Posted tagged ‘laughing’

The Laughter of Forgetfulness

April 11, 2018

WORDS FROM W.W.                                                   April 11, 2018

                           

For most of my life I’ve been a laugher at the lighter moments and unusual occurrences. I take after my dad in that respect. My mom was the more serious parent. Laughing, from my perspective, was an ointment of survival in my thirty-six years as a pastor.

Like the Sunday we ran out of communion cups before everyone had been served. I remember pretending to drink the communion juice out of pretend cups, as did the others who were up front facing me after serving the congregation. Some may have stressed about the “pretending”, but I thought it was somewhat humorous. I guess who could call it “Communion Lite”!

Carol and I seem to be advancing in age and we’re encountering a few incidents of forgetfulness. No, I don’t believe we’re in the beginning stages of dementia or some other heart wrenching affliction that we see so often these days. I don’t believe I’m experiencing the effects of football-related concussions either. I tried to stay away from being tackled or tackling someone else. I was proficient in my avoidance of contact. My helmet was as clean as a well waxed Corvette at the end of the season.

This week we had planned on having dinner with Marie one night- Marie Calendar’s, that is! Pot pies to be exact! We prefer to bake them in the oven instead of the much shorter time in the microwave, so we preheated the oven to 400 degrees. They take about fifty minutes to bake, plus another five minutes to cool. I went upstairs to do some writing and Carol continued watching Dr. Phil, or some other show where someone is willing to let the whole world know that they are screwed up!

An hour later I came back downstairs. Carol was relaxing on the couch and as I walked into the kitchen I noticed two pot pies sitting on top of the stove. “Oh! They’re done!” was my first thought, and I walked over to help serve them.

But they weren’t done! They weren’t even started! We had forgotten to put them in the oven that had now been heating “nothing” at 400 degrees for the last hour.

“Ahhh, Carol!”
“Yes, dear!”

“We forgot to put the pot pies in the oven.”

“You’re kidding me!”

“Nope!”

And we both laughed! “Well, where would you like to go for dinner?” (Perhaps each of us subconsciously wanted to go out for dinner to begin with!)

We both laughed at our mental slip, and we had a great dinner out that night!

My dad was a great storyteller. What he didn’t realize, or the better word might be remember, is that he had told the same story to me several times, and even though I knew some of his stories so well I could have finished telling them for him, I still laughed at the end. The way he told them always caused me to laugh, and he also always laughed at the end of the retelling. He passed away not quite two months ago at the well-lived age of 89 and 2/3’s! His life was well-oiled with chuckles and laughter.

Twenty years from now I’m hoping my three kids will be sitting at the dinner table with me and willingly listen to my retelling of some stories that I had forgotten had already been told…several times. And I hope we laugh as much then as Carol and I laughed a couple of nights ago after staring at those two stone cold pot pies sitting there impatiently on top of the stove.

Running With Kids…Really Young Kids!

June 15, 2015

WORDS FROM W.W.                                                               June 15, 2015

                                   

Today was the first day of our Vacation Bible School. I was running gym time, well stocked with balloons, bubble blowing attire, ping-pong balls, and long styrofoam noodles. Six different groups divided across four age groupings!

What an amazing time it was! Giggly girls…confused boys…little ones with runny noses…and a few pre-teens and teens who weren’t too sure about an early morning wake-up call on a summer vacation Monday!

Give a four year old a balloon in the midst of a big gym and watch the fun! And I was having fun with them!

“All right! See who can keep their balloon in the air… without holding it!!!!…all the way to the other end of the gym! Ready…set…go!”

What is it about a balloon that makes a four year old squeal as he or she plays with it?

“Who thinks they can make their balloon go all the way to the other end by just using your foot? Raise your hand! Raise your hand!”

A flock of hands go waving in the air like sunflowers in an open field.

“Ready…set…go!”

The squealing gets mixed with giggling as the non-competitive race begins.

Fifteen minutes of balloon fun!

And then the two’s and three’s attack the gym! I’m ready with the bottles of bubbles and the bubble wand. In fact, I instantly create a new character called the “Bubblemaster!”

“Okay! Follow the Bubblemaster and see who can catch the bubbles!”

With this group I have to be careful because they do not realize that my size eleven’s can step on them. One cute two-year old boy comes up to me and with a very serious face gives me a heartfelt message.

I have no clue what he said, so I just shake my head and try to look understanding and compassionate.

A little girl puts down her balloon for a moment to look at a boo-boo she got two weeks ago on her knee. A little boy swoops in like an eagle on prey and snatches up the loose balloon. Thus, a lesson to two year olds needs to be instantly taught about sharing and fairness!

By the time the pre-schoolers leave my head is almost as light-headed as one of the balloons!

But I love it! Maybe because I’m just a kid with XL clothing on, or because they have such interesting developing personalities.

Or maybe because I see Jesus in each one of their faces, a treasure, a jewel, a blessing about toi be given…to me!

Tomorrow should be just as fun! The kids are excited, I’m excited, and the giant squishy ball is about to be unleashed!

Awesome!

Telling Laughter

October 25, 2013

WORDS FROM W.W.                                                       October 25, 2013

 

                                          

 

I admit it! My prejudice shows as I listen to someone’s laughter. Laughter to me is the telling sign of who a person is. It conveys warmth and character, but to me it also reveals arrogance and a darkened spirit.

There is good laughter and there is evil laughter, sinister snicker if you will. There is laughter that brightens the darkest room and laughter that darkens the brightest room.

I was watching an interview the other night on CNN. Piers Morgan was interviewing Warren Buffett, his son Howard, and grandson Howard W. Buffett. I don’t often sit down and watch an hour-long interview on television, but I found myself enthralled by the whole conversation. A big reason for my interest was the laughter of Warren and his son. Howie has that kind of laugh that reverberates through his whole body to where he looks like a wind-up toy that has been set loose. His laughter involves every body part. His dad, one of the richest men in the world, has a deep laugh that very few would associate with wealth. It’s a light-hearted chuckle that is delightful.

The main reason they were being interviewed was because of Howard’s new book that had just been released, Forty Chances: Finding Hope In A Hungry World. Howard has traveled the world seeking to help remedy the problem that very few people, let alone wealthy people, want to face…world hunger.

I went on-line that night and downloaded a copy of the book for my iPad and have started reading it. It’s very good, but what drew me into making the purchase was the laughter of the author. It was grounded and solid in tone. You can tell he is very serious about the issue, and yet he doesn’t take himself that seriously.

His laughter convinced me. His dad’s laugh seconded it. I one-clicked the purchase.

Some might think I’m really off base here, but laughter tells me more in a moment than an hour long conversation with someone. A laugh makes me like someone or want to leave like I’m being force-fed a spoonful of Castor Oil.

Jesus had a great laugh. Okay, I can’t prove that from scripture, and he certainly wasn’t laughing around the Pharisees and religious types, but gather a flock of kids and I can’t imagine Jesus not laughing. As the late Art Linkletter used to say, “Kids say the darnedest things!”

Laughter tells me that a kid is happy. Laughter at the wrong time tells me of some deeper issues going on. Laughter at another person’s pain is grieving.

I love to laugh. Whenever I see Brandon Bayes (which has been a number of years) one of the first things I will do is mimic the laugh of a man who was a part of the same Holy Land Tour group that we were in. We will laugh at the laugh. The laughter will reconnect us to a week spent together some twenty years ago.

My dad has a great laugh. It resembles Howie Buffett’s. His whole body gets into the act. My brother-in-law, Mike, often slaps his knee as he laughs. He feels comfortable with knee-slapping light-heartedness.

My late Aunt Irene had a great laugh. It kind of came at you like a wind that was building up to a roar and then got released. My late Uncle Bernie was the “he-he” kind of chuckler. Uncle Bernie worked at his church’s food pantry into his nineties and brought a bit of levity into the lives of a number of people who were on the edge of despair. One of my former college professors, the late Ron Richards, had a laugh that warmed up the room. We needed laughter in the midst of Economics class. Economics was one of those classes that could have easily depressed me.

I realize that I’ve used the term “the late” several times in the past couple of paragraphs, but it brightens my day to know that I can remember how so many people who have proceeded on to glory sounded in the humor of life. It makes me chuckle in a pure way.

Walking With Reagan

July 8, 2013

My two year old granddaughter, Reagan (Not named after the President!), is a talker. She can talk the feathers off a rooster! She says more words in a minute than I do in a day.

The other night I went for a walk with her around the block. We covered more ground than Ripley’s Believe It Or Not. Here’s a sampling of our dialogue…all within the boundaries of one city block.

“I’m hopping like a kanga-woo, Granddad!”

“Did you see a kangaroo at the zoo?”

“No…we saw a giwaffe! It has a long neck and is wiwwie tall!”

“Do you like going to the zoo?”

“Yes! A kanga-woo is a jo-wey!”

“That’s right! Sometimes they call kangaroos joeys.”

Grammy hurt her leg. Grammy has a hurt on it, wight there!” (Pointing at her right calf muscle.)

“Ah huh!”

“I don’t have a hurt on my leg! Grammy does!”

“Look the sky looks a little dark over there.”

“I’m not scared, Granddad. It’s dark at night, but I’m not scared anymore.”

“That’s good! Sometimes it can be scary in the dark.”

“But I’m not scared. Do you like wata-mewon?”

“Yes, I love watermelon! When I was growing up we had watermelon in the summer. It was my favorite!”

“I like it! Did Grammy have watt-mewon?”

“I believe she did.”

“There’s a little girl that bwoke her arm.”

“Broke her arm. Who broke her arm?”

“This little girl! She fell and bwoke it, and she cried because it hurt.”

“I hope you never break your arm.”

“I won’t! Now I’m hopping like a bunny rabbit!”

We turned the first corner, but she had already pretended to be two animals. It’s hard to put into words a conversation with a two-year old, but I guess you could say it was “wundaful!”