Wednesday, November 16, 2011

A Place to Put His Stuff

"Papa, please stay."

Trenton grabbed my right pinky with his little hand as we went to leave their house the night of his birthday party.  We had just told him it was time for us to go home.

We stayed another 10 minutes.

(this post sat as a draft for months, and I never finished it.  But I want to remember this.  So I'm going to go ahead and post the fragment.)

note to self:  This had something to do with the John Deere wagon we got him.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Take the Time

I'm still learning to use my BOSS BR-600 recording "studio".   Here's a Freddy Jones Band cover. That's me on guitar, me on lead vocals, and me on backing vocals. :-)

Update: learned the auto-punch-in/out feature. Went back and edited out some of the really bad off-key warbles, and changed the harmonies on the "a matter of your pride" to lower harmonies which is more like the original, and fixed my big guitar flub-up near the end. Not sure I like the lower harmonies as well as the higher ones I used before. And I can hear a couple of editing errors in there as well. But ... progress.

Ok, now I re-did the whole thing because I liked the higher harmonies better, the repeated "matter of your pride", and this time it's consistent guitar all the way through, baby. Added a couple more harmonies and took the thicker ones out.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Going to the Park

Brian wanted to take Trenton to Rock Bridge Park today for Fathers Day, and he invited me along.  I, like Brian, hadn't been there in years.  And I've been thinking about taking Trenton out to a creek to splash around and have fun.  Throwing rocks and sticks. 

They came by the house to get me, and as soon as he got in the house, it was "Come on, Papa.  Are going to the park."

We packed along some water and some crackers and grapes for Trenton and drove down to the park and headed up the trail to the Rock Bridge.   Trenton didn't seem to want to stay long at any place, wanting to go down every muddy trail we weren't going down,  and he kept asking "where's the park"? as we hiked up the wooden-planked trails.  We kept telling him "we're in the park" -- and then it occurred to me, to him a Park is the same as a playground.  Swings.  Jungle Gyms.  Slides.  Sand.  So we told him this is a different kind of park.

He seemed marginally interested enough when we'd actually just take him to things.  He wasn't that impressed with the Rock Bridge. But he did seem to enjoy crossing the creek, throwing a few rocks and watching daddy throw a few rocks. And he liked Devil's Icebox, though he was a little leery of the dark corners.  He got to shine a flashlight around, which is something he likes doing anyway.  But he wanted to leave pretty quick. 

He was saying "we need to find the way out", and put a little drama into it, pointing the way to go.  He was referring to a Bob The Builder episode where Muck get's lost in the forest and finally finds her tracks and follows them out of the woods.  He really likes that episode.  And when we got near the end of the trail he wanted to go back up.  He was getting a little fussy.  We figured he was tired.  It was about 1:00pm.

At any rate, we got to the car and got the grapes and crackers and we sat at a picnic table and he ate and his attitude completely changed.  He wanted to go back, and he was serious.  He wanted to see the rock bridge again.  And this time he wanted to go in.  So we did.

We figured as long as he was interested now (since he figured out that we weren't going to swings and slides and things like that and this was pretty cool after all), we shouldn't discourage him from, as he put it, "we need to explore some more!"  and "let's go on an adventure".  So he wanted to go back up the stairs and back to Devil's Ice Box again, and he wanted to go back to the dark part and shine the flashlight.  And he wasn't afraid of getting his shoes wet (though we didn't want them wet) so I took his shoes off and stuck his feet in the cold, clear water.   At which point he was no longer interested in walking in the water and he wanted his shoes right back on.

Trenton has always been good at smiling for photos.  He's known exactly what anyone with a camera was doing since long before he could talk.  And Mama got him saying "Cheeeese" and we've gotten some pretty good shots out of that.

Only lately, he just goes through the ritual of saying CHEEEEEEEESE, not even looking at the camera and having his mouth in all kinds of contortions (he even sounds bored saying it).   So we were actually trying to get him to STOP saying Cheese and just smile.  But I have to admit, it is kind of funny.

We hiked back out, petted a couple of dogs and had the same "we need to find the way out" adventure on the way back to the truck.  And he still didn't want to leave.  Good sign. But he was very tired.    The hope was to get him back to our place, lay him down, and have him nap.  It was only maybe 10 minutes back to our house.

He didn't make it 5 minutes.
Unfortunately, he doesn't transfer "asleep" very well anymore, and he woke up and wanted to go watch ... "Muck gets lost in the woods."   We hoped he'd go to sleep, and seemed pretty close for a while... but ... no.

We grilled up some burgers for dinner, and had a couple gin and tonics (and the virgin version, lime and tonic, which is pretty good) and just generally hung out until it was time for them to go home.  I'm sure he was asleep within 3 minutes, and I hope he transferred to bed pretty well once they got home.  It would have been after 8:00 when they got there.

Nice Fathers' Day.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Wierd Dream

I had a really strange dream last night where Vicki and I were at a wedding reception that was outside where we sat at picnic tables. They had apparently hired Johnny Mathis to sing for them -- I don't know, to entertain the guests at the reception. He was sitting at our table singing songs without accompaniment. Very strange.

He launched into "Moon River" ... and Vicki and I started singing along, only we were singing the words my brother Chris made up to it when we were kids, and we were both laughing our butts off, and Mr. Mathis just kept singing though he was looking at us funny.

"Moon River
Wider than a mile
I'd love to see that crocodile
And when he goes
Down the aisle
He eats my file
And jumps into a pile
Of food
That dumb crocodile"
Hey. We were wierd kids. Guess we grew up to be wierd adults, too :-P

Thursday, January 27, 2011


The other day, it hit me.  Being a grandpa is a lot like being a superhero.  That is, if you're doing it right. Love, trust, and he thinks I can do anything. There's nothing I can't fix in his little mind. Which, from his point of view ... that's probably what it looks like.

I came home from work, and my little grandson was already there.  I opened the door, and I hear this little "Pop is here!  Pop is here!  Pop is here!  .... Pop! Pop! Pop! Pop!!!!!"

He came careening down the hallway and hugged my right leg, pressing one of his little cheeks into my thigh and closing his eyes tightly.

Then it was down to business.  "I need you to help me get the TRAIN back on the TRACK!  I need you to fix it!  The coupler is broken and I need you to fix it!  Come on, Pop!" and he led me excitedly back to the living room where the little n-scale train set is.

I don't have the added association of being a daily giver of discipline with the dissapointment and begrudgement that engenders.   Plus I have the luxury of distracting him when he asks for something I can't give him.  Typically, a few hours later when he remembers he wants it, he'll be with mommy and daddy again.

But it's important for kids to have heroes, and I hope I can live up to it as he grows older.