Category Archives: Happy Father’s Day!

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!!”

 

 

 

Famous T. V. Dads

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Famous television fathers were quite conventional, sometimes filling

current stereotypes, but they usually seemed above normal in their

tolerance and patience. We were talking at Friday’s midpoint mark, in

the breakroom about how we may have formed misconceptions about

the way dads should act from watching these early family shows. After

all, most of us did not have traditional fathers, who would go to work in

suits and ties, come in cheerful, pull out a newspaper and quietly unwind.

I am sure my father wished he could have been ‘so lucky!’

My family consisted of two bread-winners and the three of us children,

were often in the winter months the last ones picked up at our baby-

sitter’s house. I remember looking out of Mrs. Boos’ picture window

into the darkness, wondering which day it was that Mom was doing her

oracle debates, drama or Spanish club meetings? I would sigh with an

almost exasperated ‘whoosh!’ when I finally saw her station wagon’s

headlights in the driveway. Mrs. Boos had two sons who played with my

brothers, occasionally I would join in or get a chance to sit on Diana’s

bed, her teenaged daughter and look at pictures of the Beatles or the

Dave Clark Five, or sometimes there would be magazines full of fashion

and hairstyles. My Mom was pleased when Diana went to Kent State

University and invited me to spend “Siblings Weekend,” as Diana’s baby

‘sister,’ Robin.

When we got home, my Dad, usually, would be home shortly, pulling off

his tie, after he took off his jacket, asking what he needed to do to ‘pitch

in.’ Spoiled me, made me think all fathers were like this. Today, Saturday,

June 14th, 2014, they had on the CBS Morning Show, a segment on the

percentage of fathers in the fifties, sixties and seventies that helped out

in child-rearing responsibilities. Sadly, they still said in the more recent

years the percentage of household responsibilities, even with working

moms being in the majority, it is still not a 50/50 deal.

Anyway, Melvin’s Mom and Dad were more like my parents, sharing the

chores and also, enjoying family times together. He admitted most of

his African American friends had either a limited amount of fatherly

involvement or none.

Tammy said that her mother had stayed home, whenever she would ask

for help inside the house, her father was quick to remind her, “You don’t

work.” She was dismayed at this behavior, remembering, even as a young

girl in her imagination, “I won’t stand for this in my adult life!” (Tammy

and Mike have been friends since childhood, “fence post buddies,” but have

never tied the knot.) She certainly is open that she doesn’t even have a

joint account with Mike, they just split the bills and love each other. She

is an independent woman, almost the ‘polar opposite’ from the parents

she dearly loves.

Trevinal said his parents are more together now, but in his childhood his

father sounded like my first husband, wished for dinner on the table,

kids cleaned up and early to bed, and lots of time watching his favorite

sports shows on television. There is a whole different love that he and his

wife share, more understanding and encouragement. He is so ‘blessed,’

he says to have someone who believed in his ability to think. The family

cannot believe that he is in Nursing School, working fulltime to pay his

bills and rising far above the expectations of Special Education. He feels

that by meeting the ‘right’ woman to share his life is a ‘daily blessing.’

His being in his thirties, reminds me of my own son, and I also remind

him of my belief in his ability to be a good father, when the time comes.

Here are the above persons’ and other coworkers, along with family

members who have cited some excellent, funny and different television

situational comedies for “Best Examples of Television Fathers:”

1.  My favorite father of all time, is from the show, “My Three Sons.” This

show allowed a non-traditional father, in amongst the ‘drones’ that I

found on other television shows. The combined household of widower,

played by Fred McMurray, his brother, who was the boys’ Uncle Charlie,

and the three rowdy boys always made me admire the patience, fortitude

and compassion showing what I considered “true family values.”

 

That is not to say, I didn’t laugh at the antics of Dick Van Dyke, Danny Thomas,

John Forsythe  (“Bachelor Father”) or Brian Keith (“Family Affair.”) I also liked

“The Ozzie and Harriet Show,” an almost first time reality show, since the family

was played by actual family members. I liked the sense of humor and the handsome

boys in this one! (Diana, my babysitter’s daughter, also had a few articles in her

teen magazines which featured the Nelson boys, especially the “cute” Ricky!

 

2.  Hugh Beaumont, who played the Dad on “Leave It to Beaver,” was the one

that my coworker, Mark, listed as his favorite. The different ways that influenced

his choice was first he liked that Beaver’s mother wore an apron, like his mother

did, daily. Also, that the father character hardly ever yelled, even under stressful

times.

3.  Tammy said the whole family in her household liked, “The Danny Thomas

Show.” I still like that Marlo Thomas was an independent woman, not hurrying

into marriage until she fell in love, in real life, with the talk show host, Phil

Donahue. I also personally enjoyed the fact she is a columnist in my “AARP

Magazine.” Tammy said she liked Danny Thomas, since he presented a few

shows, mentioning different cultures. I would have to check this out, but do

support and believe in St. Jude Children’s Hospital. Marlo has said that she

got her Dad’s slightly sarcastic sense of humor, which carries her through

tough times.

4.  Trevinal still remembers almost every show that “Family Matters” had

on television. He has found this to calm him, looking at Urkel’s silly dress

code, high water pants and his often expressed question, “Did I do that?”

The sense of humor and the family were something he admired and felt

that Urkel’s character was one that gave him confidence when he made

mistakes, throughout many of his years,  in life.

Trevinal’s words are very powerful, expressing this to me:

“Whenever Urkel goofed up, people would roll their eyes, sometimes

bellow at him, but always forgive him. That is how I wish to be when I

am a father.”

Reginald VelJohnson, who played the father in “Family Matters,” is

in one of my youngest daughter’s favorite shows, “Hart of Dixie.”

(Rachel Bilson and Tim Matheson play doctors on that country

setting show.)

Trevinal also noted that Urkel was a neighbor,  the family next door’s kid,

but he became part of the family and included, whether wanted there or not,

anyway.

5.  Keith told me, laughing, while lifting a box in the aerosol room, in what we

call the “Bomb Shelter,” that his favorite father character was Archie Bunker.

That show was called, “All in the Family,” where all sorts of issues popped up,

Archie sticking his neck out, saying all kinds of bigoted or prejudiced comments,

but usually backing down on them. Meeting people of all ethnicities, while they

were in an urban setting, with his wife being accepting, his daughter also very

open minded and often, Rob Reiner, playing “Meathead,” took the brunt of

Archie’s anger. I asked why he thought of this character? He told me, a little

bit sheepishly, that his own father was ‘backwards’ and ‘ignorant’ like Archie

had been. This made him become aware that there were other perspectives

on people. I appreciated Keith’s candor. He also added his parents were from

Kentucky! He added this with a laugh, like that explained everything!

He also said he respected the actor, Carroll O’Connor,  who had gone on to

play a cop, with a black partner, in the show, “The Heat of the Night.”

6.  My son, James, joked that he liked Homer Simpson, for the same reason

that Keith liked Archie Bunker. He said they were the ‘opposite of everything

he hoped for in a father.’ He also said that making mistakes for Homer, making

poor judgments, did make him feel more comfortable in his own parenting

skills.

7.  My oldest daughter said she liked Patrick Duffy, in the show, “Step by Step.”

She had a crush on him, from early days of watching, “Dallas,” and also had

a young ‘crush’ on Cody, the cousin who lives in a van in the driveway on this

sit-com. I liked it because Suzanne Somers was a hairdresser, average single

mother, who found a man with children to marry. I think the idea of stepkids,

appealed to me, also in ‘The Brady Bunch.”

When I mentioned my oldest daughter’s opinion, the men still were ‘hooting’

and ‘hollering,’ in a playful manner. They said she ‘made’ the show, “Three’s

Company,” and still looks great to this day.

8.  No one named, “Father Knows Best,” but all cited this as their 2nd and 3rd

choice of Best Television Father.

9. Charlene, whose young son, Ian, was in on my ‘Opinion Poll’ on Thursday,

had said she loved, “Wonder Years.” Since the mother character is on our

favorite soap opera, (Allie Mills), she remembered to point out she is good in

“The Bold and the Beautiful.” She also mentioned that the Dad on “Wonder

Years,” had to tackle difficult teen subject matter, since the boys grow up on

that show, from junior high through high school. I have to check out the dates,

be back to tell you the years: 1988 until 1993. The father’s character was

played by Dan Lauria. The couple who ended up taking the show into the

more mature theme included Danica McKellar and Fred Savage as “Winnie

Cooper,” and the kid next door, “Kevin Arnold.” In the Arnold family, the

mother stays home while the father worked. An interesting fact that I found

out was, Danica’s sister could have won the part of “Winnie,” the directors

say it was a ‘toss up’ between Danica and Crystal McKellar.

10. My mother loved the shows with Bill Bixby, including his role in “My

Favorite Martian” and “The Hulk.” But when I would come home from

junior high and high school, I would have the lights off, my Mom sitting

on one end of the sofa with her feet up on an ottoman, watching, “The

Courtship of Eddie’s Father.” When I overheard that song on the radio

and recently, on a commercial, I would almost “tear up.” Mom was much

more tired when I was that age, she would not volunteer to be coaches,

helpers or club counselors at Westlake High School. She would be the

chaperone, with my Dad by her side, for dances. That was as much energy

as she could ‘wrangle up,’ in her forties. I love Harry Nilsson’s song, the

memory of her sometimes lightly snoring, until the song would play

and she would sit up, watch and share those moments. My one brother

would be in track, (Spring), water boy in basketball, (Winter) or in

Cross Country, (Fall). This was ‘our time.’ The song began with these

words: “Let me tell you about my best friend,…” (The song includes

the father saying, “My pride and joy.”)

By the way, the jingles or songs for television would make an excellent

memorable post. When we were noticing the songs, we all agreed that

the piano playing and the off-key singing by Edith Bunker, played by

Jean Stapleton, was iconic: “Those Were the Days.”

That “Wonder Years” song, “I Get By With a Little Help From MyFriends,”

is legendary. We were nostalgic, reminiscent of family shows when there

weren’t as many choices on television and everyone’s family gathered together

to watch the shows. Even the commercials were memorable.

10.  The last contributor to this post on television fathers was my youngest

daughter’s suggestion of “Little House on the Prairie.” She enjoyed the setting

out West, through tough times, settling and learning how to live as a family

in a different time period had intrigued her.

She grew up watching this in reruns on Nickelodeon. This television

dramatic series ran from 1974 until 1983. (She was born in 1985.)

She reminded me that she read most of the Laura Ingalls Wilder books,

after I introduced them to her. She felt Michael Landon portrayed a

very charismatic and dynamic father. I am happy that she remembered

him in this role. (His personal life, somewhat like the much admired

Bing Crosby; left much to be desired. I feel the same about Eric Clapton,

Robin Williams and Bill Cosby. Troubled, but still admired for their

personal talents and  the ‘body of their works.’)

What was your favorite television father?

Making Father’s Day Plans

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At work, yesterday, we were talking about fathers. We really don’t know

what kind of pressure they had, in the past. We feel men and women

have a combined amount of stress, due to financial difficulties, low

wages, high cost of living, and raising families is not a ‘easy job.’

The song that came to mind, was the “Under Pressure” one with

both David Bowie and Queen singing it. Can you believe that came

out in 1981? And we were calling it a ‘newer song!’ Later, in 1982,

the group Queen performed this solo, on their album called, “Hot

Space.”

Also, someone volunteered the ‘older’ Dolly Parton song, “9 to 5.” We

all liked that movie, which is more of a support of women but the guys

said it was the only one they could think of, agreeing with Tammy, that

we are ‘behind the times!’

Guess what? We found out this is a 1980 song, so only one year before

the other song we came up with, representing marriage and parenthood

stress. We may need a newer song to suggest you listen to, to help you

feel that we have understood the way life has become even more hectic

than when we were growing up!

They felt the lyrics expressed how we all have to pack a lot into

our days, especially those who have families. Juggling many tasks,

meetings after work, sporting and other activities that children

need parental guidance and support can all lead to crazy moments.

My good friend, Bill, calls those days when people are raising kids,

as the “hunter/gatherer” stage. I know somewhere along the way,

one of my commenters disagreed with this terminology, not sure

what alternative, they did suggest a better way to describe the

way life is in the fast zone!

Lastly, we were discussing how we didn’t understand our parents

until we got older, had children and even, sometimes wish we had

had more time to just relax and enjoy them. Knowing time is so

precious, not able to stand still and really listen and pay attention

to what their important pieces of advice are. I remember thinking

that “I knew it all,” especially since I had graduated in elementary

school education, so I already ‘knew’ what children needed and

all.

Boy, did I get a huge splash of freezing cold water, a big dose of

reality!

There are NO manuals or instructions that explain how it is to

be a parent!

This post is in honor of fathers, along with mothers, who work as

a team to raise their children, doing the best they can, as much as

possible!

I have a good friend, who shall remain nameless, who still wished

she had more time to talk to her mother. I still wish I could ask my

Dad’s advice on more things. I would like to just listen to him again.

He could go on and on, rambling, if he liked. I would relate to the

desire to have someone to pay attention to, much more now. Now

that I am alone.

When asked, “What are you doing for Father’s Day?” I received an

interesting summary of choices. I hope you will add some present

and if you wish, some past ways you celebrated Father’s Day.

Charlene hangs with us, watching, “The Bold and the Beautiful”

from 1:45 until 2:00 pm. She is on her lunch break, so during the

commercial breaks we ask her, “What did we miss during the first

fifteen minutes of this half hour soap opera, we have become rather

attached or ‘addicted to.’

She said she plans to take her four year old son, Ian, to a big box

retail store, where he usually insists on buying his Daddy a card

and a gift. I wanted her to trace his hand and make a homemade

card, she says he won’t do that! Ian is a ‘force to reckon with!’

Charlene’s husband, Chris, works here, so we like to ask about

what he will be rewarded with for ‘His Day.’ She added that she

will cook one of his favorite meals, lasagna, garlic bread and a

dinner salad. It takes a lot of time to prepare it, having learned

the ‘hard way, ‘ from Christopher’s mother, the ‘true Italian way

to prepare this dish.’

Keith, whose daughter, Ashley, spent this past year in a haphazard

thrown together home-schooling adventure turned 13 this past week.

She is staying home, making a Cool Whip ‘concoction’ with crushed

Oreo cookies for Keith’s Father’s Day. He also had been happy to

hear that she was going to clean up the kitchen, dust and vacuum.

She may take off for the swimming pool, but this work was promised

to be completed by the time he came home today (Friday). By the

way, she failed seventh grade and will be taking it over again. Many

of my ‘regular’ commenters, will remember how I worried a lot about

the way Keith was handling it, how I had to step away and basically,

wash my hands of it. (Background information available on Keith

and Ashley post. )

Tammy’s father, who has had heart surgery, knee surgery and also,

still takes a lot of medications is 83 years old. His wife is in much better

shape, Tammy’s mother is ‘on the ball.’ For Mother’s Day, Tammy and

Mike (“Fencepost Buddies” love story post) had her parents, her sisters,

brothers, nieces and nephews over for a huge potluck/picnic. It had

ended up inside, but they are crossing their fingers to have it outside.

They purchased bags of mulch and will be putting this around her

mother and father’s flower beds, plants and trees. That will be their

gift, plus hosting their large, extended family on her side.

Melvin was ready to tell us all about the great barbecue that he and

his handicapped girlfriend helped to prepare dishes and a skinless pig

roast for a paid graduation party. Their catering “earned them more

that two weeks at Advance Auto, all in nice, crisp 100 dollar bills cash!”

Melvin’s used to being a cook in the Army, also for his large family.

The family is mainly out East, which he and his girlfriend are heading

that direction so, other than cards, there may only be the “trip out East,”

as his Father’s Day gift. They will be taking from June 20th until June 28th

to travel there and back, driving. He hopes to connect to some of his old

Army buddies, but nothing like their huge reunion last year, in MA.

We were trying to persuade him to open up a restaurant or catering

business, but Melvin thinks it would be too stressful on his girlfriend.

Trevinal and his wife, who I wrote about his taking nursing classes,

to get ahead in their life together. His father used to work at Advance

Auto D.C. #23, too. He is retired and when he did, he passed on the

advice to his son, to try and find a better job. Trevinal sits at our table,

laughs at our ‘old age’ jokes and is in his thirties. (I wrote about his

being designated “Special Education” while growing up, how he is

going to Columbus State and now has a 3.5 average every semester!)

Their love story is ongoing, first a good career, children next…

They are celebrating with his mother and father by taking them to

Ryan’s Steakhouse, which is a buffet style restaurant. They have some

plans to help trim trees, mow the lawn and  his wife plans to bake a cake,

too.

My friend, Mark, whose mother lives with him, told me today that he

plans to take her to his father’s gravesite, they will plant live flowers and

also, take home the Memorial Day wreath, they had left a couple of weeks

ago. He is the one who I gave my telephone number at Thanksgiving and

we have stalled out in the dating area of our friendship. Sort of ‘back to

square one.’ I like him a lot and will hope someday it may mean more to

him, too. Meanwhile, fun to have a man to flirt with, once in awhile!

One who has a home, computer and is not homeless, like I meet at the

library! Ha ha!

I have offered tonight and tomorrow night to watch grandchildren and

have plans to give cards to my son and my oldest daughter’s man for

their special day. I have decided that “Nana sitting” is enough, so won’t

be enclosing money this year for Father’s Day!

Work equity sounded like a great way for people to help their Dad’s out,

along with saving money. It is a trend across all income levels, giving

time is always an excellent way to show you love someone!

I will be posting about the Poll I took that was on the subject of which

television show featured your favorite Dad, father figure or male role

model, tomorrow!

I was surprised at the results at break, lunch and after work, with my

coworkers choices. It may or may not amuse you! It brought back a

few good nostalgic memories.

Let me know, “What are you doing for Father’s Day?”

 

 

 

“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?

 

 

Man of Steel, a teacher

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For Father’s Day, I always emphasize that there are many men

out there who act like fathers, do the job of fathers and need to be

remembered, thanked and hugged for their beyond the ‘call of duty’

efforts. What male role model do you think of “outside the box” who

played a valuable role and impacted your life during your formative

years?

I have a man in mind, who may or may not be alive, but he was

our Science Club counselor, leader and mentor. His name was

Mr. Bobniz! We had a motley crew with members that were very

strong, active participants in many activities and then there were

a few who probably joined because there was a genuine love and

acceptance theme going on. No one was excluded!

Mr. Bobniz overlooked rudeness, swearing and general rowdiness.

We all got together with him like a team, planned many wonderful

outings. We went to parks, creeks and streams. We rode our bikes

from the West side suburb of Bay Village, Ohio to Sandusky to put our

bikes on a ferry to Kelley’s Island. Where we saw the glacial grooves, no

drinking at the local winery, but lots of good, clean fun as getting away

from town and letting loose does for young teenagers!

We planned and connived Mr. Bobniz into getting some extra cash

funding to take us on a big trip to Mammoth Cave. Wow! We were so

excited! We were sure glad to go to the Health Museum, the Science

Museum and the Cleveland Zoo, but this trip would top all of them!

Yes, we were kind of “nerds” or “nerdy” and we had some kids in the

group who could join the actors and actresses in the television show,

“The Big Bang Theory” but we were leaving the state of Ohio! You can

imagine the kind of snacks, meals and money that we were needing

to embark on this trip. We were leaving early on a Saturday while

returning in our long caravan of cars with walkie talkies, on Sunday

afternoon. Only a couple of parents were coming as chaperones.

So fun you could explode with scientific facts about stalactites, stalagmites

and bat droppings!

I will never forget the silly antics of what  one motel room full of wild boys

who decided to collect our pop cans throughout the whole trip did.

After all, we were recyclers! We collected once a month newspapers and

magazines for the Science Club paper drives. Anyway, since there were

2 exits; one was a sliding glass door exit out of each room and the other,

a hallway door, this group of guys piled pop cans high into a tower by the

hallway door. They got a string, an apple and rigged it so that it would fall

when the door opened by the poor maid. We laughed about the stunt on the

the way home. Along with their catching what they thought was a live poisonous

spider, whether the brown recluse or the black widow, I cannot know, and

putting it under one of the glasses in the bathroom. (Side note, remember when

motels had real glasses and not paper, plastic or styrofoam cups?)

Mr. Bobniz was a hero. He was a teacher, friend and most of all, he

played Father to us during some of the wildest sober times teens could

have. As far as we know, he never married. And we are not sure about

his sexual preference, he never mentioned partners, dates or either

women friends or male friends to us. He listened to our little quarrels,

our numerous complaints about school politics and the “establishment.”

If you grew up in the seventies or even, the eighties you can relate to all

of that. I know Viet Nam existed on our t.v. sets every night while we ate

dinner. But these carefree and innocent Science Club moments are worth

mentioning and remembering.

Thank you, Mr. Bobniz!

I am not sure if you ever were chosen but better late than

never:

You deserve Teacher of the Year award, 1974!

Happy Father’s Day 2013

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There are so many things that are important to remember

to say to commemorate and honor fathers on Father’s Day.

To sum all of the wonderful quotes and try to mention the

most meaningful ones would be an overwhelming “task.”

There was a beautiful poem I have saved for such a special

occasion that will encompass part of what I would like to

express:

“I have seen strength,

like an oak in the storm…

I have felt gentleness,

like a golden summer dawn…

I have heard laughter,

like a splashing waterfall…

I have felt protection,

like a shelter all around…

All from a life that gave me life…

All from my father’s love.”

Written by M. E. Miro’, no date given.

I loved my father and am fortunate that

he had all of these cherished qualities.

If you had an uncle, cousin, brother, friend

or a father who showed these sides to you,

if he is still around:

Thank him for all the guidance, strength and

love he gave to you! Those precious gifts will

always live on in you.

June thoughts

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“Oh, the summer night

Has a smile of light,

And she sits upon a sapphire throne.”

Written by Barry Cornwall, English poet

(1787-1874)

There are a lot of celebrations this month of June!

Just heard on Russel Ray’s photography  blog that June First

is: Butterfly Awareness Day!

Beautiful creature is the butterfly and the colors are so wonderful.

I will always love the shimmer and the iridescent quality to their

wings! Let June fly into your heart!

June 5th is World Environment Day. Try to do some ecological

and more environmentally correct things so this may start good

habits for the rest of the year! My Mom used to spray vinegar on

weeds. To prohibit bugs in the vegetable garden she planted and

surrounded them with (“smelly”) marigolds. This may keep the

bunnies and other animals at bay, not too sure about them!

Both my parents had a compost pile  where we would take our

vegetable shavings and other decomposable materials. My brothers

and I would sift the compost pile and would use the worms for bait

while fishing!

On June 14th, we celebrate Flag Day so proudly post your flags and

make sure you put them in at dusk and during rainy days, too. This day

was initiated in 1777 by the Continental Congress. It also is the day

that the Army considers their anniversary date. (1775)

On June 16th, we celebrate Father’s Day. Of course, by letting uncles,

dads, grandpas and other nice men who have been good role models

for kids know how much we appreciate them! I have been so glad that

I had my two brothers who always showed up when asked to help or

go somewhere with my three children! They were my kids’ living monkey

bars, also bought them a great and long lasting wooden gym and swing

set. They were at the kids’ birthdays, holidays, zoo trips and Cedar Point,

too. We could “count on them!” The uncles and my father were wonderful!

Thanks so much and we love you!

On June 23rd, we will have a Full Strawberry Moon! I loved the bright

orange Flower Moon of May and hope there will be plenty of clear nights

to gaze at the moon in June.

Today, May 31st I had a basal cell carcinoma double patch on my left ear

lobe removed. I had the MOHS procedure where they take a slice, put it

on a slide and look to see if it is enough taken, I only had two layers taken

off before it came out “clear” of the bad cells. I then had to cross the hall

and have a patch taken off my neck and it was stitched up on my ear. It

was a simple procedure that took about four and a half hours altogether.

It makes you wonder how people tolerate worse health setbacks and I

realize I am so blessed to have only dealt with minor ones at that!

I have a couple of more thoughts having to do with my longing to be

a teacher facing a summer of not working, reading, relaxing and having

lots more fun!

My youngest daughter saw I was blue today and said,

“What you DO, does not define you.

It is not WHAT  you are

(i.e.:  job, profession, homemaker or disabled person)

But WHO you are that COUNTS!

(i.e.:  inside and outward actions shown)”

She had me listen to a very motivating and inspiring graduation speech

given by Steve Jobs to Stanford University graduates. This includes three

examples of life-changing happenings that in their own self may have

not meant much but once connected “like connecting the dots” they became

life altering and impacted his career and life. The last one was getting

cancer and how he dealt with it. This was possibly spoken months before he

died. I am not sure of the time line. If you have an opportunity, check on this

speech.

Looking forward to those hazy, lazy days of summer and hopefully, you and I

will get to drift on a raft, swim in a pool or skim rocks across a creek. Maybe

we will get to a picnic or two, see the fireflies, shooting stars and the radiant

sun in the sky. Sunsets and sunrises, too.