Tuesday, May 10, 2016

A Surprise Package!

I know I have mentioned how glad I am that there is a Facebook.  I know many think that people share too much information or post mean political stuff.  I know that there have been Facebook fights where people say horrid things to each other. I know that terrible bullying has occurred.  I could make a long list of why some people have a negative view about Facebook.  But, for me, Facebook has reconnected me with childhood friends, relatives I rarely get to see, and also the opportunity to make new friends that I may never meet, but who have the same interests as I.

I have written twice about my Smile Project on Facebook.  This is where I post a picture of a smile each day.  My Facebook friend, Susan Keeker, started this.  I have a rough draft about Susan and her sister, Jamie, but today I have to write a short post that says 'THANK YOU' to them.

Yesterday I received a package in the mail.  Ray had gotten the mail and set the package on the table for me to see when I returned from my walk in the park.  Stepping into the kitchen I noticed the package and wondered what it might be.  I had already received all of my on line orders, so this was a mystery.  When I opened this package all I could do was smile.  Susan and Jamie had made a My Social Book of all of the smiles from last year....and ordered a copy for me!   How kind, how thoughtful, how wonderful to open a surprise book of smiles.  Thank you, thank you and thank you again.  I wish someone would have been there to take a picture of me when I first opened it to catch that spontaneous smile. Oh well, maybe Ray and I will try to recreate it.

If I had not joined Facebook, I would never have reconnected with Susan and Jamie.  I am not sure when I last saw them.  Our families (along with the Lamars, Wilsons, Wileys and Tresslers) would all have picnics and get togethers when I was young.  My family moved to Ohio when I was in the 8th grade so the visits were sparse after that.  Jamie and Susan were quite a bit younger...maybe four or five, so I really did not get to know them until Facebook reunited us as friends.

Jackie holding the Smile Book and card from Jamie and Susan

Look at all of the smiles!
Well, we did not recreate the spontaneous smile....but I hope this shows how touched I am.  I will be smiling each time I think about this thoughtful gift!

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

I'm Thinking of a Geyser in the Hills.....

Smiling Al
A little over a month ago I began the Smile Project.  Each day on Facebook I post a picture of a smile.  I can not take credit for this idea.  Susan Keeker (a Facebook friend and family friend from long ago) started the Smile Project over a year ago.  After a year of smiles posted by her, she decided to stop...and that is when I began.  You can read more about it here. When Your're Smiling...

Each morning I get to choose a smile from many smiles I have collected and saved in my Smile Folder.  I have smiles from friends, family, former students, friends of friends and many that I have collected from Flickr.  I have enjoyed picking the Smile of the Day.  I have tried to get a balance of pictures...baby, children, men, women, animals, different cultures, etc.  What I have found is that no matter what the smile, someone is always touched in some way.  It has been so cool to read the comments and see how many people have liked the pictures.

Today, when I checked birthdays on Facebook, E. A. Hall was listed as having a birthday.  He would have been 106 years old today.  I am so glad that his Facebook page is still active because staring right at me was his smiling face.  I knew that today, I had to post Al's face for the Smile Picture.  I explained in my post a little about him, but my sister added a comment that made me realize that I needed to say a bit more.

Al (as we called him) married my father's first cousin, Dorothy.  My father lived with Dorothy and Al after he returned from WWII.  My father had been seriously injured in the war, losing a leg but earning a Purple Heart and Bronze Star.  When he got out of the hospital Dorthy and Al welcomed him into their home.  At that time they had two children, Tim and Susan.  I think my father lived with them until he married my mother...but that is a whole other story.  I just need to stress the love and sense of 'family' that my father must have felt from Dorothy and Al. This relationship lasted for the rest of their lives and continues with our third cousins.

Dad holding Linda, Mother holding me, Al holding Mark, Susie standing
in front of Aunt Nett

This is almost the same picture as above.  Dad must be taking the picture and
Dorothy is in the shot.  Linda and Mark are holding hands.  This was taken in
summer of 1951 because Mother is holding me...the baby.

Dorothy, Al, Jo (Dorothy's sister) and Maxine

My sister and I credit Al for our 'beloved' traveling game, Stink Pink.  My parents had driven to Yellowstone National Park with Dorothy, Al and their son, Tim. (The rest of us young children were left at our grandparent's.)  On that trip Al taught them the Stink Pink game.  My father continued that tradition on our own family trips.  He would begin by saying, "I'm thinking of a geyser in the hills."  When we were young we loved playing this game, but as teenagers, Linda and I would give a silent groan.

The game was to find out what the person was thinking.  If the person said it was a Stink Pink, then the answer had to be two rhyming words.  I know there are different variations of this that others play, but we called ours Stink Pink.  I could be thinking of an obese feline and say that it was a Stink Pink.  The answer would be Fat Cat.  As for the geyser in the hills...that was a Stinky Pinky, meaning that there were two syllables in the words.  The answer for that is Mountain Fountain. Three syllable words were called Stinkity Pinkity.

Maxine, our mother, would not be satisfied with just giving clues.  She would make up elaborate stories, often getting lost in the object of the game, but somehow winding back to a clue.  We really did have fun playing this game...even as teenagers.

I feel like this blog post is similar to Maxine's Stink Pink stories.  I began by talking about my Smile Project because I wanted to write about Al  but wandered into the game he taught my parents so many years ago.  With that, I will stop before I....Stinky Pinky.  (Wander Longer...not perfect, but it will work.)  Okay, Ray doesn't like "Wander Longer" because it, as Paul Simon sings..."Strains to rhyme."  He thinks Wander Yonder works.  Hmmmm, I can't think of any other way to end this now so...you try!  :-)