The totally shame-free, actual-life, real-time blog where I tell all, show all--without nagging or whining (all right--maybe a little whining...)--in my attempt to stop being a fat middle-aged woman who avoids mirrors and clothing stores and start being a woman at home in her body...brought to you by a real woman, the Independent Weltha Herself. I won't give any advice, and I'm not asking for any--just companionship on my journey.

Every day...a new post. Every other real weight. Every pictures.

For every woman who has ever tried to just lose the extra weight and feel good...overall and about herself...and who lived to tell the story.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Day the 161st and Day 29 of 30 Days of Truth

Confession time: Reader, I ate popcorn last night. With butter and parmesan cheese.

Of course, a case may be made ("Your honor, the Defense is ready") for it being Wednesday, which right now is Spanish Night at St. Jerome's with the wonderful Travis as our instructor, and loads of St. J's parishioners (and friends) as...the class. Trying to teach St. J's people anything bears a close resemblence to herding cats, except the cats are better behaved and more focused. Nonetheless, I go because Mischa is taking Spanish (and a very nice accent, too) and he thought it would be good to have me there as a strong speaker. I sit at a table with him, Andy the Thurifer, Kathy the Cantor, and Rita the Soprano.

Where was I going with this? Oh yes. Well, I got home last night, chatted on the portable horn to Louix out in California (land of civilization...) and then realized it was time to GO to class. So...I showered, put on makeup (because with this crowd, I want to look my best...), and hopped in the vehicular transport to get myself to St. J's. I had nothing to eat.

And got home about 8:30 and wanted something easy and fast while I watched the end of The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo. Hence, popcorn.

And now you know.

I came off to work (late...because the weather was so glorious - it's COOL here and we have had RAIN....I know...words I thought I would never use again) this morning with grapes (which I did not eat yet do NOT ask me why because I do not KNOW) and makings of halvah because it's easy and delicious and high protein, yada, yada, yada...

My energy is up and I am going to make something nice tonight. Not sure what, but defo NOT popcorn. Or maybe popcorn following something good.

I may try out the ol' hoola hoop tonight because I hear it's good exercise but mostly because I remember being 5 years old and our little burg up in the Home State having a Hoola Hoop contest on the Courthouse lawn. Ah...days of innocence...I think today, kids the age I was would whine and say, "But I want to update my FACEBOOK page!" Or something...

Low energy = I looked at the Studio last night and said, "Have the cats been rifling thru my things AGAIN?" Unfortunately, because they do not have opposable thumbs, they cannot be blamed, and I cannot get away with "The Cats Did It" dodge...doggone it...So higher energy is needed - cleaning, laundry, vacuuming...and whatnot...not to mention French Friday night with Mischa and Travis Our Instructor and then Harry Potter with Poodle on Saturday afternoon and finally a dinner with a bunch of former students. Way, way fun. Not the time to be draggin' around.

Hoping tonight to steam or braise the greenbeans and cut open that CANTALOUPE because I love cantaloupe. I love it better than watermelon and I want to make popsicles out of some of it (or out of another one. Whatever.)

Meanwhile, boys and girls, it's time for Day 29 of 30 Days Of Truth. And my own personal prompt is:

Tell About Someone Gone Whom You Loved And Now Miss

Her nickname was Candy. It was short for Candace. And her maiden name was Chandler, so the name Candy Chandler rolled right off your tongue. She was the age of The Brothers or thereabouts, and one of my earliest memories of her is going to a high school musical and hearing her sing something about "Or a Venuuuuuusian!" I don't remember the play's name, but I remember Candy.

For some reason, my mom wasn't all that crazy about her. She may have been too opinionated. Or maybe my mom thought she was "fast" - which she seemed to think about a lot of girls who really weren't and didn't think about my friend who actually was "fast." Maybe she was too much of a "show-off" in an era where the "nice girls" were supposed to be sweet and retiring. Mom always told me that my dad's school principal's daughter was so popular because she didn't give her opinions on everything. This is not a concept to which I could relate. I doubt Candy could either.

My next really big memory of her was her singing at Cathy Christiansen's installation as Worthy Advisor in Rainbow Girls and "speak-singing" part of whatever song it was. That really made my mom loopy. And I heard about it. And heard about it.

But what endeared Candy Chandler to me forever took place over about 2 weeks following my Senior Year in high school. My church's youth group went on "Caravan" each summer to our sister church out in Parker, Arizona to work on projects and be involved with the youth of that church. We had had what can only be called a major revival among the "young people" of our church and what had been a loose collection of kids forced to go to Youth Group on Sunday nights by well-meaning parents (like my mom...) had become a bunch of radicalized Jesus Freaks, one of whom I was, and including several friends who are today pastors and deacons and elders and just generally Really Serious Christians. Like me.

Somehow, someone asked Candy if she would like to be an adult chaperone on the 1971 Caravan to Parker. And she said, "Yes."

My mother was - in her own words - "fit to be tied." She simply didn't think Candy was a proper chaperone for a dog fight, much less Her Own Youngest Child And A Girl At That. But, my friend Holly's dad came over one evening and talked to my mom about Holly and me going on Caravan. I'm not sure how that happened - but my mother always thought Holly's dad was a Good Guy, and the idea that he wanted Holly (a Nice Girl) to go and hoped I would go too, well, that did it.

Off to Arizona I went. Away from my Mom. With Candy Chandler.

Candy was a hairstylist - or as she called it, a "hair twirler" - or was it "hair-bender"? She had been married and divorced twice by this time so she was Candy Chandler Butler McIntyre. And she had a boyfriend named Jackson, whom she referred to as "JACKSON!" And we called her "Chandler." Long before "Friends"....

I remember that she trimmed my hair and someone else's on the trip - right when some group was having a Bible Study and weren't any too pleased that we were having our hair shaped instead of Studying the Word. Sorry, I have always had a need for beauty, no....make that Beauty. Anyhoodle, Candy endeared herself to us - she was breezy and irreverent and funny and kind.

Out in Parker, I met heat like I had never met. And lost my appetite. Now, back then, I was not the Large Economy Size. I was still rather spindly and really didn't need to lose much weight. But I managed to shed over 5 lbs because I would not eat. It was blazing hot, and I had no appetite. None.

To make matters worse, I was not used to being with this many people all the time. I didn't know it, but I was a sensitive, bipolar kid. (okay, I sorta knew the "sensitive" part....) and I became emotionally overwhelmed on a regular basis, particularly after my watch was stolen from my "room" in the church while we were at Laurie's water baptism. Up at the crack of dawn, hard labor (I poured cement and earned the grudging approval of one of the older boys - who with his father did this for a living - on the trip), relentless heat - I cried easily. And had my feelings trampled on.

I know that one morning, Candy pulled me away from my work site and just sat and talked with me in the relative cool of the shade. I know that meant a lot to me at the time.

But what meant the most is that someone started riding my case - was it morning? Morning break? Dinner? - over something I had said, and Candy was sitting next to me. She shook her head at whoever it was, and then under the table grabbed my hand and squeezed it to let me know she was on my side.

I have never forgotten that. She knew that I was at my breaking point most of the time. Sensitive, spiritual, emotional - much of the trip was hard on me, even though I had the time of my life (not to mention that in the dry heat of Arizona, I got the best tan of my life and my long thick hair dried without being frizzy. This before hair serum...) And she cared about me. And was kind to me.

I think I gave her my Immaculate Conception medal that I had been given as a child (Candy was Catholic.) I think I did.

I just know that when we got back, she had a little party (and for some reason, it involved a swimming pool) for the girls she had gotten to know on Caravan. I didn't get to go - Mom said absolutely not and then stood there while I called and said that we had other plans. I don't blame my mom - she just wanted to take care of me. She wasn't an ogre. She was just a mom.

But I didn't get to go. Somehow, Candy sent me a gift - an address book with names, addresses and phone numbers neatly typed in of my friends back home. I wish I still had it. Of course, I don't.

And that's it. One brief 2 week period in the summer of 1971. I'm sorry to say I never kept in touch with her.

And I had no idea what happened to her until I asked a friend of my brothers about her, only to hear that she had heard that Candy had died. She was not even 65.

I never got a chance to tell her what she meant to me, because I didn't know myself.

Until now. Rest in peace, dear Candy. May eternal light shine upon you.



1 comment:

  1. Oh my! My folks were good friends of Candy's dad and step mom. I spent loads of time with her and her brother 'Cookie' (Ernie, He is now retired from the Fed Prison system.
    I learned a lot from her - maybe should not have paid so much in some areas! She was one of a kind that was for sure! Thanks for bringing her back to mind.
    Oh and Cathy is living in Carthage again. Her family is all gone now I believe. My what a tri down memory lane


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