airport construction

I first started driving to Sea Tac International airport 33 years ago. My Dad traveled, and traveled some more. One year he was home 56 days out of the entire year. When I got my drivers license, my parents thought it would be a good idea for me to practice freeway driving by dropping him off and picking him up. From our home, t was about an hour to get to the airport. The very first time I dropped him off, I noticed the road/airport construction. My dad said, just be careful, be aware of the changes and in a month or two they will be all finished. Little did he know.

This morning (it’s always morning, always o dark thirty) I dropped off Mr. Right for a flight to Texas to begin a business trip week. Okay, when I dropped him off it was 54 degrees and it is suppose to be 104* today in El Paso, Texas. yikes. When pulling into the airport, I noticed, you guessed it, construction. There was a different “temporary” because of construction, route. Yes, I was careful. I saw the exit for the place I wait the three minutes or 27 minutes to pick him up. In today’s world it is called a “Cell phone lot”. That means, you wait in your car for the all important call. You “get” the call! You pull out to go pick up your passenger. That is the fourth or fifth cell phone lot I have been to. They keep moving it, again, because of construction.

If my Dad were alive today, I would probably call him. I would ask him where he was this time. (Heck, Mr. Right had to call a different state to ask him permission to marry me.) We would talk politics. I would ask him since his oldest grandson is turning 29 tomorrow, does he feel old? He would ask me what I was learning. What books I was reading. What book I was reading next. He would say he had to get off the phone. I would say to him, Oh Dad, one more thing…………

There is still construction on going at Sea Tac. He would laugh and say, oh I’m sure they will be done in a couple of months.

laundry stains

I used my little trusty, handy, dandy laundry brush this morning.
I was scrubbing the seat of a pair of cream colored pants. Mine. Pretty shocking right? While Mr. Right was mowing the back yard, Sweet Liberty and I were rough housing and sitting on the ground playing tug. Pretty much goofing off and my guess is annoying the person actually working while we were not.

Oh my goodness, I can’t remember the last time I had to scrub grass stains off of pants, jeans, shirts,a variety of sports uniforms, shoes etc. Guess it was when two “embracing life with gusto” boys lived here.

Here in Washington state every stain is pretty much mud or green grass. When living in Oklahoma every thing was red. Red dirt + boys = Trouble. Now, that my friend, put to the test every laundry trick this Mom had in her brain.

Tar on the beach sand in Texas found it’s way into and all over hand cross stitched (what on earth was I thinking?) sweatshirts that each boy was wearing. Oh that was the same trip, I had to clean bird droppings off the shoulder of Mr. Right’s shirt. We decided to have a special breakfast on the beach one morning. Yep, the boys could not stop belly laughing………..and still do. I must say I did pretty good removing that stain. Hotel sink, little mini, mini bar of soap and elbow grease. It really didn’t matter. For the next few months, the boys would crack up laughing when their Dad wore that shirt. Clean or not it brought FITS of laughter.

With a husband who always, always carried a pen in his military uniform and one boy who doodled and drew constantly……every once in a while a pen or colored marker got by me. oops. Oh and let’s just make a small comment about the blood. Lots and lots of blood. Scraps, tumbles, cuts, scratches, falls….goodness gracious I guess having a family that, again, “embraces life with gusto” blood was bound to happen. I got super good in the laundry room. I worked miricles in there. I even amazed myself sometimes. Oh, it was most likely a toxic combination of this and that.

Now in a sad and quiet way, the laundry room is calm. Homemade, natural, non toxic laundry soap, dryer static cling pieces of fabric from Canada instead of toxic dryer sheets. Nothing really dramatic happens in there. Oh sure a drop of soup or melted ice cream once in a while. easy peasy.

The other day, I did happen to hear a sweet daughter in law tell an adorable grandgirlie….”this is your third outfit today! I swear it is your mission to fill the laundry basket”.

Now that my friends, made me smile.

Today, I remember

I happen to be one lucky girl when it comes to travel and touring really gorgeous and unique lands. I have had the privilege of walking across the bridge at Lucern, Switzerland. I have stood under the Eiffel tower and looked up to watch my husband running up the stairs. I have snorkeled with the colorful fish at Hanauma Nature Preserve, Hawaii. I have been lucky enough to swim with the Rays off the Bahama Islands. I have walked through the Straw market in Nassau and waited a very, very long 14 minutes for the customs guards to return my passport on the Poland border. I have been treated with kindness and friendliness at the welcome center in Ohio and walked in the beads of tar in the sand on the shore of Corpus Cristie, Texas. I have stood in the hall of mirrors in the Palace of Versailles and had my picture taken with the huge Einstein statue in Washington, DC.

This morning I woke up to a depiction of today’s anniversary. Looks sort of silly and childlike. It looks like something we would have done during our homeschooling years. I reminded me to remember.

The most meaningful and life changing trip my family and I ever took was on the 50th anniversary of D Day. The northern coast of France. My husband and I and two young boys were there 1994.

Yes, we were one of many millions of people who have made pilgrimages to Mont-St-Michel. That tour left a lasting impression. We visited Ste-Mere-Eglise. We went to the church with the parachute and soldier stained glass piece. Today, I can remember and “feel” the stillness and the coolness of the inside of the church. I have stood on the ground at Le Hoc Point. I have walked on Omaha Beach. I have felt the sand sift through my fingers on Utah Beach. I listened and learned about Arromanches. We took our boys to the cemetery to pay our respects. I can still feel the lump in my throat all day. I saw the cliffs our military charged, knowing full well the Germans would be shooting at them. I have crawled in a bunker and looked out at the sea. I have used my most horrid imagination. I watched as my husband took our boys and stood in the still visible trenches. It was his mission to teach and pass on to our boys our history. It was his mission to teach the words of Valor and Honor and Respect.

Somehow instead of creating military men, we created men that hate war and what it
leaves behind. Somewhere along the way in teaching them what it all meant, we taught them what peace is. In the end, we raised men of honor.

My husband is one of the most patriotic, military men you will meet. He wanted our boys to see Normandy. He wanted our family to be there. I will say, he planned our trip for one week after the actual 50th anniversary. He said that week was for warriors and families. We would wait our turn.

Our family was forever changed from that day forward.

We were there. We remember. We will always remember. We brought back grains of sand to give to our families and friends so that they too might remember.

In our home, we have a French crystal box with grains of sand contained in it. There is a card where the words are penned just like the ones engraved at the cemetery.

“Freedom is forever hallowed by the ideals, the valor and the sacrifice.
Normandy, France 1944-1994

It is well that war is so terrible we would grow too fond of it. Robert E. Lee

Goodbye May, Hello June Bug

I have never once put ice cream on my list of favorite foods. However, every now and then I am a fan.

Last night to celebrate the end of May and the start of summer we made fresh strawberry ice cream. Fresh strawberries sort of tinted the ingredients a pale, pale shell pink. Bits of red berries hidden here and there. Then with the other half of the batch we made Salted Caramel. Oh my. Really good. The tawny color with the ribbons of caramel swirling and twisting through the frozen goodness. Then every once in a while your tongue hit upon a bit of high quality salt. You know that ying/yang thing? Salty and sweet? Just perfect.

Yes, we took the boys to the Ben and Jerry’s factory in Vermont. Great family vacation memories swirl into my mind. Kind of weird when I think about how one of the boys is allergic to dairy. What kind of goofy parents were we? We have taken them to the dairy in Tillamook, Oregon to watch and sample cheese and of course ice cream. Again, I ask, what were we thinking?

Mom’s always get the stupid, goofy flavors. Here is the scene, a tow headed boy waits not so patiently in line, finally he picks out some ridiculous flavor (because it was a cool color), berry peach twist. Said boy tries one lick and then says “mom, want to trade?” Hey, maybe that is why all these years I have not been an ice cream lover?

All four of us agree on the best ice cream (read that as frozen butter fat) we have ever, ever, ever had was in Quaddicook, Quebec. Side of the road stand, pure sugar and pure cream and then butter fat glued it all together somehow. It was a bonding moment for sure for this family. That was the moment in time when the bar for ice cream was set as high as it is.

I am now on a quest to find the perfect popsicle mold. I am determined to buy different ones for our three families. I am collecting recipes. I want to spend the summer months perfecting the most wonderful homemade treats. I want to chat about how each turned out. What the best combinations were. I want all of our e-mails and phone calls to be about popsicles and ice cream.

The summer months ahead are going to be filled with talk of ice cold treats. We will talk about really wonderful colors and flavors and textures. There will be very little to talk about floods and medical issues and worry and fret. Our family will direct the way our conversations go. We will make the effort to determine to live out our summer days in little moments of happiness.

How you spend your days, is of course how you spend your life.