Friday, May 24, 2013

Planner Extraordinaires

I got to hand it to those ladies....each time they planned, they got better.

In May the church parking lot transformed into rows of simple small town fun and thrills. Big Idea #5 was quite impressive for a fundraiser.

Mom, Grace, and Jo cajoled the men (mostly Noah) into building booths. Within these booths were various games, items for sale, and eats.

Probably the best one was the dunking booth. I have to admit it was quite thrilling to watch a fully clothed, grown man go plummeting into a tank of water. Howling and laughing, the volunteer caused a ruckus and raised money for our church. The line was always long. But I never stood in it....

I liked the Duck Pond. While Ernie sang "Rubber Ducky", I could take my little net and scoop out a yellow, blue, or pink duck from the baby pool. A number was printed on the bottom. This number corresponded with a prize.

Such a nice and wonderful idea. You were always guaranteed to win. For someone who usually lost -- or felt like she usually lost -- this booth made my year. It was safe. And fun.

And guess whose idea this booth was? Grace's. Isn't that something?

But, she didn't run it. Oh, no. Those gals were way too smart for that. They pointed and directed while the men lifted and carried.

It was Grace's husband who manned the Duck Pond....

Saturday, May 18, 2013

A Worthy School Day

Super Kids Day......

I am impressed. A day spent entirely outside winning various contests and participating in challenging physical activities. Finally, a time set aside to test real strengths.

Ability. Agility. Wit. Fortitude. Leadership.

I excelled. I brought home several blue ribbons. Whenever I could force a boy to get a red ribbon, I felt particularly gratified.

At the end of the day, we got to show off our ribbons. I couldn't wait to display mine.

There was one dark spot. (Isn't there always?)

The stupid "Eat A Cracker, Don't Swallow, And Try To Whistle" game. Three years, I tried to win this task. For three years, I have failed.

Until it finally dawned on me.....I can't whistle. So, why would I be able to with dry saltines in my mouth?

For all remaining Super Kids Days, I bypassed this game with my nose in the air.

Friday, May 10, 2013

Twisting the Night Away

I am going to surprise and shock you.

The best times of my life weren't always driving go carts or big wheels. There was something else I liked to do just as much as playing kickball and dodge ball with Scotty and Kirk.

It's kind of girly.

I liked to dance. But not like a ballerina.

Like Annette Funicello. Or Anne Margaret. my parents.

All the parties at Jo and Noah's house usually turned in to a dancing party. We'd start out playing outside, then upstairs, then we'd try to play a game, end up screaming at each other, and saying, "Girls in Roxi's room, boys in Jack's room!"

It took about 5 minutes for us to make up. Usually about the time we heard the music of the Beach Boys or the Four Seasons blasting the speakers downstairs. We'd all go racing down to the den.

We'd take over the room and do our best versions of the twist, the jerk, the swim, and the jitterbug. Mom, Jo, and Grace would get out there with us. I would have to say that I learned to "shake it" from them. (As they read this, Mom and Grace are probably laughing hysterically, while Jo is saying, "Of course you did!")

We'd leave our troubles behind and celebrate life through that music. It is the music of my childhood, the music that takes me back.

And I'm convinced that Jack, Georgie, and Phillip are great dancers simply because we made them start at such an early age. (I am also convinced that they wanted to do the jitterbug....there was no forcing needed.)

Friday, May 3, 2013

A Realized Hero

The doctor's told my mom that after his seizures, Bill would never walk or talk.

They didn't count on his quiet, strong, and consistent determination.

It's probably a good thing Bill was too young to understand the experts thought he wouldn't grow like normal kids. The power of suggestion is so very strong. Most of the time we are battling our own ability to cope with our self-image and self-concept. We do have the power to affect how others see themselves, but only if we are giving them that power. Therefore, I am most grateful Bill was an infant when my parents received this news. Of course, he is so quietly stubborn, that I highly doubt he would've failed anyway.

It did take awhile. He wasn't crawling until he was two. (I think some of that was because he was either on my hip or my mother's.)

He didn't really talk until he was two. Even then, it was a funny language. But we figured it out:

1) Does (pronounced doughs) was girls. Mom would say, "Bill, go get the girls." He would call, "Does!"

2) Pisten was his word for Maria.

3) Chiyi was his word for Wendy.

4) Mama Doe was his word for me.

5) When he didn't like his food, he'd dump it in his milk. (Okay, that one was pretty easy to figure out.)

6) Every morning he had a fit with crying and all sorts of carrying on. We figured out his socks had to be perfectly straight.

7) When he was ready for a nap, he'd fall to the floor and start pushing his head around on the carpet.

8) His "Dukes of Hazzard" matchbox cars had to be in a perfectly straight line on his window sill.

9) Mom had to carry an extra set of these cars in her purse.

He was the cutest thing ever. He might've learned to speak clearer quicker if it hadn't been for us. We knew what he was trying to say and always translated for him. Therefore, he didn't always have the opportunity to work on it.

But he prevailed. And learned to talk. And learned to walk. And run. And kick a ball -- which would become very important.

After my dad, he is my hero. He overcame major difficulties with silent strength and a calm outlook. I'll always look up to him, my baby brother, Bill.