Stacey Hatton Commentary
The Kansas City Star – October 4, 2012
As the autumn leaves adjust their color and the crisp night air compels us to close our windows at sundown, Friday nights once again become my family’s favorite time.
Traditional pizza and home movie night (I’m talking rentals, not the obligatory slide shows from generations before) is what my children look forward to throughout their busy weeks filled with school, homework and activities.
Melodies from The Sound of Music filled our home for several days this week after the DVD player went to bed. While emptying the dishwasher, whistles of “Do-Re-Mi” permeated the kitchen. Our children set the dinner table the next day while arguing over words to “that yodel song” with “those puppets.” But the shining moment arrived when one of the musical standards was used as an example to aid my daughter through a painful point in her life.
Earlier, while riding her scooter decked out in pads and helmet, my eldest child had a minor accident that left her distraught and fearful. The poor thing looked as if she had slid into home base, producing a 4-inch strawberry on her hip. She was not planning to introduce this strawberry to her fruity fragrant dolls Lemon Meringue and Raspberry Torte.
While her wound received first aid, my brave girl closed her eyes, as if in a trance, and began her mantra. “Doggies and kitties and TV and Cheez-Its.” I paused the cleaning. The chanting stopped. I returned to her abrasion. She returned to her chant, “Pink flowers and chocolate and…” Quite confused, I asked her, “Honey, what are you doing?” Then she belted out in her best chest voice, “These are a few of my favorite things!”
Wow. Some days parenting really pays off! I couldn’t have been more proud of her tapping into her Rodgers and Hammerstein resources.
This got me thinking of my favorite things. After all, it is the beginning of a new season — autumn, for ye cave dwellers. Plus, with my sinuses going haywire most days, I might need some new lyrics to belt out at a minute’s notice. When the dog bites, when the bee stings, when I’m sneezing from all the pollen…what will I remember to not make me feel so bad?
Here are my chortle-worthy autumn favorites:
- Punkin Chunkin: The World Championship Punkin Chunkin Association’s spectacular event has taken place in Bridgeville, Del., every November since 1986. This year it will explode orange goo on November 2-4 and my family couldn’t be any more elated! Not that we will attend, but you can put money on us making a family vacation when the girls are older. Road trip!
According to the WCPCA, the 2011 event drew more than 20,000 people and grossed more than $100,000 in ticket sales and other revenues. A portion of the proceeds are donated to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, ChildHelp and other valuable agencies.
- Chagrin Falls, Ohio, Pumpkin Roll: Each year since 1969, high school students have collected 1,000 pumpkins. On an undisclosed date and time some night before Halloween they smash the pumpkins, hop on sleds or in recycling bins and slip and slide down a steep hill. Are you wondering why this hasn’t been stopped by the authorities? The kids providing the pumpkins are ticketed by the police and those fines pay for the clean-up. It’s still cheaper than Disney and looks like a great time is had by all!
- Tractor Square Dancing: Now promenading to the left away from pumpkins, my final autumn pick-me-up is tractors that wear dresses and the farmers who drive them around to music in traditional square dancing formation. Can’t get better than that! Don’t think this is something performed in just one town with nothing better to do. Oh, no, the trend has caught on over the years and it is big all over the country. My favorite video this year is one where the farmers are dressed up as Wizard of Oz characters. Those farmers are so light on their wheels.
Video clips of these three hilarious events are on my humor website, www.nursemommylaughs.com. You won’t believe the magnitude of crazy until you see it!
NOTE: The videos are on the following post on this blog. What a hoot! Grab your partner and giddy up!
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© 2012, Stacey Hatton. All rights reserved.