Langley Writes

about her rich and random life

Super Siblings: I Won the Sweepstakes April 22, 2011

It’s true. I won the siblings sweepstakes. My brother and my sister are exceptional people. If they weren’t in my family, I’d still want to hang out with them. The three of us are wildly different but it works seamlessly. We all have our strengths, our ‘position’ within the familial unit. Birth order probably has something to do with the harmony, but so does personality. We just fit together. It makes sense.

It’s hard for me to summarize my relationship with my brother and my sister in a single post. In fact, I could write for days and not clearly communicate the depth of my respect and love for both of them. So I’m taking the easy road. I’ll let other, more articulate people speak for me. Here are some of my favorite quotes about siblings:

A sibling may be the keeper of one’s identity, the only person with the keys to one’s unfettered, more fundamental self.  ~Marian Sandmaier

We know one another’s faults, virtues, catastrophes, mortifications, triumphs, rivalries, desires, and how long we can each hang by our hands to a bar.  We have been banded together under pack codes and tribal laws.  ~Rose Macaulay

I don’t believe an accident of birth makes people sisters or brothers.  It makes them siblings, gives them mutuality of parentage.  Sisterhood and brotherhood is a condition people have to work at.  ~Maya Angelou

To the outside world we all grow old.  But not to brothers and sisters.  We know each other as we always were.  We know each other’s hearts.  We share private family jokes.  We remember family feuds and secrets, family griefs and joys.  We live outside the touch of time.  ~Clara Ortega

Sibling relationships – and 80 percent of Americans have at least one – outlast marriages, survive the death of parents, resurface after quarrels that would sink any friendship.  They flourish in a thousand incarnations of closeness and distance, warmth, loyalty and distrust.  ~Erica E. Goode, “The Secret World of Siblings,” U.S. News & World Report, 10 January 1994

 

Ricochet Rabbit: A Favorite Childhood Cartoon April 21, 2011

Ricochet Rabbit was my hero.

He was a cartoon character from a short segment on Hanna-Barbera’s The Magilla Gorilla Show. Ricochet Rabbit and Droop-a-Long were the law in the western town of Hoop ‘n’ Holler. Ricochet Rabbit was fast, real fast. He could race around and bounce off walls at the speed of old-timey animation. Nobody could catch Ricochet Rabbit. As a kid, I was little and fast. Nobody could catch me. I practiced bouncing off the walls, always hopeful that I would magically become as rubbery as Ricochet. I wanted to literally bounce off the walls. I thought that was soooooo cool.

My parents were in an informal bridge club. The games rotated and when it was their turn to play host they would pull out the old vinyl-top card table, open a can of black olives and a jar of peanuts, and make sure we had something to occupy ourselves in the back of the house. I was very young. I loved attention.

At the perfect time, I would blast into the living room where the grownups were playing bridge. I would run around the room, flinging myself against the walls yelling bing, bing, BING! Ricochet Rabbit. (Ricochet always referred to himself in third person).

That’s where the memory ends. I have no idea how my parents explained my bizarre behavior, although I’m certain that wasn’t the only dramatic outburst these folks ever saw from me. I’m positive I graced the guests with encore preformances of Ricochet Rabbit whenever my parents hosted bridge club.

_____________________

In fact checking this post I was amazed to discover that Ricochet Rabbit only played for 2 seasons, only 23  episodes. The Hanna-Barbera classic ran from January 14, 1964 – December 4, 1965. How (and WHY!?) it made such an impression on me is a mystery. But I still think Ricochet Rabbit was a cool cat, and I am pleased to write about him for R-day in the A-Z Blogging Challenge.

Perhaps it’s Ricochet Rabbit (who lived in Hoop ‘n’ Holler), that started my love of alliteration. That should have dawned on me when I wrote this post: Alliteration: Why I Love It.

And maybe Ricochet Rabbit’s propensity for referring to himself in the third person prompted this post: Writing About Yourself in the Third Person. BTW, the comments on that post make me laugh.

I still feel like Ricochet Rabbit sometimes. Bing, bing, BING!

 
Source: wikipedia.org / image: public domain
 

Popsicles and Baby Pools April 19, 2011

When I was a kid we didn’t have much money. But kids don’t know that. There is an age where you don’t think about what you have versus what others have. I had everything I wanted. I had unlimited popsicles and a baby pool. And I loved popsicles.

My mom used to make red kool-aid popsicles. Inexpensive and delicious, she poured red kool-aid into paper dixie cups and let them half-freeze. Then, when the consistency was firm enough to hold a stick upright, she’d lovingly place a stick in the middle of each popsicle and let them freeze solid. A blowup kiddie pool is the perfect place to eat red kool-aid popsicles. It doesn’t matter how fast the popsicle melts or how messy you are.

Simple pleasures are the best.


I have fond childhood memories of splashing in the blowup kiddie pool slurping quickly melting red kool-aid popsicles. So for the A-Z Blogging Challenge my P-word is popsicles. Yum!


 

M is for Meat: Sweet Meat April 15, 2011

Just now, when I stumbled onto an idea for an M-day post on the A-Z Blogging Challenge, my heart started racing and I began grinning like a jack@$$ eating briars. All because… my sister is going to kill me for this one. I’ll get there…

In the south, we nickname everything. It’s fun, funny and creative. Often, we have many nicknames for the same person, pet, restaurant or whatever else we nickname. Growing up, my dad called me Punkin Head (Pumpkin Head), or Punkin. My head is not especially big but he still calls me that, among other things. My brother’s nickname is Bubba and I’m not kidding. He runs a successful business but never asks clients to call him by his real name. He’s always been Bubba. There were two Bubba’s in our neighborhood so, growing up, I always called my brother Bubba Watts and the other kid Bubba Brickell. Nobody thought it was odd that I called my own brother Bubba Watts because you almost always have to follow ‘Bubba’ with a last name in the south. There are too many to keep them all straight.

My sister’s name is Mary but, in true southern style, she had to have a nickname. She nicknamed herself at a very early age. She started referring to herself as Mimi instead of Mary. And because I put nicknames on everything-even nicknames-I started calling her Sweet Meat. She was my Sweet Meat, my baby sister. (By the way, Baby Sister and Baby Girl are common nicknames in the south but she managed to sidestep those. Now that I think about it, however, she would probably prefer Baby Sister over the evolution of Sweet Meat. I’ll get there…).

As time went on, Sweet Meat became Meat. Just Meat. And it stuck. So we still call my sister Meat. If you don’t know the origin of her nickname, I know how it sounds. It’s terrible to call someone Meat. And I try, I swear I do, to call her Mimi-but I just can’t. Meat pops out of my mouth every time I speak to her. It’s a term of endearment, a pet name.

She’s not really fond of her nickname and her husband, who came into the picture long after she was dubbed Meat, hates it. I try hard not to call her Meat in front of him but I know I do. I can’t help it. Her name is Meat.

PS – here is an article about Southern nicknames if you want to read more: Five Common Names for Boys in the South.  I could write 10 more of these articles and not cover half the subject.

Do you have a nickname or know someone who does?

 

Inchworms April 11, 2011

Filed under: general drivel — Langley Writes @ 5:28 pm
Tags: , ,

I loved inchworms as a child. They are a beautiful shade of green and, as kids, we were fascinated by the way they move. It’s still pretty cool to watch.

Whenever an inchworm would hitchhike into our house via my dog (Honey J. Dog) we would always sing this song:

Inchworm, inchworm
Measuring the marigolds
Seems to me you’d stop and see
How beautiful they are

After a choral acknowledgement of the little green guy, we’d carefully catch the inch worm and release it outside.

Where we live now, the inchworms are out in full force. They are hanging from trees like noiseless wind-chimes, swaying softly in the humid breeze.

According to AsktheExterminator.com, inch worms have the ability to spin a web similar to a spider’s web. When threatened, they drop from the tree and swing on a single thread until the risk is over. The thread eventually hardens and the inchworm climbs back to its food supply. Amazing.

As an adult I’ve learned that inch worms are a pest in the garden. Even though they have a cool way of moving and an amazing talent for avoiding danger, they are a nuisance. They devastate my plants, eating the leaves off my vegetables and my fruit trees.

They are feasting on my lemon trees at this moment. I find dozens in our house every day. No longer charmed by inchworms, I still sing to them. I can’t help it. Loud and strong, I break into the inchworm song before I release the silk-spinning wonders.

My garden will be happy when inchworm season is over. Come to think of it, so will my husband.

 

 
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