Friday, December 10, 2010

Thanksgiving in St George & Zion National Park

We had a wonderful Thanksgiving Weekend with the 'even' children (#2 & 4) and family.  Although we had planned on spending a couple of days on a bucket list adventure to Zzyzx Road or Catalina Island, instead we ended up staying home and getting Keileigh's new car repaired.  We then journeyed to Mesquite and enjoyed an evening with Ralph and the still recuperating Jill.  On Wednesday we continued on to St George and stayed at the Las Palmas Resort with Rachel, Sage, Maebe and Keileigh.
Rachel making pies into the wee hours while Keileigh talks to Sam

Maebe had been looking forward to swimming with Gma ever since she heard about our condo plans.  So on Thursday morning after getting all the food prepped Christy & Maebe went to the indoor pool and played in the water.  It was interesting to look out of the enclosed area at the icicles melting in the sun.  Rachel & Keileigh made a quick trip to Walgreen's to take advantage of some great sale and Eric and Sage hit the tennis courts.  It was so cold that the balls lost their spring and bounced poorly, which made the game even more interesting.
We enjoyed our Thanksgiving Day feast and were glad that Jill was feeling up to coming.  Our holiday menu is definitely an homage to the years of Johnson traditions along with a few new treats thrown in for fun such as the pumpkin cobbler Rachel made.
The Queen with the Heir Apparent
On Friday we went to Snow Canyon and hiked Jenny's Canyon, a quick walk in a slot canyon.  We spotted climbers high on the rock ledge which got Keileigh scrambling over the sandstone as well.
Next we found the sand dunes which reminded us of a similar trek years ago when Keileigh was little.  The older kids told her the dunes were brown sugar and so of course she sampled the goodness.  When she spit it out, saying it was just dirt, the older ones convinced her to try again saying she must have been in a bad spot.  Fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice, shame on me!  She learned a lesson that day about the nature of siblings.  Maebe loved digging in the 'brown sugar' sand dunes and hopefully won't pull the same stunt on any future sibs;)

After our adventure in Snow Canyon we went to see the sold out movie Tangled.  It took us two attempts, but we were able to get in the second time.  Maebe loved it!

On Saturday Sage & Keileigh got up early to hike Angel's Landing at sunrise.  The cold and snow made it a grand adventure but the perilous weather necessitated the closure of the final segment.  They had a great time sliding on the steep and icy Walter's Wiggles section.  The rest of us joined them at 10:00 and enjoyed a picturesque day hiking the snow dusted terrain of Zion National Park .  We enjoyed the Riverside Walk with icy waterfalls and slippery pathways and then hiked the Canyon Overlook Trail on the far side of the tunnel which was a new and breathtaking adventure for us. 
We also took a side trip to Grafton, a ghost town on the Virgin River between Springdale and Rockville.
Thanks Sage for enduring our trip down memory lane.
 Assorted Cute Maebe Pics:
Maebe loves hotdogs just like Papa Eric but starts in the middle!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Do You Edit?

My brother and I were Facebook chatting today when he mentioned that our mother had dropped some 'crazy' comment into the dialogue as he was visiting her the day before.  He said that after he picked his jaw up off the floor, he proceeded to deflect the conversation onto safer, neutral territory.

It brought up several thoughts as we texted back and forth about self-editing.  We were both thinking it had something to do with our Mom's advanced age and perhaps the onslaught of dementia.  But then I started thinking further about Mom's original comment and realized that I have young friends who would have asked the same thing.  These folks say what they are thinking without screening their comments.  Sometimes I admire their openness and wish I was that free to express myself but other times I wonder about their inability to see the ramifications of their openness. 

I think what amazed my brother and I was that our Mother who had been the epitome of propriety and henceforth 'respectability' was finally able to speak up and say what she was thinking without cleaning it up for her audience.

I was also thinking that perhaps it has something to do with the fact that she no longer has my dad around to discuss life's little observations with in a private arena.  You know what I'm talking about, those things you are just trying to figure out which become fodder for 'pillow talk'.  Mom has outlived the first tier of companionship and has to rely on the second tier of comrades to edit her statements.

So has my Mom changed, or are we just becoming privy to more of the 'real' her?

Which brings up other thoughts about aging - the first being that as a person ages do you begin to see the 'real' soul, the one that may have been sheltered behind closed doors and closed minds for all those years?  Sometimes I buy this - you hear comments about the sweetheart of a grandma who is so childlike and loving and then you hear about the old biddy who is mean and cranky.  Maybe that is the 'true self', but then again, maybe it's loneliness, pain or other physical maladies caused by wear and tear on the body and mind.

My second comment about aging is about middle age and women.  I've been exploring the whole menopause conundrum and I cling to the positive aspects rather than the negatives.  I've embraced the concept that it is a second adolescence (as if the first wasn't tough enough, we get to do it again).  However in that vein it is amazing and liberating to know that we can re-create the self that may have gotten lost during the intervening years of parenting and working.  There are many examples of older folks who are seizing the day and making the life they desire for their remaining years.  Part of this recreation may be the elimination of self-editing for the sake of propriety and the opening of the self to new possibilities.

I'm just thinking....any comments from the peanut gallery?

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Dana Point Tall Ships Festival 2010

Friday September 10th was opening night for the Dana Point Tall Ships Festival.  Eric was with his boss and business associates in LA, so I joined our friends Alan & Leah Newman, Steve & Cynthia Broadhead and their friends Palma and Norm for dinner and bluff top vistas of multi-masted ships doing battle along the coast.