Posts Tagged ‘Grandpa John’

The Grandpas RememberTheir Long-ago Halloween Celebrations

Monday, October 26th, 2015

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?”

More Marbles + Cabolders!

Sunday, August 23rd, 2015

After the “Can Do” kids finished playing Marbles in the Box, Grandpa Dooley said, “OK, who’s ready to play my favorite marble game”?

Hector wasn’t so sure, since he didn’t do so well playing Marbles in the Box.” Come on Hector, said Willie. “Be a sport.” Arthur J chimed in saying, “Come on Hector we always play what you want to play. Now it’s your turn to play what we want to play.

Not wanting to be left out, Orrie said, “Hector, you don’t even know what the game is about. Maybe you will be better at this game than your were with the last game.”

Grandpa Dooley took out a really large marble; it was huge! “Does anyone know what this is called.”? The “Can Do” Kids shook their heads. “Well, continued Grandpa Dooley,  “back in the olden days, when I was young they were called caboulders, the most valuable of all the marbles, especially the ones that you could see through.

The name of the game we are going to play is Hit the Caboulder, and this is how it’s played:

marbles 1. Place a caboulder on one end of a long table, or on a flat surface on the floor

2. Stand or sit at the other end of the table, or kneel if on the ground

3. Flick the small marble with your thumb pressed against your pointer finger, or, with your pointer finger  against your thumb

4. There are no do-overs once you have flicked the marble and it is moving

5. If you miss the caboulder, you lose the marble you were shooting with

6. If you hit the caboulder but it doesn’t move, you get to keep the marble you were shooting with and go again

7. If you move the caboulder, your win 10 marbles

8. If you knock it off the table, or out of the playing area, when on the ground, you win the caboulder”!

Grandpa Dooley looked at all the eager faces and said, “Okay, what I want to know  is who is going to be the Marble Master and be in charge of the caboulder“?

The boys voted Orrie in as the Marble Master. This time when Grandpa Dooley suggested taking some practice shots, Hector was at the front of the line.

Hector didn’t win the caboulder, but he did win a few marbles!

Who won the Caboulder… no one yet; maybe next time.

Have You Ever Seen a Baby Squirrel?

Monday, August 17th, 2015

Grandpa John closed his market early so he could take his grandchildren to the park to feed the ducks and the usual squirrel or two who was brave enough to come over and take food from them.

Grandpa John got in his station wagon and headed for his first stop…Orrie, Kathy and Annie’s house. They were waiting for him with bags of snacks for the ducks and squirrels. Kathy and Annie  scrambled into the car while Grandpa John helped Orrie into the front seat; he collapsed Orrie’s wheelchair and put it in the trunk of the car. When everyone was buckled up. Grandpa John put the car in gear and began the drive to Bobby and Arthur J’s house.

Arthur J and Booby were waiting out front, snack bags in-hand. When they saw the car, they let out a big cheer and ran towards it. Once inside, they put on their seat belts, and started talking a mile a minute to their cousins.

As soon as the station wagon came to a stop in the parking lot of the car, the “Can Dos” unbuckled their belts and started to open the doors and get out. Grandpa said, “Hold on there. Boys, help me with Orrie’s chair. Once he is in his chair we can all go down to the lake together.”

Booby and Arthur J lifted Orrie’s chair out of the trunk and brought it round to the side of the car. Grandpa John opened the care door, lifted Orrie up and placed him in his chair.

Once they were settled at the lake and feeding the ducks, a squirrel came by, then another, and another. The “Can Dos” threw them some nuts and off they ran. Grandpa asked, “Have any of you ever seen a baby squirrel? I never have”


The “Can Dos” all got quiet; for a few minutes they all thought hard, and then each one answered that they had never seen a baby squirrel. “I wonder why it is that none of us as ever seen a baby squirrel, ” asked their grandpa.

Kathy answered, “I know how we can find that answer. Orrie can look it up on his computer. He finds lots of answers to our questions on there!” Everyone agreed. Orrie was nominated to find out about the life of a baby squirrel and if anyone gets to see a squirrel as a baby.

Grandpa John said, ” You are all coming to my house on Wednesday night for dinner. Orrie, can you have the answer by then?” Orrie nodded yes. It was settled then. Time to finish feeding the ducks.

That Wednesday evening, before dinner, Orrie announced, ” I know why we have never seen a baby squirrel.” Grandpa John and the “Can Dos” all asked at once…”Why?”

Orrie began,”Well baby squirrels don’t leave their nest, the place where their mom watches over them until they are big, big enough to care for themselves. They don’t look like squirrels when they are first born. They have no fur and only weigh a couple of ounces. Since they can’t see or hear as babies, they need to stay with their moms, in the nest, where it is safe.

A squirrel grows fast and is ready to leave the nest after three months. By then he or she looks very much like a full grown squirrel can see and hear.”

Grandpa and the “Can Dos” clapped and thanked Orrie for what he had shared. Grandpa John was heard to say, “Orrie, you are one good researcher!”

The History of Mother’s Day

Wednesday, May 6th, 2015

Grandpa John walked into the kitchen while some of Orrie’s friends were having a snack; he was just in time to here Hector say, “Where did the idea for Mother’s Day come from? Orrie looked at Willie, Willie looked at Bobby and then they all looked at Grandpa John.

Grandpa John pulled up a chair, sat down and said, “Okay, this is what I know about Mother’s Day:

In seventeenth century England, Mothering Sunday was celebrated each year on the fourth Sunday of Lent (the 40 days of fasting before Easter). Christians honored the church in which they were baptized, known as their Mother Church. Mothering Sunday soon began to honor human mothers, too. British servants and employees, who worked far from home, received time off to visit their moms and share a family meal.

American colonists didn’t adopt the tradition of Mother’s Day, possibly because they were busy trying to survive in their new homes.

The idea of celebrating Mother’s Day in the U.S. began with Julia Ward Howe, who became famous during the Civil War as the author of “The Battle Hymn of the Republic.” Howe thought wars were a waste of young men’s lives, and she called on mothers to protest the killing of their children in wars.

In her Mother’s Day Proclamation, Howe wrote, “We women of one country will be too tender to those of another country to allow our sons to be trained to injure theirs.”  In the 1870s, women’s groups in over a dozen American cities observed Howe’s holiday, Mother’s Day, but the idea didn’t really catch on until the following century.

In 1908, Anna M. Jarvis campaigned for an official Mother’s Day in memory of her own mother, an activist and social worker who hoped that the contributions of mothers would someday be recognized. Anna Jarvis was determined to make her mother’s wish come true. She petitioned the superintendent of the church her mother had attended and on May 10, 1908, the first official Mother’s Day celebration took place at a church service in Grafton, West Virginia. Jarvis gave carnations—her mother’s favorite flower—to each mother at the service. Later Jarvis and her supporters lobbied for the creation of an official Mother’s Day. In 1914 her dream came true when President Wilson declared the second Sunday in May as Mother’s Day.”

Grandpa John smiled and said,”That’s why every May we celebrate Mother’s Day by doing something special for our mothers. I hope you boys have something special planned for your moms and grandmas for this coming Mother’s Day!”

 Source: History4kids

New Year’s Resolutions

Saturday, January 3rd, 2015

New Year’s Day was bitter cold out, too cold to ice skate, or to go sledding, or even take a short walk. School was closed. So any “Can Do”who could catch a ride was welcome for a play date at Orrie’s house.

Grandpa John and Grandma Maureen had come by to help Orrie’s mom with table games and serving snacks. Willie asked, “Grandpa John why do adults make New Year’s Resolutions”? Before Grandpa John could answer, Annie asked,”What are resolutions anyway?”

Grandpa John stopped handing out fruit and sat down at the table with the “Can Dos.” All eyes were on him as he thought of the best way to explain what a resolution is.

He cleared his throat and began by saying, “Well, resolutions are kind of like promises to do things that you need or want to do. It’s about doing things that you need to do but may not having being doing such a good job about doing so far.

For instance, let’s take sharing. You know that sharing is usually the right thing to do, but it is hard to do. So, you might make a resolution, a promise to yourself or to someone else that you will be better at sharing.”

The “Can Dos” were all quiet for awhile, then Nellie asked,”Why do people make resolutions on New Year’s Eve or New Year’s Day”? Grandpa John smiled and answered. “That’s a very good question Nellie. The new year is seen as a new beginning, a time to begin again. A time to do things you want and need to do. So people promise themselves and their family to make changes in themselves and their lives.”

“Hmmm,” said Arthur J. “Maybe we should each make a resolution for the new year.” Hector shook his head. “Not me,” he said. “I like myself just the way I am. I don’t think I need to change a thing about me.”

Maria, his sister, tossed her head and said, “Think again brother. There are a few things you need to change… like being late for school a lot and using my stuff without asking.” Hector turned red and answered, “Okay, I’ll stop taking your stuff without asking but I can’t make two resolutions, so I’ll have to wait on promising not to be late for school.” Everyone laughed.

Grandpa John said, “Let’s go around the table and each make a resolution. I’ll start. “I promise to help Grandma Maureen around the house more.” Grandma Maureen gave Grandpa John a big smile and said,”You heard that children. You are my witnesses, he promised to help me more.” The “Can Dos” all laughed.

Then it was their turns to make resolutions. Nellie promised to help Grandma Hattie with the housework. Orrie promised to turn off his computer each night the first time he was asked to do so. Willie promised to empty the trash without moaning and groaning about it. Kathy promised to share with her sister Annie more and fight less. Arthur J. promised to help his brother with his math homework when he was having a problem.

Did you make New Year’s resolutions? Are you going to make any resolutions? What do you promise to do?