Friday, May 27, 2011

Saving the Best for Last

On Monday I went to breakfast with Barb and Gwen which was fun as usual. I told Barb the story about my Grandparent's china and was surprised that she remembered more than my Uncle Chuck did. Barb had grown up in Marine City where my Grandma Bell grew up so she knew of their family. It was nice to get another perspective. And I could seriously listen to Gwen talk All Day Long.

Afterwards I went back to Tanya's and packed up and then waited out a flash rainstorm (typical Michigan) before leaving for a late lunch with Katie and Maura. We talked all about Maura going to college in the Fall - Lake Superior State! Following in her big sister's footsteps and heading North to the U.P. Then we all went over to visit my Dad. I brought my laptop to show him pictures from Maura's graduation on Saturday. If you have a Mac you know that iphoto organizes your pictures with big thumbnails. As I would scroll through the thumbnails to show my Dad something I thought he would like he would see something that caught his interest...some things I didn't even realize were there but he didn't miss a beat. Some of his favorites:

the Crow's Nest, that's Maura a few years ago
 the Cottage
where is the cottage on stilts? sadly, it's gone
 the Harsen's Island ferries way in the background
 graduation day
 ummm, Jillian Michaels, which Katie got a big kick out of
and then my Dad started denying that one caught his eye
hilarious, still a dude, and with good taste
our house
and how it relates to the lake next to our house
I think he was throughly impressed that I managed to get a house near
one of the only lakes in Denver - always a Flats Rat
Bernie on a boat on Torch Lake
 the Mecca - Batchelder Rd.
if you are within 50 miles, you MUST visit
it's required
 Belaire, Michigan where my Dad's family had a farm
hence Batchelder Road
 the Old Mission lighthouse
on the 45th parallel
He saw some things that he thought looked familiar, like Paris
but when I told them what they were, he was all, "no" with a movement of the hand
that said, move on to something that I know and care about
This was one of the best days I've had with my Dad since his stroke. Looking at old pictures with him and the girls was a good trip down memory lane. It felt almost like nothing had ever changed. He was so interested to look at all the pictures. It reminded me that he realizes more than I sometimes give him credit for, he picked out pictures from a small 1" square on the computer without his glasses that meant something to HIM. He knew the people and the places but not the names and he loved looking at the St. Clair Flats of course. I have been planning a photo book for him for awhile now, and this really showed me how much he would enjoy it. I got great shots of most of his friends and family this weekend and I can't wait to put his book together. 

If you are in the neighborhood, or even if you aren't, please stop buy and say hi to Dave. This time of year is a great time to take a stroll out to the gardens to soak up some sun. 15-30 minutes, we all have that to spare. If everyone visited for just 15 minutes once a month, he would be sick of us in no time. 

I'm hoping to come back in July.


Sunday, May 22, 2011

A Proud Day

Maura'a High School graduation was today, can you believe it? I'm not sure how she got all the way through school and I only got a couple of years older, math is funny like that. We might have started out 18 years apart, but I'd like to think that gap has closed to about 9 years. I'm going to hold strong at 27 as long as possible. Maura could actually end up the older sister one of these days.

In the Garden

I'm here in Michigan visiting with my Dad. With all my travel for work it has been far too long since my last visit. One of my favorite things to do when it is nice out is go sit in the beautiful garden's in the first floor courtyard which we did on Saturday. After so much winter and rain it felt so nice to sit out in the sun and soak up some rays. We will be getting dressed up today and going out for Maura's high school graduation.
You might remember my Dad was an avid photographer. He was checking out my camera and I told him to take a picture of me which is hard to do with one hand. He held the camera and I pushed the button. Pretty good composition don't you agree?
Some people say they don't know what to talk about when they visit and my dad still has a hard time communicating. But take a stroll out in the garden and talk about the beautiful plants and veggies and how your day went. He's always happy to listen.