April's Real Blog

Monday, September 17, 2007

Olden-Days Beds Remembered

Sorry in advance 2 all of U who thot we were gonna have a Liz-Anthony week starting 2day. We R still in Mike's remembrances of Vancouvers past:
April,

Formerly little sis. There is something to be said for mattress comfort. That was the lesson I tried to give today to my little daughter as I showed her pictures of my trip to visit Grampa Jim and Gramma Marian in Vancouver back when I was her age.

My daughter said, “Aren’t you going to say something about what happened in these pictures?” I said, “Daughter, dear. You see that word balloon there in the first picture, where I am asking a question which takes up 5 lines of text?” My daughter said she did. I said, “Whenever the old pictures I am showing you have a really long word balloon in the very first picture, particularly if it’s a word balloon showing something I said, there is really no reason for me to add anything.” My daughter got on her knees and said, “Pray for long word balloons. Pray for long word balloons.” over and over until I told we had to look at the other pictures too.

In the first picture, Grampa Jim is showing off his pyjama-buttoning technique, which is a little odd when you consider the pyjamas I am wearing in the picture don’t have buttons. I suppose that is why he felt the need to shove his knee up into my stomach to get the leverage needed. When I examine the picture, I think I should have been looking at his twisted and malformed hands, but probably in those days, I thought all old people had twisted and malformed hands. So instead I asked my Grampa Jim, “Do I really get to sleep in the same bed mom slept in when she was little, Grampa?” My daughter said, “Why did you ask that?” I said, “Daughter, dear. When I was little, I thought my mother was really old, so it seemed incredible to me Grampa Jim would have a bed that old too, without it falling apart.” My daughter said, “Oh. It wasn’t?” I said, “No. Let’s look at the next picture for Grampa Jim’s answer.”

Sure enough in the next picture, I was in bed and Grampa Jim was pulling the sheets over me and the word balloon showed his answer, “Yep!—Your mom slept here, dreamed her, did her thinking here…” My daughter said, “He didn’t answer until you got all the way in bed.” I said, “Grampa Jim was like that. He was a hard man. If you want an answer to a question, first you have to do something for him. Most times, it was to hide his cigars in your suitcase, or forget the time you saw him with a blonde lady who wasn’t Gramma Marian; but this time it was to get into bed.” My daughter said, “So Gramma Elly did sleep there. Why did Grampa Jim say she had dreams and did thinking there too?” My very astute daughter had once again picked up on a subtle message, and I really did not want to get into mom’s story about the occasions which necessitated her being locked in her room for days at a time, so I said, “My mom was good at multitasking. That means she could do 3 things at once---Sleep, dream and think. Isn’t that impressive?” My daughter said, “Not really, daddy.” I said, “Let’s look at the next picture.”

As I showed my daughter the next picture, she immediately shrieked, “Grampa Jim. His arm stretched to turn off that light. Is he like Mr. Fantastic in the Fantastic Four?” I said, “No, daughter. His arm isn’t nearly as stretchy as Mr. Fantastic; but it was still very impressive. Notice the way I say, 'Sigh'.” My daughter said, “Was he your hero?” I said, “No. I liked to keep my light on at night.”

Finally, in the last picture, there was Grampa Jim with a quizzical look on this face, as I led into my moral of the story ---the importance of a comfortable mattress. I said, “…For an olden days bed, it feels pretty good!” My daughter said, “Can I get a new mattress on my bed? It’s the old bed Gramma Elly left us. For an olden days bed, it feels pretty bad!” I said, “Daughter. I have spent more than 2 weeks going through old photo albums to keep you entertained. Is that something a dad with enough money to buy a new bed would do?” My daughter said, “Sigh. No, daddy.” I said, “Exactly.”

More photo albums tomorrow, formerly little sis. Maybe we will discuss important things like measuring the quality of olden days toothbrushes or olden days toilets.

Love,
Michael Patterson
Wow, Merrie's pretty sharp w/her questions and observations. R U sure U're really her father? Oh, never mind. I don't blame her 4 wanting a new bed, tho I guess she hasta w8 until she's old enuf 2 make sum $ 4 herself by babysitting. So she can save up and buy 1 on her own.

Apes

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14 Comments:

  • At 8:36 AM, Blogger DreadedCandiru2 said…

    Ah, yes. The halcyon days before words like 'halcyon' were part of your older brother's vocabulary. The more words he knows, the less he does of the world around him. It's like his vocabulary pushed everything else aside like a dumb bully. Speaking of the way he treats your sister Liz, I wouldn't be too proud of being a punsmith when his idea of clever wordplay includes such gems as 'Lizardbreath', 'Sistwirp' and 'Absence makes the heart go wander' if I were in his shoes. That's using language as a club to give someone's noggin a floggin'.

     
  • At 9:12 AM, Blogger April Patterson said…

    dc2, gerald sez he's keeping an eye on these reminiscing entries 2 c if it's poss 2 pinpt what made mike turn out the way he did, iykwim.

    when i was a baby, mike called me "ape the grape."

    apes

     
  • At 10:53 AM, Anonymous michael patterson said…

    April,

    Formerly little sis. I see you and the carniverous catfish have decided to improve your writing this week. "Noggin a floggin'" and "Ape the Grape" are much better than the substandard insult phrases you and your Amazon River friend used last week. Keep up the good work, and someday you too can coin such luminary phrases as "Lizardbreath," "Sistwirp" and "Absence makes the heart go wander."

    Love,
    Michael Patterson

     
  • At 11:07 AM, Blogger howard said…

    April,

    I think your brother overlooked the main theme of his story, which is that he enjoyed sharing in the same past as his mother. If he sighed to sleep in her old kid bed, imagine the noises he must be making every time he does something in your old Sharon Park Drive house which your mother did when she lived there. Better yet, you don't have to imagine it, just stand outside the Sharon Park Drive house and listen. I took my girls for a walk and as we passed by your old house, we heard a number of odd noises, which could have been sighing (at least that's what I told the girls).

    Of course, my girls have been doing their fair share of sighing too, because the started digging through my old jewelry (which I don't wear anymore for some reason) and wearing it. Beatrice is a little irritated that I brought better jewelry to our marriage than she did, but she is getting over it. The girls say, “Your old boyfriend gave you this diamond broach?” I say yes and then they sigh too. Young girls are such romantics.

    By the way, they found an interesting piece of paper in the jewelry which said, "lirpA , evoL .yrrow ot ton lirpA lleT .retal kcab ti gnirb lliW .ti worrob ot daH”

    I am pretty sure this is some practical joke my girls are playing and not the strange thing you were talking about before, but I don’t know.

    Love,
    Howard Bunt

     
  • At 11:19 AM, Anonymous michael patterson said…

    Howard Bunt,

    I do not appreciate you reporting to people you stood outside my house and heard sounds which are intended to be private sounds heard only privately by my private self. Just because someone gets excited to do the same thing his mother did, doesn't mean you have to tell everyone about it.

    Love,
    Michael Patterson

     
  • At 11:22 AM, Blogger howard said…

    Michael Patterson,

    I think perhaps you are forgetting that your mother was notorious for unhinging her jaw and shrieking at the top of her lungs when she got upset, a noise which could easily be heard around her neighbourhood and in nearby towns. If I were you, I would be proud to be emulating the same excessive noise-making ability of your mother, in the same house where she was known to make excessive noise.

    Love,
    Howard Bunt

     
  • At 11:24 AM, Anonymous michael patterson said…

    Mr. Bunt,

    Sigh. Your logic is impeccable. Feel free to listen all you want, just as the neighbours of olden days used to listen to mom’s dulcet shrieking tones.

    Love,
    Michael Patterson

     
  • At 11:29 AM, Anonymous michael patterson said…

    Mr. Bunt,

    By the way, do you know anything about a note I found in my house which says, “lirpA ,evoL .esle ecalp emos uoy rof kool dna og lliw I .syad rof esuoh ruoy ni gnitiaw neeb evah I ?uoy era erehW ,lirpA”

    Love,
    Michael Patterson

     
  • At 11:29 AM, Blogger howard said…

    Mr. Patterson,

    I do not have a clue what that note means. Maybe April does. She was able to read the last one I got.

    Love,
    Howard Bunt

     
  • At 12:54 PM, Blogger DreadedCandiru2 said…

    I think you're missing the point there, friend. You certainly seem, or at least make a point of seeming not to, not noticing that I use the screen name I do because all the potential permutations of my humdrum real name got snapped up long age, thereby forcing me to pretend I'm a supervillain. That being said, it's nice to see you in your younger, simpler days before you had all those extra eyes to throw your thinking out of whack.

     
  • At 2:51 PM, Blogger April Patterson said…

    omg, omg, omg, i don't wanna think abt mike doing things mom did and making noises abt having dun so. ::shudder::

    hm, i wonder y "lirpa" is looking 4 me.

    apes

     
  • At 8:55 PM, Anonymous Michael Patterson said…

    April,

    Formerly little sis. I don’t know if you noticed, but your catfish friend also pretends to be a supervillain and thinks you have extra eyes. You certainly are attracting a different class of person to your Blog these days. The next thing you know you are going to have all kinds of visits from the Catfish Society of Evil, or the Legion of Catfish Villains, or some sort of group like that. I suppose it’s the price of wanting to be a veterinarian, that you start to pick up animals who are mentally ill.

    Love,
    Michael Patterson

     
  • At 1:27 AM, Blogger DreadedCandiru2 said…

    That's you sporting the extra set of eyes, Mikey. Remember when you were talking about how you saw the world differently when you were single? Like I said, the responsibility of being a young father is messing with your mind, or what's left of it after all those late-nighters hovering over a laptop.

     
  • At 2:40 AM, Anonymous michael patterson said…

    April,

    Formerly little sis. In today’s set of pictures I sought to teach my daughter one of the basic tenets of being a Patterson, which is: Until you have your kids with you, you are still a kid. This is something you will have to face as you get older, but hopefully you will not reach the point our dear sister Elizabeth has reached in being 26 years old and still a kid. I know mom thinks she would like to count Anthony Caine’s little Quebecoise girl as Elizabeth’s kid, once they finally get married. She is anxious to have an adult conversation with Elizabeth for once. I tried to explain this to my daughter, and she said, “Auntie Liz is still a kid? That must be why she hugged her dolly when she went to bed.”

    To explain it more vividly, I showed my daughter this first picture of 4 pictures. In it mom has nestled a coffee cup to her elbow, while Gramma Marian is knitting with one knitting needle. The word balloon for mom says, “Mom, when I was here before Christmas, you spent a week lecturing me…” My daughter said, “What’s lecturing?” I said, “Lecturing is when someone tells someone else something they should be doing.” My daughter said, “A week! How could she spend a week doing that?” I said to my daughter, “You have to understand Gramma Marian was a very slow talker and she liked to repeat herself a lot and she never seemed to realize when a conversation was over.” My daughter said, “I thought you said she was great at everything.” I said, “She was great at lecturing too. Most people can’t lecture for more than an hour, much less a week.” My daughter said, “A week!! How did Gramma Elly survive?” I said, “She didn’t visit Gramma Marian very much.” My daughter said, “Smart.”

    Then we looked at the next picture and mom decided to nestle her coffee cup in her hands. This time Gramma Marian was knitting with two knitting needles. The word balloon coming out of mom said, “This time, with the kids…our relationship is so different!” My daughter said, “Because she is knitting and not lecturing?” I said, “Exactly.” My daughter said, “Why do kids stop a lecture?” I said, “We’ll find out in the next picture.”

    Sure enough, in the next picture, mom had put down the coffee cup and started playing with Gramma Marian’s knitting. Gramma Marian was back to one knitting needle again. The word balloon coming out of her mouth said, “Maybe that’s because alone—you’re my daughter…” My daughter said, “What is Gramma Elly doing?” I said, “I think she must be picking bugs out of Gramma Marian’s knitting.” My daughter said, “You don’t know about knitting, do you daddy?” I said, “And I never will, unless I write a book about it. Then I will be an expert.”

    In the next picture mom was looking up at Gramma Marian, and she folded her arms across her knitting and her two knitting needles. The word balloon coming out of Gramma Marian said, “But with the kids---we’re both moms.” I said, “You see, daughter. This is the basic premise of being an adult Patterson: You must have kids and the kids must be with you.” My daughter said, “You mean if Gramma Elly didn’t have kids, then Gramma Marian could spank her or make her go to her room or not let her use the phone?” I said, “Exactly right. If you don’t have kids with you, you are just a kid yourself, and your parents can treat you just like you were a naughty little 5-year-old.” My daughter said, “Gramma Elly didn’t go to see Gramma Marian by herself, did she?” I said, “No, daughter. She didn’t. Did you ever wonder why it is that my mom hardly visits my Grandpa Jim in his apartment?” My daughter nodded. I said, “That’s the reason.” My daughter said, “Daddy. I thought it was because we don’t like old people.” I said, “No daughter. The ways of the Richards and Pattersons may seem harsh and cruel to some; but to others, it is a way of life filled with untold riches. Imagine if most people thought you had to visit a smelly, old man, who said bad words all the time, just because you were his only daughter and you lived in the same town he did. With the Patterson way, you can say you are avoiding visiting your father, because a visit gives him the right to treat you like a kid. And who wants that?” My daughter said, “Not me.” I said, “Exactly.”

    More tomorrow, formerly little sis. I think I will talk about a fateful wrestling match between my sister and me and Grandpa Jim.

    Love,
    Michael Patterson

     

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