Saturday, June 11, 2011

Have I told you about the YaYa's?

well these are two cherished friends of mine who live too far away from me.

(For the sake of differentiation, I'm referring to them as YaYa Indy, and YaYa T. Not giving myself a name...seems weird, but I'm a YaYa, too.)
One I've known for 25 years...the other for 7 plus. 

These women keep me sane, and silly. In fact on Saturday night before the wedding and I had surpassed my maximum level of stress, they had an intervention. They accompanied me to make the wedding bouquets and listened to me rant, rave, cry and just do the needed venting. Then we laughed loud and long, and I was whole again. Sunday I completely enjoyed the entire wedding day. 

We celebrate many things with each other, but make a point to be in attendance for major life events.

In spring of 2004 a much loved and cherished YaYa hubby went to heaven. That summer I returned to spend time with the YaYa's. We went up to her lake cottage, but enroute stopped for a bit of necessities. One of the things I bought was bag of little plastic green army men. 

Yup, those cheap plastic toys. 

History point here:
I got this idea from my son, who once had a few hours to kill at a shopping mall. He and his cousin played games in the arcade and kept winning these little green army men. What to do with them? Well they placed them in odd spots at the mall, randomly. 

 Back to the story...
So... early one morning while at the lake house, I took those men and placed them around in various places.  Fun, unexpected places such as; the freezer, dish cupboards, laundry closet, and some out in the open. The lake house owner, YaYa Indy, got up that day and slowly began to discover these little green army men everywhere. She was quite perplexed. Decided her grandson must have left them out. YaYa T. and I are quiet, giving no clues. Eventually the green men end up on the table. When YaYa Indy isn't looking, we place them all around again! It doesn't take too many hours for her to discover the grandson is not the culprit. : )

This is what I told this cherished YaYa. "When you come across one of these little green men, think of the delight and fun we had here. We are making new memories. Remember how loved you are by us."
Of course we cried, but good friends can laugh and cry together. Sometimes at the same time!
  " Laughter through tears in my favorite emotion?"
What movie does that line come from?

Now whenever we are together, no matter the occasion, you can count on little cheap plastic men surfacing at some point, some place. It's not always army men. One year it was little red firemen, or when they came to celebrate my 50th birthday it was cowboys and Indians. 
I assure you, there is nothing like opening up a drawer or cupboard to unexpectedly discover this message of love. 

When YaYa Indy remarried, I snuck a little red fireman in to her bridal bouquet. This was such an emotional event and I didn't want her to be standing up there "alone." 
After the ceremony, when we shared the celebrating hug, she said to me, "firemen helped."

We have extended this tradition to the next generation. Our daughters have been the recipients of these supporting cast members too. I put one in my youngest daughters car when she headed across the state for college. They've also turned up in backpacks and beds.  Our daughters are appreciative of the sentiment of this gesture. 

 One of my favorite places to put one was at YaYa T's. home. In her guest room she has a collection of teeny tiny little horses on a shelf on her wall. It was begging for an Indian. I did have to slit the plastic base in order for him to straddle the horse, but it was perfect. Took her over a year to find it.  Score one for me!
Of course she had put one in my brand new container of body butter! Smashed him down in there nicely. Score one for her!

My hubby offered to take it out. 
Nope, it stayed in there until the very end. I liked the reminder of love.
I also left one in her freezer in a box of chicken bites!

 A few summers ago, when YaYa Indy and my families vacationed at this mountain cabin together...we discovered firemen in our beds one night. Only to have them all put back in her bed the next! Her son and grandson also placed them about the cabin, on window shelves, up high by the ceiling tiles. Amazingly enough the cabin owners have left them there. YaYa Indy, was tickled to still see them last evening. 

I usually smile or laugh out loud when I find them. I like to then leave them there, too. So in my fridge door, among the mayo's and mustards is a yellow Indian. 
In the laundry cupboard one periodically drops out when he gets in the way of the bottles. 
There are probably as many Indian/cowboys/firemen/ in my suitcase as clean undies at times!

This year when planning Brides bouquet, she requested an Indian be put in there. 
 Photos were taken after the wedding and 
being hugged and blown to pieces. 

 We also put one in our 3 daughters bridesmaid bouquets. 
The girls were thrilled.

 RMG walked in to my home Monday after his wedding carrying a little plastic cowboy. Seems somehow some had gotten in to their luggage before they left for the night. 

Shocking I know. 

Good job YaYa Indy and YaYa T!

Fortunately, all our family members are understanding about this tradition, and RMG seems to be just as accepting.
Good thing for him. Because your home isn't blessed until you have an Indian or two in the cupboard!


  1. There are a few red firemen in our bathroom. :)

  2. Steel Magnolias. I love the way you talk about your friends. :)