In my mind, I'm five years old having a high old time wandering and wondering. In reality, I'm now approaching my late 60s, wowza! I tell you a lot of creativity is still to be found in this old young self. In you, too, whatever your age. Welcome to my barefoot world!
This week Sunday Stealing , hosted by Bev Sykes, has participants musing over questions taken from Upstream Life . 1. Name 5 people you admire and why. • Daddy. Family was important for him. He took his responsibilities seriously. He made sure his children got the opportunities for a good life. • Mama was resolute, stoical, full of love and cheeriness, but oh so sad. Also full of spirit, spit, and vinegar, Mama didn't let her misery keep her down. She had more than her share, including living through war and losing two children. • The Husband. My gosh. I'm not an easy person to live with. • Winifred, my mentor, my writing partner, my friend. She took a chance on me (#6). Winifred was an amazing, gifted, and giving person who taught me how to develop and create educational materials that respect and teach the learners. • Kathy, a friend from grammar school days. I love her humor, her wit, her intelligence. For years, she went back and forth, several times a year to visit her pa
1. In December is when I was born. "The doctor said you will be born on this day. And you were." The Mama told me, now and then, not necessarily on my birthday. 2. I was born on the Roman Catholic Church's feast day of the Virgin of Guadalupe, also known as Our Lady of Guadalupe. The mother of Jesus was said to appear to a peasant named Juan Diego four times at Tepeyac, Mexico in the 16th century. 3. The same day Catholics were honoring Mary, Major Charles Yeager flew the fastest speed ever back then—about 1,650 miles per hour, a mere Mach 2.44. Shazam! 4. I was born nearly three years after Older Sister died on the same day that she was born. 5. Mama was 32 years old when she gave birth to me. Daddy was 48 years old, and Older Brother was five years old. 6. On the day I was born, Frank Sinatra and Edward G. Robinson celebrated their birthday. So did Bob Barker, Connie Francis, and Dionne Warwick. Bill Nighy turned four on the day I came out of the womb.
1. Next month the U.S. Post Office will be selling forever stamps that celebrate Hip Hop. According to the USPS website, the sheet of stamps features rapping, break dancing, DJing, and graffiti art. I don't know what floors me more -- Hip Hop commemorative stamps or that the first kids into hip hop are now in their 40s and 50s? 2. Our local library has been closed since early March due to the coronavirus pandemic. This month, the librarians decided that we, patrons, can check out books online for pick up. The pick-up process today was easy-peasy, even though I forgot to bring my library card. Nine new books to entertain me. Yippieeee! 3. A few weeks ago, the Husband painted this headboard, full of delight and whimsy, perfect for the Banana Room, once known as the Shady Room. The banana plants look to be coming back, and the bamboo, gardenia, and wongo-wongo plants seem to relish their move there. I also replanted a camelia shrub by the headboard. Does that all s
I've been digging. Here a little dig. There a big dig. All over the yard, both front and back. The last several days I've focused on finding shady spots for potted succulents in the backyard. Those parched guys looked so happy and relaxed after a few hours in the shade absorbing a long drink of water. I've also been digging beds for the extra bean, tomato, and pepper seedlings that sprouted. I can't bring myself to throw them out. They deserve a chance to produce fruit, too. The Husband built a trellis for the beans to climb. Pretty cool, huh. Mama would've given him a giggle, grin, and an extra nod of well done. This morning I dug the biggest bed for the tomato and pepper seedlings. Double dig, work in soil amendment, turn soil one more time, and let rest for tomorrow's planting. Daddy would've been proud, by golly, by gee that I paid attention to how he prepared the land for his vegetable garden. That's a story for another day. Digging, shov
1. My last name starts with the letter E . When I spell it to someone, I sometimes say "E as in Europe". I'm not trying to trick the person. That's simply what pops into my head. 2. I figure customer service people can spell Europe . Am I wrong to think that? 3. Mama pronounced the letter E as "A". That's how she learned it as a kid in the Philippines, a U.S. territory (then), which had been a Spanish colony in Mama's grandparents' time. "The old-timers spoke Spanish. They tried to teach me," said Mama. I wonder what Mama was interested in instead. 4. The silliness it was when Mama asked 12-year-old Susie to spell a word that has one or more letter E 's. Oh my gosh! Let's suppose, Mama asks, "How do you spell Elephant?" "E-," I start. "What kind of E?" she asks. "E." I say. "E as in A. or E as in E." "E!" 5. Before I understood th
Sewing machines, bicycles, and vehicles are the things that I like to push pedal to the metal. Here are 13 of my favorite ones from today to long ago. Kenmore portable sewing machine. About a decade ago, good friend BB gave me her 1970s portable sewing machine when I was having a sewing fix and she was in a down-sizing mood. After a thorough tune-up, the machine was good to go. Vrrrroom, vrrrooom. I'm going through another spurt (and probably last) of sewing. This morning I started sewing curtains for the upstairs hallway. Yup, that's them in "draft mode" in the above photo. Eliza Do-a-lot. Some of you know about dear 25-year old Eliza. She's a no-nonsense old lady's white sedan with hardly any blind spots. Eliza was Mama's last car. When Mama broke her hip in 1997, I started driving Eliza back and forth from El Cerrito where the Husband and I lived. By the time Mama felt confident to drive again, she needed to renew her license. She couldn'
Day's End. That was how it looked yesterday at sunset. Disaster Rose. What do you think of that for a protagonist's nickname? David. I've always liked that name. Solid, cheerful, thoughtful. Dave. Davey. The Husband's surname means son of David. Debonair. Cary Grant. George Clooney. The Husband. Humor is part of my definition of debonair. Dig it. Can you dig it? Hands, please, who said this once upon a time, with a straight face. I do like to dig in the yard, and I do a decent job of digging, I like to think. Meet John Doe. Recently the Husband and I watched Meet John Doe , a 1941 Frank Capra film starring Gary Cooper and Barbara Stanwyck with Walter Brennan. Good trembles into arms of Evil so it may survive, but eventually Good realizes it is not Evil and scrambles back onto the path of light. The name John Doe doesn't make sense to me. I understand that it refers to a male with an unknown identity. Shouldn't it be John Bu
I don't recall whether Apo Dios refers to God or to the sun. Maybe I didn't ever know. Ilocano was the parents primary language. I understood Ilocano but couldn't wrap my Americanized tongue around Ilocano words to speak it. So, yeah, we were one of those families in which immigrant parents talked to their American-born children in their native language and the children responded in English. Think of interpreters translating in real time. The term Apo Dios is a combination of two languages. Apo in Ilocano means father or grandfather. So, I've always thought. An online Ilocano-English dictionary says otherwise. It says Apo means God. Dios is a Spanish word that means God. Spain colonized the Philippines for over 300 years so of course Spanish is going to seep into the native languages there. That same Ilocano-English dictionary defines Apo Dios as God. Usually, my parents addressed Dios when life was going fine, such as "Hi, God, how are you doing? We'
There ought to be a song about that combination—buttons and tobacco tins, la la la lah. Remember the song "Buttons and Bows"? I think Dick Dale on Lawrence Welk sang that song, while dressed in cowboy clothes or dapper 1890s suit. Or, was that Larry Hooper? The Lennon Sisters in prairie dresses and bonnets? Yup, I watched Lawrence Welk when I was a kid, developing what I thought was sarcasm and wit. Watching it with The Daddy was a treat. I never tired listening to his assessment on the tenor Joe Feeney after he trilled "Danny Boy" or another break-your-heart song, holding the last note to kingdom come and back. When Feeney was done, The Daddy remarked, "He earned his two-bits." I never knew if The Daddy liked Feeney's singing. Should I meet up with The Daddy in the after life, that's one question I shall ask of him. The tobacco tins in the photo belonged to The Daddy, which meant Older & Only Bro and I bought The Daddy a new pipe for
Hi ya! Hey ya! Hope all's well with ya. All is well with us. I'm reaching into my archives for the next several days so I can play catch up around the house. "I'll do it tomorrow." has finally reared itself into today. Such is retirement. :-) Have fun out there. Today's post (edited) was first published on February 13, 2013. Warning: Cursing ahead. ============ One of the last times I went to church with the Daddy was a Good Friday. The Mama scored big that day as she got both the Daddy and me to go with her. I don't know how she did it. I did daydream through the service. That is, until the Daddy caught my attention. It was a struggle for his old cartilage to do all the physical activity that takes place during a Catholic mass, especially at the much longer Good Friday service. You stand, sit, and kneel a lot. I don't think the Daddy realized he was protesting out loud. I still wonder if God and I were the only ones who heard
This faded photo of the Daddy was taken in 1946. That's all I know about the photo because the Mama had printed the year on the photograph. Technology has finally allowed me to see the image a bit more clearly. Until today, I thought the Daddy was standing in a desert or someplace in Los Angeles. Now, I think the photo may have been taken somewhere nearby Hollister, soon after he moved here. The Daddy had been living in Hawaii for 18 years or more. He said that after the war, he was homesick for family. He had no idea if the family in the Philippines was alive, but he knew Uncle Frank was in Hollister, so he bought himself an airplane ticket to California. While serving in the Army during the war, he became a U.S. citizen, which I suspect made it easier for him to travel without questions. In a year, the Daddy would go visit his mom and siblings in the Philippines. He told me that if his girlfriend was still unmarried, he would propose to her. I don't know know if he was
In Fall 1962, the family moved into a brand new house on a brand new street a couple miles east of town. Lucky 711 was the street number; El Camino Paraiso, the street name. Translation: Paradise Road. Myself, I prefer "The Road to Heaven" because the cemetery, run by the Catholic Church, sat next door. I thought a ghost lived in my bedroom closet. Every now and then, until I left for college, just as I was falling asleep, I experienced old hag syndrome , a kind of sleep paralysis. The only way I felt safe was to sleep in a fetal position on my left side, facing away from the closet. Cute yellow house, don't you think? It had a huge back yard, enough space for the Daddy to grow a good-size vegetable garden, as well as plant fruit trees and raise chickens, pigeons, goats, and pigs. Fortunately for us we lived in the county. With all that, the Parents still were able to put in a patio, some lawn, and a flower garden. The Mama sold the yellow house in 1987, a y
My eyes, even with the glasses on, are still seeing blurry images. The ophthalmologist dilated them about four hours ago so she could see clearly into them. And, what did she see? Sufficient level of cataracts to merit surgery for which the health insurance company would be willing to pay. The cataracts are worse in my left eye. On my arbitrary scale of 1-10, the doctor says 5 or 6. My right is 4, but a 5 when she factors in the glare of lights I see when I drive at night (which is the reason I don't like to drive at night). I've known for seven years or so that cataracts have been developing, but I thought I would be in my 70s, maybe 80s, before I had to start considering cataract surgery. Booo. Hisssss. Bummer. The Daddy had cataract surgery in his left eye when he was. . .gee. . .about my age. He hated wearing the contact on his other eye, which either the Mama or I had to insert. That was always an ordeal. Blink, blink. Eventually, he went back to the comfort of we
Today is the anniversary of the Daddy's spirit passing into the Heavens. I didn't realize that until I checked the calendar to write the date for a journal entry. Must've been why I didn't feel like getting up this morning. The Husband said, "You were dragging yourself down the hall." The memories are strong. Here are a few moments that I recall about the Daddy: Him handing my five-year-old self a pear that he picked from the orchard where we sat. It was the Daddy's smoke time. No matter where he was in the tomato field, where he kept watch of the water flow in the irrigation canals, far away or near by, he walked back to the car and sat with me until smoke time was over. The Daddy taking me to my first day of school, my first day of first grade, and my first day at my new school. Nothing was ever said between us that I can remember. I scurried beside and a little behind him swinging my lunchbox. He walked up to the teacher or the principal and conf