Saturday, December 27, 2008

Grandpa Randy's Workout Regimen

Many of my readers know that I've been away from the Genea-Cave visiting family for the holidays. Thank you for your patience with scheduled posts. We should be home on Sunday afternoon, but the holiday visits aren't over - my daughter and her family from Victorville are coming for several days - we haven't celebrated Christmas with them yet.

Fortunately, I've been able to read my email and blogs while at Linda's brother Paul's house in Monte Rio, and at my daughter's home in the redwoods near Santa Cruz. I'm in a Best Western in Carpinteria tonight just east of Santa Barbara and it has free internet wireless access - cool!

Our visiting has not been all happy - my son-in-law's aunt died on Wednesday (Christmas Eve), and Linda's brother's wife Deb had strep throat. Our 5-year-old grandson has been sick with a sore throat and cough too, and I'm afraid that I have it now too.

While in Monte Rio, I talked extensively with Deb about her grandfather,
Robert Leroy Thompson - the one whom I cannot find any census record for from 1900 to 1930 (I blogged about this several times - see The Ultimate "Dodging the Census" Puzzle). We decided that we need to seek the marriage records available form the State of Tennessee to determine if it provides the parents' names for RLT. I asked her if there was a chance that RLT was orphaned and adopted by another family - perhaps surname Thompson - and she agreed that that might have happened, and so court records from the 1880 to 1900 time period need to be searched also, but we don't know which county (ies?) to check on. It was fun to share this info with Deb and to discuss our possible research avenues.

We celebrated Christmas Eve dinner at my son-in-law's grandmother's home in Petaluma (the aunt who died on 12/24 was her daughter) - she is a trouper and seemed to enjoy having all of the family around her, although it was bittersweet for her. The dinner was excellent (as always!) and the gift exchange, which focused on the kids, was wonderful. It's a beautiful family.

We drove 3 hours through the rain to Santa Cruz on Christmas Eve - we got lost coming off the Golden Gate bridge and turned into the Presidio instead of going onto 25th Avenue. We made it to the little home in the redwoods, and amid the mud and puddles (my sneakers seem to have holes in them, I found) we got into the warm house. The boys' parents got all of the Santa gifts put out around the tree, and we all went to bed by midnight. I got to write the note from Santa to the boys than king them for the cookies and milk - fun! The boys "slept in" until 6:40 a.m., and we were awakened by the patter of little feet and squeals of delight as they discovered the gifts around the tree. After two hours, the gifts were opened and the living room was strewn with paper and unopened shrink-wrapped packages. In between raindrops, I managed to get their gifts from us into the house and Round 3 began with the same results. I think the boys managed to play with everything by Christmas night! My daughter fixed a nice pot roast for dinner, and another family came over to share it with us. The kids played well together and "Grandpa Monster" came out to play too.

"Grandpa Monster" is a "fee fie fo fum" type of guy who loves to chase, catch, tickle and hide from the little boys, but not scare them. They revel in it, and I try not to knock anything over or land on anyone. These little guys are really strong and persistent. I consider this as my physical workout regimen. It includes:

* climbing up Grandpa Monster to sit on his shoulders. Then we go around the house and I usually dump them on their bed.

* riding on Grandpa Monster's back as a horsey ride. This has morphed into standing up and balancing on my back and jumping off.

* jumping on the bed and eventually into Grandpa Monster's arms. Now, the 5-year-old jumps from one bed to the other over a 3-foot chasm between beds - the 3-year-old doesn't do this yet.

* a variation of the latter is for Grandpa Monster to sit on one bed, the kid climbs up on my shoulders and stands up, and then jumps onto the other bed.

* playing hide-and-seek - the boys still think that Grandpa Monster has disappearing powers, but they are much more observant than before.

These little guys are 100% boy - they are very physical, have an endless motor, are very creative and playful, and very happy to torture Grandpa Monster every chance they get.

Needless to say, the "Grandpa Monster" loves it, although he now takes his glasses off to play and sometimes takes timeouts.

All of this "workout regimen" is part of making more family history. We will always be able to share these memories, and when I'm gone (hopefully it won't be on Christmas Eve) they can talk about the fun times with the "Grandpa Monster." Hopefully, they will also remember the family stories that I tell them at bedtime too, and perhaps one of them will pick up the genealogy and family history books I've written (and will write) and carry on where I leave off.

Didn't do much genealogy this week, but made lots of family history! My arms, shoulders, back and legs are sore - is it the "Santa Cruz crud" or the tangible result of the "Grandpa Monster" workout regimen?


Tamura Jones said...

About finding the Thompson family in the census: Maybe they lived in a house that was hard to find or hard to reach or lived with family and were not recorded separately? Perhaps the best way to try and find them is to expand the family tree a bit and try and find brothers and sisters first.

Charley "Apple" Grabowski said...

I'm sorry to hear of another death this holiday season.

It sounds like you have had a good trip! I hope you and Linda have stress free travel today.

Supreme 90 Day said...

Helpful tips on how this grandpa incorporates games into a workout routine. Thanks for mentioning how games requiring lifting of grandkids or cardio help in daily fitness.

Venice Beach Personal Trainers said...

Grandpa Monster is quite the nickname. It sounds like you have made some great memories together.