Friday, December 14, 2012

Yucky Trip, Great Scenery

I recently had to travel to my eldest brother's home to help take care of his estate. I've heard that losing a sibling is more emotionally stressful than losing a parent, and perhaps that's true. In this case, though, my other brother (Jim) and I have long anticipated a random phone call about our elder sib. We knew it would happen, just didn't know when.

It was a difficult week, indeed, but there were bright spots. There was great support among family members and new friends. The weather was good for most of the week, and I got to take a few photos of things that Tom had seen almost every day for the past 30 years. Northern California and Nevada are beautiful, if stark, and you just can't beat that backdrop of bright blue December sky.

I hope you find these pics restful, as I do.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Ready for a Wild Ride?

Just thinking...

I'm very susceptible to motion sickness. Amusement parks, therefore, don't amuse me much. But I was thinking (and praying) tonight about roller coasters.

The thrill of the roller coaster is the feeling of being out of control, the fear of losing it all. The wild ride down, down, down, ripping around the corner, twisting, whipping back and down again. Even the slow climb adds to the tension. The higher the climb, the steeper the drop on the other side.

In my imagination, at least, those fear-filled seconds are finally relieved when you find yourself still held in the seat, safe. You paid admission for this ride because you were confident that, in the end, you would be safe.

I think I'm on a roller coaster. I can't tell where it's headed, but I know who has made the track. He also made the safety harness that holds me in the seat. And He is the one at the gate, with the start button at His fingertip. God is in control, and I am safe. I will be safe. I sure would like to know where He's taking me, but I don't get to see very far ahead. Really, that's okay. I don't need to see ahead. Just stay in my seat -- and raise my hands for the wild screaming ride!

"For I know the plans that I have for you," declares the Lord, "plans for welfare and not for calamity to give you a future and a hope."

He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High
Will abide in the shadow of the Almighty.
I will say to the Lord, "My refuge and my fortress,
My God, in whom I trust!"

Friday, September 21, 2012

The Round Side of the Football

So, we went to our nephew's football game recently.

[Does it bother you when someone starts a conversation with the word SO? It's as if they've been preparing their part of the exchange in their own head, and therefore this is the point at which they'll bring you in. It's as if the communication had already commenced. But you could not hear what was in the silence of another brain, and their comments are all new to you. And that is why, dear reader, I am re-entering blogdom with this word SO. I have been thinking about our little conversations, missing them, but couldn't bring myself to decide how to catch you up on everything. It's too complicated, and you really wouldn't find it very interesting, so I'll just jump back in without catch-up. Or mustard.]

Anyway, this football game happened to take place in The City, in a stadium used in the 1962 World's Fair. This is one of the oldest stadiums I've ever visited -- it turns out, it was dedicated in 1947. (That's as old as my brother!) Despite the lack of modern design and accessibility features, I found the facility to be pretty darn usable. And totally quaint, too! Here are the officials leaving the field at halftime, going into their secret locker room under the scoreboard.

In addition to my architectural distraction (football game? oh... yes, our nephew's game, right...) we happened to sit next to a small crew of Internet broadcasters. It was SO COOL to watch them work! The Voice was a solo, and he prepared his notes by carefully taping them onto his portable table so they wouldn't blow away. He also had a manila file folder with various things written, highlighted, and taped to all sides. Methinks he's a visual learner. He used a lot of energy on gestures that (obviously) don't show up in an audio record, but I appreciated how he punctuated his statements and meant what he said. And yes, he said nice things about our nephew. Here's my view of The Voice:

When I got home, I looked up the broadcast and found it here. Listening to the first minutes was fun, as I had heard some of The Voice's intro in person.

In addition to The Voice, I saw a videographer, a statistician, and a production assistant. Amazing that that's all it takes to air a game, but also amazing the years of development which enabled the use of such compact technology.

So, as usual, I found much more to watch than the actual game itself. What an enriching experience! I love football!

Monday, July 9, 2012

Enough Weddings for a While -- Anniversary Time!

The parents of the newly-married sons and the as-yet-unmarried son are celebrating an anniversary this week. Are you ready for this? Thirty years! Yes, thirty years of wedded, er, wedded-ness! We both agree that we've had some days and some DAYS, but over all, we're very glad to be on this side of thirty years of marriage.

How are we celebrating, you ask? Well, thank you for asking! We had a delicious dinner at our (my) favorite beef house, a Northwest favorite for nigh onto 50 years. No pictures from dinner -- trust me, you don't want to watch us devour prime rib.

After dinner, we drove along the waterfront for a bit, passing the house my grandfather Pop lived in a very long time ago.

Finally, as the finale for tonight, we arrived at our favorite discount retailer, the House of Tarjay, to pick out a suitable memento of our celebration.


What is the appropriate item to mark this anniversary?

Is this the Cotton Candy Maker anniversary?

Time to Introduce Espresso?

Perhaps it's the Vacuum Cleaner year?

What about the Food Storage Sealer milestone?

Nope. None of those. We knew exactly what this occasion warrants.

The Hot Air Popper Wedding Anniversary! Cheers!

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Another Son's Wedding

I was hoping to get more photos of the most recent wedding, but there's a little story behind this lack of pics. When my eldest son got married last fall, I stepped right in and took a bunch of stealth photos during the professional shoot. Some of those shots used poses that the *real* photographer set up, although I usually snapped mine either before or after everyone was set. It was fun, there was lots of time, and I got a few fun pictures out of the bunch.

This wedding, however, involved a whole different time allotment and a very inspirational photography team. There wasn't much time for family photos, so I neglected to use my camera to get a pic of all seven of us. It was so fascinating to watch these photographers work that I actually forgot to try to sneak up and take my own shots!

Here's an example. During the reception, as the bridal party was toasting the bride and groom, the maid of honor (bride's sister) came up to the microphone to say something. Emotion overwhelmed her, and the sisters ended up just holding each other. It was such a tender moment, and the room was s-i-l-e-n-t. From where I was seated, I had a direct view of Kristin (the photog). She was totally engrossed in the scene, watching only to see if there was a picture to be taken at just the right moment. One time, the camera came up to her eye, but dropped back down because the time wasn't right. It was amazing to watch her as she watched the girls, waiting, ready, but not at all intrusive.

Sigh... Wonderful memories.

The other highlight of this wedding was watching the complete attention my son gave to his bride. No one else existed, but for her. He was (and is) totally smitten.

Sigh... A perfect wedding! And please, click on over to see Kristin's work. She's terrific... and she's not afraid to show faces!

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

This Week's Desktop Photo

Inn't he sweet? It's Polo Pup! This shot fills my screen with cute wonderfulness. Awww!

Monday, April 9, 2012

Golly -- What Happened to the Time?

I have been remiss, absent, lacking, and otherwise unproductive here. If you've been to my blog in the last couple... three... three and three-quarters months, you know this. Sorry. Even for you, my 16 loyal followers, I have not gathered up enough gumption to post.

One wedding finished, the next ALMOST HERE! And yes, that means you may expect a dearth of writings here. Or not. One month from now, the house will be WAY less occupied, and life will be different yet again. And I'll be a little lonely, so maybe I'll write. We can hope, eh?

I took a little trip to another part of the state recently. The day I arrived, the sun was out and the sky was blue and all was right with the world. The next day, it rained and snowed, but I was stuck inside for meetings anyway. Yay! Anyhow, here are a few pics from the beautifulness of a Friday in March.

These were taken along the Columbia River, in Wenatchee and East Wenatchee.