Posts Tagged With: grand kids


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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Leaving the 73 degree heat in Louisiana on March 30th to return to Murphys in snow was a shock. I worked on taxes and arranged ceiling repairs and paint for my rental until April 4th, when daughter Virginia arrived in her Prius, packed to the hinges for she and I and her two boys. Our goal? A visit with daughter/sister Kristanne and cousins from Trabuco and points south.

Auto travel with children, ages eight and ten can be challenging. Its one of the only times you are grateful for those electronic mesmerizers.  Brother Owen helped his younger brother Theo with strategy in his electronic battle. It was good for a couple of hours. Then, Virginia hauled out new, never before read, comics. A snack of fruit, books and scenery, and word games filled some time.  Then a rest stop.

We chose a spot close to coffee, cool drinks, gas, restrooms and grass. The kids were able to practice karate moves and use up some energy while we watched and stretched our legs. Highway 99 has no state rest stops. They’ve all been moved to Highway 5, but the services are good and handy, making it easy to stop frequently if needed.

Later in the day, we had a leisurely lunch and met this cute baby being showed to everyone by a proud grandma.

At a stop for groceries and goodies before arriving at Portola Hills in Trabuco, we met this little cutie helping her mother shop.

American marketing talent is truly amazing. Comfort at every mile along the way makes traveling with kids a cinch. The drive was nine hours including stops and no blood was drawn. Pretty smart mother, too.

A bouquet for the hostess and we were eating, drinking, and playing Quiddler before you could say, “antidisestablishmentarianism” which is one of Owen’s favorite words. He also has a another favorite. Things are no longer awesome, they are “epic”!  Oh, its wild to learn things from your grand kids. Tomorrow, science and vegetables.

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