Monthly Archives: February 2013

A few stories

My Grandpa was a great story teller and story maker. I have so many thoughts and memories but a few are particularly funny to me…

Me With Grandpa
Me With Grandpa

At the funeral, the preacher told a story about the time he and my Grandpa were preparing for a meeting at the church. A bat flew from the belfry and into the meeting area. Both men grabbed brooms to swat the bat from the air. One of them finally got it and the preacher was about to set the bat under-foot. Grandpa told the preacher to wait a second as he went to gather a pair of gloves. His plan was to set the bat free outside rather than mash an innocent creature. He held the bat up and showed the preacher his big wings and cute little face. The preacher only wanted him gone so Grandpa took him out and returned a few minutes later. When the preacher asked Grandpa what he had done, he replied that he had released the bat…down the street in front of the Presbyterian church!

Another time, there was a neighbor how had a rooster that crowed every morning (and all day too as roosters tend to do) and drove everyone mad. When that neighbor moved, everyone was delighted with the possibility that they may be able to sleep in a bit. Unbeknownst to the remaining neighbors, Grandpa had recorded the rooster and had a speaker set up within a few days. He resumed the morning serenade for awhile to the delight of…only him!

My Grandpa always had a garden in which he spent a great deal of time. Groundhogs invaded one year so Grandpa strung a live 120v line around the perimeter and electrocuted a groundhog or two. Thinking he had cleared the area of the offending beasts, he declared himself the victor. Paying back for the rooster, the neighbors stuffed a groundhog and placed him in the middle of the garden. Grandpa retrieved his .22 rifle and shot the groundhog thinking he would solve the problem once and for all. The groundhog statue remained strong for the next several shots. I think Grandpa probably had his shooting confidence shaken with that episode. He finally figured it out and no doubt, payed everyone back.

One of the best stories is how he tamed a chipmunk…told here.

also Snowmobiling

and When he was young

There are tons more stories but I think one of my favorite lines relates to that time in life when my brother and I were learning to cuss.  Thinking that we would show-off or try to impress Grandpa, he shared our new-found vocabulary.  He calmly replied that he was impressed but that those were garage words and could only be used there.  That wasn’t quite the reaction we were expecting I am sure but it put us in our places!

The Family
The Family

It’s hard to summarize all of the funny stories in a meaningful way and you may not be as amused by them as I am. Maybe it would help to drink a cup of Sanka before reading. Grandpa drank Sanka every day and I am sure it ran through his veins. Funny how even that word, Sanka, will always mean Grandpa to me.

My grandpa

Last Saturday, my grandpa passed away.  He was 98 years old and a true gem.  I am posting his obit here but will likely write some more over the coming days.  His funeral was Wednesday and, as much as I miss him, I was delighted to hear stories people told about my grandpa.  He was a character and a great man.

WISE2 Wise3a

Homer Glenn Wise, 98, of Tionesta, died Saturday, Feb. 16, 2013, at Oakwood Heights (formerly the Presbyterian Home), Oil City.  He was born March 25, 1914 in Clarion, son of the late LaVern B. and Edith (Hoover) Wise.  On April 3, 1935 he married Florence B. (Gardner) Wise in Pittsburgh. His loving wife died on  March 21, 2003, after nearly 68 years of marriage.  Glenn and his wife owned and operated Wise Sunoco of Tionesta (now Greathouse Body Shop)  until 1959. He and his wife also ran a concession stand at the Tionesta Dam along with Wise Boat Livery where he sold boats, motors, chainsaws and accessories.  He was a foreman for 20 years at the Evenflo-Crator Manufacturing Plant in Tionesta retiring in 1978. He then went to work for the Forest Hardware also of Tionesta.  He was twice Past Master of Olive Temple Lodge #557 Free and Accepted Masons of Tionesta.  He was also a member of the Coudersport Consistory and Scottish Rite. He was one of the founding members of the Tionesta Volunteer Fire Co., and was a search and rescue scuba diver.  Glenn and his wife were devoted members of the Tionesta United Methodist Church where he held many positions.  Surviving are his daughter, Janice Patterson and her husband, Fred, of Tionesta; four grandchildren; five great-grandchildren; three great-great-grandchildren; and several nieces and nephews.

In addition to his parents and wife, Glenn was preceded in death by a daughter, Betty Mellon in 1992; a grandson, Jonathan Patterson in infancy; four brothers, Mervin, Hobart, Elmer and Stanley Wise; and five sisters, LeVera Reynolds, Ethel Wolfe, Grace Startzel, Blanche Wise and Doris Cooper.  Friends will be received from 2 to 4 and 6 to 8 p.m. today at Norman J. Wimer Funeral Home of Tionesta. A funeral service will be conducted on at 11 a.m. Tuesday at the Tionesta United Methodist Church with the Rev. J. Mark Hurst, pastor of the church, and the Rev. Bruce K. Merritt of the Nixon United Methodist Church of Butler, PA., co-officiating. Burial will occur at Mt. Collins Cemetery, Tionesta.

The romance is still alive

We have been married for 18 years.  I don’t want to say we are post-romance but things are definitely different than they used to be.  The last few years, I have gotten Emily some interesting gifts.  I guess I just figure that we ought to get practical if we are going to be forced into consumerism.  In recent years, I have gotten Emily a muffin pan, a vacuum and a frying pan.  We needed each of those things so I naturally figured that there was no better way to show how much I cared than to give something we need.

Ice cream cake romance

For some reason, Emily doesn’t see it that way.  Anyhow, this year I decided to express my affection in a different way…Emily loves ice cream cakes from Baskin Robbins (and nowhere else) so I got her a cake all for herself.  We also lost our local source of Smucker’s apple jelly.  There is no apple jelly like Smucker’s so I ordered a six-pack online and had it shipped.  Here’s where I get extra credit…I ordered both gifts before Valentine’s day!  Anyhow, I think I hit it on the head this year.  What do you think?

Shrove Tuesday

When I was a kid, I remember my Grandma talking about Shrove Tuesday and Ash Wednesday, Maundy Thursday and Good Friday.  I always thought it was pretty cool that some days got special names in the lead up to Easter.  I never really knew where the names came from but I loved to hear my Grandma say them.  I have no idea why I remember her talking about the special days leading up to Easter, but it just stands as a really cool memory I keep.  Before I forget, she also used to pronounce April as Ape-rile. I can hear her talking and using all of those various words!

Anyhow, for some reason tonight, as I was thinking of her, I decided that after 41 years of not knowing what Shrove Tuesday or Maundy Thursday meant, I decided to look them up.

from wikipedia:

The word shrove is the past tense of the English verb shrive, which means to obtain absolution for one’s sins by way of Confession and doing penance. Thus Shrove Tuesday gets its name from the custom for Christians to be “shriven” before the start of Lent. Shrove Tuesday is the last day of “shrovetide”, somewhat analogous to the Carnival tradition that developed separately in countries of Latin Europe.


Maundy Thursday (also known as Holy Thursday, Covenant Thursday, Great and Holy Thursday, Sheer Thursday and Thursday of Mysteries) is the Christian feast, or holy day, falling on the Thursday before Easter. It commemorates the Maundy and Last Supper of Jesus Christ with the Apostles

I also learned that Maundy means foot washing.  I really hate anything related to feet so I am out on Maundy Thursday.  Shriving doesn’t sound like much fun either although shrovetide is a really cool word.

The lifeblood
The lifeblood

I decided to go with the other name for today…Fat Tuesday which comes from the French which comes from the Latin for “act like a fool and eat a lot of crap you know you shouldn’t”.  Yes, that sounds much more up my alley.  Today, I decided to honor the fine tradition of Fat Tuesday.  I have had 4 donuts, 3 liters of Mountain Dew, 5 Cadbury Creme eggs and a small piece of chicken (because it was doused in spices and stuff).


Come to think of it, maybe I do need to shrive a little…I shrive that I have eaten very badly today and that it was probably not the best idea…tomorrow I will need to find absolution…from my stomach!

The importance of pudding and its perfect state

Pudding is one of those things that is a real delight and one that I do not enjoy often enough.  I worked pretty hard on a few things this weekend and I took a couple of ugly falls, climbed under cabinets for a few hours and even broke a fingernail.  As always, I had to harass Isaac a little also, and with his size nowadays, that is no small feat.  So, as I browsed the pantry the other night, I saw, peeking around the box of saltine crackers, a package of french vanilla cook-and-serve pudding.

Pudding is love! 12_25_2012 131

Now truth be told, there is nothing finer than made-from-scratch vanilla pudding (like we put in creampuffs), but barring the real thing, I am pretty happy to make it from a mix.  Here is the important part though…I only eat it when it is hot/warm and it is best with the lumps and skin that develop.  The skin turns instantly nasty when it gets cold, so I am not talking about that skin.  No, the warm skin and lumps are the ones that make pudding perfect.

Pudding is love! Pudding is love!

I mixed up a 6-serving box right before bed and ate half of it, making sure to scrape the bottom of the pan to get the lumps.  Emily and the kids will eat the cold pudding later…eeewwww.  Anyhow, with all of my bumps and bruises, it was just perfect and just what the doctor ordered.  Pudding fixes things, my friends.  It’s sort of magical and the real magic is in the lumps!

If it has to snow…

If it has to snow, I guess we might as well do something to enjoy it.  We didn’t get too much snow on Friday but Abigail in particular decided to make the most of it.  I bribed her brother to go and sled with her and it worked…he fell for it.

Sled riding! Sled riding!

I had decided earlier in the day not to wear any pants all Saturday.  Before you think me too creepy, I wore shorts all day, even out in the 25 degree weather.  I wasn’t cold for some reason and it had nothing to do with Uncle Bill’s special cold weather elixir.

Shorts in the snow      02_05_2013 069

Anyhow, hills in WV are plentiful but hills that won’t kill you are somewhat harder to find.  The kids spent an hour or so rolling up and down the little hill out back with sleds and without.  It was really a pretty awesome time.  The kids had a lot of fun together and any time we get that chance, I will take it.

Sled riding! Sled riding!

While standing out in the snow, I also discovered the my phone can take really awesome panoramic photos.  I took a few pics of the area from different angles.  I sort of hate to admit it but the whole scene was sort of pretty.

02_05_2013 011

I guess I might have had blood flow issues though as my body tried to warm my legs so I do not want to fully commit to claiming any part of winter is nice.

Sled riding! Sled riding!

I had the opportunity to enjoy my favorite holiday of the year with my kids and that was pretty cool.  I know you are thinking that Groundhog Day can’t possibly be Warren’s favorite holiday but, friends, I am here to tell you it is!  It means the days are starting to feel longer, the maples will soon be blooming and winter is soon to be over!  This year Phil was very kind also.  And just to go on the record, Punxsutawney Phil is the one true seer, the prognosticator of all prognosticators.  The others are all impostors!

Snow days

Emily and the kids are off today because of the snow and the cold.  It was 11 outside this morning and the roads were a bit of a mess so it was the right thing for the county to call off classes today.  I just wish they hadn’t called at 4:35 am.  We are very lucky (I think) that the county uses a robocaller to alert teachers and parents to closures, announcements, etc.  We just need to work on the clock…


When I was a kid, we had to wait for the tv station to scroll our county across the screen.  The closest station was 100 miles or so away.  I am not sure it mattered but our little rural area was not terribly important to anyone else.  Honestly, they never cancelled or delayed anyhow so there really wasn’t much to watch for anyhow.  We just went to school every day.  More than once I remember sitting on the bus waiting for a plow truck to come so we could follow it down the hill and get to school.  I also remember one time when the bus tried to make it up the hill to the school.  As the bus started spinning and sliding (even with chains on), the driver stopped it and we had to walk the rest of the way in the snow (we weren’t barefoot but it was up hill!)

I don’t want to go on about how easy kids have it nowadays, but it was just different.  I am sort of jealous though!  Anyhow, I am sure that the family is enjoying sleeping in while I slave away at the office!  Snow days are special days in my book and I truly hope the kids enjoy a little extra time to relax.  Heck, by tomorrow it may be 70 again and we will be outside in shorts  (if only we were so lucky)…