This was last fall when our family gang was all together for quite the feast at Commander's Palace in New Orleans. The next day was Thanksgiving and that gathering involved nearly all of my Meyer family. It's pretty tough getting my sibs & their kids together from numerous states. This coming Labor Day Weekend will be the first time our gang of 6 will be together, since last fall! I can't wait!
Hope To Do List: BBQ and swim... Play ukuleles...Make tiki drinks... Play games that involve embarrassing singing or theatrics... Have a hat or scarf wearing contest... Splash for Cash in the pool... Lots of gabbing and catching up... Foot tub soaks... AND a girls outing to shop for Chali's wedding dress!
I have numerous lodge photos that many would recognize. Pere Marquette Lodge in Illinois, is less known, but still one of my old favorites. I stayed there in 1975 with my mom and brother, when we joined a Wildlife Federation gathering. I stayed with Don and our kids, when they were small. And last fall I was delighted to return and see the giant chess board and hefty furniture, still in place. I love how lodges can feel open and spacious and still feel cozy!
Lodges I Love: Old Faithful Inn of Yellowstone, El Tovar in Grand Canyon, Many Glacier Hotel in Glacier N. Park, Grand Canyon Lodge at the North Rim, Lake McDonald Lodge at Glacier, Mirror Lake Inn in Lake Placid, NY and the very wacky, lodge at Boulder Hot Springs Hotel in Montana.
Scott needed a good soak after his spaghetti many years ago. Luckily he liked the tub and the bubbles and toys. I could sneak in a little scrubbing, while he was busy.
Soapy Memories: My own kids, splashing with toys and squealing from soapy eyes... Many baths as a kid myself, with Crazy Foam & Mr. Bubble hairdos... Recording an audio "musical" with friend Karen, featuring character, "Sammy Soap" with sounds of faucet, drain and bubbles popping... And these days I've enjoyed lots of lavender products and books while soaking!
We ran across these wonderful locals dancing in the streets of Barcelona, a few years back. I loved the way they just piled their purses and bags in the center of the ring and jumped into their circle dance. It was a Sunday tradition, so I was told. I love a little dancing in the streets, anytime!
Favorite Street Dance Memory: In 1975, the Ann Arbor Greek Festival didn't stop, although the rains gushed. Musicians played under tents, but the snaking line of "dancers" wound in and out of shelter. I remember sweating in the thick air, splashing, tripping, losing grip of slimy hands... being dragged through puddles and being rescued by strange hands before being trampled... and lots and lots of of laughing!
I don't actually remember what made Scott giggle or Heidi laugh, in these photos. But I do know the photos were taken in comfortable settings, surrounded by family... and they happened to be wearing great colors! For that reason, I just made up the term, "colorful laughter", because laughing is already on my S & M List. Let's just say, C-Laughter is best kind of laughter, shared only with close family and friends. And I'm expecting a lot of colorful laughter next weekend when the kids come for a visit... the kind that pops up from inside jokes and shared memories!
Colorful Laughing Memories: Around the big round table, especially at holiday meals... Cousins gathered around Grandma sharing tear-inducing, Warhead candies... Singing attempts that cause lots of laughter... Charades... Boredom humor with sibs can be the best...
These Live Oaks in Georgia were too heavy to do much moving... but the Spanish Moss was going to to town! I love it when trees look alive in the wind.
Tree Action That I Love: Palm trees leaning in a storm, with their Dr. Seuss hairdos... Yellow quaking Aspens in the fall... Willow trees, swaying like hula girls...
This photo from the mid '80's, has always delighted me. Not only were Don and I in total awe of meeting Blues Hero, B.B. King, but we got to meet his cousin Albert King, as well. As I recall it was their first time performing together in decades. Our friends had graciously invited us to the St. Louis concert and got us backstage passes to meet this amazing duo. Although B.B. looks painfully serious in this photo, Don and I have fond memories of his most gracious greeting before the camera clicked. He reached out an arm to put it behind my back, then looked at Don and me before asking properly, "May I?"
Favorite Manners I still Love: Anyone who holds a door for anyone... Seeing a young person give an older person their seat... When a person with a packed shopping cart invites you in front... Witnessing little tots practicing their newly learned, pleases & thank yous!
The word shadow can conjure up some creepy, eerie images. But Don and I were having some fun with our long shadows when we camped at Galveston Beach a couple years ago. We were excited because there was going to be a full moon. The beach was going to offer us a view of the sun setting at one end and the moon rising at the other. Our attempts at photographing the moment weren't great, but our shadow picture was fun.
Fun with Shadows: Making animals with a flashlight in a tent... Shadow dancing behind a hanging sheet with spotlight... Watching young children discover them... Using chalk to draw someone else's shadow... Shadow tag...
Today I need to picture myself in a glorious setting... as I head off for Chemo #2! This photo is gonna do it! The shot was taken just over a year ago at the South Rim of the Grand Canyon. The sun was lowering and a Native American flute player was adding his bit of magic, nearby.
Serene Places: Corn fields and scattered barns in Iowa... The hard to explain beauty at the top of Enchanted Rock, in Texas... Big Bend Park's desert and mountains in TX, at sunrise... Looking down at the Mississippi River from a bluff... could go on for days...!
Even though I dreaded first days of school as a child, this picture makes me smile. Not because I was an eager parent, ready for a quiet house. I kind of dreaded first days as a parent, too. I knew we were about to lose our family freedom and the schedule would get crazy. But I love this picture, because my kids were lucky enough to walk to school. They got to set off with neighbor friends, wearing new clothes and carrying new lunch boxes and backpacks. That's something I have never have taken for granted. But the photo also makes me sad, because we were missing someone from the bunch. Lauren was home sick.
First Days: My first day of 11th grade in a new town. I vowed I would talk to 3 new people each day. Tough for a shy girl... My first day of 7th, after missing half of 6th grade. Only time I remember craving school, eager and confident... My kids first day in TX, starting 3rd and 6th. Both were on edge. Heidi knew no one and her middle school even seemed scary to me. I hid my worries... And today, Scott starts his third year at Tulane Law! Now that makes me smile.
This photo makes me laugh as I recall a long day with lots of driving, that had nothing to do with seeing a circus. My friend Patti and I took advantage of a school holiday and drove our kids 3 hours in search of adventure. I had heard that the Carson and Barnes Circus wintered in Hugo, Oklahoma. I figured our enthused kids would help us get a behind the scenes tour or maybe a ride on an elephant. Nope. We did see this wagon and a few animals in the distance by a barn. And we gave ourselves a tour of the local cemetery where lots of circus performers are remembered with very unique gravestones! No circus, but a fun day!
Other Circus Adventures: Friend, Milissa and I took our kids to watch the Carson & Barnes team raise the tent, using elephant power... Returned in the evening and our kids had camel rides... I went to great extremes to get the elephant man with Moolah Shriner Circus to let me climb up on the neck of one of his sweet beasts.... My kids and I invited the grandchildren of circus star, Karl Wallenda over for lunch, before their evening performance...
This line up of teepees pleased me when I spotted them in South Dakota, last fall. They brought back all the childhood memories I had of wishing I was a little Indian girl with long braids. I loved the idea of living in any kind of tent and teepees were such wonderful shapes! Of course I knew little about the real history of Native Americans when I was very young. The colorful shapes in this photo remind me of those innocent dreams.
Teepee Memories: Spending the night in some cement motor court teepees... Renting a teepee for the night and fretting over the inside fire pit... My kids wanting to sleep in a hotel teepee with their cousins, but chickening out...
I love this photo of Heidi in her chiffon scarf, nibbling on my lens cap. I especially love it because she's reminding me that scarves are a pretty festive thing to put on your head! This evening I am saying good-bye to my hair and this photo of Heidi will give me an extra boost!
Fun With Chiffon Scarves: Wearing them while riding in a convertible along the coast... Juggling with scarves... Magic Tricks... Dancing with them!
I do love my 2-inch bear and he brings me a lot of laughs. Here he is, back when he was plump and furry. Since I started using him in a blog 4 years ago, he has lost stuffing and hair. He has aged more than our president during this last term. In some ways Little Bear has been put to more tests than any president.
What Has Aged Little Bear? Being run over by a car... falling off a 10-foot wall... toppling off a cattail into murky waters at dusk... falling into a a glass of champagne... riding a slimy turtle... and the stress of being lost and left behind on a trip to New York! (Luckily he was found by caring strangers)
I've always made a point to stop at kids' lemonade stands, because I remember the thrill of having real customers as a kid! But I never had a customer as exciting as the Easter Bunny!
Selling Memories: I sold more Kool-aid than lemonade... My brother at 7 sold his own water color images of Italian scenes to Florida State students, studying in Florence. At 11, I was jealous of his cleverness, talent and success... At 6 I went door to door in our Staten Island apt. building, selling my own toys and treasures. Mom found out and I had to go retrieve and return my earnings....
I loved the drama of this window in an old building I spotted in Santiago. You could almost picture Juliet calling out to Romeo or Rapunzel dropping down her hair. But in truth I love windows of all kinds, rustic or ornate. I love studying all the different shapes and styles on buildings and houses. But mostly I love having lots in my home, so I can see the world out there!
Windows I Like: Old, with wavy glass... Windows, surrounded by brightly painted or weathered shutters ... Bay window with a seat for watching & lounging... Open windows with flower-filled window boxes... peeking out oddly narrow windows in old forts or castles... Gigantic picture windows with glorious views!
Like most kids, I loved to climb and this is a photo of my favorite climbing memory. I was 11 (and quite a snappy dresser in my red knee socks) when my family enjoyed a visit to "Park of the Monsters" in Northern Italy. It was like living in a fairytale, as we explored the forest-like setting. We discovered numerous colossal creatures, covered in moss and vines. Never again have I been able to climb dragons and enter monstrous mouths! Very thrilling!
Climbing Memories: Winding stairs in bell towers and lighthouses.... Rock climbing & rappelling... Trees of course... Caving ladders... Jungle gyms when I was very young!
A good set of stairs makes anything look storybook special. Cinderella ran down them at midnight and Shirley Temple tap-danced on them. Even Rocky made them dramatic in Philly, when he raced up them. As a kid, I used to keep a tiny book to record all the important steps I'd climbed. I didn't count these stairs in Santiago, Chile 3 years ago, but there were many.
What's fun about Stairs? Bumping down them in a sleeping bag... Going down the banister... Playing the "Rock School Game" on the stairs... Posing on them for photos... Sending your Slinky down the steps... Coming down them on Christmas morning!!
Since I was tiny myself, I have adored and collected tiny things. So this photo is worthy of my "S & L List". But, it is how Nathalie used these tiny hands last March and again in June thats brings the biggest smile. Last spring, Nathalie & her mom, joined Heidi & me for a reunion in Austin. All weekend we laughed ourselves silly, even before the precious gift of hands appeared. Months later, Nathalie used the tiny hands in a live storty-telling event called, "That Belongs in a Museum". I was giddy knowing she had cleverly used the goofy props in her performance. But I later saw a video of the performance and learned that Nathalie had mentioned me... because she knew I was trying to find a positive way of dealing with cancer, by Collecting Smiles and Laughs! Oh, I love how she phrased that. Thank you, Nathalie. You always make me smile and laugh!
My Favorite Tiny Things: My 2-inch bear that writes his own blog, a pair of 3-inch salesman sample kid gloves, the dollhouse I built in my teens, childhood charm bracelet and a collection of OLD Crackerjack and gum machine treasures... back when they made good ones!
This little girl with the purple balloon and rolling butterfly made me smile, a few years ago. I spotted her when Don and I were enjoying a Chilean wine festival with our nephew. We suddenly heard the sound of cymbals and drums. A crowd began to surround a father and son duo, stomping and twirling in the square, while their attached drums and cymbals pounded and crashed along. The crowds watched and applauded. The little girl was oblivious to the performance, or the nearby parrot... or twirling pinwheels. She had her hands full!
Surprising performances: A young yodeler, echoing across Barton Springs Pool in Austin, TX... "Shaky Jake" playing his nearly busted guitar on the corner in Ann Arbor, MI... A spooky silver-painted, human statue in Paris, Sweetest ever clown in Barcelona, with a red nose that lit up when money dropped in his pail... and way too many to performers to name, in New Orleans...
I love this picture because it shows me happily playing the piano... or at least messing around on the piano. It was around this period of time... age 10 or 11, that I remember my siblings hollering at me a lot, to STOP playing! Over the years I have had so much enthusiasm for the instrument, that it is an amazing thing... that I play so poorly.
Memories of Lessons: Age 7, I was nervous riding my bike to Grinnell College for my first lesson with Dr. Goodbro. I got lost and cried. But he was gentle and kind and I was in awe of his 2 grand pianos. At age 15 I begged my parents to let me take lessons again. My friend Jenny and I took lessons together from Mrs. Dixie Bullock. Her name sort of amused us, but it was Ms. B's growling stomach that gave Jenny and me giggle fits, in the middle of our duets.
I don't like fog when I'm driving or when I crave sun. But I love the cool, mysterious look of fog in the morning. This was taken 2 years ago, in Washington, Missouri. We wandered down by the river and watched some boats moving slowly by, like sea creatures.
Fog Memories: Waiting for the early morning fog to lift off the beach in California... Running at dawn on a foggy morning towards 2 billowing creatures, who turned out to be women in colorful saris... Driving through Rocky Mountain National Park and missing all the scenery due to fog... foggy rides on the Staten Island Ferry as a kid... chasing the "bug truck" with its smelly bug killing fog!
This is a mighty happy photo from the summer of 1990. Don and Scott were cooling off in a colorful blowup pool, but a sprinkler or hose could have done the trick just as well!
Pool Memories: Learning to swim at the late age of 9 at the SMS pool in Springfield, MO... Balmorhea, TX State Park's 1.75-acre fresh water swimming pool with fish... My 4th date with Don to go lap-swimming at an indoor pool in January...
I love old county courthouses. Texas has a lot of them. Of course for some, a courtroom image brings more fretting than laughing. But this photo scene makes me smile. I took the photo in 2012, when visiting Monroeville, Alabama. It was in this very courtroom that Harper Lee watched her own father, during trials. This interior was used to design the Hollywood set for the trial scenes in "To Kill A Mockingbird". Those scenes were not happy ones, but as a child I adored watching Scout as she peered down from the balcony.
Courthouses I Love: The old St. Louis County Courthouse, framed by the Arch... Caldwell County Courthouse in Lockhart, TX... International Court of Justice in The Hague, Netherlands... Court scene in 1947 version of Miracle on 34th Street!
This may be a serious picture of my First Communion, but it makes me chuckle. It was such an important event, as you can tell from my solemn expression on the front row. But I was giddy inside, knowing I was wearing a veil and that my new white bible and rosary were tucked inside the purse on my arm. It was even okay that my white dress was the only one without a poofy petticoat. (Mom dressed me in more rickrack than ruffles) I love having this photo to remember one of the landmark events from my growing up years.
Landmark Photos I Wish I Had: PIcs of any school performances, Riding a bike for the first time, My first birthday, Any school graduations, Photos of me and sibs moving into any of our many homes, Photos of me with any of my teachers, First date...lol!