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8 posts from May 2009

Sunday, May 31, 2009

Opportunity Knocks

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Yep, Big Bear is on the road again to Maryland, another 9 hour drive - but this time he isn't carrying a casket in the back.  Nope, he's going on an interview - a very promising opportunity, and he is looking forward to having the conversation.



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Thank you Tim!  My dear friend, Tim (not the guy pictured with my Big Bear), is the man who put Bob in touch with a friend about a job opportunity that was right up Bob's alley.  It is a perfect fit and Bob is the man for the job. 



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After 9 months of unemployment and no opportunities that panned out, Bob has continued to hold his head high and have faith that the right opportunity would come along in God's time, not his, not mine, but God's time.  We have always had faith that God would provide and lead us in the right direction.  He always has.  The waiting has been tough, but Bob has made it a full-time job looking for work, in between mowing the lawn and tilling up the gardens, putting in drainage, cleaning out the garage, cleaning his home office, caring for his mother, riding his motorcycle, kissing me, and keeping our kids on a short leash.



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We make a good team, Big Bear and I.  We rely on each other to be strong, communicate, and throw in a few hugs here and there.  For instance, take this suit shopping we did the other day.  My Big Bear is a big man.  He even growls and chases me around the house on occasion.  He could not shop for new suits without me.  I'm his right-hand woman.  I'm his pal.  I'm his partner in arms.  I'm the eyes in the back of his head.



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When we lived in Maryland, finding a good suit for Bob was tough.  There wasn't much of a selection for a man his size.  He's built like a linebacker - a really big guy.  So, when we moved to South Charlotte, the first thing we did was find a place for Bob to do all of his clothes shopping, and we found that place.  Esquire Big & Tall in Charlotte.  It is family owned and operated by the entire family - Mom, Dad, and Son.  They make a great team too, and they know how to fit a suit very well. 



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As a matter of fact, Esquire suits up most all of the Carolina Panthers.  Heck, even I enjoy shopping with my Big Bear at Esquire.  I love their selection, and their suits are first rate.



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Jason, the owner's son, helped out my man, and got him suited up well.  Knowing that Bob needed a suit for his interview on Tuesday, he made sure that he had one ready to go by the next day.  That's service if you ask me. 



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All in all, Big Bear walked out with 3 beautiful suits, a pair of jeans, ties, suspenders, socks, and a smile.  I helped him pick everything out and enjoyed critiquing the way the suit looked and what alterations should be made.  I'm good like that.  I want my man to look good, dangnammit, and I'm picky about his suits.



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The one problem he seems to have, though, is with his pants.  Given about 5 minutes, they are riding down and slacking off.  I told him I wanted him to start wearing suspenders like Larry King and I thought he'd look dang good with them on.  I think suspenders look sharp, and since I think Bob is a sharp looking man, he should have himself some snazzy suspenders.



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They aren't as fancy as Larry King's, but they looked good.  And, the best part of all - they hold up his pants.  No more slacking off. 



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We went back yesterday and picked up his suit, but not before we made a few last minute adjustments.  Joe, the tailor, is good like that, and does a very good job tailoring suits to fit perfect. 



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In the end, Big Bear looked sharp.  He looked ready to take on the world.  He looked ready to take on this interview. 



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So - let's all wish him a little luck on a wing and a prayer, and hope that this job is the perfect fit, kinda like those pants.

UPDATE: Tuesday, June 2, 2009:

The interview went very well and lasted several hours.  He hit it off with the hiring manager and a VP within the company.  I think we have a good opportunity here, but only time will tell.  Next steps?  Don't know yet, but he is on his way home and will take care of everything else from this end.  Thank you all for your prayers and support!  Let's hope this opportunity materializes! 


SusieQSignature

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

A Life Well Lived

1941aGeneva

This has been a difficult week.  A somber week.  A sad week.  Even my own dreams have been strange - a feeling of being lost, alone, frightened.  Losing a parent is second in heartfelt sadness only to losing a child I think.  There is something about the loss that changes the entire dynamic of our lives.  It forces us to reflect on our own lives and our own legacy in this world.

I want to remember my mother-in-law for the life she lived.  A pictorial walk down memory lane for those who knew her, those who were a part of her life, and those who never knew her.  She was a special lady.  Full of spunk and vinegar.  Full of love and laughter.  We are all better for having known her.  So here, I want to share with you a bit of what I know about my mother-in-law ...



1921GenevaBaby

She was born on May 14th, 1921 and was given the name Elva Geneva Newman.



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She was the eldest of 6 children.  Not pictured here is a baby brother who had not yet arrived on the scene, and an older brother who had passed away at 18 months.



1940Geneva

She grew up in Ripley, Tennessee. 1940.



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She never graduated from high school.  It is my understanding that her parents took her out of school to help on their farm in Ripley.  1941.



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And here she stands by the family car in a pretty floral dress.  Geneva loved dresses and dressing up. 1941.



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She started to develop a more sophisticated style by 1942.



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And she started to date. 1942.



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A lot.  There was an entire photo album dedicated to past loves.  She was somethin' else.  Let me tell ya.  She must have been a flirt in her younger days. 1942.

 



1943GenevaTelephoneOperator

For a while, she worked as a long-distance telephone operator in Memphis, Tennessee. 1943.



1945GenevaWildside

And she continued to sow her oats.  She was feisty.  Looks like she had some feisty friends too. 1945.



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Yep.  Geneva had a fun youth.  She loved the beach too.  Here she is with a friend from New Orleans. 1947.



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The older she got, the more stylish she became.  Geneva was always particular about hats, shoes, and matching outfits.  Easter 1948.



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She won the title Miss Mechanics of the Bay. 1949.  Love those shoes.



1949Geneva

I have these earrings and this necklace tucked away with all her jewelry.  She took good care of her things.  Don't you just love the hairstyle?  1949.



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Geneva went to church dressed to the nines.  She was always the lady. 1949.



1949GenevaElegant

And always elegant. 1949.



1949GenevaSaucy

And sometimes saucy and sexy. 1949.



1949GenevaStyle

Geneva had style and sophistication and great shoes. 1949.



1950Geneva

Her hairstyle got a bit shorter, but she was always the consummate lady. 1950.



1953GenevaandKen

She caught the eye of Ken, aka "The Mayor of Georgia Avenue."  Ken wasn't about to let this gal slip through his fingers. 1953.



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Ken took her to church. 1953.



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And he took her to the beach - and laid a nookie on her to make her knees go weak. 1953.



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And they played and acted silly together. 1953.



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And then he proposed to his best lady, and she said "yes." 1953.



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Geneva found the wedding dress of her dreams, a satin beauty.  Sept. 1953.



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And we still have her wedding dress and veil packed neatly away in our cedar chest.  I pulled it out the other day and admired its beauty.  Not nearly as beautiful as the woman who wore it. Sept. 1953.



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"Oh my, this is my big day!" Sept. 12, 1953.



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Here they come - the happy couple.  Sept. 12, 1953.



1953GandKWeddingReception

Onto the reception and a toast for a bright future together. Sept. 12, 1953.



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Off they go into the sunset and a lifetime of love and memories together. Sept. 12, 1953.



1956GandK

They began to build a life together. 1956.



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And they enjoyed their trips to the beach. 1957.



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Geneva was stylish even during her pregnancy with Bobby. 1959.



1959GandKandBobJune

Nearly six years after they married, their first and only child was born - Robert Kenneth Vaughn, Jr. on June 7, 1959.  He weighed in at almost 9 lbs.



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Bobby grew up fast, and eventually they started referring to themselves as the 3 Musketeers. 1963.



1963GandKandBobChristmas

Now this is a sight for sore eyes.  What's with those glasses on Bob anyway?  I mean, he has perfect vision - or at least he did until just a few years ago. 1963.



1969GandBobJulyDurhamNC

Bob was getting taller.  Geneva was getting a little bit heavier, but she always looked great. Durham, North Carolina, 1969.



1970GandKandBobsnewhomeOlneyMD

The family eventually moved to Olney, Maryland. 1970.



1971aGandKandBob

And they would live there for more than 30 years.  Bob was 12 years old in this picture.  I met Bob when he was 11.  His mother worked for my father and their political party when my father ran for U.S. Senate back in the 70s, and Bobby and I went to school together. I don't know that I'm diggin' those white socks and black shoes with shorts.  As a matter of fact, I know I'm not.  1972.



1974GandKandBob

Eventually, Bob was towering over both of them which begged the question "The milkman?" I can remember thinking in high school "Dang, he's a tall dude."  And skinny, and he really liked my girlfriend Barbara.  1974.



1975GandKBlenderforChristmas

Ken never failed to give Geneva exactly what she wanted for Christmas. 1975.



1976GandKinOceanCityAugust

And Geneva never failed to keep Ken happy. Ocean City, Maryland, 1976.



1977GandKattheairportJuly

They traveled the world together and celebrated the fact that their son had now graduated from high school. 1977.



1977GandKinfrontofhouse

They loved their home in Olney.  Geneva planted some beautiful flowers and Ken had taught Bobby well - how to care for the lawn.  Bob still loves working in the yard (aren't I a lucky gal?) 1977.



1978GandK

They were always happy together.  Always kissing.  Always flirting.  1978.



1978GandKKissingatRestStopJune

See what I mean? 1978.



1978GandKKissingSummitStnoftheBavarianZuippityCableCar

I mean really you two - get a room!  1978.



1978GenevainVeniceItalyGondolaRide

In 1978 they traveled the world together.  They went to Germany and Italy and so many other places too numerous to mention.  Here, Geneva is relaxing in a Gondola ride. Ken took the picture. 1978.



1983GandKKissing

They sure did love each other.  Ken never failed to show her just how much she meant to him.  They were always exchanging cards on holidays, and sometimes just because.  1983.



1983Geneva

I'm sorry, I just had to put this picture in the story.  She looks too cute if you ask me. 1983.

Well, that's it for today.  More to come in the next few days. 

"We miss you Mom.  But, we know that Ken is kissing you and chasing you all over heaven right now."

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Passing On to Be With Her Beloved

KandG5

At 2am, Bob and I received a phone call from the nursing home where Bob's mother, Geneva, resides.  They didn't think she was going to make it through the night and thought that we should get there as soon as we could.  Exhausted, Bob and I left the children in the care of our oldest daughter, Kathleen, and drove the hour to the nursing home.  It was a quiet and somber trip.



KandG7

Geneva has had Alzheimer's for about 6 years now.  Just last week, she celebrated her 88th birthday, just a mere whisper of the vibrant woman she used to be.



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She has been slipping in and out of a coma for the last 12 hours or so and we expect her to pass sometime today - although, knowing Geneva as I do, she may just continue to be the stubborn ol' coot that she has always been and not go out without a fight.  And boy is she fighting.  She is struggling with every breath she takes and her blood pressure is dropping.  She is not responsive to our touch or talking to her.  But - she is still alive. Amazing.



KandG12

We said a prayer for her and told her that Ken, her beloved husband of 52 years, and Bob's father, was waiting for her to help him with the gardening and that it was time for her to go home.  Bob is being brave and stoic through this difficult time.  I don't know how he does it.  He is an only child and this has all fallen on his shoulders in addition to the hardship of still being out of work since his layoff last September. 

I felt inclined to write a poem for my mother-in-law, Geneva, on this sad day. 

IF WORDS COULD BRING A TWINKLE BACK
By: Mary Susan Vaughn
to my Mother-in-Law, Geneva
May 21, 2009

If hugs could bring you back to us
And kisses bring a smile
We'd smother you with lots of love
We'd go that extra mile

If words could bring a twinkle back
to your eyes so far away
We'd talk and sing about your life
We'd read to you and pray

If holding your hand and touching your cheek
could bring back the memories gone by
We'd do all these things and much more for you
We'd give it our best prayerful try

But your mind is in a distant place
Your soul on angel's wings
Your spirit floats on memories
Your voice no longer sings

You've lived a life so full of love
You've lived a life that's good
You dedicated your life to family
You did all that you should

So fly above the clouds so high
Feel the breeze upon your face
Welcome Angels at your door
Bow down to God's full Grace

Your spirit lives within us all
Your joy and laughter too
Soon eyes will get their twinkle back
But ours will be deep blue




Thank you all for your prayers.

*****

May 22, 2009:

KandG14

Geneva passed away peacefully at 2:30 a.m. this morning, May 22, 2009.  Through the tears Bob and I agreed that we could hear his father, Ken, in heaven saying "What the hell took you so long woman? ... What's your name?"  Of course, Geneva replies "Poot-n-tane, ask me again and I'll tell you the same."  And together they kissed and embraced each other, smiling, and then ...

KandG15

Ken grabbed a boob and Geneva said "Ol Ken, stop that."

KandG4

all the while Geneva laughed at Ken's silly jokes.  At least now he has her home with him - together forevermore.

"We love you Mom & Dad.  Take good care of each other until we meet again."

Bobby & Susan

Monday, May 18, 2009

A BIG Day at the Races!

M-Nascar0038

There is no way to explain clearly the excitement and enthusiasm, the downright joy and jubilation, that a 12 year old boy experiences when told by his daddy that he has 2 tickets to attend the NASCAR All-Star Race at Lowes Motor Speedway.  Nope, I can't begin to tell you the lifetime memory that day had on my boy.  All I can do is show it to you in pictures and share with you the stories they told me about their dad & son day out this past Saturday.

There is something else you need to know about this experience.  I gave Big Bear and Matthew both digital cameras.  I gave Big Bear my Nikon D300 with the Nikkor 24-120 zoom lens (He insisted on taking the Nikkor lens and not the Tamron - men.  He should have taken my Tamron 28-300 zoom lens. Live and Learn).  And I gave Matthew our Olympus Camedia Digital Camera, showed him how to use it, and let him have at it.  More than anything, I wanted Matthew to document his day with Dad - from his perspective.

Let me tell ya - give a kid a camera and you'll be surprised, shocked, and smiling ear-to-ear when you see the pictures.  So, I am going to share with you all the pictures that Matthew took and a few that Big Bear took this past Saturday, and I'll tell you who took the picture too in () parens.  It'll be fun.  You'll see.   How about I start by telling you that Matthew took the picture you see of himself above.  Is that a happy boy or what?



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(Matthew) Yep, from Matthew's perspective, Dad's a big man.  His hero.  His mentor.  His buddy.  And, they were going for the ride of their life - together.



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(Big Dad) Enjoying his experience with his son.



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(The Waiter) A wonderful lunch at Harper's Restaurant in Charlotte before the big day at the races.



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(Matthew)  He saw Charlotte and threatening skies while heading down the highway, and said a little prayer that the weather wouldn't spoil his perfect day with Dad.



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(Big Dad) They rode in golf carts to and from the parking lot.



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(Matthew)  He saw big balloons and clear blue skies overhead reminding him that he was really at the Speedway and his prayers for a clear day had been answered.



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(Matthew) Wow!  Race Cars!



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(Matthew) And Lug Nut!



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(Big Dad)  Lug Nut was tickling Matthew and putting his hand over his face teasing with him.



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(Big Dad)  Dad took pictures of Matthew taking pictures.



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(Matthew) Oh My!  Strange banners flying overhead.  I guess Geico had to get in their 2 cents worth since Nationwide is a sponsor at Lowes Motor Speedway.



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(Matthew)  Ya think he had his eye on some goodies at the souvenier store?



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(Matthew) Matthew had his eye on the Jeff Gordon race car ...



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(Big Dad) Because for Matthew, Jeff Gordon is bigger than life.  His race car hero.



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(A Lowes Speedway guest) A nice person took this picture of Dad and son at the speedway before the big race.  Dad bought Matthew his Jeff Gordon car and a hat too.



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(Big Dad) They met Trooper M.W. Whitener and Matthew's eyes got as big as saucers when he saw all the stuff in his car.



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(Big Dad) So, Trooper Whitener gave Matthew a thrill and let him sit in the driver's seat of his State Trooper car. 



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(Big Dad) After Matthew sat in the Trooper car, he stood on a Big Dang Truck.



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(Big Dad) Yeah Man, these are some Big Dang Trucks!



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(Big Dad) They found some of the local wildlife to be very entertaining.



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(Matthew) They are in their seats now, and Matthew can hardly contain his excitement. He couldn't believe how many vehicles were in the infield of the racetrack.



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(Matthew) "So Dad!  Ya Ready for the Big Race?!!!"



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(Matthew) "Whoa! Look at this place.  This is so cool!"



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(Big Dad) "Look Matthew - What's that on the other side of the track?"



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(Matthew) "Look Dad!  It's a little stunt car!"



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(Big Dad) This sure looks like fun.



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(Matthew) "Look Dad!  The race is starting!"



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(Matthew) "I do wish I wasn't ..."



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(Matthew) "... so short."

And so, Big Dad took over all the pictures from here ...



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There they go, making their entrance with the pace car.



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"Matthew Look!  Here they come!"



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"Matthew, this is so cool, bud!  This is great!"



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"Looks like someone has issues."



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And so, the race had begun, with a lot of excitement on a clear day.



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It was dark now and between races, so the celebration continued with an exciting fireworks display. 



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Everyone in the bleachers were having a NASCAR Good Time.



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And chuggin' down a few beers ... just a few mind you.



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"Look Dad!" yelled Matthew - "It's our Man - Jeff Gordon!  Go Number 24!!!"



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"Yeah Baby!"



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"There's our guy again!"



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It's a race to the finish!



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Jeff Gordon and Sam Hornish, Jr. are neck-in-neck.



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"Woohoo!  Our Man's in the lead!"



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It's a grand day at the races.



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And a fun day in North Carolina.



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Big Bear and Matthew met a lot of nice people at the races.  Everyone was having a great time.  This is what we love about North Carolina - the nice people.



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I will say this - the next time any member of this family goes to the races, we're going prepared - with earplugs or earphones.  Big Bear and Matthew told me that if we were to turn the stereo up in our family room full blast and then double it, that's how loud the noise was from the engines.  It was deafening.



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Then it happened.  Kyle Busch cut Jeff Gordon short and caused him to wreck.  Darn.  He was in the lead too.



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Uh, yep, I think we second that reaction.



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"Can you believe that guy?  I mean, who does he think he is?"  "Well, bud, I don't know, but I don't know who you are either."



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Tony Stewart went on to win the race.  It was an exciting day.



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It was filled with fun, fans, and fireworks.



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Most of all, it was the most exciting day Matthew had ever had.  The fact that he shared it with Dad made it that much more memorable. Matthew is now a NASCAR fan for life!  Go Jeff Gordon!

And, a very special "Thank You!" to our neighbor Pat Garvey for giving us the tickets to the race. 

The End.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Where Have My Babies Gone?

Kathleenage3-4Kimage1-2

I can't help it.  I'm a bit melancholy lately.  I look around me and see my children - a few all grown up.  Others close behind.  And, a grandson who is rambunctious and growing up so fast too.  Where have my babies gone? 



Kathleenage6-2Kimage4-1  

I think they've left their mark on my skin, my hair, my hands, and my heart.  They've left an indelible print on my life and my existence.  They've given me memories and moments, heartaches and headaches, hugs and happiness, worries and wonderment.  I suppose the world must go on, but must they grow up?



Easter4717

They are all asleep in their beds right now.  The house is dark and quiet.  I take comfort in knowing that they are here, just a few steps away, from a hug and a kiss on the cheek, from the reassurance that they are loved and adored.  They are still my babies - even if one is 30 years old now.



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I think back on when they were babies, and toddlers, and youngsters full of joy and laughter.  Now my oldest daughter is 30, my youngest daughter is 15.  My only son is 12 and my grandson is 9.  The years have rolled by with the creep of a roller coaster going uphill and the speed of the ride going straight down.

Yep, life is like a roller coaster and then you're at the gate wondering why the ride was so short. 



Easter4709

As you can probably tell by my place here on the web, I love to take pictures.  I love to hold those memories in the palm of my hand for a little bit longer.  I love to go back and revisit them from time to time, Oh!  And now I look over and watch as my daughter clicks away holding on to those memories of her lifetime with her son.



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Still, it's tough.  It is one thing looking in the mirror and examining the new wrinkle that I never noticed before, or the deeper recesses around my nose and mouth, but it is altogether different having my daughters all grown up beside me looking in the mirror and getting all dolled up.  I look at them in amazement at how beautiful they are and how blessed I am to have them in my life.  I'm also amazed at how recently, it seems, that I was young and youthful, full of energy with a head full of great hair, bright eyed and bushy tailed.  I remember those feelings of looking good and feeling good.  Oh how time has a way of passing the torch onto our children.  It is their time to shine now - and my time to admire them in their youth.



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I still wonder where my babies have gone?  I wish I could pick them up out of their crib and hold them in my lap and close to my breast again.  I wish I could rock them to sleep and sing to them as I did when they were babies.  Wasn't that just yesterday?

Song for a Fifth Child
by Ruth Hurlburt Hamilton (1958)

Mother, O Mother, come shake out your cloth,
Empty the dustpan, poison the moth,
Hang out the washing, make up the bed,
Sew on a button and butter the bread.

Where is the mother whose house is so shocking?
She's up in the nursery, blissfully rocking.

Oh, I've grown as shiftless as Little Boy Blue,
Lullabye, rockabye, lullabye loo.
Dishes are waiting and bills are past due
Pat-a-cake, darling, and peek, peekaboo

The shopping's not done and there's nothing for stew
And out in the yard there's a hullabaloo
But I'm playing Kanga and this is my Roo
Look! Aren't his eyes the most wonderful hue?
Lullabye, rockaby lullabye loo.

The cleaning and scrubbing can wait till tomorrow
But children grow up as I've learned to my sorrow.
So quiet down cobwebs; Dust go to sleep!
I'm rocking my baby and babies don't keep.

SusanSignature

Sunday, May 10, 2009

A Tribute to My Mother, My Hero, My Friend

Mom38

My mother.  Her strength amazes me.



Mom17

Her own mother passed away when she was only 11 years old.  I don't think my mother ever recovered from the loss.  I wish I had known my grandmother.  She was so beautiful.



Mom19

That is my mother on the left.  I loved the dresses back then.



Mom18

I love to see pictures of my mother as a child.  The look of pride on my grandmother's face says it all. Can you believe that my grandmother was 43 years old when she had my mother?  Even now I find it amazing when a woman in her 40s has a child.  The older you are the more difficult it is.



Mom16

And here she is with her mother and father and sister.  They were a happy family growing up in Kentucky - until her mother became ill and passed away at the age of 54.



Mom15

My mother was like any other little girl.  She loved to play dress up in her mother's clothes with her sister.



Mom43

My mother grew up into a beautiful young woman, catching the eye of my father who was serving in the Army during WWII.



Mom9

Of course, he wasn't the only one who had eyes for my mother - that is not a picture of my father next to that blanket.



Mom12

Yes, my mother was a looker back in her day.



Mom14

My father showed up at the theatre where my mother worked just after returning home from the war.  They dated for 6 weeks, fell in love, and got married in 1946.



Mom22

Of course, a little bundle of joy showed up over a year later.  My brother Mike.



Mom4

Four years later, my brother Billy arrived on the scene.  Here they are with my paternal grandmother, Mama Lill.  She was a feisty lady and the best grandmother ever.  Believe me when I tell you that she didn't put up with any crap - from anyone.



Mom3

Even after 2 boys, my mother tried to stay in shape. 



Mom29

Naturally, when I popped up (or popped out) in 1959, that was the end of wearing bathing suits.  Sorry Mom.  I know how you feel.



Mom1

We traveled a lot growing up.  Mom and Dad always tried to squeeze in an annual vacation.



Mom6

Why did I stand this way - with my knees locked back.  Strange child I was.



Mom36

I had great parents and 2 wonderful brothers growing up.  They teased me and wrestled with me in the living room.  They refused to play bikes and cars with me.  They told me to "shut up" and to "get lost."  Yes, it was a grand childhood.



Mom23

My mother tolerated a lot while I was growing up.  As you can see from the look on my face, I had my eye on something and wasn't about to cooperate with the photographer until I got it.



Mom20

And the more I fussed, the more frazzled my mother became - as is evident by her hair.  It didn't help that what I wanted to hold in the picture was a skunk.  I was a difficult child.



Mom25

My dad had big ideas and big dreams.  He ran for Congress and U.S. Senate back in the 60s.  My mother stood by my dad through all of his mis-adventures.



Mom24

And even managed to get herself in the paper a few times.



Mom21

My dad loved to entertain and show my mother a great time.  Nothing was too much when it came to spoiling my mother.  She was a great mother.  A good wife.  A wonderful housekeeper.  And a good typist too!



BrookevilleHome

From the time I was born, my mother and father gathered ideas for their dream home, and when I was 11 years old, their dream home became a reality.  Sitting on 7 acres in Brookeville, Maryland overlooking Tridelphia Lake, my parents built their home.  It was a wonderful place to grow up.



Mom42

My mom and dad were a happy couple.  There were a few rough patches along the way, but that's life.  That's marriage.  Getting through the tough times together is what family is all about, and my mother was the glue that held us all together.



Mom31

I have always been proud of my parents.  I am especially proud of my mother.  I miss my father.



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Sadly, 5 months after this picture was taken of my parents dancing for the last time in our Brookeville home, my father passed away.  I was 5 months pregnant with my 2nd daughter, Kimberly, when he passed.  My mother was strong.  She cried and she needed us, but she was still remarkably strong.  I think I would have fallen apart in her shoes.  I did fall apart.  "Mom - you are an incredible woman.  A fantastic mother.  And a true example of what a mother should be to her children."



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Yes, my mother is a special lady.  She has picked up my falling pieces more than a few times too.



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I have always been very proud of my mother, never knowing where she gets her strength and her energy.



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She never fails to make me laugh and make me smile.



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She was in the delivery room with me for the birth of 3 of my 4 children, helped me raise 2 of my children, moved in with me and my family 12 years ago, has been there by my side with my last 2 children, and has helped us raise our grandson, her great-grandson, as well.  Remarkable?  Absolutely. 



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Unusual for her?  Not at all.  She is one tough cookie.  A hot chick. The best mother ever, and she has the smile to show it.  Of course, we are still driving Miss Daisy ...



I love you, Mom.

SusanSignature

Saturday, May 09, 2009

Daughter's Day Out

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This is the best Mother's Day weekend I've ever had.  I am surrounded by all of my children and it is wonderful.  To celebrate this wonderful event we had a daughter's day out - Kathleen, Sarah, and me.  All smiles, all happy, just a perfect day with my girls.



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My girls were beautiful, happy, funny, and anxious to shop.



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And anxious to look at the cute waiter's too. 



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We shopped for clothes.



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We shopped for handbags.



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I drooled over Coach.



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Sarah drooled over Juicy Couture.



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Kathleen drooled over Kate Spade.



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Our eyes popped at Vera Wang.



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And as much as I wanted to take advantage of this special going on for Vera Wang fragrance, I was very proud of myself for not being impulsive.  But it sure did smell delicious.  Oh, how I love Vera Wang.



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And all the colors and all the Spring clothes were so...so...so bright!  They made me happy.  I love happy colors, don't you?



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Do you think these fine Southern women know that the economy is on the fritz?  I mean, this line was about 20 women deep. 



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And I did what all mothers of grown children do when they are out & about town ... I looked at all the adorable children.  Isn't she gorgeous?  I just want to pinch her cheeks.  And those eyes! 



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And then after the excursion to Southpark Mall, we headed on over to the book store.  Our favorite place to shop.  All 3 of us couldn't wait to find a few books to take home.  And we did.  Books are our favorite spoil of all.  And we found some great deals too!

All in all, our day out together was loads of fun. We laughed, we teased, we shopped, we ate, and we enjoyed every second of it.

Isn't that what it's all about?

Saturday, May 02, 2009

A Miscellaneous post

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Sometimes you just have to say something, and I've been working so hard to update my site that I haven't posted in what? 2 days?  So here's what's happenin...

Kathleen and I have been sitting on the sofa for hours on end with our laptops updating our sites and building her site at Katrunk. (that stands for "Kathleen's Trunk"). It looks so pretty.  She has done this all herself - with a little help from me.  But, she did figure out how to do the top navigation on her own.  I'm so proud.

Bob, Kathleen, and I have had an upset stomach for about 3 days now.  We're all feelin' a bit yukky.  Charmin has made it tolerable for all of us.  So has Pepto Bismol and Coca Cola.  I think we still have remnants of last week's flu dragging us down. 

Glen learned how to vacuum the family room today.  Reluctantly.

Matthew tried to skip out of the house to visit his friend without finishing his chores.  He didn't make it out the door, though, as Glen ratted on him.  Brothers.  Aren't they wonderful?

Sarah got home from school and talked about her day for 40 minutes straight.  I have no clue what she said, because my brain could obviously not visualize all that she experienced in her day.  As long as none of it involved being in the company of someone with swine flu I guess she's okay.

We watched the weather channel all day.  Until Oprah came on and then Kathleen and I drooled over Hugh Jackman who I swear looks like a young Clint Eastwood.  Don't you think? But, Hugh has a bit more integrity.  I have always loved Clint Eastwood, but Clint Eastwood has had how many children with how many women?  Hugh has been married for 13 years with 2 children.  He seems settled and committed.  That is so sexy.

I'm a slug.

Kathleen's a slug. 

Bob's a slug.

Glen's a hard worker when we hound him 357 times. 

Matthew's a hard worker too when he has nowhere else he'd rather be.

Sarah got 3 "C's" and 1 "A" on her report card.  Hmmmm.  Not sure I'm very happy with that.  Last semester it was 3 "A's" and 1 "B." 

I need a shower. 

I need pepto bismol.

I think I'll go make me a dish of Big Bear's delicious Chicken Alfredo with roasted peppers. 

Then I'm going to shower and go to bed and watch some television with a cup of hot cocoa, prop up my feet, and sleep in in the morning.  

I finished a bowl of Big Bear's Chicken Alfredo.  I'm stuffed.

But now I'm stuck in the family room at the moment with 2 sleepy dogs and watching the History Channel's Commander's of War.  War is a strategic game.  I thought it was funny when the Russians dug ditches to "tank" the German tanks. 

I wonder if there are reruns of Sex and the City on tonight?  When is Mad Men going to have new shows?  When is Big Bear going to have a job offer?  What day of the week is it?  Am I really here?

I think I'm going to bed early tonight. 

Tomorrow's a new day. 



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