Wednesday’s Words

How do we use ordinary words to explain to our kids and grandkids what is going on in the world right now. Give me the pandemic back, please! They understand they don’t want Grandma and Grandpa to get sick, really sick. This unrest? They don’t, because it can come into their neighborhood, to their school, to their grocery store, or to the place Daddy or Mommy go to work every day. When it turns violent, everyone is at risk.

Having grown up in the 1960s, I remember all too well hearing stories about segregation. EXTREME segregation. Read anything about Josephine Baker (from the 1920s), Lena Horne (1940s), Sammy Davis Jr. (1950s-1960s and beyond), George Wallace and his hatefulness, the Tuskegee Airmen, and you will learn how one world was ok for us, and another was ok for them. Read “The Help” or watch the movie. It was true. All true. So much misinformation about how people of color functioned as humans. They can run faster. They cannot learn as well. They will pass diseases if they are allowed to use white only facilities. Really?? How sad. It makes me ashamed to be remember hearing these things. Not from my parents, but from “others.”

Henrietta Lacks was a black woman who had cervical cancer. Her journey to immortality took place at Johns Hopkins University where she was treated for her cancer. She was also experimented upon and used as a guinea pig by researchers. How they used her is sinful. It is criminal. And they just thought because she was black she couldn’t understand and didn’t bother treating her as one of God’s children, and experimented on the poor woman. After she passed, her family discovered all the ugliness that happened, and finally, her story was told. Shame on Johns Hopkins. Shame on everyone involved. The book about her life is called, “The Immortality of Henrietta Lacks.” It’s very educational.

Right in the middle of the 1960s, the unthinkable happened to my white, Irish (Polish, German, Dutch, Catholic School in South Omaha. My dad and all his brothers and sister attended there as young kids, too. We were getting a new gym teacher. We heard he was black. What? Tongues were wagging. How can that be? It was, and that was the way it was going to be. My folks didn’t say much, except to say he was attending Omaha University (now UNO), and he was a black man. We didn’t know what that would mean to us.

I’ll never forget the apprehension on his face as our class entered the gym. He introduced himself. He was a large man, very athletic. Muscular. He had a soft, gentle voice. Over the months that ensued, he gained our trust and love. Even through dodge ball. He was kind to us all. We learned he was married, with a little girl, and a wife who attended college also. Sometimes they were without child care and he would bring his little girl to class. The girls took turns playing with her. It was fun.

At Christmas time, my mom always went overboard doing what she loved. Baking Christmas cookies. She baked over 167 dozen cookies one year. This particular year, when giving my brother and me boxes to deliver to the teachers, she gave me one and told me, “This is for Mr. Hepburn.” I was happy and nervous to deliver it to him.

I approached him before class and handed him the package. “This is for you, Mr. Hepburn.” I was too shy to tell him it was from my brother and me. He thanked the whole class and they looked at me funny. I felt the flush in my face. After class I went to him and told him, “Mr. Hepburn, I forgot to say this was from my brother and me.” His eyes lit up. He was so grateful. I’ll never forget that look in his eyes.

A week later, he gave me a beautifully handwritten thank you note. My mom was tickled pink. He was always so nice to me as an individual person after that. In high school I learned he was on the semi pro football team the Omaha Mustangs. I was so proud to have known him, his name was often in the Sports section of the Omaha World Herald.

And then, in the fall of my sophomore year of high school, the worst happened. We heard Glen Hepburn sustained a serious head injury in a game played that Saturday night. He died two days later. I was stunned. He was such a nice man. And he had two little girls and his wife to take care of. How can this be happening? I never could understand that. But at least it was an accident. No malice or prejudice took his life. He was a good man, and I’ve remembered him often as one through the last fifty some years. A good man, gone far too soon. I wonder if his wife remarried, and I wonder about his children. I hope they had good lives, too. I just know their Dad is proud of them from heaven.

Kindness is a great teacher. I saw my mother’s kindness taught to me, her daughter, and reflected in the face of a kind black man. I’m grateful for that memory that is so fresh in my mind today. Care for each other. Share a cookie or two.

Thank you for reading today. I appreciate your time. Have a good day today, be kind to someone new, and I’ll see you tomorrow. You know I’ll be here.

Tuesday, June 2, 2020

This morning, I didn’t even watch the local news. I didn’t want to know what happened in Omaha last night. I want to, but just didn’t want to hear it. I have too many thoughts from the racial tension and riots in Omaha during the 1960s and 1970s. It was bad. Very bad.

The dissention between police and civilians is nothing new. When one or the other crosses the line, havoc reigns. This is what happens now. And neighborhoods are being destroyed. Within the law, there are many, many fine details that must be present and provable in order to charge a person with a crime. You may charge with caution, that is, you should charge them with something for which you are fairly certain they will be convicted. First degree murder vs manslaughter. Intent must be proven. And it must be proven by facts. Not feelings. It is very, very complicated.

The feelings are very complicated, too. No one wants to be a hard hearted Hannah. Compassion and empathy are two things we need as humans. They need to be balanced with truth and logic. The only sure thing that would have prevented the killing in Omaha was if there was no crowd and rioting going on. People push and shove. They get shoved back. In the heat of the moment, things happen that are not well thought out. If a gun is involved, a clear head should prevail. Sometimes, it doesn’t. Gut reactions usually are fight back. Bricks. Bullets. Bad results. Shame on the humans who stirred this frenzy up. It had a terrible outcome. Again. Please. Stop it.

I actually have been able to write today. I am going to use my main character’s voice to tell part of her story in first person. The first time she talks is when she is in kindergarten. I tried to make it sound like a little kid was talking. Pro Writing Aid is trying to make me say, “I enjoy coloring.” over “I like coloring.” do you know of any five year olds who say “enjoy” when they “like” something? Probably few and far between. Thoughts? Leave them in the comment section under this blog post. Thank you!

We had a weird thing happen this morning. Somehow, one of the dogs had a whole bunch of greenery from outside somewhere in their mouth and dropped it in a big pile all over the floor. Big pile of it. Neither of us saw one of them walking around like that. It doesn’t appear one of the plants in the front yard was disturbed. I need to check the patio. And walk around the yard. It’s driving me bonkers. I’m hoping this is the biggest issue we have today. It will certainly lighten the mood. I hope it helps us work harder in our area of the world to make it a better place. We need to be kind, thoughtful, respectful, and empathetic. Start with your home. Start with your family. Start with your neighborhood. It will grow. Be the change. Change of heart.

Be This Kind of Change

Thank you for reading today. I appreciate it very much. Hope to see you again tomorrow. I’ll be here. Hopefully with the mystery of the greens on the carpet solved! Be safe. Be careful. Honor and respect the curfew and each other.

Now What?

It’s Sunday, May 31, 2020. Omaha is one of many cities with riots last night. The protesters became criminals when they started destroying things because they simply thought they should. Many of the people arrested in Omaha were young, white people. Not very many black or hispanic people. The Police Department HQ was assaulted also. So many people in the Old Market area of town were destroying property. Breaking windows in our beautiful historic Orpheum Theater. Someone started a fire in a coffee shop, three young men grabbed a fire extinguisher from their apartment in the area and put the fire out. Quick thinking.

These poor people, who own businesses in the area. So sad. As if loss of revenue from the Pandemic wasn’t enough, you add this . . . a person could really lose heart and desire to continue trying to succeed. And the protestors. Do they really know why they went from making a point to making the conscious decision to start destroying property, being disrespectful, and thinking it is perfectly ok to do this? Or are they doing it just because the guy next to them was doing it?

Omaha has a curfew at 8 p.m. tonight. No one should venture out. It will be in force for three days. I hope it puts a lid on the rioting and destruction. You are not helping your cause by being lawless. Peaceful disagreement would be much more effective. Just as Dr. King proposed. We need to pick up where he left off, not just go off in a frenzy of mayhem and destruction. A cool head must prevail for any change to take effect.

But there will always be that one person who thinks they are above the law. Maybe it’s a cop. Maybe it’s a rich white kid. Maybe it’s a poor black kid. Or an Hispanic who has to translate for his parents who don’t speak English. All of this started with a cop using a method of detention that has been frowned upon. And four of his colleagues standing still. Standing there. This is not acceptable. Period. Why did he think that was a good idea? Why didn’t the others intervene? Will we ever know the truth?

And now in cities all over our country, there are people who really want to protest peacefully. They come out in the daytime. Just after work. And they go home. They don’t hang out for hours and hours and turn the tide and mood of the crowd to breaking the law and destroying property. Why do they think this is a good idea? When you stoop to using those tactics, you are not helping anything. Why give credence to a stereotype when you could do something constructive and good for the situation?

So, please stop and think, my friends. What can you do? What will you do? Whom Will You Be? This editorial cartoon is shared with permission from Jeffrey Koterba of the Omaha World Herald.

Jeffrey has an unbelievable knack at depicting exactly what the people are thinking. We look to him in times like these to put our feelings and thoughts into something we look at and say, “Yes, that’s it.” I believe his cartoon for tomorrow’s edition is spot on, and I wanted to share it with the rest of you. Whichever city you live in, it’s time for all of us to ask ourselves, “Whom do I want to be??” Thank you, Jeffrey Koterba, for helping us at times like these. Be safe. Honor your curfew. Wash your hands. Stay at home.

Friday Facts

The Facts Ma’am. Just the facts.

This is what Sgt. Joe Friday told every distraught witness he interviewed on the TV show “Dragnet.” It was a cop show while I was growing up. Friday reminded me a little of my dad, serious, to the point, never dilly-dallying around. A good trait in the late 50s and early 60s. It was inherently clear who the good guys were and who the bad guys were. No chance of mixing them up.

In the late 60s up until now, the lines are so blurred. Many cops have done bad things. Very bad things. Kent State. Selma, Alabama. Omaha, Nebraska. Minneapolis, Minnesota. Do you know who hates bad cops the most? Good cops. I know they exist. My uncle was one. He was the Sarge to Larry Minard, who was killed in 1970 by a booby trap bomb in a suitcase. Jimmy Wilson, Jr. was one. Jason Tye Pratt was one. Kerrie Orozco was one. My uncle retired in the 1980s. With every news story of wrongdoing by cops or by perps, he commented how glad he was no longer on the job. That people had changed too much. Cops and citizens.

One of our sons is in Federal Law Enforcement. I know most of the cops are good cops. Unfortunately, the few bad ones and the reactions that follow are what sickens all of us. Us, the good, help out a neighbor folks who aren’t racist. Or hateful. Or vengeful. We are the ones who make masks for the first line responders. We are the ones who buy lunch for an entire shift of nurses. We are the ones who SHOP at Target, not loot it because we can. Mob mentality is terribly dangerous in the wake of this good man being killed by a police officer.

To the people protesting, I say yes, please protest. Keep it legal. Keep it civil. You have to live in the neighborhood someone has burned it down. What does activity like that promote except violence. What good does it do to destroy stores your neighborhood may never have open again? Yes, it sends a message, but what message do you want to send? More violence and destruction of property just makes everything worse.

George Floyd was a good man. He did not deserve to die, especially not in the way he did. What in the world was wrong with the cop who knelt on his neck, compromising his airway? How did he think that was a good idea or even necessary? Why did the others stand by and do nothing? Was he their superior? Why in the world didn’t someone intervene? We wouldn’t be discussing this again if they had? Or called a medic to assist?

I am sickened by what we have seen this week. Were tempers flaring because of the quarantine? My heart breaks for the Floyd family, and for the family of the firefighter who put his life savings into the bar that was torched by a mob before it could even open on June 1, 2020. I am sickened at what human beings can and do to each other. Repeatedly. My heart is heavy and sad.

I do believe we need to be civil to one another. Cop or not. I believe no one is above the law. Cop or not. I believe this has made it harder for the good cops out there with their lives on the line every shift. They must learn to trust the black people who are not breaking the law. Who are not resisting. Who are within their God-given rights. How can they do that? Their guard must stay up when talking to anyone they stop. Black or not. White or not. Hispanic or not.

Is it a question of training? I have no idea, I am not a Police Chief or advisor. Order needs to be returned. We need to be mindful of many, many things. Start at the neighborhood level. Don’t tolerate or join anti-black conversations, or anti-cop conversations. Get to know your neighborhood police officers. They are where you should be able to go for help. You should be able to trust them. Trust needs to come from both sides. Communication needs to come from both sides. Respect needs to come from both sides. Talking smack is part of hateful behavior. Just stop it. NOW.

I believe it was part of Dr. Martin Luther King’s dream to end this kind of event in America. End the hatred, indifference, bias, and destruction of life and property that starts with a bad act. A bad act by a cop, no less. I am embarrassed for America. How can we pretend to know what’s best for the world when we behave so badly ourselves?

God help us. God help us all.

Thankful Sunday

We’re basking in the love here at home today. Yesterday, we went to visit the grandkids for about an hour. It was wonderful! They have both grown taller and matured even more than last time we saw them. Schooling at home, being quarantined, and other responsibilities have been great for them. Addison has a beautiful heart and will be as tall as I am in the not too distant future. Gavin is much taller and is having the time of his life at home. In addition to doing school work, he’s reading books and playing while social distancing with his neighborhood friends. He learned to ride his bike!! He is quite the social (distancing) butterfly.

We had a nice visit with the whole family, Tracy and TJ are always willing to help us out if we need it. How nice. We also have my Frankie in town who also would help us out if we’d need it but he lives across town and works weekends, and other times we might need an assist. I’m sure this will change as time goes on. This pandemic and quarantining have had us thinking a lot about planning for our lives as we age. It tells us we need to think twice about having control of our situation. We do to a point, and to be realistic, how can we plan for our future now? I think the answer to that is plan as if this virus and everything involved in it are not an issue. I think we will have vaccines for this. I think we may find at least part of it was manufactured. I hope whoever did that is punished.

Back to work on this for the afternoon.
Very slow going!

Was this against the rules? Maybe. I trust our family and I know they are taking every precaution to be safe. So are we. It’s a risk. But the hugs of those two young, strong, grandkids is worth it. The hug and linger. They don’t let go. They convey their love to you. So heartwarming. We are the luckiest people on earth. All of you will feel the same when you are with your families again. It will happen. We will all be careful. We will still socially distance. We will get together with our loved ones again for a brief visit. Once the greeting hugs are done and the long goodbye hugs are finished, we will leave their homes again or have them over. Gavin loves our dogs. They love him. He needs to play fetch with Goldie. They will both love it. More hugs. Puppy loves. It’s life at it’s best. And we will all enjoy it again.

Remember the little things. Remember the warmth of a hug. Remember the love in a child’s smile. Remember the joy when they learn to do things like walk, ride a bike, or write their names. It’s all coming back again and it’ll be old normal back again. To heck with this “new normal” people talk about. Give me the best of the old normal.

I’m still reveling in the love we felt yesterday. I’m just going to enjoy that all day in my memory, Thank you for reading today. I’ll see you tomorrow, and I appreciate you stopping by every day. Smile. You will have good hugs again. Back to “work”. Stay safe. Stay distant. Stay home.

Taco Tuesday?

I have been working on reading my manuscript alongside a former copy with 3K more words. The mystery deepens, I’m up to Chapter 26 and haven’t found it yet. I think there were more paragraphs I moved from their places to the end of the pages so I could use it later if necessary. I’m glad there weren’t a lot of paragraphs that needed to be placed anywhere. At least, this is my working theory of the issue and it’s solution. Hope it’s that simple in the end.

It is an overcast day and chilly. May shouldn’t be so chilly, we keep wanting to go to the nursery but haven’t yet. I think there will be plenty of plants, I’d just really like to get something planted and watch it grow. In the peace of the quarantine social distancing. From the patio. And others from the deck. I’m envisioning warmer weather and pleasant afternoons, without rain, gale-force winds, and Japanese Beetles.

For the first time in quite a few years, we don’t have any graduates. How about you? We had one wedding postponed and two others will be in held during the summer, depending on which way the social distancing goes. I understand the disappointment the graduates feel. I cannot imagine the disappointment brides and grooms feel after all the planning they’ve done.

When I graduated from high school, because of our modular scheduling and other advances Sister Pacis introduced to the Archbishop Ryan Memorial High School, we had a lot of things that weren’t as we thought they would be.

For the first time, we had no yearbook. Normally, the yearbooks were hard covered, had the usual photos and copies of all our Ryan EYE (school newspaper) published during the school year. At the last minute, there was a small, paperback edition for a yearbook. Disappointing at best. We also weren’t called “Seniors.” The class distinctions were done away with. Some of my class graduated six months early, as they had their requirements met. I could have, but had no plans for after graduation, so I just hung out for another semester. I tutored a couple “Under Classmen” and spent my spare time in the Library, and Art Room Lab. Didn’t skip classes, I didn’t drive or carpool. I would have had to walk several blocks to get the bus if I wanted to leave. So much for sneaking out!

For my first three years, my homeroom was on the second floor. Traditionally, the Junior and Senior classes had homerooms on the first floor. I was so looking forward to not having to walk up both flights of stairs. I was the only one of my group of friends that had to go to the top floor (AGAIN). I was not happy. Yes, it seems silly now, but nothing seemed to be turning out as I dreamed my senior year would be. We had a ceremony, my parents couldn’t find me in the line or on the stage. We were arranged by height, all the girls seemed to have long, straight hair and tortoise shell glasses. (We did).

We thought we were on top of the world, despite the changes and things we lost. I’m sure the kids who missed graduations, the last quarter of classroom work, and saying goodbye to everyone will be fine, too. We don’t get a choice about these things. We have to be ok. If we’re not, we might miss the next best thing that’s coming down the line for us. That would put us a day late and a dollar short for the rest of our lives. We can’t let that happen. Mourn the loss (because it IS a loss). And get ready for the next great adventure of your life. C’mon. You’re just starting out. Keep going on adventures. Keep reaching for the next star. Don’t ever stop. You will soon forget about the things that didn’t happen.

Thank you for reading today, and for your support. I greatly appreciate it. Hope you have a good evening and we’ll see you back here again tomorrow. Stay safe, hydrate, wash those hands, wear your mask, and socially distance to stay safe. See you tomorrow!

Saturday Senses

The Babe used to work at Watkins Concrete Block Co., Inc in Omaha at 144th & Giles. He was a Lead then Supervisor in the truck shop, then became Labor Foreman. He also did Facilities Management, lots of other things. I think most of the guys loved working for him, he would tell it like it is and still be kind with extra chances if someone hit a rough patch. The reason I thought of this, was I saw on Facebook Watkins was going to be open Saturdays for the summer starting this week. We talked about how it used to be a relief for him to be off during the winter. As soon as the summer season started, he worked longer hours, Saturdays, and just ended up exhausted by the end of the summer.

The heat is hard to work in, and although he did have an office, he was in and out of the heat a lot. He’d come home with concrete dust on his boots, jeans, sometimes on his face, but he always came home happy. He loved his job. He was a manager who kept an eye out on the workers. Safety was always an issue, but then he also needed to find the ones who couldn’t work without supervision. Some folks will sneak a nap in, or dawdle on a simple task as long as they think they can get away with it. He saw a lot of humanity in those years. He’d help a guy out if they needed it, as long as they were honest about things. I respected him a lot for that.

As a total contrast, my job was sitting at a desk, writing code, debugging code, and all the things that go with being a “coder”. I was lucky to get to use my HR education the last few years I worked. I worked with the managers, HR, and contracting companies to find suitable candidates for open positions. It was fun, a change from what I’d been doing, and I liked working with the people. I was fortunate to be able to make the salary I did, have the benefits, and be able to go on LTD when I did.

Fast forward to 2020. We’re both retired. Married 22 years. 5 kids and 5 grandkids. We do pretty well spending 24/7 together. That’s a blessing. I love when the Babe is telling someone a line, and I see his eyes crinkle up at the outer edges, his dimples deepen, and he delivers the punch line. BOOM! I still fall for some of the worst spoofs. And he’s still quite proud of himself for telling me yet another fish tale. At this point in life, we both are pretty reflective on how good God’s been to us. This morning, we ditched the usual news and phone browsing, and sat on the deck with the dogs while the earth came alive. The clouds blew from southwest to northeast, and the birds were singing. Nice. It’s refreshing for your soul to look at nature. To think and talk with a background like that.

Look for your blessings today. They are all around you. We’re all tired of hearing about COVID-19, coronavirus, social distancing, face masks, testing, China, and everything that goes with it. People have strong opinions. We’re all tense. We are whether we know it or not. The Babe has admitted it several times. He said the only time in his life it’s been so uncertain is when he was in Vietnam. That statement made me feel sick, truthfully. I was glad he admitted how he felt. Then I didn’t know what to do about it. Except tell him, “I’m here for you, Babe.”

The most uncertain I ever was, 1978, July 23. My son drowned. He was revived but stayed in a coma for over 15 hours. That whole week was touch and go, and he did regain consciousness. His 2 1/2 year old brother was a mess. I was a mess. He had no memory of it. I was pregnant, and tried to bargain with God. I got my son back from God. It was so close. I’ve been grateful these some 40 years and longer. Whenever I hear of a child drowning, it feels like the worst gut-punch every time. It physically hurts for a few seconds, just like it did that day. He will be 49 years old this year (did I mention I was 5 when he was born?). Good man. Happy. Hard worker. Great friend. So grateful he was spared and he had no lasting damage. My marriage did not survive. But that’s ok. I don’t think it was meant to.

Somedays it feels like we are in the middle of waiting out a tour in Vietnam, or in a hospital CCU, waiting, waiting, waiting for some news. Do the best thing we can do. Pray. Love your family. Communicate what’s going on in your mind. And when we shift to be on that plane ride home, the release from the hospital, the hugs from our family, friends, and grandkids, Pray Again! Thank God from now until forever for Him being so good to us.

Thank you so much for reading today. I appreciate it so much. I’ll be back tomorrow, and I hope to see you then. Give Thanks. Be Positive. Pray. Be Strong. Pray. Wash your hands. Hang in there, and most definitely hang on!

Hump Day!

How much we wish our lives away! Most of the talk surrounding the days of the week is we wish it were another day. Not like, “I wish every day was my birthday,” but more to the tune of, “I HATE Mondays!”, “Almost Friday!”, “Friday Eve!” and so on. Why isn’t today good enough? There are movements among self-help groups now that everyone should know they are “Enough.” I agree.

Maybe this “Enough” movement ought to include the thoughts that each and every day of the week ought to be “Enough.” I don’t think we find enough joy in each twenty four hour period. If Mondays have the bad rap of being the worst day of the week, the first Monday after daylight savings time begins is always tagged as, “the worst day of the year.” Sad. You could have the best day of your life on that day, but you don’t think it has anything to offer. Kind of how we view people sometimes. “She’s old, she’s not hip with the times,” “She’s too young to teach me anything,” and a good one, “She has such a pretty face, it’s too bad she’s overweight.” Think about it. It’s all a bunch of hooey!

Know you are enough. Preach it to the choir if you must. And also know each day of your life is more than enough to do the things you can do to make your day and your month and your year wonderful. I know this from experience. In being a very broke single Mom, I found happiness in the fact I got to make all decisions for myself. No one hassled me if it was wrong If it was wrong, I just made a mental not not to do it again.

If the car broke down, I could have chosen to complain and grouse about the situation. But I could be happy if it only cost $50 to fix instead of $500. You can find something in every situation to be positive about. When my dad died of cancer at 64, I was glad I had someone that the kids and I missed. He was a great man and a good person. A lot of people are estranged from their parents for any number of reasons. But Dad was always present as much as he could be, working at night. He was a good example. He was kind.

It’s Wednesday and so far, Monday and Tuesday have been challenging. I’m happy it’s food night at the VFW and we’ll meet with our friends again. Check in with everyone, and make plans to meet on St. Patrick’s Day at the Post for their dinner. We can use today to plan for a week from now, but I’m not going to waste the next week and all those days have to offer me in terms of living. I can wait as opposed to, “I can’t wait until . . . ” Our lives can be perfect and fulfilling right now. Not when something else happens. It take a mind set change. Be a maverick. Be living in the moment. Be aware of today, not just wishing for tomorrow. This day is enough. You are enough.

Thank you for reading today, I love when you take the time. See you tomorrow, as I’ll be right here. Have a great Wednesday!

Special Sunday

Yesterday, after I wrote awhile and the Babe was finished with the Honor Guard after a veterans funeral, he called for me to meet him at Addy’s in Elkhorn for lunch. It was closer to 2 p.m. and we were starved! Usually on Saturday there is a tournament of some sort, soccer, basketball, volleyball, etc. and the parents take kids to Addy’s to eat. No problem. We love kids. All ages. That said, we also believe there is appropriate behavior expected in public places like restaurants from children who are eight years and up. You would expect them to sit at their table and talk, play video games, and you would expect their parents to enforce some sort of rules for when they are in public. Not so yesterday.

We just received our food and started to eat. These kids started running (yes, running) between the tables, over to the game machines, and weaving all around the tables. There was not much room, and there were people eating at many of the tables, ours being one of them. Nothing from the parents. They didn’t look up from their beverages or anything. OK. The kids then started yelling loud like they were in a game or on a playground. Ten boys and one girl. The little girl was probably seven or eight, one boy was probably two years old. The little girl was in charge of the little boy. All the other boys were at least ten years old or very close to it. Old enough to know better.

A boy yelled out “all the boys to the bathroom,” and all nine of them ran into the men’s room. The servers were trying to do their work, and were concerned the little girl went into the men’s room too. She didn’t. The baby did, though. All nine boys ran back out and to the machine that mimics deer hunting. They picked up the rifles and turned around with them, pretending to shoot the crowd. Yes. I am not anti-gun. I am for teaching children the proper way to handle firearms when they are old enough. Did a parent correct anyone? No. Even when my little brothers played cops & robbers or cowboys, our parents always told us never point a gun, a toy gun, a nerf gun, at anyone. Period!

Cue all eleven kids now, and they ran up to the digital jukebox, and five of them pounded on it with their fists. Any correction? No. They kept doing that until they all decided to run around all the tables again. All in different directions. By then the Babe went to the restroom. While I was looking at my phone, a boy approached the chair the Babe left out a little bit, put his foot on the seat, and jumped over, landing right next to me. All I could say was, “What in the hell?” Another diner looked at me and shook his head. By then, the waitstaff were all watching these kids, waiting for a reprimand. Was there one? No, not at all.

I’m always ready to give someone the benefit of the doubt. Especially kids. But these kids were so out of line in so very may aspects of their bad behavior it isn’t even funny. I know kids have excess energy. The place to expel it is not in a restaurant. I know kids get excited and forget sometimes. Again, the place to forget is not in a restaurant. Most kids know the difference between appropriate behavior and inappropriate behavior by the time they are eight or nine. We had to know the difference much younger. Like about four or five. They appeared to have no control over anything. Their parents certainly didn’t. I would hate to have these kids in a classroom. Or try to coach them. I hope they learn very soon how to control themselves. There could be consequences. I hope there would be some from the parents. Letting them run wild is never appropriate. If you child is autistic, ADD or ADHD, they can still learn to exhibit appropriate behavior. Someone has to be the grown up and let them know what they’re doing isn’t right. And please, parents, do it soon. You may end up with a real problem child on your hands before you know it. Boundaries. Set them. Enforce them. You will be sorry if you don’t. I have seen it happen before.

I know, I know. Get off the Babe’s lawn, too. Other diners should not have had to put up with this while they were out paying for a meal, even at a sports bar. The End.

I do. I’m writing this book, you see . . .

What will March bring for us? I hope reasonable moisture. Not a driving, torrential rain, but nice showers. That don’t make too much mud in the yard, so that the dogs track it in everywhere. It would be most appreciated. March is a special month for our family. On the 3rd is my youngest brother’s birthday. On the 14th is our beautiful granddaughter Kayla’s birthday. She will be two. How the time flies! Hope we get to see her soon, it’s been awhile. Her parents don’t allow photos on FB or in my blog, otherwise I’d post a pic of her. She’s so sweet. On the 19th is both our daughter in law’s birthday (in Maryland) AND our son in law’s birthday (in Colorado). Lots of celebrating and happiness all around.

Spring training is ongoing in MLB. The Cubs have put Kris Bryant in as lead off batter; a slight promotion in the ranks, he was the second batter before. Have fun watching your favorite teams. My very favorite is our grandson Gavin’s. He is playing in a higher age group, more appropriate for his skillset. He will have to pay attention to keep up, and that’s a good thing. He was surrounded by kids before that played in the dirt, goofed off, and naturally he would do the same thing. It’s going to be fun to see how he does. And his Daddy is helping coach. I’ve looked forward to watching him, too. He was a heckuva player. I didn’t know him during high school, so I missed out on watching him.

As I get ready to work on another chapter or two today, make sure your get outside and enjoy the nice day. In March you never know when it’ll be bad so enjoy the good days. Blizzards happen now and in April but they melt quickly. Thank you for reading, comment and like if you will, please. I appreciate your support and will see you again tomorrow. I’ll sure be here.

Good Saturday Morning!

Hoping you are enjoying a sunny morning like we have here in Gretna, NE. As David Letterman used to say, “from the Home Office in Wahoo, NE.” (Remember?) I suppose this would be true. International Headquarters, the place where it all began, and some other descriptions. Can you think of any that are apt? Comment, and let’s have fun with it. Home Office in Gretna, NE.

You know, we are slowly gaining more readers. I’m delighted you take the time to read, share, and tell your friends about my blog. It’s great to be relevant. Today (after we do an errand for the VFW which includes checking the mail) is going to be a day or writing. This week got away from me again, and I need to catch up on the I Art Daily challenge for February. It seems my brain is full of ideas and sketches yet I continue to run out of time in the day. This is what retirements is, I guess. It is better than having your time drag on. I have never understood the work “bored.” As kids, we were never allowed to say the word. Kind of like Voldemort. (He who should not be named).

Bored is a word kids use now. I believe their parents (my children’s ages) introduced the word when kids were raising a ruckus or needing attention when the parents are busy. Busy doing things like driving, ordering dinner, and a host of other things. We used to live a long way from our daughter Tracy and her family. It took 45 minutes to get from their home to ours. By about 30 minutes meltdowns began. They were tired of sitting in the carseat. (Not bored, however). I would start singing to them. Not words to a song, just make a melody. Addison would stop being fussy. She would smile at me. And she would mimic what I was doing.

Gavin was such a different kid. Poor guy had acid reflux so bad it was horrible. He lived in a bib until he was a year old. Upset tummies are bad as adults, and worse for babies. Again, he wasn’t bored. He needed a different tune than Addison had. He was a tougher nut to crack, but we got him to stop crying. He favored men as a kid, and there was a time I thought he didn’t like me. He now tells me he’s so lucky to have a Grandma like me. His Mama thinks he’s a schmoozer. Could be. But it works. We have a great time together. Coloring, painting, playing games.

One time, Gavin and Addison were both with us. Gavin said he was bored. Addison said, “You can’t use that word around Grandma. Grandma says there is no such thing.” She found him something to do and he wasn’t bored anymore. What I’m saying is let your kids and grandkids learn to entertain themselves. It works. You may lose some patience once in awhile, but they will learn one of the most important things in their lives . . . how to pass time without being a pain to everyone around them. You will have a lot of stress relieved, trust me.

Don’t think I don’t know what I’m talking about. I’ve had three kids and I raised them myself from ages 3,7, and 10 on to adulthood. They were good kids. I could take them places and be around people who didn’t like kids. They were welcome anywhere. Raise your kids to be welcome in any situation. It’s part of the job of a parent. They deserve to learn how to get along in the world.

I hope you enjoy your day and the rest of the weekend. Find something new to do. Read a book, see a movie, watch the Daytona 500 tomorrow, engage in life! You will never have time to be bored. Just don’t waste the precious time we all have in a day. Rather be overbooked than bored!

Thank you for reading today. I hope you return tomorrow. I’ll be here, hope to see you!