Posts Tagged ‘Grandpa John’

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?”

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Does “Can Do” Cat Have 9 Lives?

Thursday, August 24th, 2017

Bobby, Hector and Willie were passing by Grandpa John’s store when they saw “Can Do” cat walking on a narrow ledge above the front door. 

image of catThe “Can Dos” ran in to tell Grandpa John. “Grandpa John, Grandpa John they shouted,  “Can Do” cat is going to fall. Come quick.” Grandpa John dropped what he was doing and quickly went outside to see if “Can Do” cat was okay. He looked up to see Can Do” cat balancing himself on the ledge. Grandpa John smiled and said, “Can Do” cat is fine. He is just doing what he always does.”

Hector asked, “Is it true cats have nine lives”? How many lives has “Can Do” cat used up already”? Grandpa John chuckled and said, “Boys, that is just a saying. Cats have a quickness, and the ability to land on their feet, which has kept this saying around for a long time.

Cats are amazing. They seem to be able to get themselves into trouble and get out of trouble unharmed, but…they don’t have nine lives. They are good at running from a dog, dodging a car, or jumping from a high level. Their muscles, bones, and even their inner ears are constructed to help them right themselves during a fall and increase their odds of  landing on their feet, and absorbing the shock. Even with these survival skills, cats do get injured.

I do everything I can to help “Can Do” cat live a long life, so I can enjoy him for many years. I am a responsible pet owner. If someday your mom lets you adopt a  kitty, and give him or her a place to live, remember that this is a lifelong commitment.

A cat is not a toy or a decoration, but a living creature that deserves your love and care as long as he or she lives. If well cared for, a cat can live up to 20 years. That’s how long I hope “Can Do” cat lives.”

The boys nodded. Grandpa John started back into the store, and “Can Do” cat just kept walking on the ledge.

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Orrie’s Wish Comes True!

Thursday, April 27th, 2017

OrrieFor as long as Orrie could remember, he wanted to learn to horseback ride.

He heard about other children with physical disabilities riding horses, but he had never visited a program where children who used wheelchairs learned to ride well enough that they eventually could ride horses on their own.

Orrie’s mom and dad had spoken to Orrie’s doctor who felt that the motion of the pony as it walked and trotted would be good exercise for Orrie’s legs. As the doctor put it, “Riding would be very therapeutic for you, Orrie.”  Great, thought Orrie, the doctor is all for it. Now I have to find a Therapeutic Horseback Riding Program I can get to and my parents can afford.

There were no Therapeutic Horseback Riding Programs on or near “Can Do” Street. So, Orrie got on the Internet and found a program about 50 miles away. When his birthday rolled around in May, he asked Grandpa John to take him to see the program as his birthday present. The two of them set off one Saturday morning. Before they knew it they were there!

The Unicorn Therapeutic Riding Program rents space at a beautiful riding center with an indoor and an outdoor riding area. The program accepts children as young as three. The Unicorn Program has ponies for the little kids and horses for older kids and adults.

OrrieThere are 3 certified riding instructors leading classes, a physical therapist and an occupational therapist on-site whenever the program is in session. There are also three volunteers for every rider; one leads the pony or horse around and the other two serve as side-walkers to make sure the rider was safe at all times. Orrie watched as a little boy took a lesson .

One of the instructors let Orrie sit on Oatmeal, the pony, and go for a brief walk around the ring with a leader and two side walkers. He was in heaven!

Driving back to “Can Do” Street, all Orrie could think about was how could he get to the Unicorn Program and take lessons?”

The lessons are free. They are supported by donations from generous people.  Orrie kept thinking that there had to be a way to get there.

Grandpa John knew what he was thinking and said,”Orrie, we need to think about how you can get to the Unicorn Program. I don’t think I can take you every week. Grandma and I have the store to take care of. Your dad works weekends and your mom has three other kids to take care of and get to activities.

Orrie shared his wish and his visit to the Unicorn Program with Miss Pat and the class the following Monday. A few days later, Mr. Markle, the manager of “Can Do” Street Bank visited the class. After he greeted Miss Pat and the class he announced,” I’m here to present a cash award to the student of the year.”

Well, the class got quiet, very quiet. Then Mr. Markle announced,”The award goes to Orrie for not only being the best prepared for his lessons and getting the highest marks on his tests, but for always being willing to help other students with their studies.”

A cheer went up for Orrie and Mr. Markle handed him a check for 300 dollars.

Everyone wanted to know what he would do with the money. “That’s easy,” said Orrie,”I can pay someone to drive me to and from the riding program when my family can’t do it.”

Orrie turned to Mr. Markle and said, “Thanks for making my wish come true.” Mr. Markle smiled and said, “No Orrie, you did that by working hard. You earned that cash award. The bank is just recognizing your hard work.”

Orrie couldn’t wait to get home and tell his family that wishes can come true!

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Snow!

Wednesday, February 8th, 2017

 sledding in the snowThe “Can Do” Kids woke up to see lots and lots of of snow. It had snowed very heavily during the night.

Was it enough snow to close school for the day, but not too much snow to keep them indoors, unable to enjoy the snow? Was it snowman snow, or sledding snow? Was it good packing for snowballs and building snow forts?

The good news…school was closed. The bad news…too much snow to get around easily. The streets needed to be plowed, so no play dates that the moms needed to drive the “Can Dos” to in the neighborhood. Walking was the way to get around until the streets and sidewalks were cleared.

At first, Willie was excited about a snow day, but he lived so far away from his friends; he couldn’t just walk to anyone’s house. Nellie, his sister, was the only one around to play with, and while he loved his sister, she wasn’t very good at building a snow fort or packing snow balls. Hector had the same situation at his house; no friends nearby and only his sister Maria to play with outside.

Things were better at Grandma Maureen’s and Grandpa John’s where Kathy, Annie, Bobby, Arthur Jay and Orrie had spent a sleep over night. They all had each other to play with in the snow.

Well, Orrie was a challenge, but Grandpa John had a surprise for him…he had built him a sled that could hold him and his wheelchair safely. Oh, it was a beautiful sled, red with high sides all around. Everyone gathered in the garage to watch how the new sled would work.

Grandpa pulled the sled out of the garage and into the snow, then put a portable ramp on to the back of the sled and rolled Orrie on to the sled. He took the ramp away, put the back guard rail in place and Orrie was ready to try out his new sled. Billy, the next door neighbor was a weight lifter, and he volunteered to pull the sled into the driveway where Orrie could join in the fun.

Just then Grandma Maureen came into the garage and said, “Good news, Grandpa Dooley put a snow plow on the front of his truck and is going to bring Willie and Nellie over to play in the snow. He will pick up Hector and Maria on his way.”

A big cheer went up. Most of the “Can Dos” would have the best kind of play date…a snow play date with snowballs and a snow fort and a snow man and warm up sessions in the house to dry out wet mittens and drink hot chocolate with lots of marshmallows!

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New Year’s Resolutions

Monday, January 2nd, 2017

The “Can Do” Kids were about to learn what it means to make New Year’s resolutions.

New Year’s Day was bitter cold out, too cold to ice skate, or to go sledding, or even take a short walk.  So any “Can Do” that 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?”

resolutions

Grandpa Explains Resolutions

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 of us 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?

resolutions

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