Saturday, April 18, 2015

VHS Class of 1965 photo shoot

I had the privilege of photographing some special long time friends, a few ladies from Valdosta High School's class of 1965 on the day of their 50th class reunion.  What a joyful, funny, delightful group.  Of course, I would be blood kin to the lovely lady in bib overalls and pearls.  

The original back drop was slated to be a Valdosta landmark, The Crescent on N. Patterson St., but there was this little policy we were made aware of:  we could be arrested if we were on the grounds during a private event.  A private event was scheduled some four hours later than we intended to catch a few candids there, but no chances were taken, no pictures either.  

We drove down to The Ponderosa for a wooded background.  They talked about sex and sang "Amazing Grace" all on one humid southern Georgia spring afternoon.  My sweet husband surprised us all with some sweet tea afterwards and that sure beat rations at the Lowndes County jail.      

Friday, April 17, 2015

Electronics and Perimenopause if those two go together.  

"Here's another thing to avoid:  breaking into peals of laughter if your tech-challenged quinquagenarian pulls out a flip phone or a BlackBerry.  Remember--you're dealing with someone who might have fond memories of the busy signal or a typewriter or both."--Annabelle Gurwitch in The Care and Feeding of the Menopausal Woman in Your Life, Real Simple magazine, May 2015

And I promptly burst out laughing upon reading this.  Mr. A, my 61-year-old sweetheart owns and prefers a flip phone.  Occasionally I have to search for a replacement as his is well-used and abused being the sole means of communication for his sign business.  About a year ago, some young soul at the Verizon store got him to *update* to a slide phone and he. hated. it.  My phone, a little rectangular number about 3/4" thick bit the dust, and I secretly coveted the slide phone he cursed daily.  

I finally found the flip phone he wanted and he happily relinquished the slide phone to me with the caveat that I'd hate it.  I don't hate it.  I just recently, though, figured out how to answer it, depressing a numeral as opposed to pushing the button which gives auto-text replies.  I first was in awe of a slide phone when my baby boy got one.  He bought it for himself with funds from his first job as a lifeguard when he was 16 years old.  He's 24 now, so in electronic years my phone is about 8.7 quintillion years old.  And that's OK with me, resident quinquagenarian at The Ponderosa.

Quinquagenarian--a person who is 50 years old or whose age is between 50 and 60.  That would be me, a word nerd who learned a new one today.  

The rest of Ms. Gurwitch's article dealt with other delicate topics such as vaginal dryness and the need for ocular assistance in reading restaurant menus. Once again, I hear my mother's quiet wit, usually reserved for those closest to her, "My mini won't pause."  

And oh am I reaping what I sowed when I used to kid her about wearing glasses perched on the end of her nose.  I'm also reaping for wishing my older son's sixth grade teacher would take a tweezer to those long white hairs on her chin.  Mine are black and I don't see them until I go on a search and destroy mission with the 5x magnification mirror.  (You can get one of those at as well.)    

Oh, Mama, so far my mini hasn't paused long either and I breathing on 52.  Oh it's taken a few breaks, enough to scare Mr. A into thinking he was going to be a daddy when he's papa age and enough to excite me into thinking this cyclical madness has departed forevermore, but no, the occasional, "Surprise!"  Or as a boss lady I had when I was a teenager bluntly put it, "Damn bloody britches."  (Spell check just asked me if I meant "bitches."  Well, sometimes.)  It had probably been a decade or more since my gray-haired boss who resembled Madame, minus the flamboyant accessories, had that laundry issue, but her contempt was palpable.

In case you're not old enough to remember Madame:  


And I get it.  Like when my hairdresser, who is a year younger than I, said she "stopped" altogether a couple of years ago.  That hearkens back to pregnant women who said they were never sick a day when I had morning sickness all day long for six months.   Whose idea of a prank is all this?!

As a quinquagenarian who is quintessentially cold, I've found myself on the front porch at night trying to cool down a little.  I can't classify this experience as a flash, but more a surge, like the flush of humidity which can be felt before a summer thunderstorm.  Not long afterward, I'll be back to my old self, under a blanket in mid-April.  

Old.  Old enough to know better, oldest person in the gym, old enough to have learned how to type on a manual typewriter, but I have no fond memories of a busy signal.  Womp...womp...womp, how irritating!  

In fairness to Ms. Gurwitch, I do not care for the busy signal's solution, call waiting.  The long boooop interrupting my present call is downright rude.  The person on the other end of the line should just wait their turn though I can't think of an acceptable way to tell them so because I find leaving a message on an electronic machine just as cumbersome as carrying a manual typewriter. 

Despite my non-impressment with modern line-less telephones, I'm techno-geeky in my own way.  I can make my iPad air 2 dance--the instant messaging on it, using a Zagg keyboard, is far more efficient than texting.  Texting, talk about a 20-year step back in communication, hitting a key three, four times for the correct character and if you pass it by, starting over.  Wait, that's on flip phones.  No one uses those anymore.  Except Mr. A.  

And I sent my older son, a freak of nature when it comes to uber-intelligence, a voice message via iMessage, a trick I learned before he did.  For people I can't see i to i with, meaning those who do not possess an iPhone or an iPad, I found an app called textfree which enables me to nottextbuttext, again, using the Zagg keyboard.  I'm one qwerty kind of quinquagenarian, much more efficient than index finger hunt and peck communication.  

But you know the one thing you can't do with modern electronics when perimenopausal peevishness strikes?  Slam the phone down!  Try that with one of these modern numbers and it's back to smoke signals as the damage is irreparable.  

OK, I admit, smoke signals were ahead even of my time, but I have great memories of several relatives born in the late 1800s!                 


Monday, April 13, 2015

Short and Sweet

"Thom, you're about to find out just how much we love you."--Mr. A, speaking to our firstborn over the telephone about the upcoming birth of his first child this fall.  

We women have so much to say and share about pregnancy, childbirth and infant care, volumes are written and spoken.  This, however, is about the most touchingly beautiful thing I've heard, from father to son. 

Mr. A and our firstborn son
an outstanding father
to an outstanding son

2012 at our firstborn's wedding
Mr. A, best man
Mrs. A, best mom :D
our firstborn
his lovely bride
our second son, also best man
his then girlfriend, now fiancee
and the 7th person, number of perfection,
now resides in the womb of our daughter-in-love

Psalm 103:17But the steadfast love of the LORD is from everlasting to everlasting on those who fear him,
and his righteousness to children’s children,
18to those who keep his covenant
and remember to do his commandments.

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Happy Family News!

First, a little back story:

My firstborn was married October 13, 2012.  He and his wife lived in our home town for about a year-and-a-half, then relocated to Denver, Colorado late spring, 2014.  They honeymooned there and fell in love with the place, one of the main draws being it does not have southern Georgia's steamy sub-tropical climate.  Then there were good jobs, exponentially better pay than our region, and despite a bit higher cost of living, they are able to put back more money for a home in the future.  Presently, they just moved from a sweet little townhouse to a more spacious detached dwelling in the same neighborhood they love.  The extra room is needed, for...

This was the sweet way Mr. A and I were informed we were going to be grandparents.  They were smooth, let me tell you.  It was March 1st, and they were in Georgia for a visit.  They had spent Christmas in Denver, so it was reasonable to me to receive a little flat silver box and be told it was an ornament. They had given us a Christmas ornament from a trip to Helen, GA a couple of years ago, so here was an ornament from Colorado, right?  

I had donned my reading glasses and went to sit by Mr. A so we could look at our ornament together.  Isaiah 49:18, NIV, comes to mind:  "Lift up your eyes and look around; all your children gather and come to you.  As sure as I live," declares the Lord, "you will wear them all as ornaments; you will put them on, like a bride."

These lovely people ornamented our home:

They look like proud parents already, and indeed they are!  

If that wasn't enough joy to fill this mother's heart, my baby boy and his betrothed, also Denver residents, visited about two weeks later.  They will be married this summer. Our family is growing and I am one blessed mother, mother-in-law, and grandmother-in-the-making.  

I have considered Grand-ma-ma, emphasis on the ah, or Le-Le, springboarding from my first name.  If my grandbaby begins speaking in the manner of my baby boy, Le-Le will be We-We.  I'm told grandparents are often called what the wee ones can pronounce, so who knows, Mr. A or I might be "Donk" the name little Sybbie on Downtown Abbey christened her grandfather. 

Exciting, happy times.  I am a blessed woman, in too many ways to count!    

Saturday, April 4, 2015

The Day Before Easter At The Re-purposed Nest

It doesn't take much to make me happy:  

Clean pool loungers, compliments of Lysol All Purpose Cleaner and a pressure washer, our Easter present to each other.  If Lysol would like to compensate me for the endorsement, I'll oblige.  We also pressure washed the front porch, the swing, all the furnishings on it, even the cushions and pillows, plus an anti-gravity lounger.  On the back deck, we now have a freshly cleaned table and six chairs, a metal end table, grill and decorative mini cast iron stove.    

Pressure washing's cool.  Think Beavis and Butthead in the wood shop episode.  Going a bit nuts with a pressure washer is more constructive, though, than a table saw, and at the end of the day, all our fingers were intact.  

The pool loungers, like our nest, have been re-purposed.  The above-ground pool collapsed, the second one we've had to do that, so now instead of lounging in the sun, these loungers are primarily used for viewing the stars and planets.  One iPad with a GoSky app, one blanket, one bottle of mosquito spray, one clear, starry night, and one pool lounger make for a sweet evening.

Mr. A and I bought another anti-gravity lounger at Big Lots yesterday and I commented to him we weren't going to drop about a hundred bucks on filling Easter baskets this year.  I filled Easter baskets for our sons and in time their girlfriends, even to adulthood.  Though it was a tradition I enjoyed for years, yesterday I felt liberated.  "They're making more money than we are," I said to a friend we bumped into from church. "They can fill their own Easter baskets." 

 Here's a photo of my sons and the loves of their lives the last time they were all here for Easter dinner, 2012.  For a couple of decades and then some, it was all about them.  I was fortunate they attended college and lived in the same town afterwards for one year and three years respectively.  Many parents have to get used to this part of life sooner than we have.  I'm not sure which way would be easier, but we now, like them, are learning to lead lives for two. 

Our firstborn arrived ten days after our first wedding anniversary, our second three years later.  It's taken us 28 years to get to the stage of life of discovering how two people live and love together and aside from missing the kids, we're doing a pretty good job of it.  When I was toting furniture to and fro where Mr. A was washing, it crossed my mind this must be what it's like to be newlyweds.  Having been with child just three months into a marriage, this level of freedom is new territory for us.  

Be it ever so humble, we are house proud at the re-purposed nest and get a lot of  joy and satisfaction making it clean and comfortable for the two main guests, during a first season in our married life, ourselves.