Love & Loathe — 05/06/10


* Bird crap on my car. Got a doozy today.

* Getting behind a person smoking a cigarette in rush hour traffic. I drive a convertible, people, please don’t flick your ashes and butts out your window!

* The arborists went through the neighborhood. The trees at the pool I loved so much last week, those heavily-ladened, pink blossomed ones? They now look like this. I am so sad.


* The first rose of the season.

* It looked like a million diamonds trailing me in the water. I had kicked my feet in a dolphin kick, leveraging a turnabout at the end of the pool. Apparently, I turned faster than usual, gifting myself that unexpected fleeting moment of beauty… simple bubbles in the water, back lit by the sunshine. Diamonds.

* The street lamps in our neighborhood. For some reason, every time I see them (which is a lot), I think of the Chronicles of Narnia.

* There is a hawk who sits atop a light post over one of the major streets I travel every day. I see it every morning and evening, without fail, on my commute. I wonder how many people notice that bird every day… I notice him because it’s such a contrast. He looks so peaceful and lofty, high above us commuters who are jockeying for position on a six lane thoroughfare. Really, I guess, I envy him his position.

* The yellow flowers are bursting out on the hillsides. Such a bold statement of changing seasons, welcoming spring, full of bright colors. Seeing the green hillsides teeming with color like this, triggers fond memories of our trip to Ireland.

One Last Thing:

About a year ago, I gave some of the important elders in our life a “tell me your story” book. I found them online, Amazon has a bunch of them if you search “tell me your story” or “do you remember when”. For me, it was an acknowledgment that time passes and the inevitable will eventually happen, and surprisingly, I discovered when I read the questions, there are a lot of things I didn’t know about the people I love. The books ask leading questions, and while some questions aren’t applicable to everyone, they might trigger a thought or memory that could be written instead.

After Tony’s Grandpa died, we learned that he had taken the time to partially complete his book. Paging through it now, seeing his handwriting … well, it’s as if he had handed us a gift from beyond the grave. A gift that the entire family who misses him so much will be able to cherish for many years to come.

If you have a loved one who’s getting on in years, I encourage you to get them one of these books or at least make a list of questions you’d like to ask them. It can feel a little awkward to ask questions which you maybe feel like you should already know the answers, but I can tell you, it will be totally worth it.



Filed under I have Family, Love/Loathe

19 responses to “Love & Loathe — 05/06/10

  1. I love the fact that you remind me to take pleasure in the simple things in life all around us. Too many people forget to look around and just enjoy being. Thanks for the reminder.

  2. Redfred

    We have a Cooper’s Hawk that sits on the powerline as it crosses the street, it is there most days. It uses it to hunt, I guess it saves energy not having to hover while waiting for prey to move. As an added bonus there is a car every five minutes to flush out the rodents.

    • HA! Every five minutes he gets a new chance!

      Today while swimming, I saw a hawk overhead… or an eagle. It had a white head and was pretty magnificent. I just kept hoping “please don’t poop, please don’t poop!” He didn’t.

  3. grrrace

    great post, honey πŸ™‚

    your loves are much better than your loathes, so that’s always a good thing. πŸ™‚

    i need those books. πŸ™‚ thanks for reminding me to look ’em up. πŸ™‚


  4. tinyhands

    Thanks for the ideas on ‘tell your story’ books. I have been trying to get tattoo-girl to document her family history (hints at which appear to be awesome) since we met. It’s a cultural thing though, and an uphill battle. I like the NPR series StoryCorps, but I’d never get them to actually record it.

    • I think everyone should document their story, in one way or another. Keep encouraging tattoo-girl… now I need to look up the StoryCorps…

  5. stacey

    i tried to get my parents to let me get an audio recording of some of their stories. my dad showed me a book like yours that he had, but of course had never done anything with πŸ™‚ thanks for reminding me to bug them both about it.

    what a treasure you found. that is so great that he had started to fill it out.

    your trimmed flower tree reminded me of my sadness. we have a trail behind our house and it was filled with wildflowers that were waist high. i loved it. then they came and mowed it all down to nothing. i thought they could at least wait until the flowers died. the bees were just as sad as i was.

    • stacey

      the flowers did grow back of course. only to be mowed again!

    • Our stories are important to those who come later… kids, grandkids, it’s the recognition of that which will inspire to share, I think. You’re welcome for the reminder. πŸ™‚

      (sigh) I understand your sadness re: the flowers. *crooked smile* I’ve long had a beef with my HOA re: the timing of their tree trimming. I think it should be done in Sept/Oct, just before the high winds and wildfires show up. They do it in springtime, before the hot summertime when the shade is needed the most. Grrrr.

  6. That is such a WONDERFUL Gift, Jammie. How smart you were to give him this book, to begin with, and the fact that he wrote in it, a lot! As one gets older, you do wonder who is going to care about your History and.or the experiences you have had in your life….I just love that you thought of this and made the effort to give one to people you love. Such a great great legacy.

  7. i love the diamonds on the water … i look out our window and see millions of them in the river – i always smile and think of it as God’s gift to me … so i totally relate to you!

    and the tell your story book is very COOL!!! my mom journals, but i would love it if she would do a shorter version … so many stories i’ve forgotten – like she was born in a sauna … she will be 75 her next birthday, so hospitals were a luxory in finland, back then, for the farm folk …

    • I also like to see rainbows in raindrops when they fall. πŸ™‚ I love water.

      I wonder if your mom would complete a book, if you gave it to her?

  8. tony

    yes sweetie that book was a great idea. I am and the family is too sooooo happy that we got him that book. We thought he would not fill any of it out but we where wrong and know it is one of the best memories that will carry on forever about grandpa milne. love you sweetie

  9. grrrace

    i think steve ordered them. i’ll have to ask again. he got one for my mom and my dad. he wants to preview them before getting his mom one… you know… because it’ll probably ask stuff about his dad…