Wednesday, July 18, 2018

The final countdown

Liam is finally interested in his "kit-tar", the ukelele I have had in his play room for three years. He sat on the bed with Alex and me, strummed, and sang, You are My Sunshine... three times. The first time he was embarrassed and barely moved his mouth. Second time he sang it to Alex, who laughed and climbed all over him, and the third time Liam was very animated and sang to ME. I asked, "Who is your sunshine?" He replied sweetly, "YOU are." I could eat him up! I told him he was soon going to have another brother, and he replied, "Then he will be my sunshine, too like Alex."

He is the BEST BIG BROTHER ever!

Alex continues to have the most placid personality. He is such a good baby. He thinks he's one of the big boys at the playground these days. He gets excited when I pull into the parking area.

He holds onto the bars and laughs when kids run across the hanging bridge and bounce him. He likes to go down the baby slide and also loves to swing. He's crawling all over and will be walking very soon. Not sure if we should discourage or encourage his mobility...

because baby Charlie has moved into birthing position and is on the count down...two weeks or less. Ashley's fun, friendly, female obstetrician is on vacation in Italy, so Ashley will see Dr. Dreamy tomorrow. He looks like actor Matthew McCoughnahy. He delivered her other two boys, C section and told her if her OB was in, she would likely move up her delivery date, but HE cannot. That bummed her out.  

Little mama is going to have her hands full. Alex's first birthday is less than a month a way.
Imagine blonde, wavy, shoulder-length hair on Liam, and that is exactly how Ashley looked.

Monday, July 16, 2018

Walk a bit in my shoes


I took a neighborhood walk yesterday. The corner church has been completely razed, and now the process of building a gas station is happening.  Noise galore from all sorts of excavation equipment and endless dump trucks transporting mounds of dirt up and down our street, into and out of the building site.




 I kicked up a chunk of metal with crimped edges, no bigger than a quarter. It rolled across the sidewalk releasing many memories of long ago.

When I was young, we used to go to the shoe repair store. YES there were actually cobblers who made, repaired, and resoled shoes. People didn't toss their shoes when they were nearly worn out.

High school kids, boys and girls, went to the shoe shop to have silver, metal taps nailed onto the soles of shoes, a tiny crescent moon shape tap for the toe and a wider one at the heel. The purpose was to prevent the soles from wearing down. I loved the sound the taps made.

We younger kids wanted taps, too. So we placed two bottle caps, crimped edges up, on the ground, and then we stomped on them forcing them into the heels of our soles. We clomped around like the cool kids until our taps fell off.

Bill remembers collecting bottle caps from his dad's tavern. He and his buddies used to play Bottle Caps in the alley. A pitcher tossed bottle caps to the batter, who used a broom stick as a bat, and the pitcher and catcher tried to catch them to call the batter out.

Those were simple days when we played outdoors and made our own fun.  Check out this short clip, and discover what my childhood was like. Many people tell me I am very creative. I attribute it to this.



Wednesday, July 11, 2018

An encounter with swerving

Witnessed a most confusing traffic scene. In the evening  we were driving on four lane, busy Telegraph Road.

It looked like mass confusion at first glance. The oncoming two lanes of cars were swerving en masse, like a wave. 


Left, right, then halting abruptly. Nearly bumper to bumper. Nobody was honking or upset.


A dozen cars appeared to be slow moving in choreographed formation. 


Then I saw it, a small shaggy little dog running down the road BETWEEN the two oncoming lanes. Drivers were trying to keep it from going into our lane of traffic. A man hopped out and rescued the shaggy, little black and white, dirty, exhausted dog. It was heart warming 
to witness goodness in action! 
Not this dog but similar.


Then we went to Taco Bell. Three college age guys, one Hispanic, an African American, and a baby-face, chunky, white kid entered wearing backpacks and name badges. The Hispanic guy spoke to an older gentleman waiting at the counter, who either didn't have his hearing aides on or did not speak English.


 "We're not from around here. You must experience winter, what with all those pine trees."


The old guy replied, "They're on the counter."


The dude rolled his eyes. When he sat next to us, I asked if he was from a warm climate. he looked confused, perhaps a bit offended as if I were suggesting Mexico. 


I smiled and told him I'd overheard his conversation about winter. He said, "We're from Ohio." Then he flipped his badge on a lanyard and said, "Working out of Clayton. Hired to obtain signatures to  get three initiatives on the ballot here in Missouri. They pay us VERY well to lead the "sheeple" who don't realize they are being led. Everything in politics is about money and campaign contributions."


I said, "You are young to be learning this lesson. It takes some people years."


He replied, "And some people, NEVER. It's all about what money can buy."


That kid had moxie and a mouth and I can only imagine him on street corners pitching a political agenda, drumming up signatures. Wonder if he walks a straight or crooked line as he moves from place to place.  

Sunday, July 8, 2018

That's the way it goes!

I've been lax this week.  I blamed my lack of writing on the weather, my busy life, the world situation. You name it, I have been procrastinating. But today I sent something to a big house.

I used to tussle with that little brat inside my head who is as annoying as a gnat. "They won't even consider your work. Why do you keep submitting?"

Well I decided to shush that brat when I hit the send button a few moments ago. I fed myself affirmations and atta girls, because I know I can write and I have confidence and faith in myself.

And wouldn't you know it...

I submitted accidentally and prematurely without attaching my submission. The brat is saying, "When they see two submissions from you, they will disregard. You screwed up. Na na na na na!"

My retort, "What is meant to be will be. I know this for a fact."

This pesky voice reminds me of  the first time I visited my country cousins, and they invited me to sleep outside on their open air porch. Afraid I'd be eaten by mosquitoes, I begged, "Turn on a light!"

My aunt said, NO, but I cried and insisted. She said I was a hard head and would have to experience what would happen since I wouldn't listen to reasoning.

If I thought the mosquitoes were bad, I was terrified when moths and beetles bombarded, attracted to the light. It was like being dive bombed by wing flickers and fierce biters. This city girl wanted a bed indoors.

Today I am turning off my "porch light" and not listening to the buzzing pests.   

Wednesday, July 4, 2018

Was it a bird or Big Bird?


Jefferson Barracks Park ( a former military installation) is near our home. I feel overwhelming
sadness when we drive past the thousands of tombstones decorated with American flags in the National Cemetery. I am proud of those who gave their lives or fought for our freedom. But the image leaves a heaviness in my heart.

 We have often gone to JB Park for a variety of events, concerts, fireworks, or just to see the wild deer roaming in the evening. When my 21 year old grandson Austin was less than two years old, I took his mom, my mom, and his sister to a Native American Pow Wow in the park. 

Austin was a smart, observant little guy with a good vocabulary. When he saw this little fella kicking up his heels and dancing, Austin darted for him and yelled, "Bird!"

Feathers...his  frame of reference. I darted right after him. Although this was a serious ceremony, we were invited to join in the circle dance with the group. I have no official proof, but my dad and his brothers all claimed to have Native American ancestry. I grabbed Austin's hand and we joined the group. For a moment I felt a profound connection to my late dad and "our" people as we shuffle stepped side to side.

On this Independence Day I am saddened by U.S. and world events, and I wonder why we can't be more inclusive and invite others to partake of our abundance. With the heart of a child, if we would all reach out in love and acceptance. Let the children lead...

Wednesday, June 27, 2018

Hello, Bob

Did you ever meet a stranger and "click" right away? Bill and I met Bob and Rhoda, a married couple about our age,  while on a cruise last Halloween. We dined together and attended evening performances, then sat and talked. As we got to know one another we found ourselves saying, "Me too!" about everything.

Bob passed away recently, and so Rhoda decided to take a road trip from Arkansas to Chicago to visit her daughter. She laid over one night at our house. It felt like we'd known each other all our lives. We dined out and then we watched evening news and a little late night TV.

At 11:00 p.m. Bill said good night and went to bed. We said we were turning in also. But as it often happens when women get together, we talked for nearly two more hours, finding more things we had in common.

At 12:45 a.m. while in the middle of conversation, the lap top computer which was off, lid closed, sitting on the TV stand, startled us when a late night host, whose show was on three hours earlier, blared at the highest volume. We were startled and shocked. I ran to turn it off, but it was OFF. Then the TV came on. I opened and closed the computer and clicked on and off the TV.

Confused, Rhoda and I stared at one another and shrugged. I finally said, "Hello, Bob we miss you."

When we told Bill in the morning, he did not believe us.

It happened, and there is no explanation for how two turned off electronic devices...

What do you think?    

Monday, June 25, 2018

Unload, go ahead, then upload!


Marc Crepeaux, the founder of Rusty Wheels Media, is seeking submissions for his next book, Letters Never Meant to be Read, Vol. IV. The contest for Volume III closed last month.

Send your submission to Rustywheelsmedia.gmail.com and write Letters in the  subject line or mail to Rusty Wheels Media, PO Box 1692, Rome, GA 30162

The call for submissions is ongoing.

Surely there is someone in your life who you would like to thank, praise, criticize, or yell at, for whatever reasons. An old love, parent, spouse, boss; been holding an angry grudge? This is an opportunity for possible publication, so let your work shine. Be real, be honest, emote! If accepted, you can publish anonymously.  

The link below will take you to Marc's Face book video, where you can get to know this English professor, Captain in the US Army Reserves, and soon-to-be dad from Rome, Georgia.

Listen to him read a moving letter he wrote to his gram.


Please pass this information on to your writing groups and friends.