This Is How You Say “Howdy” In California

We were sitting in Coffee Underground, downtown Greenville, South Carolina. Tristen was about six-years-old. Sarah was our host; she also attended our church. We love Sarah.

While we were chatting up our church friend, Tristen was thinking about the remake of the old Beverly Hillbillies show. (They made a movie in the mid-90s to bless those who were not familiar with the show from the sixties.)

At one point during the movie, the part where the hillbilly Clampett family had piled all their rustic belongings on their jelopy automobile and were entering Beverly Hills, California, there were a lot of open-border Californians upset about what they were seeing.

Rednecks. Old car. And a pile of junk. It was the worst version of the Antique Roadshow.

In a traditional and welcoming style, the Californians were “flipping off” the Clampetts. (Giving them the bird.) Perplexed, Granny (I think) asked what their sign language meant. And Jethro, the smart one in the bunch because he finished the eighth grade said,

Well, that’s how you say howdy in California.

It was an innocuous line, and since Tristen was not familiar with that kind of sign language, we let it pass when we were watching the movie.

Back To Coffee Underground

So, we’re sitting at the Coffee Underground, and Miss Sarah is serving us. As we’re pondering what we want to drink, we made small talk. Tristen, always wanting to add her two-cents, said,

Hey, Miss Sarah, this is how you say hello in California.

As my lovely daughter was saying these words, she had both her arms fully extended toward Miss Sarah. She wrapped all her little fingers in a tight fist, except her two middle fingers, which were sticking straight up so Miss Sarah would not miss this unique way of saying, “Howdy.”

Miss Sarah’s eyes widened. She leaned slightly backward in her stance, and her mouth opened, but no words came out. It was a moment frozen in time.

We ordered coffee.

Miss Sarah moved to New York City.

Tristen learned another way to say, “Hello.”

Tristen’s First Newsletter

Tristen wrote her first newsletter this week. She was pretty stoked about it. I’m not sure where she gets her ideas for things, but there seems to be quite a few of them.

Last month she started a vacation bible school in an impromptu fashion. She wrote out the lesson plans, created the games, had prayer time, and more.

These things are unprovoked by Lucia and me, which makes me quite glad. It is cool to see what is being provoked inside of her. I respect Tristen a lot.

On the newsletter, she wrote it and picked the pictures. I did some of the formatting as her “oversight” editor. It’s mostly her though. She encourages me soul. Here is the newsletter: Tristen’s Newsletter

A Tube is Not Inconvenient

Last week I left my keys for the office at home. Therefore, when I left the office I had to go home, get the keys, go back to the office, and lock the door. The handle lock was locked, but the deadbolt was not locked. Since I’m the new guy at the office I did not want the other folks to come in the next day and find the deadbolt not locked, though the door was locked. I felt it would not have been a good testimony.

However, I had planned an evening with the family and this was going to mess that up. Not surprisingly they were forgiving and the kids even wanted to ride back to the office with me to lock the door. This also gave Lucia about 45 minutes to herself, which was not bad either. So that is what we did.

On the way back from the office I told Tristen, because she is now sitting in the front seat, that it was inconvenient to do all of this, but I still think it was best for a testimony sake, glorify God, and to serve my office mates.

She asked, “What does inconvenient mean?”

I thought to myself, “I don’t know. How can I explain that?”

Then it came to me. I shared with her about the time last year when we came back from the lake and one of the kids had to pee. We were on a desolate stretch of road and there were no places to go other than the side of the road. I said that was inconvenient. Then I asked, “Wasn’t that you?” To which she said…here it is…a classic moment from Tristen,

No way dad! I would never do that. I have to sit down when I pee or I will pee all over my leg. It had to be buddy. He’s got a tube and he can point it where he wants it to go.

Theology for eating desserts

Tristen gave me her theology of eating desserts the other day. It went like this:

Dad, if you eat your desserts first, then it will come out first. So we can eat our dessert first, go to the bathroom and let it out and then we can eat our vegetables. The vegetables will stay in us, because we ate them last and they are better for us.

The sugar will be all out of us, because we ate the desserts first. That way we won’t be acting real crazy because of the sugar.

Her depth of understanding is impressive.

Starship Redeemer

Tristen was just promoted to the 3rd grade Children’s Ministry Class. It is hard to believe she is in the third grade. I have requested many times that she stop growing, but to no avail.

Her teeth are falling out, she is reading more sophisticated stuff and the words she is using are getting longer. Last week she humbly brought an observation into my life when she noted…

Dad, I thought you said you weren’t going to work on the computer in bed because you said working in bed caused some of your sleep problems? The last two nights you have been using it in bed.

Now, I have two accountability partners in the house. How kind of God.

This past week I took some pics of one of her new classrooms. It’s called Starship Redeemer. She was pretty stoked about it. It, too, seems a bit sophisticated. You can see them here. Haydn is a bit jealous, but he is doing quite fine.


Tristen’s Play Date with the E-Boys

Hello again! This is Tristen. Today was fun. We went to my friends house for a play date with my brother and my sister. We went to the Carnahans. We played with their castles. I did not know how to build one of the castles they made so I built one out of blocks.

After we played with the castles we went outside to play with chalk and ride their scooters. Then we went back inside. We had a snack. After the snack we played with the castles again. Then we had to drop the boys at art class. They were Enoch, Ezra and Eben. When we came back to the house my mom was here. We went back home to see what our house looked like.

It was being painted. After it was painted we played outside with our neighbor Jacob.

See you next time, Tristen.