Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Saying Goodbye to a Year

It was a very good year and here we are, seeing it out. Most everyone has gone home now, and a hush has fallen upon this place. It is as if a light switch has been flicked off, and we miss them already. 

I don't feel as if I personally will ever recover from all of the food, but I am hopeful. There was so much of it!

  • buffalo wings
  • Teriyaki Chicken wings
  • barbecue meatballs
  • homemade Mexican cheese dip, and chips
  • fresh homemade cinnamon rolls, just hot from the oven!
  • carrot sticks (I believe our only healthy item..)
  • chocolate whipped cream layer cake
  • apple pie with ice cream
I now groan. And part of the reason for this groan is the whipped cream layer cake you see here. I had two eager helpers to get the frosting onto it, with (of course) the occasional furtive lick here and there. I didn't mind that, because they were so funny and cute while they frosted. Both concentrated wonderfully well and made certain to get every spot of cake covered up. Then we all dove into it with a will.

It is the cake our mother always made for us. Birthdays, holidays, picnics, and sometimes for no reason at all - she would whip one up and wow simply everyone. And now the next generation is in on it. Quite literally, sweet!

This evening was all hugely fun, and continues to be (although in a quieter sort of way). But the SconeLady cannot possibly stay awake right up to the stroke of midnight. No, I do not think so. In fact, I may close the lid of this device immediately and take myself off to bed. The idea sounds so comforting, my dear Readers. 

But before I do this comforting thing, I want to wish you a wonderfully happy and contented New Year. 2015 awaits us. Who knows what mysteries may be revealed during it? And what new people may come into our lives throughout the months ahead.

Let's look forward to it, shall we? Let us welcome it all.

See you along the way!
the SconeLady

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

How Grandpa Saved The Day

I was standing at the sink when I discovered that there was nothing left to do. We had run through the abundance of activities that usually take place at Grandma and Grandpa's place. You know, all the hot tub events, jumping into freezing pool water, lighting a fire in the real wood fire pit and roasting hot dogs, riding in the boat to feed ducks and gulls, going on motorcycle rides and learning to 'steer'. All of this, finished. It was a poser.

There was one hour left to fill and I looked over at Grandpa, hoping there might be an inspiration that direction. And wonder of wonders, he came up with one just when we most needed it!

There just so happened to be 3 airplanes nestling in the closet, like some kind of miraculous backup plan. I couldn't believe it when I heard him say, "I think there might be some airplanes.."

Some airplanes! The oldest boy perked up his ears, for he could tell something was afloat. Grandpa had that look in his eyes that he gets whenever there is a secret about to be revealed. He saw Grandpa going for the closet, and whooped when the packaged planes came into view. All three children trooped over to the kitchen table and began the assembly process. 

As you might expect, this process was somewhat complicated. There were a lot of moving parts, and everybody needed help at the same time. The 7 year old was right in his element, because he adores building and putting things together. The small girl was not far behind, and waited nicely as she held her bits and pieces, waiting for Grandpa to come to her. 

The 3 year was eager, and confident, and needed the most help - of course! But Grandpa was kind and patient and enjoying this as much as they were. Out of the three you see before you will likely come an aviator one of these days. It's inevitable, I think. 

At last, all of the planes were ready and assembled. It became important that they were flown before anything had the chance to fall apart.

And so into the van everyone trooped, soon spilling out onto the green grass of a nearby park. Now in order to fly these things, you have to spin the propeller round and round for a really long time, then pose the thing, and then let go. Up and out it goes, to everybody's extreme satisfaction. There were a few complications, though. The rudders were coming off, and they soon learned that without a rudder there could be no real flight. A handy principle to know. So they learned to put them back on again, hardly skipping a beat.

And then, some of the props began coming undone (not surprising given the high number of flight attempts). In the end, everyone's prop came off, but they found in the end that the things flew better without them. Hah!

Soon it was time to gather up the bits and pieces, being sure everyone still had their props and their rudders. Into the van it went, and we all headed toward their home and Mommy. 

Because no matter how much fun everything was, and however many activities were explored, there is still no place like home, and no person like Mommy. Ecstatic hugs and shouts of welcome emanated from that little blue house, and everyone was happy.

Thus ends the story of how Grandpa saved the Day.

See you along the way!
the SconeLady

"Now how do I put this rudder back?.."

Monday, December 29, 2014

'Talking' Walks

They happen every few weeks or so, whenever he makes the drive eastward. We always have great food, that's a given. And take drives to places like dinner and movies. And best of all? the talking walks that can go on for hours. Nothing can replace those great yakking sessions where you can say absolutely anything and not regret it. 

I was thinking just today about how superior it is to have two children who like being with their parents. This is a great thing, and makes any amount of effort we might have expended in raising them, worth it all. Yay!

Here lately the rather stunning son and I have taken to walking 5 miles down to the local cafe (our current fave is either Panera Bread, or Mimi's Cafe - superb!) to meet the SconeLady's husband and have breakfast. Then we walk back, another 5! And all of this in the bright winter sunlight with a brisk and fresh breeze to urge us on. You can't imagine all that we are able to cover in that amount of time. And then we'll get to do it all again, the next day. 
So with these few days left of his vacation, we will take advantage of the freedom and not waste any of it. Right now he is just feet from his father and me, the three of us sitting companionably at our Apple laptops. His is, I believe, tuned to a Clippers game (Clips are up by one, just now!). It is all rather comforting.

In fact, it is all really rather stunning.

See you along the way!
the SconeLady

Sunday, December 28, 2014

Sudden Endings

It is time, but we are reluctant.

Everything must come down. The tree disappeared on Boxing Day because it was D.E.A.D. But everything else is still pretty and I don't like to see it floating back into its box. Sad.

Christmas was such fun again this year! Not just the food and the gifts, although they are a pleasure not to be scorned. It is the Celebration that brings family members from afar, giving them time to be. With days off, and no school to interfere (I was a teacher. I know.), everything is so much more relaxed. And there is time to bake! I loved it.

It seems that, with the taking down of decorations, one can see an end to the vacation - a  bit off in the distance, still, but - coming. It is a familiar feeling, well known since Christmas in first grade (there were no kindergartens, then). The almost ecstatic moment we were first released from school just before Christmas, bursting through the big school doors like a manic herd. The seemingly endless hours of play, and eating, and occasional visits to/from distant relatives. The heady feeling of running down the stairs to see what might be under the tree on Christmas morning.

And then - oh woes! - the moment on January 1st when one wakes up to realize it is all drawing to an end. School must be faced, again! Little did I know that my teachers were thinking the same exact thing I was, with the same exact sound of sighing (the only happy people seemed to be Mother and Dad..).

But it is only December 28, with simply bags of time, yet. Right? We can still fit in sessions of baking - scones, perhaps - and the particularly chummy 'talking walks' with the rather stunning son; and watching Clarence saving George in It's A Wonderful Life; and lovely boat rides with small but budding boat drivers (one in pink boots and a fairy dress), the Mallards ever watchful for a snack. 

Those lovely things are particularly inviting, and there is still time to do them.

We were reminded this morning of something that hit home, for me:

Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said, "Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you." -Hebrews 13:5

Contentment, because God never leaves. A bit different from the usual messages around this time of year, don't you think? Mr. Potter from It's A Wonderful Life could sure use that advice. And I don't mind being reminded, myself.

See you along the way!
the SconeLady

Saturday, December 27, 2014

And Mom and Dad Can Hardly Wait

There is nothing quite so inviting as a grandpa with a motorcycle. And who lets you (even though you are small) ride on it with him. And who is certain that you are safe and won't fall off, and have a good strong helmet upon your head. These kinds of things always go a long way with children who are years away from the driving age, and won't even vote for at least a decade.

Grandma helped as each took his or her turn putting on the helmet and climbing aboard with Grandpa. No one was afraid, and everyone wanted to go first. Once all this was settled (with only one near miss when someone's hand came in contact with someone else's head), supreme happiness reigned. Off they each went, under a sky so blue that you practically had to squint in order to see it. 

The little girl was absolutely fearless and handled it like a pro. The littlest 'knew' he could steer, and Grandpa let him put his little hands on top of Grandpa's own. The oldest learned about acceleration and how to lean in to a turn. It was all very exciting.

And this was not all. Other adventures on this day were:

  • climbing the tall ladder into the garage attic, with Grandma standing as spotter
  • taking rides on Grandpa's hand truck while Grandma gamely pushed
  • jumping around their fascinating uncle like small gnats
  • laying on the couch to hear Mother reading from The Magic Treehouse
  • playing in the hot tub and jumping on Grandpa repeatedly
  • eating snacks as fast as Grandma could produce them
  • playing in the dirt so thoroughly that everyone had to have their clothes washed and wearing pajamas in the middle of the day
  • Mother lying on the couch in an exhausted heap at the end of it all
  • ordering pizza as the sun set!

It was a real red letter day, and impossible to tell just who had the most fun. And what's all this nonsense about Mom and Dad hardly being able to wait for school to start again?

Hogwash! (or maybe... not).

See you along the way!
the SconeLady

Friday, December 26, 2014

They Had Me With 'Maybe'

It was funny, it was sweet. The songs were good ones and made the SconeLady want to sing along, if only she could.

It was "Annie"!

This being Boxing Day, we were all rather at a loose end to begin with. A Boxing Day gathering had been postponed due to illness, and so we thought over our options. We could go to the park and fly kites - but the cold Santa Ana's were blowing a gale and freezing us out. Neither kite nor human would have survived the attempt. We could lay around watching TV - only of course there was no TV! So the lovely daughter invited us to the movie. Brilliant girl!

'Annie' was fun, and did so many things right. Good casting - Jamie Foxx, Cameron Diaz (if you go in there expecting beauty, well - you won't see that. Sorry guys!), and the main character whose name I cannot yet pronounce - Quvenzhane Wallis (ok, so if you don't recognize that name, just think 'Beasts of the Southern Wild', and '12 Years a Slave. She is amazing). 

Someone asked what my favorite song of the movie was, and I responded immediately: 'Maybe'. Have you seen it? I loved that song! Worth the price of the ticket, right then and there. I kind of want to go again, just for that song (if you want to see/hear the 1982 version of it, click here).

And there was someone else in it who surprised me - Rose Byrne, who played Grace Ferrel, Mr. Stacks' assistant. I had seen Rose in the television series Damages, which role did not have her smiling very often - it being a tough lawyer procedural and all. In Annie, though, we find her smiling. I liked it!

So our choice of how to spend this Boxing Day was the right one. The kids loved it, and the 3 year old was heard singing 'It's A Hard Knock Life' as we shivered our way back to the van. "Now how did you know that so well, after only one night?" I asked, impressed.

"I saw it at my other Grandma's house!" he replied, by which I assumed he meant the original version. Carol Burnett in a negligee. Drinking bathtub gin. LOVED THAT.

If you are planning to take your children to this new 'Annie', I suggest you stream or rent the earlier version and show it to the kids. It was fun to see them recognizing the old songs, and to hear the unique arrangements this go-around. 

Oh - and even thought you won't be seeing Cameron Diaz in a glamor role, you will be pretty surprised at how well she carries off the song, 'Little Girls'. I thought it was hysterical!

I shall drift off to sleep tonight, humming those songs once again. 32 years makes it a long time since Hollywood took a chance on that cute little red headed sprite with heart. I, for one, am grateful she's back. 

See you along the way!
the SconeLady

photo credit: <a href="">Diario Critico Venezuela</a> via <a href="">photopin</a> <a href="">cc</a>

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Christmas Dinner

The decibel level shot skyward, and everyone had a complete blast. You couldn't hear yourself thinking, but it didn't matter because what mattered was everybody else.

It was the best of Christmases! 

The children went from one thrill to the next, opening long kept secrets and loving it all. Airplanes, and dolls, and Erector sets, and one extra special motorcycle a certain three year old held onto right throughout the day. Somebody really chose well. 

And did I mention the food? A treasure trove! 

  • all kinds of 'starters'
  • a spiral cut ham
  • turkey and dressing
  • mashed potatoes and gravy
  • green bean casserole
  • marshmallow yams
  • pineapple glaze
  • homemade hot rolls
  • cranberry sauce
  • apple pie and ice cream
  • pumpkin pie and whipped cream
  • more, but I can't really remember what

As I sat at the table I could look out over the crowd of loved ones and friends, and admire each one. Perhaps that was when the decibel level reached a peak, of sorts. But who cared? The stories were all great, and the jokes were all funny. You couldn't have asked for anything better than those several hours we have just finished spending.

When exhaustion set in, an iPad suddenly appeared and the three littles gathered round it. A lovely hush fell upon the house. There was a game of Scrabble, and then - charades! Hahahaha!! At one point the grownups were having so much fun that the children commented on it. Pointedly. What on earth were these grownups up to

But I know for certain what the grownups are up to. They are falling into exhausted heaps, right here and now. I am going to close the lid of this laptop and give the whole thing a rest.

But not before I wish you and yours a very Merry Christmas! God bless you, my dear Readers.
The post-dinner Scrabble game 

See you along the way!
the SconeLady

Wednesday, December 24, 2014


There remains much to be done - vegetables to be peeled, tables to be set, floors to be swept. I keep dashing back to my list! (I wonder, should I put together the casserole tonight, or wait until tomorrow..?). All of those thoughts crowd in, but it is these words that have caught my heart, this Christmas Eve:

O Holy Night, the stars are brightly shining!
It is the night of our dear Savior's birth.
Long lay the world in sin, and error pining,
'Til He appeared, and the soul felt its worth.

That right there says it all. That is Christmas. And it is what I wish to ponder, as did Mary, on that Holy night. I do belong in those words, "In sin and error, pining." And what is pining, anyway? A bit of research reveals that it means 'to yearn'; 'to ache'; 'to grieve'. That's what it is to be pining

Are we meant to 'pine' on Christmas Eve? Yes! because the joy of it is that He (at just the right time) appeared. Remember this, and ponder it. As we soon drift off to sleep, ready for all that tomorrow will bring, let us not forget that. Nothing in a brightly colored package was meant to ever replace the impact of that one bright appearance.

All of this means that your soul has worth. Let that one sink in. 

See you along the Way!
the SconeLady

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

The Tastes of Christmas

Cinnamon rolls? Nothing better!

The SconeLady awoke in the wee small hours, dreaming of those very rolls. Her own, not some inadequate substitute found at the Mall. Baking real Christmas cinnamon rolls with real butter is a family tradition, unforgotten, cherished, passed on. The little ones start helping mighty young, and we are all the better for it.

Christmas Eve, 2013 (the smallest being safely kept from his favorite taste  -  Butter..)

One can always rationalize excuses not to have the 'help' of small hands. 
  • 'it takes too long'
  • 'it is messier' 
  • 'they keep tasting it'
  • 'the littlest one eats the butter!' 
But all of these excuses are rather Scrooge-ish, don't you think? It is actually much more interesting to include these eager helpers. They will remember, and their memories are long.

But this year they are a few miles away, and so I crept downstairs on my own. Ingredients were pulled from the shelves, the mixer was plugged in. I went so far as to measure out the yeast, when it occurred to me that I hadn't seen my round baking pans in a while. I stood quite still, in deep thought. Hoping I was wrong, I bent down to inspect, and discovered - NO BAKING PANS! It was not yet 6:00 in the morning, and I had no baking pans. 

We had moved from another state not that long ago, and the things could be just about anywhere, in just about any box. O.M.Goodness!

So I did what any normal lady might do, in a pinch. I put on a coat and drove to the Local. But as their doors slid open, I glanced downward and discovered that I STILL HAD MY PAJAMAS ON... O.M.Goodness.

How ridiculously lame. There was nothing for it now but to grab what I needed, and make for the check-out stand. 

And as a result, we have pans of rolls and can begin enjoying this special taste of Christmas. I say, the sooner the better!

( be completely honest I have had, ah, one or maybe two of them already. And really, why not? The SconeLady cannot live by scones alone).

See you along the way!
the SconeLady

Monday, December 22, 2014

Arrowhead Springs, 1970 (3)

It was, as someone described it, like walking into a wall of Love. And just like that, Life changed for me.

This kindly/positive/hopeful approach was on display in the dining room, during Bible instruction, and reached even to our job training. This was a good thing because I felt really sorry for the lady who was tasked with the training of me. It was excruciating for both of us.

"Here we are, your first stack of invoices," she said encouragingly. "All you have to do is make a note of what the customer is ordering, communicate it to our packaging department, and collect and report the money. It's that simple!"

The SconeLady quails at each fresh stack of INVOICES.
But I did not think it was 'that simple'. There were so many confusingly tiny figures listed, with tax! postage and handling! and other little details that added up to trouble. This was revealed on Day Two.

"Oh - my dear, here are the invoices from, the figures didn't quite add up. You see, this figure needs to be deducted because the customer got a discount..."

No one had said anything to me about a DISCOUNT! How was I supposed to know? 

"And, there appears to be no notation of the cost of shipping and handling on this other one. That box was left blank.." Her smile stayed there, but with an added crack of strain filtering in. 

Those bits of paper were becoming my nightmare.

But there was more to life than invoices! Gradually, the Message of Campus Crusade was getting through to us. "Come Help Change the World!" it said. We were catching on. My only confusion was in equating those hideous invoices with helping to 'Change the World'. Invoices were so - humdrum. Meaningless. Relentless!!

Oh, dear, I thought while sitting at my work desk, gazing at the newest stack. I wanted to help change the world, I really did. But surely there was some better way.  Wasn't there, God? Maybe somewhere up front? 

Someone said something about humility. 

'Ridiculous!' I scoffed. What could HUMILITY possibly have to do with anything?

(Sound familiar?)

See you along the Way!
the SconeLady

photo credit: <a href="">Cary Rodriguez</a> via <a href="">photopin</a> <a href="">cc</a>

photo credit: <a href="">kozumel</a> via <a href="">photopin</a> <a href="">cc</a>

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Arrowhead Springs 1970 (2)

It had apparently been used as a convalescent hospital at the end of the second World War, and I could certainly see why. The grounds and the buildings were all extremely well taken care of, and I could say no less about the current inhabitants. There was a peace about the place.

But we were shy, having had no experience with a place such as this. The men and women 'on staff' were of such high caliber - some of us felt we might never live up to such a group of people as they were. Talented; faithful; wise; knowledgeable; focused; and young - some not all that much older than we were. They were college graduates, as this was a campus ministry centered on reaching out to college students. All work was focused there. And we were to be a part of it.

I remember wondering what on earth I could possibly do to help. I needed so much help, myself. This subject came up during the entry interview. "And what would you like to do while here at Arrowhead Springs?" a kindly lady had asked.

"Well I am not exactly sure," I replied. "Is there a list I can choose from?"

She laughed. "There are some possibilities, certainly. It depends upon what you see as your strengths. Do you type?"

Now here was something I could speak confidently about. "Oh yes, I do! In High School I took both Typing I and II, and Mr. Roff gave me an A.."
This pleased the lady, who asked a few other questions about my interests, and talents, and goals. She explained what they hoped might develop from my year there. "Our Crusade Training Group are all young people who have not yet graduated from college, but who might wish to be on staff with Crusade, eventually."
The perfectly huge and imposing Arrowhead on the mountain

I had not thought of this possibility yet, being only 19 and having had one not-so-successful year at college. I replied that I might at least like to finish college. But if I didn't, I could probably become a secretary.

"Well then, we will place you in one of our offices down in the 'village', where you will learn to process book orders. How does that sound?"

I thought it would be fine, and the interview was, suddenly, over.

A hopeful beginning! She had been so kind, and so helpful. Where did they get these people, anyway? Everyone was like that, and seemed to assume that if Campus Crusade had accepted us, we must be worthy of acceptance. 

At least, almost everyone seemed to ..

But for now, things were on the upswing. I was moved into the little bungalow I would share with several other girls. It had a bunk room, a minuscule bathroom, and a dreamy living area where several young people lounged about, holding guitars or chatting calmly. 

I introduced myself. Someone hugged me. A door slammed, and a girl about my own age came in shouting, "Hey! Did you see that POOL? Let's go!"

And thus, I became a part of something bigger than myself. I thought for a moment that I just might be in the process of landing on my feet. Maybe...I could find my Next Step.

Clearly it was time I got started. "Wait for me!" I said, grabbing my swimsuit, and followed the shouting girl.

See you along the Way!
the SconeLady

photo credit: <a href="">NavyMedicine</a> via <a href="">photopin</a> <a href="">cc</a>

photo credit: <a href="">Cary Rodriguez</a> via <a href="">photopin</a> <a href="">cc</a>

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Arrowhead Springs 1970

We stood gazing down from the Hotel, astonished and dismayed at all the smog. It was like a bowl of soup down there. Poor San Bernardino! 

I had just moved to Arrowhead Springs, and wasn't fully aware of my surroundings. Until that moment. Smog! Thick rolling clouds of it, hanging there like some kind of strange looking mass.

But we had clear air, we who were fortunate enough to live high above all this. We were not choking and coughing, but were in a blissful paradise. It was to be one year of working. And learning. And getting ready for the Next Step. It was Crusade Training Group.
Post card of Arrowhead Springs Hotel, date unknown

Arrowhead Springs itself was surprising, with its luxurious surroundings. Here I was, a small town Oregon girl transplanted to a Southern Californian utopia encompassed by:

  • the huge and delightful hotel
  • the magnificent Esther Williams swimming pool
  • the hot springs above and below ground, where one could actually boil an egg
  • the trails which took you around the massive grounds
  • the sweet looking quonset huts we were to live in
  • the complex of offices at a lower elevation
  • the perfectly gigantic and imposing Arrowhead on the mountain above!
  • the kind people who surrounded us with support and instruction

For this was the headquarters for Campus Crusade for Christ, International. We students who found ourselves there were not 'on staff', not yet. We were sort of in-betweeners, those who were uncertain of what our Next Step should be, but were willing to consider the possibility. We were there to learn.

These CTG-ers would earn $50.00 per month (a treasure! we thought), plus room and board, and Bible instruction and other kindly support. We were to work in the offices or on the grounds of the complex. We would volunteer in the city below to help churches, and children, and those in need. And we would, ourselves, be helped.

It was only 1970 and therefore no mobile phones or computers to spend time on. There wasn't a television anywhere that we knew of. Hogan's Heroes was happening without us! Heads were not bent over any kind of device. This meant we actually heard. And saw. And learned.

It was a Beginning. 

See you along the Way!
the SconeLady 

photo credit: <a href="">matt.hintsa</a> via <a href="">photopin</a> <a href="">cc</a>

photo credit: <a href="">jasonwoodhead23</a> via <a href="">photopin</a> <a href="">cc</a>

Friday, December 19, 2014


There are two sides to every coin, of course. And if you want one side, you must also take the other. No choice.

We are experiencing the two, to some degree. We came south, to live...exchanging this sweet woodland cabin for something - bigger. Warmer. Crowded. 

Sweet Woodland Cabin in the North

This is a summertime photo, clearly, and therefore warm, cozy, even balmy. But wait just a few months and you will have the other side of that coin.

Beautiful, certainly. Space to roam, and people to coffee with while the snow descends and chills the brave wanderer. Wood for the fire, stacked and ready in the early morning frost before the sunrise. Family. Ah, yes - that. Goodbyes that sting the eyes, more than just a little..

But come south, and there is just as much good to say about this beautiful spot (even if I do call it the Asphalt Jungle). It's a pretty amazing place, truth be told. Clear blue skies and a Lake to boot! Early morning walks with a jacket that will surely be shed before the arrival home. And Family. Providence has again blessed us there, and we are all the richer for it.

But, oh yes - the occasional smog, the crowded freeways, the cacophony along the way. The other side of that coin exists here, too. And there are two sides to every coin, you know. So if you want one side, you must also take the other. 

No choice.

The SconeLady's frequent viewpoint whilst swimming through traffic

Breathtaking walks along the nearby Lake, of a morning    

See you along the way!
the SconeLady

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Dusting Off 1969


We were going through ancient boxes in the garage, again. Boxes the children love to dig in and find old treasures of Grandma and Grandpa. But there was one obscure Rubbermaid container sort of abandoned in the corner, not yet explored. A legendary box, so to speak. Sitting on the top, as I opened it, was a dusty old license plate. My dusty old license plate. The girl who put that plate in that box (or some earlier cardboard version) watched the events of that Year with surprise, and amazement. 

It was a Happening year, and we knew it. Here are just a few notables that the SconeLady noticed as they sped by:

  • Elvis Presley makes his surprising Comeback
  • Golda Meir becomes first female Prime Minister of Israel (yay!)
  • The United States lands men on the Moon
  • John and Yoko get married (I don't remember if I cared about this..)
  • The EPA is created (I didn't care about this)
  • President Nixon begins the first draw down of troops in Vietnam
  • Chappaquiddick..
  • The SconeLady waits tables in Virginia City while listening to the news of Chappaquiddick..
  • Manson family members carry out the Tate-LaBianca murders to everyone's utter horror

  • Woodstock (I didn't even know this was happening!)
  • The birth of the ATM (didn't know and absolutely didn't care)
  • The Brady Bunch! (cared)
  • The Vietnam War Moratorium (went)
  • Muammar Gaddafi stages a coup in Libya
  • Sesame Street!
  • The Draft (we all cared)

Now that is a lot of notoriety, don't you think? Each of those events seem iconic now. It was such a year of contradictions. A Moratorium and The Brady Bunch? Apollo 11 and Chappaquiddick? Odd.

Now lurking somewhere in that same box are other memories, and it is exciting to anticipate going through it. I haven't looked in there for years! But I must be watchful, for sometimes you like being reminded; and other times? maybe not so much.

But I will look, and recall, taking the good with the not-so. Everyone looks backward with some trepidation. Best to hold tight to Mercy; Grace; Forgiveness; Charity.

.. Faith.

See you along the way!
the SconeLady

photo credit: <a href="">Film Star Vintage</a> via <a href="">photopin</a> <a href="">cc</a>

photo credit: <a href="">Joe Shlabotnik</a> via <a href="">photopin</a> <a href="">cc</a>

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Nothing Says It Like A Camera Phone

"We Wish You A Merry Christmas!"

Things have changed significantly since I was little, and nothing speaks to this more than a roomful of camera phones.

We had all dutifully filed into the church sanctuary, loaded up with our own phone cameras ready to click away. It was the preschool Christmas program, and the children were clean, scrubbed and shiningly ready for their debut. They knew the songs, of course, having rehearsed for absolute ages, and had all been properly coached as to correct performance behavior. Everybody hoped no one would be sick.

The 3 year old with black/white stripes
They came in from the side, singing, single file, moving en masse to the front of the church looking shy in front of all these strangers. At least, almost everyone out there was a stranger. The children peered into the audience, looking for familiar faces. Mummy, Daddy. Grandma and Grandpa. Brother. Sister. And so on.  Once  they identified these, they lit up like that nearby Christmas tree, smiling and waving, calling out. They were, after all, 3 through 5 year olds. And anything can happen at a Christmas program.

But - we almost couldn't see it! The first song began, but there were so many loved ones angling cameras and phones that no mere mortal would ever be able to find, focus, and click accurately. There were only the backs of heads. 

We all did our best not to be rude, or get into the way of those behind us. It was rather like the waves of the sea, first left, then right, a brief and wild snap in the general direction of all that cuteness on the stage.

I felt sorry for everyone. But then again, not really sorry, because everyone was so happy. It was Christmastime. The kids were eager to please, shining in their musical debut more sweetly than any Broadway actor ever could. 

And who even needs Broadway, when you have such enchanting small people to entertain you so beautifully?

I, for one, don't.

See you along the way!
the SconeLady

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

What You Can Do With 60 Miles

It was almost a 60 mile drive, and every one of those miles was filled with information. In fact, overflowing! Grandma sat in the very back next to the 7 year old, who had stored up all kinds of things to share along the journey. 

"Grandma, what if I could modify my dad's car and make it to fly? With a propellor on the top, and a jet engine at the back!"

This was a poser, to which I had no ready answer. But it turned out that there didn't need to be an answer. All Grandma needed was to be listening.

"He could flip a switch whenever the freeway was crowded and his car would rise up right  there, and get above the rest of the cars, and then he would flip another switch and the after burner would take him to work in less than a minute! Wouldn't he like that?"

"Oh, yes!" I quickly interjected that I hoped he could make Grandma one like that, too.

"And what if I invented that you could go to Mars whenever you wanted to? Do we go to Mars yet? I thought we did. Well we should be in Mars. I can't imagine a world where no one goes there."

I heartily agreed, thinking that going to Mars might solve a lot of problems for a lot of people. For instance it would help people who have made a mess of things down here, because it would take them such a long time for them to get up there; and then when they did get up there it would take even longer for them to mess things up up there. It would be a win-win.

"And what if we were in a space ship and fell asleep for months and months. I wouldn't be at all afraid. Would you be afraid, Grandma?"

I admitted that yes, I would be at least a bit afraid. "Well, I wouldn't be because I would be brave and wouldn't notice anything because I would be asleep."

We went on like this for the 60 miles until we suddenly saw the sea, out ahead. "There it is!" he said with excitement, looking out for his uncle's car. The entire adventure was out there, and he was ready for it. There was always adventure when his uncle showed up.

And so everyone lived the adventure - the eating, the sandcastles, the surfing, the digging in sand, the dinner at Bruce's, the birthday cupcakes, and the amazing calypso drums. It was all care free, just exactly what a kid wants in this life. Not to mention the grownups - all of whom enjoyed it just as much.

But it was time to climb back into the van, and Grandma climbed in next to the 7 year old. As the van pulled out onto the highway, Mother (from up in the front seat) heard the boy telling Grandma something about Calvin and Hobbes.

"Ok," she said, "The little ones need to sleep now. You can tell Grandma one more thing, and then - quiet please."

But I was getting interested in the next scenario, and so we whispered about it for a few minutes more. "And Calvin told Hobbes to stay in the bedroom while he.."

And then, it was suddenly quiet. I glanced over and saw that his head was drooped and lay resting against the window. It was as if a light switch had gone off. And he slept.

But Grandma didn't. She felt super lucky to get to be the one who heard all of his ideas. They were pretty good ones, too. And all the inventions? She figured he'd probably carry it off, in the end. She hoped to be around when he did.

See you along the way!
the SconeLady

photo credit: <a href="">lopesFamily</a> via <a href="">photopin</a> <a href="">cc</a>