In the summer of 2005 the wifey and I spent a week and a half in Greece for our Honeymoon. We took lots of pictures, but they were lost. Either to a corrupt memory card or just lost in the shuffle of one of our moves. Anyway, we only have our memories and this hand made chess set from Santorini.
I see them going through the same process I did all those years ago. Yes, I myself was gifted one of these fun contraptions in the shape of a Snoopy doghouse…
I was six and it was the best present that year… I think. I could barely wait to get ice out of the freezer and make snow cones. I was going to be the talk of the neighborhood when I made my snow cone shack and blew that kid down the street out of his barely flavored water business.
I pulled it out of the packaging, my sister dancing at my side from one foot to another, barely containing her excitement. We broke a bunch of ice out of the tray and shoved it down Snoopy’s chimney and started turning the handle. But…. no snow came out. I hired my sister on as labor and had her pushing the Snoopy shaped stuffer as I churned the handle as fast as I could. Minuscule pieces of snow began to emerge from the dog house door. It floated down into the snow cone cup. We had been at it for 10 minutes…. We recruited my dad to churn and my mother to stuff the ice and apply the necessary pressure to the Snoopy stuffing handle. After an eternity (or 30 minutes, whichever came first), the cup was half full and we squeezed food coloring and sprinkled sugar over our hard earned snow cone. I ate one bite and my sister had the other and that was it for the snow cone as the majority of it had melted to the bottom. My six year old mind began to mull over the business plan. Labor (we were going to have either use my mom and dad or not have a business at all and they were expensive), cost of ice and sugar… then I realized that I was just going to equal the competition as in reality, the sum of all our current efforts were just barely flavored water…
I grew up in this town. We moved here when I was 8 and the majority of my early childhood was spent in what we still call “the big house.” We lived on 5 acres of sage brush. We spent a TON of time outside.
We built houses out of tumble weeds and made little trails through the chico, pretending like we were cars speeding around corners. We had a little puddle out back that was deep enough to float a blow up raft in and we spend hours paddling around in it. Whenever we were angry, we “ran away” across the field to a neighbors house who would give us a cookie and call our mother to let her know where we were.
We road bikes up and down the dirt road, visiting neighbors and speeding past a house where there was a mean dog that chased us every time. We named him Saddam Hussein. Politically incorrect? Maybe. Our dogs name was George Bush (the first one).
The one time I remember our parents really playing with us, not just taking us somewhere or facilitating play, but actually playing with us, was the Family Olympics where the got cards with numbers and kept score and we kids participated in foot races around the yard and jumping contests and ice skating on the puddle. It was amazing.
Once, when my parents had a bunch of friends over and the kids were left to their own devices, we used our kite string to make a giant spider web around the whole living room.
Truth: Childhood doesn’t have to be perfect and your kids don’t need to be entertained by you. Let them enjoy their imaginations. Let them come up with their own stuff. They won’t die or be stunted.
I remember. When I was young, maybe 10, I started journaling. Even before that, I remember my feelings about life. I might remember more than any of my siblings. Although I was never the touchy feely type, I did always have very strong feelings. They were feelings of wanting to be treated like a grown up. I had feelings of indignation and embarrassment and I felt like I should have been born knowing everything. How could I possibly mess up and have to deal with the consequences?
Abby (6) is learning to write. I’m hoping that she will journal as much as I did. I go back to those old journals and look at my writing and my feelings and it helps be to understand her. I’m not always the best mother. I hope I can be better by remembering my own childhood as much as possible. I always want to do as much as I can to understand her every time something happens.
This is soooo hard. When the rush of life has me in a hurry, it’s harder to stop and think about her feelings and why her reasoning is headed in a direction. But when I take the time, when I stop, it’s better.
I’m going to take this opportunity to rant about my first OBGYN appointment from my first pregnancy. I was referred to this clinic by someone who knows they are good but has a different doctor than me. I have to admit that the nurses are nice. That’s the only reason I continued going there. I walk in and almost immediately, I realize that I’m in a bit of trouble. There are pictures of live birth EVERYWHERE! In the lobby, the pics are mild: sweaty mothers holding their somewhat gooey newborns… but as you progress further in, the pictures get worse. LIVE BIRTHS means vaginas stretched to the size of softballs as a HEAD comes out! Baby faces squished like little prunes protruding from places not meant to be photographed. It’s scary. I’m giving my urine sample and there’s a crowning picture staring back at me.
There are three very large dogs. Not really that big of a deal. They are friendly and dog people are usually my kind of people except it’s summer time in Asheville, NC and the dogs are HUGE huskies and shedding like it’s going out of style. Isn’t a doctor’s office supposed to be sterile or somethin’…? They also lie in the path of any unsuspecting pregnant chick and let me tell you, some of those ladies are not capable of putting on matching socks in the morning let alone avoiding a monster dog lying in their path.
They ask me to go and have my ultrasound, but apparently I have to empty my bladder first. So I do that, then I go see my baby on the monitor (sooo cool!!!). Then I am asked to wait in a smaller waiting room that is not an examining room. The usual weight and blood pressure measurements are taken. Then they ask me for a urine sample. Couldn’t they have used all the stuff I just let out before the ultrasound? Then I have to sit and drink a bottle of water and wait for 20 minutes just so I can give them a urine sample. After waiting for the full 20 minutes, I give them the sample and wait some more until I am finally allowed into the examining room to WAIT for the doctor. Couldn’t I have been waiting for the doctor at the same time as waiting for the urine sample? OK, maybe she needed to see the results. Then she examines me and the whole time she’s looking up my vagina, she’s humming “It’s Now or Never.” No seriously. She’s not talking to me unless she has a pertinent question. Now guys, I’m sorry, but you may want to really skip this part…. there is this metal thing they put up there and spread out so they can see up into the recesses of the female genitalia. She puts it up there, realizes she has forgotten something and WALKS AWAY. The metal device snaps shut and SHOOTS out of me across the room! “Oops,” she murmurs. Finally, she gets a good look and I redress before we go into her office to… talk, I guess… Anyway, she is still humming and she spends 5 minutes trying to figure out my due date. She’s not talking to me, just humming, looking back and forth at the ultrasound pictures and my chart and back and forth and wielding what looks to be some sort of circular calendar. She is muttering about how the pictures and my recollection of my last period just don’t seem to match up but she’s not asking me a question. Just talking and humming to herself. I start to get somewhat uncomfortable when she finally looks up at me and I need to come in for my next ultrasound at 16 weeks to find out the sex of the baby. Now I know it’s supposed to be 20 weeks for sure. Casey’s ultrasound was at 20 weeks, all the baby books say it’s supposed to be at 20 weeks, and Google definitely thinks 20 weeks is the norm. I ask. She doesn’t believe me. She tells me that she has the best ultrasound chick ever and that she can always tell at 16 weeks. So then I’m finally leaving and they tell me they need blood work. WHAT?! I’ve been there for 2 hours. Couldn’t they have gotten the blood work when I was waiting for the urine sample? Or maybe when I was waiting for the doctor? Or maybe one of the other times I was WAITING?! Good grief!!!!!! Two weeks later I receive a call from the OBGYN office saying that someone scheduled my 20 week ultrasound for my 16th week and would I be willing to reschedule. Sure. Why the heck not?
Several weeks later upon entering the lobby of this same clinic (that I still use to this day) I noticed a suggestion box. I thought about printing out my blog entry dealing with my first visit and putting it in there. My OBGYN was always weird and wildly inappropriate but if you can handle that kind of thing, she will provide you with endless entertainment, especially if you are in the habit of sharing your exploits on the internet.
I did get a bit annoyed when I had high blood pressure and migraines and she prescribed me a narcotic and equated it to giving the baby a drink of alcohol every time I took one. I would never recommend disobeying or lying to your doctor… unless she is insane.
The OBGYN clinic I went to wanted us to see every doctor they had just in case that was the one that happened to be on call when we went into labor. There was only one male OBGYN and I have to say that he was as weird as my assigned OBGYN. He gets into the office without to much of a wait and he has a hemp necklace with a huge turquoise charm. Very Asheville aka hippie. He also has this pasted on Guy Smiley kind of smile. The whole time we’re talking he is smiling like a pastor’s wife. It’s hilarious! He asks me what we’re going to talk about today. I’m like, “Ummm… you’re the doctor. Why the heck do I have to schedule appointments every 3 weeks if you don’t know what we are going to talk about?” Needless to say, I didn’t say that out loud. I just said, “Nothing?” So I hear the heartbeat of the baby (very cool although I have to wonder what distinguishes it from my heartbeat? How do I know that the weird sensations down there aren’t just gas?) Then he’s like, “Well, that’s it.” Shortest appointment of all time. But I was very amused by the game show host smile. It was eerie. I mean, just plain weird… at least he didn’t hum. He ended up delivering Abby. I saw him again when I was pregnant the second time and he was just as weird. The outbreak of H1N1 was in full swing and I asked him what he thought about me getting inoculated. He told me to tell him if I found out anything about the outbreak or inoculation because he had no idea. At my next appointment, my regular doctor was appalled and sent me in to get the shot at that very moment.
Between pregnancies, I did switch doctors and the new OBGYN always laughed at my jokes therefore helping me sustain the illusion that the world revolves around me.
I found this article to be interesting:
What do you think? Are kids today over protected or is it just right?
I remember back in elementary school our playground equipment was not the best, but we had the basics. We had a set of swings, monkey bars, and slides. I had the greatest time hanging upside down like a bat, and swinging and sliding like crazy. We didn’t have to many rules, other then staying where our teachers could still see us. Pretty simple. One time I did fall off the monkey bars and hit my head on a piece of concrete sticking out of the ground. I survived the event with just a little scar and a memory.
Do you remember any of this playground equipment? I had so much fun on all of these things!!! We just had to be a little more creative with our play.
all images were found on Google.
While visiting my parents in Maine, we attended their local church and this gal was in the parking lot. I love seeing these vintage cars. It brings back fond memories of one of my elementary school teachers. He was a member of a model T society in NJ, and would travel around driving those classics to various places. He bestowed in me a love for history, and historic things through his story telling ability. Thank you Mr. Fisher!!!
Who was your favorite teacher from your school years?
Wifey, Auntie C and I took our kids to the Sand Dunes for some sand boarding. It was a lot of fun and the kids got sand in places they didn’t even knew they had. Wifey and I did take our turn at sand boarding and we each had a blast. We are still getting sand out. Its a great way to spend an afternoon.
Truth. My family loves movies.
Growing up, when a particular situation comes up and a great movie line goes with it, my family is GREAT at pulling from the memory banks as we have all seen so many movies.
Truth. Most of my favorite movies are oldies. Is it nostalgia? Is it the connection I have with my family members? Is it the fact that older movies had less to work with and therefore were forced to create a better story? I think it could be a little bit of all of those. There are a few new movies that I particularly like as well.
A list of my favorites:
Mulitiplicity – Maybe it’s just the great lines, the great acting or the combination but I love this story. It makes so much sense, in a totally unrealistic kind of way. I really get a kick out of Three every time he says ANYTHING! I love to laugh and this movie can put me in stitches. Micheal Keaton is a hoot. Check out his performance in Much Ado About Nothing.
The Tourist – Maybe just because everyone is so beautiful in this film. But I was a bit surprised by the ending. I loved the story. I actually liked Angenlina Jolie but best of all… JOHNNY DEPP! Need I say more?
Benny and Joon – And speaking of Johnny Depp… Even a crazy Johnny Depp is an awesome Johnny Depp.
The Amazing Spiderman – I never read the credits of a movie so carefully until I had a friend in them. I do love this movie but the stunts were AWESOME! Yep, I know the stunt double and I’m not above bragging about it. It’s pretty cool.
French Kiss – Meg Ryan. She is so damn cute and the comedic timing in this movie is AWESOME! Kevin Kline is great in this movie as well. He’s kinda hit or miss for me. Sometimes the projects he chooses are… iffy. However, this one is a total winner.
Charade – More Walter Matthau. I originally watched this to see if he ever looked young. He didn’t. I keep watching it just because I love to hear Audry Hepburn talk. And I love her clothes… and I love her… and the plot is quite interesting.
Roman Holiday – More Audry. My dad and I went to Italy and did Rome and it was awesome and I see our trip all over again every time I watch this movie.
The Man from Snowy River – Is it the accents? Is it the overt manliness? Is it the sweat, the tears, the fact that I can feel like I’m in the outback with horses and dust and dirt without the smell, clean up or ever having to get out of my PJs? All of the above. I love this movie. I love the story. I love the landscape. I love Kirk Douglas. It’s kinda awesome. Don’t see the squeal. It doesn’t live up.
The Scarlett Pimpernel – Sad that Anthony Andrews never did anything else of note in film. He is a remarkable actor. As a child I envied the beautiful curls of the young Jane Seymour. The whole movie is full of great lines and the love story is so cute. I can hardly stand all the great plot twists. I find myself watching it with first timers and pausing it every ten seconds to say, “Did you get that? Do you know what’s going on?” I’m a wierdo like that. My husband has a shock collar for me for just such occasions.
The Princess Bride – One of my all time favorites. Of course. Who doesn’t love this movie? It’s witty, it makes fun of itself and the book is just as awesome as the movie. Who hasn’t said at one time or another, “You killed my father. Prepare to die.” Mandy Patinkin has to HATE that line by now but it was one of the best ever uttered. There are a multitude of one liners in that movie that make for a great plug in real life. Mom says, “Stop it now, I mean it.” Your response, “________________________.” (Come on. You know you totally said it.)
Bring it on. What are your favorites and why?
It was my Senior year at a small Liberal Arts College in Maryland, just outside the District of Columbia. A police officer had been fatally shot and a man hunt was on for the suspect. During this time I went to pick up one of my Bermudian friends to check out a church, that he would be preaching at. After picking him up we were stopped at a stop sign and a police siren starts blaring. I pull over to get out of the way. I look out my window and see four undercover policemen approaching us with M-16’s and other hand guns drawn. In the moment I have no idea what is going on and was in shock. I had never been in that type of situation before in my life. They started yelling at me to turn off my engine. The only words I can utter is “Yes Officer”. The officers were still searching for that same cop killer. Since I was a white guy driving a black guy they wanted to make sure I wasn’t being abducted. I know some would be upset about the situation because of racial profiling, but I can’t fault the police because of the high tensions at the time. They did eventually catch the cop killer. Even though I was scared and stressed out at the moment. I can now sit back and chuckle with my friends, Colorblind, about this story.