Tuesday, November 25, 2008

The Turkey Free Blog Message

Everyone has driven somewhere on auto-pilot. You know, when you drive (or walk) some place only to wonder how you got there. It is as if the energy expended traveling from "point A to B" never really happened. The only more sensible explanation might be that you were transported there on a Star trek tractor beam. I have felt the effects of this dynamic on two distinct fronts:
1. age
2. linear distance

As for the "age" side of the fence, I can't believe that I am this old. I never really planned for it much, it just sort of snuck up and bit me one day. Check out my Mom. She is 87 now and I can't believe she is older than 50 in my mind. Its when I visit her and the dementia signs come to the fore that I have the rude reminder that she is flirting with 90 in three years. I am older too even though she still thinks my friends and I are all still in high school. Not a problem for me. Actually I've been that age to her since high school. Perhaps I am the new Dorian Grey. It is only in the last 20 years that I've felt it to be such a fun bonus.

Mom's picture shows her immediately after viewing an online slide show of my niece, Kerry, and her wedding to the delightful Mr. Joe in Key West the beginning of November. She's thrilled for Kerry and Joe; but repeats her lament that she couldn't attend. "It was too far for me to travel by myself, Ruth Mary. I don't go that far alone anymore." In all actuality,she doesn't travel anywhere alone anymore with the exception of inside the assisted living residence she calls home now. It is a great place and she is happy there
For her benefit I repeat that I couldn't attend either; but, that it looked like a wonderful time. We sound like an old 45 rpm record with a damaged groove that skips and flawlessly repeats its refrain. That is okay. If that is our biggest communication issue we are blessed.

Mom usually spends Sundays with my brother, Pat, and his family. Consequently, she has become a Steeler fan by osmosis. Her entire life in advance of this, she couldn't have cared less about sports in general. Mom actually urged me to buy her a book about the current owner of the Steelers, Dan, son of Art, of the Rooney Dynasty.

Perhaps it is Mom's influence. Perhaps it is the last quarter Steelers v Chargers where they snatched victory from the jaws of defeat and hammered the score to 11-10. It was poetry in motion. It triggered something deep inside me watching it. The odds of changing the score as drastically as they did so late in the fourth quarter is over 12,000 to 1. It captured part of my heart and interest level at the same time.

Last weekend my journey north was against exceptionally cold weather conditions with premature snowfall and some nasty arctic breezes. I drove up Friday, arrived in the evening and we had a great day Saturday. We lived it up. All the usual frontiers were explored: Walmart for ear-muffs, Target for ear-muffs (Walmart didn't have any) and then off to soak-up the free wi-fi at Paneras at the Waterworks Mall. Mom loves watching the world go by there and waving at little kids as they bang into the furniture with their parents in tow.

I use that time and place to give her a digital update. It is there that Mom approves of family milestones as evidenced in the photo included in this message. She marvels at the photos and video clips I show her on my laptop. She reads my blog and giggles that it is there for she isn't jaded by technology. Mary Lou is in awe that it exists to the point where she will only touch one button at a time, even with the magnificant personalized support she receives. She approaches it with the same finesse as when she'd check the cooking range to see if it was hot.

During the trip I didn't know I was traveling. I found myself in a limbo-like state once I arrived in Pittsburgh. The drive flew by in a flash. In part because I am listening to ATLAS SHRUGGED by Ayn Rand and loving it. In part because I had switched over to a nearly meditative state through the drive. The concept of distance being a barrier was dissolved like Splenda in iced tea.

Such is my experience with being a football fan. A Steelers football fan. What took place to transform me into a newly baptized Steelers fan? The change went on virtually unnoticed until I stopped and allowed it to fully resonate much like a monster movie where the "Pod People" take over your brain.

While with Mom, we had our nails done. She thought it was silly that they have such intricate designs for finger nails. She wanted the Steelers emblem on her thumbs. Okay, that is fun, so I paid the few extra dollars. However, once the lovely red polish adorned her nails, she didn't want anything ruining the look. So, I now have my two ring finger nails sporting Steelers symbols. It fits right in with all the other advertising I'm doing for the team recently.

For the sake of this religious conversion, I have taken an additional sacramental name which will come just after my first baptismal name. Here is is, folks: Ruth Mary Polamalu Theresa Brannigan.

My wonderful friend, Dora, gave me a slew of black and gold ribbon magnets. There are enough HERE WE GO buttons to make me very popular at the local Steelers bar. Talk about a great way to get a free drink! Another sign that I might be over the top: last night a neighbor-friend, Terri K, "MS. INTEL", came by with a bottle of champagne and we watched the final DANCING WITH THE STARS as we sipped. It was a lovely bottle of Mumms pink she had received as a birthday gift. My treat to offer her? A Steelers' Smiley Face Cookie. I have one dozen for Thanksgiving fun and another for a gathering to watch the December 7th game against Dallas with other ex-patriots.

The best email fun I've had recently was a missive from Wendy Neidermeyer's delightful parents, who are Steeler fans as well. In it was a photo of two of our finest military representatives about a mile or more above Afghanistan with unfurled TERRIBLE TOWELS. Wouldn't Myron Cope be proud? Wouldn't this just make him misty eyed? I love this photo. These two aerial warriors are demonstrating the same level of resilience as my Mom: that nothing will keep them from enjoying themselves and knowing who puts the wind beneath their wings.

Enjoy your Thanksgiving. I am grateful for all my blog readers. You know who you are. Although I enjoy putting my thoughts into print, you give it that extra spin that makes it sparkle. Thanks. Now go wave your Terrible Towel.



  1. Hi, Ruthie, Hey, you won't believe me (cause I deserve that) but I've been planning to reblog you. Life is a scramble. But I love hearing from you and you better have a happy thanksgiving. One of my most memorable Turkey Days was coming "home" (your home, to be exact) from the post office to a feast that you and Rich (and Snowball) cooked up. What a friend! Love ya, hon..

    Kae C. Lewis
    Electricity Supply Analysis Division
    California Energy Commission

  2. Thank Turkey day to you as well!

    Michelle cooked her very first Thanksgiving dinner for us and it was fantastic! She did a wonderful job and the food was delicious! Her Father would have been so proud of her and how everyone said she couldn't cook but, Well!, they cannot say that any more! She did it~!!!!!!

    I love reading your blogs and about your family and how you can write things that are so interesting even when I don't always agree with them.

    I start out with great thoughts but by the time I type them in an email I wonder who wrote these silly things. So, all I can say is I am not happy Obama got the election and I am afraid of all the his stands for because we don't know what it is. He has with held so much information from the American people and the media when right along with him.

    All I can say is that when we end up with another attack on this country or when we become a Socialist one. I can say, "This is what you wanted!" "Now, live with it if you can!"

    I loved the story about your grandmother and she sounds like such a wonderful person that I wish I could have met her.

    About what you said, "about teachers and our students!" I am so, so in agreement with you. Blame it on someone else that is Obama's big thing. And, he gets away with it.

    Love, Tuck

  3. You know, Tuck, you and I have always shared our differing opinions with grace and courtesy. Our friendship became the greater point, which is what is wonderful. I love and treasure it. You are right on one note: we'll see what happens with all this. I'm not wild about these bail outs. I know I am not getting one for my school loan! America's constitution will see us through. Have you ever read it? It is like the Bible to me.

    Love you right back!

  4. I will continue to share with you and you are right. We can have different opinions but respect the right of the other to have that and to speak just how they feel. I respect and appreciate that so very much.
    Michelle cooked a fantastic feast and four wonderful pies. We were all so proud of her! She truly is a daddy's girl. There were ten of us for dinner and we laughed, talked about Tom and prayed for him andI hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving and if you ever get down in the boom docks come and see us. We would love to have you, for sure!!! our families. On December 1st, we will be the proud grand parents of another little girl!
    Jason and Crystal's daughter will be born. We pray that she will be happy and healthy and full of all the Tuck vigor that we have and we know she will. Will send pictures as soon as we can.

    All my love and friendship,

  5. Ruffington
    When are you going to start writing The Book? When are you coming to Baywatch?