“A Wonderful PCNIC To Be Remembered Forever”

“Grandson LEX, reading Grandpa’s Book, AEROS”

  • When it comes to having a PICNIC… nothing like having some of your published books on hand… to hand out to ALL … those attending…to see what they like?

Nothing to do but to give to young Grandson LEX, a copy for his very own…

…. as he wanted what everyone else was receiving… a “Hot Off the Press”  latest addition of the adventure of “AEROS” and…  to be signed to him, from his Grandpa Al… himself!

and… So glad that some guests were watching and grab their cell phones and began to snap photos.

Just looking at this photo… it seems that our little LEX has found something of high interest… as his looks indicate… that he is very interested in what he has found in the book of “AEROS”… and,  as I look at this photo … I see a very young child highly interested in reading and learning… he holds the book so well…  that he can read and observe that which is of interest to him… and most importantly… his posture is so good… sitting up straight and book resting on tabletop securely… and with all of us so interested in what LEX is doing… Little LEX is not distracted… at all… by all of us!


and… Then, the loud sound of many automobiles on the street… suddenly attracted all of us, to leave the back yard and go to the front of the house… to see, what  in the world was going on?

Seems that a parade of highly decorated vehicles… decided to parade in celebration of one of the neighbors…  “65th” Birthday…

… since we can not celebrate with large get-to-gathers… due to “coronavirus” that is keeping all citizens homebound… so now… we see many cars having  balloons flying all over… in seconds a few balloons left their hands and headed to the sky… so high above… seeing  all of these balloons  just flying away, Little Lex wanted one, too.

and… We all  started going back to the picnic patio and little LEX went back to the arms of his favorite of all the guests… up and into the arms of his “Uncle Alan”… the one and only with nice strong arms to hold and rock little LEX… for long periods of time.

“Low and Behold” one of  our guests evidently went over to where that big “Birthday Party”  was going on… to see if…  he could get a couple of Balloons for Little LEX.

“Coming through the backyard gate… everyone could see… two very nice and extra large  gas-filled balloons… flying just so nice and high… this way and that…  and they were handed to our  Little LEX.” 

This was just one of the  very best things, that could have taken place… as this  gift to LEX, made this to be… just the happiest part of the whole day… for little LEX.

Just to make sure that these balloons did not also fly into that high sky above… each Balloon had a very long ribbon… and on  to that end … was  added a weight… heavy enough that LEX could hold  it… but if … he let go… the Balloon would stay  right here on Earth… where ever LITTLE  LEX set it.

Nothing like having a very nice afternoon with family… one that we will all remember and remember forever… and all  of us, had  so much fun and with good eats… with lots  of very good things happening  for all of us  to remember … so that we will all get together soon again.            D.V.

Posted in Family, Grand-Children, Grandma, Today and tagged , with no comments yet.

“Beware of Giving Expensive Gifts to Children”

“A VERY Expensive Lesson”

This is one time, that I did hope, that the pictures that were being taken, would at least be taken correctly.

On Visiting Sundays,  of which this is one of those special days,  but also, an extra special day!

Just because this was so special  of a day –  we had to take a

 picture, so as to have a terrific  memory,  so we started  to take a photo of the bracelet, that I have on my  left arm.

Posted on this right side is, all  of the three overlapping pictures so that you can see why the only single picture is still not of the best  of quality –  but the reason for that  one picture a little  larger,  is to see that “sparkle” on my left arm! And when this picture  was taken – this was a real beauty to see, but that did not last long.

I sure did think that I would know,  that this bracelet was on my arm at all times, but evidently someone  else in my class may have had another idea,  just waiting for me.

On Saturdays, after we had our chores done, some of us girls would go down beyond those buildings you see in the background, to play “Volleyball” on the Tennis Court, which was not  in a  well kept  area –  but we  could still play sometimes,  and this one time  – just was not the time for me to be there.

In our playing – it did get rough and as tall as I was, there were a couple of other girls just as tall. We were really playing hard and using all of our power to WIN with each of  us trying to keep that ball up in the air and then over the NET – I was not conscious of that bracelet being pulled from my arm, as we were trying our hardest to WIN!

Can not remember how long we were playing, but when the game was over and we started to walk back up to the  GIRLS’ side playground  – I did  noticed that the bracelet was gone!

Immediately,  we  all ran back and everyone was looking to see where it was – thinking it fell to the ground as we were playing. It could not be found, not alongside the Tennis Court, not in any tall grass around the edges – I ran to the “Maintenance Shop” – where the grounds’ worker would be and told them what happened. Ask them to keep an eye out for it – but  it was never ever, to be  found.

Since it was  not found – I figured that, that there was  one person playing, that knew the value of that bracelet  and could  have so easily  grabbed it from my arm, as we were playing, as we were bumping into each other so much with such roughness as per usual – that I did not think it would fall off, nor did I give it a thought, that someone would take it.

Sometimes in LIFE – it is better to not give your children things that are not really appropriate for the times – wait till they are older – and  I should have known, not  to mix beauty with rough game playing – the two do not mix well!                    D.V.

Posted in Childhood, Family, Grandma, Today and tagged , with 1 comment.

“Do “WE” ever Think about Little Words”

“An amazing 2 letter English word”

 ”It will be UP to you to get UP for this!!”

A reminder that one word in the English language that can be a noun, verb, adjective, adverb and preposition.    

  Read until the end …..  you’ll laugh.   
  This two-letter word  in English has more meanings than any other  two-letter word, and that word is ‘UP.’ 

It is listed in  the dictionary as an [adv], [prep], [adj], [n]  or [v].   
It’s easy to  understand UP, meaning toward the sky  or at the top of the list, but when we awaken in  the morning, why do we wake UP?   
At a meeting, why  does a topic come UP

Why do we speak  UP, and why are the  officers UP for election and why is  it UP to  the secretary to write UP a  report? 

We call UP our friends, brighten  UP a room, polish  UP  the silver, warm UP the leftovers and clean  UP the kitchen. 

We  lock UP the house and fix  UP the old  car.   
At other times, this  little word has real special meaning. 

  People stir UP trouble, line  UP for tickets, work  UP an appetite, and think  UPexcuses.   
To be dressed is one  thing but to be dressed UP  is special.   
And this  UP is confusing:  A  drain must be opened UP because it is stopped  UP.

We open  UP a store in the morning  but we close it UP at night. 

We seem  to be pretty mixed UP about UP!   

To be knowledgeable  about the proper uses of  UP, look UP the word UP in the dictionary.  

In a desk-sized dictionary, it takes  UP almost  1/4 of the page and can add UP to about thirty  definitions.   
If you are  UP to it,  you might try building UPa list of the many ways  UP is  used. 

It will take UP a lot of your time, but  if you don’t give UP, you may wind  UP with a hundred or  more.   
When it threatens to  rain, we say it is clouding UP

When the sun  comes out, we say it is clearing UP

When it rains,  the earth soaks itUP

When it  does not rain for awhile, things dry  UP

One could go on  and on, but I’ll wrap it UP, for now . . . my time  is UP!   
Oh . . . one more  thing: 

What is the first thing you do in  the morning and the last thing you do at  night?   
  P   !   

Did that one crack  you UP?  


“Give full credit for this article to Little TOMMY”  D.V.

Posted in Family, Grandma, Today and tagged , with no comments yet.

“Blessings For The COOKS and THEIR FAMILIES”

“The COOKS are Warming Up the Kitchen”

“If ever there was a time  in the year… for all “COOKS” to come to the aid of their household – NOW – these weeks  before Thanksgiving and CHRISTMAS  are those extra special times to do, that which, only “YOU” extra special  “COOKS”  know how to do this and that… to make for all of us, just to sit up and beg for more  wonderful treats,  “You” are that that extra special and very  best person,  in the whole wide world!”

The above “Special COOK”  is the front of a  wonderful “HOLIDAY” card…  that I had received  in 1980… for the Holidays from my Uncle Bill and Aunt Iola McClarren with a very nice two page letter.

I have always saved the mail that I received, especially when it also includes  a very nice long letter, to fill me in, with all of the news of that part of the family, and all  that they were doing,  also including how they were getting on – and all of their plans for the Holidays.

They were getting up in the years with  many medical needs,  that did need to be taken care of – and like most of us…  as we all do get older over over the years, and  then… we are not always able to do all of those many things, like they used to do.

When… and this is so very many years ago… we were little, my brothers, Denny and Tommy  and Mom and myself,  my Dad would drive  us, up to Ohio…

These trips to OHIO were taken at least two times a year… for us to visit and stay with the family and spend  some time, seeing how they did, all of their farming and taking  care of animals,  and we did enjoy lots of very good meals.

In  fact one year, they even made a “Pumpkin Pie” from scratch in a very special pie dish, that my Mother used for so very many years, and then, when she passed on, I was lucky to get that very same “Pie Dish” and I  still have it.

This is a very special pie dish,  I have always made “Pumpkin Pies” in it, and they were always top of the line pies,  very seldom  ever having a slice of  leftover “Pumpkin PIE!~”

Something special about this time of the year, with everyone getting all of their cookbooks out to check on prize winning recipes  and every baking pie pan and cookie sheet out and preparing the KITCHEN for making memories, that will last  for a Lifetime, for all of those invited guests!

Just a thought, to go along with all of the good memories — and that is – this time of the year is so WONDERFUL because, every good COOK and Baker is saying  extra special prayers, that everything that they have planned for the “HOLIDAY Menu” will be so very delicious – that all of their friends and family will enjoy these special  occasions,  with many Prayers for those that provided these wonderful meals at their family get together, and that they will always be invited – because they did enjoy the family get together to the fullest – all these gifts and those gifts that our “Almighty Yahweh” provides for each of us… each and every day… and most importantly  for all  of us…. and that is….  for all year long!   D.V.

Posted in Childhood, Family, Grandma, Today and tagged , with no comments yet.

“Grand-Daughter Has Turkey Dinner For All Grandmothers”

“On OUR Way to Grandma’s’ for Thanksgiving”

Everyone knows, that there is “ONE” day in the year… that we…the whole family will travel to Grandma’s house for that big day… for all of the family to celebrate the best  dinner…that only a GRANDMA will prepare!

In AMERICA, it seems to me, that no matter how often  members of the family move from here to there… there is always a “BRIDGE” that we will have to cross … just to get to our destination … GRANDMA’s house!

Through the years… it seems to me, that we always had to cross a “BRIDGE” or two on our journey… and so  very often… in all of my memories,  some  of those times …we would be driving for at least an hour!

Over the years… some trips were a little longer and sometimes… maybe, just a tad shorter, but no matter what… we always… as I remember… were having  lots and lots of FUN on the way.

So… You are now…probably asking yourself, “HOW do you have FUN on a long drive with little children in the vehicle?”


You see that “BRIDGE” above?

As  we would be driving and no matter what we were doing in the vehicle… as soon as we  had the front tires on that BRIDGE, I would start singing…

Over the river and through the woods,
To grandmother’s house we go;
The horse knows the way to carry the sleigh,
Through (the) white and drifted snow!

Over the river and through the woods,
Oh, how the wind does blow!
It stings the toes and bites the nose,
As over the ground we go.

Over the river and through the woods,
To have a first-rate play;
Oh, hear the bells ring, “Ting-a-ling-ling!”
Hurrah for Thanksgiving Day!

Over the river and through the woods,
Trot fast, my dapple gray!
Spring over the ground,
Like a hunting hound!
For this is Thanksgiving Day.

Over the river and through the woods,
And straight through the barnyard gate.
We seem to go extremely slow
It is so hard to wait!

Over the river and through the woods,
Now Grandmother’s cap I spy!
Hurrah for the fun! Is the pudding done?
Hurrah for the pumpkin pie!

Depending… on how long that “Bridge” would be, we would sing  so loud and with all of the  gusto of  our smiling and laughing, that we could muster up… as we were so wrapped up in having so much more singing to do…  and fun … all the while… as we are trying to outdo each other … until and when we would arrive at our GRANDMA’s house.

Never ever…  did we sing all the above verses to that  song… as there are not … in any areas  that we have ever traveled… “that long of a BRIDGE”…  to drive over, and with the speed that we travel  today, in and around any of the places…  where we  have ever lived.

So… and since “Thanksgiving Day”  is being celebrated all this week and maybe even next week….   just depending on who and where your family will be celebrating… just so all of the family will have FUN getting together again…

Why not start trying to sing the above song … with all the family in the vehicle… and see for yourself, and your family… if you have as much fun as we have.

Remember to start singing when the  vehicle  is about  to go onto  the “Bridge” …  the “DRIVER”  will usually start…  and then…  no matter what word you are singing…when the end of the BRIDGE is under the tires of the vehicle… stop singing… even with…  just a half  of a word in your mouth… that is when you will all start to laugh… seeing each other’s faces with just a partial  word of the song   just  about to come out… and  the song… never ever finished! 

“Have lots of FUN this year while traveling to Grandmother’s house to celebrate Thanksgiving!”

“Once you start to sing the above song… when you approach that “BRIDGE”… and then stop with just a part of a word… in your mouth… and all those that are in the car… are starting to laugh… and looking at each other’s face….

Sing this FUN  song each and every time … a “BRIDGE”  is  being crossed all year long… Holiday or not… It will keep all of you in the vehicle… happy and laughing!

Posted in Family, Grandma, Today and tagged , with no comments yet.

“A regular and national Thanksgiving Day Celebration”

“Thanksgiving Is a Celebration of Freedom”

The origins of the national holiday have little to do with Pilgrims and Indians.


Dr. Glock is a historian.

Usually the Thanksgiving turkey is served plucked and cooked, but American ethos is to invest old symbols with fresh meaning.
Credit…Buyenlarge/Getty Images

As with so much in our lives, Thanksgiving has become a cultural battleground. Politicians and pundits debate whether we should use the day to memorialize the tragedy of the Indians or to celebrate the new liberties of the Pilgrims in America.

Yet the true origins of Thanksgiving have little to do with the Pilgrims and the Indians, and everything to do with the American triumph against slavery. Far from being divisive and outmoded, Thanksgiving is the perfect holiday for our modern era, demonstrating how we can both uphold and renew our traditions. Most important, Thanksgiving reminds us of how America took its earlier promise of freedom and used it to end the stain of slavery.

In early America, colonies set aside special days of thanks to “Providence” or “Almighty God.” Such days of thanksgiving were usually for good harvests or military successes, like the one proclaimed by the Continental Congress in December 1777 after Gen. George Washington’s victory at the Battle of Saratoga.

But the idea of a regular and national Thanksgiving Day was the work of one woman. Sarah Josepha Hale had already ensured her everlasting fame by composing the rhyme “Mary Had a Little Lamb” when she decided to make a campaign for a thanksgiving holiday. Beginning in 1846, Mrs. Hale wrote letters to every president asking for an annual day of thanks to unite the nation. Her magazine articles spread the campaign across the country.


President Abraham Lincoln finally took Mrs. Hale up on the idea.

It was October 1863, just after the Battle of Gettysburg, when Mr. Lincoln declared a national “day of Thanksgiving” to celebrate the Union’s victories in the Civil War. His proclamation said it was “fit and proper” that the country should give thanks for success in a war that would eventually mean “a large increase of freedom.”

The timing of the first Thanksgiving is important. Earlier in the year, Mr. Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation had turned the Civil War into a battle against slavery. Exactly one week before the first Thanksgiving, the president delivered a speech to commemorate soldiers who had died in that war.

In the Gettysburg Address, Mr. Lincoln argued that the Declaration of Independence had created an America “dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.” He said it was “fitting and proper” to consecrate the battlefield to those soldiers who had fought and died for that ideal. Mr. Lincoln knew that the ideal had not been fully realized, but he hoped that the Civil War would ensure a “new birth of freedom” for those for whom the promises of the declaration had not yet been fulfilled.

Sarah Josepha Hale would have appreciated her Thanksgiving holiday’s being turned into a celebration of the battle against slavery. Her first novel, “Northwood: Or, Life North and South,” published in 1827, was one of the earliest denouncing the sins of slavery. In it, she explained not only how slavery destroyed African-American lives, but also how it corrupted the life and morals of the masters as well.

Mrs. Hale spent years writing other articles and stories about the baleful effects of slavery. Like Mr. Lincoln, she also wrote about how the Civil War could reunite the nation on a new and higher plane of freedom.

After the war, white Southerners remained suspicious of the “Yankee abolitionist holiday.” When early Reconstruction-era governors proclaimed Thanksgiving Days in the South, white people ignored them, even while Black people and Republicans feasted. It took decades before Thanksgiving became a truly national holiday. It also took decades before most of the country layered on the tradition of the Pilgrims and Indians as part of that holiday.

A Thanksgiving celebrated by former slaves and abolitionists is one that we too can embrace. Those of us exulting in the day don’t have to ignore our nation’s sins. Yet we can remember that our nation was founded on a peerless ideal, one that promised the expansion of freedom to ever greater numbers of people. For the long and difficult struggle to achieve that ideal, and for our many successes along the way, we can and should be thankful.

Judge Glock is an economic historian and senior policy adviser for the Cicero Institute, a nonpartisan think tank.

The Times is committed to publishing a diversity of letters to the editor. We’d like to hear what you think about this or any of our articles.

SO…  Here are some tips. And here’s our email: letters@nytimes.com.

Posted in Family, Grandma, Today and tagged , with no comments yet.