Archive for the ‘Family’ Tag

“Daddy’s Home” by George L. Fisher   8 comments

  

Daddy’s Home by George L. Fisher

In honor of Veterans Day, I give you a forth helping of George…. my great friend and school-mate (even though we graduated 9 years apart…LONG story!). I offered this guest post a few years ago and reprised it for Memorial Day in 2011. This is just TOO GOOD not to share…..AGAIN!
Indulge me friends and if you haven’t read this… you are in for a HUGE treat! If you have, you KNOW this second or third helping of George and his unique and colorful way of telling a story is ALWAYS worth the time to read and share!
 
Veterans Day is a PERFECT time to thank all of my friends and loved ones who have served…. All my GOLDEN BOOTS friends (you KNOW who you are!), My father the late John H. Todd for his service in the Army Air Corp, My uncle the late Richard Thompson who served in the Navy and Coast Guard (retired),  My brothers, Johnny W. Todd and James David Todd who both served in the US Navy (and David still serves as a DOD employee in Japan), my daughter’s father, Retired Commander Michael Gray McQuaig who retired after 28 years in service to the US Navy VP Community, and of course my friend LTC George Fisher who served GA Army National Guard- Iraq Vet! 
There are others too numerous to mention here but I want to honor their service to our country. A sincere “thank you” from this former Navy Wife…. I understand service all too well! I chose the title for this post “Daddy’s Home”.  I believe you will enjoy it as much as I did he recounts the story of his homecoming from Iraq a few years ago. Read, laugh, cry and enjoy!
  
George writes:
Veterans Day in two days, and I sit comfortably surrounded by everything near and dear to me–

I dare don’t take one morsel of it for granted—And memories come flooding back of how it is when you’re “away” and the one thing that matters most is HOME…

For all you VETERANS, and especially my 48th Friends 8000 miles away in harms way–I am thinking of you, your families, and heres hoping that all of you will have the homecoming that I was fortunate to have just a few years ago—–just hang on folks, youre almost there! We love and miss you all.
George
(The below from my journal—pardon the grammar, syntax, etc…)

….And so it was, on the 11th day of May, 2006, we watched the sunrise at 30,000 feet, and then began our descent over the greatest place I know—Georgia.

Coming in over Savannah, you could see the Savannah River going out into the Atlantic Ocean, and all the wetlands in between. We saw downtown Savannah, and the Riverfront, where we have consumed many adult beverages and negotiated the cobblestones. About the time we get a visual of the span of the Bridge leading into South Carolina, the flaps and landing gear come down. The movie on the video screen is the latest Harry Potter flick, and no one seems to mind that we do not get to see its end. Far as I can figure, Hocus Pocus Harry gets out of yet another death defying scrape with the monsters and will live to see puberty.

None of that matters now.

The plane, full of the buzz of conversation, now becomes eerily quiet. Anticipation has filled the cabin and has found its way into our larynxes, which have rendered us speechless. All we hear is the whining of the turbines of these four huge jet engines, the flaps adjusting, the leading edge slats, and the landing gear. The stewardesses have “prepared the cabin for landing” as instructed by the Pilot…..there is nothing left to do now but attempt to contain the million and one thoughts going on in our heads and listen for the squeal of tires hitting the tarmac.

We are now flying at 2000 feet I guess. Lower and lower, so you can see the types of cars on the road, the roof of the waffle House and Wal Mart, and even read the signs on the highway. Another slight turn and lower still, until we are aligned with the runway—it is deathly quiet. Lower….lower, nose up, engines whining…….We are all waiting for the same thing—

Touchdown!

The Cabin EXPLODES in cheers. Hugs, high fives, and Rebel Yells expound. Had I not known better one would have thought there to be an exorcism and a couple of castrations being performed back in tourist class.

If I had to use one word to describe the feeling when those wheels touched the ground: indescribable.

If I person had a window seat, their nose was pressed up to the plexiglass, and more times than not there were two faces sharing the glass with another two people looking at the backs of their heads attempting to peer thru what would become available.

When I finally got my chance to look out the window, we saw lots of flags and people waving —it struck me as strange because I thought all of that was going to happen at Ft. Stewart, which was still a 45 minute bus ride away—one of the first people I saw was Col David Young—he is just like family, and just seeing him put a lump in my throat—the first of many lumps on this day.

Everyone lined up to walk down the steps of the plane onto the tarmac—being greeted by Gen. Rodeheaver, Gen. Ross, and several others—Salutes and hugs continued, and if I had only one word to describe it all: indescribable.

We walked thru the receiving line and directly into a line where we turned in our weapons— FINALLY! I only carried a pistol, so I haven’t a leg to stand on when its time to complain, but man alive were we tired of carrying and keeping up with these things.

After turn in of the weapons, we went thru another receiving line of the local USO volunteers, waving flags and telling us welcome home—what a wonderful organization the USO is…and when I got to thinking about those wonderful folks coming out there to greet our troops, lump number 2 showed up.

Inside the building we were basically herded until we could make sure we had all our folks accounted for…It was during this that I decided I needed to shave—unlike the rest of the troops, I opted to check all of my bags and didn’t carry on anything I couldn’t cram in my pockets—consequently, I couldn’t get to my electric razor—when I asked around I found that one of the fellows had an extra, and shaving cream to boot—so I hurried off to the latrine and hacked away enough to get the stubble removed and two fresh cuts on my chin and neck—oh well.

As we prepared to load the busses, another good thing—we were pulled out of the formation and into an awaiting van—compliments of the boys on the advanced party—some small talk and an iced down cooler of drinks (Ok, it was beer)awaited us on the short ride back to Ft. Stewart—

My mind raced as I thought about Sue and the kids—I had called them only with minimal notice when we found out we would be flying sooner—they had planned on Saturday and here it was Thursday—Sue had very little time to do much more than throw the kids in the car and head south—I sure hoped they had made it ok—I had a lot of friends and family who I know would have been there had I mentioned it, but I had decided—at the risk of hurt feelings— that I wanted to see just “my crew”—the others would wait until I got back home—and with the hassles of getting on Ft Stewart and trying to find ones way around—it would have driven everyone else nuts—I was willing to make my crew go thru that but not the rest of them—

We got to Ft. Stewart a few minutes before the busses did, and parked on the side of the parade field where all the troops assembled—across the field we could look thru the bushes and see all the families, the dignitaries—the streamers, the flags, the band playing—it was a sea of red white and blue, and if I had to use one word to describe it all: indescribable.

A few minutes later the busses begin to arrive, and they all start blowing the horns—the band is playing, and the bleachers and all its surrounding area have all gone berserk—We are a good football field away and it is a sight to behold—the Busses drive around the perimeter of the Parade field and unload all the rest of our troops—We are very quickly mustered into a formation—we are lined up, with LTC Jeff Edge as the formation leader—we are marched onto the field, attempting to stay in step, abreast of each other, dressed right and covered down, etc. We are all hollering at each other trying to keep each other in step—which is like the Keystone Cops—it was a riot—

Maj Marshall Rich ends up being the base and pivot man in our gaggle—somehow in the chaos, as we swing around the trees that border the Parade field we amble out into full view of the bleachers and all those families—the screams we heard earlier pale in comparison to what we hear now—Divine intervention ensues and we all step as one—the left foot down on the heavy beat of the drum—automatically heads up, chests out, and how in the WORLD did I end up in the front rank?!?

It all is happening in a whirlwind, and we close in on the crowd…

I scan as fast as my eyes looking for my crew…Last time I saw jumping and screaming like this was at a Hank Jr concert…but this was entirely different….this had all the characteristics of one of those defining moments in a persons life—one of those images one takes to ones grave…..I look as hard as I know how from underneath my cap, pulled down to keep the glare out of my eyes— starting from left, then the right—I see a tall brown headed lady jumping up and down with a sign screaming her head off—next to her is a young man in a red white and blue shirt who is in dire need of a haircut—a little blonde headed girl stands a few feet from them—behind them I see my wife Susan—I see her, and a split second later realize the tall brown haired lady is my 16 yr old daughter Amanda, and the young man in dire need of a Barber is none other than mans best friend Joe, my 14 yr old bass master—Lyndsay, the third and youngest of my crew, seems to have grown a foot and completes this vision as my eyes brim with tears—

Amazingly, I have spotted these 4 needles in the haystack—-I was in the middle of a defining moment—I knew it was a defining moment because at the same moment I spotted all of them, lump number 3, the biggest one of all, rose up from my heart to my throat. It made my ears ring, and my heart pound. Adrenaline pumped thru me to the point I know I could have bounced bullets off my chest. I thought I was about to bust.

Being in formation, all I could manage to do, though, was grin—an ear to ear one, and one a mortician couldn’t remove. It was like my face was smiling, laughing and crying at the same time. I knew everyone else’s face was doing the same thing so there was no need to worry about it.

Everything is a blur—that’s what happens when one is on cloud nine——Jeff saluted and officially reported to Gen Ross— Then the National Anthem was played while everyone paid their respects.

Gen. Ross made a very short welcome home speech. It may have been a minute long—he KNEW it didn’t need to be any longer…

Then something strange happened….

What was supposed to happen—After Gen Ross’ comments, the Army song was to be played, THEN the families would be cut loose to greet their loved ones. This was to happen AFTER the playing of the ARMY SONG. The Families had been told this and I believe we were told the same thing—but like I said, it was all a blur…

What ACTUALLY happened—After General Ross’ brief comments, he mentioned that his remarks were concluded— At the precise moment he said “That’s all I have…”

These three kids— all of whom belong to me—BOLTED from the confines of the throng of families and distinguished guests, as if they had been shot out of a cannon.

(It is important to note that no one else in this entire huge crowd had budged—nary a one, save for three redneck kids from Macon)

In a flash I could see all three—eyes wide open, with grins on their faces as big as mine—hauling ass toward me—Joe, followed by Lyndsay, followed by Amanda…I attempted to wave them off but in that fraction of a second I had to decide what was more important—wave them off or prepare for the impending train wreck. Their combined weight exceeded mine by about a hundred pounds and had I not braced myself accordingly, I may have been a combat casualty right there on the Parade field.

I heard someone in the rank behind me say “Here they come” and that’s when I got it full blast—-WHUMP….WHUMP……WHUMP….as each of those redneck Fisher kids plowed into me-Joe having launched himself in the air a good eight feet prior….

I had my arms full of Fisher kids, and all we could do was cry..

I may have even told them to go back into the stands until the damn Army song was finished..IT was all a blur and If I had only one word to describe it:
Indescribable.

A few moments into what I think is the bestest group hug of all time, I realize I can’t see much because of Amanda’s hair all over the place—She is crying, and I have her head against my shoulder, and I can only feel Joes head and ball cap under my armpit—I open my eyes and see a few pairs of shoes, and for the first time I speak—

“Where’s Winnie?”
I couldn’t feel or find her in the scrum—as I am looking down I see this little body and blonde head backing into the entanglement shoving herself thru an opening, tilting her head back and yelling “I’m Right Here!!”

Long Story a tad longer—The Photographers and News people saw my little Rednecks break ranks and followed suit, the end result which was having my defining moment captured in pictures and our pictures on the front pages of several newspapers—one of which was the Moultrie Observer—my Grandfathers hometown (and his favorite) newspaper.

The family and I all drove home, where the neighbors had hung a “WELCOME HOME GEORGE” banner across the front porch and the front yard was festooned with 145 American Flags—my cup runneth over some more.

The next afternoon I was lying on my back deck in the hammock looking at the bluest sky I ever saw, contrasted by the wonderful green grass and trees of Middle Georgia. This was unreal. I must have died and went to heaven—-and If I only had one word to describe how it felt: Indescribable.

I glanced down at my watch and noticed I still had it set 9 hours ahead—Iraqi time.

I pulled the stem out and reset my watch. In the background I could hear Sue knocking around in the kitchen preparing supper. I felt my eyelids getting heavy and drifted off to sleep.

I was home.

**********UPDATE: View George’s photo on the following MSN link (pic #13) WOO HOO!!!!

http://now.msn.com/this-veterans-day-say-thanks-to-military-families

Other related articles: http://www.qando.net/?p=8599 (this is hearbreaking of a young woman grieving at her boyfriend/ husband’s grave. please view!

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It’s been 25 years today….Mom, I still miss you!   9 comments

 

Admittedly my blog has been sorely neglected lately! There are many reasons for this but only one good reason to resume writing. This would be that perhaps I could help just one person get through a tough time by reading my words…then it has served it’s purpose!

It has now been 28 years since my Mom passed away… It is so hard to believe that it could actually have been that many years since that Saturday in 1986. Here is my original  blog post that was dated May 2011. I feel for anyone who has experienced a similar loss or is going through it right now. The Sunday after my Mother’s funeral was Mother’s Day and continues to be a difficult time every year. I wish I could tell you the pain subsides. You just learn to lean on the Lord a little more each year…

 

It was a beautiful, sunny Saturday morning. Perfect really. The weather was glorious. Clear and crisp with birds chirping and butterflies flitting around. The sound of grass being mowed filled the distance. Flowers bloomed and lawn sprinklers hissed. May is such a pretty month in Tennessee. Then the phone rang. I didn’t want to answer it. I knew who it was. As I answered it, the person on the other end said in a very upbeat tone “I just wanted you to know that Mrs. Todd just left us”. I said “Thank you for calling”.

Mom was 63 and I was 30. She was gone too early and I wondered what I would do without my Mother! I even asked her about 2 weeks before she left. It was a selfish thing for me to say to my dying parent. She could not have known the impact that her words would have on me and do to this very day…..

Through my tears my question to her was “Mom, what am I suppose to do without my Mother for the rest of my life? I’m thirty years old!”  She replied in a still small voice but with strength unimaginable “I don’t know darling, but I know the Lord will help you through it”……And He has! Unbelievable that it has been 25 years on May 3rd. Unbelievable that my daughter was only 5 years old then and a pre-schooler. She is now a grown woman and a Mommy herself. Unbelievable that somehow, someway I have been able to navigate the past 25 years “without” her! She was after all  my best friend and my Mother. By far the hardest thing I have ever gone through in my life was watching the slow deterioration of her body as Ovarian Cancer stole her from us and the eventual loss of her everyday presence in my life. But even so….her spirit lives on in me. It was about 8 months later when I found myself at a cross-roads regarding my decision to return to college or not. I was 31 by then and a single Mom of a beautiful 5-year-old daughter… and in my deepest time of need I cried out to my Mom. I had made a commitment to return to College to finish the degree I had started 12 years prior! I was panic-stricken as I thought about what was ahead of me…. I said out loud (as if she could hear me) “Mother, what HAVE I gotten myself into????”. That’s when it happened. A warm peaceful feeling blanketed my body from head to toe, a comfort like I know I had when she covered me as a child in my crib… and her “voice” came into my head saying “You can do anything you put your mind to!” I don’t know if it was her spirit speaking to me or just my recollection of the MILLION times that she had said that to me in my lifetime, either way it was all I needed to push me through that moment of doubt. I will quickly tell you that I took those eternal words of advice from my Momma and proceeded to excel beyond my own belief. I finished 4 years of college in 2 and 1/2 years, graduating Cum Laude with a 4.0 GPA in my major course of study at age 33 as a single mother! I’m not boasting, I’m just saying that if you think we as Moms don’t have an everlasting effect on our children….even after we are “gone”…think again! Mother’s Day is a tough day for me… and next Sunday represents 26 such holidays without her. I still miss her so…

I dedicate my blog to my Mother and all that she has meant to me during her life and everyday for the past 25 years! I thank her for all the inspiration that she brought to my life and appreciate the way that she prepared me to be the best Mom and Grandmother (“Gigi”) that I could possibly be. After all it isn’t so much what we TELL our children to do…as it is what we SHOW them. This is written by a grateful daughter…. I love you Mom.

A few years ago someone sent me this poem in an email:

This is a truly BEAUTIFUL piece. Please
read this at a slow pace, digesting every word and in
leisure…do not hurry….this is a treasure…
For those lucky to still be blessed with your Mom,
this is beautiful. For those of us who aren’t, this is
even more beautiful. For those who are moms, you’ll love this.

MOTHER

The young mother set her foot on the path of life. “Is
this the long way?” she asked. And the guide said:  “Yes, and the way is hard.
And you will be old before you reach the end of it.. But
the end  will be better than the beginning.”

But the young mother was happy, and she would not
believe that anything could be better than these years. So she
played with her children, and gathered flowers for
them along the way, and bathed them in the clear streams; and
the sun shone on them, and the young Mother cried,
“Nothing will ever be lovelier than this.”

Then the night came, and the storm, and the path was
dark, and the children shook with fear and cold, and the mother
drew them close and covered them with her mantle, and the children said,
“Mother, we are not afraid, for you are near, and no harm can come.”

And the morning came, and there was a hill ahead, and
the children climbed and grew weary, and the mother was weary.
But at all times she said to the children,” A little  patience and we are there.”
So the children climbed, and when they reached the top
they said, “Mother, we would not have done it without you.”

And the mother, when she lay down at night looked up
at the stars and said, “This is a better day than the last, for my
children have learned fortitude in the face of hardness. Yesterday I gave them courage.
Today, I’ve given them strength.”

And the next day came strange clouds which darkened
the earth, clouds of war and hate and evil, and the children groped
and stumbled, and the mother said: “Look up. Lift your eyes to the light.
” And the children looked and saw above the clouds
an everlasting glory, and it guided them beyond the
darkness. And that night the Mother said,
“This is the best day of all, for
I have shown my children God.”

And the days went on, and the weeks and the months and
the years, and the mother grew old and she was little and bent.
But her children were tall and strong, and walked with
courage.  And when the way was rough, they lifted her,
for she was as light as a feather; and at last they came to a hill,
and beyond they could see a shining road and golden gates flung wide. And
mother said, “I have reached the end of my journey. And now I know the end
is better than the beginning, for my children can
walk alone, and their children after them.”

And the children said, “You will always walk with us,
Mother, even when you have gone through the gates.”
And they stood and watched her as she went on alone, and the gates
closed after her.  And they said: “We cannot see her
but she is with us still. A Mother like ours is more than a memory.  She is a living presence…….”

Your Mother is always with you…. She’s the whisper
of the leaves as you walk down the street; she’s the smell of bleach
in your freshly laundered socks; she’s the cool hand
on your brow when you’re not well. Your Mother lives
inside your laughter. And she’s crystallized in every tear drop.
She’s the place you came from, your first home; and
she’s the map you follow with every step you take. She’s your first love
and your first heartbreak, and nothing on earth can
separate you.

                                  Not time, not space… not even death!

                                  

                    My beloved Mom….Marjorie Holderfield Todd

                        November 21, 1921 – May 3, 1986

…And I Think To Myself…What a Wonderful World!   1 comment

http://www.youtube.com/embed/auSo1MyWf8g?rel=0

Do yourself a BIG favor and spend 2 minutes to view this video! You will thank me!

What A Wonderful World With David Attenborough

About a year ago I received a BBC video link from a great friend. The title of the email was “AMAZING VIDEO”. I’m embarrassed to say I didn’t view it at that time. It wasn’t until a few days ago that I was clearing out old emails that I have long since needed to delete that I came across this video. It is without a doubt one of the most touching and AMAZING videos I have ever seen! It is set to the music “What A Wonderful World” but actually the lyrics are read not sung by Sir David Attenborough. This song is one of the most beloved songs of all times. Maybe not of this generation, but certainly of mine and my parents before me. Gen X may not know who Louis Armstrong is because he was almost sixty-seven years old in 1968 – the OLDEST male to top the charts in the UK that year! As a matter of fact the sources I read said that his song “What a wonderful world” was the biggest selling single of 1968 in the United Kingdom. Having been only 13 years old in 1968, I do remember vividly the state of unsettled race relations that our country was experiencing at the time. Martin Luther King was assassinated in the city where I call home currently (Memphis) and the ensuing riots that followed. I remember the unsettling feeling that I had but at that young age could not actually put my finger on why all the chaos was all around me. I have read that this song was made as an antidote for these racially and politically charged times of 1968 America.

What a Wonderful World

What a Wonderful World is a song by Bob Thiele (using the pseudonym George Douglas) and George David Weiss. This song was written specifically for Armstrong who possessed great cross-over appeal. It was first recorded by Louis Armstrong and released as a single in 1968, and was inducted in the Grammy Hall of Fame in 1999. The song details the singer’s delight in the simple enjoyment of everyday life. The song also has a hopeful, optimistic tone with regard to the future. No one knew at the time just how long it would be before the race relations would get on an even keel. Even Louis Armstrong could not have predicted that perhaps.

louis-armstrong_vert-1a1812a376781c8408d555cc869b0a40263a9b28-s6-c30Bio info:Louis Armstrong  (August 4, 1901 – July 6, 1971), nicknamed Satchmo or Pops, was an American jazz trumpeter and singer from New Orleans, Louisiana.

To view his original version on YouTube, click the link below:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E2VCwBzGdPM

Pingback:

http://saraleesimpson.wordpress.com/2012/02/11/song-case-study-louis-armstrong-what-a-wonderful-world/

Information from:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Louis_Armstrong#Armstrong_and_race

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/What_a_Wonderful_World

http://www.bbc.co.uk/1xtra/bhm05/years/1968.shtml

Lyrics to: “What A Wonderful World”

I see trees of green,
red roses too.
I see them bloom,
for me and you.
And I think to myself,
what a wonderful world.I see skies of blue,
And clouds of white.
The bright blessed day,
The dark sacred night.
And I think to myself,
What a wonderful world.The colors of the rainbow,
So pretty in the sky.
Are also on the faces,
Of people going by,
I see friends shaking hands.
Saying, “How do you do?”
They’re really saying,
“I love you”.

I hear babies cry,
I watch them grow,
They’ll learn much more,
Than I’ll ever know.
And I think to myself,
What a wonderful world.

Yes, I think to myself,
What a wonderful world.

Oh yeah.

http://www.azlyrics.com/lyrics/louisarmstrong/whatawonderfulworld.html

Where were you on 9-11-2001? Ten years in retrospect.   7 comments

Two years have come and gone since I first posted this article. I have a deep feeling of sadness today on this anniversary and wish to honor the memory of those who died on that tragic September morning now 12 years ago. God will find a way to use each life lost as a testimony. Long live their memories and legacies.

There is so little left unsaid regarding the tragic events of 9-11-01… But I feel that my heart still weeps and wants to be heard. As I watch this video that is a daughter’s tribute to her father lost on that day, I cry for her and for the times of her life that he missed. It is touching and sweet. I too lost my father this year and can certainly identify with a daughter’s pain and the immense loss (https://dsgnmomonline.wordpress.com/2011/02/21/holding-daddys-hand-forever/). But this loss was so diverse… so widespread. It was personal for so many yet so public. The morning of September 11. 2001 I lived in Northern California and woke abruptly as if someone was shaking me…but I was alone. My mind said “turn on the TV!” Almost like a scream in my head. I couldn’t believe my eyes. I watched as the second tower imploded. It was as if I was watching a movie instead of a live feed on the morning news! I was paralyzed with grief… for the people involved, for our brave firefighters and police and really for our country. Was this deliberate? What was next? Who would be the next target? I quickly called my daughter who was in college in San Diego. Admittedly she let the phone ring many times before she answered it…. she knew it was just “Mother”…. what now Mom? She said I “always” called. That morning was different. I told her quickly “turn on the news”…. She was a horrified as I was to see what was unfolding. In retrospect… I’m sure there are many 20 year olds that wish their parents could have called them that morning! We share a deep bond regarding the events of that day and talk about how it changed us.

I walked around in a daze for days. Unable to put the events into anything that I could get my head around. So senseless. So tragic. I was left with a feeling of helplessness like I am sure so many fellow Americans were. And ten years later I really am not sure I have yet come to grips with the enormity of it all. I still cry when I see the images and the touching tributes. Just last night I watched the movie “Remember Me” and wept. Please take time to watch this movie… then go and hug your kids and tell them you love them! We have today…and tomorrow is not promised. If the events of September 11, 2001 taught us anything… it taught us that one fact!

Ginger and Bailey   Leave a comment

 

               Ginger & Bailey

♥You know how people talk all the time about the difference between men and women? Well I witnessed this truth with such clarity once that I just HAD to write about it! About twelve years ago our then new Golden Retriever puppies were just learning how to jump in the pool, fetch the floating pool toy and “retrieve” it to the side of the pool where we were eagerly waiting with a treat and a “good boy” or “good girl” congratulatory comment. I should also tell you that these puppies were litter mates… This is what happens when you go puppy shopping too soon after losing a special family pet!

Ginger was very bright and graceful….and a girl.

Bailey was not the sharpest crayon in the box, somewhat of a clod….and a boy.

We loved then both very much of course but they were as different as day and night! One afternoon as we watched them jump in to retrieve the toy in the pool… you could almost see the light bulb come on in Ginger’s head. As her brother jumped (like a little boy would “cannonball”) into the pool from the side, she carefully watched the trajectory of the toy, anticipating the possible final resting place of the object then quickly calculated the quickest most direct place to run around to, jumped in there, grabbed the toy in her mouth and made it half way back to the side before Bailey made it over to her! They would then join up together and share the duty of bring that toy home. Ginger knew all the while that it was her prize but was happy to share the spotlight with her brother. If that doesn’t ring some bells for the girls out there….then I’m not sure will.

Maybe I am over thinking this scenario too much (over thinking by definition I suppose) but it occurred to me that we humans are much like those litter mates. Often the guy will just barrel through life. Jumping in and out of the water (relationships, marriages, friendships, jobs, etc) without thinking about the possible outcome…. all the while flailing around until some female comes to his rescue then lets him take the credit for the work! Women (it would seem to me) are much more thoughtful before they jump…. looking at “where is this going” scenarios and then plotting the best course of action… or deciding not to jump at all. We women are also FAR too quick to give up the credit for success….but that is just how we are made I suppose!

I know that there are exceptions to this “rule” but by-in-large,  in my life, this has been the case. I guess it just took two adorable Golden Retriever puppies to help me see it! Ginger has crossed the Rainbow Bridge and Bailey is in failing health and is not far behind his sweet sister. We love you Ginger and Bailey… thank you for all the years of devotion to our family. You are and will be missed but your memories live on in our hearts….

Deutsch: Golden Retriever Welpe

Deutsch: Golden Retriever Welpe (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

“Attitude”… No! “At-TWO-tude”   3 comments

 

“Attitude”… No! “At-TWO-tude”

On living with a two-year-old…. “Gee Gee…. dolly, wankie, piggie!” she said this morning. “Okay Marissa, you carry them downstairs and I will carry you” I replied. “No Gee Gee!” as she layed on the floor in defiance. I stood at the top of the stairs waiting for Marissa to comply with my request. And I waited! And I waited! Then the threats started… “One….Two….Three” (to which she replied “four”. Then I said “Do you want to go to timeout?”…. That was the only thing that seemed to have any influence on her….. At-TWO-tude I tell you!

Funny how time heals the jagged memories of such things. About 29 years ago I had a two-year-old. My now 31 year old daughter has my two and a half year old granddaughter. I will admit that being a grandmother is very different than I thought it would be… in a good way. I have this amazing connection to her and now “get” the whole “GRAND”child thing that all my friends would talk about- make that RAVE about. I suppose the independence that she is showing which creates this whole “at-TWO-tude” should be celebrated. It means that she is thinking for herself and trying to make some of the little life decisions.  I will celebrate that and remind myself that they grow up far too soon and the “at-TWO-tude” that she displays today will quickly get better as she learns to navigate this life… And I will be helping her to pack for college next week, or so it will seem!

12 answers for the question “What can I do for free with my kids this weekend?”   2 comments

What can you do for free with your kids this weekend?

  

Now that Fall is here you might be looking for a way to spend some quaility time with the kiddos… but since it’s the end of the month (and the month ALWAYS seems to last longer than the money) I thought you might enjoy knowing about some free things to do together! 

 

1. Build something with your kid!

This Saturday (9/24) take the kids to Lowe’s! No they aren’t paying me to say this…. 😉  They are offering a free “Build and Grow” workshop where your kids can build a firetruck! All supplies are free and kids get an apron, goggles and a completion patch at the end of the workshop… only catch… you have to register! So go HERE and get them on the list for this fabulous free even! 

 

https://www.lowesbuildandgrow.com/

(If you miss this week… check the schedule at your local store! They offer these free events almost every month! Other home centers do as well….) 

 

2. Take a walk!

 

A walk is free and priceless at the same time. It is a perfect time to walk and pick up beautiful leaves which could open up all types of topics. You might ask (unless they ask first) “How do the leaves turn all these colors?” or “Can you name the colors you see?” My daughter used to love to collect leaves in the fall and we would press them between wax paper to preserve them. She is 30 now and I swear I believe I STILL have some of those leaves!

 

3. Teach your kids to use a camera!

 

 I recently heard of an idea where your child is asked to find something to photograph that begins with the letter A, B … and so on. If this idea initiates a conversation then I say give it a try. Otherwise, with todays digital technology… they might just like to go out and  take pictures of things that they like. Again you might be amazed at what they find interesting and you might just have a budding photographer on your hands!

 

4. Let’s have a cooking lesson!

 

Photo Credit: http://cooking724.wordpress.com/2010/07/12/kids-cooking/

Pick one fall treat that you enjoyed as a kid (mine is homemade popcorn balls….yummy) and teach your kids to make it. Or let them suggest something that they want to learn how to make. You may be surprised at how creative they can be! 

 

5. Involve them in your football watching!

Whether it be your favorite college team on Saturday or your NFL Fav on Sunday… let the little ones get involved too! This is a great time to answer questions about sportsmanship and how to be a team player.  Please remember to be patient and watch the explatives … they are little carbon copies of you!

 

6. Teach them one thing that you learned from your Grandparent!

Photo Credit: http://www.lilsugar.com/Family-Ties-What-Call-Grandparents-1134034

In my most recent blog post I wrote about my Grandmama Bessie (https://dsgnmomonline.wordpress.com/2011/09/20/on-being-a-mother-and-even-better-a-grandmother/). She taught me some amazing “lost arts” like sewing and cooking. What type of things did you Grandparents teach you? How to whittle? Make a bird house? Master the yo-yo? 

 

7. If you blog, ask each of them to write a guest post

 If  they aren’t old enough ask them to draw a picture which you can feature on your “guest blogger’s” day! This will bring them such joy to be “published” and who knows what budding writers we have hidden in our own families!

 

8. Storytime at your local bookstore!

 

Check out the scheduled free storytimes at your local bookstore. Doesn’t cost a thing and they may just fall in love with reading!

 

9. Check your local museums for their “free” day!

We are so fortunate in Memphis to have an array of fabulous Museums available and many of them have free or greatly reduced days for kids! So while you may not have the Cotton Museum (shown above), the Civil Rights Museum or even the home of Elvis in your city… There are wonderful museums everywhere just waiting for you and the kids to explore! *Ask them about a yearly family pass to save money all year long.

 

10. Google your city then go explore a site that you have not visited yet!

http://www.memphisloveskids.com/

 

Find out what untapped resources you have in your city. In Memphis we have trolleys to ride and Beale Street to see. Do some digging on the computer and see what your city has that could be fun for a free fall afternoon!

 

11. Farmer’s Market exploration!

Photo Credit: http://www.sheknows.com/parenting/articles/836245/things-your-kids-can-learn-at-the-farmers-market

The Farmer’s Market is a wonderful place to share your knowledge of different types of fruits and veggies. How many vegetables can they find? Make a game of trying to fill in the blank A-Z. Then let them pick one vegetable that looks interesting to them that they have never tried. Who knows, maybe their involvement will make them more interesting in eating it.

 

12. Check out your local “Kids eat FREE or CHEAP” for Saturday and Sunday

In Memphis the following restaurants offer cool deals for kids and parents on weekends!

Texas Roadhouse, Piccadilly Cafeteria, Firehouse Subs… just to make a few! Check out your local area online to see what you are missing!

 

 

 

 

 

Please remember that the meaningful conversations… the ones that lead to stories and lessons of life… often come from the small quiet times that we spend with our kids one-on-one! Doesn’t have to be an elaborate day out or an expensive event… just you and them sharing life and making lasting memories! 

 

Related Articles:

http://www.shesaved.com/2011/09/free-lowes-fire-truck-workshop-for-kids-this-weekend.html

http://www.techlicious.com/guide/the-most-and-least-reliable-digital-camera-brands/

http://www.myrecipes.com/kids/cooking-with-kids-recipes-and-ideas-10000001814441/

http://cooking724.wordpress.com/2010/07/12/kids-cooking/

http://www.sheknows.com/parenting/articles/836245/things-your-kids-can-learn-at-the-farmers-market

http://kidsblogs.nationalgeographic.com/greenscene/2009/11/raking-and-composting-leaves.html