Currently viewing the tag: "dad"

I realize it’s Wednesday. Here’s the thing. When you never have a Saturday off, and you haven’t spent quality time with your boyfriend in approximately three weeks, you tend to ignore things like blogging and responding to text messages. Also, honestly, my current schedule is a little stress-inducing. I have very little downtime, these days, and I spend most of it sleeping.

I’m alive. I had a great birthday. Twenty-nine is pretty special.

On Saturday, Shauna and I wandered downtown to explore Apple Harvest Day. We discovered a new-to-us bakery in the mill (Mill Eats), toured a soon-to-be-open community supported brew pub (7th Settlement), and I found a local vendor who carries Hurraw! lip balm (The Axiom Way). I also bought myself some lovely birthday presents.

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Tyler’s Sweet Revenge is made here in Dover. The raspberry jalapeno is mostly sweet with a little kick. I want to smother Common Crackers with it, but they are not actually very common here. Because New Hampshire.

I also picked up a Laura Berger print from Artstream, and a pair of pottery earrings from Old Bottle Sea Glass. And I ate a fresh apple cider donut. And two pieces of small batch salted caramel. And probably some other things I forget about.

On Sunday night, Tj and I had a quiet celebratory dinner at Five-O in Ogunquit. No photos, but:

girl: baby spinach with apple, gorgonzola, crisp prosciutto, mulled cider vinaigrette / seared local hake with baby brussel sprouts, pancetta, sweet potato, parsnip puree / sparkling pineapple martini (which included champagne and St. Germain) / citrus cheesecake

boy: young lettuces with toasted pecans, pear, lemon honey vinaigrette / acorn squash tortellini with spiced apple, currants, browned butter / blueberry tart

It was nice to go before they close for the season at the end of the month. There are a couple other restaurants on the coast that we’d like to hit up before snow comes. Tj’s pasta was almost like eating a dessert, but it was so good. I definitely want to give homemade pasta another try, this winter. Last year (or the year before?), we made some raviolis, but it was a very amateur event. As in, the pasta was both rolled and cut with pint glasses.

Birthday books (always birthday books!)  included: Bill Bryson’s newest, One Summer: America 1927 (from Tj) and A Humement (from Tj’s mum and dad). I’m also thinking of picking up Doomed for my kindle, and this beauty is coming in the mail (also from Tj). My dad sent me a sweet, sweet poem (I mentioned this, but will likely continue to mention because I can’t even), which I am currently looking into framing.

I just want to reiterate that having an entire weekend away from work was the nicest, and really the best gift I could have given myself. While I enjoy normally having a weekday off to get things done, I do love the easy kind of joy a real weekend provides.

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I was originally going to sort of maybe write this week off, but then I discovered “Blogtember” / Story of My Life, and felt compelled (inspired) to participate.

* Today’s prompt: describe where or what you come from. The people, the places, and/or the factors that make up who you are.

This is my lovely mother and father in 1968.

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My mum was born in 1946 (she died in 2001), my father in 1935. This is, by far, my favorite photo of the two of them. My mother is so young; this is sixteen years before I was born. Six years after this photo was taken, they had a son.

My brother is ten years my senior, but we were relatively close growing up. I cannot describe the amount of patience this teenage boy must have had for his occasionally irritating younger sister. He may murder me for posting this photo. I don’t know. If I were him, I’d own it.

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This is a photo I would love to re-create someday (Sabin!).

This was taken outside my grandmother’s (my father’s mother) apartment on Main Street in Hardwick, Vermont. I grew up in this small town. We lived in the home my father grew up in. At the end of a long, long driveway on Mackville road is a big yellow farmhouse tucked behind a giant maple, and two lilac bushes that have grown into a forest. My parents were able to buy the house when my brother was younger; the house, barn and surrounding 14 acres had been out of the family at that point for years.

I feel blessed to have grown up under that hundred year old roof.

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My father presented me with this photo when I went home for Christmas, last year. Neither of us can remember exactly when or where it’s from. I think it was probably a church event, but it could also have been part of my pre-kindergarten screening, which would explain my brother’s absence; I think I’m three or four, here.

My father was always self-employed, and my mother worked primarily retail jobs. She spent many years in a local fabric and flower shop. She was also a quilter and seamstress.

I am both my parents. I can see it as clearly as I can see anything. I am Cheryl and Victor’s daughter. This I see as generally a joy, but there are some disadvantages. I am moody and anxious, and occasionally short-tempered. I have a difficult time communicating my needs. I can be impatient.

I think I am mostly a Densmore, but an aunt once commented on how much I am like my mother when she was younger, and I lost it.

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This is my father in 2002 or 2003. My mother passed away from complications due to her diabetes in 2001, which left the two of us on our own in the big yellow house. There was a strange quiet. Not uncomfortable, but it was palpable for both of us, despite our closeness. Without her there, even though she had been in and out of the hospital for a year at this point, everything just felt different. My father quit his paper route and worked shorter days so I wouldn’t be alone in the house for long. There was also, I think, some small sigh of relief between us. My mother hadn’t been herself in ages. I like to think her energy released itself full force into the world, and whatever part remained of her remained vibrant and sparkling. It does still sadden me sometimes to think that I was a such a mess of a teenager when my mother passed. I wish she had been able to see me grow up and be well. I suppose there is a part of her with me, always.

My brother and his family recently moved back to Vermont to live in the house with my father. The last time I was home, I caught a half-second glimmer of what the place used to be. A little girl dancing in the living room, a blonde teenage boy and his patience, a golden retriever, cats licking the butter, my father scribbling poetry in front of the wood stove. I know he must feel it, too. After the years of quiet, the house is alive. I imagine sometimes my dad wants to get away from it (we are both quiet people), but I can’t help feel that the house is happiest when it is full.

blogtember

* I will continue posting regular entries, this month, occasionally resulting in two-post days.

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butterflies

My week has been full, and I am full, and allowing myself time to decompress.

[ONE] Gratitude. I got to spend a full day with my father, this week, and it was really great. We walked around downtown Dover, and enjoyed a museum visit. I couldn’t have asked for better company. I’m so thankful for the relationship I have with my dad. He is genuinely one of my favorite human beings. As I hugged him goodbye on Thursday morning, I couldn’t help but tear up. Such an important era of my young life was spent with my dad, alone. After my mother died (and even the year or so leading up to her death), it was just the two of us. I have a connection with him that not many people are lucky enough to have with their parents. I know too many people with similar stories, but vastly different outcomes. We don’t talk often, or much, but it never seems to matter. We can simply just be. He never has to say anything, I just know that he understands (or at least accepts) where I’m coming from.

[TWO] Pride. Tj was in California, this week, and was actually able to get some surf on the morning of his flight home. He sent me a picture and I was so proud to see him standing up on that board. And when he talked to me about it over the phone, his excitement was addictive. I can’t help myself. The way he gets so fired up about being out on the water is one of the best things. I’m so happy that I’ve been able to be a part of this with him.

[THREE] Anxiety. I am feeling slightly nervous about my upcoming driving classes. I knew that I would feel this way, so I am coping. I have accepted that it’s okay to be scared, but that I shouldn’t let fear stop me from doing something important. The changing seasons always leave me a little fretful, anyway. I deal with these feelings as they arise; I am doing well enough.

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[FOUR] Hope. Nervousness aside, I am looking forward to autumn and winter and all that these seasons will bring. There are so many positive things coming up in my life, and my fingers are crossed that everything works out the way I imagine. Honestly, I am my only true obstacle.

[FIVE] Indecisiveness. I’ve been going back and forth on this hair cut thing for weeks, now. I suppose I should just leave my hair longer, now that it’s almost fall. I still need to get a trim or a new style, however. It’s on the list.

Linking up with Five on Friday, this week.

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If you’re my dad (you’re not) and you happen to be reading this (you aren’t), spoiler alert!

I had a really difficult time coming up with a gift for Father’s Day, this year. Gifts for my father are always something of a puzzle for me; he is a man full of surprises. I once picked up this book for him as a last minute extra, and he was literally in tears laughing and would not put it down. He pretty much ignored the rest of the gifts I got him, so I call it a win. I don’t think I’ll ever top that, but just remembering his laughter makes me smile. Also a win.

My father is a geologist. Well, not actively, these days, but he was before I came into his world (he did science work for the Air Force, and later for the state of Vermont). When I was growing up, he was many other things. He built houses and stonewalls. He wrote poems. He delivered newspapers. He solved math problems in his spare time. He still does most of those things, not the newspapers. But, I think, the earth is what is truly in that man’s blood. Geology was a study of joy in my house; rocks and minerals were treasures. If I brought my father a rock from our driveway, he would show me all the little things that made that particular piece of stone special. Names of gemstones were common knowledge to me at a fairly young age.

I thought perhaps I’d channel my inner child this year, and deliver my father a handful of stones. I know from past experience (a family friend once dragged the two of us to some sort of crystal healing/dowsing “gathering,” a story for another time) that my dad is not that interested in the metaphysical qualities of gemstones. As someone who is interested in anthropology/religious studies/art history, I find the commonly believed metaphysical traits fascinating, but I touched base a bit on that, here. My dad, on the other hand, appreciates aesthetic and the physical history and make up of individual pieces, so putting together this little kit for him was a fun challenge. I looked mostly for a color combination here, and picked out a couple unique specimens I don’t think he owns, and I’m pretty happy with the results. When I received the stone selection, I went through and chose the stones that resonated with me.  Resonate? Not necessarily the right word, because I think that makes me sound a little bit silly. Sometimes things just feel or look right. I trusted instinct.

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  1. Hematite
  2. Turritella Agate
  3. Citrine (*by the time I finally checked out and finished writing this post, the citrine in my “cart” had been sold, so I did without)
  4. Copper Nuggets
  5. Petrified Wood
  6. Onyx 
  7. Labradorite
  8. Tree Agate

Turitella Agate is made of the fossilized remains of Turritella snails, so I thought it would be an interesting addition! A few of these stones are pretty common, and I imagine my dad has tumbled pieces kicking around from one of our many museum adventures, but I don’t think he has any Labradorite, copper nuggets, or petrified wood. Labradorite reminds me of insect wings! In retrospect, Citrine and Blue Lace Agate would have both been nice additions, as well, just for the lightness (and agates are really lovely). This is a pretty dark/heavy mix.

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Labradorite and Turritella Agate up close

I was a little disappointed that I was not able to get this quite in time for Father’s Day, but I was at least able to get a card in the mail and talk to Dad on the phone on Sunday evening. I hope he likes the surprise!

Once again, I ordered these from Green Earth Stones on etsy (whose images I used for the collage above). I really can’t recommend this little shop enough.

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100things

We’ve reached the final installment of One Hundred Things! That’s not to say that I don’t have one million things to be thankful for, though, every day. When you get right down to it, I’m thankful for life in general, honestly, and being allowed to know and experience all of these things. Now that I’ve written this list, I don’t consider that a cop-out answer!

  1. leftover lunches
  2. Cosmos
  3. gardens
  4. salt water in my hair and on my skin
  5. that I was taught how to mail a letter, balance a checkbook, do my own laundry
  6. that I grew up before cell phones
  7. always having choices
  8. my llama wool socks (a gift from my mother)
  9. Vermont fairs
  10. honeybees
  11. being told, as a child, that everything I did made a difference

(and I still believe that everything does)

** I know I mentioned it early on, but I am so completely thankful for my Dad. Happy Father’s Day to all the wonderful fathers, husbands, brothers, sons I know.  ♥

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