Friday, October 19, 2012

Ooday ooya eekspay igpay attinlay?/first published in The Cheraw Chronicle

As most of you who read my articles and my blog "Holding Patterns" ( know, I grew up spending every summer with my grandparents.  It was our grandmother (Mammy) who taught us the fun stuff of life along with work ethics.  As a teacher she encouraged us to learn new things and practiced what she preached.  On stormy days when we kids were stuck inside the house, she taught us to make paper mache items and tents from chairs and sheets where we could sit inside reading or telling stories of adventure.  It was during just such a storm that she first introduced us to a new and exciting world of linguistics that is now a nearly lost art.  It is called Pig Latin. 
We were sitting around the kitchen table, having given up our chair tents for notebook paper and pencils.  I don't know why we loved that combo, but we did and often spent what little money we had on them.  Mammy was busy making iced tea and sudddenly  asked us (sister Toni and me) if we knew how to speak Pig Latin.  We told her no but our curiosity was piqued, and she promised to teach us.  We spent the next hour learning the trick of it then practicing the language.  The key to the whole thing lies in the title above.  Study how the first letter of the word is moved to the end as ood then then aye is is now ooday.  The same with you...ooyae.  Now say speak...eekspay...and latin...attinlay.  Sort of like the riddle songs of the 60's, you now have a language to speak when you don't want your parents to know what you are saying.  Toni and I being quick studies were soon chatting away like no body's business.  We can still do it.
I remember when I took my kids to see the movie Goonies.  At some point during the movie the kids were speaking in pig latin and I started to laugh as I translated for my boys.  They looked at me in awe and demanded to be taught to speak this cool "new" language.  Thinking back to those days of their childhood  I find myself  longing for the time when I was the coolest mom in the theater...ouldnway ooyae?

Monday, October 15, 2012

The Anniversary Waltz

I met him in February of 1968, it was just before his 28th birthday. I had just turned 19. He was tall and handsome, he had an easy laugh and his eyes were alive with compassion. It was a blind date that could have turned out either way for both of us. My pal Pat had kept insisting that I met her beau's shipmate. When I finally gave in it turned out to be an adventure neither one of us would ever regret.
He was in MineLant at the time. Their motto was "Iron Men on Wooden Ships". That was not only a catchy motto, it was what the kids today would term "hot". He already had ten years in the Navy. I was still trying to find out who I was and what I wanted to be. If that sounds a bit "hippyish", remember, it was 1968. You do the math.
The 60's were turbulent times filled with excitement and misgivings, violence and great heroics.  Men were still going to war, even as today.  I knew the day would come when the ship would no longer be sitting port side.  And so it was.

The ship went to sea soon after we met and there was much exchanging of letters and dreams between us. On his return Stateside, we discovered that the attraction was still as strong. He proposed, I accepted. I can hardly believe that it was 44 years ago October 15. It seems like yesterday, but then I can hardly keep up with time the way it flies by. No marriage is perfect, I've heard it said. But ours has come pretty darned close. During our marriage we have traveled the world and seen the sites.  We reared our children to be bold and honest, with themselves and others.  All in all it has been a great success, wouldn't you agree?     So, to beloved...I love you every bit as much as I did the night we, that's wrong. I love you so much more for so many reasons it would take 44 more years to tell you exactly what they are.  So, Happy still make me laugh and cry, so all in all it has been quite a dance.  Here's to another 44 years if you think you can handle it!

Monday, October 8, 2012

This isn't the Piggly Wiggly, More like the Hoggly Woggly

I have come to the conclusion that you can find anything on the Internet.  All you have to do is go to Google and the world starts spinning and spitting out anything that has to do with what ever you typed into the search engine's vast memory.  It is almost scary.  And don't even get me started about YouTube.  If you can't find it on YouTube you very possibly only imagined you had heard a certain song or seen a certain show.  But back to Google land.  Let me tell you my story.

We took the pups out early for their walk as usual on Friday morning.  I start one way with Cricket and Mac goes the opposite direction with Chase.  We meet up in the middle and continue our walk back to the house.  Friday morning Mac told me to walk back to the garden with him, he had something to show me.  We walked over to the raised beds where we had planted collards, cabbages, brussel sprouts and broccoli.  At the end of each bed were tall wires upon which is growing masses of green bean vines.  I saw the vines, all seemed well.  Then I turned the corner.  Where once huge plants of broccoli and tall sprout stakes had stood were nothing but exposed roots.  Over at the other beds it was the same story.  My lovely dutch head cabbage were history and bell pepper plants lay haphazardly on their sides, breathing their last.  The only thing left were the beans.  And some radish...and a few tomato plants.  The wire fences had been torn down and dragged across the yard, bent and torn.  We took the pups in and came back out for a good look . We found the tracks and an odd pile of what I will politely call animal scat.  It was a small flat like a cow patty, but smaller, like I said.  The prints where the plants had been violently ripped out the earth and consumed on the spot seemed to be a split type foot or hoof.

My cousin Crystal came over to visit and suggested it might  be wild hogs.  Though we have never been bothered with them in the seven years we've been here, it bore looking into to.  We went inside for coffee and computer and I googled  wild hog scat.  Low and behold there was the odd pile of poop and the strange animal tracks.  I had tried this once before with Coyote scat and the next day a neighbor shot a coyote in his back yard.  It's getting to where I feel like I need to be packing heat just to go into my yard.  Yes, I could shoot one.  Of course hunting one down would come with problems.  For instance, should I only wing it, there would be the problem of getting Larry to the Vets (yes, I have already named the wild beastie in my mind).  Then there would be the housing of said giant hog with an electrified fence.  See?  For now I only hope that the hungry beasties  have moved on and don't return for my beans and tomatoes and radishes.  And that Big Foot isn't on the trail of some well fed wild hogs.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Cell phones...

First of all, let me say right up front that this is not an's a grievance, pure and simple.  Or perhaps it's simply an Aesop fable turned on its' ear and then shaken like a snow globe.  I  never really wanted a cell phone.  It would irritate me no end to watch people walking around with those bluetooth (teeth?) contraptions glued in their ears and talking a mile a minute to someone I couldn't see.  I can't tell you how often I've nearly given myself whiplash jerking my head up to see who was talking to me only to discover them with a phone in hand or ear and not speaking to me at all.  And watching people driving down the highway with a phone in one hand and the steering wheel in another always gave  me the heebiejeebies.  Talk about a wreck looking for a place to happen!

But I bowed to convention and allowed my younger son and dil to give me my first and only cell phone.  It's a nice little Motorola with a few apps (  I later learned this meant applications,  not a sleep disorder).  It took me about a week to figure out how to answer it.  I still haven't mastered how to take a photo.  And the other day in a fit of boredom while Mac was in with the Doc I opened a music file to listen to some tunes...and then couldn't figure out how to turn it off.  I finally did learn to pause it so that the others in the room didn't have to be annoyed by Lady Gaga...I did tell you my son and dil gave me the phone?
So my older son got a new phone last week.  It's a Droid.  I think I have that right,  I know it's made by Verizon.  So, he's spent the week learning  about all it does.  It does plenty.  I keep hearing little shouts of "wow...look at what it does here!"  So, it does things like showing fast food  restaurant menus and nutrition values of each item; you can scan a bar code in a store and it tells you the price...but wait a minute...then it tells you where you can get it cheaper!  It takes pictures that rival his professional camera and can find obscure music (complete with song name and artist) and then it plays  it for you.  You take your finger and move over to new pages and its GPS will show you where you are and a satelite picture of the exact spot. It gives you the weather and the temperature where you are standing. It plays a game with you when you are out walking.  I think he said it was Escape the Zombies.  It shows where zombies might be lurking and which route to take to avoid them.    This is not something I would do, I don't do dark walking.  This phone even hooks up to the internet and does things my computer can't do.  Who knew?
I'm sure that when I next see him, I'll be hearing about yet another thing that his  phone can do that my own phone  can't.  I hear from a reliable source that I have a wienie phone that I need to learn to master before considering a new model.  But I'm telling you, when he comes in and tells me that there is a "load the dishwasher app"  I'm going to be suitably impressed.  Oh, and headed for the Droid store.