Sunday, April 20, 2008

Mary Gabriel

I've just found out that our dear friend, Mary Gabriel, passed away in a house fire last night in her home in Berea, Ky.

As far back as my memory of being aware that I am a Baha'i there is a memory of Mary. She has had at least two strokes that I know. Major strokes. The first one when she was in her forties, she woke up and couldn't move anything. Finally her daughter, Suzanne, came in to find out why her mom wasn't up and about yet to find her mother incapacitated. Mary struggled back after that. She was an instructor at Clatsop Community College for eons. I think she was in Phys Ed., but now that I think about it I don't know for sure. She was always in matching sweat outfits.

I can't imagine the pain that her children and grandchildren are going through, now. She flew out of Berea at least a dozen trips a year visiting them. She was ever practical, such a dry, dry sense of humor. Right now, the humor that I can remember I laugh but do not write, too personal and maybe something which grandchildren wouldn't so much want to know about grandmas!!!

So sorry to see you go, old friend, so sorry to see you go! You taught me a lot about courage, being tough, fighting hard, letting go, hanging on, giving it your all and protecting the children. You will be missed and although I know you are closer than my life vein, you are behind the veil that does not lift from this side. Look over us, remember us, love us and as we will for you.

Good-bye dear friend.

And thank-you, dear Sali, for your kindness in letting this family know of her passing. I won't forget how generous you were in keeping us in the loop.

Friday, April 18, 2008

Tagging Along

I am really not sure whether or not I have been tagged, however I haven't posted forever and my sister is probably tapping her fingers thinking I have been lazing about and abusing our mother so I will use the questions from MOT's tag for my post today.

Q. What were you doing 10 years ago?

A: We were raising 4 fifteen year old daughters (and hubby was growling at TH) and a 14 year old son, still homeschooling but they were taking a few classes at CCC by then. I was commuting to Roy Washington and working half the month as the manager of a multi-cultural family retreat, designing programs and helping kids w/homework via the computer and fax machine.

Q. Name 5 snacks you enjoy.

A. Pink Lady apples, cold and crisp; Saya Snow Pea Crisps; dried mangos; hard peanutbutter cookies; popcorn (any kind, but especially Orville Reddenbockers sweet corn popcorn).

Q. Things I would do if I were a billionaire

A. WOW! Pay off all debts. Pay hoquq! Buy house for each member of fam. Hire a lawyer. Okay, okay, of course, TH, yeah, you'd get yours and we'd take "them" on. Hire a lawyer. Did I mention that? Hire a lawyer. Then while TH and the lawyers were handling things hubby and I would travel and invest in people, but only after we had worked with them to see if what they were doing was sustainable and actually what "the people" wanted, where ever they were in the world.

Q. Five jobs that I have had

A: maid at RedLion, waitress at House of Chan, self-employed children's care giver, manager of multi-cultural retreat, member of board of directors for same

Q. Three bad habits

A: Ummm. procrastination, obsessively compulsive, addicted to ...

Q. Five places I have lived

A: Astoria, Olney, Svenson, Youngs River, Walluski (What? Shut yur face, I could have named five different blocks I lived on) note: i had to change the Alderbrook answer because hubby says technically where we lived was not Alderbrook, however I had forgotten the year out in Youngs River when the girls bedrooms burned down!

Q. Five people I want to know more about:

1) Paula @ On a Rainy Night
2) LA @ The Art of Astorian Housewifery
3) Elizabeth @
Life in the Great Northwet
4) Jen @
Highliners and Homecomings
5) Aubrey @ Breeeish

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Papa's Posse & Paparoni

I do not carry around photos of my children or my grandchildren. I never have. My husband is the sentimentalist with the pictures and the remembering of the anniversary (the 25th, 25th, 25th I think I'll remember it, someone order flowers for me, okay?) the birthdays, etc ... And his reward? One of them is this little guy who names his food after his papa.

And this other little guy who's best friend is his papa, no matter how infrequently we see him he has hugs and kisses for Papa but 'Bika? Sometimes he recalls who I am and other times he's not so sure.

The other little guy has adopted "papa" for his own and greets him with very deep chortles of delight (my gosh he has a deep voice for such a little tyke). And this is Papa's Posse. No matter how late he comes through the door if one of the posse are here he is ready to flop on the floor and play cars with them, or talk in funny voices with the assortment of stuffed animals or power rangers. Or watch Animal Planet with them and say, "Ooooo grooossss" at all the right moments.

With each of these kids one of their first words were "Papa"! And it is no wonder, since it was a word that brings the most rewards. It is Papa's lap they sit on when they are tired, and his shoulder they cry on when mean ole 'Bika has said "no," his hands that hold the treats and his face that makes the funniest looks, and his mouth that laughs the loudest.

For a man who was never "blessed" with a child of his "own blood" one would never know it to see him surrounded by these squealing children demanding their share of his "Paparoni" (that he buys almost daily under the name of pepperoni at the Tillamook Country Smoker), the name bestowed on this wonderous treat by the child in the top picture. Something so marvelous must carry the name of something else even more marvelous, obviously.

The other night we were treated to twenty minutes of dueling air guitars by the three year old and his papa. Back and forth they went trying to outdo one another, using youtube's Jack Black and the Chinese Dormitory boys for backup. The crowd went wild - we really did to, it was the funniest thing to see both the 3 year old's and the 47 year old's rendition of "the sprinkler" while hanging on to their air guitars.

Sentiment does appear to have its upside. I can't wait until he has the whole posse together for an air band jam session (then again, maybe I can).