I'm making a new recipe with my lovely yarn-- it's a neck cowl thing.


Alabama magnolias are in bloom. Dan and I went for a night walk down to the park, up into the neighborhood behind it, then back to the museum, and back home. 
It was a good walk. 
Jes is fine. She stayed home from work all week recovering. Now she has a long weekend to continue recovering. I'll get to see her in July, and see Squirt in August when we go visit.
Aza has two job offers.
Our kids grew up and made good lives for themselves. We have an empty nest- not even a dog to walk. But we are full of pride at what our independent kids have accomplished. They have six college degrees between the three of them, soon to be seven. 

For a couple of 22 year old "kids" in 1985, pregnant and in college and jobless, we done good.
There is still a road ahead of us. 
Been married 32 years, we may have 32 more yet.


These were in our carport when I got home from work. I'd made them spring semester and there was only one person I knew who would have brought them to me. The Kraft Man.

 So, we walked around the corner to his house to thank him, and sat out on his back deck drinking beers. His house is FULL of his pottery, he has a full pottery studio in his basement, and he gave me two bowls. It felt like we had a neighbor.


 Jes is fine. Clear skies in Alabama and Colorado. The appendix was indeed the problem. She went home from the hospital around noon and was feeling ok. I found volunteer basil in the flower pot that basil had grown in last year. Basil babies.

And now for the rest of the story.

This is Wayside Chicken in C'ville across the street from where Jes lived as an undergrad student. She loved their mashed potatoes.
After Jes had her wisdom teeth extracted at age 18 or so, and was coming out from under the anesthesia, she was mumbling something, mouth full of gauze. What? What are you saying, Jes?
"Wayside Chicken. I want Wayside Chicken Mashed Potatoes."
Over and Over.
It's been a family joke ever since.
Yesterday, her co-worker brought mashed potatoes.


We saw this hawk in our yard. I wondered what it was an omen for.
The text message came in around the same time that I saw the Facebook post.
The text said, nonchalantly, "I'm having an appendectomy in about 45 minutes. Driving myself to the hospital." The Facebook post said, "Guess who has appendicitis?" 

I freaked out.
How could I get to Denver in 45 minutes, or 3 hours even???
We had tickets for the Habitat dinner/auction and I didn't want to go- I just wanted to stay home and worry about Jes. So I prayed for God, angels, ancestors, to protect my baby and guide the hands of her surgeon. I prayed for her to be surrounded by love.

But my sweet husband urged me to get dressed and see how I felt. So, I went to the dinner all the while texting Jes to see what was going on, not paying any attention to the dinner or the auction.

After our last text, after Jes was given a sedative prior to being wheeled into the OR, a woman called me-- a co-worker of Jes, who wanted me to know she was there, that she had a 30 year old of her own, and that she was going to stay until it was all over.

I cried and cried out in the hallway outside the auction/dinner. I was so relieved and thankful to have another mother there watching over my daughter. She kept me entertained and informed for the next hour, then let me know all was well and stayed until Jes was in her hospital room for the night.

Turns out she bought mashed potatoes and sweet rolls on the way to the hospital, walked up with her Mom Face on, and they said, "Jes, your mom is here" and the co-worked just waltzed right into the pre-op space. 
A miracle happened today.
Jes texted me before she went to sleep,
"She brought me mashed potatoes!"


Dan went and got us all Bodos for breakfast. mmmmmmmmmmmmm.
We stayed in this little house near grounds. Mom had her own room, Dan and I had a mattress on the floor, and the girls had a pull out couch in the basement. I love AirBnB.

we had to say goodbye :(
and drive 11 hours back home.


This morning we packed up and left Richmond for C'ville. I had a meeting all day with my old colleagues (below). 

 Afterwards, Jes and Aza and I walked around campus. Guess what we saw??? In the Anthropology building, Jes's artwork from 2008 is still hanging up! See http://chrissysphotoaday.blogspot.com/2008/02/2-10-08.html 

She left a note for her old professor under his office door. We enjoyed seeing grounds again.

Then at 6:30 we had a reunion dinner with our old friends, which was great fun. Friendships that go back 30 years here... 
Man, I miss those people. 
I could have invited more people but didn't want to be totally overwhelmed.
I think I kissed everyone on the head. It was just such a feeling of love.


This is the house we are staying at in Richmond- right near the university library and across the street from the Cathedral.

 THIS is the house my mother AND I grew up in. Mom moved there when she was 13 and moved back home at age 29 to have me. She and I lived there with her parents until I was three and then we visited until I was 24 when both my grandparents had died. It was bittersweet to see it, but I'm glad we could visit the old homestead together.

We had brunch today at a place called Supper. We tried to have brunch at the place called Lunch but it was packed.


Aza went to her "big" graduation ceremony today. This is her cap--- and her boyfriend, whom I have yes to come up with a nickname for. We just keep calling him "A Keeper."

I managed to get this awesome photo after realizing that Dan had all the important women in his life with him. His two daughters, his two sisters, his two mothers, and ME! There has to be a saying out there about how it's the woman who makes a man. Well, all these women have been influencing him for a long long time. His mother, for 54 years... his sisters for almost 50 years.... his daughters for 30 years.... and me (and my mother) for 32 years.


Today was amazing. Aza graduated FIRST in her class, Phi Kappa Phi, Sigma Phi Alpha, Summa Cum Laude, and class president. She gave a thoughtful, touching speech to an audience of over a thousand people, and didn't talk about herself, but of the strength of her classmate who endured lymphoma, and the community they formed. It was a proud momma moment to the extreme.
Here she is at the podium and below with her proud parents.

And her proud grandparents!


Zara and Dan driving to Virginia.
She did fine.
We picked up Jes from the Charlotte airport and kept driving.


Zara is getting ready to go home to Richmond. She will miss running around the big house, and we will miss her. She doesn't know she is in for a 12 hour car ride.


Today was awful. 
We discovered an infestation of these little buggers-- so small they look like grains of salt. They are mites, and they were all in our trashcan drawer and all over the cabinet. 
We went nuts and I made up a spray with tea tree oil and eucalyptus and we took EVERYTHING from that part of the kitchen outside and washed all the cabinets and drawers and items thoroughly. It took all day to put it all back.

Oh, and I picked up some of my pottery from the studio. Here is a little taste...


I think this is my grandfather and his father. 
I'll have to ask someone who might remember Harry Davis.
We had dinner at Mom's and were looking through old photo albums.


We walked downtown and met up with friends for dinner at Mellow Mushroom. Students and their families were taking photos for graduation. It was a cool evening for May, and it felt so nice outside. 



We flew home today--- Southwest is a cool airline. We had some entertaining characters as flight attendants.

The weather was bad as we were driving south from the airport so we stopped at a Waffle House to wait out the storm.