Saturday, July 14, 2012

Knickerbocker 200th anniversary parade - Waterford

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Today I abandoned a long scribbled list of things I was going to do around the house, grabbed my camera, and shot about 250 photos of firetrucks. And firemen. And Ladies Auxiliary members. And a few dozen very overheated kids in marching bands.

The fire company hosting the parade has been in existence for 200 years. It was a nice parade, but the blazing sunshine was killing me. I was trying to hide under someone's little popup halftent and dodge two idiot guys who kept getting COMPLETELY in my way. I'd move up or down the street a little way (I was right near the reviewing stand, and everyone saluted as they approached, so that was cool). Every time I moved, eventually they moved again and were RIGHT. In. Front. Of. MEEEEE. Grrr. Stupid boys.

At any rate, I put about 45 photos up on Flickr so please click on the linked images and take a look - there are a few very old firetrucks that are lovingly cared for and taken out for occasions like today. Gorgeous.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012


Sundowning is a term that describes the way geriatric patients decline in the evenings. Weakness, confusion... In the morning my father in law is sharp and witty. In the evening he will look around the house where he has lived some 50 years and sadly say, "I used to have a house that was like this."

The sofa where I sat when I first met then some 23 years ago has been replaced by two chairs that gently lift one, two frail people up, up, up to standing, so they can shuffle to the kitchen to be coaxed to eat, before they return to sit by these windows and nap until the aides insist, "it's time to get up and walk. You need to walk, or you'll get weaker."

Some aides insist, and some just can't be bothered. They would rather read, or slip into a nap themselves, and put their hand out on Friday for a paycheck they don't really deserve.

It is a rocky path and a delicate tightrope. Trying to convey information among siblings without seeming to be too accusatory or demanding or unwilling to help... Trying to placate some of the persistent requests that come from boredom, confusion, frustration at loss of independence... from parents who don't understand we all work full time and have kids and their schedules... It's disheartening.

I don't know why the Hallmark channel moved and you can't watch little house on the prairie anymore. But to fix that I have to find a bill, and slip away from my desk tomorrow, and convince someone on an 800 number to give me information and maybe even arrange for a person to come and give you more than shitty basic cable, and yes I will disable the alarm system so we can save THAT money every month since you always have aides with you...

At the end of the day, we sundown a little bit too. We don't want the one additional call from an aide about some item that needs to be purchased, or to think about what happens next in this downward spiral, and what fights will happen when it comes time to sell the house.

Sunday, July 08, 2012

I'm the lucky one

My dear Stanley, the organist at my church, had a very good day last Monday.  He bought a scratch off Lottery ticket, and he won a little sum of money, so when he was in another store he used his winnings and bought a more expensive scratch off ticket. And saw those magic words:  LIFE   LIFE  LIFE.  He won a ridiculous amount of money.

When I first heard through a text message yesterday morning, I must admit I cried big, selfish tears.  I don't care about the money. All I want is for him to keep playing up there in the loft, because there is something magical up there for me when he is on that organ bench.  I don't want the money to take him away from us.

Then yesterday afternoon, while I was working at our Steamboat festival on the canal, he walked up to me, with a giant grin. Honestly.  EAR TO EAR.  I just couldn't help but beam back at him.  "Are your ears burning today?" I asked him, laughing while a spoke.  I watched the "does she know" flicker across his face, and his eyes narrowed slightly as he asked me "Why?"  My smirk and "Everyone's talking about you" was my reply.  He told me the story and said that he will be on tv in a few days (which I know he hates... he doesn't even like to turn around when the priest has the congregation applaud for us at the end of every season. Stanley has a sign in the choir loft  - Soli Deo Gloria - to God alone the Glory - and it fits him to a T.)  He won't be a splashy, drive a convertible around town, sort of guy. The money will be used to help his nieces and nephews raise their children. 

I finally plucked up the nerve to say, "You're not going to quit, are you? I'll miss you... it won't be the same without you."  He shrugged that off very matter of factly - oh no, I'll keep playing.  I wanted to jump up on the folding table and dance.

The funniest moment came then, when I asked if he wanted a burger or hot dog, and he said "I don't know if I have any money with me."    I love him.

(I really don't want his money.  if you see only "lottery" in this story, you cynical chap, just go through some of these:  (the essence of my relationship with him)  (a classic Stanley moment) (silly) (  Stanley's shoes part 2)  (  Stanley's shoes part 1) (this links to a video where he was interviewed about a friend of ours who was killed) (oops)

Thursday, July 05, 2012

Things of Random-ness

1. My sister was here for a few days. Nothing else really mattered to me. You can see the cutest nieces ever, in my instagram feed. (Or if you are my Facebook friend, but for some strange reasons most of my FB people don't know this blog exists. )

2. We had lobster. And yes I am afraid of those effers when they thrash their tails before you DROP THEM IN BOILING WATER. TAKE THAT. Except after the first one I did, I made my sister throw them in. We also made some really great cake magic together. It was her 40th birthday (so yes I am almost 47, and I really need to change this blog title...)

3. My fridge died today. Because it knows I bought a new dishwasher last week and maybe spent too much and I had fun with all that on the twitter with poly (and her brother, right?)

4. I have recently found something really good to bond with my own brother about. He is great at analyzing a book... We both read the Hunger Games and I found a book called the Girl Who Was On Fire (essays about HG) which we have been discussing.

5. If you are on Instagram look me up.(Carlyq80) but for pete's sake if you use the blur, do it right. It should usually be a band all of the way across your photo, horizontally, because a REAL lens would be focused at a certain distance from the camera... stuff closer or farther away might blur based on the aperture setting. Learn photography basics, people.