This was definitely a challenge.
Just choosing one photo. Out of a zillion (well maybe not a zillion, but close)
So many wonderful memories of the last few decades.
When I stumbled upon this photo in my search, I remembered Frank’s suggestion: don’t hesitate to go for the whimsical.
Father’s Day 2008
My two adult children made it a point to be home to celebrate with their father. As they always did – and still do – they let the silliness of childhood surface. My son had recently found this road sign while at his local summer job.
I have no idea why he kept it, except that it became a handy prop. For a photo taken while waiting for the steaks to grill. Creative minds at work…when Mom wanted another photo of the two of them.
Another example of the joyful, silly, irreverent atmosphere that permeated their childhood. And our life together as a family of four.
And their close relationship – even at almost 6 years apart.
My children’s paternal grandparents were always willing to play with their grandchildren – no matter what the game was. It could be as simple as reading a book, playing cards or tossing a ball. Even planting seeds in their huge backyard garden.
One Christmas – 1994 – they even joined in, sunglasses and all, when their grandson tried out his new “saxophone.”
It can often be a mystery to figure out a 2 ½ year old. Who has a limited vocabulary which does not include “I am sad” or “I don’t understand” or “I need to calm down” or even…”I am lonely.”
But who still needs to feel a bit more relaxed or cheered or settled. I had a little boy like that a few decades ago. A comforting big hug would make all the difference most of the time. Or some grown up attempts at bridging the language divide…”it’s okay”…”you’ll feel better soon”…”let’s read a story together”…”I love you!”
there was something about Pluto Dog – that special stuffed animal buddy that soothed like nothing else did. Held against bare skin, the comfort radiated to where it needed to go. The amazing power of touch.
Many such buddies lined his bedroom shelf and a few were snuggled with every night. When he reached for comfort, they were right there. No need to explain.
It is no surprise to me that this little boy grew up to be a fine young man…with a smile and a fond eye for every pup he passes on the street. And a special connection to his sister’s sweet dog who jumps & barks with excitement when hearing him at the door.
(And it also just happens to be his birthday today)
When I think slippery, I think “slip and fall” and…snowstorms.
When I was a kid, a snowstorm was exciting and often meant a day off from school. Making snow forts. Snowball fights. Snowmen.
Slipping and falling were part of the fun.
Not fun any more…
As a (former) homeowner, winter storms also meant:
First: Admiring the pretty snow.
Second: Taking photographs.
Third: Removing the snow from the front walk & driveway…with a shovel..or a snowblower…or both.
Fourth: Taking more photographs.
Below is a photo from February 2014 after a major snowfall.
I had just finished clearing the front walkway.
Life is never the same for an only child when she becomes a big sister. Especially after almost 6 years of a – for the most part – predictable existence.
But then along comes a little brother to mix things up.
One hot July day, my daughter squeezed her 8 year old self into our small plastic pool – to cool off with her 2 ½ year old brother. His idea of play was…the element of surprise. He only got away with this the first time – pictured below. After that it was a free-for-all!
To her eternal credit, she was a good sport about this and the rest of his shenanigans over the years…
Many years ago, on a solo visit to Coronado, California, I captured this close-up moment of reflection…as the waves rolled out over the sand…
On my favorite beach.
On a beautiful sunny day in June.
Where the uniquely colored sand just sparkles.
If I didn’t know better, I would have guessed I had struck gold.
Birthdays are a big deal. No matter how old you are. If you are lucky, you have a party (if you want one). With friends. Family. Neighbors. There is usually cake lit up with candles (when you had a grandfather like mine, sparklers instead). Presents! Hats. Favors. Games of some kind. Pin the Tail on the Donkey when I was 5. A “Ouija Board” and levitation when I was 15.
My children always had a birthday party – sometimes more than one if you count “family party” and “friend party.” We did Pin the Tail on the Donkey a few times, but soon realized that was SO old fashioned. However, cake and candles never go out of style. Especially the trick candles…
And…speaking of trick candles…the following is one of my favorite party photos. My daughter’s 4th birthday.
The photo below is from my 4th birthday party. Trying to set up the group shot. The pointy hats are an interesting coincidence.