Wednesday, August 26, 2009

AUGUST 2009

Kinda bored with the page background.
Wish I knew more about designing blog pages.
Making note: find someone who knows more than me.

Sitting here watching a public TV special on the the Kennedy family over the years. It's prompted of course, by the death of Ted Kennedy but it starts with Joseph and Rose and has moved right on up through all of the history....on up to the present. Really well done. So nostalgic. I remember it all....the bomb shelter built in the parking lot of a nearby shopping plaza when things got dicey with the Cubans. I wasn't scared, I was just a little kid. But I remember what the yellow and black "Fallout Shelter" signs looked like and how they popped up everywhere.

I was in a third-grade classroom when Mrs. Herron was called to the office. When she returned to class she told us President Kennedy had died, we all had to go home from school early and we should be very quiet and respectful in the halls. The images on TV were all in black and white and there was nothing but death and funeral coverage on all channels...for days. No wonder those images are seared into the memories of all of us who were old enough to understand.

I didn't care much for history when I was a kid in school. Funny how I soak it up like a sponge now. Must come with age. I remember my younger sister having to write a research paper on the Kennedy assassination when she was in high school. She was borrrrrrrrrrred to tears. When she told me just how bored she was with the subject I was incredulous. Seriously!!!??? Since the day it happened I haven't been able to walk past a magazine article or book on the subject without picking it up and diving in. I was there. I remember. It makes all the difference.

A friend of mine died this week, too. Brain cancer. There is something to be said for dying from a terminal illness that lingers just a bit. There is time. Things that need to be said.......get said. Things that need to be done.........get done. The urgency of the every-day hassles we all wrestle with take a back seat to issues of substance and moments of deep and true meaning. Brad left on a positive note, having said and done what had to be said, what had to be done. He'd be the first to tell you, there were many many things that needed to be said to lots of people.
I'm thankful he had the opportunity to stitch up those ragged tears and go home to heaven knowing the fabric of the family he left behind was seamless and whole.

It's human nature to cling to life. It's a deep, primal instinct. Listen to all the talk on the subject these days. Talk radio. Newspapers. Is the government wanting to tell us when it's time to die? Should we be able to choose? Is there an age when we're too old to receive treatment for an illness?

Tonight I was talking to my sister, wondering out loud if it's wrong to pray that someone would die. After months of deteriorating health, our mom is not doing well. She's a woman of great faith and she's weary. There is peace on her face and she's pretty much checked out. She doesn't know us when we walk in the room. She's ready.

I see it in her eyes.

It's a wonderfully grey evening. A steady rain is falling.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Monday, August 17, 2009

SO Guilty

Does this commercial crack anyone else up??



Ahh technology.
Everything is just so different, are there rule books for this stuff?????

Saturday, August 01, 2009

Mike's Graduation Day

It could have rained. No one would have noticed. But it was a blue-sky beautiful summer's day. The grass was green, the breeze was gentle and inside the auditorium the uniforms were pressed, the shoes and badges polished.

Graduation day for our Michael.
It began with the surprise arrival of his favorite little girl in the world.
My dear daughter-in-law Nikki, Victoria's sweet mommy Lisa and I all conspired along with 5-year old Victoria to fly her in for the special occasion...........and keep it a secret. That's a tall order for an almost-Kindergartner!

But we did it! She popped out of the car into the surprised arms of her Daddy, the perfect start to a perfect day.


So let's get this show on the road!!


Class officers as they're introduced. Mike was VP of the 229th graduating class of the
Iowa Law Enforcement Academy


Officially receiving his badge from great friend and cousin Chris, an Iowa State Trooper.


Grandpa Evans graduated from the ILEA in 1973.
He served with the Polk County Sheriff's Department.


The accomplishment is shared by Mike's wife Nikki. They're newlyweds and she kept everything going at home while he was away for the past couple of months.


Proud, proud Grandma.



Mike and his Dad.




Mike graduated on my birthday. Can't think of a better present!
That night at the party we took out some time for cake.



Victoria was busy catching lightning bugs.
She wouldn't let me see him because.....Grandma, I can't. You KNOW he'll fly away!!!


When it got dark we broke out the glow-in-the-dark party bracelets.
This is David's sweetheart of a girlfriend Missy.


Teri and Rodney.


Yet another of my great kids. David. My oldest.


My cousin and traveling buddy, Rhonda.


My daughter-in-law Nikki is super-hostess. She was all over the back yard all evening like the Energizer bunny, making sure everyone had food and drinks. She had a pink pig pinata for the little kids, fireworks and packages of powdered donuts for everyone.....get it.....donuts...cops.....love it.

Mike and Nik's yard is huge and there were groups of people all over it in lawn chairs, at picnic tables, relaxing around the fire pit, checking out the garden. After I filled up a little plate of food and made my rounds saying hello, I spent the rest of the evening tucked into a corner of their deck where we had a great view of the party going on in the yard.


Candlelight made for some blurry pics but I had to include them because I had such a great time with these friends. Janie and my cousin, Sherilyn. A couple of my veteran Camper Girls.


My cousin Rodney. One of my favorite guys in the whole world.


Didn't take long after the kids started swinging. Soon all that was left of the piggy pinata was piles of candy on the ground and a nice, pink, pig head.


Inside, in the spirit of the days surprises, Victoria takes careful aim and nails Grandpa with a can of silly string when he isn't lookin'.



It was a great day. Much more so than my photos show
Congratulations Mike, your family is proud of you.

video

Seriously.......!!!!!!

It takes two airplanes, one long walk through the underground tunnel at O'Hare, a cheese pizza, one bag of gummy fish, four bathroom stops and three bottles of water to get from Virginia to Iowa on the best of days. In between we read books, complete fabulous art projects and talk and wave to every little kid rolling by in a stroller.

Other days, it takes a little longer.
Throw in a box of McNuggets, a stuffed "I Love Chicago" beanie bear and five or six rides up and down the terminal on the moving sidewalk, just because it's fun. All the while in search of a quiet bench where we can sit and wait. And wait. And wait.


And wait.


Finally we get on the plane.
We buckle in. We adjust the lights. We adjust the fan. We raise and lower the window shades, just to make sure they work. And we wait. And wait.



Entertaining ourselves while the pilot gets ready to take us home.




Listening to the headsets helps pass the time.


And you'd think a Grandma would know, when you're listening to music on a pair of headphones, you're not listening to questions grown-ups ask.







Ohhhhhh well.