Tag Archive | lynyrd skynyrd

It’s the little old ladies from Baltimore


We had a cheerfully chaotic day yesterday; Grandpa was visiting from the Eastern Shore, and Grandma was down from Baltimore.  Since the tribe knew my parents were both coming to see them (it’s rare for both of them to be here at the same time), the early morning hours simmered with excited anticipation, with Beanie and Bugaboo both zipping out of their room before 6:30 to inquire about Grandma’s projected arrival time.  Mr. Man and Baby Guy opted to sleep until Grandma arrived around 9, at which time they joined in the little festival of hugs and cheers that generally heralds the beginning of a visit.  After we stowed her overnight gear, we loaded the kids into the van and headed off for Beanie’s second-to-last soccer game of the season.  Grandpa met us at the field; it was the first time he’d been able to see either of the girls play, so his camera was constantly clicking.

Beanie did manage to stay focused on soccer for about half of the time, which was astounding given that Grandma and Grandpa are two of her favorite people, and she’d much rather hang around with them than follow instructions from anyone else. Fortunately, Grandpa was able to convince her that he’d be really happy if he could see her run and kick the ball, so that got her moving in the correct direction.  We came home for lunch after soccer, put the boys down for naps, saw Grandpa back off, and settled in for some quiet time with the girls.

While Grandma was happy to time her visit to coincide with Beanie’s soccer game, the real purpose of her visit was to enjoy our Mother’s Day gift to each other.  Among the many things for which I owe a debt of gratitude to my Mom is the time and effort she spent nurturing my appreciation for the arts, taking me to galleries for Degas exhibits, to the symphony, the theatre, the ballet, and the opera.  She ensured that I would have an ear for the beaux arts and an understanding of proper dress and conduct while attending fine art performances or displays.

In addition to fostering my appreciation for high culture, my mother also spent a fair amount of time listening to other kinds of music with me; we both love jazz, Motown, 80s hair bands, beach music, big band, novelty songs generally, swing, early rap, British invasion bands, soul, and funk.  I draw the line at disco, she draws the line at (really) heavy metal, but we’ve never had any trouble agreeing on a radio station in the car. Because of our mutual love of nearly all music, I called her when our local concert venue released its 2012 schedule, with a laugh and a smile, and asked her if she’d like to catch a band for Mother’s Day this year.

She thought it was a grand idea, and we two little grey-haired ladies had a tremendous time at the Lynyrd Skynyrd concert last night.  I love that my 67-year-old mom can still rock with any crowd, and the people watching was excellent.  We danced, we sang, we laughed, and we belted out “Gimme Three Steps” waving three fingers in the air.  We also spent a good amount of time snickering at the large number of Confederate flags being waved about.  Hey, we’re from Baltimore.

Today’s prayer:  Lord, You commanded us to honor our mothers and fathers.  Thank You for the opportunity to honor my parents by sharing what they love best with them.  Help me teach Your blessings that the gifts my husband and I will cherish most are not the things our children can buy in a store, but the time they freely give to share those pursuits that bring us happiness.  Thank You for the length of years You have granted Grandma, Grandpa, Nana, Deedaw, and Nonno, and, as their years advance further, help us set an example for Your blessings of how to love our parents by caring for them with happy hearts.  Kindle in us the grace of gratitude for the opportunity to serve them in love of them, and love of You.

“Olive” is an anagram of “I love”


Today brought our annual, and eagerly anticipated, trip to Grandma’s house to celebrate her birthday.  We are all thankful that the Lord has granted her sixty-seven hale and hearty years, and that she is still going strong.  As it happens, she is going so strong that we’ve made plans to attend a Lynyrd Skynyrd concert together as our Mother’s Day gift to each other.

After rousting a passel of pipsqueaks before 7:00, we headed up I-95 a little before 8:00 a.m.; the trip went so smoothly that we had time to stop at the florist to secure a bouquet of her beloved lilies.  Grandma understands her grandbabies, and shares their love of craft projects and puzzles, so she had all manner of wonders awaiting them.  It was tough to get them to hold off long enough to let her open her gifts and cards.

We passed a pleasant few hours celebrating another year in the life of a remarkable lady, joined by her cousins Sherrie and Tony, who, when I am in need of an example of kindness and gentleness, are the first people who come to my mind.  They were delighted to meet Mr. Man and Baby Guy, both of whom were born after Pop-Pop’s memorial service, which was the last time we saw them.  I’d venture to say a tremendous time was had by all.

Beanie decorated that cake all by herself.  Grandma will be picking little pearl pink candy beads out of her carpet for weeks.

The tiny people having already eaten, the adults settled in to enjoy lunch together, swap stories, and generally catch up.  Having been to the store with me the previous day, Beanie and Mr. Man were both acutely aware that among my purchases had been a tray of pickles, olives, and tapenade, so when they realized that we were sitting down to eat, the two of them stormed the table looking for olives, about which they are both fanatical.  Both were somewhat put out when they discovered that the shiny black fruits were nowhere in evidence, and Grandma, being thoroughly tenderhearted where her grandbabies are concerned (and also being of the mind that it’s hilarious that a toddler and a preschooler both have olive addictions), retrieved a can of their hearts’ desire from her pantry and dumped it into a bowl.  She placed it within easy reach of little hands, near the edge of the table, and that’s when the fun started.

You see, in Beanie and Mr. Man’s world, olives are not only delicious, but aso enormously fun to eat.  They have holes in the middle, you see, and if you have very small hands, you can turn each of your fingers into olivesicles.  Tony and I dove for our cameras to record the resultant floor show.

All in all, Grandma declared this a thoroughly delightful birthday.

Today’s prayer:  Lord, thank You for grandparents and all the elder relatives who have taughtus, and now teach our children, how to love unreservedly.  Thank You for the years You have granted them, and granted us with them.  Thank You for olives and fish and all the other wonderful edibles with which You have graced our world.  Please help us to be good stewards and caretakers of our elders and of the world You gave us to share with them, and open our eyes to the beauty and wonder of that world, all its growing things, and all its people.