I’m using these photos from the summer solstice at Janet’s to illustrate this post because I didn’t take many usable pictures of the two joyful indoor events we attended this past weekend. It was a welcome change of pace to enjoy the associations and conversations without incessantly taking pictures. (And my indoor pictures never come out very well…)
Larisa & Dima flew up from North Carolina to attend a baby shower I threw for her on Saturday in the clubhouse here at our condo complex. (With a lot of assistance from a few of her very creative friends!) So many of the important women in her life were able to attend, including some who traveled a great distance to get here! Larisa was glowing!
And then on Sunday we drove up to New Hampshire to attend the wedding of Tim’s cousin, Allegra, and her new husband Dan. It was supposed to be outside, but there was a backup plan in case of rain, and it was needed, as thunderstorm after thunderstorm came rumbling through the mountains. We are so happy for the new families being created, and I was thrilled to feel a kick from my new granddaughter as I rested my hand on Larisa’s tummy…
Our lives have taken on a surreal quality, a numbness, in recent weeks. Tim’s brother Toby is now living with us, and sadly, has been diagnosed with incurable bladder cancer. A few days after receiving this devastating news, we were stunned to hear that Tim’s cousin has also been diagnosed with an incurable cancer. Radical treatments will buy them both a little time, but how much is uncertain. This is all so uncomfortably familiar, having lost three of our middle-aged parents to cancer when we were young adults. And yet, this is now all so terribly new to us, cancer striking our generation for the first time. Insidious, unrelenting, cruel…
Zoë has been wonderful company for me – I’m thinking of getting a cat harness and leash for her so she can come out into the garden with me. She seems rambunctious enough to enjoy an outdoor adventure. 🙂 Toby is doing angelic things in my garden – he loves gardening and it gives him something satisfying and distracting to do between medical appointments. And Scarby has been wonderful company for Tim – she is coming out of hiding more often and enjoys sitting on the cat tree to look out the window and soak up the sun. She often sits on his desk and watches him work.
The other day I sent Tim a link to an article, how to calculate tree height using a smartphone. And then, Voilà!!! Mr. Logic found the app and used it on our next visit to my tree! He determined that my tree is 60 feet tall! (That’s about 18 meters tall for those of you on the metric system.) An interesting bit of information to ponder, since I still cannot see the shape of its leaves just yet.
Janet and I took a train to New York City. We met Larisa at Penn Station and went shopping in the fabric district for material for her wedding dress! She is sewing it herself with a little help from her friends. Seeing her drape the different shades of purple fabric over her body to see which one she liked best, well, they were some of the happiest moments in my life. My lovely daughter is going to be a stunning bride in just a little over a month!
Viktor and Aneta Urich of Grande Prairie [Alberta, Canada] welcomed the birth of their 100th grandchild earlier this month – newborn Henry Urich, ninth child of Tatjana and Heinrich Urich. Heinrich is one of Viktor and Aneta’s 16 children.
How does he keep them all straight?
“Good question,” laughs Viktor, 62. “Sometimes when I look, I say ‘What’s your name?'”
Yesterday we went to visit Tim’s cousin in Massachusetts, who was hosting a family Christmas gathering. Four generations, ranging in age from 2 to 75 years old. Twenty-seven people in all, including one aunt, four cousins, nine second cousins, two third cousins, and not to be overlooked, six spouses and significant others and five foster children. Or, using another method for sorting the gang out, fifteen adults, three teens and nine little ones. We had but two hours on our way home to sort out the numbers and connections… Not as impressive as the couple in Alberta but…
We did our share of asking, “What’s your name?”
We weren’t there two minutes when little Delyah, 2, inquired “Who are you?” and then put me to work brushing her pony’s hair and fastening barrettes on its tail.
In a little while Nova, 4, sporting sparkly temporary tattoos on her arms, introduced herself and asked me where my tattoos were. (Both her parents have visible tattoos.) I regretted having to disappoint her.
As the afternoon went on, a little one of uncertain age kept saying,”Thanks, Santa,” when Tim would toss one of the balloons her way. Do you think it had something to do with his whitish beard and all the red he was wearing?
It was wonderful seeing everybody again, and meeting new additions to the clan. A clan that adores its children!
Tim & I got ourselves a new camera for Christmas and it was our first chance to use it. So far we’re very pleased with the results and we have so much more to learn about using it!