Tuesday, June 23, 2009


I am so thankful that James, at age ten, is not yet at the stage where he is interested in girls. Hopefully we have a few more years until he is awash with teenage boy hormones, but in the meantime, he has taken a fancy to a girl he met while staying up at his Granny and Papa’s house a few weeks ago. Carly is the granddaughter of my in-law’s neighbor, and she is often at her grandmother’s house during the summer days. She’s a year or so younger than James, and very much a tomboy. “I really like Carly”, James told me after they met. “She likes to play football, and basketball, and she doesn’t want to play with sissy girl stuff.” Hmm, I thought to myself.

Since then, James has been to Granny’s house several times. “Do you think Carly will be able to play?” he asks shyly, as we drive. “I hope so,” I tell him. I am surprised with how tenderly he talks about Carly, and how much he looks forward to spending time with her. And I am a little nervous too; I am definitely not ready for school age crushes and broken hearts, and I pray that this friendship will not cause James embarrassment, hurt or pain.

So about ten days ago, Tom and I took Rachel and James on a family drive, noodling our way through NE Alabama and back into Chattanooga. We had a great time just driving on the back roads and stopping wherever we saw something that interested us. Towards the end of the day, we stopped at a truck stop on the interstate to fill up with gas and get drinks, and as I was making my way to the drink fountain, I saw James browsing through the typical tourist trinkets that abound in truck stop stores – keychains, refrigerator magnets, shot glasses, knick-knacks, and such. As I was filling up my drink cup, James came up to me and tugged gently on my arm. “Can I get this?” he asks. "I want to give it to Carly," and he opens his hand to show me a keychain, with the name ‘Carly’. I am honestly stunned! He has never bought anything for a girl before, other than his sister, and of course that doesn’t count…. I find myself in a bit of a quandary because I am always telling Rachel and James not to waste money on stuff like this keychain, but I think it is a good thing that he wants to get her a present. I find myself rattled and confused because I am not sure how to handle this. I’m sure he asked me knowing that Tom would probably tease him if he found out James wanted to buy a present for a girl. So I stick with my rules, but feel instant regret as I tell him “No, you may not get that!”, but right them , Tom comes up, and sees what James is asking for, and he also tells James “NO!” and sends him out to the car.

I finish getting my drink, and the whole time, I am feeling so bad for James. I like that he thinks about people and wants to do nice things for them, and I want to encourage him to have a tender heart and want to do things for his friends. But admittedly, this whole boy-girl friendship thing is just throwing me for bit of a loop; James would never think about buying a keychain for his other friends, who all happen to be boys. What does this mean??? Aaaarrrgggghhh! So I head over to the keychain rack, I find the ‘Carly’ keychain, I pay for it along with my drink, and I slide the keychain in my jeans pocket. I’ll give it to James later and he can give it to Carly.

The drive home is uneventful, and when we get home, James heads straight up to his room. After a few minutes I go up the stairs, planning to talk to him and give him the keychain. As I am walking down the hall, I see Tom in the room with James, and Tom is fishing a keychain out of his pocket too. He bought the same keychain! So I give James the keychain I bought, and now James has two of them to give to Carly. We laugh and shake our heads. But I feel restored somehow, and I am squirmy with happiness inside that Tom bought one too, as it revealed a sentimental side of him that is hidden too often. As corny as it sounds, it feels good. Even if it is just a silly keychain.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Because humor is a GOOD thing!

Jenni over at One Thing, who I happen to think is one of the best writers out here in blogland, decided to have a little poll on humor, so of course, I am compelled to participate. Here are my responses below. You can post your own on your own blog, and if you do, would you let me and Jenni know?

Here’s the poll:

1. Who can make you laugh the hardest (someone you personally know)? Absolutely, positively, my hubby. His stories make me laugh so hard that I make those awful snorty noises, and when he tells his story of Albo and the stuttering cop, or the cheese crackers I almost...... well........ I think you can guess what I almost do.

2. Who has the most contagious laugh (of those you know personally)? My mom, because when she laughs, it is a hugely physical thing. Her arms wave in the air, she doubles over, and then sits up for a deep breath, and then more peals of laughter. I like to make her laugh, just so I can watch her laugh, which then makes me laugh! Were you able to follow that?

3. What is the funniest movie you’ve ever seen? I'm going to cheat here.... I think the funniest movie scene is the very first scene of 'Lone Star State of Mind'. Not many folks have seen this movie, and the whole thing is pretty funny, albeit a bit questionable, but that first scene is a comedic killer.... "Panty hose Junior, not panty liners!!!!" Just go see it. But the funniest movie, beginning to end, is Young Frankenstein which just has too many funny scenes to mention one.

4. Who is your favorite comedian? Without a doubt, Carol Burnett! I loved watching the Carol Burnett show when I was growing up, although looking back, a lot of the humor went way over my head! There are so many funny Carol Burnett skits to choose from - Mr Tudball and Mrs. Wiggins, Eunice and Mama, and the classic spoof of "Gone with the Wind", but this one is priceless....

5. What’s the funniest cartoon you’ve ever seen? I loved Jenni's choice of 'Bully for Bugs', but my favorite is 'Baton Bunny', where Bugs Bunny conducts the symphony orchestra. So so so funny! In fact I think Bugs Bunny is probably the ultimate comic genius/comedian, ever.... And Bugs Bunny cartoons are always perfectly orchestrated to the music. In fact my husband doesn't think of classical music as "Classical music"; he thinks of it as "cartoon soundtracks". You can watch 'Baton Bunny' here.

6. What’s your favorite comic strip? Dilbert - because I work with people who are just. like. that.

7. What’s your favorite joke? For the life of me I cannot think of one right now.

8. Here’s a link to something that will make you laugh: This is a classic, which I first saw in 1979, and I have remembered it all these years.... The Monty Python Fish Slapping Dance!

9. What was the last thing you laughed at so hard you cried? Kitty says wake up! My cats do the same thing...well except the last part....!

10. Got a funny photo? Show me! This is part of a series of photos of R&J playing on the hammock last summer. First photo, everyone is having a great time, smiles all around, and the last photo, Bottoms up! Hammocks can have a mind of their own you know...!