Sunday, May 27, 2007

A Memorial

I know that Memorial Day is traditionally a day for remembering those who have died in military service, but in my family we decorate all of the headstones of family members that have died with beautiful flower arrangements. I have many memories of memorial days spent driving in my grandparent’s van with the smell of chrysanthemums in the air. So this year for Memorial Day, since I can’t be with my mom when she buys roses for Grandma Egan’s grave, I’d like to write a few things that I remember about my grandparents that have passed on.

Grandma Egan (Lois)—I remember lots of weekends before Memorial Day going to the Pleasant View cemetery with Grandma to clean headstones. Of course I did more pretend dancing and acting on the little amphitheater than cleaning, but I learned the importance of respecting and honoring the dead from my Grandma’s dedication. Grandma Egan had chickens and sheep, snap dragons and roses, taffy cookies and Swedish fish. She was an amazing quilter and seamstress, and the quilt that Nate and I use every winter was made by her. I remember shelling peas on the back porch with her and my mom, and hanging out in the back room waiting for the Christmas candy the two of them had made to get cool enough to eat. She had a house full of antiques and history; not to mention great toys and a basement big enough to roller skate in when we were little. She always had flat diet pepsi in the fridge, which was the fridge that she hung all of our watercolors on. Her work clothes consisted of house dresses and aprons all sewn by her. I don’t know how many she had but when I was little I imagined her closet being full of hundreds of different combinations of dresses and aprons. I miss her every Thanksgiving because I have yet to eat dinner rolls I like as much as her, and she is the only reason I can think of that I bug Nate to buy me chickens each spring.

Grandma Black (Arica)—I spent a lot of time with my Grandma Black. I grew up across the canal from her so when mom had to work or pretty much anytime I felt like it; I could go to Grandma’s. She had a never ending supply of Nacho Cheese Doritos, marshmallows, bananas, hot dogs, and cold water. She didn’t have a ton of toys but she did have a huge living room with few breakables so it was great to play in. Grandma helped me name our kitties things like “yellow” and “dolly.” We planted pansies in the summer and one year we covered her whole flower bed with white rocks. I think it might have been to keep the weeds down but I remember it being a pain to get rid of the rocks later. Grandma’s car smelled like juicy fruit (for obvious reasons) and Windex because she always parked under the car port and had to clean the dirt covered windshield every time we went anywhere. One of Grandma’s legs was arthritic, I think it was her right, and she had to drag it a bit as she walked. She also had to lift it onto the gas pedal when we drove…which only worried me in retrospect. She colored her hair strawberry blonde and used AquaNet to hold her curls in place. She would play library with me, read me tons of books, and let me play with her typewriter all I wanted. I colored all over the bottom of her coffee table while she would cook lunch. I dry my silverware the same way I watched Grandma do it a million times and I think of her whenever I wear pink.

Grandpa Black (Spencer)—I remember thinking Grandpa was so weird because he said words like Cycle (pronounced “sickle” for “bicycle) and tennie runners (shoes). He had a high pitched laugh, a warm face, and he smelled like Old Spice—which smelled good because it was on an old man like it was supposed to be. When we would go to Dairy Queen he ordered a pineapple and peanut milkshake. Every morning I would go with my dad to have breakfast at Grandma and Grandpa’s house. Grandpa would drink some coffee, eat half a grapefruit, and eat either shredded wheat or cheerios with honey drizzled on top. On sunny mornings when I put honey on my bran flakes instead of sugar I can hear his voice in my head saying “Good morning, good morning, what a fine day this morning….”

Happy Memorial Day


Friday, May 25, 2007

Hooray for Visitors!

Nate's parents came to visit over Mother's Day weekend. It was so much fun to have them stay, and we had more things to do than we could fit in while they were here.

First, we went to the Celestial Seasonings tour in Boulder. Celestial Seasonings is a company that manufactures specialty teas, that was founded in Boulder by a 19 year old in 1969. It was pretty awesome to see so much tea product all in one space and all the aromas were amazing. You get to walk into a huge room filled with peppermint and spearmint that is so strong it clears your sinuses and makes your eyes water.

On Mother's Day we went to a Rockies game. The weather was gorgeous and there was enough cloud cover that we didn't get fried by the Colorado sun. We were impressed by how comfortable Coors field is and we had pretty good seats in left field.

Our seat tickets also came with free peanuts, and of course a few of us had hot dogs too. That made up for the fact that the Rockies lost to the Giants...and boy did they ever lose.

Above is a picture of some of the luckiest kids in Colorado playing a little ball before the game. I should also mention that we were all excited to see Barry Bonds play but apparently he does not play on Sundays...or he does not play the Rockies.

We did a little bit of hiking too. We wanted to do more but the afternoon thunder showers kept us from going on anything too long. We got to check out the Red Rocks Amphitheater, look out over Denver, and take pictures while looking into the sun.

And is a picture of the Pear & Gorgonzola tart that I made for brunch on Mother's Day. don't you all want to come and stay?

P.S. Bill, next time you come stand in front of the camera a little more why don't ya.

Keeping Up With the Jones'

So our's not awesome. When we moved here one entire side of the yard was just tall weeds. I spent a couple of days pulling them out so that the following Spring we would have...dirt. However, one side of our yard does have grass. Patchy and weedy as it may be, it is grass; and, it has been growing. We (Nate) finally decided to borrow our neighbor's hand powered mower to get the lawn looking somewhat presentable again.