Tuesday, September 27, 2011

I have a subsrciption to Vanity Fair magazine.  It's pretty good, lots of interesting articles, and while I don't live up to the lifestyles of those featured in the Vanity, it's fun to pretend every once in a while.  My last issue featured a story about letters from Ernest Heminway to family and others that he wrote during his years in Paris.  The letters are fascinating in their descriptions of Paris life, and it was kind of mind-blowing to look at something handwritten by one of our best authors.

Reading this got met thinking, people don't write letters anymore.  It's become a lost art, and I wonder if our history won't be lost with it.  So much of what we know about iconic figures was found in letters and journals, personal writings.  Now we communicate with texts and tweets, or get on Facebook, none of which will be saved.  What will the next generation know about us?  And what will anyone know about the next generation?  It will be interesting to see. 

I think that I've mentioned before that my dad writes to me.  I've kept every letter that he, and mom, have sent.  The way he writes really reflects his personality, and I know that someday, maybe after he's gone, I'll be so glad to have his letters.  I'll show them to others and say, "This is my dad", and I'll read them myself and feel close to him again. 

I'm not trying to convince you all that you have to start writing letters.  I don't do it.  The closest I get is sending a card with a few short lines.  Still, it's important to have something of yourself to share with those who will come after you.  They'll want to know you.  I want to know you.  The blogging world has been nice for that.  It makes me feel like I know you.  And, you can have a blog printed into a book, something that some of my friends have done.  There's something that will last.

Thanks, as always, for checking in with me.  You are loved.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Celebrating 74

Hello All!  As you may know, I went on vacation last week.  Wait, you probably don't know that because I haven't posted anything here for a month.  Gosh all Friday! (a little saying I picked up from my Dad while on vacation)  I flew to Minneapolis on Saturday, Sept 3, where I met Dad, and the two of us drove to Rochester where Courtney and his family live.  Mom had had already been there helping Andrea with her children and their new baby girl.  Olivia Sharon, named after my mom, was born on August 26th.  She's very small and sweet and has cheeks just right for lots of kisses. 
September 4th was Mom's 74th birthday.  I set out with Amalia (who was having fits like every good 2-year old should and really needed to get out of the house) to the store for cake and birthday necessities.  When we came to the candles, I debated between getting the numbers 7 and 4, or buying several boxes of individual candles.  The idea of 74 candles really had me, so I bought the boxes.

Once home, I counted out the candles and asked Spencer and Drew to put them on the cake with me.  Spencer asked why we were doing so many, and when I told him that Grandma was 74 years old he got a very puzzled looked.  Drew said that the smoke alarm was going to go off, no questions about that.  But we set to work, and the cake looked good.  Well, actually it looked like a whole mess of candles, but we were happy with it.

After dinner, when it came time to light them, Courtney and I each used one of the longer candles to light the others. The candles were so close to each other that some of the wicks came together and made really tall flames, which created more heat.  Everything melted into rivers of wax running all over the frosting.  I broke a sweat sitting next to it, and Drew reminded us about the smoke detector.  We sang "Happy Birthday" as fast as possible.  It took Mom one good blow and another smaller one to blow them all out.  I was eating my piece and saw a dot of wax that I hadn't scraped off yet.  When I pulled on it a whole candle came up.  Poor thing had been burned right down into the cake.  I admit it was a mess, and next year I'm going with the 7 and 5, but Mom (and I) will remember the year of 74 candles for the rest of our lives.

Other trip events:
Shane, Donna and family spent Labor Day with us, and I learned, much to my dismay, that his boys can't play football.  How does that happen in the Midwest?  Still, it was good fun.

Mom, Dad and I drove to Chicago for a few days with my aunt and her family.  Chicago has the best food in the world!  I have mixed emotions about this because it's so wonderful when we're there, but so sad when I'm here craving that food.

We went to the Field Museum of Natural History.

The city was beautiful.

I found that my aunt's house feels as homey now as it did when I was a kid.

I spent way too much money shopping.

And, I flew home again on September 11th.  Getting through security was much better than expected.

And now I'm back at work.  I feel the need to start writing more, so I'll try to keep this blog going.  I guess that's more of a promise to myself than to you.  Hope you all had a great summer, and happy fall!