Saturday, January 16, 2010

50 years from today.

this was a christmas gift for biff in 2007.  i found this in an antique store here in connecticut.  biff loves to have a place to keep all of his toys like pocket knives, old pens that he collects, tools for his bike, ipod stuff, cell phone, laptop cords and chips and foreign coins.

the "gerstner box" has been around since the wright brothers carried them to kitty hawk.  the box that i bought for biff is about fifty years old.  who knew?  and i thought i had just found a cool box.

for the first few months that he had it, biff came home everyday and poured out his pockets and lifted the lid, opened the front with the swing open, "desk"made to use as a work surface.....he would turn knobs, lift the hinges and pull the drawers and  review his small collections, moving things from place to place.  it became his own place.  a minute office where he could contain most of his treasures.

he truly was delighted with this gift.  an antique tool chest, he loves old things with a history.  old things to biff, don't have to be antiques.  because he has an interest in manufacturing, all kinds of manufacturing, he loves to see how stuff is made.  the gerstner box is a tool box that was used by precision toolmakers, who built the stuff that kept the factories running.  each artisan had their own toolbox filled with special instruments for layout set up and building.  each toolbox was an extension of the individual and his stykle and his nature.  this box was carried these "tool boxes" with them to work on small  at the manufacturing plant, like house calls.

i finally had to ask him to stop telling me about the incredible uses for the box.  everytime he uses the box, still-----years later, he puts his keys and stuff in there and says,"thank you for this box.  really, it's so  great. i love my gerstner box."  when he asks the kids to get something, he just says,"it's in the gerstner."

it's like we have another man in the house.  gerstner this and gerstner that.  one day we were looking at e-bay.....i'm trying to decide if i should have a shop on e-bay.   as we looked through some of the different categories, biff clicked onto "Gerstner boxes"......he found one.  it was not in great condition.  it was way overpriced for the condition.  we debated, knowing how much he loved his own, we talked about how our son, t.j. might like to have his own."  we had alot more"gerstner" talk.

we never did buy the one on e-bay.  biff talked about having his dad make one.  his dad is a very talented woodworker.    i think biff and t.j. talked about "gerstner" possibilities.  who knew how much that"gerstner box" would turn into a member of the family!
the minute biff opened his "gerstner box", i guess i opened a can of worms.

my fun christmas present this year was my little laptop,  this cracked me up the minute i opened the box. it is the cutest computer ever.  i can't believe it's so small and has opened a whole new world for me.  this little pink laptop is the color of my phone and my ipod.  i had a pink camera too...but it has,sadly. gone to rest. i seem to have an ongoing issue with techno toys that go bad.
this cracks me up because, when my niece was about four, like twenty years ago, i bought her a little v-tech laptop type toy....i think it was bigger than this!

the cool thing is that since i have my own computer, i have learned so much.  i am able to write my blog from anywhere, i am more accessible to the internet, i actually feel like i'm getting a little more computer coordinated.  don't tell my kids....they'll just laugh out loud!

who knew so much joy could come from two different worlds.....old and new!  box and laptop box....i wonder what people will say about these things 50 years from today.

funny female parking

and finally, we arrived and got our parking space!

and here's the part of the story from our little trip last night that i left out...because i followed my heart in the story.  my life is a segway....i started telling about our trip last night to see our friends show and because i started writing about my friends talents that go on and on and on and our friendship that goes on and on and on, i wrote on and on and never got to the mix up.

we go to nan's shows every chance we get. she's not around the corner....but we love to go.  last night, we made sure to plan accordingly.  we were determined to get there on time. we have had nights where they were closing the doors, lights were out and we had to do lots of sweettalking to get ourselves in the door and seated quietly.  preferably, without nan seeing us and creating a scene.....we are easy targets.

biff, being a twin born seven minutes after his brother has a long history with running late. his twin has always said,  "you've been late since the day you were born!"
biff has come a long way and is much more prompt these days, but somehow we do have our mixups.

last night, with all plans on schedule, the family was dressed and ready, out the door, in the car and on the road with our googled directions to our location.  we had time to get in the theatre, get candy or a drink, be seated and reading our "playbill" while waiting for the show to begin.

we followed the directions to a tee until we found ourselves in a not so desireable neighborhood.  actually, the address kind of matched the directions.  as we arrived
at shack with some green grass, i got the feeling that this was not a place that nan would drive, let alone put on a show.

we stopped three people to ask directions.  no one spoke english.  does that surprise us? no. we move on.  we finally asked a not so intimidating manwith a very intimidating dog who barked loudly.  not the man, the dog.he spoke english.  not the dog, the man. we diiidn't have time to checki on the dog's language abilities.  we peeled out of that neighborhood in a hurry!

at that point, we were in a hurry but might still make the curtain call.  that is, until we drove around some more scary neighborhoods....close, but no quite.  we tried to call the theatere...we got administrative offices.  we tried to text her husband.  anyone watching or helping with a show would surely turn off their phone.  no pick up. we found the theatre....we saw the lights.  we looked for a parking spot. and we looked some more.  we circled the block.  we finally found a sign that said parking.  we followed the sign. we drove into the cement jungle parking lot.  we passed many filled parking spaces.  we followed the arrows to the next level.  we passed the security guard. we waved and smiled.  he waved and smiled.  where did he think the family of four was going?  we arrived on the next level.  thee were no other cars.  no other life.  no other ramps open.  just lights and scaffolding and do not enter signs.  we had entered the twilight zone and all we wanted was a braodway review.  we circled about and yes, our only choice, we drove back down. we drove down the up ramp.....we signaled to another driver not to go there and we got out of there.  we circled some more.,  at that point, i was ready to pull up on the fornt of the theatre.  i offered to drop off the family while i looked for a cleveland.  and just as i thought, we found a space within a block of the theatre.
phew!  we were there...we just needed to pick up the tix at the door.  pause.  we had the manager to escort us to the seats....during a break in the action. pause.  the manager escorted us to our second row, middle seats.  yahoo!  we had arrived.

in time for two songs....and intermission!  we had arrived just in time to miss my goddaughter, nan's daughter, on stage. we had arrived just in time to miss nan's son on stage.

we did make it, if a tad late.  they know we love them.  they know we wanted to be there.  they know that mix ups do happen.  they know about my mix ups.  they know that my mom called me littlemarymixup....and they love me anyway...they love us all anyway....and maybe that's part of why they love us.  they know we want to always be there for them.  literally and figuratively. and maybe that's why they love us....because we are....even if a bit late...we are there with all of oue heart.  in the second row...literally and figuratively.  cheering them on good friends do....literally and figuratively.

we were there in time to applaud and whoop it up.  i clap well.  and i have a great whistle....although it embarrasses the kids....not the kids on stage....the kids in my family.  they should be proud, don't ya think.  that's one of my biggest skills. and that counts.  i mean, for all of the nan's in the world.  they need people with skill like mine.  where would they be without the whistlers?

more than most!

last night, we all went to see a friends production of a broadway review. nan is my incredible friend....a smart, funny, loud, gentle, sweet, kind and loving and sincere friend......with more energy and more creativity and more talents than most people have been blessed with.

nan has been a friend since college.....we share our friends.......a group as close as sisters....a group with many talents and gifts.  at a small womens college, it was inevitable for us to cross paths.....and who knew the long and winding path we would travel as friends for almost over 25 years.....  yikes!

our friendship really began when we worked on talent shows together.  not just a small time talent show, but true productions, spoofs of our college living, that weon first place.  the audience was comprised of parents, faculty members and friends.

women with voices and opinions stood out. many of us, born leaders, in one way or another, mixed together, creating a force that won talent shows and forged deep and lasting friendships with us and all of our families too. 

i've been to see her productions with yellow brick roads and gingham clad singers and beauty school dropouts with greasy boyfriends. writing, directing, choreographing, producing, singing, dancing, flying, rocking and rolling are as much a part of her life as brushing teeth are to most.

after college, nan began a career as a stockbroker, a top saleswoman in her office, while being an involved and committed town council woman and in her spare time, she was the general contractor for her own house.  she played the organ at church on sundays and sings......and plays the piano. i kid you not!

nan married a great guy, who loves and supports every step she takes. before they had children of their own, she began a childrens theatre group.....another successful venture.  2 great kids and the talent gene pool carries on. her children have been a part of her productions every step of the way. nan became a teacher at her alma maters. not only a great teacher, she is loved by her students and graduates....she developed an extracurricular theatre program that is a money maker for her school.

kids come back from college to be a part of her latest venture, putting on shows at a local, acclaimed playhouse.  she has a following. this is a woman with gifts of all kinds.

she's kind she's loving and sincere....and hysterical.  we shares the love of family, the love of friends and the love of the beach and birthdays, the love of our children, the love of music, the love of God (although, i can't play the organ and after 10 years of piano lessons, i can play a few christmas songs, chop stix and heart and soul"), we share each others' joys and sorrows.  we certainly have a long history together.  we shared in some of the greatest college capers ever.  as good friends, we ran against each other for class president senior year in college.....she won and she made the best class president ever!

one of the first times we met, it was because she was booming "she's a brick house" through the dorm.  the beat was barreling down corridors and rattling our windows two floors below.  little did i know, that that booming was as big as her heart.   i never would have believed it at that time.

thank goodness i didn't let that brick house get in the way of our friendship because travelling down the yellow brick road with nan has been a blast.

of all of her talents, the gift of friendship has been the most bountiful! 

so what we learned in our fine womens college is true, girls can do anything! some can just do more than most.