Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Thank all of you for your well wishes and condolences. My mom is currently in India saying her final goodbye to her brother, while offering her support and comfort to her sister-in-law for the next few weeks. I am currently holding down the fort while she's gone. Normally, this wouldn't be that difficult of a task...check mail, water lawn, start car on occasion...however, this time I've stepped into a bit of a situation. The house is undergoing some changes, which means countertops have to be ordered, people need to be payed, cabinets need to be installed and stained. I have a royal headache...partially caused by the fumes that have chosen to linger throughout the house...and partially because I'm completely congested. As usual, everything has to go wrong at once. So, here I am trying to "hold down the fort" while strung out on DayQuil. But this too shall pass. I'm hoping that by the end of the week, I'll be breathing from both nostrils again! Here's to hopin'!

Friday, March 20, 2009


When bad news comes from India that someone has passed away...It's typically a gray-haired person that I vaguely remember....someone I barely knew except for a shared afternoon tea or a passing sniff-kiss. I don't grieve...I can't...I didn't know the person. I do, however, feel sad for my mom who lost yet another relative or someone she was close to at some point in her life.

But last night's news left me shocked, confused, unable to sleep...unable to think about anyone or anything except *him* My uncle Reji was 45 years old...and the youngest of 5...Since my grandmother was past the normal child-bearing years, his birth came as a shock to his older siblings....but it was his death that came as an even bigger shock. I'm sure when he left the house that day...it was just another trip into the city on his motorcycle...no one could have known it would be fatal.

I can't write this post without fighting back tears. I didn't get to see him every year...just a hand full of times in my life. But each time, I left India...I left feeling more attached to him and my aunt. Last night, I found myself on the phone with my cousin sharing my most recent memories of him...Memories I choose to write down in this space so I can look back on them and not forget how much he meant to me.

It was Rejichachen, as I called him, who picked out my engagement outfit. I had selected two and tried both on. I personally was in favor for the teal and gold one because I knew I had matching eyeshadow stashed away in my suitcase! But, after careful consideration...he said the red was prettier on me. I conceded...because suddenly the red became more special...since he picked it.

He knew I wasn't fond of eating duck. We had visited relatives who prepared duck curry for us for dinner one night....we were in a hurry to leave and they were in a hurry to feed us...so the curry was undercooked, rubbery, and disgusting. Since then, I vowed I'd never eat duck again. On my next visit to India, my aunt prepared a curry, which my uncle proceeded to tell me was chicken. I ate it...and wondered why he couldn't keep a straight face. When I got seconds...He asked me if I liked it. When I said, yes...he said "Quack, Quack." It was duck!...I had officially been duped!

In the mornings he'd take his motorcycle off to the city...but always returned in the afternoon with a bag full of goodies for me...as if I was a little kid. In the bag were samosas or our personal favorite...puffs...which we would have together with a cup of tea.

There was never enough electrical current in the house to make my dumb curling iron work for me. So he took my curling iron to the city and walked around to so many stores looking for something comparable, but unfortunately Kottayam doesn't carry Hot Tools!!

My uncle watched after my gramps when he was bedridden for several years. Every day...several hundred times a day...my gramps would call out "Reji"...and if he heard my uncle grabbing his motorcycle keys he would always ask him where he was going. One such day...my uncle was headed to the tailor shop to pick up some of my outfits that were stitched...the shop was called Paris Tailor...so my uncle responded to my gramps...with a tinge of sarcasm..."I'm off to France." I loved his sarcasm!

He was kind... funny.. had a cute lil' smile that usually meant that he was up to something. ;) He made my trips to India fun... always made me feel like he was on my side...was always curious about what I wrote about in my journal...shared my love for dogs...was the only one who could actually carry a tune and carry it well.

I can't believe he's gone..when I think about the fact that I will never be able to see his smiling face and his blue eyes again...that the next time I go to India, he won't be there to greet us or spend time with us...my heart sinks. If only I had known that the last time I said goodbye to him...it was going to be goodbye forever....Heaven celebrates a gain....please pray for us who mourn his loss.
Rejichachen and his lovely wife..."Amama"

All of us enjoying a day in the backwaters

Rejichachen and his grand-nephew, Andrew

Rejichachen and his Amamachi...(my mom)

All of us at the Gateway of India

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Pee-Yewh...Part Deux

I guess God didn't like me publicly telling the story about the pee scented gentelman at Walmart. I didn't write about him to make fun of him. I just wrote about him to have something to write about in this very blogless stage of my life. Regardless, He...as in God...taught me a lesson I won't soon forget. The lesson? Don't talk about people or their excretions in a public forum.
So, last night...I was in a bit of a hurry after work. I had made plans with Sheryl to meet at the park for a walk since the weather was so gorgeous. Now, typically when I make plans to meet with Sheryl...some sort of drama or disaster ensues. A little red flag was standing at attention in the back of my head, but I was in a hurry and I didn't have time to pay attention to it. So, I went about my business.

First, I headed to Barnes and Noble to get my niece her birthday present for her upcoming 11th birthday. After carefully thinking about what I could get her...I decided on the Judy Blume book, "Are You There God? It's Me, Margaret." I loved Judy Blume when I was growing up...and the more recent selections for kids that age leave a little to be desired. So, I thought this would be the perfect book to jump start her reading interest and turn her into a little voracious reader.

After my shopping trip, I was all excited about the book...and once again, ignored the red flag that was standing at attention in the back of my head. I quickly went home, threw on a t-shirt and capris, put Moussey in the car, and headed out to the park. When we arrived, Sheryl was nowhere to be seen. It's a longer drive for her, so I decided to be nice and cut her some slack. Mousse was in a hurry to get the H out of the car and stretch her legs...so I decided to take her to roam around near the parking lot. I didn't want to stray too far away because I didn't want Sheryl to have to look for us.

So there we were, roaming around the field. Moussey was sniffing around, and my eyes were locked on the park entrance. I was keeping an eye out for the "Shrekky-mobile," as I was holding on to the leash...following Moussey. I should have looked where I was going, but I didn't...and therefore, I ran right into Mousse as she was taking care of some very important business!....taking a whiz! That's right...I had dog piss all over my foot.

Just about then, Sheryl drives up. Of course...it's all her fault! If she had showed up on time, I wouldn't have had to keep my eyes on the park entrance! However, she didn't seem to accept the blame! Instead she tried to tell me it was no big deal since it was MY dog's pee. Great logic. I tried to find the easiest solution to the problem...water. But, as my luck would have it...the water pump was broke, the water fountain was broke, and all the bathrooms were locked. Therefore, I had to grin and bear the fact that dog piss would be seeping into my pores until we were done walking our two miles.

Are you there, God? It's me, Sue... I will never talk about one of your children again.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009


Baby steps...that's what I'm taking...maybe one day, I'll be blogging as regularly as I used to. But, right now, I make no promises.

I went to Walmart last night...I was in desperate need of green tea and some healthy snacks. I've lost ten pounds since I've been back and am hoping to lose just a mere 30 more. (ay yi yi!) Anyhoo, back to my story...While I was at Walmart, I smelled something quite strange and quite gross. The stench took me back....way back to 4th grade. There was a kid in my class named Shane...he had bowl-cut blonde hair and thick rimmed glasses. He usually kep to himself because no one really wanted to socialize with the poor kid. There were two reasons why. 1. He ate his boogars. Yep, I witnessed it a few times. He didn't just pick and pop it in his mouth either. He picked, inspected his fingertip carefully and then popped it in his mouth. 2. He peed in his pants. Would you like to take a wild guess at who the teacher decided to seat next to Shane? I'll help you out. A very adorable, brown-eyed, new girl with pigtails and elastic pants named Susan Varghese!! The stench of Shane's dried pee pants burned in my nostrils day in and day out. But, I uttered not one complaint because I was way too shy to utter complaints back then. It was that same nasty smell that I smelled at Walmart last night. I quickly turned and looked to my right...by force of old habit....but there was no Shane next to me. I proceeded to sniff everything...sniffed in my cart...sniffed in my purse...sniffed my shirt...sniffed my mom...but I couldn't place the stank. It seemed to just be floating through the air...drifting around my nose. I walked a bit further....and smelled it again...I re-sniffed everything I had sniffed the first time...which irritated my mom just a tad and made her a bit insecure at the same time. Finally, we were standing in the check out line. I had just bought my green tea and healthy snacks and was waiting on my mom some-what-patiently as she figured out the automatic credit card swiper thing....and then it pimp-slapped me...the stench. It just stepped up and smacked me straight in the face. I looked at the cashier and my mom and could tell that they had been smacked with it as well. The source was standing in line behind my mother. He was holding a new pair of jeans, which he desperately needed...since his the current pair he was wearing was ripped down the inside of his pant leg...exposing not only his thighs but his family jewels! (not that I was even remotely looking!...but some things you can just figure out) The poor guy had a long, dirty, off-white beard and was carrying on quite the conversation with himself. I'm not sure if he just happened to be everywhere I was in at Walmart...or if the stench just stayed and lingered around even after he had passed. Regardless...I was ready to get the hellz outta there and smell some fresh, clean air!

Monday, March 02, 2009

The past few weeks have been busy....so busy in fact, that it's been slightly dizzying. As I said in a prior post, you never know where the road to life may lead you. Never did I think that mine would lead me straight back to Oklahoma City. I spent years plotting and planning my escape...and when a way out finally presented itself, I jumped at the chance. However, the lesson I've learned over the past nine months is that the grass is not always greener on the other side of the fence....especially during an economic crisis.

And so here I am...back in the place I tried so hard to escape from. There are definitely things I miss about Florida....the sunshine, lazy Sunday afternoons at my sister's, fiercely competitive UNO matches around BF's dining room table, and of course, Maddicake's smile (when she felt that I deserved one! ;) But, there are also things I've learned to appreciate about Oklahoma....like a great work environment, friends who are happy that I'm back, streets that are familiar, and Taco Bueno! =)

I don't know where the road to life will lead us next. I kind of hope it's nowhere anytime soon. Packing up my belongings and praying they make it back to me with out breaking is not something I enjoy doing. I've greatly enjoyed my days in the sun....but as the saying goes...all good things must come to an end some time.