Okay – get ready to be reminded yet again: to VOTE TODAY AND EVERY DAY TILL AUGUST 11th for my “Grandmother Dearest” essay. You know the drill: Just click HERE. Think how accomplished you’ll feel!
Following on the heels of her cousin Bryce, Josie is honing her photography skills and is doing some classy work.You can see a some of it on her website. She recently got her first payment for a professional assignment.
The only way I could describe the rest of Josie is by writing a book, which I don’t exactly have time for today because of a looming video deadline. Her sister Little Gretchen (Warden) Stark stepped in to save the day.
I love Josie so much! She is one of my very best friends so I have lots of fun stories about her and how loving, thoughtful, generous, talented, honest, genuine, creative and smart she is, but I think there is one quality that people might not expect about her and that is that she is also absolutely hilarious!
During her younger years:
The Sneaky Peeky Penguin – Josie had a pen shaped like a penguin when she was younger and she named it the “Sneaker Peeker”. Because Josie is so creative, rather than use this pen the way most of would (to write with) she decided to put it in the freezer. She saw a totally different use for this pen that had nothing to do with writing, and everything to do with another fun game related to the name “Sneaker Peeker”. When no one was looking Josie would quietly retrieve the pen from the freezer and casually drop it down the back of an unsuspecting, surprised, and suddenly cold person’s shirt or in their lap and inform them it was the “Sneak Peeky Penguin” while laughing quite hard.
Talk ‘Em Guys – Josie had collections of toy animals, dolls, dinosaurs, rocks, beads, shells, all types of collections when she was younger. She also had, and still has today, excellent communication and social skills. When you put these two qualities together, you get the game she entitled “talk ’em guys” where you do just that, take an animal, doll, stuffed animal, rock, shell, or any other object that was close by to engage in conversations usually starting with “Hi!” “What’s your name?” If you ever asked Josie what she wanted to do when she was younger, the majority of the time you would get the enthusiastic answer “let’s talk ’em guys!”
Taping things to Grandma – Josie and T.T. started a game when they were younger involving taping things to Grandma Ford. I am not sure how it all started but I will never forget the day Grandma was walking around the house with pieces of tape with labels on the back,they were also taping change to her coat, putting coins in her hood, and the three of them were chasing each other around the house. I think Grandma, Josie, or T.T. could provide more details about how this game originated and what exactly the rules were, but either way it looked like the three of them were having a great time and laughing non-stop.
In Recent Years:
The Ceramic Pig – Josie collects and displays statues, photos, and memorabilia in her room including owls, birds, pink foam skulls, music posters, and a ceramic pig that showed up one day I’m not sure where from. For some reason this pig stood out to us and we titled it the “Ceramic Pig.” She began a game of hiding the pig around the house years ago, usually in my room or somewhere I would be sure to find it through the course of the day, which began a back and forth game of hiding the pig to surprise one another. We have hid it in the bathroom, the refrigerator, under the other person’s covers, etc… This has escalated into a game that has been going on for years now. Joe and I took the opportunity to smuggle the pig into the Suburban my parents and Josie were taking on a camping vacation before they left the driveway. On the long ride to their first destination, Josie found the pig and took photos of it everywhere they went on their vacation. Since then this pig has attended many major family events including birthdays and weddings, vacations, slumber parties. So in the future if you see one of us you can be sure that the “Ceramic Pig” is probably close by. We have also extended this game to include a battery-operated dancing and singing penguin we named “Slappy” that Joe and I bought her for Christmas. “Slappy” is slowly catching up with the “Ceramic Pig” in his travels, you never know where he might show up.
Names – Josie loves animals, particularly her dog Sarge. She loves him so much she gave him a great name, and then another, and another, and another. Sarge is the dog with over 100 names. He started out with his official name “Sargeant Sunday”. Then he got some nicknames including Sarge and Sargie, which are pretty standard garden variety nicknames. However, over the years whether depending on Josie’s mood on a particular day or what Sarge reminded her of that day, this list of names has grown to include: Sargie Cedars, Sargeant, Sargie-Loo, Loo, Lewis, Beans, Beansy, Sargie Mohawkerson, Sargeant Sonntag, C-Chunk, Butters, Mr. Butters, Sargie-C, Sargie Seb, and the list goes on. Her talent for giving dogs funny names does not end there, she also has given all of the dogs in our family multiple names. People may not know that Susy’s dog Rodeo also goes by Rodey, Ro-Chunk, Tanker, Ro-Fat, Ro-Fatty, Roadster, Rodey Reester, and many more. Molly, Curt’s cocker spaniel, also goes by Mo-Chunk, Mobey Meester, Mobey, Mo Mo, Moll, Mollers, Mollerain, and Mobles. I have no idea how she comes up with all of these funny names, but if asked I’m sure she will have a great explanation for every single one that is guaranteed to make you smile.
Photography – Josie is an excellent and extremely talented photographer. I am sure she is going to do amazing things with this talent in the future. The only part about this talent that concerns me is the amount of embarrassing photos she has compiled of me doing unflattering and otherwise awkward things including dyeing my hair, washing my hair in the sink, eating, not wearing any makeup, making strange faces, photoshopping me into photos with celebrities I don’t care for, etc… Every now and then she will text one of these photos to me just so I know she has them and of course to make me laugh uncontrollably. What she doesn’t know is that I may not have her talent in photography, but I have started a collection of photos of her as well…
While Josie has too many amazing qualities to list in this email, I think one particular special gift she possesses is her sense of humor. She has such a happy and positive influence on any crowd that people gravitate toward her, and when they get to know her well they are in for a fabulous and perhaps unexpected treat in the form of lots of laughter! It is such a gift to have Josie as a sister and I am thankful for her everyday, she is a rare, unique, and unwaveringly authentic person that can make you laugh until you cry!
These were the first stories that came to my mind when thinking about Josie.
So there you got caught up on a little about what Josie is up to. Except for when she’s eating cake.
HAPPY BIRTHDAY, JOSIE. And many More!