Archive for the ‘Do You Know?’ Category

The Way It Was

Monday, July 13th, 2015

The “Can Dos” were sitting around after music club with Mr. Dooley, otherwise known as Grandpa Dooley. Hector asked Mr. Dooley, “What was it like when you were growing up?”

Mr. Dooley smiled and said,”Very different than it is now. Why don’t you ask me questions about the way it was and I’ll do my best to answer.”

“O.K”,  said Hector, “What was your favorite fast food when you were growing up?”

“We didn’t have fast food when I was growing up, said Mr. Dooley. All the food was slow.”

All the “Can Dos” laughed. “Seriously,” said Hector, Where did you eat?’

It was a place called “home,” Mr. Dooley answered. Mom cooked every day. When Dad got home from work, we sat down together at the dining room table. If I didn’t like what mom put on my plate, I was allowed to sit there until I did like it.’”

Then Annie asked, “Did you have pizza?” Mr. Dooley smiled and said, “Pizza didn’t come to our neighborhood until I was a teenager. But, there was the soda shop where we all went to have an ice cream sundae or a cone or an ice cream soda. We could even get a malted to have with a hamburger at the soda shop.”

The kids looked puzzled and wanted to know why he didn’t have ice cream at home. “Simple,” he answered, “no refrigerators with freezers to keep the ice cream cold” The “Can Dos” were amazed…no freezers…no frozen treats…not even breakfast waffles.

“Tell us more,” said Yundi.”

“Okay,” said Mr. Dooley.

  • I had a bicycle that was probably 50 pounds, and only had one speed, (slow)
  • We didn’t have a television in our house until I was 19. It was, of course, black and white, and the station went off the air at midnight, after playing the national anthem and a poem about God; it came back on the air at about 6 a.m. There was usually a locally produced news and farm show on, which featured local people.
  • I never had a telephone in my room.
  • The only phone in the house was in the living room
  • Milk was delivered to our homes.
  • All newspapers were delivered by boys. I delivered a newspaper, six days a week. It cost 7 cents a paper, of which I got to keep 2 cents. I got up at 6AM every morning. On Saturday, I had to collect the 42 cents from my customers.
  • I walked or rode my bike to school.
  • I had chores to do when I got home from school; then I could go out and play ball with my friends.

The “Can Dos” were all looking at him in disbelief and Arthur J said, “What did you do for fun without computer games, TV, cell phones and fast food?”

Mr. Dooley laughed saying, “Why I played outdoors with my friends; listened to the radio with my family at night; played board games with my brothers, and read books.  And that’s the way it was!”


Do You Know Why Grandmas Have Wrinkles?

Wednesday, May 28th, 2014

Hector looked at Grandma Hattie and asked, “Grandma Hattie, why do grandmas have wrinkles?”

Willie glared at Hector and said, “That’s not a nice question to ask, Hector.” Hector got red in the face and answered, “I didn’t mean anything by it, Willie. It’s just that every grandma I know has wrinkles on her face.”

Grandma Hattie smiled and said, “It’s okay Willie. I don’t mind answering Hector’s question. It’s a fair question.”

“Well, said Grandma Hattie, There is the answer that talks about our skin aging as we get older, but I’d rather tell you my way of thinking about wrinkles. I think wrinkles are actually wisdom lines that appear in our faces as we grow older and  get wiser and wiser.”

Orrie asked, “What kind of wisdom makes lines”? Grandma smiled and said, “Well, there is the wisdom that comes from learning about living through hard work, raising children, loving family and friends, and getting through tough times.”

Hector looked thoughtful and asked, “How come I don’t have any wrinkles”? Everyone laughed and grandma answered, “You are still very young. You are just learning about life. Your wrinkles will come when you get older.”

Everyone grew quiet. Then Willie asked,”Grandma, do you mind having wrinkles?’

Grandma Hattie gave her big grandma grin and answered, “No, I don’t. My  wrinkles say that I am a wise woman, a woman that can help younger people, like you three, to live well and that’s my gift to share”

Kids Didn’t Always Get Presents on Christmas

Sunday, December 15th, 2013

The “Can Dos” were all sitting around at their classroom tables, during recess, talking about what they hoped to be getting for Christmas.

Miss Pat couldn’t help but overhear their conversations. She decided to make a history lesson out of celebrating Christmas in colonial days. She thought the class would be surprised to learn a few things about the giving and getting of presents.

Miss Pat called the class to order and said she had a story to tell them. Since the “Can Dos” love her stories, they sat quietly and listened as she began her story.

“A long time ago, before our country was a country, the first settlers celebrated Christmas very differently than we celebrate today. In some of the colonies, where our original settlers lived, they didn’t celebrate Christmas at all! In the colonies where Christmas was celebrated it was a holiday that lasted 12 days, with a big party on the last day called 12th night. The parties were mostly for adults.

Children got to participate in special meals that were eaten during the holiday time but they usually didn’t receive Christmas gifts.

In the southern part of our country, colonists made giving presents a part of the Christmas celebration when they gave gifts to servants and others who worked for them. In some southern colonies children also received gifts. It wasn’t like today though. Each child got only one gift. It was usually something practical or considered special treat that a child would enjoy. It was rarely a large gift.

As the years went on and more immigrants from different countries came to our country they brought with them their Christmas customs. One such custom that we all love is displaying and decorating  a Christmas tree. Immigrants from Germany made this custom popular in our country. Gift giving, especially gifting children, became more popular and children began to receive more than one gift in celebration of Christmas.”

The “Can Dos” all sat quietly, looking at Miss Pat, then Hector raised his hand and, when called on, said,”Boy I’m glad I didn’t live in colonial days”!

The class all agreed, thinking how lucky they are to be living now and not when kids didn’t get gifts on Christmas!

Willie and Nellie Explain Veterans Day

Sunday, November 3rd, 2013

Veterans“Class, the week after next week we have a holiday.  Does anyone know what it is” asked Miss Pat.

Orrie raised his hand and Miss Pat called on him. “It’s called Veterans’ Day.”   “Do you know why it is called that, ” asked Miss Pat. Orrie said no.

Miss Pat asked if anyone else might know why the holiday is called Veterans Day.

Willie raised his hand and when Miss Pat called on him he said, “May Nellie and I share about Veterans Day?”  “Of course,” answered Miss Pat. “You and Nellie come to the front of the room where we can all see and hear you better.”

Willie and Nellie went to the front of the class and Miss Pat sat down in her chair. Willie began talking. “My mom is in the Army, so I know about Veterans Day.” Nellie said,”We live with are grandma and grandpa while mom is overseas serving our country.”  Willie added, “Yeah, my mom is a veteran cause she serves in our military and keeps are country safe!”

Hector  raised his hand and asked, “So, what’s that got to do with Veterans Day?” Willie sighed and said, “A long time ago, after a big war that our soldiers fought in, our Congress voted to have a special day to honor the men and women who fight for our country. So, each year, on November 11, we honor the service of all the men and women of our Army, Navy, Marine Corps, Air Force and Coast Guard. We have parades and ceremonies and other activities to thank them for their courage and for keeping us safe.”

“Thank you Willie and Nellie. That was a great way to describe Veterans Day. Class, who can think of a way we can honor our men and women in the military, on Veterans Day,” asked Miss Pat.

Hector started bouncing around in his seat, too excited to wait for Miss Pat to call on him and shouted out, “I  know, I know, let’s all write them a thank you card.”  “Hector, that’s a great idea, but I need to remind you that you know you are supposed to raise your hand when you want to speak in class,” said Miss Pat.  Hector looked embarrassed, forgot to raise his hand again and called out,”Sorry Miss Pat.”

“Okay,” said Miss Pat, everyone who wants to write a thank you card to our service men and women, raise your hand.” All the “Can Do” kids raised their hands. Miss Pat smiled and said,”Tomorrow we will work on the cards for our veterans. I will get the address of where we can send our cards.”

A Halloween Happening

Thursday, October 24th, 2013

Halloween is always a big event on “Can Do” Street!

Just about everyone participates in Halloween, even adults who don’t have kids or grandkids because it is always so much fun.

The Halloween celebration starts at the recreation center, which is decorated both outside and inside to look like a haunted house. Everyone gathers around 2 PM. The “Can Do” kids carry and hang up their Halloween costumes in the storage room to be put on just before they go trick or treating.

They walk through a pumpkin patch and each “Can D0” picks out a pumpkin to paint in the crafts class. There’s a hall of funny mirrors maze where the “Can Dos” walk through and see themselves as all different shapes and sizes.

Then the “Can Do” Kids take a tour of the haunted house, stopping  to look at the decorated rooms. If they want, they can paint a window pane on one of the windows of the house and the best window painter gets a prize.  Some of the “Can Dos”  make Halloween desserts that everyone can enjoy at supper  before going trick or treating. The seniors club members help the kids make and decorate:

  • popcorn balls
  • eyeball in mud pudding ( marshmallow with a dried cranberry stuck in the middle and sitting in a small bowl of instant chocolate pudding )
  • pumpkin bread
  • ghost and witch cookies

Just before supper some of the “Can Dos”, who have been taking square dancing lessons put on a show of what they have learned. Then the choral group, directed by Grandpa Dooley, the music instructor, sing Halloween songs and the audience sings along.

At dinner, in the recreation center cafeteria, the “Can Dos” eat with all their parents and friends and other adults.

Then it is time…time to have faces painted to match costumes…time to get into costumes. Then the big event…the ragamuffin parade, when all the kids parade around in their costumes, parents and grandparents take pictures and there are prizes for the best costumes.

Just when the “Can Dos ‘ think they can’t possibly have any more fun…it is time to trick or treat up and down “Can Do” Street and all the side streets!

Some of the adults leave to get back home in time to give out Halloween treats to the kids as they go from door to door.

Parents and grandparents walk with the children and stay with them as they go from house to house tick or treating. The “Can Dos” all mind their manners, saying thank you when they are handed a treat.

After they visit the last house, it is time to go home. Once home, each “Can Do” spills out his or her bag of  Halloween treats to see what treats the bag holds.

The moms and dads usually say, “You can eat one treat now, then it is off to bed. Tomorrow is soon enough to portion out your treats over the next few weeks, so you don’t get a stomach ache”.

And that is how Halloween happens on “Can Do” Street!