Pimp My Lent/Day 35
From writer/photographer Nancy Kruh…
Latest letter from Cricket to her pen-pal cousin…
Dear John Parker,
Dad asked me if I have written any Dear John letters lately. He thinks this is a funny joke. Dear John is what girls send to guys when they don’t want to wait for them to come back from war. I asked him why this is even funny, but he just laughs. He is weird like his usual kind of weird. He is not as crazy now. That’s good.
DID YOU HEAR THAT WE ARE LIVING IN OUR HOUSE?!! ON THE BASE?!!
WELL, WE ARE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
It’s not the newest or best quarters, but it’s close enough to take an easy bike ride to school for me and Degas, and it’s way better than what we had which was nothing. We finally got into this place because my mother is like a bulldog on a bone. That’s what my dad says of her and he means it proudly. It is half of a house with a long car port for each side, and two bedrooms and a bathroom upstairs and the rest downstairs, and a basement that is SCARY we don’t even go there. It leaks so it always smells SCARY too.
On the other side of us are these black people who came here from Fort Hood, Texas and are the same rank as Dad. Both of them are in the army and she is deployed and he is not for now. The dad’s mother Mrs. Pennell is there staying with them to help with she is very old. She makes killer cookies though!!! And she is real real nice but yells, but only because she wears a hearing aid that goes SCREEEEEE if she turns it up too much. It is a funny except at night when Mrs. Pennell has her bedroom TV turned up to what Dad says is under how much noise jets make at taking off. The two kids are very small, a boy and a girl, and they are 1 and 2 years old. Lexi is making a little extra money keeping them after school for two hours every day in the time between when we get home from school and the dad gets back from work. Monday through Friday. Lexi would like to babysit more kids than this to make more money because she is saving for her own phone, but mom says she is not ready yet. Mom is letting her do this one only because Lexi’s grades are good and she is just right there on the other side of the wall. They are D’andre (the baby) and D’estinee. The dad’s name is Master Sgt. D’angelo Pennell, and his wife that we haven’t met yet is named Master Sgt. Eloise Pennell and comes from the Ivory Coast before she became a U.S. citizen and joined the army. In her pictures, she is very pretty but very small maybe just a little taller than Lexi. It is amazing.
We don’t each have our own rooms still which is not great but it’s better than nothing. Me and Lexi still share a room. Us, and then Mom and Dad are all upstairs in the two bedrooms with one bathroom to share. Savannah’s room is downstairs on a little built-in place that was supposed to be little place to have breakfast in or something, but Dad and Pops made some changes so it could be a little baby-size room and there’s even a swinging door between it and the kitchen. Degas and Miss Q share the big bedroom downstairs that has it’s own bathroom because she can’t climb stairs.
I think my mom told your mom that Douglas is going through A Phase and we have to call him Degas now. That is the only thing he will answer to, either Degas or Edgar, and if you call him Douglas he gets MAD. Dad thinks it’s all so funny but Mom does not. She says she does not have time to play games and tells Douglas-Degas he is just being annoying for annoying sake.
Mom is up and down in her moods. This is one thing we talk about with the Army shrink who sees our family once a week still and Dad only once time a week now (down from many times a week). Dad is doing much better so I think the shrink must be a good one. Dad does not want to stay in the army, but mom does. They argue about it A LOT and this morning he yelled “Then YOU join up!!” and then she went upstairs into their bedroom and he went up there too and they yelled at each other a while, and then it got quiet and sounded like maybe somebody was crying so Degas went and sat at the door to try and hear what they were saying and we had our fingers and toes too crossed that nobody was going hear the word, or walk out and slam doors and drive off, and it worked because we didn’t. And later they were okay enough acting so we were all vastly relieved.
I could never even believe my eyes to read your letter saying Jeanmarie’s parents are getting a divorce because her mother is very religious, and her father is very not and already has a girlfriend who is not religious at all!!! That blows my every-loving mind!!! Lexi says serves her right but I do not, not, not. I am very sorry for their whole family! It’s vastly terrible! I want to write to Jeanmarie and her mom but Mom says NO WAY. I am afraid Jeanmarie’s mother will lose her every-loving mind over this. If you know, will you tell me? I feel terrible and I hope that I did not get this started by talking about going to the mountains for church time! Oh no!!
Do you ever cry for no reason?
Dad is walking great now, and he looks almost normal except for deep pop marks on his face and neck and of course the missing ear which they are going to fix soon with one that is really made of real cells. Dad showed me a gross picture of a mouse with a big ear growing on it’s back and said it was his and I thought he was telling me the truth! I wanted to ralph up my stomock!!! Dad says he wants a mouse-grown ear, a big black round one, and for us to start calling him Mickey! Ha, ha, ha. I told you he is WEIRD.
Miss Quinette has a better time of it now that she moved here with us. Her face is all dropped on one side and normal on the other, and she calls herself “old comidy and tragedy.” Her left fingers are all crooked but she can still paint because she is right handed and that hand is a-okay. She sure can talk and yell clear enough!! Mom says Miss Q is lucky that she and Dad were there when it first happened and Miss Q suddenly just dropped in the floor of the PX. Like somebody let go of her strings is what Dad says it looked like. He was the one who got her help quick and told people to stop trying to give her aspirin because it’s not right for every single person to have them! Dad is always a quick acter in scary things. Like when Lexi walked off the back porch in her walker when she was a baby and busted her forehead open (she still has a little scar and a bump you can feel it) Dad took care of it all and Mom was just standing and screaming and screaming “My baby! My baby!” They tell this on each other, which is how I know it. Because of course I was very very small inside mom’s woom at that time and even if I did have ears by then and could hear it, I could not have told you for sure what was going on because I could not see it. Ha, ha, ha.
If your dad and my dad go to Alaska next summer to fish, Mom says we can all go visit your house. I HOPE SO!!! This would be SO.SO.SO. SO. COOL. I hope your dad is brought home soon from wherever they sent him so they can do it and we can do what we want to do. Dad says the Middle East was not his kinda place but sure liked the food and he thought the people were very nice except for the one who blew his damn ear off. (I am only reporting, and NOT cussing.)
By the way, Lexi did not get to be cheerleader. She was so sad. She is going to Central Junior High in Lawton. CJH are the cougars. Lexi practiced so hard doing cheers in the yard and yelling “Gooooo COUGARS!” She really cried because she didn’t get on the squad but Dad made her laugh by saying she was so good at yelling about “Gooooo cougars!” that all the mountain lions around here ran for the Texas panhandle. He can make you distracted from sad that way. He says it is his gift. Mom says his gift is annoying people, but she does not mean it.
They are funny together when they are happy. They were hugging and kissing in the kitchen before dinner and Lexi came in and said what was for dinner and Mom said meatloaf (which Lexi CAPITAL HATES), she got mad and Mom said “Just take out the garbage like I already told you this morning” and Lexi grabbed the garbage bag and it flew up and all over the floor and Mom yelled at her to clean it up and Lexi yelled at Mom “If you end up pregnant again, you better find another place for Savannah because she is NOT staying in my room!” Lexi was grounded for a month solid but later Lexi apologized and was very sincere and everybody all calmed down and then Mom ungrounded her because as we all know Lexi is still vastly upset about the cheerleading thing.
Mamie and Pops came last weekend to have dinner with us for Valentines Day which is their 49th anniversary! Mom got us fizzy juice and the adults had champane). Mamie and Pops did not kiss at having a toast which is good because it’s a little gross to me to see people be so old and kissing. Mamie brought some tomato preserves and pickles that we helped make, and some frozen corn on the cob and other veggies that we helped pick too. Dad and Pops went fishing in the Wichita Mountain (it is NOT Sunday). While they were gone, I was not in the room but I heard Mom tell Mamie in the living room that they needed to help her get Dad to re-up but Mamie said it’s not their place to do that and Mom better just prepare herself for whatever comes, and that no matter what we will be okay because if we need to we can stay with them for however long.
I would kind of like that, but kind of not. I do miss Bud, and Mamie says he is very lonely with out us kids to pester him to death. Degas says “no way” can he move to the country unless they can find him and Miss Quinette some real art classes like they are taking now at the Lawton Senior Ladies Arts Circle that meets every Wednesday. One of the Ladies is cranky and very mean, and writes letters to the other members of the Cirlce because she does not like Degas being there AT ALL, but Miss Q told them that Degas must be there as he is her seeing-eye child, and according to the law, they have to make consessions for her handicaps!! (She is not really blind.)
Time to turn out the light. Lexi hates typing noise. I am back on a computer again, one that someone Dad new gave us for cheap. It smells like cigarette smoke when it’s runs, which is why it has to be in our room because smoke makes Degas have asthma. It even a printer to it which is how I can type and I send this.
See you later alligator. After while crocadile. Hang loose, goose!
Sincerely your cousin,
P.S. School is cool. People here are more military and get us more. So, it’s okay. I don’t get picked on at all. Degas does by the boys but I told him if he would STOP making kids call him Degas they would probably let him alone!