November 6, 2012

Because You Can

I didn't post anything opinion-based on Facebook today about the election, other than a suggestion that you all get out there and vote. I like to keep my little FB bleeps light and funny and non-inflammatory. Mostly.  But I do have opinions about today's election.

Do I care how you vote? Of course I do.  I would like to see my candidate of choice win this race, and we can use all the support we can get.  But what I really care about is that you have taken the time to research and educate yourself on the issues, the policies, the stories, the lies and the truths that are swimming like mass schools of lost fish all over our media. I know it's been hard to discern what is right and what is wrong, and to make decisions based on nothing but biased reports. And I know that it often feels as though one little vote can't possibly make a difference.

But the bottom line is, your vote counts. However you do it. Whatever beliefs compel you to stand up for your right to determine the future of this great democracy and state your position are fine with me. Even if I disagree with everything you stand for, even if it means that "my" candidate loses, I still believe with all my heart that the most important thing you can do today is vote for what YOU believe in.

There are so many places in this world where people don't have the rights we have, where people have no say in the way their governments are run.  Places where people are killed for defending their principles and condemned for attempting to make change. We may all have our complaints about the United States Government, and they may all be valid. But we also have the right, the responsibility and the privilege to voice our opinions and be heard. The most amazing thing about this country is that we don't all think alike.  That's what makes us interesting and diverse; it's what keeps us searching for the best.

Sure, I have my opinions.  On gay marriage and the legalization of marijuana and women's reproductive rights. On how the national budget should be handled and how we interact with other leaders of the world.  Do I need to tell you what my opinions are?

I just did.  I put my ballot in the box and I told the entire nation.

I hope you did too.

September 19, 2012

In 1982, my parents showed up at my senior prom. With no fair warning.  If I had been a normal teenager, one who rolled her eyes at every word uttered by her mother, one who bucked every rule her father put forth, I might have been surprised.  Even angry.

But I wasn’t.  I found out they were there because a group of my friends came rushing up to me on the dance floor, mid-evening, and breathlessly announced:  “Your Mom and Dad are here!”

Any other kid would have melted into the scenery, prayed for instant death. But because my parents are EdandPam (and yes, that is one word), I grabbed my date by the hand and yanked him through the restaurant.  My parents are here! Let’s get this party started!

My mom and dad were the parents who could be your very best friends and still maintain authority.  My dad would serve you a beer but wouldn’t let you drive home if his life depended on it.  They were fun, crazy, spontaneous.  Loved, deeply loved. By everyone.

I am forty eight years old now.  I live in suburban America, in a wonderful neighborhood, and I have amazing friends who are more family to me than I have ever known.  Funny thing is, my parents were in town tonight, and I was suddenly second string. Because nothing has changed.  They are still EdandPam, and everyone I  know feels lucky to know them.

My dad brought gifts for my girlfriends. My girlfriends talked knitting with my mother, because, well, I don’t.  My guy friends talked guy stuff with my dad.

And, as much as I did when I was seventeen, at the Waldorf Astoria hotel, proudly showing off my parents at my senior prom, I felt proud tonight.

They are still one of the best things about me. 

September 9, 2012

It's fall today. Not just on the calendar, but I can tell by the wind, the way the air smells.  How the ice cream truck suddenly sounds forlorn and distant, making its regular rounds, as if nothing is changing. It must know that its days are numbered. 

I'm ok with that. I have always loved autumn. It may have something to do with the nomad blood in me, the desire to change things up every so often, that I welcome a new start. Or maybe I'm still the same little kid who froths at the mouth over new school supplies.  Who knows. But everyone is rested, relaxed and bored enough to get back to reality, including me. I think even people who do not have the luxury of a summer vacation must feel that those couple of months are different.  

I love the crazy, mad rush at the end of August to get it all together again. It seems that no one is ever prepared; the end of summer hits us as if we had no idea it was coming.  Oh my God! School starts next week and I haven't done one single thing I said I would!  We panic at the prospect of the kids going back to school without the perfect package of pens and pencils and squeaky new sneakers. The kids, on the other hand, at least mine, couldn't care less.  I'm the one popping Xanax because he refuses to use any other backpack than the one he got in second grade.  Because I'm setting a record, Mom. I'm gonna see if I can get all the way through high school with it. Cool, huh?  Oh, yes. Way cool. 

This year, I am not fighting him.  He's fourteen and starting high school.  It's time to let go.

You want to wear those black and red shorts with that purple and neon yellow shirt? With the blue and white crew football socks and sandals? Well, sweetie, I think that looks just great.  No, I don't think you need to touch your hair.  Those little cowlicks sticking up all over, I believe, are really in this year. Can I at least wash the backpack? Because it smells like seven years of boy. And will you just take this one pencil on the first day and try to write important things down? 

I didn't cry as I sent him off on the first day. I took a gazillion pictures - yes, at the bus stop - but I didn't cry.  And when he broke his arm on the second day of school, putting him on the bench for the entire football season, I didn't over-baby him.  He's fourteen. There is nothing more awkward than your mom helping you take your shirt off.  I can do it, Mom. Stop. 

And I know he can. He can do it all, I think. I look at him, and I wonder how he became this young man. In spite of me.  In spite of the world around him, how did he hold on to that electric smile he beamed as a naive baby?  How is it that he still sees every glass as half full, finds good in everything? When I am definitely not that person, is he just balancing me? Is that my gift from God, that this kid will keep me in check when my molehills become mountains? Maybe so. 

Last night he wanted to "hang out" with some friends. It was 9:30 and dark outside.  I wondered, what do you mean, hang out? What does that mean? Where? Why? It's dark! You should be inside!  

And then, as quickly as it panicked me, it passed. 

These are the dog days of summer and the most exciting new chapter of your life is opening up to you.  Of course you can hang out. You should hang out. 

Be home by 11:00.  

Make good choices. 

I love you.

April 30, 2012

I'm Back...

It can't be!  It's football season again and I haven't written since the last season ended.  Ok, to be fair, it hasn't been a whole year; here, we play school ball in the spring. I know: weird. We play middle school football in April, when the rest of the free world is playing baseball.  Still, it is the Pacific Northwest, so there is no shortage - even in April - of parkas and wet blankets and sideways rain and inside-out umbrellas.  Like today.  Miserable.

But still. I'm so glad it's football time again! It means that Jack is engaged in sufficient physical activity, which, for some reason, makes him more focused in school.  He sleeps and eats better. There is less time for him to get into trouble outside of his scheduled day. There is less time for me to get disorganized, since I have to be at certain places at certain times, if I'm to hold on to that Mom of the Year  trophy.

Add this to my new love of CrossFit, my recent acceptance into school to complete another Bachelor's degree, the short-lived life of my crappy-ass job because I'm going back to school... and I have to tell you, life is pretty darn good right now.

November 14, 2011

Best. Game. Ever.

It was a big day in the Mc Donald household Saturday.

After all the whining I've done - for the past four months - about being a football mom, you know I have secretly loved every minute of it.  I even read "Football for Dummies" so as not to look like too much of an idiot at the games.  I spent more money than I thought possible on outfitting a kid so he wouldn't look like too much of an idiot.

The Pee Wees didn't start out to be a great team. Actually, they weren't even really a very good team.  They were scattered and mostly new to each other, and the record they had to go on was, well, pretty crappy.  Last year, this team won one game. The bar was low, but so was the morale.

I didn't care much in the beginning that they might be the laughing stock of the league. I was still in the Everyone Gets a Trophy/We're Just Here to Have Fun stage of my son's athletic career.  But it didn't take long before I had to either go big or go home.  Either I got serious about football, or Jack was going to fail miserably.  So I stopped going to practice with him.  I stopped babying him, trying to get him to tie his shoe by shouting to him in the middle of a play.  I sat still when he was mowed down by a bigger player and I was certain that multiple bones lay crushed beneath his pads. I didn't really bond with the other completely obsessed moms, but I did develop the Competitive Mom Yell and could hold my own in the stands.

In the end, it was all worth it.

When those boys walked onto the field Saturday morning, I'm sure I was the proudest mom there. They came to that game with an amazing 7 and 2 season record, and I was as ready as anyone to scream my head off as they faced the toughest team in the league - an undefeated team - for the Season Championship Title.  They could have lost, and I would have told you it was the best football season I'd ever seen.

But they didn't.

With three minutes left in the game, my son and his team pulled a two point lead to take home that trophy.

I've never yelled so loud for so long.  I cried. All the moms cried.  The coach cried, the boys cried.  I don't think I've ever had such a proud and exhilarating moment as a mother.

Now that the season is over, I wonder what we will do with all of our newfound free time.  (Or worry.  God, this means I have to start cooking again.  No more excuses for drive-thru.) I realize I am really going to miss the insanity of football.

Which just means that I'll have to gear up to start it all over again next August.

Thank God :)

October 18, 2011

Getting It

By all accounts, I've traveled a lot in my lifetime.  There aren't many people who have been so blessed as to begin stories with lines such as, "Once upon a time, on the southern coast of Portugal ..." Yet I am one of them, and I am one of an eclectic group of people to whom this means something extraordinarily special.

It was the early 1980s and we were ex-pats - American teenagers - transplanted from Any Given City, USA (or any other place on earth, for that matter) to London, England.   We carried the world in the palms of our hands; we had freedom beyond reason, we had money and opportunity that most of us have never seen since.  We were living in a surreal wonderworld, light years away from the reality to which we were accustomed.  

Tonight, some thirty years later, we're in Chicago, Illinois.  They call it our high school reunion, but it's not what you think.  Our American school was in London, but very few of us live there now, or can afford to get there for any reason.    Tonight, in an English-themed pub in the center of a city that is foreign to many of us, we met up with a few others to share our past over a few pints of Guinness and more than a couple orders of chips.

There are no limits, there are no boundaries, and all memories are worth repeating. We share stories from the glory days, interspersed with bragging about our kids and trading business cards.  You could say it's like any other high school reunion in that way.  There is something about revisiting the past - particularly those formative, untouchable years - that awakens every human spirit.  

But there is something else for us.  There is something about having lived in that place, in that suspension of time and reality, that transcends our need to prove anything to anyone these days.  We don't judge each other.  We are all equally proud to have become the diverse group that we are - the parents, the nurses, the salesmen, the artists, the lawyers - we live pretty ordinary lives now, most of us.  We aren't rich and we aren't starving; most of us aren't doing anything with our time that will make its way into a history book.  But the interesting thing is that, if you had seen us then, you would have pegged us for much more noteworthy ventures.  

Throwing back a happy hour PBR, none of us thinks it's odd as we wax nostalgic about drinking champagne at the top of the Eiffel Tower back in the day. No one considers it pretentious to relive every turn of the ski as we killed the slopes in Crans Montana, after three bottles of gluvine.  There is no rolling of eyes at the mention of riding on the backs of camels in the sands of Egypt and no one ever tries to wrench us back into the real world once we get going on our memory train.  

When we do return, there is not one of us at these worn oak tables who does not miss London with an aching in our hearts we cannot explain.  

We tell our children stories of those days that have become our own hand-made fairy tales in their little heads, and our significant others listen patiently when we reminisce idly.  Only a precious few of us were fated to marry one of our own, one who doesn't just listen but who melts into the past with us whenever we so choose.  Our experience became such an integral part of each of us that, even as we move farther from it every day, we do not know how to let go.

Perhaps I speak only for myself, but I’m willing to guess that the reason we all show up at these things every few years is because we miss that connection to something no one else in our present lives fully understands.  I know we are happily married, or happily single. We have true and genuine friends who may have never left this country.  It’s just that, once upon a time, we experienced something tremendously unique…with each other. 

Riding back to Liz’s in the back seat of Roger’s BMW, with the sound system blasting Freebird, the five of us are singing at the tops of our lungs. We don’t care that we are middle-aged or that our own teenagers would be mortified to see that all the windows are down and people are staring and glaring as we fly by. We have traveled back, if only for a moment, and we are belting out the lyrics to a soundtrack only we have ever heard.

We get us.

August 8, 2011

30 Day Photo Challenge - Day Eleven

Day Eleven
~ A picture of something you hate ~

I hate 3:00 in the morning these days.

The past year or so, I've been unable to establish a normal sleeping pattern where I fall asleep and stay that way all night long.  

It's been so long since I've seen eight uninterrupted hours for more than a couple nights in a row that I'm now going to do a sleep study with a neurologist.  God, I hope this helps.  

I'm exhausted.

June 1, 2011

30 Day Photo Challenge - Day Ten

Day Ten
~ A picture of the person with whom you do the most *#@*-up things ~

At my age, this one's a little tough.

I don't really do *#@*-up things anymore;  I can't stay up that late.  And even if I can, I can't get up in the morning so I try to avoid such activities.  

But I guess if I'm going to get a little crazy, like dancing until the cleaning crew comes on at the Nine Fine Irishmen in Vegas, or singing Bohemian Rhapsody at the top of our lungs at a Christmas party, or drinking like fish at the BLT on a Friday night, I'd have to say that Todd is my best *#@* -up buddy. 

I know, it's not like we've ever woken up in jail together or bungee jumped off the Space Needle.  

But I'm pretty sure that, back in the day, we totally would've.  

May 8, 2011

30-Day Photo Challenge - Day Nine

Day Nine
~ A picture of the person who has gotten you through the most ~

I'm sure this is cliche, but it's my Mom.  Without question, she is the one person who has brought me this far.

Nine years ago, I wrote her this letter :

Dear Mom,

I just opened my email to find a picture of you that Dad sent yesterday.  IN the picture, evidently, you are talking with me on the phone while gardening, which I think is a uniquely accurate portrait of you. Tending the earth and tending your family, balancing the corners of your life in both hands.  I sat here and looked at the picture for a long time, thinking to myself how beautiful you are, have become, have always been.

Over the past few weeks, which I’m sure has been a culmination of many moments since my first child was born, you have been on my mind.  My boys are growing up and into their own little people and each day, I find that as I learn more about them, in some ways I understand less.  Their hearts and minds are feeling and thinking things I cannot see or touch and it is often hard for me to accept that.  As they try new things and wander off in their own directions, I feel such a strong urge to pull them back and insist on knowing their every hope or dream.  

But as time passes, I see that not only is that impossible, it’s not my place.  I have to let them grow and in those moments where I love them so much it hurts, but I don’t like them one bit, I have to learn to forgive myself.  I see that sometimes they might make me want to run away from home but that there is no time on earth when I love them more.

I learned all that from you and I don’t think I’ve ever once realized it until now.  I don’t know why it’s starting to make sense; maybe because time seems to be flying by so quickly that I’m worried I might not figure out all that I’m supposed to figure out and I’m putting a little pressure on myself to give it a shot.  Maybe it’s just that I am still growing up myself and this is a new stage of understanding and acceptance for me.  Whatever it is, I feel there is so much I want to say to you and I don’t know where to start.

If I could apologize for every horrible thing I ever said or every time I ever doubted your counsel, I would, but I know that doesn’t mean much.  Sometimes I say to Matthew, “I don’t want an apology, I just want you not to do it again”, and I think that’s true for most people.  I’m sure an apology doesn’t make up for years of whining or complaining or attitude or ungratefulness.  But for what it’s worth, it’s there in my heart anyway.

Before my kids came into my life, I never knew it was possible to love another person as much as I love them.  It has taken me almost ten years to realize the full impact of that love and I’m quite sure there’s more to come.  I live each day completely and totally devoted to them and it must seem effortless at times.  I look back at my childhood and you made it look so easy that I thought it took nothing out of you to be our Mom.  But now I know that it takes everything, and then some.  I know that it takes every shred of patience, every ounce of energy, every drop of creativity in your soul to raise children and I am astounded.  

I sit here looking at this picture of my mother and I suddenly realize how much of her is there that I have never seen. I wish I could thank you for every worry and every dream and every second guess that I know you harbored in your heart for us.  I know you did because I do it now, and for the first time ever, I understand.  I understand that the reason I love my children is because you loved me.  The reason I am able to teach them right from wrong, table manners, multiplication and why it’s important to be nice to people even when they’re not nice back is because you were successful.  When I can’t find the child-rearing manual, the only reason I know what to do in a crisis is because in some way you have taught me how to improvise.

I’m not writing this because it’s Mother’s Day.  I’m writing it because of all the people in the world who deserve to know that their life has been an amazing success, you are at the top of my list.  I know this because when I speak to my kids, I hear your voice.  In the harshest of words born of love and the warmest of words born of gratitude, I hear the unmistakable likeness of my mother.  

I never tell you how much I love you, or how much I miss living close enough to visit with you more often.  I have many days when I would give anything to just hop in the car and go have lunch with you.  Days when I wish I could hear your life story, spend some time, for once, listening to your dreams. In my whole life, I don’t think I’ve ever asked you what you wished for, what is important to you.  I want to apologize for being so selfish but then I look at my boys and I think that they are my wish, they are what is important to me.  Is that true for all mothers?  I want to ask you, “What else was there? What was there before us?” 

Mom, you have been, and continue to be my inspiration.  “Thank you” and “I’m sorry” are completely meaningless here as I’m trying to write what I really feel.  I suppose I just want you to know that there does come a moment in your child’s life where they look back and finally “get it”.   I thank you in my heart every day for my life, my ability to listen and to love, to give to others and to stay afloat when the waters are rough.  It will never be enough to say that but it’s the truest thing I know.

I hope you have a bright and wonderful Mother’s Day and that you celebrate the success of Motherhood you have so selflessly earned.  I look forward to hugging you and telling you myself the next time we’re together.

I love you more than I can say.

April 25, 2011

30-Day Photo Challenge - Day Eight

Day Eight
~ A picture that makes you laugh ~ 

This is Matthew, up near Mt. Rainier, about 13 years ago.  It puts me in a good mood every time I look at it.

That river was close to freezing, in late May I think, but the fact that he sunk right down into it explains my kid better than I ever could with my own words.  

He's always been a daredevil, the kid who would try it, when even Mikey wouldn't.  We dared him to take a bath here, but instead of the argument we might have gotten from any other kid, this is what we got.  Matty, laughing his head off in that ice cold water.

This picture makes me laugh, every time I look at it.  

It's Matthew at his happiest, his most free.  These days, that smile appears when he's skydiving, or engaging in some other crazy, life-threatening activity, but I hold on tight to that moment when all it took was a glacial river and a double-dog-dare from his mom.

April 13, 2011

30-Day Photo Challenge - Day Seven

Day Seven 
~ A picture of your most treasured item ~ 

You're so lucky you're not in my head with this whole photo challenge thing.  My friend Joanne is the only one who truly gets my insane over-analysis of every tiny, insignificant thing.  She would laugh at how I sit here and break down each day's assignment, as if it were the prompt for my entrance essay into heaven. 

My most treasured item? Is that like the one thing I'd grab if my house were on fire? Or the most expensive thing I own? Or do they mean the one thing that has the most sentimental value to me? God, why can't they be clearer about this? And I have to pick one thing? I'm a borderline hoarder, people, don't make me pick one item.  Do they mean, like, my senior year scrapbook from high school? My Grandma's bible? My wedding ring? My kid's first tooth? God I need a drink.  Whose idea was this challenge?

Whatever.  And I wonder why I need drugs.

Here it is.  It's my signed Salvador Dali print, that I have loved, loved, loved for years.

I used to love it hanging in my parents' house, when we lived overseas. My parents bought it in the late 70's at Bonham's Auction House in London for some ridiculous pittance; my dad remembers it to have been in the $150 range.  Who knows what it's really worth? It could be nothing, or I might take it on Antiques Roadshow someday and be that woman who passes out when the guy tells her the old painting will settle the national debt. 

Funny thing is, I can't remember where it hung, but I know it always brought me peace and struck me with its beauty, every time I looked at it. When I was older, I told my folks that someday, I would like to have it.  You know, how we - as "kids" - start picking out things that will mean something to us when our parents are gone.  Only with my parents, I had to start early, because they're the opposite of me.  They're Anti-Hoarders.  They started on this "downsizing" kick a few years ago that, quite frankly, was a little worrisome.  They were getting rid of things that seriously mattered to us, my brother and I.  Like the time we were home for Christmas and, while making tacos, Brother John discovered that the red taco shell pan was gone.  The one we'd been frying taco shells in since the dawn of time. Red on the outside, cast iron. Perfect taco shell size. Just gone.  Like it's possible to fry taco shells in anything but. 

"Oh, that old thing? Here. Use this new one." our mother said, in a painfully off-handed way. New one?  We didn't need a new one.  We needed the red one

Anyway, I digress.

So I mentioned I'd like this painting, and the next thing I knew, it was mine. Good thing I said something. It wasn't even hanging up anywhere by that time; it was sitting neatly stacked in a closet, framed in this old, canvas-matte, unfinished wood frame that was, honestly, hideous.

I brought it home with no clear idea of where it might go in my simple house - void of any "real" art whatsoever - until I decided to have it reframed.  I hung it proudly above my fireplace, center stage, and to this day, find the same joy in it that I always did as a child.  Now it's above the wine rack, but I like it there too.

When my parents came to stay, my Mom walked into the room and stared at it.

"Edward!" she exclaimed. "Look at that! Look what she did with that painting!" They stood and admired my prize, then she turned to me and said,

"Can we have it back?"

Um, no.

It's my most treasured item,  Mom.

April 6, 2011

30-Day Photo Challenge - Day Six

Day Six
~A picture of a person you'd like to trade places with for a day~

When I was little, all I wanted to be was rich and beautiful; I wanted to be Jackie O.  I didn't care much about being smart or talented, I just wanted to gallivant around the world in million dollar outfits and ridiculously glamorous sunglasses, stepping gracefully from private jets to the blinding light of camera flashes.  I spent hours daydreaming of seeing my own face on the cover of a magazine.

As you may have noticed, I have ended up neither rich nor beautiful.  I don't even have really good sunglasses. So you would think that if you asked me who I'd like to trade places with for a day, I would jump at the chance to spend my Freaky Friday as Jennifer Aniston.  Or [Almost] Princess Kate.  Or, God  rest her soul, Elizabeth Taylor. 

Who would say no to a few hours of sky's-the-limit shopping? Catching sight of yourself in a store window on Rodeo Drive and thinking "Holy crap! Who's that hottie?"  Who would turn down the ego-boosting attention and the ability to go and do and be whoever you want today? 

I guess I would.  Jodi Foster once said, "Turning 40 means you give up some things.  Like you give up the hope that you're going to be a rock star. You just aren't." Being Jackie O is my rock star, and it's off my bucket list these days.  

If I could trade places with anyone for a day, it would be me, when I am an old lady.

I will spend my day surrounded by grandkids and my grown children, marveling at what happy, productive, loving, good people they have become.  Delighted at how they aren't in therapy or jail, or working in fast food. 

My heart will be warmed, knowing that my friendships have lasted through the years and that my family has mended its cracked places...that my husband and I did indeed grow old together and he's over at the ballpark in Phoenix, chatting up the folks at spring training.  

I will rock on my front porch, feeling just fine about never learning to knit, or jumping out of an airplane, or losing those last ten pounds.  I will sit peacefully at ease with how I raised my kids, the way I kept my house, what I chose for my career and how it all ended up. 

And tomorrow, I will return to being Present Day Me, and I will have a really, really good night's sleep.

March 30, 2011

30-Day Photo Challenge - Day Five

Day Five
A picture of your favorite memory

I knew this was going to get hard at some point.  I was hoping it wouldn't be this early on in the game.  My favorite memory?  Seriously??  I'm almost 47 years old, for Pete's sake; I'm supposed to pick one?

I guess if I were really nostalgic I'd choose the day my first kid was born, or the day I got married, or graduated from college, or something really meaningful like that.  But I'm not feeling all that sappy right now, and I came across a picture in my search for the perfect memory that seemed to fit my current mood.

I turned 40 in June of 2004, but for some reason, I didn't do anything in particular on that day.  I'm sure we went out for dinner or something, but I knew my friends were cooking up a party.  In the meantime, my daughter Casey was living in Belgium, on a horse farm, for the summer. (That's another story.)   She had been there about six weeks when she called home with a small request.

"So, I was thinking...." as all small requests begin.

The next thing I knew, I was getting my passport picture taken and buying an airline ticket to Brussels, so that Casey could see a little bit of Europe before heading home at the end of the summer, with a tourguide.  She had originally asked her Dad to come meet her, to explore Paris and London and Belgium with her, but he had little interest (???) and suggested I should go instead.  I think I was out of bed and packing before he got off the phone with her.

It was mid-August, and I was heading to Europe for the first time in seventeen years.  The last time I had been in London was Christmas of 1987, when my parents were still living there, and it never occurred to me then that it would be so long before I went back.  I couldn't imagine a better 40th birthday present.

But that's not the story.  That's kind of the icing on the cake - the one that hadn't been served yet. 

I was due to leave on September 4th and I learned that my birthday party was to be held just two days beforehand.  Could this summer get any better? It wasn't a surprise, by any stretch.  But I didn't know much more than that it was to be an 80s Party, and that everyone would be required to dress accordingly.

I couldn't tell you which part of it all was the most memorable.  Whether it was shopping through every thrift store from here to south Seattle and back, searching for the perfect outfit with Shawnie, or trying to figure out what John was going to wear (he had no say in the matter).  Or sitting in my bathroom watching Shawn paint John's nails, once we had figured it out.

It could have been the marble-top table, perfectly balanced, that Todd built me especially for playing Quarters on, or the collection of photos on the wall of all the guests in authentic photos from the 80s.  It could have been Chris Kaufman's 1985 brick cell phone, or the fact that Susan wore the same dress to the party that she wore in the photo on the wall - really, who can do that?

Maybe the music was the best part - the nine CDs that Todd spent days making, a quintessential collection of every "Oh my God that's my favorite song!" from 1980 to 1989.  Or that we played them so long and so loud that the police came to bust up the party.  Just like the old days.  Only this time, Fire Chief Mc Donald and Police Chief Jeter answering the door was waaaaay better than anything I can describe.  That rookie cop standing on the porch, looking at the two of them, speechless.  I think "Evening, Chief" was all he could manage, followed by a mumbling "oh some neighbors called but I'm sure it's nothing sorry to bother you have a good night. Sir."

The best part is that I remember every minute of it, miraculously, since I was drinking from these cups that guests had to purchase to get in  - just like the old days - 
and I'm not entirely sure what was in them

Is it too late to make this my official Thank You Note to Kim and Josh and Shawn and Todd, for one of my very favorite memories ever?

Even if I did have that whole problem with the quarter when I got to Belgium.

But that's a slightly less pleasant memory.

March 24, 2011

30-Day Photo Challenge - Day Four

Day Four
A Picture of Your Night

So I'm not really sure what they mean by this.  All that comes to mind is an infrared image of me sleeping.  That's pretty much my night.

But I'm going to interpret it as "evening".

Now, do they mean My Dream Evening?  Like this?

Or my Real Life Evening?  Because there's a slight difference.

In my real life, I might be doing something more like this:

Or  I might be found helping Jack with this...

And even if I'm not particularly good at it, I do enjoy this most nights...

And, as spring descends upon us, one of my favorite things in the evening
 is having all the neighbor kids out of hibernation, hanging out on my street.

Usually, I make time for a little of this...

And because I'm pretty good about relaxing, 
when it's all said and done, my evenings often end like this.