Monday, June 23, 2008

would have been 63 years, today

Today would have been my parents 63rd wedding anniversary.

Thank you, thank you for showing me what love looks like. Thank you, for enduring the rough patches with faith and commitment.

Thank you for allowing me to inherit the fruits of your hard work in making a life together. Because of your example my own marriage flies the flag of hope and possibility.

Happy Anniversary, Mother and Dad.

(The following is taken from the above newspaper clipping. Hard to believe they misspelled mother's name. Should be Ethel, not Ethyl. I typed it out as the clipping is yellow, faded and nearly illegible.)

Ethyl Clifford is Bride of Sgt. Arnett

Ethyl Clifford, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Alfred Clifford of Tucson, and Sgt. Howard Arnett of Duncan, Arizona were united in marriage at 6:30 p.m. Saturday at the Vern Busby home on 33rd street. Bro. A.G. Kimball, bishop of the Church of Latter Day Saints, officiated.

A pale blue dress with white accessories and a corsage of gardenias was worn by the bride. Her attendant, Mrs. Charles Arnett, wore a lavender frock. Mr. Arnett, attended his brother as best man.

Mrs. Clifford, the bride’s mother, was attired in a gray dress. Her corsage was of white carnations.

A reception followed the ceremony. The couple left for Duncan, the bridegroom’s home, for a short wedding trip.

The bridegroom returned recently from Italy, where he has served for the past two years. He will report to Santa Ana Calif for reassignment.

The bride attended St.David’s high school near Benson and the University of Arizona. She is a member of Lambda Delta Sigma sorority. Sgt. Arnett attended Duncan schools.

Couple United in Home Rites
(Caption under picture)
Sgt and Mrs. Howard Arnett are shown after their wedding ceremony at 6:30 Saturday at the Vern Busby home. The bride is the former Ethyl Clifford, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Alfred Clifford.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

The Aunties step out…

Penee had the great idea to celebrate Kathleen’s birthday with a visit to Thanksgiving Point Gardens. Great idea, Pen. We chatted and strolled and shared a $2.00 pop when it got too hot. The gardens are truly lovely, almost made me feel like I was visiting Lady Catherine de Bourgh’s estate.

Afterwards, we finished up the funfest by eating salads at CafĂ© Rio. I loved chillin’ with my Sis in laws. It was delightful. Also, big birthday wishes to Kathleen, a truly great sister-in-law and wonderful person. I love you, lady.

And if you are wondering why there are so many shots of rumps in this video, well, let me just say that my sisters-in-law can be less than cooperative. They should have heeded my photographic suggestions. When you won’t pose for the camera, ladies, this is what you get. Just be glad your fannies are still in such great shape ; )

Saturday, June 7, 2008

best summary yet on why I blog and keep a journal

Came across a quote from Emerson this morning. Tell me what you think, he challenges.

I don’t always know what I think, I have middle age brain fuddle. But…!

That is what writing is. Telling people what you think. Telling other people certainly, but mainly yourself. That is why we must write. To find out what we think. To discover what we believe. Until we say it or write it down we are unaware of what is actually at the root of our lives.

Talking, conversation is good and goes a long way in clarifying what we think, but writing is best. Writing requires revision and revision aids precision. In any case, at any age it’s good to learn the truth about ourselves — the truth as best we can put it into words. The bummer of it all is that by all accounts it’s hard work even for the best.

You should know, my blogging rellys, how much I love reading what you think. Sometimes you are the catalyst to my gleaning a new thought. It’s good to come upon someone who sees life in a slightly different way and a few golden sentences from you is sometimes all it takes to stretch my mind for the day. So I guess along with the family mantra of Keep the faith we could also add, Keep writing

Tell me what you think. No better reason to post, eh?

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Happy Birthday Meghan Candace

Soon after Meghan married she announced one day that she was going to change her name. I looked at her and responded casually, “Well, of course.”

“No, I don’t mean just my last name. I’m thinking of giving myself a middle name”.

“Oh” I said.

This had been a regret for me since she was born. I had always wanted her to have a middle name but her Dad did not think it was necessary for girls. I was too tired to push for it, too distracted and upset, as my Mom was admitted to the same hospital the very next day, and for these reasons Megs came away without a middle name. She and I have always been sorry for this. As the years passed and she grew in beauty and strength of character it became even more apparent I should have given her a middle name. Grace would have been my first choice - it’s beautiful and a name that signifies for me all that I felt she was and is as a person.

You can imagine my surprise in early January when I got a phone call asking me to meet her at the County building to sign the paper for her name change. It appeared that she was serious. I was struck by a couple of things. How very like Meghan it was to take matters in her own hands, to not be content with the status quo but to make right or remedy an obstacle to her sense of self. I have always admired this about her as she possesses the understanding and ability, quite like the Cheryble brothers in Dicken’s Nicholas Nickleby, to surround herself with ‘happiness chiefly of her own making’. Meghan is, and always has been, a pro active, make it happen person. Suffice it to say, the blood of Ethel Rose runs strongly through her veins.

Anyway, she had mentioned once or twice previous to that the name she wanted to add. Candace. She wanted her middle name as Candace. And though I wondered why on earth she would want part of my name, I was secretly very pleased. Still, I was not prepared for the pang of emotion I felt when she actually added officially that name.

How interesting. It’s one thing to choose a name for your child when they are newly born. They have no say in the matter and you hope they will grow up happy with your choice. It’s quite a different experience altogether when they choose to take your name for their own as an adult. I have to say I have never felt more honored, respected, validated and unworthy all at the same time.

I have always loved my name. I really have. It’s biblical and was an ancient hereditary title used by Ethiopian queens. It suits Megs well. And to think I didn't have to offer her a horse for it. (As did my Grandpa Ahijah Arnett:)

The other thing that struck me was that the older I get the more I understand and know that a name is special and important to the life of a child. What is in that name imbues the child with the qualities, hopes, and wishes of the parents and extended family.

Jewish teachings say, “Every person has three names: One his parents gave him, one others call him, and one he acquired himself.” This applies to Meghan, literally, I think, as she chose her name for herself.

Megs, you have no idea the honor you paid me by taking part of my name. What a tender, sweet thing for you to do. Names do in fact inform our identity and carry memory. They are our imprint, our personal stamp. And by choosing to add my name you said to me that your roots were worth identifying with and maybe I didn’t screw up too badly as a Mom.

This is significant to me, and makes me weep because if you only knew how many times I felt our roles should have been reversed, with you as the Mom and with me as the child. In so many ways you have been my superior: in temperament, character, ambition, style and grace.

As today is your birthday my sweet daughter, please know that if I had to do it all over again I would name you Meghan Candace without hesitation. You are forever a part of me as the name suggests. Thank you for recognizing this and for fixing this.

Happy Birthday, Meghan Candace Walker Staples. That tiny, sweet and precious little baby born 24 years ago today has far surpassed her Mothers’ hopes and dreams. E.M.S.H.A.D.L.Y.

Love, love you.

Happy Birthday, Kodison

My first impression upon seeing Kody for the first time (okay apart from the fact that he was really really tall) was that he was intelligent, well mannered, and funny. Oh, and he was crazy about Megs. That was pretty clear.

As things progressed I bent Megs ear ‘a tick’. She already had drawn up her own assessment of him, she just wasn’t ready to admit she was falling. So I nudged a bit. Just a bit. “What the heck are you afraid of Megs?” and “ You’d be hard pressed to find a finer young man”

In time (rather quickly in fact), she discovered and admitted to herself that her prince had in fact come. Kody was all she had been hoping for and more.

The surprise to everyone (okay mostly me) was the ‘and more’ part. It’s true, he is intelligent but not in a nerdy or superior way. He’s insightful and sees through a lot of crap. (I might even go so far as to label you ‘alternative’, Kodis:)

It’s also true that Kody’s manners are impeccable without being Mr. Collins like, as in giving them a studied air. He is polite and socially adept but it’s based in a genuine caring for the feelings of others. When he always compliments my cooking or thanks me for some small favor it’s always sincere. No Eddie Haskellness at all.

Perhaps the biggest surprise turned out to be his wit. Kody is really funny, but not in a ha ha ha in your face be the center of attention kind of way. No, his humor is much more subtle, keen, sometimes sarcastic (but never mean). Very Howard-like in his delivery.

These are things I love about Kody but wait there’s more. I appreciate his goodness, his kindness, his gentle demeanor. I love how he treats and respects Meghan, and how kind he is to me.

Kodison, I am so happy you are a part of our little fam. You have brightened and cheered and taught us all one can be obsessed with little men in helmets and tight pans and still be much loved.

Happy Birthday. Love, Velma