Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Thirteen! Totally Fun!

It was great to spend a "Grandma Day" with Grif!

He rated our movie from last night, Monsters vs. Aliens
as a B-. “Some funny parts but too silly.“

He looks like he is being spoiled but a 13th birthday is a big deal!

Legoland got a 3 out of 4. “Geared for younger kids but still really fun to see the Lego creations.” We were particularly impressed with the Chicago room.

The taller one is Grif. The shorter one is Harry Potter.

Hmm? Can Grandma resist this expression?

Other favorites?
Restaurant: On the Border
Snack: Razzmatazz smoothie

He is quite pleased and I am impressed with how well his black and gold duffle bag turned out that he made in Home Economics at school.

Today in the car going to Legoland, I told Grif to put his cell phone number in my address book. He was glad to oblige. While filling in the information, he asked, “Can I put in a title?”

“Of course,” I responded.

I chuckled a bit later when I saw that his name comes up, “The Genius, Grif . . .”

“Grif, did I ever tell you that when I was around eleven years old, I used to sometimes sign my name, B.B. for Brainy Brenda? I have a letter that I wrote at that time to my brother-in-law (before he was my BIL) signed that way.”

Grif responded, “That is hilarious!”

I agree!

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Sister Sleepover

At sister Donna’s house, Lou and I helped paint her entryway as recorded on her blog,

Stopped by Scipio Cemetery to see this landmark,

Went to the farm,

Visited with four cousins,

  • Barb at Applebees
  • Pat at the farm
  • Betti at Fairlawn Haven
  • Carol at The Home Restaurant

And wished Aunt Mable a very Happy Birthday—her 101st!

Happy days!

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Home is where you grew up

Alright, I know, it has been over the top as to how many pictures I am posting lately! My apologies but that is the beauty of blogging. You don’t have to look and I won’t even know. I took too many photos and I have much less ability to discard than I like to believe. I am sure to recover from this sentimental journey soon—I hope.

My two sisters and I and cousin, Pat, toured the farm house again when we went to watch the Barn Downing. (Is that the opposite of Barn Raising?)

The kitchen reminds me of Mother.

The family room where I watched American Bandstand on our black and white TV before Mom got home.

This house had so many neat cubbies and attics.

The view from my bedroom window of the lane and the bridge but across the road, I saw the reservoir, not that large Sauder’s building.

The walls were pretty thin so
I could sit here in the stairway . . .

And listen to these two sitting on a couch backing up to it. I learned I could hear just as clearly with my ear—I did not need a glass to magnify the sound. (That is my sister, Lou—6 ½ years my senior with her newly engaged fiancĂ©, Roger.)

The pump from the well that used to be in the front yard before we got town water.

The apple tree that I used to climb.

The pussy willow planted from a few stems given to me during my first year of teaching 2nd grade at Wauseon Elm Street. Dad tried so many times to cut this down but it just kept coming back. Even a few years ago, I brought some back with me to decorate our entryway.

Dad got up on a ladder and cut these pussy willows down with a chain saw. He was 85 years old. I told him that I probably should not keep them because when David’s friends did something very dangerous just to bring him a cup of water, he poured it out. ( 2 Samuel 23: 15-17, also in 1 Chronicles 11:17-19) Dad chuckled and I brought them home.

Enough! Enough!

Friday, March 27, 2009

A Giant Comes Down

My first emotional response was sadness. Not that the barn was going down so much; it was happening so fast. I know that it needs to occur.

I think it is just another stage in the process of grieving Dad. Dad was once a strong man and then he got old and weak. It is just sobering to think how life is so temporal. Like men, strong, good, useful barns get old.

I am also reminded that something that takes a long time to build and such care is poured into, can come down so quickly. It is not a new lesson—just something that we never get used to in life.

Dad was a good dad and he loved his barn. We have many good memories of living and enjoying the farm, but all of our barn memories are tied to Dad.

It was easier emotionally when we started examining the project and observing how it was happening. The siding is all coming down very quickly.

Just four friendly men and this one machine are doing all of the work.

The work goes fast at this point. During the short time that we watched much was accomplished. Here is the north side.

The men are going to put the sign in the little garage for us to keep but I don’t know who will want it. My first hubby, Dale, painted it and we gave it to Dad as a Christmas gift in 1979.

I asked the men working if they were afraid to walk in the barn for fear that it would fall on them. They said that the barn was solid and would not be dangerous for a few more days. They chuckled when I said, “Really? We have been afraid to walk in the barn for over a year!”

I asked how old they thought the barn was. They did not know for sure but showed us a carving on the wall—J.R. 1922. Dad bought the farm in 1954 at an auction from Rufenachts so we will need to ask that family if they know who J.R. would have been.

By Tuesday or Wednesday, the roof will come down. The workers will get as much of the roof as possible with the fork and then take two large beams. Everything will fall to the center of the barn. If any of you are near the Archbold, Ohio area, I think that would be interesting to see. Perhaps the workers enjoyed an audience or were sympathetic to the feelings we had about seeing the barn come down. They told us we were welcome to come out whenever we wanted. The process of sorting and cleaning will take probably two weeks. That is the slow grunt work.

Here are a few more pictures.

Good-by barn.

Here are some other old blog posts about the farm and Dad written in the past year.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Double the Pleasure

My joy is a reason to dig out the old toys.

Their joy is a different home, park and toys to explore.

My joy is hearing:
  • laughter on the swing

  • the zoom noise only a child can imitate with a car on the old racetrack

  • counting with a few numbers missing

  • their sweet little conversations

Their joy is:

  • making a racetrack

  • playing hide and seek

  • fresh strawberries

  • being pushed really high on a swing

  • sliding down a slide
  • fresh popcorn

  • returning a ping pong ball

  • and playing GI Jos

My joy is to know their joy.

Don't you see that children are God's best gift?
Psalm 127:3 [The Message]

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Spring Break from what?

With a few friends, we went to Phoenix to see some sunshine. Not wanting to waste a minute, we covered quite a bit of territory from Friday afternoon to Sunday afternoon. When we returned home, we needed a rest from our spring break. Here are a few highlights.

Spring Training Games at Camelback Ranch —Sox vs Giants on Friday and Sox vs Cubs on Saturday. Not all of us liked the outcomes of the games but some did and treated the losers at dinner on Saturday to some fine wine.

Pinnacle Peak Steakhouse where ties are not allowed and are snipped off and mounted with business cards.

Scottsdale Arts Festival 2009 with 200 jury-selected artists in a beautiful setting of fountains and flowers.

Tim studied and marked the Triple A book for a fine restaurant. Rancho Pino met all expectations and we sat and enjoyed exquisite delicious food, beautifully presented, at a round table which was the real reason for choosing RP above some other choices.

We kept driving by large white peaked tents and were curious so attended and enjoyed an artsy Cavalia Horse Show.

Probably our favorite event was the Chihuly Exhibit at Desert Botanical Garden. It was incredible and worth the trip especially in the gorgeous setting of flowering cacti.

We were pleasantly surprised by all of the birds and butterflies as well and especially enjoyed seeing many hummingbirds.

Jim needed some Jack in the Box comfort food to soothe his injured spirit after two WS losses so we grudgingly agreed to a quick bite to end our Phoenix experience. Because, what are friends for?