© Huffygirl 2012
Jiminy Grasshopper, actually. I found this little guy enjoying a cool rest among my flowers last week while we were having an oppressive heat wave. I’m still not sure if he was there to eat my plants or just enjoy the cool moisture of this flower pot. Either way, as he obliging posed for me, I let him be.
After a few shots, Jiminy tired of being my subject, and began to retreat.
I got the message and left him alone. At least until I see him again some day.
© Huffygirl 2012
Grandchildren. Orthopedic surgery. Arthritis. Cancer. Cholesterol. That’s what we talked about this weekend at my husband’s sibling reunion, while we took lazy boat rides, and sat around the dinner table long after the food was gone. The topics are different from many years ago, but the people are the same.
Playing Yahtzee. Drinking beer around the campfire. Staying up way later than usual for cribbage bragging rights. Eating food made from favorite family recipes. We had chopped bologna, Special K bars, and hobo pies – old standards for my husband’s family. If it was my family,the nostalgia food would have been homemade potato salad, Polish sausage and Jello.
So many families today are fractured, dysfunctional, broken. My husband and I were lucky to grow up when family life was honored and cherished. We had Sundays at Grandma’s house after church, cookies and milk with our moms at the kitchen table after school, and family dinner every single night. There was no late night sports practice, soccer games, or working on Sundays to interrupt these traditions. To miss dinner with the family was unheard of. And miss church on Sunday? Don’t even think about it.
Our family glue is gone – both sets of parents have passed away. All we have left to hold our families together are each other. The people we fought with over riding shotgun, slept alongside of on sultry summer nights, and covered for when they stayed out past curfew. These people. Our siblings.
We cherish them. We hold dear our time together. Someday, we’ll be the aging parents. We’ll sit in front rows at funerals, while grown-up grandchildren help us with our canes and hush us for talking so loud. We’ll count off who is gone, who is left. We’ll tell quaint childhood stories over and over, but not remember what we ate for breakfast. But I hope we will always remember them, our siblings.
© Huffygirl 2012
(Special thanks to MSB for the photos.)
No visit to the Denver area would be complete without a stop at Tiny Town. Since 1915, Tiny Town, a fun village of miniature buildings, has been in existence in one form or another. Over the years, financial ruin, and natural disasters have taken their toll, but Tiny Town has always resurrected itself.
Tiny Town has something for everyone: tiny buildings, some exact scale replicas of actual buildings with intricate details such as furniture, curtains in the windows, and tiny shingles. Others are just for fun – a windmill and a jail big enough for children, and very flexible adults, to get inside. There is a train ride that goes through the whole town, that fortunately is real people size. The caboose is reserved for children only. A modern-day playground waits at the far end of town, for children tired of peering into the windows of the little buildings. And a picturesque brook runs through it all.
Just like Camelot, rain is not allowed in Tiny Town. Our visit was cut short when the big cold drops began to fall, as Tiny Town pulled in the sidewalks and shut down early for the day. But that just leaves the rest of it for us to explore on another visit.
© Huffygirl 2012
I grew up before there was Title IX, graduating from high school the year before Title IX became law. What was it like back then (okay, way, way back then) for girls and women in average small town America? Where I lived, there were no high school sports for girls. If you wanted to “play” a sport, you could be a cheerleader. Except, you had to be cute, little, peppy and popular. That left out me, and most everyone else.
What to wear? There was very little sports apparel made for women. No sport’s bras – not invented until 1975, and not perfected until much later. No athletic shoes – unless you count good old canvas sneakers, aka Keds. The only women’s sport’s apparel widely available (besides those darn cute cheerleader outfits) were for sports that highlighted individual women, who needed to look good while playing. You know – tennis, golf, swimming. Individual sports that required fancy equipment and lessons, so not open to just anyone.
Even though many of us did not benefit from Title IX in childhood, we all benefit today. Now women’s athletic gear is widely available to everyone, from the pros to the weekend warriors. I even have a women’s specific bike AND a women’s specific tire pump. Women can compete in most sports in the professional and amateur levels. Women are no longer relegated to just being peppy cheerleaders, that is, unless they want to.When you watch the Olympics this year, think about the US women competitors who benefited from Title IX.