July 23 – I Drew This!

POD_July.23__I.Drew.ThisToday I have Tuesday Tunes and another photo for the July Photo-A-Day Challenge.  For July 23, the challenge is I Drew This!

As my regular readers know, the phrase “I Still Wonder Where Rainbows Come From” inspired the name of my blog and my writings.

My grandfather was a storyteller.  The quote is something often said by one of grandpa’s characters.  This character was always looking for where rainbows come from.  He  would regularly get into trouble during his quest and then need his friends to help bail him out.

Hearing my grandpa weave his tales was fun and an amazing gift.  I thought everyone knew about this layered character.  Later in my life, I found out these were special for my family and our friends.

At the end of each story, this character would scratch his head and say, “I still wonder where rainbows come from.”   This drawing celebrates that.

I have closed quite a few of my blogs with “I still wonder.”   I mention that about the topic I am writing on.  I want to keep this mindset of wondering and learning in my life and my son’s life as well.

I have always liked these stories and wondering about many, many things.  I also know and love that friends and family will help me through the tough times.  This was a great message that my grandpa illustrated in vivid and active stories.

And, I have always loved rainbows!  I remember learning the colors in school – ROYGBIV — Red, Orange, Yellow, Green, Blue, Indigo, Violet.  These are all here — although the orange is tough to see.

I wonder what new item will inspire me next.  I so look forward to finding out!  May you find and enjoy your quest!

To read more about the phrase, please see https://patticates247.wordpress.com/welcome-to-my-blog/.

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For Tuesday’s Tunes, I wanted to mention the latest in music that Ian has been singing.

This morning he said, “I love Bon Jovi.”  And, he has been singing a few of the songs!

We have a greatest hits CD which includes the great song, It’s My Life.  It includes several parts where Richie uses a special microphone to make modulated sounds.

Ian likes the wah-wahs that he does.  And, he loves to sing the words as well. I love it since they have been one of my favorite bands for years.  I saw them in concert in 1988 and would love to again.

Yesterday, he pretended two of his Hot Wheels firetrucks were members of the band.  One was Jon Bon Jovi and the other was Richie Sambora.  And, his other cars said they enjoyed the concert.

Our family has a new generation which loves this group!  Isn’t that great?

Hope you have a wonderful Tuesday!

Stories to Tell

“It’s like everyone tells a story about themselves inside their own head. Always. All the time. That story makes you what you are. We build ourselves out of that story.” — Patrick Rothfuss

Did you know that this weekend just past was the National Storytelling Festival in Jonesborough, Tennessee?  I didn’t get to go but I bet it was a fun weekend.

They had a variety of storytellers and I am sure a lot of great stories!  Did you go or have you ever been to hear a storyteller?

I grew up with storytelling as you know.  My grandpa was great at it and created some fun characters — Willie, Mrs. Oheyu, and Professor Wufolskorsky, among a few others.  They were part of my family and fun to hear about.

I think that the gift to be able to orally create a character and tell a story is God-given.  Not all of us can weave such an amazing tapestry.  Maybe it can be learned as well and certainly developed over time and practice.  I was privileged to know someone who was a wonderful weaver!

Another storyteller that I heard who was fantastic was Bill Cosby.  About 6 years ago in Florida, he was in concert.  He told us about going to chop down his family’s Christmas tree in the snow with his kids, when a bear came up and scared them.  He said, “Bears don’t eat crazy,” so crazy he became.  The bear then went away and left them alone.

Dr. Cosby also told us about asking his butcher where on the turkey was the cut for bacon.  He explained that on a pig, it is clear, but wondered about the turkey as well.  The audience roared with laughter at the details and explanation and account of this conversation.

These stories were so funny and memorable that I can still recall them and how much I laughed while he told them.  And, I have always liked his books, stand-up material, and “The Cosby Show.”  He is a gem and a gifted funny man and educator.

My grandfather’s stories were truly memorable, funny, and touching as well.  I think that is the sign of a good storyteller.  You remember the sounds, the words and expressions used, and the material itself for many, many years after hearing them.

I consider myself a storyteller as well, but I prefer the written word to orally presenting my stories.  There are many ways to tell a story and I am happy to be in a family of people who enjoy telling them!  We all have a story to tell — we just have to find it and how to tell it.

Now we have another storyteller in my family.  My son Ian is starting to show the gift of this art.  This summer he told me a story.  I had recorded it in my journal.  It was dated July 19:

“Ian told me a wake-up story about a rainbow-making truck, a guy named Willie, and another truck.  He said that rainbows come from God.  He also mentioned Thin John Little (who was a character from my grandpa’s stories) and that Willie had gotten stuck up in a tree with a parachute.”

Beautiful!  I was so impressed and wanted to hear more!  He has told other stories since then and each one is memorable, and funny.  He has a real gift –even at just 5 years old.

Last night before going to bed Ian told me that he wanted us to work on a new story today.  I said, “okay Ian, we will do that.  Sounds like fun to me!”  I am thrilled and can’t wait to see what we come up with!  I will let you know what develops!

I hope that you can find the way to tell your story — whether it be through words presented orally or written, through acting, photography, your activities, or music!  There are so many ways to share!

“The purpose of a storyteller is not to tell you how to think, but to give you questions to think upon.” — Brandon Sanderson

Ian, Willie, and Pirate Day

As a funny show once said, Kids say the darnedest things.

I know that to be true since my son continues to amaze me with what he says.

I love my son, Ian.  He is the one pictured in the new header.  He was investigating the ocean at a young age with hat on and pacifier in his mouth!  He is a lot of fun and full of wise and wonderful thoughts and comments.

To the right is a picture I took of Ian, Kirk, and myself during a recent family outing.  We were having fun and are all smiles in our shades, as you can see.

A few days ago, I wrote about Willie and that I hoped that I could do the stories justice of this amazing character that I’d loved so much while I was growing up.  A dear friend and my sister encouraged me in continuing to let Ian know about him.  And, as I’d mentioned, I have told Ian a few of the stories.

Well, what do you know, I discovered yesterday that just like his great-grandpa, Ian is a story-teller.  I discovered my journal entry from this summer.  It was dated July 19:  “Ian told me a wake-up story about a rainbow-making truck, a guy named Willie, and another truck.  He said that rainbows come from God.  He also mentioned Thin John Little (who was a character from my grandpa’s stories) and that Willie had gotten stuck up in a tree with a parachute.”

Reading this entry made me smile and tears of joy came to my eyes.  Ian had been listening and made up his own take on Willie!  How cool is that?!!!

And, I love that he has an answer for Willie’s constant question of where rainbows come from.  “Rainbows come from God, Mommy,” he told me.

After all those years of hearing that question, in one quick and short sentence, my son has a fantastic answer.  How did he get so smart?  Aren’t kids amazing?!

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As you may know, today is the 10th anniversary of Talk Like a Pirate Day.  Yes, it is a real day.  We have been talking like pirates, arg, all morning.

Ian likes pirates — well the cartoon versions of them anyway.  He likes Captain Hook and regularly watches “Jake and the Neverland Pirates.”

In the spring, we went to see “Peter Pan” at the local playhouse and Ian was fascinated seeing the story come to life.  He even got to meet the cast members, but unfortunately not Captain Hook, who was his favorite.

Ahoy mateys.  Should be a fun day of talking like a pirate with a fun boy!  Hope you have a great one too!!

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Thanks to all of my followers and those of you who like my blog!  Your interest really means a lot to me!!

I so appreciate the readership and comments from you as well!

Rainbows and Storytelling

…I still wonder where rainbows come from.

Thus ended each story about Willie the Elf that my grandfather used to tell.

That phrase inspired the name of this blog and some of my writing. You see my grandpa was an amazing storyteller and Willie was my favorite character.

Last night I had the pleasure of watching a video of several of his stories, with the one about Willie being the best (in my opinion).  The time was 1988 when our family was celebrating his 80th birthday for a weekend.  Here is a photo of me with him and his wife, my grandma, a few years before that.  This is how I remember them looking.

In looking through some videos, my mother happened upon this amazing treasure.  It was like our own little time machine.  We were taken back to another time and another place and it was amazing!!

The story we watched was my absolute favorite!  In the story, Willie travels to Knoxville, Tennessee, and finds the Sunsphere which was built for the World’s Fair in 1982.  The building looks like it has a big, gold ball on the top.  In the story, Willie is thrilled since he thinks he has found the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.  And as a result, he will finally get his answer of where rainbows come from.

He ends up getting stuck and his faithful friends come in and help him down, with a mug of hot chocolate to calm his nerves.  He then realizes that it isn’t the pot of gold but isn’t too upset about that fact.  He then goes back to his cabin in the woods and again says, “I still wonder where rainbows come from.”

These characters were brought back to life to me as I listened to the story with my parents, husband, son, and father-in-law.  I hope to watch this sometime with my sister and brother but am afraid we’ll all be crying too much.  I was laughing and crying tears of joy and remembrance.

I cannot describe the excitement of once again seeing my grandfather tell one of his stories.  The voice was the same as I remember and he looked exactly as I remembered. And, I remembered every word of the story, even though I haven’t heard it in years.  A few items were a bit different, but it was mostly the same.

The rest of us, however, have changed quite a bit. We all looked like the 1980s –with the clothes and the hair.  I saw my parents then at the age I am now. (Isn’t that amazing and profound in itself?)  And, I heard laughs of family members that I have heard my entire life.  Seeing my siblings, parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, and friends was such a treat!  Our own buried treasure, that’s for sure!

Since this video was made, we have lost many dear people — such as my grandfather who passed away 8 years after this video was recorded — but we have also added so many special loved ones to the family through marriage and children.  The circle of life has continued as it always does.

My family liked and still likes to celebrate birthdays and be sure to have time together.  Our times were filled with fun and laughter, stories, and hours of singing as my amazing aunt would play each song on the piano from memory.  We were all very different people, yet loved coming together.

I am honored to be a part of this amazing family.  We have different faiths, jobs, political views, and walks of life, yet we did and still do love each other and are thrilled to see one another when we can get together.  We have learned, for the most part, to agree to disagree.  And, to me my life has been so much richer for these experiences.  You can learn so much if you are willing to listen to someone who has a different view of life.

Now, my siblings and many of my cousins have children so a new generation is growing up with the family values, stories and songs.  I hope that this videotape can help make these stories relevant to them as well.

Ian has been told about Willie and loves the stories.  I try to tell them but it isn’t quite the same, well, not to me anyway, but he loves them as I used to and still do.

He has asked me what Willie looks like.  “I want to see a picture of Willie, Mommy,”  he told me.  What he doesn’t realize or completely understand is that Willie was a creation in my grandpa’s vivid imagination and he looks different to all of my family and everyone who hears the stories.  How do I explain that to him?

One time when I was a child, I drew a picture of what Willie looked like to me, so I can show him that.  But, he may have another idea in mind.

I changed the banner at the top of my blog in honor of Willie’s quest to find answers about something he was passionate about.  In his own way, Grandpa was teaching us about following our bliss and our passion.  I didn’t realize that when I was a child and young adult since I was too busy enjoying the fun of the story.  But, I can never thank him and my grandma enough for that gift as well as the gifts of imagination, love of writing, education, family, and love.

Because of these stories, I have always loved rainbows and still do.  Last summer, a friend who lives across the street from my family’s beach house, took a picture of a rainbow with the beach house at the end of the rainbow.  That too made me cry since that house is one my grandparents bought and our family has enjoyed.

Grandpa and Grandma, you are loved and missed!  And, thanks to this video, Grandpa, you and your stories will live on for Ian and his generation.  What an amazing blessing!  Thanks Mom for finding this treasure for us!!