Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Humor....virtue or curse?

God has a sense of humor. A strange one to some, a common one to others. Look around you and you'll see God's sense of humor in all aspects of life. It is in ever life on this planet, every species and every type. There is nothing that escapes God's touch. Thank goodness!

God as given me a sense of humor. Again, thank goodness! I see the humor in most situations when others don't. They think me strange when I laugh at some of the scrapes I've gotten into. What they don't know is I'm laughing at me and my foolishness. Me and my haphazard way of doing things.
There are those of us that find no humor in anything. They go through life with a frown on their face, gloom and doom are their mantras. They see The End as being The End and not the true beginning. They are sad in my eyes. Miserable creatures that never feel the simple feeling of just laughing for the pure joy of it. So sad......

Well, now I've got you wondering what I'm finding to laugh at now, right? Good grief, gas prices are nuts, food is going up, there are new illnesses to worry about, the family unit is going downhill, what else? Why on earth am I smiling? Well, nothing in particular, just life, just living, just me and my kitties.

Now, go out and live the day like you won't have tomorrow to do it over. You'll see the humor in things, the simple beauty if the smile of a child, the sweet nothings in the words of someone you love. Enjoy it, God gave it to us to enjoy, don't turn down His precious gifts.


Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Pine Cone Families............

Moving to the "country" when I was 9 years old was quite an experience for me. We'd moved from Blair Village to Cliftondale and away from all my friends and cousins. There were no children anywhere near us, or so I thought. The only time I had a playmate was when cousins would come to visit.

One day I was outside wandering around the yard. There were tall pine trees all over the yard and pinecones all over the ground. I began to pick up pinecones and put them in groups according to their size. There were tiny ones and then they progressed in size to about 6" tall. Soon I had several piles of pinecones. I began to make villages for them using sticks and rocks. I'd imagine they were towns folk and that they were in danger of being crushed by giants.

Then, Mama gave me the Sears Catalog that was out of date. Oh! I was in heaven! I gathered a family of pinecones, a Daddy, a Mama, a brother, a sister and a baby. Then I searched my room over until I found my safety scissors, remember the ones with the round tips? I took my prize outside on the carport and began to search through the catalog for my pinecone family some clothes. I dressed the family using clothing I'd cut from the catalog and Elmer's Glue left over from school the year before. I played with that pinecone family for days.

Then I decided to make them a home to live in. I went into the front yard, took a rake and cleared a spot of pinestraw. Then I took the small pine sticks and made walls. I searched through my catalog and cut out a lovely sofa, chair, beds, bedroom furniture, kitchen appliances and placed them in my "house" for my pinecone family.

I'd sit out there in that yard, playing for hour upon hour with my pinecone family. Never tiring of the different stories that I'd create for them to live out. In the late afternoon I'd take up all my cut out goodies, clothes, and furnishings, place them into a large shoe box my Mama gave me and come inside to play.

On rainy days when I couldn't go outside, I'd put my family up on the window sill and we'd watch the rain fall and have inside adventures.

I remember telling my girls about my pinecone families and the fun I had with them. I would watch their faces as I'd tell them and see the interest in the story Mom was telling but I could also see the wheels turning in their heads......"poor Mama, didn't have toys when she was little and had to play with pinecones and old catalogs".

Friday, June 13, 2008

Ohhhh.....Do you remember those...............

Saturday morning cartoons, Casper the Friendly Ghost, Bugg's Bunny, Tweety Bird, Popeye, and of course, my favorite, Huckle Berry Hound. Ahhh, those were real cartoons. Not that stuff the kids watch today.

I was watching something on Cartoon Network recently, a little boy with blue hair, sad funny shaped eyes and nose that was a number seven and a smart mouth. I was not impressed. In fact, had I been watching that when I was seven years old, I'd have turned it off and gone outside to play. Give me a good old blue hound dog that sings "Oh My Darlin" anyday and I'm a happy camper.

The sidekick, an essental element in any cartoon, was a very strange looking animal or creature of some sort. I learned later that the "critter" was suppposed to be an imaginary friend. This "land" was where all the imaginary friends came from. Yes, well, anyway, it couldn't talk. Just sort of was there, you know? BORING! So, I turned off the TV and went outside to play!

People ask why kids today are "jaded". Have you ever sat down and watched the drivel that is on television? Disney Channel, Cartoon Network and all the rest have bomarded our children with mindless, endless stuff! And we parents are letting it happen. Notice I said "WE". I'm guilty too. The Disney programing today is NOTHING like what it was in my day. Good Grief Charlie Brown! Did I just say, "In My Day"????

Saturday morning cartoons. Oh Boy! We would tumble out of bed and grab our cereal bowls filled with what ever sugary sweet cereal that was the current favorite, a spoon and glass of orange juice and head for the living room. Snap on the tv set, settle down with our pillows and blankets, eat our cereal and feast our eyes on those wonderful cartoons that only came on on Saturday morning. We'd channel surf for our favorite ones, arguing about which were the best. Then at around 11:30 am, they were over. All gone for another week.

On those Saturday's that it would rain, well, there was always the Saturday movies. Tarzan, John Wayne, The Little Rascals and ofcourse, the Saturday Night Frights! Oh how we loved those goofy, cheesy, horror movies. Dracula, The Wolfman, The Mummy, the list goes on and on.

We used to look forward to Sunday night when Wonderful World of Disney would come on. I just loved watching Tinker Bell dance around the screen and finally with a flourish of her wand, sprinkle the screen with fairy dust and the show would begin. It would always be something good. The typical story line, but presented new and fresh every week. Even when there would be a rerun, it was good to see again. My personal favorites would be the movies, Old Yeller, stuff like that. I was a reader as a child and these appealed to me most. The cartoons were wonderful too. Funny, and always ended well. Not like the gloom and doom of the ones today.

I wonder.....will our children allow this "progress" to continue? Will they tire of the mindless canned laughter and long for simpler times? One can only pray so.........

Friday, June 6, 2008

Catching lightening bugs, a summer ritual.....

Evening would begin with the sun dipping down behind the trees, the street lights flickering on and Mama's calling for us kids to come eat supper. We'd all head for our respective homes, trudging as if going to jail. None of us wanted to eat supper, we wanted to PLAY.

It was spring, school was out, our bedtime had been pushed back a bit and we were ready to begin the fun. Playing outside until it was too dark to see or until our parents would call us to come in, some of the best childhood memories there are.

I remember one particular childhood ritual. Lightening Bug hunting. Oh! The delight of begging the glass jar from Mama, punching holes in the lid with Daddy's best pointed point screw driver, dropping some grass in the bottom of the jar and going on the hunt.

We'd run around with our jars, capturing those tiny pin points of light and delighting in the wonder of them. Lightening bugs were a total entertainment item. I could sit for hours watching them crawl around the jar, lighting up in blinking signals that only another lightening bug could understand.

I put the jar on my bed beside my pillow and fell asleep watching them. The next morning I found them "asleep" or so I thought, until I decided to go outside and turn them loose. It was then I found that they actually were dead. That was it, no more hunting lightening bugs for me. I found pleasure in watching them fly, holding out my hand underneath them and getting them to land on my hand. Then I watched as the tiny nightlight would wander around, finally crawling up to the tip of my finger and flying away.

I'm sorry to note that I don't see many lightening bugs anymore. I've noticed in recent years that there were fewer and fewer every year. I wonder, did we as children, catching them and holding them in jars, cause this decline? I hope not, but maybe so. I've also noticed that children today don't know about lightening bug jars or the joy of playing outside until the street lights come on. Today, they can't and or won't. The dangers are to great. There are drive-by shootings, perverts that stop and call out about a mythical lost puppy, drug deals going on in the driveways of neighborhoods and heavy traffic for our children to deal with. Then there are the video games, MTV, cell phones and other high tech attention getter's for our children's entertainment.

What a shame, the simple pleasures that they might write about someday, are lost. Who cares about the highest score you ever got on Grand Theft Auto?

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

PaPaw Forsyth's Green Apple Trees........

Behind MaMaw and PaPaw Forsyth's house there were five Horse Apple trees. Some folks call them just Green Apple trees. These apples are sweet when ripe but are very tart when just before being ripe.

We kids liked them at most any stage!

PaPaw would actually, or so we thought, count those apples on the trees and dare us to touch them before they were ripe. He always wanted an apple pie and bless his heart he was lucky if he got one! 

Saturday's and Sunday's the cousins and I would be there, eyeing those apples to see how "ready" they were. The ocassional brave soul would pick one and test it.
Lord help you if PaPaw came out of the house to catch you around, under, or in one of the trees. We'd all gather under the one in the picture, it was sort of behind and to the side of the house and we'd be able to hear PaPaw if he came out the back door. We forgot about the side porch! That is because the door to the side porch was rarely open, it was in a middle bedroom of the house and the bedroom belonged to Aunt Polly. She would have your hide if she caught you "messin' around" in her room. It was a room you had to pass through from the kitchen to get to the living room and front porch. There was alot of traffic through Aunt Polly's bedroom, maybe that is why she was so grouchy!

One Sunday afternoon, the grown ups were playing soft ball in the side yard on the other side of the house, we kids had decided that it was time those apples were tested. Most of them were only about the size of a road side plum but we figured that was big enough. So, here we were, Donna, Greg, Mary, Vernon, me and a flock of youngers, all gathered up under that horse apple tree. Waiting and watching to make sure no grown ups were watching us, and trying to decide who was gonna climb the tree to get the choice apples at the top.

Vernon decided he was oldest and therefore he should be the one to get the first apple, then he'd pick some and throw them down to us. He'd just gotten into the fork of the main trunk when......"What are ya'll youngun's doin' round my apple tree????!!!!!" Oh My Goodness! Did we scatter or what???

PaPaw had noticed the lack of the usual noise when we all were around and figured we were up to something. He slipped out on the side porch and had stood while we plotted and watched as Vernon began his climb. He choose the perfect moment to pounce, if you could call it that. He was not able to catch a one of us, but he didn't have to. He said jump, we jumped. It's called respect for your elders, so uncommon in this world today.

Well, PaPaw ordered Vernon down from the tree and made us all sit down on the steps of the side porch. He proceeded to give us what for about touching his apples before they were ready and how if we'd gotten the apples and eaten them we'd all be sick before dark. He shook his finger, threatened to switch our legs good if we so much as breathed in the direction of those apples and promised us fried apple pies all in the same sentence. Then ordered us to "git our hindends out and play"!

I was told recently that the old home place has been sold and was slated to be torn down, so I rode my motorcycle over to the old home place last Saturday afternoon. One of the few times I've ever ridden my bike alone to date.  

PaPaw's apple trees are still there, but now there are only three. The other two had died and been cut down. There were a very few apples beginning to grow on the tree in the picture (up on top of the post), the same tree that we "younguns" gathered under to plot our raid.

As I walked around the tree in the photo above, I could almost hear PaPaw warning me about "messin' with them green apples".

Blessings~ Kat