Remembering Dad…

My Dad on the left

My Dad on the left

This is the third year in a row now that I’m not able to be home to visit the cemetery and it still isn’t getting any easier. It’s so hard to believe he’s been gone for over twenty years… because it seems like just yesterday I got the call.

There are certain things I’ll never forget about the day he died.

~ I remember it was a warm day for the March 27th. We were all supposed to go to a home show at the Connecticut College Arena. I postponed the plans until the next day… I wanted to take advantage of the nice weather. I planted bulbs in the yard.

~ I remember getting the call from my brother saying that I better get to the hospital quick because Dad had just had a heart attack. I did the speed limit the whole way there because I kept telling myself he would be all right; they could fix him. But they could not.

~ I remember being lead into the emergency room cubicle and seeing him on the gurney, the tube from the ambu bag they had used in the ambulance to try to save him still sticking out of his mouth, the bag itself nowhere in sight. His eyes were taped shut. He was gray. His lips were blue. When I kissed his forehead it was cold.

~ I remember my aunt saying that the pastor from our church would be there shortly. I remember thinking who cares?

~I remember seeing my mother crying. I had no way of knowing what the pain and sorrow of losing two husbands in one lifetime could do to a woman. Thankfully I still don’t.

~ I remember wondering on the way home from the hospital how I would tell my oldest son Robert, who was named after my Dad, that his Pepère was gone… and wondering if Nicholas, my youngest, would remember him at all.

Yes, I remember like it was just yesterday and not more than two decades.

But as the time passes I remember so many more things about him – the great things, the happy times, the life lessons. I remember the things, that to me, made him the most amazing Dad… that he didn’t have to be. You see, my biological father passed away when I was less than a year old, leaving my mother with my pre-teen brother and sister and me.

~ I remember the day he and my Mom got married. I was only three and half years old but I remember bits and pieces. It was July 19, 1969, the day before Apollo 11 landed on the moon.  Everyone said after the wedding my Mom was going on her honeymoon. I thought they were going to the real moon. I wanted to go! I threw rocks instead of rice.

~ I remember the family vacation to New Hampshire when my older sister lost the “pre-engagement” ring she had just gotten. It had fallen off in the lake by the dock. Dad got up before dawn to look for the ring with the morning sunlight, hoping to catch a glimmer on the stones near the shore. He spent hours looking – he found it.

~ I remember he always made the holidays special. There was always an Easter Bunny, Santa Clause, and a tooth fairy. He would dress up for Halloween and have as much fun as we did.

~ I remember he always went to every single school function and parent teacher conference and was always the one who showed up when I did something to get myself into trouble. He never yelled. That was my mother’s MO, which unfortunately for my boys, I inherited. 😉 He always took the time to talk about what happened and why it was wrong.

~ I remember he always told me to treat others as I expected to be treated myself and to be respectful of the rules. But he also taught me that there is right and wrong and not too much gray area in between. And that sometimes it’s not only okay but necessary to question authority.

~ I remember him telling me after my little sister was born that now he had three girls and a son. I never once felt like I wasn’t his “real daughter”.

~ I remember him reading the first story I ever wrote. I think I was about ten. It was a scary story about a girl getting lost in a haunted house. He didn’t just say it was good and stick it on the refrigerator like some Dads might have. He talked with me about it. He commented on the descriptive words I had used saying he could picture exactly what the house looked like because I had described it so well. He said I should keep a journal and write every day. I remember wishing when I got my first front-page, above the fold byline for the newspaper that he was there to see it. I still wonder what he would say about my writing.

~ I remember him always telling me I was special and I could be anything I wanted to be. Every once in a while I still believe him. I wish he was still here to convince me.

Miss you Dad

 

Cruising Around Concrete…

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It’s been a while since I’ve posted. Perhaps I should amend that statement. It’s been a while since I posted anything other than a rant about uploading images. It still isn’t working the way it used to, but I’m determined to not let it get the better of me… at least not today. 😉

I feel like there I should have a warning sign like this for my blog. There's never any warning before some SNAFU or another strikes...

I feel like there I should have a warning sign like this for my blog. There’s never any warning before some SNAFU or another strikes…

Truth is, there hasn’t been much going on around here. Mr. G. is on nights and for whatever reason, I just can’t seem to adjust to the shift this time. I don’t know if it’s the wonky sleep schedule, the weather, or just the simple fact that I use the excuse of “having to be quiet” to be a lazy slug. I suppose the answer is D – all of the above.

At any rate, I’ve had some pics sitting around so I thought I’d take a minute six hours to share some with you. I took them a couple of weeks ago. Before the scourge of night shift sucked the lifeblood from my being. Just kidding… sort of.

We took a trip out to Concrete, a sprawling metropolis with a population of a whopping 705 at the time of the last census. It truly is one of those don’t blink or you’ll miss it kind of towns, so it was the perfect destination for our misanthropic moods.

Chainsaw carved - Welcome to Concrete, WA

Chainsaw carved – Welcome to Concrete, WA

We were thinking we were going to make it up to Baker Lake. Instead we found Lake Shannon, which is formed by the Baker River. So close,  but no cigar. Lake Shannon is part of two reservoirs formed by the Baker River. The Lower Baker Dam, which generates hydroelectricity for Puget Sound Energy, was our first stop.

Lower Baker Dam

Lower Baker Dam, Concrete, WA

Lower Baker Dam, Concrete, WA

Lower Baker Dam, Concrete, WA

Lower Baker Dam from the topside…

Top-side Lower Baker Dam

Top-side Lower Baker Dam

From there we headed up a the primitive road to Lake Shannon with the sun playing peek-a-boo the entire day.

Lake Shannon, Concrete, WA

Lake Shannon, Concrete, WA

It was as cold and raw as it looks in this picture that day. But we could certainly tell that spring was close and the ground was certainly in thaw mode.

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I don’t think I’ve ever seen so much ivy, or at least what looked like ivy to me, growing on the trees. It’s hard to tell, but it wasn’t just moss, if was leafy.

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A closer look…

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Of course there was plenty of moss too. Even a little moss sentry standing guard. I have to admit it reminded of me of some crazy low-budget horror flick or something.

Blair Witch Project anyone?

Blair Witch Project anyone?

On the way back into town we stopped and walked over the Henry Thompson Bridge.

Henry Thompson Bridge, Baker River - Concrete, WA

Henry Thompson Bridge, Baker River – Concrete, WA

And then into town…

Main Street - Concrete, WA

Main Street – Concrete, WA

And just in case you’re wondering…

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Here’s the one light in the one light town. 🙂

That’s all for now.

~Cheers~

Stuck! Unable to Upload Media Using WP3.8.1 :-(

It is NOT a beautiful day in the bloggerhood… just sayin’.

So, guess why?  I finally decided to get caught up with some posts here in the usually happy and wonderful bloggerhood. (Yes, shocking, I know. Don’t judge.) But after trying to upload media, as I have in the past two years for each and every post I’ve ever published, it seems I can’t. WTF, really??

If you’ve followed me for any length of time you know I’m not exactly savvy when it comes to how the nuts of bolts of WordPress work. But up until now, I’ve never had any issues uploading files using the aptly labeled “Upload Media” button. From there it’s usually just another click to switch from the “Media Library” to “Upload Files”. Then viola! My hard drive folders pop up and I’m able to navigate to the images I want to upload. Easy Peasy!

Not so today my friends.

I can get to the part where I see the pop-up to  “Drop files anywhere to upload” with the little gray button prompting me to “Select Files” but when I do… nothing happens. Grrrrr…..

Yes, I know there are forums for these things, and I did do a quick Google search. But honestly, most of the time it’s like trying to read Greek. So, in an effort to get any info I can from other bloggers, and save myself from slamming my laptop shut and pushing it off the desk, I thought I’d just throw this out there.

Anyone else having issues with WordPress when trying to upload media?

Just for the record, I’m using version 3.8.1 now. But I’m fairly certain I was able to upload files in the usual manner after the latest update. I mean it’s been awhile since my last post, but from what I can see the update went out in January. It hasn’t been that long since I posted. LoL

That’s all for now. I do feel a smidge better after this little rant.

Although I must tell you, posting without adding any images kind of feels like going to bed without brushing my teeth. Damn it!

 

Does Blogging Bring Out The Best or Worst In You?

I’ll admit I chuckled out loud when I read today’s prompt. I mean seriously,  if blogging brought out the worst in you, why on earth would you keep doing it?

I suppose there’s an argument to be made for those bloggers who have grown a following with controversial topics, often snarky remarks and far right or left stance.

I’m not like that in real life so trying to write that way would be an uber stretch for me. And I certainly don’t mean to imply all hard hitting bloggers are at their worst. (Unless it gets me more followers and comments! Just kidding 😉 ) I’m just trying to wrap my head around doing something that would bring out the worst in me.

On the other hand,  I wouldn’t say blogging brings out the best in me either. In the words of Mr. G., I think it just is what it is.

Hmmm.. the closest I can come to finding a change at all is actually simple really now that I think about it.  Blogging was the catalyst to get me committed to writing habitually… for better or worse.

Am I missing the boat here? If there is someone out there who does blog because it brings out the worst in you, please let me know. I’d love to read your work!

~Cheers~

Where Am I Me? Wherever the sand meets the sea!

Today’s prompt in the BlogHer NaBloPoMo asks “Where and when do you feel most like yourself?” It took about a millisecond to come up with my answer.

The beach…

My happy place is the beach.

Huntington Beach, CA

For me there is nothing more soothing than sitting with my toes in the sand, soaking up the sun and the sound of the surf. I love it. Just thinking about the beach has me pining away for summertime.

Considering the fact that I’ve never in my life felt comfortable in a swimsuit, (even in my 30s and at my thinnest) my life-long love affair with the beach is perplexing. But I have no desire to try to figure it out. I just know I love everything about being on a beach.

The salt in the air, the cry of the gulls, the crash of the waves, the heat of the sand, even the tingle from the peachy glow of a sunburn at the end of the day combine to make the perfect panacea for whatever ails me.

Here are some pics of some of my favorites…

Misquamicut Beach, R.I.

Misquamicut Beach, R.I.

Eastern Point Beach, Groton, CT

Eastern Point Beach, Groton, CT

Casino Beach, Pensacola, FL

Casino Beach, Pensacola, FL

Dockweiler Beach, Playa del Rey, CA

Dockweiler Beach, Playa del Rey, CA

Ventura Beach, CA

Ventura Beach, CA

Pismo Beach, CA

Pismo Beach, CA

Rincon Parkway, CA

Rincon Parkway, CA

Cannon Beach, OR

Cannon Beach, OR

Long Beach, WA

Long Beach, WA

West Point Beach, Deception Pass, WA

West Point Beach, Deception Pass, WA

So, where am I me? It’s simple really, wherever the sand meets the sea!

Oh boy, is it summertime yet???

Where is your happy place?