Remember the good times…

This weekend my husband and I would have celebrated our anniversary…hard to believe he has been gone so long.  Over five years. Cancer is a hard thing, but it isn’t the cancer we choose to remember.

We remember that he always…seriously ALWAYS…forgot our anniversary.  Thankfully, he knew this about himself. He had his secretary remind him…it was on his calendar, after all…and when he moved to a career without a secretary, by then the older girls took over the task.  It actually never bothered me in the least. I knew when it was, and the fact we had made it another year was the only gift required. We did tease him endlessly about it, though. 😀

The younger kids remember he was ‘plushy’ and how much they loved cuddling on his lap and watching horrible tv and movies and bad wrestling shows.  What made it special was that he knew it was all horrible…that was what made it so much fun. Toxic Avenger, grade D movies (Tremors,  Attack of the Killer Tomatoes)… it became a staple item in the kids’ lives…one their friends still remember and celebrate on his birthday each year.

His passion for food!  (I did mention he was ‘plushy’, remember?)  We celebrated our anniversary with food. Either he took me out for seafood or chinese (my favorites) or I made him moussaka or lasagna (his favorites) …usually both…one for each night of the anniversary weekend.

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He snored!  OMG, the man snored like a jet revving for take off.  It became a bit of a joke at the Fair each year with the families in our 4H campground.  And the adjoining campgrounds… 😀

He laughed a lot. Cheated at games…and he loved games…and swore that it was ‘strategy’…and developed a game-winning ‘killer’ attitude in the girls. I don’t play games with them, lol. Except maybe scrabble or dominoes…can’t cheat at those 😉

Today was a good day. There was a gorgeous rainbow right over the river bridge that seemed to reach from the sea right down to our house. It made me smile.  I think that was David, reminding me to do that.  And when we think of him, we always do.

Image result for rainbow over the river Charleston sc

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From the mouths of…princesses?

Today we took our 3 yr old “Disney Princess in training” to the park. An excellent plan for a warm, breezy Lowcountry October day. She ran, swang, turned the playhouses into her castles, and doctor clinic (she may be a princess…but she has plans for being a very helpful and busy princess), and of course…Moana’s outrigger, because she had lost Māui and as soon as we found his hook he’d be right back.

The simple joys of childlike wonder and imagination.

She went down to examine the pond…a green bit of marsh filled with the aquatic wonders of the south…fish, crawdads, turtles, and, of course, the occasional alligator.  She was certain, as Moana AND a Princess, she ‘needed’ to go right up to the edge and order Māui out of there. Removal of princess from the pond resulted in the obligatory,  very dramatic sobbing. When asked what she was crying about she looked up with wide eyes and explained: “I am heartbroken. YOU have…BROKEN…my heart.”

It was all I could do not to laugh. So serious.  THIS is a Princess growing before our very eyes into a world class Drama Queen.

Ah childhood…wouldn’t miss these moments for the world.

 

Walking into Wednesday

Today started with an extra fun bonus… it was Walk Your Kids to School day. An effort to encourage our children (and a whole lot of parents from the looks of it) to get out of the car and get some fresh air and exercise.

We parked about a mile from the school and joined a group of other parents and kids headed for the elementary school. A few minutes in it was obvious I have raised a ‘real’ walker as he grew impatient with the casual strolling surrounding us. What is the point if you can’t stretch your legs and get some energy pumping?  Got to admit, he had a point.  After I dropped him at the school, I got to walk back alone…and minus the constraints of escorting the kids…I was off and power walking the way the kids and I have all their lives, even when they were in strollers.  I cut across to avoid trampling those enjoying a more leisurely pace,  got to enjoy the cool autumn air, see deer grazing in the cemetery, egrets wading the edge of the marsh, and celebrate the joy of just being alive.

Image result for cemetery with deer grazing

Afterwards, it was off to my friend’s house for a bit more landscaping…and rolling her huge room size oriental rug and carrying it outside, where it was unrolled for a good cleaning prior to her parents’ arrival for a visit.

The rest of the day sped past in a flurry of menial but unavoidable errands but tonight is warm, peaceful and quiet.  I finished it with a nice long walk under the full moon.

Life is good.

Rain, rain….rat snake!

Raining her in the Lowcountry.  Like, really raining!  The first night there was thunder that shook the house, flashes of lightning to often, large, and close they lit up the house, and even a heavy, if short, hail storm.  We got up at 5am to the street flooded over a foot deep from one side to the other.

The storm kept me up all night…the boys woke up and peered outside and said, “it rained?”  Sigh.  Boys.

Because the water is always deepest right at the end of our driveway the boys came and went on their bikes from the second drive at the end of the yard (actually it is a glorified patch of gravel, sand, and leaves)  It was there they encountered the second of our much loved reptilian residents….our black rat snake.

Gorgeous! Right?  I love that we have so many kinds of reptiles here…and a fine assortment of amphibians as well, but that is a topic for another day.

We have anoles, both our native Carolina (green) anole

  but also the introduced Brown anole

We have Fence Lizards, the only spiny lizards native here  species photo

And of course an abundance of snakes, turtles, tortoises, alligators…the list goes on and on.  It is a great place to raise kids…so much to explore, so many amazing animals to appreciate and love and protect.

I was tickled and delighted the boys came up to the house thrilled about finding the big rat snake out in the rain, making his leisurely way up the magnolia tree, where the thick leaves will provide some protection from the storms.

Looking forward to seeing him again one lazy afternoon, basking in the morning sun.

Sliding into autumn…

September!  how the heck did it get to be SEPTEMBER already?  The days are already getting shorter and soon the ninnies…err powers that be…shall insist on depriving us of our lovely daylight savings time and once more all things will begin in darkness.

Most of my friends are running gleefully into fall.  I am hanging onto summer with fingers and toes, screaming:  NOOOO!  Don’t leave me!

Still the month holds much joy.  A trip to Long Island to see my beautiful daughter, amazing son (why do I have to keep adding the dang “in-law” part.. ) and their awesome little Squid. And my Reesie is there.  And Kris.  Going to be wonderful and Spud is going too.  Even better.

and KHYR’s edits are completed!  so Judah can have a read ….whenever he has time away from his post-grad novel… also fun!  And to celebrate,,, here is our FANTASY FRIDAY picture….

Love this one…

Welcome August

August has come.  I shall miss July.  It was a wonderful month, the heart of my favorite season…summer!  But I look forward to what August will bring with both joy and trepidation.  I love that August here in the Lowcountry is still summer…with a capital S!  

Hot… still in the triple digits and no sign of that changing this week.  Sunny….actually a little more rain would be helpful with this heat, but I do love my sunshine.  And, of course, the joy of long long days and clear nights with star-filled skies.

Downside?  Back to school.  Oh how I hate back to school down here.  This is one of my biggest disappointments with being home in South Carolina.  The school systems bite.  And the worst part is….they don’t even know how bad they are!  It is terrifying and disheartening and…sad.  Especially for my son who is bright, and talented, works hard, and such a wonderful kid to work with (all his teachers agree) and has dyslexia.  So the lovely schools will shove him to the side…off the main track… where he won’t make them actually teach in the way he learns and won’t mess up their illusory competence records.  He is disappointed.  I am disappointed for him.

This isn’t the end.  We have just begun to fight.

Meanwhile, there are school supplies to buy….both for him and for my Little A.  Even more for the Little A as kindergarten requires a lot more supplies than high school.  So this weekend we will begin the shopping.  Uniforms for the Little A… khaki pants and shorts, polo shirts, some play clothes for after school.  Fill a long list of supplies needed.  And clothes for my AJ…shorts, t shirts, cargo pants, sox, underwear, jeans and new tennis shoes.  He grew over the summer!  Nothing fits.

More writing.  More editing.  More days and nights of missing our A and wishing he was home once more with us where he belongs.  THIS is his home.  Nowhere else ever can be.

And more work.  More landscaping, and cleaning.  More gardens and flowers.

More blessings.  More life.   Welcome August.

Summertime sunshine

Another long fun filled day at work.  Lots of work outdoors, as usual.  Cleaning up, cleaning out.  Putting new plants in.  Mowed, edged, weeded.  All in the blazing high 90s, heat index in the 100s South Carolina sunshine.  And it was good.

In between, since poor Merrill is down with the ick and the meds are making him nauseous, I ran to the store and got club crackers and Coke for the upset tummy, and tuna and catfood for the grumpy cat.

DeeDee wrote me a lovely letter of recommendation which I shall send off to the school system tonight. My ‘plan’  (you know what they say about the best laid plans….)  is to get a part-time or floater position job, if possible, with the County schools.  That would provide the income cushion I am sorely needing and keep me under the earnings ‘cap’ for folks like me.  With my teenager having handily outgrown all his clothes over the summer…I swear the boy is taller than me, so probably 6′ now… I am going to need all the money I can save up to get him clothes and shoes for back to school.

Good news front…for reasons I cannot explain but am delighted with…there is NO flea problem this summer.  Now the dogs are always on their flea/heartworm medications through the vet….but most summers the fleas are still ‘there’… there are always the random ones carried through the yard by a squirrel, coon, or local critter…   The last two months? Nothing!  I am thrilled.  The dogs are the most content and itch free I have seen them in years.  This is wonderful.

And so… off I go to write.  Edits on crit partner’s book are done and now it is time to get Khyr wrapped up.

Isn’t life wonderful?!