In 1989, our family of 3 boys, Du & I headed for a 2+ week vacation to sunny California in our 1977 Ford LTD. The LTD was roomy enough for all of us: Mark, my oldest turned 17 during the trip, Brady was 11 and Chris was only 3. We made many stops on our way to San Francisco, where we spent a few days touring the sights, before heading south to LA, Disneyland, Universal Studios and the Pacific Ocean.
My four guys, on the beach at Carmel-by-the-Sea, California, August 1989.
It was a memorable trip for many reasons, one of those being that we had to buy a new car! We headed for home, via Las Vegas, but the Sonoran Desert between LA & Las Vegas proved too much for our old car, it conked out. We called a tow truck, who rescued us during a rare desert downpour, at the rest stop, and towed us over 100 miles into Las Vegas. Hubby and oldest son headed out to the Ford Dealer (Lucky Ford--great name for a Las Vegas car dealer), where they learned our LTD engine was shot. While at Lucky Ford, Du bought a brand new 1989 Ford Thunderbird for the ride home, after considering all our other options. Our T-Bird was quite a bit smaller than the LTD, but the boys managed to squeeze into the backseat for the long ride home. That was before carseats were required, but thank goodness we all made it home safely. Du & I drove that T-Bird for many years, but when Chris turned 16, he inherited that car. By then it had close to 200,000 miles. Chris pampered his old T-Bird, and drove it for several years through high school, until the odometer went past 200,000 miles, before selling it to a friend for a few hundred dollars. It still ran!
I have always loved the picture of my four guys and it is hanging on my stairwell. I got it out a few weeks ago and scanned it and paid $25 to have it put in our local newspaper's "Celebrate" section for Father's Day. I want to make every holiday special for Du, and Father's Day, is HIS day! http://journalstar.com/celebra
All the boys came out for picnic food yesterday. I heated up some pulled pork for sandwiches and also bought KFC fried chicken (but got myself a grilled breast). I made all the sides: potato salad, guacamole and chili cheese dip, baked beans, and watermelon. I made an orange poke cake for dessert. I sent a lot of cake and left-over chicken home with daughter-in-law and the last three pieces of cake went in Du & Chris's lunches which they took to work today. I did have one small piece of cake yesterday and it was delicious!
Brady (middle son) and his Princess Mia.
Oldest son Mark and his Princess Amber.
Du and his Princess Lola
For Father's Day, Mark & his family got Du a birdbath with a solar-powered fountain. It is beautiful. Here he is with daughter-in-law and two granddaughters, showing off his new birdbath. He always wears sweatpants when he goes out, to cover the catheter bag, but when he's at home--he wears shorts--when it's hot! So sorry for the shot of his "pee" bag. But I'm not embarrassed by it anymore and I don't think he is either. They have talked about removing his catheter, as his prostate shrinks from the hormone shots, but he is leery of that, preferring the convenience of being able to pee, after so many years of struggling with that normal human function. It truly sucks to have prostate cancer, but for now, he is doing well, feeling good, and stays super busy taking care of his "estate," as he calls our little 3 acre piece of Heaven.
Du put a fire in his fire pit (a Christmas gift from Mark & family--they give NICE gifts!), and I tried to roast two marshmallows, so the granddaughters could have s'mores. They didn't like them much. I had a bite of one, and it was yummy, but left them sitting there until everyone went home, and I threw them away.
Later, the girls had a tea party with the Strawberry Shortcake dishes (which my niece let me have--her 4-year-old daughter grew out of them), and rocks and pine cones they collected. Those two little girls have the best time playing together.
Me and my girls.
Duncan spent most of the afternoon in the basement playing X-Box games. He finally came out when it was time for them to go home.
Me & my Du.
Mia, showing off her collection of pine cones.
Du, giving Amber a ride on his shoulders. Every one of our boys used to ride on Du's broad, strong shoulders when they were young.
Duncan & Amber heading for home.
Lola wanting to go for a ride in Chris's truck--she loves to go for a ride. For Lola, riding in the car is a special treat and we take here whenever possible. She behaves better on car rides than any other time! With the cool Spring weather, she got to go for lots of rides as we took her along on our errands. But now that it's turned hot and summer is here, she won't get to go as often. Poor Lola.
It was a wonderful celebration for all three Dads in our family. My two sons have become great Dads, but they had a very good role model to emulate. For that I am so grateful. At the end of the day, after the older boys went home and Chris (youngest son) left for work, Duane and I sat quietly talking about the day and life. We have an uncertain future and much to discuss and difficult decisions ahead of us, but for now, life is good. I told him, my wish is for many more Father's Days like yesterday, with him healthy and our boys and their wonderful families spending the day with us.
As promised, here's a picture of me with my granddaughters from the recital last weekend. My sweet daughter-in-law shared her pictures with me yesterday---she is a wonderful daughter-in-law. We talked at length yesterday, I feel like I have a real friend in her, and love her like a daughter.
I am truly blessed with a wonderful family and I no longer take these special times with them for granted. I know I need to appreciate every single good day we have left together! And I do!!! I really do!!!