Sunday, July 3, 2022

Give Thanks...For The Love Of A Mother And A Daughter


I didn't realize until later, but something happened, or, didn't happen on Friday, July 1st this year. You see, every year on 7/1 I would see a post on Facebook. Sometimes this post was expected, sometimes it was a surprise. Two days ago, someone else posted the reminder...

And it floored me.

You see, since 2007 on July 1st, I would pull up Facebook and a post from my sister would remind me of my mother's passing. She died fifteen years ago, July 1st, 2007, and my sister never forgot it. Each year on the anniversary, my sister would post a photo and include a heart-felt message to the one person in her life she loved more than anyone, the one person who she missed with her entire being, the one person she wished more than anything she could once again hold her hand and hug and talk to about life.

This year, I didn't see a post from my sister. She was unable to post a photo or include a heart-felt message. She could not express publicly how much she missed her mom. No, this year, the pain was doubled. This year, my sister's daughter had to post something from a year ago, the last time my sister could acknowledge just how wonderful a woman our mother was. This year it was my niece's turn to mourn.

For as long as I live and as long as social media continues to exist, I know my sister's daughter will do the same thing to her mother that my sister did for her's. She'll post a message of love, of sadness, of wishing the two could be together again. I'm grateful for traditions, of letting others know just how much each means to the other...too bad some of those expressions must come after one...or two...of them are gone.

Saturday, July 2, 2022

So Many Incredible Cars To See...I Was Drawn To The VWs

For the second time in as many years, my mother-in-law and I attended the Cache Valley Cruise In car show. Last year was a first for me (my mother-in-law had gone years before...). Like last year, there was a lot of walking, a lot of sun, and some incredibly beautiful cars.

I was drawn to the Volkswagens.

I always am.

Seeing the cars is bittersweet for me. Until I got married, and a little bit after, I only bought/drove VWs. I had bugs and a convertible rabbit. Of course, that was decades ago. And when I think I should have kept those cars, it would have been a hassle to store and keep them running. No, it was a good decision to sell them when I did. They were fun, they had their purpose. Still, it would be nice to have one (or all...) of them back.

Since I can't show you them, here's some of the cars we saw yesterday.

(it's a VW kit car, or truck...)

Friday, July 1, 2022

Oh, Those Amazing Skies...


It's due to the lack of trees, really.

It seems my wife, mother-in-law, and I are always talking about the skies. One of the negatives of "The Great Move" that happened to us almost two years ago was the leaving behind our views. I looked at the same western skyline, off-and-on, for half a century. I was sure wherever we moved could never compare. For me, it would be a huge sacrifice, but considering all the other reasons for moving, it couldn't prevent us from taking action.

Then we moved.

Then, I was surprised--pleasantly surprised--at the views from the Top of Utah.

I've wondered why we love them so much and I've come to a conclusion--it's due to the lack of mature trees. Our neighborhood is new--half a decade ago none of these home existed. And, as evolution goes, first come the houses, then come the trees. We live where trees didn't already exist...in other parts of the world, houses come by removing trees. We do not have that problem.

It's funny...before our family and my mother-in-law left our previous homes, trees were actually reducing our amazing views. We kept seeing less and less of the skies. That issue will follow us here. And, as evolution goes, the trees planted here today will one day soar into those beautiful skies reducing the views even more.

But, for today, the skies are amazing...and we love them dearly. 

Thursday, June 30, 2022

Newest "Stranger Things" Season...And Its Delicious Details


There's a well-known phrase that's been around for a long time, "The Devil's in the Details." I think that's an apt saying to describe the latest season on Netflix's Stranger Things

The details...they're fantastic.

Of course, for the viewers in my geographical area, the details surrounding Salt Lake City and our predominant religion have been wonderful. Unlike other major media series shown recently that highlight the ideosyncrasies of the religion, it feels like the creators at least tried to get the people right. I'd say they did a pretty good job...so far. I haven't finished the series--I've got two episodes to go. 

I've enjoyed this--and the previous three--seasons for the same reasons. The creators seem to have an understanding what the show means to its fans. They nailed the D&D culture of that time. They nailed those of us who played D&D during that time. The music, all the little things. 

Watching Episode 7, something caught my eye...the closed captioning of a scene. If you're familiar with the show, you know what a Demogorgon is, and if you know what it is, you can imagine (if you haven't seen the show, yet...) the scene is not for the faint of heart. It was grizzly, violent, flat-out gross. And the closed caption conveyed that gore in three little words.

Before I watched the series, I read a lot of critiques. Season 4, for many, was dark...very dark. They were right. It is. And as long as they keep nailing the small things, there's more than the devil in those details.

 

Wednesday, June 29, 2022

When You Find A Radio Stations Entire Album Collection...At A Thrift Store


We don't visit the thrift stores as much as we would like (you may think that's incorrect by the number of thrift store posts I write...). Where we used to live, I tried to visit the local thrift store at least a couple of times a month. I noticed several people who were there every time I was. I concluded they must visit the store every day.

And, if you're thrift store shopping, that's a good strategy. Because if you go every day, you won't miss out on some of those gems that come along every once in a while.

Since we don't go every day, we occasionally find one or two of those gems. A few months ago, we came across something I thought was amazing. In the back of the Logan Deseret Industries, sitting on a cart were box after box of classic albums and 45s. Apparently, it was the inventory of a radio station, I can't think it being anything else.

If I had time, I would have search each box, trying to find some of those classic records from stars long since gone. I looked through a couple of boxes and ended up buying four Bing Crosby Christmas albums, a Nat King Cole, and one from the Four Knights because I recognized, Walkin' on Sunshine.

I doubt the records are worth anything. Maybe the "Non-Distribution" status might make them more valuable, but considering in the 1950s and 1960s, thousands of those records were produced and distributed to stations across the country and world. No, I chose them because I remember putting on Christmas LPs on my dad's HiFi as a kid.

No, I probably left a few gems in the boxes, gems found by others who did some searching through the many many boxes. It's okay. I found some good ones.

 

Tuesday, June 28, 2022

Oh...The Places You Won't Go


You may have seen this question posted on the internet. It's been making the rounds of social media and many of my friends have responded. I usually let those things go and don't participate, but something about this one made me respond.

Looks like I'm average.

Social media is a perfect place to show you all the places you won't go. It's summer and people are doing something they haven't done for a couple of years--go on vacation. I have friends who are right now in Europe, Switzerland and England. A few months ago another friend posted pictures of their family having fun in Spain, and another in Hawaii. Then there's the hundreds and hundreds of pictures of friends on the coasts, west coast, east coast, southern coast. 

And I'm happy for them. I really am.

Then, something comes along like the above question that makes me think. I might get to a few more of the places on that list in my lifetime. Then again, six is all I might see. I'm okay with that. I've learned long ago to acknowledge what is really important and focus on those things. Of course, if travel were important to me and my family, we would make that a priority and go. It's not, so we don't. Also, when I think of going somewhere/anywhere, the thought of spending money would most likely overwhelm all the great things about travel.

Before I was married, I traveled quite a bit. Thanks to university choir tours (and some student loans...) I was fortunate enough to visit Europe, Washington D.C., and England. I enjoyed the trips--loved them, actually. 

Now, we stay home. Home is wonderful. Home is really all I need. Some people can't imagine going on only three vacations in twenty years, but that's how we choose to live. Would I like to go to Walt Disney World, or see the Empire State Building? Sure. If I never make it, however, I'm not losing sleep over it. Life's too short to be miserable because of the things you don't have.


Monday, June 27, 2022

Time To Introduce My Daughter To...The Classics


 Recently, we've been introducing our daughter to some of the classic movies my wife and I grew up with. We feel it's part of being a good parent. I saw this meme and it made me laugh because Poltergeist was one of the classic shows we just watched.

We've watched classic shows with her in the past. My wife and I would think about a show from our youth, then we'd ask our daughter if she'd seen it. If not, we do a little searching and if the show was free for us to watch, we'd all sit down and enjoy the entertainment that was, in its day, considered the high mark of the medium. I think this past week was the first time my wife and I sought out films we enjoyed for my daughter to experience the same thing as we did when we were her age.

The first show we watched was, Raiders of the Lost Ark. I was sort of surprised she hadn't seen it before. She knew of the show, of course, but never watched it. 

Next, came Poltergeist. I remember that show scared the crap out of me. As I re-watched, I remember the scenes that freaked me out. They're still powerful, but not as much. We live in an era where movie effects are unsurpassed in their realistic depictions of everything. It's tough for a movie from the 1980s to compete with what can be done today.

We have more movies we want to show. Thankfully, our daughter enjoys watching "golden oldies" with her parents. I wonder if she'll do the same thing with her children in twenty or thirty years. And if so, what will they all watch?