Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Bill visiting pre-Revolution homestead

Striking a rather debonaire pose when we stopped to see the crumbling remains of a home that was once "in the family." The crumbling house is on this side of the fence, not the house in the background.
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Jessica

in Vogue
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Bill and Hazel

Hazel and Bill came by and surprised me a few days ago. There are very few people that are allowed to do that so don't get any ideas. Admittance into the front door requires 48 hours notice for cleaning. But, they're old and beloved friends, familiar with the my housekeeping habits, so we threw open the doors and were thrilled to see them. Such an occasion called for lunch at Black Walnut, with the tall wooden booths that can protect any conversation. Hazel has a laugh like music. She laughs more readily and more joyfully than anyone I know. We talked about their son, Nik, who is all grown up and a commercial pilot, and their son, Blake, whom they lost to cancer, when they were our neighbors and he was eight. And, we talked about Hazel's family in Hondoras, Bill's in Florida, my family, mutual friends - got started on getting "caught up" but Hazel are planning a trip to see our other neighbor friend, Michelle, in Louisiana. That will be a reunion to remember.
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Beam for Sale

After stepping over it in the garage for 15 years, Micah agreed to sell her balance beam. She spent many an hour on it. Damn, her right leg isn't straight in this back walkover. Points off and no dinner.
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Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Blake

If you'd have known him, you'd have loved him, too. That's what I always think of when I see this picture of Blake who passed away a year or so after this was taken. Also, always think of several hymns - the one about Eagles Wings, which he and my grandmother both loved and was sung at both of their funerals. Blake was a special boy - scrappy, kind, athletic, bright and spiritual. We think of him so often.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Where's Chuck?

Far right. Alias Smiley. Last seen in Smithfield, Virginia, with Lynne (alias Lynn, Lynnie, Allyn)! If you see them, tell them I'm looking for them! That'll teach them to not respond to an email!
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David and Dana

Two-year old David's world changed when the Wests moved in next door. Shelley, Dana, and Monica were an endless source of entertainment and companionship for all of us. They did art projects, marched to Stars and Stripes Forever (as in this picture,) played games. David used to wake up in the night crying for Dana and told everyone he was 8 because she was. He adored her. Shelley is teaching in Germany, Monica (previously featured) is a hair stylist at Zip Zap in San Francisco, and Dana works for Constant Artists in LA, booking bands (like Explosions in the Sky) and other cool things that I'm too old to understand. Dana came home for a few days last week and I had the BEST time with her, having lunch at Black Walnut. Black Walnut is kind of dark, and has tall wooden booths - just the sort of place one can bare one's soul. And you know how I love to do that! Dana is lovely, lovely, lovely inside and out and it was good for my soul to see her.
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Sunday, July 12, 2009

Cheers to you, Dad

"The Boys" and their families are celebrating Dad's 85th birthday in Williamsburg today. Sounded pretty raucous when Michael called a bit ago. Happy almost-Birthday, Dad. I'll see you in a few weeks! (Picture taken in 1973, Dad's first night back at Watergate Lane)
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When Micah was home at the beginning of the summer, we went to visit Liberty. Micah sold her to the only person she could trust would treat her as well as she would - her trainer, Courtney. Courtney has a nice new barn "out in the country," surrounded by country roads and trees. We'd also bought Liberty, from different Courtney, another friend, who had bought her pretty much right off the track, named her Godiva and had the uneviable job of trying to stay on the back of the four year old ex-racehorse, as she careened around the show ring, jumping everything in sight. They were a good team. You should see the video of them in which Liberty miscalculated a jump and tumbled head over heels accidently kicking Courtney in the head, in the process. Don't get me wrong, it wasn't too high for her. Few things were. She just misjudged the strides. I used to think it was kind of cruel to jump a horse because it seemed a violation of their rights to make them do something they didn't want to do but she loved it. The new Courtney, plans to breed her. Liberty is as special as ever and, at 17, still looks and acts like a long-legged filly.
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This treasured ajuga plant (which Janie Tschudy told me Mom called "little soldier.") was originally from Marnie's garden. It's the only one I have and is treated as such. They're supposed to spread but no such luck yet.
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This is the sole flower ever produced from, as far as I know, the only remaining rose bush from Mom's garden. You'd think I could do better, wouldn't you? The rose itself is supposed to look like that but to only produce one? Really? Face facts, it's lucky to be alive at all. Not that I haven't done my best to make it happy. It's a big responsibility and taken seriously. It may need to be moved from a pot to the ground. That's my next step. Wish me luck.
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Terry and his brother, Danny

Terry went to visit his family in Lubbock with strict instructions to bring back childhood pictures. Maybe next week, we can explore his life growing up in West Texas.
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What was I thinking?

When I walked into Mary's house in Atlanta last week, all I could think was how excited I was to be there and how I couldn't wait to take pictures of everything. As it turned out, I had too much fun to stop and think of pictures and have been kicking myself ever since. Bartlett and Denton have grown since this one was taken in Feb. '08. It was wonderful to see all of them. They treated me like a queen. A French queen. They'd fixed up my room with a Monet (that looked like Denton,) lavendar, framed photographs of France, roses from her garden. It was too lovely to describe and I felt so pampered. We played Cranium; talked about all kinds of fun, serious subjects (my favorite kind); ate out; watched the blue birds, carolina wrens, gold finches, a hawk; walked; went to Mooncake; ate Mary's moussaka. Spoiled and not a care in the world. Can't wait to go back!
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Saturday, July 11, 2009

Leila has gone to gramma's

Terry took Leila to visit his parents in Lubbock this weekend. He said he was going to teach her to fly the plane on the way. He loves that dog so much. Too much. When he heard on tv that Michael Jackson dressed his chimp up in clothes and changed his diapers and kissed him on the mouth, Terry said, totally seriously and innocently, that he didn't think that was weird at all. It looks like David is twisting Leila's ear while Micah pins her down but really they're just petting her. With "ranch security" (re: Hank the Cowdog) gone for the weekend, every sound makes me nervous.
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The Baby Whisperer

Amy (left), Trish's daughter, has babysat two children for two years - from the time the youngest was 6 weeks old. An au pair, right? Drake slept in her arms for two hours last night, allowing new mommy, Leticia, time to open a gift.
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Girlfriends

These wonderful, perfect girlfriends haven't gotten showcased nearly enough on my blog. They certainly fit the criteria of importanttomadeleine. We met through working at school but that doesn't tell the half of it. We've been through many good times together and the few not-so-good times have been softened by our laughter and the love we share. I'm so grateful for each of them as individuals and for all of us as a group. They personify the YouTube video about girlfriends at the bottom of this page. Leti, Stella's beautiful daughter, gave us a reason to celebrate by bringing baby Drake over so we could pass him arm to arm and give her advice all night. Left to right: Karen, Naomi, me, Amy holding Drake, Stella, Leti, and Trish.
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