I’m on the road again, heading for Tucson and tapping this out on my phone’s tiny screen. Although this trip was planned several months ago, I won’t be seeing my dad, By the time we reach our destination Dad will have been gone for a week. He passed away rather unexpectedly last Thursday night. Thankfully both of my older siblings were visiting at the same time and were with him when he died.

It’s been a busy week of phone calls and messages between siblings and there’s more work to do. I can’t figure out how to upload a picture to the post via this phone so that will have to wait.

Friendship Friday

Karen and Diana, Pali Overlook, WEBSIZED

When we first met 15 years ago, there was time spent trying to figure out where we had met before, because each of us felt that other was familiar.  It wouldn’t have been impossible to have run into one another; both of our husbands were in the medical field and Army life often means we run into people more than once over the course of a career. But no, we were meeting for the first time.
Eventually the two of us decided we were simply “Sisters from another Mister.”

DSCN7855 (2) FRIENDS, WEBSIZED

Over the years we have played many rounds of card games and gone camping together. We had the honor and privilege of attending their oldest son’s wedding in September of 2017, and at that time they asked when we were going to come to visit them in Hawaii. SuperDad was still recovering from his brain bleed so we were noncommittal on a date.

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This past fall, they let us know that they had less than a year left before they would be moving back to the other side of our state. The clock was ticking.

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I cannot begin to express what a priceless gift it was to stay with them and have them as our tour guides.  MAHALO, dear friends!

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For the Love

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Wedding picture

Whoosh! That’s the sound of February zooming past us. The adage about time passing more quickly as we age must be true. How does one otherwise explain these gray-haired people? We were young so recently! (Wedding picture on the right –> was taken 31 years ago.)

SuperDad and I took the trip of a lifetime a few weeks ago. We flew to Hawaii on February 4th and spent 10 nights/9 days exploring the island of Oahu with our friends who have been living there for the past few years. I honestly can’t say enough about how wonderful the entire experience was, from flying first class (!!) to the beauty of Hawai’i and time spent with beloved friends. It was incredible.

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Photo taken at the very windy Nu’Uanu Pali Lookout on Oahu

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Waikiki Sunset on our first full day

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The USS Arizona Memorial is still closed due to needed dock repairs, but we were taken out on a boat to view it as closely as was safe. That sunken battleship is the tomb of many people and since the memorial is situated at a perpendicular angle over the top of the USS Arizona, it isn’t a simple job to repair the loading dock.

DSCN7969The process of going through my too many pictures to weed out the bad ones and decide which others to keep, along with the necessary editing for printing and/or sharing (putting here on the blog requires resizing) is taking an inordinate amount of time.  So here’s a few to whet your viewing appetite and hold me accountable for more in the coming days and weeks.

DSCN7927 Mighty Mo 4x6 of the USS Missouri

The USS Missouri, also known as “Mighty Mo” and BB-63, wasn’t built when Japan attacked Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941. However, this battleship was where the surrender was signed in the Tokyo bay on September 2, 1945., and is now located close to the USS Arizona, representing the beginning and the end of the United States’ involvement in World War II.  

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Despite fantasies that probably every visitor to the Aloha State entertains, we knew we couldn’t stay. Our hearts belong here at home with our family, including these two Valentine cuties. We hadn’t seen them since the beginning of the month and my heart melted when I saw this photograph. Chomper is now 8 months old!

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photo credit: Forever Photos

We flew back into Seattle and spent the February long weekend there, relaxing in a humble & cozy Airbnb and attending a wedding. It simply didn’t make sense to drive home on a Friday, then turn around and drive back across the mountain pass the next day (nearly 600 miles round-trip), and staying put in the temperate zone likely helped with our re-acclimation to winter. Seattle high temps were around 40 degrees — a nice middle ground after leaving a place where 65 degrees means folks bundle up in winter coats and before returning home where it was 15 degrees.

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This is one of two 8′ tall “Soulless Snow Sentinels”

Our resident young men “held down the fort” in our absence. Amazingly, the fridge wasn’t empty when we returned this time, even though we left them with fewer eggs. My mention of their ability to grocery shop might have had something to do with it.  Even better, the house was clean and the driveway had been regularly shoveled.

In the 2 weeks we were away, approximately 2 feet of snow fell and so did the temperatures (into the single digits Fahrenheit). I’m just crazy enough to be sorry to have missed the excitement although there’s still plenty of snow on the ground, including residential roads. There might be an igloo in our back yard.

Yes, there is an igloo in our backyard, but it’s too cold to go out and photograph it. Sorry.

Icicles IMG_20190219_155739213_HDRDaytime temperatures warmed up to just above freezing for a few days, which has made for some epic icicles. The icicles are sticking around because we’ve plunged back down to single digits.

I’m so grateful to have had a respite from February’s never-ending winter weather.

Happy New Year 2019

We spent a lot of time driving in December, seeing the grandsons and their parents every weekend for various activities (some babysitting, some special holiday events, and a certain 3-year-old’s birthday). As I write this post, Christmas has come to a close with the passing of Epiphany; the new year is one week old and I’m still slowly addressing envelopes for the annual Christmas letter between attempts to pack away tree ornaments and other decorations. Sometimes I suspect I drag it all out because I am sorry to see it all gone.

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These two boys ♥♥

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Little Foot is now 3 years old.

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We’re calling it the T.S. Enterprise. It’s awesome! #goingboldly

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Home improvement gifts was a theme this year.   #grateful

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Post-Christmas visit to extended family while Mama and Daddy went to work.

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My BFF knows me and loves me. ♥

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Not everyone can receive a magical flying unicorn onesie and pull it off with aplomb, but SuperDad most definitely can and did. The video is awesome and slightly horrifying.

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Me, my ankle brace, and my great loves ♥                                                              Standing (L-R): The Barefooter, Humorous-Juniorous, The Scout, The Engineer & The Author

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Chomper and I sent everyone else to bed and had a late-night party. Then we rock-a-byed to sleep.  H-E-A-V-E-N.

The Sun Sets

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SuperDad and I went camping at Glacier National Park in August. On day 2, we managed to head west on the Going-to-the-Sun road at the perfect time.

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Today is my last day of work.  I will miss many things about the job but it is time to make more room in my life for family and other activities.  Two weeks from now my dh and I will be traveling to Arizona to visit my dad and his wife — both of whom have been hospitalized in the past month.  As full as our house is right now with 3 adult children living with us, their presence allows us to go on this trip without worries about things back at home.  SuperDad and I will [tent] camp a few nights on the way down to Tucson. If the perfect trailer presents itself while there, we may be camping all the way back home.

As September ends I’m letting go of a part of my life (I enjoyed the work, and paychecks are very satisfying!) and saying YES to more sunsets, more camping, more time with family.

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Women’s March 2.0

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My friend ~A~ and I marched this afternoon.  Our city had its march on Sunday, on the one-year anniversary of the 2017 Women’s March. There were people of all ages, families spanning generations, males and females.  There were strollers and walkers and wheelchairs.

Since we were lucky enough to be near the front of the parade of marchers, we were able to station ourselves near the end and take photos after we were finished marching.  I was lucky enough to have such a good friend who made my sign for me; I gave her the words and she took care of the artistic part.

I didn’t march last year; I’d scheduled that day to visit our grandson. This year, we’d just seen them 2 weeks ago and it was past time for me to put my body and voice where I might be seen and heard because silence is not golden.  Love trumps hate, and I choose to persistantly stand on the side of love.

My feet hurt tonight but it was worth it.

Growing Up

DSCN3483 (2)Last weekend the oldest parts of our church building celebrated 100 years as a place of worship. (The side in which I work was built in 1926, but the sanctuary was built in 1917 after the original church building from 1888 was destroyed by fire.)  With such a celebration happening, it was a treat to have The Engineer, The Author, and Little Foot come for a visit.  All that wasn’t the reason they came for a visit, but the timing was lovely.

It had been a month since we had seen them. Little Foot is growing up so fast, and if it’s possible (I think it is), he is getting cuter every month. The second anniversary of his birth will be in just a few more weeks. This boy melts my heart.  That bear is nearly as big as he is and it is his favorite toy. He talks to Bear and gives Bear turns playing with other toys. It’s really sweet to see.

Boxes make the best toys

The box with the coffee order for work arrived at the perfect time to be a toy for the weekend.

 

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Look! No Christmas decorations on the mantel — it’s a miracle! (Don’t worry, they’ll return.)

This evening SuperDad and I watched Robert Redford and Barbra Streisand in “The Way We Were” and then clicked on the director’s commentary. Not only does the film make more sense when you see the parts that were left on the cutting floor, but watching it allowed us to hear more of that haunting music and Barbra’s incredible voice. It’s such a story of choices. In a strange comparison of sorts, my 18-year-old baby boy is off camping by himself in the snow several hours away. He drove himself there after school in his truck, sent me a text from the nearest town and told us not to worry prior to Monday night.  He only plans to be gone two nights — there is school on Monday — but if his post-concussion syndrome (headache, lack of ability to focus) is bothering him, he wouldn’t be able to drive and would wait to come home.

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One of The Scout‘s senior pictures, taken on a day he wasn’t feeling well.

Not worry? Me? Hahahahaha… Um, no — I’ll be worrying if we haven’t heard from him by sundown on Sunday, preferably by seeing him in person at home. He’s solo hiking and snow-camping in the wilderness without cell phone reception. But what do you do? He’s a legal adult and a very responsible kid person. Still… he’ll always be my baby.
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Just ask the kids, they have all the answers…

1.  HOW DO YOU DECIDE WHOM TO MARRY?    

You got to find somebody who likes the same stuff. Like, if you like sports, she should like it that you like sports, and she should keep the chips and dip coming.   
—  Alan, age 10 

No  person really decides before they grow up who they’re going to marry. God decides it all way before, and you get to find out later who you’re stuck with.   
—  Kristen, age  10   

 2.  WHAT IS  THE RIGHT AGE TO GET MARRIED?   
Twenty-three is the best age because you know the person FOREVER by then.  
—   Camille, age 10  
3.  HOW CAN A  STRANGER TELL IF TWO PEOPLE ARE MARRIED?   

You might have to guess, based on whether they seem to be yelling at the same kids. 
—  Derrick, age  8   

4.  WHAT DO  YOU THINK YOUR MOM AND DAD HAVE IN COMMON?   
Both don’t want any more kids.    
—  Lori,  age 8   
5.  WHAT DO  MOST PEOPLE DO ON A DATE?   

Dates are for having fun, and people  should use them to get to know each other. Even boys have something to say if you listen long enough.   
—   Lynnette, age  8     

On  the first date, they just tell each other lies and that usually gets them interested enough to go for a second date.  
—  Martin, age  10   

 6.  WHEN IS  IT OKAY TO KISS SOMEONE?    

When they’re rich.   
—  Pam, age  7 

The law says you have to be 18, so I wouldn’t want to mess with that.  
— Curt, age   7

The rule goes like this: If you kiss someone, then you should marry them and have kids with them. It’s the right thing to do.    
— Howard,  age 8   

7.    IS IT BETTER TO BE SINGLE OR MARRIED?   
It’s better for girls to be single but not for boys. Boys need someone to clean up after them.  
—  Anita, age 9
8.  HOW  WOULD THE WORLD BE DIFFERENT IF PEOPLE DIDN’T GET MARRIED?    
There sure would be a lot of kids to explain, wouldn’t there?  
—  Kelvin, age 8   
9.  HOW WOULD YOU MAKE A MARRIAGE WORK?    
Tell your wife that she looks pretty, even if she looks like a dump truck.
—  Ricky, age  10 
I’m not sure whether to laugh or cry about some of these quotes.