Tidmore Family

This is a blog about the Tidmore Family. We have moved a lot since we met, and we have met so many fantastic people along life’s journey. We are hoping that this blog will help us keep in touch with the wonderful people who have come in and out of our lives.

Location: Huntsville, Alabama, United States

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

“A Fishy Story” - by Phyllis King

Happy 29th Birthday, Traci
“A Fishy Story”
By Phyllis King

Recently I visited Traci in Huntsville in order to celebrate her 29th (she really can’t be that old!) birthday. I traveled up on a Thursday afternoon in order to have time with Olivia that evening before Traci and I were to head to Nashville the following day for the weekend. I wanted to treat her to a birthday weekend of shopping and sleeping in as long as she wanted. However, Mother Nature had different plans.

That evening after Olivia and I had played so much we were both worn out, Traci, Matt, and I settled down in front of the TV after putting Olivia to bed upstairs in her room. We were intently watching the weather updates that indicated that Huntsville was potentially going to have severe weather beginning some time the next day. Traci had hoped to work at least part of the day on Friday before I picked her up at the office which would begin our Nashville get-away that we had looked forward to for weeks.

The dilemma began…do we leave early and get ahead of the weather or take a “wait and see” approach. (Fortunately, we took the “wait and see” approach.) The next day, Traci & Matt went to work & Olivia went to preschool. I went to some of my favorite shopping places in Huntsville that morning and noticed that the wind was continually picking up. Upon returning back to their home, I turned on the TV to hear the weatherman announce that there was a tornado on the ground in Nashville! Needless to say, I called and cancelled our hotel reservations and learned from the man I spoke with that the weather coverage I had heard was incorrect…there were SEVERAL tornadoes on the ground in Nashville!

Traci, Matt, and Olivia returned home that evening, and the 4 of us watched continual weather coverage as the skies darkened on Huntsville. We put Olivia to bed upstairs and did a repeat of the night before…keeping our eye on what the weather was doing which continued to deteriorate. It seemed that Nashville wasn’t the only city to be visited by tornadoes. We learned they were approaching right where Matt and Traci live!

Traci decided to set up Olivia’s Pack and Play in the kitchen and move her downstairs with us. The poor child was so exhausted from a day at preschool and playing again with her visiting Yah-yah that she only raised her head a little to wonder where she was and why was she in the kitchen. She was too tired to ask and went back to sleep.

TV weather coverage continued, and we gave it our rapt attention. Matt suddenly announced that we needed to get in the kitchen bathroom…the safest place in the house. I had already turned the bathroom floor into a huge pallet. Traci scooped up Olivia out of the Pack and Play, and all of us hurried into the smallest room in the house. This time Olivia stirred, raised her head, and wondered why in the world were we all on the bathroom floor with candles??? Living with her Mom and Dad means her life is a constant thrilling journey…so she didn’t question it and lay down.

After an hour or so in the bathroom and listening to the worst sounding wind I’ve ever heard, things settled down and we left our place of safety. The deck was covered with debris but there was no damage. Olivia was returned to her own bed, and the rest of us followed to ours.

Traci and I decided that we would just stay in Huntsville to celebrate her birthday the following day. The plan was for Matt and his mom to take care of Olivia for the entire day while Traci and I began our day out with breakfast followed by shopping at all of Traci’s favorite stores that she can’t take a 2 ½ year old in and concentrate on what she is doing, and then end the day with dinner out that evening.

We set out the following morning that turned out to be a beautiful day. We had a leisurely breakfast and then shopped, shopped, shopped, and shopped. After each store, I would ask Traci where she would like to go next. We visited stores for purchases and stores just for looking around, laughing and having a good time.

While we were in Kirkland’s, Traci noticed a box that contained an unusual fish bowl. She wondered who would want such an odd bowl. I commented that the picture on the box just didn’t do the bowl justice. One of my friends has the same fish bowl that sits on a beautifully carved wooden stand of a Japanese gold fish. Traci took the bowl and its stand out of the box and fell in love with it.

She said that she and Matt had wanted to get Olivia a pet and thought that all of them could easily handle the care of a fish. The gorgeous bowl was on a great sale, so she bought it to take to Olivia.

We didn’t return home until nearly 9:00 that evening, so Olivia had already gone to bed. Traci showed Matt her purchases and my birthday gifts to her that were also bought that day…clothes, of course! :o) The last thing we opened to show him was the fish bowl which after assembled looked lovely in the middle of their coffee table. The wooden fish stand matched their table perfectly. After the bowl was placed upon the stand, it stood nearly 18 inches high and awaited the purchase of a fish. I told the two of them good night and went up to bed.

The following morning was Sunday. I went downstairs to make coffee while Traci was getting ready for church and was soon followed by Matt and Olivia. (You must remember that we had forgotten all about the gorgeous and very breakable fish bowl on the coffee table.) While I was in the kitchen, I suddenly heard Matt yell, “NOOOO, Olivia, don’t touch that!!!!” I squelched my desire to immediately run into the den, see what was going on, and take care of the situation. I quickly reminded myself that I was just the Yah-yah, and Daddy could handle whatever the situation was. Of course, that didn’t mean that I wasn’t listening intently to whatever was going on around the corner from me.

I then heard Olivia’s little voice question, “What is it?” I, of course, would have given her a long dissertation on it being a special home for a fish, her Mommy bought it for her, wasn’t it pretty, and that it was very, very breakable and should only be looked at, not touched. But Daddy, being a man, only said, “It’s for fish.” That’s all he said…”It’s for fish.”

Well, I MADE myself stay in the kitchen even though I desperately wanted to explain in great detail to Olivia about the fish bowl. A few minutes later after she no doubt had studied the bowl for a while, Olivia entered the kitchen. Now was my chance to explain it all to her! I was standing by the refrigerator, which has the freezer on the bottom by the way…

Olivia came over to me, and I asked her if she had seen Mommy’s gift to her on the coffee table. She said, “Yes,” and then began pulling on the freezer door. It is not unusual for Olivia’s “10 arms and hands” to be pulling at something or be into something while she is having a conversation. I leaned against the door and kept it closed with the weight of my leg pushing against it. I rattled on and on about the bowl wondering why Olivia wasn’t the least bit interested in my explanation. Finally, I became frustrated with her continually pulling on that freezer door.

I said, “Olivia, why are you pulling on this door?” She raised that angelic little face up to me and said, “Yah-yah, I get fish for my bowl!”

I wondered what in the world she meant…then I began to laugh hysterically. The only fish Olivia has had exposure to are frozen fish sticks! She wanted a fish stick from the freezer to put in her bowl. When I explained to Matt what Olivia had done, he got her, found an Elmo book, located a picture of Elmo’s fish, Dorothy, and showed her how the bowl was to be used….a home for a real fish!

That afternoon Olivia was taken to the pet store after church, and her new fish was purchased which she named…..Dorothy. You can often find Olivia sitting on top of the coffee table with her little legs folded, hands in her lap, and tousled head staring over the top of the bowl as she talks to Dorothy. But she doesn’t touch that bowl…she was listening to her Yah-yah after all. :o)


Blogger ~CRYSTAL~ said...

What a great story! I enjoyed your guest writer, Traci...You need to let her contribute more often. Or better yet, get her to start her own "Adventures with Ya-Ya" blog.

12:51 AM  
Blogger ~CRYSTAL~ said...

Oops....I meant Yah-Yah. ;)

12:52 AM  
Blogger jamleah said...

She is so funny! We need to get together more often so we don't feel like we're missing each other's children growing up!

6:17 PM  

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