Saturday, November 05, 2016

And he's gone.

The last week has been all craziness and preparation, poor schooling and frustration.  After a long decline, my Umpa passed away on Tuesday...this picture, above, was of him before we left for Florida, and in the last three years, he has lost the joy and comfort of being alive.  His death doesn't seem overwhelmingly sad in and of itself- he was 91 years old, in constant pain, and missing my Grandma all of the time.  To be removed from suffering makes death a kindness.
It's what his death means to my family that makes it sad.  This is our Patriarch- a man that presided over all aspects of our family with strong opinions and countless sayings.  His generosity was unbelievable.  He valued his family- he taught us all to value our family.
When my Grandma died five years ago, our cultural decline began- at her funeral, three separate cousins confided in me that Umpa was soon to follow- he felt this way, too, and longed for it, I think, although my Umpa was not a quitter, and if there was something he could do, he would.
He was a man of quick judgments, open emotions, and both easy affection and disgust.  He was not an intellectual, but he was undeniably intelligent, and held in his mind more useful information than most people come across.  He had a businessman's drive, and a farmer's practicality.
He was a force- a character that charmed almost everyone he met.  I miss the person that he and my Grandma were together- two very different people that balanced each other out, but were complete even without each other.  They were together because they wanted to be, not because they needed to be, and I'm not sure why that stands out to me now.
On Thursday we will be going to California for his rosary and funeral.  It will be our first trip back as a family in two years, and it is a trip I have been YEARNING for.  I have not been able to find my feet here in Florida, and I want to be content, but sometimes I just want to be near my family.  I love my people, but in this region where family stands tall above all other relationships, I am always reminded that I come from something bigger, with a rich history and a strange and wonderful culture of its own, thanks to my Umpa and Grandma.  I'm hopeful that we can somehow hold on to that culture after my Umpa's death, but I'm not optimistic.
This will be a last visit home.

Friday, March 04, 2016

Our porch in Florida

I love this porch.
I took these a few months ago when Charlie would still be confined to it.  Now he wants off and out and around- he's happiest outside, but with big logging trucks on the road in front, and wild creatures in the bushes and trees, Charlie on the grass means work.
He needs a shadow, and I get very little done- those books don't read themselves!
This day, past just two months, was easier.  He was satisfied with Lucy's extensive bead collection.  Lucy and I took turns taking pictures.



That outfit is STYLING.

Ice Cream Trip or Album Cover?

Just look at those cones.



Bowden came up with the band name- "School Supplies."




Too bad nobody plays an instrument.  In fact, Bowden told me yesterday that he HATES music.  Which is just as heart-breaking as if he'd said he hated reading.  How?  How can someone hate music?
That's just poor management.  Band management, I mean.  What I mean is this- I blame Josh.  Okay, not really.  I think it's just another thing my twelve-year-old son says because he hates learning about orchestras at school time.

Saturday, February 20, 2016

Photos with a dead owl









We were all very sad about the little owl being dead in our driveway- most likely hit by a car- but we were also interested to look as closely as we wanted at it.  Creation is amazing.  Why would talons that sharp be with such fuzzy, soft pants?

Monday, January 25, 2016

Speaking of color...

This ice cream cone looks like it is made of play dough.  I think it tastes like vanilla.  This concoction is called 'Superman,' and Miles gets it every time. 

Charlie played with colors last week

I put Charlie in some very silly outfits.  I like how he is so little that he doesn't really care what he wears, as long as it's cozy and comfy and warm enough.  I like that I can put him in lots of color, and now that I have four that dress themselves, and CARE about what they wear, I very much enjoy a colorful baby.  I took these pictures because Charlie loves the big legos, and because I love the colors of it all, and mostly, because I love Charlie's little man face, and the expressions he makes.
This piece he likes to wear.


Making a noise.


My Chars.  (Look at my excellent floor!  I  must have cleaned!)

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Car riding and camera practice.


 




My Christmas present

I've been wanting a new camera for years, but the cost...it's hard to imagine spending as much as I wanted to spend on a camera that would belong to ME. I have a weird amount of weird reservations, but this year, after my mom left, we went down to Gainesville and bought a Nikon D5500 with two different lenses.  I felt like my occasions did not warrant this camera, but I have been playing around.  I wanted to go outside, but the day after we bought the camera, we came down with a mystery disease that just this Friday was officially diagnosed as RSV...we have been wiped out, but Charlie has been - at times- scarily sick.  These are my random pictures while I get used to my camera.  What was happening?  Nothing, really. 













Happy New Year!