Saturday, May 31, 2014

It's Time!

It's the 21st Annual Cram Everyone in a Two-Bedroom Condo at the Beach for a Week, Family Should Be Close But Not This Close Vacation!

Time again for sand in our shorts, sunscreen in our eyes, salt breezes tickling our noses, pool chlorine bleaching our hair, and sandals on our happy to finally be out and free toes.

For the next week i'll be checking in as i can, as we swim, shop, go to the zoo and the naval air museum, and attend church at the Flora-Bama Bar Sunday morning. (Yes, really, service is at 10am, beach wear is acceptable, and if you are looking to be baptized, the Gulf of Mexico is just a few steps away.)

Our cast of characters isn't as big as it used to be, since #1 Son is staying home to work and Bigger Girl is staying home to work and go to school. Appearing as usual this year are:

Grandpa -- a/k/a Doc, whom i refer to as Dr. Born Organized Clean. Patriarch of the clan. Retired physician who is on so many boards of so many different non-profits and other organizations that he's almost as busy retired as he was when he was working. More than just a Mr. Clean, he's so Born Organized that, when Hurricane Katrina threatened NOLA, he pulled out his portable file boxes and packed six of them, put together a small valise of clothes, and one bag of other items he didn't want to lose. It fit in a bit less than half the trunk of the car, and he could have restarted his entire life just with what he had there.

Grandma -- Miss Prissy, the matriarch. A woman born to shop, who would be a hoarder if Grandpa didn't clean up behind her and make her get rid of stuff. The bigger half of the trunk that he didn't fill when they fled the hurricane was filled with her stuff, as was the back seat up to the ceiling and she had a few things in the front seat by her feet. She and Grandpa will attend Catholic mass every morning (unlike us half-heathen Protestants who only go on Sunday), as well as plan the meals to be cooked.

Uncle J -- Youngest son of Grandma and Grandpa. A born salesman who could just as easily have been a con artist. Divorced father of two who has primary custody. Loves whipping the snot out of teenagers at computer games.

Bryn -- Young teen daughter of Uncle J. Used to be described by my kids, her cousins, as a brat. She's grown up and they now love having her around. She hit 13 last year and got "cool," apparently.

Dre -- Uncle J's son. A typical kid, too old for diapers and the kiddie pool, too young to be considered a tween yet. Still into the typical little boy stuff, including thinking bodily noises are hysterical and girls are yucky.

Sweetie -- my husband. Rock n' Roller wanna-be, with more energy than you can shake a stick at, even at almost 61 and almost retired. Just make sure he has his guitar and amp with him, and all is right with his world.

#2 Son -- 18 and on top of the world. Works hard and plays hard. Looks and acts a lot like Uncle J, and could easily grow up to be either a chef, which is what he wants to study, or a felon. He's got that con man inside, and i hope he never really lets it out.

Little Girl -- Sweet Sixteen and a straight A student. Loves to swim, especially on swim team, and hates to shop. Her fashion is whatever she has because she won't go buy anything unless hog-tied and dragged somewhere. An artist, too, and, though she won't do it, she can sing and play piano, and has perfect pitch.

And then there is me, eldest child and only daughter of Grandma and Grandpa. Chief bottle washer, kitchen cleaner and the one who makes sure your shorts get washed.

On the docket for the week are the usual things: swimming, sand castles, ghost crab hunting, fishing, visiting the Naval Aviation Museum, visiting the Alabama Gulf Coast Zoo, shopping, going to the antique store, and lots of lounging around.

Also on the docket this time is getting to a branch of our mortgage company for some business i have to attend, because there are no actual branches where we live. There's one just up the street from one of my favorite stores, and they already know i'll be stopping by, because this business is best handled in person.

If you happen to be in the Pensacola area, give us a shout! We'll meet up for some fun.

And remember, if it wasn't fun, this wouldn't be the 21st Annual.

Today is

Bicycle Race Day -- anniversary of what is supposed to have been the first bicycle race ever, at the Parc de Saint-Cloud, Paris, in 1868

California Artichoke Festival -- Castroville, CA, US (lots of fun in the Artichoke Capital of the World; through tomorrow)

Dia de Castilla-La Mancha -- Castile-La Mancha, Spain

Doha Document for Peace in Darfur Commemoration -- Sudan

English Riviera Dance Festival -- Torquay, Devon, England (learn ballroom dance, or take a master class, all levels are welcome, with Gala Evenings where you can dance the night away; through next Friday)

Feast of the Visitation of Mary -- Christianity (Mary's visit of her cousin Elizabeth, chronicled in Luke 1:39-56)

Kaiko Kinenbi -- Yokohama, Japan (Yokahama Port Opening Festival; through tomorrow)

"Make My Day" Day -- birth anniversary of Clint Eastwood

Missouri State Championship Racking Horse Show -- Stoddard County Fairgrounds, Dexter, MO, US (an afternoon and evening of excellent and elegant showmanship)

National Macaroon Day

Royal Brunei Malay Regiment Day / Royal Brunei Armed Forces Day -- Brunei

Save Your Hearing Day -- because once it is gone, you will regret it; on the anniversary of the concert by The Who which set a Guiness World Record for loudest rock concert in 1976

Sjómannadagurinn -- Iceland (traditional Seamen's Day is June 6, but now a two day Festival of the Sea)

Speak in Complete Sentences Day -- be a good example!

St. Petronilla's Day (Patron of mountain travellers; against fever)

Take This Job and Shove It Day -- birth anniversary of Johnny Paycheck

This Day (again) -- Fairy Calendar

What You Think Upon Grows Day -- Stephanie West Allen wants you to remember the power of positive thinking

Wicket World of Croquet® Day 2014 -- The Benjamin Harrison Presidential Site, Indianapolis, IN, US (croquet tournament fundraiser, includes an Alice and Friends game for the little ones)

World No Tobacco Day -- WHO

Birthdays Today:

Jonathan Tucker, 1982
Colin Farrell, 1976
Phil Keoghan, 1967
Brooke Shields, 1965
Lea Thompson, 1961
Chris Elliot, 1960
Roma Maffia, 1958
Kyle Secor, 1958
Gregory Harrison, 1950
Tom Berenger, 1950
John Bonham, 1948
Sharon Gless, 1943
Joe Namath, 1943
Johnny Paycheck, 1941
Terry Waite, 1939
Peter Yarrow, 1938
Clint Eastwood, 1930
Patricia Roberts Harris, 1924
Prince Rainier of Monaco, 1923
Denholm Elliott, 1922
Don Ameche, 1908
Norman Vincent Peale, 1898
Fred Allen, 1894
Walt Whitman, 1819

Debuting/Premiering Today:

"Survivor"(TV), 2000
"Seinfeld"(TV), 1990
"Beatlemania"(Musical), 1977

Today in History:

Rameses II (The Great) becomes pharaoh of Ancient Egypt, BC1279
A devastating earthquake strikes Antioch, Turkey, killing 250,000, 526
Mongol armies of Genghis Khan led by Subutai defeat Kievan Rus and Cumans, 1223
Citing poor eyesight, Samuel Pepys records the last event in his diary, 1669
The Godiva procession through Coventry begins, 1678
The Province of Pennsylvania bans all theater productions, 1759
In Australia, Lawson, Blaxland and Wentworth, reached Mount Blaxland, effectively marking the end of a route across the Blue Mountains, 1813
In the Fenian Invasion of Canada, John O'Neill leads 850 Fenian raiders across the Niagara River at Buffalo, New York/Fort Erie, Ontario, as part of an effort to free Ireland from the United Kingdom. Canadian militia and British regulars repulse the invaders in over the next three days, 1866
Dr James Moore of the UK wins the first recorded bicycle race, a 2k velocipede race at Parc de St Cloud, Paris, 1868
Dr. John Harvey Kellogg patents corn flakes, 1884
Arrival at Plymouth of Tawhiao, King of Maoris, to claim protection of Queen Victoria, 1884
Over 2,200 people die after a dam break sends a 60-foot (18-meter) wall of water over the town of Johnstown, Pennsylvania, 1889
The Union of South Africa (predecessor of the Republic of South Africa) is created, 1910
The last Ford Model T rolls off the assembly line after a production run of 15,007,003 vehicles, 1927
A 7.1 magnitude Earthquake destroys Quetta in modern-day Pakistan, 1931
The Republic of South Africa is created, 1961
The Ancash earthquake causes a landslide  that buries the town of Yungay, Peru, 1970
In accordance with the Uniform Monday Holiday Act passed by the U.S. Congress in 1968, observation of Memorial Day occurs on the last Monday in May for the first time, rather than on the traditional Memorial Day of May 30, 1971
The Muppet Movie, Jim Henson's Muppets' first foray into the world of feature length motion pictures, is released, 1979
The burning of Jaffna Library, Sri Lanka, is one of the violent examples of ethnic biblioclasm of the twentieth century, 1981
Forty-one tornadoes hit Ohio, Pennsylvania, New York, and Ontario, leaving 76 dead, 1985
Athena 98.4 FM, the first legal private radio station in Greece, starts broadcasting, 1987
Vanity Fair reveals that Mark Felt was Deep Throat, 2005
Asteroid 1998 QE2, an asteroid measuring nearly 1.7 miles across, and its moon, pass within 3.6 million miles of the earth, 2013


  1. loved reading your cast of characters. i was envisioning it as a movie unfolding. LOVED it! hope you enjoy your week of closeness!

  2. Have a wonderful time! With that wonderful mix of family members it has to be a blast! And Pensacola.... I am envious!

  3. It sounds like grand fun to me. I know you'll all have a fantastic time. We'll see you when we see you.

    Have a fabulous 21st annual. :)

  4. I loved the recap of characters in your life. I hope you have a grand time.

  5. love the litany of your cast of characters....what a hoot...I know we'd fit right in! If you weren't 3000 miles away we'd be right over! Cheers!