february 12, 2019

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“A tree is known by its fruit; a man by his deeds. A good deed is never lost; he who sows courtesy reaps friendship, and he who plants kindness gathers love.” ~ Saint Basil

 

Fans
from the nosebleed seats
first timer and old timer

 

We had a big time tonight. UK offered seats at an okay rate to its employees, so I got three. They were nose bleed seats; so high in Rupp Arena that Mom and I both had a hard time with vertigo. Nevertheless, we had a blast. It was mom’s first UK Wildcat game at Rupp. Dad used to go when he was a younger man. Tonight, instead, he periodically reminded us that you can see the game better on TV. This he repeated in between his chanting “Go Big Blue” and “BOO,” which was said a lot during this game. Mom said going in that they’d lose because she was going. She was right. An LSU buzzer shot, despite goal tending, lost us the game. Still, we had a great time, crappy seats and all.

february 3, 2019

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“What we have to be is what we are.” ~ Thomas Merton

 

#56

 

Yesterday was Groundhog Day. It was also Hero and Shero’s 56th wedding anniversary. Today, we met for a delicious brunch. Dad liked telling the waitress that this was their one year anniversary. We all laughed, because it was such an obvious lie, as if the twinkle in his eye didn’t give it away on its own. We saw a lot of people we knew so we had great visits with all of them and with each other. The weather was stunningly perfect, too. Don’t they look good? They’ve had a bad couple of years of late, but they’ve both been feeling pretty good recently. Winter months can be hard for the older generations, especially if they’re prone to illness, but these two have weathered the cold exceptionally well. I, for one, am exceedingly grateful to celebrate them once more. They give me hope that one day my hair will be a beautiful white, too. 

january 23, 2019

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“Piglet noticed that even though he had a very small heart, it could hold a rather large amount of gratitude.” ~ A.A. Milne

 

birthday nails

 

Marie Dale’s birthday is July 4. We’re never at work for her birthday, so I’m lucky if I even remember to wish her happy birthday let alone do something for her. I’m absolutely terrible remembering important dates like that. So, tonight, I fixed that when she took mom with her to get her nails done. And after the ladies had themselves a little spa time, they joined me and dad for a birthday dinner because tomorrow is mom’s 77th birthday. Bless ’em both for dealing with my forgetful self. Happy birthday to two of my favorite people!

january 18, 2019

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“Stay kind. It makes you beautiful.” ~ Najwa Zebian

 

kitchen gathering (snapseed)

 

What a busy day this has been. Lots of business to be done in Lexington, then it was off to the homeland of Eastern Kentucky where more business got done. But in amongst all this business busy-ness was a lot of great visiting. Like when Jill LeMaster and her nephew, Jacob, dropped by. They brought delicious foods to mom, and they also brought a selfie-stick. I’d never used a selfie stick before. Here’s my first try. Everyone I ran into today was happy and helpful. Such joy.

december 26, 2018

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“Use your thoughts wisely, respecting the power they hold.” ~ Terry A. Gordon

 

new things

 

Before the Nutcracker, mom and I went to Union Terminal to enjoy the art deco and the train exhibit. Duke Energy (formerly CG&E) has a train exhibit that used to be set up in the windows of Shilito’s Department Store in downtown Cincinnati. The first (and only) time I saw it was in those windows, and boy, did it set the Christmas mood. Now, at Christmas, the train is set up in Union Terminal. I’m not sure why the change, but it gave us a chance to enjoy the renovated terminal and obverse the whole set from a birds-eye view.

 

christmas display

 

Below, Mom found an old ’57 Chevy, which happened to be a police car in the set. It was the first car she owned. We really enjoyed the trains and Union Terminal. It made Christmas extra special.

 

old things

december 23, 2018

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“Life gives us choices… you either grab on with both hands and just go for it, or you sit on the sidelines.” ~ Christine Feehan

 

happy mama

 

Sometimes Christmas doesn’t happen on Christmas Day. Today was just such an occasion. Aunt Lois came for dad at 10am. They went off for a day of Christmas services at church, dinners, fellowship, and more. Meanwhile, Mom and I also set out on a day-long adventure that ended with the Nutcracker performed by the Cincinnati Ballet in newly renovated Music Hall. Mom had never seen the Nutcracker before, and neither of us had been inside Music Hall. It was an absolutely perfect day start to finish. Christmas, I am reminded, is not about gifts, no matter how much our capitalist society would have you believe otherwise. Christmas is about this. Take joy in your loved ones and go have adventures as much as you are able.

 

brother and sister

october 25, 2018

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“Never be afraid of change. You may lose something good, but you may gain something better.” ~ Unknown

 

old friends

 

Mom and Aunt Mabel have been friends for decades, even before mom married dad. They shared an apartment together in Louisville after mom got out of the Army. She went to work for Blue Cross & Blue Shield while she dated dad when he was stationed nearby at Fort Knox. I think Mabel was waiting tables, but I could be wrong about that. The point is you can tell the two of them had a good time back then. They both loved to dance and cut up. Mom can’t cut up like she used to, but I believe in a pinch she could still cut a rug. I don’t think Mabel’s ever stopped cutting a rug. It sure makes mom happy to see Mabel. It makes me happy to see her, too.

october 14, 2018

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“Sometimes on the way to a dream you get lost and find a better one.” ~ Unknown

 

together

 

We all had such a good time yesterday that I caught not one, not two, but three smiles from Tony Adkins. He’s the sweetest man ever was, but he rarely smiles even when he’s super happy. So, when I caught the first smile I thought it was an anomaly. It wasn’t. Tony was smiling throughout the day. That just tickled me to death because I love him very much and want him to be happy. I’m sure to catch more smiles as the years roll on. 

 

all in the family

 

big smile

october 13, 2018

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“Never underestimate the power of kind words” ~ Unknown

 

the elders (not pictured were Darrell and Judy)

 

We had our fall family gathering today at Uncle Harold and Aunt Phyllis’ farm in Morgan County (that’s Eastern Kentucky for those unfamiliar). Fall’s brisk weather finally swooped in and made the day crisp and overcast. Perfection. We ate hearty foods, drank hot coffee, had our annual hay ride, shared birthday cake for Dad and Aunt Linda, and told ghost stories. In fact, that may have been the most fun of the day, sitting in a room surrounded by the elders telling stories of visitations and haints galore; the fantastic and the believable. There was something very, very different about this gathering from the others we’ve had. I sensed a calm in the air. The bittersweet thirst for those no longer with us while reveling in their memories in unadulterated happiness. Perhaps Cousin Brian was on to something during the hayride. “We are the age our parents were when we went on hayrides,” he said as we sat sandwiched between first and third generation Terrys. It happens to every generation in every family, in slow, often imperceptible ways until one day Cousin Brian sees the culmination of time in a single moment. The realization that the changing of the guard is fully underway. This is just one blessing of this family; to have sustained multiple relationships over decades that can come together and celebrate goodness. To be truly grateful for the gifts in spite of the sadness, to me, is a mark of great faith. That is something this family has in spades.

 

funny elders (not pictured were Darrell and Judy)

october 1, 2018

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“Life is about not knowing, having to change, taking the moment and making the best of it, without knowing what’s going to happen next.” ~ Gilda Radner

 

uncle and nephew

 

Tonight we celebrated dad’s 80th birthday. Sixteen of us were able to gather at Ramsey’s for a Monday night dinner and he was just as tickled as he could be to see everyone. Before dinner he got a call from his brother Darrell in Flatwoods, and during dinner he got phone calls from his sister Mable in Florida and great-nephew AJ at work. The clincher of the night may well have been Marcie and Steven Terry. Marcie is dad’s baby brother James’ wife and Steven, their son, is the youngest Terry grandchild. He’s also the tallest at 6’3″. Dad has always thought Steven favors his dad, but after James died, I noticed that dad longs to talk with him. He was visibly moved that Steven and Marcie drove from Stanton on a work night to be with him. It meant the world to me and mom, too. This family really pulled together to give dad a wonderful birthday. We didn’t think he’d survive to see 80, and everybody at that table was keenly aware of the gift we’ve been given to celebrate him once more. Never take your people for granted. Celebrate them at every opportunity.

 

photo by unknown Ramsey’s waitress

 

photo by unknown Ramsey’s patron (who had more energy than his golfing buddies)
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