Sunday, May 7, 2017

Homestretch on Second Grade.

15 days. As of tonight, Ella has 15 more actual days of class with her beloved Mr. H. 

The days pass slowly but the years fly by. And when we are in the day-to-day where she is brushing her teeth at the kitchen sink whilst washing her feet at the same time (see above), it is going slowly, people. Trust me. 

But when she spoons in next to me in our bed for pre-bed snuggles and then proceeds to talk with her hands as she explains the daily events in class, I see my 16 year old daughter. It is going too fast. 

Ella and Lillian hanging with me during a school delay
Summer break will be a mix of good stuff this year. My parents and Ella will hang out together again. I've got a long list of things we will be exploring during our time together, including her coming to work with Larry or me a bit more. She doesn't know it yet, but I intend on having her own desk (ie card table!) set up in my office so that she can do her own 'work' without taking over my desk. 

I figure by Week #3 of summer break, she and I will be pushing each other's buttons.

 A few weeks ago, we got to celebrate Mama Brooke's big 4-0 by screen printing our very own t-shirts.

Our neighborhood has a new independent coffee shop. I hit the library for the last book recommendation my Aunt Kay gave me, a cup of java and a comfortable chair in the corner. It was some of the best 45 minutes of solitude!

 We had to prep Panda for out-patient surgery. (He is thread bare in so many places.)
 We all enjoyed a new local Cuban restaurant.

And then we did this, because they needed love (a lot more than we had thought, it turns out) and we had love to give.

More on these four furballs later.

As Roz was gearing up for her grandparents' big move from Florida to just two blocks away from her, we did our part in planting some seeds to get her Grandma's vegetable garden going.

My dear friend Pamela gifted Ella and Roz such incredible books. Each page of the book highlights a rebel girl. Pamela and I share a huge love for books. She can still read 40 books to my 1 but we often are texting each other about books that 'must be added to the list'. I am so happy she shared her love of reading, and is encouraging them both to be rebels along the way.

And our veggies are growing!

 We took out my Mama for her birthday a few weeks ago and then woke up the next morning to Easter!

And then Ella and I had a fantastic stay-cation spring break. I took time off work and we hit the town.

I needed a vacation from her spring break vacation before it was all over.

It was worth it, a thousand times over.


Saturday, March 11, 2017

Life indeed happens when you are planning lunch.

NYC 2 years ago
Indeed it does, Aunt Kay...indeed it does.

I kept waiting for this blog post to write itself, that I would wake up and see it clearly written in between the mush of memories I've been sifting through. 

The blog post did not write itself. 

Two weeks later and it still doesn't feel real that Aunt Kay isn't going to be emailing me at 1am, or sending some exciting package in the mail to Ella. 

I'm just going to let her write this blog post for me. (NOTE: Hegel = Heather)

December 14, 2015: 
I have such fun being a great-aunt to Ella, went to Will Hillenbrand's
signing at the bookstore last Tuesday, got his new book for Ella.  She
may well be into chapter books of one kind or another, but this picture
book is really clever and special.  Daniel Pinkwater, often on PBS, wrote
the text, and of course, Will's illustrations are superb.  Glad the advent
calendar was a hit.  I used to have a store that sold card-sized ones that
I sent to David and Jesse when they were in college.  One year I couldn't
find them anywhere, and big as they were, they were rather put out with
not having any.  

April 2, 2016
We love you.  We love your wonderful family.  We love the
pictures you take and the vibrant life you lead. 

May 9, 2016
Their home for nearly a month in Kenmare, Ireland.

June 12, 2016
In your honor, well, because of Ella's delicious picture, we
had corn on the cob last night  (with lots of butter)--it was 
almost as good as Ella's looks in her picture!  Thank you, Hegel
 Love AK & UP  : )  : )  ; )

June 23, 2016
Just as I was scrolling down to answer your recent email,
this wonderful epistle showed up.  Ella is SO tall, and the
kitties seem to have taken to her and vice versa splendidly.
I think children who are raised with animals and taught how
to handle them are most often very gentle caretakers.  I know
we have had a good time with our various assortment through
the years, and our sons and families all have pets.  

July 15, 2016
Dear Heather,
Have we told you recently that we think you are just an amazing
young woman?  Well, you are.  And I could see Marie with you
in the park with the bubbles.  Just the sort of thing she would
think of, also.
We never know, as we watch the young ones in our midsts, what
they will be like as adults, what choices they will make, will they
be more happy than not, will their difficulties be surmountable.
As parents and onlookers, we are caught in the moments, and
as parents, some moments (and behaviors) are more attractive
and enjoyable than others.  All I know is that we are so proud
of the splendid woman you have become, an honor to all who
know her now or knew her then.
Love to our Hegel,
Aunt Kay and Uncle Peter

October 4, 2016
I'm off to Boston on the 19th for a meeting of
myeloma speakers and an add-on couple of days
with a friend who is coming from Philly.  We are
very compatible travel mates, having met in NYC
in June.  Part of the speakers' gathering is participation
in the "Light the Night" walk in Boston Common.  It is
very inspiring--red, white, gold lanterns all around the
park.  It is very near the duckling statues from "Make
Way for Ducklings" in the Public Gardens across the

November 16, 2016
Dear Hegel,
You are truly amazing!  The recent Donna Ruth was so very
well-organized and enjoyable.  We can't thank you enough
for putting this all together.
I am currently reading a novel by Ann Hood called THE RED
THREAD, a story within a story about Chinese adoptions.  It
seems  based on a lot of good research into the process as
well as being an intertwining story of the main character. 
Have you read it?  If you haven't, I shall send it to you:  really
shouldn't be missed.  I also have a book for Ella on order
which I will send when it arrives. 
Thank you again, dear one for last weekend.  I remember
thinking, years ago, perhaps during a time of political
upheaval and a lot of national scrutiny about what  we were
doing as a country and where we were headed that "the people"
always survive by their ability to live by what is important and
ignore the rest.  Somehow we carry on and stand for what is
of true value.  Family comes at the top of the list.

December 17, 2016
I remember one year Carl helped Donna with the Thanksgiving Dinner.  He got so
tired out he had to go take a nap on the couch--said he's never worked so
hard in his life.  It is a lot of work, true, but family gatherings are so very
treasured.  I remember all my life the family gatherings--as a child--as
a young adult--as a mother--as a grandmother.  The joy of being together
and sharing a meal is worth all the work and planning and preparation. 
Time to head to the loft.  Great trip.  Tired.  Worth the effort.


So we gathered. We sang. We ate. We laughed. We cried. We embraced.

We went to the sacred space of Blue Manatee Children's Book Store where she spent countless hours reading and singing to children over the years.

We explored the city.

We made the most of our travels, which is precisely how Aunt Kay would have rolled.