Category Archives: camera

Tackling Life Through Film

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Life is gritty,  it is messy  and mistakes happen often.  There are no

‘easy’ paths to take nor do you expect things to always fall into place

in the real world. The film, “Boyhood,” which tackles reality of life in

relationships and many dimensions of everyday families has been

well received. You may have heard that Richard Linklater wrote and

directed this original screenplay.  Instead of using different actors to

portray time passing and people aging, he used the unique process of

gathering all the same people together to make this film, year after

year.  It took twelve years to make, “Boyhood.”

 

The beginning of each school year is carefully documented with

the different locations the family has moved to, along with the

ever changing wide variety of characters in each segment.

 

Two children who share the story’s childhood are played by his

daughter, Lorelei Linklater and newcomer, Ellar Coltrane. The

reoccurring character roles for a period of twelve years. You see

Lorelei acting like Britney Spears in her famous song, “I’m Not

That Innocent.” The adults who portray their parents are played

by Ethan Hawke and Patricia Arquette. This endearing movie just

may possibly win the 87th Academy Award’s “Best Picture of

the Year.”

 

Here are some of the themes displayed in this ground-breaking

film:

Love

Marriage

Children

Divorce

Family

Bullying

Finding your passion

Elementary School dynamics

Moving to other homes/schools

High School dynamics

College education

Photography

Empty Nest

Religion

Music

Art

 

Relationships

Connections

Forgiveness

 

When my good friend, Gary, who writes for a living on the staff

of the “Columbus Dispatch” asked me to let him know what I

thought about the movie, “Boyhood,” I may have responded a

little bit late at night. I wrote him a rather long text about my

feelings about the movie. Overall, I told him, along with my

youngest daughter and my brother, Rich, I would give this a

three * * * rating out of four * * * *.

 

There are very interesting aspects to this movie, one is how

the mother really tries to help her children lead a successful

life, while still making poor relationship/marriage choices.

Oh boy. This is actually my story being played on the Big

Screen.

The first husband ends up the ‘best of the lot.’ There are times

you feel he is really ‘on the ball,’ showing he cares by being very

articulate and expressing how much he wants to know his two

children, son and daughter’s thoughts. He engages in a serious

sexual conversation, which did not embarassess me at all. It

was so reminiscent of both my parents it startled me. This is

quite disconcerting, since we are open-minded and say just

about anything, my brothers and both my parents, when my

Dad was alive. My Mom is still a ‘hoot’ because she is about

the most modern woman I know, except possibly Betty White,

who also is above 80 years old. She just turned 90, right?

 

The sad element of the story is mentioned in my one word

use of “Bullying” in the list of different reoccurring themes in

the movie. Poor Mason, never seems ‘to catch a break.’ His Dad

cares about him, but gets preoccupied with his musical career.

Ethan Hawke does an excellent job singing, having also written

some of the songs they all sing in the movie.  He is used as a

scapegoat by his mother’s second husband and is bullied by her

third husband. He manages to get through several of the moves,

jobs and choices by just ‘sliding,’ playing a kind of  ‘slacker.’ But

underneath the surface, Mason is the central character you are

rooting for throughout the movie. He is a deep thinker, an artist,

with a camera, a daydreamer, and he makes it to college, winning

a silver medal and scholarship.

 

Does this encompass too much revealing information? No, I will

reassure you, it is the slow unwinding of the story, as if it were

a book you were reading chapter by chapter. The summary on

the book jacket (or in this film,  the DVD case) doesn’t tell you

the whole story.

 

Will you like it? I hope so.

You will need to set aside time, take breaks and I feel take time

to digest the story. I had to rewind the film since the changes in

his elementary years are NOT designated, “One year later.” You

have to ‘keep up with the film,’ pay attention to how quickly the

girl develops and seems to be a ‘brat’ until she becomes more

confident in her own ability to be independent.

 

Patricia Arquette is amazing. I felt her world. I felt her needs

and her interests. I felt her ‘weight of the world,’ trying the very

best she could to make wise choices, leaving bad, abusive man

behind. Her mother is well portrayed and the woman that her

first husband gets married to is interesting. Her parents also

come into the story line, making a unique impact on the kids’

lives, too.

 

When the movie opens, the boy Mason is lying in a yard with green

grass under him and a brilliant blue sky above him. The song which

starts this out is Coldplay’s song, “Yellow.” It is really perfect and

sets the tone for the movie viewer. The soundtrack includes many

famous musicians.  I would like to entice you by sharing some of

their names here. As mentioned, original music is introduced in the

movie, too. (Ethan Hawke wrote several songs, one the family all sing.)

Lady Gaga sings two songs, “LoveGame” and “Telephone.” Bob Dylan’s

song is. “Beyond the Horizon.” The Black Keys, Gotye, Foo Fighters,

Kings of Leon, the Beatles and Mason’s father’s (Ethan Hawke’s)

interpretation of their split up. I would like to see his own rendition

of the way the Beatles’ solo careers should be put into one album.

 

“Crazy” sung by Gnarls Barkley is a fantastic song. Had not heard

this version before. “Deep Blue,” sung by Arcade Fire band, with Ken

Butler and William Butler being part of the group of musicians and

lyricists who wrote the final song played during the credits was

outstanding.

 

I rewound the final song, with some tears going down my face. It is

a touching story, with all the traits of true storytelling genius. The

way Richard Linklater and his whole crew, team and actors worked

together on this made this an impressive movie. I took note even

the first song being called, “Yellow” and the last song, “Deep Blue,”

seemed like they handled the details perfectly.

 

The 87th Academy Awards Ceremony will be on tonight. Neil

Patrick Harris will be the host. If you watch television, you

have seen the ‘hype’ for many of the films. I have seen almost

all of the ones in the best picture, actor and actress categories.

If you wish to see my reviews or summaries, I have written of

“The Theory of Everything,” “The Imitation Game,” “Selma,”

“Big Hero 6,” “Gone Girl” and “Unbroken.”

 

I shall be watching it, along with the pre-show Red Carpet on,

“E!” channel.

 

Will you be watching?

If so, do you have your any favorites?

 

 

 

 

Threads

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For those of us who are approaching winter, there are some moments

when we may wish to start a large puzzle, work on a craft or read a

book with deeper meaning. After all, the media ‘invented’ the idea of

Summer Books, which always seem like “Beach Books.” They consist

of fun reads, some adventures or romance but generally not expected

to make it into the Classic books area of the library.

While gathering things, somewhat ‘ahead of time,’ preparing for my

Thanksgiving trip to see my Mom and family up North, I put a box of

old wooden spools of thread into a bag. Or rather ones that used to

have thread on them. I added one of my books from the discards

pile at the May Library Book Sale, in coordination with the Delaware

Arts Festival, thinking that I may get a chance over the four days “on

holiday” to bury my nose in a book. The spools will go to my brother’s

future artistic projects. He utilized another set of these antique

wooden spools in a colorful multi-media project, finishing it with

a shiny paint spattered glaze over it. I love the circular shapes within

the circle of  his shimmering presentation of what I would describe

as the “cosmos.”

 

While talking about thread, I don’t wish to go on too many tangents.

 

Do you remember when we would say, “Nice threads?” Sometimes,

I remember saying this to someone with a tie-dyed shirt or a pretty

patch-worked maxi-skirt. Was it applicable only to certain kinds

of clothes or anyone who we may have thought looked “nice?”

Interesting, since we also use the word “threadbare” clothes, for

those which may be considered ‘raggedy’ or worn out. These are

‘bones of contention’ sometimes, when a spouse may wish to keep

a favorite, softened by time item of clothing. The other spouse

may wish to throw it in the ‘rags’ heap.

 

 

Now that I am getting older, I sometimes have to close one of

my eyes to “thread” a needle. I also recently purchased a package

of needles that remind me of the Large Print Books’ section where

I tend to get some of my ‘reading for pleasure’ books. Rarely do I

find ‘classics’ in this area. I pondered this once, “Do they think

that while I am losing my eyesight, I am becoming ‘dimmer’ in

my brain cells, too?” In this same vein, my “threads” of thoughts

can become quite twisted or knotted up, needing someone to

help unravel them.

 

When a spider creates his web, the intricate woven pattern looks

like snowflakes at times. Sometimes, I think of it as gossamer

“thread” and am amazed at how strong its hold is. Especially,

when in someone’s attic, as it catches in your hair. It is definitely

sticky, which makes sense to catch the bugs or flies for the spider’s

meal.

 

While the use of ‘threading in and out’ is less often used than the

expression of ‘weaving in and out,’ I have heard this used.

 

Can you think of other ways the word, “thread” is used?

 

I especially admire the Native Americans who used almost every

part of an animal, one way or another. Using creatures’ sinew

to sew with a needle created from its bone is surely a testament

of their creative and utilitarian minds. I cannot imagine trying

to poke through the fur or animal hide to create clothes and

jackets. It would have been easier to just throw the fur over their

shoulders like a blanket or poncho. That is how I picture my

way of ‘roughing it.’ The daunting task of creating homes out

of materials from the natural world is incredible to me also.

 

I have 15 different wooden spool brand names with the prices

varying from 15 cents to a quarter. I studied and grouped them,

even noticing the colors or as they are labeled, “shades” can be

over 1000 in their number. The variety intrigued me, as I hope

or felt it may a few of my readers. All of the 15 brands are made

in America. I would be interested if anyone in another country

would tell me where their thread in their sewing basket or junk

drawer was made.

 

When you ‘whet’ someone’s interest in a subject, you don’t

wish to leave them “hanging by a thread,” so here is my list:

1. Clark’s brand.

This is interesting because it was originally on its own, but you will

see a spool with two brands who must have become connected. On

this post, I decided would be presenting what I have, not what I

looked up on the internet. I did not research any of these companies.

Details on the Clark’s wooden spool include, “Cotton” and “O.N.T.”

and the “shade” number of 278 on one of several of these. The “Size

50” is on this brand.

2. “Belding Corticelli” brand.

The words are not together, but circle the spool, some on the

‘top’ and some on the ‘bottom.’

“Bel-waxed”

“Mercerized”

“Cotton”

and the expression, “Fast to Boiling.”

Several of this brand, with the price range given of 15 cents, 19 cents

and 25 cents.

The shades are stamped into the wood, ink pressed to show “1707”

on one, for example. The “Size 50” is also on this brand. All of these

gave the length of “125 yds.” of thread.

3. “Sea Island Thread Mfg. Corp.”

The words, “None Better” are stamped into the wood on one end.

The length on this bigger sized spool is “700 yds.” It is labeled,

“Mercerized Cotton.” (Unlike the other spool where the words

were separated and not contiguous.) This is mentioned to be,

“Made in New York.”

4. “Standard- Coosa-Thatcher Company” is also labeled on

the other end of the spool as “S-C-T”

There is no marking of its shade, color, or length but I am

happy to tell you this was made in “Chattanooga, Tenn.”

5. “Richardson’s .”

“Mercerized Sewing Cotton,”

(Size 50)

100 yards

“Fast to Boiling.”

This singular spool has the word, “Shade 1788,” on it.

6. “Fruit of the Loom.”

40 yds.

(Size 50)

“Mercerized” (no mention of cotton on label.)

“Fast Color”

*Would we today call this ‘color fast?’*

7. “Dandy” brand.

This label is the only one which presents a blend of,

“Cotton and Polyester”

Made in U.S.A. is stamped into the wooden spool’s end.

“Mercerized” is again not connected with the source of

the thread’s ‘material.’

“Boil Fast”

*Doesn’t this fascinate you? How can one expression, “Fast

to Boiling,” be attributed to one kind and then, this shorter

one be given?*

There are two facts about the “Dandy” brand which are not

included on any other of my spools, “Left Twist” and “Two

Cord- 1200 yards.” This is a longer/taller wooden spool.

8. “Ball’s Best” brand.

This was made in South Willington, Connecticut.

“500 yards”

“Cotton”

(24) May be “shade” number?

Gardiner Hall Jr. Company.

“Sole Man’ers”

*(Was this meant to be used on soles of socks or shoes?)*

9. “Coats” brand.

“Super Sheen With Silicone” on a shiny paper circle on top.

125 yds.

“Mercerized”

“Boilfast”

(50)

19 cents.

Shades are “169” “70” and “57-A”

On the bottom of the spool, where there isn’t any shiny label,

stamped into the wood is: “J + P Coats.”

10. “Lily” brand.

“Mercerized.”

50 yds.

Cotton boll symbol on the paper label.

“Boil – Fast”

11. “Radium” brand.

“1 oz.”

“Three Cord”

“Mercerized Cotton”

“Color 1169”

12. “Aunt Lydia’s” brand,

“American Thread Co.”

“Button & Carpet”

“Extra Strong + Smooth”

“Shade 830”

13. “Empeco” brand.

“Mercerized Thread”

“Manufactured by Max Pollack Co. Inc.”

Made in “Mills Groton, CONN”

“700 yards”

Color “518.”

14. “Coats + Clarks”

(At last, we have both companies joined together.)

Time has gone past, since this big spool is labeled

to cost, “39 cents” and has details, such as:

“Dressmaker’s Spool”

“Made in U.S.A”

(50)

Color or shade is “86-B”

15. “Talon” brand.

“Mercerized.”

325 yds.

“29 cents”

“Made in U.S.A.”

“Colorfast” (at last!)*

15. “Star” brand.

“100% Polyester”

40 yds.

“American Thread Co.”

“CONN”

(An area code is given, but is faded. Possibly 06905 or 08905?)

“Will-Boil”

Three different spools have these color numbers:

“484” “553” and “020”

The three have varying length of thread:

“40 yds.” “125 yds.” and “150 yds.”

“Mercerized Cotton”

I enjoy learning about the crafts and hobbies of fellow bloggers.

Do you tend to carry out the same kinds of activities or do you

change them, as the season changes?

This post began with my getting out some things to go visiting;

along with sorting out the spools from my crowded sewing basket.

I accomplished the chore of cleaning up and writing this post about

‘threads’ due to those wooden spools. My little grandchildren used

to play stacking games with them, as if they were uniquely shaped

building blocks. Remembering their tall towers of spools make me

smile. Then, the giggles of when they all came tumbling down.

I imagine children in the past doing this playful use of spools, too.

 

 

 

 

 

Creek Walk: Blue Limestone Park

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My only three granddaughters and I went on a special Creek Walk at Blue Limestone

Park on Saturday afternoon on June 14, 2014. Why note the date? It is the one where

I truly felt I changed their sweet, little lives. I asked if they would prefer, as we drove

past the beautiful new Big Toy, gym equipment installed at this ‘ancient park’ to play

there?

The unified answer was, “No, Nana!” The M & M girls, who are only 3 and 5 years old,

sang those lovely words out loudly. As they finished, their soon (next week) to be 10

year old sister, said these heart-warming words to this humble, nature-loving ‘hippie’

from the seventies,

“Nana, we look forward every year to being able to explore along the creek, cross over

the rocks and go under the train tunnel!”

Lara made me burst in pride, looking in my rearview mirror at her, my little step-

granddaughter, who is mine as well as others’. I said in reply,

“Thank you, Lara! This means so much to me!”

She came back instantly,

“You are the ONLY one who does this with us!”

Landen had gone off to be with the other two grandsons, Micah and Skyler, into the

land of video games and boys’ interests at my oldest daughter’s house. I was having

a good time, this day, with the ‘promise’ given at the onset to get ice cream cones

for three out of four of us, while Marley, whose ‘tummy hurts’ when she eats dairy

foods, will either choose a sherbet or a cookie, at our local place.

What did we find on our walk?

We found the light shining so brightly through the train trestle that I could not

capture through my camera lens, the brightly lit yellowish green still Spring like

branches and silhouettes up ahead of our journey. I took pictures of Lara, carefully

placing each foot upon the next rock, one by one, telling us behind her, of which

ones were ‘wobbly’ or ‘rocking back and forth.’

I helped my other two, sometimes having to hold their hand, putting my foot in

a simple sneaker, down into the clear and rushing creek water. They were filled

with a different kind of trepidation, I sensed a change in their development from

last year’s walk. They were more aware of the ‘danger’ of falling onto rocks and

the sense of imbalance to the stones. They had had more recent bumps and bruises,

evidenced on Marley’s shin and Makyah’s cheek. Little light bluish bruises, which

each carried their own story.

When we reached the place where they have to lean on the cold, damp wall of the

trestle, built of blue limestone rock, the oldest, Lara, was in the lead. She asked

why there would be mud up here, on the ‘shelf?’

I told her that sometimes the waters must have been higher or the wind roaring

through the tunnel, had brought mud upon the place we were walking. I also

told her the truth,

“Nana doesn’t really know the answer to that question, just a guess!”

When we got to the other side of the tunnel, to me, it is like a ‘fairy land.’ We saw

birds swooping, cheerily greeting our arrival here I saw so many branches of trees

leaning in, roots rising up and then arches created by low slung trees, bent into

bows. When they were under an arch, I asked the trio of girls to turn around.

They immediately did, knowing my camera was ready to capture this moment.

Lara, placing her arms around both the girls, showing the living definition of

‘sisterhood.’ The light filtering through the combination of hues of deep green,

light yellowish green and shadows made an entrancing photograph.

Mentally, I noted, three copies need to be made.

You see, I may not share the photos of my adventures with you, but I make

miniature albums of 36 pictures for each of the six grandchildren. They come

and take one of the recently made ones, sit and look them over. Their parents

make cd’s and videos on their cell phones, while I make the picture books that

let them know what seasonal adventures ensued during the past months.

Once in awhile, lately, the five year old, Marley has been curious about my first

husband, their “Poppi” who they did not realize was married to me, ‘once upon

a time.’ She asks to see photographs of our wedding, our days of young parent-

hood, raising her Daddy and her Aunt Carrie. Marley was thoughtful, again,

yesterday. She asked,

“Did you bring my Daddy here, when he was a little boy?”

I told her,

“Yes! In those days, there were tons of tadpoles or pollywogs, in these little

ponds that are back here, behind the big lake. The kids would bring buckets,

even ones I babysat, and we would all explore this area. Your Daddy, when

he was in 6th grade was allowed to come here on his bicycle and fish in the

Blue Limestone ‘lake’ that really is a ‘quarry.'”

I asked, as we climbed over a fallen tree, the little ones studying a spider,

bright, almost ‘neon’ green moss, and some little toadstools growing on the

side of it:

“Do you want to know what a quarry is?”

They all three listened as I explained how the Ohio Wesleyan University and

other buildings around their hometown had blue limestone that had been

‘mined’ from first the big ‘lake’ and then, later the smaller holes that became

other ‘lakes’ surrounding where we were walking beside.

We reached a ‘break’ in the trees, walked to the edge of the creek, finding in

the dirt, hoof marks of deer and also the smaller prints of raccoons and one

set of bunny tracks. I gathered them together and we all ducked under a low

slung branch, pointing across the creek, the separated undergrowth, the

path where the deer ran through the woods. We also could see, with a little

turn of our head, an opening where you could see the blue-green, almost

turquoise colored water of one of the more shallow quarries. I pointed this

out, saying:

“Your Daddy, Aunts Felicia and Carrie liked to swim in that ‘pond.'”

Oh boy! What a “can of worms” I did not foresee opening, with that remark!

I am sure you can guess, they wanted to go right across that creek and jump

into that smaller quarry!

I reminded them that their parents had bought a YMCA pass to the pools,

both indoors and outdoors. That, in those days, the possibility of algae and

other more dangerous bacteria were not so common. After all, this would

have been over 20 years ago!

They are such respectful children, allowing me to side track them, letting

them to think about taking off their shoes to dangle them in the creek

water.

I had them wipe their faces first, arms next, systematically going from

the top of their bodies to their feet, when we got back to the car. Then,

we carefully placed their special little mementos of their creek walk on

the passenger seat of the car:  wild lilac flower branches, three hickory

nuts that had been cracked open, halved neatly to reveal an inner design

that Lara found fascinating, the other younger ones chiming in that they

also “needed one of those!” and the wild daisies for their mother.

Then, having cleaned up, we ran down or rolled down, depending on

our age, the hill leading to the place where we would cross the parking

lot and play on the Big Toy!

Later, while sitting and savoring our treats, we were gazing, all four of

us, westward. There were first appearing, cotton candy blend of pink

and azure blue billowing clouds, then an orange-ish golden hue, and

finally a fire igniting across the sky.

When we got home, we all looked up at the waning Full Strawberry Moon,

the clear dark sky lit up with its presence. I said out loud, “Thank you,

God for this beautifully perfect day!”

Lara, who attends church more often than not, with her local father’s

mother, (Grandma) exclaimed: (I am not making this up!)

“Amen!!”

 

 

 

“Greased Lightning”

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My Dad liked to think he could fix cars. He was great with carpentry and other

‘fix it’ jobs. In what we considered his ‘domain,’ the garage, there was a long,

wooden table with a clamp on it, some shelves that held some clear baby food jars

with all sorts of odds and ends in them, neatly sorted and able to see what you

needed, at a moment’s notice.  As far as car repairs went, other than oil and tire

changes. . .

Dad wasn’t the best mechanic!

I thought about all those fathers out there again, while mailing my Uncle Orrin’s

and two brothers’ Father’s Day cards out today. I wish to thank all the fathers in

the world,  for their sharing the responsibility of raising children. Your efforts will

surely ‘pay big dividends’ in your relationship with the kids. Whatever you ‘put into

this special parenthood,’ I believe, will come back to you. There are rare occasions

that this doesn’t happen, for those times, I am remorseful and hoping this doesn’t

ever happen to you.

I believe all those men who have helped women out, as neighbors, teachers, friends

and relatives all need to get a round of applause! I appreciate the men who were not

birth fathers, ones who became good stepdads. By throwing balls, playing games

and allowing their bodies to be human ‘jungle gyms!’ (My artistic brother, Randy,

did this best! He liked to really horse around and ‘rough house!’)

My other brother, Rich, was the calm one who read books, sat down to play games

and really listened to my children’s early attempts at reading and telling stories.

What a great balance these two men, (while I was alone, raising my kids), made!

Susan and Rich are the biggest movie goers (and also, theatre goers) I know! They

were great at also taking my kids to these also. What a treat!

They were known for kidnapping, coming down from Cleveland unexpectedly,

for a hike or a canoe trip at Alum Creek or Delaware State Park. If they called me,

I could meet them ‘halfway up the road,’ so they could take them to Mohican State

Park. Marrying Susan was an awesome addition to our family, because she was a

‘package deal,’ coming with three ‘built-in’ cousins for my children!

My brother, Randy, was known to come by our house and pick the three kids and me

up! Off we would go, to the zoo, to camping places or to a nice out of the way natural

setting. (My parents belonged to a camping organization called, Good Sam Club,

so they were often where we would head together to meet to camp and have a nice

meal, campfire and even, miniature golfing.)

If my Dad were around, we would have water play, with all kinds of noodles, boats,

rafts and other paraphernalia. His and my Mom’s cottage, up on Lake Erie, was a

respite for me, weary from babysitting 5 plus my 3, for all those years! It was more

than another set of hands, it was living by “Grandparents’ Rules!” So nice to know

someone was taking over, allowing chaos to ensue, without any consequences or

my having to lecture or punish, since mainly “Anything Goes” or went, as the case

may be!

This has nothing to do with Father’s Day, but I must divulge a secret!

My parents ‘made’ us eat brussel sprouts, spinach, lima beans and other green

vegetables. We had to stay at the table, until a majority of our food was gone.

Somehow, these rules were thrown out the window, once the grandchildren

came along! In their station wagon or their Transvan, there were chips, pretzels,

Cheetos, Good and Plenty candies, peanuts in the shell, and any other snacks

that were not meltable. If you were to open their freezer, while we were kids,

there was always Neopolitan ice cream or ice cream sandwiches. Sometimes,

we would have simply popsicles. My Dad would take a sharp knife and cut slices

of the pink, brown and white  to put in a bowl for us.

Once I produced grandchildren, times had changed! There were all varieties of

ice cream, one of my favorites suddenly was around: Chocolate Chip Cookie

Dough. My Mom’s favorite became “Moosetracks,” while my Dad’s favorite

was Butter Pecan or Pralines and Cream. They had caramel and chocolate

syrup now! They were like an ice cream parlor, in all its deliciousness!

Rewards of being a parent of said grandchildren, meant that you also could

avoid vegetables and other important daily food requirements, skip breakfast

and eat donuts or ice cream…

This is pretty much a rambling post, but I will get back to the poem that may

fit the subject.

To All the Dads, Fathers, Uncles, Step Dads or Other Meaningful People

Who Have Provided Good Role Models for Children.

I have been inspired by my silly Advance Auto position as a Bins Order Filler, to

write a Father’s Day poem.

This is mainly using car terminology, the fun that can be had while traveling

around in cars or fixing them, too. Multiple applications of car parts inserted

into a wordplay-sort- of- poetry way.

“Zooming into Father’s Day”

by reocochran

June 12, 2014

“Start your engines.

Ignite your energy.

Spark your hearts.

Plug in your sparks.

Ready. . .

Set,

Go!

Children are shouting,

Moms are smiling,

Families are celebrating~

Dads around the world.

Driving in the country,

Winding curves,

Come to a complete stop,

Parking at a special place.

Unpacking food and coolers,

Picnic baskets, charcoal and

Everything needed to party.

Use some elbow grease,

Pitching in with side dishes.

Hamburgers and hot dogs,

Another one will roll off

The Assembly Line.

Desserts are eaten,

Children scattered to

Swings,

Slides,

Merry go rounds,

and

Parents relax.

 

Smells like gas.

Is it the baby or the car?

 

Don’t muffle the noise,

Turn the radios up!

Spray paint is for  car details,

No graffiti on park benches.

Flags waving,

If only in our minds.

Racing to the finish,

We won’t stop till…

We are ‘tire’d.”

 

Three more days to go until the Big Day for Dad comes!

 

“Grease” was written by Jim Jacobs and  Warren Casey.

“Grease” musical was first performed at the Kingston Mines Theatre

in Chicago, Illinois in 1971. It became popular as a stageplay and later,

as a movie, with John Travolta and Olivia Newton John.

“Greased Lightning” was a song, that began while the teens, Danny and

Sandy,  are at a drive-in movie.

 

What was your father talented at?

What is a favorite memory of your Dad?

Is there someone else who played an important part in your childhood,

who you would rather comment about?

 

 

Revelry

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Just going to fill you in on mostly ‘good’ stuff going on in my

family’s life. The best times are with family!

If you celebrated Easter or Passover, hope you had special times

with family, too.

Sometimes, concerns about health issues can be a little bit of a

drawback to a holiday or any visit. You may be interested though,

to know about things, as they progress in my Mom’s aging process.

Colorful sights and fragrant aromas filled the weekend. There were

delicious meals, from Friday until Sunday evening.

Love flowed all around us…

My Mom had saved a Maxine quote, one that I have to share, due to

its Easter holiday theme. She loves it when I tell her I included

something she found, on my blog.

Maxine is an older woman, who sometimes gives biting commentaries.

Other times, she is just an observer on life, as it is for senior

adults. The cartoon character sometimes is wearing a hat or has

a bushy head of white hair, has sun glasses on occasionally and

her pet dog is sometimes looking rather amused or askance at her.

I am sometimes surprised that the creator of Maxine is a man named

John Wagner. Here’s Maxine’s recent yearly physical cartoon:

“Yesterday I went to the doctor

For my yearly physical.

My blood pressure was high.

My cholesterol was high.

I’d gained some weight,

and I didn’t feel so hot.

My doctor said eating right

doesn’t have to be complicated

and it would solve my physical problems.

He said,

‘Just think in colors.

Fill your plate with bright colors.

Try some greens, oranges, reds, maybe

something yellow, and so forth.

So I (Maxine) went right home and ate an

entire bowl of bright colors.

And sure enough, I felt better immediately!

I never knew eating right could be so easy!

Now stay healthy,

Eat your colors and have a nice day.”

(Picture is shown of a bowl of M and M’s.

Mom pointed out, it could have easily been

a bowl of colored jelly beans!)

Speaking of Mom, we went on several ‘wild goose chases,’ while I was

visiting.

First of all, she felt the sweet young Hispanic housekeeper in her

wing of the Senior Apts. had taken her little Shih Tzu’s hair brush.

Mom had written two concerned letters to me, the subject being

“Missing Items.”

I found the yellow baby brush, she uses on Nicki, under the

bathroom sink.

I took her to Walgreen’s, upon arrival, to purchase necessities,

having not been able to locate her stamps.

(Which Mom was very adamant on this subject, saying they got taken

by the same girl.)

Believe me, if you have read about my mother’s love of young people,

my parents’ marching for civil rights, and paying for two non-Caucasian

females’ college education, you would know this is not aimed towards

race or age of the young Senior Apts. housekeeper.

It involves a combination of Mom’s way of dealing with forgetfulness

or possible dementia setting in. Mom is not mean-spirited, though.

The young woman has told my brothers that Mom hugs and gives her bags

of candy and other gifts.

After purchasing a few items, while I was putting them away I found

duplicates.

While I was looking for scissors, I found her stamps.

It was more of a chaotic time than at Valentine’s Day, when she had

written notes to my grandkids and had candy in bags, ready to take

back after my visit.

This time, her Easter cards were sitting out, with some notes in them,

not addressed. We searched high and low, found a few envelopes with

addresses of her sister, my cousins and her good friends.

I never found Mom’s “Master Address Book.”

We will tackle that ‘chore’ over Memorial Day Weekend!

The fun stuff and special times began on Friday, after shopping

and searching for lost items had been set aside, for dinner.

Mom wore a nice pink jacket with a signature brooch. Mom has always

liked wearing a variety of pins on her lapels. She had a nice pair

of black slacks on. We had heard from my younger brother that he

and his wife, Susan and a possible friend would be joining us at one

of my Mom’s current “favorite restaurants.” She is like a ‘big kid’

and likes Friendly’s for their clam boats, ice cream sundaes and the

colorful atmosphere.

When you walk in the front door, you see such a majestic brass scale

with old fashioned details on it. There is also a large circus mural.

We went home to watch an older movie, which turned out to be quite

different from what we expected. Sidney Poitier plays a type of ‘playboy.’

He depicts a wild, carefree man, who is involved with some dishonest

activities. He is ‘set up’ on a date, by a young man, played by Beau

Bridges. The housekeeper is going to leave her household, having told

the younger members of the family before the ones who have employed her.

She is played by Abbey Lincoln, with an innocent charm. She shows curiosity

about the wilder side that Sidney’s character offers her. Later, we meet

the head of the household, played by Carroll O’Connor. This was a Turner

Classic Movie, called, “For Love of Ivy,” 1968. It has music by Quincy Jones

and a happy ending. It is a satisfying romantic comedy where I was mostly

looking at the wardrobe and commenting on the dialects. (Nehru collars, Kaftan

robes and “Groovy,” spoken.)

We drank a juice glass full of Sangria, had crackers and cheese,

with a ‘side of cookies’ before bed. Mom and I did our special

Spanish toast.

Our Saturday began with my ‘fetching’ breakfast from the dining

room. Mom loves eating breakfast in her room, in her pajamas. I tell

people who ask why she doesn’t come down, that my Dad and she got

‘spoiled’ while retiring early and became ‘night owls!’

I piled on the dining room tray, a jelly donut for Mom, a pecan nut

roll for me, a big bowl of oatmeal with garnishments of brown sugar,

raisins and pats of real butter. It becomes ‘less healthy’ for me, as

I add so much to it! I grabbed 3 cups of delicious coffee, a juice cup

of cranberry juice for her and one of tomato juice for me. I also bring

back two bananas every trip I make (anytime) past the dining room. Mom

lives (while I am away) on bananas and peanut butter out of the jar,

for her breakfasts and lunches. She only goes to dinner in the dining

room daily at 5:30 p.m. Unless we are around to ‘cancel her dinner

reservations.’

On Saturday afternoon, watched a movie I had brought from the library

called, “The Young Victoria,” 2009. It has an excellent British cast

of Emily Blunt, Paul Bettany, Rupert Friend and Miranda Richardson.

I highly recommend this love story about Queen Victoria’s childhood, her

growing up years and her courtship by two suitors. The story made both my

Mom and I ‘tear up,’ but it is still a lovely movie. We hold hands, eat

cookies, candy and some maple flavored walnuts that my youngest daughter

had left behind. They ‘roasted up’ in the microwave, tasting quite yummy

while warm. We ‘pause’ the movie to either make instant coffee or to use

the bathroom. I think that I will always drink coffee, since evidently,

she has lived to 85 and other than needing to use the restroom frequently,

no dangerous side effects!

On Saturday, my artist brother, who had been enjoying a night out

at a place that pays him to paint logos, make tables, along with

clouds and headhunters for either “Fat Head’s Brewery” or “Fat Head’s

Restaurant.” We have eaten their numerous times. Even my good guy

friend, Bill has been up to witness the wall designs and murals.

Last Autumn, I wrote after our going to a gallery opening with some of

Randy’s artwork, we and others went to see the actual brewery. They win

awards for their homemade brews, located in Cleveland and Pittsburg.

Randy will be heading West to Oregon, sometime in the near future, for

a new Fat Head’s Restaurant.

Randy bought Mom’s and my prime rib dinners at a railroad station

restaurant, which while we were in high school was called the “Cahoon

Winery.”

It is located on Cahoon Road, in Westlake, Ohio. It is less than a mile

from our home on the other side of the tracks, where we lived in during

our middle and high school years in Bay Village, Ohio. It is now called,

“The Whistle Stop.” We admired the different antique photographs of trains

and memorabilia along with a brass spittoon on a shelf.

Eating out is a different way to celebrate holidays, than our family

used to in the past. We made adjustments and changes once Mom’s ‘home

base’ was moved into the Senior Apts. In the ‘old days,’ I would drive

up from Delaware, when the children were small and Dad would take over

watching them once we got inside the door of their lake cottage.

Mom and I would head to the grocery store in Vermilion, immediately

upon our arrival.

Our ‘job’ was getting a bunch of food to cook. We would have ‘the boys’

use the gas grill, in all kinds of weather, on the covered porch, a

‘carport,’ but never was used for that.

There were always two picnic tables end to end, lined up and some chairs

positioned around the edges. If it were snowing, one of my brothers, or

while my Dad was alive, wearing ear muffs and armed with the barbecue

equipment, would grill steaks, chops or chicken out there, while Mom

and I would make the side dishes.

Onward to Easter Sunday!

This is getting too long and filled with a mixture of nostalgia and

too many details!

I got Mom’s and my breakfast, we ate it with a little bit of

lingering, knowing that our time was going to be cut short. She

always understands I need to get back to see my grandchildren. Mom

had thought of them last year, after Easter, buying gifts at super

discounted prices. I reassured her, not to worry. They remember her,

some had been here for Thanksgiving and others over last summer.

We have a wedding celebration of my niece, which will be held out at

the lake side cottage.

I had found, in the back of the closet, a packed box of Easter glitter

globes, some with bunnies inside, others with chicks and one smaller

one had Tweety bird in it. I was surprised that she had this one

labeled for Skyler, age 9.

The Official Family Easter Egg Hunt in Delaware with the ‘real’

Easter Bunny’s choices of goodies was held while Nana (otherwise

known as Robin, to you) was out of town. The breakfast and fun time

dying eggs was also completed. (Usually done the day before,

but this time, just in time to crack colored eggs and make deviled

eggs for company.)

I arrived to a sunny and warm, outdoorsy scene with children taking

turns jumping on the trampoline. Others were playing on the swing and

gym set. They were all stopping to run in the house, to receive their

gifts from Great Grammie O. and then, to keep their eyes glued on

something other than the windows, while Nana hid her eggs. I specialize

in putting dollar bills in the green eggs, little wrapped chocolates

in the other colored eggs, along with an occasional quarter or

dime in the yellow eggs. I also gave each a stuffed animal that

was chosen over the course of the year, not all bunnies and

ducks, either.

When all the eggs were found, we went inside to eat a delicious

orange, honey glazed ham. My son made the ham and glaze, mashed

potatoes and green bean casserole. My daughter in law made the 3-cheese

macaroni casserole, chocolate cupcakes with chocolate frosting and

the deviled eggs.

Yesterday, after I posted my story, I went over to give Micah and

Skyler their gifts from Mom and me. Micah had generously told me

that he “would wait on brother” to open them, since Sky was at

his Dad’s house, while Micah was with his Mom and Dad at my son’s

house. He participated in the egg hunt, meal and trampoline so it

was not a ‘big sacrifice!’

Skyler showed me an amazing gift that the Easter Bunny had given

him at his mother’s house. My daughter, being an artist, had chosen

or suggested to that Bunny, this would be a good year for the two

boys to receive drawing or sketch pads. Sky proceeded last night to

have me sit on his front porch within an arm’s length of him. He

drew a picture of me, with my work shirt on, my worn face none the

worse for wear. He drew in my wrinkles and lines around my mouth, a

good and fairly accurate drawing of me. I was pleased with my oval

shaped head, my neck and eyebrows looked very good. I drew him,

in turn, using a different page, while Micah blew soap bubbles

upon our heads.

We had a lovely and simple, quiet time.

When I got ready to leave, both boys declared they love me, which

is always a happy ending of any holiday! They also pronounced next

Saturday, to be an “overnight with Nana” event. Mom and Micah’s

Dad, Sky’s Stepdad, agreed!

A “High Five” to You All!

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I am amazed and struck silent with awe! I was within a short

period of time, given five award nominations! Wow! I will call

this my “Lucky Five” and wish to pass a Big “High Five” to all

of you readers of my lengthy essays on life and relationships,

in the areas of work and play.

I was given Four Nominations by a special, new “best friend,”

named Julie! She has a wonderful blog which is full of varied

stories and fun looks at life. Her outlook matches mine, with

humor and positive insights given.

http://musingsfromaworkaholic.com

Julie has nominated me to four special awards!

I may take them all and run with them! The Inner Peace Award,

The ABC (Awesome Blog Content) Award, the Most Influential

Blogger Award and the Sunshine Award were all nominated to me.

In addition to the above named four nominations, I received

a nomination for another award. That makes a total of Five!

Mark, you tricky man, you are getting me to post about your

blog again! I appreciated the nomination for the Dragon’s

Loyalty Award. In accepting this, you know, I may be a

lawless individual. Out here in the “real world,” I am

a true, trustworthy and law-abiding individual.

I hope you will check out Mark’s blog about sports,

entertainment, walks with Ellie B. and more at:

http://markbialczak.wordpress.com

I would like to announce some worthy bloggers who have,

as far as my memory serves, not received nominations here

before. I know you will enjoy checking out these “new”

blogs!

I apologize for not wishing to give you any more sordid

details of my life. The others who receive awards, do

such respectable posts accepting their nominations!

You really should read my early posts, where I divulged

and ‘bared all’~ if you want to know more about me! I

hope you will check out Mark’s and Jules’ posts for their

fine examples of how to follow Award Nomination Rules!

1. Linda, you are really wonderful!

http://naturerestoresme.wordpress.com

2. K, you have awesome photography here!

http://artourway.com

3. With her kitchen wide open, some lovely children

and special thoughts shared here:

http://shannaward.com

4. Wacky family insights here, a recent sickness

and thoughts about differences in male and female

roles in families…

http://spincyclediaries.com

5. Jill has been catching up with me, a new

friend and although she is younger, many of

our memories are overlapping! She belongs in my

‘sisterhood club’ but have not been recently

nominated for that esteemed award!

http://jillweatherholt.wordpress.com

6. A man who has a lot of deep essays. I liked

Teddy Lee’s post, “Creating Your Own Fate.”

http://teddylee01.wordpress.com

7. She ‘had me’ when she talked about frontier

women, then there is the “Holler” and her recent post,

“Wilderness Gardens” is a place of renewal and beauty.

http://cindyknoke.com

8. Heartafire is an honest and outgoing writer

who will get you thinking or smiling! Awhile

back, she wrote about her father’s mother,

it was a true portrait of a spunky woman with

good cooking skills!

http://shakeyourtailfeathers.wordpress.com

9. More lovely photos, from a newcomer to my blog,

Prasun Dutta at:

http://prasundutta.com

10. She has photos and fun comments. She gives us

much to think about, too.

http://clover58.wordpress.com

11. Alex has some different thoughts to share with

us along our walk in life.

http://alexraphael.wordpress.com

I have a few others who are great and new friends who I

could ‘throw into the mix,’ but what if another award

nomination comes up? Who will I have to put into that

post? Everyone who is following and faithfully reading

my posts, again…

I salute you,

I give you a “High Five!”

I wave my five fingers to you

and say,

“Farewell for now!”

A Dip into Serendipity

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A journey that once had begun, had gotten swept

under the table. The story had included exciting

beginnings and abrupt endings. It could have been

a nice, safe trip along smooth railroad tracks in

a predictable direction. Instead it had been quite

dramatic.

The way it all began was discussed, along with

where it had become derailed. It seemed suddenly

urgent to get the passengers united to head into

the future, reconnecting ties that had been torn

and broken.

Seemingly impossible reasons, years ago, to ever

be healed, were forgotten and forgiven.

Ice cream was delicious at Graeter’s in Upper

Arlington, Ohio last night. The ice cream place

is a franchise started in Bexley, Ohio, in 1870.

The relationship had started in 1980, between four

close friends, two couples who were into natural

foods, a Lancaster co-op and a business together.

From friendship, sharing stories, then traveling

a long and winding path that took both couples in

different directions.

From the traditional beginning, which had led

into separated, fractured lives, arose a child.

It was an unplanned and unexpected event. It

would leave a lasting, hurtful impact on all,

from 1985 until 2014.

The strange story would include heartbreak and

some moments of crying. The redemption, found on

3/21/14, would heal most of the wounds.

Who would have thought the woman with the ‘white

picket fence’ background would have held such a

wild story behind her outwardly quiet demeanor?

The serendipity was the ties that brought someone

from a far distance, of St. Louis, Missouri, back

to Ohio. The trip originally had nothing to do

with the woman nor her golden child.

A letter, sent out like a beacon, had been mailed

over cyber-space. Previously sent, hand written

letters, over the years, had been met with

silence.

No answers.

A coincidental trip to a gravesite in Cincinnati,

was fortuitous for the people to be reconnected.

Death had been over a few years ago, it was in

the memory of that loved one, the journey had

been made back to Ohio.

Tears of happiness flowed. Sweet memories of a

happier time embraced the four people sitting

across from each other.

Stories of the past, including similar family

histories of international immigration; one

generation ago for the father and two generations

for the mother. Unknowingly, both parties had

heritage from Germany. This shared lineage filled

the minds of the people with wonder. Over twenty

or more years ago, they had not asked each other

such questions.

Other kindred moments, included a love of music,

one for an accordion, another for a clarinet.

Two hands that reached out, were held, showed

dryness of skin, smallness in size and arthritic

joints. Family physical traits passed down.

Personality traits, such as independent streaks,

with some admission on both parties, of being

rather self-centered between child and father

were exchanged.

Faded, tarnished memories of the Lancaster days

were renewed and explained. They lost their

rusty feel and became polished, smoothed over.

Time truly heals all wounds.

The ties are now beginning and reaching out.

They are beautifully becoming braided into a

circular wreath where the child now knows of

another family. Intertwining, growing and

letting go of the hurt and regret.

The family was a gift well received.

The failed attempts to have connections had been

shared with the child, over the years. The way it

disappointed her, had recently come to light.

The other family is filled with aunts, uncles and

cousins who long to know the estranged member.

I indulged in my favorite choice of butter pecan

ice cream, covered with Graeter’s ‘homemade’ recipe

sauce of butterscotch, real whipped cream and a

cherry on top.

The symbolism of a cherry on top was the real,

relieved feelings, bubbling to my soul’s surface.

My family member had a simple scoop of butter

toffee chip, while the father ate chocolate chip.

The fourth person had an ice cream cone with a

cup of freshly brewed coffee.

He was the observer, the in-law, who would be the

recorder of the tale to regale the Missouri folks

back home. He had captured all parties in photos,

sent via telephone, as soon as taken.

The observer was warm and welcoming and through

his part as the ‘new’ uncle, he introduced one

of the first cousins into our conversation.

A girl named Brianna, age 12, who will be part

of my child’s life forever.

One of many new connections…

The wise, well humored observer asked if this

would be included in the title of my next post

on my blog: Serendipity.

I was not sure, at that moment, if I would indulge

in another post. Sharing this may be too much.

I mentioned that I had written a “Carry On” post,

earlier in the week. After much reflection last

night, I chose to share this story here.

Albeit in a bare bones, no details’ way.

Pieces of the puzzle fell into place.

The ‘once upon a time’ heavy weight was removed,

thrown out the window, for good.

By myself, I drove up the road on 315, a curving

tree-darkened route that led to my adopted home

of Delaware.

I had fled from another small town, almost 28

years ago.

The last remnants of the weight, the ‘chips on my

shoulder’ were lifted.

Its breadth and depth, unable to fully explain

to others who had known me.

All I know this was no longer needed to be held

on to. The baggage had no necessary purpose or

reason to be kept anymore.

There still is a chance for this ‘white picket

fence’ woman with the ‘solid core’ and deep roots,

to have her happy ending. Her child could now

proceed with new ties that bind.

Not the way she had visualized from her childhood,

but still a fantastic way to close the book.