March 2017

My Stories

6 National Parks in 6 wks

Mother of all Road Trips-1

Mother of all Road Trips-2

Mother of all Road Trips-3

Mother of all Road Trips-4

Containing Jim in Paris

Ranging the Yellowstone

Lisbon Portugal- Part 1

Lisbon and Sintra- Part 2

Evora Portugal- Part 3

Coimbra Portugal- Part 4

Porto Portugal- Part 5

At the Mammogram Office

Carmel Art Gallery

Venice- Part I

Veneto- Part II

Ravenna- Part III

Cinque Terre- Part IV

Vernazza Bonus- Part V


Crunch Time

Putting on the Ritz

Granada and Sevilla


Tuscany and Umbria - 1

Tuscany and Umbria - 2

Driving in England

Dwelling in England

A Dozens Reasons

In the Hamam

Istanbul Greece Diary

Pearl Harbor Team

Old Girl



Grandpa's Cabin

Pay-It-Forward Latte

England and France

N. Italy - 1

N. Italy - 2

N. Italy - 3

N. Italy - 4

Lessons from 4 Corners


Going to the Dogs

Don't Embarrass Me!

Letter from Siena

Arrivederci Roma

Joining the Matriarchs

Living History

Newlywed Game

Chaos Theory

Zach on the Road

Huckleberry Season

Stanley & the Sunbeam

I Dare Say


Middle School Relay

Grad Party


Moving On

Radio Shack

Newlywed Couches


Old Faithful Inn


Sweet Potato

Mother Bear

Two Blondes in Iberia

Revisiting Spain

Four Seasons Camping

Curly's Truck.

Disaster Restorations

Bobbie the Wonder Dog

Ducks and Beavers

Wearing Red

Photo Boxes

Las Vegas Soufflé

40th Birthday Party

The Heart Tickler

Wonderful Little Things

Heritage Tour

Erickson Era

Old Buildings


Split Seams

All Nighter

Talent Show

A Look Back

We often plan our lives in detail only to discover the need to revise and re-adjust. 

This includes what we choose to be called as grandparents. 

Jim originally selected Papá largely based on an old Kodak commercial where a young French girl uses that name in such a charming way that Jim suddenly became a Frenchman.  Granted, my 9th cousin/husband James and I share a French Huguenot immigrant ancestor, but the language hasn’t exactly been handed down as family practice for either of us.  

Our toddler grandson, Theo, took pretentious “Papá” and abbreviated it into a much humbler Pa.  Less Francophile, more Little House on the Prairie.  Hearing Theo squeal “Pa!” with delight caused Jim to embrace the change.  

My own choice of Grandma has proven too difficult for Theo to verbalize.  He’s altered it to Granner which I decided to immediately adopt because: I’ve never heard anyone use this before.   Granner has a sort of hipster ring to it--perfect for Oregon.  I get to be a hipster grandma.  

Theo may not have a huge vocabulary yet, but he has a developed sense of humor and fun.  When playing Hide and Seek, he adopts a deep voice and hunched stomp, sending Jim and me into hysterics.  

Hide and Seek is a great game to play with a two-year-old because you don’t have to put a lot of work or creativity into the hiding.  Theo, for example, prefers you hide in the very same place each time.  

For me, this means I remain on the hardwood floor on the far side of his parents’ bed for roughly twenty Theo discoveries.  After reaching double digits, Theo’s mom and dad become sufficiently concerned for my comfort that they send him in with pillows for my head.  Despite the repetition, each successful find brings cries of joy for both of us, along with a Theo-leap into Granner’s arms.  

Theo has olive skin and round eyes of deep brown that draw me in and bring to mind his mama’s Middle Eastern heritage.  

Theo’s newborn brother, Remy, on the other hand, has a fair complexion and blue eyes (for now, at least).  When I look at Theo, I see his mother. When I look at Remy, I see his father.  Remy looks so much like my own son that I often get the odd sensation that he is mine.  

This morning Remy’s mama turned on some acoustic music covers that included the old and the new.  To a background of guitar and vocal harmony, I sway-danced with Remy, lulling him to sleep.  We reclined on the couch where I got to cradle my slumbering grandson for over an hour.  

His tiny form melded into mine, his head tucked between my chin and chest.  Our body temperatures meshed.  I felt his every breath and we absorbed each other’s scents.  I sensed his every shift and delicate sigh.  

A gentle version of the Police’s “Every Breath You Take” played:  

“Every breath you take, every move you make, every step you take, I’ll be watching you.”  

And then, Sam Smith’s “Stay With Me”:

“Oh, won’t you stay with me? ‘Cause you’re all I need... I don’t want you to leave.”

This infant hour was one of the most sacred of my life.  

I wanted the magic to never end, but Remy’s empty tummy eventually stirred him to wakefulness.  

Funny how music can transport, and songs about a stalker and a one-night stand can piece so perfectly into a blissful baby-time.

“You’re all I need.  Darling, stay with me.”