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!
We've always had a lot of odd instruments around our house and that can be noisy if you have kids. But the noise is pretty much happy noise. And I often don't care how loud it is, because I've always loved watching my kids make their own music!
Favorite Instrument Noise in the House! Heidi singing at the piano, Scott creating steel drums out of large food cans, playing ukes with Don... and using primitive percussion instruments with my sibs and families, at my mom's 80th b-day! We took turns conducting our crazy symphony!
I'm not a gardener myself, but I love wandering around a garden of any kind. I love this serene setting for the "Jewel Box" in St. Louis. The Art Deco greenhouse has been sitting here since 1936. I love the pond with lily pads and the fragrant grounds surrounding. I would like to have a picnic there.
Gardens I Like: Japanese gardens with sand and bridges and any formal garden with a trimmed hedge maze... thriving vegetable gardens, jungly and overgrown gardens that might hold a secret!
I am easily entertained watching almost any animal or child at play. But, put kiddos together with animals and I'm sure to find something that will make me laugh. These old photos of little Heidi make me chuckle...and cringe a bit. What kind of mother was I?
Best Kid and Critter Memories: My own childhood memories of our Boxer, Mac... young, Scott creating a turtle island in the bathtub, and my kids riding the sweet elephant, Flora... not long after she starred in the movie, Pee Wee's Big Top!
AND! My sister reminded me of the time our 4 kids got to hold a sweet baby (blind) lion cub and feed black bear cubs! How could I have forgotten!
I remember spotting this little girl biking to school through Pecan Park years, ago. I loved the quiet fog, glowing lamps and pecan trees.
What makes a morning peaceful: No lawn mowers, gentle breeze, sprinkling rain, morning sun with long shadows... a cup of coffee...
This pic is a reminder that I've been this way a long time. I can be pretty goofy all by myself, but I do better with prompting. This photo makes me laugh because I can remember my sister and her new camera. She was quite the photographer as she tilted the camera... and I was playing quite the ham.
Goofy times with Jenni: Dressing up in comical garb to film a mockumentary, talking our way into free admission at an oddball amusement park, attempting endlessly to sing the song, "COFFEE" in a round and laughing at failures...
Even though I was just pretending, I liked feeling in control of this mighty machine. We came upon the lonely piece of equipment in the Smoky Mountains 4 years ago. Dang! I've never even driven a riding lawn mower, what would I have done if the thing started moving!
Machines that intrigue me: Cherry pickers, cranes, snowplows, good ole farm tractors and the enormous red power shovel, named "The Snort" in my fave kid book, "Are You My Mother?"
I remember thinking these horses in Montana looked content. After all, they had lots of food in their future and lots of land for wandering or galloping. The sun was warm and the air was fresh and cool. This photo to makes me sigh.
Best Horse Memory: As a teen, my sister and our friends, the 3 Beard sisters, would rent horses for the whole day. We had to leave before dawn to reach the farm in Georgia, where we turned over our babysitting money, which was maybe 25 bucks? We would spend the day "owning" our horse... riding bareback a while, grooming them at the barn, hoisting on blankets and saddles and taking them off to find a good picnic spot. I'm pretty sure nothing like this exists today.
Look at this goofy guy! It's hard to believe he's the same fellow who didn't crack a smile in our 1979 wedding photos. (He just took our marriage seriously!) Over the years Don and I have grown older and sillier together! Gotta thank this guy for doing the "Ultimate-Girlfriends-Pose" with me in the Texas wildflowers...right down to his cute hands!
Posing Memories? Posing in Easter clothes as a tot, posing with BB King after a concert, being invited to pose for a photo with a Chinese fellow in Beijing... his young grandson translated.
I like this photo of a bridge in Roatan, because it inspires the imagination... like it should play a part in some whimsical tale. Bridges are symbolic, dramatic and so often graceful and pleasing to the eye!
...And some of my favorite bridges are: Ponte Vecchio in Florence, suspended swinging bridges, covered bridges, Eads Bridge in St. Louis, old railroad bridges, the drawbridge in St. Augustine, FL...
We've had rain and flooding in our county for a week, so I needed a picture of sun to cheer me. I have better sunshine pictures, but no better photo of "enjoying the sun" than this one with Heidi and her statue friend!
When do I enjoy the sun most? Anytime on a beach with good temps and a breeze... when the sun peeks through clouds and begins to dry a drenched tent... and I recall loving the sight of the sun melting an icicle after a stretch of cold, gray winter...