Magic Wand

By Anita Garner

Dave Williams and I started this blog when we were both new grandparents.  Mine called me “Hammy” and his called him “Bompah.”  Occasionally I go back to read posts about our grandbabies.  Caedan Ray, the little girl in the picture above, has turned into a sixteen year old. Her latest birthday wish was granted and her hair is short and bright red.

If you visit here often you know I have one daughter and one grandchild.   When the Grand came along in 2004 I commuted between Mill Valley, CA, where I lived, to Woodland Hills, CA, where they lived and we made the most of every visit.

This story below was from this green velvet dress/cool black boots and princess hair period,  when all kinds of magic was in the air and anything could happen.

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My Grand is disappointed with my wishes. She urges me to rethink them. She approaches with her magic wand. She isn’t tired of making that whooshing, wish-granting sound.  She keeps asking and I keep making wishes.  During these repeat performances, it’s hard to keep thinking of new things to want, a nice statement perhaps on how the presence of this child fills up so many places in a heart.

She complains that I haven’t been wishing for really important things, so I choose a wish I know will impress.  “Cake.”  That one brings a big smile. She waves the wand and whooshes. “Yes!  Cake!”  Then I name every toy I’ve heard her speak about.  “You want that?   Me too!”

Every time we go to Target she cruises the $1.00 bins and convinces me there’s something she needs.  We go to Target a lot when we’re together, sometimes just to pick up some of their great popcorn.  She checks the selection of magic wands.  I say, “Let’s get the things on our list first, then we’ll talk about wands.”  Up and down the aisles she keeps up  her sales pitch about why she really needs a new wand, chatting about the many things it can do to improve our future.  I say, “You already have a wand.”  Her response is yes, she has two but her favorite magic wand, the best one,  is broken.

A dollar plus tax and on the way out of Target she’s waving a new wand,  asking me and everyone she encounters to make a wish.  Just close your eyes, she says, and she whooshes.  The new wand goes everywhere.  It goes with her to Charlotte’s house, where the two of them spend time transforming each other.

A bit weary of the wishing, I warn her, this time I have a long list.  That’s okay, she assures me, she can make all of them come true.  I say,

“I wish to be smarter

And healthy

And kinder

And beautiful

And richer”

Then I close my eyes and tell her to go ahead.

She doesn’t whoosh.  She’s concerned.

“But don’t you want to be a princess?”

“I guess so.”

Her face is sad so I concede.

“Okay then.  Go ahead. Wave your wand.  I’ll be a princess.”

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I remain “Hammy” still, but as Caedan Ray got older and was concerned with being teased by her peers, when she introduced me, she corrected herself.

“This is Ham… this is my grandmother.

It’s actually “Princess Hambone” if you please. My status was elevated long ago when I received a tiara and a sash from my girls to prove it, but after all these years, at home I’m still “Ham.”

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Feeling Incompetent? Duh.

By Anita Garner

Here’s one answer, short and sweet and to the point.  This comes from Seth Godin.  I cozied right up to it. It’s a topic my blogging buddy, Dave Williams, and I discuss often in one form or another.

Seth thinks a lot of smart thoughts.  Writes about them.  Posts some of them.

Here’s Seth.

At some point, grown ups get tired of the feeling that accompanies growth and learning.

We start calling that feeling, “incompetence.”

We’re not good at the new software, we resist a brainstorming session for a new way to solve a problem, we never did bother to learn to juggle…

Not because we don’t want the outcomes, but because the journey promises to be difficult. Difficult in the sense that we’ll feel incompetent.

Which accompanies all growth.

First we realize something can be done.

Then we realize we can’t do it.

And finally, we get better at it.

It’s the second step that messes with us.

If you care enough to make a difference, if you care enough to get better–you should care enough to experience incompetence again.

Here’s me again:  Thank you, Seth.

Click here to go to Seth’s homepage where  you can read his blog every day.  Or subscribe.

Old Dog, New Music.

By Anita Garner

My blogging buddy, Dave Williams and I were rock and roll disc jockeys, proud to be rock jocks through some interesting times, playing the hits and talking about the artists.  We call this website The Aging of Aquarius, but it wasn’t just the Summer of Love that turned the music around again. Two major industries, music and broadcasting, have been completely reinvented.

The first board I ran on the air.  Turntables!

We told you what you were listening to, using a “talk-up” or what you’d just heard – called a “back-title.” These had to be precise. For a talk-up we watched the second hand and memorized the point where the vocal started, and during those few seconds, it was our job to tell you something about the song or the singer.

I’ve turned over the car radio to the Grand, and she moves around among stations.  Radio is not the way she learns about music. No one on the radio says the name of the artist or the song.  Sometimes the car’s dashboard screen tells us, but not every time.

Once upon a time, getting onto a radio station’s playlist was the goal and without it, there was no assurance new artists would be heard. I ask the Grand, how do you learn about new music, fall in love with your favorites, know when they have new songs coming out?  Friends, she said.  Okay, but word of mouth has to start somewhere.  Who starts the buzz?  And who’s singing that song?  I still want to know.

Dave’s still on the air – mornings at KLIF, Dallas – bringing you news and information and friendly wake-up talk. His board looks something like this.

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Music this week is “Pick Up The Pieces” – Average White Band, 1974