Birthday Boy

Happy 15th birthday to our eldest grandson, Garrett. I remember the day you were born like it was yesterday. We paced the halls and worried the hospital staff with endless questions. It seemed like you’d never arrive, and once you did, our lives were forever changed.

You’ve enriched our family in so many ways that I’ve lost count, and you’re the only kid I know who can consistently spell better than I can. Love you more today than the day before.

I can’t wait to see what your future holds.

You Might Be Studly Doright If….

Studly Doright (aka David Noyes) seemed to enjoy his birthday celebration on Thursday. After an outstanding Thanksgiving feast orchestrated by his mother and sisters, we settled in to fete Studly as he prepares to enter his sixth decade on earth.

First our son, Jason, emceed a game show pitting our five grandchildren against Studly’s four siblings in a quest to see which group knew more about Studly. I’m not sure which team emerged as the winner, but we all got a kick out of the questions and accompanying vintage family photos that served as clues.

(Above, our two oldest grandkids, Garrett and Dominique, discuss their team’s answer.)

Our daughter, Ashley, led us in an activity called, “You might be David Noyes,” in which participants had an opportunity to share humorous recollections about the guest of honor in a format similar to Jeff Foxworthy’s “You might be a redneck.”

The contributed memories had everyone in stitches. I can’t remember many of them; I was laughing too hard. One I shared was, “If you ever tried to claim gravy is a liquid to justify eating it while prepping for a colonoscopy, you might be David Noyes.”

The grandkids got a kick out of these revelations about their Poppa.

(Above, our youngest grandchild, Harper, listens as her Poppa explains one of the many shared stories. She might have been angling for a piece of the birthday cake, as well.)

Afterwards, Studly read cards from family and friends. He got a little emotional at times, declaring this was his best birthday ever.

Thanks to everyone who made it so special.

Peace, people.

Lessons in Holding

I realize the photo is grainy. It’s a screenshot taken during a FaceTime chat with my daughter and her kiddos on Saturday morning.

Five-year-old Harper, the one being held, climbed into her big brother, Garrett’s arms, where she began wriggling around like someone with ants in their pants as Garrett tried his best to keep from dropping her.

“Garrett,” Harper said. “You really need to take lessons in how to hold people.” We all lost it.

Couldn’t we all use lessons in holding? Not too tightly, but in a way that makes others feel secure. Sign me up!

Can’t wait to see these guys in person. Shhhh! Studly has no idea we’ll see them on Wednesday!

Keeping Secrets

I have a big mouth. Not literally, though. As a kid I had to visit the dentist frequently so he could find creative ways to make room for all of my teeth. He told my folks my mouth was too small, to which they replied, “Hahaha!!” for days. Every time the story was retold to family and friends they laughed like it was the funniest story ever told.

We didn’t have oodles of money back then, and no dental insurance, so braces were out of the question. Our dentist, Dr. Craig, bless his heart, worked to strategically pull several of my permanent teeth so that my teeth weren’t too crooked. He was almost successful, but later in life I had some work done to correct what I thought of as my vampire teeth. Dr. Craig would have approved, I think.

Mine weren’t quite this bad, but you get the picture:

Back to my big mouth, which by now you should know is figurative rather than literal. I positively can not keep a secret. Not a fun one anyway. I can keep your “I can’t stand my boss and have been interviewing for new jobs” secret. I can keep your, “I’ve won the lottery and am not telling anyone other than you until I’ve seen an attorney” secret. But I cannot keep the “We’re having a surprise party for someone and you absolutely can’t leak the news!”

I have one of those fun secrets right now, and if the person the secret is for hasn’t totally figured it out yet it is a miracle. I don’t give hints–it’s just that I’ll say things like, “When we see A_____ in a few days….” and then I panic because I remember he doesn’t know A____ is coming, so I have to say, “I keep forgetting A_____ isn’t going to be there.” Then I act all upset so he’ll think I’m losing my mind a little. Heh. I’m not sure it’s an act anymore.

I must hold myself together through next Wednesday when all will be revealed. It’s too bad I can’t see a dentist to help me through this problem with my mouth.

Peace, people.

Then and Now

After I posted this photo of my daughter, her middle daughter, and me taking in Les Misérables in Chicago this past weekend,

I discovered this photo from our first group trip to Chicago:

We’d just purchased McKayla’s first American Girl doll and celebrated by taking a carriage ride. A good many of my best memories surround Chicago.

I’m still under the weather, but these made me smile. Peace, people!

Shots from Chicago and a Few Hundred Bras

My whirlwind trip to see my daughter and middle granddaughter last weekend in Chicago was wonderfully exhausting. We did a bit of shopping and a lot of dining in addition to taking in a production of Les Misérables at the Cadillac Palace theatre in downtown Chicago.

I didn’t take many photos, but thought I’d share a few with you all.

The pizza was every bit as good as I’d hoped it would be. We ate at my son-in-law’s favorite pizza place, Giordano’s, and since he wasn’t there we had to send him “take that!” photos of our meal.

We used Uber to get from our hotel out by Midway to the theatre downtown. Chicago is so beautiful.

I wanted to get a picture of the theatre’s exterior, but it was a really cold afternoon, and I’m a wimp, so the inside is all you’re getting!

That’s my lovely daughter, Ashley, on the right and granddaughter, McKayla beside me.

My awful attempt at a selfie, above. Thank goodness McKayla’s pretty face balances out my smirk.

The production of Les Misérables was wonderful. I sobbed at the end. Partly because my butt was tired and I hadn’t slept at all the night before, but mostly because I was so moved by the performance.

Below is a totally irrelevant photo of bras decorating a bridge between Blountstown, Florida, and Bristol, Florida. I didn’t stop to count these pieces of lingerie, but they went on and on and on, spanning the length of a very long bridge. Impressive show of support….

Chicago, Here I Come!

I’m flying to Chicago out of Panama City Beach on Friday afternoon. Once in the Windy City I’ll meet up with my daughter and our middle granddaughter for a weekend of shopping, dining, and Les Misérables-ing.

In preparation for the trip I’ve been listening to the Les Misérables soundtrack, because one never knows when they’ll need someone to fill in for a cast member. I probably don’t look much like Jean Valjean, but I could sing his part in a pinch. And Cosette’s role? I’m ready to don her dress and belt out her lyrics. Just in case.

My tastebuds are already anticipating a Chicago-style pizza, as I recall the ghosts of pizzas past. There’s simply nothing better than a deep dish pepperoni. Mmmmm. Can you smell it? I can. Now all I have to do is convince my daughter and her daughter that we need to head downtown for dinner Friday night!

Of course, Friday will be my daughter’s thirty-somethingth birthday. I’ll let her choose dinner on Friday, but Saturday is pizza for sure. Am I excited? Duh!!! And the best part? Getting to see my family! I’m packed and ready. Let the party begin.

Granddaddy’s Gas Station

I grew up in a Fina gas station owned by my granddaddy. My days smelled of petroleum and cigars,

No wonder I’m a little on edge all of my days. When the world is combustible with the errant flick of an ash,

Everything becomes precious to a precocious five year old. Grandaddy kept candy and red fuses in a glass counter display.

I had the run of the place, but was cautioned about dashing about and around the old pumps, lest someone

Run me over. Pretty heady stuff for a little girl who only wanted to ask, “Premium or Ethyl?” as she washed grimy windshields.

My heart is all tied up in that place. Bound by diligence and the smell of Grandaddy’s Old Spice. The strength of his hugs.

Just Say Ok

Just Say Ok!

While Studly Doright and I were relaxing on Amelia Island this past weekend I had the following text conversation with our daughter:

“Ok.” and “Yep.” were my contributions, and my reward was seeing my daughter’s reaction. So now I’m planning a quick trip to Chicago on the 27th of October.

I’m beyond excited about seeing Les Misérables at the Cadillac Theater, but that’s just icing on the cake. The real treat will be getting to see Les Mis with my daughter on her birthday and our middle grandchild. I’m so glad I typed “Ok.”

Peace, people!

Shipping Label Humor

Today, October 5, 2017, is my 61st birthday. Yay me! According to my youngest grandchild who is five, I am an old lady. Funny, I don’t feel old. In fact, I feel fairly wonderful.

Yesterday I received a beautiful basket of gourmet delicacies from my son and daughter-in-law. I mean this is the mother of all baskets:

Apples, pears, cheeses and crackers, cookies, and a bottle of wine. It’s gorgeous and I’m going to try to be a good girl and share with Studly Doright.

One of the best things about the basket, though, was the label on the box it arrived in. I laughed for ten minutes:

“Do not deliver to an intoxicated person,” it says. I told the FedEx lady it was a darned good thing she’d come before 5 p.m.

Happy birthday to me!