Your Uncle

 Posted by on March 30, 2014  Special Memories
Mar 302014
 

You boys didn’t have the chance to know your dad’s brother because he passed away at the young age of 42.

First, he was 15 years older than your dad.  He was the oldest child in your dad’s family.  He graduated with a masters from UNT, and spoke 5 languages.  He became a teacher and taught in a local high school.  He took teaching very seriously, and won the Teacher of the Year Award one year.

He was also a gourmet cook.  In some ways your dad got his love of cooking from his mom and dad, but I can also see how his brother had a huge influence on his cooking style.  Nan and Pop cooked very traditional hispanic meals.  They rarely used sauces or tried new things.  Don’t get me wrong, they made some of the best meals I have had, just very traditional.  Your uncle was one for trying new recipes, using a lot of sauces, and often times he would try unique ingredients or techniques.   He also love to eat out at very nice restaurants.

Every year he would have season tickets to the opera.  Going to the opera with him was a big deal.  He first would take whomever he was going with to a very nice bruch, and then to the show.  During my first pregnancy he took me a few times.  He said he wanted the baby to start being exposed to good music.

He loved all types of music.  Maybe it was my age, but at the time it seemed like he had more albums than I had ever seen.

He dressed very nicely all the time.  I don’t think I ever saw him in a pair of jeans.  It was always a pair of slacks and a dress shirt.  Although, many of his dress shirts were guayaberas.

I don’t know the name for this, but he wanted everything done in very specific ways.  For example, his shirts in his closet were housed by color from light to dark and then alphabetical order by color name (ie. black before blue).  Every pair of shoes he had were in a shoe horn.  He was also that way with general things in the house.  If you moved anything in the house, he would notice it almost immediately, and move it back into place.

Lastly, he loved all his nieces and nephews.  Anytime we came by with you kids, he would immediately come to get one of you  and  take you to feed you candies and play games.  One of the things he would give you all the time were these little mints called Andes Candes.

As I said earlier, he passed at the age of 42.  He had been a diabetic for a long time and his kidneys had been failing for a year or more.  We had seen him the night before and he was in good spirits after a surgery.  The surgery had gone very well, and everyone thought he would have a full recovery.  He died the next day around noon.  It was very quick and unexpected.  He was not married and had no children.

 

 

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Laughing In Your Crib

 Posted by on March 29, 2014  Boys Will Be Boys, Special Memories
Mar 292014
 

You are the youngest, and have two older brothers.  You are 9 months old.  Your brothers love playing with you.  They get together and tease you and play games with you.  You kids laugh so much.  One of the funniest things they do is crawl under your crib and play a form of peek a boo with you.  You know where they are and you peer over your crib trying to find them.  Then they pop their heads out and say BOO.  You give a little ACK! and then start laughing pretty hard.  Of course, then they start laughing even harder.  Then they go back under the crib, they giggle and whisper and try to decide who will pop out next and where.  All the while, you walk back and forth in your crib looking down and try to figure out where they will pop out next.  You boys will literally do this for over an hour.  I hope you never lose sight of having fun with one another.  K

Super Turkey

 Posted by on March 29, 2014  Special Memories
Mar 292014
 

Your school has a play they do every year called “Super Turkey”.  It is done right at Thanksgiving.  Your teacher tells me they have a hard time filling the lead role because it takes a very special person who is not shy and can do the role well.  The lead role requires walking through the audience and bobbing your head like a turkey.  Of course, that is in addition to the singing and acting.  I must tell you, I was a little concerned when I heard you were the lead.  I was so surprised you felt comfortable taking the role.  But, as usual, you are so excited about it.  In church you often have lead roles or solos.  You do very well at them.

I guess it mostly surprises me because dad and I are too shy to do that kind of thing.  Dad does sing in choir, but he doesn’t feel comfortable doing solos.  Now, in my car, I am an excellent singer.  I can hit all the beats, and sing loud, and all is good.  Unfortuantely, when I get out of the car something odd happens and I just don’t sound the same.

You are not someone who shows off for attention, or sings for attention.  You do it because you love it.  Music is something which makes you very happy.  You also take your roles, songs very seriously and give a lot of time and attention to making sure you do them well.  When you have a particular song you are learning, I will hear you playing your tapes over and over again to learn the words, beat, and even the little inflections in the voices.

You were a great Super Turkey.  Seriously, so many people could not take their eyes off of you as you walked through the audience.  Not just because you were so cute, but because you did such a great job of  having fun and acting out the role.  X

 

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He Asked Me Out

 Posted by on March 26, 2014  Special Memories
Mar 262014
 

When I was 15 I had a job working at a local taco drive through.  I really wanted to work at the grocery store across the street, but they wouldn’t hire you until the age of 16.  I still had a few months.  My job at this restaurant was to take the drive through orders.  Back in that day you would push the button and the person in the car would shout their order into the microphone.  Your order would then come through the speaker and several people could hear it.  One day I was working, and taking my orders as usual.  Your dad came through the drive through.  Of course I could not see it was him when he was “placing his order”.  I turned on the speaker, welcomed him, and said how can I help you?  He asked if it was me answering.  I said yes.  He asked again and used my full name.  I said, yes this is me.  At this point I was confused.  I had never had a customer ask me if it was me.  A few of the employees had noticed this was a very different conversaation as well.  Some of them were half listening to the order.  I was known for running a fast window, so I tried to encourage the customer to make an order.  How can I help you?  I asked.  The customer told me his name, and asked I was wondering if you would go out with me Saturday night?  The whole restaurant was silent.  I don’t know if they were trying to figure out what he said, or knew what he said.

First, I was totally shocked.  I had no idea he was thinking of asking me out.  For a moment I was asking myself, is this a joke?  Who is this?  Second, I was insanely shy.  I quickly realized everyone was listening in at this point.  He asked again, will you go out with me Saturday night?  His voice sounded so excited and happy.  Although I still could not see him, I knew he had a big smile on his face.  His voice was so animated.  I told him yes.

Everyone in the restaurant cheered.  Where they were just moments ago working in or a customer of a taco joint, they were now a part of an event the beginning of a new relationship, a first date.  Your dad said in a most happy voice…  YES!  Now I don’t know if he never was hungry, or forgot to eat, but he told me ok and he would call me, and then he drove right through.  Well wait a minute, he didn’t drive right through.  He screached right through.  You will have to ask him about his car sometime, but it was, I believe a blue, ’72, Cutlass Supreme.  It had a rag top, and he kept the top down most of the time.  There were a few times before this I had seen him, and he just really liked to drive fast.  He would often screetch away.

It was one of the most embarrassing and yet precious moments I have had.

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Great Helper

 Posted by on March 26, 2014  Special Memories
Mar 262014
 

Up until a month ago we had a live in nanny.  She went back to her home country in Costa Rica.  Youa re 8 years old.  You have started really pitching in and started helping around the house a lot.  You also have a knack for helping your brothers with their jobs, and you do it with very little complaint.  I really appreciate it a lot.  You won’t know until sometime later how much the little things mean.  It is so nice to know I can depend on and count on you.    X

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Becos

 Posted by on March 3, 2014  Special Memories
Mar 032014
 

Becos, Pop’s mother, I only met a few times.  She lived in a house in Downtown Dallas in an area of town they called “The Barrio”.  The first time I met her, your father took me to her house as he was going to mow her lawn.  When I walked in her house, she had lots and lots of plants.  When I saw her plants I commented on them, and she asked me to touch them.  She was very superstitious.  .  Becos loved to crochet and quilt.  She was crocheting you a little blanket when she passed.  You had not yet been born, but were just a few months off.  She did not speak much english, but could understand it.  She was fairly petite and small.  Becos loved to cook for her family.  Everything she made was completely from scratch, and the best mexican food (aside from nan’s), I ever had.  The two things I remember most were the tortillas, and buenuelos.  The buenuelos were large and so thin you could almost see through them.  I have never had any others like them again.  I don’t know much about her.  I know she and her husband moved to the states from Mexico.  She had 9 children, and at times they lived in a tent.  She had a strong faith in the Lord.  She made due with very little, and she raised one of the best men I ever knew.  Pop.

Shoes and Haircuts

 Posted by on March 2, 2014  Special Memories
Mar 022014
 

I’m sure just by saying shoes and haircuts, everyone knows exactly who I am referring to.  Yes, that would be nan.  Nan had a definite thing about making sure you kids always had new shoes and haircuts.  Every months she would gather all her grandchildren and take them out shoe shopping.  She was never really into the cute stuff until you became older.  She always looked for the shoes which were the most functional.  Generally, they were tennis shoes, or running shoes as she would call them.  She would tell you kids they would make you run faster and jump higher.  She was so right.  You would get your new shoes, run and jump until you were exhausted, and show everyone how much your shoes had improved your athletisism.  A tript to the shoe shop would almost certainly mean later that evening there would also be racing.  Whether in the back yard, or around the pecan tree in her front, it was filled with calls of look at me!  Look at me!  The hair cuts came about every 3 weeks.  It was a rare occassion that she would let you go a full month without a proper haircut.  Nan would tell you you were “muy guapo”.   Looking good was always important to nan.  My guess is you kids think about nan sometimes when you are getting all dressed up, and can hear her telling you how handsome you are.

The Thoughtful Gift

 Posted by on November 25, 2012  Special Memories
Nov 252012
 

A few years ago one of my very good friends gave me a very thoughtful, amazing gift.  It is a gift I will enjoy for years to come,  makes me smile, brings me joy, and often reminds me of how giving and kind my friend is.  This friend and I have known each other for over 30 years.  She is a generally quiet person, but her love speaks loudly.  She is someone who quietly goes about ministering, praying, and loving people.  If you are not watching you might miss the little but very significant things she does to show how much she truly cares for you.

One of the things she really enjoys personally is gardening.  She loves flowers, nature, and being out in God’s world.  She also has a gift for planting, growing, and designing gardens.  Now I had known this for a few years, and am well aware that although I love flowers and trees, I was not given the gift of working with them.  Sigh.

In fact, every year I used to plant many flowers of all sorts and colors.  Our yard would look great, sometimes for a month, sometimes for the entire season, but in the end, everything would die.  Seriously, there is only one thing I ever planted which actually took hold.  They were some purple Marigolds.  Ok, I realize purple and the name Marigold don’t mix, but I actually Googled it to make sure I was saying the right kind of flower.  :)   Anyway, these Marigold’s really took off and I had one little garden area that was just filled with them.  it was so beautiful.  At this point, you must be asking yourself why I say “was”.   So the deal is, after the winter months I was having my garden areas turned, because everything always dies on me.  The young man who always helps me saw the Marigolds and thought they were dead, so he pulled them up.  Seriously, over 100 of them.  He didn’t know they needed to be pruned, and would come back in the spring.  SOOOO SAD!

Ok, back to the real story, one year I decided to ask this friend of mine if she would help me plant some flowers in my front yard.  I was thinking something very small that outlined the front porch.  Nothing major, but something to give color to the yard, and make it more beautiful.

She told me she would and shortly thereafter came to me with her plans.  I must admit, at first I was taken by the plans.  It was not at all what I had anticipated.  It was a huge job, and it intimidated me!  I wish I could show you a picture, but since this is written I will do my best to describe her plans.  First, we live on a corner.  So she was going to have the entire side where there was grass ripped out.  She then designed this very elaborate area which would outline our front patio with shrubs, trees and flowers.  She also had a flower bed which would go down the sidewalk, with various flowers in it, and then at the end of the sidewalk a more open area for additional flowers and a plant.  Take my word for it when I say this was a BIG job.  She assured me she wanted to work on this, and truth be told, I really had no idea what this would entail until we got further into the project.

My friend then spent the remainder of the summer, nearly every day, all day pulling up the grass, preparing the ground, laying dirt, leveling some areas of the yard, planting trees, shrubs, flowers.  She always had a smile, kind words, and I knew this was a gift of love.  She chose many different types and colors of plants.  When she was done it was absolutely beautiful.  She took into consideration we do not have the same gifting, and put in plants which were harty and native to Texas so they would thrive.

It is now three years later.  Ever year the plants grow more, fill in a little more and show an amazing display of color and beauty.  The thing is I went to my friend to help me with a small project, and she the opportunity to show me a great love.  Something truly from the heart, which she knew I would enjoy.

I walk out of the house in the mornings and often just seeing the different colors playing together makes me smile and starts my day off on a positive note.  There is a peace I find when I see God’s handiwork, particularly in flowers.  I sometimes think flowers are one of those little things He created for me because He just knew I would love them.  My friend gave me the chance to enjoy God’s gift everytime the flowers are in bloom, be reminded of her love for me.

 

Nana Misses You Too

 Posted by on November 25, 2012  Precious Grandchildren, Special Memories
Nov 252012
 

Yesterday you asked me why I hadn’t “been around?”.  It broke my heart.  I could tell when I had come in the house you were upset with me.  You usually run to me with your little arms up in the air calling Nana Nana.  Tonight  I could tell you were upset.  You’re daddy and mommy have bought their first new home, and it is not close to where we live.  This is a very exciting time for your family.  Buying your first home is one of those steps in life which is a major milestone to feeling accomplished as a family.  It is more than a house, it is the beginning of the home and the place you and your family will play in, be together in, feel safe in, and share many wonderful times together in.  I have not been able to see you as much as I would like, and I miss you very much.  I held you tonight and told you how much I love you, I hope some day you will understand how truly precious you are to me.  We have a very special bond, and you will always hold a very special place in my heart.  I think about you and I can see your bright eyes light up.  I see that wonderful big smile of yours which actually does light up a room.  I think of how you tell me you love me and want to go to my house.  Often times you would say, “Go nana’s house, OK?”  As we packed your house today, you randomly walked past me several times and would say Nana, I love you.  I  don’t know if you knew something was going on (moving) or if you just felt like telling me or what was on your mind.  Even though we will be separated by some distance, I pray God will never let your little heart think I don’t want to see your precious little face, or hold you close.  I think about, and pray for you ever day.  I ask God to protect you, give you all that you need and bless your life.  Know always Nana loves you deeply and can’t wait until the next time she sees you.

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Sleeping at the Ranch

 Posted by on September 9, 2012  Special Memories
Sep 092012
 

Sleeping at the ranch is always the best sleep I get.  There is something about lying my head on the pillow there which puts me into some deep transe.  I know I am close enough to home, that if I need to I can get there in a few hours, yet, far enough away I can’t do any errands.  The family is usually together, and that is always makes me happy and content.  It is truly a time just to relax.  Sometimes when we are driving to the ranch I feel my mind relaxing and slowing down as we get closer and closer.  We usually stay up late hanging out or watching movies.  By the time we go to sleep, I am exhausted and my body /mind are ready to give in to the peace out there.  It’s odd, when I am there I have the most vivid dreams.  In the morning I usually wake up late, to dad making a large breakfast. There is no better rest, or way to awake for that matter.

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