Sunday, September 18, 2011

Found A "Peanut"

When I was a kid between 5 and 10 years old I would often go to the playground and get on the swings with my friends. As we were going back and forth and pumping our legs to get as high as we could we often sang a song called "Found A Peanut". It was to the tune of "My Darlin Clemintine".That song came back to my mind recently when we received some wonderful news.  

At the age of 51 I will finally be entering an phase of life that most of my cousins and friends who are about the same age have already experienced: Being a Grandparent.

In last August my son, James, and daughter-in-law, Brandi told us in confidence that they may be expecting a baby. They asked us to keep the news to ourselves until a visit to the doctor.

Soon Brandi's blood tests came back and all indications confirmed that a baby is on the way. But the kids still wanted to wait to "announce" their news until after Brandi's first ultrasound. That test was done on Wednesday September 7, two days before my 51st birthday.
They gave us copies of the pictures from the first ultrasound. Although because of the type of test it was they didn't have the opportunity to hear it, they did see the movement of the baby's heart beat. When Paula showed me the pictures, as always, I had difficulty distinguishing what I was looking at. She had to point the baby out to me. "See" she said,  "she looks like a little peanut." (my wife would really like to have a grand daughter but her intuition is telling her that the baby will be a boy).

Sure enough I did see a small image that was at the time a lot smaller than, but nevertheless, shaped like a peanut. When we mentioned this to James he was quick to point out that at the stage of development at the time the picture was taken (about 6 weeks old) the baby is really only about as big the eraser on the end of a pencil. Nevertheless the word "peanut" had been initially linked to our first grandchild.

Over the next few days I imagined in excited anticipation of all joy the arrival of a baby into our lives will bring us. I thought about the ultrasound picture and Paula's comment. I realized what a fun nickname  "Peanut" would be for an infant. In a daydream I imagined holding a newborn in my arms and singing "Found A Peanut" to him or her. It works for me either way but it would be better if the baby was a girl. But I'm sure we'd find a way to make it work for a baby boy as well.

So after more than 40 years the song "Found A Peanut" has a new meaning for me. It represents the anticipation of discovering a love and a joy that Paula and I have yet to be blessed with in our lives.

Hurry up and get here Peanut. Your grandparents are anxious to meet you.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Paula's New Ride

After my wife's Oldsmobile "quit" on her the morning of September 9 (my 51st birthday) and it wasn't worth repairing; we found ourselves looking for a new mode of transportation for her.

The day was spent looking for and test driving vehicles, and applying for a loan. We were lucky enough get approved very quickly and to find a 2011 Chevrolet Impala LS. It wasn't brand new but it only had just a little over 20,000 miles on it and it was within our price range.

We started our car shopping adventure just after 11AM that morning and were driving the new car off the lot by 5:30PM. The whole process was fast, and somewhat stressful and a bit surreal. God's hand had to be on us as we were fortunate to resolve our problem in only one day.

So now my wife owns the newest car she's ever owned. She really likes it and  with just a few minor adjustments the payment fits in our budget. Having to financially commit to paying a car payment so suddenly has changed some of our plans for the future (think having to cut back on vacation plans and Christmas gifts) but all in all things will be okay and I won't have to worry because my wife now has a more reliable vehicle.

So last year for my birthday Paula took me to Walt Disney World. This year on my birthday I bought her a car. 
Paula's "Present" Purchased On My Birthday

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

A Conversation Piece With A Connection

This past Sunday my sons and daughters-in-law came to the house to have dinner and celebrate my 51st birthday. We had steaks cooked on the grill, corn on the cob, mashed potatoes, and sauted mushrooms.

I was blessed by my family with gifts. James and Brandi gave me a gift card to buy books on my Kindle. Michael and Heather gave me something had never seen before. A statue of a monkey holding a clock that is a perpetual calendar. Here's what it looks like:

A very unique gift is it not? They gave me the option of exchanging it but I said I wanted to keep it. I'm sure the kids had no idea about this but the monkey has a special connection for me. A connection to one of my early experiences with ventriloquism.

In July 2006 after I became interested in trying to do ventriloquism again I went to the Vent Haven Ventriloquist Convention in Fort Mitchell, Kentucky. This annual event is held in Fort Mitchell because that's where the Vent Haven Museum is located.

The mascot and logo of the convention is named "Jacko" a ventriloquist figure used by William S. Berger the museum's founder. Here's a picture of "Jacko".

Jacko is still on display at the Vent Haven Museum in Fort Mitchell. Visits are by appointment only May through September.

It was the Sunday after I attended 2 days of the conVENTion in 2006 that I made my adult ventriloquist debut during a morning worship service at my church.

So all those things and all those memories all come to mind when I see my new "brass monkey" calendar. It sits on a table in our living room just inside the front door; so it's bound to be noticed and asked about by future visitors. That will give me reason to tell them the story I just told you.

I really like my new organ grinder monkey clock/calendar (never ever thought I'd be typing those words on this blog). Thanks Heather and Michael.