Friday, June 12, 2009

Meet the Family

You might as well know right from the beginning that our family is just a little weird. In a good way, of course. The weird gene keeps getting passed on from one generation to the next, to the next, to the next. Currently we are at four living generations of weirdness, and proud of it! (Most of us are proud of it.)

~ My husband of thirteen years, minus a couple of weeks. He has spent most of his life in trucking, but has many skills in other areas, as well, like security and executive protection. For all that he tries to pretend like he's normal and the rest of us are the weird ones, he is a perpetual practical joker. Usually it's little stuff, like answering the phone, "Domino's Pizza!", or, "We can't come to the phone right now. Please leave a message, and we'll call you back as soon as we can. BEEEEEEEEEEEP!!!" As you get to know the children, please keep in mind that I contributed only half of their DNA.

Recently, Jack took a class from the National Weather Service so he could become an official spotter. Now he gets to make daily reports at 0700, plus report unusual weather events whenever possible. This led to some unusual stories being circulated at school. The teachers wanted to know, "Did your husband really quit his job and become a tornado chaser?"

~ It's always hardest to write about yourself. In fact, during the publishing process for my first book, I had to write a bio for them to draw on for the blurb on the back of the book. It was so awkward, trying to drum up credibility out of thin air. Finally, I wrote a joking bio that included such phrases as, "Her only awards, she claims, would be in diaper changing, commode cleaning, and the county speed record in vacuuming." Then I wrote the REAL bio, doing my best to sound scholarly...someone with sufficient weight that you would want to read a book by them. Imagine my surprise to receive my first, beautiful bound copies, and then see which bio the publisher had actually drawn from!


That'll larn me.

Writing autobios hasn't gotten any easier. Don't look for Noni Beth: Her Story, Her Words in a bookstore near you - you'll have to wait for the unauthorized biography.

Damon, age 12
~ His first word may have been "Mama", but his first recognizable picture was a tornado. As was his second, third, fourth, and on through his bazillionty-ninety-seventh. Even when he draws other things, there is almost always a tornado in the background somewhere. Still Life on the African Savannah...With Tornado. Eventually he branched out a bit in his interests, which now include hurricanes, volcanoes, earthquakes, lightning, and any other natural disasters. (Ok, very short branches.) And ever since he discovered the amazing combination of baking soda and vinegar, my cleaning supplies haven't been safe.

Christine, age 10
~ Aka Tiggy. She inherited my love of spelling and music, but has her daddy's dimples. (And addiction to practical jokes. It's funny in a pathetic sort of way to hear her answer the phone, "Sorry, *giggle*, we can't come to the *giggle* phone right now. Please leave a *giggle* message...BEEEEPhahahahaha!!!") Overall mellow and good-natured, one of her biggest flaws is sweeping. Moving to a house with almost all wood floors is going to be a challenge for this broom-hatin' girl.

Devon, age 8
~ Words are so inadequate. Calvin and Hobbes? Dennis the Menace? Amateur wannabes. When he was smaller we called him a baby velociraptor. He has grown into some very nice manners, when he wants to use them, but you can tell he's still a wild critter at heart. Thin is an understatement. We call him Long John Sliver. Though very smart, he much prefers physical pursuits to bookish ones. None of us were entirely surprised to hear that he had announced to his teachers, right before summer vacation, "I am not going to school any more! I am moving to Montana, and I will be a farmer!" Got some bad news for ya, Buddy!

Dillon, asleep
~ Still very much a part of our family, our dear little boy is waiting for the resurrection. Stillborn at 20 weeks.

Diesel & Clancy
~ Diesel is our Montana cat who visited California this winter, and Clancy is our California dog who is visiting Montana this summer. At least, that's what he keeps telling us, being in total denial about moving.

Mom & Dad
~ Both now retired, not exactly voluntarily. The company Dad worked for went through a lot of "changes" (a euphemism for "getting rid of all the employees"), and Mom's foot surgery, done to try and keep her off permanent disability, didn't work. Now she is on permanent disability - "differently abled". (I can only say this because I'm safely in Montana at the moment, and she's in California. She still runs really fast despite her injuries; she just can't walk for 12 hours at a stretch.)

Dad is a former engineer, Mom is a former OB RN. Now they are both getting ready to be former Californians. Nobody is sure where they're going yet - just somewhere else. (Pick Montana!!!!!!)

~ A teacher for many years, including 14 years at Hawaiian Mission Academy when Hawaii was still considered a mission field, Grandpa has been living with me full-time for the past 7 or so years. I cared for Grandma until her death at home, in 2003. Now that I'm moving, Grandpa will be living with Mom. He appreciates being able to stay with family, having been unable to live alone for about 10 years.

~ My brother. Computer programmer and gold dredger, not necessarily in that order. Still a California resident, poor thing.

~ Also my brother. Professor of herpetology, recently distinguished himself by his first rattlesnake bite. He may lose his finger yet, or part of it. Teaching a herpetology class in Oklahoma at the time of the bite, he is moving back to Arizona over the summer. They had to consult the doc from Venom ER about his bite, so I feel like I'm basking in fourth-hand fame at the moment.

~ Single adoptive mother of 3, she does an amazing job each and every day. A published author and accomplished musician, she is talented in so many areas. If you need something big done in a hurry, she's the right one to ask. She has a real passion for raising awareness about Reactive Attachment Disorder: it's causes, resulting behaviors, and how to treat it.

John, Laura, and Caleb
~ My nephews and niece. Each one has brought so much to our family. Intelligent, artistic, musical, creative...and they'll be visiting us for much of the summer!

You will meet other family members and friends as time goes on. My brother-in-law and his family live right here in Westby. (They're the reason we even heard of this tiny little place.) Last summer while I was out here, he was a contestant in the first derby car race I ever saw, and even made the finals! He finally had to quit when his car caught a wee bit on fire - for the second time. Apparently they have funny little rules about your car catching on fire more than once per derby. Quotas, maybe.

And wait till you hear what we did Sunday!

Until the next adventure,
Noni Beth


  1. Hi Noni

    I visied your new home and saw Al's meat and grocery .. the community centre and I really was expecting a Wyatt Earp to come out of city hall.. its all so much like the little towns we get here.

    I can still remember the town we came from down south... Bridgetown.. same place Jacks family came from. It still is a wonderful place to bring up kids.

    Oh and your fire station... found the post office ...ok hardware...and the building with the 'meth not even once ' mural on it

    the cute white church.. the big wheat silos???... does the north dakota and montana state line run through the edge of the race course?

    I saw Plentywood had a supervalue and being a larger town the most important thing ... do they have Burger king??? lol

    as long as you get the net then you will be ok with contacting your mum & dad and Tina and brothers.. its not too far away really.

  2. Small towns have a lot in common the world over. :) It would be fun to visit your old town and see how similar it is to here.

    If you've even seen the meth mural, you've really gotten the grand tour! Yes, those are wheat silos. That's the grain elevator, and the trains come through all the time. What's nice is they're only going a couple miles an hour, so we get occasional nice train sounds, but no deafening roar.

    As you've probably seen by now, there isn't a BK anywhere close by. The Dairy Queen has its own special little quirks, but I'll have to wait till I take photos or no one would believe it.

    The fast internet here is pretty slow, but still plenty faster than dialup. That'll help keep us all in touch, and if all else fails, they can read the blog. :D