Friday, August 19, 2011

Talent Show - Last Day at the Park

Jill and her partner sang and danced to "Can't Touch This" by M C Hammer

The judges liked it!

Jill and her partner won second place.

Good bye. Last day of 2011 park summer program. After more than 30 years of talent shows, there may not be a summer program at our park next year. The after school care program has already been cancelled.

For the last few years, Jonah and Jill have gone to the park after school and in the summer. They have gone skating, swimming, bowling, played basketball and football and taken cheerleading lessons. They have had art projects, dinners, dances, Halloween parties and all sorts of other activities. Today they had a talent show. Russell, the recreation program director, has become a friend of our family. He and my son have played golf several times. He announced today that there has been a talent show at this park almost every year since the 1970's. But now the county government has decided the program is too expensive. The staff have been given their notices. A few Tampa parks will continue offering after school and summer programs, but not our park. It is a shame. I'm not sure what all these kids are going to do after school now. I know that Jill and Jonah and their parents and their grandma will never forget the friends they made here and all the fun they had here.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

The Help - Childhood memories

My mother didn't like this portrait of my brother and me because Mrs. Patilla fixed our hair in such an old fashioned way.

My sister-in-law and I went to see the movie The Help the other day. I loved it. I haven't read the book yet but Mary said it was great. We go to the movies together sometimes and occasionally we take my granddaughter, Jill, too, on a girls' outing to the mall. Seeing the movie brought back some of my earliest memories.

My mother was a working mom way back in the 50's. We had an older lady who came to our house to watch my brother and me. She cooked and cleaned and ironed for us as well as baby sitting. I know my mother didn't pay her very much. She was such a great help to my mom. I think it was when we lived in Russellville, Arkansas before we moved to Oklahoma when I was 7 years old.

She used to take us to her church which was across the street from our little rental house. I have a few old pictures of us when she took us to her house one time to meet her grandchildren. Her granddaughter's name was Naomi. Once she took my brother and me to a photograher appointment because my mother had to work. Mom was upset because she fixed our hair in such an old fashioned way.

I have two very clear memories of her cooking. One was a pecan pie and the other was rice pudding. She made it in the oven with a thick layer of cinnamon on top. My first experience with cinnamon. I remembering it bubbling in the oven and the aroma that filled the kitchen was amazing. I have never tasted rice pudding like that since and have never been able to duplicate the recipe. I loved you Mrs. Patilla!

Later on we had a teenage baby sitter in Oklahoma. Her name was Twila. She watched us in the summer. I don't think my mother knew that Twila's boyfriend used to come to the house sometimes. I remember bologna sandwiches or beanie weinies and Kool Aid for lunch. Twila was kind of mean. She made me watch American Bandstand every afternoon instead of cartoons. Thank you, Twila!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011


Jaime dropped by the other day. She was in a hurry, but I reminded her that I had a few little chores saved up for her when she had time. She hopped up on the sink with her boots on and started hanging up a little kitchen sign for me. She asked for a level, she asked if it was in the right place, but I just eyeballed it. It turned out that hammering the little nails into my old pine cabinets was difficult. Of course, after it was hung, we saw that it was a little off center and a little lopsided. Story of my life. Jaime says she will come back and fix it. I'm thinking maybe I should leave it that way to match all the other slightly crooked items hanging on my walls. I think there is a life lesson here about planning and doing something carefully.

A friend of mine admired two new plaques I hung myself and said, "They are crooked, but they are cute." Even my smallest granddaughter admired a picture in my bedroom the other day and said, "It's crooked." Is it just me? I would never tell my friend something was crooked. Children, on the other hand, what are you going to do? Anyway, the sign is cute.