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Desultory Days

The days are slipping slowly toward real spring. Snow drops and witch hazel are blooming. Day lilies and daffodils are sending up their new green leaves. The days have been sunny, but cold again.

This morning I baby sat for Stephen while Alice worked in the library. She nearly forgot because I think the last three weeks there has been no library, and all those days may have been cancelled because of the Ohio testing.

After I left Alice played outside with Stephen and was very amused because he found two of his old toys in the barn and dragged them out proclaiming, “I remember these from when I was little!”

Stephen mar 2015 found in back yard and said oh i remember these from when I was little

Oh, big Stephen, nearly four and a half!

Emily and her family drove to Washington, D.C. to attend a reception at the Hungarian Embassy for people who had been in Hungary on a Fulbright. Both Emily and later her cousin Jozsi have now done this. She studied invasive American goldenrod and he did research in Mathematics at the Academy of Science.

Em march 2015 at fulbright reception with Jozsi

My niece Casey whose wedding I blogged about a short while ago has posted new photos from her wedding. It was such a celebration. I know everyone will be remembering it for a long time to come. I will practice some restraint and not shower you with photos because you’ve already seen many!

casey wed em left of middle green sweater

Casey wed front of barn w jeff

casey wed pc from aloha land

Art Light jan 2015 Lux Garzon blog Let your light shine so brightly that others

I considered posting Mary Oliver’s poem about spring, the one about the black bear, but then I wanted to post this poem. There is something in it that resonates with the wonderful Artist’s Way classes I’ve been taking since January on Sunday afternoons in the old farmhouse at Crown Point on Ira Road. We are encouraged to think of ourselves as precious, to care for ourselves that way, like putting on ones own oxygen mask first so as to have the possibility of helping others. This is not only the message of Buddha.

We are each of us supposed to be the light of the world.

Art child doing watercolor

The Buddha’s Last Instruction

by Mary Oliver

Mary Oliver

“Make of yourself a light,”
said the Buddha,
before he died.
I think of this every morning
as the east begins
to tear off its many clouds
of darkness, to send up the first
signal — a white fan
streaked with pink and violet,
even green.
An old man, he lay down
between two sala trees,
and he might have said anything,
knowing it was his final hour.
The light burns upward,
it thickens and settles over the fields.
Around him, the villagers gathered
and stretched forward to listen.
Even before the sun itself
hangs, disattached, in the blue air,
I am touched everywhere
by its ocean of yellow waves.
No doubt he thought of everything
that had happened in his difficult life.
And then I feel the sun itself
as it blazes over the hills,
like a million flowers on fire —
clearly I’m not needed,
yet I feel myself turning
into something of inexplicable value.
Slowly, beneath the branches,
he raised his head.
He looked into the faces of that frightened crowd.

Buddha the light of your own being 9 2014

The beautiful wedding of my lovely niece Casey and her husband Jeff has been accomplished and we are all back from Atlanta. Every second was wonderful and we’ve been getting ready for it for so long that I find it quite strange to realize it is in the past….But for Casey and Jeff, I’m sure the future is here. They are well and truly married and ready for three years in Hawaii! Jeff is in the army and that is where he is assigned for these next three years. Not too bad. Paul and I were in Hawaii for nearly two weeks for our 25th wedding anniversary and we loved it. The climate is all but perfect! The people were very friendly. The land is beautiful and varied. To be there together to begin their marriage will be a joy for them, I think.

casey wed c and j

The ceremony was held at Villa Christina in Atlanta on Saturday evening. I was able to spend time with not only my brother and his family, but his wife Ronna’s relatives who live in Cleveland but whom I seem to see only when we are all someplace else……They also have a summer place on Lake Chautauqua and we’ve already made plans to meet next summer.

We left on Friday and that evening went to the rehersal dinner at Papasito’s in Marietta, GA where were had delicious food and drink and the best of company.

casey wed jane and renee ronnas sil and sis

Here is a photo of two other of Casey’s aunts – her Aunt Jane who is the wife of her mother’s brother Darryl and her Aunt Renee who is the sister of her Mom, Ronna. This was taken at Papasito’s but I admit does not give much of an idea of what it looks like….

Next morning Alice, Mike and Emily went to the Atlanta history center and did a lot of walking about and toured Swan House, a lovely southern historical home where some of the movie Hunger Games was filmed. There is a photo of Alice and Em in the room that became President Snow’s dining room.

Alice March 2015 at Atlanta History Center

The wedding was beautiful and they planned it all in six weeks because at first they had no idea Jeff would be stationed so far away. The officiant was a retired Air Force Chaplain who did a great job and said all the right things. There was a lot of dancing afterwards, for hours, and cake cutting, and people celebrating together.

Casey wed fernandez pix

Casey wed cousins fooling around codie lela and hannah

Casey has some great cousins and here are three of them, Codie, Lela and Hannah, being silly together.

Casey wed another great cake pic

And we have to show my sil Ronna, Casey’s beautiful mother, giving her wedding speech. She was a bit emotional there, and who can be surprised.

Alice march 2015 mother of the bride

Actually, I don’t know what happened to Ronna’s dress in this photo since it was black with no green in it and a lovely detailing on the hem. It was an elegant dress and I can’t imagine why it looks green and splotchy here! It wasn’t either of those things.

And for a last photo – here is the wedding of my baby brother Art and his beautiful bride Ronna from 1985. The two little girls on each side are my own daughters who were thrilled to be junior bridesmaids. In November Art and Ronna will have their 30th wedding anniversary.

Casey wed her mom and Art's wedding in 1985 with em and alice

Styles do change! But the foundations remain and life continues. The story continues. A new one has just begun.

I do plan to write about some things other than my grandchildren! Really I do. But it’s also true that I enjoy being with them and seeing what they do and realize that slowly the blog has become more tilted to what’s going on in their world. Perhaps not a wholly reprehensible thing for a Nana to do. Still, though this post concerns them, I hope soon to put up something about the wedding in Atlanta I am going to this weekend with my daughters and one son in law.

But in the meantime………..(Every time I write this phrase I remember a friend telling me how her daughter when young once asked her, rather fearfully, what people did in “the mean time”.) Do you recall a few years ago when I posted about Sofia cutting her hair, to her intense pleasure and her parent’s chagrin?

Clara has now had her stab at transformations, though not of the hair cutting variety.
Clara march 2015 scented markers 1

She had some scented but NOT washable markers and had a wonderful time painting her face (and a bit of her hair) with them. You can see how much she enjoyed the process.

Clara march 2015 scented markers not washable

Alas…….She did not enjoy the attempts to remove the color as much……..Soap and oils did next to nothing and only rubbing alcohol mostly removed it. Unfortunately there was still a lot of paler color on her face so that Emily felt they had to call her teacher and explain why she looked the way she did… But it will not last forever. Perhaps they have some photos to show at her wedding if people are still making those montages that far in the future.

My grandsons have not been doing anything so dramatic but I loved watching them this afternoon while they helped their Mom make chicken pot pie for supper. Nathan who is ten was cutting up veggies and on the other side of the stove Stephen who is four was grinding up rosemary with a mortar and pestle. Everyone in our family likes vegetables of all sorts and I like that even the little ones have some ideas of how to cook.

Nathan march 2015 helping dinner

There is not much! News, that is….Endless cold days, but the good part of those days is that we seem to be having an unusual amount of sunshine which is able to make up for so much. And, the daylight is increasing which sometimes makes me late for doing things because I can’t believe it is as late as it is!

Tonight there is going to be a cub scout banquet. Next year I will be invited to it because Nathan will be moving up from Webelos to “real” Boy Scouts. That seems almost too much of a landmark! Tonight for the banquet Alice made an amazing cake! Yesterday when I was visiting she showed me a picture of it which she has seem somewhere.
I am so impressed by her work! I don’t think I could have gotten the sugar work done properly.

Alice feb 2015 cake bs banqt

Emily was here for dinner on Wednesday and I was able to give her clothes for the Lammily dolls I gave Clara and Sofia for Christmas. I was a backer on the Kickstarter for this project of manufacturing dolls that have proportions more like real human women than the Barbie dolls…So I was sent two dolls when the were out just before Christmas. But extra outfits were not available then but now we have some very nice ones. Sofia doesn’t play that much with dolls but Clara loves to.

Clara feb 2015 clothes for Lammily dolls</a

Long time readers of my blog will remember that Clara's dream of a future was to be a princess. But now that she is in Kindergarten she has changed her mind and wants to be a "mome" (Mommy) when this happens….
I'm not worried about her academic future with three generations of PhDs behind her, but I think it is not a bad thing that she has other ideas, too…..

Clara feb 2015 goals in life

stephen feb 2015 mayville winter

Remember to click on the pictures to make them larger. This is one of my favorite photos of Steveo.

Alice, Mike, Nathan and Stephen went to a cold Chautauqua cottage this weekend with friends Beth and Tim and their children Maggie and Gus. And they had lots of fun skiing at Holiday Valley on Saturday and this morning visiting the Ice Castle in Mayville which is built for the winter festival from blocks of ice cut from the lake. In the “olden days” before modern refrigeration there was a flourishing ice industry at Lake Chautauqua. It’s easy to see why it was so successful……….

Stephen feb 2015 snow castle race

stephen feb 2015 mayville snow castle

Tim went to college in Colorado and skied there for all those winters in the mountains, but apparently hasn’t hit the slopes for the last twenty years since returning to Ohio. He was very excited to realize how much fun it still was. Even Stephen skied for about an hour but then was worn out and spent the rest of the time in the daycare……..Nathan skied as long as his parents did and loved it. In the evening they played games. A real cottage weekend.

Stephen feb 2015 mayville Nathan at the snow castle and chaut belle behind

The Ice Castle is next to the beach at Mayville Park and you can see the Chautauqua Belle, our paddle wheel steamer, in the background. It’s a reminder that yes, warmer days lie ahead. Spring will come and then summer. But for now, we will enjoy what we have!

Life and Sadness

flowers nasturtium

Today would be my mother’s 100th birthday. It’s been 16 years since she left us and I have many good memories of my life when she was a living part of it…….Everyone’s life comes to an end sometime. This is a fact that becomes clearer as one becomes older, I think.

Yesterday morning I was awakened by a phone call from the daughter of a very good friend, one I’d just had lunch with a few weeks ago. Peggy was so full of life and plans for the future. But her daughter was calling to tell me that her parents had been in a terrible seven vehicle accident on the Ohio turnpike. Her Dad was in critical condition in a hospital in Toledo, but my dear friend had not made it. She was 14 years younger than I am and one of the most generous, humorous, and kind people I know. We made plans for things to do together in the coming months…I’m still really in shock, I think. It doesn’t quite seem possible.

As terrible as it was to see Paul die over several years of change and tragic illness, I believe it is easier than this sudden shock which Vidya and her sister must have experienced, and surely still are in the midst of and don’t know what will happen with their Dad either. My father who died when I was in Kindergarten died in a half hour of a heart attack and I never realized for years and years what a horrible shock that must have been for my mother. We can only pray and do what we can to help those who survive. It does not seem like enough.

Flowers forgetmenots from little red hen may '10

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