Posts Tagged With: children

“THERE IS ALWAYS A LITTLE BOY IN THE OLD MAN GONE FISHING.”

The title quote is from J. Calder Joseph.

I like Science Magazine and I recently read an article about children suffering from slower muscle development and coordination. It apparently has teachers and pediatricians worried enough that studies were conducted on 407,000 children from age five to ten. They blame over-cautious parenting, “Don’t get dirty.”  “Hold my hand when we take a walk.” “Get off the sidewalk, it will ruin your dress.”

Parents fearing predators, or accidents, or getting lost, is keeping kids inside, and not encouraging enough social play. The studies proved that play is educating and provides better development of the brain and muscles. When we came home from school, when we finished our chores, we had the whole neighborhood to ramble and get up a game.

I remember when my youngest daughter allowed her kids to bike around the block and a worried parent reported to her that she had seen her son on the other side of the block; what she considered risky behavior.

Stuart Brown, Psychiatrist says: “A lack of play should be treated like malnutrition: It’s a risk to your body and mind.”

This is a recent quote from 2017 and I don’t know where Stuart practices. But I do recall my boys playing on the side-walk or the grass,  snapping those little rolly bugs around like marbles. Or trying to catch lizards.  And my daughter coming home from the school playground (where she walked by herself,) with scraped knees and a torn dress.

Diane Furstenberg said: “My best creation is my children.”

I love that quote because it is my view of motherhood as well.

“Men want to improve only the world, but mothers want to improve their whole family;  a much harder task.” Harriet Freezer.

But the quotes I remember with humor, are those I grew up with. “Children Should Be Seen And Not Heard.”  That uttered when my folks were playing a rousing game of Smear. We could watch as long as we didn’t kitbitz.

“Little Pitchers Have Big Ears”  When the neighbor lady was visiting and the subject of pregnancy or other delicate matters would come up. Then it was, “Outside with you,” or “Go play”.  I don’t know the origin of those homilies  but it brings me in mind of the clever Americana  art work of Norman Rockwell with the tousled headed boy, sporting a black eye and a huge grin, waiting outside of the principle’s office.  Or the little girl hanging out the window of the car sticking out her tongue to the wind.

I think children had more fun growing up before computers and organized and automated everything.

 

 

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LISTENING, WISDOM

At my age I tend to think I have a bit of collective wisdom. But what I like about quotes is they get right to the point with few words and often with humor

So, here goes:

Wisdom is the reward you get for a lifetime of listening when you’d have preferred to talk.    Doug Larson from United Features syndicate.

And:

Children have never been good at listening to their elders, but they have never failed to imitate them.   James Baldwin.

 

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OUR FRIENDSHIP NEVER MISSED A BEAT.

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Old friends from Fremont visited me two days ago. They were camped nearby and called. With a little background, Sandy and David Barron were the youngest members of our square dancing group, the Kuntry Kuzzins back in the early 1970’s. Square Dancing is one of those activities that you have to drag your husband too in the beginning, then once he realizes how much fun it is, he’ll go without you if you’re sick. So we enjoyed them, often teasing Sandy that she was the “baby” of the club even though she was a mother of two. We were excited when they bought a house.  Sandy was always a bit shy. David, out going, from a large extended family. A nice young couple, building  the American Dream.

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We talked for several hours and I realized what an amazing couple they are.  They look the same.  Neither has aged much. David has less hair.  I didn’t know David was a disabled Marine from Viet Nam. It never came up.

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We checked through their pictures on the phone and I got to see the grandson David helped raise. Their son Mathew’s two beautiful daughters. A great-grandson. Neither Sandy nor Dave have a college education, but their daughter, Jennifer, has several degrees and a fantastic job. She worked during college days beside her mother as a motel maid, making beds and cleaning rooms.  Sandy worked outside the home for 22 years. But, even more revealing to me, Sandy and Dave took in nine foster children. I had two foster children and love them and have contact to this day.  But I was stunned at nine. What a commitment over all of those years.

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What a pleasure to sink back into a friendship, after a long gap. I guess you can tell I’m impressed. I enjoyed getting caught up with mutual friends from our club.  His sisters, brothers, step-father and some amazing tales. I didn’t know Sandy’s siblings.

They brought me flowers and I took pictures of the bouquet. This new computer is driving me nuts.  I could not get those pictures out of my camera. So, you’ll have to settle for a poem by David J. Irvine, called Ownership.

Man’s pet, the kitten, lives nine lives.

Man one: three score and ten.

Man claims the ownership of earth,

Of every glebe and glen.

What modest claim do kittens make?

The ownership of men.

It speaks to the bonds of love… for Sandy and David, those loving bonds are kids and grandkids and other people’s children.

 

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GARY ALLEGRETTO AND IAN ESPINOZA

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A concert featuring cowboys, Gary Allegretto and Ian Espinosa both songwriters and musicians who love the blues and western music put on an outstanding show at the Arts Center in Angels Camp yesterday.  But the standout performer, Allegretto, is not a guitarist, but a harmonica virtuoso.  Never in my life could I have imagined the sounds and range of “vocals” that come out of a simple  carry-in-your-pocket, harmonica.  After the show, the duo sold and autographed CDs.

DSC08021 (Copy)A “people” person, Gary posed with a local admirer, Chris Doty. Some of the music he has written qualifies him as a comedian. His range of music from the foot stomping, “This Ain’t My Last Rodeo,” (number one on the charts for three years running) and a sing-a-long number, “But You Can’t Stay Here”, reflect his days as a bouncer in a Santa Fe bar. He reminds us that Santa Fe, when he worked there,  wasn’t all “pinky boutique” but a pretty rough shod place full of hard drinkin’, fists ready cowhands. His music is difficult to describe, a blusey-western mix; throw in an African American spiritual, and something akin to dance with Ian’s singing and playing on a guitar older than anyone in the audience, and you have a rave collaboration.

DSC08022 (Copy)Allegretto is internationally known for his humanitarian work with children. He brings to kids- be it Indonesia, Africa or Wales-the universal language of music. He can talk through that harmonica and leaves each boy and girl with a harmonica of their own with which they can play four songs. Now that is peace making on a very basic level.

DSC08026 (Copy)Calaveras Arts Council Director, Mary Jane Genochio brought them to Angels Camp and then on stage, gave a tearful farewell. Her house was destroyed in the Butte Fire and she said, “I am building a house and I must turn this job over to another.”  We will definitely miss her.

DSC08017 (Copy)Equally loved, former Director, Penny West, who held the reins for at least 20 years brought us Mary Jane. We in Calaveras County owe so much to the wonderful leadership provided by these two amazing women. Our Arts are strong, and we are so lucky and grateful.

DSC08028 (Copy)Another arts venue is involved in the simple act of story telling, poetry, writing and critiquing new writers. A powerful group also in Angels Camp under the Arts Council umbrella. Here Joy Roberts recruits wanna be writer, Lizz Emerson. The Arts Council begins its free music in the parks concerts in early June, just a mention here while I’m at it. But, back to Allegretto. You can listen to a sample of his music on this website:  garyallegretto.com. But more than that, this is one of the finest accolades I’ve ever seen:

“I cannot express enough gratitude for what you have done for the harmonica and for Hohner. 
Without you, we would be less of a brand.”

~ Clay Edwards, CEO, Hohner Harmonicas Inc.

You gotta see this guy!

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CHRISTMAS RITUALS

DSC07172 (Copy)We turn into children a bit if we have little grand kids to play with. But even adults enjoy taking a drive through a particularly colorful neighborhood where  lights and lawn decorations beckon. We decorated lavishly when our kids were little but now I settle for getting cards out every couple of years or so.

DSC07168 (Copy)With my signal down for two days, I put my mind to Christmas cards and toward the end of my list, I got weary  and decided to phone old friends I hadn’t seen, nor heard from. Numbers change and I regret not keeping up with old friends. In a changing world, we have social media, email and facebook. I can find a couple of them I’m sure.

DSC07169 (Copy)A less known ritual among stamp collectors  is to mail away to a Christmas town.  Each year I would pick a couple of towns that suggest Christmas and send a self-addressed return envelope, to collect the post mark.

DSC07171 (Copy)It would surprise you to know how many Christmasy places we have in the U.S. I have a list of 89 cities. Some are repeats, like Berry, IL., and Berry, KY. I’ve written for: Santa, ID. Bethlehem, N.H.,Chestnut, IL, Christmas, MI.,Evergreen, NC.,Garland, TX., Mistletoe, KY, Rudolph, WI, Harmony, MN.   There are many, like Ivy, Pine, Noel, Hope, Bountiful, St. Marys, Winters, North Pole… and so it goes. I forgot to mention local Angels Camp is on the list.

DSC07177 (Copy)And, once you begin looking at post marks, you find other interesting anomalies like these opposites:

Disco, Wisconsin —– Waltz, Michigan.  Carefree, Arizona—–Panic, Pennyslvania.  Normal, Illinois—–Peculiar, Missouri. Sunrise, Wyoming—–Sunset, Louisiana.  Lively, Virginia—–Drab, Pennsylvania. Why, Arizona—–Whynot, Mississippi.

Then you begin to wonder, why was a particular town named Truth Or Consequences, New Mexico, Hell, California, or Triumph, Louisiana?  All town names are a glance at history in a unique way.  Major postal centers digitally sort mail and in many areas you can no longer get post marks of the city on an envelope.

You will not see kids lying on the floor, pouring over pictures in a catalog either. I know the future is here, and an I-phone can play your favorite Christmas Carols and allow you to shop while waiting at the doctor’s office. Even waiting at the doctor’s office is destined to change. I am not longing for the “good old days” so much as relishing memories and comparisons, a kind of privilege of age. Who would have thought we’d see driverless cars, and voices that give you directions while driving?   I love the technology giving us wonderful things in the future. But, I believe the guy who invented voice mail should be shot. (Well, you know, not really. Only when I’m hanging on-line for an hour or so.)

 

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WHAT IS A TRADITIONAL WEDDING?

DSC07092 (Copy)Somewhere, in a lighted, heated, tent, my “baby” brother, Clark,  got married to Theresa Gillick, a second marriage for them.

DSC07104 (Copy)Theresa wore a lovely wedding dress and the best man, my nephew Tom, wore a traditional suit. For Tom, a suit is a mile marker. I joshed that I had to attend this wedding just to see Tom in a suit. He told me he wore a suit to Clark’s first wedding as best man, and that it might be the last time he wore a suit. Uncle Clark is younger than his nephew Tom.

DSC07098 (Copy)Tom’s wife, Maryanna, claimed he didn’t wear a suit when they married. “I like it she said. I hope I can get him to wear it again.” (At his funeral he claims.)

DSC07093 (Copy)My son, Ken became licensed to marry them. A first for him.  By their own vows they pledged their fealty and wed. Writing your own vows has become traditional.

DSC07094 (Copy)Theresa has the cutest little grandchildren. This little angel spread flower petals for them to tred upon. Later, she gathered them up, from her own sense of right, and put them back in the bag.

DSC07101 (Copy)Having children in a wedding is always a joy as we look upon tears, smiles and questioning faces. Lucky Clark inherits a beautiful set of grandchildren as well. One of the good things about second marriages.

DSC07102 (Copy)This little grandson I believe was the ring bearer. He was only interested in his toy unless someone convinced him to look up for that crucial moment. Got it!!

DSC07110 (Copy)I like to tease Clark about being my baby brother but when he reminded me he was 60, I decided maybe I better knock it off. I doted on him when he was a kid and liked to play mother to him and my brother Mark, 13 months older. Of my five brothers, two are deceased.

DSC07112 (Copy)I watched fascinated when the photographer  stopped to arrange Theresa’s flowing veil and actually tied it up so she could walk properly. Gown’s can be shortened on the spot without a needle or thread. Traditional?

DSC07115 (Copy)My daughter Virginia mentioned how easy it is for kids to get acquainted. Abbie, on the right, stepped out on the dance floor and made instant friends with the grandchildren she’d just met.  Life is simple if you’re a kid.

DSC07116 (Copy)My oldest brother, Bill, parodied some movie character:  “Bring on the grub.” Soon enough, we were eating prime rib, chicken in a rich sauce, vegetables and a tossed green salad.

DSC07121 (Copy)A non-traditional chocolate cheesecake.

DSC07124 (Copy)The adults hit the dance floor after dinner and a few drinks.

DSC07127 (Copy)You go girl! Everyone danced with everyone. It mattered not if women danced with women, or children or dads and brothers. My Uncle Veron and Uncle Norman taught me how to dance for my Uncle Roger’s wedding.

Some years back it was tradition to put cameras on the tables and guests took pictures of each other. Clark and Theresa engaged the services of a photo booth.  Zany pictures, fun pictures or prim pictures, mixing people who didn’t know each other; instant results. Clark and Theresa and  guests get a copy. Clark also hired a limousine service that drives anyone home, and a second driver follows with your personal car.  Safety for anyone who may have had a drink too many. It was really fun. To see the rest of the pictures, click the link below:

 

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