Dear Smiley: Thought you might enjoy getting into the mind of a 3-year-old.
My wife, Arlene, and I just finished five days/four nights of babysitting for our three grandsons.
The parents, my son Matthew and daughter-in-law Allison, took a well-deserved business/vacation trip to San Diego. Our gift to these truly exhausted parents was to keep their three cherubs.
My wife and I are called “Arle” and “Deuce” by all our grandkids.
All went swimmingly, but we found out how much the youngest, 3-year-old Conner, was truly ready for “Momma” to get home.
We waited in the driveway to cheer their parents’ home on Sunday afternoon. As soon as the car stopped, Conner ran to his Momma and gave her a great big hug and kiss.
Then Conner immediately turned to Arle and me and, while still in Momma’s arms, said:
“Arle and Deuce, you can go home now.”
We now totally understand where we rank compared to his Momma.
Dear Smiley: Reading about John Thibodeaux's memories jogged a few similar memories of my own:
We had a clothesline also. When we heard our mother yell, "It's raining!," my siblings and I knew to drop whatever we were doing and rush out to gather the clothes off the line.
John mentioned playing hide-and-seek in the barn. I lived in the city. The neighborhood kids would play hide-and-seek at night around our houses. We would stay out until the last couple of kids were called in by their parents.
One more memory is the attic fan we had in our house. The hum of that attic fan was very soothing, and would put you right to sleep. Many times I would wake up during the night and be cold from the fan pulling cool night air through the window.
I couldn't live without air conditioning now. Back then we just didn't know any better.
Front porch days
Dear Smiley: John Thibodeaux's Friday column submission about sitting on the porch, swinging and watching cars go by, reminded me of my early life.
In those days, pre-TV and cellphones, people used to go to friends’ homes and sit on the porch (no air conditioning) and talk to one another.
This was a method of communicating the news and events they knew, with some gossip sprinkled in!
In our area it was called “setting up.” It gave the kids an opportunity to make friends and travel a few miles from our homes.
Of course, when the mosquitoes began biting, everyone was forced inside.
After going out to dinner the other night and observing everyone at the adjoining tables looking at their phones, I wonder if someday there will be a time when people will no longer know how to converse?
Dear Tony: If you've dined with a teenager lately, you can observe the death of conversation.
Well, it IS addictive!
Dear Smiley: Stories of coffee reminded me of a trip my husband and I made with our Community Coffee. Years ago, we flew out to San Francisco to catch a cruise ship headed to Acapulco.
We left a week early to see the West Coast, and took our own coffee to make in our motel rooms.
Returning to the good old USA, we flew into Houston. The customs guy asked, "What’s this?," pointing to our Community Coffee bag.
His words were, “You Louisiana people love your coffee.” Then he let us go.
"We found out later that people try smuggling in drugs this way. Great way to end a trip."
Dear Smiley: I must be getting taller as I get older.
When I have to pick up something that I have dropped, the floor seems much farther away than it used to be.