Family, friendships

Still life

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I am unexpectedly stuck in 1979-1981; no idea why.  This weekend I was using an app to attach ringtones to several more of my contacts; just for fun.  The hubby is the theme song to Austin Powers, my sister-in-law is the Madagascar song Move it, and my son, Diggy Dwarf from Minecraft.  I attached the theme song from Nacho Libre to a dear friend.  For several years I have looked for the ringtones to the songs, Call Me by Skyy and Ring My Bell by Anita Ward since they are about phones. When I finally discovered who sang these songs, as well my work theme song As the Beat Goes On by the Whispers, I found the ringtones.  I was my youngest son’s age when these songs were popular so I have no idea why my subconscious remembers them but they play prominently in my head like a running cassette track.  Now my boys are singing the lyrics with me in my car.  It’s crazy!

Our weekend was unexpectedly busy.  Our friend like the fruit spontaneously texted on Friday what she had in mind;  a sunset picnic and picture at the beach.  Her goal was to take a family picture of her bff, our dear friend, and family for her birthday.   She also envisioned a picture of the kids on the beach.  For the past three summers our kids get together and romp in the surf and tan on the sand.  This time she wanted the kids to wear jeans and white tops for a group shot.  It was a great idea!

But life always doesn’t go according to plan.  The sunset was overcast and it was cold.  Our birthday girlfriend’s family was missing one member and they were not dressed in the matching attire.  But that didn’t deter us.  We were happy just to all be together since it is so rare; schedules always conflict.  Only half of our group could make it; a group of ten families.  From my professional photographer girlfriend, Laura Taylor, I know that overcast skies make the greatest of pictures.  She taught Dave and myself the art of composing a shot; the power of threes and the camera/digital techniques to get a decent photograph.  I count myself lucky if I even get a measly one; my boys can never sit still for too long.  Photographing our group of kids was a flurry of Come back!  Sit still!  Take your jackets off; you’re supposed to match!  Kids made funny faces, hid in the background or just rolled around in the sand.  But this is the joy of watching a group of kids grow up together; they’re still kids.  They are getting to the ages where they become awkward with one another; where boys and girls don’t play anymore.  I can only hope our kids will remain friendly to one another as they maneuver through the next stages in their young lives.  After about fifteen minutes of flashing cameras and hollering; we all headed to the bonfire to roast marshmallows, hot dogs and s’mores.  We are ships passing in the night so it was nice to meet in a common port and catch up.

130414 churchWe arrived at mass, this morning, smelling of bonfire smoke; even after showers.  The boys served today and the Gospel message stuck with me.  It was from John 21:15-19 and our bulletin related it to the awkwardness of relationships.  Simon Peter denied knowing Jesus, three times,  on the night he was betrayed but after he resurrects, he comes to Simon Peter (who does not recognize him) and asks him, three times,  if he loves him.  Simon Peter knows it is the Lord but doesn’t quite understand that Jesus and the Lord are one and the same.  The message is that, though we are sinners, Jesus/the Lord always reaffirms his unconditional love for us through his grace and forgiveness.   If you were betrayed by a friend, would you seek their friendship knowing they had turned on you?  Would you forgive and try to reaffirm your relationship with one another?  This gave me some moments’ pause since I would easily turn the other cheek and walk away.  What about in marriage?  Or as a parent?

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There were piles of laundry filled with sand and smoke, sticky floors and we won’t even go into bathrooms.  Being the sole female in our house I am very cautious around toilet bowls.  The hubs and I stared at each other after breakfast as we formed our grocery list and Voila!  The light bulb turned on.   Every member in our household was tasked with a job and all was sparkly and clean.  My normal  3-4 hour cleaning was completed within 1 hour. Unbelievable!  Why have we not thought of this sooner?  We’ve decided that every weekend our family will have communal cleaning time so that all five of us can actually enjoy the rest of the weekend.  Dave tuned up his truck and imparted knowledge to our eldest son as he asked questions: What is this?  What does that do?  The dog patrolled around them.  When we each do our part our household runs much more smoothly.

The above songs were downloaded to my iPod as I did my various tasks.  I danced and cleaned my little heart out; music being a great motivator.  I’m still trying to figure out why my mind is stuck on this music era?  I can’t believe I”d even remember these songs at Charlie’s age?  Why now?  I grew up in a house full of music.  My mom preferred singing country songs with her Filipino accent; my father liked Motown & Classical.  Though I like all genres; my preferred type of music is alternative or hip-hop.   It’s just too freaky.  

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When I glanced at my memory card, around midnight, I was surprised that this picture of the boys came out.  It was pretty dark and I manually changed the settings on my camera; on a whim.  It immediately brought to mind the picture of the boys by the Coronado Bay Bridge; taken by my girlfriend Laura.  The boys would not sit still and clambered over upturned boats; wanting to be away.  My eldest, as seen in these two photographs, still bear hugs his younger brothers.  They are always physically jostling and jockeying; arms and legs entwined to lots of squeals and laughter.   There is almost five years between these two pictures; one taken yesterday and the other in May 2008.   A still life usually is an artistic rendering of an object; the classic example being the painting of fruit in a bowl.  Photos are my still life renderings.  I’m trying really hard to keep my life still and unchanged.

 

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