Grandma Says..

Observations and views from a different set of eyes

Bring Back The Goblins!

hallghost

I love holidays and one of my all-time favorites, both as a child and an adult, is Halloween.  But, as the years have passed, it seems that all the little goblins that would run up our walk with cries of “Trick Or Treat” have disappeared.

Danny and I moved to our current house over eight years ago.  We live in a mixed neighborhood of young families and not-so-young senior citizens.  It’s a quiet, but friendly neighborhood.  Our first year here, I kept an eye on the school bus stops and was thrilled to see a large number of kids who I felt were sure to stop in for a treat on Halloween.

I dressed the yard with cobwebs, headstones and pumpkins, set up two chairs at the top of our walk, nestled a large bowl of yummies on my lap and Danny and I waited for the onslaught of little trick-or-treaters.  After an hour, my neck hurt from looking up and down the street for the goblins…but not one was out and about.  After eight p.m., Danny and I dragged our disappointed selves into the house.

We followed this disappointing process for the next three years until we finally realized that the days of little goblins wandering our streets on Halloween were gone. I felt bad, not only for ourselves, but for the little ones.

Most parents bring their children to their town’s “Halloween Safe Walk” and do not allow the kids to do any actual trick or treating in neighborhoods.  I commend towns who organize these “safe” (but slightly commercial) walks which really consist of kids in costumes walking down the main street from booth to booth…standing in long lines to get a piece of candy and then moving on to the next booth.  I find this sad.  It’s like the kids are on an assembly line.

When I was a child, Halloween was a big deal.  We spent days, weeks and sometimes months dreaming of the excitement of knocking on our neighbor’s doors, dressed as ghosts, hobos or pirates and bringing home our pillowcases filled with goodies. For a few years, my parents went with us until my brother’s were old enough to escort us around the neighborhood.

When I was a child, Halloween was a big deal, and not just for the kids.  Adults would be at the door, waiting for us with large bowls filled with candy.  Some would hold a open house, where the family could get a cold glass of cider.  The streets were jammed, the costumes were homemade and the kids loved it.

I can hear some people now saying, “But, it’s too dangerous out there now to let our kids go from door to door in our neighborhood.”  I disagree.  Of course parents or responsible siblings MUST accompany the little ones on their rounds.  A strong police presence (or trustworthy volunteers) should be visible to prevent hooligans (or worse) from preying on the youngsters.  But, I feel that kids today are being robbed of the excitement, the fun and the thrill that was meant to be Halloween!

The young one’s aren’t the only ones being gypped by the fear of neighborhood trick or treating.  Think about the elderly people these kids would cheer up with their sweet faces and cute little costumes.  Those who don’t enjoy having kids come to their door could just leave their porch light off…a tried and true method of not being “in the mood” for Halloween.

Of course, there must be vigilance on the parent’s end….they must inspect their kids candy before allowing them to eat it.  Hospital’s offer free x-rays for trick-or-treaters to ensure some idiot hasn’t tried to harm a child.  But, it is doable…we can make our streets safe again and get those kids off the assembly line.  Let’s allow the youngsters of today the thrill of doing some real trick or treating.

So, let’s bring back the Goblins.  I miss them!

Love,

Cranky

This post is dedicated to Bloggers For Peace and to my fellow B4Peace member, Rarasaur.  Check out their excellent site here!

24 Comments »

Cranky’s Believe It Or Not

1588622_vb

As some of you may know, I finally got back to blogging a few weeks ago after having to stop to nurse Danny, my SO after his hospital stay for a bleeding ulcer.  Then, last week, increasing pain in my stomach and back forced me to the Emergency Room and I had to stay for three days for tests.  UGH!  After being released, bed rest has been mandatory and this is the first chance I’ve had to try and sit in a chair long enough to chat a bit with you.

I can’t believe that my pain was due to walking my rambunctious puppy two miles a day.  Evidently, his pulling and jumping on the leash resulted in pulling all the muscles in my back and my stomach!  So, I guess a new exercise regime will be required or I fear that my precious puppy may have to find another home.  I am signing him up for behavior classes in a last ditch effort to keep him here…it’s all up to him!

I did come to believe that I was not meant to diet!  After three weeks of dieting (and never cheating) Dan was put in the hospital.  I was back on track for one week and then I got thrown in the hospital.  So, the diet is on hold and all my concentration is going to be on getting our health back, catching up with my blogging buddies and my writing projects.

I hope you all will still visit even if my posts are erratic since I would hate to lose touch with all of you!  Well, back to the heating pad and my pain killers…we’ll talk soon!  Believe it or not!

Love,

Cranky

36 Comments »

Breaking News…Cranky’s Back!

61942

Yes, my friends, after a long period of silence, I’m finally able to jump back into my “other” life here on WordPress.  And, oh, how I have missed being here.  But, the days of my turning a wistful eye towards my laptop are over for now and I hope that it will be a long time before I am dragged out of my WP world again!

An update on Danny…the surgery proved successful but Danny’s recovery has been slow…very slow.  His spirits have been a little on the down side since this was the second life-threatening illness in the past 16 months.  I can’t blame the guy for being scared.  But, I spend each day pointing out even the smallest improvement in his health and assuring him that he will improve even more as time goes by.

Of course, we now have a slew of doctor’s appointments for follow-up care and medication changes that have occurred.  Danny still has a lot of health issues (Hepatitis C, a damaged liver and now this damn ulcer) but I assure him that I’m in this for the long haul and he won’t be facing these challenges alone.  I love the guy and want to not only keep him around but want to make sure that whatever time we have left together is spent looking at the beauty and the humor in the world around us.  After all, that’s the best medicine you can give to someone like Danny!  When I can put a smile on his face or comfort him when he’s down…then I know I’m doing what’s right for him.

I can not begin to thank all of you for the thoughts, prayers and good energy you sent our way during this difficult time.  There are no words to express how much that meant to me but the tears in my eyes might give you some insight into how touched I was to read all your comments!

So, although a large part of my day is still spent on Danny’s care; I hope to be able to spend time daily keeping up with all your adventures and sharing some of mine.

I want to end this with a kernel of wisdom that I have gleaned from going through these health events with Danny.  There is no promise of tomorrow, so please, make sure that your time spent with your friends and loved ones is filled with laughs, love and hugs.

Again, thanks for all your love, support and well wishes.  But, be warned, Cranky is back!  And she’s got a lot to say!

Love,

Cranky

31 Comments »

Doing The Hospital Hop

b0420

 

Hi everybody…finally got away from the hospital long enough to send a short note.  Saturday Danny woke up violently ill and I had to rush him to the Emergency Room.  Tests showed a bleeding ulcer and since he is on blood thinners…it was very serious indeed.  But, I’m happy to report that surgery stopped the leak and he is now recuperating nicely.  We hope that all stays well so he can come home tomorrow.

Naturally, I have been at his side since Saturday and have had no time to post…but, once things are settled, I’ll catch up with you all!

Hope you are all well and you’ll hear from me soon!  Got lots to tell y’all when I come back!

Love,

Cranky

42 Comments »

Update And A Thank You

popthank

I wanted to update you all on what’s been going on with the situation that I wrote about in my post “A Plea For Help.”

The young boy has been released from the hospital and is now with his mother.  The Grandparents have a lawyer seeking to remove the boyfriend from the home and the birth father is petioning for joint custody so he has a say in the care of the child.  The Grandparents are hoping that they will be able to petition the court to prevent the mother from leaving the state as they now fear that their daughter might bring the child out of this state’s jurisdiction.

So, legal issues are at play and in the hands of lawyers and the judicial system. Hopefully, a mutual agreement can be reached by all parties and that the child will be safe and get any help he needs.

I made a simple plea for help from my WordPress friends and the response was staggering.  All of your information and advice had been forwarded to the Grandparents and they want me to convey their heartfelt thanks for taking the time to offer support and encouragement.

I cannot thank you all enough.  I wish I could tell you how much it meant to me to realize that I have so many friends and that they truly wanted to help.  Each and every one of you holds a special place in my heart and I wish I could offer more than a simple Thank You.

Hopefully, the family situation will be resolved in the next month or so, but with the resources you all supplied and that the Grandparents followed up on, I believe a happy ending for all is possible.

So, again, Thank You for responding to my plea for help.

Love,

Mary Ellen McMahon

2 Comments »

A Plea For Help

This is a very sad and important post, and I’m hoping that someone can help.  I am reaching out to my WordPress community to help a family that is in dire need of finding the assistance they need.

I cannot give names, suffice to say, it is part of my extended family that is in shock and they have run into a stone wall with local authorities and government officials regarding what has happened to a family member.  The easiest way for me to do this is to give you the facts as I know them and let you decide if you can help them.

A seven year old child had a tantrum last Thursday.  According to his mother, he became out of control and slapped her.  To be fair to the mother, she was born with a disability that has robbed approximately eighty percent of her eyesight and raising a child under those conditions is difficult at best.

However, instead of calling the child’s grandparents, who have helped raised him and have been giving their daughter money to help cover her expenses, she Baker Acted the boy and he is now in a Behavioral Hospital.

This seven year old child, who I know and have seen grow up, has never exhibited aggressive or hostile behavior when in the presence of his grandparents, the rest of the family, or in school. Evidently, this behavior is new and has occurred since the entry of a new boyfriend into the home environment.  The boyfriend has three children of his own, who he has systematically distributed to other family members to raise since he met the child’s mother.

The grandparents received the news that their grandson was admitted to the Behavioral Crisis Unit by their daughter in a TEXT MESSAGE.  Efforts to call and text her have proved fruitless.  When they drive to the daughter’s home…no one is there.

Hoping to have the child released into the birth father’s custody or their own, the grandparents consulted a lawyer who advised them that they were wasting their time. The birth father had visitation rights, but all custody rights were the mother’s.  Grandparents evidently have no rights whatsoever when concerned for the welfare of their grandchildren.

Multiple calls to the Department of Children and Families also proved fruitless.  They turned a deaf ear and said it was the mother’s right to Baker Act her seven year old and that the Grandparents are not even allowed to be informed of what Institution he is in or have visitation.  They refused to get involved and said that there was no proof that the home environment was the cause of the child’s distress.

If you think things couldn’t get worse, well think again.  The daughter and her boyfriend went to the police last evening and she filed Harassment Charges against her own parents for the multiple messages and texts that they have been sending wanting to know where and how their grandchild is.  The police came to their door last night and said they had a right to arrest them and would do so if they tried to communicate with their daughter again.

These grandparents are besides themselves with grief, worry and hurt.  The whole family is distressed and worried about this little boy.  The father is willing to take custody if the mother doesn’t feel equipped to handle their son.  The grandparents are more than willing to raise their grandson (who spent a large portion of his seven short years on earth in their home with his mother.)

My heart aches for the child, who is now most likely traumatized and feeling abandoned by those he depended on for love, comfort and stability.  My heart bleeds for the Grandparents who are fighting just to see their grandson and their bewilderment at their daughter’s hostility towards them.  They have done nothing but give their daughter and their grandson their love, support and encouragement over the years and this situation is unbearable for them.

If there is anyone reading this who knows of who these grandparents can turn to try to resolve this horrible, horrible situation, please leave me a comment, or e-mail me at dh418@comcast.net.  I know that WordPress has members from all walks of life: lawyers, social workers and psychiatrists who possibly may know of an avenue that the Grandparents have not discovered or authorities are not willing to tell them about.  Even if you’re a blogger who has encountered a similar situation and know of anything that can help this family, please don’t hesitate to contact me.

Meanwhile, a seven year old boy will go to bed tonight in a strange place among strangers, when there are loving grandparents looking for him.

With tears in my eyes,

Mary Ellen McMahon

44 Comments »

Happy Fourth Of July

30

I want to wish everyone a Very Safe And Happy Fourth Of July!  Light up those skies and remind us how lucky we are to live in the United States Of America!

Let’s remember all those brave souls who fought in the American Revolution; who made the ultimate sacrifice to make our country The Land Of The Brave And The Home Of The Free!

And, let us not forget to give a special salute to all our brave military soldiers home and abroad for their service and to thank them for helping to keep this country free from tyranny.  Let us remember the heroes we have lost in that fight with respect, love and gratitude.

Have a great holiday, everyone!

A special Happy Fourth goes out to a great blogger and fellow BE For Peace Member – Be Beautiful And Dance.  Check out the site, it’s great!

12 Comments »

No Words…Just Sorrow

1011794_202547396566817_334040001_n

My thoughts and condolences to the family and friends of these brave men.

2 Comments »

Goodbye To A Hero

6C7860076-tdy-130613-drowing-man-03.blocks_desktop_small

Mike Patterson, his wife and three children

On June 8, Mike Patterson was enjoying an afternoon with his nine-year old son on the shores of Euharlee, Creek in Rockport Ga.  The 43 year old spotted a toddler drowning in the swimming hole and, without hesitation, dived in to save the small child.

He succeeded but suffered a severe neck injury and was found unconscious and drowning in the water moments after rescuing the small child.  He had broken his neck in three separate places as he had dived into a shallow area of the swimming hole head first.  He has spent the days following his heroic act in the Intensive Care Unit of a nearby hospital, paralyzed and battling pneumonia caused by the water in his lungs.

Today, Mike Patterson lost the battle and died from his injuries.  So, now we have to say good-bye to a good samaritan who selflessly gave his life to save another.  Let us remember him and send our prayers to his family and loved ones. May his sons always remember and respect their father for the Hero he was.

R.I.P. Mike..You lost the battle but you saved the day.

A fund has been set up in Mike’s memory to defray the medical costs and family expenses for Mike’s surviving family.  You can get more information here:

Friends Of Mike Patterson

21 Comments »

So Wrong and So Sad

large

We all knew that racial discrimination was going to be a major issue in the State Of Florida’s case against George Zimmerman.  Zimmerman is accused of  “racially profiling” Trayvon Martin and that resulted in the eventual struggle between Zimmerman and Martin, which led to Martin’s death.  We were warned; we were prepared to hear once again how a young black boy was prejudged to be “suspicious” based on his color of skin.

I sat in shock, not believing my ears, while I listened to young Rachel Jeantel’s testimony yesterday.  For those of you not following this controversial trial, she was the young girl on the phone with Martin just moments before he was shot.

She testified that Trayvon Martin stated that a “Creepy Ass Cracker” (George Zimmerman) was following him.  When asked if she felt that was a racist remark, she said, “No, sir.”

WHAT?

The defense has just proved that Zimmerman was not the only one that might have been guilty of racial profiling.

Rachel is nineteen years old and if her idea of what constitutes a racial remark is shared by the youth of today, then there will never be an end to discrimination based on the color on one’s skin.  And, that is so wrong, and so sad.

I thought the world had come further in accepting people for what they are and what they do, not on the color of their skin, but on the way they live their lives.  I guess I was wrong if a remark such as “creepy ass cracker” is considered an innocent remark, not a racial slur.

I live in Florida and I know that the term “cracker’ is used as an offensive racial slur against the Caucasian residents of this state.  It’s not a compliment, it’s an insult when someone calls you a “cracker.” Plain and simple.

Rachel testified that the term “cracker” was used in her community to refer to white people, so how is that not an ethnic slur?

I, like the jurors, am waiting for all the evidence before I pass judgement on George Zimmerman.  But, Rachel’s testimony upset me and now I question just who was doing the racial profiling, Zimmerman, Martin, or both?  If it was just one of them or both were prejudging someone’s intentions based on the color of their skin, then nothing has changed and discrimination will continue on forever.  And that is so wrong, and so sad.

Just saying.

15 Comments »

%d bloggers like this: