An Update on A Special Pair

Here is a picture of my grandson, Elijah.

varphoto011 His parents had the most used phone numbers coded in their phone.  The number to my phone was “2”.  While babysitting one night, I taught him to call my number and listen to my answering machine’s message.  I kept telling him to say “Hello, Grama” when the message stopped and he heard the ding.  He wouldn’t say it.  But we practiced calling my phone many times until he could call without my prompting him.

About a week later when I got home from classes, there were some  messages waiting for me.  I listened to the first; it was from my oldest daughter.  Then came the second.  Wow!  It was Elijah.  He said, “Hello Grama”.  There was a lot of noise in the background.  I could hear my daughter and her husband talking.  Don, my son-in-law, said, “Elijah, you are not suppose to play with the phone.”  Then there was a click.  Don had hung it up.  I immediately picked up the phone and called their house and told them I had a message from Elijah on my phone.  Of course, they did not believe me.  So I played it for them so they could hear for themselves.  With a little patience on the adult’s part, a child can learn to do things at a very early age.  This little incident is proof of that.

Here is a picture of Elijah now. DSC05624

He is no longer a boy; he is a young man, attending college.  When he was just a little guy,  I wrote some journal entries about him and his little sister, Charity.  The two were quite a special pair.

charity spanish0009 Charity Spanish 20001

elijah and charity on skis They played well together as evidenced by the photos above.

No Where To Run is an article I wrote about an adventure they had with my cat, Kit.  If you click on the title you can enjoy the adventure too.

In addition, Grama’s Birthday is an other article I wrote about both Elijah and Charity.  It was a joy when they both came to my house to deliver a present that brought with it a lasting joy for me and my cat.  Click on the title and enjoy the adventure too.

Charity has grown too.  Here is a picture of her holding a crab she found on the beach here in California.

Picture 194 She has turned into quite a soccer player too.  She guards the goal and stops the ball from entering.  She does a good job.  Before too long I plan to put some video clips of her doing just that.  Then you can judge for yourself.  In the meantime, there are some still shots.

Charity also sings.  The AV Beat On-line Magazine wrote an article about her in their magazine. They called her the”Singing Soccer Player”.   She sang often for the Jethalks here in Lancaster before games.   Here is a photo of her at the stadium.


The Winners

The Winners

By Trudy A. Martinez

As I approach the O.J. Actis Junior High, a hum catches my ear like that of a swarm of bees.  Occasionally, a high squeal pitch punctures the air, following a towering roar, commanding, “Get over here–leave that girl alone!”

The doorway is crowded with mothers and dotted occasionally with a father here and there and, of course, a lot of small children trying to squeeze through openings in the crowd.

A long metal table blocks the wide entrance, except for a small passage way that leads on to the activity floor.  Behind the table, volunteers sit on a tan metal folding chairs.  They are frantically handing out fliers, signing up enrollees, or answering questions.  It is difficult for those who have already enrolled to get past the eager new participants.  A harsh voice rings out, “Just a minute, Jimmy.”

“Come back here,” says another.

Anxious children who manage to escape their parent’s side pepper the passage way.  They are uniformly dressed in black outfits that look like over-sized pajamas tied in the middle with a white belt.  The belt wraps around their small frames twice before being tied in the front.  On their backs, contrasting the black color of the pajama, are bold white letters forming in a semi-circle, spelling out “Young Olympians,” an artistic illustration of a block kick in action, and stars, U.S.A., and more stars.

A white sock becomes air-borne, flying high above the heads of the crowd, as if it has wings–tailing behind it is a voice command:  “Go get that sock!”

On the activity floor which takes on the appearance of a gym with its waxed and shining hardwood, an instructor is giving directions to a group of children that were in an earlier session; the group is about to break up.  He says, “Remember now,” taking in a deep breath as he raises his finger to is puckered lips, “Sh-h-h!”  Then he continues, “What you learn here tonight is to only be used as self-defense–to protect yourself from anyone who tries to grab you or hurt you–not your friends.” he adds.  He takes another deep breath and says, “This bright yellow belt can be earned through your participation in learning and mastering the techniques I show you.”  Then he asks, “Do you want one?”

A loud sharp, “Ya,” can be heard as all the children reply to his question in unison.

The program is being sponsored by the Y.M.C.A.  Although the program is sponsored by the men’s organization, participants of the educational activity are not limited to boys; girls are welcome and encouraged as well.

Chandra, my granddaughter, eagerly awaits her class to begin.  her big brown eyes glisten and beam with excitement.  It is difficult for her to remain still.  Her muscles tense and her fists clinch in anticipation.  When her mother says, “Chandra, you need to get your shoes and socks off.”  Chandra immediately drops to the floor as if she is a puppet and the words pull her string; her mother does not need to repeat the words.  She moves quickly, untying her shoes, pulling them off, and then removing her socks; when she finishes with one foot, she instantly repeats the process with the other.

On the activity floor, the instructor tells the early group, “Good-night,” as he bows to them with both hands at his side.  All the students reciprocate and then leave the floor, scampering with excitement back to their parents.

Chandra’s eyes grow in size, taking on a pleading look as if to ask, “May I go?”  Her lips form a smile and she turns her head upward toward her mother, anxiously waiting her mother’s approval.  “Okay, go on.”

The turn out for the self-defense and safety awareness program seems to highlight a growing problem that faces America: that of helpless children falling prey to unknown assailants and being victimized.  A concern for their safety prompts the offering of the classes.  The overwhelming response indicates parents worry about the children.  Because of the size of the class, some parents are asked to participate by holding the block pads and block sticks (foam padded) for the children to practice on, thus freeing more instructors to assist those kids who are having difficulty.

The children line up in rows.  Chandra makes sure she is right up front so she doesn’t miss a move  Chandra’s mom had told me the first night of class, Chandra had to be encouraged and reassured that she would not be the only one who didn’t know anything; but no one would guess that she had been so shy now or that she had only one lesson.  She certainly did not act like a novice.

“Horse stance,” says the instructor.

Immediately, all the children assume the position:  they spread their legs apart, assume a semi-squat position, double their fists tightly until their little knuckles appear white and hard, and position their little arms in preparation to block and punch.  Their bodies are rigid.  “Punch,” yells the instructor.

The children threw one arm forward sharply with force–“Ya.” they reply in unison.

The instructor has them sit on the floor in a squatting position as he demonstrates the next move.  “When I say, ‘ Get up.’  I want you to get up as fast as you can–but don’t start until I tell you.”  All the little bodies tense and lean forward slightly.  One over-anxious little bottom left the grown, protruding upward–it is Chandra.  “Down,” the instructor repeats.  “Don’t get up until I say.”  He went on giving detail instructions on how to block a hit and then immediately follows through with a kick forward.  “Up,” he says.

Little bodies pop up like they are spring-loaded.

“Horse stance,” he yells.  They instantly assumes the position.  “Block–Kick.

“Ke–.” they yells as one arm goes up to block.  “Ya,” they continues as their leg goes up close to their body and instantly shots forward.

Judging from the height of their kicks, I imagine an assailant dropping to his knees.  “These kids can turn out winners,” I thought as my mind envisions the encounter and then their little legs carrying them speedily away from the danger.

Technorati tags: ,

A Concept of Truth: The Truth–Nothing But theTruth

By Trudy A. Martinez

“Put your right hand on The Holy Bible,” the bailiff says. Then he continues, “Repeat after me: I swear to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, so help me God.” In this scenario if a factual statement of things is not made and instead, an untruth (a lie) is communicated, the untruth is referred to as perjury, a voluntary violation of an oath to tell the truth; therefore, it is punishable by the law.

A friend asks, “How do you like my new dress?” She smiles and twirls around, allowing the dress to billow out. Her eyes are beaming with excitement, anticipating an affirmative answer. Before I am able to reply, she adds, “Tell the truth.”

My mind regurgitates:” . . . the truth . . . nothing but the truth.” Then I blurt out, “I don’t like it–the print is too bold–the color doesn’t flatter you skin.”

“How could you! How could you–What did I ever do to you?” She stammers as tears fill her eyes.

“You said to tell the truth. Is it my fault sometimes the truth hurts?” I ask, defending my answer. Under the circumstances, it is evident to me the truth is not what she wants, at least not in the sense I imagine. Instead, the truth is something that is acceptable as true to her.

The concept of truth is difficult to explain and to teach children. Everything around us seems to lie. As a result, our actions speak louder than words.

For instance, when my daughter attempts to teach Chandra, my granddaughter, about traffic signals (they are in the car), every time they come to a light my daughter explains and then reacts. “The red light means stop,” she says to Chandra as her foot presses on the brake to stop the vehicle. “The green light means go,” she says as she removes her foot from the brake and places it on the gas pedal and then presses downward to accelerate the vehicle. Then my daughter explains the yellow light. “The yellow light means slow down – get ready to stop.” she says.

“That’s not true, mommy!” Chandra blurts out quickly. Then she continues, “The yellow light means hurry and go fast!” She looks up at her mommy with her big brown eyes fixed in a stare, confronting her. “You step on the gas when you see the yellow light.” Then she says as she continues to justify herself, “Remember when we are walking across the cross walk, mommy?”


“The green light tells us to go. We went-we start walking.” She smiles and then continues. “Before we get across–the yellow light comes on.” Chandra continues, as a smile forms on her Mommy’s face. You said, “Hurry up–we have to go fast and get to the other side before the red light comes on,” she stammers. “So the truth is, Mommy,” she says as her eyes beam with delight, “the yellow light means hurry up and go fast!”

In an attempt to prepare my two oldest daughters for the world, I tell them to always tell the truth–the whole truth–no matter what; they are warned that if they do not tell the truth–the whole truth, they will be punished.

My youngest daughter is four. Her sisters are eleven and nine. The four-year old is very impressionable and wants to be just like her sisters. She follows them around everywhere. Then one day, she came running into the house, crying: “I got a big ow-w-ie!”

“Oh honey,” I say, “let me kiss it and make it feel better.”

“No,” she says. “I need a big bandage.”

“I’ll get you one.”

“No,” she replies. “I-I–do it.”

“Are you sure you can reach them?”

“Yes,” she answers. “I’m a big girl.”

“Okay, go ahead–if you have any trouble, call me–okay?”

“Okay,” she stammers as she stumbles out of the room, limping and holding her knee.

A short time passes. I hear her coming down the hall. I am in the kitchen, peeling potatoes for dinner. I didn’t bother to turn around. I just ask, “Did you manage okay by yourself?”

She replies, “Yes, Mommy,” as she hurries past me toward the living room where her sisters are sitting on the living room floor playing a game of Monopoly with a couple of boys from the neighborhood.

All of a sudden, screams fill the air.

“Mom!” exclaims one.

“How could you–you little brat!” Says another.

Laughter begins. The laughter nearly drowns out the screaming.

“What is going on in there?” I think as I drop what I am doing and make my way to the living room to find out. The laughter gets louder. The two girls are still screaming.


When I enter the room, the little one is standing with her back to me. Her hands are over her ears; her tiny fingers are spread apart, covering as much of her head as possible. The boys are rolling on the floor, laughing as hard as they can. “What is going on here?” I ask.

“Look at her–just look at her,” the two oldest girls yell in unison.

“I-I–got a big bandage.” The youngest replies softly.

I look. There on her knee, tied in back, is a sanitary napkin, a Kotex to be exact. “Where did she get the idea that this is a big bandage?” I ask.

The two older girls look at each other. Then blurt out, “It was easier to tell her it is a big bandage-then–to explain the truth.”

“Then,” I say, “You got your just reward–leave her alone–she has a big owwie!”

I took the little one’s hand and we left the room as the laughter echoes behind us.

I add a remedy, saying, “The way to avoid embarrassment or disappointment in the future is to tell the truth–the whole truth!”

No Where to Run

By Trudy A. Martinez

Reassuringly, little voices whispered dramatically,  “It’s okay, Kit, we’re not going to hurt you.”

Kit was asleep when the two surrounded her with the intent of making friends.  Normally, she ran at the sight of them.  Now she was unknowingly cornered.

When the words, “It’s Okay — we’re not going to hurt you.” were repeated in unison.  Kit’s eyes opened.  Obviously, she was not sure what to make of them:  Her ears moved from their normal stance, when their hands reached out for her, to a stressed slicked back position.

They petted her, gently.  Kit’s ears remained down.  “It’s okay,”  they reassured her.  Their words did nothing to change her countenance.  She was stiff and looking for a way to run.

Perhaps she recalled the day before, being cornered and her tail pulled.  The perpetrator of that incident was now gently running her hand from the top of Kit’s head slowly over her thick winter fur to the tip of her tail without tugging.  The question now was:  Was Kit going to relax and take advantage of this freely given affection?

The children continued to assure her that they meant well with each movement of their hands over her body.  It was a slow process, a persuasive process, a winning process.  Kit’s ears relaxed, relinquishing their stress.

Smiling the children exclaimed, “She likes me!  She’s purring,” They added with excitement.  “She’s pur-r-ring.”

Technorati tags: ,
  • Display picture for litlev6  litlev6Hello and thanks for stopping by.. 🙂  I enjoyed your blog and your wit.  I will be back..have a wonderful week Peace

Abandoned and Home Alone

By Trudy A. Martinez

Why does she leave me here alone?  When she leaves, she’s gone for days at a time.  I’m left alone, locked in, feeling sorry for myself.  I mope around and sleep more than I should.  But what is someone to do when your left alone for days on end.  I can’t leave; I can’t reach the door knob; I can’t open it.  I can only sit and look out the window at everyone outside living life to the fullest. 

 I guess you might say, I’m depressed.  How lonely I get.  I tend to get in mischief when I am left alone.  I think I do it just to get back at her for going off.  After all, turn around is fair play.  Isn’t it?  It’s fun to do things you’re not suppose to do.  I remember once, when I was feeling down and a little possessive too, I went upstairs to sit and look out the window at everyone playing on the green grass. 

But when I got to my favorite chair, I found it occupied with a stack of papers.  “That’s my chair!” I exclaimed.  I quickly threw all the papers on the floor.  But I didn’t stop there.  I was still upset because she left me again.  So, I tore the papers into little bits; I shredded them!  I even made sure if she were able to glue them back together she would not be able to read them because I poked them full of holes.  The ink ran on some of the pieces because I put them in my mouth and got them wet. 

Oh was she mad when she saw what I did.  I sure got her attention.  She yelled, “My papers!”

Well, they were her papers and she can have them now.  I had my fun.  I’ll bet she’ll think twice before she puts anything on my chair again.  She was almost in tears; she stood and glared at me; she didn’t even blink.  “Hasn’t she learned by now I can out stare her?” I thought.  It was as if she were getting ready to attack me.  I wasn’t going to back down–I stared back. 

When she reached for me and grabbed me by the back of my neck, I wasn’t scared.  I didn’t yell out; I didn’t fight back.  I did get my motor running though–you know–I started purring.  That always gets her to smile again.  Then, she started petting me.  She loves me no matter how mischievous I am or what I’ve been into.  I love her too.  But I hate it when she leaves me here alone.

 Technorati tags: ,

  • GramaTrudy  Writing this journal entry helped me to work out the pain I was feeling.  It is a lonely pain.  My cat, Kit, went outside (in my backyard) and never came back.  I’ve been teary eyed ever since.  I haven’t been able to concentrate.  I’ve been too sad.  Sometimes my only  contact with anyone is with my cat.  I call her Kit because even though she is full-grown, she is small like a kitten.  I decided to write as if I were her because in a way the tables are turned.  I usually leave her for a few days by herself — now here I am grieving because she has left me here alone.  The process of writing as if I was her made me feel somewhat better.  But there is still an empty place inside me that will never be filled if she doesn’t come back.  I love her as if she were my child.  How could I be so insensitive?  How could I have left her here alone?


By Trudy A. Martinez

Normally in the morning when my grandmother awakes, my aunt will attend to her needs, but this summer, I am to be her little helper. When I agreed to be her little helper, I had no idea that she would be my alarm clock. Promptly at 5:00 A.M., she goes off: “TRU-U-U DY.” she calls out, pronouncing each syllable of my name separately as if to transform it from one name into two. The sound of the vowel is intense, imitating the doleful howl of a wolf.

“TRU-U-U DY,” she repeats. As the stress of the syllables gain intensity, the tone of her voice rises, producing an irritating ring in my ear. Then just as abruptly, her voice drops to a sweet mellow tone that sounds almost like a whisper. “Are you up, Buttercup?” She asks. The expression of endearment (Buttercup) softens the rude harshness of my awakening and soothes my senses.

“I am now.” I quickly reply, preventing her from repeating the episode. “What on earth can she want at this hour of the morning?” I think as my brain slowly came out of its dream-like state. “Perhaps, she misplaced her cane.” I reason as I hop out of bed. “Granny needs her cane,” I assure myself, “–to find her way to the bathroom.” I continue to justify my thinking as I make my way down the hall to her room, “The cane is like another leg to Granny, strong and sturdy; it assists her old weary bones by holding up her aggregated frame.” As I approach the doorway, her words greet me.

“Buttercup,” she says sweetly as I enter the room,” I want you to give me my shot this morning.”

“You want me to do what?” I said, questioning the words tingling in my ears; they send chills down my spine, feeding the surface of my skin with blossoming goose bumps.

“I want you to give me my insulin shot,” she repeats.

“Aunt Peg said she will give you your shot before she leaves.” I shudder to think I will need to do it. “I am only nine years old.” I add, trying to convince her I wasn’t worthy of such an honor. “Besides,” I continue “I don’t know how,” thinking the matter is now settled and my final reply will put an end to such an outrageous idea.

“I’ll teach you,” she quickly replies in a reassuring tone. “You may be only nine,” she says, smiling. “But you look and act much older.” As she continues to butter me up, she reaches for my hand, grasping it and squeezing it gently as she speaks. “I am confident you can do it,” she says. “Say you will,” She pleads. “Say you will.” Granny’s eyes are small and gray; they appear like passage ways that led into the inner depth of her being, pleading with me long after her words cease.

“Okay,” I stammer out slowly, hesitating and then adding, “But, –I don’t want to hurt you.”

“You won’t. Now go–get the insulin out of the ice box.”

“You mean the refrigerator, Granny,” I say laughingly, correcting her and bringing her back into the present as I leave the room.

When I return (moments later), I find Granny sitting on the edge of the bed with her feet dangling. In my absence, she seems to have been transformed into a different person. Her eyes are no longer pale gray. Instead, they appear dark and sinister. The gentleness disappeared; now they are huge, monstrous eyes, piercing the depth of my soul. I feel like Little Red Riding Hood, wanting to scream out, “Granny, what big eyes you have!” while anticipating her answer: “Better to see you with my dear.” My mind races. Then I notice Granny’s glasses are no longer sitting on the night stand; they are sitting on the bridge of her nose. I giggle inwardly and smile. The glass is thick, thick as the glass of a coke bottle; they magnify; they intensify her every glance. Occasionally a slight tint of a rainbow can be seen when she moves her head slightly.

“What’s the matter with you Buttercup?” her sweet voice hums.

“Oh, nothing,” I reply, smiling sheepishly.

“Get the syringe out the bottom drawer,” she orders. I obey. She gives me step-by-step directions on how to fill the syringe with the insulin, interjecting how much she hates for my Aunt Peg to do it. She says, “Your Aunt Peg jabs the needle in my leg as if she was attacking a wild animal.”

I laugh as I gently prick her skin, push slowly inward, and release the medication from the syringe as she instructs.

“Ah-h-h,” she exclaims, “–that didn’t hurt at all! You did well.” Then she looks at me questionably and asks, “Why were you laughing?”

“Granny,” I said bravely, “When I came back to the room just now–”

“Yes,” she says, coaxing me on when I hesitate.

“I–I imagined you were–.” I hesitated again, and then blurt out, “The Big Bad Wolf.”

Granny roars out laughing, waking Aunt Peg who instantly appears at the doorway like a hunter seeking his prey. When Granny finally gets a grip on herself, she says, “Buttercup, you just made my day.” The she turns to look over at Aunt Peg and says, “You’ve been replaced–I’ve already been shot today.