Thursday, June 26, 2008

Thank U Firefighters

My sweet Auntie sent this to me from Chico, California. My husband, a firefighter has spent a good part of the last two weeks at one forest fire or another. She sent the photo because he was in the Chico area, the town of Paradise first, and is returning from the Shasta/Trinity area now. He is actually on his way home, even as I write. He has been in the Shasta/Trinity area for, well, this is the sixth day. There are currently some 700 wildland fires burning across California. The air is smoky/hazy in just about the whole state.
Here is the note from my Auntie who took this picture from her car, "This is the type of sign you see everywhere. God Bless them and keep them safe."
From her keyboard to God's ear.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Grandmom's Happy Place

Here I am, taking time out of living a beautiful day to write about it.... while that seems counter intuitive, I want to add that taking the time to blog while on our trip was just the most wonderful thing. I can't tell you how many times I have gone back and re-read it, and what joy it brings to me. It just completely revitalizes the memories.

This is why I am taking this moment to remember our special day. Sam, the Elizabeths, the boys, and I had a perfectly wonderful summer afternoon. One day a week, Liam has piano lessons near here, so little brother, Owen comes to spend the hour with us. When Mommy and Liam return, we spend a lazy afternoon entertaining ourselves in the backyard, "working" in the garden, getting into mischief, swimming, whatever suits our fancy that day. There is also the much anticipated weekly date with the Ice Cream Man!

Elizabeth likes to bring Christian out on piano day, too, when they're available. The cousins get to play together at Grammy and Papa’s. It is delightful.

So, we have this outrageous three ring circus, with three wildly wonderful preschoolers,until the boys simply can not take another moment of fun. Last night, when they got home, Christian told his Mommy that he “needed some peace and quiet”. See what I mean? We play hard! If Christian is finished partying, well then...that's just too much party.

( BTY, I answer to Grandmom, Grammy and Mamma. )

Immediately upon crossing the threshold, Liam presented me with the absolutely most beautiful and colorful hand-beaded necklace and bracelet, with an accompanying hand drawn card, naturally. . . it was the most bea-u-ti-ful peacock! I think Liam is just the most precious, thoughtful and talented four year old in the whole wide world! . . . and I absolutely love my new jewelry! It is a priceless treasure.

The first event yesterday was Fort Building. Uncle Sam is still home for the summer, and he's pretty handy with such things. He ‘helped’ build it out of the sofa frame (because the cushions were needed for something else), the dining chairs, and the giant green quilt that we keep handy for this type of construction project, sleepovers, and picnics. Now and then I was needed to 'find' all of the hidden little boys, who were very slyly peeping out from under the appropriated soft, fluffy green sofa cushions and the quilt.

Within a period of about 30 seconds, Liam bonked his ear on a hard part of the sofa, and Owen smashed his finger in the back door, and, well ... in order to cheer them up, I suggested hopping into the pool. Truthfully, it was really a slip of the tongue, but immediately, we had three delighted little boys clambering for their bathing suits. Lucky for me, the adults were in favor of a nice, cool, refreshing swim on a hot day too, or I could have been tarred and feathered for that one!

Bravo and Lucy (the dogs) managed to get themselves banned from the pool because of Lucy's overzealous protection of her puppies near the water. . .her puppies are the human children and the adults, you understand. While Elizabeth was locking them out of the pool yard, she explained, “because, Lucy simply cannot restrain herself from swimming on top of me."

So. . . two human Mommies, an indulgent Uncle Sam, and three happy, wriggling little boys took a playful romp in the pool. And a lovely day for it, too. It was 100 degrees, or nearly.

After splashing and giggling, and wearing out the adults, a somewhat more subdued activity seemed to be called for. We played with stamps, rubber stamps. Sea creatures and bugs for this crew. We had the best time inking whole hands and finger tips, and even occasionally a stamp. The Mommies carried their handprint treasures home, destined for eternity in Baby Books. Can you just picture two precious two-year-olds and a darling four-year-old with black and blue finger tips, make that hands and arms, stamping sea horses and bumble bees on the backs of their chubby, dimpled, little hands, chattering amiably and overall enjoying the messiness of it all?

It was just such an adorable day, capped with a spontaneous romp through the front-yard sprinklers, fully clothed. Me, that is, fully clothed… the boys ran in underwear and/or bathing suits.

I remember once, one of Elizabeth’s girlfriends looked over and spotted me with those three precious little boys in my lap at a party. I heard her say, “Look at Debbi. She’s in her Happy Place.”

That whole day of swimming, building forts, playing pirates, digging in the garden, snacks, juice boxes, and stamping at the dinner table is just a picture that I want to hold in my heart forever.

They have all gone home now, Sam’s gone to work and I have chores to do, things to accomplish, but I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to remember a very simple but perfectly …. …. perfect afternoon. I am in my Happy Place.

There you have it. I am going to go wash jars, and see what I can do about making some strawberry jam, and then maybe I'll run through the sprinklers.