Sunday, August 12, 2018

Getting Better

Things are getting better with commemorating birthdays (with one major exception which I’ll write about soon.) But this post is right on time.

So, Happy Birthday to my granddaughter Josephine. Today marks her ninth birthday. She’s the only redhead in her family and has a headful of curls. Josephine has been following her brothers into competitive swimming—and has done them one better by having some success as a diver.

In a few days she will be here with her family for a visit, so I look forward to hearing about some of her other recent activities. See you soon, JoJo.

Sunday, August 05, 2018

Sorry, Alex.

Yes, of course I knew it was your birthday yesterday. You should have received our card and I know you got my text. You are the first person I have not profiled after I decided I would not let any family member’s birthday go unmentioned. But . . . your dad and two brothers arrived here on Saturday, after spending the night with Aunt Liz in Canton. We miss you and Manny and your Mom so much and wish you were here. So much chaos and confusion: food and swimming and all kinds of things to organize. Your family spent this afternoon with Aunt Lucy—a biohazard and a trip to another park and Nate did a wonderful job playing with the little cousins.

I think you need to talk to your brothers about the impact of words. They were telling friends you are in rehab!

But I think this is what they meant! We are thinking of you and hoping that you are completely recovered before the next soccer season rolls around. Tomorrow we will celebrate Grandpa’s birthday. Wish you could be with us, but we are hoping that pretty soon it will be easier for us to walk out of the front door, jump on a plane and see you all in Virginia.

Happy belated birthday.

Tuesday, July 31, 2018

The End of July

During these past few days my obnoxious children have been texting back and forth unflattering pictures of the oldest female sibling.  I have divided up the family photos— well, most of them— a never-ending project. There are numerous photos going the rounds which my children, now they are all grown up, wish had never been taken.

So here’s the photo of Kate I am posting on this her fiftieth birthday. How well I re-member the day she was born. Ernie had been teaching summer school and was working on grading when I announced that it was time to go to hospital. He announced the grades were late and he intended to finish them and hand them over to his chair before we left. It worked out fine and we parked Al with a friend and off we went. Catherine Mary was a pretty large baby and Catherine Mary sounded like a pretty fragile name, so we landed up calling her Katie, until in later years she became Kate. Here she is with her youngest, Eleanor. Eleanor came after three strapping boys, and legend has it that when she was born, there was much weeping on the part of the neighbors! Here Eleanor is at the ceremony marking the end of 8th grade. Next year it will be High School, and she has announced she too will change, or at least shorten, her name.

Kate makes good use of her hands, her head and her heart. Cooking, sewing, knitting, running a training program at the university, teaching Pilates, being the daughter of aging parents and mother to two college students and two children in high school come easily to her. She and Ron work in unison to see that everyone is chauffeured, organized, fed and loved. No small accomplishment.

I too have been rummaging through old photos, only to discover that my scanner isn’t working. Again. So even if I wanted to include the unflattering photos of her youth, I can’t. Happy Birthday, Kate.

Friday, July 06, 2018

Say it isn’t so, Gody.

I suspect that the Ament household in Virginia has been filled with the sounds of soccer for the past weeks, and that the five male members of the family have (politely) told Gody it is soccer or nothing!

But since today is Gody’s birthday I hope there is a little pause, tho’ even I intend to join some of the Grosse Pointe family tonight for a little soccer which I recorded. I was going to post a photo of Gody and Al at one of Manny’s Randolph Macon soccer matches, but she deserves to be feted on her own.

This photo is a few years old, but Gody never seems to get any older. What an accomplishment for someone who twenty years ago knew no English to earn a BSN degree. Now she is a well beloved nurse and the mother of a university student, two high school students and an eleven year old, not to mention the wife of a demanding high school teacher. Her friends span the globe, but she has conquered Michigan too. See you soon, Gody, we miss you—and have a wonderful birthday.

Tuesday, July 03, 2018

The Day Before the Fourth

That’s July third and the day our first child was born. The story is that I refused to have a baby on the Fourth, but I don’t remember it that way. Fast forward to 2018 and Al is fifty one today. We spoke to him earlier and he had spent the afternoon doing one of the things he likes best—watching soccer. Until he was a teenager, his sport was baseball, but when he sprung up on his way to 6’7”, the high school basketball coach grabbed him for what would be a pretty good team. A college basketball scholarship followed. Four years in Africa introduced him to soccer and that became a passion. His four sons followed his interest in soccer, but now the younger two have decided to play basketball.

So we have him through the ages, from a bemused looking big brother to a new father with Manny in Pisa to a fifty year old in his role as a French teacher in Virginia.

I almost didn’t get this post up. Looking through old photos held my attention for way too long. I’m scared to look in the mirror: I guess I grew old along with him and his siblings.

Happy Birthday, Al.

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

It’s Sebastian’s Turn

Today my grandson Sebastian is eleven. As his mother pointed out, as the third of three sons Sebastian has never had a bike that wasn’t a hand-me-down. That changed today and it looks like a pretty nice machine. Today was also his last day of school, so he’ll have some free time to scoot around the neighborhood—when he’s not at swim practice, because he is also the third of three swimming brothers.

I trust there will be some more photos of Sebastian with a cake, or celebrating with his family, but I choose to salute him as a boy with a new bike.

Happy birthday, Sebastian.

Sunday, May 27, 2018

Lucy in Real Time

I’m caught up with forgotten birthdays just in time to observe a birthday which falls today.

Happy Birthday, Lucy. I took this photo at her daughter's second birthday. She looks pretty chipper for someone who also has a month old baby and a son five months short of three. After living for a while in France and working for a decade in Washington she came home and ended up living five miles away from where she grew up. She has never been happier. It took her earlier adventures to help her realize where she really belonged, and the children and Peter and Blake were what she had been looking for all along.

We’ll celebrate with a combined Memorial Day/visit from a favorite cousin/birthday party. The photo above is the “everyday” Lucy, who cooks, cleans, gardens and effortlessly visits the grocery store with three kids in a cart. Then there is the artistic Lucy, who tackles creative challenges, writes and graces the stage. We love them both.