car time

When Bill’s father was alive, the two of them spent practically every weekend together working on cars…his car, his wife’s car, our cars, Bill’s sisters’ cars. An extended family our size, there was pretty much always a car that needed at least a little minor attention at any given time. Bill learned a lot about cars back then, especially Pintos.

He might have complained about all the time spent working on family cars, especially the ones that seemed to be used and abused the most. I doubt, though that he complained about the time spent with his Dad. I would imagine his Dad  felt the same…about the some of the cars they worked on and the time spent with his adult son virtually every weekend.

And now, years later, it’s the same kids…no matter how much he grouses in front of you.

That would be why I jumped ahead of him to spend an afternoon with one of our adult kids in a Jiffy Lube, watching some of yet another Harry Potter Marathon Weekend (when is there ever NOT a Harry Potter Movie Marathon Weekend???) and talking about life, work, Kanye, school and the importance of having a clean air filter.

Good times!

Truly, because hanging out with your grown-up kids is like visiting the best parts of yourself.

 

to say goodbye

Try to imagine dedicating 41+ years of your life caring for the tiniest, but mightiest of humans. Think of all those babies. Remember all the moms whom you hugged with tears of joy…and sometimes tears of sorrow. Recall all the brand new daddies you guided and reassured as they gently diapered their babies for the very first time…and they survived, the daddies, just like you told them they would.

Look around and see some of the nurses (literally generations represented) whom you have trained, encouraged, led and worked tirelessly side by side with…including me. We met at a March of Dimes planning meeting, You representing the NICU where you worked and me the NICU Mom representative. You introduced yourself to me immediately and scarcely ten minutes into our introductions and conversation, I was invited to consider working in your NICU. I think that it would be a good fit for you and for us, you encouraged me. That was more than ten years ago and here we are today.

Here we are today with  you teaching us all how to say goodbye as you begin the next great adventure that is your remarkable life.

Happy retirement and onward dear Kathy G.!

love in the neighborhood

Excuse me people but lately I am having some serious mad love for my neighborhood.

It’s quiet uptown, I know. But it is so much more and I am really, really, really coming to appreciate it lately.

I’m not at all mad to admit that the gorgeous and unseasonable super-pleasant weather we have been enjoying has influenced me at all as I have been indulging in morning runs/walks after dropping the favorite son off to school. I mean, come on you guys…this is pretty amazing and it’s my neighborhood.

It’s different here. And yet we are literally just 5 miles uptown…east of the Dust Bowl-like dust storms and the flies and and everything else that sub-divisions that border farms offer.  Running errands on the west side, as I sometimes do, I find myself smiling to myself as I think, I don’t miss almost any of this at all.

It’s quiet uptown.

It’s cleaner uptown. The homes are older but still it is cleaner…and shadier.

And, much to my surprise, it is friendlier uptown. No, absolutely no disrespect to former neighbors who have become and remained friends and those who, well, who stalk you on social media but wouldn’t dare to reach out to say hello…

Hi! I see you there!!!!

Walking and running in a 5K plus loop around what has to be the best park in this city and the neighborhood, I m struck by the fact that people actually smile, nod, wave and call out hello to you as you pass them by. Even better, they stop and talk and invite you to sit on their porch and enjoy a cold one…as the neighborhood watch around here does.

They offer to help you with an electrical problem you’re having in the garage because they know exactly what to do being a retired electrician, you know. And they invite your son to practice putting golf balls in their yard because he shyly offers that he kind of likes golf. As the last of the boxes are unpacked, you find yourself enjoying the long summer nights shared together on each other’s front porches in a way that you have not known since the grown circus clowns were small back in San Jose, back on Amelia Drive. Without you even thinking to ask, they offer you their truck when they hear you have your eye on a sectional at Costco that would be perfect for the new Big Top so your daughter and roommate can take the old, broken down well-lived in set for their own first apartment.

I know!

Furniture from Costco!

Seriously, the sectional is that wonderful and so is the neighbor down the street who let us use his truck…and who did a good portion of the heavy lifting to get it inside the new Big Top.

And yes, even more so, the neighborhood where the new Big Top is now pitched is even more wonderful because it is a whole lot quieter and less dusty and even more friendlier uptown. Hashtag, feeling blessed.

I believe…

Last week I literally wanted to start digging deep for The Big Top End of Days Bunker and stock up on all the canned food, beef jerky and bottled water. I was not alone. But one week later, tonight was so much different.

When Hillary took the stage facing a sea of American flags waving before her and the stars and stripes behind her I was struck by the contrast from last week. This image alone made it clear that this was about US as opposed to last week with the golden stage with giant letters spelling out TRUMP.

And as Hillary Clinton began to speak, my grand girls called to FaceTime with me.

Girls do you realize just how special this moment is right now? Hillary Clinton is the first women to run for President of the United States as a major party candidate EVER. 

Hazel’s eyes widened. Fallon smiled and then declared that she would be next. Hazel corrected her, after I’M president. Oh sisters!

Tonight this moment made that possibility all the more possible. There are so many more possibilities that can be imagined right now too. Mrs. Clinton shared many of the things that she believed for America, for our daughters and our sons, for us.

I believe America thrives when the middle class thrives
I believe that our economy isn’t working the way it should because our democracy isn’t working the way it should…
I believe American corporations that have gotten so much from our country should be just as patriotic in return…
I believe Wall Street can never, ever be allowed to wreck Main Street again.
I believe in science.
I believe that climate change is real and that we can save our planet while creating millions of good paying clean energy jobs.
I believe that we have millions of hard working immigrants contributing to our economy.

So many statements of what she believes and with each I believe was offered so much more promise and hope for future days come as opposed to the pronouncement of The End of Times that was Mr. Trump’s speech last week. Last week I went to bed nauseated and terrified. Tonight I shall fall asleep happy, hopeful and empowered for my daughters,for my son, for my grand daughters…your future Presidents of the United States…and for all the seeds we plant in this garden that we never get to see…our legacy.