TIME OUT WITH LOIS: I might as well just tell you flat-out

“We cannot tell anyone about this,” I told my mother. “People will wonder if we are thinking clearly.”

Lois Olmstead

You who are younger may not be aware of these facts of life. But we oldsters know if you burn a pan on the stove your kids haul you off to a home. If you fall and break a hip, you are a goner. If you get a speeding ticket, there goes your car. Perish the thought that you lose your checkbook or forget to pay a bill, your kids will have a teleconference with “Urgent — Mom Losing It” on the subject line.

When I forget one of my kids’ names, I remind them that I did that when they were little also. No matter which one I wanted, I’d call the other brothers names first, sometimes adding our dog, Muffin too, because … well, just because. Maybe I had too much on my mind — still happens today. So we oldsters tread softly.

If you read about the soap in the well episode here at the ranch, you know my Mom said, “Well, I might as well just tell you flat-out …” The same thing happened when small, round black holes appeared at the bottom of our vinyl fence. He-Who-Took-Long-Steps and I put up a white picket corner fence by our sidewalk. After he went to heaven and I was mowing the lawn all the time, I spied a gopher hole by the fence.

 A day later Mom said, “Well, I might as well tell you flat-out, they are bullet holes. I was going to get your gopher with my shot-gun. I got your fence.” She is the Annie Oakley of our family so I was laughing because she missed, then laughed harder when she told me she went up to her house, got some white paint and tried to cover it up.

“That’s OK,” I said. “Don’t worry about it. I whipped off three bottom pickets the first time I used the weed-eater!”

“Time Out with Lois” is about real life. We all have it. The difference is that your real life may not appear online or in newsprint. Then again, it might. Real life has all kinds of facets, good and bad. I think we can learn much from each other because we are more alike than we think we are.

As I walk this path now without He-Who right here beside me, I am learning about a new “real” in my own real life. Today is Day 484 without him. God has taken care of me. Family helps me always. Friends help me.

I learned that getting through the first Christmas was not as hard as I thought it would be. Yet the Fourth of July was extremely hard. I cried buckets of tears. The only thing I could figure out was that it was always a family activity holiday. Whether picnics, rodeos or camping out, it was “us” and now it is not.

 It is so weird. I can be driving to town and turn to make a comment to him and can’t. I will walk into the garage and start to say, “How’s it going?” and can’t. I want to ask him if the oil on the little stick that I pull out of the little thing on the lawn mower to see it needs oil means add on the line or when it gets below the line? And if it does mean add now, which black container of oil in the garden cupboard is the one I add? 

I know, I know. I can call any of our boys (by their names) at any time because they have told me I can. Other people have said the same. But I want him. I want to hear his voice. God is helping me deal with that. In regard to the opening line, “I might as well tell you all flat-out … but now you have to wait until next week!”


EDITOR’S NOTE: Lois Olmstead is an inspirational speaker and author who lives in the Shields Valley. Email her at loiso@wispwest.net or visit www.timeoutwithlois.com.