Steinhoffs Converge on Cape

Graham Steinhoff Cape firetruck 08-07-2013_7995Mother’s Birthday Season, which is actually centered on October 17, started early this year by accident. First, Wife Lila, Friend Anne and I showed up in June. Brother David’s family – David, Diane and Amy – showed up later. Son Adam, with Carly, Graham and Elliot, got into town Tuesday. Son Matt, Sarah and Malcolm rolled in on Wednesday.

So far, I’ve moved to three different sleeping locations depending on the combination of people at the house. Once Mother gets shed of all of us, she’s hopping a plane to spend a Labor Day week out in Austin with the Texas branch, fresh transplants from Colorado.

By the time her actual birthday rolls around, she may want an empty house and peace and quiet for a present.

Graham, 2, loved the firetruck at Discovery Playhouse, so we walked across the street from Mother to Fire Station #4 where he could see the Real Deal.

I wanna be a firefighter

Graham Steinhoff Cape firetruck 08-07-2013_7986The nice guys at the station have been great neighbors for Mother. She’s asked them for help of a non-emergency nature over the years, but she never had to dial 9-1-1 until recently when she was suffering chest pains. It turned out to be nothing, but she won’t wait so long if there is a next time because she was impressed with how professional the crew was. They not only took care of her medical needs, they made sure her doors were locked when they left.

The firefighters opened every compartment to show him what the truck carried, but what Graham really liked was being at the wheel of the fire engine. He spent the afternoon running around the house putting out fires. (I had to play the part of the fire.)

I don’t like THAT!

Graham Steinhoff Cape firetruck 08-07-2013_7987Graham reconsidered his thoughts of joining the fire service when the fireman demonstrated the big air horns on the rig. Lights, OK. Sirens, OK. Big, loud horns, not so OK. He was ready to crawl down.

Checking out the Shed in a Box

Graham Steinhoff on riding mower 08-07-2013David, Mark and I assembled a Shed in a Box, a 10×10 tarp-like structure mounted over a metal frame. The directions say that 2+ people should be able to put it up in 2 hours. Well, it took combinations of two people 2.5 DAYS to put the thing up.

Graham checked out the shed and Mother’s riding mower in it and pronounced both acceptable.

Pilgrimage to Wib’s BBQ

Graham Steinhoff Wib's BBQ 08-07-2013No Steinhoff visit to Cape would be complete without a trip to Wib’s BBQ in Jackson.Graham opted for a hot dog, fries and chocolate milk.

He takes his chocolate milk seriously.

Elliot’s first trip

Elliot - Carly Steinhoff - Wib's BBQ 08-07-2013Five generations of us have eaten at Wib’s. This was Elliot’s first visit.

Cars and Trucks

Way back when, I created a mix tape of travel and truck drivin’ songs we used to launch every family trip. It’s been digitized and still gets played.

Here’s a video Matt, Sarah and Malcolm shot driving the Tail of the Dragon. I’ll let him describe it:

Wanna know what it is like to road trip with the Steinhoffs?

We’re traveling down US 129, Tail of the Dragon; 318 turns in 11 miles. Sarah has taken enough Dramamine to kill a pony. My car’s “we’re all going to die” traction-control alarm is lighting up the dashboard in a trippy, disco sorta way.

What a better time to fire up Jerry Reed’s ‘East Bound and Down’ from the Smokey and the Bandit soundtrack, right? Gotta balance the iPad on the swearing wheel, queue up the song and see if we can make it to the end of the track before the fully-illuminated shift knob falls off and we end up with 30,000 pounds of mashed bananas on Dead Man’s Curve.

You can click on the photos to make them bigger, but don’t make them too big. Kids are a lot cuter when they’re little.

Not Enough Words

Ken - Mary Steinhoff 10-18-2007I usually start with a picture, then wrap some words around it. This time, though, I have an endless supply of pictures and not enough words to express how I feel about Mary Welch Steinhoff. So, on this Mother’s Day, here’s a small sample of Mother with her family.

Every picture I ran across led me to another, and there are scores that I remembered and couldn’t lay my hands on quickly. Mother sure has packed a lot of livin’ into her 91 years.

Mary Welch Steinhoff, my Mother

Click on any photo to make it larger,then click on the sides to move through the gallery.

World Population Increases

Adam - Carly - Whatsit 02-04-2013a

STOP THE PRESSES!!!! I always wanted to run into the press room to say that, but I never had a chance.

We’re going to interrupt our normal programming for an important announcement that is of way bigger significance than the story I had slotted for this space.

Son Adam and his wife, Carly, presented us with our third grandson on the evening of February 4, 2013. The news is so fresh that about all I can tell you is that Mother, Baby and Father are doing fine. All the details that Wife Lila and Mother are interested in will have to wait until the first official press release from the parents.

Son Matt’s arrival was announced over the newspaper’s two-way radio system. I got Baby Whatsit’s touchdown info via a text message. (Name, like weight, length and all that other stuff will come later.)

Here’s what Grandson Graham looked like when he was born, plus copies of the newspaper mockups we made for Matt and Adam’s birth announcements.

To recap, we have the following grandsons: Matt and Sarah’s son, Malcolm, who is 8; Adam and Carly’s two boys, Graham, almost 2, and Baby Whatsit, barely touched down.

UPDATE with NAME and STATS

Didn’t take Grandmother Lila long

Lila Steinhoff and Eliot Lane Steinhoff 02-04-2013It didn’t take Wife Lila long to jet out to the hospital to see her new grandson.

Name and stats are now available via Facebook post from Adam: “Elliot Lane Steinhoff born 9:15 pm on 2/4/2013. 7lbs 8oz and 19.5″ long. Chuck Norris wishes he could be as strong as Elliot’s mom on his best day.”

Steinhoff Christmas 2000

Steinhoff family 2000 ChristmasSince the world didn’t end at midnight on December 31,1999, all of the Steinhoffs were able to converge on Missouri for Christmas 2000. The group shot was taken at Brother Mark’s house in St. Louis on Christmas Eve. The Tulsa branch consisting of David, Diane, Kim and Amy, had to blast out on Christmas Day to beat a snow storm headed our way, so they aren’t in as many photos. The Florida Clan was represented by Ken, Lila, Matt, Sarah and Adam. Mother, front left and looking younger than most of us, is the glue that binds us together.

Since all of our readers will be busy with their own families, this photo gallery is for us. Y’all are welcome to look at it, but there won’t be a final exam later.

Sarah’s a Floridian

Steinhoff family 2000 ChristmasSnow was a new experience for Matt’s wife, Sarah. She had lots of catching up to do. We were coming up from Florida in separate cars linked together by CB radios. When we got the first glimpse of the St. Louis Arch, Matt and I tried to convince Sarah that it’s a tradition for first-timers give it a healthy lick, but she wasn’t buying it. We even explained that it was perfectly sanitary: vendors sell alcohol wipes to protect you from germs.

Mother never throws anything away

Steinhoff family 2000 ChristmasMother dug out Mark and David’s graduation robes and Mark’s high school diploma. She found my white lab coat stolen from the Central High School darkroom. It had a neat NRA patch from one of Franklin D. Roosevelt’s alphabet soup agencies on one shoulder, but Mother carefully removed it, much to my disappointment.

My prom jacket

Steinhoff family 2000 ChristmasAdam looks a lot better in my old prom jacket than I did in 1965.

Photo gallery of the 2000 Steinhoff family Christmas

I hope your families have as much fun in 2012 as we did in 2000. Click on any photo to make it larger, then click on the left or right side of the image to move through the gallery.