Sunday, February 22, 2009

Photo Obsessed Grandmom

Thank goodness for digital cameras. From when I first became a Grandmother 8 years ago when Jared was born, I pretty much always have a camera with me and I love taking pictures of my grandchildren. In fact they are pretty much all I take pictures of, now that I think about it. Getting all 6 of them in the same picture is a special coup for me. Jared's birth apparently happened before I had a digital camera....during a recent closet cleaning, I uncovered a grocery bag full of packets of pictures of his first year, and those are the one's that didn't make it into the album. If it weren't for digital cameras, I would by now be overrun with those packets of out of focus, too dark, too light, not just right pictures.

My photo obsession has grown by having my two youngest grandchildren, two precious little girls, Ellis and Anna, born just four months apart. When the two of them are together I can't help wanting to take every picture possible. I'm so bad that I fear that they'll only remember me as a body with a flashing box for a face.

Following are a few of my favorites:

Christmas pajamas-oh so cute!

With Hope, all dressed up on Christmas Eve

Sharing toys

Grandmom, where's your camera?

Summertime cute

Enough with the flash already!

This will always be a favorite
I'm already worried that their high school graduations will be on the same day.

Friday, February 13, 2009

The Older I Get......

The older I get.....the less I like to shave my legs.

The older I get.....the more I'm afraid there are a lot of things that I'll never be really grown up about.

The older I get.....the more I both wish I could have and am afraid of having plastic surgery.

The older I get.....the more I wish I had done a better job of keeping up with people I was good friends with in the past.

The older I get.....the more I need to exercise and the less I like to exercise (or I guess these days you have to say workout).

The older I get.....the faster time goes. I know that is a cliche, but it is so, so true (except for some days between 2 and 4:30 in the afternoon at work).

The older I get.....the less I like the word "retirement". I'm all in favor of not having to go to work anymore, but no so good with calling my self "retired".

The older I get.....the more I wonder what I would look like if I quit coloring my hair...and how I would do that without spending many months looking like a skunk.

The older I get.....the more I realize that being older doesn't necessarily mean being wiser.

The older I get.....the more I wonder how my grandchildren will remember me.

The older I get.....the harder it is to know if certain clothes are "appropriate" for "someone my age" to wear. Okay, I don't worry too much about that, but I do think about it and am pretty much done with sleeveless. (and I can hardly even mention swimsuits)

The older I get.....the older everyone else is getting right along with me and I am grateful for that.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

John Breaux Footnote

As our community continues to process the loss of John, I am touched by all the comments I have read and heard expressing a goal to be more like John. Several have said that there is already a sense of people being friendlier and more courteous to one another. I hope it is true and I hope it lasts.

The outpouring has continued to be tremendous. Five gallon jars in many stores to collect funds for a memorial have been filled and refilled. At least 2000 attended the funeral. Flowers continue to be left at the gravesite and activities continue to be planned in John's memory.

It is all an amazing legacy for a humble man.

I attended a family visitation at a church in Louisville on Friday afternoon. As I was leaving, I noticed a woman in the car across from me crying. I sympathized in my mind and got in my car and went home. If I had been more like John, I would have stopped and talked to her, offered a friendly word or at least waved and smiled in sympathy. I didn't. I hope I will do better next time.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

A Smile and A Wave

I have spent this week-end, like thousands of people in Louisville and Lafayette, feeling loss at the tragic death of John Breaux, Louisville's "Bike Man", who was killed when he was hit by a car Friday afternoon. I have been somewhat obsessed with reading the hundreds and hundreds of tributes to John on various websites. The outpouring has been amazing, but not surprising.

John was a somewhat mentally challenged man who spent his days riding his bike through Louisville and Lafayette. trash bags hanging from his handlebars, picking up trash, opening doors and greeting people at businesses throughout both towns, remembering birthdays, shoveling snow, giving small gifts, recommending movies, sharing his bowling scores (very good), and generally spreading good will and good cheer. All along the way he greeted everyone he met with a smile and a wave.

I saw John nearly every day, sometimes in my neighborhood at home and sometimes in the neighborhood where I work and a smile and a wave from John always brightened my day.

The on-line tributes have ranged from #@*#, I can't belive this happened, to long stories about
how an encounter with John brought a bright spot to someone's day or joy to their life. I was struck by how many were written by young children or teenagers who had a special feeling for this very special man. The one thing that nearly everyone wrote about was how their day was made better by a smile and a wave from John.

There have already been events held in John's memory and there will be more. Suggestions and donations for a permanent memorial are already in the works. The sight of his death by the side of the road is flooded with flowers and stuffed animals and signs and other memorial gifts. I've never before left anything at one of these roadside memorials, but I think tomorrow I will buy some flowers and leave them at the spot where John died and tell him goodbye with a smile and a wave.