The muppets are babbling away. In addition to his standard greeting of, “Ai!,” Destroy has commenced growling. (Sounds odd – but I assure you, I am not alone in this experience.) Search continues to discover his voice, chattering, “bahbhabah,” repeatedly and (unfortunately for those within earshot) mimicking his brother’s shrieks.

Not only are the muppets conversing with us, they continue to share secret squirrel information with each other. I’m pretty sure they are plotting with the dogs too. (Search, the future e*Trade spokesbaby, is on a mission to ride the dog like a small pony in his never-ending quest to procure my iPhone.) Language skills are very important in our household.

Recently, the muppets have begun reading along with our bedtime stories. (Disclosure, this particular occurrence may also translate to, “Please stop yammering on in that language I do not understand and give me the book so I can chew on it.”) Nevertheless, all these vocal developments do a word-nerd mommy like me, proud.

Speech and language monitoring runs in our family. AuntJ is all about the black and white stimulating flashcards. (“Say LAAADY.”) The muppets received their first flipbook of alphabet flashcards for Christmas from GrandmaNancy. And GrammaJ spent decades as a speech and language pathologist. Even GrampaStavo mastered five languages before landing in the U.S.

Interestingly enough, GrampaStavo still sounds funny. Perhaps that’s why the muppets giggle at his jokes so earnestly.

Many years ago, long before any thought of muppets, my family was enjoying a long weekend away at my parents mountain cabin. Someone came up with the brilliant idea to wile away the time with a game of Balderdash. This is a game of bluffing. Pick a word out of the dictionary that you don’t believe anyone will know – everyone creates a definition and points are earned based on guesses for the actual definition.

From an educational standpoint, this isn’t a very effective learning tool as I can never remember any of the actual definitions – just the more memorable creations. (Shiralee: Sara Lee’s kid sister; Devalgate: the hangy-downy part of a deer.) This game is all the more entertaining when playing with GrampaStavo, who writes in precisely the same fashion that he speaks.

On this fateful evening, it came GrampaStavo’s turn to choose the obscure word. “Ok, ok! I got one. Here’s one you no one will know.”

“The word is…truegee. Spell T-R-U-D-G-E. Truegee.”

“That’s ‘trudge’ Gustavo,” deadpanned GrammaJ. “Walk slowly.”

He looked completely stunned. “You mean you know it? All you do?”

The room collapsed into hysterics. I thought AuntJ might actually pass out from hyperventilation. Uncle Paul sounded like a barking sea lion as he tried to coordinate his uncontrollable laughter and breathing at the same time. (Just ask the muppets, breathing as part of multitasking is not the easiest of feats.)

Happy Birthday GrampaStavo! We love you and you never fail to make us smile – at any age (us or you).

Now that Search has mastered crawling, he’s moving on to the challenge of standing. From there it won’t be long before he’s trudging along…




Filed under Family Stories

7 Responses to Truegee

  1. Joanne Hamann

    Thank you, thank you – my favorite story of stories – the trugee!!! Cracks up everyone I know and is a favorite story to liven up any dull party 🙂 Happy Bday, Uncle Stavo – you are the best!

  2. Gramma J

    Yikes! Where did you get that picture? Is that how one does the “truegee”?

  3. Winifred Ahern

    Oh – the famous “Trugee” story!! Guaranteed to produce a laugh any time. Gustavo always provides entertainment — and, Destroy is probably growling in response to Scout’s conversation. G.G.

  4. Happy Birthday Dad!!! You’re the best!

  5. grandpa stavo

    as Rodney Dangerfield used to say : i got no respect ; …..and those pictures dont do me any good………thanks Tricia!!!!!! kedding aside ,for all these years[toomany to remember] i have being lucky and BLESSED with a great family, and now even more with the arrival of my two little italians [sorry Jon] ciao tutti love gpastavo

  6. grandpa stavo the way the above pictures of me of different stages of my life they were regected as official fotos for my new american passport!!!!!
    too good, too bad, or too ugly?????we will never know, but Tricia i suggest you keep them in your memorabilia album so Search and Logen will see where their gooood look come from ciao tutti love gpa stavo

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