All That Jazz

It’s over.

The tree is down. The inside lights are mostly down. I left the winter scene atop the bookshelf because it’s one of my favorites. The outside light are still up because it’s colder than Hell out there.

In Hell, Norway it’s currently 0C. It’s -9C with a windchill of -15 here.

See? Colder than Hell.

My last posting was The Daily Elf on December 21st. You see, my parents arrived on the 22nd and the blog got put on hold. It really doesn’t seem like a week has passed since we were opening gifts. For their arrival, we got a giant refigerator box, wrapped it in wrapping paper, and stuck a bow on it. Shortly before my parents got here we sent the boys to DW’s mom’s house. When my parents got here, we had the box in the living room by the tree and in it my parents went. Then the boys came home and unwrapped them.

Seriously, if you are in need of a smile, go watch the short video. The boys had no idea what they were were unwrapping.

Bang was stuck to my mother all week long. Every chance he got he was snuggling her.

We got to do some stuff while they were here, though certainly not all that we wanted. They got to go ice skating with the boys. Or at least my dad did. My mom has a tendency to break her ankles, so we kept her off the ice. She got to watch them, though. They got to see Bang sing with his church choir friends at Christmas Eve mass. They got to open presents with two three very excited boys. DW’s mom and stepdad joined us and we had a big unwrapping fest. We enjoyed a big Christmas turkey that my parents brought with them. They made their traditional trip to Baddeck. They never come to Cape Breton without going to Baddeck. We also took them candlepin bowling. Bowling in Canada is a little different than it’s American cousin. The pins are tall and skinny and the balls are the size of softballs and you get three rolls. The 6 year old won both games.

My brother-in-law and his family arrived Boxing Day (that’s the day after Christmas). The boys love playing with their cousins. There were 12 people in our house! I would call it a happy chaos.

The night before Nana and Pop Pop (my parents) left for their 1100 mile drive home, Crash and Bang said good bye to them. Bang quickly gave them hugs and tried to hurry to the basement. When I stopped him I could see his eyes get watery and his lip quiver and suddenly he couldn’t hold it in any more. He sat hugging his grandmother with tears flowing and heaving sobs. He managed to bring tears to a few eyes that evening. His only consolation was that he could call them via Facetime. And he has done so every day. Even to read them a story at bedtime.

When the kids woke last Friday morning, my parents had already left. DW’s brother and his family left around noon. Bang suited up and was ready to leave with them because they were stopping at McDonalds for lunch. Suddenly we had gone from a 12 person house to 4. It was strangely quiet. I wanted the noise back. The noise meant the holidays weren’t over. The noise meant family. Like Seuss said, “It’s not what’s under the tree that matters, it’s who’s around it.”

Our family may have left, but the New Year is here, now. Hello 2018. Time to get back to our version of normal. The tree is down. The inside lights are are down. The decorations are down. The elves, Woody and Elfis, are back at the North Pole thinking of new ways to cause mischief. Christmas is packed away for another year.

However, I still have Christmas spirit, joy, and all that jazz in my heart.

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Questions I Asked Nanny and Pop

I’ve asked my own parents these questions. And these questions, too. I wish I would have asked DW’s dad these questions, too. It’s a good way to get a glimpse into the past. Sometimes a past I had no part of. A past before my own d a existence. Wonder where I was before I existed…

It’s too hot to ask questions that deep. Over my head. Off the diving board deep end. 

1. What are 3 words your parents would use to describe you?

Moe: Spoiled brat (according to my siblings), Pretty, and a hard worker (I was house cleaning for people when I was 10)
Pop: Good, hard worker (using a pick and sledgehammer when I was 9), Shy

2. How did you meet you meet Pop?

Moe: Taralee (DW) introduced us at Tim Hortons the day she got her driver’s license


3. What was your favorite vacation?

Moe: My trips to Cuba. Was there for 1 week the first time and 2 weeks the second. 
Pop: Cuba. I didn’t have to cook or make beds or anything…


4. What’s one memory of DW that makes you laugh?

Moe: I can laugh now, but it wasn’t funny at the time… She wanted a pair of bib overalls and she kicked and screamed and bawled until she got them. Then she cut the legs off them! Also, when she was a baby (I was carrying her) we got off a plane she pooped herself. Her aunt picked her up and shit was running down her leg!
Pop: We had found a chip that was shaped like an ear. We told her there was a recall on potato chips because a guy had died on the assembly line and ended up in the chips.


5. What’s something you miss from “the good ol’ days?”

Moe: Neighbors and lots of company and people around all time. Now there’s barely anyone…
Pop: No worries


6. If you get reincarnated as an animal, what do you hope to come back as?

Moe: A little kitty to crawl into somebody’s lap and they can pet me all day.
Pop: A frog


7. What’s your karaoke song?

Moe: Nothing… I don’t like singing and I don’t know any songs right through. I used to like to sing “Can I Have This Dance” by Ann Murray
Pop: “If I had a Million Dollars” 


8. What was high school like for you?

Moe: Terrible, because I didn’t like my homeroom teacher, Mr. Horswell. I didn’t like gym and they made me do it. I also didn’t like French because I couldn’t understand it.
Pop: Boring, because after grade 5 had no interest in school whatsoever


9. What are 3 things (shows, sports, etc…) you like to watch on T.V

Moe: Game shows, Family Feud with Steve Harvey, Wheel of Fortune, Who Wants To be A Millionaire, The Price Is Right, Jeopardy. Oh, and cooking shows like “Master Chef”
Pop: Racing and pretty much any game show…


10. What was your first car? What color was it? Do you remember how much it cost? 

Moe: A blue 1987 Ford LTD
Pop: Green ’66 Pontiac Lauretian

A Song for Saturday

I’m becoming an Ed Sheeran fan. The more I listen to him, the more I like him. A student played this song in class last week while I was subbing. I loved it. It’s probably the Irish lilt to it. Or Ed’s voice. Or whoever Nancy might be…

Happy listening!

More can be read about the history behind the song at The Bustle for it is based on a true story of Ed’s grandparents. I don’t know about you, but I’m hooked.

Questions I Asked My Parents (ep 2)

Today is your lucky day folks. Since I didn’t get around to posting the boys answers yesterday I thought I’d give you a double dose. My parents have graciously answered 10 more questions for me. Enjoy a look back and a good laugh!

1. What is something you like to do now that Brad and I are not longer living at home?

Ma: There isn’t much. I’d prefer to have you back home. But here’s one. I can shower with the bathroom door open.
Pa: eating snacks like potato chips then going to bed without being asked “whats you been eating ?” by a little one. Then there’s relaxing on the couch without worrying about my eyes drying out from an errantly thrown sock.

2. What was it like where you grew up?

Ma: Pittsburgh & Frostburg are the same but different. They both get bunches of snow. Frostburg is a small college town and the area of Pittsburgh that I lived in has a small town feel. I loved both.
Pa: really rural, lots of room to roam outside and wander safely in the woods.

3. What did you like to watch on TV as a kid?

Ma: Saturday morning was Roy Rogers. At 5 years old I quit dance lessons because they were the same time as Roy.
Pa: Sci-Fi the World Beyond  , The Outer Limits & the Twilight Zone  then cartoons like Bugs unny, Road Runner & Popeye. But I shouldn’t forget the Orioles too.

4. Do you remember a favorite costume Brad and I wore? That you wore?

Ma: Favorite costume has to be the crayons. I have no idea what I wore as a child.
Pa: You both were crayons. Me? Well there is a little known story where my mom claims I dressed as a girl when I was around 8 yrs old, marched in a Halloween parade and won a silver dollar ( I think I sort of remember that so it could be true ) and since I like silver dollars that would be my favorite.

crayons


5. Which pet was your favorite? Why?

Ma: Mackie is my favorite. As a pup he chose me as opposed to the other way around. He was always happy.
Pa: Mackie – We went to look at a group of puppies and he came out of the bunch like he wanted us, especially mom. After that he grew into a take charge little guy, would kill snakes and birds and even had a yellow lab scared of him but he was always a loving sole.

rhy-and-mac

Crash and Mackey (Dec. 2008)

6. What is your dream vehicle?

 

Ma: An old Jeep or a luxury SUV
Pa: A Time Machine

7. How did you two meet? What was your first date like?

Ma: I met Dad at his surprise birthday party that his roommate threw for him.  We didn’t start dating until after Dad graduated so we did long distance dating which doesn’t lead to normal first dates.
Pa: College, my birthday party.

8. What was your favorite thing about college?

Ma: My friends & Dendrology class
Pa:  learning to make new friends and be on my own (remember I was 1 of 7 kids)

dendrology

(I Googled it for you. They were both forestry majors) 

9. What was your first regular paying job? How old were you and how much did you make?

Ma: Thrift Drugstore cashier, I was 17 and I couldn’t begin to tell you what I earned.
Pa: cutting grass and trimming hedges at the Daffin House (it is a historic house built around 1780), probably about $ 1.00 per hour (more than enough , I was 12 and rode my bike to work )

10. Where was your favorite place to take my brother and I?

Ma: As wee ones, the beach; Older, sporting events. I loved watching you both play and enjoyed friends in the stands.
Pa: Gettysburg, little league games & wrestling tournaments , Dairy Queen (just let your Canadian friends know that was an ice cream place)

(Don’t worry Canada, I’ll let him know we have DQ here, too. There is even one right here in our little town)

Update: I asked my dad where he’d go in his time machine. This was his response…

a couple of times actually

1. exactly who built the pyramids and how
2. exactly how big were dinosaurs 
3. maybe the day before the rain started falling on Noah
4. did they really feed christians to the lions
5. watch babe ruth play baseball
6. Battle of Gettysburg
7. Catch a ride on the Mayflower
8. and of course go back to your sophomore year wrestling tournament and suggest you let your opponent up and give up 1 point instead of giving up a reversal and 3 back points. (this is in reference to a wrestling match I lost in the final few seconds. Been playing the “I shoulda” game ever since.)

wregrand-parents-quotes-40

Thanks for playing along Ma and Pa! Love you bunches!