I recently spent a week at my sister’s home in Colorado Springs, to spend my birthday and to celebrate my little nephew’s third birthday. I was really looking forward to the trip, but was also a bit apprehensive about leaving my Cute Little German Mother. I knew my daughter and son would be there with her, but they have busy lives and are gone a lot. I made a schedule for them, so they would know what days the little cutie would be going to my other sister’s house for dinner, and which days they were responsible for dinner. I think it went pretty well ... try not to ask too many questions because that always leads in a negative direction. I boarded the plane and headed toward my long-awaited week of relaxation. I ended up taking my daughter’s bag, as it has more room than the tiny one I usually take. I was determined not to check a bag. “Take my bag,” she said as she saw me trying to force a second pair of shoes in mine. “I always take this one and it always fits, even that time I barely got it zipped.” So, as I boarded the plane, looked for my seat and tried to get the bag in the bin, it was pretty obvious it wasn’t going to make it. You never want to be that person holding up the line trying to force a bag in. I tried to duck into a seat nearby to let people pass so I could take the bag to have it checked at the ramp. Have you noticed how tiny some of these planes are? No matter where I ducked, I was still in the way. I finally made my way to the front of the plane again, and passed an open bin with nothing in it. I had to give it one last try. Yes, no dice. As I turned, I saw a what seemed like a sea of judgmental faces looking at me as if to say, “Really lady? Do you think that one’s bigger than the ones in the middle?” I checked the bag and took my seat, determined to stay out of the way until we arrived in Colorado Springs. We landed after a smooth and uneventful flight, and I was out the doors to meet my sister. We had a quick hug and were in the car and off to find something to eat. I hadn’t had time to really eat that day and I was starving. We chatted as we always do, never missing a beat no matter how long it has been since we last saw each other. “You know what I just learned?” she asked. “I just learned after talking to my friend that when you ask a man what he’s thinking and he says, ‘Nothing,’ he really means it.” “Yes, I responded, “that’s what I’ve been trying to tell you. No matter how difficult that is for the female brain to accept, for men, there can be complete gaps in thought, for extended periods of time.” This really is enlightening and offers explanation for many previously misunderstood moments in a relationship. She felt much better knowing that when her husband replied in this manner with frequency, that he was actually being honest. We had a very nice visit and enjoyed the outdoors, shopping, getting lunch, and lots of talking. I think my brother-in-law liked it, too. It gave him a break, as he’s not much of a talker, and my sister will talk to the house plants if no one else is around to listen. A couple of days after I got home, I went through the refrigerator and uncovered a questionable bowl of leftovers. “What’s this?” I asked, half expecting the usual claim of ignorance from all who could possibly have been involved. “Oh, that’s what Josh made for Oma on one of his days to cook,” reported my daughter without hesitation. Let me describe this for you. It appeared to contain tortilla chips, Ramen noodles, several kinds of condiments, tuna, relish, and a few things I could not identify. “Well, no wonder she put it in here ... gotta give her kudos for making a little dent in it.” A little while later. “Josh, what were you thinking giving that to Oma? You know she needs to eat healthy foods.” “I don’t know.” “Fair enough, quite plausible, really.”

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