Friday, July 15, 2011

The End is Near

I don't remember who recommended that first Harry Potter book to me, but I know I was mesmerized.  The amazing detail of Harry's fantastical wizarding world had me totally spellbound (pun intended) from the very beginning.

Over the next 13 years, I was constantly anticipating that next book or that next movie.  I remember purchasing one book on the way to the lake and having it almost finished before we got home.  Another book was purchased on the day it came out in an airport bookstore on the way to some educational conference somewhere.  What a great way to spend an airplane ride or two!

That first book came out the year my babies were born...1998.  How many late nights, doctor waiting rooms, afternoons at the pool, and long rides did Harry and his magical friends help me endure? 

Not only that...but I also discovered them in audio format.  Have you ever listened to the audio books?  The narration is beautiful with a British accent that makes them so darn charming.  Miles and miles have been put on my vehicles going to and from meetings with the drama of Snape and the silliness of the Weasley twins occupying my thoughts.

As the movies have come out, I have been delighted with the directors' abilities to put on the screen the pictures that were in my head.  Yes, they have had to cut them down...leaving out precious details here and there, and yet I'm always "Wow-ed". 

And it's ending.

This young man and his friends that have been a part of our lives for 13 years are leaving us with only the memories.  We've loved some.  We've despised some.  We misunderstood many at one time or another.  They made us laugh.  They made us think.  They broke our hearts.  They gave us hope.

In the meantime, my son graduated high school, then went off to college and the Navy.  My toddler transformed into a beautiful teenager. (She attended the midnight viewing last night with her friends. They only know life with a new Harry Potter adventure just around the corner!)  My twins were born and have grown into Junior High kids. 

What a perfect time in my life to have such magical company!

What a bittersweet day as I say a much anticipated goodbye to my friends.

Thank you for the memories, Harry.  I look forward to introducing you to my grandchildren one day.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Rock 'n' Roll Quizzes

Today I took the kids to celebrate Great Grandma Tucker's 93rd birthday at a lunch at the Carriage Crossing in Yoder.  We met her, Grandma Tyler, Aunt Della, and Aunt Johnie for a nice visit.

On the way there, the kids were particularly quiet.  We were running late (as usual).  Annie listened to her iPod, Tana texted, and Andy...well, Andy did whatever it is that he does in his quietness.

After lunch I took them to see mom's office and meet my coworkers, grabbed some paperwork, and we headed home.  However, this time we put some effort into finding a song on the radio.  And that's when it started....The Quiz.

I'm sure Heath suffered through many rounds of this little game when he was growing up as well.  If mom finds a good "classic rock" radio station, it will inevitably happen.

A song starts, the lightbulb comes on in my head, and I have to sing along.  "Do you know who this is?"  If they have to think a while, I just keep singing along.

Sometimes they need hints:  "What's the initials?"  Sometimes they ask the song name.  Is it an artist or a band?  They have actually gotten pretty good at this little game and often surprise me.

The first one today was Rock Me (one of my very favorite songs) by Great White.  They couldn't get this one.  In fact, I don't think they had ever heard the song.  However, they liked it.  Well, of course they did.

And then it happened.

All of a sudden I was a kid again.  I think my family was camping somewhere because we were all in the pea green Ram Charger.  Dad and mom were in front while us kids were piled in the back.  Lisa had to be very, very young.

My dad had the radio tuned to a good station and after each song started he asked, "Do you know who this is?"  I remember listening very hard to try to figure it out, comparing the voice to all of the music that I knew as a child.  And each time I was sure I was right when I would say, "It's Elvis!"  They would laugh and I would be wrong...again.  But with the next song, I was just sure I would be right.  I wonder how many times I guessed the singer to be Elvis that night.  Surely I was eventually right.

Then the memory was gone and I was back in my own vehicle with my own kids.  But I shared this memory with them.

We heard lots of songs and they made lots of guesses over the next 50 miles.  Some of them they got right...ZZ Top, Rolling Stones, even Tom Petty!  And others they didn't....the Eagles (really?!), CCR, and Lynyrd Skynyrd.

But Tana said it best during Proud Mary when she stated, "I like the Elvis version better." Ha...most people don't even realize that Elvis ever sang this as a cover.

That's my girl.