Archive for the ‘family’ category

Art History

June 3, 2018

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Recently, I posted an photo of me, my parents, Florence and Frank, and my siblings, Glenn and Pat in the living room of the house I grew up in. That room was the center of my universe from the time we moved there in 1952 until I went off to college. When family … grandparents, uncles, aunts and cousins … visited, we sat in the living room. Dad would often move the table from our smallish kitchen to the living room to give us more room for Thanksgiving. Christmas trees were decorated and presents opened there. I told my parents that I had proposed to my college sweetheart there. Dad took countless naps while reading the paper in the chair by the door and I learned my love of classical music listening to Mom’s records on the stereo under the picture window. In my college years, Mom and I would sit up watching Johnny Carson and talking on the sofa under “Dad’s mirror” (he never walked by it without a little gavotte). More than once, he’d call from their bedroom at the end of the hall, Would you two keep it down out there?

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Fixes

October 2, 2017

According to the dictionary, getting a fix means To obtain something necessary, especially a dose of an addictive drug or anything else compulsively sought after.   Of course, the phrase is an idiom in the sense that it’s definition can’t be determined from the meaning of the words.  So, I tend to drop the addicted and compulsively and let it just mean doing something I really enjoy.  Back in my running days, after a long day at work, I’d put on my Nikes and go out for a running fix. Yeah, my friends told me I was compulsive about exercise.  OK, as ice cream lovers, my wife and I sometimes head to our favorite shop in Dana point for an ice cream fix.  But believe it or not some geniuses at the New York Times (all the news that’s fit for the bottom of a birdcage) published an article comparing ice cream consumption to drug use.  OK, music.  When I’m down, nothing lifts me like listening to some music I love.  But sure as shit, there are articles about the problems of music addiction.  It seems to be in the nature of our modern world that some idiot is out to find fault with liking anything too much.  (more…)

Older … Sadder … Wiser

September 4, 2017

SWI am aboard a Southwest flight from Cleveland OH to Orange County, returning from funeral services for my sister-in-law, GeorgeAnn, who passed suddenly from a massive heart attack last Monday.  There was a viewing on Friday night and on Saturday, a brief memorial service at the funeral home and grave side, then a luncheon back at the funeral home.  Everything was beautiful and in keeping with GeorgeAnn’s personality, upbeat, a celebration of her life rather than an occasion for grieving.   Personally, I am a crier.  When I lose someone, I need to cry and I’d rather do it with loved ones than alone at night or in my car at the park.  I didn’t know GeorgeAnn as well as most of the people attending so I went with their lead and only teared up a few times.

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Tell Them … Again

August 31, 2017

This week, my brother’s wife, GeorgeAnn, passed away from a heart attack.   Just over eight years ago,  my sister-in-law, Sandy, passed away after weeks of fighting to recover from cancer surgery.   One passing sudden, taking your breath away, the other slow, agonizing … but the shock is the same, a loved one taken too soon, at least from our perspective here on earth.  And in the case of GeorgeAnn and Sandy, two truly good people who brought love, light and care to the lives of family and friends.   Back in 2009, I wrote a short post titled Tell Them, wondering if Sandy knew how much we loved her, how special she was. The message of that post was this: Tell them. Tell the people you love just how much they mean to you and tell them how you think they’re special. Don’t wait. Don’t be wondering someday if they knew.

So, here I sit in mentor OH, waiting to attend GeorgeAnn’s viewing tonight, wondering if I’ve gotten any better at this business of letting those I love know how much I care.  George Ann was funny, quirky, outspoken and compassionate.  She was a natural caregiver who cared for friends and family during difficult times, including my sister, Pat, and she was the light of my brother’s life.  She literally saved both my sibling’s lives in the past few years.  Did I thank her enough?  Did she know how much I loved her?  Perhaps.  But I’ll pass on the same message: Tell them … again.  Tell the people you love just how much they mean to you and tell them how you think they’re special. Don’t wait. Don’t be wondering someday if they knew.

The Wrong Girl

March 31, 2016

savyPerhaps the high point of our visit to Utah last week was getting to see our granddaughter, Savannah … aka Savy … perform with her cheer squad, the Elite Academy Heat.  The competition was held in the massive Salt Palace in downtown Salt Lake on a huge, multimedia stage in a room as large as an airplane hangar.  The official word was that no video taping was allowed but can anyone really prevent parents from video recording their kids in an age when nearly every device can record videos?   Before each performance, a group of parents from the team performing would make its way to the front of the stage to take pictures and videos.  I decided to do the same for Savy’s. I’d brought my Panasonic Lumix camera, which takes very good videos and offers the choice of a viewfinder or the view screen as a means of seeing what I’m recording.  As Savy’s team was announced, I moved to the edge of the stage and decided to use the viewfinder because that usually allows me to hold the camera more steady (at the expense of a tiny-tiny image). (more…)

Departure Day

March 29, 2016

mountainsYesterday was Departure Day for our eleven day visit with our daughter, son-in-law and three grandkids.  That is the most time we have ever spent under their roof, which to some may not seem like a big deal, but for my wife, Muri, and I it was.  We are a strong-willed bunch, from the the oldest (that would be moi) to the youngest (that would be sweet but strong-willed Savy girl).  Muri and I have always needed alone time (that would be quiet alone time) even from each other, a need that seems to get greater as we age.  That is hard to come by in a house with three beautiful, rambunctious and chatty children, not to mention their chatty mother.  And we all know how seniors love their routines, don’t we?  And how they get grouchy when their routines are interrupted or unavailable.  So, in spite of how anxious we were to see those grandkids, we approached the week with some trepidation.  Did my daughter and son-in-law felt the same way?  You’ll have to ask them. (more…)

Cheering

March 19, 2016

cheerIt is interesting to me how things I said to my children as a father with Younger Eyes comes back around to Older Eyes via his grandchildren.  Recently, my grandaughter, Savannah, joined a competitive cheerleading team, The Elite Academy Heat.  Originally, my daughter enrolled her in dance but Savy wanted to cheer.  This week, we are here in Utah visiting and we got to see Savy’s team compete.   As we were waiting, Savy asked her Mom, Why didn’t you do cheer, Mommy?   My daughter told her a fact I hardly remembered … Papa said I couldn’t.  Hmmm.  She then leaned over to me: Don’t you remember?  You said you thought girls should do something more than stand on the sidelines cheering for boys while they play sports.   Oh, yeah, I remember that guy … in fact, I’m still him.   But Savy loves cheer (as cheerleading is called these days), and her team isn’t cheering for anyone … they are competing against other teams.  I guess Older Eyes can live with that.   My daughter couldn’t resist adding one more bit of information.  You know the high school cheer team did this kind of comptetition in the off season.  I guess Younger Eyes was wrong.  Nothing new.
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