Sunday, June 17, 2018

If You Can't Be with the Dad You Love, Love the One You're With!

Not that I don't already love the one I'm with! Because I do! Lots and lots!

But there are lots of great dads and I wanted to celebrate not only Rick (aka the one I'm with) but two others I'm not with on this day.

There's my own dad.

I was lucky in the good-dad department. Mine knew how to read stories well and tell them just as expressively!

He loved fishing and was very patient at cleaning those others caught (others being me who wasn't about to stick a knife into a fish, even though I'd already jabbed them with the hook!)

Dad loved animals and introduced me to my first cat.

He also put up with my garments-on-animals, a trait which unfortunately didn't die out after the age of eight (below, with Dad's dad. Those knee socks have got to go.)

Not every dad would play the Barbie Doll Game with his daughter. And not every dad would, some ten years later, find her after the senior prom parking with her boyfriend and knock on the car window. I lived through the shame. I miss him more than I can say. But there are other wonderful dads in my life.

Like Kevin, dad to our Baby Grand, Carson. He has his Weekend MBA stuff on Father's Day so we will be celebrating with our little guy and his mom. Then they'll head home and do the same with Kevin.

This is a special Dad's Day for him. I'm not sure Carson "gets it" yet, but he's much more for a party with every passing month.

And this will be his last one to be the only, as his baby brother is due in early July! And if he doesn't like that, he'll let you know!

And then there's Rick. I'm not sure any dad could love his kids more -- or get more frustrated now and then! Like the day public transit fan Rick tried to get them to appreciate the bus by taking the bus to the mall. We probably could have chosen a better day. Don't we all look happy here?!

Some of my earliest memories of them as a family involve cooking and they've had their hands into not only American food but Japanese and Italian as well.

And they still all love it, each with their own best-things to cook. Kevin and Rick will always argue gas vs. charcoal but both love the grill. Greg will create astonishingly healthy dishes. And only Kevin will clean the kitchen well.

Now there is a new boy in the family and he will have a group of Grandpas who will love him to pieces. And I'm sure the other two would argue with this -- but no one, I think, could love him more than Rick!

Happy Father's Day to all the dads from then, now and always.

Friday, June 15, 2018

A Quick Ditch Walk

I am world's worst videographer. More than anything I wanted to show you a remarkable bird fight at the Ditch, when a red winged blackbird took on Harry the Heron while he was fishing -- and he was not amused!

I'm still trying to edit down the very choppy videography and swish pans. I may have worked in television for three decades but the only camera they let me hold was a still camera -- and not shooting movies! So, I'm working on that, but for starters, a couple of stills I was able to pull from the video.

When Harry spreads his wings, I wouldn't want to mess with them. The bird didn't seem to care. Bully.

I'm going to figure out this movie editing program if it kills me! Meanwhile, these fuzzy photos are the best I can do.

The good news is that the ducks are returning and with them, their babies. I was pretty concerned, as were other walkers, when we only saw a few pairs of ducks. Our winter was so brutal and many of them, we think, starved or moved elsewhere.

This mom was swimming with several babies. You can see their brown patches in the reeds.

I saw a beaver or muskrat on my most recent walk and a few lovely flowers.

Does anyone know what these pretty little pink and white flowers are? I thought they were lovely!

And best of all (well, almost best -- the Bird Fight was best), Doe a Deer.

And, she was not, as usual, alone.

I was even able to see one on the path outside their main turf but wasn't quick enough with the camera. The one below was shot from quite a distance on Deer Island.

So, that's all for Ditch Walk for now. But I'm resolute on editing down the Bird Fight!

Happy Weekend!

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

When Old Friends Come to Visit

Rick has been away at camp this week, playing classical music and loving every second. Lizzie and I have been "home alone" until this past weekend when one of my oldest friends ever came for a quick visit!

That meant I had to clean the guest room.

The guest room. I should call it the upstairs storage room. I'm almost too embarrassed to say it or post it because I'm sure you have lovely rooms that never pick up the leftovers of life, that are ready for company on a moment's notice, that require perhaps only a spot of dusting or a whiz with the vacuum. In my guest room, things that belong elsewhere seem to park there. Well, that implies they park themselves. They have help. Old frames, linens that need to be hung up. The chest that holds the silver (when was that lunch, anyway?). Books to be shelved. The pile of Christmas gifts I've been collecting.

I will say I've needed to do this since -- well, at least Easter. Suzanne's visit was a great excuse! Ta da!

(OK, not perfect. But a heck of a lot closer. At least she could stretch out on the bed!)

There is something wonderful about someone who can remember your parents, who knows the people you know that no one else does. Our nights were late and filled with theatre. We saw a delightful musical at our university theatre's summer stage on a perfect night called "Amour."

Wonderful music and performances. It was terrific till the last 30 seconds and then had an ending that was so disappointing the audience didn't clap immediately because we thought how could it possibly end that way?

But that wasn't the fault of the talented actors or performers! They were delightful and the audience loved it!

Neither of us won the raffle but we sure had a great time!

The next day and the day after more theatre (a terrific community theatre production of "Spamalot" -- I had no idea it would be so good!). And of course, shopping, our favorite restaurants, good talks. When you go back five decades, there's lots to talk about!

We've had more than our share of rain and everything is green and growing. I may have to transplant some of the things in my potted garden, the pots are getting so full.

It felt sort of silent when Suzanne left. A quick clean-up and then time for the Tony Awards -- my favorite award show of the season.

All in all, a glorious weekend. It gets a little hard to come back to real life!

Linking this week to:   Let's Keep In Touch       

Thursday, June 7, 2018

Back from Away

I hoped when I got home from a short trip to Maryland, Blogger would have figured out how to fix what's going on with our email notifications! Alas... But thank you for all your wonderful comments on recent posts and particularly for telling me and all our other blog pals about where you live on this post. (You all should take a look at the comments section -- it's much more interesting than my post itself!) In fact, I think I have quite a lot of new travel destinations!

I have to say if it didn't seem so expensive, I could get hooked on Maryland. And that's without even seeing much of what the region has to offer. We made a very short trip here -- I drove with Rick, who was headed to classical music camp in South Carolina and flew back from Baltimore. Although we left on a sunny day for the first leg of our trip, we could see rain in the offing.

Let me say the journey was a rugged one. You've heard about the rains in the east? Well, this is an accurate representation of our journey. The rain began shortly after we left Rick's cousin Stephanie's home in Columbus...

...and it was not unlike rain we experienced for the rest of the trip. I can say with great authority that Maryland is a very green and (these days) a very wet state! But it's a beautiful one, with rolling hills and loads of trees, lovely wooded areas. I loved everything I saw.

The first few days of our visit we were with Rick's Aunt Becky in Maryland and part of the purpose of this visit was go to over family geneaology for RIck's Acklin branch of the family.

Numerous documents were downloaded and photographed and while there is much to digest, one surprise is the possibility of Rick and I having a common ancestor in the Bricker family. (Of course, we are all one giant family so I shouldn't be surprised.) More research is required, still that's kind of fun.

(Don't worry, we are far more distantly related than any of the royal family so we should be fine and besides, we are too old to breed!)

We really didn't get out at all while we were in Frederick because a) there were things to be done on that project and b) it rained most of the time. But it was great fun to catch up and have one-on-one time with Becky who was a wonderful host and to see Rick's cousin Amy again. All good.

And Becky was a wonderful cook. We tried to convince her to let us take her out -- she'd only just been recovering from pneumonia -- but she'd have none of it! And I confess, we couldn't have dined any better than at Chez Becky. The white chocolate fondue for dessert one night with fresh fruit was to die for!

On a brief not-raining (I won't say "dry") break, we went outside to check the river behind Becky's house. It was very high and it was brown from all the land run off. She said it's usually green.

Every night we tucked into bed in this beautiful room. (I used my old trick of taking a photo of the bed so when I put it back together I'd get the pillows in the right place!)

The day Rick left for classical music camp, I packed up and was picked up by my friends Patty and Rick, who live in Bel Air, MD. We had a wonderful lunch with Rick's mom and sister and then off to Patty's for a good evening a reminiscing. And yes, it was raining! This was at the restaurant. A soaker! Oh, and a little antiquing was involved, too!

I've known Patty since sophomore year in college. We met when we were touring with the university theatre.  That's Patty in the green dress with purple tights (I'm in the purple dress).

As I'm sure you know, there is nothing like connecting with an old friend who knows all of your old friends that no one else knows, recalling good times and embarrassing moments! We went through a lot together in those college years and those later before she move and they are times to treasure.

Patty's husband Rick is a working actor/singer. His main gig is doing shows where he impersonates several notable personalities -- Dean Martin, Atticus Finch, George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, Francis Scott Key and more. But as he dropped me off at the Baltimore airport he was headed by New York for a Broadway audition. Fingers are crossed.

So, as I write this, I'm still at the Baltimore airport -- the flight has been delayed three times and I've been glad to have a reasonably good trashy mystery to read while I wait and 45 minutes of free wifi. And when I get home, no major obligations, so apart from a hungry cat, all is well!

Later -- I finished the mystery, read another full book -- a short Maigret mystery -- and made it home at last. So far, rain only at night, which is fine! A tree came partially down in a storm while I was gone. No damage but the rest must come. And Lizzie was happy to see me!) And just in case you were wondering where Waldo is...

It's outside of Columbus, Ohio!

Linking this week to:   Let's Keep In Touch       

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