Category Archives: car games

“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?

 

 

Maintenance

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Happy Hump Day or Wacky Wednesday!

How do I blend a short piece on car maintenance and on growing old and

being a happy person? I will ‘wing it!’ Calling this maintenance is a bit of a

stretch…

When asked about how to take care of your car to keep it running longer

and what to do “Under the Hood,” here are several random men’s answers.

These answers were found on an Advance Auto advertising poster.

Here’s Lucky Seven pieces of Advice on Cars:

1.  Dan in Chicago says,

“Do it once right, or don’t bother.”

2.  Cory in Boston says,

“The hands show you put in a day’s work.”

3.  Alex in Tampa says,

“The fact that you’re elbow deep in grease shows your passion.”

4.  Tony in Chicago says,

“Anybody can cut their lawn, but not everyone can work on their car.”

5.  Felipe in Houston says,

“Show me your knuckles.

“That shows me something.”

6.  Matt in Chicago says,

“I like the sense of accomplishment,

knowing I did it.”

7.  Dave in Boston says,

“To clear your mind of the day,

you go to the garage.”

 

Our new slogan at the Advance Auto Distribution Center #23 is:

“Under the Hood,

On Top of the World.”

(We bought two more car repair parts chains. I like to buy the Yankee

Candle air fresheners and the cleaning products. I don’t repair my own

car, but I can certainly ‘fix it up on the inside!’ Smiles! Robin)

Here’s some funnies for the older people out there:

1.  “I’m not 40 Something

I’m $39.95 Plus

Shipping and Handling!”

2.  “I Don’t Perspire or Sweat Much,

I Just Have Short, Private

Vacations in the Tropics!”

3.  “A Balanced Diet:

Chocolate in Both Hands. (Mostly women.)

A Burger Using Both Hands. (Mostly men.)”

 

The Last Funny of the Day for “Hump Day:”

“It was a small town and the patrolman was making his evening rounds.

As he was checking a Used Car Lot, he came upon two little old ladies,

sitting in a used car.

He stopped and politely asked the ladies why they were sitting there in

the car? Were they planning on stealing it?

“Heavens no, we bought it.”

The patrolman replied,

“Then why don’t you drive it away?”

The ladies giggled,

“We can’t drive.”

The reply to this was,

“Then, for Pete’s sake, why did you buy it?”

Wait for this… (off color response, appropriate for Hump Day, coming):

“We were told that if we bought a used car here

We’d get screwed… so we’re just waiting.”

 

This is the lasting message of the day. We don’t stop laughing because

we grow old. We grow old if we stop finding humor in things around us!

 

Healthy Food Choices for Kids

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I have sometimes wandered away from my theme of witless dating,

but I stay strong in the area of relationships. With helpful

information on how to make healthy food choices, I hope to

inspire you to make some changes in your lives. This includes

any children that you are in communication with, neighbor’s

kids or your grandchildren. Every time you choose to change

something in your family’s diet, it can impact the guests

and friends of your children, too.

The facts that are here may startle you. I was shocked!

I had known our country, in particular, was having trouble

living longer, healthier lives but I did not know, to the

large extent, the numbers involved. Obesity has doubled in

children, ages 6-11 and tripled in teens, age 12-19.

These numbers, collected by the National Center for Health

Statistics are just unbelievable! The time period is from

1980 until 2010. By 2013, there have been a few reversals

in these numbers but not of significant amounts; yet.

Understanding food labels and the amount of news and media

coverage have helped this trend to start heading in the

right direction. I am pleased that Michelle Obama’s part

is playing a big impact, along with magazines that usually

feature articles with juicy and delicious foods that have

saturated fat and hydrogenated fat have also joined forces,

by including good and tasty alternatives.

Here are five ways to educate children to become more

‘savvy’ in the area of food choices.

1. Help your children (and yourself) visualize serving sizes.

Assemble products that you regularly include in your or their

diet. Examples of applesauce, oatmeal and cereals can be an

easy way to measure what is considered ‘regular’ portions.

When labels with nutrition information are looked at, it

helps to realize these are written for an adult’s size or a

2000 calorie adult diet.

Kids from four to eight, are about 2/3rds the size of an

adult. Teens should consume between 80-90% size of the adult

amounts.

Measure out single servings. This will take your cell phone’s

calculator and/or paper to figure out! Serving sizes of bars

of candy and little pints of ice cream can sometimes be based

on only a portion of the actual whole content!

2. Help your child to check out the details. These are in the

little fine print on the label. When there is a long list of

names of ingredients that you don’t even recognize, this food

item may not be healthy! Artificial colors, flavors, sweeteners,

high-fructose corn syrup and partially hydrogenated anything

should signal this food product is of lower nutritional value.

Making this process a game rather than a ‘lecture’ will help

to interact and make this meaningful. Ingredients which you

cannot pronounce often mean, ‘lab-created, fake, food-like

items.’ This was a suggestion from a registered dietitian,

Tara Dellolacono-Thies.

Of course, going to natural food places, including farmer’s

markets, can be a wonderful fun activity for families. Point

out, there are usually no labels on foods that are actual

fruits, vegetables and homemade products, usually include

more natural ingredients.

Comparisons can be made while watching television, with

advertisements that may mislead people into thinking they

are ‘good for you.’ Any opportunity, including driving

down the road, on billboards, can open up discussions on

food choices. Asking, rather than telling, really helps in

these ‘off the cuff’ situations.

I remember, as a child, my parents really wanting us to stay

away from sugary cereals. We still considered it a ‘treat’ to

get ones like, “Sugar Crisp” or “Frosted Flakes.”

When I went away to college, I gorged on dumb things like,

“Captain Crunch” and “Count Chocula,” which came out in 1971.

Buying things, like Hostess products out of the dorm vending

machines, ostensibly to ‘help me study and stay awake,’ such

as “Twinkies,” “Ho Ho’s,” and those pink-colored, coconut

marshmallow iced chocolate balls, called, “Sno-balls” were

my downfalls.

When they talk about “Freshman 5 pound weight gains,” I had

probably ten pounds! I read recently of a famous person,

Maria Menounos, who gained 40 lbs. There is a photo of her,

in April’s “Ladies Home Journal,” that is unrecognizable!

3. Evaluate the numbers and figure out how that computes in your

child’s daily intake. Immediately, I think of salt and sugar

levels in foods, in this message! Discuss the listed numbers

noted for calories, fat, sugar, fiber and cholesterol.

I have been shocked how sugary items, including cereals, have

salt in them. Then, salty items like snacks, have tons of sugar

in them. When evaluating a packaged food for an elementary

school’s lunch box, aim for 175 calories or less per serving,

one gram or less of saturated fat, no trans fats, no more than

13 grams of sugars and no more than 210 milligrams of sodium

content. Try for at least 2 grams of fiber. These were also

suggested by the woman dietitian named, Tara D.-T. I usually

look for 5 grams’ fiber in my whole wheat or whole mixed grains

bread. I have found better cereals these days, particularly, in

the natural foods’ aisles.

4. Compare and contrast whenever you have a chance to do this.

No matter when you see food products, on television, in ads

and even on billboards, you have an opportunity to bring up the

subject of good food choices.

My grandchildren and I play that fun game of, “My father/

grandfather/mother or whomever, owns a grocery store and in it,

he/she sells something that starts with a __ (insert first letter)”

This has often been a way to find out where they find the item,

which is one of the many questions that you ask: “Can you find

it in the Meats’ department?” Once we discover from questions,

the product they were thinking of, I get an idea of their favorite

foods. Also, it gives me a moment to prosthelytize.

Under this category, Tara D-T. suggests looking for a high-percent

daily value of important growth vitamins, such as calcium, iron,

zinc and Vitamin D. These important nutrients, by the way, are

also important for all of us, during our aging process, to keep

our brains and bodies strong and healthy!

5. A plan of action should be to translate this knowledge into

good, healthy choices. Once you, your child and family have

become more adept and practiced in this area, you can be less

worried about the times you do ‘slip up,’ with a fast food meal

or a fun time at the movies, eating the popcorn with partially-

hydrogenated fat poured over it. Our Delaware Strand buys a

better product, made from Promise margarine. It isn’t nearly

as high in fat content.

Sorry, this is one of my big downfalls, along with donuts,

candy and ice cream! I have been unable to give up these and

simply, try to limit them.

The trend for teens to drink those high calorie pops, energy

drinks, with loads of caffeine, and flavored coffees, needs to

be addressed. I hope that if this seems to be common among

your teens’ friends or group, that you may wish to suggest some

limits to this. I would say, after my own experience of being

‘denied’ certain foods, that it is best not to boycott these

altogether. As parents you could instead suggest moderation.

Limiting to an extreme, I will remind all of you who were teen

‘rebels’ out there, causes the reverse action to be produced!

With time and practice, children will begin to include the power

of reading food labels before choosing foods. Teens may think

twice, as they stand in front of the vending machines at their

school, work or play centers. By understanding food labels,

the more kids know about what they are eating, the more often

they will choose healthier food choices.

I hope that this will be another way to start Spring, with a

renewal of your New Year’s resolutions to become healthier and

lead longer lives. This include all members of your family,

beginning with the little ones! They are much more open and

less resistant to changes and as mentioned, this can be an

interactive experience.

Cliff Notes

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All day in the area I was working, I would bump into

a member of the Cycle Count department. His name is

Cliff and we have been friendly coworkers. We have

our lockers nearby and he is approximately ten years

younger than I. He is a ‘good family man’ who I have

admired the way he interacts with his boys.

When Cliff took his family on a trip out West, their

goal was to see all the states from here to the Grand

Canyon trip last summer. Cliff had chosen to take both

his weeks in a row which included the four weekend days.

This meant a rather long and extended time in the car,

but I was sure they would have an awesome time.

When Cliff came back, he was reluctant to brag. He knew

that I had been up at Mom’s, not any real vacation plans.

But I certainly reassured him, asked to see any travel

photos he may have had on his cell phone, at break time.

I was happy for his three boys and wife, too.

One neat family traveling activity, that brought some

memories back and nostalgia flowing, was Cliff’s family

played ‘car games.’

He told me they still like to play an alphabet game

and a license plate game in the car. When the boys

have participated in these for about an hour a day,

Cliff says he asks if they want to play their own

games, with headphones on. He says, it makes him

feel good that they don’t beg to do this all the

time. You can tell, he enjoys ‘together time’ with

his wife and sons.

When I was talking to him recently, Cliff and I were

discussing the movie, “Brave,” and how at first, even

at age four and a half, Micah (my youngest grandson)

was unsure how ‘cool’ it would be. He even said,

“That movie’s for girls, Nana!”

Cliff noted that it all depends on how he, as the father

of boys, approaches things. He shared that any time the

boys tend to make a comment, hesitate or indicate they

are prejudging something, he will bend over backwards,

saying, “We have to try this!” and I just knows it

will be good!”

We discussed in short snippets, as we were working,

about how society has transformed young people into

being overly conscious of ‘what people will think.’

I did say that this probably isn’t as “new” as we

like to think!

Cliff shared his positive attitude adding that,

“It is all how you approach things!”

He got his two boys who are in middle school and

one who is a high schooler to watch the movie,

“Brave.” Cliff said that his wife and he had really

wanted to see it at the movie theater. He said,

that by admitting he wanted to see it, the boys

when asked wanted to join them.

At Christmas, one of the gifts he purchased was

the Wii game for “Brave.” He says it is ‘great

fun!’

I like Cliff, think he is a great father and

husband. I asked him what he was going to do to

celebrate Valentine’s Day, in barely two days?

He was so enthusiastic, glad I even asked such a

question. He is taking the family to Cincinnati,

where they have reservations for two nights

consisting of two rooms, side by side. The plan is

to leave straight after work, on Friday. They have

their bags packed and are raring to go!

“The boys will stay next door,” he winked, “if you

know what I mean.” They were going to the perfect

place for people who are ‘sick’ of the snow!

They were heading off to the Newport Aquarium

on Saturday morning. They plan to stop on their

way south through Columbus at either a Bob Evans

or the Cracker Barrel south of ‘C-town.’

I was also applauding his idea of what to do on

Sunday morning. He has reservations at a nice

restaurant for their ‘brunch.’ It will be an

overall special occasion, with some privacy

and alone time, included. He also has plans

to stop on their way home at one of the big

Outlet Malls. Each member of the family will

use their own extra money or allowance, he

let me in on this fact.

What really pushed me into writing this post,

was not just to let guys know that it is very

thoughtful to think ahead about holidays.

Another reason was because I found out more about him

in the few hours he was ‘in my way,’ counting products.

He wanted me to tell you that his wife is named, “Joan.”

But for “forever and a day,” his parents and he have

called her, “Joanie.” Not her parents though!

When I asked him why?

Cliff answered, “Ever since Cliff Clayban was a character

on the hit television series, ‘Cheers,’ I have been kidded.

Sometimes, it has been about delivering mail, sometimes

about drinking every night at a bar, (which he assured me

he doesn’t do this, thinks it is ‘wrong’ and ‘not good for

building a strong marriage.’)

He loves to hunt with his boys, sometimes go on long walks

with one of them, with their family dog. Cliff also enjoys

the way he gets to know his boys, individually, on separate

hiking trips. This he does, sometimes, with his wife and

sometimes, not.

So, what happened to cause him to change the name “Joan”

into “Joanie?”

Oh, wait, I thought I had it!

Cliff saw my ‘light bulb come on’ and asked,

“Come on, Robin, why do we call her ‘Joanie?'”

I got excited and said, “Joanie Loves Chachi!”

And I continued,

“Then, the both of you have to live the life

of a television character!”

That show, by the way, was a spin-off from the long

lasting, “Happy Days.” It lasted with Erin Moran and

Scott Baio playing the leading roles, only from 1982

until ’83.

Didn’t make too much of an impression on many

people. Small viewing audiences didn’t choose to

watch and help make it last.

That show came out the year that Cliff graduated

from high school and met his wife, Joan, at the

local bowling alley in Marion, Ohio. They had fun

roller skating, bowling, hiking and swimming. they

liked going to Delaware to the Drive-In movies on

Cheshire Road.

Cliff says they got married at age 20 and smilingly

added,

“And we didn’t look back!”

The last part of my Cliff story is about the curious

habit that he has had since very young. He is passing

this habit on to his trio of boys.

He loves cartoons!

He rents or borrows cartoons from the past, including

Bugs Bunny, Coyote and the Roadrunner, and Mr. Magoo.

His favorite one that he spent two summers ago was

watching with his boys, every evening for one hour of

together time, excluding weekends was, “Johnny Quest.”

Cliff stopped from going any farther and his whole

demeanor changed. He gave me an exaggerated sad face.

I asked, “Oh no! What happened? Did your computer stop

projecting the Youtube copies of ‘Johnny Quest’ onto

your big screen television?”

Cliff shook his head.

I cannot help myself, when someone is silent, I have

to guess the reason!

“Is it too immature for the boys’ age now?”

Cliff looked at me like I was crazy!

“No! For some reason, I cannot find it on Youtube

anymore! So, no more ‘Johnny Quest!'”

“What happens now?” I wondered.

I got quiet, as if in mourning the passage of time

or the loss of a loved one.

I kept on picking my auto parts and putting them

into the five hampers I was pushing on the rails.

Finally, as if he knew my impatience or curiosity

was getting to me, (I have a face which doesn’t

hide my emotions.)

Cliff announced his proud decision:

“We watch ‘Scooby Doo!'”

I can just visualize those ‘men:’ two in middle

school, one in high school and one who is

supposedly the ‘adult’ in the group.

The father who wants to make his boys laugh.

A rather wonderful gift, indeed!

Trip to the Kingdom

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In the course of my Wednesday evening, I had the pleasure of the

company of my two grandsons from my oldest daughter. They are

adorable, as all children are when related to yourself! I play the car

game, “My father (or mother, grandfather, uncle…) owns a grocery

store and in it, he sells… ” and we give a beginning letter or the first

letters of the product or item. We were heading for a 20 minute

away Burger King play area. They love the crowns and they were

getting strawberry milkshakes. Mom (my oldest daughter) gave

the “okay” since they had already eaten supper!

That night, we were teaching the four year old that the letter “C”

doesn’t just make a “K” or “S” sound. We told him that it can make

a “ch” blend sound. I gave him that explanation as a “hint” when he

had asked, “Is it edible?” So precious,to think they can learn such

things so young, don’t you think? And, he was off asking about was

it a drink or was it candy?, etc.  By the time we told him about the

“ch” sound he asked, “Is it chicken?”  We were so proud of him!

But then when I said, “No but you are getting this!” When I gave

him another hint, “It could be white, orange or yellow,”  he lost

track of the letter and shouted, “Mac and cheese!”

And, my word was ‘cheese’ so we gave him ‘credit.’ We play taking

turns guessing. Otherwise, his older brother, age 8, Skyler, would

“win” all the time!

We had driven halfway down the road and Micah said, “We saw

two movies, Nana, in this month.”

I asked, “Which ones and give me your reviews.” Skyler chuckled

but Micah asked, “What’s (has trouble with r’s) ‘bevoos’, Nana?”

I replied, “Tell me what they were and whether or not you like

them. Reviews mean, if you could tell a friend, would you say

you liked them?”

Micah asked Skyler, “Which one do you want me to tell her about?”

Skyler answered, “Whichever one you want!”

Micah said, “Nana, you would LOVE the movie, “Despicable Me 2!”

“Why did you like it so much?”

He thought a minute, “Because the bad guy isn’t as bad as he was

in the first one. This time you know he is not so mean, he likes the

little kids a lot.”

He added, “It is so funny!”

I asked, “Micah if you could give it stickers would you give it 3 or 4?”

He said, “Well, Nana it should get 10 stickers!” (So cute, huh?)

Next Skyler told me all about the movie, “Monsters University.”

He really liked it because it “is not for babies. It was very smart

and had a lot of fun things. A boy when he is on a school field

trip, rode a bus to visit the Monsters, Inc. company. There he

sees a guy named Frank who is able to be a good ‘scarer.’

Then, the boy grows up wanting to become a scarer, too. Did

I mention he is a boy monster? Anyway, he goes to college

called Montsters University. His roommate is named Randall

Boggs and looks like a chameleon monster that is like one of

those guys on that show you like, Big Bang Theory. What are

they called?”

I said, “They are scientists but can be considered ‘nerds’ or

they also are “Trekkies” like your Poppy in Dayton.”

Skyler said that he liked all the guys like Sulley who is kind of

rude and “obnoxious.”  He added, “This is a mature movie, not

for babies.”

I questioned a little about the old characters from the first movie

then asked, “What would you say for a rating system? I usually

use the newspapers to rate using four stars as the best… How

many would you give this one?”

“Nana, you have to give it 10 stars, because it is at least as good

as “Despicable Me 2!”

To summarize, both those mentioned animated movies should get

as many stars as possible and they are highly recommended by a

four and eight year old I know!

We arrived at the play area, snagged their shakes and I bought a

complete meal, Whopper Jr., onion rings with zesty sauce and a

large iced vanilla coffee. The boys took their shoes off, stopped

and asked, “Can we take our socks off, too?”

“Sure, we will use wipes after you play and clean up before you

go home.”

They proceeded to ask me to take a picture of them with their

crowns on their heads. I sent it to their mother and stepdad,

to their aunt (my youngest daughter who called them “precious”

in their crowns) and since Lenny had been texting me, I sent

him a picture, too. He pronounced them “fine looking kings!”

Lenny told me to tell them “hi” from him.

Next time they got out of the play area, having been down the

slide and making friends with other children, they asked about

the picture, I showed them the texts back to them. Skyler read

them to Micah.

“Mommy says, ‘awww!'” and repeated Aunt Felicia’s words to

Micah, but when he got to Lenny, I had to tell them that he is

who I am seeing now.

MIcah groaned, “What happened to Mark?”

I repeated what I told him a few months back, that we had

retried and made an attempt to be boyfriend and girlfriend,

but once all the effort to “catch me” was over, he turned out

he wanted to be with his ex-girlfriend of more years.

I explained that sometimes the longer time you are with a

person, the better you like them.

Skyler, a little too wise for his age, added, “My big sister

Breanna, for example went back to her old boyfriend

since he lives closer and is more convenient to where

she is now. (His half sister is a high school graduate

and off to Dayton to work and lives too far to see

her local boyfriend here in Delaware.)

The analogy was sort of enought to satisfy them

and answer the question.

But both boys came to a very nice and sweet conclusion:

“Lenny better be good to you, Nana! We don’t want you

to cry!”

On our way back to their house, we played “My father owns

a grocery store” and Skyler ‘stumped us.’ Turns out I could

think of tons of fruits and foods with the first letter “A” but

could not think of any vegetables. Micah “gave up” fairly

quickly but I kept racking my brain (feeble as it is sometimes!)

When he gave me a “hint” which we allow one for adults and

3 for kids, Skyler said, “You need them to make guacamole!”

Oh!  I forgot that he would know that avacados are a vegetable!

And I forgot that avacados are in his range of knowledge, too!

On the way to and from the kingdom of play and fun, we had

the most amazing conversations.

Relationships are always so special when children are in the car

and we are’media free’and captivated by their thoughts, vivid

imagination and conversation.

conversation

Old Fashioned Memories

Standard

I am in the mood to make a list of some treasured and joyful things that were

part of my childhood that have almost vanished. I am sure there will be many

of your own memories touched on. There could be so much more than these

few thoughts. I hope to start a wonderful international discussion about the

ways you used to play, have fun in your past and bygone places that you wish

still existed.

I am going to say that one of the first things that popped into my mind was

the old soda fountains that were in drug stores and ‘Five and Dime’ stores. I

miss spinning on the diner style chair, usually with a red leatherette seat

and aluminum/silver rim and post that allowed fun while still staying in

one place. The soda fountains would have a wide variety of food to order. I

remember ordering a hot dog and a soda, thinking it was sublime in its taste.

Must have been the unique cooking of the hot dog and the way they ‘made’ the

soda!

Mainly the ones I encountered in Sandusky, Ohio and also, in Lancaster, Ohio

served great milkshakes, root beer floats and banana splits. I liked the fact you

could order a flavored “soda” beverage and there would be great fanfare in the

making of the order! You could hear the hissing of soda air exploding over the

flavored syrup.

Another thing that still exists, but there are few and far between: drive in

movies! I used to love this while a child, packing the back of the station

wagon with blankets and pillows for once the first feature ended we had

to go to sleep. I loved sitting out on the swings under the dark sky leaning

back and absorbing the universe through the stars, moon and clouds. My

years of being a single mother allowed me to afford the price of the whole

carload, sometimes my three plus guests coming to a grand total of $5.00!

I remember playing games that were so fun out late at night! Some of the

games both days and nights include hide and seek, tag, Mother May I? and

Capture the Flag. I also liked it when my parents would play flashlight hide

and seek at our friends’ house. This included their parents too in their large

farm yard where there were plenty of apple trees, bushes and the cornfield

to hide in!

What were your favorite games? I also remember long stretches of road

covered by “20 Questions” or “Animal, Vegetable or Mineral?” My own

children and now, grandchildren love the game, “My Father (insert other

family member) Owns a Grocery Store and In It He Sells…” then you give

the initials. (“R.B.” is Raisin Bran or get creative and have “T.” or “R.L.”

for Twizzlers or Red Licorice!) Tricking the opponents is part of the way

the miles go faster.

This is a short list that could go on and on! Mainly, I hope it took you down

memory lane. If you thought of something, if this triggered a smile, I am so

pleased I achieved my goal then.