Sunday, February 27, 2011
I enjoyed the men, too. Jeff Bridges should have won something for "True Grit." Second-place maybe?
My choice of the favorite 10 movies nominated WON! It actually won best director, best actor and best picture. What a night for a movie that had no car chase scene, no building's blown up, no aliens appearing, and no "ripping the bodice" sex scene. For all of those reasons, it should not have even been nominated.
For all of those reasons I know folks that won't even go see it, too boring you know!
I loved the history behind the story, the devotion of the queen, the tenacity of the King who persevered and conquered his speech impediment. It was an inspiring story.
THEN, tonight when the director was giving his "thank you, everyone" speech he acknowledged his mother. It seems it was his mother that gave him the idea to make a movie of this true story. She sat in the audience so proud and so beautiful. That was almost as rewarding as picking the winner!
Closing the ceremony was a children's choir from Brooklyn, NY, singing "Somewhere, Over the Rainbow." That was the icing on the cake. Those fresh, young beautiful children were the stars of the whole event for me.
The night was full of inspiration, beauty, lovely children and a proud mother!
It was a great party. I'm glad I came!
Saturday, February 19, 2011
Nothing screams STOP louder than the news of the death of a friend. Normal life just stops immediately, the world ceases to spin for a brief moment.
We came to a screeching halt this past week for a few days.
Hundreds of other folks did as well. Schedules were trashed, cars and airplanes were gassed up, and black clothing was pulled out of closets as preparations were made. Quick phone calls to florists and hotels finalized the details. Friends and family members from all over America and a few co-workers from Japan descended upon San Angelo, Texas. We drove 8 hours across that vast emptiness of west Texas to get there.
Our friend and business associate, Tom, lost his fierce but short battle with cancer. His diagnosis came just last July while he was in Europe getting ready for a river cruise with his siblings, nieces and nephews. He became ill and flew home as the rest of his family boarded the boat for another one of those famous vacations he'd orchestrated and so enjoyed. He'd never married so all of his attention was focused on his family of origin and his family of friends. He lived to spoil the people he loved. The joy of his life was so see another person smile.
The church was filled with faces and flowers.
Last Wednesday night after the rosary was read the family allotted time for folks to tell stories and share memories. There were many!
Each person that spoke revealed a personal tale of adventure, laughter, generosity and fun. Soon it became apparent that each one felt that they alone had been treated extra special, that they alone were Tom's best friend. The room was filled with best friends. Everyone there had felt that designation by Tom's individual sensitivity and care. His influence was wide as folks from all ages shared laughter and tears.
My favorite story was of the time Tom's brother came to visit him at his lakeside home in San Angelo. Morning came and the mailman pulled up to the house. The brother watched as this government worker silently walked right through the front door into the kitchen promptly opened Tom's fridge, took out lunch and sat down at the kitchen table to eat. The brother was a little stunned but then realized that this man too, was another "best friend." He was welcome anytime to come in, eat whatever Tom had available and rest a spell.
Other residents of San Angelo turned out for this funeral as well. A young priest shared how he'd sought Tom's advice many times as he struggled with parish decisions. Others told stories of how they'd faced a major challenge in their life or sometimes simply the frustrations of daily life and Tom had come to their rescue. Many times he'd arranged to fly sick folks or heart-sick relatives to nearby towns for medical care, planned surprise parties for local friends, or hauled a group of teen-agers into the woods for a night of "roughing it" complete with two inch steaks for their grill. (They'd expected cold hot dogs and beans.) His motto was, "don't suffer unless you have to." The kids of that church loved him.
Because he knew his time on this earth was coming to an end, he truly got his house in order. He planned every necessary detail of his funeral, including a huge party at his home following his burial. He'd ordered a caterer to supply only the finest food, told the funeral home to distribute flowers to local nursing homes, and listed instructions to cover all his material possessions. He left his Dallas business to his employees with directions as to how to run it.
Yes, death screams STOP and remember. I'm thinking Tom's legacy screams STOP, TAKE A LOOK AROUND and LIVE LIFE to the max, giving generously to all along the way.
Sunday, February 13, 2011
These are the days when couples line up to be interviewed on the talk show with advice as to "how they kept love alive," or "tips for newlyweds, " or "whats' the secret for a lasting marraige." Stuff like that!
Those panels are fun to watch and the magazine articles are fun to read if you haven't got anything else to do. But, I propose that nobody knows the answers to those questions anyway.
Each couple is so unique, what works for one pair most certainly won't work for another.
SO, how would I answer? What advice would I give? I have NO idea.
Honeybuns and I have repeated our vows of love for one another for over 40 years. We'll celebrate our 40th wedding anniversay this next October. (Odd, since I don't even feel forty years old, mentally that is.)
What has kept the flame alive? Who knows?
We've been to all the marriage seminars, conferences and magic weekends and have since vowed to NEVER attend any of those again. We always ended up fighting over the principles that the expert told us we should be discussing. We never made any changes they suggested, never followed their lists of do's and don'ts, never took away any nuggets of truth that changed our lives. Sounds like a stubborn pair, doesn' t it?
For us, enduring love grew and matured over time. It appeared shortly after lust wore thin and has developed into something of substance. It seems it was birthed during difficult days, child rearing, problems, job changes, moves, financial pressures, grief and worry. It showed it's face as we held tightly to one another and refused to let go when letting go would have been easier and more pleasant. Throwing up our hands in frustration and giving up was the advice we often heard but never let it penetrate our thinking.
D-I-V-O-R-C-E was just not an option. (I'm sure we both allowed the word to flit briefly through our brains at one time or another, right after the word murder! ) Often laughter put everything in it's proper perspective and avoided police calls and bail bondsmen.
Our world says that personal happiness is the goal to be pursued at all costs. That's too bad, because sometimes personal euphoria must be put aside for the benefit of the other half. BUT...the result of temporary sacrifice is blessed unity. It truly is more blessed to give than receive.
I am always sad to hear of young couples that divorce after a year or two of marriage. They never really got to know one another. Knowing takes a long time. Enduring love grows with time.
Time is absolutely critical to have shared experiences, secret jokes, and sweet memories. It takes time to learn that the one wronged is the only one that can forgive and repair a rift. It takes time to be able to read the other's face, to know the meaning of a "look" across a room. It takes time to truly understand the other's goals and desires.
The love of a long time sweetie is far sweeter, and deeper and amazing than young lust.
Don't ever feel sad for the old couple walking slowly down the street holding hands! They've arrived and you can be sure it wasn't easy. They're full of innumerable stories of love and laughter, comedy and tragedy, feast and famine, anger and forgiveness, gain and loss. It's a picture of two people promising to do life together and then enjoying the beautiful results.
What could be more rewarding than that? We're there! Happy Valentines Day, Honeybuns!
Friday, February 11, 2011
The whole ordeal started out with days of warnings. It's coming....IT's Coming!.....IT'S COMING! Get ready...IT'S COMING!!! I don't know of 5 people that believed it. Wow, we were ALL wrong. Life went on as normal, most of us with our heads in the sand. While the meteorologists were shouting we took a road trip toward Texas and picked up Mollie and Gracie for a weekend visit with BeBe and Papa. We'd return them to their mommy in a few days.
After a couple of days of peering out the window and watching the wind whip the beautiful white powder into all sorts of flowing drifts, we ventured out the front door. It was SO cold. Mollie and Gracie bundled up and attempted to walk through the waist high magic. It was impossible for their little legs to self-plow.
The recipe was all wrong for a snowman. It was too dry, couldn't even form a snowball to get started. Our outdoor adventure lasted all of 3 1/2 minutes.
The next warning came. There would be a "dusting" of snow, nothing to be concerned about. The weathermen pulled their heads out of the drifts when 4 more inches were added to the pile. More closings, more scooping, more layers, more wet boots, more games and little girl tea parties in the living room.
Having two little girls in the house was the saving element of this whole ordeal. We pulled out all the stops, all the old games and all the new ones. I didn't realize how big this house actually was until we spent time playing hide and seek. It was a small riot with squeals of delight each time Papa was found. Gracie won the Wii bowling tournament, but Mollie was the "chickenfoot" champ. We made cookies and ate them, poured bubbles in the tub and covered little bodies with them. We relived the Kentucky derby again and again on two toy horses "racing" around the kitchen. The magic tent was put up and served as a stable. We played the piano and the music boxes. We learned the words to "Deep in the Heart of Texas." We read umpteen "Berenstein Bear" books and followed those with the cartoon version on the TV.
A "roads are now passable" window of opportunity arrived on Sat. and Papa drove the girls back to their parents. They'd been with us a week and their mommy and daddy wanted them back. We'd been given a very unexpected but very fun "BeBe Camp in Winter." The house became way too quiet, way too fast, and I returned to my actual age, no longer pretending to be 4.
Next warning came. Sunday night another front was going to move through.
This time we would be ready. Honeybums went to the nearby Walmart and there was not 1 loaf of bread, carton of milk, or an egg to be found. EVERYONE was getting ready for FRENCH TOAST. That seems to be the menu for snowbound folks.
IT CAME AGAIN. 6 more inches of snow at our house (25 inches at the town of Jay, northeast of us.)
The driveway, sidewalks and my dryer vent are snow packed again. The area schools have been closed for two weeks. Our neighborhood still has not seen a snowplow.
(As of today, I've been in the house for 12 days, minus one morning when I crawled to the dr. for a shot in the behinny, a breathing treatment and $300.00 for medication. Honeybuns brought a bug into the house he'd picked up on a business trip a couple of days before the blizzard hit.That's another story!)
A heat wave is coming, should be here by tomorrow. 70 degrees is forecasted for Monday. We will have jumped from -12 to 70 in a week's time. It'll be interesting to see how long it takes for this horrendous amount of white to melt. I'm expecting a flood!
Once in every 100 years, so we'll probably not be around to witness this again.
BUT.....IF/WHEN the weatherman starts shouting "IT'S COMING," I'll make sure there are some grandchildren in the house. They are much more valuable in combating Cabin Fever than bread, milk, and eggs. Who needs French Toast when you've got giggles?
Thursday, February 3, 2011
Tiki is SEVEN today, we think! We're not sure birthdays are celebrated in Rwanda and there is no record so it's just a guesstimate. In fact, his adoptive parents chose this day as the day to celebrate his arrival into the world because there is no record of his actual "birth" day. 02/03/04 will be his special day now the rest of his life.
We're all VERY THANKFUL that THIS birthday is being celebrated in the US with his "new " family.
What did we do before BT? (before Tiki) He has added light and joy to the whole family. His smile is genuine and huge. He is the happiest little boy I know. He makes us stop and look at things with new eyes, things he's never seen or experienced before.
(At Thanksgiving I put "dressing" on his plate and he asked me, "What is dressing?" "This! it's good, you'll like it." Tiki, "Do you put it in a bear?" How can you not love that?)
He amazes us with his ability to learn so quickly. In just a little over a year he has mastered the English language complete with slang and difficult American nuances. He knows that we have many words that have two meanings.
He is secure and brave. He is kind one minute and mischievous the next, we wouldn't have it any other way!
He enjoys life to the MAX! Whether it's his first time fishing or snowboarding, he dives in with both feet, fearless.
Adopted grandchildren are just as amazing as the kind that arrive the old fashioned way. That tremendous feeling of drowning in love when you see a grandchild for the fist time is repeated when that grandchild is introduced from another country. A grandparents love knows no boundaries when it comes to size, age, race, or origin of birth.
I encourage folks my age to NEVER discourage their own children from adopting. Sure, I've heard it said, "but, you never know what you're going to get." And my answer is, "So?" Every child that enters your life is a blessing beyond comprehension. EVERY child is unique and wonderfully made.
And you may just get a TIKI! What a prize!
I look forward to watching Tiki celebrate many more birthdays. I can hardly wait to see what his interests will be as he grows and matures. One thing I know, there will be no stopping him. He will run headlong into life and make us all smile, laugh, and recall how much we love him.