Friday, April 9, 2010

Begin at the beginning and go on till you come to the end; then stop. ~ Lewis Carrol

Letters to Moi...

Dear Moi...

Are you really here? Are you really writing? More than just a few-lined filler to post in otherwise empty space? Is it Friday evening? Or are you dreaming this like you dreamt during your short-lived nap this afternoon, that it was already Saturday and you were out walking in the sunshine? Sunshine? What's sunshine?

Ever hopeful,



Dear Moi...

It's an age-old question: Why do you buy 'real' toys? Or maybe I should say, why do you buy expensive toys? Children don't know the value of money. Be thankful most of what you have overflowing from your toy bins are things you've picked up in thrift stores for next-to-nothing. Why? Because, as of today, the grandboys' favorite toys are a couple of bags of colored dinosaurs you picked up at Fred Meyer for $2.99 each that they put in to their little plastic garbage cans and fill and empty into their toy garbage trucks all day long; two extender tubes from the vacuum cleaner they use as telescopes and imaginary ice cream cone makers...the choices are endless -- "Would you eat a gravy ice cream cone?" "Ewwwwwwwwww!" "How about pumpernickel ice cream?" "Ewwwwwwwwww!" See what I mean?




Dear Moi...

Would you even know what to do to keep a little granddaughter occupied if you had one? When my neighbor Sharon brought her 2 1/2 year old granddaughter Lily over to visit today, they caught us right in the middle of playing "Alvin". "Alvin" is the name the boys have given to our yard debris collector. Our real human yard debris collector. The game of "Alvin" consists of the boys taking two of their toy-sized garbage cans and placing every toy they have here, no matter what size it is, and putting it 'in' the can and handing it to me. It originally started out where it was small toys only that I would dump into the green recycling truck and say, "And here's some more, Alvin". Well, of course they thought that was hilarious and now it's an elaborate game that includes every. toy. in. the. bins. The nice thing is, they do help me pick it up. But! The mountain of toys is...well...a bit overwhelming. It takes up the entire middle of the living room and is about 3 feet high. So when Lily and Sharon came in, we'd just finished putting the last toy on the pile. Lily stood there in wide-eyed wonder sucking on her fingers. I don't know whether she wanted to stay or run. Sharon said, "Boy, Kris...that's a LOT of toys". I know. But every time I try to purge it seems I think "Well, they could use this for this" or "use that for that". The only toys really gone now are the baby toys.

In all honesty,



Dear Moi...

I am still gobsmacked (I love that word and use it whenever I can) by what happened to us at Little Caesar's pizza the other day. We ordered a cheese pizza and when the employee took my debit card from Dylan -- Dylan likes to pay and 'buy' my pizza -- to slide it thru the machine...nothing happened. He slid it again. And again. Ditto. Zilch. A much younger woman and her little girl had come in the door behind us and was watching it all transpire. There was no internet connection on either of the debit/credit machines. Uh oh. I'd have to pay cash if I wanted to buy a pizza. I looked in my wallet. I'm notorious for never carrying cash and, true to form...actually, better than usual!...I had $2! But $2 wasn't going to pay for it. So as Dylan stood there saying, "Grandma, I really wanted a cheese pizza!" the young mother had gone up to the other employee to pay for her order. With cash. And the next thing I know, the other employee is handing me a pizza, too, and telling me, "Here's a cheese pizza for you!" "No, no!" I told him. "I can't pay for it! I don't have cash!" And he nodded at the young mother and said, "I know, but she does and she just bought you this pizza." I stood there and gaped for a full 10 seconds or so, then told her, "You didn't have to do that! My goodness! How kind of you!" And she smiled and said, "They had to get their pizza. They're kids and I couldn't let them be disappointed." By that time, the employees were smiling, too, and I'm flabberghasted and thanking her all over the place! And as she went out the door I said, "I'm going to write about you in my blog tonite!" But never found time to sit down and do it justice until now.

With a very grateful heart,



Dear Moi...

Isn't it wonderful to find handymen who still take pride in their work and do an excellent job? Who are honest and show up when they tell you they're going to show up? Who finish the job? Aren't you glad you found Andres? Aren't you glad you paid him $40 more than what he originally charged you, just to say an extra thank you for a job well done? And you'll recommend him to anyone in the Portland area who needs an odd job done like putting up a bit of fence and gate, won't you? And didn't it warm your heart that he put the latch up high enough and with a hole in it where you can padlock it shut to keep the grandboys safe inside?

With great appreciation,

A satisfied customer


Dear Moi....

Do you realize every letter you've written to yourself tonite has referred to the grandboys in one way or another? Do you care?




Anita said...

I love the letters to yourself. I love the pizza story and the tower of toys image too!!! What a kind stranger, I love doing small things like that, my friend has me looking for opportunities to do random acts of kindness.
Enjoy your weekend!!

Judy said...

LOVE your letters!

That corgi :) said...

I think it is wonderful you are close by to be with your grands and have many a wonderful adventure with them!! what a sweet thing that lady did with the pizza; one day you will have the opportunity to do something similar, I do believe :)

(and I don't think it is possible for a grandparent to spoil a grandchild too much :)


Joy said...

I've got a stranger-act-of-kindness story too. I was going through the drive-through at McDonald's one morning. I get to the window, they give me my order and say, "The lady in the car ahead of you paid for it. She always does that when she comes through."

How's that for a pleasant surprise? Made my day.

Oh, and about toys. I agree that everyday stuff is often favored by children. My daughter loved pulling my pots and pans and tupperware out the cabinets to play house with. However, in our experience, the one 'toy' that was worth its weight in gold - well, maybe not that much :) - was Legos.

My kids spent hours upon hours upon hours creating with Legos. My husband took an old, flat door and painted it on one side (green grass, blue lake and ponds, grey roads) and we glued Lego base plates on it as foundations for neighborhoods and cities. It slid under the bed between creating sessions.

My first born is an engineer now. I wonder . . .

Anyway, buying them new can be expensive but you can often find them at thrift shops and I've heard of people buying them by the pound on Ebay. We still have ours and get them out when younger children come over - or sometimes when the big kids want to play. :)

For your little guys, Kris, Duplos are a bigger size Lego and easier for smaller hands.

Midlife Jobhunter said...

Oh, most fun. No cash? Always me. And NOT being able to take your grandboys to Disneyworld - the best thing you'll ever do for them.

Always thought it funny that after all the toys, the ones my kids loved best were those that required imagination - like the boxes those toys came in. Best fun ever? Refrigerator or dishwasher boxes.

Enjoyed this.

Betty said...

My husband is always amazed, when he goes to our ranch and sees the workers kids playing there. They have NO toys. And yet they play. With pieces of cactus they make a "wheelie" thingy or whatever is available is used. It makes me think we offered our kids too much.... But I know I will be like you, when I have grand kids. It must be so fun to "gift" them things.
Love your letters! Great post!

Jeanie said...

Never scold yourself for blogging about you are writing about what matters most to you. What a great thing the lady did about the pizza. I bet your boys will remember that, and if they don't you for sure will.

5 Kids With Disabilities said...

Loved your letters to yourself. I especially appreciated the pizza story. That sounds like something you would do for someone else, doesn't it?
Lindsey Petersen

bettyl said...

Life is what we make of it and we really only have 'right now', so kudos to you for enjoying life!