Saturday, February 28, 2009

He said, “yes!”

My hubby is sometimes persuaded to do things that are not his first choice and out of his comfort zone. This was one of those times. It seemed like a rare opportunity to me—maybe a one-time opportunity—so I pleaded. It was fun! He was such a good sport!

Bob never wore shorts before we met. His children had often tried to talk him into wearing shorts but he had resisted for a long time. I bought him a few pair while we were still dating and he has never looked back. Recently, son Kevin was remarking on his surprise when he first saw his Dad in shorts. He said, “I knew there was a woman involved and that he must be in love!”

I told Kevin that we have been married too long . . . I no longer have that kind of power. Maybe I was wrong? I don’t think I will push again for awhile though.

Postscript: Yes, I also swam with the dolphins. It was a fun experience.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

When hearing loss was not because of IPODS

I am working on a family directory so I was already inclined to be thinking about my heritage and childhood. It is also, I know, a sign of old age but once again I am going to blame Donna for this post.

On car trips when we were kids, our family often sang songs. Mother taught us to sing harmony on a couple of songs. We also sang rounds. Some of the songs had two parts –a slower version of the chorus and a faster part sung at the same time. Lowell put his fingers in his ear to sing his part and Mother often joined him to help out.

One of the songs, Stodala Pumpa was a song that we learned in our Music Class at Archbold Elementary School. We always sang this song on vacations and short road trips. In fact, I am sure we sang it often enough to give both of our parents headaches but they never complained. It was much less annoying than our Do not paaaaaaaassssssssss . . . Pass with caaaaaaaaaaaaare . . . ditty that we sang for miles and miles on hilly roads. We held the last note until another sign came into view. I don’t recall Mother helping us and I do recall her firmly telling us to stop singing those two lines.

Unfortunately, none of us ever learned the last two lines of the Stodala Pumpa verse and so we just used la, la, la, until we came to HEY! which we yelled loudly and then loudly sped into the chorus singing it once or twice through without taking a breath. Maybe Stodala Pumpa was a favorite because of the tune or the pace of the song or the HEY! at the end of the verse. Probably we just liked showing off our lung capacity which was quite adequately practiced from the aforementioned ditty.

Several years ago, I hunted for the words to those last two lines and was disappointed to find many versions but none that matched our first two lines. However, when Donna told me today that she and her hubby were on a road trip and she was singing to him—songs from our childhood, I decided to search again. Eureka! This is for you, Donna and Lowell.

Walking along, as nightfall ends the day
Sweet scented breezes whisper on their way
Under the stars we slowly stroll along,
While distant hills re-echo with our song, HEY!

Stodala, stodala, stodala pumpa
Stodala pumpa, stodala pumpa
Stodala, stodala, stodala pumpa
Stodala pumpa, pum pum pum!

My two sons and hubby never really got into singing in the car. We read books and played The Alphabet Game. However, I remember one annoying ditty taught to them by the Roth kids that went on and on forever.

1st boy: You remind me of a man.
2nd boy: What man?
1st boy: A man from Whodo.
2nd boy: Who Do?
1st boy: You do!
2nd boy: I do what?
1st boy: You remind me of a man. . .

On vacation somewhere?

This is the age that I remember doing a lot of singing in the car. Lou was already in nurses training. I am sure this picture was posed. We sang lots in the car but not that much around the piano.

Lowell was still not able to sing parts without help at this age. Neither he nor I was successful with piano lessons so Mother put both Lowell and I in voice lessons--along with cousin Rita. I wonder now if she was hoping to improve our singing on road trips. Oh my! I don't think the lessons helped any of us. Lowell giggled every time the teacher tried to make us use our diaphram. It is tough to sing while laughing.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Padawan, Jedis, and Masters

We did it! We surely did! We watched seven movies in 24 hours and slept a little and ate a lot. The boys wanted to watch them in chronological order so we started with Episode I and II and then the animated movie, The Clone Wars on Friday evening finishing around 11:45 p.m. We had a yummy breakfast of Grandpa’s specialty: French toast, Smokie sausages and fresh fruit and then resumed Episode III around 8:15 a.m. on Saturday. We finished Episode VI around 5:00 p.m. A couple of the grandsons never got out of their pj’s until it was time to take them home.

It was such a great education for Grandpa and me! Since Grandpa and I could only remember watching one of the movies before—maybe two, it was particularly fun to get the whole story in 24 hours. I would definitely like to watch them again—but not in 24 hours!

Boys are so fun!. Kent passed out Sith sticks regularly whenever the Sith had a critical part in the drama. They prepared us for key scenes and readily explained when we didn’t understand what or why something was happening. They anticipated favorite lines and then laughed en masse at them. It was hilarious—so great!

Two of the boys had not seen The Clone Wars movie. That was twelve year old Grif’s favorite movie because it had so many funny lines. Eight year old Hale liked Episode II – the part in the Geonosian Arena with the beast-like creatures. Ten year old David like the Ewoks wiping out the Imperial Stormtroopers in Episode VI and fourteen year old Kent’s favorite part was the fight between Obi-Wan Kenobi and General Grievous.

The saddest part of all to me was when Anikan helped Palpatine kill Mace Windu and then committed to the Dark Side. C3PO was probably my favorite character but then I also liked Padme and Yoda and then oh my, there are so many good ones! Jabba the Hutt was so disgusting! Okay, so I am just writing this because I am proud that I can remember and say these names. I had to have Mace Windu repeated at least seven times! The boys were so unbelievably patient!

I wish I could remember twelve year old Steven’s favorite part but I do know his favorite line was by Padme in answer to the question, “ Is this a diplomatic solution?” “ No, I call it an aggressive negotiation.”

My favorite line of the whole weekend was on Friday when Kent came in the door and saw the Sith Sticks and Yoda Soda and said, “Grandma, you are so much fun!” Maybe I should die now—it can’t get any better than that.