I believe every family has that one family member who likes to “expand on truth” or help the kiddos “stretch their imagination”. For our family, that is my Dad. For as long as I can remember, he has been telling me stories—well, tall tales—that, up until my teen years, I really believed were true.
For instance, did you know if you eat watermelon seeds you can grow a watermelon in your belly? Or that eating toothpaste can make you really sick? Looking back, I was probably about 4 or 5 years old when he would tell me these stories...I wonder if I was trying to eat the sparkly Crest Kids toothpaste and he had to find a creative way to stop me? And maybe I did get a little out of control with watermelon as a child...what parent wants to deal with a kiddo suffering from a bad, sloshy stomachache due to excessive watermelon consumption? I will give him credit for creativity for sure!
The tallest of all his tales was told the year I was in 2nd grade when my Dad shared with me that my Great Grandfather helped discover America...as in, he was actually on one of Christopher Columbus's ships. Wow! I was so amazed having learned this news that, while at school, I raised my hand in class, stood up, and proudly shared this fascinating tidbit with my 2nd grade classmates and teacher. Ms. Hatch was nice enough not to burst my bubble and kindly nodded until I was finished sharing. Mind you, my Dad's family is from Ireland and if you think about the timeline of history, then my family must have also discovered the fountain of youth if my Great Grandfather was really on that ship back in 1492!!
Most of my immediate family now lives in Austin, including my Dad. And while he no longer shares the Christopher Columbus story with us, he does do his part to continue the storytelling legacy with his grandkids and also contributes to Austin's “Keeping It Weird” mantra. In fact, we all do to some extent.
As this month’s Item of Value, I’m keepin’ it weird by sharing a fun “fortune-telling fish” so you can regale your friends with your own “tall tale” (if you think you can do better than my Dad's, I’d love to hear it!). If you did not receive one of these from me in the mail already, let me know and I'll be glad to send you one! Whether you are a true native of Austin (which are as rare as a magic fish), or one of the many transplants (like me) choosing our great city for a better life, I am passionate about helping you and your family find your own little corner in which to thrive while you create your own family stories and history.
It’s a good life!
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