Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Slow 'Er Down!!

Days are busy. Busy, busy, busy!

So last Saturday, it was especially nice to stop. Sit. Talk. Catch up. With a couple dear friends.

The lawn? Laundry? Bank? Grocery store? It can all wait. Just for a little while...

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

80 EIGHTY Reasons Why I Love My Dad

Yesterday was my dad's 80th birthday. What an accomplishment--for a man with a pretty accomplished life. Here are 80 reasons why I love him:

1. His name is Drew, which is a cool name.
2. Drew also happens to be a family name. Dad's mom's maiden name. So it has significance in that way.
3. He is a happy guy.
4. He was smart and smitten and married Mom.
5. He played catch with me as a kid.
6. He taught me how to ice skate. He on speed skates, me on figure skates. He skating backwards, me skating forwards. Then hand in hand, "promenade" style.
7. He had a cool job at a bank in downtown Chicago, and once in a while we got to go downtown and visit him.
8. He is a Cub's fan and instilled in me that love for them, even though they are the world's most hapless team!
9. He let me "cut" and "style" his hair, like a barber would, as a kid.
10. He coached some of my softball teams.
11. His love of music inspired me to start piano (the whole family's did, in fact).
12. He was committed to a job at his bank for 36 years, which helped us have a good and stable home life.
13. He made us laugh because he definitely was not handy around the house!
14. Rides on bicycles-built-for-two were super fun, several times on family vacations.
15. He likes Dairy Queen, and so do I.
16. He loves Mom, and so do I.
17. He showed by example what it takes to practice something and work hard, until one gets good at it.
18. He used to play jazz piano.
19. Played competitive doubles tennis for many years.
20. Made church and worshiping God a priority, which was a good example for me.
21. Showed good example of hard work, by reading up and working every evening, when he could.
22. Took me and my brother Dave many times to on the El to the Cub game.
23. Has that endearing "uh" thing when he talks. Which I inherited.
24. I used to get a kick out of him doing Jack LaLane exercises some evenings. Complete with a little pamphlet with pictures.
25. Has cool and nice brothers with their kids (my cousins). I like them ok, although as a kid it was kind of a drag, because they were all boys and all younger than me.
26. I think it was pretty awesome that he took my brother to the Olympics in 1972? 1976? The year that Bruce Jenner won the decathlon.
27. He has always endured our ribbing about having one shoulder (he separated it about college age playing touch football).
28. His jiggas have always been cute.
29. Also endured the ribbing from a photo with my brother Dave, where we called the two of them "Before and After."
30. Encouraged Mom to go to painting class, following her passion.
31. Took up clarinet again in later adulthood and shares his skill and passion for this to this day.
32. Excelled in platform tennis.
33. Travelled around the world on his job and brought home cool stuff. Like a puzzle box from Japan, a fan, a watch that I still have from Saudi Arabia.
34. Was "MOY san" to business associates in...Japan. (?)
35. Put shoe goo on his tennis shoes from rubbing his toe serving tennis, like there was no tomorrow.
36. Used to have the coolest flat dark brown Charlie Brown baseball glove.
37. Let me join in the Sunday NFL football "pools" when we picked all the winners each week. And didn't make (too much) fun of me when I picked teams by the color of their jerseys.
38. Stopped smoking as a young adult, which I am guessing has prolonged his life.
39. Taught me Arp language. Then tolerated it when Dave and I talked in it incessantly.
40. He & mom were good sports when I was learning magic tricks and was really bad at it. "Nothing in the cup!"
41. Taught me how to play pingpong downstairs in the basement.
42. Dragged me to Dave's track meets, teaching me to support my brother.
43. Supported all my efforts at playing softball -- all the summer leagues as a kid, driving me where I needed to be, signing me up, being friendly to the coaches.
44. He and mom watched more softball, basketball, field hockey, etc. games than I'm sure they can count.
45. He and mom went along to Pekin twice when we went downstate in high school softball.
46. Lately he has taken time to volunteer with troubled youth, as a support during their times of transition.
47. He let me be his partner in Bridge for family Bridge games, even though I was always the weakest player. He allowed table talk so that I could follow along and not be at such a disadvantage.
48. He and mom made me go to bed early when we were young, so we got ample sleep and were more school-ready.
49. He used to let me sip the bubbles off his beer, just as a little treat.
50. He & mom supported me and encouraged me to take piano as a kid and through high school. They sent me to a great music school to help me develop my musical abilities.
51. Entertained us playing the ukulele.
52. Let me weed his backyard as a college student to earn money, even though it was a dirty, sweaty job.
53. Allowed me to inherit his generous nose. :)
54. Always supported Mom and reminded us of her point of view. Very much a team-oriented parent.
55. Never grew a beard.
56. Did not wear crazy wide lapels and ties with bellbottoms in the 70s. At least not for very long.
57. Always knew when to call a handyman. Which was pretty much always!
58. Took Mom to Banff for their 50th wedding anniversary.
59. Keeps Mom happy by taking her shopping for shoes, often.
60. Goes every year to Sanibel Island-to take a break and get Mom out of the cold Chicago winter.
61. Loves the Cubs unfailingly, always. He & mom watch every single game.
62. Traveled to the Rose Bowl to support Northwestern University in their dream year.
63. Practices clarinet downstairs in the basement so as not to disturb Mom.
64. He doesn't swear. In fact, I don't think that I have hardly ever heard him swear at all.
65. He & mom have a whole bunch of TVs in their house so that we can all spread out and watch different shows when we come visit.
66. He has the greatest belly laugh.
67. He has an imminently positive attitude.
68. When he kinda figured out about the surprise 75th bday party at Wrigley Field, he still acted completely surprised.
69. He advised my Grandma in the finances for her nursing home, The Georgian, bringing it out of sure financial ruin.
70. When he was a kid himself, he got along with his brothers (one older, one younger) by always saying "me too" when they had an idea and wanted him to join in.
71. Bought a couple Wisconsin houses by Lake Michigan for Mom and him, until they got it right.
72. Loved the '62, '70, and '77 Buick LeSabres!
73. Came to visit me in Germany when I was in college. I had just been through a boyfriend breakup, so it was especially special that he came and we got to spend time together.
74. He walked me down the aisle on my wedding day and gave me his very best wishes. (and didn't act too happy to send me off on my new life!)
75. Periodically is really good at supportive pep talks, articulating how proudhe & Mom are of me and my life, family, children, and so forth.
76. He is a friendly sort. I believe that he has the ability to befriend just about anyone.
77. He plays golf with some buddies and has managed not to lose his shirt on the friendly golfing bets that they make.
78. He gave me the funnest bike rides on the crossbar of his bike when I would go pick him up at the train station.
79. Plays clarinet duets with my daughter Sarah.
80. All in all, he is the most wonderful, Dad, son, brother, husband, Grandpa and friend to all who know and love him!!

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Photo of the day--Me and The Little Kid at Shorty's softball game.

More to come another day!!

Friday, April 23, 2010

Installation One-Photo of the Day

Haven't posted for ages!

Thought I would keep it simple, with a photo of the day. See if this helps.

Today is one of my very favorite events at our kids' elementary school. The 4th grade state float parade. The entire 4th grade takes part in a parade with their floats, which each feature highlight information on their assigned state. The Little Kid had Kentucky -- she had fun researching and putting it into this float! Very exciting day!!