Most children take some type of nap for the first three to five years of their lives…and their mothers are grateful for that quiet time. I was no different, but I had one problem…my youngest daughter. Amy was a happy, smiley little girl, who loved to laugh and practically always ran wherever she went. Both of my girls were very happy little girls. When they were little, both of them took an hour to two hour nap every day. It was a time when I could clean house, do laundry, or maybe even read a book…which was shocking to my system. At first, they both woke up smiling and very happy, but as Amy approached two years old, things began to change.
My smiling little angel would go to bed so happy and when she woke up…all those little smiles were gone. The best thing to do then was not to speak to her for a while, because she was going to be grouchy for a while. My solution was to get her a glass of Kool-Aid, and wait it out. Amy was so grouchy that she would hold that glass up to her face, for an hour or two, sipping slowly, until she was ready to rejoin the rest of the world. The glass didn’t leave her mouth during that whole time. Now, if you know anything about Kool-Aide at all, you know that when it sits against a baby’s cheeks for a while, it will leave its mark on those little cheeks. One might have thought that it would be hard to catch a picture of a Kool-Aide face, but with Amy it was not difficult at all. She had a Kool-Aide face pretty much every day.
After almost a year of putting a happy toddler to bed and getting a cranky toddler up, I decided that I no longer cared what all the experts said about children needing their naps for the first five years. When Amy turned two, I made the decision that mine would be that strange household where the three year old took a nap, but the two year old took no more naps. Strange as it was, it was the best decision I ever made. Amy stayed happy and the Kool-Aide face became a thing of the past, and her big sister, Corrie took her naps for about another two years. And peace reigned in our house…which made me very happy!!
The first time I saw this picture, I thought it was another one of those pictures where the people were acting for the camera, only the person in this one appeared to be giving first aid to someone who was injured. It had to be acting, because the person who was giving first aid was smiling, and tending to an injured person really isn’t a laughing matter…especially when the injured person appears to be unconscious…or was he?
Old black and white pictures fascinate me. You have to look carefully to see the whole picture sometimes. Upon closer scrutiny of this picture, it occurred to me that maybe this wasn’t exactly the picture I though it was. My eye caught something that didn’t look quite right, and when I zoomed in on it, I could se that the man lying in the dirt was actually getting…or supposed to be getting a shave, with a straight razor…in the dirt!!
I’m beginning to think that some of my early relatives were really comedians. If the man in the dirt was getting a real shave, why would he be lying in the dirt to get it? And if he was getting a real shave, why was the shaving cream all over his face…including above his eyebrows? If he was getting a shave, was he crazy to be letting this person give him that shave…with a straight razor? If you ask me, I would say that if this was a real shave, both of these men were crazy!!
My guess is that this was all another of those goofy scenes that seemed to be all the rage in those days. When I look at the pictures from the current day, I have to think that maybe we could learn a little bit about what is funny from these guys, because their shots are a whole lot funnier than ours are, in my opinion. I suppose it all depends on what you draw from. We have seen so much on television that there isn’t much left that hasn’t been done already, but they were taking the rough and wild daily lives of living in the old west, and adding a little humor to it to get a laugh that would last for years to come. While, I’m pretty convinced that this picture was another of those staged comic shots, it did depict the way people did things back them. We still shave today, of course, but I’m thankful that a straight razor in not what we have to use to get a close shave these days, because that could lead to the injury kind of close shave, when placed in the wrong hands.
There are people out there, who are just always happy. My niece Kellie is like that. Things just don’t get under her skin, like they do for most of us. I guess there just isn’t room for bothersome things with Kellie, because silliness and giggles live there. Don’t get me wrong, Kellie is a hard worker, and she can be serious if the situation warrants it, but she much prefers to be funny. She loves to make people laugh, and what better trait to have than that. Of course, Kellie comes by it honestly. Her whole family is like that. The girls have nicknames for each other, like Jeff for Jessi, and Lance for Lindsay. And their mom, my sister has nicknames for the kids too, like Baby Jessi (which she still is called today) Squirrel (which Lindsay is also still called), the boy (for Ryan, of course), and Pretty, Teeny, Sweet, and Little (which definitely doesn’t fit Kellie now, as the tallest girl). And Kellie also has a nickname from her sister-in-law, Chelsea…Keeker, which I think is quite cute too. And Kellie makes sure she gets in on the nicknames too, because since several of us are on the short side, and she is tall, we have been dubbed the wee ones.
As I have said, Kellie is tall. She is actually 5’11” tall. When she was in high school, and playing basketball, her coach used to say that she was 6 feet tall, as a way of intimidation for the other team. Well, as I said, Kellie likes to laugh, and that always struck her as very funny, so she would be out on the court, playing, and she couldn’t stop laughing. Of course, the coach had a different plan in mind for Kellie. When he said that she was 6 feet tall, he was envisioning a mean looking player that would scare the socks off the other team. Kellie was a good player, but she didn’t have a mean or intimidating bone in her body, so he tried to help make that happen…by yelling out to her, “Kellie! Stop smiling!” Now telling Kellie to stop laughing or smiling, is like telling her to stop breathing. It just wasn’t going to happen.
And Kellie had the same problems in her gym class. She just can’t stop laughing. One time in gym class, the teacher heard the normal bout of laughter, and of course, knew exactly who was doing the laughing. The teacher yelled out, “Kellie! Shut up!” Suddenly, there was silence in the room…pretty unexpected I’m sure. Then, out of the silence, someone said, “Kellie isn’t here today.” Now I don’t know about you, but I would have totally lost it right about then…as I’m quite sure the rest of the class did. I would have loved to see the teacher’s face right then too. Hahahahahaha!! Classic!!! Today is Kellie’s birthday!! And just as soon as I stop laughing, I’m going to tell her happy birthday. Love you Kellie!! Happy birthday, and have a great day!! And…don’t be so serious…smile sometimes!!! Hahahahahahaha!!!
There are few things that touch your heart more than a person who is so selfless that they would give away a car to someone who needs it. Most of our family was in on what would have to be the best kept secret of the decade. Elizabeth had it on her heart to give her car to her mother, my sister Cheryl, as soon as she bought herself another car to replace the Grand Am she would be giving to Cheryl on Christmas morning.
About 2 weeks before Christmas, she found the Jeep she was looking for. Now the biggest problem was making sure no one spilled the beans, and that Cheryl didn’t know about Liz’s new Jeep. Everyone who was in on the secret did their part, and while it was hard, it went off without a hitch. Liz simply drove the Grand Am whenever she was to be around Cheryl, and we did our very best not to look like grinning idiots.
It was very hard. We were all so excited about this particular secret. I can’t think of a Christmas secret that could get us excited like this had managed to. I found myself walking around smiling every time I thought about the look that would be on my sister’s face this special Christmas morning. I think I was more excited for my sister than for any other part of Christmas.
Cheryl raised her kids as a single mom for most of their lives, and there were some tough times in those years. She did her very best, and a lot of times that meant giving up things you might need for yourself s the kids had what they needed. That fact never escaped Liz’s notice, and she wanted to do something as special for her mom. And Liz, I can say, without doubt…you succeeded.
Bob and I got the privilege of arriving at my mom’s house at the same time as Cheryl did…driving her new car. She was still in a state of stunned disbelief…like living in a dream. Her face was radiant…a reflection of the beautiful outpouring of love that Liz had bestowed on her that morning.
There is no way to thank someone enough for such a selfless gift, but Liz knows that she will be as blessed as Cheryl was because of this beautiful gift. Liz, you are a wonderful person. Your loving kindness brings a tear to many eyes today. Tears of joy at the blessing you have given your mom. It will never be forgotten.