Welcome to the KingZoo and Funny Farm, where we learn to live, laugh, and love together. Here you'll find snippets of life in our zoo, parenting tips we've learned along the way, reflections on shining God's light in this world, passions in the realm of orphan care, and our journey as parents of a visually impaired child with sensory processing disorder. Have fun!

Friday, January 1, 2016

Fifty years in (nearly) 50 couplets

Happy 50th anniversary to my parents! Last weekend we enjoyed a fabulous party with over 110 guests. The King's Strings played, Andrew and Jesse performed a song they wrote, the grandkids performed an anniversary song, and my brother shared this poem that he wrote to celebrate the occasion.

Fifty years In (Nearly) 50 Couplets
By Chad Bauman
Shared at the 50th Wedding Anniversary Celebration for
Glenn and Christine Bauman

A long time back in ‘65
Mom was the prettiest gal alive

Dad himself looked rather dapper
And set off mother’s inner clapper. 

For their wedding just after New Year celebrations
They made preparations and sent invitations

To tie the knot, get hitched and marry
They were in love, after all, and didn’t tarry

Of course Uncle Sam stepped in and hurried the pace
Through a Presidential Order (the draft in this case)
They moved to Lansdale and by 1970
They had a girl who brought Joy aplenty.

She was bookish, and smart, and a musical teen
And eventually passed on the orchestral string gene

Not long after, they had another
And then that first girl got a brother.

This brother was at times a veritable punk
And made them worry their ship was sunk
He caused them more than once to frown
But eventually he settled down (and he apologizes, wherever he is.)
By ’75 they were stripping and painting their walls
Accidentally turning linoleum glue into fire balls

There were obnoxious fumes and posterior splinters
But they redid every room over 13 short winters

1980 found them hard at work
Mom at home, and as a shopping clerk
Dad worked in the office, trying hard not to bawl
When bickering kids home from school gave him call after call

But they did what it took to build a home
And a little extra, so the family could roam.
A trip out West was particularly fun
All four rafted a river; one vomited one

(…Or two, or three, or several dozen.  And there’s more to this story than can be related in polite company, so let’s just say the Grand Canyon’s forests are far more fertile now than before the Bauman’s vacationed there.)

To the country they moved around ‘85
Clearing brush, and trees, and hornet hives

They built things and fought calamitous rains
With screwdrivers, lawnmowers, shovels and drains

It may have required long hours to tend
But it was second home to family and friend
Generations came to visit and live at their place
And found it a warm, fun, and welcoming space

Around 1990 eldest went off to college
And for 8 years their cars put on superfluous mileage
Four years to Bluffton and four more to Goshen
Theirs was definitely a family in motion.
They’ve flown to Singapore, Thailand, France, Ivory Coast
Of trips to Honduras, Ireland, and Austria they boast
They’ve done some crazy things, some wild, some bold
We’ve heard some stories, but they’ll stay untold (at least tonight).

Round ’95 the grandchildren came
And their quiet lives were never the same
First just one, and then nearly a dozen
Now a full house of siblings and cousins
With the grandkids their Christmases, already lavish affairs
Turned into something resembling carnival fairs

But they didn’t care, they just drank it all in
The births and adoptions, the new kith and kin
By 2000 they surely had earned peace and quiet
But their kids put them on the renovation diet

And they were back at it again with the building and painting
And somehow did it all without whining…or fainting

And not just for children, but for friends, neighbors, strangers
Like superheroes they’ll work never minding the dangers

And they’ll do it all willingly, with pluck and good cheer
In some small way, I bet, they’ve helped everyone here

Around 2010 the time had finally come
To retire from work, and sit on their bum

Except sitting is one skill they really do lack
For this particular thing they’ve not got the knack

Instead they’re still going, like some famous bunny
And thankfully still calling each other their “honey”

And now it’s 2015, and on this very day
We celebrate 50, and gather to say

In the presence of everyone: friends, sisters, and brothers
You’ve lived a good life, for yourselves and for others

You’ve done many things, and what’s particularly clever
Is that you’ve done nearly all of them as one, together

You’ve traveled the world, raised a family and more
You’ve counseled your friends, you’ve opened your door

To people from all over, and right down the street
Your great hospitality is not easy to beat

Nor the service you’ve rendered to needy and poor
And the way others are inspired by you to do more

You’ve fed the hungry, you’ve given the thirsty relief
You’ve looked after the sick, given comfort in grief

Whatever you’ve done for the least of these
“You’ve done,” says the King in the parable, “for me”

But you’ve also done so much for all of us here
You’ve set an example, which is why we’re all here.

Happy 50th Anniversary from your kids and grandkids, who have always been the primary beneficiaries of your love.

*Anniversary Celebration Photo Credit: Joanna Benner

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