Friday, June 24, 2011

Down the Cape

I remember going down the Cape every summer when I was young.

Cape Cod was only about an hour and a half away from where we lived (without traffic), and it was our summer vacation destination for many years.  Specifically Hyannis, where the John F. Kennedy Memorial is located.

For many years we rented a cottage for the week, enjoying the calm of the beach.  Although it’s been 30 years, I remember specifically the view from the cottages, the wooded area where we would barbecue, the walk across the parking lot to the beach, the feel of the sand on my feet, and the cool ocean water.  I remember the slimy seaweed, the salty taste of the ocean, the buoys marking the outer limits.  I remember my sister crying because her beach ball blew away, past those buoys.

I remember visiting the JFK Memorial and walking through the circular park.  I remember taking pictures in front of it, with my sister and me taking turns photographing each other with our parents.

I remember walking down Main Street in downtown Hyannis.  Eating ice cream.  Getting an airbrushed t-shirt (I think it was a unicorn in a heart, but I could be mistaken).  Getting my first and only bee sting, and my mom running into a grocery store for garlic to lessen the sting.

Summers down the Cape were different from our daily life, exciting to a child who got to sleep in a different bed and run into the ocean on a whim.  It was our beach, our home away from home, our special family spot.

I haven’t been to Hyannis in a long, long time.  I’d like to take my boys there one day.  I wonder if it looks the same, smells the same.  I wonder if it will still feel like it’s my beach.

OK, I’m getting off my shoebox now.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Baba, Papa, Daddy-O

I’ve always been close with my dad.  When my sister and I were young, he was very affectionate, very loving, very encouraging.  He worked hard for us, and would come home smelling of car grease and cigarettes.  I remember his dark blue mechanic’s uniform and the black grease under his fingernails.

But fixing cars was never his passion.  My father is a singer, a performer at heart.  He was a stage actor, he would tell jokes, and he loved to recite poetry.  Though only completing a sixth grade education, he loved to read and continued to educate himself, especially in the arts.  I loved watching him perform in plays, and remember him complaining to my mom while reading lines that he always got the most lines in the script to memorize.

Everywhere we went, my dad would be asked to sing.  Banquets, luncheons, baptisms, even just visiting people’s homes.  At first I would shy away, rolling my eyes, embarrassed that dad was singing yet again.  But as I got older and learned to appreciate his talent, I couldn’t help but feel proud.

One time, when I was a senior in high school, my dad and I got into a fight.  Well, we never really fought, but I disappointed and upset him.  I was out with my friends and stayed past my curfew.  He came where I was and picked me up… in front of all my friends.  I was mortified.  Things were tense for a weekend, and then we made up.  I never wanted to disappoint him again.

My father filled me with confidence, independence, poise and self-assurance.  He had faith in me to become anything I wanted to be.  He always encouraged me to be hardworking, assertive and classy.  The most important lesson he taught me was “marmeeneet arjekuh keedtzeer” – know the value of your body.  He knew I was worthy and valuable, and he taught me to always see myself that way.

He also gave me the gift of a healthy marriage to emulate.  He loved and honored my mother, and he showed it.  I think in all of my life I only heard them argue one time.  He would have died for her; instead he had to watch her die.

* * * * *

My father-in-law is one of the godliest men I have ever known.  His life is faith in action.  He loves the Lord, his wife, and his children – in that order.  He is humble and generous, openhanded with his time, attention, support and efforts.  He has a heart for the Lord that is insatiable in its seeking.  He hungers for ways to know Him more, whether through studying or serving.

My father-in-law is relaxed and fun to be around.  He has a biting sense of humor, and puts everyone at ease.  We love spending time with him, and our kids love their Papa.

* * * * *

Speaking of kids, mine have the best daddy around.  Jayson is loving yet firm, not afraid to discipline.  Our boys are drawn to him like magnets, always wanting to be near him.  He is so affectionate with them, and they reciprocate by constantly needing to touch him when they are next to him – Silas will stretch his leg over Jayson, while James leans into his arm.  They cannot be near him without somehow physically touching him.

Jayson’s spiritual headship is the best lesson to our boys in raising them to be godly men.  He is teaching by his example that we follow God’s Word, and that is our way of life.  He also reinforces that they must respect women, work hard, and treat people with compassion.

* * * * *

I am so blessed to have these three men in my life.  Happy Father’s Day Daddy, Jerry and Jayson, and to all fathers past, present and future.

OK, I’m getting off my shoebox now.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Have you ever?

Jayson and I went camping with some friends years ago, and once it got dark we sat around the camp fire playing “I have never…”  Here are some things I have never done.

I have never…
¨      Been drunk
¨      Sang karaoke
¨      Smoked a cigarette
¨      Been on a jet ski
¨      Gone on a “spring break” trip with friends
¨      Been on a cruise
¨      Cooked chicken
¨      Lived on my own
¨      Been fired from a job
¨      Jumped out of a plane
¨      Ridden a horse
¨      Had blond hair
¨      Had plastic surgery
¨      Had any surgery
¨      Been on a blind date
¨      Done a split
¨      Tried on stilts
¨      Seen Mt. Rushmore

So there you have it.  OK, I’m getting off my shoebox now.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Ponies and Butterflies

I can’t stop smiling.

Jayson is out of town on business and was supposed to come home tomorrow.  But he called a little while ago to say he’s on his way back – tonight!  I squealed like a little girl who just got a glitter-dipped pony for her birthday.

After 9-1/2 years of marriage, I still get excited at the thought of my husband coming home.  Maybe it was those years of long-distance dating, when all we had were phone conversations and bimonthly visits – no facebook, no Skype, just a lot of loneliness and sad goodbyes.  I don’t like missing Jayson, and I don’t need a “break” from him.

We’re very different and we definitely have our own interests.  But things are always better with him than without him.  He’s my home.  And he’s coming home.

The butterflies are still there.  Still smiling.

OK, I’m getting off my shoebox now.