Pimp My Lent/Day 6
From Lisa Lundquist Leary
Bob Dylan’s “Forever Young”
[Another pen-pal letter composed by Cricket, 3rd-grader army brat living with her family in Cache, Oklahoma…]
Thank you for the picture! It is so great! I wrote GRATE ha, ha and my mom made me do a do-over. Ha, ha. I told her I don’t like people who read over my shoulderrrrrr!!! She was not amused. Your school picture is so cute. Miss Q says you have Shirley Temple’s hair which is a girl from oldoldold movies that has curly hair and dances. Your hair is red, red, red! How do you get such red as that? I’ve never seen anybody with such a color as yours in real life and I am real jealous of it and how your curls are so pretty and my hair is only dark brown * (*not red) and lays flat on my head like a slice of ham. Even when Mom curls it and sprays it it only stays for about one minute, and then it is back to the ham!!!
Got to go because the baby has to have a nap, and she and me and the typerwriter are in the small bedroom for now because me and Lexi are not seeing Ida Eye right now which is a joke that our family has from Dad’s family. When he was little he thought not seeing eye to eye was not seeing Ida Eye, and he asked who Ida Eye was. Lexi is not getting along with anyone. She hardly yells but she slams the door so much when she’s mad that Miss Q said “If you slam the door one more time I will take it off” and then Lexi did and Miss Q took off the bedroom door!! So now I can not type in there because I can’t close the door and the typerwriter going clackclackclack makes Miss Q’s teeth squeeze together* (*I am making a face like Miss Q while I type this I wish you could see it then you could know and if I ever get a computer and a house and a room with a door on it!! maybe I can get a camera to show you!!) Mom says Lexi needs more space because she is a teen, so for now I am stuck in the tiny room with Savannah who is about to start crawling and we have to watch her close, and Douglas is still sleeping with Mom even if he is a second grader now because he is too worried about everything for his age. Mom says Dad is okay even though we have not heard at all from him in more than two weeks and that is scary, but she says Dad is A-okay because he told her very clearly that we would hear if he ever wasn’t. Dad says bad news travels fast, is what she told us so that’s why we’re not worried yet.
Okay. Now I am back because Miss Quinette is out in the yard making Lexi and Douglas pull grass out of the chainlink fence until it is 100% bare. She is an ex-army wife and boy does it show she is so strict and she likes everything to look army-neat like it did when she and her dead second husband* (*not my grandfather who was the third of her dead husbands) lived on base during The Vietnam War. Miss Q said back then you could get in real big trouble with the M.P.’s for your yard not being in shipshape. She yells at her neighbors to shape up because they have dogs and don’t pick up poop and I concur. Their yard smells capital BAD and they have stuff piled up on their porches front and back and do not keep their yard neat at all. I am excused today because I have hay fever real real bad. I hate it!! I would rather pulls weeds which I hate than have hay fever.
I wish I could see Myrtle’s Beach.* (*I like to call it this, but I know it’s not Myrtle’s but I think it’s funny to say it like that. I hope this does not make you mad!!) Miss Q says it is a real, real nice place where she once went when she was our age but I don’t see how she could remember way back then because she is real, real, real, real old!!! Just kidding my mother says that is mean of me. There is zzzzzzzzero privatesy here which I do not think is good at all for my developing mind!!
Mom says before you say something about somebody you should imagine the person you are saying it about is there and you are saying it in front of them, and then if anything you are saying about the other person makes you squirm then you are being mean and saying wrong things. My mom does not always get jokes. Dad always said she is the most pooper of all parties but he likes to tease her.
Time to go. Since I am stuck inside, I am on K.P. duty which Mom says I should explain means I clean up the kitchen. GAAAAAH! I can’t wait until Lexi apologizes enough to get the door back on our room!!
OH WOW IT IS SO LONG SINCE I STARTED THIS!! Now I am in my desk at school and my teacher Mrs. Pitts is letting me write to you because I am finished with all class work and home work. It is the Monday after spring break*
(*Number of days in spring break=7, Number of cool places we went=0. Number of days we worked on Miss Q’s house and yard=7)
It is almost 3 weeks since I got started writing this letter because I got strep throat after hay fever and bronchoitis and was real sick, and then I couldn’t cough good enough and I was sicksick! Gross! Miss Q put Vicks VapORub in the vaporizer and a sheet over my bed and made Mom put gross smelly Vicks VapORub on my chest and on the bottoms of my feet. GrossGross!! But Mom said to knock it off griping because maybe I am better all the way now because of it and not having to sleep in pnewmonia tent in the army hospital.
I was back only in school for the first day since before Spring Break on last Friday. That was when Katie Vale got called out of music class into the hall, and Miss Shields our teacher got called out with her and then Katie Vale got told the worst thing ever. We and the whole school could hear her crying real hard and real loud for her mom who was deployed and now is gone forever. It is so sad. Miss Shields* (*our music teacher who smells like sawdust and sits indian-style on the floor even though she is pretty old) came back into class crying too. Let me tell you something, now in our school when you hear the principle’s high heels coming down the hallway it makes you feel stomach sick and VERY TENSE. And not because you are afraid of getting spats because they don’t do that in schools here now which Miss Q says is TOO BAD because some kids need spats and then she looks at ME.
We have not heard from Daddy in nearly two months now. Mom is VERY TENSE. She says she’s not but she is. I have to go and get on the bus now. I promise to finish this before next spring. Ha, ha, ha.
Okay it is four days later, and there is one piece of news about Dad and it is…..
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Hey can you tell I am a little happy? Ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha! It was a long, long, long time before he called or sent and emailm after he had been sending emails every day, and calling us every week. And then it was over a month and there was nothing and nothing and nothing and then two months and then phone rang which had been making us all jumpy everytime it rang but this time we were all busy and Mom had just took a bag of marshmallos away from baby Savannah who is crawling now like a crazy ant up and down EVERYWHERE now. Miss Q put the phone in Mom’s hand and told her “Emily it sounds like overseas” and Mom was so nervous she started eating marshmallos while she was on the phone talking to an army nurse and she ate the whole bag of marshmallos and didn’t even know it!! She was freaking out and then she was okay because they told her Dad was in the hospital in Germany because he got a broken leg and landed bad on his back and he got shrapnel all over bad when a ROCKET LANDED IN HIS CAMP!!!!! We were freaking OUT!!!! But then Dad got on the phone himself and said to her and then to all of us each one at a time that he is is A-O-KAY!!!!!! The army doctors don’t know how bad he will limp, but Dad said when it was my turn to talk to him “It’s all good, Baby Bug all my toes are still attached” I capital HATE when he calls me Baby Bug which is so uncouth* (*rude) and he does it to tease and make me mad but this time I did not yell at him stop saying that because he made me so happy saying how he gets to come HOME!!!!!!!
We don’t know when. I heard Miss Q and Mom were whispering at the stove that he was “banged up pretty bad,” and how it may be a while.
Time to go. Miss Q is giving me the stink eye again about the noise of the typerwriter. I wish I had a computer and A ROOM OF MY OWN. But at least we have a bedroom door again, and I am back in the room with Lexi instead of with the crazy crawling baby. I am SO JEALOUS you no brother and sisters to have to share every single thing with!!!
P.S. I think you are very pretty, and I’m so glad you like Jesus so much. We like him too!! Thank you for saying my dad’s name in church and Dad says to tell you thank you and the whole church too. We don’t go to church here in Cache because Mom says she is a recovering Baptist* (*Ha, ha.) and there is not a church here or in Lawton that fits how she feels about things, and she would like to go to the chapel on post but it is too far to drive. So we go to the Wichita Mountains on Sundays sometimes which are just right here just across the highway and a little ways beyond, and they are very pretty. We have quiet time in the mountains sometimes, which is almost like church except that you can climb up and look down on all things. And you can spit wherever you want to.