Friday, June 17, 2011

Home Again

This little guy sat next to me at the graduation ceremony.  He was very well behaved.  
Rachel holding her hat in the wind.
The Graduation party at Rachel's Dad's house. Gail with wine glass
Sunflower centerpieces on the tables.  Millie would love these.
Rachel is so happy it's over.
Gail cuts the cake
Mark drove up for the ceremony
Mark is leaving.  Sigh!
A tree in front of Gail's house.  What is it?  Anyone?

I left you in rather a hurry and with a mysterious crisis looming.  I do apologize and will now try to give you an explanation.

My daughter was working for a small company as an office manager.  Her employers  business ethics were right out of a Charles Dickens novel.  The situation had become so intolerable that Gail fell apart.  It was time for some Mom therapy and a broad shoulder.   Because I had reservations to go later I asked her if she wanted me to come earlier.  She replied in the affirmative and I knew she was in trouble, because she has always told me 'no' when I had offered in the past.   She had a melt-down in front of the girls and I knew they all needed to decompress.

I did what I could to help.  One never knows how much good one does in these circumstances, but I do think it was important for me to be there.  However, the crisis was still raging when I had to come home.  My daughter has never cried before when we parted, but she did this time.  Twice.  It was so painful leaving her like that.  The next day she got fired.  She was not fired for 'cause' but because the company was restructuring their office and she will probably be replaced with a bookkeeping service.  The good news is that she will be able to draw workman's comensation as she seeks new employment.  

Now to the update on the trip.  Because the first reason for the trip was my granddaughter, Rachel's graduation I did attend that happy event.  It was great to see the young happy faces, but the weather did not cooperate and it was brutally cold with a stiff wind blowing out of Alaska.  It was hard to believe that it was June.  The stadium was packed and I am sure I had lots of company as I suffered with inadequate clothing for a winter day in June.  I felt sorry for the young girls in hot pants and bare midriffs as they shivered with goose bumps blossoming on their exposed skin.  Didn't they go outside before dressing so skimpily?   I know, I sound like an old fuddy-duddy, but dressing appropriately for the weather is just good sense.  

The pictures tell the story of graduation day.  I know you have probably attended so many of these events that it's old hat.  Only the colors of the caps and gowns change, but the happy faces of the 'grads' remain the same. The relief shared by the parents it pretty universal, too.  Next comes college.  

Other things that happened on my trip:

Because I had to change my departure reservations (at no small cost, I might add), I was stuck with whatever flight was available.  I had to change planes in Las Vegas where the slots go Ka-ching night and day.  A three hour layover became a four hour layover as I sat in the uncomfortable wheel chair.

The only thing of note on my return flight was going through security.  I had the full body scan and was wondering why I heard laughter.  They probably thought my spare tire was a bomb.

I turned 86 years old while I was there.  My daughter took me out to dinner to celebrate.  She told the waiter that it was my 86th birthday.  It seems they have some sort of recognition for the oldest person who celebrates a birthday on that day.  He came back and told me I was not the oldest one to celebrate her birtday on that day.   A 90 year old woman beat me to it.  I decided to be glad instead of mad because someone really was older than me.

The second week my oldest daughter, Lynne, drove down from Napa to take me to lunch.  The birthday that just kept giving.

My daughter tells me that Hans, the German Shepherd dog, is still grieving since I left.  I was his buddy while Gail was at work and the girls were at school.  Now who will take the time to throw his ball or scratch his ears?  

Thanks to everyone for their kind remarks about my trip and for wishing me the best.  It means more than you will ever know.  I deeply appreciate my blogging friends and feel like I know each and everyone of you.  Mucho gracias for caring.

I will gradually catch up on your blogs.  I have read many of them, but didn't have the time to comment.  I hope to rectify that in the days to come.  Doctor appointments that were delayed must now be attended to so it will be slow going for me to get up to speed.  Please bear with me.


Millie Garfield said...

Oh, my goodness - you sure had a hard time, between paying more for the plane ticket, being anxious about your daughter's problems, that long lay-over, the COLD weather and so much more - you must have been worn out!

I know I would have had a difficult time with all that you experienced and I'm younger than you are. ;-)

But you made it!! Congratulations to all of the family and especially to the graduate.

Yes, you are right - I would have loved those center pieces!!!

Darlene said...

*Millie - I thought of you and your love of sunflowers when I saw them on the tables. I wish I could have brought the huge one back to you, but the photo is the best I can do.

Joy Des Jardins said... had a lot going on Darlene.

First of all....Happy belated birthday to you dear friend. I'm glad you got to celebrate it with your family.

Even though your daughter is still going through a very tough time....I know having you there meant so much to her...and helped her stressful situation a lot. You are so supportive and could it not. You are such a great mom and grandma...

I just love the pictures...Rachel looks pretty happy...and very adorable. I know how proud of her you are....Congratulations to all of you. Love, Joy

Wisewebwoman said...

Oh you never fail to inspire me Darlene, any time I come here.

laura freeman said...

Welcome back home and to a good night's sleep (I hope) in your own bed. You went the whole mile(s) and are, indeed, an inspiration, both for what you said and did and for what you didn't say or do!
Belatedly, Happy Birthday!
AUGURONI for all that is going on in your daughter's life and may this be one of the cases of "change is for the better".
And thank you for the tips to Ronni.

Jack Jodell said...

Welcome back, Darlene! I'm glad you had such a nice trip and got so many great pictures!

Darlene said...

*Joy Des Jardins - Thank you for the birthday wishes. I am so lucky; this birthday just never ends.

*WisebWoman - You say the nicest things. Thank you.

* Laura Freeman - Thank you for the belated birthday wishes and for your kind words.

*Jack Jodell - Thank you so much.

Grannymar said...

I thought my week was bad... It was nothing compared to the time you were having. I hope things settled down for your daughter real soon and Mighty Congratulations to Rachel!

Barry said...

Welcome back! You were certainly missed. Sorry for your daughter's terrible times. Hopefully things will be looking up for her soon.

Kay Dennison said...

Welcome home!!!! You have been missed!

Darlene said...

*Grannymar - One good thing about bad weeks; they end. As we all say, "this, too, shall pass".

*Barry - Thank you. I hope so too.

*Kay Dennison - Thank you so much. It's nice to know that people noticed that I was gone.

Rummuser said...

Welcome back. I missed you. I knew that you are a tough one and this post just proves that.

Darlene said...

*Rummuser - Yep! My daughter would agree that I'm a tough old bird. You have to be to survive in this day and age.

Thank you for the welcome back.

One Woman's Journey - a journal being written from Woodhaven - her cottage in the woods. said...

Darlene, welcome home. Thank you for sharing. So much of what you shared I have experienced and understand. I will never forget - that when I started writing about 4 years ago that you were one of the first to comment and encourage me. You even emailed me a few times. Take care of yourself and know home "feels good"
Love, Ernestine

joared said...

Happy belated birthday!

Glad you were able to provide your daughter and her family some support through that difficult time. Hopefully she'll come up with a much more pleasant future position. Good there was a graduation celebration for all to enjoy.

I agree about dressing with the weather, but what do we know. I always thought it so ridiculous during an Ohio freezing temps winter when many women, old enough to know better (who didn't look that good anyway,) trotted about outside in their short short skirts. Men were all bundled up.

The pleasures of flying aren't what they once were and I used to like to fly. The recent United AL computer breakdown and horrendous delays with people having to stand in line for hours must have been a nightmare -- one to which I wouldn't look forward.

Trust you'll get settled back in to your usual routines which are probably welcome at this point.

Xtreme English said...

Welcome back to Blogville and thanks for showing us the way to contributing to our children's lives even when it means doing the wheelchair bit in the airport! You are one heck of a fine lady, Darlene. I can understand why your girls turn to you for comfort when things fall apart.

Rain said...

It sounds like a difficult trip in a lot of ways but as you said, important for you to do. I hope she finds some peace about her life for her sake and her girls. Congrats on the graduate. Milestones!

Looking to the Stars said...

my dearest friend, I am so glad you are back. I will be holding good thoughts that your daughter finds a Wonderful job. I cannot remember what part of Calif your daughter is in. I still have a few contacts in Calif, send me an email telling me which part she lives in. I may know someone.

What a beautiful graduation! They grow up so fast!

Happy B-day!!! Glad you were able to spend it with family :)

take care

Darlene said...

*One Woman's Journey - Has it really been 4 years? My how time flies.

**Joared - Flying used to be the best part of a trip, but now it's a dreaded necessity. I am happy to be back in my own home.

*Xtreme English - Thank you for the nice things you said.

*Rain - It was not the most pleasant trip I ever took, that's for sure. It is so good to be back in the heat. I don't mind it at all. ;-)

*Looking to the Stars - My daughter is in Livermore. That's in the San Francisco Bay area.

Friko said...

A bright and active lady at 86, that's what you are. Congratulations on reaching this slightly mature age.

I am sure all the family enjoyed your visit, mums do come in useful sometimes. Hope your daughter finds a new job soon.

All in all, you sound as if you enjoyed yourself, even the difficult days.

Darlene said...

*Friko - I'm glad I didn't sound whiny, but it was not really an enjoyable trip. The only fun thing was the party, but then I didn't go to have fun.

Hattie said...

I gasped when I read that your daughter was fired. Older Boomers are being tossed out of their jobs everywhere. It's frightening.
But I am glad that your granddaughter has graduated and that some good times were mixed in with the bad.
All the best to you and your family.
As my captha says, "Bless."
Bless you and all the good people of this country who are having such a hard time right now.

Lydia said...

I am catching up on your blog tonight and enjoying myself immensely. You have really been through a lot and, even more than usual, you tell the tale(s) with such humor and strength. I really love you lots and hope you will accept my belated happy birthday wishes (as you said it was the birthday that kept on giving!).