Saturday, February 9, 2008

A taste of Jim

Learning to use ASL. We went to evening classes together and the teacher went around the room to ask us all why we were there. Most everyone had a deaf child/friend/coworker. We were there to help us at work. Jim spoke up and said, "so we can talk to each other in bed" Everyone laughed. She asked me, I said "so we can win when we play poker with the family".

Jim loved tastykakes, hated liver. He loved Green Lantern but hated Guy Gardner. He enjoyed a good film noir, mystery, adventure, science fiction, fantasy, western, drama, comedy, musical or three stooges movie. He didn't like....well I don't know any movie type he didn't like to watch. He loved to watch a good movie.

He spent most of the time we were married in either hawaiian shirts, flannel shirts or tee shirts with some comic hero on it. Unless he was dressed for work. I have taken an hawaiian and a flannel and made a pillowcase with them.

A favorite for both of us was to go see a movie on opening day. We saw many that way. All the Trek and SW and godfather and rocky and any batman, or superhero movie. It was just a given that we would either ask for the day off, call in sick or schedule ourselves off somehow.

His family played poker at family gatherings. I have heard stories of their father playing with uncles for years. When I came to the family I joined in. I think Jim's brothers had a hard time believing that I could bluff them like I did. I remember when Jim won a hand with a perfect royal flush. Hearts - ace, king, queen, jack and ten. He saved the cards and we have that hand framed.

Jim's birthday is just one day before my brothers.

He told me that he never wanted to have more children. His had hurt him though not their fault, the hurt was there. He told me that I was the one he wanted to care for. He was able to reestablish contact with his daughter and it made him very happy in the last three years. I am glad for that.

A love for the wild and crazy. Jim wanted to skydive and bungie jump, but never got to. He loved roller coasters and ferris wheels and wild theme park rides.

Jim and I had Sundays together. It would be a day when we would do some errands like groceries and such. Maybe a movie. Usually I would go grocery shopping and Jim would call his siblings, one by one to talk to them. To see how they are doing. He loved having that time in the truck in the parking lot by himself with no distractions, to be able to touch base with them. This was only in the last few years, but it became very important.

He used to help bag food when we were shopping. He would tell the cashier that he was practicing for when he retired. I just remembered that when I was typing about the phone calls. When I was done shopping and about to get in line, I would call him and he would come in and help.

Jim loved my speghetti sauce, the tunafish I made, he loved it when I made mashed potatoes the way my mom made them. I don't peel them. I cut and boil them with the skins and they are very tasty. He enjoyed them. One of his favorites that I made was very simple. A grilled cheese sandwich. But it had to be perfectly grilled with the light brown but not too brown color.

We held hands on the couch in our house even when no one was around. We loved to touch each other.

I learned how to cook "egg in the hole" from Jim. It's a piece of bread, buttered on both sides with a hole taken out of the middle. Put it in a pan and then break the egg so the yolk goes into the hole. After a minute or two flip it so the egg is cooked 'over easy'. Then it can be served with a piece of ham or some hash browns or such.

He loved to do outside work around the house. When we were in boston he built a privacy fence for the dogs. He dug the holes, mixed cement, put the posts in and set it up. He had done lots of stuff, but this was the best I think of what he had done. It was not easy. The digging was horrendous because of the rocks. But the final result was great.

He did many things around the house we are in now. Tar on the roof, painting, new ceiling fans and spackle, doors hung, and an entire kitchen renovated by himself. He would look at a job and work it thru how to do it. It didn't always get finished, but he had it figured out in his mind and could tell me about it.

Jim put sod strips down in the backyard here. The space is about 4 ft by 6 ft. It looked so nice when he was finished that he lay on the grass. He called me out and we both lay on the grass and stared at the sky. It felt like a real backyard.

He loved to listen to a lot of the 70's music. The bee gees, diana summer, the village people. He loved the beatles and thru my suggestions came to like some country music.

When we were first married we lived with Jim's mom, in this very house. I can see the basement door still has the spray paint that Jim put on it "I love U Mom - Jim & Betsy". I don't know how often she looked at it, but I see it everyday.

Jim was definately a joker. We were dating and we stopped to get some money out at the atm. He was next to me and showing me his pin number. We finished and turned around. The older man behind us said "good that you are showing your daughter how to use that". Jim grabbed me and said "it sure is" and kissed me in front of the guy.

He would go to the movie theatres and for the last five years would ask for a senior discount. He said sometimes he got it right off and other times they asked for id and he didn't get it. He told me, he isn't telliing them he was a senior, just asking for it. It's their choice. I never could get him to see the difference.

Jim was a techno electric guy. He didn't know computers, but loved to wire tv's, stereos or the like. We have a cable running in from the wall and it is split to all over the place. He was good at that - making it work. In one house we had a tv in every room and all had cable. Well we didn't have one in the bathroom.

The first fourth of july we spent in boston we both had to work. We were working down in Faneuil Hall and we closed a little early. He told me to come out the back and when I went there was a horse and carriage waiting there. He hired a carriage to take us on a tour of the waterfront and to watch the fireworks. It was incredibly romantic.

I can remember another fourth of july when we went to an area to watch the celebration with Jim's sister and brother. I took my camera and we sat in the field and we ooohhhed and aaahhhheed. I have a frame shot that I took with two bursts in it. He had it matted and framed for me.

This will continue.


Donna said...

My heart is with you sweetie! Lots of hugs to you......

Laura said...

That was beautiful to read. We called those eggs "egg in the nest" and Leonard loved them too. He shared his birthday with my father. I hope this Sunday went gently for you.

Laurie said...

So many good memories here Betsy, hold on to them in your heart. Oh, the horse and carriage, now that is so well thought out and romantic for your first 4th of July. That is so sweet. I hope your Sunday was a good one and I am praying this new week brings some surprise blessings to you.

Love, Laurie in Ca.