Friday, July 16, 2010


 I just went to see Despicable Me.  Okay, okay, I know it was made for kids, but I haven't laughed that hard in such a long time.  It's a wonderful movie and the only thing that is actually human in it are the voices behind the characters.  The whole thing is absolutely wonderful from start to finish and the littlest of the girls, Agnes, is just about as cute as they get!  She loves unicorns and absolutely has a fit when she gets a unicorn as big as she is and announces to the world "it's so fluffy, I'm gonna die".  You have to go see it.  Don't worry, there are plenty of other "grown-ups" there without their kids.  Because every once in awhile, we have to be a kid again, too.

Do you realize that I am this excited about a movie that was entirely computer generated!  Amazing what they can do.  Thanks to some computer generated kids and a lovable old villain, I think I can safely say that I am ready to tackle my weekend.  Full steam ahead!

Little Agnes has her "fluffy" unicorn, her kitten book and all of those cute little yellow minions.  Almost makes me wish that I had some of those little yellow guys running around my house.  Huggable, loveable, cute as a button.  No, I'm not writing this whole blog about those delightful characters, but sitting there thinking about the movie reminded me of some of the things that I grew up "hugging" the stuffing out of and loving them until they absolutely fell apart.

There was a cartoon when I was little called "Beanie and Cecil" and I loved it!  It was all about the adventures of a little boy and his sea serpent.  For Christmas that year, Santa brought me a Cecil stuffed animal that had a pull string and would talk.  I thought it was so cool.  Its body kind of looped around and if you were small enough, it would almost fit around your waist like an innertube.

Some of my toys made it into the next century, but with a lot of changes and upgrades.  I had one of the "original" Barbies with that black and white striped swimsuit and the real earring studs that you could take out and she had natural looking blonde hair pulled up into a tight pony tail.  The ones that they make now have that awful shiny plastic hair.  Just makes me shudder.  I had a Barbie house that was made of cardboard  and it folded out and made this huge house.  Now, they are snap together plastic with working elevators.  Sometimes I wish I still had some of those old toys.  In mint condition, they are worth a fortune, but not so much interested in how many thousands I could get for them in as much as I want to step back in time and be a little kid again.  Wouldn't that be so cool, if we could just close our eyes and pop back in time and play with our old toys whenever we wanted.

When I was growing up, I saw so much incredible technology and progress happen right in front of my eyes.  It's even more amazing for people of parent's ages and older.  We really take so much for granted now because technology is moving almost faster than we can keep up with it, let alone comprehend it.

Hot summers meant you left your windows open a crack and used a fan, or for that matter, we were just used to it.  We played outside from morning til night.  It was safe for us to take off on our bikes and ride all over town and play, just as long as we were home when we were supposed to be.  I remember one little town in particular, in northern Ohio.  It was a very little town!  Our neighborhood had slate sidewalks.  You don't see that anymore!  Great for roller skating, oh yes, and roller skates fit over your shoes and you had a key that you wore on a ribbon or a shoestring around your neck.  I remember one house that had a HUGE Colorado blue spruce in the front yard, and more than once, I climbed so high, it felt like I was on top of the world.

I remember sitting at the top of the steps to the basement and playing with my new "slinky" toy.  Simple things were so much fun.

I walked to and from school.  Sometimes, I would have enough change left that I would stop at the corner store and get an orange sherbert push-up!  Now, that's something they still make, but I don't think they taste quite as good as they did when I was a kid.

This town was small enough, that we were able to walk to church on Sunday mornings.  I remember snowfalls with drifts so high, that they covered the tops of the chain link fence in my grandparent's back yard.  On more than one occasion, their little Schnauzer, Roger, made a mad dash and escaped.

I also remember when my grandparents got one of the first color television sets.    I remember stretching out on the floor and watching Bonanza in full color!

Okay, flashback over for just a moment.  I'm back in 2010 sitting in my office typing on a computer that is not much bigger than a tool box.  I have a flat screen monitor that takes up very little space.  What's weird is that I remember when computers took up entire floors of buildings and had reel to reel tape feeds.

Here we go again.  Remember your first job and all of the things about it?  One of my first jobs was in a local department store working in the gift wrap center.  We didn't have ready made bows.  We made them ourselves.  At checkout time, we used a monstrous manual NCR cash register that was as big as a car!  Now look at them.  They are tiny, sometimes within a computer, electronic, portable and have amazing functions with memories.  Almost scary if you put too much thought into it.

Whoa, I'm tired.  Time travel is exhausting.  I could go on and on with my memories.  One special one leads to another.  They are endless and most of them bring huge smiles to my face.  You know, my kids have a lot to talk about and remember from their childhoods, but with as much technology that I have witnessed in my 57 years, I can't even begin to imagine what more my kids and my future grandkids will see.  What I see now as an absolute wonder is going to be one of their memories of something very common, old and out of date.

Regardless of how much our world has changed and the fact that time really does seem to be moving faster as I get older, there are a things in each of our lives that are constants.  Our family for one.  If you are my age and blessed as I am to have both parents living, don't let a day go by that you don't give thanks for them and be sure to tell them regularly how very special they are to you.  Tell them thank you.  Tell them you love them.  If you parents and grandparents have passed, you know, you can still tell them.  Just whisper it with your eyes closed.  They will hear you and they will send the same back to you.  You'll know it, too.  It's that warm spot in your heart when you think about them and the special memories.

For many of us, we have children that are a constant, even though you can't really put a brick on their heads to slow down their growth.  No matter how big they get, they will always be your children, and don't let a day go by that you don't give thanks for them and be sure to tell them regularly how very special they are to you.  Tell them thank you.  Tell them you love them.

The third constant in many of our lives is our belief in a Deity.  God is there for us 24/7/365.  He doesn't move, He doesn't change his number, He never gives up on us.  WE ARE HIS KIDS!  He has watched us grow and make mistakes, big and little.  He has watched us grow, learn, live, love, rejoice, grieve, prosper, suffer, worship, share, succeed and fail.  Don't let a day go by that you don't give thanks to Him and tell him regularly how very special He is to you.  Tell Him thank you.  Tell Him you love Him.  But, you know what?  He already knows that!

I think I'm going to call it a day.  It's been a good one, too.  I got a refresher course in Geometry and was actually able to remember enough of it that I helped a young man with his homework!  Go figure!  Talk about going back in time!  You don't even want to know how long it's been and it wouldn't be nice of you to ask, so don't!

The point of all of this is simple.  Sometimes, we just need to make time slow down and let us catch up anad one of the best ways to do that is to use your time machine.  Take time to close your eyes and just remember.  If you see a cute, computer generated movie that makes you all "fluffy" inside, look at that as a special gift and let it take you back to a time when you can remember your own stuffed "unicorn" or whatever it was that made you feel safe, and warm and loved.  Play with those old toys in your time machine, and then dash back to 2010 and give thanks to the One that made it ALL possible!  Just be home in time for dinner!

"It's so fluffy!"  Sweet little Agnes, you have no idea just how precious you are, even if you are just a cartoon character.  You took me back to a time when life seemed simpler and you made me remember some wonderful things.  So, pardon me while I go scoop up my own "fluffy" unicorn and head off to bed.  I have sweet dreams and memories ahead and a play date with some great old toys and friends.  Tomorrow is yet another day to experience our crazy fast paced world and give thanks for that miraculous time machine in our minds.

Now, it's your turn.  YOU go remember something wonderful, grab your own "fluffy" unicorn and let it carry you away to your own sweet dreams and simpler times!

Good night y'all!