Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Roll On, Big River, Roll On

 1. Have you learned more from success or failure? Explain.

I've learned different things both from success and failure, can't say more one than the other.  What I've learned from failure is that if I really want to achieve something, I will stick to it and think creatively until I've found the solution that works for me.  I don't give up.  Perseverance becomes my middle name.  What I've learned from success is that it feels really, really, good and if it follows a challenge or obstacle that is preventing me from attaining what I really want to achieve, it is oh so sweet and should be cherished.
 2.  What did you call your grandparents when you were growing up? If you have children, what do they call your parents? If you have grandchildren, what do they call you?

When I was growing up, my grandmother on my father's side had already passed, but my grandfather was still alive and we called him "Gramps".  My dad called him "Pop".  Although we only got to see him a few times during our childhood (he lived in Florida with his second wife, who we simply called "Anne".  She was a lovely woman.), he was still a big part of our life and we loved to hear dad tell us stories about him.  He was quite the character.  Ran away from home (a very harsh upbringing, probably involving some physical abuse, we suspect, but Gramps didn't talk about it) at the ripe old age of 14 and joined the Navy with a falsified birth certificate, because otherwise they would have said he was too young.  He had an intense sense of humor, very subtle, and the kindest heart, apart from my own father's, that I've every known.  

On my mother's side, my grandfather had died when my oldest brother was little more than a baby.  My mother has carried a sadness about her father's passing with her all her life.  He was not a demonstrative man.  She only remembers him kissing her twice in her whole life, once when he thought she was asleep, and the other when he said good-bye to her for what she would find out later would be the last time.  She had just married my father, a navy man, and was going away for the first time.  She remembers he kissed her, very unusual, that, and cried, even more unusual.  She didn't understand it at the time, but thought it was because he knew that they wouldn't see much of each other because of the nomad existence of a military life. Very soon after, he succumbed to lung cancer which no one knew he had, and she understood.  She always regretted not knowing how sick he was and that this would be their last parting so that she could have said "Goodbye" properly.  My grandmother remarried later in life.  We called her "Grandma" and her husband "Andrew".  Andrew was a very good man, as well, and waited on her hand and foot when her health failed her.

My own children call my parents "Grandpa" and "Nana".  My husband's mother is deceased, and he is estranged from his father, who they call "Grandpa Tony" if they refer to him at all.

 3.  You're invited to a luau.  In keeping with that theme, what dish will you bring to share?

I have a wonderful recipe for Kalua pork that can be made in the oven, so I'd probably bring that. Very easy to make and dee-licious.

4. Besides Jesus, what one person's life story do you think everyone should know about?

Speaking from an American perspective, I'd have to say Abraham Lincoln.  Politicians are such rat finks these days, they should become familiar with his story to see what an honorable man in office looks like.
 5. "Don't sweat the small stuff." Agree or Disagree? Why?

To a point, as with most things.  I'm a firm believer in moderation.  I agree that you shouldn't make yourself (or everyone else) miserable about silly little things that don't matter in the grand scheme.  I know people who have such control issues that they suck the life out of everyone around them obsessing about everything being "just so".  On the other hand, it can be just as bad to let everything slide just because it's "no big deal."   That way leads to laziness, and apathy.  I think you have to ask yourself whether, although insignificant, a small thing can be something that makes a great deal of difference to somebody else.  Sometimes paying attention to something small can lead to something big.  
 6.  June is National Rivers Month. When were you last on a river? What's the prettiest river you've ever seen? What's a river you'd like to see?

The last time I was on a river was the Merced in Yosemite Valley.  We go camping there every year.  Last year, the water level was very low, but the year before that it was spectacular.  The prettiest river I've ever seen was probably the Loire in France.  A river I'd like to see?  The Mississippi.
 7.  Speaking of rivers-paddling, fishing, swimming, or bird watching safely from the shore? Which activity would you choose? Yes-you have to choose.
Bird watching from the shore, sitting in a beach chair, with my feet in the water.  Or more accurately, watching the children playing along and in the river, instead of watching birds.  I love to watch kids playing, especially when there is water involved.  Such pure and carefree joy.

 8.  Insert your own random thought here.

Having hobbies is wonderful and all, but it sure can clutter up a house...


  1. Yum- Kahlua pork sounds delicious. Looks like you have a great camping site, how fun!

  2. Our very first trip to Yosemite last August...such a magical amazing place. I am so happy we visited. Saw a bear mom and cubs. Stayed at Wawona far from Hanta virus worries. Horseback rode through the Wawona area. The last river I paddled on was a north branch of the Chicago river...not very pretty water as it is mud bottom and dark.

    Your grandparent stories are fascinating. What a different day and age. Demonstrating love was not popular with my husbands father either. It haunts my husband to this day. HE never said I love you to my husband. He said it to his sister often. That s the hardest part. HE wanted my husband to come to his bedside teh night he died, and my husband arrived too late. I tell him he wanted to say I LOVE you .....

    1. Isn't it great when you see the bears? So far, we've seen at least one on each of our visits. The Wawona is awesome. The Hanta virus scare had its advantages --we had the park virtually to ourselves last year. My heart aches for your husband and my mother, and for their parents that were raised not to show their emotions, even love. I know my grandfather loved her deeply. She knew it as well, but there is such wistfulness in her voice when she talks about him. I know she longed for the tender display of affection she never received while she was growing up.

  3. Oh, I agree - I LOVE watching children play!! Their uninhibited laughter... nothing better! :-)

  4. Abraham Lincoln - I think that is someone I would like to meet too. ANd that frog you have in the photo - I want it for my garden! sandie

  5. Kahlua pork sounds yummy! I don't think I've ever had anything cooked in kahlua. Yosemite is on my must-see list : )

  6. Ha! Loved your answer to #8! You ain't kidding!!! Funny too, because I'm working on my crafty mess.. actually "mess-ES" TODAY!... Hope you're enjoying YOUR day, and that you have an even better weekend! ~tina


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