The Stream

Thursday, May 29, 2008

In Memory of...

Every Memorial Day, I often reflect on what it would have been like to have known Mat's father, Daniel W. Harris. He was killed in a motorcycle accident while on duty as a state trooper at age 33. He left behind his wife and four kids. Mat was 6 at the time and as his mother tells it, after a recent conversation, "Mat was crushed when he learned the news that his Dad, his hero, had died. He just let out a deep moan, almost a grunt and there was nothing that I could do to comfort him all I could do was hold him."
Thankfully, Dan is still remembered and talked about today. Sometimes the tears seep through now and then, but mostly it is about the good times with Dan. It is my understanding that he was always the life of the party. He liked to play practical jokes on people. He had a very dry and witty sense of humor. His memory was sharp, photographic. Dan and Andrea were high school sweethearts and when their relationship was about to become jeopardized due to him serving a mission and she getting serious with another guy, Dan, while on his mission, asked his dad to send him some money for a wedding ring. After purchasing the ring, he mailed it to her and asked for her hand in marriage and pleaded with her to wait for him. She did and they were married. When Mat and I were married that diamond was given to me. I'm honored to wear this diamond.

I think that Dan and I would have been great friends. I think he sounds like a blast to hang out with and I would have enjoyed playing a few practical jokes myself. Then again, maybe we're too alike. I wonder if he would have approved of me being his daughter-in-law, I wonder if he played with his grandkids before they were sent to us, I wonder what line of work he is in now, and I wonder how often he comes around. Until I find out, I will continue to salute you Dan Harris. I consider you my second father in heaven. You also have a very nice son.

(Bob is also a wonderful father-in-law too. Very sweet, very generous, very considerate and kind. He's taking good care of the grand kids here on earth).

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Dumbo can do it, so can I

After watching the movie Ironman, I and a few others (others being under the age of 10) believe that it is now possible to fly. I also go so far as to think that I can invent these hightech gadgets, make millions, and save the world.

Swiss Chocolate beat me to it. Last week, this Swiss pilot conquered the skies using his own personal jet-powered wings. He flew at a 186 mph, performed figure eights, turns, and finished up with a 360-degree roll. He spent 285,000 perfecting it. He says, "Physically, it absolutely no stress, it's more like a motor bike."

In the meantime, I will have to make a few improvements to my own top secret flying machine and then this two-winged bandit shall be known as, Swiss Miss.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Charleston, Charleston, ba, ba, da, ba, ba, dum....

Welcome to Charleston, South Carolina. Have you been? Amazing. It was so quaint and southern that it made me want to put on my parasol and hoop skirt and sip my mint julip on the big front porch. Downtown there was house after house painted bright colors with immaculate gardens. I was trying desperately to peek through the wrought iron gates to get a glimpse of their secret gardens covered in palmetto trees, topiary magnolias and blooming jasmine crawling vines. There were giant live oaks covered in Spanish moss making it look almost enchanted and providing plenty of shade. We visited a plantation, ate at a few restaurants and tried to just soak it all in.

On the way there, we stopped at this tacky of all tacky places called South of the Border. The freeway alone had 53 billboard advertisements leading up to it (I counted), so at the last minute we swerved off the freeway to find out what this was all about. The history of this place goes like this....the man started his business from a hot dog stand and then just started adding on, restaurants, ice cream, firework store (we now own some black cats so beware), Africa store, flamingo store, and a few rides. Picture a bunch of random things plopped just south of the border from North Carolina. The waitress admitted it was a tourist trap. Is that why we pulled off the road? Twice? Once on the way there and once on the way back. We just had to put our rumps on a few more animals and pose. We watched an amazing sunset fall just behind the South of the Border sign and it was then I knew that it was our destiny to go there. We went from classy to chintzy in a matter of miles.

Thank you Bob and Andrea for coming along on this southern trip. We just try to catalog all these wonderful memories and just hope we don't get old and senile and forget them.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

I was just pretending

This is Gretchen after she pretended to cut her hair. This is only one of the many sections she has decided to style on her own. She's butched almost the entire side above her right ear. What's funny is Mat and I were just saying that morning how Gretchen's hair was finally getting to a cute length where we could do something with it. That won't happen for a year now seeing that it is a whole two inches long.

So what's your hair cutting story? I know they're out there. My brother Brian chopped my bangs the day before my 3yr old portraits. Being the second child, you have just a few pictures to cherish and this was one of them.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Mother's Day

I think my wife is pretty amazing, and here is why. The day Becket was born, she was very nervous before the delivery. She kept saying she didn't think she was ready to be a Mom and didn't know what to do with a kid. Miraculously, minutes after giving birth, while she was first holding him in the recovery room, all that nervousness went away and I could see this new glow come over her. I was amazed how she physically looked different as she took on this new mantle of motherhood. Ever since, she has been completely focused on being a Mom, and I think she does an amazing job at it. She has been lucky to have a great mom and close friends who have all supported her along the way, but deserves most of the credit herself. She is constantly worrying about how to teach our kids what they need to know to survive in this world, and despite their, at times, bizarre personalities and objections to being taught, she manages to make them learn. Most of all, she just genuinely loves her kids, as all good mothers do. I'm very grateful I have her.

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Piddle & Puddle

We've been getting some heavy rains lately, which Becket and Gretchen thoroughly enjoy. Despite wearing boots and using umbrellas, they always end up soaked to the skin.

Friday, May 2, 2008

Sleeping Booties

We don't care how or where they sleep, just as long as they sleep.