Thursday, January 28, 2010

Poppa, We Remember You

(Bernie ~ 9/15/1931 - 1/25/2010)

Poppa, We Remember You
“This is a collection of our memories of Bernie,our Grandfather affectionately known as “Poppa.”
by Kristin, Jessica, Rebecca, Rachel, Sarah and Hunter (compiled by Amy )

With twinkling blue eyes and a mischievous grin, Poppa stole our hearts. We are not exactly sure how that happened since the minute one of us was born Poppa would call the baby a ‘sack of salt’ and threaten to sell him or her for fifty cents. We remember that instead of growing in value as we grew older, our worth declined until Poppa would offer to sell us for just a penny, box us up and send us around the world. But after a while he would sigh and say, “ I’d have to buy you back, though.”
We remember that his greatest joy was to convince us as toddlers to call ‘Nena,’ our grandmother and his better half’, ‘a Bum.’ But every one of us caught on to that joke and responded with “No.. you’re the bum, Poppa bum.” Which would make him chuckle and reply with, “Your all-right. I reckon I’ll keep you” Then he would point to Nena and say, “But She’s still the bum.. not me.”
We remember sleep overs with Nena and Poppa. Curled up in one of the huge recliners in the den, sipping on a ‘tiger’ cup full of ‘sugared down with love’ coffee, we would watch old Westerns. More than likely the movie would feature another favorite man of ours, John Wayne. In the evenings we’d stay glued to the set watching ‘True T.V.’ and marathon episodes of COPS. At some point during the evening Poppa would call out, “Ma, where’s my cream.” And we’d run to the kitchen to help Nena dish out the vanilla or butter pecan ice cream.

Even though Nena claims she can’t cook, Nena would make us cinnamon toast. We remember Poppa fixing us his special breakfast of “Frozen Maine Blueberries” Occasionally we’d go out to eat where Nena would eat her grits raw while the rest of us would copy Poppa and smother our grits with sugar. Eating with him could be risky because more often than not, he’d spider walk his hand across the table and try to snatch your food.
At supper time, we would hike up the hill to Derry’s where we would listen to a ‘battle between the North and the South’ at every meal. Someone, usually Bert, would call Poppa an “ole Yankee” and threaten to feed him greens. You see, while Poppa may have adopted ‘sweetened tea, grits and ‘pecan’ pie, he couldn’t abide a ‘green’ of any sort.
For as long as we can remember, Poppa and Nena would Summer in Maine. Which was okay with us as long as we got to go with them. There in ‘vacationland’ we would adopt his Yankee food, ‘bottled water’ from Poland Springs, cream of wheat, and Uncle Tink’s Blueberry Pie. And like Poppa, we found one food we couldn’t abide, Mincemeat Pie. Sorry, Aunt Arlene.
Walking the rocky beaches of Maine, touring the shipyards of ‘Old Port’ and ‘chasing the light houses’ along the rocky coastline, we wondered how Poppa could leave his native state. Until he explained to us how he grew tired of climbing out of the second story window on frigid school mornings, to dig out the seven foot snow drifts from around the front door to let his family out.
We remember being still with Poppa and watching....listening. He always kept his binoculars close by as he would watch the birds and deer come to the feeders in the back yard. In Maine, he would take his bincoulars to the beach and to the bay. He was content to sit for hours and watch the ships come in.
We remember Poppa’s hands. Gifted hands that filled our homes with his beautiful furniture. Hands that collected, sorted and archived stamps and coins, pieced together puzzels, and painstakingly built a ship in a bottle. Hands that were quick to hug, to hold and to encourage us. Hands that would hold ours as he spun us around the room with our small feet perched on top of his feet as he hummed a country western song.
Poppa, we remember you and we will not forget your humor, your love, and your lessons on life. We will remember that God let you stay a little bit longer on ‘borrowed time’ to be our Poppa and to have the chance to dance with you.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

From the moment I walked in the door with my iphone, my children claimed it.

If Hunter is not playing games, Rachel is snapping pictures
and downloading applications or Sarah is adding and mixing
up the ringtones. And that is where I got into trouble.

On Friday night, Sarah and I went to church for an event called Uprising 3.0

"All rising 7th Graders and family, join us for a time of introduction to the
Student Ministry of FBC. We will have a dinner prepared just for you at
6:00 in the Fellowship Hall. During this time you will be introduced
to many of the ministries, programs and activities you can be
invloved in with Student Ministry."

So... right in the middle of the youth pastor's talk...
my phone goes off. LOUD.
The ringtone... "DA DA DA DUM.... Bad to the Bone."

Yeah. It went off at least twice before I turned it off
and everyone turned to me. Laughing. Hard.

It was quite an uprising.

When we got home, I gathered the children together
and asked for a confession... "Who put "Bad to the Bone"
on my ringtone?"

"It said "Piano Riff," Mama... not "Bad to the Bone," Sarah
confessed. "What is "Bad to the Bone" anyway?"

For those of you too young to know the song..
it's a classic. "Bad To the Bone"

Keep the Faith,

Sunday, August 9, 2009


Austin lives for the moment his Daddy
comes home from work. If I ask him,
"Austin, are you a momma's baby?
He will sign "Daddy Tractor."
Every afternoon, Daddy and his
little shadow will find something
to do on the tractor. And who could
blame them? It's air conditioned,
has an XM radio, and it's even
equipped with a Buddy seat.

Austin prefers heavy lifting with the
front end loader. But more than likely,
they are raking, mowing, tettering,
or baling hay. Not too far into work time
I will receive the inevitable phone call,
"Come and get your son." The sound of the mower
and the vibration of the engine puts Austin to sleep.
(Workin' Hard) ;)

Keep the Faith

Saturday, August 8, 2009

The Vet's Daughter

(The Vet's Daughter)

After dental appointments, I decided to take the five youngest
to lunch at a downtown cafe. Rebecca, claiming
"privilege of the oldest child in the car," grabbed the front seat
while the others piled into the back. I was midturn to face the
back of the car to begin backing out of the parking lot when
my attention was caught by a small pink mark on my
daughter's neck.

"What happened?"
"Oh, I burned my neck with a curling iron," Rebecca grimace
and lightly touched the sore spot. Unable to resist taunting
her sister, Rachel hung over the front seat and said. "It looks
like a hickey!" Rebecca blushed and said, "Trust me, I KNOW,
everyone at work and church has been harassing me about the
dang burn for two days."

Rachel giggled and with a wicked glint in her eye began
sing-songing... "Rebecca's got a hickey, Rebecca's got a
love bite, Rebecca's got....."

"Ring Worm," interrupted a very droll voice.

For a single beat there was dead silence before Rachel,
Hunter and I burst out laughing. Sarah crossed her arms
over her chest and pouted at our laughter.
"That's what it looks like to ME!"

Rebecca hung her head and sighed, "Only a vet's daughter
would think of that."

(Rebecca, Sarah and Rachel)

Keep the Faith and keep away from burns
caused by hot hair implements.

Monday, August 3, 2009


(Austin and a sibling trying to 'hold him down' )

It was night time and my husband walked into our bedroom with his little shadow tagging behind him. "Time for bed, Austin," he said standing at the foot of our bed. "Go upstairs and get in your bed."
Giggling furiously, Austin climbed up the foot board and somersaulted into our bed. Rapidly crawling across the mattress, the defiant child tossed pillows out of the way, pulled back the comforter and snuggled down on his Daddy's side of the bed. Rolling on to his belly, he squinted his eyes and then began to 'snore' loudly.

Hands on his hips, Hubby tried to hide his laughter and said, "Austin, that is pure-t-ugly. Get up and go upstairs to your bed. Now."
With louder snores and a few wiggles, Austin continued his disobedient mocking of his Daddy. Finally, a sister came in and rescued the pretender before he got into serious trouble.

Funny. In one of the first serious talks that doctors have with parents who's children are born with an anomaly... "They" said he wouldn't be able to pretend and he wouldn't ever have a sense of humor. "Those are higher functioning abilities...," they sniffed. "Given his extra chromosome, you can't expect him to develop higher cognitive abilities." They didn't mean to be demeaning or discouraging, you understand. Parents need to understand and accept their child's limitations.

Austin's in all out rebellion to do everything they said he "wouldn't be able to do." And like the good parents we are ... we are totally encouraging his rebellious attitude against authority.

Keep the Faith and Resist Conforming to the "Man"

Friday, July 10, 2009

Mars Vs Venus

So. We are in this really serious business meeting discussing our 'investment horizon,,' future educational trusts, special needs trusts... serious. And the gentleman, Marc, leading the discussion decides to tell a tale on a mutual friend of ours. Seems they were out golfing one day when "Dan" swings a bit too hard with his wooden golf club and sends it into a nearby pond. So it's floating in the pond.... and Marc encourages him to go after the club. So, Dan takes off his socks and shoes, rolls up his pants legs and wades into the water. About 5 feet into the pond, Marc whistles. Dan looks back and sees his friend 'relieving' himself into the pond. The other three males in the room think the 'tale' is hilarious and die laughing. I'm looking at him like.. This is funny?

Naw. This is GROSS.

Do you think the 'male' and 'female' sense of humor is the same?

I think not.

Keep the Faith,


Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Sweet Deal

So I went to the mall today. I need camp clothes. Yes, I've officially lost my mind. Next week I'm headed to SC with a bunch of hoodlums... third to sixth grade boys and girls. 

Since I'll be living in a college dorm room (oh joy) and basically sweating it out with a bunch of youngun's in various camp activities (like chasing each other with water balloons) I decided to update the wardrobe. Thank goodness the sales are outrageous this time of year. I racked up some serious threads with very little cash. It was sweet. Anyway, I found this little green top and decided to wear it this afternoon. 

When I walked up to Rebecca at church, she gave me a blank look. Then she started laughing and said, "I had no idea who you were... you look twenty-ish. I was like... 'who IS THIS chick talking to me.'" 


Yeah. I need to consider giving the girl an allowance.

I'm headed back to the store in the morning to buy the same shirt in every color it comes in... 'You Betcha.' 

Keep the Faith,