We all have our stories of either joy, pain, love, security or sadness associated with our fathers. The husband, like all of us, does too. He lost his father when he was a mere two years old. His mom re-married when he was nine and he lost that father to a tragic train accident nine months after they married.
Thus he grew up the man of the house. All of his brothers and sisters were older and on their own, and he stayed at home with his mom, just the two of them, until he was 23 years old. This was not Leave it Beaver, it was reality.
Because of his childhood, or rather, in spite of it, he knows the value of having a father in the home. He took his charge seriously and with love and I thank God that he came into my life and became the father of my children.
The boy has an iPhone at school and it’s literally the only way we communicate with him. When I went away to school, I had to stand in line to get to the phone in the hallway to call my parents. Things are very different now a days.
We surprised him one day with a phone call and found him in the middle of moving furniture around the common area so they can race their remote control cars.
Even though we text often, about every other day or so, we only actually speak with him every two weeks or less. This is me saying, “Hey, you need to call us.” He does the sucking molars shhh-ing sound.
He’s doing pretty well we think. When he was home, there was constant laughter at his antics as well as all the other normal family frustrations, like trying to balance homework with his social life. I chronicled some of right here in this blog.
Now I don’t know what’s going on in his life. Hello? Hello?
I was at dinner a couple of nights ago with a friend, Grant’s mom, and we were saying our good-byes while sitting in my idling car in the parking lot when Grant zooms by behind us. He was going slightly faster than the speed limit – to put it conservatively. He obviously didn’t know we were there – caught and clocked – and I’m sure his mom told him so when she got home.
I saw Dylan, another friend of his at a graduation party, and Dylan mentioned to me that he needed a job. I suggested he call a friend of mine who was looking for someone responsible and hardworking. I just assumed that of Dylan.
I texted him while I was visiting my sister in Atlanta last weekend and I said among other things, “Make sure you’re clean shaven when you go apply.”
Gosh I miss my boy. Mothering other boys fills that hole a little bit.
Happy weekend to all the Father’s out there who are missing their sons.
The VIP’s at high school graduations show how much our public servants invest in our young people. At least, I like to think so. Here the Sheriff and the State Senator sharing a special moment. How sweet.
Here’s my man Joe. He is super cool. The boy and Joe used to play together when they were in elementary school. Now the boy is flying and Joe is off to school on a football scholarship. Joe like to visit us during a hurricane, here’s proof. I’m going to his graduation party this weekend, they’ll be more pics of this handsome boy!
This is Neighbor Cody! He’s a super soccer player and his father tutors math. I frankly haven’t seen him much, just coming and going in his sister’s hot yellow car. I’m sure he’s going to be a huge success.
She loves children and will be a great teacher once her education is over. She’s an amazing girl, I just love her and her family.
We’re in good hands everyone!
It also brought back the boy’s graduation a short year ago. I can’t believe it, it’s come and gone and already a memory.
So I’m back at the same place for the same reason as last year and next year – well, it will be the girl’s turn. And I’ll be medicating right there on the graduation floor.
I started shooting photos of other friends’ children. Here is Sarah-girl, her mom worked with me about eight years ago. Sarah was a wee bean on the Upward soccer team and boy was she fast. Now she’s a young lady and will be a Division 2 cheerleader in college.
This morning finds me in the great state of Georgia, visiting my sister and her family. It’s been about three years since my sister moved to Georgia and I’ve yet to visit until now. The reasons are varied and many. But after seeing how ALS has weakened and ravished her body, I vow to come more often.
Back when they lived in Virginia and I was able to visit every week, I would find Pete annoying, peekish, and disturbing. He’s the chihuahua equivalent of a dirty old man. But when he greeted us with ear piercing yelps and rapid hops from one end of the room to the other, I was strangely nostalgic and I admit – I missed the little guy.
Pete is fiercely loyal, especially to the sister. He’s a great guard dog and there’s something endearing about the way she responds to him. Last night he jumped up on her and laid down on top of her. My temperament is such that I immediately began to shoo him off. She’s incapable of moving any parts of her body on her own and he was like a fly that needed to be brushed way. But her husband too her limp hand and guided it to pet Pete who responded with lots of doggie love.
Good boy Pete. Take care of her.
I’ve taught exercise classes since I was 19 years old. I began teaching at the local YMCA at college as a side job. I also was a waitress at the same time – money was my motivation – I didn’t have any – but the combination of teaching classes and waiting tables made me really thin. It was a great by-product! Unfortunately it didn’t make me rich but it was enough for beer money – only just half kidding. I loved teaching so much that I maintained my certifications and taught for the next 27 years – until yesterday.
I’ve been teaching this particular yoga class for five years. Twice a week, every week, I lead the class through a series of sun salutations, warrior positions and my favorite, the dead bug pose. It’s a wonder that I was more than a little sad. I had a class of wonderful people, dedicated to their practice and committed to attending and working on their bodies. And they were faithful. There was a core group of five or six ladies who had been coming to class since I began teaching it five years ago. Saying good by to them was the saddest part.
I’m not sure I’ll ever teach again, there’s a lot of factors involved in teaching at a gym. The time and effort to maintain currency is more than I have. I’m going to rest for a while, who knows what the future will bring but for now, I’m going to celebrate being able to sleep in an additional two days a week and looking forward to what’s next.
I just love Instagram. There are so many times when I just don’t have my camera – and this little phone app comes to the rescue! My posting here have been spotty but my trusty phone holds the story of my month.I happened to be at our local mall one day picking up clothing for the girl’s senior photo shoot when I ran into Bobby Flay.
Yes, my local mall. Actually it was a line to see Bobby Flay. I jumped into the line, still not really believing that Bobby Flay, THE Bobby Flay was there. It was surreal. While in line, I was offered appetizers, tuna, barbeque, sweets. It was the best line I’ve ever waited in.
He’s really skinny by the way, much more so than a chef should be.
I wish I brought my camera to this shoot. I would have shot the photographer while he shot the girl. Shoot.
An honor flight arrived at our gate while we were at the Baltimore airport and I ran to grab a photo. Honor flights bring veterans to the DC area and give them tours of the monuments and the city. It’s really a very heart warming thing.
I’m not a race car fan but this race car at the Indianpolis airport was really fascinating – and quite cool. The family spent a lot of time ooohing and aaaahing at it, me included.
Speaking of airports, the boy was home briefly at the end of his semester and before the start of the summer semester. He’s flying airplanes, did I tell you that already? Makes me wonder how he can fly by himself, yet park the car so badly. Yes, it’s a tree in my windshield.
We spent an afternoon with my mother-in-law and then all went out to dinner. While we were out, we got the call that she passed away. It was so nice to see her before she left this earth. On the drive back to the nursing home, God’s glory was in full display with this sunset. I felt she flew to heaven in golden light.
There’s an important equestrian event called the Rolex. The winner gets a Rolex watch – I know, I know. The girl watches it every year, and this year, she perched herself on the edge of the couch to do so. I supposing she was practicing her balance.
While at work one day, I went upstairs to make some copies and I found a full fledged camp site in the work room. There was a slew of screaming and laughing kids inside. Now THIS is how I would camp, no bugs, no creeping creatures in your sleeping bag and climate controlled bathrooms.
Speaking of creatures. The cat was on my lap and the dogs were attempting to eat him. He was calmly looking down his nose at them. It’s a zoo here, literally.
I banished the dogs to the porch. Yes, he’s our favorite pet.
Here’s to another month of Instagrams.
She didn’t buy it.
She’s such a young lady now and we took advantage of that by having her drive us to dinner one night. I remember it, I remember it well. I was in the back seat and I may or may not have raised my voice a little when I asked her to slow down.
It hit me that for the last eight years or so, my life has been spent on the road to the farm, back and forth, back and forth. When the girl began her lessons there, I would drive her and stay to watch and then drive home. When I became comfortable enough to leave her alone during her lessons, I would drive up, drop her off and then go back up again to pick her up.
That’s four times trips that day to the farm and back. This happened for years and it became such a common life function that we just took it for granted. It took someone to point out the distance for me to realize that yes, I really didn’t have a life – or rather, my life was the girl’s life for so long.
When the girl began driving last February, a normal person would have been relieved to not have to drive the trip anymore. Instead I felt anxious – almost like a drug addict coming off of drugs. Ok, that’s an exaggeration. I was worried about her driving that distance by herself. The day she got her license she asked to go to the farm by herself as her first alone driving experience. My palms started to sweat. I made her promise to come home the long way, the way that doesn’t allow her to merge into a major highway. And I told her to text me when she got there.
It’s been a few months now and I’m not so anxious. She’s increased her driving range to include church and Walmart. I admit it’s nice that she can drive to the store for me and drive us to dinner. My new-found independence is also a little strange but I suppose it will grow on me.
I had a lot of things planned for this weekend, but I forgot one important thing – it was also race weekend. By race I mean, the Monaco Grand Prix, the Indianapolis 500 and some other race. Why is this an important oversight? Because all the things planned for the weekend then take a back seat in our house. It’s a big day for the husband – just like it would be for me if there was a national cooking contest on tv all weekend:)
It’s ok – it gives me the opportunity to reflect on the small and ordinary things. The things that people who gave their lives in the process of serving our country, gave us the opportunity to do.
That’s as simple as taking a walk with the dogs – along a most beautiful boardwalk.
We planned on going to see a favorite band play in a Memorial Day festival – and we missed it. They were playing their last song as we pulled up. I disappointed but not for long. It was really a very gorgeous day to be outside. Then we helped to celebrate a friend’s 50th birthday. 50 is the new 30 now, she looked really good. And I brought strawberries and flowers – but forgot my camera.
We were also invited by an acquaintance to a party that consisted of five rock bands, food, pool and unlimited alcohol. Sounds great doesn’t it? We were going to go – but then decided it was too big for us. It was a day to enjoy the simple things.
Someone please tell me that I’m not getting too old to party . . .
Mixed with this wistfulness is also joy – lots and lots of joy at how they are developing as people and continue to develop still.
A rite of passage on that road to adulthood is the senior photo shoot. It seems a small thing relative to all things, but it still needs to be done. I found this out the hard way with the boy. I was determined to keep senior and graduation “must have’s” to a minimum, after all, there’s college to pay for. We didn’t purchase an ad for his senior year book, nor did we pay for senior photos. I don’t think he minded not having the ad. It’s that or he’s scarred for life. That’s the guilt talking, moms live with it daily.
Instead, I shot pictures of the boy for his senior shoot myself. You can see them here. I don’t think they turned out too badly but I still wonder how they would have turned out if my friend Danny, of Danny Douglas Photography shot them instead.
As a favor to a friend of the boy’s I shot these set of senior photos for LCAT Steven. His mother used them for his announcements and I was touched.
But when Danny asked me if the girl would be a 2014 Senior Representative for his photography studio, I was relieve in more ways than one. I remember how much work it was to do the senior sessions for the boy and for Steven and I remember the hours I spent editing the photos. Coupled with the fact that I didn’t have the equipment that Danny has (read lens envy), I jumped at the offer.
Besides being talented and having the proper equipment, Danny also has something that is crucial for a successful photographer. He’s experienced. He’s done this many many times before. He’s not paralyzed by self-doubt, like yours truly.
Behind the scenes of this photo shoot was a lot of work and a lot of hilarity. I wandered around to find a bed of buttercups. This field was full of them and other things too, like manure. The girl wasn’t phased a bit. She looks beautiful doesn’t she? It’s almost as if we planned the dress to match the flowers – ahem. Sometimes things work out in spite of a bad shopping experience, just sayin’.
I was Danny’s assistant that day, holding his flashes, guiding the sun with the reflector and calming Ella who was spooked by just about everything. No, even if the girl wanted me to – I couldn’t have done the shoot myself.
Thank you Danny, for being the professional and putting up with the tall grass, the manure and the horses. He sneezed almost the entire photo shoot, poor guy. It’s a photographer life!