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Posts Tagged ‘Family’

I am no longer young.  But the memory of all that lingers.  In every life you leave your loved ones behind, through death, by omission and sometimes because the chasm between them and you is too great.  You leave your town by choice or by the inevitable unspooling of life.  But at some point you realize that you loved some parts of it.  Even when it is flawed.  You can even love a failing chicken restaurant and a speedway you never went to.  You were young.  When those days come to mind, you will want to call your people, even the ones who are no longer there or anywhere.  You will want to declare: I have loved you through time and space.  It is hard to be us.  It is hard to be anyone.  You will want to tell them, I forgive, I forgive you everything.
  —  Stephanie Powell Watts
From her article: “Race Day
Appearing in: Time Magazine, dtd: 6 August / 13 August 2018
Online, the article is titled: “Memories From the South: Fried Chicken on Race Day
And is at: https://time.com/5349504/stephanie-powell-watts-race-day/
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On This Day In:
2018 A Sure Sign Of Age
Before The Fall – Cheat
2017 Distant Goal
2016 More Lives
2015 Go Shopping More
2014 Say What?
2013 Accepting Beauty
2012 Transitional Choice To Ride The Wave
2011 Freedom Isn’t Always Perfect
Just That Simple
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Image of my Hil at SFO before flight to Liverpool

Hil at SFO before flight to Liverpool

Today I drove my wife to San Francisco International (SFO) Airport to catch a flight to Manchester so she can be with her family (in Liverpool).  Hil flew back earlier in the year to spend time with her mum before her passing.  Her mum’s health has been poorly for some time and has recently taken a turn for the worse.  She has just been released from hospital to hospice care.  It is a time of mixed emotion for us as while we will miss her mum, she will be joining her husband (George) who has been waiting on her some 20 years now.  I guess “Papa’s” calling her home is finally getting too much for “Nana” to ignore.
Here is a photo of Hil’s mum and dad (“Nana & Papa” to our kids) in happier times:

Nana And Poppa With Big Smiles

Hil’s Mum and Dad with Big Smiles

And here is a post of mine from back in 2011:   Things I’ve Learned From Life – Nana Carter
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On This Day In:
2018 What I Tell You Three Times Is True
2017 And So On
2016 Kept
2015 Envy * 2
2014 Destiny For The Talented
2013 I Do Not Fear It
2012 Until Found
2011 Reducing Goods To Data
The Fog Of Civilization Building

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Is this a metaphor for life?
At the end of March, my daughter gave me a puzzle for my birthday…  (see image below)  She knows:  I like puzzles.  I like trains.
So, after much diligent effort, I got it assembled!  (see image below)  Well, almost…  If you double click on the image to see the large version, you’ll notice one(1) piece is missing.
Now, because I am OCD, you have to understand, to solve a puzzle, I do the following:
1) separate out all the edge pieces;
2) assemble all the edge pieces;
3) if not complete, return to (1);
4) separate out and assemble (in order) all the pieces of the largest or most visually obvious items; trains, tracks, bright leaves, bridge structures, the rest;
5) Hmmm…  separate train pieces – check.  Assemble train pieces – check.  Ooops!  Piece missing.  Back to 4)…
Now, understand.  1,000 pieces total.  Edges and corners: approximately 100 pieces.  Two trains: let’s be generous and say 300 pieces.  That leaves me 600 pieces to search through looking for one specific piece.  Okay…  We do it the old fashioned way: pour them out and go through them one at a time.  Did I mention I’m kind of OCD?  No luck…  Search floor.  Search under couch and other near by furniture.  No joy…  Look at dog with accusatory glare.  She licks her lips nervously and slinks away.  Pour out pieces and try again.  No joy…  Pour out pieces and try again!
So, after three full piece searches (what I call “positive visual confirmation”) over two days (this is in my “spare” time), and did I mention about five(5) hours(!), still no joy.  I come to accept conclusion that either my wife or daughter are playing an evil trick on me (saving the final piece for themselves), or the piece was never in the box.  I ask casually and they both proclaim their innocence.  Ow, well…  Complete the puzzle anyway.  Maybe it will turn up…
Upon completion, my daughter comments that her friends have this happen to them frequently(!).  What????  Yes.  Several times her friends have bought puzzles and then had them miss a piece.
I am stunned, but unappeased.  I jump online and go to the web site (www.sunsout.com) for the manufacturer.  I email them with the information they request and ask for the piece.  I receive a response the next day.  (Great customer service!)  They respond they will send me a new puzzle in 2 to 3 weeks.  They include the message they are not able to send individual pieces and do not guarantee the puzzle will be from the same die-cut.
A little over a week later, I get my replacement puzzle.  (Again, great customer service!)  I tear it open and the pieces are shaped completely differently.  Arggghhh!!  I don’t even have to open the plastic see-through bag to tell the pieces are cut differently.
Now I have to consult with my wife.  Should I complete the replacement puzzle?  I have no guarantee this version won’t have the same issue: missing piece(s).  Should I toss them both?  Should I search out the missing piece and its neighbors and then cut them to fit my puzzle?  Should I use a close up of the box cover to overlay the missing piece by getting a physical picture and backing it with cardboard?  She says email them back and request a different puzzle.  Then, if it’s missing a piece (too), at least you didn’t solve the same puzzle twice.
In the end, I trash the (almost) completed puzzle and put the unopened bag back into its box to re-gift to someone else…
Somewhere, deep inside…  a frustrated little OCD train loving child is crying.
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On This Day In:
2018 I Doubt #45 Is Listening?
2017 Life’s Oddity
2016 Just Asking…
2015 Two Thoughts On Thinking
2014 From The Top, Please…
2013 You Are The Stars
2012 Just One??
2011 Anything But

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Thirty-Five years ago I met the love of  my life…
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On This Day In:
2018 Happy Meeting Day 34 (And Counting)
Storytelling
2017 Happy Meeting Day 33 (And Counting)
2016 Picture Perfect
2015 Life Showed Compassion
2014 And Then I Met Her
2013 Defining Maleness
The Run Continues
2012 All Set
2011 Not Always

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This year, my wife has spent seven long (to me anyway) weeks visiting her family back in Liverpool, England.  She is coming back to me today.
If my life can be described as a tree with all of the branches and leaves as my personal choices and experiences, then our marriage has been the tree’s trunk and my Hil has been the tree’s roots, binding us to the good earth.  Winter is over and Spring has arrived!
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On This Day In:
2018 You Have Just Begun To Climb
2017 Equal Protection Under Law
2016 A Stubbornly Persistent Illusion
2015 Or You Don’t
2014 If You Ever Fall…
2013 Glory Days (part 2)
2012 They Follow A Pattern – If You Know What I Mean
What I Live For (Precis)
2011 Giving

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Last year,  my son (“Jim” / James) and I were binge-ing on the “Vikings” series on the History Channel.  On 18 April 2018, we agreed to grow our beards out for one full year to see what they would look like and if they would be long enough to “viking braid”.  (Yeah, I know, very mature…)  My son is working on the 18th, so he came by today for a selfie.  (See below…)

Image of my son and me showing off our beards.

Jim and me rockin’ the chin locs.

We’ve concluded our beards are not really long enough to properly braid.  Jim says his wife can braid his, but they are very short braids.  I think I would need at least another year to have a decent shot with mine.  My Hil hates my full-out beard, so I doubt it will survive her return (this Sunday) from her family visit to Liverpool.  I don’t know if I’m going to miss it (the beard) or not.  It’s relaxing to stroke, but annoying when it catches in your zippers (coats and sweaters).  Ah, well, life is full of trade-offs…
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On This Day In:
2018 Slice, Nick, Cut, Bled
2017 Like Most Blogs
2016 The Window Left Open
Free Experience
2015 Reality == Perception / (Times Reported * 10)
2014 Tear Da Roof Off Da Sucka
2013 Exposed Spirits
2012 Ow-ow
2011 Focused Relatives

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When I was a boy of fourteen, my father was so ignorant I could hardly stand to have the old man around.  But when I got to be twenty-one, I was astonished at how much he had learned in seven years.
  –– Mark Twain (attributed to)
Children begin by loving their parents; as they grow older they judge them; sometimes they forgive them.
   ––  Oscar Wilde
[Happy Birthday, James!  —  Mum and Dad (KMAB)]
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On This Day In:
2018 Enjoy The Sunsets As Well As The Sunrises
2017 Enjoy
2016 I Got A Feeling
2015 Fiction Leading To History
2014 A Self-Correcting Process
2013 None But He Knows
2012 99% Are Demanding
2011 All In The Family
Take Your Pick

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