Monday, April 25, 2011

Happy Easter

Yes, Easter was this past Sunday, but I'm just now getting to my post regarding it. All of my mom's brothers and sisters showed up, except one family; and one of the grand-kids and his family were with his wife's family for Easter this year.

Our extended family usually tries to get together for the big holidays: Easter, Thanksgiving and Christmas (which I normally refer to as X-mas). We have sometimes gathered on the 4th of July, though I can't recall when. One of the more entertaining members of the family is Uncle Dave. He is the oldest, the tallest (at 70+ years old he is still taller than me, and I am 6'2"), the first to leave home, which means he didn't grow up in the house where I spent so much time getting to know my grandparents. They had moved to the new house after he had left because there were more and more kids in the family. He spent his youth playing basketball for his schools, won a basketball scholarship to his university, and even still holds the #2 basketball record for his school, fifty years later. [Sorry, I forget what the record is for specifically, but he sounded a little disappointed when he was told this by Margie, the wife of his brother Chris, who Googled the information.]

Dave is usually the one regaling us all with stories of growing up in Modesto in the Fifties and Sixties, working the orchards picking fruit and/or working in the local canneries during the summer. Modesto still has a pretty large agricultural business, and we still have canneries running. He would always tell us about how good the fruits and vegetables were back then, compared to the crappy waxy, hard, under-ripe crap we get at the supermarkets nowadays. The few times I have bought fruit at a Farmer's Market, I understood what he meant. I once bought some terrific peaches at the market in downtown San Jose back around 2002, or so. I was with my friend Aimee, and told her she had to try the peaches. She agreed, they were fantastic. I'm craving some of those peaches right now; they were so good they are still that memorable.

This year, Uncle Mark had some good stories. As my aunts and uncles will tell you, Grandpa was famously stingy, at least within the family. For school clothes, the rule was one (1) new pair of pants, and one (1) new pair of shoes, per child, per school year, no matter how much you were still growing. [This was back in the days when boys had to wear a button-down shirt and tie to school.] Now, for this family, that is just plain trouble, because we are all quite tall, men and women, both. [Mom actually calls herself the runt of the litter. I believe I grew taller than her when I was still in 6th grade.]  Mark told us how one year he grew so fast that he was wearing high floods before the end of the school year. We laughed.

And the boys in the family being athletic types, they were always playing in their school clothes after school. Some of you reading this may remember that once upon a time fabric stores sold iron-on patches to cover the holes in the knees of your pants, or wherever else the garment wore thin. Mark said he felt like they really made it when Grandma would actually iron on the patches inside of the knees, instead of on the outside like everyone else. We laughed more.

Then Mark told us how the twin bed he slept on in the middle of the house (which was once a porch, but the previous owners had built out over the porch and turned the old porch and patio into a second living-room, i,e, Grandpa's TV room, where he also kept his electric organ) was getting shorter and shorter. Grandma told his brother Chris to extend the bed because Mark just wouldn't stop growing! Chris used his metal shop skills to weld on an extension to the bed-frame, which gave them room to add a big hunk of foam-rubber mattress at the foot of the bed so Mark's feet weren't hanging over the edge into space. We all busted up. We were laughing like hyenas even before Mark got this far in his story. He had starting cracking up just when he was remembering and recounting the story to begin with, and it all went down-hill from there. My brother and I agreed neither of us had laughed that hard in months. B-)

Exercise: None today.

Watching: Revolution OS on Netflix. Watching this program is making me itchy to get my geek on, dangit!


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