Thursday, August 27, 2009

Someone Else's Words

Geezerguy and I are busy getting prepared for a possible Halloween story telling opportunity coming up this fall. If it happens, it will be lots of fun and I'll tell you all about it and take plenty of pictures. Keep your fingers crossed for us.

In looking for some new material I stumbled across this. It has absolutely nothing to do with Halloween stories but it it sure can tell a story. I thought my RV friends and my boys, particularly LD would like it.

I'll be back soon.

See ya down the road,

Monday, August 24, 2009

Could Prince Charming Ever Be Bald?

I finally broke down this morning and sent some money to
Classmates because they kept sending me notices that I had more than a dozen signatures in my guest book. Now, I've been a "member" for a few years but because I never kicked in the $$$ to become a Gold member I never knew if those guest were long lost girlfriends.

Or worse old boy friends! Heck, maybe there was a long ago someone who has been pining over me for almost 45 years. Was it Tom? Dick? Harry? Wait... I never went out with Harry, my sister did. How about Bill, Rusty, Joey, Don, Emil, or any one of several Bobs?

Now, don't get me wrong, I'm perfectly happy with the boyfriend I married. The Geezer and I have been blissfully (they say ignorance is bliss -right?) married for 41 years. Not bad, of our circle of friends back in the day, only Peggy and Glenn and we have stayed married. Well, at least to each other.

But before Jim and I got together, [which by the way, never happened until we were in college, although we both attended St. Joseph's High School in North Adams, MA for 3 1/2 years], I didn't miss too many dances or movies. Most of our families did not encourage "going steady" so we "played the field" We all came from big families, so our friends all had brothers or, in a real pinch, our brothers had friends! ( I did go steady for two weeks- right up until the morning, at church, when he told me he was going to become a priest!)

But what if....?

Dreams of the Everyday Housewife
(which I am definitely not!)
(but thanks to Glenn Campbell anyway)

She looks in the mirror and stares at the wrinkles that weren't there yesterday
And thinks of the young man that she almost married
What would he think if he saw her this way?

She picks up her apron in little girl-fashion as something comes into her mind
Slowly starts dancing rememb'ring her girlhood
And all of the boys she had waiting in line

Oh, such are the dreams of the everyday housewife
You see ev'rywhere any time of the day
An everyday housewife who gave up the good life for ....

A better life!

So there I was, for the umpteenth time trying to talk myself out of sending in my money even though today I could save big bucks for a year because of a special deal. Suddenly, I got yet another mystery person signing my guest book. So I did it. I also signed up for my Grammar school Class from St. Mike's in Levittown just because I could.

Turned out that 5 of the hits were from the same two people. But then there were some from some others I barely remembered and one that I was really curious about. Only one was from a boy and I had no idea who he was!

So I spent this morning sending very general catch up letters, trying to avoid sounding like I was bragging but also trying not to sound as dull as I sometimes think of myself. Then I sent off a few feelers of my own to people I remembered but only a couple of them went to men. Neither of those were old boyfriends although one of them could have been if he'd ever glanced in my direction!

I was almost done when I came across one more person. I simply had to send him a quick note because in my storage box in California there is still a picture of him in my album. On the back it says "Love, Billy". We were in 3rd grade!

Now, the next thing that Classmates wants is a picture. I'm not so sure about that. After all, we girls all know there may be a few extra pounds or gray hairs these days, I'm not worried about that. If, however, the aforementioned Tom, Dick, Harry, no not Harry, Bill, Rusty, Joey, Don , Emil ,or any one of several Bobs is, in fact, still dreaming of me, would it be fair to destroy his fantasy?


See ya down the road,

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

The Name Game

"Any child can tell you that the sole purpose of a middle name is so he can tell when he's really in trouble." Dennis Frakes

My full name is
Marceleine Ann Mary Hoye Cumberland. I was named for my maternal Great Grandmother whose name was Marceline Vaness. Do you see any difference between us? No? Unfortunately, neither did my Dad when he filled out the birth and Baptismal certificates and gave me an extra e (look for it, you'll find it). No one has ever spelled my name (in)correctly ever since. It took 6 different diplomas before I got one from my high school a year after I graduated that had my name on it.

Ann was my Dad's mother's name. I love the name Ann. It's simple and unpretentious and has no e at all. Oddly enough, my Aunt who has exactly the same middle name, tries to dress it up all the time with one. When I was about 15, I decided that the minute I turned 18 I was going to court and legally change the order of my names to Ann Marceleine because I was so sick of people spelling and pronouncing my name wrong. After the huge battle I put up over my diploma, however, I decided to just stick with my uniqueness.

I chose Mary as my Confirmation name. In our diocese, we were confirmed in 2nd grade, long before we had any real idea of what it was all about. I really, really, really wanted my Confirmation name to be Rose because I almost worshiped my 2nd grade teacher, Sister Rose Marie. About half the girls in my class said the same thing. But Sister told us we couldn't use her name because we had to take a Saint's name and she insisted she wasn't a saint. (I suspect that she is now even if she hasn't been canonized.) So almost all of us took some form her second name instead. I chose Mary because I had a lovely Aunt Mary and Mom knew it would please her too. ( As fate would have it, one of my daughters-in-law is named Rosana, a Sister-in-law is Rosemary, and my Step grand-daughter-in-law is Rose! I even have a niece named Amanda Rose.)

Oh well I don't ever use Mary anyway, they don't even ask for it at church.

The Hoye came from a long line of Irishmen from the Emerald Isle, with a slightly bluish tinge of Scot in them. In fact, there's even a tiny Island at the tip of Scotland called the Isle of Hoye.

Cumberland was the gift given me by Geezerguy. Whenever one of my 4 sons or their Dad does something silly I remark "You sure can tell he's a Cumberland". This refers back to a line in my college history book about "George and his son, the Bungling Duke of Cumberland." This always got a laugh for me and the DILs until the day Jim retorted "Maybe so but you chose to become one!" Now the boys all thank him for the perfect comeback!

So now you know who I am legally. But I've had a lot of other appellations over the years.

Since I got out of school I rarely ever use Marceleine. Now I'm mostly known as Marcie. Of course, I don't get too picky about the spelling of that one and I have seen it written as Marcy, Marci, and by a Japanese pen pal long ago as Mar-C. I've also sighed and gotten used to being called Marsha, Marcia, Marie, and Maria.

My Dad,
Old Newsie, was of course, well known in our community. On many occasions when I was with him, someone would attempt to introduce me to another person. They would naturally, stumble on my name and simply say "...and this is...uh... Charlie Hoye's Daughter." I seriously considered having that printed on a T-shirt until I realized that Scrabblebuff would probably borrow it all the time!

Once married, it really became absurd when Jim joined Dad in the news business. The same small town selectmen who had forgotten my name for years, would now introduce me as
"...uh...Jim Cumberland's wife...uh...Charlie Hoye's daughter"!

One of my favorite names is Mom, closely followed by Hon, Sis, and Daughter.

Jim and I began telling stories about eight years ago and have been using Taletellers on business cards and as our on-line screen name for sometime. We get a kick out of how many times we meet up with other RVers that we've chatted with on forums for years but known only by user names. Suddenly they realize "Oh you're Taletellers! and then identify themselves by their alter egos.

We performed and taught at a Children's history camp as Charlie McCormick and Mrs. McCormick ( as the school marm, I didn't even have a first name) for two years because no one could use their own names.

I began using Yarntangler in another life when I began an on-line group of miniaturists who also enjoyed knitting and crocheting hats and scarves for children's charities. I wrote short short stories for our forums, as well as published patterns and news for the group. It seemed the right name to use when I began blogging.

Today I got an email from a gal who's been reading my blog for over a year and also reading my comments on my favorite RV forum Workamper News. Jim and I both post there under Jim and Marcie but our profile comes up as Taletellers. She had just realized I was me! Actually, she said "I just figured out you were you!"

I'm glad she got it figured out! Now if I could just get it straight.

See ya down the road,

Monday, August 17, 2009

Merci beaucoup, Messieur Camus

NaBloPoMo, (National Blog Posting Month) is an on-line organization which promotes the discipline of posting a blog every day of the month. A suggested but not mandatory theme is announced and the participants begin the exercise. They begin with a widget that says they are participating and end with one that says "I did it" to decorate the blog. Many people achieve their goals, indeed they manage it consistently month after month. It is a noble idea and one I have tried to achieve and have even suceeded with twice since last November. It is kind of fun challenging myself to write 30 essays on the same theme word and see how many different directions I can go. The best part is reading comments when folks get a kick out of what I come up with. But the fun stops when it begins to become a chore.

I first began this endeavor at the suggestion of Jaimie Hall Bruzenak, a person I always thought of as my friend and sometimes mentor. Okay, okay, she still is, but Jaimie has a lot more stick-to-it-tiv-ness than me. And even she doesn't blog every day! While I may try to take her up on another suggestion sometime soon, today I am officially giving up this particularly frustrating pursuit of words for the sake of deadlines.

I am not a quitter! I have simply decided that there is some Cosmic Force out there that has possibly read my blogs and realized, as I have, that the ones worth reading are not the ones I write while waiting for the last stroke of midnight to sound on my digital clock. To this end, my Mystical Muse, Joan, who in life never was shy at telling me when I was not writing well, has found ways to signal me when it's time to do something else. This summer she's outdone herself!

But her latest ploy effected not only me and my August quest of 30 "Tomorrow" blogs but everyone here in the RV park. In one of the only real storms of this monsoon season, about an hour after I posted my last entry, she convinced the Monsoon FX department to direct a lightning bolt right into the park and fry the main Wi Fi tower and the entire system! We just got a reasonably strong signal back today.

In The Myth of Sisyphus written in 1942, Albert Camus "introduces his philosophy of the absurd: man's futile search for meaning, unity and clarity in the face of an unintelligible world devoid of God and eternal truths or values..... The final chapter compares the absurdity of man's life with the situation of Sisyphus, a figure of Greek mythology who was condemned to repeat forever the same meaningless task of pushing a rock up a mountain, only to see it roll down again." Thanks to Wikipedia for this info.

I've begun to think that writing to order and writing even minimally well is an example of absurdity -for me. Other, much better writers seem to thrive on this exercise and I applaud them for it and read many of their blogs. I, need to think, and stew, and discard far too long to make real ideas come alive. I find myself stressing over a 500 word post that's not really what I'd like to be writing about. Then I realize that once again I have discovered the perfect tool for procrastinating. By the time I've finished the blog, I've run out of time for writing anything else. And so I've joined my Greek cousin Sisyphus in an absurd amount of frustration.

Camus's essay concludes,

"The struggle enough to fill a man's heart. One must imagine Sisyphus happy."Okay Sisyphus, this is me happy, what about you?

I may try the challenge again someday-after all they give away prizes in November- but for the time being I think I'm going to stick to having fun and being happy and posting a blog when I have something to say.

See ya down the road,

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

This and That and Immortal Words

We have finally come home to our motor home. Actually, we did that on Monday and then spent most of yesterday trying to put things away and get ourselves comfortable. We are still at that today. I replaced the usual couch cover with a plain white fitted sheet and felt the temperature drop instantly. A couple of colorful pillows at either end dress it up.

The problem was that the really hot weather did not hit until just after Jim got sick. So we had not striped our living area down to the bare essentials before moving into Sage and Chica's air conditioned house. Normally we are traveling or working during the summer and the RV doesn't have such a "lived in" look. There was so much clutter we couldn't find places to put stuff away. I even took four bags of whatever-possessed-me-to-buy-thats to the thrift shop.

Hint: If you are going to get yourself stranded in Southern Arizona for the summer, DO NOT pile afghans and extra fabric on the couch or chairs! Nor should you hang all of the crocheted scarves you are making for fall and winter sales, from all the cupboard handles!

So, as you may have noticed, I missed yesterday's blog. I am not all broken up over it. No matter how often these crazy people in Arizona tell me , "but it's a dry heat". It's still a HOT HEAT!!

I missed a blog? Guess what? In the immortal words of Rhett Butler, "Frankly, my dear I don't give a $%#@!"

Today, we both goofed off and I spent a little while by the fan catching up with other people's blogs. I also went to check out my new followers and was pleased to discover a few surprises.

Aimee Lee is a young mom who knows the alure of yard sales and thrift shops. But she doesn't stop with buying neat stuff . She uses it to make even neater stuff!

At first sight, Bianca Jolicour's blog seemed an odd mix with mine until I remembered when I dumped on all of you last week. I suspect she picked up on my depressed mood and linked from that. But here's the thing: Bianca is a student and I suspect one of Clinical Psychology. She has some very important things to say in her blog and if any of you have teenagers or teen aged grand kids, I urge you to read her blog now.

And so that's how I spent my day. Oh where's my blog?

Well, folks, as Scarlet O'Hara would say;
" I'll think about that tomorrow.

Tomorrow is another day."

See ya down the road,

Monday, August 3, 2009

I Will Follow Him

I will follow him.
Follow him wherever he may go,
And near him, I always must be
For nothing can keep me away, he is my destiny.

I will follow him,

Ever since he touched my hand I knew,

There isn't an ocean too deep,

A mountain so high it can keep,

Keep me away,

away from his love.

I love him, I love him, I love him,
And where he goes,
I'll follow, I'll follow, I'll follow.

He'll always be my true love,
my true love, my true love
from now until
forever, forever.

I will follow him,

Follow him wherever he may go,

There isn't an ocean too deep,

A mountain so high it can keep,

Keep me away, away from his love...

I love him
Oh yes I love him
I'll follow
I'm gonna follow
True love

He'll always be my true love, my true love
Now until forever

I love him, I love him, I love him,

And where he goes,
I'll follow, I'll follow, I'll follow,

He'll always be my true love,
My true love, my true love,

From now until forever,
Forever, forever...

I will follow him

Follow him wherever he may go,

And near him, I always will be

For nothing can keep me away, he is my destiny.

There isn't an ocean too deep,
A mountain so high it can keep,
Keep me away,
away from his love.

Happy Anniversary Jim
I still love you more than yesterday and less than tomorrow

(with gratitude to everyone from Little Peggy March to Marjorie Main)

See ya down the road,

Sunday, August 2, 2009

All Our Tomorrows

Just about now, give or take a few minutes, 41 years ago, Jim and I were on our way from our wedding rehearsal to his parents home for a rehearsal party. We were stopped at a red light, in front of Dave Lewis's Garage, when an extremely inebriated guy in a pickup truck plowed into the back of our Volkswagon beetle.

Dave called the police and came to help us remove our rear bumper from the pickup's grill. When the cruiser arrived, they got there just in time to prevent the driver and his equally drunken son from from getting physical with Jim and Dave. Jim, you see, had taken offense to the names the father was calling me and the language he was using while screaming about how it was our fault for stopping in front of him!

The officer, who knew us, and knew we were getting married in the morning, put the two offenders in his car while Dave pushed the truck onto his side lot. The policeman told us they would definitely spend the night in jail to sleep it off but advised us that if we wanted to press charges we'd have to be present in court on Monday morning.W e were young (boy were we young!) We were in love. We were leaving on our honeymoon.

We were stupid! While I chalked up my splitting headache and nausea that evening to pre- wedding jitters, it turned out later that I had injured my neck that evening and the vertabrae had fused, causing me back problems ever since.

But at the time we didn't think it was a big deal. Our younger brothers managed to make the back of Jim's VW look okay despite the lack of a bumper. They even took it and washed it and gave it a hot wax. (which the idiots managed to ruin the next day by writing "Just Wed" all over it in menthol shaving cream- removing the wax and the finish for all time. It still said "Just Wed" when we finally-traded it in for a roomier MGB)

Everyone was making such a big deal and there was so much noise and my head was aching. Every time I tried to get something to eat Mom 1 or Mom 2 would call me away to meet someone else. Finally, my dear friend and bridesmaid, Peggy, dragged me into the bathroom, sat me on the floor, and brought me a plate of food. She gave me some aspirin and I began to feel better.

When Jim's Mom literally threw me and my family out of the house at 11:30, so there would be no chance Jim might see me a moment after midnight, he followed to say good night. I begged him to just jump in the car with me and elope right then and there. He hesitated for a couple of minutes and then said, "They'd never forgive us."


He gave me a hug, grinning over my shoulder at my Mom who was laughing at me and whispered,


See ya down the road,

Saturday, August 1, 2009


The August NaBloPoMo theme is Tomorrow. I have never had a better opening than this one.

Tonight August 1,2009, Geezerguy and I were privileged to attend the Senior Noncomissioned Officer Induction Ceremony at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base in Tucson, AZ. There 106 men and women, all of whom chose to serve our nation, were commended for their attainment of the rank of Master Sergeant.

Jim and I sat there proudly and humbly listening to these Americans, one of whom was our son, Sage Words, proclaim their reason for being there.

The Airman's Creed

I am an American Airman.
I am a Warrior.
I have answered my nation's call.

I am an American Airman.
My mission is to fly,fight and win.
I am faithful to a proud heritage,
A tradition of Honor,
And a Legacy of valor.

I am an American Airman.
Guardian of Freedom and Justice,
My nation's Sword and Shield,
It's Sentry and Avenger.
I defend my Country with my Life .

I am an American Airman.
Wingman, Leader, Warrior.
I will never leave an Airman behind,
I will never falter,
And I will not fail.

Below you'll see one of the leaders of tomorrow.

Jim, Master Sergeant (select) Cumberland, and Me

Thank you for serving.

See ya down the road,