Monthly Archives: March 2020

A Normal Day In the Life: Episode 5

(If you missed the first 4 episodes, you’ll have to scroll down.)
“I am not getting my coat!” Grandpa Hank said in response to my directive. Then he gave me ‘the look’. I knew that the jig was up. It was Hank’s serious, no-nonsense look. He wasn’t going to let me do anything. I tried the stare down. Didn’t work.
“We’ve got the kids, Josie! We can’t just take off,” he said. “What are you thinking? What were you thinking? Where did you get that money? What were you going to do with it? Oh, good Lord, help us! That guy just stole our savings, didn’t he?” Hank’s normally calm voice got louder, more anxious, and then more demanding with each question. He looked from me to the grandkids, who had stopped what they were doing and were now sitting like little statues listening as their grandparents lost it. I looked out the open door. We could easily see the now departing pickup truck.
“Can you see the license number?” I asked thinking that was really the only reasonable thing I could say to Hank.
“NO! I cannot see that plate. I don’t carry binoculars with me, Josie!” Hank was good at sarcasm.
“I think we’d better do something quick. I have an idea,” I said trying to redirect Hank’s next comments.
Hank stared at me for a mega-second and raised an eyebrow. “You have an idea? I think you have a ton of explaining to do, Grandma!”
“’Splaining. ‘Splaining,” mimicked little three-year-old Jake. Caylen, our five-year-old-going on twelve, precocious granddaughter decided at that moment that it was probably a good time to jump up and free Oscar and Mel from the den.
Seeing the direction this was going, I handed the baby to Hank, grabbed my jacket from the coat rack, and did a quick run for the open door. I managed to slip out, and yank the door shut just before wiener-dog Oscar’s short, little brown legs skittered onto the entry rug behind me.
The sounds of the excited yapping of both dogs, and the boisterous shouts from Hank and the kids followed me out the door as I raced for our car. I pulled my coat around me, and dug in my jacket pocket. Yes! My car keys were in my pocket.
I was good to go! So to speak. I just didn’t know where I was going, yet.
I knew the direction the truck had gone. I was determined to catch up with that Packer Backer Thief. Grandma Josie was not going to be deterred. I set a grim, determined look on my old face. The thief would soon learn what it was like to deal with Grandma Josie.
The engine came to life with a bit of a struggle. It had been parked outside overnight, and didn’t like the cold temperatures. As soon as I got it started, I hit the gas, and the rear end of our little Ford Escape fishtailed spraying slushy snow behind me. This car wasn’t a racer, but the street was clear, and I sped on for several blocks checking each side street for that pick up truck. I’d been so consumed with catching up to the truck and retrieving my money that I really hadn’t given much thought to what I would do if and when I caught the culprit.
It was about a half mile down the road that I heard the siren and saw the flashing lights in my rear view mirror. I kept going, hoping that the cop had maybe been called out for another emergency and would turn off.
But of course, it didn’t happen like that. By the time I admitted to myself that the police were after me, I knew the jig was up and pulled over. I’d lost the thief. I was probably going to get a ticket, too. It just wasn’t fair. I wondered if I cried I might be able persuade the fellow to give me a break. I began working on pulling up a few tears. That was my thought process, until I saw the officer who was now walking up to my driver’s side window. It was our son! Now, I really was in trouble! I slowly lowered the window.
He stood there for a long moment not saying a word. Finally, he spoke very slowly like I was hard of hearing or language deficient or something.
“Mom. What are you doing?”Gail
©gailleecowdin 2020


HERE YOU GO: THE FOURTH EPISODE OF A NORMAL DAY IN THE LIFE:(if you missed the first three episodes you’ll have to see my previous posts on my webpage or to my authorFB page at Gail Lee Cowdin)

Hank needed to pay for the Schwann’s order, and left the man standing at the door as he went to the entry closet to retrieve my purse. At the time, I didn’t give it a second thought, being preoccupied with the baby I was holding while trying to corner and contain the dogs, Mel (for Hormel) and Oscar (for Oscar Mayer). I shooed them into the den and with an elbow, flicked the door shut. Mel and Oscar set up an even louder indignant ruckus, but at least they weren’t going to be escaping out the front door again.
When I returned, I found Hank handing some cash to the Schwann’s guy and accepting an armload of frozen pizzas, meats and ice cream. He turned quickly toward the kitchen. I supposed he was headed to the freezer. As he walked past me, he said, “You and I need to talk!” Well, the jig was up, I guess. He’d found the money stash, because he’d just been digging in my purse. So much for the surprise I’d planned.
I watched him walk away and was just turning back to the door when a head with a green and gold knitted Green Bay Packer’s hat popped around the corner. It wasn’t the Schwann’s guy. I saw the Schwann’s guy beyond him climbing into his truck and pulling away. This Packer’s hat guy kept his head tucked, squatted down, quickly reached around the corner, and deftly grabbed the strap of my purse. He slid it toward the open door, gave it a sharp tug to flip it over his shoulder, and took off high-stepping it through the snowdrifts in the front yard. It had to be the man from the pick up! He zigged a bit to circle a tree, jumped over some low shrubs and headed straight for the truck. I had to admit, he might have made a good runner in the Olympics.
I screamed after him. I think I might have even called him a few names. The Grands were all present, so I did have to watch my mouth. I do know I used the “B” word, though, and I think the guy knew I was pretty mad! Hank came hurrying back and stood at the door with me. There we were, two inept grandparents, letting a puny Packer thief abscond with my savings. I was so angry! There was no way I was going to put up with that! I turned to Hank, and said, “You’d better get your coat, Grandpa!”Gail

©Gail Lee Cowdin 2020


This just popped up in my brain today…
A DAY IN THE LIFE…Continued >>>
The remainder of the day was quiet by comparison. Three little ones needed to be occupied, and Hank and I did our best. We tried to follow the advice and admonitions our daughter and son-in-law had left with us before they departed. Keep the children calm, plan a quiet time, limit television, only healthy treats twice a day, meals at designated times, and naps required each afternoon. “Structure, structure, structure, and quiet is most important,” Beth advised. She specifically said, “Don’t let Dad get them riled up!”
However, when it came to dealing with a one-year-old with a soggy, dirty diaper, and a three-year-old desperately hanging on Grandma’s leg while sobbing, “I want Mommy”, plus a five-year-old slamming doors because she’s not allowed to watch a PG13-rated movie starring her ‘favorite’ monster, the wisdom of elderhood took precedence.
We worked together to clean up the squiggly, stinky baby and then gathered the other two munchkins into the living room to take turns sitting in the clothesbasket. Grandpa had placed a fluffy towel in the bottom of the plastic basket, and looped a belt through the webbing on one end. After seating the child in the ‘in-house sled’, Grandpa pulled the basket and child at Mach 1 speed (for a Grandpa that’s fairly fast) through the kitchen, dining room and back into the living room with the child-filled basket careening around the corners behind him. Squeals of delight and demands of “my turn!” and “I’m next!” continued for several rounds. Even the dogs got into the action, chasing after the basket and nipping at the bits of towel trailing out the bottom webbing. After a few such runs, though, Grandpa Hank sank into the leather recliner panting.
“I can’t do anymore!” he explained. I handed him the “Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark” book and settled into the other chair with the baby and a bottle while the two older kids crawled into Grandpa’s lap to listen to the story. The picture was like a deceptively peaceful Norman Rockwell grandparent/grandchild painting. That was what it looked like. I knew it wasn’t going to last.
In those moments of comparative quiet, I got to thinking about the fireman who had called me Ma’am. I’d I wanted to hit him just then, but I had to admit it wouldn’t have set a good example for the children. My blood pressure rose a bit just remembering his look, and I took a deep breath as I tried to push the thought away. Then I remembered seeing not only the fire truck parked at the end of the driveway, but another pickup truck parked just beyond the drive. Someone had been sitting in that vehicle watching the entire debacle at our daughter’s house. That truck didn’t leave when the fire truck pulled away. I wondered who would be crazy enough to be sitting out in their vehicle in the middle of winter watching my humiliation? Why hadn’t they just left immediately? That had all happened more than two hours previously, but the thought of the pick up drove me to struggle out of the chair, baby and bottle clutched carefully to my chest, and walk to the dining room window that faced the street. The truck was still there! And so was the man sitting in the truck! I rushed to the front door, checked the lock and this time, remembered to reset the security alarm. I must have looked like I’d seen a ghost when I returned to the living room because Hank took one look at me and asked, “What’s the matter, Josie?”Gail
©gailleecowdin 2020


So…being bored and locked away is not a good thing for most people. But I’m a writer. Gotta find some humor in the situation, I thought. This little story came to mind yesterday. Thanks to a friend who shared her ‘grandma’ story with me a while ago. I embellished and it may be the start of something new. Read on! What do you think?? Share my page if you like.
                                                    A NORMAL DAY IN THE LIFE
It began like any other day—a normal day, that is. I had gotten up early thinking that it’d be a nice treat for me, Grandma Josie, to fix a special breakfast for our “Grands”. Our daughter and son-in-law were soaking in the sun in the Caribbean for a week. Grandpa Hank and I were staying at their house in Wisconsin.
In January.
With three preschool children.
And two little, irascible dachshunds.
Actually, by that third day, we were all already a bit irascible! A winter lock-down with small children plus animals requires creativity, patience, and imagination.
So, I’d thought I’d do a blueberry, French toast bake in the oven for breakfast. It’d be a nice treat, a nice way to begin the day. That’s how it started. I’d gotten the oven warming when suddenly there was a swirl of gray smoke seeping out around the edges of the oven door. I peeked in to see odd bits of pepperoni baking—and smoking—in the bottom of the oven.
Grabbing a towel, I swatted at the smoke, hoping to diffuse it. Too late. The smoke detector screamed in warning. I quickly opened the front door and slid up the dining room window, and rushed back to the kitchen flapping the towel to disperse the smoke and quell the noise of the smoke detectors.
Unfortunately, in my panic and determination not to waken the house, I’d forgotten about secure home alarm system our daughter had installed. In all fairness, I must say, she’d told me. She’d warned me that I must enter the four-digit code to turn off the alarm system before I left the house each morning.
I’d forgotten about it. And I forgot the code, too.
That was probably because I was distracted when I saw two long, brown fur bundles racing to freedom out the open front door.
I knew I’d be in even more trouble if those little Weiner dogs got away. Excitedly yapping, they quickly slowed to begin gingerly tiptoeing through the belly-high drifts of snow they’d blindly plunged into. I clutched my robe close over my flannel gown, and pulled on the only shoes I could find by the front door…my granddaughter’s Minnie Mouse slippers that barely covered half my foot!
I had just taken three giant steps and stopped mid-calf in a pile of the white stuff, to retrieve one of the little mongrels, when I heard the jarring fog-horn blurp of an emergency vehicle, and looked up to witness a full ladder fire truck pulling into the circle. I stood frozen in spot, not only stunned by the cold, but also by pure horror. Of course, the truck came to a stop at the end of the driveway. I was mortified! There was no place to escape. An agile young man in black and yellow fireman’s gear jumped down and walked up to greet me with a semi-concerned smile.
“You doing all right, maam?” He was obviously trying not to display a condescending demeanor. Actually, he looked like he was trying to hold in a huge belly laugh. He wasn’t being successful, I’m afraid. He broke out into a grin as he ended his question.
“Yes! I’m fine!” I assured him. I shook my head and gathered up the second dog in my other arm, while trying to pull my robe closed around the two wiggly dogs.
“Your alarm went off. It notified us,” he explained.
“Yes, I see,” I said, impatiently looking around to see my husband coming out the front door and pulling on his overcoat. “It’s all a big mistake. Sorry.”
It took another ten minutes while standing in the freezing cold, trying to explain who we were and why I’d forgotten the alarm code, before the young man and the truck slowly pulled away from the curb and headed back down the street. We settled back in to the house to salvage a normal breakfast with the children giggling about the exciting start to their day, and my husband carefully avoiding eye contact with me. –GailGail
©gailleecowdin 2020

Need Some Ideas to Get Yourself Through the Isolation of Covid-19?

STUCK AT HOME? WE CAN DO THIS! Need suggestions for good binge-watching? This is an eclectic mix! Feel free to add your favorites to the list:

The Crown
Designated Survivor
Virgin River
The Irishman (Mafia and the Union)
The Laundromat
6 Underground
Avengers Infinity War
Hell on Wheels (building the railroad west)
Harlen Coben’s Safe
Locke & Key (Scary Thriller)

Amazon Prime:
A Place to Call Home – 5* Australian power family Bosch -5* – detective from Michael Connelly novels.
The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel
The ABC Murders – British Detective series
Murdoch Mysteries – British Detective series
Jack Ryan -5*
Agatha Christie’s Ordeal by Innocence

Acorn: (thru Amazon Prime) British mysteries
Keeping Faith
Midsomer Murders

Britbox: (thru Amazon Prime)
Shakespeare & Hathaway
Shetland – 5*

The Son (western with Pierce Brosnan)
Lincoln Rhyme: Hunt for the Bone Collector (on NBC now)
Killing Eve