Posts Tagged ‘Farewell’

It’s late and I should be in bed, so I’ll just throw out a random hodgepodge of brain spew.

Finding myself back in my old company, which I left several years ago right after a merger/acquisition, I am somewhat amused to be plopped right back into a newly-announced merger/acquisition. If I hadn’t left, I could say I’ve worked in the same building for 12.5 years, yet have worked for three different companies. Not too unoriginal in this day and age of consolidation and the death of small companies. Sad. Interesting. Could be good. Good be bad. We shall see.

I learned of the death today of Senator Ted Stevens and, among other things, thought of the blog I wrote a few years ago about Senators Larry Craig and Ted Stevens. I can’t say that Mr. Stevens was someone I admired in any way, shape, or form. But tragic accidental deaths are sad, and I send my condolences into the ether in the general direction of his family and friends. I feel almost bad that I ended that blog referring to another anti-environment Congressperson who died tragically in a moving-vehicle accident. But only as bad as either one of them ever felt about the eradication of many many species of animals living on Earth.

Am I the only one that noted that last week, during the exact same time we had a large solar flare hit the planet, we have 6 earthquakes over 6.0 in magnitude in less than 36 hours? I check the USGS site almost every day. That is not quite normal. But don’t worry. My co-worker who specializes in geology, hydrology, and hazards just laughed at me when I mentioned the correlation to her.

It’s August 10 (yesterday was 8-9-10) and I’m pretty sure I’ve spent over half the year apart from my husband. *sigh* Even for us, that’s quite a large percentage. But I spent a bunch of time in California looking for a job while he was working in Hawai’i. Then, we both moved over here in July and he has spent half of July in another state working. He just left tonight for a 2-day class in the Bay Area. I should be used to saying goodbye. And I shouldn’t worry because I can easily spend 12+ hours at work the next couple of days. But you know what? It still sucks.

I know I’m pretty bad about spending time on this blog updating y’all about what is really going on with me. That was the original intent of the blog. But I haven’t been very good at it. Here’s an update – Sweetie and I are home-shopping. It’s fun. And slightly exhausting. And nerve-wracking. I’ve discovered what I’m sure every other house-hunter in the world has – at this point in time, I wish my Super Power was “Being Able to Mix and Match All the Best Things from Several Different Houses Into the PERFECT House for Me.”

*sigh* Tis not to be. This one has a fabulous kitchen but crap construction. This one has a pool but an ugly backyard. This one is sooooooo cute and soooooo unique, but there is no way I can fit more than one piece of furniture in the living room. This one has great inner space but is in a less-than-desirable-location. And on and on and on. Right now, I think our favorite candidate house is one with: some awesome space inside (large living area); some super-awesome funky-cool details (70’s-like entryway, room partition and fireplace (looks way better than it sounds); and an incredible backyard; but also has a small very outdated kitchen and location issues (a little too close to the freeway). I’m thinking we can live with the drawbacks. Assuming we buy new appliances. But I don’t know. Do we throw out an offer to nab it now? Or do we keep shopping around in hopes of finding something better?

Don’t know. We’ll figure it out. I’m going to do more recon – try and drive around during different times of the day and get a better feel for the neighborhood and noise. Sweetie does NOT understand me when I try and explain that I get “feelings” from houses. I’m not talking ghost-of-your-dead-dog-in-the-backyard or anything like that. I just get feelings about the general flow of a house. Dare I say energy? No, I better not. But I get feelings as to whether or not *I* would be happy in a space. And I need to listen to those feelings because, as much as I liked many things about the house my parents moved into after I went to college, I could NEVER EVER sleep well in it. Even for me, it was bad. But I would only visit. I can’t live in a house that is like that every day. Anyway. Feelings. Sweetie doesn’t get it. But it’s another check-mark in my brain. And this house may get a positive mark.

The search is still young. I’m sure I’ll have a different story to tell in a week. There’s your update for now.

Aloha and good-night.

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For some odd reason, Sweetie and my visits to California often seem to coincide with funerals. Most of the time we don’t plan it that way. Long long ago I once flew back to California just to attend a funeral. I hate to say I couldn’t afford to do that these days. But. I don’t think I can afford to do that these days unless I really need to.

A year ago Sweetie and I were able to attend his mom’s cousin’s funeral. We were here in July when we learned that a good friend of his family had died and attended that funeral with his mom, sister and (our new) bro-in-law. I was able to attend another aunt’s funeral – was it two years ago…. or last year?? Wow, I can’t remember. I also attended the funeral of one of my dad’s best friends while visiting California.

Big Sis, Mom and I just attended a funeral yesterday. We learned that my last aunt on my father’s side died. For Big Sis and me, all of our aunts and uncles are now gone on my dad’s side of the family. For our cousins, our mom is the only Auntie left. I stood next to my cousin C. yesterday and asked her – Do you realize that, other than mom, we are now the “elder” generation? She told me that, yes – she had actually thought of that herself. What a generation shift! It doesn’t seem that long ago that Big Sis and I were running through my eldest aunt’s house at Christmas, chasing our cousins’ kids and waiting for that perfect present from Uncle H. Now, one of my cousins is a grandfather and another one just sent his son off for his second year of college. My father’s parents had six children. Out of those six came only seven grandchildren. I am the youngest of the seven and haven’t even had my own kids yet, for heaven’s sake! But here we are. The next line of the family. Six of us were at the funeral yesterday. Somehow we seem to keep meeting up at funerals. We hug and catch up on new jobs, retirements, vacation, kids, grandkids, and surgeries.

There are few people I know who would say they enjoy attending funerals. However, given the death of a family member or good friend, I am glad for the times when I can pay my respects in person. Many people would say that funerals are not so much for the dead as for the living. I think it’s true to the extent that a lot of people need that odd ceremony to feel like they have said “goodbye.” For me, I needed my dad’s funeral to tell people a little about his life. And to thank those who came for being in his life. No, I don’t like funerals. But I value them. I’m not sure why I seem to time my trips with them, but I think I appreciate the cosmic calendar that allows me to attend as many as I can.

Now, if I could just avoid another one for a long stretch of time, I’d be happy.

By the way, Father Damien was canonized in Rome today. Kind of a big deal in Hawai’i.


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I read this (http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/25145431/) this morning and it just bummed me out.

Tim Russert dies today at age 58.  For a news junkie like me, it’s rare to sit and watch a political analyst and television show host without the bluster, the grumbling, the crankiness, and the pompousness of so many other hosts.  Tim Russert could get his point across quietly and clearly and respecitvefully.  I have to say, in the last few months of election coverage, he was tending to ramble a little bit during this nightly discussions with Brian Williams on the national news.  But I just smiled and thought “Tim, what are you saying here Tim?”  On Meet the Press, he was extraordinary.  It was nice to watch a host ask probing questions and be tough without seeming to take glee in it.   Tim Russert was a hard working man.  He loved his family.  He wrote a book about his dad.  He wrote a book about his dad.  I think that is pretty nice.

Farewell Mr. Russert.  Thanks for all the hard work and smart words.

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Farewell, Great Maestro

Sad, sad news from Italy today.

Ouch. My heart hurts.

Luciano Pavarotti has died in his hometown Modena in Italy. Can anyone every compare?

I grew up listening to the great Pavarotti. Literally – when I was just a youngster, tugging my blanket and stuffed animals with me to the living room to sit with my parents and sister and watch Evening at Pops on PBS. For years, I watched Pavarotti, Beverley Sills, conductors John Williams and Zubin Mehta and a myriad of guests…..and always, so much music.

I can’t describe Luciano Pavarotti.

From the CNN report –

Widely considered the greatest tenor of his time, Pavarotti began his life modestly in Modena, the son of Fernando, a baker and amateur singer, and Adele, who worked at the local tobacco factory.

“I dreamed to become a singer when I was four and I hear my father singing in the church with a beautiful tenor voice,” he told CNN in a 1991 interview. “And I say to myself, well, let’s try to do something.”

And do something, he did. Here he is singing what is probably my favorite of all songs he has sung. With his white handkerchief, no less. Not his most famous song, perhaps. But my favorite. O Sole Mio (My Own Sun).

Farewell, truly a master of his art.

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For Dad

My mom picked out a fountain today for her backyard. She had been shopping around with Big Sis for one for a long while. She saw some she liked. She could not decide. They went back out this morning but did not buy one. They came home, and Mom asked me if I would go with her to one other place where she had seen a fountain she liked. So Mom, Youngest Nephew, and I drove Big Sis’ truck out to look at fountains. Mom made a decision! They loaded the 300+ pound thing into the back of the truck. Big Bro and I got most of it set up in the yard. We had to wait for Big Sis to come back to house to lug the last piece in place.

And Voila! Mom has a fountain. The Nephews had fun playing around with it. Mom found an old basket of sea shells that my sister and I had collected/bought many many years ago. The Nephews had fun placing them all over the fountain, changing the flow and sound a little bit.

Mom bought this fountain for Dad. It’s not just from her. Several of her family members, instead of buying flowers for the funeral last year, gave her money to get a memorial-type fountain for Dad for the yard. We all thought it was something Dad would like. And it’s more permanent that flowers. And here it sits. Almost exactly one year after Dad died. I like that it’s kind of modern looking, but still has a natural look to it. The patterns look almost like bamboo. Mom likes that it makes a decently loud sloooshing noise as the water flows down. Dad may think it’s a little big, but I think he would like it.

There’s lots I can say about last year. For now, I’ll show you the fountain. And think about Dad.

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A tribute to Moms

Did you ever see the film “Mother?”  If you have, did you love that classic food scene as much as I did? Isn’t that the most typical Mom behavior?  Must…feed…children.  Doesn’t matter how old the child – Moms have this instinctive need to feed you.  From the big block of cheese to the “protective covering” of freezer burn on the ice cream, that scene in Mother is one of my favorites!  It cracks me up because it is so true. 

It reminds me of similar scenes I’ve lived with one of my best friend’s mothers.  Mama T always tried to feed me. And feed people she could! But there was one time where my friend and I had gone out to eat with friends and when we got back to the house, Mama T was aflutter with excitement at the thought of feeding us.  She delightedly showed us the steaks she had taken out of the freezer to fix for us. We tried to tell her we were not hungry. But she talked up her steaks. We insisted we were not hungry. But she talked up her steaks. We finally had to admit that we had already eaten out and were honestly too full to eat a gigantic steak each. I think she fed both of them to my good friend after I left! 

Mama T was always looking out for me, making sure I was comfortable in her home, making me welcome, and checking in on me. And not just me – though her daughter and I have been friends since we were five years old.  New friends and old friends alike, once you were in her home, you would be mothered.  She always wanted to see and believe the best in people, and by seeing the good in people, she treated you with kindness and respect and care. 

I am very lucky that I have good friends whose parents are so open and supportive of their extended families.  Mama T just happened to be the one who was in my life the longest.  She passed away a week ago, and I feel like a little part of my childhood left with her.  I could go back to my old hometown, and see her, and feel like I still belonged there (my parents moved away several years ago).  I could look forward to being pampered and scolded all day with her love and her no-nonsense common sense. For all that, I know her family will miss her very much.  But I hope they are comforted, as I am, with some hilarious memories and the warm-blanket feeling you get when you remember someone who truly cared for you. Moms are very very good at that.

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