Oct 15, 2014
We had occasion to go to my Mother-in-Law’s for dinner on a recent Sunday. The air outside has begun to get nippier. And we hustled onto the enclosed porch catching sight of Grammy at the sink in her Orioles t-shirt.
As she opened the kitchen door, she greeted the littlest one first as we all moved into the kitchen. The smell of her cooking hit me. A familiar mix of older people’s house and the simmering dinner. But then my brain pushed this aside for the sound of the whistles on the TV. Football season. And I anticipated the sad and glad memories of this family and families everywhere gathering for their upcoming Thanksgiving feasts and holiday celebrations. Everyone looking forward to the possibility of being together. That isn’t a given anymore. The sentimentality of holidays and the upset that arises around unresolved differences, is still a testament to the bonds of family. And the tenuousness of their time together.
Football Sundays spent with in-laws. Supper interrupting. A special desert and the celebration of someone’s birthday. Watching children get to know their aunts and uncles. And imagining the future when my children will come home from their lives abroad in the world. Me cooking feast food in the kitchen. And perhaps I’ll make sure the football game is on and the whistles are blowing just for the background music. To feel complete.
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Sep 30, 2014
Last weekend, we took the opportunity to leave the house with the children (if we have to) and went to an event at the Outstanding Dreams Alpaca farm here in Caroline county. I’ve taken Eamon there before and he really enjoyed these odd and peaceful creatures. This time, we had Fiona with us, lover of all animals. She giggles at squirrels and fearlessly approaches horses and sticks her fingers up their noses.
The event happens every year and featured antique cars, a bouncy ride, pony rides (Eamon’s nervous he’ll fall off), a cornbox, and vendors selling their wares. Highland Creamery from Oxford had a Scottsman scooping ice cream. So it was a quick and happy visit to hang out on a farm with fellow humans and a bunch of soft furry alpacas.
Alpaca wool was being spun into yarn and dyed right there on the path in and out. So soft and warm and so not itchy. And animals are dear and only have one row of teeth so there’s no biting to fear. The owners are the sweetest nicest kindest people. We’ll venture out at least this time next year when their event happens again.
May 30, 2014
With a heavy sad heart, I convey the news that last night, Mark’s Dad passed away while in hospice care. He was released from his tired body and has moved on to his soul’s next purpose. His passing was at the end of a gradual decline as we watched congestive heart failure take him day by day. To know that he is no longer suffering is an immense relief to his loved ones although it’s hard to explain to a 9 year-old what that means. Wanting someone to die to have them no longer be in pain.
Pop Pop was dear, funny, and generous with his love and care. Two miracle granddaughters were born last year and I never saw him happier than when he was gitchy-gooing a grandbaby.
My son was asked to do a project in school on a family member who had served in the military. Pop Pop served on a destroyer for four years during the Korean War, starting at age 17. So this is the paper quilt that Eamon made to commemorate him.
The pieces are different scenes from the story of Pop Pop’s ship and how he was feeling about serving his country. I retrieved the art piece today from Eamon’s school so that we can put it on display at the funeral parlor.
Pop Pop’s and Eamon’s birthdays were so close together in April that we often had joint parties for them. This photo below was just 5 years ago. It was and wasn’t so long ago, you know?
These will be the memories I will hold of him. Him loving on Eamon and Fiona. His cheering Eamon on at soccer and baseball games. And that incident where Eamon threw up on himself at the McDonald’s inside the Wal-mart in Easton, Maryland, and Pop Pop stripped him down on the tailgate of the SUV in January to put him in clean clothing. He was a take care of it kind of guy and I am immensely grateful that my husband is much of the man I love because of him. We will miss you Terry. Say hi to Uncle Dick for us.
Apr 25, 2014
This past weekend was the Spring Break, Easter, Eamon’s Birthday, and Earth Day weekend. It was a 4 ½ day extravaganza of playing, egg hunting, and family visiting. I had done all of my house cleaning and blog prepping and I actually was able to enjoy myself for a couple of days. We ate and laughed and opened presents and ate some more. Monday I posted and pondered what visiting with family and sharing our children means. Here’s the pictorial proof of our doings for the Holiday Weekend.
Cousin Matthew and Eamon
Sue aka the Easter chicken with Fiona
Fiona’s special egg hunt.
She had streamers for her hunt.
Sparkly Easter eggs at the end of the streamers.
The official Easter chicken trophy
Dying Easter eggs with Aunt Michelle
A gator puppet from Florida
Easter baskets yay!
Me and my sister Michelle at Out of the Fire restaurant in Easton, MD
Wendy, Fiona, and Dad at breakfast at the Tidewater Inn in Easton, MD
Easter baskets for the big visitors
Prosciutto from Piazza for the adult Easter baskets
Baguettes form the Easton, MD Farmer’s Market
Pussy willows from Seaberry Farm at the Easton, MD farmer’s market
Stock, willow, and cherry blossom branches
The fried ice cream for his birthday dinner at Cafe Sado
Playing with the chain dividers at Cafe Sado
Eamon’s Birthday present!
Truly what any holidays should be about : family, food, wine, and fun. Almost makes up for the stinky Spring weather.
Have a happy joy-filled weekend.
Apr 21, 2014
Our busy weekend is still going strong. Today’s Eamon’s 9th birthday. We’ve had days and days of visiting with family, fun Easter egg stuff, and eating out and unhealthy. I needed to write a post for today and as we wind up our vacation mode, I am reviewing what I have noticed and what was important from these experiences. In honor of my new friend Lauren, I would like to offer a five things list.
1. There is no such thing as a given. What you think will be the way it always will be may not be a day, month, or decade from now. Enjoy now. Noticing the lilt of a voice, the readiness of a laugh, or the loveliness of a wine is all of the moment you will ever ‘have’.
2. Birthing and maintaining babies is a lot of work. The word relentless comes up quite often for me. They are inconvenient and terrifying. And at one year-old, are the truest cutest delight to give to the world and those you are related to. They are a gift you give to those you love and those who don’t even know you. Share them often.
3. Spring cleaning is necessary. We worked hard for a week to clean the clutter, chaos, and deceased shrubs from our garden, a reminder of the awful weather we endured. My every cleaning whim was attended to and I feel hopeful now that I can move on to planning for summer and projects and travel.
4. Planning makes a tremendous difference. My husband always says it’s easier to break an appointment than make an appointment. We had a visit because we set intentions and they bought airplane tickets and we wrote things on calendars. Live a little ahead of yourself. Enough to have stuff to look forward to enjoying.
5. The best time ever to decide or do or change is now. It’s all you have. Do your best, let go of the rest. Forgive, forget, get over it. It isn’t always about you. Exist in your life in the moment with integrity and gratitude and that feeling of contentment is better than the completion of any to-do list.
I made the best use I could make of a car nap writing this. Hope everyone is enjoying Spring and family and thinking about what they’re getting up to next. Enjoy your now.