Sunday, May 16, 2010

An Out of Town Visit

We recently welcomed by aunt for a visit here in the Tri-Cities.  Our plan our a nice BBQ out on the back porch  on the evening of her arrival was soured by the unusual rain storm, so we all (including Oscar) ate our grill shrimp inside and had a nice visit our first evening. 

While she'd visited several years ago, it was only briefly.  Now ES and I had more time to relax, catch up, and visit a few of the sites in town. 

We started out our day at the CRESHT museum, home of the "all about Hanford."  ES wanted to pose with the "guide" and couldn't help getting a boy chuckle out of the fish names.  I pointed out the a is actually pronounced like it's an o.  Not that that mattered to him....

We visited Walla Walla and stopped at L'Ecole winery along the way.  The winery itself is in a converted school building (hence L'ecole = French for school).  Beautiful old building.  ES even got to ring the school bell outside.  After stopping at the Creektown Cafe for lunch (highly recommended), but headed to the Whitman Mission.  It was such a lovely afternoon, we walked about the grounds and enjoyed the afternoon. 

We had some lovely dinners and wonderful conversation - just like when ES and I lived back in Northern VA.  We were sad to see my aunt leave and hope for a return visit soon.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Lingual Regionalisms

Although I was born in WA state, my family moved to Virginia when I was three, to Wyoming by the time I was six, then OH when I was 13.  This, compounded with my move to NY for graduate school a return to VA for post graduate work qualified me for a whole host of lingual regionalisms.

In the NW, things are "spendy."  On the East Coast, it's "pricey."   A bag in NW is a "bag,"  while on the East Coast, it's a "sack."

I was also broken of the habit of calling a carbonated beverage a pop when I moved from OH to NY.  It's a "soda."  Back in WA, it's back to pop, although I still can't bring myself to call it pop anymore.

Tennis shoes, coffee, and even jeans all have different lingo.  Just funny how we get into a habit and when challenged with a new way of doing things, will either go with the flow or stick to what we know.

I've pretty much transitioned to to the "WA state way,"  with the exception of soda and pricey.  Perhaps this, too, will change with time.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Popcorn anyone?

ery now and then my dad tells us an old family story and I just can't help but laugh, especially when he leaves out key details until prompted (often after we have time to really think about it and go, "hey...").

Back when my dad's brother was home for college one break, my grandmother was hosting her ladies for tea and cards as she often did. My grandmother loved to play cards. She once told me, "honey, you're no longer my granddaughter we play cards." We called her the ultimate card shark. Canasta was a serious business. So it didn't help matters when my grandmother asked my uncle to dish up the popcorn in the kitchen and take it out to all the ladies. Unbeknowest to my grandmother, my uncle packed up the popcorn in little individual serving bags. Turns out the bags, however, were from (clean - not used) sanitary napkins that you used to get in hotels. My uncle had accumulated an entire stack and saved these for just a "special purpose." Needless to say, this didn't go over well with my grandmother.

It took ES and I about a day to ask my dad how my uncle got all those, seeing he was in college and wasn't doing a lot of traveling.

"Oh," my dad says. "I got them for him." Ah...the story unfolds. Although my uncle was the family comedian, my father was more of a behind the scenes making it funny.

It was nice to laugh with him this weekend.

We played Scrabble as usual. Although this time it was "Super Scrabble." The ultimate in Scrabble with quadruple letter and word scores and 2x the number of tiles and double the board size. Games take longer and points are much higher (500+), but we had a great time. And as always, my mom tries to play fake words. We used to think she just didn't know better, but now we're all getting wise. And the familiar "oh darn" when she draws her tiles. Everytime. Makes me smile just thinking about the silliness of the game.

And we are challengers. Just the inkingly of someone questioning a word and out comes the familiar "are you challenging me?" said with a defensive posture almost. We almost never challenge my father, plays words we haven't ever heard of, but they are almost always for real.

"No - just checking" is our usual reply.

Long live the good ole' Scrabble game. The ultimate blood sport in our family.