Saturday, October 30, 2010

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

The Neighborhood Changes

Our neighbor died yesterday. She was in her 70s, a widow. She was there when we moved in as newlyweds eight years ago. She watched as we had three kids and are awaiting the birth of a fourth.

She always brought over extra treats and gifts for the kids on Valentine's Day, Easter, Halloween, Christmas, and birthdays.

And those times when we thought we stunk at parenting she always seemed to come around stating what great parents we were because our kids seemed so happy.

As she became more homebound she would often comment on what delight she got out of watching from her sun room as our kids raced up and down the sidewalk on their Big Wheels; ran down to the lake to throw rocks; and zoomed around in their pretend play.

We were there to help her shovel her driveway. Assist in a garden project. Or just to talk in the yard on a slow summer night.

She was one of the first to move into this neighborhood when it was new 18 years ago. She and her husband had built the house and were settling in to semi-retirement when he suddenly died.

She soldiered on in life--making the best of the situation. When my wife asked if she wanted to meet a man again someday, she looked at her and with all seriousness said, "There isn't anything that a 70 year old man has that I want!"

She was an accomplished organist and played everyday. And on a few occasions we were able to coax our oldest to play his violin for her. It was screechy and raw but she would always comment how wonderful he sounded.

Neighborhoods change. Families move in. Families move out. Kids that once ruled the sidewalks on their trikes and bikes grow and are only seen leaving the house. Their lives having put away childhood.

Yesterday our neighborhood changed. We will dearly miss you Marilyn.

Friday, July 10, 2009

United Breaks Guitar

Here's the latest viral video based on a true story. Enjoy!

Monday, July 6, 2009

A 5th of July Miracle!

Champaign–Urbana's fireworks were postponed until July 5th due to a rainy 4th. Since they moved the fireworks out by Parkland we are able to view them from just past our yard.

I think this is the third year for the relocated fireworks and for the previous two, though they were just feet away from me viewing them--I always seemed to be inside with a youngin' who got freaked out by the booms. Or by someone who really wanted to watch Dora instead of the fireworks.

Miraculously this year the entire brood stayed out and watched the entire display!

Friday, July 3, 2009

Our One Year Old Daisy

Dewdrop turned one on Thursday. We brought her home on July 4 2008 and watched the fireworks as she lay inert in her mother's arms.

Dewdrop is our third child and this year for us has simply zipped by.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Happy Anniversary Sugarpop!

Today marks seven years since Sugarpop and I were married. The place was the Sunken Garden at Allerton Park. It was a Sunday morning. The iris and peonies were in bloom. The day started off cloudy and sprinkly, but during the wedding, as Sugarpop appeared on the steps of the garden I swear the sun came out and shone just on her.

We married that day and moved into our house the next. Seven years later so much has changed. The house has become our home. We've brought three children into it. The dishes sometimes pile up in the sink, toys are strewn across the living room, laundry haystacks grow and shrink and shrink and grow. Our "Things to Do Around the House" list lengthens and I really need to get the car in for an oil change.

The rhythms of our lives are much different than seven years ago. Back then they sounded like two acoustic guitars playing a soft tempo. Now its crashing symbols and kettle drums, trumpet blasts and screeching violins (literally).

But to me it is the perfect score because it is the life that Sugarpop and I have composed.

I love you Ali.

Thursday, April 30, 2009

The Oh So Happy

The Oh had to have a rather extensive dental procedure the other day. Basically one tooth was pretty much a bad egg and it was drilled and crowned. The Oh was a brave little guy all the way from loading into the van to walking back to the room when his name was called.

Of course being The Oh when it came time to drink the sedation medicine it took his parents, the nurse, and the doctor to administer it. He didn't go down without a fight. But in no time he went from defiant to compliant and my cell phone was there to grab a bit of video.

The procedure went quickly and we returned home before 11 that morning. We were warned that the sedation medicine could cause mood swings for several hours, but that was only in 1 in 10 cases. Let's just say never tell us the odds because the Oh went from crying fits to happy, happy, joy, joy in seconds. Of course the doctor said he'd come home and probably sleep 2 or 3 hours, but again our little guy defied the odds and slept not a wink until bedtime. All the while insisting, that while tipsy on his feet, he was fine and could play. I'm just glad I didn't have to take away his car keys.