Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Phil's In His Uniform

Therefore, it must be Wednesday. One of the major chores on Wednesday at our house is cleaning bathrooms. Phil is responsible for the boys’ bathroom—toilet, tub, sink, mirror and floor. I have learned personally on numerous occasions that it is best not to clean bathrooms in anything you might want to wear out in public again; therefore, training, which included months of reminders, began early for Clark and Phil. “Some of the cleaning products we use in the bathroom contain bleach. Do you know what bleach is? It makes marks on your clothes that can’t be washed out. Do you want permanent marks on your clothing?” Phil caught on and adopted a uniform—a worn out shirt and green shorts he did not want to wear out in public ever. Notice the decorative marks on the front of his shorts. He, too, has learned by experience.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

On Going to the Dentist

I came across this entry in one of my journals.

"I was up early so this afternoon I took a short nap. I was nudged out of drowsiness.

'Cherlyn’s gone.' Clark said.

'I know. She’s gone to the dentist.' I told him.

'You didn’t take her!' he said with urgency in his voice (and I might add with anxiety written all over his face). I was awake now and laughing.

'You’re so cute Clark.'

He smiled. How innocent and sweet. I take him to the dentist, why wouldn’t I take her (his younger sister who has had a driver's license for ten years)."

Thursday, October 21, 2010

The New Shirt

“Phil—you have been wearing that shirt for three weeks now, ever since your birthday when your brother gave it to you as a gift. Take it off!!! I’ll wash it.”

Moaning sounds rumbled from deep within him as he stood in the doorway glaring at me like I had asked him to relinquish his shirt forever…. “Nooooo!”

“Phil—if you take it off now I’ll wash it and you’ll have it fresh and clean to wear tomorrow.”

More moaning and then a smile crept across his face as he turned to go to his bedroom “Okay, but don’t shrink it.”

Sound advice to someone who must have done it to one of his shirts sometime in the past.

Saturday, October 16, 2010


In September Phil and Clark came home from their weekly bowling with envelopes the size of our kitchen window which had printed on them “Special Olympics Washington BOWL-A-THON”. I always forget about these until they are brought home one random day in the fall of each year but I do recognize and remember when they walk through the door with something large and white. I really do not like soliciting for money—even if it is for a good cause. I always envision spending hours, bundled up in our Gortex coats, rain dripping off us and the envelope, going from house to house trying to find people at home but such was not the case. Phil just right out said “I’m not going. I don’t feel like it.” Clark, on the other hand, is another story altogether. One afternoon I wondered where Clark was; I had seen him outside earlier with his coat on. Sometime later he walked in the house with money and signatures on his envelope. And today he found the final neighbor at home, filled out (well, I actually had to do it for him) the last line, sealed the envelope with $115.67 inside and next Saturday he will hand it over to his coach. I admit to feeling prideful. Way to go Clark! A year from now I will have forgotten and this scenario will be repeated and probably with little variation.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Thank You Mr Welk

It was a busy day yesterday with getting up very, very early and then later a long, long nap to make up for the very, very short night while Clark and Phil were at Special Olympics bowling. Then it was time for two granddaughters to be picked up so they could spend the night while their parents are away on a trip. For the past couple of weeks we have had an incredible infestation of fruit flies (an overt invitation from the overly ripe tomatoes from our garden and two boxes of apples from our next-door neighbors) so I could no longer procrastinate making applesauce and finishing up the tomatoes. Three of us, no--make that four, worked for over an hour and got nine quarts in the canner. That’s pretty fast work. The fourth was one of the granddaughters who wanted to help from atop a stool. It was her job to turn the apples who were bathing contentedly in the kitchen sink. While we were sweating away in 100% humidity with windows steamed we could hear strains of Tea for Two coming from the TV and laughtercoming from Phil. He was watching, and conducting, and obviously enjoying, The Lawrence Welk Show. According to Wikipedia The Lawrence Welk Show ran from 1955-1982. I remember watching it as a little girl and particularly liking the Lennon Sisters because Janet, the youngest, was my age. I was transported back in time as I listened and remembered a time when I was a young child and my parents were alive. But something else happened—I felt a connection with my Grandmother Fetzer who lived from 1893-1992. In the last years of her life she was blind, very hard of hearing, mentally alert, still lived in her home of 50 years, and watched The Lawrence Welk Show every Saturday night. I felt a rush of gratitude for an upbeat show that brought her happiness and brought us together one Saturday night in 2010 while I stood at the kitchen counter making applesauce.

Friday, October 8, 2010

To Anyone Who Has Ever Been Nice to Clark and Phil

Thank you. My heart is always touched when a stranger meets Clark and Phil and treats them as they would anyone else. Such was the case yesterday. We are going to have some of the cracks in the sidewalk along the west side of our house fixed. Most of the cracks we could live with but there are two areas which definitely need repair. Paul called three companies to come, inspect, and give us an estimate. Yesterday it was Robbins and Co. The consultant who came told us he had called the previous day to confirm the appointment and talked to a very friendly person (it could have been either Clark or Phil). David, the consultant, greeted Paul and then Clark and Phil and gave each of them his card. Phil promptly pulled out his wallet and slipped the card in with his other treasures which include current and expired library cards, four identification cards (some with long outdated information), the souvenir room key from an Alaskan cruise we took three years ago, a Sam Goody gift card with less than a dollar on it (Is it even still in business?), three airline cards plus one that has embossed “your name here,” a picture of someone who looks vaguely familiar and more money than I carry in my own wallet. And now he has a new card from a company we may or may not use. It is time to see if I can talk him into cleaning out his wallet. I have my doubts.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

A Favorite Time of the Day

Bedtime stories have turned into 45 minutes of TV in the evenings we are all at home. We have watched all episodes of Father Dowling, Columbo, Monk, Good Neighbors, Murder, She Wrote, Doc, half of the episodes of The Waltons, many episodes of The Bill Cosby Show and right now we are watching short movies on artists, musicians and scientists. It is one of my favorite times of the day when we lounge around the TV together eating popcorn or applesauce and watching something we all enjoy. It is almost time. Tonight we will watch Leonardo: A Dream of Flight. Sunday we watched conference.
Phil leading the Tabernacle Choir

Every once in a while Clark asks me if his eyes are open or if his eyes are
okay. Sunday was one of those days when he asked over and over. “Yes Clark, your eyes are fine.” I wonder what is going on? What is he seeing? What can't he tell me because he doesn't know how to explain it? He finally asked me about eye drops and left to find some, returning with nose spray and eye drops. I told him what the nose spray was and then put drops in his eye. Later he told me Heavenly Father gave him a blessing and his eye is getting better. He has not mentioned his eye since then.