You Capture Emotions in B&W

I’ve been participating in a photo forum on Thursdays. Brought to us by Beth, at I Should Be Folding Laundry (me too, by the way), it’s called You Capture. Every week there is a new theme. This week it was “Emotions in Black & White.”

Hey y’all! I’ve been missing for the last ten days. I guess I sort of fell off the blogging train and got left behind for a while.

Life is funny, ain’t it? I mean, you start out blogging because you want to capture bits of your life, either in words or in photos, or both. Then, you get so wrapped up in blogging that sometimes you don’t have time to live. Or, you get so busy living that you don’t have time to blog.

Sigh.

That’s what happened to me this past week. Both of my sons came home for a visit. My son, Ryan, who moved to Michigan a year and a half ago, was here to attend a wedding (and catch up on some much deserved R&R, not to mention family time.) My son, Klinton, was on spring break. He pretty much came home to see his brother, Ryan, and provide him with a free taxi-cab service, I think.

Myself, I was nothing but a huge mass of raw menopausal emotions walking around on two legs. It was bitter-sweet for me to have all of my sons together again. It has been over a year since I had them all sit down to my table to eat. I couldn’t figure out whether to cry tears of happiness or tears of sadness, because the week flew by so quickly, and they both had to go back to where they live now.

Notice I didn’t say they had to go home? Silly me, I still think they are home when they are with me. Darn those old Empty Nest Syndrome emotions!

One of the nicest things that happened this past week was Ryan finally got to meet his nephew, Kole.

I grabbed the camera when they were outside feeding the ducks in our back yard. Ryan was tenderly showing Kole how to feed tiny pieces of bread to them, but Kole was a little terrified at first. After all, the ducks are almost as big as he is, and they have big scary looking mouths.

Ryan gave Kole a little piece of bread, thinking he would like to throw it to the feathered friends.

Kole had his own idea. He promptly stuck it into his own mouth!

After that, Ryan picked him up and they ran around the yard like maniacs, chasing the ducks back into the pond. Kole was a lot happier when the ducks were running away from him, instead of running towards him!

My step daughter, Danielle, who lives in New York wanted to be a part of the family reunion, so we skyped her after dinner. While all three of my “boys” were gathered around my netbook talking to her, Kole just couldn’t figure out how that pretty girl inside the computer could be talking to him!

Now that everyone has gone home, and things are starting to get back to normal around my house, I find myself itching to get back onto the blogging train. Thanks to You Capture, I had a good excuse to post some of my photos from my week of being an emotional wreck living.

Next week’s You Capture topic is Youth! Grab your cameras, y’all, and join in the fun!

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A Grandmother’s Confession

spincyclesmallThis week’s Spin Cycle topic is Parental confessions. We are supposed to confess something about parenthood that we don’t like. And it’s not supposed to be serious.

Well.

I have to be serious, y’all. I mean, we’re talkin’ about the most important job I’ve ever done – raising younguns’. So, I don’t know how to not be serious.

So here’s my confession. What I hated most about being a parent?

THEY GROW.

Yep. You heard me right. They grow. They grow up. They grow out. They grow away.

And one day, that precious little bundle that you were so overjoyed to welcome into your life….is a grown man with a precious bundle of his own.

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That toddler that you are having to remind for the 100th time to brush his teeth….has a mortgage and a truck that needs tires.

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That young boy that liked to play video games all night long is a physics major.

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And you wonder – where did the time go? Why didn’t I savor every single second? Why didn’t I play that stupid game of Old Maids or Monopoly? Take the night off of work to go to the class play? Read the extra bedtime story? Help with the homework project? Go for more walks around the neighborhood? Bake more cookies? Take them to the library more often?

If you are reading this, and you have young children – cherish these moments. Even though you might be bone tired, and not feel like it, and just want to crawl into bed yourself – read the favorite story again. Play the second game. Sit down and watch the Disney movie with them. Because when they are gone, they’re gone.

If you are blessed with grandchildren, you have a chance to do these things again. Honestly, I think that’s why us grandparents are so damn mushy about our grand babies. It’s our second chance. And, Oh God, how we’ve waited for it.

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Ginger’s a Grandma, y’all!

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Welcome to the world, little one.

This is my first grandchild, and my first girl. After having three boys, you can imagine how tickled I am, y’all. Her name is Freya, and she is most likely the prettiest little baby in the whole entire world.

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She’s got long, delicate fingers. Maybe I will teach her play the piano?

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She’s obviously got magical powers. See? She’s making my husband fall right in love with her.

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My son, Ryan, and Erin. The did a spectacular job of getting her here.

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I wish her great, great Grandma Gladys could see her. But, somehow, I think she already has.

I hope I can be as good of a Grandma as she was to me.

For Wordless Wednesday – BOOKS

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This photo is for Wordless Wednesday, hosted by Dixie over at French Lique, Texas. The theme for this week is “Books”. Since it’s kinda hard impossible for me to post something anything without at least a few words going on and on about it, I have to tell y’all about this photo. This white headed, beautiful southern lady is my favorite author and my Grandmother, Gladys Parker. She passed away last October at the young age of 96, and her mind was sharp as a tack right until the very end.

In this photo, she is sitting at her dining room table in her tiny apartment, which she called her “Penthouse on the Third Floor”.  She is looking over a book of poems that she wrote, a collection called “Then and Now.” The picture on the table is an original oil painting, also her’s. She was a self-taught artist, poet, beloved mother and the epitome of a grand, southern matriarch.

You can read more about Gladys, and read some of her poems, by visiting her blog, The Rock of Gibraltar, here.

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For more Wordless (or not so wordless) Wednesday photos, visit the other participants at French Lique, Texas, by clicking here.

Blue Monday

downloadThis photo is for Blue Monday, a meme started by Smiling Sally.

It’s easy to do, and pretty self-explanatory. Post a photograph of something blue, go to Blue Monday, here, and add your blog. Then sit back and wait for the comments to roll in! Oh yeah, and it helps if you spread some bloggy love by commenting on all the other lovely blue pictures.

Blue is my favorite color, so I have a lot of blue pictures. Here are a couple of my favorites.

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This is my middle son, Ryan, helping my step daughter, Danielle, find some kind of “critters” in the sand at Wrightsville Beach, NC. Ryan has a tender, sweet way with little kids, and creatures of all kinds. He is a talented, interesting, eclectic, confusing  mix of boy/man that has always captivated me and made me fiercely protective.

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And since this is about blue, here are my two favorite blue things, in all the world. Ryan’s eyes.

Danielle loves her step brother, Ryan. She calls him “lover boy”. Today, Ryan and his fiance, Erin, are waiting for a big event. In May, we are going to add another member to the family, my first grandchild! I think Ryan is going to be a wonderful father. Protective, but still able to marvel at the world through his child’s eyes.

THE VALENTINE

This week’s Spin Cycle is about, what else, y’all? LOVE.

I could write line after line about how much I love my husband, my sons, my daughter-in-law, my parents, my dog. But today my thoughts turn towards a person who greatly influenced my entire life, right from when I was a child. She was the glue that held my family together. She showed me, by her example in everything she did, what it means to have your priorities in the proper order. Her love and her fierce protection for her family never wavered and it never failed. She was my Rock of Gibraltar, my inspiration and my grandmother.

spaceballgladys-parkerThis is a picture of my grandmother, Gladys Parker, when she was about 15 years old.  She wrote the following poem when she was 88. The valentine she describes must have been around 76 years old. She was a down to earth, practical, no nonsense woman – not at all a girly, romantic type. The fact that she saved this valentine surprises me. The moral of the story? You just never know how long those valentines you send today will be saved, or how much they could mean…to somebody.

The Valentine

“You know I love you;
Can you guess who?”
Is written on my valentine.
Another like it, you cannot find.

Its kept among my souvenirs
Of the past – these many years.
Now and then I take it out
And remember how it came about.

Coming in to school one day
Upon my desk – there it lay.
A bright red heart, homemade too,
Saying, ” You know I love you”.

So childish and inquisitive me
Looked around – who can it be?
He had his eyes inside a book
He knew I knew by his look.

Its been so long – long ago;
His name now I do not know.
But many times I wonder how
This old man is doing now!

Gladys Parker
January 2000

Ans this is how Gladys looked in 2000, when this poem was written. She wrote hundreds of poems in her life, and even had her works published in a book, “Then and Now.”  Sadly, she passed away last October at 96 years old.  You can enjoy more of her poems, and read her life’s story here, at The Rock of Gibraltar, a blog I have started in her memory.

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The Sun Sets Over Downtown Wilmington, NC

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This is for Family Foto Fun Friday, hosted by Diana at Diana Rambles. She puts up a new theme each week, and you can submit your photo that fits the theme on your blog, along with any explanation that you want to add. You can use a photo you took in the past, a photo taken by other family members, or a photo taken during the week to fit the theme. You may link a previous blog post if it fits the theme. The best part is – anyone can participate!

This week’s theme is “Sun.” I immediately thought of this picture that my youngest son, Klinton, took in downtown Wilmington, NC.  Since I admittedly stole this picture off of one of his social networking pages, y’all leave a comment to tell him how great it is, so maybe he’ll forgive his snoopy old Momma.