Dawn Reader

Dawn Reader
from Open Door Coffee Co.; Hudson, OH; Oct. 26, 2016

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Rain ... Pain ...

It's been raining hard here in northeastern Ohio--since yesterday. (The day before that there was so much snow and ice, the guys came to plow our driveway; today, when I awoke, it was about 55 and raining hard. Oh, northeastern Ohio!)

So, yes, it's been raining--or, as my dad would have said, "It's lingle-lingle-lingle outside."

I didn't like rain when I was a kid. It meant I had to stay inside--could not go out, ride my bike, play baseball, get in trouble with my friends. And if I was in school--which I never really much liked--rain made it even worse because I had to sit there, look at it, and realize that even when all the dreariness inside was over, there was more to deal with outside. (Mom always told me that the weather was not a personal insult; I was not so sure then--not so sure now.)

Anyway, Dad, who died in November 1999, had a number of sayings and expressions, some of which I dare not repeat on a Family Site. But he also had the touching habit of converting into Family Sayings some of the things his three boys had said in their tongue-tangled toddlerhood--and "lingle-lingle-lingle" was one of them. One of us had said that when he was trying to to say that it's raining outside (where else would it rain?! ah, toddlerhood!).

There were others: "door-shut cookie"--I'm not sure what this even meant, even now. Perhaps one of my brothers will see this and explain it.

"Wee-wee" was ice-cream.

"Ut-meal" was oatmeal. (Though I think this was something Dad had overheard someone else say in a diner once upon a time. He liked it, kept it, conferred upon it something like Eternal Life.)

"Bopcakes" were pancakes.

"Bootrear" was root beer.

Later on, Dad would continue saying these things, right to his final days when he couldn't really think of what to say as Death, reeking, stepped ever closer to his bedside.

And, of course, I employed them with our own son, Steve, when he was born on July 16, 1972. And I added to the Family Lexicon some of Steve's tongue-tangles.

He had the damnedest time with "Pinocchio"; his version was "PIK-o-IK-o." I tried to help him ...

Dad: Say "Pin"

Steve: Pin.

Dad: Say "Oak."

Steve: Oak.

Dad: Say "Pinoak."

Steve: Pinoak.

Dad: Say "eee-o."

Steve: Eee-o.

Dad: Say "Pinocchio."

Steve: Pikoiko.

This went on for quite a while. But--oh!--the excitement (from him, from me) when he finally could say it! And now, of course, I still say "Pikoiko" when I mention that story to Steve--and to his sons.

At the stoplight, waiting for a left-turn light, tiny Steve would say, "Get us an arrow! Get us an arrow!" And not stop until we got the arrow--which never came fast enough for me!

And one of the things-I-didn't-expect when I got married was hearing Joyce's family names for things, sayings I soon learned to integrate into our Family Lexicon. One of the expressions was "make batchee," and I am not going to tell you what it means. (I'm probably already in trouble.)

Anyway ... when I heard the rain on the roof late last night--pounding hard--the first thing I thought was "lingle-lingle-lingle," and I thought about my dad, and, once again, I missed him. Horribly.

PS--Both our young grandsons called Joyce "Gommy" and me "Silly Papa." Now--as one nears 8, the other 12--mine has shortened to "S.P.," and, soon I know, we will be simply "Grandma and Grandpa," and I will be sad because an epoch has come to an end.

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