener, Oklahoma. My father established a country grocery store there.

I went to school in a two room school house. One room had the first four grades and the other room the fifth through the eighth grade. I was the only student in the eighth grade. I helped my teacher with the younger children, especially reading, and I enjoyed it very much.

I went away from home to school at the age of thirteen. I went to Durant, Oklahoma to the Oklahoma Presbyterian College for girls also High School. I was in the ninth grade.

During my sophomore year in high school I lived with my Aunt Sestos and Uncle Bill here in Poteau. My junior year and the first semester of my senior year I lived with my Uncle Chester and Aunt Erma. The last semester of my senior year my family moved back to Poteau and lived at home. I realize that my living conditions were very unstable, however I was very fortunate that I had a close knit extended family and I knew that they loved me.

My grandmother was a very stabilizing influence in my life. I used to say that when I went into her front door I truly felt at home. One reason may have been because I was born in her home and had lived there so much during my first four years of
My family tried very hard to shield me from world events that were taking place during that time. I was in high school during the Great Depression and everyone was having a very hard time just living from one day to the next. My mother was a very good seamstress and I was proud of the clothes that she made for me. She also altered many dresses that my aunt gave me.

I belonged to a girls club during my junior and senior year. We had formal parties in our homes and informal parties after football games, etc. I had many friends, boys and girls that have remained my friends all my life.

I first dated my husband at age fifteen. I was a sophomore in high school and he was attending Poteau, Junior College. When Poteau Junior College was first established classes were held in the high school building. He attended the junior college one year and then went to Arkansas University in Fayetteville the next three years. In those days we did not date steady. I dated other boys but I dated him when he was here during holidays and in the summer time.

We were married November 12, 1937. I was nineteen years old. My twentieth birthday was in December, 1937. In 1939, World War II was just around the corner. I have just been watching the very impressive memorial tribute paid to all the men and women who died at Pearl Harbor. I was remembering where I was fifty years ago when Pearl Harbor was bombed escalating us into World War II that morning.

At that time I had been married four years. My oldest son was three years old. We lived in Ft. Smith and we were in Poteau visiting our folks that weekend. We were on our way home that morning and had stopped at the drug store downtown on our way out of town when the news came over the car radio. News that ushered in a World War and the atomic age. The people of the world have lived under the threat of atomic war ever since that day. There are some days that we never forget, this was one of those days for me.

In my early life as a young married woman I feel was a happy time. Having my first child at a young age and not having more children until he was nine and ten years old, made my time with him, as an only child, unique. He and I have very many happy memories that belong to us alone.

I suppose the happiest time would be after my family was complete. We moved to Norman Oklahoma when my oldest child, Earl Jr., was almost twelve. Mike was nearly three years old and Danise was nearly two years old.

Because my husband was away from home so much made me even closer to my children. During the week I prepared the food that the children liked to eat. I took the two younger ones to the park to play and we had picnics there. During the summer my older son played baseball and the two smaller ones and I always went to the games. On week-ends, when my husband came home, he would take use out to eat and to a drive-in movie. I attended all their school activities.

When Danise and Michael were in the third and fourth grade I sponsored the Cub Scouts for a year and I had the Blue Birds, younger Camp Fire girls, for three years. Earl Jr. was in the Boy Scouts from age ten to fourteen.

When my older son married my younger children were ten and eleven. When they were twelve and thirteen my oldest grand child was born. His sister was born when he was two years old. When they were seven and nine my daughter’s twins were born.

I have had young people and young children in my life all these years until just lately. Maybe that’s what I am missing.

Good Vibrations

Tomorrow morning I'm going with Ron to get the results of his CT scan.  I've been crazy with worry for the past few weeks but for some reason I'm feeling a little calmer about it now that it's time.  Ron is showing no signs of stress about it but when I asked him if he wanted me to come to the appointment he said yes.  That tells me that he is worried but doesn't want to appear like he isn't strong enough to handle it.  Six months ago he went to the appointment without me and everything went OK.  I still keep thinking about the 2 cm "nodule" they saw but decided was scar tissue.  But, no sense in borrowing trouble until you know you what it is.

Last night I went to bed thinking about my mother.  It has been 18 months since she passed away and although I don't think about it constantly like I did in the beginning I can still find myself going back to that feeling of helplessness in an instant.  I see her in my mind just as she was that last week so helpless and vulnerable.  I try to get that image out of my mind and just remember her healthy and smiling.  Last night I made myself think back to when I was a little girl and I pictured my mother playing dolls with me under the big round oak coffee table in the living room.  I pictured her dancing with my father in the living room on Sunday afternoons.  I have so many wonderful memories and slowly they will push out the painful ones of seeing her so ill at the end.  Her life was so much more than just those last few weeks!

Monday, October 4, 2010

Ma Ma's Cousin Wanda

All my life I have enjoyed hearing stories about my mother's cousin, Wanda.  They were first cousins and Wanda's father and my grandmother were brother and sister.  Mom's Uncle Chester married Aunt Pearl and together they raised five girls,  Doris, Nancy, Cordillia (Cordy), Mary Lou, and Wanda.  I can't imagine what their house was like or how my uncle survived all the hormonal swings in the family but according to my mother their house was never dull. 

I recognized that cousin Wanda was ditzy, even for a blonde, when I was a kid.  My favorite adventure was the time my mother and Wanda with me in tow went to town to purchase a pair of shoes.  It wasn't a far walk to town so cousin Wanda, Mom and I headed on foot to the nearest shoe store.  The two women were chatting away and I wasn't tagging far behind when Wanda let out squeal as she spied a small dog lying in the road.  She ran immediately to the dog and while cradling it in her arms she brought it back to the curb where my mother and I looked on.  Wanda had recognized the dog immediately as her neighbor's small Rat Terrier Moochie.  Without a seond thought Wanda put the little dog in her shopping bag to take home to her neighbor. 

Now Wanda figured that delaying the bad news for a little while wouldn't hurt anyone least of all Moochie's owner so she decided to finish her  shopping before heading home to tell her friend about the demise of her dog.  So we continued on our journey, Wanda, Mom and myself with Moochie along for the ride.   Soon we were walking through the front door of the department store and it appeared that I was the only one thinking about the dead dog in the shopping bag.  Mom and Wanda were immediately blissfully engrossed in trying on shoes as Wanda's shopping bag lay on the floor next to her purse.  Even I forgot about Moochie when I spotted the smart looking pair of black patten Maryjane shoes I had always wanted.

Pretty soon we had all our purchases and headed to the checkout counter.  Mother paid for our shoes and they were placed in a store bag.  Then Wanda's shoes were rung up on the register.  The check-out girl asked Wanda if she would like them in a bag just as Wanda put her own shopping bag up on the counter.  Without a moments hesitation Wanda reached in the bag and pulled out a stiff Moochie laying him on the counter with all fours pointing skyward.   Then she picked up the shoe box and placed it at the bottom of the bag while this poor girl looked on in horror.  No explanation was given as Cousin Wanda thanked the girl and headed for the door with Moochie back in the bag resting on top of the shoebox.