thinking of my mom today

On no day of the year is my mother’s absence in my life felt more keenly than on my birthday. Seventeen years ago today my mom came to visit me in Birmingham, only to wake up paralyzed on one side of her body, due to a brain tumor that would be discovered later that day. The days between then and her death on Christmas Eve of that same year are somewhat of a blur. Seems like both forever ago and only yesterday at the same time. 

In spite of my workaholism, which has plagued me for most of my adult life, I can look back on that time and know I did the right thing. I took a significant amount of time off from my job to be there. This was before the inception of the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), but my employer (actually my boss) was sympathetic and gave me a lot of leeway that would not be allowed today in corporate America. For that I am grateful. 

If I inherited anything from my mother, I hope it was her bent toward hospitality, and I think I have. Hosting gatherings in my home comes easy for me and is something that brings me joy.

I recently reconnected with a childhood friend on facebook. We have not been in touch since high school graduation. Here’s what she had to say about her memory of my mom: 

 To this day, I still think of your mama every time my son brings friends home after school. Your mother was THE BEST at timing things to where we would arrive and she would have snacks ready and waiting for us and she would serve us like she had been waiting all day long for the moment of our arrival….”

The thing that makes me smile most about this is knowing that someone remembers that from thirty-plus years ago. 

Now, off to do some house-cleaning to prepare for my out-of-town guest…


Two Days in London

What would you do if you had two days to spend in London? Not things that would have someone confined to public transportation for hours on end. And no tour groups. 

illustration friday – IDLE

From their website: Illustration Friday is a weekly creative outlet/participatory art exhibit for illustrators and artists of all skill levels. It was designed to challenge participants creatively. We believe that every person has a little creative bone in their body. Illustration Friday just gives a no-pressure, fun excuse to use it. No clients looking for a particular thing. No one judging the outcome of the work. It’s a chance to experiment and explore and play with visual art. 

This is my entry for the week. 

Weekend Recap

Quick run-down of the holiday weekend:

Thursday night went to White Fence Farm for dinner. Fried Chicken mecca of Denver. We had a great waitress and she let us guess the ingredients of two of our favorite side dishes – Bean Salad and Coleslaw. Now, I just have to figure out the measurements. I am sure they make the stuff by the swimming pool-sized bowlful. 

Friday morning went to the Cherry Creek Arts Festival. Lots of great art. Stuart and Sheralee surprised me with this nifty dragon fly yard art from one of our favorite artists there.

Friday night a dozen people came over for movie night in my backyard . 

Saturday evening I hosted 35 people for an Independence Day celebration. 
After tons of hours of yardwork by the fabulous Richard Turley and myself, the rain commenced fifteen minutes before my guests were slated to arrive. My mother would be proud that my house was clean so we were able to seamlessly transition things inside, soon after I finished my fit of anger. You know the one… you are tired and exhausted, the yard looks great, you are finally proud of it, but, alas, you and your guests must enjoy it from afar. I got over it.
The rain did stop and we were able to be outside for part of it after all. Bottom line is that we all had fun anyhow. And the thirteen pound brisket I cooked that people thought was too freakishly large? Not. a. single. piece. left.