Category Archives: Grandparents

A Graceful Dance

It was a Daddy Daughter Dance.  Unfortunately for my son, he had to work out of town.  Fortunately for me, I was the second-string back up for Grace, who is 6 years old, and in first grade.

The school dance was for elementary girls, grades one through six, at our local university Grand Ballroom. My only concern was that it was from 6 to 9 PM.  Having two left feet and the coordination of a one-legged giraffe, how in the world could I fake dancing that long?!  In the end, it didn’t matter.

What did matter was that my granddaughter had a good time. She was dressed in a light blue dress covered with tulle. (For the ladies, aren’t you impressed I know what “tulle” is, and for us guys, it’s said “tool”, but not spelled that way, so it’s not a skirt covered in crescent wrenches like I thought.)

Continue reading A Graceful Dance

Chief Katura

The little boogers were back in the woods behind our house.   7, 8 and 9 year old grandsons would never admit it, but their expressions said they almost got lost. 

To implant a little raise the eyebrow caution in them, I whipped up a story of half-truth, half-lie, fabricated, made up, tall tale, umm, creative license story.

“Did y’all see any signs of Chief Katura in the woods?”

Like fishing for hungry perch with a worm, they snapped at the bait! 

 “Who’s that?”

“Chief Katura?”

I paused to look them in the eye for emphasis.

“Now, I’m not saying I believe it, but folks around here say Chief Katura was the bravest Caddo Indian to ever live! Even braver than Chief Nacogdoches, who the oldest town in Texas (where we live), is named after.  A lot of folks around here say the spirit of Chief Katura still roams these woods looking for his bow and arrow.”

They didn’t just take the bait.  They swallowed the hook! 

I robbed some local fore from ghost stories from the town I grew up in and went on.  

Continue reading Chief Katura

Dear Addie K,

Dear Addie K,

You burst into life a year and half ago!  At first, we loved you solely on whose you were, but now we love you because of who you are.  Your first 1 1/2 years of life have gone by way too fast!

Life is like that. Before you know it, you’ll be looking back and remembering in sepia toned colors.

Seek wisdom, Addie.  When you look back, you’ll smile at the vibrant, bright memories that wisdom can bring!

Continue reading Dear Addie K,

Fun Never Sleeps

It’s every grandparent’s dream!

“Would y’all mind keeping the boys for the weekend while we go out of town?”

YES!

And so it came to be that two male fledglings stayed with PawPaw and JJ last weekend.  

Easton ages in for the Terrible Twos at 2 years 9 months, and Asher times in as a Light Weight at only 3 1/2 months old.

Janet likes babies, but they intimidate me like I was a lost kitten in the dog pound.  I like it when they can say what’s wrong, like Easton, so it was perfect! 

When my daughter and son-in-law dropped them off, they were semi-apologetic.  

“Hey! We’re no rookies! Besides, they’re both as laid back of kids that there are.” 

My son-in-law shook his head.  My daughter raised an eye brow with a smile, “Well, wait till nighttime”.

Psft! We got this!

Nighttime came.  

Easton laid down on a pallet in our room and was out like a light!    

Asher was in a pack-n-play.  He fell asleep right on que after his 8:30 PM bottle. 

Good grief! How much easier can it get? 

However, we should’ve gone to bed then, right then!  Instead, we laid down about 10:00ish.  

Continue reading Fun Never Sleeps

Age to Age

When my first grandchild was born, I found it interesting how you can love a newborn so much.  Throughout his life, we’ll share DNA, and the same last name.

He’ll carry our family name down the generational rivers entering a sea of names.  Maybe it’s just a man thing, but that’s downright satisfying!

I looked back at a flash drive of old family pictures that included a scan of an article my grandfather wrote in 1974.  My Grandpa is my grandson’s Great, Great Grandfather.

He only had a 6th grade education, so to write a life summary and family history is phenomenal!  It was exhilarating to read! Continue reading Age to Age

Playhouse to Lighthouse

The tenth grandchild is coming in October! Can’t wait! Grandkids are great!

Last year I built a swing set for the grandkids, then a fire truck (you can read that here).

The boys had something, but JJ, daughters, daughter-in-laws, and even granddaughters said they wanted something for the girls, specifically, a playhouse. Playhouse foundation

~Challenge accepted.~

I drew up plans for a little 10’ x 10’ playhouse, bought the materials and started work.

It’s insulated, with lights, porch lights and a plug for a heater or fan powered by an extension cord.

Like everything that comes from your hands though, I know where I messed up.  I see my mistakes, things others, besides building professionals, may miss.                     img_0633

But I see them.

I shake it off.  Remind myself that the goal isn’t perfection, even if I want it.  Demanding perfection, whether in a playhouse or a child’s life and behavior, destroys the goal. Continue reading Playhouse to Lighthouse

Brahm’s Lullaby

In college I worked one summer at a funeral home.  Morbid? Maybe, but I wanted to be around the death process to understand, not fear it.

Sometimes though things, places, events — they change you, change the way you think, change the way you see and feel life.   That summer changed me, one night in particular.

I had two jobs that college summer.  As soon as I finished my maintenance job, I’d shower, put on my suit and rush to the 2nd job at the funeral home.

It was a visitation that night, just one body, with few visitors expected.  The funeral home owner told me he and his family were leaving town for a short trip, threw me the keys and told me to lock up after everyone left that night.

No one was there, so I went into the state room and was shocked to see the tiny casket.  Inside was a beautiful, eight month old baby girl.  Continue reading Brahm’s Lullaby

Little Rascal Soccer

Anticipation was high. All the mother’s anxiety was higher.

Water bottles? Check.  Halftime orange slices? Check.  After game snacks and juice boxes? Check.

Spectators set up lawn chairs battling for the best open places on the sidelines. This would be an epic contest, one replayed on family home movies for years to come.

Coaches were nervous. After all, their reputations were on the line. If their teams didn’t perform, well it would be obvious to everyone, and most importantly themselves, that they were failures as coaches, maybe even failures at life, like, forever!

The referee wanted to take control of the game of four-year olds in 4 vs. 4 game that doesn’t require World Cup refs.  It didn’t matter.  His nervous habit of rubbing his acne took the air out of his mystique. Plus, he was only thirteen, 5 feet tall and maybe 97 pounds.

The players weren’t stressed a bit.  Although two players had to go potty before the game. Probably just nervous energy.

Continue reading Little Rascal Soccer

Nightmare on Tahoe Street 😂

We jumped at the chance to help take care of three grandkids while their mom and dad did duties at a church camp retreat! It’s what grandparents do.

We jump in and help, you know? All for one, and one for all! Do it for the team!

Oh, did I mention it was at Lake Tahoe? In a cabin setting? Second story waterfront view? Alright. Well, SURE!  Happy, happy, happy to fly from Texas to help!!

Our job was to help entertain the three munchkins, ages 6, 4, and 2, even though they all answer “and a half” when asked their age.

Life is odd like that. By the time you’re my age, you round down. In fact, birthdays are now Pretend To Have Ten Fewer Candles on the Cake Day!  Besides, it saves the environment from candle pollution and the smoke detector doesn’t go off!

Anyway, at the retreat center, Janet and I discovered there was no adjoining door between the rooms. In fact, there were three queen size beds in our room….with only one bed in Mommy and Daddy’s room.

Uh, huh! That’s just stinkin’ parental brilliance right there! Why didn’t I think of that as a young parent?!
Continue reading Nightmare on Tahoe Street 😂

Dear Easton,

Dear Easton,

Welcome to the family!  Welcome to the world!  At six months old now, you’re learning all kinds of things!

Even before the gender reveal party, when your mama pitched a baseball to your daddy and he hit the ball that exploded blue, we were waiting on you!   You’ve been loved from the beginning!Janet and Easton (2)

There’s so much ahead of you!  You’ve already grown like a weed the last six months and now you stare in people’s eyes when they hold you and start smiling and laughing.  You’re even working on turning over!  Soon you’ll be doing all kinds of things!

It’s funny how it will all seem so extraordinarily slow to you, but so incredibly fast to the adults in your life!  In fact, the longest year of your life will be when you turn 15 and waiting on your driver’s license.  Then, it will seem like forever before you graduate from high school, become a legal adult and then turn 21.

Don’t begrudge those years, Easton.  They are full of fun, adventure, life and memories!

After you reach those milestones Easton, and every other one in life, time will start to fly by faster than you can possibly imagine! Continue reading Dear Easton,