Grand Pockets’s Blog

Genealogy, Family, Poetry and Peeves

When Ya Gotta Pee


Squeeze walk squeeze walk

Squeeze walk squeeze walk

My sister is staying. Yee gads.  We decided today she’d stay til around April. Her husband, Joey, is going to be in training until then(Army) and she wants to stay here rather than live alone with nobody to help with the kids. That means my niece and nephew are staying, too. My neice came in and descended upon me, all hugs and giggles and sniffs and snotting. She has a cold. She is a little faucet of phlegm. She hugs me tight and holds my ears and sneezes. I blink and she coughs. She is so adorable, I am thinking. “Cover your mouth, honey” I tell her. I cover her mouth for her, then she wipes her hand on my head. I am wondering if it is safe to wrap her in plastic. It is time to exercise my “Uncle and Grandfather” rights. I love nieces, nephews and grandchildren so much exactly because they are returnable.

I decided to take Ezzie, my niece to WalMart with me. I forgot it is New Year’s Eve. Saint Joseph has gone shopping (buying liquor for tonight or returning Christmas stuff they really didn’t want) and its 75,000 inhabitants are at Walmart. My sister and wife are the only people not at WalMart, and I realize that I am insane for coming here. Only “Black Friday” could possibly be busier.

I managed to wend my through the first few grocery aisles, darting around like Pacman when we are hemmed in by a crowd going nowhere. We are standing in the aisle, unmoving. We are not moving because the woman in front of us has quit moving. She is either studying a label very hard or else she has had a paralyzing stroke and cannot move. I am not sure. I have to pee very badly. The other side of the aisle is blocked by a large black lady in a wheelchair shopping cart. She cannot steer very well and has locked up her cart on a gondola full of baking supplies. She is reaching for pumpkin pie filling with one hand, cursing, and trying to steer the wheelchair free with the other hand. Her wheels are spinning. I have to pee very badly. Ezzie is crying. The paralyzed lady is still bent over the Sweet-n-Low boxes. The 37 people directly behind me are trying to go around. I cannot move. My cart is blocked on all sides. Shoppers at an impasse. I have to pee in that worse kind of way that only happens when you know you can’t get to  a restroom.

Ezzie is still crying because we are not in the toy aisle which is where she wants to be. There is a traffic jam on aisle thirteen. Really. I hear that over the loudspeaker. There is also a special on Rotel and Velveeta in aisle 9. Now there is another traffic jam between me and the bathrooms. I do not care about groceries any longer. I want to go home. I want to reach the bathrooms up front. I want to move. I have to pee! I am not kidding, I really have to go! Finally I break free when wheelchair lady suddenly bounces off the gondola and shoots through the carts in front of her upending several Walmart shoppers in the process.

I ditch our cart in the center aisle, grab squawling li’l Ezzie from the seat and dart through the opening like a fullback following his lead block and head for the front of the store. I have abandoned the groceries as a futile exercise and am concentrating on the endzone – the Men’s Room! I get there while alternately squeezing my bladder and wiggling my knees together as I walk – rather odd looking but it works – when I remember I have Ezzie with me. I know she is only 2 but somehow the thought of holding her in one hand and whizzing with the other in a restroom full of men seeking similar relief is impossible. Wildly, I think for a moment of handing her to a clerk or a passing shopper or hanging her from her suspenders from the door knob but I know I can’t. I CAN’T. I have to pee and worse – I quit the kidney stopping exercises when I got near the goal line and now it is REALLY hard to hold on. Oh Lord. Help me hold it in. Please. I promise you – I’ll never take your name in vain again. Just keep me dry. Lend strength to my bladder. When you pray because you have to pee so bad you are definitely in trouble. Running to the car also helps. Rapping knees together while driving helps. Bouncing up and down on the seat while driving helps. I make it home, tossing Ezzie to Lucretia as I run past and enter a state of nirvana in the bathroom. Nothing quite has that feeling of blessed relief….

grandpockets1

January 1, 2009 Posted by | family, humor | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Legend of Aloysius Curveball!


camping_outCamping out waiting for another post? Well, grab a snack, and keep that flashlight handy. It’s gettin’ dark out there…

Dad painted our house one June when I was about 5 or 6. He painted it white, and it took several weeks, painstaking perfectionist that he was, all white, with green trim, and every inch free of runs and neatly cut in as if the paint was laid with a ruler.  Then he resodded the front lawn but it rained and rained for days after he’d skinned the old grass  and he had to put the sod on hold. Meanwhile there was this huge pile of mud in the yard, an irresistable chocolate earth playground. Soaked, squishy, mud pie packing and mudball rolling big ol’ pile of forbidden mud. Quite forbidden. Which made playing in it all the better.

Where or how I got my imagination I do not know, but I suspect it was a giant jape the angels played on my poor mother and father, because you know what I saw when I was six and looked out there at that giant heap of mucky clay? A pitcher’s mound. And I imagined I was the greatest hurler of all time…I WAS ……

aloysius

ALOYSIUS CURVEBALL!

“Nice arm, young fella,
Do you think you oughta stop now?”
Mailman Joe grinned at me.
No way, I thought, winding
Up and firing another juicy mudball.
I’m Joey Jay, after all,
Steely-eyed Redleg facing down
Those Brooklyn Birds – SPpla-at!
Try and hit my aloysius curveball
You pinstriped rat! 5 year old boys
Throw curveballs in their minds-
I had the best bender any ghost batter
Ever faced, even the mailman saw that.

I stood in drizzling mist, early June in ’59,
Proud and tall (tall in my own mind)
And blurred another mudder at the wall.
Someday, I thought, squatting to squish
Another dripping glob, Daddy will turn on
His radio and there I’ll be – chucking
Blazing fastballs – one and two and three!
Enthroned in favorite chair, beer in hand
Dad will yell “SHUT UP!” point at box,
“I want to hear my boy for once!”
The mudball kid, with his aloysius curve –
Granted audience with the Frightful Man!

(What really happened now)
When you’re 5, with accordioned socks
And everyone else in the world is tall,
You’ll get your frightful audience alright,
If you fire mudball strikes against your
House’s freshly white and painted walls.

frightful_audience

©Chuck Elledge2008

grandpockets1

December 29, 2008 Posted by | baseball, family, humor, Poetry & Art | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Christmas Gallery 2008


Its snowing like crazy outside now, already a couple inches down and more falling fast! It’ll be sledding time tomorrow!

I can go out with the grandkids and fall on my tookus a half dozen times just to let them laugh. Kordell will be happy – he got a new Rocket Sled from Santa.

Attack of the Paper Rippers

Attack of the Paper Rippers

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Santa themed in blue and silver this year but all the kids can think of is getting to those gifts!

They were ripping ’em open as fast as they could, then tossing them into piles behind them,

forgotten once open so they could get at the next one.

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02ohboy Hey, hey the gang’s all here…sister Lucretia, her hubby Joey, home on leave from the Army, and Renee, baby nephewDan Jello (DeAngelo but I like I’ve said, Grandpockets nicknames em all), Sadie and Ezzie – and the paper shredding is just getting started.

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03tired A little tired from all that hard work ripping stuff open. No wait, just examining her new Cabbage Patch doll ver-r-ry closely, I guess….

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04giddy We’re happy, we’re happy, oh, so happy, we are!

Lots of presents, lots of presents, makes us happy so far

at least ’til we’re sixteen and wanting a car…

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05ezzie Ezzie is getting into it, when you’re 2 the paper is almost as much fun as the presents inside, well, almost, but if you get a Princess package…Wow!

Princess is the hot thing for our girls, I’m ready to puke princess pink if I see one more gee-gaw done up in “Princess”.

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06takeoff Niece Ezzie is going to ride that dman bike, now, inside or out – and woe to the fool who gets in that girl’s way! Up and down the hall, into the kitchen, and did you know, if you’re 2 and very small you can turn a bike so sharply it will make a huey in the bathroom?

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07jetlag Grandpockets isn’t stunned. Really, I always have that glazed over half dead look on my face. The T-shirt was Sadie’s gift to me – it has her picture on it and on the back it says “Daddy’s Little Princess” Can you say thumb and wrapped around?

I try not to but she can…and does. Her mama was gonna spank her the other day and she twists around and says  “I want Daddy to do it!”  Tell you anything?

08more Dan Jello says “I wanna stay! I wanna stay! More presents, damn you! Get me outta this monkey suit! Do you hear, me? SomeBODY pick me up! Now!”

And someone always does, too. Babies always get there way.  Spoiled li’l things.

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09snow Grandson Payton thinks he’s slick. He thinks he’s going to get Grandpockets with a snowball if he acts innocent. There is no innocence in grandchildren. They are devious, cunning little creatures.

He’ll pelt me…I’ll pelt him. It’s a war no one can win. See? Lessons in world politics right in the front yard.

10tastesgood Yuck! @!*@! You ate that right off the car! I wonder how many hydrocarbons a grandchild can ingest before becoming an environmental hazard in their own right? It’s not the hydrocarbons he swallows I am so worried about. It is the noxious emissions.

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11snowball Sister Cissy hasn’t learned how to be devious yet. She telegraphs her intentions quite clearly. Unfortunately, the necessity of snapping the picture required that I stand bravely in the line of fire. I think she knew that. Perhaps she’s more devious than I thought. She’s a child creature. Of course! She is both brazen AND devious! You can’t win with these little guys – on a primal level they are smarter than us – and they know it!

12coldplay Sadie has retreated to the safety of the car. I will still get her back. It will be a most satisfying splat, too. A big wet gishy snowball right upside her pink hooded lil’ head. What worries me is I think she is luring me on. Payton must be lurking behind the car. Ezzie is smart. She’s getting the hell outta Dodge.

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13cleanup Just when you think you might have to put ’em back under that rock they came from they go and clean up after themselves. Ezzie shows her housekeeping skills. If the child learned to vacuum outside of that one single track it would help, but, oh well, at she does help. You may have notice that my children – nieces, nephews, daughter, all love being half nekkid. We consider it a major accomplishment to just keep a  diaper or shorts on the damn little nudists.

14pooped It all just wore Dan Jello out. A kid can only scream at adults for so long then ya gotta get some shuteye so you can get up fresh and start all over again. Babies – ya gotta love ’em. The only creatures known who do nothing at all except shit, scream, snack and sleep but manage to look cute doing it.

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15end And finally Christmas Day is done,

the gifts unwrapped,

the snow wars won

It’s time to snooze without a care

In hopes St. Nick will soon be there.

After all it’s never too early to start dreaming of next year…

grandpockets1

December 28, 2008 Posted by | Christmas, family, humor | , , , , , , | 1 Comment

At the Zoo Don’t Feed The Animoes


zoolion

I love the zoo. Now is a great time to go see the polar bears. I love the zoo in winter. No one else is there. That is because they have more sense than I do. Some exhibits are closed, of course, but lots are open. Polar bears, and penguins and wolves. Even reindeer. Really. Real live reindeer. I tried to talk to them but they pretend not to be able to. Sometimes you can find a Lion to Ride.

elephantssadieSometimes its fun to give a glance to the giant funny elly-phance. They huff and puff and give great blows from their funny pachydermal nose. And even if the only thing you see is a marmet chirping happily…

daddysgirlzooIt’s still a blast to see what you can see. Perhaps an ape behind some glass so kids can watch him pick his…

dasdysgirlzoo2The thing to know is sun or snow, the zoo is sure the place to go! Just remember rule number one…PLEAZ…

Don’t Feed the Animoes!

At the zoo, I never feed the animoes
Afraid they might eat my feet or my noze
Striped Tigers are snacking behind too-tall fences
They bolt down their food until it’s past tenses
Lion’s are gnawers – I don’t want any closer
Being lunch for a lion isn’t good for composure
Hippos are hippy, and fatty, and huge
But the thought of us in the potamus doesn’t amuze
Those horny ol Rhinoze – how grandioze
Who’d want a nocerus to step on their toze?
After a while, we got to the ‘dile
A child for breakfast would make that croc smile!
Now speakin of lunch I can hear a low rumblin
All this walking and gawkin has my tummy a grumblin
So, lets take out a samwich and pull up our chairz…
But I’m keeping an eye out for those darn Grizzly Bearz!!

©Chuck Elledge2008

grandpockets1

December 27, 2008 Posted by | family, humor, Poetry & Art | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Day After Christmas


Day after Christmas and the trees’s coming down

There’s need for the room for the toys we found

when the presents were opened and scattered around.

The kiddies are happy, their parents are shot,

and toting their checkbooks and cryin’ a lot.

From my son in the desert to my son in New York

The whole family’s stuffed with turkey and pork.

Later we’ll argue and plead for the lack

of receipts that we need to take presents back.

©CLE2008

Finally, it’s over. As much as I love the season and the culmination of the planning, budgeting, shopping, card sending, phone calling and traveling that is Christmas Day, I have to admit it’s a bit of a relief when it’s over. I’ll recharge within a few days, though and be ready for next year’s celebration.  Mandi, my daughter,  got a ring for Christmas! Seeing as how its the first boyfriend she’s had that I actually like I was pretty pleased. Niece Ezzie is riding her new bike around the dining room and up the hall threatening to upend anyone foolish enough to wander into her path. So what are a few dents in the walls compared to her laughter? My son Jay called from Arizona, my daughters Aimee and Mandi and their families showed up and somehow when they all left I had 2 granddaughters left over. They are 11. When they are together life is a gale of giggles, a storm of screeches. Ever notice how 2 children don’t double the trouble? They square the possibilities for mayhem. I think their mothers left them on purpose.

grandpockets1

December 26, 2008 Posted by | Christmas, family, humor | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Ho Freakin’ Ho


Ahhhhh….coffee!

Up at 5 something a.m. with my niece Ezzie tiptoeing into the room and saying “Time to open up!” Time to open up! Unca Chuck!Aunt Nee! Time to open up!”  Any other day and I’d have trouble waking but it IS Christmas and I am an old kid so I awake easily, make the kids wait while I fix hot cocoa and pass out the cups of steaming chocolate and then the ceremonies…passing out gifts…the unwrapping…the oohs and ahhhs that follow. A scene that repeats year after and never jades.

Now I’m looking at the path of package destruction and wrapping paper, and have the ham in the oven and the potatoes on the stove, the pies fixed and the dinner prepped, so I can take a break. Now I’m hitting that post morning “Ho-freakin’-Ho” Santa lag, tired, contented, and trying to ignore the cost of all this, telling myself there is no price tag on joy. Ho Freakin’ Ho.

Years ago when I was maybe 5 or 6 my Dad did something my mother almost killed him for. He gave his whole paycheck one early December to a man whose house had burned to the ground. He was from our  neighborhood but a total stranger. Dad simply told him, here, you can buy your kids some Christmas anyway and signed over his check. Dad had an impulsive generous streak in him. He told Mom – our Christmas is mostly paid and we’ll figure out the bills – they have nothing. The thing I remember most was Dad not thinking it was any big deal what he’d done. Someone needed the money more than we did. It was, for my Dad, that simple.

A few years later, I ended up in the hospital with rheumatic fever, dad lost his job, the economy had hit a lull and he couldn’t find work for the first time in his life. They’d bought a house in Lima, Ohio, on North Detroit Street, and after a few months they were in danger of losing it. Christmas loomed, dad grew depressed (the only time in my life that I remember him sick and depressed, he was normally always hale and energetic). He worried about the house, how he’d buy Christmas for his 4 kids and wife, and even how to feed us. He wouldn’t even think of the public dole. Ours was, to quote a Dickens title, a “Bleak House.”

A couple weeks before Christmas, a man knocked at our door. He was the same man my father had helped and he handed Daddy a check for a pretty considerable amount in those days – I know it was more than Dad had given him though I’m not sure how much it was exactly. And he told Dad he’d become pretty successful since the fire that took his house and he had a friend in Lima, a businessman looking for a salesman for his office supply company. He’d already recommended Dad. The next morning my dad had work, and the money was enough for us kids to have a great Christmas and to take the pressure off the bills.

A true story. A lesson I’ll carry to my grave. Giving – money or kindnesses done, tithes or volunteer work – is exactly like planting a garden. You never know for sure when it will bloom, but it will, my friends. It surely will.

grandpockets1

December 25, 2008 Posted by | Christmas, family | , , , , | Leave a comment

Auld Lang Syne at Christmas Time


Christmas is a time folks often think of family and their memories of growing up. For parents with grown children it’s remembering when your own kids were little ones. My kids are flung from New York City to Arizona, and soon my son Jay makes his second meddle eastern tour (no that’s not misspelled). Besides the 12 billion pounds of paper litter we created on Christmas mornings, we also learned lessons I hope each remember forever – like how to seem really glad to see Uncle Bernie and his obnoxious brood again. Really, family is the place you learn you CAN tolerate anyone for even a short time. Even me and my obnoxious brood, Uncle Bernie. Christmas reminiscing triggers a spate of unrelated memories about the kids growing up –

Like the time when the boys were little guys and I told them we would grow a rock garden.

I took them out back and they all selected a rock which we then carefully “planted” under a soft maple, between two gnarly roots protruding from the ground that made a natural border. We sprinkled some sand on the rocks and watered them and at night while the boys slept I snuck out and replaced their rocks with a little bit bigger ones. They were so excited to find their rocks had grown! We raked and sanded and watered those rocks for a couple of weeks and every morning, bright and early, they’d all three rush out in their pj’s first thing to see how much their rocks had grown over the night.

It finally reached the point that I was lugging 3 small boulders from the Lake in the back of my truck each night, I’ll bet they were about 10 pounds each when I finally told them. Actually Frankie, the oldest, became suspicious first and then I started laughing and told them how I had tricked them and they acted all mad and then laughed and we took the rocks to the Lake and tossed them in so they made a huge splash – mostly on me.

Or how Shayne took his car onto the Lake one January night when it was frozen over but not enough for a car and it fell into the Lake, sinking halfway across the Lake. It took three tow trucks and a houseboat converted into a barge for the occasion to haul it out. Totally trashed of course. His explanation was that him and his buddies wanted to go ice fishing but it was too cold so they thought they’d sit in the car and fish out the windows with the heater on. Ingenious and stupid at the same time. Thankfully they all got out of that one alive – soaked and blue about the gills, though.

Or the time Richie climbed the KKJO radio tower on Faraon Street and got to the top only to discover he was afraid to climb down. After all he was 300’ in the air on what was basically a super tall aluminum ladder. That stunt took the police and fire department to extricate him. He just wanted to see what it looked like from up there. And I understood that. I would have done the same thing at his age. It made perfect sense to me and it pissed off the cops when I told them that. He got a trespassing charge but it was dismissed after a period of probation. I still think they need a higher fence and better “kid proofing” – what red blooded boy wouldn’t be challenged by such a ladder into the sky?

I remember the back-to-back years at Benton when Frankie and next year Jay were Homecoming Kings and their girlfriends Jenny and Rachel were Queen. 2 brothers in back to back years is pretty special. It is also pretty damn expensive. I suggest better spacing methods between children for future parents. You need the time to recoup your expenses.

Now they’re all grown, solid contributing citizens with kids of their own….and my revenge is complete…

December 22, 2008 Posted by | family, humor | , , , , | Leave a comment

Kids Say the Darndest Things!


Remember that old Art Linkletter Show and the books that followed? Every parent has those moments when their child says something so funny or embarrassing…last night was one of those moments…Ol’ Grandpockets was babysitting grandsons Nathan, Kordell, Payton and Kade so their Mamas could help Santa Claus at his local Wally World Workshop. It was getting late, around ten and Renee, my wife and a nurse, was in bed because she had a 5 am start for her shift. In an attempt to keep the boys occupied, edified and culturally educated we popped in that wonderfully educational Jackass 2 and when the laughter started getting too loud and raucous, Grandpockets put his foot down.

“Either quiet it down or I turn off your Sesame Street by Johnny Knoxville show” I growled, then repeated, then, well…shouted. Grandpockets has discovered his grandchildren are all nearly deaf because I have to yell before they hear me. The boys had finally quieted down when 7 year old Kade-alator mutters,

“Well, then we’ll all just sit here like monks and masturbate!”

Okay. When a child comes out with something like this, first I smack my ear to clear it from whatever caused me to hear wrong, then I ask for..ummm…clarification?

“What did you say? I asked. His older kith and kin were rolling around the floor, of course, howling with glee to rouse the dead – in this case, Renee from her sleep.

Kade-alator looked at me, baffled at all the laughter and worried because from Grandpockets look he knew he’d said something wrong.

“You know,” he explained, “like those Kung Fu dudes do, they sit around and masturbate.”

It was hopeless. I joined the other boys for a moment of uncontrolled laughter. Even Renee was laughing as she caught the tail end of things.

So what would you have done? Meditate on that for a moment….or maybe, take Kade-alator’s suggestion. Johnny Knoxville would.

~Grandpockets~

December 21, 2008 Posted by | family, humor | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Ass Skating and First Snow


ass_skatingSnow fell all through the night. I went out this morning and caught flakes on my tongue. I always do that when snow first falls. Tasting winter, my father called it. Did you ever make snow cones when you were a little kid? We used to pack the snow in plastic buckets, take it inside and scoop it into cups and pour nearly frozen kool aid over it for slushies. Then we tried mixing kool aid powder and sugar right into the snow outside. It was hard to get our concoction just right and our faces and hands would get died red and blue and be nearly frozen but it was delicious and fun.

I hope it snows enough to go sledding in Hyde Park. You ever sled on those round plastic saucers? My grandsons and I sled down the long hill in Hyde Park on them, until I am too dizzy from the darn thing spinning to stand up. Then the old man goes and sits in the car and watches the boys. Kids have no bodily thermostats. Just let them have fun and they are unaware it is cold. We seem to lose that as we get older.

Can you skate? I have tried to ice skate. I can after a fashion. I can ass skate very well. I do that on purpose. Really. It is called ass skating. I did not fall down. I am ass skating. Propulsion is the only problem with ass skating really. It is hard to make your butt wiggle enough to get going. This is why you start out on your feet then proceed to sit down and ass skate. It is NOT falling down. It is ass skating and I’ll have you know it is harder than it looks. Try to steer through a crowd of ice skaters when ass skating and you’ll see what I mean. If it gets cold enough I may gather the grandkids and go ass skating at Corby Pond. I’ll let you know about it. Someday you may even want to try it. I have to warn you though. You will need your butt rubbed after your first session of ass skating. I, of course, being the considerate guy that I am, always volunteer to take care of that for Renee as soon as we get home.

Downhill Ho!

Downhill Ho!

Slippery Slope

Slippery Slope

Orange Flyer

Orange Flyer

December 21, 2008 Posted by | family, humor | , , , , | 2 Comments