Author: Judd, Brooks

Ten Items or Less

Thought for the day: Would you rather be attacked by 50 duck sized horses or 1 horse sized duck?

Item 1: I hope everyone had an excellent 4th of July. It is a cool 107 degrees in Turlock and our unheated swimming pool is reading 86 degrees. This brings to mind my past adventures swimming in the beautiful crystal blue waters of the Atlantic Ocean when I would visit my daughter, Rhiannon in Florida.

As I get older I do enjoy the heat more and can understand why so many folks will pack up their belongings and move to Florida before the clock strikes 12.

Item 2: Sometimes these things just happen. Sheila,Rhiannon, Mark the grandchildren, and yours truly were at the Isleton Crawfish Festival a couple of weeks ago. One of Mark’s friends from Louisiana is lead singer in a Zydeco band called “The Lost Bayou Ramblers” and they were hired and flown out from Louisiana to play the festival.Mark and Rhiannon invited us to join them in Isleton and enjoy some Zydeco music.
The band was great and Marks’ friend did an excellent job singing in the true French-Cajun language. Couldn’t understand any of the language but my feet couldn’t keep from tapping.

Item 3: Isleton has fallen on hard times and it appeared many of the businesses had been boarded up or empty.But there were all sorts of food, beer, and craft booths set up so the place didn’t look so desolate.There was a large crowd to watch the shows and visit all the booths making this festival a sound success.

Between sets we were made our way down the street stopping to look into the windows of the businesses. Some were closed and some were actually open. We were peering into one office building and noticed that a few people were working at their desks. A young couple walked up next to us and they too peered into the window. At this time a well dressed lady strode up from the street pushed us all aside and asked the young couple, “What are YOU looking at?” The tone of her voice was quite hostile and the young man said, “We were just looking to see what was going on.” The well dressed lady responded with a sarcastic, “Well, are you happy now?” as she walked into the office and slammed the door behind her.

The young couple turned around and looked at Sheila, Mark, Rhiannon and me. The young man sort of threw up his hands and shrugged his shoulders as if to say, “What did I do?” We all shook our heads in silent knowledge that he had done nothing wrong. Then we all focused on the stenciled writing on the office window. It read, “Isleton Chamber of Commerce.” That is one way to make visitors feel welcome.

Item 4: What has happened to my San Francisco Giants?

Item 5: Speaking of the heat…Just last week the grandchildren were over for a Father’s Day/Birthday party for yours truly. We were expecting 100 degree weather but instead got 78 degrees and a bit of a shower. This is not ideal swimming weather for grandpas. Our non heated pool that was 86 degrees today was 72 degrees last week and the temperature was falling rapidly.

The grandchildren certainly didn’t notice the lack of sun nor the thin layer of ice on top of the icy water. One of the joys of being a child is knowing that water is water and that means fun.One of the joys of being a grandfather is shivering bravely in your pool pool as you are coaxing your four year old grandson to jump in to the pool into your outstretched arms.

I lift up my arms and yell, “Come on Will jump in!” Will bends his knees pumps his arms and the yells out, “But Grumpy you won’t catch me.” “Oh yes I will” I respond rubbing my arms to keep the circulation moving. “But Grumpy I know you won’t catch me you’re too far out!” “That’s O.K., Will I’m right here and I have plenty of room to catch you. And have I ever dropped you?” After a painful minute or two Will jumps into the murky cold depths of the pool I catch him and he pops up out of the water beaming with a pure child’s joy. He yells out, “Let’s do it again, let’s do it again!” I lift Will out of the water and place him on the edge of the pool and I take a few steps back and raise up and open my arms. “Come on Will jump!’ Will bends his knees pumps his arms and yells out, “But Grumpy you won’t catch me!” Ah, the joys of being a grandfather. I thank the Lord every day for my three grandsons and lovely granddaughter.

Item 6: Today I will be meeting good friend, Jason Winfree, singer-songwriter for Red Dog Ash at our local Starbucks. I mentioned in an earlier article that Jason is a philosophy professor at Cal State Stanislaus .With those credentials Jason is STILL writing, singing, and playing in a bluegrass band. Was it Rene Descartes or Bill Monroe that said “I pluck therefore I am? I was unable to see Red Dog Ash at Grass Valley and can’t wait to hear how it went. Jason is a good guy and he and his band mates have earned some bragging rights.

Item 7: Bill Schneiderman: Mariza is playing at the Gallo Theater. You must hear her and her band.

Until August: Read a book, hug a child, pet a dog, stroke a cat, eat a chocolate bar and enjoy summer.

Posted:  7/5/2013

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