Finally February! It seemed like January was going to last forever. I do like February (I just don't like to spell it) because it's my oldest son's birth month, as well as his wife's. Their birthdays start the year out for me.
I like thinking back to when Rex was my soft, squishy baby with the big belly laugh - although he would be mortified to hear me say that. He was the love of my 24 year old life back then. And then he grew into a blonde toddler who loved to sing. Loved to listen to any kind of music. In grade school he joined the band and played French Horn. Poor kid - lugging that big instrument back and forth to school. But he was talented, and he kept at it until high school, when football proved more alluring. In fact, his horn teacher told us he was one of the most talented students he'd ever had. Sorry - I just had to stick that little bit of bragging in. I loved listening to him play, and every once in awhile I miss those days.
Well, the French Horn fell to the wayside, and he started playing football. And their team was really good. Lots and lots of wins and championships here and there. He grew up kind and developed a wickedly funny sense of humor. My dad gave him his old 80-something gold Buick, and he would fit about 49 friends in there and go. They called it the Hoopty. One week their football rival stole the statues of the holy family at their school (he went to a Catholic high school) and buried them up to their necks. Not very respectful, so in retaliation, Rex and some team buddies took the Hoopty and tore their football field up. Just a little bit. Sadly, there aren't very many 80-something gold Buicks out there, so the Hoopty was easily recognized, and they had to face their punishment. High school boys aren't all that bright, sometimes... But I couldn't stay mad. Especially after hearing their version of it, and Rex's famous laugh.
He graduated, served a mission for our church, and found a lovely girl to marry - our Ronna. Today they have 3 beautiful children: Lexi, Matthew and Skylee, AND another one on the way, due this summer. So exciting! They live in Colorado, and I never get to see them often enough, but now they are all the loves of my life. So this week (Sunday) we'll wish Rex another happy birthday (with Ronna's to follow in a couple of weeks), and I'll think back yet again to the time when he was my little blonde boy with the Buster Brown haircut. And the squishy, squishy cheeks like deep pillows. Mothers are so embarrassing, aren't they?
February is also Valentine's Day. I love this holiday because it gives me another excuse to send something to all of the grandkids. I think about them all every day, and shed little tears in my heart because Colorado and Massachusetts are so, so far away. But I will see them at some point this summer. I will go to Massachusetts and sit on an Atlantic Ocean beach somewhere (Cape Cod?) with Mia and Hayden, and do silly things together. I'm hoping Mia will read me a book or two. And Hayden, our little "Opposite Girl" - well, we just play it by ear with her. Whatever you want her to do, you tell her the opposite. "Don't talk to me." "Don't come over here." "Don't eat that." She is her own person, and takes orders from no one. But I'm sure we'll have a slumber party or two. Or three. And tea parties? Yes please.
And then, of course, we'll have to go see the new baby in Colorado when it comes. Rex is hoping for a boy to even the numbers out. The rest of us don't care. We just want a baby. I don't have any work for July or August, so I'm pretty free to come and go. The irony is that I don't have any work, so I won't have a paycheck either. I have faith we'll figure it out, because I also have a trip on hold (for whenever she needs me) to go see my friend in Washington, and I'd also like to go up to the Bay Area and visit another friend. A busy summer. I hate that my family and friends live kind of far away, but I have to say that at least they all live in good places that I love to visit.
Then there's my aunt. She has a house in Lehi, Utah that she needs to sell. I'm helping her with that, as she doesn't need the added stress, and decision making is a little difficult and confusing for her right now. It's a complicated thing, and I hope I make it out alive. I visited her today and told her the progress made, and I could see her visibly relax. Good - that's what I want. So who knows? Maybe we'll have to take a quick trip to Utah to figure things out there too!
Mom and Dad are doing well. Thanks for asking. Dad got the good news that his cancer levels have reduced quite a bit, and that was wonderful to hear. He's hanging in there, working one day a week, and goes to the gym almost every day. The man is an animal, and is kicking cancer's butt. He takes a few more naps than before, and his hair is a little thinner, but he's a fighter. And Mom is a little Ninja alongside him.
I had lunch today with a friend, and had such an enjoyable couple of hours. It reminded me that I need to bust loose from my little office more often. There is a crazy man on the loose in Southern California who is intent on killing cops and their families. I kept my eyes peeled for his truck the entire time I was out today. Turns out he is maybe somewhere up in the mountains by Big Bear, as they found his truck burning up there. No sign of him, of course. So we are on high alert, and when we go out we're looking over our shoulders for the crazy man who was also trained as a sniper, and who is on the loose with his arsenal and survival training. There are alerts out for him from San Diego to the Central Coast, and a lot of very nervous cops, who accidentally shot 3 civilians who had the bad luck to be driving trucks similar to the suspect. Seriously, if you have that kind of blue or gray Toyota truck, stay home. Except now they've found it burning in the mountains, so it's safe to come out now, I guess. Unless you run into the crazy man himself. On second thought, I think I'll just stay in until they catch him - but with my luck he'll die in the snowstorm up in the mountains, and they won't find him until spring.
But back to my lunch, it really was fun to just get out of the house and talk and eat and talk some more. I even stuck to my diet, in case you were wondering. I haven't had any bread, tortillas, etc for 2 weeks now! If you know me, that's almost unbelievable! But it's true, and I feel really good. I'm even seeing a bit of wrist bone, which has been hiding under inflammation for the last little while. Hello, bones! You really are there, after all. So I'll keep at it. The weight is coming off very slowly (damn menopause metabolism) but it IS coming off. I'll take it.