Category Archives: Yost Temper

How dressing and diapering my son is akin to wrestling with and roping a wild hog.

Why does my child HATE having his clothing and diaper changed? 

For a little guy who’s super peaceful and pleasant much of the time, the frequent changes—filled with fitful movement, and at times, rage—bring out a very different side of his little personhood.

I suppose it doesn’t help that we’ve developed a habit of playing a game of chase on all of the beds—the sites of many a changing—whereupon the moment he’s placed on the bed, Rowan takes off crawling in the opposite direction with a playful, devilish look in his eye, avoiding capture as much as possible.

It’s all fun and games when Mommy’s yelling: “I’m gonna get you!” 

Except for when it’s not

Like when it’s diaper-changing time. Or PJ-putting-on time. Then it’s a real drag to be chasing down a wriggly worm. Trying to hold him in place to fasten sticky tabs, making sure excrement doesn’t get flung to the far corners of the room, and trying to button at least one of the three snaps on any given onesie.

Tonight, when I brought the little dude upstairs, he lunged out of my arms once he spotted the bed, fully aware of the fun he imagined was soon to be had. I don’t suppose it’s worth mentioning I nearly dropped him on his head in the process.

Then, as predicted, he took off like a shot to the middle of the mattress, just out of reach. I played a few obligatory rounds of “I’m gonna get you!” And then I tried to rein him in.

“Come here,” I said sternly. The boy just smiled, like I was some kind of clown, and proceeded to do downward dog type roly-poly flippy-dos on the bed covers. 

Once I wrangled him in and managed to get his daytime clothes off, I held him firmly in place to change his diaper. He wriggled this way and that—made worse by his tired state—and eluded my hold. 

I grabbed hold of his feet with one hand and the diaper with the other, and placed it just so, under his bottom. When I went to fasten the straps, Rowan pushed down hard with his feet on the bed, shifting his body backward and causing the diaper to fall out of alignment. This happened no less than five times, at which point I nearly called in the hubs to offer reinforcement. 

Usually, during times such as these, I can be heard muttering aloud through gritted teeth my oft-quoted phrase: “What are you doing? This is not rocket science!”

I mean, man-child has been having his diaper changed since the dawn of time. Or at the very least, since the dawn of—well, diapers.

I finally applied enough pressure to hold the child in place (I may have used forearms, elbows and knees), and the diaper was on. That left the jammies. Which was like trying to shove a bunch of crumbled up sausage back inside the casing. No easy task. Needless to say, I was sweating when all was said and done. And to think, this is a multi-daily ritual. 

The boy just cannot be bothered to deal with trivial matters such as these. He has lots of busy and wild work that needs doing.

If anyone has any advice to make diaper-changing less like a rodeo event and more like the docile chore it should be, I’m all ears. Please post your success stories in the comments.

Oh, and just a heads up: distraction with a toy? It’s a nice suggestion. Really. But…it doesn’t work. Rowan usually drops objects straightaway or chucks them someplace hard just so he can focus on the task of resuming the struggle, as usual. 

Who would’ve thought wrestling skills would come in handy with a near one-year-old? Not this mom!


To the driver of the truck that I pulled out in front of today…

To the driver of the truck that I pulled out in front of today:

I am NOT sorry. See, I normally wouldn’t have pulled out in front of you like that. But prior to you coming by, I had been sitting at the stop sign for some time, waiting for my turn. Also, I noticed behind you a long line of cars. My kid was screaming and I needed to make my move. It was then or never. 

Had you not been speeding, this would’ve all worked out fine. I pulled out when you were a safe distance away, but since you were driving like a madman, you closed the gap fast and then threw up your hands like you were all, “Who is this bullshit woman driver pulling out in front of me like this?”

And then, you continued to let me know you were pissed by riding my ass even though I sped up. When you didn’t back off, you, in turn, pissed me off, and so I slowed down, exacerbating the situation further.

You see, I get pissed sometimes too when people pull out in front of me. But only when there are no cars behind me and the car could’ve waited until I’d passed. And only when drivers pull out and then don’t accelerate, but instead go slowly, in which case I would probably do exactly as you did. 

But you sir, were driving too fast, which made you the jerk-off, not me. Also, I followed the unwritten, but considerate rule of speeding up so you could maintain most of your speed. 

So take your white collar wearing, clean shaven, truck driving, speed demon, road raging self and feck off, will you?


There’s nothing that’ll get my blood boiling hotter than the hood of a car on a long road trip like idiot pedestrians and/or drivers at a good old fashioned, full-on, over-the-top neighborhood yard sale.

Yard-sale-ing season is upon us, friends. Yes indeedy, it is.

Whether you call it a yard sale, a tag sale or garage sale, every weekend around these parts you can be sure to see cars lined up irresponsibly on the side of some road, parked in front of—or very near—a house with a sale, sticking out into the street just far enough so that it makes it impossible for two cars to pass one another in the opposite direction. Essentially, the street becomes a one-lane road. Now imagine adding horse and buggies to the mix—a common sight at these sales—and you can see how events might get a lot more interesting. And by interesting, of course, I mean they become a HUGE pain in the arse.

This past Saturday I had an appointment to get my hair cut at 9:00 in the morning. Looking back, this was probably not the best time to schedule something like this. At least not when the commute to my parents’ house—our trusty babysitters—is thirty minutes long, as was the drive from my parents’ place to the salon. Something to consider for next time. Perhaps noon would be better. Or simply a day when the hubs is not working.

Also, I will make sure to coordinate with the fine folks who determine the date of my parents’ annual development yard sale, ahead of time, and make sure to NOT schedule anything having to do with the neighborhood at that time.

Lastly, knowing I am prone to frequent bouts of road rage, I should always, always make it a point to be early for everything, thus eliminating the likelihood that I will scream obscenities out the window and blow my horn at the decent folks who are just looking to add trinkety-treasures on the cheap, to the already colossal collections in their homes. No judgment.

So, this past Saturday. I actually set my alarm for the first time since the baby was born and I was working full-time. Knowing it takes us almost an hour to pack up and go any place, I didn’t want to risk being late for my appointment. We made it out the door leaving us an hour—just enough time for me to make it on time if nothing out of the ordinary happened.

The first half of the drive went OK, minus the fact the baby screamed his little guts out the whole time (always stressful for me—I can’t tune that stuff out). However, once we got on the main road to my parents’ house, the real craziness began.

I got stuck behind several drivers who thought it was perfectly reasonable to drive 15 MPH in a 40 MPH zone, all the while putting on the brakes to casually and carefully peruse the lawn and driveway contents of many of the houses displaying their wares, paying no mind to the line of cars stacking up behind them.

I tried to be patient, but it just wasn’t happening. I was going to be late, and these guys, unintentionally, were being complete assholes. So, I let out a string of curse words and laid on the horn. This had the desired effect as the cars pulled over to the side of the road to figure their shit out. I felt a little guilty, but I like to think the cars behind me were grateful for my effort.

Of course, my oldest girl asked what all the commotion was about. I told her that we were following some bad drivers. I tell her all the time about the bad drivers on the road. She asks me from time to time, when I haven’t commented on the state of the world’s bad drivers, whether the cars are being naughty or driving safely. Lord help us, she’s going to be just as neurotic as I am.

When we finally made it to the entrance of my parents’ development—only then did the baby decide to quiet down—we had to wait, off to the side of the road, for a horse and buggy, three Amish girls on scooter-bikes with trailers full of flowers and other random shite, a pickup truck, an SUV, and several hot dog-eating families (yes, at 8:30 a.m.) to pass us by, before we were permitted access to drive through the tiniest margin of road. These people take their sale-ing seriously. 

I made it to my parents’ place, dropped the kids off in the driveway, and then drove like a complete reckless asshole myself out of the neighborhood, narrowly missing wagon-toting, stroller-pushing, and all kinds of box-holding folks.

I made it to the appointment with a minute to spare. Once there, I got to decompress a little and enjoy some adult conversation (always welcome these days), and a hot cup of coffee. Not to mention a shorter, new ‘do.

On the ride back, I came across only two idiots. On a back road, a lovely looking middle-aged couple had decided to stop at a yard sale. Instead of pulling into the driveway, or onto the property, they pulled to the side of the road, opposite the house, more than halfway into the driving lane. Also, they were at the bottom of a hill. Since the road was 40 MPH, I came upon the hill approximately 5 MPH faster than that. Then, upon seeing the car in my lane, I had to put on the brakes.

I couldn’t pass by, because their car was in my way, of course, but also because there were cars coming from the opposite direction. As I was sitting there seething, waiting for my moment to make my move, I saw the lovely couple, getting ready to cross the street, back to their car. They looked a little foolish, a little ass-holish, perhaps, as they realized the inconvenience their shitty choice had made for all of the other cars on the road.

Also, it looked as though it was going to be a long time before they made it back to their car, since by that point, there were cars moving rather speedily, trying to yield and pass in both directions, in the one-lane road they had created. 

I quickly sped past and found myself secretly wishing they’d be stuck there on the side of the road with their purchases in hand, for a good twenty minutes or so before they were able to make it back to their car. Serve them right.

As I write this days later I am fully aware of all the anger and feelings of contempt I had this past Saturday morning. It’s all a bit ridiculous, I know. I should be a better person. A more patient, less cranky person.

But, I’m not. Turns out yard sales bring out the worst in me. Buyers and sellers, beware.

Pet Peeves: Part One

Why Part One? Because there will surely be more to come. The sampling below includes just a few that came to mind today. In general, I am easily irritated. At eight months pregnant, irritation is my main state of mind.


Pet peeves? Everybody’s got ‘em. Let me tell you about some of mine.

1. Too-cold house: I walked in the door this evening after school to a frigid house (the girls were at my mom’s house). My husband, whom I lovingly refer to at this time of year as Father Winter, insists on turning the thermostat down as low as he possibly can without freezing the pipes, whenever we leave the house (50 degrees), and when we go to bed at night (61-62 degrees). I get the rationale behind this, I do. It saves money, right? When I complain, he tells me to put on a hat or a sweatshirt. I think he gets this from his father, as this was likely the way things worked in his household growing up. Me, I prefer a balmy 68-70 degrees at all times. So, we compromise when we’re home. This compromise looks like Liam turning the temp down to 64 and me turning it up to 68 and so on and so on, back and forth and back again.

And so now, I’m sitting at the dining room table, typing away on my laptop, with my scarf and jacket on, still all bundled up, and fingers in danger of getting frostbite if the temp doesn’t rise here quickly enough, because when he left for work this morning, on a record-breaking cold day, Liam did his usual turn-down to 50.

2: Placing used, wet towels on the bed instead of hanging them up on the bathroom door, or any place really, so long as they’re not on the bed.

3: Clothing that’s left around on various household surfaces (rocking chair, floors, bed, dresser tops) instead of being hung up, put away into drawers, or thrown in the dirty laundry basket. I will admit to being guilty of this one at times, but only briefly. For example, I might leave a pile of clothes on the floor at night, but the following morning, I make sure to put them where they belong.

I went through a passive-aggressive phase once, for a couple of months, where after a week had passed by without any putting away of clothes, I began to madly stash all of said clothes in a heaping pile on the floor of my husband’s closet. Clean, dirty, folded, a mess—it didn’t matter—into the closet they went. After a time I realized this was pretty immature and stopped. It annoyed the hell out of my husband, I’m sure, and maybe fixed the bad habit for a time, but mostly we are back to piles everywhere. I guess this is something I’ll just have to live with.

4: General kitchen clean-up and inefficient use of dishwasher. My husband and I do a fair share of cooking and cleaning in the kitchen. Usually, when one person cooks, the other will clean up. When I make dinner, I try to clean as I go, taking advantage of any down time to wash and/or put away dishes and food items. When Liam cooks, he takes his time, dabbles here and there, making a mess and piling up items on our limited counter space.

When I clean up after he cooks, I’m left with many various-sized dishes and spills. I insist on washing the large dishes, pots, and pans by hand, and only putting into the dishwasher the smaller items, so as to make more room to accommodate more dishes in the coming days.

When he cleans up after me, Liam’s likely to only have a few large pieces, as I’ve already done most of the hard work, yet he’ll force-load everything in the dishwasher, instead of washing by hand. This makes it so that when I get stuck again on clean-up duty, I can’t put a fucking thing in the dishwasher because of the three or four large-ass items he refused to clean himself, and are now taking up all the storage space. Clearly, this is not upsetting to me, even now.

5: Girls interrupting. There’s nothing I like more when Liam comes home from work, than to sit down to dinner with him and the girls and talk about the day. There’s nothing I like less than when I’m really into the telling of a story or event and the girls—who’ve previously been silent—start busting in on the conversation with demands and screaming and whining. It’s enough to make me want to pull out my hair, scream at the top of my lungs, and get in the car to drive as fast as I can, away to Mexico.

OK. Peeves off chest. I should counter now and admit that I am extremely grateful to have a partner who shares very equally the duties of parenting our children, if not all the housework and cleaning. He spends one day a week at home with the girls, all by himself, since he has to work on Saturdays. He is super hands-on and chooses to be so, without any pressure from me. He’s on board with using, changing and laundering cloth diapers, which can get straight up nasty when soiled. You can’t simply throw them in the trash, even when you would very much like to. He gives baths, reads bedtime stories, puts the girls to bed, gets up early in order to let me sleep in, and as I’ve mentioned before in a previous post, plays the best make-believe “Daddy Cat” the girls have ever known. Also, it should be noted that he is an amazing, talented cook. So while cleaning up after him might be a chore, I always know we are sure to enjoy a gastronomic feast when he’s in the kitchen.

And the girls—even though they are capable of making hurricane-force destruction with their toys and arts and crafts supplies, and also shrilling, screeching noises that could render any sane person loony—I wouldn’t trade them for anything else in the world.

And now, nearly two hours later, after on and off writing, I think I can finally remove my jacket and scarf. In just another hour or so, it will be time to don the bedtime hat and sweatshirt necessary for our nighttime arctic temps.

Despicable me.

I was in a dark place this morning when I left for work.

After we got off to a rough start yesterday morning with the iPhone debacle, and didn’t end up getting the girls to bed until nine last night, after the car battery fiasco, I was resolved to make it out the door on time today. I woke up feeling groggy, probably because it’s been about four nights in a row now that Frances has had some difficulty sleeping. Her top two fangs are making their way down, and she’s got two bottom teeth that are just about to erupt.

So, I busied myself making coffee and lunches and packing school bags and a diaper bag. Nora and Liam slept in a tiny bit, while Frances got right to work pushing her baby dolls around the house in their stroller, while wearing her older sister’s sparkly, purple, polka dot, two-sizes-too-big, shoes. This girl and her morning energy. I always wake up feeling somewhat irritated with her after nights like last night, during which she caused such sleep disturbances. But, watching her move and play about with such happiness just pleases me too much to stay angry. I found myself laughing out loud at her presence.

As the morning minutes wore on, however, and we got closer to the time we needed to depart to our respective destinations, my smiles faded and were soon replaced by barking orders and increased levels of stress. The wretched Mother-dragon had awoken, and was firing about on all cylinders.

Dragon Mother: Nora, five more minutes of breakfast and then get dressed, please.

Older Child: (resigned) OK. (fidgets in seat with caterpillar game pieces, makes no move to eat)

Dragon Mother: (mildly annoyed) Do you need me to set a timer or just remind you?

Older Child: Just remind me. (continues to not eat)

Dragon Mother: (very annoyed) Nora! Eat!

Older Child: Maybe you should set a timer (takes ONE bite of cereal, resumes fidgetiness and talking to herself)

Dragon Mother: (sets a timer; timer goes off, shouts in loud voice) Time to get dressed!

Older Child: (scurries down from the table, disappears into her room)

Dragon Mother: (Begins to try and eat breakfast. After wolfing down a few bites of eggs and drinking a couple of cold sips of coffee, ventures into child’s bedroom and sees child running around, playing with younger sister) Nora! Please, we need to leave in five minutes if mommy’s going to get to work on time. You still need to get dressed and brush teeth.

Older Child: (beside herself with exasperation) Okay, okay. Ugh!

Younger Child: (sees mom with food, comes running, even though she has already eaten breakfast) Eat! Eat! Hold me! Up!

Dragon Mother: Not now, Frances. Go see what your sister is doing.

Younger Child: (whines) No. Up! Eat!

Dragon Mother: (holds her distressed ground) Mommy is not holding you now. I need to brush my teeth and get ready to go to school.

Husband: (comes out of shower, heads to bedroom)

Older Child: (sprints out of bedroom, still in pajamas, and makes her way to the living room)

Dragon Mother: (totally pissed off now) NORA! GET DRESSED!

Older Child: (whines and protests) I want YOU to get me dressed.

Dragon Mother: (screams as though at wit’s end) Aaahhhh!!!!! (proceeds to eat one more bite of eggs, then goes to child’s bedroom to help child get dressed)

Husband: (senses wife’s boiling point reached, takes care of younger child and attempts to begin teeth-brushing routine)

Dragon Mother: (finishes dressing child, takes bags out to the car, then returns). Nora! Boots and jacket on please! Hurry!

Older child: (sits on bench, stares out the window, sings Frozen songs to herself)

Dragon Mother: NNOOORRRAAA!

Older child: OooooKaaaaaay! (puts boots on; struggles with jacket; spins around and around like a dog chasing her tail while she aims to get one arm inside the coat sleeve)

Dragon Mother/Wretched Wife: (can no longer witness this tomfoolery, heads to the kitchen, nearly bumps into husband) She’s a total nightmare! She can’t do one thing right this morning! (referring to older child)

Husband: (looks as though wife has just said something completely certifiable, but attempts to remain neutral, not wanting to offend wife further; remains speechless)

Dragon Mother/Wretched Wife: (takes in husband’s look, bursts into tears, makes admission) I’M the nightmare. Why am I yelling at her like this? No child should begin her day under such stress. She’s behaving totally fine. I am not. I hate that lack of sleep, job dissatisfaction, physical discomfort, pregnancy hormones, stress, lack of time, and who knows what else make me feel and behave this way.

Husband: (gives hug) You’ll be fine. Take a deep breath. Oh, and don’t forget your coffee.

Dragon Mother/Wretched Wife: (returns hug, kisses younger child goodbye, grabs coffee and tissues, dabs at cheeks and eyes, ushers older child out the door, five minutes late)

Older Child: (walks down driveway to car) Mommy, why are you sad?

Dragon Mother: (terribly ashamed) Because I’m feeling very grouchy this morning and I don’t like how I feel when we have to hurry and I get frustrated and yell.

Older child: (proceeds to tightly tie the pom-pom ear flaps of her winter hat together, over her face instead of under her chin, resulting in ear flaps covering her entire mouth; turns to mother with a scrunched up face and muffled voice, due to ear flaps in the way) Mommy, look at me. Will this make you happy? (begins to crack-up at herself)

Dragon Mother: (turns, surprised to see what daughter has done to contort the image of her face; erupts into hilarious laughter at the sight, and then tears up again because she is so touched that after the god-awful past half-hour, it is her child who has acted in such an intentional way as to soothe the beast within her mother and restore her mother’s spirit once again)

We drove the rest of the way to Nora’s school in peaceful silence. I don’t know what she was thinking about. I was busy breathing in and out, relishing the past moment of grace and humor, and feeling grateful for the special gift that is my oldest girl. Even when she makes me totally crazy, she is capable, at the same time, of making me feel such love and overwhelming affection.

I’m hoping to be more mindful and generally appreciative when I wake up tomorrow morning. It will help that it’s Liam’s turn to do the pre-school drop-off. And also that it’s Friday and there is a three-day weekend coming up. I’m very much looking forward to the break and the opportunity to recharge my soul and put out the fires burning within. Rest in peace, Dragon Mother.

Road Rage? Here’s your sign.

There are plenty of people who remain calm behind the wheel of a car, even when others are acting a fool on the road (my husband is one of these sorts). And then there are some who lose it quickly, angering easily, and engage in petty, combative antics (this is me). I’m working on it. Really. Because I realize the utter stupidity (and potential danger) of letting oneself get dragged into some sort of imagined confrontation with aggressive and impatient drivers. But still, there are times I find it really challenging to ignore the bad driving and bad drivers on our roads.


I’m driving home from work today on a road very close to my house. The speed limit on the road is 25 miles per hour, but it’s the kind of road that makes you feel like you could and should be driving much faster than that. It’s rural and windy and runs as a perpendicular connector to two very busy roads. It’s a short-cut road, and as such, its travelers are often racing to wherever it is they’re going. And for the first stretch of the road I usually am too.

As I near my road, however, I begin to slow down to 30. There’s this little street up the way where two police cars like to hang out and catch unsuspecting drivers in their speed traps. The car behind me obviously is not aware of the possibility of cops, because it stays right on my ass like a Victoria’s Secret thong. I am used to this aggressive driver behavior at this point in the road. Up until just this moment I too have been speeding, driving what feels like the right, just speed of this road.

Geez, that car won’t back down. Give me some room to breathe, buddy. Of course now I’m getting pissed that this bastard doesn’t naturally realize that I’ve slowed for some practical reason. I find myself wishing I had a pre-made sign for the occasion to hang out the window and flash at the driver behind me as way of an explanation.

In my mind I imagine the sign is digitized and made of flashing neon bulbs. Totally blinged out. It reads, “There might be cops up ahead, so that’s why I’m slowing down. I live here, so I know. Now back up off me, asshole!” I don’t know why, but it’s important to me that the message end with the word asshole.

But, I don’t have a sign, and so I just slow down, annoyingly so I’ll admit (just to get my digs in where I can), to satisfy my inner road rage junkie. I put my blinker on, as I’ve now reached my road, and take my sweet ass time making the turn. Take that, jerk. He speeds off like he’s in the Indy 500.

Now that I think about it, cars should really be equipped with these kinds of digitized signs as a means of communicating with other drivers. Imagine the scenario when you are traveling down a highway and you notice that on the other side of the barrier there’s a huge car accident. You pass by unaffected and then you start to notice how many cars are slowing down and stacking up on the opposite side. You know when you finally get to that point, five miles down the road where the new cars are just slowing and stopping, probably wondering what the hell the holdup ahead is? Wouldn’t it be nice to be able to hang a sign out the window alerting the incoming drivers: Whoa there, buddy. You got five miles of this shit ahead of you. Exit the highway now! (Asshole). I mean, if you were a driver happening upon that situation, wouldn’t you want to know? I sure would.

Then there’s my favorite road rage-inciting incident. I’m at a red light waiting for it to change, and ahead, through the light, is a very short two-lane merge. I’ve got some guy, and it’s almost always a guy, that pulls to a stop to the right of me at the light. He’s inching his wheels closer to the light, just waiting for it to turn green. Then the light changes and bam he’s off like a shot. He passes me easily, despite my best efforts to race him, and then settles in ahead of me. Of course, there’s usually a huge line of traffic in front of us. I find myself wondering: was that really worth it, buddy?

And then I find myself wishing again I had a sign. In this case, the sign would have to somehow be projected in front of me for him to be able to read it in his rearview. Maybe the font could be backwards, like on the ambulances so he could read it in reverse. Or maybe with the help of the Kurzweil software we could get some text-to-speech bullhorn action going on. In this situation the sign would read/say: Happy now that you blew past me just to get stuck one space in front of me behind all those cars? Asshole.

I think maybe I should get a patent going on this sign idea. In the meantime, drive safely friends.

Look Like a Yost

(this post was adapted from a journal entry written during the summer of 2012)

My father’s father, Herbert Yost, had a notorious short temper (sadly, he died last May, but not because of his temper). My grandfather passed his temper on to my father, and as the first-born child, I acquired it from my dad. Whether nature or nurture is to blame, I’m not sure. Probably a little of both. I do know that the degree to which each individual has been afflicted with a short temper has lessened with each generation, much to my husband’s delight, I’m sure.

Some things that are sure to set off the Yost temper: being stuck in traffic, following in front of or behind bad drivers, hearing the advice of some well meaning person trying to tell you to do something other than the way you want and intend to do it, and not being able to find something you’re looking for.

My mother, ever the patient partner, has learned over the years how to soothe my father’s moods and defuse his rage. Mostly she’s tried to do this using humor. She has invented a phrase to make light of a situation in which my father or one of his children cannot find something for which they are looking. This phrase is: You look like a Yost. Keep in mind here the verb look means “to use one’s eyes to search for and find something,” not “to resemble someone or something else.”

When one looks like a Yost—and yes, you’ll recognize you’ve done it at some point in your life—one does not really look very hard, or well for that matter.  To look like a Yost means to take a swift, very superficial glance, and then give up and start getting real crabby about it. In fact, I might even argue that when looking like a Yost one has every intention of encouraging someone else to do the looking for him (or her!). In our family’s case, it’s usually my poor mom who ends up doing the looking.

Last night I was over at my parents’ house for a 4th of July cookout. I had cut up some limes early in the day for the Coronas we’d be drinking later in the afternoon. When it came time to get the limes, I opened the refrigerator door, took a 0.2 second look around, closed the door, and yelled to my mom, “Where’d ya put the limes?”

She sighed. Then, calmly she asked, “Did you look like a Yost?”

I shrugged. I most certainly did, but I’m not admitting that to you.

She replied without looking, “Bottom left, in the front.”

I opened the door again. Sure enough, right there they were. I had looked like a Yost. Of course I had.


Just last week my father had been looking around my parents’ home for his checkbook to pay the bills, a chore he normally does at the office. By the time he came to my mom he had already been searching furiously for ten minutes, in his world, an impossible, infinite amount of time. He came to my mother uttering oaths under his breath, “I can’t find the goddamn checkbook anywhere. How the hell am I supposed to pay the goddamn bills?”

Again, I heard my mother calmly ask, “Did you check your desk? Your computer bag? The dining room table?”

He had, he admitted, twice, and still couldn’t find the damn thing.

My mom thought for a moment and said, “What about your briefcase that you bring back and forth to the office?” My dad had left it at the office instead of bringing it home like he usually does, but he swore he checked in there before he left for work that day. My mom then thought to add with a smile, “Yes, but did you look like a Yost?” My father was not amused.

I watched as my mom continued to help my father do a more thorough search, but the checkbook would not be found.

The following day my mom was sitting at her desk in her office when she got a one-line e-mail from my dad. She later told me it read: Found the checkbook. She sent him a one-word response back: Where? And then again, his turn: In the briefcase. True to form, he had looked like a Yost. My mom stifled the urge to write a reply back: Told you so. Instead, she shared a small laugh with me later. She had recognized my dad’s electronic communications as a way of sort of light-heartedly, half-humorously apologizing for his short-tempered behavior the day before.

The first time my husband heard the phrase look like a Yost he was understandably confused. However, over the years, he has come to understand it, accept it, and even use it on occasion. Mostly it’s still me who’s doing the poor, superficial searching for objects and then blowing up in anger when I can’t find them. But occasionally, I will hear him admit, under his breath, when I find something for which he’s been looking and looking with no success, “I looked like a Yost.”

And this is my grandfather’s legacy. Well, one of his legacies, to be sure (there are others, many of which are endearing and positive in nature).