Sunday, February 26, 2017


William is the little boy in the front left of the picture. He is now six, and this is his birthday party with four of the 8 cousins who were there. The party was held in a place called The Treehouse. It is very hard to plan birthday parties in February because you can never be quite sure of the weather, but it was a beautiful day, and 9 kids ran their hearts out climbing and crashing and generally whooping it up.
 There's never a bad excuse for a good time with your cousins.
Pictures courtesy of my niece Kellie who was there with her three children, Rachel, Chance, and Greyson. There was also Brady and Brandon and Abby, Danny, and Caleb. 

It was a great day and a lot of fun. William chose to go out for 'China food' for supper. We met his mother there after her work day. By then, William was tired and managed to fall out of the car backwards in the parking lot. Never fear. He was not so tired that he could not tell everyone there it was his birthday and 'Now I am six'. He was so vocal about it that people from the next table came over to wish him happy birthday. 

He has grown into a happy child who does well in school. He has begun to read and he's good at math. He is the joy of his grandparents hearts and the apple of his mother's eye. 

Today he's going to see a play with his mother. "Knuffle Bunny: a Cautionary Tale." He is pretty excited about that as well. 

One of the greatest feelings in the world is watching that little boy grow. 

He generally sleeps over at our house Friday nights when his mother works late and then gets up early to open the store on Saturday. It is just much easier to have him where he needs to be. He loves a bath, and will beg for the chance to be in a warm bathroom soaking in the clawfoot tub full of bubbles and toys. 

He also loves lotion, and is quite a fan of the scent of vanilla. ("I smell good enough to eat!") I got some Gold Bond Men's lotion for him. He read the label carefully and then said, in a shocked voice, "But Grandma, I am not a man!" I told him that he was growing into one every single day. He was surprised at this and asked Grandpa for verification. Grandpa assured him it was true, that it was happening right in front of our very eyes. This has set him off on a tangent, where he will have long discussions with himself about what kind life he intends to have. 

One of his announcements: "...and when I see a house with a sign in front of it, well, I will tell grandpa and he will buy it and then we will fix it up and we will sell it." 

Speaking of that, we did buy another house. Work is slow for me right now (a blessed relief after the 66 hour weeks between Thanksgiving and Christmas), and so we intend on getting in there, ripping it apart and putting it back together at a record pace.  

That's it, really. 

Sunday, February 5, 2017

Love Letters

A few years back, I met Mr. R, a lovely man who was beloved by all. Plans for his 100th birthday party were unfolding. I was looking forward to it very much, but three months before the big day, Mr. R. died.

He was a wonderful person who loved his life. He loved his job. He loved his friends. He loved books. Words, Art, He was a widower that cried when he thought of his wife. He talked about how they were avid ballroom dancers. He talked about how they read to each other every day, and when she grew to weak to read, he sat at her bedside and read to her still. It was so sweet, so touching.

When Mr. R passed, there was a massive estate sale. I wanted something to remind me of my friend and so Tim and I went. One of the things that I bought was a small vase. As we were leaving, I ran into a mutual friend. Seeing that vase, he said, "You know something neat about Mr and Mrs. R? Every night they sat down to supper. There were always flowers and there were always candles.

Every. Single. Night.

I wrote a Valentine column about that a few years back.

Last week, there was a message on the answering machine. I did not recognize the name. He spoke of his grandfather.

It was Mr. R's grandson. Mr. R was a WWII soldier. He wrote faithfully to his wife. She wrote faithfully back. The entire correspondence was saved, as I understand it, treasured by both parties. He's sending me a flashdrive.

He thinks it would make a lovely book.