Tag Archives: Jeremy

Rosalie

It’s nothing very unique for a grandfather to be enamored with his granddaughter. Nor should anyone be surprised if I talk about how smart or creative she is. A search in the tag cloud for Rosalie will turn up quite a few of my paeans to her awesomeness. Here’s one of my favorites from almost exactly a year ago.

Jeremy called me the other night. He’s at home with Rosalie while Ashley is camping with her 5th graders in Outdoor Ed. My conversation with Rosalie was marred by the speaker phone cutting in and out but one thing I heard clearly was that she will be celebrating her ‘half birthday’ on Sunday after her Mama comes home. How cool is that? Five and a half. My half birthday was yesterday but I’m not going to put a number on it.

Anyway, I wanted to post about a little thing she did while Sepi and I were at her house in April. Jeremy had gone off to a job interview and we were alone with her. (Ashley was at work.)

Before he left, Jeremy had come up with some scrap paper and given it to her to draw on. And draw she did! Sepi and I were finishing up a leisurely lunch at the kitchen counter. Rosalie was at her drawing table in the dining room. She came over every few minutes with a stack of colorful drawings. Some were representative and she would explain what they were. Some were just patterns or rainbows. As soon as she could satisfy us with her explanations, she would disappear, explaining that she had more papers that had to be drawn on. Maybe ten minutes later she’d be back with another stack of interesting drawings. This repeated for a while until the paper was exhausted. She clearly wasn’t!

We saved a selection of those drawings but they got into Sepi’s house and I haven’t gotten them back yet. I did save a couple of smaller works she did earlier that day. We had each outlined one of our hands on paper which she then embellished and signed. Somewhere along the line they got cut into smaller pieces before I saved them. If you look carefully, you can see the yellow outline of fingers. Since they were our hands, we were required to sign them too.

Spokane

Sepi and I got over to Spokane last week from Jeremy and Ashley’s in Duvall. We visited my cousins Dan and Nettie and my old friends Peter and Nanci. Sepi bonded with both women to the extent that there were times when I thought I was invisible. I was just as happy to stay out of the kitchen where they seemed to spend most of their time.

Peter’s friend Charlie restored a 1938 Chevrolet pickup truck that belonged to Peter and drove it up to Spokane last year. We guys decided to get it out and give it a spin.

It hadn’t been driven since last summer. Charlie had called earlier in the day and coached me through a couple of things I needed to know to drive it. He couldn’t have know that it was out of gas, though. In the end, Nanci had to go down to the local gas station to fill up their gas can, get it into the truck’s tank and then pour a cupful of gas directly into the carburetor as I cranked it. Thanks to Sepi’s brother Ike for generous advice over the phone that led to the cupful of gas solution.

Peter was very happy. In this picture I am still clenching from the 5 minute ride we are here just returning from. The truck is a very different beast from what I’ve gotten used to.

On Thursday I walked to the Japanese Garden at Manito Park with Dan where the azaleas were blooming. It’s a beautiful spot . . .

risk

Over a year ago I posted a quote from Jeremy about his impending move from Georgia to Washington.

It’s a risk worth taking, to have a life worth living. Our new chapter begins in June.

Here‘s the whole post. For some reason, whenever I’ve logged into this blog – it’s one of the home pages in my browser so, every day – this post shows up on the screen. I tried to fix it once but it kept coming back so I just live with it. There are worse things to see every day.

It seems particularly apt now as I enter into the next chapter of my life with Sepi. I have asked her to marry me and she has said yes. The risk is in my head after experiencing fifteen years of a problematic marriage and six years of a relationship that turned out to be not what I thought it was. I told Sepi that while I loved her, I didn’t feel sure that I could trust my own feelings. We discussed marriage, as we have discussed many things, at some length.

One thing Sepi insisted on from the very beginning was that she wanted each of us to be ‘all in’. No pre-nups, no hedging of our bets. We each have some assets but they are roughly equal and hopefully enough for a comfortable retirement. Not extravagant. Neither of us is entering into this for financial gain.

Sepi has met almost all of my Northern California family. We will be going to Southern California in May to meet her brothers’ families and other friends. We are heading to Washington tomorrow to spend time with Jeremy’s family. I’ve met many of Sepi’s friends in the Bay Area over the past two months. Everyone has passed favorable judgement.

So my risk is not like Jeremy and Ashley’s but it’s a commitment of a similar magnitude for a person who hasn’t made a commitment like this for many years. It feels risky to me but with Sepi I will be reaching for a higher level of life. I trust that my reach will not exceed my grasp.

timeliness

I’ve often wondered what would be the best frequency for posting here. It’s not a news site so daily is a bit much, although I toyed with the idea for a while. In my head, anyway. In fact, long time readers know that I rarely post two days in a row and I don’t think I’ve ever posted three days in a row.

Droughts are more common. I’ve often gone a week without making a post but most months have had at least a half dozen. I’m not going to go back and generate statistics. I’m making a point about the last two months. Well, since March 1st, about 7 weeks. Since then, I’ve only written five posts.

The March 1st post hints at the upheaval in my life that occurred that week. Since then, I have been re-evaluating everything and writing pithy commentary on my life just hasn’t been in the cards. Next week, I’ll be going up to Washington to visit Jeremy and his family. I’ll also be seeing Peter and Nanci in Spokane as well as my cousins Dan and Nettie. I don’t have any high expectations that I’ll be posting from up there but I have hopes of breaking the log jam and being able to post more often when I get back

emotions

The cycles of emotion are strange. I know I’m more likely to get weepy when I’m tired but it still comes on me at times when I do not expect it.

Friday morning I came into Davies Hall to go to work. Past the guard station and down the hallway by the orchestra managers’ offices are the bulletin boards with the lists of who is playing what in the weeks to come. I almost always stop and look to see if Sarah’s name is on the lists. I knew she was playing this week.

Her name was on for the next two sets and as I walked alone down the backstage hallway I found I was tearing up. Why now? She’s been working pretty regularly so it’s not really a huge surprise. It just happened.

Sometimes when I’m talking with Jeremy and he tells me about how busy he is trying to establish himself in a new home and still be a good husband and father I get choked up. Not all the time, just sometimes. Strange are the cycles of emotion.

The SoundBox set last week included a group of short compositions that were pretty unstructured. For the dress rehearsal Friday, the last piece had the 20 or so orchestra members scattered around the SoundBox space. There were a few moments of silence and then they started to play slowly, each musician listening to the space around them and contributing their feelings in sound. For no reason I could identify, I began crying. Although I was sitting off to the side I wondered if people were looking at me. I didn’t move but I tried not to make a sound. I kept saying to myself, ‘Oh, Zach. Oh, my Z.’ over and over. I wanted to let the emotions flow but I was also a professional on the clock. The ethereal music went on for three or four minutes then morphed into a louder, more rhythmic pattern. By the time it ended, I was still teary but under control and I went back to work. No one said anything to me about it.

Jeremy

Jeremy posted on FaceBook yesterday. I didn’t see it until this morning but I thought it was worthy of sharing here as well.

For those who don’t know, Jeremy has been working as a basketball referee for a few years now. He’s been working his way up and has been doing some college games this year. These games from yesterday are high school games, though. I particularly like how this post shows, in clear and concise writing, Jeremy’s calm, professional attitude and work ethic without losing sight of the best that team sports can offer.

Just completed a span of a little more than 24 hours where I officiated:
-A competitive girls JV game where both teams played full-court pressure.
– A girls varsity game for the ages that went to overtime. On the short list of greatest basketball games I’ve ever been a part of.
– A relatively humdrum boys varsity game
– A competitive boys C-team game that came down to a last-second shot
– Competitive girls varsity game
– And in the finale, a tough boys varsity game whose final 30 seconds featured an intentional foul, three made free throws, a made three at the other end, an unforced turnover by the leading team giving the visitors the ball with a shot for the tie, said shot missed, home team rebounds and gets fouled, makes the first FT then misses the second (they’re up by 3 now), shooter crashes in and fouls on a rebound just before time expires, team that’s trailing gets two FT (after we put .5 back on the clock), makes the first FT and purposely misses the second, shooter commits a lane violation and the clock is inadvertently started so we have to put time back again, and finally we’re able to inbound and dribble out that last half-second and go home. I am one tired puppy and ready for date day tomorrow.

tea

I had to look it up. It was Christmas 2011. Zach had moved from Oregon to Louisiana the summer before. Sarah had started her doctorate program in Colorado. Jeremy and Ashley had moved into their own home. I was starting to get back on my feet after the economic disaster of 2008 and 2009.

I don’t remember if I helped to finance, or if I suggested it, but with all five of us in one place at the same time, I wanted to get a nice picture of all of us. Ashley’s brother Ryan had a nice camera and generously agreed to take some pictures. There are a bunch of good ones, but this is the one I picked today:

But back to tea. For a Christmas present, my children got together and gave me a teapot and some tea. I don’t know why exactly. I had not been a tea drinker. I didn’t (still don’t) drink coffee. I had become a fan of caffeine over the years when I discovered it helped with my headaches but I had never thought about getting it via liquids.

OK, I have a teapot now. When I got home, I started trying out the teas that had come with the teapot. Eventually, I developed some knowledge of what I liked. The next year for Christmas, Zach sent me a huge assortment of teas. Here’s my kitchen cabinet after they arrived:

I’ve got some nice glass containers now but otherwise the cabinet looks much the same. I keep lots of different teas and drink whatever feels right at the moment. I have some loose leaf teas but use tea bags most of the time.

I thought of all of this last night when I was at the grocery store getting milk. I always go down the tea aisle, even when I have plenty of tea. I guess I look for stuff on sale. At this point I know what stores have what teas so there aren’t many surprises.

What struck me last night was that the Stash tea was about the cheapest tea there. Stash was the brand of the assortment that Zach had sent me and I thought it was pretty good. It’s an Oregon company so I thought there was some angle for him there. They have lots of teas so I was able to try lots of different flavors.

Today was Oolong. Thinking of you, Zach.

Rosalie and me

Jeremy and Ashley left this morning for a little over 24 hours together on Bainbridge Island to celebrate their 10th anniversary. I’m staying home with Rosalie. This morning after some warm up exercises in coloring and puzzle making, I got her out to the Reptile Zoo in Monroe, about a half hour from here.

It was very nice. Unpretentious, but with a wide variety of reptiles including an albino alligator and a two-headed turtle that they feature in their advertising. They brought out a boa and let all the kids hold it and feel it move.

We came home for lunch and not long after that, the neighbor girl, Emma, came over. Grandpa faded from the picture at light speed. Except for fixing the Ply-Doh extruder, I was invisible. Well, they did enjoy serving me delicacies cooked up with the Play-Doh. Then they went over to Emma’s and I’ve been sitting here in the empty house for an hour reading TalkBass.

The sun came out while we were at the Reptile Zoo and the afternoon was bright but cool. We might have hit 50 degrees, but the sun went down at 4:30 and now it’s getting dark. I’ll go get Rosalie in a minute . . .

outside and inside

Yesterday was outside. After dropping Jeremy off in Preston, I decided to try a different way back home. I was also trying to find some large-ish stores on the way. After my success fixing Mom’s Town and Country last month, I wanted to fix Ashley’s Nissan SUV that had the same problem. The other issue was some blinds in the window next to Jeremy’s computer. He told me that they wouldn’t release and when the sun was out, as it was Monday morning, the computer screen was very hard to see. I took measurements but didn’t write them down.

Going through Issaquah, I spotted a Home Depot so I went in and looked at blinds. As soon as I was confronted with the enormous selection there, I forgot the dimensions that I had measured. What a yutz!

Next I stopped at a car parts store in Redmond. They tried to tell me the struts for that car were different on each side and $70 apiece. Umm, I had looked at them the night before and I was pretty sure they were essentially the same as the T&C. Pass.

OK, just go home. I measured the blinds again and this time wrote the numbers down. Duvall had a car parts store so I went there. They had the pair – each side the same – for around $60. They wouldn’t be in until the next day but that was ok since I didn’t have Ashley’s car anyway. The nearest Home Depot or other large hardware store was at least a half hour away so I decided to wait and went back home for lunch.

After lunch, I took down the blinds to see if I could figure out what was wrong with them. After a little bit of fiddling while watching the mechanism, I discovered that these blinds are very sensitive to their horizontal positioning. Once set flat, they go up and down as pretty as you please. That evening, I found out that the blinds in Ashley and Jeremy’s bedroom had the same problem and the same fix. No more worries about the neighbors bright light shining into their bedroom at night!

On the way back to pick up Jeremy in the evening, I left a little early and went to a music store – not Guitar Center! – in downtown Issaquah. It was nothing special, but the downtown was nice: newer but not mass-produced shops along a Main street. Too bad it was jammed with cars at this hour (6 pm).

Today was more inside, although Rosalie and I started outside after dropping Ashley off at work. We went down to Snoqualmie Falls. The big news there was not the amount of water going over the falls, but the wind blowing over the ridge. 40 or 50 mph gusts were pushing us down the path. We were well bundled up so not cold but not comfortable either. The temperature was in the high 40s.

Here’s Rosalie putting a brave face on it:

We came home via the car parts store and enjoyed the mild, non windy air at home. I put the new struts on Ahley’s car and Rosalie and I played around the house. We even raked some leaves!

For all that, it seemed like an inside day as we spent the afternoon in the house. Puzzles, dolls and drawing were the bulk of the activities. After Mommy and Daddy came home we all went out for pizza and a skillet cookie in Carnation.

Mt Rainier

Driving with Jeremy to his work yesterday – I did it so I could have a car during the day – he pointed out Mt Rainier ahead of us, looming on the horizon in the gray skies. He said it looks different every time he sees it. He told me of a place not far away where on a clear day, one can see Rainier to the south and Mt Baker to the north. He wanted mountains and he got them!

To the east are the Cascades. They’re not as dramatic as Rainier but they’re closer and at around 8 or 9,000 feet elevation, they’re pretty dramatic in their own way. We got a good look at them Monday afternoon.