Sunday, August 17, 2014

Goodbyes

Yesterday seemed to be all about goodbyes.

There are the goodbyes we know must happen.  Such was the case for Mrs. D, a neighbor friend who has dedicated her summer to saying goodbye to her childhood home and helping her mom, the wonderful Mrs. G, move on to a living arrangement that can better meet her memory needs.    They close on Monday, so yesterday was the last trip to the family home.
Caitlin and her grandma, circa 2009
There are the goodbyes we know are coming but we just don't know when.   .
  Such was the case for my dear friend, Mrs. Z.     Her sister passed away yesterday morning.   Oh sure, we knew it was coming as her sister has struggled with some demons for most of her life.   But you are never fully prepared for when the end arrives.   You may know it's coming, but when it happens, well, there goes that hope.   That little glimmer of hope that maybe one day your loved one realizes that sobriety was a healthier and better decision.     Mrs. Z, your sister is no longer hurting, and know that your sister wives are here for you...ready to offer a hug, a good laugh, or even a trip to Village Inn, diets be damned!


And finally there is the unthinkable goodbye.   When you lose a child.   Yesterday, a family I have met through an online community said their final goodbyes to their 6 year old daughter.    Katie  just had more illness than modern medicine and prayer could fix.   How do you move forward from this devastating loss?   I do not know, but her family has amazed me through the years with their gracious ways and I have no doubt they will indeed move forward.   But for now, prayers for the Murphy family is all I can offer.

But not all goodbyes are about tears of sadness.   Yesterday was our neighborhood's annual party-in-the-park.   Sort of a good-bye to summer, complete with live band, catered BBQ, bounce houses galore, and all your friends and neighbors out enjoying one last summer evening before we say goodbye to the lazy days of summer.   School starts here tomorrow....so while the calendar tells  us we've still got a month or so left of summer, in our hearts, we know that Summer 2014 is pretty much all wrapped up.

And while it seemed a little bit wrong and selfish to be having a good time with friends while others were having one helluva bad day, I also know that is what we need to do....creating those memorable moments, so that when it is time to say a goodbye of a sadder note, we can draw comfort from those many happy less painful times.




For my 3 friends that I dedicate this post to, my family and I send you our heartfelt sympathies...hoping you draw comfort from the loving support of those of us who love you dearly!



Friday, July 25, 2014

How did we end up here?

Whoa:   How is it that we're staring at the last weekend in July already?  
And that folks are starting to remind me that Sunday is
Yep, my birthday....the last one before I enter a new decade.
So, let's see...how did we get to this point...I'll back up a bit and catch up on what's been happening here at the House of Chang
Last weekend, Thing Two and I joined a few neighborhood friends for an afternoon of culture...
Ok, so the symphony was performing the Music of Harry Potter and as such, it wasn't as cultured of an event as I'm portraying it to be.  But, perfect seats, fabulous music, wonderful friends and shelter from the sweltering heat outside?   Yeah, I'll take it!  
I also found myself with a sippy cup sized just right at our "Coffee Club Happy Hour" last Friday night
Again, a bit misleading, I really only had a small glass of wine and chased it with a couple glasses of water..
But this was our honest to goodness view
*soon after I snapped this we were treated to the most wonderful sunset of oranges and blues...
*Always extra happy when happy hour is within walking distance of my own house.
Saturday evening was our neighborhood's wine tasting evening..
I managed to snap just one photo of S and J before the sun set..
S. and I have spent a lot of time together this summer...
not only reconnecting with a long time friend, but taking care of our bodies..
A couple days a week, we meet and hoof it through this path...
It's a challenging route with some significant hills to climb but each day gets a little easier.

Not everything is going perfect in this quest to find fitness before 50...
 Krispy Kale, sound good, nice crunch to it, but a bit too earthy flavor for me.  
Jogging through a  5k:   went great the first two weeks, but then the knees started to hurt.
Sorry, but sort of need those knees to do their job so I'll stick with walking.
Oh well, I'll keep at it, just have to sort through what works and what doesn't...

In other news, Hubby has a new job, working from home.  But first he had to travel to UT to meet his new team.  While he was gone, this one took over his dad's spot in the family room...

Look at that grin...he does indeed know that he's in his daddy's spot!

Equal billing for the other thing?   Tough to include a photo...he's going through that hibernation mode of the teenager.   He is in driver's ed this week, so I suspect pictures will follow in the weeks to come as he starts taking to the road.

So, yes, this pretty much sums up how we got here, to the final stretch of my summer break.
We haven't taken any exciting trips, but I have slowed down and focused on the details..
spending time with friends
spending time taking care of my body
spending time in the company of a good book
and
 spending time either loving or annoying my family (that changes on an hourly basis....)

Until next time...




Sunday, July 06, 2014

The joy of OPK*

*OPK=Other People's Kids

What's a picture taking fool to do when her own kids decide to play camera shy for the summer of 2014?   Why you turn the camera on the neighborhood kids...
Clearly they didn't mind that crazy neighbor lady snapping away....
Even one of the mamas said "sure" when I asked her to step into the shot...
And let's not forget the joy of OPD...
*other people's dogs...
This is Valkryie...a 2+ year old German Shepherd who was our house guest this past week...
ALWAYS ready for her close up be it in the house..
in the side car...

 or even up on the top of Mount Evans...
 But what about the kids?  
Oh don't worry....Moosey is still around...
He's mastered the art of "selfies"...
Oh you mean the Things?    
Yeah...they are sort of getting tired of Mom and her ever present camera..
I've had to be a bit sneaky about it...
Yes there is a rare sighting of Thing One...awake, moving and OUTSIDE enjoying the fresh mountain air?
Yep, we've got photographic proof that he can survive outdoor activity...

With Thing Two taking his turn at the jousting by side car adventure a few weeks ago...
Yesterday this one...
turned 17....ah yes...another chance to capture him doing something other than 
hibernating for the summer 
(he graciously gave up his bedroom for the various company we've hosted this past week, roughing it in the basement...mini fridge right out of the view of the camera)...
He and Moosey took a trip down Memory Lane...
where he found it rather amusing he's got a relative named Conception?

And while the kid has little interest in cake, he sure does enjoy the presents that come with a birthday...
And equal time for the younger Thing? 
Yeah...he made an appearance and spent some time with the family...
(we've actually seen a lot of him this past week...
ok, so he's been grounded and as such has nothing else to do BUT hang with the old folks)...

As I finish up this post of bits and pieces, I'm reminded of a line I heard on one of my FAVORITE shows. 
(Call the Midwife:   watch it, I promise you'll find it time well spent)
  Nurse Jenny Less reflected 
"For What is Joy if it goes unrecorded and what is love if it is not shared?
Yes, sometimes I'm recording the joy of my own family and sometimes it is the joy of others...but in the end..
it is joy in my life that I take time to reflect on and remember!
Make it a good one!