Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Father's Day, Part 2

So, on Father's Day proper we set off for Lowden Park to finally hike up to the Laredo Taft statue of the Eternal Indian (popularly known as Blackhawk) that stands on the bluff overlooking the Rock River. It's a short distance from our home, but we've only seen it from across the river. Today, finally, we'd walk up and see it. It was a hot, humid day. The paths were a bit muddy from a recent shower. But, we walked down to the river using the approximately 175 stairs leading down. Once down, the daughter decided that she'd rather hike up using one of the trails. I was really not all that excited about hiking through the muddy paths, but the husband was all for it. So, off the two went. The daughter chattered the whole way back up. Some particularly wonderful quotes that the husband shared with me (and all his facebook friends) are:

"I've always wanted to live a life of adventure. Now I know what that is all about."

"I'll take the shortcut. In deciding between the long-cut and the shortcut, I think it's always better to take the shortcut."

"Is that poison ivy? I would rather not go through poison ivy to attain my goals."

Saturday, June 20, 2009

A Father's Day to Remember...

What a great idea! We saw that the Phantom Regiment (a world class Drum and Bugle Corp from Rockford) was going to be performing last night. We both love the pageantry of Marching Bands and Drum and Bugle Corps, though we disagree on our rating of his Beloved Illini Marching Band.

So, we set off for a nice evening out. Now, we were in the midst of severe thunderstorm warnings, but we've had them for days, and have barely had any rain. The storms just keep missing us.

So, over to the Boylan High School to pick up the tickets. Sky is still clear.
Grab a quick dinner at a Chinese Buffet. Sky is clouding up but the storm will pass. Right?
Enter the parking lot. The rain begins.
And then, it starts "bucketing down" as Neil Gaiman would say.
It buckets and buckets. Lightening, thunder, the whole works.

But, it's still about an hour until the show starts. All around us in the parking lot, folks are just cozying up in their cars to wait out the storm. I have my book. he dozes, and the girl chatters and climbs and colors and chatters. They man in the car beside us flosses his teeth. To each his own.

Bucket after bucket after
bucket after bucket.

We look at each other. "m
aybe we should have eaten dinner first and then purchased the tickets, " he says. Yeah, hindsight is 20/20.

We brought rain ponchos with us. But, this is beyond rain ponchos.

The girl is getting restless, he is getting irritated. I'm enjoying my book.

And then, he becomes the husband and father that I love so much. He
turns to the girl and says, "I'll race you around the car!" Her eyes light up. And they are out the door only to return in about 10 second drenched. Giggling, laughing, and in a world all their own.

Only you, man of my dreams, could have done it. The tickets weren't refunded, we went home wet and disappointed. And yet, you made it a night to remember. A night of laughter and play.

It's been this way all of our life together. We've faced real and profound sadness along the way...family tragedies, profound disappointments, sudden and surprising loss of job. Right now we're saddled with 2 mortgages as our home in Urbana sits on the market.

And yet, it's been the best years of my life. And you've made it so, we've made it so. We have been fully present for all that life has offered us. We have been fully alive for the sorrow and joy, for the laughter and all the tears.

I love you with all my heart, all my life, all that I have.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

I thought it was 2009!

We try to live an eco-conscious life. We recycle, compost, purchase locally, use CFL's, etc. If our home in Urbana ever sells, we'd love to replace our Honda with a Hybrid, or one of the little cars that gets really great gas mileage.

We've been interested in the Prius for a while. And, when the new commercial came out, I was intrigued with the way the "dancers" transform the scenery. I thought it was really cool.

But, the tag line? Man's wants and Nature's needs? Every time they say it, I can't believe it. Man's!? Are they really only selling this car to men? In our community in northern Illinois, I see many women driving the Prius. Are they not taking women's wants into consideration? Oh, wait, I get it. They (the men who wrote this ad) think that "man" refers to all of humanity.

Well, it doesn't. When you say "Man" I hear male, not female. And my 8 year old daughter also heard "man" meaning not her. She said, "how stupid! Don't they want women to buy their car also?"

So, Toyota, you just lost two customers. I'm thinking the Smart for 2 will be a better option for our family, since we have men's and women's wants to consider.

Friday, June 5, 2009

16 Things I Can't Live Without this Summer

I stole this idea from the blogger I love to hate...

1. Sleeping with the windows open on cool nights.

2. Laying in bed listening to the birds singing at 4:30 in the morning, knowing that I can go back to sleep for as long as I want.

3. Fresh, local, organic asparagus. (I love it so much I don't encourage my kids to even try it!)

4. Growing a garden.

5. Gardening with my daughter and husband.

6. Getting the neighbor kids interested in gardening.

7. Fixing peanut butter and jelly sandwiches for all the neighborhood kids.

8. Our little town's Farmer's Market.

9. Our own garden tomatoes.

10. Making fresh salsa with our own home-grown ingredients.

11. Having a glass of wine on the deck, with old friends, or family, or new neighbors and friends.

12. Going to Turner Falls, OK!

13. Watching my daughter ride her bike.

14. Going to Weld Park.

15. Going to the Forest Preserve

16. Fresh, Local, Organic produce from Angelic Organics!