And away we go…

August 1, 2013

It is family reunion time again! This year, we are on the West Coast, the coast of my birth. And I am having panic attacks!!!

I love my family more than anything else in the world. My mom started these every-three-year reunions back when my daughter was 3 and my son 9 months…our West Coast based family had slowly but surely dispersed throughout the country, going off to college and then jobs and then marriage. Now the babies of our first reunions are grown up and mostly gone and the reunions continue.

So, if I love my family so much, why am I having panic attacks? Well, a little bit of it is that I will miss my dog. Boo and I are pretty much constant companions…well, except when hub and Boo go out on the boat, fishing or just cruising. If he was small enough to fit under my seat, he would be coming with me. But he’s not and I’m just not willing to put him in the belly of the plane for a one week trip. So, I guess I am officially one of those people who love their pets almost as much as their kids.

Another bit of it is that family reunions are a lot of work. Not the cooking, cleaning, who’s sleeping where part of it…more the “how long can we all be together before old feelings poke their little heads in and things get tense so let’s all play nice” kind of work…since we only have this one little window of time to store up hugs and laughs and memories and love, who wants to spend any of it “feeling”…but there is no getting past the feeling…it is what it is.

And then there is that hideously, hatefully, silly vain me that doesn’t want anyone to see that I am older now, plumper, with wrinkled, age-spotted, droopy body parts that barely fit into a bathing suit any more…we will be surrounded by the active, athletic, enthusiastic, gorgeous YOUNGSTERS who used to be US!!!! At least those in my generation and above are pretty much in the same boat…

All that said, I wouldn’t trade a moment of time spent with my mom and other dad, sisters and cousins and nieces and nephews…so, off we go! See you on the flip side!

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Little bits…

January 12, 2013

I am full of it these days…just filled up to the top…

My daughter gave me a fitness boot camp membership for Christmas. Was she sending me a message? She certainly was. Whether she realized it or not, she was telling me that it was time to put up or shut up. So, I decided to put up. The boot camp itself is fierce; conducted online, most of the women are considerably younger than I and are ALL considerably more fit than I. However, it is also very flexible and accommodating…it can even be dumbed-down for someone starting as slowly as I have. It is a circuit of targeted exercise routines, and so far, I am using hand weights, a stability ball, a mat and my front yard…I’m planning to add in some Wii games or dance sessions soon. Almost one week under my belt with mixed results. However, the best thing that has come from this is the knowledge that it doesn’t really matter WHAT I do, it is that I just do it. I have had great fun with the exercises and will try to incorporate sessions into my day-to-day life. I guess this post is my attempt to stay accountable to myself. So, thank you, Katy.

My internal clock is completely out of whack…I am still so sedentary that my brain doesn’t seem to require as much sleep as my body wants. Hmmm…maybe I should do more of the above and see if that tires my body out. Just a thought as I lie here in the wee hours of the morning.

I loved watching my son and daughter-in-law meet their brand-new nephew a few weeks ago…laughing at my son holding what he admitted was his first baby ever. And then, just a couple of weeks later, I had the joy of watching them meet their niece, my first grandbaby. Even more weepy-inducing were the looks on all their faces as they realized that they were all part of the next generation of our big, ol’ extended and extensive family…the baton has been passed. This mother’s heart was so full of happyhappyhappy…

And then there is Audrey…what more can I say about Audrey…before I had children, I was terrified that I would be a terrible mother. I got through that, and then was terrified that I would be a terrible grandmother. Well, once again, I had underestimated Mama Nature…there is some hormone or breath or lightning that strikes a human at the birth of one’s baby…and, much to my wonder, I discovered that it strikes again at the birth of one’s baby’s baby. It might help that we live far apart and I am not always there…it also helps (a lot) that my daughter is a prolific and imaginative photographer and sharer-with-her-mother, making said mother feel as if she is really there.

Most importantly, at least to me, I feel as if something that has long been frozen inside of me, something scary and dark, is starting to thaw a bit…I’m working on keeping that thaw going…

58259_10151600495335898_2118923149_n Audrey and Katy Audrey and Dad 8334215925_7de53076bc (1) 321052_10151588319460898_1352897684_n 307562_10151587716895898_1003829303_n

Merry Christmas Eve day…

December 24, 2012

Random thoughts…

My new favorite recipe is a shaved Brussels sprouts slaw made with crumbled crisp bacon and Marie’s Cole Slaw Dressing, topped with toasted pecans…I just ate the last of it for breakfast this morning…oh, my, it was really good…I’ll be making that again next time I get to the store for more sprouts…

I do not have a single present for my husband for Christmas Day…not one. We do have packages from family members and we did actually get packages into the mail for the kids, but not a thing for the hus…he tells me he has nothing for me, either. Pathetic, aren’t we? I prefer to think that we are so full of the spirit of love of family and friends that we don’t need anything tangible…

I’m starting to lose hope for a white Christmas…Mom and Michael have snow in Homer, Alaska; Tina and Trevor have snow in Ashland, Oregon…maybe even Cindy, Patti and Frank and their crews will have snow in the greater Seattle area…but New England is not cooperating. Oh, well…

I just discovered, via Facebook, that until yesterday, my son had never before held a baby. And now he is getting to hold two babies within two weeks…he’s in heaven…

And that will have to do…the cats are clamoring for breakfast and clamoring cats are NOT to be denied. Merry Christmas to all!

Anticipation…

October 3, 2012

Oh boy oh boy oh boy Oh girl, oh girl, oh girl…tick tick tick…we are on borrowed time now! Katy and Lucas’ bugchild is due any moment and I am trying to wrap my mind around all I need to do before I leave. Of course, my husband brought a cold home with him from his last trip, a cold which is trying to insinuate itself into my body as we speak. The good news is that my body is usually good at battling colds these days. And of course, as I was cooking dinner last night, I managed to swish 425 degree olive oil onto my left hand as I pulled the roasted potatoes out of the oven…so far, only one blister, but I suspect there may be others. The good news is that I have 7 days or so to heal before I need my hand for hugging my pregnormous daughter and svelte son-in-law AND/OR snuggling and cuddling my precious new granddaughter.

The best news is that I seem to be channeling Katy and am on the receiving end of the stumbles and tumbles one might expect from her unfamiliar bulkiness navigating its way through her life…better me than her!

OK, Babygirlbug…enjoy your last moments of quiet and solitude…the world is waiting to welcome you into its noisy, bright embrace!

Deja vu!

Ohmygosh, I really love my family.

We just returned from my niece’s wedding in Boston. A large number of us camped together in an apartment and a few hotel rooms and re-bonded the way we do every time we get together. I am certain I have mentioned at least once that my mom made sure that all the cousins and aunts and uncles and more got together every couple of years…family reunion time was sacred. Then the kids got older and reunions were harder to get to…but the seeds had already been sown…our family is a close and ever-expanding circle of people totally in love with each other. Not that we don’t fight…oh, please…we all have our dysfunctional areas, our sore spots and warts. But underneath it all, we are one. Hurt one of us, you hurt us all.

This weekend was another one of those events which was shared via email and Facebook with family who could not be there in person. But I’ll bet if you asked them, they will say that they felt the love all the way from Boston.

Enjoy your new life together, Erin and Matt…and Matt, welcome into the family circle!

Here comes the bride…

Bride and groom

Family is forever…

April 10, 2012

I was so very lucky in “picking” my family. My sisters and I grew up in the same town as one set of first cousins…we were four girls, they were three boys and two girls…we went to the same church, celebrated holidays together, cavorted naked in the sprinklers and mud together…some holidays were spiced up by the addition of more cousins who lived in other areas of Southern California…big Easter egg hunts in our back yard, throwing the football in the middle of the street with the dads on Christmas afternoons…

And then we all grew up and moved away. Our moms kept us all up to date and we stayed friends. My mom decided early on (I think it started as her excuse to see her grandchildren while they were still young) that it would be great to start the tradition of family reunions. We started gathering every 2 or 3 years at their house…we and our new babies slept in sleeping bags scattered all over the house and ate at long tables with big bowls of whatever dishes were prepared that night. Our kids started their own traditions and became friends. The advent of the internet made the maintenance of their friendships a little easier. All the mothers and sibs and cousins and nieces and nephews and aunts and uncles knew to their core that they had family who loved them and who had their backs.

My mom organized the first reunions, then I, as the oldest of my generation, took over the complicated task of scheduling…now, I have unofficially handed off the reunion planner job to one of the next generation…and so it continues. We have “reuned” in greater Seattle, midcoast California, midcoast Maine, Idaho, Alaska…we have met in small groups and large…and then there are some who have never made it to a reunion, for one reason or another…they don’t escape the web of family…thanks to Facebook, they are stuck with us, too!

I hope that my children’s children’s children know their kin the way we know ours. Family is good. Family is forever.

Family friendly…

October 12, 2010

I know, I know…I start every post following a long weekend saying that I LOVE long weekends.  But it is true!!!  I actually got a lot accomplished…harvested the last three butternut squash, inspected the burgeoning brussels sprouts, cleaned up the dried daylily stems and dead, soggy daylily leaves, weeded the “woods” (a/k/a big ol’ mulched area in front of the house which we have dotted with baby blue spruce) and flower beds…thinned out my closet, moving summer and unworn-in-a-long-time clothes into the “winter closet”, switched out my sandals and tennies for shoes and boots…watched hours of HGTV shows (ol’ favorites House Hunters and International House Hunters, and new contenders My First Place and Professional Grade, with an occasional Holmes on Holmes thrown in [Mike is such a big tree trunk of a guy with the greatest muscly arms]) and football and baseball, all while I folded clothes and vacuumed bird feathers (don’t ask…)…got new bras (YES!) and jammies…

AND…ta da!  I steamed a couple of live lobsters just for ME and consumed them over the course of the weekend.  MMMMmmmm good!

The jewel in the crown of this relaxing weekend was an early dinner in Brookline last night at Zaftigs Delicatessen with family in from afar…cousin and her beau, visiting from Seattle, ex-bro-in-law and his wife from Atlanta, cousin and her brother and his wife from the Boston area and ME!  Sorry, family, no photos…I get lost in taking memory pictures and forget to take photos…I get all warm and mushy when I am around family and shared lots of good laughs and got a lot of really good hugs to tide me over until our next reunion.

Now it is time to let the work week begin…sigh…