SOG with POC–Explanation to Follow

My mother, Evie, used to call herself an SOG with PIP—Silly Old Grandma with Pictures in Purse. First a word about that purse—or rather a whole series of nearly identical purses. They were never very large but their densely packed contents were wonder to behold. There was always a wallet of course, one that came with a little plastic coin holder inside it. In addition to her regular driver’s license, it was also equipped with my mother’s always valid BACKSEAT driver’s license! In addition there would be a long handled comb, a scissors, a container of Band-Aids, and a sewing kit—not to mention a paring knife. After all, you never could tell when you might encounter a day old sweet roll in need of being cut in half. And, in case you’re wondering my mother didn’t do any airplane flights in the aftermath of 9-11. Her purse alone probably would have landed her on the terrorist watch list. In addition to all the above, there was always a tiny pocket sized photo album containing her kids’ and grandkids’ latest school photos. That was the origin of the term SOG with PIP.

Now it’s a brand new era. Although I am glad to be an SOG, all my photos are on my computer as opposed to in my purse, making me an SOG with POC. As far grandkids are concerned I have ten. The three older girls, the “tall ones,” are actually my stepson’s daughters. All of them are WSU graduates. One is married with four kids of her own. The other two are working in their fields. If you were to stand the four of us in a row, you’d be hard pressed to say they aren’t my blood relations because we’re all over six feet tall. The next batch of four grandkids is also the most recent. They’re all boys and definitely on the lanky side. They came as a package deal when our stepson married their mother, Kathleen. When Bill and I married, we ended up with a blended family of five. Bill J. and Kathleen outdid us with a blended family of seven!

Next up are the “short” granddaughters. Audrey and Celeste came to us from separate orphanages in China. They are tiny. The other day Audrey was showing us some of her new clothes, and I realized that I haven’t worn clothing that size since I was in third grade. They may be tiny, but oh my are they smart. Audrey just finished her first year at WSU with a 3.9 GPA, and Celeste will be going there in the fall as an honors student.

Which brings us to the “baby” of the family, my daughter’s son Colt. He’s sixteen, six-four, and yes, he has a whole mop of dark red hair. I don’t think any of us realized how curly it was until he decided to let it grow out. The accompanying photo was taken on Memorial Day this year when he and his mom visited his father’s grave at the Douglas Munro Memorial Cemetery in Cle Elum. Jon was an active duty Coastie when he lost his nine-year battle with malignant melanoma. Colt was only nine months old at the time and a babe in arms when his father passed away, but every single year when Colt and his mom make their annual Memorial Day pilgrimage to Cle Elum, the guys who did Jon’s 21-gun funeral salute are always on hand to greet them and to marvel at how much Colt has grown.

He’s a great kid—a sophomore at Lake Washington High School and a good student. He came equipped with a tech brain. He designed and ran for the lights for his school’s production of Chicago this spring. He does tech support—lighting and camera work–for church services and events. He’s also a serious bowler. Last week when the Professional Bowler Association Tournament came to Angel of the Winds Casino in Arlington, Colt participated in a Pro-Am event where kids got to bowl five frames against various pro-bowlers. One of those sets Colt bowled was against an Australian bowler named Jason Belmonte, and Colt beat him all five frames! When Sunday came around, Belmo as he’s called, walked away with the tournament victory. So saying that Colt is a serious bowler is no exaggeration.

Last night, Colt asked if he could interview me for one of his final assignments for this year’s Language Arts class. He asked a lot of interesting questions about where my family came from and the origins of our names. I told how my forebears immigrated to this country from Sweden and Denmark respectively. Our great uncle, Snip Fransen, always claimed that made all of us kids Norwegian. I explained how my first husband’s family name was shortened from something much longer to Janc when they immigrated to the US, and I also told the story of how I paid $400 in 1983 to add and E to my name so people would pronounce it correctly—Jance like Dance instead of Janc like Tank. But this morning while I was out doing my steps, I realized I forgot to tell Colt the most important name story of all—how he came by his.

When my daughter met Jon, he was known as Jon Barbero—a name that had come to him via a short-term stepfather. Jon and Jeanne T. first met while going to school in Tucson where they both volunteered with Special Olympics. By the time they became romantically involved, Jon had served two tours of duty with the US Marine Corps in the Middle East and was then Active Duty with the Coast Guard.

Their wedding was picture perfect, but when it came time for the minister to introduce the newly married couple, he did so as Mr. and Mrs. Jon Jance. That was the first I had any inkling that Jon was officially changing his name to our daughter’s instead of the other way around. And that’s why Colt is Colt Jance—something I consider to be a personal gift from Jon to me.

Jon Jance was one terrific guy, and by the looks of things, I’d say Colt is going to be a chip off that fine old block.

And that’s all today’s news that’s fit to print. Over and out from SOG with POC.

49 thoughts on “SOG with POC–Explanation to Follow

  1. Great post today. Love when you brag on the family! It sounds like they’re very brag worthy

  2. Stayed up too late last night finishing Nothing to Lose. Thank you for another great novel. Can hardly wait for the next one! Wish you could send a little of your rain to Az?

  3. Great post.
    Love your stories.
    Colt has a gorgeous head of hair.
    Bet the girls are jealous!

    Blessings, from San Carlos, Mexico, previously from Washington.

  4. I look forward to your weekly blogs. Your grandson, Colt, certainly has a beautiful head of hair.
    When will your next book be released?

  5. Great to read an update on Colt. He’s been dear to my heart ever since I saw/heard a video of him playing…was it Amazing Grace?…at his dad’s grave. And now he’s been helping with the production of Chicago–that resonated with me too, as that’s the last musical/play our local theatre company put on before covid shut such things down. I wasn’t one of the actors in that, but I got to witness the production several times, as I was the banjo picker in the orchestra. But yes, as Fr. Chip Hines remarked, it sounds like your family is very brag-worthy.

  6. What will she blog next? Around Tuesdays, I start wondering. So, not only do you have me addicted to your novels, you have me addicted to your blogs. Do you ever get to Green Valley?

  7. Judy, you always make me cry and laugh…I feel as if I’ve known Colt forever. I, too, am an SOG with PIP and POC…depending.
    Thank you for the updates and God continue to bless you all!

  8. What a lovely story. It sounds like you are very proud of your family and rightfully so! I adore any story that has Evie in it 🙂

  9. made comment on FB but dont know if it got to you . Chuck from Tacoma. neophyte in computers and life.

  10. Love your books, especially Beaumont! and love your blogs!!! I’m 75 and have been reading them for decades!

  11. Funny your blog talks about Grandkids and great Grandkids! Our oldest Grand Daughter, Madison, is convocating next week, graduating with a 3.9 in chemistry!
    Her brother, Curtis, is being sought after for his stage management skills – even though he is only in second year – also with a 3.9 average! Are we proud of these two? You bet we are!
    And last evening found the two of us watching over two of our great grand kids as they played in the local playground, ran trains on the layout and enjoyed ice cream!
    This as our son and grand son dickered on a much needed car! Our pleasure in more ways than I can count!

  12. You ALWAYS leave me smiling-and I love you (and your books) for that! I will forever regret not being able to meet you when you were at Powell’s several years ago, but my good friend did. She cherishes her autographed copies of the books you signed to her!

  13. Happy to see an update on grands. My daughter now has 7 grands, The iphone photos have a wide circulation. As does those of the newish dog! As GG, I do not always make events, but always feel included because of the iphone photos. Congratulations on the growing family. As always, eagerly looking forward to the next J A Jance release!

  14. Thanks for the update on your family. Anything you write is worthy of a read or three. Enjoy your VLOGS …..gives a chance to keep tabs on since travels are still somewhat limited. Give Bill a big hello from here…..Your number#1 fan and “Your Northern Arizona Stalker” ….as always Dann

  15. A great share this morning. Thank you.
    Loved the story of Evie’s purse. She was always ready & prepared for anything.

  16. Colt’s lovely hair reminded me of a story about LOL IGS.

    When my son, who has curly brown hair, was of the size to sit in a grocery cart seat, I remarked to my cousin-in-law that I was having trouble fending off Little Old Ladies In Grocery Stores. They all seemed to want to touch, stroke, or twirl his hair! Of course, he hated it! My cousin-in-law’s little boy was a bit older than mine, and had straight RED hair; she allowed that she had similar trouble with grandmotherly sorts trying to play with his hair. This was circa 1990, when you couldn’t chase people off with Covid-19.

    However, we agreed at the time that the only thing that would have been more attractive to the LOL IGS crowd would have been curly, red hair. Fortunately for Colt, he’s now too tall for the average LOL IGS to fluff his hair, But I’d wager his SOG with POC can reach it!

  17. I so enjoy reading about your wonderful family, especially Colt and His mother. As you know, I also have a tall teen-age grandson who loves bowling. He has straight black hair, though.
    Many blessings on Colt as he remembers and honors his father.
    (From another “bowling grandma.”)

  18. Oooo, so many grands, how lucky you are. We only have the one – he has curly dark brown hair and I have a hard time keeping my hands off it, although since he is almost a foot taller than I am at 6’3″ all he has to do is stand up to escape.

    ceci

  19. Big G is the greatest feeling I know other than that special love you have for your mate. We have 4 grandchildren and 2 almost 3 great grandsons-our eldest is a girl and the rest are boys! Our 2 older grands are great kids and good mates too, 2 younger, 10 & 14 are just that age!, and little greats. They do make us feel old but yet young at heart. Family is so important even if at times you feel like “murder” lol. I’ve loved all your books-thank you and a thank you to Super Reader Bill too!

  20. You have a lot to be proud of. Congratulations.

    Our Granddaughter, Leanne, is at WSU. Next year will be her third year.

  21. You have a lot of family to be very proud of.

    Our Granddaughter Leanne is going to be in her third year at WSU om the fall.

  22. Come on, SOG! Surely you can make a separate album on your phone for grandkids! Then you can add POP to your title…. Pics on Phone.
    You’re welcome!

  23. You have a family to be proud of. My one and only granddaughter (Grand Princess) graduated high school with highest honors and is headed to Texas A&M in biomedicine. Her brother is a junior at A&M and just soloed yesterday. It is great to sit back and watch the accomplishments of these fine youngsters of ours, right?

  24. Judy your blog is absolutely the best!!! I look forward to my Friday emails just to read yours.
    Thank you for all your books and emails. At 84, I am blessed to have 17 great grandchildren.

  25. How neat that your descendants are all WAZZUs. My Dad was a professor at the University of Idaho, all of 10 miles away from WSU across the state border, so I consider myself a sort-of-WSUer. Although of course they were of U of I’s bitter rivals. If I remember right, the losers of the then-annual football game had to walk home that 10 miles as penance! Bob Glass

  26. AFTER READING YOUR BOOKS FOR SO MANY YEARS I AM ENJOYING LEARNING ABOUT THE WOMAN BEHIND THE NAME. I AM AN AVID READER AND READ A BUNCH OF DIFFERENT AUTHORS. I KNOW THE CHARACTERS IN YOUR BOOKS I HAVE PASSED YOUR BOOKS ON THE OTHER PEOPLE WHO BECAME FANS AFTER READING THEM.

  27. I wrote a comment early, but guess it got lost. I, too, carried all sorts of things in my handbag when I was a Brownie leader and prepared for anything. One time we used band-aids to put up a poster when we didn’t have Scotch tape. I don’t have a paring knife, but have a small Swiss Army Knife.

    Your family sounds so grounded and well on their way to success. You should be so proud of all of them.

  28. You need a paring ( or other knife or sissors ) to open packages of almost anything these days ! On our current trip we have had to use the blade on out car window hammer / seat elt cutter to open snack and other packages

    • I basically have to turn anything that needs to be opened over to my husband-
      Even HE has trouble at times- Is it really absolutely necessary to put everything in bomb-proof packaging? I understand that we do not want to be poisoned- So, given that few of us are royalty with our own tasters, it is a good idea to seal drinkable and edible items-
      However, how did items we do not plan to ingest, such as batteries and nail clippers, come to require the Fort Knox approach? Not to be cynical, but I would guess that the plastics industry is making a mint from this obsession with safety-
      Are we all vulnerable to KGB-Style radioactive contamination of innocent, everyday products?

  29. I loved the stories today, once again. Every Memorial Day it’s heartwarming to hear about your daughter and grandson’s visit to the cemetery. Thanks for the reminder. I enjoyed the bowling picture of your grandson and the clothing sizes story about your granddaughters. And also I’m reading LOST IN PARADISE right now and really liking it.

  30. Colt has quite a fan-base here! It seem that many of us have adopted him as honorary grandson- Congratulations to Colt on his bowling triumph-
    No doubt there is a good story about how he came to love this sport and to be so
    skilled in it-

    • Colt’s dad died of melanoma. Our daughter wanted a sport that wouldn’t require sunscreen. There happened to be a bowling alley in the neighborhood, and bowling definitely doesn’t require sunscreen. He started bowling in elementary school and took to it like a duck to water.

  31. I can’t believe Colt is 16!! Your family has several generations of interesting stories and I am grateful you share them so openly. My best to Jeanne T!

  32. My mother and yours must have gone to the same ‘purse’ school. Not only did she have the mentioned items, she always had a wet washcloth in a baggie – you never knew when you needed it (Wet Wipes, etc..weren’t as common then). But what took the cake was when they visited us once and while we were having dinner, the dinig room door banged into the wall. Out of her purse comes a door stop!!! I often wonder how long she carried that around.

  33. Judy,
    I’m always your biggest fan with your books & your blog. I really laugh at your mom’s purse contents. I always carry a huge purse and it is equipped with everything imaginable. It weighs a ton and I’m sure I walk lop-sided because of it. Every now & then I try to clean it out, but just can’t find anything I might not need sometime, somewhere. It’s a puzzle to me how some women leave their home with only their cell phone & a driver’s license in their pocket. Where is their cash, pens, pins, pills, band-aids, keys, chap-stick, mints, stamps, Kleenex, eyedrops, masks, mirror, measuring tape, matches, & most importantly, make-up? I love Evie!

  34. I’m pretty sure you have answered this before, but what was the book that turned the corner for you? It made you an author who could support herself with proceeds of writing even tho you never wrote another book? I’m glad you haven’t stopped writing, but was just curious to know when you could have.

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