Archive for the 'Memories' Category

My dad passed away at the beginning of August. It was expected and it was at home and, all things considered, was no more and no less than what one would expect from the death of one’s ailing father. One’s Favorite dad.

It was hard. And it’s harder yet to write about it. But I haven’t written anything else either, because all the little things I might mention are dammed up behind that event and it isn’t honest to leave out this biggie.

It’s easy for me to believe that my dad who had Parkinson’s disease and congestive heart failure passed away. I saw him just a few hours before he died, and he was miserable. Harder is the realization that my quietly smiling, chuckling dad has gone. My soft-spoken, introverted, book-in-hand dad with the ticklish feet is gone. My dad who, whenever asked for a five, would press a folded twenty into my hand. Who loved my dogs and husbands and kid and who turned the car around for my forgotten purse a million times.

And a million other sweet memories. I had a good dad. That makes me one of the luckiest women I know.

Adventures with My Sisters

I had fun with my sisters, Jeaka and Marian. They are so good to me! Here are a few of our adventures.

Heading to Blazing Needles, an amazing SLC yarn shop.

Going to Nothing Bundt Cakes with our sweet mama. We bought four flavors, then shared the quarters.

Visiting Orson Gygi, the COOLEST kitchen supply store Ever.

Super Auntie Jeaka and Super Auntie Marian took the Boogedy to a splash pool! Super Auntie Jeaka made visiting splash pools a priority during the Boogedy’s visit.

And near the end of the visit, Jeaka took him to Cookie Cutters to get his first ever haircut that I didn’t do myself. We chose to buzz it for the summer, which I think is adorable, but which he doesn’t like because he’s never had anything but long, “grupply” hair.

Here’s a picture of the big boy with his new “do”. We visited the playground near our old house, where we took him to play the first 3 years of his life. It hit home how big he is getting!

Surprising Little Island

This little (4- by 1.5-mile) island keeps surprising us. We took a few outings lately and ended up here:

The Key West City Paintball field. It appeared abandoned and unused, and to me really dreary and depressing, but Zach is already getting excited to play, if he can get anyone to believe it exists.

Down a virtually unused, dead end road, and inside the black net fencing:

We took the Boogedy to the cemetery to make gravestone rubbings with crayons on paper. I remember doing this with my mom as a kid. The Boogedy thought dancing on the graves was good fun, and I wasn’t ready to explain why he should be solemn and respectful, so we didn’t stay long. I wonder if Grandma will enjoy receiving our rubbings.

Last week the Power Boat racers were in town and we went to Fort Zachary Taylor to watch them from the rocky shore. We didn’t pull the little guy out of preschool to go, but we will next year because it was awesome! The boats appeared to just skim the water. I thought of my nephew Mike and his family’s love of car racing. I wish he could have seen this!

My camera couldn’t get good photos of this event, but I sneaked a peak over a fence and shot this baby with matching trailer waiting her turn.

While we were there, we toured Ft. Zach (notice the MOAT!).

And marveled at the difficulties of using Cannons to try to hit Ships.

Barbies and Bikinis

Growing up, I had all kinds of dolls: a plastic baby crocheted into her own afghan, a hot water bottle wrapped in a washcloth; a drinking and peeing baby; a “lifelike,” ceramic-headed infant with a rounded fabric body and bum weighted with five pounds of little beads; a black-yarn-haired cotton doll the size of a 5 year old that my mom made for me (including her lavender pioneer dress and handbag and white bloomers).

However….

I did not have Barbies. My mother was opposed to the impossible figure they would inspire me to attain, which is fair, because I am a long-waisted 5’3″, which means I have Very short legs. I can wear capris as long pants.

My mom was also opposed to bikinis, because young girls shouldn’t be sexualized or show too much skin. I also didn’t get to wear much¬† black, because kids should wear lots of happy colors.

Once, when I was nine, my mother’s sister (Aunt Delores) came to town from 2500 miles away. She took me to a bunch of yard sales on Saturday morning and bought me several Barbies with frazzled hair and arthritic knees. She laughed and laughed when she found and bought for me a tall, busty German doll with erect nipples. That one was a non-standard-size doll of impossible figure, so she never got any clothes.

I felt terribly scandalous, then, when I used my sister’s eyeliner to paint one of those Barbies with a black bikini. Twenty-six years later I still remember my mortification when my mom found it under my bed. I thought she’d be furious, so I swore up and down that I hadn’t painted it, that it had come that way.

I wonder if I was a better liar then than I am now? Perhaps when you’re a parent, you just get used to finding strange things in your kids’ rooms. Zach told me he once spent weeks collecting his urine in empty soda pop bottles in his dresser drawer, to “see what would happen.” I’m sure his mom had an absolute fit about it.

Thanks Jane Brocket for reminding me about dolls and pretend play. Also, I had a fun time reminiscing about the toys of the 80’s at this website.

August Goings On

The somersault is mastered by putting one’s head down and then running on tippy toe until one falls over

several hours are spent with friends at the science center in Ft. Walton

“pamaters” are blanched and peeled and made into spaghetti sauce

lizards are hunted and, presumably, eaten.

sleep catches up with us in various poses

and I spend 5 minutes in a parking lot waiting out a rain shower, snapping self portraits. Then I notice the guy in the truck facing me, also apparently sitting out the downpour. Perhaps I was blushing when I took this shot.

Who knew I’d get so freckly when tan?

Friends and Family come to visit

Cleaning our room for a visit from family! Must vacuum up each feather individually.

taking a night walk to the beach with Alexis, James, and Cinza

beach with big waves and possessed boys

Lunch at the Pizza Bar in Seaside. Halfway into our meal, the heavens opened and rain started beating in from the south, ricocheting off the tables nearest the dune and spraying us lightly. We opted to stay outside, rather than move indoors.

dessert of cupcakes from an airstream trailer restaurant. We agreed that they were dry, with too much frosting. We ate them anyway.

James builds glasses for himself and Julian

A gift from Alexis

Look what arrived for us yesterday! Well, I say us, but I know who Alexis had in mind when she picked this out…

Alexis knows my weakness for cooking gadgets! This is adorable, and it goes really well with the Matryoska dolly that my friend Sonya gave the Boogedy for Christmas!

When Zach and I first moved in together in San Francisco (near Japantown), Alexis was our sweet, smart, funny upstairs neighbor who befriended me and Zach, and claimed to love Zach’s guitar solos that snuck into her apartment by wafting up the light shaft and floating through her open windows. He even wrote a song to encourage her to try online dating titled “Meet me at Hot or Not.”

That was nearly 5 years ago, but we’ve kept in touch with Alexis and we always visit her when in SF, and we all admire her classy personality, fashion, and swank apartment with the best view of SF anyone could ask for. She has a cool, witty husband, too, who I still think of as her “new boyfriend”.

Now, it’s her turn to come visit us so that I can use these measuring cups to make her some green curry with jasmine rice!

Alexis found this cool present at Dream in Plastic.

some snapshots

Sunset at Rosemary Beach:

My porch, after a late-day rainstorm:

The entrance to my neighborhood, after a storm:

Zach, checking ye olde facebook:

The cat rarely comes indoors these days, and has found a new bed:

Mosca runs around in the morning:

and in the evening:

and even Cinza comes for midnight walks to the beach:

Little boy shares his new bed with Mosca:

and throws an EPIC tantrum and falls asleep outside the door:

We shaved Mosca yesterday with newly oiled clippers, on the closest setting, because of the intense southern heat. While we were sitting on the moonlit beach last night, he huddled up next to me seeking comfort from the distant thunder. I stroked his head and my hand came back smelling like motor oil. My heart sunk; it appeared he’d swum through a tar patch, but I couldn’t see a thing. This time, though, it was just machine oil from the clippers.

Not photographed: scrubbing all the floors on my hands and knees, the mounds of laundry produced by a family who always has sand and salt in their clothes and sheets, homemade bread (for once made by me and not by Zach) and father’s day lemon cake, the empty bottles of sunscreen already used up, the stack of cookbooks and sci-fi checked out from a library 9 miles away, all the little prints and quilts and knickknacks finally displayed to make this cottage feel like home, the pain and triumph of waxing my own legs, the ubiquitous damp swimsuits hung on the shower rod, and my sobbing frustration at becoming the stay at home parent, and not feeling so very good at it.

Too Much Fun

The fountain with a button to push (that’s the very best part)!

Enjoying someone else’s digging:

Zach surfing before the storm hits:

Zach looking for a lost beach umbrella on the dunes:

taking dorky self-portraits at dawn:

Making homemade pasta:

Mushroom-garlic-three-cheese stuffed raviolis in chicken soup!

Chronicle of a Cross-Country Move

Sunday, May 23. Clean until my back hurts. Then stop and watch guiltily while others do the rest.

Sunday/Monday 1:20 am. Depart in the middle of darkness on I-80 toward Chicago. Weather is harsh, damp, cold. I’ve thought only of our ultimate destination and packed shorts and flipflops for the roadtrip.

5/24, 2am, Zach drives us through a scary, white-out blizzard up Parley’s Canyon.

Monday 5:20am. Stop, exhausted, in windy, frigid Flaming Gorge. Sleep for a few hours.

Monday mid-morning. Another horrid blizzard in Wyoming. Ethan navigates the white-knuckle pass. Can’t stop…no where to go but forward. Finally find an exit with a little coffee shop…

Monday. Decide to skip Chicago and the tornado warnings on the Plains, instead head south toward warmth and calm skies. Another night sleeping in the van somewhere.

Two days through Texas.

Almost lost Ethan and Jess’ dog, Koda, who decided to herd cattle while out for a potty break. She came back an hour and a half later, when she got tired.

Sleeping in Dallas at my sister’s house. Restraining myself from stealing all her gorgeous cookbooks. Knitting all the way.

Camping near a lake, cat attacked by a raccoon around 5am…rescued from a tree covered in her own pee.

Next morning, a horse back ride, a treat from Ethan and Jess.

Tire was going to blow out, Zach noticed. Tire shop just down the road! Temperature? 95 degrees. Humidity? unbelievable.

Camping in a swamp? Who does that? We do, and the dogs get ticks and I get irritable.

The Boogedy is thrilled to find a playground in the swamp.

The A/C in the van is NOT up the the challenge of driving through the South (supposedly this was fixed by the mechanic before we left town). Mosca monopolizes the vent.

Marathon drive to our new pink house in Sunnyside, Florida.

Unpack the van and then take a midnight swim.

Current daily  goal: spend as much time as possible in the water before the oil arrives.

Things not mentioned or photographed above:

not getting enough sleep. hearing the ABC song a hundred times. discovering that the vcr in the van works, but that we only have one movie, toy story. watching dvds on the portable player…over and over. getting eaten by bugs while camping. eating tons of junk food. shelling sunflower seeds to keep me alert while i drive. the sheer grouchiness of traveling that long with anyone. the memorial day weekend traffic in mobile alabama. all the varieties of sweet tea. the dirtiest bathrooms I have ever seen. gorgeous sunsets along the way. realizing that I have the best kid in the whole world, and I couldn’t have asked for a three-year old to be better for 5 days of travel!


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