Friday, May 30, 2008

Thirty Two Years

For our 32nd anniversary, Wes and I decided to take a trip to Japan! No airline tickets or hotel reservations needed, however. This trip would be a short one, but the time was right and the restaurant was open.

Here we are. You might wish to note that the table behind us had some members of the Chicago Bears team. How thoughtful of them to come out to celebrate #32 with us!

And, just a small little cute thing that happened to us at the end of our meal...the bill came to thirty two dollars and some cents after using our half-off ENTERTAINMENT card! And there were 4 tables of 8 people (4 x 8 = 32) seated in our group. And, Anne wonders why she turned out to be a "math nerd."

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Remembering

Memorial Day was a couple of days ago and Wes and I went to the local parade and program in honor of both our fathers who had fought overseas in the 1940's. I certainly have
issues with war and fighting, but I am so grateful to be living in a free country with the ability to vote, travel with no limitations, read without censorship, worship as I choose, and more.
As the veterans walk by, I find my eyes moist.
As the boy scouts and girl scouts pass by, I am
also touched with these young peoples' lives. Will
they know times of true peace? I certainly hope so. They are our future.
Just for you, Anne and John: a video of your former band director, Mr. Shupe, leading a select group of LHS students in a patriotic piece.
video

Sunday, May 25, 2008

The Ant and the Peony

We're working on/in our yard this weekend, picking up dropped branches, mowing, weeding, sweeping walkways, and of course, planting flowers. However, it is in closely checking out what is happening on the peony plant that has me thinking this year. The peony is one of my favorite blossoms...it is a showy, pastel flower with whispers of pink, cream and white. The scent is heavenly. The bud is a tightly packed orb before the ants chew away at it, freeing the petals into a heady flower. No ants = no flower opening.
And so it is with life. I feel like that little ant. I have a job to do, (a life to lead) but I can't say it is an easy one completed with no effort. I can't see what may be revealed. This is where faith comes in. And trust. And hope. And love. That is when there is that heady sweet scent, that multi-layered beauty as the blossom unfolds and true beauty is released. Worth the chewing...and the wait.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

The Pink Suitcase Chronicles #1

Diann and I knew, we just knew, that we needed to go to New York City to help celebrate the graduation of our niece, Jennifer. So, pink suitcase in tow, we flew out together this past weekend and had quite a lovely adventure there. Thus begins the first entry in the *PSC! Day#1
Out and about around "The Big Apple"
First we settled in our hotel room, then met up with Jen and family friend, Linda to go to a play then walk as much as possible before darkness set in. We checked out fancy hotel lobbies and in one of them was the painting at the Plaza Hotel based upon the character, Eloise by Kay Thompson.
Then off to Central Park. See the mama duck and her ducklings?
After a very full, fun day we had dinner at the San Martin restaurant, then tumbled into our comfy beds at this lovely hotel....ahh.
Day #2
Graduation from an Ivy League school is done on a huge scale. Finding seats for the graduates and their guests takes up a lot of space! Chairs under tents, bleacher seating, not to mention huge screens for the viewing: it certainly isn't NORTH PARK! Congrats and kudos to you, Jennifer!!!!!! You inspire all of us!
Post graduation (and it was a l-o-n-g one due to the many many students...maybe 4,000?), we took the subway to the Time's Square area and walked around. NYC makes our fair city of Chicago seem small!
Monday had been jam-packed with activity and the "girls" were ready to fall into bed by the end of the day. Here we are - ready to watch the finale of "Dancing with the Stars." (Yea, Kristi!)
Day #3
Because our hotel was so near to Rockefeller Plaza, we had the chance to go see the Today show with Al, Meredith, Matt and Ann standing right in front of us and Fergie as the featured performer. Did you see me on camera? I was the dancing fool with the funky glasses!
Well, my pink suitcase was packed and ready to return home. The whirlwind trip to New York City was wonderful. Here Jennifer, Diann and my pink traveling companion are in the hotel elevator, soon to part ways. We'll take a cab to the airport and Jen will go back on the subway for her final days at her school. I look forward to the next *PSC (* PINK SUITCASE CHRONICLES) adventure.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Suitcase Passion

I guess it all started when I was a little girl...this love of mine for suitcases. One of my first memories is owning a little round, pink suitcase (perhaps it had a dog on it?) and going on a mountain hike with my family. Of course, the suitcase had to come, too...it had my "treasures" inside - bits of fabric and papers, and other finds important to a little girl of four or five years of age. I was holding the big hand of my Daddy, and somehow the suitcase fell out of my grip and into a mountain stream, and I was devastated. My hero (Dad) rushed into the stream and pulled out the suitcase and I can still see him going into the rushing water with his shoes and socks on. Safe and reunited: girl and suitcase. The suitcase is long gone, but since then, I have kept adding to my collection because suitcases are so handy!
Suitcases come in funky colors and can be decorated to hold special photographs and mementos.
Suitcases hold vintage hat collections.
Suitcases can act as bases for plantstands.
Suitcases work well for storing vintage linens and tucking under tables.
Suitcases are great for holding sewing and quilting supplies.
And, oh yeah, suitcases are good for travel!! For Mother's Day, Anne and Jed added a new funky pink suitcase to my collection. I just love how it has so many pouches, pockets and zippers AND can go "Carry On" with me on an airplane. Thanks, guys!
Speaking of Mother's Day, we had a lovely brunch together with the family post-graduation and our new Great-Nephew was born to nephew Andrew and his wife Timi. Welcome, little William Andrew! Let's get packin' so we can meet you!
My new pink suitcase is ready to go!

Monday, May 12, 2008

Been there. Done that.

John is now an old pro when it comes to graduation! Here are some of the pictures of his past milestones:
First:The preschool graduate holding his diploma.
Eighth grade graduation (sorry about the blurriness, but it does give the idea of our family heights at the time.)
High school graduationAnd now here he is, a college graduate. (Having an aisle seat has its advantages!)
Three generations of North Park Lindahl men. (All graduates of this fine institution.) Congratulations, Johnny-O! Way to go! May your future be all you hope it to be!

Monday, May 05, 2008

Home Stretch

home stretch (insert pronunciation here) n. 1. the part of a race track between the last turn and the finish line; hence, 2. the final part of any undertaking.
Well. John is about to be a college graduate. His four years at NPU sped by; we are used to being empty nesters by now, aren't we? When he suggested that he would like a "home" party, I was thrilled...our home would be full of energetic young people again! It does get kind quiet with just the two of us around home (with our somewhat senile 18 year old meowling cat - when she's sleeping at least) and besides, we could see again many of John's friends who we have also come to love these past four years!
Some photos of the close to thirty friends (and family) gathered for an early graduation party here yesterday.
We have so many happy memories of being in this home for the past 24 years. Is it time to take the plunge and move back to the city and create a new home in the bustle there? Wes has put up with the worsening travel times to his job in the city, but now is it ridiculous to spend so much time in the car - and so much more pengar for the cost of gas? Stay tuned...but certainly don't hold your breath for a quick resove of this home stretch dilemna. In the meantime, we are so grateful for the sheltering arms of our humble home, and thankful that Anne and John had happy years growing up within its walls of brick and a welcoming yard full of trees to climb and rich soil for seeds to sprout.