Thursday, August 02, 2007

Meme Again

Lynne Robinson, Hewitt, New Jersey
I’ve been tagged by Patsy over at The Best of Times to bore you with 8 more Random Things About Me. As if six weird things weren’t enough, you now get to know more. Oh joy. Where to start?

Between the years of 1983 and 1993 we lived in Europe for seven and a half of those years. In southern Germany near Stüttgart [1983-1985]; the Netherlands just outside of Amsterdam [1989-1991]; and France near Lyon [1991-1993]. And no, it was not military related. Rick worked for Hewlett-Packard and we signed on as FSEs (foreign service employees) to work at those locations. It was enlightening, challenging, fun, at times lonely and frustrating, but I wouldn’t trade those years for anything. Since we were married in 1981 we were still newlyweds when we moved the first time, Europe molded and forged our marriage. It pretty much changed the way we eat, drink, and think forever.

I do speak a smattering of all three languages, but not fluent in any. It’s very humbling for an adult to have the vocabulary of a two-year-old. When I heard kids jabbering away in their native language I was envious. German is probably my strongest because I went to a language school during the day for several months. But as with most things in life; you use it or you lose it. I think it would come back if you plunked me down in any of those countries. Today Rick and I speak a mix of all three with each other, picking the best word or word we used most from each language and stringing them all together in the same sentence. It’s a language all our own.

Here is the house where we lived in France:
Lynne Robinson, Hewitt, New Jersey

I have a pen fetish. I buy pens right and left and am very particular about the way they write. If I buy them and don’t like them; I don’t use them. I have favorites and get upset when they finally run dry of ink.

I talk to inanimate objects such as trees, flowers, mushrooms. You name it. I talk to my dogs and cats like they were children and perfectly able to understand what I’m saying to them and act on it. Most of the time I think they do understand exactly what I want—other times they haven’t a clue. Hey, maybe they aren’t too far off how a child would react! I also talk to the bears, chipmunks, squirrels, birds, butterflies and whatever other creatures turn up in my yard. I guess I’m pretty much certifiable.

I was deathly afraid of bears for most of my life until I moved here and encountered them in my yard so frequently. Now I adore my bears. Go figure. I think it all started when we hiked up to my Father’s hunting camp in the Adirondacks and saw that a bear had clawed up the side of the camp. I don’t know why it had such an effect on me, but it did. Here is the photo to prove it. My Dad has me in his arms—you can just see my little leg and foot on his right hand side and my arm around his neck. That’s my sister inspecting the damage. Funny how some things stick with you for no reason.
Lynne Robinson, Hewitt, New Jersey

I had my own small “desktop publishing” business for a while. I mostly worked with printers doing all kinds of typesetting, designing business cards, brochures, forms (hated those!) and things like that. I have no formal training in graphic design but everyone seemed to love what I did for them. I also produced several newsletters—one while we lived in Amsterdam for all the FSEs in HP with travel tips, recipes, company news, etc., and the other was our dog club’s bi-monthly newsletter. I guess I just need a creative outlet and now I have my blog!

I was born in New York state. When I was 12 we moved to Florida. Our house there was on a lake in which there dwelled an alligator. Allie the Alligator is what we called him. Original, weren’t we? Before we built the sea wall at the edge of our yard, Allie used to enjoy sunning himself in our yard. When we saw him on the other side of the lake we would clap our hands and call him (as if he knew his name—oh yeah). But the funny thing is—he did come—swimming towards us with his tail swiveling from side to side like a giant, warty snake. When he arrived we tossed him marshmallows. He was blind in one eye so you had to be considerate and toss the mallows on the sighted side. My Mother (dear woman) used to feed this beast chicken bones with a mere pair of serving tongs!!!! I kid you not; she really did this. Too bad we never captured this feat on film.

I wish I had a pic of him to share but all those old photos reside with my Mom. Maybe next time I’m up to fetch her I’ll look for one. And oh yes, my Mother still has all the appendages she was born with. [No, we won’t talk about her wits, but maybe—just maybe—I inherited her love of living dangerously with wildlife.]

Poor Allie ... his fate was sealed the day he happened to snap up a neighbor’s little poodle. Perhaps he thought it was a large marshmallow? Whatever his reason, he was promptly removed from our little community. So sad.

NO! I am not making this up. Just ask my sister. Maybe she’ll leave a comment ... [hint, hint]

Okay, I’m on a roll now. I sure hope I’m not boring you to bits.

I used to play the organ. When I started I couldn’t even reach the pedals. It was not my choice. My parents made me do it. I had to do something. My first choice would have been ballet lessons. I begged and begged, but I don’t think they took me seriously. I mean look at me, could you?

Lynne Robinson, Hewitt, New Jersey

My Mother doesn’t remember me wanting to take ballet. But then again, she doesn’t remember my learning to swim either.

My second choice was the piano. But no, my sister was taking piano lessons, therefore I could not. [My sister can’t swim either, does that figure into this? Sorry, you needed to read the linked blog entry above for that to make any sense.] My Dad was into playing the organ, so therefore I was delegated to take organ lessons. I had the same teacher my sister had for piano. Mrs. Loftberg; I remember her well and I also remember her lumpy daughter that took—of all things—ballet. She took them for the same reason that all girls of that era took ballet lessons—to make their clumsy butts look more graceful. Trust me; with her it was so not working. But, as usual I’ve gone down a different path than the one which I was following. Here I am at the organ:

Lynne Robinson, Hewitt, New Jersey

I think I was having a bad hair day—look at those finger curls! And, hey Mom, did you put a bowl on my head to trim those bangs [fringe]?

Are you still with me? Still reading this epic


? Hang in there ... one more short one to go ...

I learned to knit only three years ago. I taught myself from a book and then took some lessons. I wish I had learned years ago, but I didn’t. My Mother crochets but for some reason I never had the desire to learn. I know I should, but it looks too fussy to me. I love knitting and have met some absolutely wonderful people in the process. Knitters are just great people. No doubt about it. I am hooked. No, wait, that would be crochet. [hook-ed—get it?] Okay, I’m needled for life.

Thanks, Patsy, for tagging me. I learned a lot about myself through this process! And I guess that you too, dear readers, have as well although as I read back over my 8 more Random Things they sounded more like 8 more Weird Things. Oh well. C’est la vie!



So if I tag you again, will you do eight more??? I LOVED reading this.  I’m also loving the headers you make for the memes…now I know why you do them so well.

Susan: I’m so glad somebody enjoyed it! Thanks!

Great random things but what’s really great are the pics!! WOW!!You look just like the fairy you took a pic of recently in your tutu, all sparkly and glowing.


Reya, oh yeah, ain’t I cute?

About those swimming lessons—-Memom took us to our cousin’s house—Bonnie and Collen Delehanty and they came with us to lessons at the seminary. I’m not sure who drove there.  And yes, I flunked out of swimming, but can still do a mean dog paddle.  Re: Allie the Alligator, it is ALL true.  I think I have a pic of Mom feeding him before the seawall was erected.  It’s all true about Mom, too!

Thanks sis, for validating my story! I love it when you leave a comment!

ha ha! look at little lovely you!
great pictures
i talk to animals too!

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