Posts Tagged ‘Grandpa Dooley’

The Legend of the Christmas Stocking

Wednesday, December 20th, 2017

image of Christmas stockings

With Thanksgiving behind them, the “Can Do” kids were looking forward to the coming Christmas holiday.

it was time for some Christmas activities; so, Miss Pat invited Grandpa Dooley to class to share the Legend of the Christmas Stocking.

The “Can Dos” all knew and liked Grandpa Dooley. They especially liked his storytelling. His booming voice made his storytelling extra special. Willie and Nellie were always so proud to have their grandpa tell stories to the class.

Grandpa Dooley cleared his throat and began. “The stockings were hung by the chimney with care, in hopes that St. Nicholas soon would be there. Everyone knows this poem. But, do you know who wrote it?” Not even Orrie had the answer, and he has most answers.

Grandpa Dooley continued with his storytelling. “As far back as 1823, when Clement Clarke Moore wrote “A Visit From Saint Nicholas,” stockings were being hung near the fireplace, awaiting a visit from Santa Claus. At the end of the poem, St. Nick “fill’d all the stockings; then turn’d with a jerk,/And laying his finger aside of his nose/And giving a nod, up the chimney he rose.”

But where did this legend, this practice of hanging Christmas stockings, come from?

While there are no written records of the origin of the Christmas stocking, there are popular legends that attempt to tell the history of this Christmas tradition. One such legend has several variations, but the following is a good example:

Very long ago, there lived a poor man and his three very beautiful daughters. He had no money to get his daughters married, and he was worried what would happen to them after he wasn’t around to take care of them.  Passing through town, St. Nicholas heard the villagers talking about the girls. St. Nicholas wanted to help, but knew that the old man wouldn’t accept charity. He decided to help in secret. After dark he threw three bags, which contained gold, through an open window. When the girls and their father woke up the next morning they found the bags of gold and were, of course, overjoyed. The girls were able to get married and live happily ever after.

This led to the custom of children hanging stockings or putting out shoes, eagerly awaiting gifts from Saint Nicholas.

A tradition that began in a European country originally, children simply used one of their everyday socks but eventually special Christmas stockings were created for this purpose. Many families create their own Christmas stockings with each family member’s name applied to the stocking so that Santa will know which stocking belongs to which family member.”

Grandpa Dooley put the paper down that he was reading from and looked at the class. “Now it is your turn to speak. Tell me about your Christmas stocking traditions.”

Hand shot up and each “Can Do” waited politely to be called to share about their Christmas stockings.

 Sources information: Wikipedia – description of the history of the Christmas stocking.


The Piggy Bank that Almost Wasn’t

Thursday, December 7th, 2017

piggy bank

As Willie reached for his piggy bank from off the shelf in his bedroom, he thought to himself, “It’s December 1st. I need to see how much money I have for Christmas gifts for Grandma Hattie, Grandpa Dooley, my mom and my sister, Nellie.”

The piggy bank wasn’t just a piggy bank for saving loose change made by helping with extra chores at home and for the neighbors. No, it was special because it was a gift!

Last year, for Christmas, Grandpa Dooley made Willie and Nellie each a piggy bank so the could save for Christmas, 2015. He made them in a pottery class at the recreation center. Grandpa Dooley was so proud of his work! He beamed with pride when Nellie and Willie opened the  piggy bank gifts and saw how pleased they were to receive them.

Willie shook the piggy bank; it sounded like there was a lot of money in there!. He turned the bank over and tried to turn the nob that would open the bank; nothing happened. It wouldn’t open. He tried and tried, but he couldn’t get it open. First Willie was mad, then he was scared. How was he going to get it open? He had seen lots of pictures of kids hitting their piggy banks open with a hammer, but how would he explain to his grandpa that he broke his piggy bank and could never use it again?

Just then, Nellie came into Willie’s room and said “You need someone stronger than you to open your piggy bank. I got Coach Campbell to open my bank.” Willie’s face brightened. “Good idea, Nellie, I’ll bring my bank to school tomorrow and ask Coach.”

The next day, after gym class, Willie asked Coach to open his bank for him. Coach tried and tried to open the bank, but no luck. Willie was really upset. He asked Coach Campbell, “What am I going to do? I’ve been saving all year. If I don’t get this bank open, I won’t have any money for Christmas presents.”

Coach could see Willie was fighting back tears. “Willie,” said Coach, “there is only one thing you can do. Go to your grandpa and show him how you can’t open the piggy bank. Be sure to tell him I tried and I couldn’t do it either. Be sure to tell him how much the bank means to you and you didn’t want to break it open to get the money out even though you need the money for Christmas gifts.”

When Willie got home, Grandpa Dooley was reading his paper in his favorite chair. He went up to his grandpa, cleared his throat, and told him about his problem with the piggy bank and how he needed the money. Grandpa listened quietly, then he got up, went into his tool box and got out the hammer.

“No Grandpa, don’t break it You made it!” Then Willie started to cry. “Willie boy, you did chores, and saved all year to be able to buy gifts for the family. I made you the bank so you could save, and you did just that! Now you deserve to get your money.

With that, Grandpa Dooley gave the hammer a swing and the pig broke in several pieces.

Willie couldn’t believe all the coins that fell out. Grandpa gave Willie a pat on the back and said,”I can always make you another piggy bank, and I will. This time, I’ll make sure you can open your piggy bank by yourself. “


The Thanksgiving Bus Surprise

Saturday, November 18th, 2017

The “Can Dos” all gathered at the bus stop waiting for the Greyhound bus to arrive on Thanksgiving morning. They had all gotten up early to meet the bus. Mickey and his service dog, Muggins, were coming home for Thanksgiving on the Greyhound bus and they were all anxious to see their friend.

Mickey’s mom and dad were there, and his grandma, Grandma Hattie and Grandpa Dooley.”We haven’t seen Mickey and Muggins since August when he went back to school,” said Willie, Mickey’s cousin. The rest of the “Can Dos” nodded in agreement. It had been months since they saw Mickey. They all understood that Mickey had to go to a special school for children who have visual disabilities, but that didn’t stop them from missing him.

When the bus came in sight, the “Can Dos’ all started jumping up and down and waving at the bus. When the bus came to a stop, they strained to see Mickey through the Thanksgiving tinted glass of the bus windows. Then the door opened and some people got out. And…there he was! Muggins led the way and Mickey followed.

A cheer went up. After Mickey’s mom and dad, and grandma and grandpa kissed and hugged Mickey and greeted Muggins, the “Can Dos” gathered round Mickey. The girls hugged him and the boys thumped him on the back. Grandma Hattie said, “Come on everyone, back to my house for a welcome home Thanksgiving Day breakfast for Mickey.”

Everyone started walking, but Mickey and Muggins just stood there, not moving. Mickey’s mom asked,”What’s wrong with you child? We are all waiting on you.” Mickey grinned and answered, “I have a surprise for Willie and Nellie and Grandma Hattie and Grandpa Dooley. With that Willie and Nellie’s mom got off the bus!

Willie yelled, Nellie started crying and Grandma Hattie said,”Daughter, I didn’t think you could get leave from the army to be home for Thanksgiving.”

It’s a good thing Muggins got Mickey out of the way in time, or Willie and Nellie would have run him over getting to their mama to hug her! What a wonderful surprise that bus held..their mama home for Thanksgiving!

After all the hugs, everyone headed to Grandma Hattie’s for a double celebration, Mickey and Muggins, and Willie and Nellie’s mom were home for Thanksgiving.

Happy Thanksgiving from “Can Do” Street!


The Grandpas RememberTheir Long-ago Halloween Celebrations

Thursday, October 26th, 2017

images of Halloween Pumpkins

Grandpa John and Grandpa Dooley were carving pumpkins for the Halloween party at the “Can Do” Street Community Center.

They didn’t notice a few of the “Can Dos” coming into the room. They were busy talking about what Halloween was like when they were kids.

Once the “Can Dos” realized what the grandpas were talking about, they ducked behind a pile of decorations so they wouldn’t be seen, but could hear what the grandpas were saying.

“Do you remember the Halloween songs we used to sing and the poems we used to recite in the Halloween plays and skits we had in school on Halloween day,” asked Grandpa Dooley. “Hmm,” said Grandpa John, “I don’t remember any poems but I do remember a song we used to sing.”

That’s funny,” said Grandpa Dooley,”I don’t remember any songs, but I do remember a poem.”

Just as they were starting to share what they remembered, one of the “Can Dos” coughed. “Whose there,” called out Grandpa John. Hector, Willie Nellie and Annie came out from behind the pile of decorations. Grandpa Dooley asked, “Were you eavesdropping on us?” “HUH,” said Hector,”What’s that?”

Grandpa Dooley answered, “Eavesdropping is doing what you just did. It’s when you hide out so you can hear what someone is saying and they don’t know you are there.” The “Can Dos” got red in the face and looked embarrassed. Hector spoke for all of them when he said, “We’re sorry. We just wanted to hear what Halloween was like in the olden days.”

Both grandpas smiled at each other and Grandpa Dooley said, “Grandpa John, should we share the song and the poem we remember from when we were their age?”

Grandpa John said, “I’ll go first. Every Halloween we would have an all day event at school. There would be square dancing, storytelling by the teachers and the principal would give each child a small box of Halloween candies. Then certain children were called on to recite a poem or sing a song.

I sang Pumpky Pumpkin. It went like this…

The candlelight inside him makes his eyes light up and gleam; he shines right through the window at you for a happy, happy Halloween.

Oh, Pumpky Pumpkin is a happy pumpkin and do you know why, cause he’s a Jack’o Lantern instead of being a pumpkin pie.”

The “Can Dos” all clapped and asked him to sing more of the song. “Sorry,” said Grandpa John, “But that is all I remember.”

Then Grandpa Dooley recited his poem.

It must be Halloween.

“It must be Halloween, for when I passed him by

A Jack’ o Lantern smiled at me and winked his yellow eye.

He grinned with all his teeth, from high upon the shelf

I didn’t feel afraid because I’d cut him out myself.”

“Wow,” said Willie. “I guess you did have Halloween fun in the olden days!”

A message from Grandpa John and Grandpa Dooley, “Why not ask your grandparents and parents what they did on Halloween?”


The “Can Do” Kids Eat Out

Friday, September 1st, 2017

picture of Miss Pat, Kids teacherMiss Pat couldn’t help but notice that some of the “Can Do” Kids were not using good table manners in the cafeteria.

She had money left from a class trip in May, so, she decided to take the “Can Do” Kids out to the local diner in the hopes that eating in a restaurant might help them to remember their manners, at least she hoped they would.

Before they walked to the “Can Do” Diner. Miss Pat reviewed the rules:

  • When ordering, speak clearly and politely and say please and thank you.
  • Order what you know you will eat.
  • Use your napkin to wipe your face and hands, don’t wipe your hands on your clothes.
  • No pushing or seat grabbing.
  • No throwing food, touching other kids food or using straws to blow milk at each other.

The “Can Do” Kids all agreed to mind their manners and behave. Grandma Hattie and Grandpa Dooley agreed to come along and help Miss Pat.

The walk to the restaurant went well. The “Can Do” Kids were fine sitting down. Things didn’t get tough until the menus came out and each “Can Do”had to decide what to order. Naturally most of the “Can Do” Kids wanted French fries and a soda with their meal, but Miss Pat wanted them to take a veggie and low fat milk.

Grandpa Dooley suggested a compromise. Every “Can Do” who chose a veggie over French fries and milk over soda got to have a dish of ice cream for dessert. All but one “Can Do” chose veggie’s and milk. The one who held out for French fries, was, you guessed it…Hector. So, his dessert was a small fruit salad. Miss Pat wouldn’t give in on the soda; Hector had to drink milk!

The “Can Do” Kids made Miss Pat proud;they were well behaved. Miss Pat proved to herself that the “Can Do” Kids did have table manners.