Monday, November 25, 2013

Novermber 25, 2013

Happy Memory Sounds
November 25, 2013

Today is my brother's birthday.  He is much older than I am.  Well, maybe not that much.  He is 15 months older.  He is an outstanding brother.  Of course I wanted to do all the things the boys were doing when I was growing up.  We have 2 younger sisters, but they really are much younger - one is 7 years younger than me and the other is 9 1/2 years younger.  So for many years it was just the two of us: Gordon and Linda.  In fact for years my mom would talk about her children as: Gordon and Linda and the little girls.  Most of that time, there were only boys in the neighborhood.  There were a couple of girls for a few years, but mostly just boys, and we played all those things that are now politically incorrect.  We played Cowboys and Indians, Cops and Robbers, and War.  We dug foxholes, rode bikes, ran through the yard chasing one another yelling, "Pow, Pow!  I got you!"  We meant no harm to anyone.  We had no fear of real cops and robbers or of drive-by shootings.  It was a different time.  Life was safe.  The biggest worry was to watch out for rabid dogs.  We were warned not to talk to strangers, but all in all, there were few fears and I wish my grandkids were growing up with similar memories. 

On second thought, my grandkids are building similar memories.  Their mom is good about letting them just be kids.  (Their dad is the worrier.)  They ride bikes, they skate, and they climb on top of the dog house (they no longer have a dog).  In fact last summer they all cleaned out the dog house (it is rather large and has a concrete floor) and moved in.  They would read books in there, play with cars and trucks, and just have fun.  There is a heavy rope hanging from the tree in the front yard that they swing on.  I love to watch the girls climb the tree and then swing out on the rope - for a few minutes, and then I start to worry - what if???  I climbed lots of trees.  I would sit up in the tree and read my book up in the tree - not in the dog house.  Excuse me, I got side-tracked.

When I went to shop for a birthday card for my brother, I thought it would take a long time.  He picks out the best ones for me - usually proclaiming how much better brothers are than sisters, but I always have trouble finding good ones for him.  The second card I picked up at the store was just right.  It had Wile E. Coyote on it from the Road Runner Cartoon of years ago.  One of my favorite childhood memories is hearing my brother laugh while watching that cartoon series.  He would laugh and laugh, so loud!  I love those memories with the sound of his laughter.
Wille.E. Coyote and The Road Runner

As I thought about those memories, I thought of other people who have unique laughs, or who really let themselves go in laughter and make the rest of us laugh with them, just because it is fun to hear them laugh.  I have a friend named Pam who is like that.  I love Pam's laugh.  It brings back memories of a group of us ladies who would go to Ladies' Bible Study on Tuesday mornings and then often come to my house for lunch and we would play Trivial Pursuit together.  We would laugh until we hurt.  We had so much fun. 

When I couldn't hear, laughter was one of the things I really missed.  I may have mentioned this in one of the earliest blogs, but when my hearing began to get bad many years ago, I told my husband that one of the first things to go is jokes.  Often when someone tells a joke, the punch line gets lost to those hard of hearing.  Everyone else has started laughing before the hearing impaired person figures out what was said.  Or if the joke teller is very dramatic in the story telling, they often whisper the punch line.  Private jokes between a husband and wife or two friends are often whispered.  The person who struggles to hear missed out on the thing they may need most - something to laugh about.

My Cochlear Implant restores most of the ability to hear laughter.  I can again hear my brother laugh and I am sure I could hear Pam laugh if we could spend a day together.  It helps on a lot of jokes, but it is still hard to catch those whispered private jokes.  If you observe a group of adults watching toddlers playing, you will see them laughing at things the tots say.  Those sweet high-pitched voices can be very hard for someone with partial hearing loss to hear. 

Many jokes are a play on words, or they are puns.  You need to clearly hear what was said to understand the joke.  I have told you how I play "fill in the blank" with a lot of my listening, so in those kinds of jokes I may miss the key word that made it a joke.  If there is a person in your life who struggles to hear, take time especially as families gather for the holidays, to see that they know what the jokes are.  It is easy when you are the only one not laughing to start thinking they are laughing at you or that they just don't care that you aren't having fun.  If Aunt Sue can't hear well, take time to sit by her and tell her the funny things going on or even something cute the little kids said a day or two ago.  Include that person in the happy times by giving them things to laugh about.  Laughter truly is the best medicine!  Laughter adds so much to the joy of living.


  1. Laughter is truly the best medicine. Laughter is healing to the body & to the soul. I'm so glad that you can hear the laughter now. It does indeed add so much to your life!! Thanks for sharing memories with us. I too used to climb up in the tree & read my books because nobody bothered us up there!! We would walk to the library from East Levee to see Mrs. Wagner, who saved books for us that she knew we would like then rush home to climb the tree & read them!! Bless her for taking the time with us for all 3 of us are still "readers"!! The brother-sister banter brings back some memories at this time of year that are dear to my heart between my brother & I & my sister & I. He always called me his "ole" sister careful to say it right but I was 16 years old than he was. Hands together for you!!

    1. Thanks, Dottie. Reading books in trees is a way to escape mentally and physically. Ron and I are avid readers - some of our kids are, but not all. Oldest grandson loves to read and oldest granddaughter is beginning to enjoy reading. Part of it is finding books that really interest them. I know you must miss your brother and sister all the time, but especially during the holidays. How unusual that you have your parents but not your siblings. May God fill all of you with happy memories at this time.

  2. You really do have my sympathy and understanding for the deafness now! I have an ear infection that has totally blocked my left ear--and that was my "good" ear! The grandkids think its funny that they have to yell at me. on antibiotics now and hoping it will clear up in a few days. Its cold and windy here (DS) so I am staying in side--my house is still in the shop. They were supposed to have it out by the 19th--oh well!

    1. Tiny, I am so sorry that you are having hearing problems. Problems with one sense should exempt us from having trouble with another one! Praying the ear problem clears up quickly and completely. Stay out of this terrible cold. Hope you get your house back quickly! Time to start building (when it warms up).