Thursday, November 25, 2010

Gobble gobble

I sense a theme here, holiday posts.

I remember that you always said that Thanksgiving dinner was the one meal you never minded cooking. Mostly I remember the ones in AZ, around the clawfoot table. That notwithstanding, the one in Japan with the pastel-colored marshmallows on the sweet-potato casserole was quite a memorable one.....

It's an odd day here, Mom, it's been snowing off and on this week, and we have about two to three inches on the ground, though it's warming up and supposed to rain today. I got stuck downtown Monday night and stayed in an old hotel that you and Dad would love, the Sorrento. Tiny old lift with a carpet that has the day of the week on it, nice cozy bed and a sitting room and a VERY COLD marble bathroom.

We're off to the Readers here in a minute, but I'm thinking of you and wishing I could give you a hug and kiss and cuddle up next to you on the couch while you do embroidery and I knit.



Sunday, October 31, 2010

Boo! It's Halloween

Hi Mom,

It's late in the evening on Halloween. M was a vampire this year (not a Twilight sparkly one, but an honest to goodness scary one with pale face and cape). She went to a party last night and then to a friends for movies and trick-or-treating tonight.

It was kind of an odd weekend--S had to work yesterday, so M and I lazed about and then got her ready for the party. Today just went by too quickly, but I have to admit, I'm losing my love of the day. I remember back when I wanted to be married on Halloween. I still like dressing up, and this year I was my desk at work, which is a huge mass of papers and post-it notes and my coffee cup and calendars and all sorts of other stuff.

The one part of Halloween that I do still love is the pumpkins. We had two this year that were at least 2 inches thick--carving them was a real job! Marion and I gutted them and carved them on our tiny front porch--it rained last night, but today was a picture-perfect fall day, and it hasn't started raining yet!. I have a big bowl of seeds to toast, and we got tons of compliments on the jack-o-lanterns. The best compliment was finding the top of the teeny squash I carved several feet away from the bottom of the squash--and the top had been nibbled and chewed on! I'm wondering what will be left of them in the morning!

It's cold--in the 50s mostly, but dropping lower at night. It's supposed to be a very wet, nasty winter this year. I'm still feeling such mixed emotions about being here--it was a move we really couldn't pass up, but had I known what it would be like, I might have made the decision to hold out in AZ instead. It really is incredible different to live in a place than it is to visit. Like S said, "I thought this place was gonna be cool." Me, too. Parts of it are, but it overwhelmingly isn't. M's starting to feel more at home here, and she's made some good friends, but they all live in another part of town so it's hard to even arrange for her to hang out with them. I like my job, but the commute takes a lot of time every day. It's so blinking expensive here, too! I miss our house.

I'm going to sign off for now. I miss you. I know we really didn't see eye-to-eye on lots of things, but I never doubted that you loved me. I hope you know that I love you, too; always have and always will.

Saturday, May 22, 2010


Happy Celebration Day, Mom. I'm sorry I didn't post on Mother's Day.

We had your party today, Stephen's birthday, at a restaurant in Seattle that overlooks the shipping canal. The room was lovely, and we had flowers and a big board of photos as well as a slideshow of photos going throughout. We also had a board with samples of your writings (Christmas letters) and lots of your name tags from trips and music festivals. There was a brass quintet; it was so nice outside that they played on the patio, startling and pleasing passing kayaks, joggers and dog-walkers. They had a great repertoire; Dixieland, swing classics, and classical. Trombone, euphonium, french horn and two trumpets.

Dad spoke along with some selected photos and told of your history together; it was very sweet. Everyone enjoyed his reminiscing, and many joined in at one point or another to identify people in photos or add to the backstory.

Paul Courtney and his wife Diane and daughter Heather were there, the Kelly's, Glenna and rank, Babs Glasgow. Joe's in the hospital, but I think Dad's going to visit him tomorrow. Mark and Fran, of course, Seth, Marion, and two friends from work that I would have liked you to know, Melissa and Hazel. It was really sweet, and the band played beautifully. We had a buffet of hors d'oerves, and it was all very casual, which worked well.

I felt happy rather than sad, which was a nice thing as I've been so stressed in the last week getting ready for this. Dad took a tumble and cut his ear and cheek, and I do worry about him. He and Stephen have been working very hard together to take care of all of the details of running the household that you handled; they're doing pretty well, but you know how it is whenever there's a change of command.

It was cloudy and sprinkled this morning, then it was gorgeous all during the party, and now it's clouded up again. I hope that we did it the way that you would have liked. It was very odd not having you there; it felt as though you were, and I think that's one of the reasons that it was as relaxed as it was. Everyone got along and I believe that they had a good time.

I miss you; it would have been more fun had you been there in person rather than in spirit. I hope you know how much I love you.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

You say it's your birthday

I just talked with Dad and S-- I'm really glad that they're together tonight.

Thanks for making it easy on me--having your birthday right before Mother's Day really made things simple for as far back as I can remember.

I'm looking forward to your Celebration in a couple of weeks, and I'm looking forward to seeing Dad and S.

I love you, Mom. Happy Birthday.

Friday, April 30, 2010

for you, Mom

I'm a little early for your birthday, but I wanted you to have these. They smell wonderful. I miss you.

Friday, April 2, 2010

April is here

Hi Mom,

It's Friday night and we're now moving into April. Met with the Tiefs last night at the restaurant where we are planning to hold your celebration. The food was delightful, the service impeccable, and the private room is lovely. We all agreed that it would be an appropriate place to spend an afternoon in your honor.

I got a raise today, and a nice bonus. This makes my fourth raise in two years, and my second bonus (this year's is double last year's). I think this job is working out pretty well. It was such a hard decision, coming up here and leaving Arizona, and I know you felt sort of left behind, and I wish I could make you understand all the reasons for needing to do it. It's ok, I'm applying your logic--remember when you told me not to question my decisions for Marion? Well, this was one of them. Not to mention a biggie for Seth and I.

It's rainy and cold and very windy. The daffodils are about done, and the tulips are starting to show off. Noticed too that the lilac bushes are beginning to be budded. Looking forward to spring. I want to plant some veggies and some flowers in our great big yard. The birds are back, as long as I keep the suet feeder going, they visit. Need to hang the thistle feeder on the shed out back--the eaves will keep it dry and hopefully bring more visitors to the new birdba that Seth made for me this Christmas.

Dad sent more of your clothes-Marion fits well into some of them, and I think I have found a place to donate the others. I don't want them to be sold, I want someone to have them. The fuzzy ski hat from the 70's is a HOOT! Dad said to tell Marion not to forget to feed it every day.

I love you, Mom, and I want you to know that I'm wearing your big gold ring. I didn't plan to, but it just feels right. It makes me happy to have that weight on my finger and to think of you. I'll be talking to Glenna soon and we'll make more plans for the celebration. It will be simple and elegant,and I think that you'll be pleased.



Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Happt St. Pat's, Mom

Dad sent the most beautiful arrangement of stargazer lilies, roses and other fleur for our 13th. It was so sweet. I walked home from the bus, reveling in the extended light from the change of time last weekend, and the setting sun hit them, backlit against the red front door.


You'd be proud. He did it up right.

We're taking the Tief's to dinner next week at one of the possible places for our gathering. I'm looking forward to meeting them.

Work is crazed this week, which is making me look forward to next week even more.

I love you. Happy St. Pat's. Happy 13th for Seth and I. Thanks to you and Dad for showing me how it can be.



Wednesday, March 10, 2010

It's March

Dear Mom,

It's almost two months since you passed away. I think of you every day. I've been kicking around the idea for this blog for a bit now, and I guess I'm finally ready to start it. I'm lifting a cold beer in your memory as I start this journey--love you miss you!

Since we're talking about beer, I'll let that be a starting point.

I remember:

Stealing sips of beer from your tall, triangular pilsner glass on long, hot Yuma evenings when we lived on Kathleen Avenue. We used to play outside until late, and you would come outside and sit on the curving curbs with the neighbors (Proudfeet?)and chat while we kids tore all over the neighborhood. I guess I never disliked that sharp flavor.

You taking charge and making it all better when I fell off of somebody's back during a piggyback ride. I cracked my face on a brick and wound up with a terrific shiner.

Same when I was bitten in the face by a German Shepherd (my fault). Driving to the base dispensary to get it looked at, lying with my head in your lap, crying, and winding up needing one stitch.

You were the one who piqued my interest in birds. We had a conversation about this within the last few years, and I recall that you were surprised that I attributed this to you. My recollections were of you pointing out sweet, chubby sparrows. I guess that did it. I'm sorry we never got to go to the Yuma birding festival. I'll try to get there next year.

I recall that you were always willing for me to try different musical instruments. I 86'd the violin and flute before I finally settled on the trumpet. That steady encouragement meant the world to me, and knowing that you were in the stands when I was in marching band made me so proud. I know that your brother and sister were the musicians in the family, but you always had a great ear.

Always loved seeing you and Dad on the stage in the YCT productions. Loved that you two took tap dancing lessons together. I recall that it was always an unstated competition at the dinner table between R&S&I to see who could crack up the parents. M is showing lots of the performance genes, credit for which is evenly split between the two families, but I wish you could be there to see her on stage this weekend.

Thanks for passing on your love of words and language. It is without a doubt one of the highlights of my life.

The long weekend I came to Yuma several years back and you taught me to knit. I remember you telling me for years that you used to knit "left-handed", and I can't thank you enough for sharing this with me. It's something that I hope M will want to try again some time, but even if she doesn't, I have this bond with you.

There's a lot to say, and I can't possibly get it all down right now. I guess that's why I want to blog it. Sending it out into the ether is the closest I feel I can get to sending you a letter. Dad's hanging in there; you probably know that. S has been a big help to him, and I'm so glad he's back in Yuma. I think it's good for both of them to have time together.

I'll write more soon. I wish I'd been able to talk with you before you left. I miss you, Mom, and I love you so much.