September 2012

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When I was a little girl, my favorite “teddy bear” was a black and white panda.  I cuddled and slept with it every night, and dragged it around, by its arm (or leg) all day.  I had other stuffed animals, but this one was my real buddy and companion. I didn’t want to share it.  I didn’t want to wash it.  I didn’t want to be away from it.  Over the years, it became withered and torn and kind of sad looking, until one day…..I just forgot about it as I grew up into other interests.

Many years passed:  grade school, middle school, high school, engagement, marriage and a child.  A beautiful baby girl with blue eyes and a bright smile.  The joy of our lives.  We all had great hopes for her happiness and success and made plans for her future as a grown up girl.  You never realize how much impact a child can be until you hold her in your arms and look into those innocent eyes and see a little bit of yourself in them.

On my 30th birthday, August 21,1987, my daughter was just past turning 5 years old and my father gave me the most precious gift. It was a framed picture of a panda with a note he had written on the back. It told me that my ownership of this special picture was only temporary, as I was to give it to my own daughter on her 30th birthday and she to hers and so on and so on.  In this way his love and legacy would be passed through the generations to “all the little girls”.

This year, my daughter turned 30 years old – where did the time go?  It was my priviledge to turn the picture over to her loving care until another “little girl” in our family reaches 30 years old.  Even more special, was that my father was able to see his legacy passed on to another generation.

The Panda that was “born” in 1957, will live on and on, bringing joy and comfort and love on behalf of Dad, GrandPa, Great-GrandPa and on and on.  Thank you Dad, for thinking of your “little girls”.

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Well, I am back to the blog after MANY months.  I started a new full-time job which consumes most of my computer time, so by the time I get around to pleasure use – I get burned out.  Nothing refreshes the Dot-Two-Dot urge better than our annual Family Vacation, though.  Spending time with family and friends at Imperial Beach.  It is gorgeous COOL weather here while it is searing heat back home.  Wish we could bottle the sea breeze and take it home with us.  But, a full 7 days of sun and fun are all that we have to enjoy.  We have two ocean-front condos with all the amenities. 

Eating “in” most every meal, but we are all good cooks, so things are always delicious (though not so health conscious, as my daughter and son-in-law remind us). Some are into exercise, some into books and puzzles, some into bars and some just into the scenery and relaxation.  Whatever their pleasure, all have plenty to keep them busy.This is the first vacation for little Cameron (only 3 months old now) who had a cute themed outfit for every day – travel to the beach; pirates; SPF 50 surfer shirt; monkeys and more.  He is precious and a very good baby.

Those of you who know us, or have read previous blogs, know that we do a family play or themed event.  This year it was 60’s Day.  We made our own tie-dye t-shirts (Cameron got a tie-dyed Onesie – SOOOO cute!) and strung our own “Love Beads” (Dad made extra necklaces and rigged a great system for stringing them in a methodical way – always the engineer!).  60’s music filled the day.  Meatloaf and Mac N’ Cheese were on the menu, followed by a Tie-Dyed Jello cake (yum).  We ended with 60’s toy replicas (magic 8-balls, Slinky Dogs, Rock ‘Em, Sock ‘Em Robots, Wooly Willy and Matchbox cars of 60’s models.




Our annual puzzle was a challenge, as always, but we accomplished it in 4 days.  Colorful sailboats on a beach with a tropical sky and foliage.  No “shovels” on the pieces, only knobs, so matching was tricky.  Then there were the sand and sky pieces, all similar in color – but not when you really study them, eventually the subtle hues start to emerge and you see the connections.  Kind of like families in general – don’t you think?

My daughter and I had a SPA DAY and got pedicures and cute little white flowers on our toes.  We ramped up and got the leg exfoliant and massage – ahhhhh.  Others got pummeled in the surf or sunburned – ouch. A few had a hangover – double-ouch.

Every night, it was sunset time – every night was an amazing photo opportunity.  After dark, we could see the fireworks from SeaWorld and track satellites and see the stars, planets and constellations.  Most went to bed early – what the heck, we’re on vacation!

As all families do, we have our “moments” but the memories outweigh the drama in the end.  How lucky we are to be able to stay connected in this way. It is my wish that all the others feel the same way and carry on the tradition through the generations.