I love a good story….

Whenever I hear a good one, a laugh out-louder, I think of my dad and how he never tired of hearing and telling a good ol’ knee slapper.  The rest of us had our own opinions of his reruns and several people would see him coming and scoot out of the way.  Others would humor him and listen to what they knew was coming and laugh anyway for the lost-count time.

Dad’s gone almost 18 years now, but I can imagine a two minute out-louder, his head back, his big hand slapping a knee over a joke making its way around the email circuit.  I think I’ve seen it before and if Dad could adopt it I would hear it again and again.

A thank you to Jim Knowles for keeping it in circulation.


If you don’ t laugh out loud at this one, call the morgue and reserve a table, because you are dead….

Always wear clean underwear in public, especially when working under your vehicle…

From the Northwest Florida Daily News comes this story of a Crestview couple who drove their car to Wal-Mart, only to have their car break down in the parking lot. The man told his wife to carry on with the shopping while he fixed the car in the lot.

The wife returned later to see a small group of people near the car. On closer inspection, she saw a pair of male legs protruding from under the chassis.  Although the man was in shorts, his lack of underpants turned private parts into public ones.  Unable to stand the embarrassment, she dutifully stepped forward, quickly put her hand UP his shorts, and tucked everything back into place. She took a deep breath and stood up boldly to face the crowd.

She looked across the hood and found herself staring at her husband, who had been standing idly by.

The mechanic, however, had to have three stitches in his head..


Feeling the performance – Riverdance!

If the theory of DNA Memory is true, that we genetically carry the footprints of our ancestors, shadows of their cultures, then there are sub-conscious rumblings in my soul and echoes of flutes and drums in my veins that connect me to Ireland .  I close my eyes and see green hills and Maureen O’Hara.

No?  I don’t believe the DNA thing either.  It just sounded good.  According to my European heritage is all of Europe.  Lines weave backward through myriad shire and kingdom finding root through Troy to Goshen back to Abraham himself.

Yet, I feel so much more Irish than say, Prussian or Italian.  That could have something to do with growing up with the surname of Murphy and listening to Dad talking about his Murphy line, who was the immigrant, etc.  Mom also spoke of her Dutch line of sailors.  I just wasn’t that fascinated.  Sorry, Mom.  But, aye now, the Irish, the twinkling eyes, the roguish smiles, the castles, the green shutters and stone fences, the dancing and drums …  much more fun than say, wooden shoes.

We’re watching the Best of Riverdance.  When I emerged from the Celtic store in Gatlinburg last week proudly waving my purchase, my son-in-law chuckled and said “as opposed to the Worst Of?”  After viewing of the Best Of and remembering my experience of the live performance in Minneapolis, I’ve concluded that the Worst Of would look the same.  There is no Worst.

It can only be described as an experience.  You watch, you feel, you meld with it and believe all you have to do is put on the tap shoes and you are one of them.  That night my friend Lisa and I persisted 65 dark miles through winter wind and snow, and froze our fingers and cheekbones walking to the old Minneapolis Theatre.  The stage was wooden, the floors were wooden, the seats creaky and packed close together, barely room to peel off the parkas.

Lisa educated me all the way there on theater behavior.  She studied theater, there is protocol.  There is prescribed pattern.  By first curtain, if theater is a verb, I knew how to.  Then the thunder of steeled toes and heels vibrated through the stage, the floors, the seats and penetrated the bodies.  At the first opportunity to do so, the whole of the audience flew to their feet, shouting, whistling, applauding hard enough to wear on the tendon and joint.  Lisa must have been in theatrical shock but she too rose to her feet eventually, commenting later that she thought she was at a hockey game after a double overtime.

You too can buy the DVD in Dolby, set up the surround sound, crank up the subwoofer, and swim in the magic of Riverdance.  But …. until they’re in front of you on a wooden stage, passionately stomping out their heritage, until you’re watching “by the seat of your pants,” you haven’t felt Riverdance.  If you have that opportunity, you just may hear some Irish in your blood.

R & R

There are reasons you aren’t seeing daily updates on how wonderful the babies are.  They are.  I’m not blogging on how worthwhile the 14 one way highway hours are–yet.  They are not even inconvenient.  I don’t yet have dozens of pictures showing off these beautiful children. They are that as well.  Besides, we’ve been here since Saturday evening and I’ve taken one picture.

I’m on vacation and these little people are very, very active.  I should have the camera around my neck but the 16 month old would have it either figured out or dismantled by now.  His fine motor skills are off the charts.

I’m on vacation.  I’m down early and exhausted, then wakened early by footfalls and toythrows on hardwood floors.  I am now acquainted with Curious George, Bunny Town, Wallace and Gromit, and Dora.  (My mother-in-law had a friend she called Dumb Dora but I don’t think there’s a connection).  The highest level of adult entertainment during child hours is Rocky and Bullwinkle. The baby giggles non stop at it and the 4 year old hits the rewind on the intro to Dudley Doright several times so he can pretend he’s riding a horse backward.  However …….those DVDs are mine and will go back home with me even though the kids love it.  (The dvds are miiiiiiiiine.)

There is no Foxnews, no USA, no Discovery, History, or Science Channels while the kids are up—as it should be.  I will save the world later with my ever increasing knowledge and awareness of world affairs.  Meantime,  —pulling the baby out of the dog’s water dish requires my attention.  And then there’s snacks, naps, and diaper changes.  The four year old increases time consumption x 2 with rhymes, tackles, story telling, and the inevitable toy tugging with the baby. “No, Owen, that’s not yours! Nanny!”

I’m busy by choice.  Come back later.  Whenever.

I’m it in a tag game of 7 interesting things about me

“It” as in Cousin?  “It like a Y” as in cyclops?  Or the “it” as in tag, you’re.  I don’t think there are 7 interesting things about me.  Do they have to be known things or surprises, ’cause, Honey, if you want surprises, those are in the Sea of Forgetfulness.

I’m going to have to pray about this.  “Lord, could you reveal a couple more than 2?”  But, let’s see.  There is more than 1/2 century to work with here.

1. My grandparents on both sides were married and had children before the turn of the 20th century.  My parents were born in the aughts, 19 aught 7 and 19 aught 8.  So if I start in with what Woodrow Wilson or Calvin Coolidge did, forgive me.  I was raised by people who completed their schooling in the 1920’s.

2. I went to Bible College in 1969 and was one of 15 white kids who started a church in a predominantly black North Minneapolis neighborhood while the smoke-charred wood from the race riots were still on the store windows.  We went door to door.  FYI, most of the people were regular, seeking, decent, and harmless.  But my mother quaked daily.  I keep asking the music director if the choir can wear robes and sway down the aisle.   She has consistently refused.

3. I dated multi-racial and international before I fell for a white Brit from Minnesota.  When I told my mom I had met the man I wanted to marry, her first question was “what color is he?” She was not a racist. I was the child who taught her how to have a conversation without blinking.

4.  I spent 29 years in Minnesota smacking mosquitoes and I want a medal or at least a martyr badge.

5.  Girlfriends and I went UFO hunting and bushwhacking in high school for entertainment because my class was so small (40), we all felt like siblings and I didn’t date, which is the same reason I had piles of books ready for the inevitable book report.

6.  We didn’t have an indoor potty or fixed bathtub until I was twelve.  I am not only not embarrassed, but downright proud of having roughed it.  Don’t ask me to go camping.  The Holiday Inn is camping.

7.  I helped Dad build the house brick by brick and shingle by shingle.  Polish my badge.  That time as a carpenter nurse (fetching tools, waiting for instruction) allowed talking, learning, bonding.  Thank you, Daddy.

Spaghetti’s done, I’m hungry, Honey’s waiting for me to get off the computer. Bye.

A Little Truth

I am somewhat disorganized. Yes, really. Ok, so I’m a lot disorganized. I think part of the problem is that I have too often bought into the highly overrated concept that multi-tasking is a heroic thing. I forget that I learned 30 years ago that there is no such thing as Superwoman. Erma Bombeck wrote about the new neighbor who had the pictures hung and dinner in the oven the same day she moved in and Erma had barely put away the binoculars. No, Erma didn’t like her much either.

I have too many things going on. Lists of lists, seasonal projects, stuffed corners from the winter, and where did all these loose scraps of paper come from? Oh, yes!! When I hear something I want to remember, I write it down. Of course, there’s no tablet or journal (need to write that down–buy a journal) so I grab an envelope or a used shopping list (that’s where that went!). Do I date it? No. Do I include the source? Sometimes.

I was thumbing through a book and saw that it had a scrap of paper as a bookmark. Dang! Lost my place! I had written down a movie quote from an old black and white film from the 40’s. Ingrid Bergman was the nun and Bing Crosby was the priest–The Bells of St. Mary. These are really great movies, guys! So they don’t have flipping, exploding cars, or people flying backward 20 feet from one little bullet, blood flying all over and words you don’t want your children to hear. That’s what makes them great.

Anyway….Ingrid’s character says to her young student who didn’t pass her final for graduation “If you don’t fail sometimes your successes won’t mean anything. Have courage.” It’s a little truth to pocket.  I hope I empty the pocket before it’s thrown in the washer.