Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Happy Birthday Joy!!

Joy is the one in the middle in dark glasses.  You almost have to have lived with her - as I did for two years - to understand how ubiquitous those glasses are.  Joy wore contact lenses but was always too tired to keep them in long.  And she didn't have regular glasses - so she was always wearing her prescription sunglasses!!

(During high school, she was forever losing a contact - once in a swimming pool - and we actually found it!!)

Maybe you have to take my word for it, but this photo just captures a moment in time that was a great, happy time - one I treasure.

And I treasure the friendship we share - and want to wish her a very happy day!!

Here's to birthdays, and friendship, and late-night clowning in the dorms!!

Friday, July 26, 2013

Summer days, summer memories

It is a Grannybabs tradition to have mani-pedi dates when celebrating Grandma Birthday Weekends.  I don't live close to all my granddaughters, so we don't get them all the time.  But this year and last, we have been in Oregon near enough to Agnes' birthday to be able to do it.

I got Agnes from Vacation Bible School, and we headed to Subway for lunch, then to La Belle Nails for our afternoon treat.  As we were walking from the car, Agnes commented that she was really glad we did the mani-pedi dates.  She said she just loved them.  I commented that I loved them too, but that sometimes I felt bad because I couldn't think of something similar to do with the grandsons.

Agnes replied, "Oh just take them to buy Nerf guns."

Gotta love a girl with that kind of intuition!!

Will post photos of our fun date when I return.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Time to say goodbye

A friend of mine died today.  She was not a close friend, but my associations with her were pleasant.  I knew she was at the end of her life, but she did not want any visitors, so I sent cards pretty regularly.  

A couple of weeks ago, another friend had a massive heart attack while in London on a trip with her sister.  She was flown home on life support, and died about a week later, after being taken off life support.  

Audrey was a member of my book group.  I have associated with her monthly for the last 3 or 4 years.  Since I didn't see her daily, her actual absence has not really hit me.  But I am saddened by the loss.  I opened up my email one day and one she had sent me at the end of June seemed to leap out of the computer screen at me!  I know when book group resumes in September I will feel the loss.  She was a charming, intelligent, hard-working woman.  I enjoyed getting to know her.  She had told us all just last May that she was going to run for the Monrovia School Board.  We were all ready to be her support team!!  It is Monrovia's loss too.

I guess we need to treasure the here and now.

And let our friends know how much they mean to us.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Summer time - and the livin' is easy and transitory at times!!

I have been taking many photos - but don't have my computer here to load them - will post them later.  We enjoyed Ashland and the plays - saw "Taming of the Shrew," "Midsummer Night's Dream," and a new play called "The Heart of Robin Hood."  All were excellent.  We met up with two of Harry's old college roommates and their wives and had three days of watching plays, shopping in fun stores, geo-caching, and eating every meal in a restaurant!

Now we are in Portland with Phoebe and family and that's always fun! The kids are great - and seem happy to have us here.  David has business in SLC, so Phoebe will join him and Harry and I will hold down the fort.  We are up for the challenge!

I'm not excited about school starting in less than a month!!

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Crafternoons and Nights

Hannah has always been a go-getter.  I recall her youth when she would say, "Can I use anything I can find in the garage for my science project?"  She also enjoyed staying at Grandma Clayton's and making a doll with a dress that matched a dress I had made her.  When I have visited her in D.C. she usually has a project to do that she learned about from a tutorial on YouTube!!  She is indeed resourceful.

I especially love that she comes and uses up my scraps to make quilts!! This is a small size crib quilt for Lil' Ham - love the colors - who knew that existed in my scrap bins??

She also designed and executed this little "signature" for her projects.  Her initials - which could also stand of "his or her royal highness" too!!

Things are quiet and tidy around here these days!!

Saturday, July 13, 2013

The week winds down . . .

We always raised our children with the knowledge that we were raising them "up and away."  I knew full well that it was important for our children to make lives of their own as they grew and matured. 

 I might not have been this way on my own.  Harry was the one who kept pointing out the ways I was trying to "hang on to" our kids rather than encouraging them to become more independent.  

I would probably not have started them driving when they were 14 with turns around the Santa Anita Racetrack parking lot.  I would probably not have left a 16 year old to tend 4 of the kids while Harry and I had a weekend away - we took baby Noah, but it still was a weekend away!!  I would probably not have gotten an old station wagon for Bonny to drive so she could go to stake dances on her own.  I would probably not have given her a checking account of her own so she could shop for us.

But we did do all of those things - and I think our kids are better and more prepared for real life than some are.  They all did not respond in the same way, but they were all given opportunities to grow and maybe even make mistakes!!

I guess I did not think early on about how it would be when all the kids were grown "up and away."  It did not become obvious for quite some time. When you have 6 children whose birthdays span 17 years, you aren't suddenly in the throes of an empty nest.

As a matter of fact, Bonny got married and "left the nest," but it was 8 more years before someone else left the nest to get married anyway.  Harry left for school, then left on a mission, but returned home pretty regularly.

After Phoebe's marriage, it was 2 more years before Harry married.  Then it was another 5 years before Eliza married and left home.  Prior to that she had been gone to school and Austria, but she always returned home for summers and holidays.  That doesn't count as "leaving the nest."

Soon enough, though, Hannah and Noah were out on their own.  Hannah got married 5 years ago, and Noah essentially has lived on his own for 6 or 7 years.  (He does return often to raid the refrigerator and do laundry, but that is almost welcome in our now-quiet household!)

Everyone seems to come for the holidays though.  Over time it has evolved into a Terrill Family Celebration for New Year's, but they all come.  And a few years ago - when there were not as many as there are now - I found myself feeling very lonely and melancholy when the last car drove away after the holiday.  It was a distinctive feeling of loss and sadness, a feeling that I was not used to.

I still feel that - and I feel it at just about any ending.  Even a brief visit finds me with a twinge of sadness when it ends.  I discussed with the psychologist at my school, and she assured me it was a normal, natural kind of reaction.  And she recommended movement, any kind of movement.  She said go for a walk, go to the store and walk up and down the aisles, change the sheets, gather up the wash, fold clothes - all the kinds of things you really need to do after a visit anyway!!

So I'm leaving making up the bed in the guestroom until we come back from the airport after taking Hannah there tonight.  She has been here for over a week, and we have had a lovely time.  We have gone swimming, gone to the beach, eaten at In 'n Out and Market Grill, gone to the Hollywood Bowl, enjoyed a game at Dodger Stadium, visited Grandma Mary and Grandma Helen, visited with Harry, Dawn, and family and Bonny and family, taken over the living room and sewed up a storm.  There isn't too much we haven't packed into this week.

I'm sure to feel a bit sad to see her leave.  I do already.  Making the bed up, unloading the dishwasher, folding some laundry - I think I'll make it!!

Friday, July 12, 2013

Hannah's visit

We went out to visit my mom and Sarah on Wednesday.  I don't think Mom is really sticking her tongue out!

Anne and Wayne came by - and it was great to catch up with all that's going on in their family.

We went to the Hollywood Bowl on Tuesday night for the Mahler 2nd Symphony - and they wouldn't let me bring in my camera - not sure how that works - since everyone in the world takes photos with their phones!!  But they would let me buy something from the Bowl Store - don't you just love my new spoon rest - says "Rest in Grease!!"

Noah and Hannah also went and visited Grandma Terrill - but I'm not sure if they took pictures.

Tonight is a Dodger game!!

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

More sleuthing!

As I sort and file and go through old photos and letters and albums,  I continue to solve little mysteries.  At least, I think I solve them!!

This photo had written on the back:  "Digging a few clams.  December 26, 1930."

Even seeing it small, I was convinced the man was my Grandpa Stevens.  I got the photo enlarged to 8 by 10 - the above is a copy of it enlarged to 5 by 7 -  and had my mom look at it.  She agreed it was her dad.  When I wondered about the three boys, she said they must be his nephews, the three sons of his brother Bert.

She speculated that my grandpa had taken the train down to SoCal - probably when he had a Christmas break - to look for job possibilities here.  His brother was here and probably encouraged him.  Grandpa did have a good job in Salt Lake City, working for the railroad, but possibly wanted to "go West , young man!"

The beach is probably Laguna Beach.  I googled "old photos of Laguna Beach with lighthouse" and this shoreline seems to match several that I saw.

It's all a very inexact science.  We both could be completely wrong.

But it makes a good story!

Tuesday, July 09, 2013

"Summer time, and the livin' is easy . . ."

It's great having Hannah here - we are pretty much taking life easy - may have to rachet it up though - if we want to do all we said we wanted to do!

There's a lot to be said for taking it easy though!!

The Lone Male!

Hannah has been here this week - and Bonny's girls were here too - while B and B had a fun New York weekend.

Grandpa Bob is indeed a keeper - he serves Milanos and chocolate milk with his Grandpa Bob stories.  He barbecues to your specifications.

And he does dishes!!

Who could ask for anything more??

Wednesday, July 03, 2013

Waiting for Antanna!!

We are looking forward to Hannah's upcoming visit.  She will come for a few days while Robbie is traveling.  Hannah's visits have always been looked forward to by certain special people we know called GRANDCHILDREN!!

Here's a little "blast from the past" as Hannah is shown with the crop of grandkids in 2005.

They're not all in SoCal these days, but I'm sure the ones who are here will once again enjoy time with "Antanna," the pet nickname for the lovely Hannoula Flannagan!!

And the grown-ups will enjoy visiting with her too!!

Words to consider!!

“How to Be Old”

It is easy to be young, (Everybody is,
at first.) It is not easy
to be old. It takes time.
Youth is given; age is achieved.
One must work a magic to mix with time
in order to become old.

Youth is given. One must put it away
like a doll in a closet,
take it out and play with it only
on holidays. One must have many dresses
and dress the doll impeccably
(but not to show the doll, to keep it hidden.)

It is necessary to adore the doll,
to remember it in the dark on the ordinary
days, and every day congratulate
one's aging face in the mirror.

In time one will be very old.
In time, one's life will be accomplished.
And in time, in time, the doll––
like new, though ancient––will be found.

- May Swenson

One thing about purging and sorting and filing and going through the collected papers and cards and letters and journals and photos and newspaper clippings and notebooks of the last 50+ years is that every so often you find something "new," something you don't quite remember saving.  You are not sure where it came from or why you even put it in the box or the file where you just found it.

May Swenson is a  well-known American poet.  She is also the oldest sister of an old friend of ours, Paul Swenson.  Paul was married to Sharon - and they were good friends of ours in our U of U days.  Paul and Sharon loaned us their car to bring Bonny home from the hospital.  Paul and Sharon had too many cats, so they gave Elizabeth to us - and we loved Elizabeth so much.  Sharon taught Bonny to chew gum when she was about 15 months old.  It was quite an accomplishment and drew rave reviews wherever we went.  We visited them in Cedar City one summer on our way to California - Sharon's parents had a ranch there - and I had my one and only experience of riding a horse.

Later on, after Paul and Sharon divorced and Sharon was teaching at BYU, both Harry and Hannah had occasion to be associated with her - and of course they loved her as much as we do!

This is all background material.  I could write a book about those years at the U. But right now I am impressed that I "found" this poem right now, right when I am certainly "feeling old" as I go through the collected remnants of so many years.

(Let me add a note here, in case you are not familiar with the poet May Swenson, that she is well-known and well-regarded in literary circles.  I come across her poems often in the anthologies we use teaching English at school.)

Lots to think about here - wouldn't you say?  Those of you who are "old" anyway!!

Monday, July 01, 2013

A thousand words!

I have been sorting and filing and tossing and organizing and generally digging a very large hole for myself.  A hole I fear will never get filled!!

That is to say, as I sort and file, I keep finding new directions to go in - and the potential projects are growing by leaps and bounds.

For example, I have been sorting and tossing most of the Christmas cards that I have dutifully saved all these years.  Some of them seem important - but most don't.  After a while, a theme sometimes emerges, and I wish I'd sorted differently.  So sometimes I go back and re-sort.  This has some value, because as I re-sort, I toss even more.

I was going through all the photos and memorabilia I had from Boston over the years.  Of course Harry wants to save lots of it - in fact, I was surprised that he seemed more inclined to keep stuff that I was pretty sure ought to be tossed.  So then I wished I'd sorted the Boston from the St. George from the Hood to Coast from the Fontana Days, etc!!

It never ends I fear!

Which is just a precursor for my thoughts on the above photo.  There are a group of old photos that my Grandfather Clayton - that would be Peter Affleck Clayton - apparently brought back from Holland when he was a missionary there at the turn of the century - the start of the 20th century that is! 

We know nothing about these photos.  They don't appear to be photos he took - they are printed on cardboardy-like paper rather than photo paper.  We don't know if someone gave them to him or if he found them somewhere.  We don't know if they are reflective of what he saw when he was a missionary there and so he wanted to keep them as a remembrance.

I was sorting and filing this morning, and Harry came in and starting looking at them.  He was fascinated by them.  I was really sorry I had no information at all to give him!  He thought it looked like a family reading the scriptures.  He speculated that maybe they used them at church or something when they gave lessons.

We will never know I suspect.  But we - at least I - am going to take a lesson from all this and try to define the pictures and other memorabilia that I am saving.  Not sure exactly the best way to do it - so far I'm labeling the boxes I sort things in to.

Any good ideas floating around out there??