Photo a Week Challenge: Timing 8/1/19

I thought I’d better start with a definition so you have a context for my post on Timing this week.
Merriam-Webster, the Oxford dictionary and other sources define “fan” as a shortened version of the word fanatic. Fanatic itself, introduced into English around 1550, means “marked by excessive enthusiasm and often intense uncritical devotion“.
It appears that I am that person to whom they are referring…especially when it comes to  the Blue Angels.
I write about them a lot!
They perform in my area every year at the same time and I have been known to plan my whole life around their annual SeaFair visit. I know exactly when to expect them.
See, their initial arrival path is directly over my house….or at least it used to be.
This year, they have moved the “flight safety performance box”, supposedly so the new Light Rail did not have to close down during the Angel’s performances. I assumed that meant I could no longer sit out on my deck, which I have done for most of the last 30 years, to see the bits and pieces of their show that involve the airspace right over my head!
Anyway, yesterday I had an appointment downtown and figured I wouldn’t miss anything. But guess what! On my way home, a 21 minute, 10 mile drive, my Angels flew directly over the freeway SEVEN TIMES!!! Talk about TIMING!! (On the Thursday of their 4 day visit to the Northwest, they scout and practice for the show they will do over the weekend.)
That timing would have made for spectacular photos, but of course, I was driving so couldn’t (wouldn’t) be snapping away with my phone camera.
My connection to the Blue Angels started when I was a very young child, small enough to still sit up on my Daddy’s shoulders. He would take me to see them practice. The Blue Angels are inseparable in my heart and mind from my father. For years, as an adult, I would call my Dad so we could be on the phone together for that initial roar of the Angel’s arrival each year!
So the fact that I was barreling down the road, with Blue Angels roaring overhead, on what would have been my Dad’s 102 birthday, had me in tears all the way home.
I arrived home, and even though I knew I had missed all their fly-by’s, I went up on the deck anyway, to finish this new round of grief about my Dad.
Here’s what happened the minute I sat down!!

Needless to say, the timing of this started a whole new round of joyous grieving.

Hi Dad, and thanks for the visit!

More posts on the Blue Angels:

The stuff these challenges bring up for me is amazing!! Thanks again Nancy!!


Song reminds me of my Dad but his car was, in fact, a 1960 pale yellow, Buick convertible. Man he loved that car. When he could get enough time off work, he would pile my sisters and me in the car, and take us on what he called our Road Trips (never more than a few hours away).

My favorite was in the dead of winter when he would drive until we found snow…hard to do in San Diego.

He’d bundle us up in blankets, lower the top, crank up the heater full blast and drive the freezing mountain roads….


Song Lyric Sunday Theme for 9/2/18

Silver Thunderbird
Watched it coming up Winslow
Down South Park Boulevard
Yeah it was looking good from tail to hood
Great big fins and painted steel
Man it looked just like the Batmobile
With my old man behind the wheel
Well you could hardly even see him
In all of that chrome
The man with the plan and the pocket comb
But every night it carried him home
And I could hear him sayin’…
Don’t gimme no Buick
Son you must take my word
If there’s a God in heaven
He’s got a Silver Thunderbird
You can keep your Eldorados
And the foreign car’s absurd
Me I want to go down
In a Silver Thunderbird
He got up every morning
While i was still asleep
But I remember the sound of him shuffling around
Then right before the crack of dawn
I heard him turn the motor on
But when I got up they were gone
Down the road in the rain and snow
The man and his machine would go
Oh the secrets that old car would know
Sometimes I hear him sayin’…
Songwriters: Marc Cohn
Silver Thunderbird lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC



Happy Father’s Day to my Son


The Reward

“You can’t trust kids; they’ll grow up while your back is turned.”    Teresa Bloomingdale
Ever witness something so beautiful, it hurts. Ever come across a scene that freezes you in your tracks and makes you wish fervently that you had a camera with you, or the talent of a poet so you could really convey what you are seeing to others.

Ever see or hear something you are desperate to share with others only to realize that it might actually be happening just for you.


Ever feel that tidal wave of gratitude when you realize you are finally being rewarded for your endless, sometimes heartbreaking work all those years as a parent?

I have.

After my precious two year old grandson, JuJu, had been terribly sick for days, his parents asked me if I could come and sit with him while they went to an afternoon movie for a much needed break.

I spit out an unqualified YES before they finished verbalizing the request.

My grandson Julius and I are seriously bonded. I would do anything for him. I am fueled by a shameless, unconditional love over which I am completely powerless. I consider my life exceptional in the sheer number of opportunities I have been given to love deeply but no one could have prepared me for the quality and quantity of this affection and protection I feel toward him.


I am not that grandparent who enjoys spoiling the grand kids but am relieved to send them home. (This might be a little bit about being a mom who had to raise a son alone, riddled with guilt while working three jobs and going to school, but getting a second chance to “do it right” with her grandsons.)

Because of proximity, I have been given the profound honor of participating in the lives of my grandsons daily. Like an old-fashioned extended family tradition, (at the time of this writing) they live directly across the street.

Reactions to our family’s living circumstance range from dismay at the imagined expectation of responsibility, to blatant and petulant jealousy at my fortunate nearness to my grandchildren….this latter being primarily (and naturally) from Julius and Luca’s other grandparents.

For us, it just plain works. We all seem to love it and benefit from it. I was raised myself, without any extended family in the picture, but in what might be described as the forerunner to the 1960’s commune type of life. Created Family. My Mom adopted stray kids right and left like others adopt cats.  And, after some of my teens and early twenties were spent in actual communes, I continued a form of that tradition with my son, always sharing our uniquely configured house, with at least two or three people, often other single parents struggling to raise children of various ages. Over the years, we would start out calling them “renters” but before long each new group became like family.

I have always believed “It takes a Village”….

Anyway, on this particular day, an extremely ill JuJu had awakened from his third or fourth nap of the day, but this time he was pulled from the relief of sleep because he had one of those sick-kid, diarrhea blowouts that required not only a diaper change but an entire load of laundry to clean up. After taking him into the shower to remove his clothes and to, in essence, hose him down, Michael had dressed Julius in fresh PJs and was drying his hair with a towel. Julius had been the kind of sick that has you achy all over, writhing and stretching for some kind, any kind of relief. Poor baby had not been able to lie still or stop whimpering for days, except during his frequent, fevered naps.

So, unnoticed by either of them I enter the bedroom and see the following scene. Michael and Julius are on the bed with Juju’s tiny limp legs draped over his father’s so that they are two overlapping bodies. This Dad is leaning close to his boy and whispering something over and over that I can’t make out. All the while Dad is ever so slowly and gently rubbing, fluffing and massaging Julius’s long and curly wet hair with a big fluffy towel. He does this well after JuJu’s hair is dry. It is obvious that Michael is continuing because Julius is finally quiet, so relaxed, completely mesmerized by this gentle, nurturing gesture from his “DaDa”.

Julius, already a gorgeous child, has the lovely, peaceful face of an angel. He never takes his eyes from his Daddy’s.

I can remember the exact sensation of a dangerously hot-faced little boy’s cheek next to my own. I know, in the muscle-memory of my arms, if I were to pick up this tiny boy right now he would be a noodle…like sleeping-baby dead weight. He is so tranquil and blissfully pain free for the first time in days.

This father/son love scene continues for a very, very long time…..until Julius drifts off to sleep again. I take over so his Mom and Dad can get out for a bit. It’s been a long week.

Skip ahead to later that evening. I go back across the street to check on Michael and the patient. Juju’s fever has broken and he is on the mend.

As I am leaving, though I don’t want to intrude or embarrass my son, I tell him what I saw earlier in the day. I tell him how beautiful it was to spy on such profound father/son love. I apologize to him for my part in his never having had a father to do this for him when he was a child. I thank Michael for being the Dad I always knew he would be but that no one else would have ever believed.

He gently took me by the shoulders, looked into my eyes and said (with that slightly impatient tone of his that says duhhh), “Mom. I’m just doing for my boy exactly what you used to do for me.”


safe nap

SAN JUAN'S 4-09 047

(excerpt from a chapter of my book)

*A minor disclaimer about the top photo. Those are not scars on Michael’s face or holes in his t-shirt. My scanner was down so I had to photograph an old photo that was wrinkled and full of pinholes.