Saturday, March 17, 2007

".......A Few of My Favorite Things"

Here are some very special beings in my life. My heart's joy, my grand daughter, Ashley and our two precious pugs. The rather regal looking dark pug is Thea. And the larger, dour seeming dog is Garm. I searched my Treasury of Mythology for unique and appropriate names for the two of them. Thea is Greek and means "shining one" - the ancient Greeks sometimes called the moon Thea.

As you see by the photos she does shine a bit. The breeder said her color was platinum - a brand new color in pugs - but I think it is just a fancy name for grayish-black.

Garm is from Norse mythology and is named after the hound that guarded the gates of Hela (a kind of Viking hell). This fearsome creature was supposed to have fangs dripping with blood, four red eyes, and a chest covered with gore!! Actually, we liked the sound of "Garm" - it fit his serious, almost bordering on dumb looking, expression and extremely laid back behavior.

They are nearly the same age but Garm is very large boned and massive for a pug. He looks more like a boxer. Thea is quite petite but is the dominant one. Since she was with us first, she feels she is entitled to have all the attention and gets upset if Garm is being spoken to, held, or petted in any way. She will bite at him and jump on him but he just ignores her or pushes her away with his body. He is so easy going; happy to sit next to you or hold a stuffed "dollie" in his mouth as he sleeps. He has a little act he goes through every time we come home: he runs into the living room, grabs a dollie, runs to us, runs back into the living room, and gets on the couch with the doll until we come in and make a little fuss over him. Meanwhile, Thea is leaping all over and barking and whining. I know, I know, our dogs are not trained very well, I'll be the first to admit it. But when non-family company comes over they go into their respective crates until they have calmed down.

Since our children are grown, Thea and Garm fill some empty spaces that were there. They are funny, silly, comforting, warm, happy, loving, and are always unconditionally there for us. We love and appreciate them for the wonderful creatures they are and try to take the best care of them we can.

And now is Ashley's turn. My feelings for her run so deep and seem impossible to put into words. I can't imagine my life without her wonderful smile and sweet loving ways.


Because of unfortunate circumstances in my daughter's life, she was not married and unable to raise Ashley so I became Ashley's legal guardian when she was a few months old. At that same time, I was going through a divorce so Ashley and I started our new lives together. Her other Gram ma, Mae, helped me alot and when I had to start working 3rd shift Ashley went to live with her (and her Dad). But, I'd see Ashley every other weekend and as years went by that was our routine. She has always called me "Alyssa" and her other gram ma is "Mom". (My daughter had problems and was living a wayward life.) There are so many things that Ashley and I have done and memories we have - she is like a second daughter.

Now she is 19! and a young woman. As you see, she is very beautiful and has a fantastic smile, but her sweet personality and empathetic nature are what make people take to her immediately. She took gymnastics and was a cheerleader until she was diagnosed with fibro myalgia and had to quit them both. She was very sad and mad about it but never let it get her down. And she won't talk about it - she says she doesn't want to bore other people with her pain. It is a crummy disease that makes you tired all the time and your joints are swollen like an old person's. I'd gladly take it on instead of having her have to suffer with it for the rest of her life.

She is very good at math and is going to school for interior design. She has a good eye for that sort of thing. I love to take her shopping because she never, ever asks for anything so I just buy her all sorts of stuff. She's always worried that something will cost too much. We have favorite movies we like and favorite meals we cook together. She will only prepare a certain chicken dish at my house because of the fond memories she has of us making it together.

We enjoy books and music together and she requests I play certain pieces on the piano for her (I tried to teach her to play, but that didn't work out). Or likes to lay in our bedroom and hear me playing the piano in the living room. And we also like to go on the computer together and play little games or she explains "computer stuff" to me.

She would bring over all her friends and introduce them to Steve and I and give them little tours through our tiny house showing them what she liked the most or take them for walks in the gardens or on the paths in the woods. We liked all her friends - young people are wonderful when they are relaxed and have their guards down - and they would visit for a while. They were (and still are) surprised that I'm a video game player and we'd discuss games and systems. I've got XBox, XBox360, and PS2 and tons of games so sometimes we'd play a bit or I'd lend out games.

Now, as times change she's pretty busy with school and her boyfriend but I do see her a few times a month and at family gatherings. Sometimes she'll just drop in for an hour but I love seeing her no matter how short of a time it is.

Sometimes she'll take a nap and I'm always amazed at how lovely she looks when she sleeps - as she did when she was a tiny baby. She towers over me now, but I remember when I'd measure her at my chin. She seems so big and grownup when she hugs me hello and good bye.

And, this weekend she will probably be over to pickup the makeup we ordered over the internet last week. Now, being older we can discuss many other things - like one of her girlfriends is in Iraq and her worry and fear for her friend. And about her birth mother, or global warming, gay people, pollution, the causes I give to, religion, or love.

I'm looking forward to the future years I have with Ashley and all the memories we will make and share.

Bye for now,


1 comment:

Lizzie A said...

I didn't have time to read all the way through your post just yet, but I will some other day when I have more time. But to answer your question, I play the alto saxophone. I am in the lowest band at our school (concert band) the next level up is symphonic band, and after that wind ensemble. I have been trying to make it into symphonic band, but I am a junior and I still haven't moved up yet. Thank you for your comments!