Saturday, June 28, 2008

Bittersweet Day...


My mother who has visited with us since mid May departs today for her home in Klamath Falls. She has traveled since last December when she came here for the start of her winter southern tour. After two months in Arizona, she flew to Los Angeles for her second stop of her snowbird journey She was back here for Memorial Day weekend and has basked in the heat of the Sun Devil sun for over a month.

My goal is to continue my "Conversations with my mother" book as much as possible without overtaxing her memory. We will enjoy our time this morning, head to Tempe to pick up my oldest daughter and then eat a late lunch at Buca di Beppo in Scottsdale before going to the airport. It is a day to be savored.
Lingered over as much as is possible. And, yes, bittersweet is the best word to describe it.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Father's day may be past...

however I used the day to celebrate my time with my mother. Since my father's death, it's challenge to get too excited about Father's day. There also was not a great deal of enthusiasm from the fathers I know. The best part of my day was the homily at church. Deacon Ernie Garcia hit the nail on the head. It was his best talk ever.

I did celebrate the day continuing the conversations with Mother using the book I recently purchased. I discovered a number of items of which I was unaware. Did you know there were over 5 theaters in Sheboygan, Wisconsin at one time? Or, that my grandfather walked my mother to school every day during the winter months? My mother reminded me of things I used to know, but have forgotten over the years.

If you have not taken the time to formally document your conversations, start now. Time is short, life and memories are too easily forgotten. There's no time like the present.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

While I may have been one of the first to complain...


about the current political climate in our country, there is something resounding glorious about Flag Day. Definitely a quiet holiday, it subtly sneaks up on me and I revel in its history.

June 14 is not an average day. As a conservative spender, I left my house early this morning before the Arizona sun blazed the temperature above 100 degrees. I wanted to fill up my half full tank of gas, pumped slowly of course, to maximize my investment. As I drove through the subdivision entrance, most of the flags already stood at attention, and the volunteers diligently grounded the few remaining poles. The sight comforts me and instills a great sense of pride.

I imagine a number of people do not have any idea why the flags are displayed today. Despite Flag Day being proclaimed a holiday by President Harry S Truman in 1949, it is not the kind of family picnic/day off holiday such as the 4th of July or Labor day.

Or, perhaps, it is part of my own personal history which helps me to remember. My sister Joan's wedding anniversary is so close to Flag Day but on June 12 and this week she celebrated for the 27th year. Happy anniversary Joan and John and here's to another twenty plus years!

Perhaps my Wisconsin roots offer an explanation of why I remember this day. My father always ensured we stopped at every historical marker and on numerous occasions, we passed the marker for Flag Day in Fredonia, Wisconsin. According to http://www.usflag.org/history/flagday.html:
...the idea of an annual day specifically celebrating the Flag is believed to have first originated in 1885. BJ Cigrand, a schoolteacher, arranged for the pupils in the Fredonia, Wisconsin Public School, District 6, to observe June 14 (the 108th anniversary of the official adoption of The Stars and Stripes) as 'Flag Birthday'. In numerous magazines and newspaper articles and public addresses over the following years, Cigrand continued to enthusiastically advocate the observance of June 14 as 'Flag Birthday', or 'Flag Day'.
So celebrate the day knowing exactly why the flags burst onto the scene. Happy Flag Day!

Sunday, June 08, 2008

Multi-tasking part II


I love the weekends. I accomplished so much on Saturday and if I get half as much done today, I will be pleased.

My links to Moselle Lorraine gives a greater appreciation of the French culture and the close links to the Germanic states of my ancestors. Yesterday was a warm up for all things French. So, I played tennis, shopped, went to the library. shopped, swam and in celebration of Ana Ivanovic's victory at the French Open...made french onion soup followed by the movie French Kiss.

So, as a continuation of the French theme, the first item on the agenda for today is the men's French Open final. Nadal and Federer make history for the 3rd straight year. So I check email, update blogs and enjoy the two best tennis players in the world duke it out. Then, I will cook wild rice cranberry pancakes, vegetable stew, clean windows, edit two books, organize my day job work, and then, interview my mother for at least a few hours.

I bought the AARP book Conversations with my mother, A keepsake journal for celebrating a lifetime of stories. I have always asked a lot of questions, and today I'll use this resource. I know there are stories I may have missed or forgotten. Today I will use the time with her to explore unchartered territories. Today I will record it.

Is there a better way to celebrate our lives? If you have found it, let me know.

Sunday, June 01, 2008

Queen of Multi-Tasking...Photos...Kucher...Pollack to Pollack...Me

I believe in the past I have nominated myself to be Queen of the Multi-Taskers. Today I reign supreme.

I tackled the mountain of stuff which stood resolutely at the front of my desk. I grabbed loose photos, photo albums, boxes and other treasures from the heap. I sat on my couch and worked through it. Photos erupt into memories, memories charge creativity, and I am ready to explode into my next project.

Of course, that is only one task. At the same time, I watched A lot like love with Ashton Kucher which I borrowed from the library. Next up, Pollack. I picked up this DVD because I thought it might be a documentary about Sydney Pollack who passed away this week. I loved his movies and thought my mother would enjoy it.


The movie has nothing to do with Sydney, but everything to do with Jackson, Jackson Pollack that is. Ed Harris is the genius behind it supported by Marcia Gay Harden and Amy Madigan. Amy Madigan? Yes, the same Amy I saw on Broadway as Stella to Alec Baldwin's Stanley Kowalski and Jessica Lange's Blanche.

So, as I watch Pollack's creativity and growth, I am enthused to
continue all of my efforts. I am inspired to color, edit and record
more, even if I need to break away from my priorities and finish a certified payroll report. Even if I want to document this wonderful day with a blog update. Even if I can take a spare moment and review my favorite photos from my trips to Oregon in 2002 and 2004. Do you agree?

I am the Queen. Now onto the French Open.