coffee cup image

Archive for April, 2010

Apr 29 2010

Animation Awards

Posted by Mugs @ 7:29 am in Family

At dinner last night, I reminded Zeke to tell his dad what had happened at the art show.

“I got animation!” he proclaimed.

“No. Zeke,” I said, “It’s called honorable mention.”

“Oh yeah, honorable mention,” he repeated after me.

“It’s almost third place!” he declared in triumph.

Apr 28 2010

Born to Be the Master of Ceremonies

Posted by Mugs @ 12:35 pm in Family

Talent Shows of all types are highly amusing events. No matter the location of the event or ages of participants, as a member of the audience, I usually experience moments of cringing followed by moments of awe.

The first talent show I can remember was held in the small town where I grew up. It was a variety show for the town’s Christmas party. Nan, my brother’s godmother, was Master of Ceremonies. (She knitted me the most wonderful pair of black wool mittens that I wore faithfully each winter for 20 years. Then, I lost them. I still mourn that loss. She also made fabulous cookies and taught my Mom her best cookie recipes.)

A family got up with their guitars and sang country gospel, my best friend Laurie and I performed a dance routine, and there were multiple instruments and songs. I only remember one act clearly because it brought down the house, much to my consternation.

Two little sisters in matching sparkly outfits danced and sang to “I saw Mommy kissing Santa Clause.” They were a huge hit. I am embarrassed to remember how resentful I was because I was not such a crowd favorite. Through the years, I attempted other dancing and singing acts, but I never generated the most applause.

Then, my senior year in High School, I finally figured out which part of the show I was best at. Following in the footsteps of Nan, I was the Master of Ceremonies for my schools’ homecoming along with my friend Ev. I had finally found my place.

Talent shows held in the church always bring out the most unusual acts. Whether it’s the recitation of the Declaration of Independence, praise hula, or clogging, you really never know what to expect.

Abby’s middle school talent show was fun to watch. For every act that went horribly awry, another made me smile. Last year at the  middle school talent show, a girl who played the guitar on the worship team finally opened her mouth and sang. She took everyone by surprise with her tremendous talent. She is exceptionally gifted and this year she won the award for best overall talent.

As the show approached, I asked Abby what ‘the boy who claimed he could beat Josiah in the spelling bee’ was doing for the talent show. Last year, he had performed both a karate routine and a piano piece. She told me he hadn’t entered and I was shocked. He is extremely competitive in all areas of life. I had been looking forward to watching his performance and was disappointed not to have the opportunity.

I needn’t have worried. He was the hit of the show for me. He had every cheesy line and joke down pat, compliments in all manner of creativity, and he pulled it all off with such aplomb that I had to admit he was born to be the Master of Ceremonies. He was fabulous!

Friday night is Josiah’s High School talent show. He is going to play Odeon by Nazareth on the piano. I’m looking forward to his performance and to once again discovering an unusual talent that catches me completely by surprise.

This past January, while we were waiting to watch the talent portion of the Miss America competition, everyone piped up with what talent they hoped they would see. “I hope someone plays the flute,” said Abby. “I hope someone twirls the baton,” said I. “I hope someone plays the triangle,” said Zeke.

Now, that would be a talent to remember.

Apr 26 2010

Heritage Day

Posted by Mugs @ 10:35 am in Family

At the kid’s school in 8th grade, the students are required to research their heritage and write a report. Then, the students celebrate heritage day by dressing up like an ancestor and bringing in traditional family food.

Last year, Josiah did his report about both Dale and my dad. For the first time, Josiah heard about the crazy things my father and his pals did while running the streets of Chicago, including the famous attempt to steal a roll-a-way bed by rolling it away.

Josiah wore a military uniform to school in commemoration of his dad’s, mom’s and papaw’s Army service and his grandpa and grandma’s Air Force service. I never considered the extent of military service on both sides of our family until we started counting relatives who have served. It’s a significant part of the kids heritage.

This year, Abby did her report on my Mom and I. She discovered that her grandma lived through a hurricane and her mom has seen the northern lights. Because my mom and I have both served in the military, Abby asked if we expected her to serve as well. My mom and I have the Air Force and Army covered, so Abby will either have to join the Navy and attempt to overcome her tendency towards sea sickness or ramp up her Hooah to join the Marines.

For heritage day, she dressed up as her mamaw’s Swamp Sunny character. Dale’s mama was forever inventing characters for childrens church and kids crusades. She was Swamp Sunny at our kids crusade in Wisconsin.

Abby made Gobs from a recipe my mom learned as a teenager in Johnstown, Pennsylvania. The gobs were a big hit with Abby’s classmates.

Reading the kids reports reminded me of how unique each of our life stories are. When you find you have run out of things to talk about with someone, kindly request…”Tell me a story from your past.”

The life event may be simple or sweet, funny or sad, filled with wonder or surprise. If you listen attentively, there is a possibility you just might be enchanted by what you hear.

Apr 24 2010

And the Winner is…

Posted by Dale @ 4:44 pm in Family,Running

… Dale!

Josiah and I ran a 5k this morning. He basically took the whole winter off from running. I, on the other hand, got back into my running groove in early January this year. It all paid off this morning. My finish time was 21:46, and Josiah’s time was  21:50.

Here’s Mugs with the call at the finish:

Mugs says the video is like a Big Foot sighting. The camera work is very shaky, things are kind of blurry, and you’re not sure what you’re seeing is real.

If you don’t believe me or the video, you can just ask the gecko.

Apr 23 2010

How to be Insulting

Posted by Mugs @ 9:01 am in Family

On occasion, ( how often of an occasion I’ll let you surmise) I unintentionally insult people. What I want to say does not come out and what I don’t want to say does. I speak without thinking and suffer for what I cannot take back.

I will not claim that genetics is the only reason for this unfortunate trait, but I will say this trait has been observed in others within my family.

This is why I am a better writer than talker. Writing allows backspace and delete and editing. It takes me forever to write something, because I search for the perfect word, sentence structure and flow. It is forgiving, I can always redo it.

I would love to redo a conversation I had at church last Sunday:

“Hi Mugs. How are you?” said a friend.

“You look plain,” I replied.

At this point, I could not undo it. Trying to explain away an insult is never effective. I should have said, “I’m sorry. That was rude,” and closed my mouth, but I couldn’t stop myself.

“I mean you’re usually so colorful. You always dress so flamboyantly,” I insultingly continued. If I was writing, I would have quickly replaced flamboyant with another word that does not have quite the negative connotation.

“I’ve been stressed out with my dad so sick,” she replied.

I have been praying for this friend. Her father is very ill and they are unsure if he will live. At this point, I am mortified at what I have said about her lovely black dress. She always looks fashionable and looked quite elegant at the moment. If only the shock of seeing her so somberly dressed would have shut my mouth instead of opened it.

If only there was a delete button for my mouth.