This photo reminds me of my favorite kind of picnic... an outdoor feast with family AND some kind of excitement. This was taken last January when Don and I picnicked with Jennifer and Kate in Florida. We had some good laughs with a seagull invasion, which made the picnic memorable! My sister and I have shared a lot of picnics with our families over the years!
Picnics Shared with Jen & Kate: Near a lighthouse in Oregon... a champagne picnic in a field in Oklahoma, a cool, misty setting near waterfalls in Oregon... a Texas picnic that included a bridge, a red swing, a sandcastle and a hidden treasure... Daytona Beach, where were reprimanded by beach patrol for walking a dog and cat... at Lake LBJ with kayaks, kadima and table games!
I haven't been on that many sailboats, but I love catching a glimpse of one. So calm, graceful and quiet. This photo shows just a tiny portion of all the sailboats that we looked down on, when walking across the Golden Gate Bridge. Seeing so many gliding at once, was like watching a ballet.
Sailboat Memories: Sailing a toy boat in Central Park... capsizing a tiny Sunfish (on purpose) with my sister... Being hired to teach sailing at a summer camp, when I didn't know how... A wild and windy day on our friends' Catamaran, when Don's wedding ring was lost at sea!
I love nothing more than dining out with family. I love the eating. I love the conversations. I love some moments of silliness. In this photo from 2014, I am posing with Heidi and Chali after our Easter Brunch at Stubb's Bar-B-Q. Posing with our white gloves and our complimentary jars of sauce, was just some of the fun we had.
Past Restaurant Silliness: At 16, my family dared me to do a somersault in a restaurant... 2 families (12 of us) met at a German restaurant and brought a wind-up hand-on-wheels to pass condiments down the table.... At a revolving restaurant, we wrote questions for our fellow diners and placed the note on the stationary area beside table. Sadly after 1 revolution... nobody played along!
I grew up in an era when neon signs were plentiful. But in Grinnell, Iowa there weren't many. As an adult, I'm still drawn to them and that's why Don and I had to stay in the this motel in Tucumcari, New Mexico, last fall!
Childhood Sign Memories: At age 6, I loved seeing TImes Square's Camel Cigarette sign, with puffing smoke... On childhood visits to Springfield, MO we kids always looked for the neon Cat and the Fiddle sign, with fiddling movement ...On family road trips I loved spotting the flashing arrow on the Holiday Inn sign, when our station wagon pulled in!
Scott has been amusing me with his hair for a long time. Throughout high school he either wore it long or buzzed it all off. When I saw him last weekend he reminded me that his hair hasn't been cut in 3 years. When he let it loose from his usual "knot" I laughed at his dramatic Fabio appearance. He just has the best hair in the family. I grinned at those long waves, then Scott assured me that he would cut it off for me... if I have to do chemo and I needed a wig. That offer was actually pretty darn sweet... and pretty amusing when we both pictured his long locks, taped to my head!
Hair Memories: My own childhood Pixie Cuts... my mom twirling her hair with her fingers... Heidi & friends creating a braid-wearing tradition on every Friday the 13th... soapsud hairdos in the bathtub....
I did a lot of my growing up in Iowa, but really had no access to farm life. But the sight of a barn has always delighted me. I honestly think it was a "Dick, Jane and Sally" farm adventure chapter, that made me crave the barn and farm world! I have good memories of this Round Barn In Arcadia, Oklahoma. An old farmer taught me to dance up in the loft!
More of Mr. Sam at the Round Barn in link below:
Barn Images I Recall: Seeing "Hex" signs on Pennsylvania Dutch barns... sitting in the loft window of a Missouri barn in the Ozarks... watching barn dances and barn raising in old movies... spotting a worn and unpainted barn, with Amish buggy in upstate NY... a beautiful white barn that was covered in fresh snow, in Utah...
Yet another photo taken by my sister... taken in our shared bedroom, with Man From Uncle poster, thumbtacked to the closet door. I don't recall what the dramatic pose was all about, but I do know I loved classic black & white movies and TV shows, even when I was 10. Today my biggest Comfort TV watching is Turner Classic Movies.
Favorite Classics: It Happened One Night, Rear Window, Roman Holiday, Some Like it Hot, It's a Wonderful Life, To Kill a Mockingbird... and of course my old Shirley Temple favorites!
There's something so fun about being above and looking down. If it doesn't make you feel queazy, then it should make you feel powerful. When you hike high enough that Machu Picchu looks small below, you sort of feel like a giant! 12 years ago, I got to enjoy this view with Don and my kids. We had to earn this view!
"Looking down" memories from childhood: Looking down through branches of a tree... leaning into that tiny window as the plane lifted... studying the ground from the neighbor's barn roof and working up courage to jump...
I love these painted faces! I also love the non-painted face, with the tongue sticking out! This photo was taken nearly 25 years ago in Tulsa, OK. Heidi and Scott (R) had just spent a fun afternoon romping it up at the Gilcrease Museum, with their buddies, Nathalie and Jack. How I wish I could just bottle a tiny bit of their giddy energy!
Colorful Face Memories: Me, with friend Jenny when we debuted as Birthday Party Clowns... highchair times with little ones eating spaghetti... way overdone make up with my sister, to become eccentric characters for a silly film project...
I love finding images in clouds. I love that same "hidden picture" game with big rocks, like these in Bermuda. I can spot faces with cartoonish expressions and animals in action. I don't have rocks in my backyard, but I do have a lot of sky. I plan on watching lots of cloud shows in future months.
Favorite Cloud Viewing: Mesmerized in passenger seat, while driving through Big Sky Texas! Watching storm clouds through picture window, from the family room recliner! Lying in yard with friends as a kid... spotting funny cloud shapes! Cabin deck in hill country, at night... watching rapidly moving clouds & a full moon!
It's the first day of summer, today. I love remembering all the outside games we played in Iowa and Florida and Michigan. Twister wasn't your typical outside game, unless you put the plastic, dotted sheet on the grass... like my little bro and his friend. Hosing it down made the game extra challenging!
Favorite Yard Games: SPUD, Red Light-Green Light, Red Rover, Mother May I, Sardines, Hide-n-Seek and all the Tag games...
Since it's Father's Day, I'll just say this is a Daddy Manatee and baby. I loved seeing these sweet beasts, so slow and gentle, in Florida last January.
Animal Parent Memories: In 1970, I watched our cat, Simon nurse her kittens right along with my baby bunny, Astro Bunny! I still get a little giddy when I drive by a farm and see horses & cows, along with young colts and calves! At 11, I was in awe of the pigeon nest on a window sill in the attic... once the eggs hatched, I spied on mommy, tending to her little ones!
I love seeing pictures of my kids with their dad anytime, but these pics are especially sweet right now. It's Father's Day Weekend and both kids live out of town, but we've had special visits from both! Heidi came to town early, to cheer me on and support her dad during my surgery. Today Scott is making a special detour home, on his way from Brazil to New Orleans. I love seeing them both. But nothing makes me happier than seeing them laughing and enjoying their dad... when he could use it most!
2 Good Dad Memories: Don dressed in jewels, playing Pretty Pretty Princess with Heidi, Scott and Don freaking me out as they chopped palm fronds with machetes.
It's hard not to love rainbows. This photo was taken in our backyard in 2005, after we finished boarding up windows in anticipation of Hurricane Rita. There were 7 of us in the yard when we each spotted the rainbow, with a gasp and smile! This was a crazy time in Houston. The area shelters were already filled with Katrina victims from New Orleans. We hoped this rainbow was a good sign that all would be okay. It was for us.
Rainbow things I like: Rainbows from prisms, "Somewhere Over the Rainbow", a rainbow that appeared after a stormy outdoor performance of the Tulsa Symphony, The rainbow images that are currently being shared in support of the Orlando tragedy...
Whether you call them donkeys or burros, I love them. Today I'm using this picture of Don and me, heading into Boquillas, Mexico after crossing the Rio Grand in Big Bend National Park. It's a fun memory that makes me smile.... but I also just love donkeys.
What I love about the beast: They might be know as stubborn, but they're hard workers. They move forward at a slow & steady pace so you can absorb the world. They can endure a lot. And, if donkeys really are feisty and they kick, then good for them! Mostly they're kind of cute. And I'm channeling the donkey spirit as I move ahead today!