Tuesday, August 2, 2011

This, That & An Anniversary

We had a great weekend here. I hope you had a great one, too.

Before the weekend, on Thursday, David and I took a beautiful walk on our beach - for a couple of miles each way. It was a gorgeous, sunny & warm day. For you mid-western & easterners, that is obvious, but for us here in western Washington, I have news: summer has been one fickle guest. So it was a big deal to have sunshine on one of David's days off. It was lovely to spend that time together.

David also accompanied me to go shopping for a new phone. He knows more about technology than I do, as he's 18. Those of you who have mobile phone plans will understand this story: I was due for a FREE new phone. Awesome. I've always taken the offer of a FREE new phone to heart (and wallet). But this time, there was a decision to be made: dumb phone or smart phone? - because now, we have a choice. The difficulty is that dumb = free, while smart = I pay for the phone itself, and for extra service, each month. Frankly, that doesn't sound smart at all, to me. Yet I did the dumb thing, and got the smart phone...a phone which is a whole lot smarter than I am, at this point. I'm still learning how it works.

On Saturday, we hosted a party. I don't like to talk about parties because I think it is bad manners, when obviously all of you (especially out-of-towners) can't join us, but party is what we did, so it shows up here on the blog. We combined neighborhood friends with old friends, friends from different circles and parts of our lives, and it was great fun. I love to host gatherings, especially with 20+ people, especially in sunny weather.

The photos that I took turned out to be awful, but Paul Dudley of Paul Dudley Photography took these, and as usual, he worked magic with the camera:
Miss Ellie (my mom) & me
Me & my dad
Because I have a horror of running out of food, the new ways of society (let's call it the looseness about RSVP's) make me a little nervous when hosting 30-some people. My way of coping is to buy too much food, and host potlucks. People brought salad or dessert & wine; we provided everything else (& some wine). Right now, I am making split pea soup with the leftover bones and meat from two of the three hams. My in-laws are coming over to eat dinner with us and share the bounty.

While I was chopping, sauteing, juicing and stirring, my heart was with our friend Allegra, who is a chef de cuisine and who once owned a restaurant on the Oregon coast. How I wished she was standing beside me, sharing the wisdom of her experience! Allegra is recovering from chemo right now, and I am sending her love and healing energy. You are invited to join me in that.

I have to say that I am a bit stymied right now as a blogger, because one of the richest veins in the Mother Lode of my writer's brain is filled with parenting stories, and I cannot share them with you. I respect my son's privacy, but I tell you, my mind is overflowing with things that have happened here. I am sure they are normal in the larger picture of life, but I would say it's been colorful.
Four years ago today, Andrea & Mike got married and granted Katie's great wish to be a bridesmaid. It was a huge gift for them to move their wedding up 6 months in order that Katie could be part of the day. A week later, she was paralysed from the waist down (and could no longer walk); a week after that, she passed away. So you can see how important their invitation - and the timing -was.
Happy Anniversary, Andrea and Mike! - you have our love and gratitude FOREVER.


Allegra Smith said...

And I wish I could have been there with Barry to share not only the kitchen but the joy of being among those we love. Thank you for the good thoughts and all the love and friendship you so generously bring into our lives.

We are going to know more about our trip to see you in a week. Schedules will depend upon tests and then we will be off to spend time with you, sans babes. Give my boyfriend a hug for me and you have my love as always.

PS: When somebody doesn't answer an invitation is not only rude but it begs for a lesson. Such as if they actually show up to say with a big smile and sounding very surprised "I didn't think you were coming. I guess just didn't sound like you to ignore an invitation". That usually gets things in the clear, with a smile of course.

Elizabeth said...

I love Allegra's rsvp-deniers' advice. When I first moved out here to LA over thirteen years ago, I was amazed at the "rudeness" of people who didn't rsvp or did so on the day of the party. As a southerner, it was frustrating (not to mention the lack of thank you notes!), but I'm a bit used to it now.

I loved this post and only wish I could hear a bit of That Which You Can Not Post About. :)

Oh -- and those photos of you and your gorgeous mother and father are fantastic.

Busy Bee Suz said...

Every time I read about Andrea and Mike, their pure hearts and kindness...it just brings tears to my eyes. Katie is blessed with a wonderful family.
Your parties are something to be admired. Yes, I am really irritated that you did not invite me.
I understand the NOT blogging what is really on YOUR mind sometimes....can get frustrating as our blogging community is a wealth of information and advice. But, we still have to live with these people.
Healing love sent to your sweet friend Allegra.

Oh, how are you liking your smart phone???? I love my droid.

Anonymous said...

Hi Lovely Karen,

First, I am absolutely delighted you posted pics of Andrea & Mike's special day. Certainly it was a memorable day for your entire family, for many reasons.

I'm sorry to have missed your party last weekend. Looking forward to catching up SOON as you have been an instrumental part of my my life. I'm sure that soup was tasty!

Lastly, I want to commend you for respecting David's private life. I'm obviously not a parent, and I know you never stop being a parent (no matter how old your child is), but I applaud you. I consider myself very fortunate that my mom doesn't share my private life (health, personal, etc.) I can imagine it's a difficult adjustment to make. I believe in the end, David will feel more comfortable confiding in you as I have done with my mom.

See you soon!
L or P (whichever you prefer ;))

rebecca said...

it seems what ever you choose to write about, love is in every detail. thank you for tucking me into your pocket for a perfect salty breeze walk on the beach.
the photographs of you with your mother and father?
so deeply wonderful.
you are radiantly beautiful, with love in every detail!

KBL 2 ORD 2 SAN 2 LUV said...

My prayers are with Allegra as well! Be well my fellow sister of Earth. You are in my thoughts.

Karen, I have the same fears with parties. We always end up with tons of leftover food.

Your mom and pops are precious, they really are. You are your poppa's image. I see how much adores you in his eyes. It is very sweet.

One of the things, of many, that draws me to you is that you are a "commemorater"...is that a word? Anniversaries of important life events are important to you and you commemorate them. I find that is not the case with most people. Other than birthdays and wedding anniversaries, most folks don't commemorate momentous occasions, whether good or bad. I love that you honor the bride and groom, and the fact that it was Katie's 'moment' as well. I never tire of reading about it.

I know this month is one with aching memories for you. Know that you are in my prayers. I believe that my furbabies are very much with your Katie baby. One day I will be reunited with them and they'll tell me tales of a glorious brown-eyed girl who frolicked with them in heaven. My Golden babies will be able to speak English upon arrival in heaven, I'm sure of it.

Speaking of my furbabies, for once I'm glad they can't actually talk because I do NOT respect their privacy. I put all of their business all out on my blog, lol! :-)

Thank you dear friend for your beautiful comments for my Milo. Love and hugs to you from San Diego...to Latte & Liger as well.

Anonymous said...

Oh, and I forgot to mention how beautiful you look with your parents!

Holding you, Gregg, and David especially close to my heart this month <3

L (or P)

Karen said...

Lovely weekend.I got a smart phone too, and am apparently getting smarter as I figure it out. Curses on technology for complicating my life so much! Always comforting to me to hear about bereaved people partying. It's a nice contradiction that reflects healing and courage. So bravo, and party on, my friend. Prayers for Allegra, too and much love to you.

Karla said...

I totally feel your pain regarding the RSVP issue and usually end up with lots of leftover to share. :) The photos of you with your parents are great! It seems strange to see photos of David all grown-up as he is etched in my memory as the young man in the final photo of this post.

Kay said...

Sometimes I am so jealous of your weather. We have more than enough sunshine and heat..you can HAVE it at this point. LOL But I am glad you could enjoy a beautiful day together. Even though it is very sunny, it is like living on the surface of the sun here, so it doesn't really qualify as pretty right now. : )

Your parents make me smile..they are so beautiful..as are you. Every time I see those wedding pictures, it hurts because I know you can see the countdown and the next few weeks played out in your head. But what a treasured gift they gave you all in letting her fulfill her wish. Precious.