Wednesday, August 24, 2016

i do love you

This is one of my favorite photos of all time.

Our giant poodle, Tammy bit this ball, so the air deflated.  John put the remains on his head as a helmet, and he brought over the other scrap and placed it on your head.

Everything about this, from your little ID bracelet, to your curls and tearful lips, to Dad's own kiss against your cheek, and a hand big enough to cross your whole belly--it grabs a hold of me.

I took this picture with an old 35 mm with manual focus.  It's a second in time, captured forever.

 This family photo snapped in a one click photo by a photographer who had photographed the entire family.  The ornery scowl on your face, in your Smurf sweats, is because you were annoyed we stopped you for this picture rather than racing to the playground, which we did right afterward.

This is you sitting on Dad's side of the bed, hugging Kari on the day she was born.

 Oh, yes. Always the co-operator.  That's before we built the family room, when there was just a little bedroom off the dining room.

 Doing math:

 Blowing out candles with James and your cousin:

 Teasing Miss Maria after work, James as tiny photo bomber:

 Me and you and him, November 1, 1980.

And a beautiful family photo from last year:

Daniel?  You, whom I have loved since I was an 18 year old girl?  You and me and Dad and John?

In this whole entire world, there is not one single person I love more than I love you.

This annoys your brothers and sisters because somehow they twist it around to mean that I love them less.

I do not love them less than I love you.

How are these things actually measured?

Thank you for being brave enough to venture into a family as young and inexperienced as this one.

Thank you for your kindness and generosity, for laughing along with us, and saying, "Awww," in the right places, for working hard and being a fine example of devotion and dedication to your own family.

You kids.

I could not love any one of you more.

Happy Birthday, Daniel T.

Love forever, Mom and Dad and Everybody

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

another weekend

The lake was pretty.  It's just a lovely, beautiful place.

This picture was snapped on the ride up, rainbow.

 We went on a boat ride, and taking the pontoon is always the best choice for bringing along dogs. See how amused she is?

She's hardly even conscious.

That's fine.
 This one we were babysitting looks real lively too.

 The swing set in the field:

 Kari made that sign out of sticks she painted and decorated with gems.  We sprayed it with poly spray, trying to preserve the fragility of it.

 Here's Tim's fast, little, zippy remote control boat.  It was expensive, like his only Christmas present at the time.

 Getting ready:


Anyway, there's that.

love, Val

Sunday, August 21, 2016

sunday in august

 We all went down to the water today, even though it was a little cloudy and cool at times.

They had energy to burn.
 We didn't put Jay's boat in the water, but they had rides in the fishing boat and tubed behind the jet ski.

Good enough.

 After everyone else was gone, we vacuumed and swept, and cleaned up. With five of us, it didn't take that long, maybe an hour.

Then we went on a boat ride just to relax.  Tim and Julia goofed around.  Kari is dignified.

 She didn't have much to say, just sat on the pile of life jackets and sniffed the air.

 One half of the lake was warm and smooth.
 The other side was choppy and rough, overcast, smelled like cold water.  It felt good to be cold for a change.

Night after night I dream about Sam.    They're lovely, happy dreams, warm and plush.  I'm happy to see her, put our heads together in a hug.

In every dream, Sam takes off running, gleefully bounding through water and tall grass, bouncing rowdy circles around us in the field, good-natured and foolish.

In every dream she's running.

Oh, for my dog to be young again.


Never mind.

Love, Val