autumn days

Friday, September 16, 2016

The Granny Privilege

Wee four-month-old Charlotte and I got to visit my granny in Utah last winter.  Granny is at the time in her life when she is sharing her life's bounty with others.  As a baby, her mother had given her a beautiful silver finger ring.  She has held onto this ring until now, nearly 90 years later.  On this visit, she generously gifted it to our little Charlotte.  What an incredibly tiny yet extraordinary gift.  What a privilege it is to have the ring my great grandmother gave to her baby, my children's great grandmother.  

My partner met some of his grandparents when he was a toddler.  Only Hannah got to meet her daddy's mama, not his dad.  Her siblings did not get to meet their daddy's parents.  I understand the great privilege I have of meeting all four of my grandparents, having both my parents still alive, and spending this extended time loving on my elderly grandmother.  Since my granny's husband's death a few years ago, we have traveled to visit one another at least once each year.  My partner loves my granny so deeply, his eyes moisten each time we say goodbye to her.  As we talk with my granny on the phone and send her postcards, we all look forward to hugging her again, as this ring hugs my daughter's finger.

Crystal Springs Rhododendron Garden

Every year our family has a list of traditions, from activities we share to places we visit and revisit.  The Crystal Springs Rhododendron Garden is one of our favorites.  We've gotten to visit every year of Liam's life with a variety of friends.  With our family's unusual summer, we have yet to visit this year.  Last year my granny delighted in the colorful bounty with us.  In the ebb and flow of life, I am so grateful for these tradition my children and I share.

Sitting back to watch the geese and ducks in 2013

Visiting with their great-granny in 2015

The Privilege of Celebrating Gray Hair

I have earned every single one of my gray hairs.  With the birth of my third child in my 38th year, I earned tiny wisps above my ears, like little wings to commemorate my new beloved babe.  There is quite the forest cropping up now with my partner's journey with cancer.  As my face ages before my very eyes, I kindly remind myself I have earned each gray hair.  For me, each one is a badge of experience, a symbol of a life lived fully.  Not everyone is privileged to grow old enough for gray hair.  Here is a quote that rings true for me.  May you take comfort in knowing as you age, you grow in so many ways, seen and unseen, known and unknown.  Blessings upon you in all your stages of life.

"Growing older is like climbing a mountain: the higher you get, the more strength you need, but the further you see."

Sidewalk Chalk Science

We are at it again.  We love making and using and recreating our own sidewalk chalk.  We use simple ingredients we have on hand, only purchasing plaster of paris.  Simple science fuels our curiosity.  These make great gifts as well.  I really love these photos of colorful art supplies.  Thank you for letting me share them with you.

Jelly Belly Factory Tour

Last year we were able to go to the Jelly Belly Factory in Fairfield, California, for a tour.  We heard about the history of this famous bean and go to sample different flavors.  Our wildest adventure was partaking in odd flavors such as boogers, diaper wipes, and barf.  The last one was my very least favorite.  With my pregnant belly as large as a watermelon, I fantasized about wearing a maternity jelly belly shirt.  We left instead with a new appreciation for this sweet treat and a bag of delicious "belly flop" imperfect beans.

Portland Children's Museum

A friend of ours volunteers with the Portland Children's Museum.  She graciously shared a family pass with us so we could go play.  There are so many spaces and delights at this interactive museum.  Sand, clay, water, face paint, wood, music, theater, puppets, and nature are just some of the details we enjoy at the museum.  We look forward to our next visit.

Dog Doodles

Last summer we got to partake in a free online art class taught by a friend's friend.  Due to all our other projects and imaginative play, we chose to only participated in a couple of the lessons.  Our favorite was abstract canines, otherwise known as doodle dogs.  Simple steps and materials led to what you see here.  We really enjoyed this time creating together.  These paintings have been displayed in our kitchen since then.  What a treat!