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Posts Tagged ‘fathers and daughters’

Baby Eagle 5, fledgling eagle in nest, Minneapolis, Minnesota, photo © 2009 by SkyWire7. All rights reserved.










feathers fly above
eagles on Summer Solstice
learn to leave the nest










Post Script: It’s Summer Solstice, the longest day of the year in this part of the world. We didn’t have a formal Summer Solstice celebration this year. But on Friday, we walked a few blocks down the street from the inlet where our friends live and past Murphy the ferocious dog (Guardian at the Gate) to view this eagle’s nest. It does a heart good to see eagles thriving on such a populated lake near a booming city. Seeing a nest of this size and scale is humbling.

You can’t quite make it out, but there’s another baby eagle (a fledgling or eaglet) to the right, hiding behind a clump of leaves. We could see its ruffled feathers through the binoculars. (Did you know a group of eagles is called an aerie or convocation?) Liz got a few more great shots (link at photo above). Her Canon point-and-shoot has a closer telephoto than mine.

It’s also Father’s Day. And yesterday we walked for hours around the Stone Arch Festival of Arts on the Mississippi River across from the famous Gold Medal sign. All in all, a good weekend to kick off the beginning of Summer. Happy Father’s Day to Jim and to my brothers who are good fathers. Also to my Northern and Southern fathers — thank you for everything you have taught me. I’m thinking about you today.


Eagle’s Nest & Baby, Eagle’s Nest Wide Angle, Minneapolis, Minnesota, June 2009, photo © 2009 by QuoinMonkey. All rights reserved.

-posted on red Ravine, Father’s Day, Summer Solstice, Sunday, June 21st, 2009

-related to posts: haiku 2 (one-a-day), 15 Hours, 36 Minutes Of Light, Diamonds & Light (Summer Solstice)

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Georgia Peach, North Augusta, South Carolina, July 2008, photo © 2008 by QuoinMonkey. All rights reserved.

Georgia Peaches, small roadside market near North Augusta, South Carolina, July 2008, photo © 2008 by QuoinMonkey. All rights reserved.











boiled peanuts, okra;
the whole wide world in a bite
of fresh Georgia peach












Post Script:  Special thanks to my step-dad — well, I call him Daddy. But some call him George, and some call him Robbie, and some call him Big Daddy, and Liz calls him Sweet Lou — for carting us around Georgia and South Carolina the last few summers. This year he took us to this little roadside stand for fresh watermelon, okra, corn, figs, peaches and boiled peanuts.

He also came to meet Liz at the airport with Mom and me, gave her a big hug when she arrived from Atlanta, and another one when she got on the plane to fly back to Minneapolis. I hope he knows how much I appreciate his kindness, his big heart, and the way he drove Liz, Mom, and me around so that Liz could see and hear about my old childhood haunts. (This is one of those cases where 1000 words of history from my parents is worth more than a single photograph.)

After Daddy left to drive to Tennessee for the funeral of his brother, and then on to Pennsylvania to help take care of my brother, Mom and I stayed on a while longer. We took one more late afternoon trip to the roadside stand the night before we left, and bought fresh boiled peanuts to cart back to my brothers, sister, and sister-in-law in Pennsylvania.

While Mom tasted a fresh fig, the feisty Korean woman who runs the stand with her husband told me that for the last two or three decades she has farmed the land and made the South her home. She loves it there. And forever her home it will be.



-posted on red Ravine, Friday, September 12th, 2008

-related to post: haiku (one-a-day

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Dad in Le Mans, France, two months after the Normandy
invasion, 1944. Photographer unknown. All rights reserved.




Usually it’s Mom I call but this time I ask for Dad. When I ask him what he’s doing he says he is playing Sudoku even though he should be ironing shirts for the trip to Denver.

My parents haven’t been to Denver for a couple of years. Janet is coming to pick them up. They’ll be gone almost a week.

“Will you stop in Costilla?” I ask.

He says they will, and this time they’ll also stop in Ft. Garland. There is a World War II memorial there, and my dad’s Uncle John’s name is on the wall. His brother Onofre’s was supposed to be on there, too, but for some reason it didn’t make it.

“We’re also going to see Nena,” he says. Uncle Onofre’s kids, they all have nicknames. It drives me crazy because they use their first and middle names, plus the nicknames. Nena is Magdalena. She only has two names.

“Did you go to the funeral?” Dad asks. He’s talking about Onofre now.

“Da-ad,” I say, “yes, remember?!?”

“Oh, that’s right, you drove. And who else came with us?”

“Patty,” I tell him.

“Oh, right, and Janet came down from Denver.”

“Dad, don’t go losing your memory on me now.”

God, please don’t let him slip away like that. He’s already a little viejo. Don’t let him lose his memory. Onofre died in spring. The wisteria froze, big grape clusters whithered brown overnight. Don’t let Dad become the wisteria, frozen after a too-warm February.

“Why isn’t your name on the memorial?” I ask.

“We already moved to Taos,” he says, “and the memorial’s only for people in Costilla County, Colorado.”


In a box in my writing room, I keep a picture of my father. I have many pictures of him and Uncle Nemey, from the war. Nemey was in the Navy, Dad the Army.

The Normandy invasion happened June 6, 1944. My father knows all those dates. About two months later, after camping out for weeks in an orchard, his unit finally got to go into town and take showers. They dressed in uniform and walked all around Le Mans.

There’s Dad, standing with legs a broad shoulder’s width apart. He looks happy.

“I was happy,” he tells me.

My parents have another picture, of Dad and another soldier with a young woman who happened to be walking by that day in Le Mans. We joke that she was Dad’s girlfriend. Nah, nah, he always has to tell us, we didn’t even know her!

“Little did she know she’d become part of our family photos,” he laughs.


I’m crying now. I’m getting a crying headache.

Dad was walking the morning of September 11, 2001. Seven years ago he still walked five miles every morning, even more on the weekends. I’m trying to remember when it was he fell while taking his daily walk. Was it the following year?

I know he saw the cranes from the work they were doing to widen the Montaño bridge. I know he got dizzy and out of breath, that one of the workers saw him and came running. I know he got sick to his stomach, and that the ambulance was only able to reach him because of the construction project.

After they put in the pacemaker, that’s when he went from good old age to not-so-good old age.

“I don’t like to dwell on those things.” He is talking about 9/11. He goes on to describe how he was walking and someone told him that a big airplane had hit one of the towers. He says he couldn’t understand how the pilot could have made such a mistake in daylight. He got home to the TV just before the buildings fell.

“A day of infamy,” he says. Then, after a moment he adds, “like Pearl Harbor.”

My father has seen so much. So much life and death. I am an ant compared to him.

“I’ll come by before you leave,” I tell him.

I want to see his gray watery eyes. They used to be so dark they looked black.





***NOTE***  When I went to scan the photo of my father, I found a poem that one of my daughters printed out on my old scented stationery. I’m not sure if one of them wrote it or if they found it somewhere Dee wrote it; I loved it and wanted to share it now.



Rose thorn

 

by Dee

 


Remember the flowers?

Oh so red

So smooth the petals but beware the thorns

Ending sadness

Tomorrow the wound shall be gone

Happy with your new rose

Out with the thorn

Roses are red

No longer my finger.




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I Love U Pa, doodle © 2008 by
ybonesy. All rights reserved.




We spent the afternoon with Dad. One of my sisters got him a card with the above message, which netted lots of laughs. My other sister wrote her own goofy card having to do with hoes, but that one requires too much explanation, so I think I’ll leave it at that. 

There’s always laughing on Father’s Day with Dad. I sure do love him.

Hope all the fathers out there had a great day. And what about that golf game?!
 

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Waiting for Dad, self-portrait of Jim and Em, photo by Jim, all rights reserved.
Waiting for Dad, self-portrait of Jim with Em at school, photo © 2008 by Jim. All rights reserved.







my best mother’s day:
my mother, my daughter, and
a father who shares








-related to post, haiku (one-a-day)

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“Em, let me brush your hair. It’s all tangled in the back.”

“NOOOO! I refuse to let you brush my hair!!”

“Em, you have no choice in the matter. Until you’re old enough to brush your hair right, you have to let me or Mom brush your hair.”

“NOOOOOO! It’s my hair, and I say who gets to brush it!”

“Em, do you want me to take another picture of your hair to show you what it looks like in the back?”

“NOOOOOOOOO! I don’t care what it looks like in the back!”

“You don’t care that the back of your head looks like an orangutan butt??”

“NOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!”



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I can’t think of any I rode as a child, don’t have a mental picture of me on a horse, Dad with his pock-scarred young face standing beside me. Although as soon as I wrote that, I pictured him there, cut his image out of an old photo of him and me that I have in my mind, placed us on an old carousel instead of in front of Grandma and Grandpa’s old ranch house. Dad and me, my eyes smiling into slits the way they do in all the old photos. Dad, who I thought was so handsome with his perfect lips and dark eyes, if only his face hadn’t scarred. I remember he got it scraped back when “scraping” was the surgical method in vogue for problem skin such as his.

Merry-go-rounds, and I think of how much they seem to represent the ups and downs of life. Circular life, going round and round. Coming and going. Dad is 84, or is it 83?, I always forget. His back is so bad he can hardly walk, and right before my eyes he has become an old, old man. Up and down, several years of oscillating between old age and very old age, and now he’d require one of those benches on the carousel, the ones as a kid I always wondered why they bothered having.

And today is Dee’s birthday, she told me last night, “I don’t want to be 12.” “Twelve is fun,” I told her, and then when I held her in the dark she whispered, “I don’t want to change.” She’s never wanted to grow older, this daughter of mine, always somehow knew that growing older is a process, of life’s ups and downs, coming and going. She gets older, so do the rest of us, Dad moves on, makes way, she becomes a teenager, or on the cusp, everything changes, nothing stands still. She still sleeps with her stuffed horse, Mary Christmas, a horse that can stand up, like on a carousel, and I do remember me as a new mother standing beside Dee as she kicked her chubby legs, kicked them to signal Let’s go! Let’s go!, waiting for the man to finish taking people’s tickets and checking the kids’ straps before he went over to the controls and made the horses move.

Merry-go-rounds. One of the slower, more pleasant rides on the midway. Just like life, I tell you, they seem so mild they’re almost boring. While you’re on them you see almost everyone out on the hot pavement watching you. You see them smiling, mouth open, waving as you come around. Or stuck in thought, staring at the Ferris Wheel or nothing in particular. And before you know it, your turn is coming to an end, slowing down so much that you can feel what a dizzying experience it’s been after all.

from suggested Writing Practice in Nightshot – Carousel

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