Washington sky.

We are both up in Seattle this weekend to celebrate my mom’s 80th birthday.  I flew in last night and we stayed with Patrick and Nga.  This morning we went to breakfast in Ballard at the Fisherman’s Terminal.  It’s a marina strictly for commercial fishing boats.  This is the home of many of the crab boats on the show Deadliest Catch.  Below is a shot of the memorial to fisherman lost at sea..

Rest in peace.

After breakfast we drove around to the peninsula to meet up with my family for the rest of the weekend.

Teach your children well.

My first ride - it wasn't much but it was all mine.

Yesterday a friend called for help with a car that wouldn’t start.  I hopped into my car and headed over to meet her.  Diagnosis was dead battery.  We had her up in running in under 5 minutes.

As I was driving home, my mind drifted back in time…to a memory… from the summer of 1985… I had just bought my first car.  It was a 1975 VW Rabbit – neon green (the picture doesn’t do the color justice).

The day I brought it home, my dad came out to the driveway to take a look.   The first thing he said to me was, “do you know how to change the tire?”    I nodded yes.   He said, “show me.”   I proceeded to root through the trunk to find the jack and spare and got down on the ground to look for where the jack was supposed to be placed under the chassis.   When I wasn’t sure of the next step, he gave me a little help.  After about 15 minutes I had it jacked up, the nuts off and the tire changed.     Dad inspected it and then said, “do you know how to jump start a dead battery?”   I said no.   He proceeded to open the hood and show me the basics, which I’ve carried with me through the years since and many a dead battery – including yesterday’s.

He also showed me how to check the fluids and change the oil and filter, which I did myself on my cars for many years.

Afterwards, he turned and walked back into the house.

My dad was a man of few words and little emotion.  I didn’t understand him back then.   With the help of time, I have come to appreciate his intentions.   He just wanted to make sure I knew how to take care of myself.  So far, so good  🙂

Thanks Dad!

P.s…. here’s a youtube link to a little CSNY that came to mind as I wrote this post.

Looking back through time

Great great great.

One of my never-finished projects is doing research on family genealogy.  I have had a lot more luck tracing monte’s ancestors than mine, as there are many more documents that I can view online for 18th & 19th century USA than for Ireland.  So, between reunion activities last weekend, we took several drives to family grave sites across the area to visit relatives’ graves.  We had been to all of them before, but this time I’m taking photos for my records.  This is the gravestone for monte’s great, great, great grandfather, born in 1758 — the oldest one we’ve visited.

Tonight I’ve dusted off my subscription to ancestry.com and logged in to tend the family tree.  If you have done genealogy research you know what I’m talking about when I say that you can lose several hours at a time as you crawl through the past.  I’ve been absorbed in searches and downloading of newly found records documenting land ownership, census information, military service, etc.

But, it’s getting late.  That’s enough for tonight.  It’ll keep.

No place like home…

Giant Gibsons.

We had a leisurely morning getting ready to check out.  Breakfast at Jacks.  Then we stopped at the store — the home base for the family.  Got in one last visit and said goodbye to Uncle Raymond, Judy, Gary, David, Marla, Lauren, Laken, Bryan and Dorothy.

We had no problems on our flights.   We were able to package the power tools that Monte bought and send as checked baggage.

We had a wonderful time at the reunion, but no matter where you’ve been or how great it’s been, there’s always that special feeling when you’re back home.   This is a picture of the giant Gibson guitars that decorated downtown Austin for a long time.  Several are now on display at the airport.

We came home to the uninterrupted drought.  I hope we can catch up on watering enough to keep things alive.  I took a long walk around the neighborhood before dark, and monte is still out in the shop, playing with his new toy, I imagine.

I can’t wait for the next big reunion – Lanny & Mica will be hosting in 2013!


Day 3

Today started with a bunch of people piling into the restaurant at the Courtyard.  We kind of took over the place.  Some people peeled off in the morning.  The rest of us headed to yet another reunion celebration.  This time a combination of Monte’s mother’s and father’s sides of the family.  There were so many people there, and so much food!  We had many wonderful visits over and over today.

Monte made plans to hook up with a high school friend in a town about an hour away.   We took another drive through the back country roads of Indiana.   It was another humid, sweaty day, but it ended with a thunderstorm, which will hopefully dry the air out a bit.

We met up with Charlie and Kathy at their house in Madison, and had a really nice visit with them, and their son, Lou.

A remembrance

Up and away.

Family Reunion Day 2.  Today started out slow and foggy.  Appropriate, given the festivities last night.  We made several pots of coffee and the various Copeland’s staying at the Courtyard popped in to say good morning.

Monte and Lanny ended up heading out to check out some wood working tools that were for sale by a friend.   Lanny bought 2 truckloads (luckily they are driving home), and monte got a few things that we’re going to try to see if we can ship home.

Everyone met up at Gary & Judy’s for the afternoon.  We walked down to the creek to look for fossils, and I found some keepers.  Susanne aired her radio show live from the reunion.  Several Copeland’s got on the air to share stories.

We had a special moment when Susanne led a remembrance for all those that we have lost since our last bi-annual reunion… my dad, Marla’s dad, Patricia’s grandmother, Nora’s uncle Jim,  Aunt Hazel, and our angel Amanda.   Then everyone was handed a balloon and we gathered together under an opening in the trees and released them skyward.

Amazingly, we had even more festivities planned for the evening at Josh and Mary’s.  Even though it was in the 90s, people gathered round the campfire to roast weenies, brats and s’mores (after dark).

The kids have been amazing.   They are so sweet and have been running around, playing outside all weekend.  No indoor gatherings for this crew.  I especially enjoyed watching them chase (and catch a number of) lightning bugs.

It’s great to be a part of this family!

Apr 19, 2011


I posted a shot a week or so ago of several Morning Glory flowers all wrapped up.  This is a shot of one of them open in all its glory.

The color of these flowers is amazing.  I have not retouched this photo.  The glow in the center of the flower makes the color so intense.

It’s hard to look away 🙂

Mar 29, 2011

Yeah, what *she* said.

I’m  very sleepy and ready to turn in.

But first… this is a poster that I assume one of my younger sisters put up in their room, which used to be my room, oh so many years ago, which is the room i’m staying in while visiting my mom.

There’s a 12″x12″ mirror tile on the closet door.  A little too low to see in without hunching over.  My older sister and I, when we shared this room in the 70’s, etched our names in the mirror with one of those diamond-tipped “pens.”  They’re still there.


I like this part of Browning’s poem:  “…I love thee with breadth, smiles, tears, of all my life!”  And I especially like the exclamation point 🙂


Mar 8, 2011

Happy 1st blogoversary!

Today is the 1 year anniversary of my starting this blog.   To mark the occasion, I made a collage using all 365 of the moments that I’ve posted here.

I can recall taking each one.   🙂

I started this in early March last year, in time to capture the signs of Spring, and into the Summer as things began to warm up and as we spend so much time on the lake… then through the changes in Fall and Winter when we spend more of our time on projects and playing with friends on land.  I’ve come full circle, and am looking forward all the moments from the coming year.

Happy Mardi Gras!   and  HAPPY BIRTHDAY to Lori and to Mary!

Mar 7, 2011

Day #365!!!

Today’s post makes the 365th moment that I have shared with you.  This is a shot of one of the geraniums I planted yesterday that I took today during a break between conference calls.

I’m very pleased that I have stuck with this post-a-photo-per-day-for-a-year project.  There were some days that I found it difficult to see something worth sharing.   But I have to say that most days I looked forward to toting my camera around with me, and was usually pleased to find a moment that was either a photo that I liked or at least made for a nice story to share.

Wow, a year.   365 moments.   It goes by fast.

I look forward to keeping my blog going.  I don’t know that I will be posting something every day, but I am definitely looking forward to posting more moments worth sharing.

A colleague of mine passed away over the weekend after a fight with cancer.  He was only 51.

I can only hope that you all have many more years left on this earth to share with your friends and family.   But since we never know when our time will be up, we have to take the time to enjoy and be thankful for each and every day that we get to spend with them.   I have done that for a year.   And I hope to from here on out…

Jan 21, 2011

Pretty bird.

One year ago today our little blue birdie, Petey, went to the giant birdcage in the sky.  He has been on my mind today, so though it’s not a photo I took today,  it’s the moment I want to share.   This was taken when he was 4 or 5.   He lived 9+ years!

I miss our chatty friend…. Pretty pretty pretty pretty pretty pretty  biiiiiird.