donut tower update

You can quit holding your breath now! As promised, I am now posting a professional picture of the donut tower I blogged about in DONUT QUEST.

First, to set the stage. Little V and I moved said donut tower from the car to the reception in this.

A deluge. Gully-washer. A drenching downpour or quite the cloudburst. We are not experienced with this kind of rain in West Texas. We were woefully unprepared.

This is how little V and I looked after hauling in the tower.

Why do I look like a drowned NYC sewer rat and Miss V looks all fluffy and cute??! She even has her chic handbag over her shoulder. Lot of good it did her. It wasn’t big enough for an umbrella, apparently.

The finished tower.

Or as I refer to it, the monument to my insanity.

Every rainstorm can have a rainbow. Here’s our rainbow.

Giving thanks today.

Monumental love to all.

veteran’s day

I don’t like Veteran’s Day. It reminds me of something I never did.

My father, Bill was a veteran of the Army Airborne. He returned from World War II and married his bride, Joy, in the early 50’s. People said we looked like twins…red-headed, stubborn, freckled and prominent noses. Look at the photo and you be the judge. I adored my daddy.

He was like many of his generation. He didn’t want to make a big deal of his service to our country, he just desired to neatly file the past in the file cabinet and carry on.

However, Bill couldn’t put the past away because it stuck to him like gum on a summer sidewalk. We’d never heard of Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome.

Have you read the novel UNBROKEN? If you haven’t, you must. I read the novel this summer and the author’s time spent fighting in the islands of the Pacific during WWII bone-resonated with me. His experience surely mimicked some of my dad’s experiences. Reading this book was a light-bulb moment for me.

My dad was a great man….jolly, smart, fun, music-lover and general joke-ster. But the aftermath of war was too much for him and he became an alcoholic. Who knows if that is the reason (not trying to make excuses for him), but surely it was a big contributing factor. The man was always jumping out of his skin at loud noises, throwing hissy fits if he was EVER served rice and detesting when we put too many teaspoons of sugar in our iced tea. Don’t kids understand the value of sugar? I can still hear the shouts and cries he made while he slept.

He died of cirrhosis of the liver when he was 55 and I was 21-pregnant with my first Sprout.

I could’ve held things against him for his wrong choices, but I’ve let go of those. I learned my dad loved me and did the best he could.

On days like Veteran’s Day I just wish….just ONE TIME…I would have hugged my Dad and thanked him for his service to our country. For this teen growing up in the anti-war Vietnam era...doing that never pierced my consciousness. Brilliant me, I had to be in my 50’s to realize I should have expressed my appreciation. Would it have killed me to think of someone else??

So today, I will express my gratitude to Bill. Feel free to join me if you want to.

Dad…thank you for giving up four years of your life to support our great country. Thanks for serving in the jungles of the Pacific Islands to fight the Japanese in WWII. Thank you for helping to defeat the evil dictators who were trying to quash freedom. Thank you for trying the best you could to provide for our family. If you were here today, we could sing a rousing chorus of ‘Does your chewing gum lose it’s flavor on the bedpost overnight?’ and bust out laughing. Sorry for being a self-possessed, know-it-all teen….aww….I know you’ve already forgiven me. Better late than never, right? See you soon. Love, Sis.

No-more-regret-love to all.

maui gallery: 1

I drank Mai Tai’s ’til volcano Haleakala looked flat. Can you blame me? It is their state drink, after all.

It was our bucket-list trip. Figured we’d endure the loooong flight time to explore this lovely island.

I could gush on and on, but I think I’ll let the photos tell my story. Pour yourself some pineapple juice and dark rum. I’m placing a fragrant lei around your neck in warm welcome. You with me?

We went to Maui to support the Son-in-Law as he competed in this race. It’s called xterra, cuz you have to be xxxtra strong to even think about entering one of these events.

Our intrepid athlete as he prepares to face the angry ocean.  We suffered through a tsunami warning the night before. You heard me right…..TSUNAMI.  A long night of evacuations!
The SIL made it through the swim. Now, he only has to bike 5000 miles in the forest and run 100 miles up and down the volcano. Then, he has to open a coconut with his bare hands to complete his test! He’s xxxxxtra strong, alright!
This challenged athlete was an inspiration to watch. You go, girl!!

There was plenty of time for a relaxing swim in the pool while Daddy was competing.

Blessedly arriving at the finish line with medal and lei around neck.

Spike, the African crane who lived at our hotel.

Hey, watch it Spike! Baby G is not crane food.

How many folks return from Hawaii with a hair tattoo? Can you spot the typical Hawaiian greeting in Sprout #1’s hair? This haircut caused quite the commotion everywhere he went. Wonder how this went over with the cowboys when he returned to West Texas? Love this Sprout to death!
My healing left wrist even played golf with the Texan. Wonderful!

The Middle Sprout and I arose at 3 a.m. to drive up the winding, nausea-inducing road to historic Haleakala volcano to see the sunrise. The name means ‘House of the Sun’. The area below the clouds is a massive crater….it’s bigger than the island of Manhattan.

The sunrise. Praise be to God! Now I know why the ancients thought of this as a sacred place.

Turn around 180 degrees and I experience the moon setting over the bay. Sublime, isn’t it?

I have some other special things I want to share with you. That’s why I’m planning a Maui gallery: 2. Keep the Mai Tai ingredients handy, OK?

You don’t want to miss out on mysteries like this:

Did I chain myself to the tree so I’d never have to leave the Maui rainforest? Did I want to extract some orange pigment from this cool tree to make the perfect red-hair dye for myself? Was I describing the circumference of my mid-section after downing at least 2 Mai-Tais every day?

Thanks for sharing and letting me re-live my Maui experience with you. I will post part deux real soon.

Mahalo.

Top-‘o-the-volcano love to all.