Here is Kim, Tony's wife with him at my Mom's house. She is soooo cute, smart, athletic, and nice. (not that I'm jealous!) When she's not training for marathons, or singing as the lead in their band, she's a teacher. She has training in botany and was expertly identifying all of specimens from the muskeg. (That is a fancy word for bog with sphagnum moss) I happened to find a great book on mushrooms at a yard sale this fall. Actually it was an identification guide for "nonflowering plants"... in other words.. mushrooms. The whole thing was creepy to me, but I knew Kim would love it, and she did!
This is some of our clan with MY GRANDPARENTS. My Grandma Mary is 89, and my Grandpa Al (Parlato) is 91. They live alone and go to the casino regularly.
Oh, and here's my happy Mom is her normal stance. You know how I tease my Mom about wearing the same thing over and over and over until we hide it from her? We have always referred to her as wearing a uniform. So, while I was out garage-saling, I found Mom a new uniform top. What do you think? Flannel, plaid, good colors, heavy knit. It's all good.
Oops. Not sure what happened here. Tony was trying hard to make the kids laugh. Think it worked. Actually, Tony taught us all how to play cards. There's a game called " Oh H.E. double toothpicks" only, they say the real word. So, my kids refused to play the game that had a bad name. And Tony said, "Hey, it's just a name. Let's just call it, Oh TABLE!" So, we played Oh Table.
Now, we (our immediate family) are not a card playing family. It's not that cards are satanic or anything, it's just.. well... pointless for the most part. But when you are with extended family, it seems like you have to play cards. Following a suit, learning to bid, remembering what trump is.. are all NEW ideas. Tony was very patient. Occasionally, he'd make Nathanael put his card back or something if he forgot to follow suit. I'm sure it was really relaxing for him.
I was too busy calling everyone "Dad" to take life too seriously. Did you ever get it in your mind that someone is going to call and then everyone who calls sounds just like that person you were expecting?
Yeah.. me too.
So the phone rings....
guy at other end with yooper twang: "Well, who is this?"
(you know, you called me, dude. I think you could guess better than I could..)
Me: "Dad?!! Is that you?"
Guy at other end: "No, this is Jon Peterson.. so how are you doing, Jena?"
So, we talk. He was a highschool teacher/ advisor of mine from when I was in school. He's friends with my Dad. He sounds a lot like him.
So, my Mom says, "Your Dad NEVER calls when he's in Newfoundland. If the phone rings, it's NOT going to be Dad... you sound like that little bird in Are you my Mother? only searching for your dad.."
O.K. so I make a mental note: None of the yooper guys who call on the phone who say "Hullloooo Jeeeeeeeeena..." are ever going to be Dad. No one who calls and says "Hello DARE!" are going to be dad either.
I'm not going to embarrass my family by answering "Dad?" anymore. They'll all think that after 40 years I can not distinguish my father's voice from any old deer hunter in the woods.
So Sunday night rolls around. The phone rings, and I answer it.
Sure enough, there's another yooper dude on the phone. I figured I could say anything except "Dad?"
So I answer: "Hello"
guy at other end: "Who am I talking to?"
me (formal like): this is Jena
guy at other end: "This is Dad!"
Me: "Is it really you? Are you calling from Newfoundland?"
Dad: "Yes, it's me. Who did you think it was? Anyway, I got my moose! It's a big one. over 2,000 pounds and 24 points...."
Me: "Wow! That's amazing. I bet you want to talk to mom, eh?"
So, I hand her the phone and say,
"it's NOT dad. He never calls from Newfoundland.."
And that is just one little snippet of my family and the fun we had there a few weeks ago..