Somewhat Valuable Player Award

In 1979, I was admitted into the second class of women that lived on campus at the heretofore all-male Wofford College. The college was chartering a women’s basketball program and the coach wasn’t overly picky. She wasn’t desperate enough to take anyone with a pulse, but, as I had scored two baskets over three years of playing YMCA league, I made the cut. Continue reading

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Really Really Bad Salesman

Bad salesman in Garmisch

Image Credit Wikipedia Commons

When husband and I decided to buy a piece of furniture painted in the traditional Bavarian folk-art style, or biggest obstacle was a bad salesperson.

Living in southern Germany, my husband and I came to love the Bauernmalerei folk-art furniture style. We traveled to Garmisch-Partenkirchen, situated at the foot of the Zugspitze Alp, where we hoped to select and order a hand-made Bavarian keepsake.

This was in the late 1980’s when a strong US-Dollar motivated hordes of American tourists to visit picturesque Germany. Beautiful Garmisch, with its painted buildings and cobblestones streets, was a popular destination.

We found a small store that had beautiful hand-painted armoires that we immediately fell in love with. Since the shop owner was studiously ignoring us, we sought him out and asked him, in our fluent German, what the price ranges.

“Teuer [Expensive],” he responded.

Matt and I looked at each other. Ok, so he didn’t particularly like Americans. He probably had tons come into his shop and leave again without purchasing anything. We got it. As ex-pats, we sometimes cringed at the behavior of busloads of US-tourists. Un-offended (or not very offended), we persevered.

“How expensive?” I asked.

“Sehr [Very].”

At this point, I was torn between wanting to giggle and wanting to stomp out. Luckily, Matt remained calm.

Bad salesman very Expensive Armoire “Could you be more exact?” he asked, pointing at an exemplar that we had particularly admired. “How much would one like this cost?”

“It depends.”

Yep. He hated American tourists, or possibly any tourist, or possibly anyone.

“Depends on what?” I asked testily, fully expecting him to tell me it depended on how much he hated the individual wanting a quote.

He grumpily pointed out features of carving and painting that influenced pricing. Finally, after pointing out the features we liked, we got a price out of the man.

Despite his misogynist temperament, we loved his work and decided to order an armoire from him. We still love it, twenty-plus years later. When visitors admire it, we enjoy telling them how it was “very expensive.”

© Laura Hedgecock 2013
Interested in sharing your memories? My website, Treasure Chest of Memories, has tips, resources, and a blog about memory sharing.

Romantic Doggie Bag

chocolate pie

Image credit: Thekitchn.com

My husband’s work  travel has always taken place in spurts and life is definitely less fun when he’s away.

I remember one particularly hard week, stuck at home alone, feeling like crap, with two very-active-is-a-gross-understatement young boys. Matt’s week ended with a return to the area to wine and dine customers.

Around 11 pm, he called to say that he was not only finally on his way home, but he had a nice treat for me. Knowing me to be his “Forget chicken soup! I want chocolate!” girl, he knew the way to my heart. To cheer me up, he said, he was bringing me a doggie bag (Styrofoam box) with a luscious piece of French silk pie.

Since he was 45 minutes away when he called, I passed the time salivating like Pavlov’s dog and making decaf coffee to have with my romantic gift. By the time he arrived, I had a plate with two forks and hot coffee at the ready.

With anticipatory pomp and circumstance, we opened the box to a horrific sight.

Steak T Bone

Not what I wanted to see

The restaurant staff had mixed up their to-go boxes. Instead of pie, I was looking down at a gnawed on T-bone from some stranger’s steak.

Disappointed German Shepherd

Disappointed

After ranting that Matt call the restaurant and insist they deliver me some pie, pulling my hair out, etc., I realized it could have been worse.

I could be some German shepherd, salivating in anticipation of a juicy bone that his master called to tell him to expect, only to find one of the few things dogs aren’t allowed to eat in the box—chocolate.

At this years’ company party, we won a gift card to that swanky restaurant. I’m finally going to get that piece of pie.

© Laura Hedgecock 2013
Interested in sharing your memories? My website, Treasure Chest of Memories, has tips, resources, and a blog about memory sharing.

Garden Pariah

Ants on flower bud

Ants on wet peony bud

You’d think the garden pariah would be the dreaded emerald ash borer or Japanese beetle. Sadly, it’s not the destructive insects that the garden inhabitants seem to want to vote off the island.

It’s me.

Nature lover. Animal rescuer. Bird feeder. Habitat builder.

The woman wanting to take pictures of flowers.

I’m grossly unappreciated—no, unwanted. Yesterday between rainstorms, I went out to take photos of wet flowers. Here’s the list of animals that ran, jumped, swam, or flew away before I even got remotely close to them. These are just the ones I saw….

  • At least 10 frogs

    Tadpoles

    In the interest of full-disclosure, I have to admit that the tadpoles seemed to tolerate my presence.

  • King Fisher (who I didn’t even see until he left in a huff)
  • Woodpecker
  • Crow
  • Wrens
  • Garter Snake
  • Rabbit

On the positive side, when I stepped in an ants’ nest, they didn’t run away. They crawled in my shoes.

Hmmm. Maybe I should stick with being an ogre. Maybe I could change my name to Fiona.

© Laura Hedgecock 2013

Interspecies Attractions and My Failure to Read Social Cues

Take me to a cocktail party and I’m hyper alert to social cues. Eyes wandering? I assume you’d rather be talking to someone else. Lack of enthusiastic nodding? Your interest has waned; time to shut-up, Laura. I won’t even go into the looking at my chest, or worse—your focus is slightly off my eyes. Did I grow a zit on my forehead?

Obsess much? Oh yeah!

However, when it comes to the animal kingdom, I forget all that self-consciousness in my desire to connect interspecially. (No, that’s not a spelling error. It’s a made up word.)

Just this week I had two significant reptilian contacts.

Monday evening, my husband reported a turtle crossing the driveway. I grabbed the camera and took off to find an attractive red slider moving at break-neck (turtle) speed. My hands-off policy failed when I saw something attached to her (or his, I really don’t know how to tell with turtles. You know, the shell and all that…) back.

Gently stopping her resulted in her peeing her body weight, which was a pretty significant social cue that my affection for her wasn’t going to be returned. On closer inspection, the “something” turned out to be a leech. With hubby’s “help” (If you consider standing to the side saying “Ewww,” “Maybe you should put salt on it,” and “be sure to wash your hands, honey”), I removed the leech by rubbing it off with a small twig.

Neither the turtle nor the leech was appreciative.

Red Slider Turtle

Not BFF’s. Not even close!

Later that evening, while I was attempting to dig a cattail out of the pond, a frog jumped out and landed in the grass a foot away from me. I should have been content to simply admire him. (Again, I really don’t know how to tell frogs’ gender either, unless they’re actively mating, in which case I assume the one on top is the male.) He made the mistake of making eye contact.

In my defense, there was a slight gloat to his demeanor. “Lucky mah dirty ass is camouflaged. Stupid human eyes can’t peep me up in tha grass!” (Credit: Pond lingo courtesy of Gizoogle.net) I replied—yes out loud, but don’t tell anyone, “I can see you, you know.”

His little froggy smirk continued. “No, you can’t. No, you can’t. I’m just one foot away, and you can’t peep me.” After I gave him the gentlest of touches on his little froggy head, he sprung away.

Pond Frog

Not interested in human contact…

Spurned again.

I’m pretty certain I heard a “biotch!” as he left.

© Laura Hedgecock 2013

Text Conversation

I love being able to text my teenage sons.  I can’t even imagine how my mom got through life without that luxury (although it would actually explain some of the extreme worrying….).

But there’stext conversation a couple of disadvantages to texting.  When you text, what you said is there for you to see, in black and white (or green and grey–whatever, you get my drift.)

One night, I was missing my freshman and decided to look through at all our loving conversations.  (I delete all the ones that just say OK or Can you add money?)  When I found this one, I realized that not all conversations should be memorialized (or saved…. or mentioned).

Me: Can you eat at work?

Son: idk  why?

Me: Cause I grilled pork chops, but Tucker got 2 of them. Got one back. Dad’s eating half of that one. But now I don’t have enough.

Son: lmao

Tucker is our dog. Time to switch to Snap Chat?

© Laura Hedgecock 2013

Love Notes (Post # 100)

A 100th post should be something special. Failing that, it should be about someone special.

My parents were into greeting cards. Not the Helen Steiner Rice sweet or inspirational greeting cards—they preferred funny ones or zingers. On a good day, you’d get a funny zinger. (That’s why my husband is in charge of picking out cards for his parents. My choices probably wouldn’t go over that well. )

When I get on my memory-sharing soapbox, one of my mantras is that cards and letters should be preserved because they reveal so much about daily companionship. This exemplar, a homemade card from my mother to my father does just that. It also reveals that there was the occasional snowstorm in South Carolina. (Judging from the fact that it was too bad to drive, the snow must of topped out at over ½ inch.)

Home made valetine's card

Card from my mom to my dad.

(c)Laura Hedgecock 2013