Posted tagged ‘grandchildren’

Christmas Mornings

December 25, 2017

wreathThis is my 73rd Christmas Morning.   My oldest memory comes from a picture I have, me sitting on the floor with a train set I got for Christmas in my parents first aparment in New Haven, Connecticut, and I remember getting a red Columbia bicycle our last year thereelectric-train before we moved to the little house in East Haven that would be home until I got married.  My wife had her first Christmas tree in our apartment in Rhode Island the year we got married (she was jewish) but we returned to my parents house for Christmas morning until we moved to California in 1971, going from White Christmases to Warm Christmases.   And from family Christmases to best friend Christmases with our friends Don and Jackie and their kids.  Once we adopted our two kids, Aaron and Amy, those were some of the best Christmases ever.   As our kids grew into adults, as often happens, Christmas Mornings lost some of the magic.   There is nothing like seeing Christmas through the eyes of a child. (more…)

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Keeping Up

November 27, 2017

as_grandparents1465617201.jpgOver 44 years ago, my parents made their only trip together from Connecticut to visit us in California.   We were waiting to hear from the Orange County Adoption Agency regarding our pending adoption of a baby boy and had hoped that it might happen before my parents arrived.   But never did we imagine that it would happen while they were here.  But it did.  Three days before their arrival, the agency called and said our first child would be coming home with us on Monday.   It was perfect because we had plans to take my parents to San Francisco for the weekend.   We were so excited about Monday that I remember very little about the weekend, except that we had an ambitious sightseeing schedule and that my parents … particularly my Mom … had trouble Keeping Up with our thirty-something pace.  Yes,  we slowed down and we waited patiently.  They traipsed along gamely.   But we stuck to our schedule and saw all the sights. (more…)

Pedantic

November 26, 2017

vegas kidsWe are spending Thanksgiving in Las Vegas with my grandkids and their parents at the Wyndham Grand Desert.   I am not a fan of Vegas but it turns out that it is close to halfway between Herrimann, UT, where they live and Socal, where we live.  So, here we are.  This morning, while my wife, daughter and granddaughter were off picking up dinner, the boys were getting restless, so I decided to see if they’d like to take a walk.  I turned to them and said, Why don’t you put on your shoes and we’ll go explore the rest of the property. My grandson, Maddux looked at me with a funny grin and said, You mean you want to walk around the hotel? And there you have it.  Even my ten years old grandson thinks I’m pedantic.  Of course, I am putting words in his mouth … he would never call his Papa a pedant.  In fact I don’t ever recall being called pedantic directly but the word does materialize in my consciousness whenever I get that look after using a sesquipedalion word in common discourse.  Several times I’ve asked, Do you think I’m pedantic?  Sometimes, was sometimes the answer. (more…)

Fixes

October 2, 2017

According to the dictionary, getting a fix means To obtain something necessary, especially a dose of an addictive drug or anything else compulsively sought after.   Of course, the phrase is an idiom in the sense that it’s definition can’t be determined from the meaning of the words.  So, I tend to drop the addicted and compulsively and let it just mean doing something I really enjoy.  Back in my running days, after a long day at work, I’d put on my Nikes and go out for a running fix. Yeah, my friends told me I was compulsive about exercise.  OK, as ice cream lovers, my wife and I sometimes head to our favorite shop in Dana point for an ice cream fix.  But believe it or not some geniuses at the New York Times (all the news that’s fit for the bottom of a birdcage) published an article comparing ice cream consumption to drug use.  OK, music.  When I’m down, nothing lifts me like listening to some music I love.  But sure as shit, there are articles about the problems of music addiction.  It seems to be in the nature of our modern world that some idiot is out to find fault with liking anything too much.  (more…)

For Singing Out Loud

January 13, 2017

savy-singerMy granddaughter Savannah’s favorite gift this Christmas was a karaoke machine.  Once all the presents were opened and we each went to our corners to play with our favorite gifts, she switched on the machine, turned it up to full blast and began to sing … over and over … Call Me Maybe by Carly Ray Jepson (yes, I had to look that up).  To these old ears, Call Me Maybe sounds like a corny pop tune aimed at pre-adolescents in the midst of their first crush.  It’s harmless enough, easier to listen to than what Kohl’s plays over their sound system in the stores on a regular basis but … played more than five times in a row … it could be used in place of waterboarding.   I would conservatively guess Savannah sang it thirty times Christmas morning.

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Pokemon. Stop.

July 28, 2016

downloadThe park I fondly call My Park is Yorba Regional Park, perhaps the most beautiful of Orange County’s Regional Park system, a mile and a half expanse of lightly wooded grass along the Santa Ana River between Anaheim Hills and Yorba Linda.  It has four small lakes, asphalt trails for walking and biking, playgrounds for children and large shelters frequently used for company picnics or family reunions.  A loop around the entire park is about three miles, which makes a perfect place for getting in the 8000 steps a day demanded by my Fit-bit.  For about a week, at the East end of the park where the bluebirds are plentiful and the park walkways open onto the Santa River Trail, people have been congregating in small groups, mesmerized by the cellphones and tablets their hands.   Yep.  It was my first official sighting of people playing Pokemon Go, the mobile device trend that the media has been salivating about for a couple of weeks now.  Now, given a choice between following a trend and leprosy, I’d gladly choose the latter but I am also a technology geek, so I was curious about the game and, in particular, why people would gather in a particular place to play it.  I found Beginners Guide: How to Play Pokemon Go! online and learned that the game includes special locations known as PokeStops where players are more likely to find the critters that are the objects of their quest.  I am inclined to think of such games a complete waste of time … and to be quite honest, my Inner Curmudgeon regards that bevy of Pokemon players staring at their mobile devices as they sit in the prettiest part of the park as idiots.  It’s opinions like that that usually keep him my Inner Curmudgeon.

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Night Lights

June 18, 2016

led clockNo one but a few regular readers may have noticed but I have.  I haven’t posted since May 24th.   That may be the longest period of time between posts since I started Older Eyes – Bud’s Blog.  I miss it.   If you are not a writer, that probably makes no sense to you.  If you miss it, then do it, you say. I’ve tried.  There are half a dozen stalled attempts waiting patiently on my WordPress dashboard waiting patiently for me to finish them.  Here I am, trying again.   This time, I have a theme … Things That Have Changed Since I was Young.  That should cover a few posts, don’t you think?  You may think, Here he goes, pining for the good old days, talking about how much better things used to be.  There may be some of that but what I have in mind is something smaller and simpler, changes without social consequences or value judgements.  No, I can’t promise my Inner Curmudgeon won’t have some cranky opinions but isn’t that what Curmudgeons do?  Anyway, let me give you an example.

A few nights ago, I was finishing up my last game of Classic Words on my tablet.  The lights in our bedroom were out and my wife, Muri, was snoringcw softly.  I turned my tablet off, plugged it into the charger and made my way to the bed, being careful not to trip over the pair of shoes I always leave out.  As I climbed into bed, I looked back at the room …  a dozen tiny lights pierced the darkness.  The LED on my phone was glowing red to tell me it wasn’t through charging and amber one on the cable box said it was standing by.  The time glowed in red, blue and green respectively on Muri’s alarm clock, mine and the cable box.  Naturally, the times didn’t agree.  On the wall, the carbon monoxide detector winked green to tell me it was doing its job, keeping me safe from an invisible enemy, and on the ceiling above, the smoke alarm did the same.  Intrigued, I got up and walked though the house.  Every room glowed with illuminated times and tiny colored lights.  The kitchen offered competing times on the oven, microwave and coffee make.  The blue LED on the dishwasher signaled the dishes were done and a green light on the master GFCI power outlet assured me that the circuit breaker had not blown.  In the family room, the Tivo glowed green … if it was recording, it would change to red.  The wi-fi range extender twinkled and flashed with each digital message from the router upstairs in my office you where can practically read by the light of the electronics.

When I was a kid, I tried hard to be asleep before my parents went to bed.  As you probably know, trying hard to go to sleep is not a great strategy for SCARYsleeping.  I knew the themes song of the TV shows my parents watched and knew that when I heard the closing theme of their ten o’clock show the house would soon be dark.   No glowing LEDs or digital clocks to keep me company.  Really dark.  Would an assortment of multi-colored LEDs reassured me or morphed into the eyes of scary creatures peering at me in the darkness?  Perhaps I’ll ask my grandsons.

If you are waiting for a point, there isn’t one except that the world has changed a lot in sixty years.  Technology has pervaded our lives and houses.   It is everywhere around us but takes a seventy-two year old man who slept in a pitch black bedroom to notice the evidence everywhere around us in the Night Lights.