Archived Posts from this Category
Archived Posts from this Category
Today is the 21st anniversary of the day our older son became a big brother.
He was so proud of his little brother!
Here is a pic of the birthday boy and his big brother the day after he was born…
When he was about 3 or 4, he LOVED that Snowman toy!
When they were about 6…
I am so proud of my sons.
And today, I am beyond-proud to be the parent of two full-fledged (in the eyes of the law) adults!
And one more, of a proud mama and her son, probably taken in 2002.
Happy Birthday, Grant.
[Draft One, 12 March 2015]
Did you know that before you were here, another structure inhabited the land?
In the first Act of this land’s existence, there was a deep, varied garden, filled with nut trees and timber trees, with berries, with vines and flowers, and with creatures that depended on them all.
Then silence while the land that had been cleared regrew; Life being such that fire and harvesting do not dissuade the green mantle.
The Second Act began as a new millenium approached. For nearly 15 years, a home lived here.
A smaller structure, true, but one filled with hope and happiness. And, yes, its share of sorrow and worry.
But one filled with life, with the details and baggage of living. The cluttered countertops (no surface was safe!). The muddy steps, both in front and behind.
An entrance door with dents, scuffs and scratches from feet, boots, paws and who-knows-what attempting to get in. Or out.
The front looked out over a rapidly establishing garden with fruit trees and roses, bulbs of various lineages, lilacs and lavenders. The rear entrances referenced but did not invite the back yard, wilder and less-tamed than the front garden (but no less beautiful and in my mind more radiant).
I walked the gardens daily, front and back, when I could. When I couldn’t I watched from the windows as birds and beasts visited and moved on.
I relished the sounds of my children playing, talking and even arguing. Young life, finding its way into the maturity of young adulthood. Some times more gracefully than others.
Life ebbed and flowed in the other house, fortunes waxed and waned, time passed.
And one day, it was gone. For reasons still too painful to reflect on for long, and so I will pass over it except to mention that it was hard. So hard…
We had to leave the garden and the back yard. There was no shelter in between, nor even shelter at a distance, for a while.
But life must needs proceed, and so we planned and worked and toiled and waited until one day we could move back to the land.
Back to the land and into a new structure. A larger, more substantial dwelling, in keeping with our larger, more substantial, mature incomes. A home with a front entrance like a warm embrace, and back doors that beckon to those inside to explore the wonders of the wild unknown.
And yet, with one child grown and gone and the other on the verge of escaping the bonds of childhood, the house that finally has enough storage, fewer drafts, better plumbing…
You are emptier and harder to fill than we expected.
And here is the secret that I will share, the hope and the dream that I have for you.
Where once I wrote to my sons about staying grounded — being at one with the home-as-place; now I write to you, my home-that-is-becoming.
For it is not the structure that matters, nor even the particular shape and content of the landscape that surrounds the structure. What matters is that love lives there.
The dream is that one day, some day (not yet, for I am too young in my maturity), eventually, this house will shelter not only two people who love, but those they love. The children of the next generation. The hopes and dreams of their own parents. A dwelling, however rich and grand, does not become a home until that hope of hospitality permeates every nook and cranny, and, messily and happily, invites the clutter and chaos of friendship and family.
This space between the walls and under the roof, this is a holding zone. A moment in a larger world that waits to welcome life. The things inside are props for the play that is ongoing. Act III is about to begin.
And the trillium are in bud once again…
This is my boy, and his girl. Dapper and Elegant. What a cute couple they have made for nearly 4 years.
So proud of these young adults!
I have been remiss in my “mama” mode for quite some time. I reported my own finishing, but neglected to trumpet my elder’s significant events this month!
Here is a pic of him at his girlfriend’s house before the senior prom…
And here is a pic of him a few days later, with his brother, father and “Uncle” (our best friend) at his high school graduation. It’s a little blurry due to camera shake (of course I was a little emotional!).
The new graduate hopes to continue classes at the community college next year, and is also looking for work (bad job climate though) and helping around our home and his grandparents’ in the meantime.
Meantime, the younger stidkid made it into the senior band ensemble without an audition… tuba for that one. He auditioned for the non-school orchestra with the trombone, no word yet one that. He is still deciding whether to do the high school jazz band next year…
For the summer, he is in “Anything Goes” (auditioned for a part today), “Honk” and “Pirates of Penzance” — the latter two begin rehearsals in a week or two. It will be a busy, interesting summer for both boys.
And, I suspect, for us!
Today, FOUR Babblers showed up in Olympia: Bugsaw, Jillibus, jmcnrick, and Pinikula. We had a great time, and plotted our work for tomorrow.
I will have pictures of them up then…
Right now, a link to the scarves they chose
More pics and a full report in the morning…
We had this family group photo done at an end-of-school promotion ceremony. I am so pleased to have a nice picture of us all — and me actually wearing nice clothes!
I am so proud of my sons, some days I could just burst!
The photographer works mostly in the Olympia area, and has a beautiful website with some of her work on display.
I found the camera! Here are a few pics of the last month, beginning with supper in Portland with my grandfather and his partner, and a family friend. Oh yes, Tom and the boys were there too!
a couple videos of December concerts, (hope they came through okay):
the older stidkid enjoys a new book from the stidgrands:
and another video, as Tom snags stidkid#2’s gift from the stidgrands… metroid prime; and lounging pants for the boys. It starts out sideways, but I figured it out eventually!
Of course, more happened than supper, concerts and gifts… but these were definitely highlights. Missing are images of stidkid #1’s birthday, the amazing late autumn foliage and cute dog-turtle-bird pics.
Oh well, always room for improvement!
My Irish heritage is a big part of my identity (So is the German, Dutch and then less and less French, Welsh, English, Scots…).
So Fáilte (which means Welcome) to you!
I will post a few pics as the actual day for wearin’ o’ th’ green (why do we clip the ends of the words like this?) goes on, and since it’s already St. Patrick’s Day in Ireland, I wish you all a happy one. Though I have been told that really this huge celebration is an American thing…
And a special greeting to my friend who celebrates his “saint’s day” every year in style. May the skies be fair, the company fine and the food free. Sláinte!
And just because I needed to know where the accent went on that last word, here’s a website with many greetings and toasts.
Some families have long-standing get-togethers: summer reunions at the shore, grandmother’s birthday bash, even game night every Thursday with pizza and friends.
Some cultures are filled with holy days: Eid al Fitr, Yom Kippur, Easter, Dia de los Muertos.
Some countries are full of pomp and circumstance. The Changing of the Guard outside Buckingham Palace, or the Opening of Parliament. The Birthday of the Monarch or the Jubilee Celebrations. The remembrance of the war dead, or the founding of the nation.
The United States has its traditions, too: Fourth of July (the day we declared independence though it was 5 years and then some before the war was over, and two more to make it official), Thanksgiving, Memorial Day.
Every person resonates with traditions in their own way. Every person has their own stories of the most bizarre iteration, the best time ever, the time it just didn’t happen. Different communities celebrate or observe these events in their own ways, with great variation… but by and large, even those who are not “observant” take note and they become ties that cement society.
In the United States, in over 230 years, we have a tradition of a peaceful, orderly transition between administrations. We pride ourselves on the “ease” with which one government morphs into another. No bloodshed, no shaky weeks after one government is dissolved and another one is forming, no military coup and martial law. Like our annual national holidays, the quadrennial inauguration is as certain as the rise of the sun tomorrow.
But unlike the other holidays, which commemorate things in our past, this one heralds our future. Rather than looking backward shoring up our cultural myth through remembered heroics, inauguration day signals beginnings, possibilities, hopes and dreams. It points the way forward, encouraging and beckoning us to renewed and greater effort on the part of our country, our people.
Today is the day for the inauguration of the forty-fourth president. Today we look toward the future, with confidence, with hope. Today, regardless of personal philosophies or ideologies, we can take comfort in the traditions that tie us all together. Our government, our nation, continues with no interruption, no alteration in the basic structure of our lives.
That is a pretty nifty tradition.