Some things

April 18, 2012

There are many memories that don’t warrant an entire post but are too precious to allow them to fade away. As I think of them I will place them here. If you think of some, I would love it if you posted them here, too. In no particular order:

I mentioned that I swore Joe-your-dad spoke Russian or some equally difficult (to me) language for quite some time before he decided to join the rest of us as an English-speaking American. His first words were, “Down, down, down,” as I explained in the post about our northern vacation. In the post Jaw droppers I told you about some of his other early words, including gocko for moon, and diarrhea for beer. He called Beanie and John Gama and Gapa, respectively, called Frank Daddy, and called me, UHH!

He never had a headache, but had a hegate (close).

After a good meal your dad would tell me that he felt like he was going to aPODE! I liked that one.

Jenny’s first word was prrrrrretty with a seriously rolled R and a high pitched accent on the TTY. Like your dad, she also did not call me by any name until she was about two, when she finally called me Momma. Her favorite movie was what she called Pootapoo. It took me a while to figure out that she was telling me that she wanted to watch the Wizard of Oz. Other than that very odd word, Jenny was articulate at an early age.

Your dad and Jenny were helping me in the kitchen one Thanksgiving when I explained to them that the writing on the turkey package said it was a Tom Turkey. I further explained that the toms were boy turkeys. Before I could go on to explain that the girl turkeys were called hens, they both asked me almost in unison, “Are the girls Linda Turkeys?” A little stunned, all I could do was laugh. Of course they would think that the girl turkeys were lindas, for wasn’t Aunt Linda (my sister) married to Uncle Tom?

When your dad was five he was very excited that Santa was coming to visit us at home. A family friend (cop Kevin) came over on an evening before Christmas in a full Santa costume with a gorgeous beard and mustache. Joe thought the beard was nice too and, touching Santa’s beard, exclaimed very sincerely, “Ohhh, Santa, your beard is as soft as a king’s robe!”

I have no idea what he had heard in school or what he had seen on television that might have brought on that statement about Santa’s beard, but it was sweet enough to flavor any holiday season.

At two, Heather had trouble with her flumms; they wouldn’t properly fit into her mittens. It was a source of great discomfiture.

Kimberly’s voice was about two octaves higher than anyone else in the world until she was about five years old. I sometimes wished that she could go up just a little higher, into the range where the human ear cannot detect the sound.

Grandma Beanie tells a story about Aunt Linda, when she was not much more than a baby. Being a new mother (Linda was the first), Grandma Beanie was just becoming accustomed to the strange language of toddlers when Aunt Linda began hollering, repeatedly, “Onna bucket!” After considerable time had passed during which Aunt Linda screamed and cried and repeated her onna bucket plea, she finally reached up at the stove where Grandma Beanie had leftover biscuits from breakfast on a plate. Onna bucket. Want a biscuit. Similar.

As a toddler, Aunt Linda had just experienced a Grandma Beanie mouth washing for bad language and was warning Uncle Johnny:

“You better watch what you say, Zohnny, or that god-damned Mommy will wash out your mouth with soap.”


As a rule all of us stayed put once we were in bed, but there were occasional sleepwalking episodes. Usually the midnight strolls of my siblings (I have never sleepwalked) were benign and non-adventurous and were ended by Grandma Beanie or Grandpa John gently grasping a sleepy child’s shoulders and guiding them back to bed. Aunt Linda changed that one night when she sleepwalked to the bathroom and ran a tub of scalding hot water. Grandma Beanie heard the water running and went to investigate. She found Aunt Linda naked-as-a-jaybird, as Grandma Beanie called it, and about to step into a steamy, nasty shock. Grandma Beanie gently awoke Aunt Linda and saw her safely back to her bed.

Aunt Linda’s son, Michael, has always made me laugh. For reasons I was never able to understand, he thought I was pretty funny. too. Until he was about three years old, he would laugh each time I entered the door. Who knows what made him laugh; I might laugh if I entered a door, too. But other things delighted Michael. He was a tactile soul who noticed beauty in the things that touch us in our every day lives.

Aunt Linda tells a story about Michael’s behavior in the lingerie and pajama areas of various department stores while she was shopping for the silky pajamas with the fleecy lining that Grandma Beanie loves so much. Michael would move from rack to rack, sliding the various fabrics of various (and sometimes risque) lingerie across his cheek, all the while saying, “Oh Mommy, you should buy THIS one!”

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