Think back to when you were 10 years old and running around the neighborhood on one of those hot summer days. You were out playing basketball and covered in sweat. It is time to dash into the house for a glass of cold lemonade. All you can think of is ice-cold Country Time. Just as you sit down to enjoy your beverage, your mom comes into the room and sees the front door wide open.
“Were you born in a barn?!” she asks.
You have heard her say this many times, but all these reprimands have fallen on deaf ears.
“They don’t make men like Maynard anymore.”
These words could have been uttered by everyone who attended his funeral. His skills and love for life were clear to anyone who knew him. Maynard was so good with machines, it was rumored he could repair a tractor with his eyes closed. He could bake a homemade pie without a recipe. A deep belly-laugh would always follow one of his signature practical jokes. Yes, Maynard loved living.
“Dad, you better sit down.” The nurse holding the white wand motioned me to the chair as my wife and I stared at the black and white screen of pulsating blobs. Squishing noises filled the room, and anxiousness filled our minds.
I quickly sat down to the news: “Twins!” She said cheerfully with a wide grin. Our lives will never be the same.
Fifteen years and three days ago I became a parent for the first time, and ever since I have enjoyed countless hours reading books to my children. Without a doubt, Dr. Seuss books have been a favorite for everyone, including myself. Some of the books that were passed down to us are nearly 70 years old, and by looking at them you can tell that they are well-loved and cherished.
When thinking about how to respond to the pandemic sweeping across our country and world, I cannot help but think of one of my favorite books, “I Had Trouble in Getting to Solla Sallew.”
Both of my parents were educators in a small town called Wytheville in southwest Virginia. Our family could not afford luxurious vacations on their salaries, so pretty much the only vacations we took were to visit family. My dad grew up in Iowa and is an avid Cardinals fan, so a couple of summers we took the long trek to Burlington, Iowa to visit grandma and then to St. Louis to watch the Redbirds play.
Did your grandparents have a profound impact on you and your outlook on life? For many of us, our grandparents’ age and wisdom gave an authority that sometimes surpassed our parents’ input. My grandmother was no exception. When she spoke, everyone listened!