Wednesday, July 15, 2009

I have been banned to the basement. My assignment? Delete everything off of our two very very old computers. One technically is a laptop, it even has the little ball in the middle for the mouse. I've been stuck on the little gray laptop, so many fun games to play! How can I say goodbye to many high scores that took forever to establish? Unfortunately, I remembered why there's a bobby pin taped to the laptop, it shuts down when it feels like it. I think I've had to re-start it six times now. Two of those times were right in the middle of my amazing games of Snakebar.

Anyone remember Snakebar?
What about Iago?
Bird Races?
Carmen USA and Carmen World?
Bouncing Balls?
Wheel of Fortune?

(We have a file from the Judds, so you guys should recognize some of these games.)
They are all so dear to me.


I eventually yanked my earphones out of my ears as I started browsing old saved documents: poems from Zach, talks Jay gave in church (we typed them up for him), old house rules ... Apparently back in the day we were fined $2 if we didn't practice or make our bed or leave the bathroom clean ... it's all in caps so I bet my mom was really mad when she typed it up. I love that the title is HOUSE RULES (revised), I wonder if the first one didn't fly so well with James and I. I also love that our number four rule for behavior at school is "USE YOUR TALENTS AND ABILITIES TO BE A LEADER IN YOUR CLASSES, MOST ESPECIALLY SEMINARY."
Ugh ... seminary memories ... I had this one teacher who would tell us the most ridiculous things! "You need to understand that being friends with gays is unacceptable. You should really avoid all contact. Don't even bother talking to them." Really? Did you really just say that? What happened to love thy neighbor as thyself? Aren't we all children of God? Are you really encouraging discrimination? I fired back, then stomped out of the room.


My favorite find? An English paper James wrote on my Grandpa Carver. I didn't change anything.

2/7/95 James Bateman


My grandfather (on my mother’s side of the family) is mildly eccentric in a charming sort of way. He has always been known as the fix-it man in the family, and he loves to build and invent different types of things. No matter how broken or damaged an object might be he can fix it, and if something needs to be done he does it or finds a way to do it. He can never pass up a good deal and his passion is golf. My grandfather is not your ordinary run of the mill grandpa.

My grandpa can fix anything. A few days after Christmas the best present our family has ever received from Santa Claus broke down. The rims on our arcade basketball games had bent and we couldn’t play our favorite toy. We thought of driving to Clearfield to get some replacement rims, but we knew they would probably just break again, so we gave it to Grandpa to fix. Over the course of a couple of days Grandpa’s wrinkled but swift and leathery hands spent hours reinforcing the rims so that they wouldn’t bend or break again. The day he brought then back he screwed them back onto the backboard and with a wink said, “If they bend or break again just bring them back and I’ll fix ‘em.” Our entire family knew that pigs would fly before the rims gave out. Friends that have this same toy have bent rims that they have long given up on trying to fix, but after three years of playing with that toy not once have we had to go back to Grandpa to have him fix it.

My grandpa cannot pass up a good deal. Grandpa has been a lifelong subscriber to “TIME” magazine when he decided that the articles in it were insulting his intelligence. He let his subscription run out, and when “TIME” called to ask if he wanted to renew his subscription he refused, “I wouldn’t subscribe to your magazine if you paid me!” he exclaimed. For my grandpa to say something like this was pretty extreme. He has always been a calm, patient, humble kind of man so it surprised us to see him speak his mind so forcibly. After about a year of not having “TIME” after having the magazine his entire life and after swearing it off forever, “TIME” called back and gave him a deal he couldn’t refuse. They offered him a great prize like a clock or something and they offered the magazine at an unbeatable price. He accepted and now the magazine has regained its hallowed spot on my grandparents’ coffee table where any magazine should be proud to be.

My grandpa may not seem like he has a big, commanding sort of personality to those who don’t know him, but to those who do he seems like he towers above you. He is a man of small stature, but the way that he acts and the way that he conducts himself around others gives him a special kind of aura that no one in my family can deny. He is a kind, gentle, sweet kind of guy who is extremely creative and extremely respectable.

Grandpa diving.

Grandma hunting with Grandpa.


Emily said...

I love this.

Valerie said...

thank you, Amy.

Jeff and Rose said...

Good thing it is acceptable to shed a quick tear in this office. That photo with Grandma holding a rifle is pretty funny--I almost can't believe that grandma had her picture taken like that!

Thank you for sharing this...James, gold star for the year.

Sara said...

Tell James that we are glad that he let you share this. I love all those old games. How can you beat Brickles? and Iago? and Carmen? This whole post has a special place in my heart.