I Don’t Need The Verbal Prompting


Last night a woman at the ballpark in Sealy walked up to Craig and asked: “Craig are these your parents?”  I reached out my hand and said: “Hello – My name is Don.”  In like fashion, the General reached out her hand and said: “And I’m Treva”.  The woman responded: “No you’re not. You are the General.”  Her response put a smile on my face.  How could I not like her? She had already endeared herself to me. She went on to say: “I like your writing. I read you posts.”  The kind woman’s name is Nancy.


At some point Nancy said to the General, “You are not at all the way he describes you.” “What?” – I didn’t see that coming.  Of course, I intuitively knew that Nancy was joking. Strange, that I often get that same response from others. At face value no one figuratively knows “the trouble I see.”


I’ve thought about changing the General’s name to “Wonder Woman” because she keeps wondering. Sometimes I think she perceives that I couldn’t pour water out of a boot with the direction on the heel.  For example, when we pulled up to the ball- park in Sealy last night and I parked the truck and turned off the ignition, she announced: “Get out”.  I dutifully did as I was instructed, but even without the verbal prompting, I would have followed the same regime.  What did she think I was going to do?


I have enough sense to get in out of the rain, but perhaps barely?  This morning Becky had left the house to take William to school. He needed to be there by 6:45.  Craig had left for work hours earlier.  The General tells me “I need to take Daisy outside and stay outside with her until she doesn’t her business.”


I wanted to ask: “Why I needed to do that?”  Seriously, how hard can it be? Daisy had only gone out a few yards until the mission was accomplished.  I called for her and she walked in my direction. I turned, took a few steps and opened the door. When I looked around, Daisy was nowhere in sight.


How could that be? She was just right here. I shut the door behind me and started my search for the runaway dog.  Honestly, it was only a split second. How could Daisy be fast enough with her little legs to be completely out of sight that quickly? Calling out her name, I headed toward the garage side of the house.


I had a flashback to Barnabas. Barnabas was the General’s beloved dog. Whenever Barnabas did anything wrong or actively became “AWOL” it was always my fault.  Just last night at the ballpark we saw a Yorkie on a leash and the General mentioned that she wanted another. I don’t remember if I said: “Not in my lifetime” out loud or if I just thought it?  Trust me, it is not going to happen.


At any rate, when I got to the garage side of the house, Daisy was nowhere to be seen. I doubled back and went toward the swimming pool side of the house. Still there was no Daisy. Seriously, I was feeling a sense of panic. How do you lose a dog that quickly?


Of course, truth be told, I was in a NO/WIN situation.  My granddaughter adores that dog. Her mother adores her daughter and the General? Well the General would have my head or at least create a scenario where I slammed my own head against a rock wall.


How many places can you look before you know it’s time to pay the fiddler? I headed back inside the house to solicit the General’s assistance in looking for Daisy.  I knew her initial response would not be an encouraging word. This was “not my first rodeo” so-to-speak.  Truth be told, I needed help in locating Daisy.


The General was coming out of the bedroom door when I called out her name. I explained I needed her help in locating Daisy. She looked at me as though I were nuts and said: “Daisy is in here? Where did you think she was?”


It is not yet 8:00 a.m., I can hardly wait to see what comes next.  Perhaps “Wonder Woman” is a better handle for the General because she keeps me wondering, but I’m  not going to acquiesce and change her name.  Her overriding characteristic has some relationship to providing me verbal prompting as to what I should be doing even if I’m in the process of doing it. That makes me a little nuts!  My daughter would tell me not to allow anyone to have that kind of control.  That puts a smile on my face. She is only tossing back at me the same kind of advice I provided her throughout her childhood years.


The General and I never quibble over major things. Perhaps that’s because we focus on the minute, but I can’t even remember a major issue that we’ve disagreed on in recent years.


Trust me, we have enough little things to keep the banter going back and forth.  For example, day before yesterday I pulled her car into the garage and stopped. She asked: “Is the car in far enough to close the garage door?”  I said, “I think so, but I’ll check.”  Okay, to be on the safe side, I needed a couple of more inches.


You’re probably wondering how parking her car inside the garage could be such a dilemma?  When she parks her car, seldom is there room to walk between the front of the car and the workbench and shelving that lines the wall. It always makes me a little crazy. When I park the car, there is a good six feet between the front of the car and the shelving.


I drive her car so infrequently that I never alter her pre-set adjustment to the driver’s seat. She drives with the seat low to the floor of the car so she can look like a little old lady that can barely see over the steering wheel.  From that lower position, I can’t judge how much room is left between the front of the car and the wall.


The General’s brilliant suggestion was for me to drive until I heard the beep and then stop.  Her car has all kinds of driver assistant devices that you hardly need to be awake at the wheel. Often when I drive her car, I see the steaming cup of coffee with the signage that says, “Take a Rest”.  At any rate, with my hearing impairment, if I pulled into the garage and didn’t stop until I heard the beep, I could likely be inside the laundry room before I stopped the vehicle.


The General makes me wonder, but I’m not changing her name until she changes her behavior. I sense she will always be the General to me.


All My Best!