Friday, September 26, 2008

A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words by Torque

A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words

I was driving home from work the other day, and as I pulled up to a stop light, I saw an older fellow, probably around 50, walking home. The golden evening sunlight slanted through the trees and splashed on the cracked sidewalk at his feet, and his shadow cut at the yellow light, waging a picturesque battle of light and dark.

Grey hair hung from his head, and a limp grey mustache decorated his wrinkled features. He wore a faded jean jacket, soiled, but matching the old pants he wore. Battered, well worn boots, into which the care of his feet had been placed, drummed the sidewalk as he moved along it. He carried a battered grey plastic lunch box, with a gritty stainless steel thermos perched perilously on top, nestled between the long handles.

He matched his neighborhood; old, picturesque, friendly. Clapboard houses in yellows and blues, the once vibrant paint now peeling and fading in the sun. Dirty, half melted snow drifts loitered on the sides of the road and on lawns, waiting for the heat of spring and a good chinook to send them on their way.

A picture is worth a thousand words. I miss my camera.

This post has a lot of pictures. I was just going to post a link to the trip album, but then I found that I had something to say about each picture. Then I thought I'd put captions on each one, but then I thought that if I'm gonna be writing all that anyway, I might as well put it in a blog post where (theoretically) it'll be saved for posterity and maybe even printed into a book (if I can find a decent computer to run the bookmaking program).

The first picture was for Lesli, who requested a shot of her hair.

Here's Elizabeth at Golden Acres eating a leaf while we talk with Grandma Fawnie outside.

Daddy is playing the ukulele for Elizabeth. Behind her, you can see the Beep Box he made for her.

Here are Elizabeth and Grandma Fawnie, each in their strollers :) Grandma was so thrilled each time Elizabeth came to see her.

We went over to Maude Neiding park for a picnic lunch. Here, Daddy is pushing Elizabeth in the swing, which obviously makes her happy.

This is what life looks like from Elizabeth's point of view--people keep playing with those cool black boxes that they hardly ever let her eat.

Some action shots for you. Elizabeth is telling us she wants MORE swinging.

This one is a rare good shot of me (since I'm generally behind the camera. I even like my hair here.

Still at the park, I took Elizabeth down the slide on my lap, then Daddy tried to let her slide down by herself on her belly. She kept trying to catch herself with her feet, and wasn't impressed by the experience.

Here she is gnawing on a tangerine. I love how her little hands hold it just so.

We tried to avoid giving her a messy watermelon rind, but soon realized that it wasn't possible to keep it from her. She does seem to enjoy it! She ate all sorts of new things on the trip. Mom gave her fresh mint from the garden, and it gave her minty fresh breath. Daddy gave her cherry tomatoes, which she loved, but got all over their clothes (I changed her outfit, but Daddy wore tomato guts on his shoulder for the rest of the day). Other hits were toast -- which she shared with the dog -- tastes of ice cream, Betsey's excellent cheesy lasagna, and Red Lobster croutons.

Here is the whole family at the park.

Some more action shots. In the basement at Mom's, is a table with a wooden train set on it. Elizabeth wasn't interested in the trains, but she did like standing by the table, which was just the right height. In these pictures, she tries to eat the magnetic end of the cargo crane, gets it in her mouth, then happily watches it swing away.

Daddy taught Elizabeth how to climb stairs while we were there, so it was one of her favorite things to do. When we went down to Oberlin, that's what kept her happy at Bead Paradise while we shopped (we took turns entertaining her). After shopping, we stopped in at O.H.I.O's Monroe House where Mom, Steve, Doug and I all worked at various times over the years. Pat Murphy and Mary Anne Cunningham were there, and very pleased to see us and meet Elizabeth. In this picture, she's climbing the VERY STEEP wooden stairs there. After getting some great experience as an intern at O.H.I.O., Mary Anne recommended me to her brother-in-law who hired me to do computer work for him at BYU. I knew only marginally more than he did about writing web pages, but learned on the job, and ended up writing web pages for most of my time at BYU. I also wrote my first Access database for O.H.I.O.'s membership records -- and that experience also helped me get two other great jobs. Looking back, those internships really did help prepare me for working in the real world, and had a significant impact on my career. Thanks O.H.I.O. and the Lorain County Internship Program (or whatever it was called) that paid for it!

The trees at Grandma's house make fascinating moving shadows on the refrigerator -- and so does Grandpa!

Poor Elizabeth! She crawled all the way over there, and then the kitty walked away :( Well, don't feel too bad for her. Since then, she got to pet Molly Cat at Ahlstrom's house, and a couple of cats at a friends' houses in our ward here in California. One even purred while she pulled on its ears!

Here is Niko, Susan Hatch's whippet puppy, who is giving Elizabeth a kiss. I blogged more about that visit here.

I don't have any pictures of Elizabeth at the Ahlstroms on my camera. We were both so tired and cranky by the end of the drive that I left picture taking to the grandmas who haven't sent me copies yet. Kathey did post a few on her blog, and that's where this one came from. I like that you can see her teeth in this picture. Unfortunately, the lighting in the house wasn't very good, so the pics are all dark and flash lit. We did have a nice time on the backyard gazebo swing, and the lighting was great, but by the time Kathey realized where we were and came out with a camera, we had already decided to come in since we were being eaten alive (I had at least seven mosquito bites). We said, it'll be OK, we'll come back out here tomorrow after church. Of course, Sunday after church was when Ike decided to show up, and it was dangerous to be outside with all the branches flying through the air.

We stopped at Steve's house on the way down to Dayton...

...And again on the way back up. You can see that the wind was pretty strong there too. Steve was without power for days, and there were shingles coming off his roof, and trees falling on cars in his parking lot. He jokes that he got hit worse by Ike than Heather, who lives just outside Houston, did.

Here's Elizabeth and me with Grandma Fawnie. One of the major reasons we went on the trip was because Elizabeth hadn't met her Great-Grandma yet. I wanted to take her out there while Grandma was still coherent--and she did recognize us when we went, and was sad to see us go at the end of the trip.

Here's Mom pushing Grandma in the wheelchair. Grandma wasn't quite the way I remember her. One day, Mom brought her a Swiss Roll as a treat. Grandma looked at it and said, "Eww! What's that?" Mom said, "It's chocolate and cream, Mom." Grandma screwed up her face and said, "Oh, how awful." and shuddered at the thought. This is my Grandma -- whose idea of a good snack was lemon frosting on crackers -- who didn't think cool whip was good enough, so she'd whip her own cream when serving pie (or strawberries) and add just a little vanilla pudding to make it set up nice.

Here are Elizabeth's Grandpa and Great-Grandpa enjoying her. This bench was painted white, with red handprints all over it, and a blue base. Every time we went outside to sit and talk in the sunshine, Grandma would make a comment or three about how ugly it was.

On our last full day there, Mary Beth Lyon and Jill Pavic came over for dinner. I realized later that since I was taking all the pictures, I didn't get any with me and my good friends together. Sigh.

Here we are home again after a trying time with a delayed flight and Mama running on almost no sleep (Elizabeth caught a cold and had to be soothed back to sleep about every twenty minutes the night before we left). Elizabeth is SOOOO happy to see her Daddy! She's grabbing his face to be sure he's real (and because his beard is so fun to pull).

Well, that's all for now.


  1. OK, tomorrow, I promise, I'll download my photos: of Michele and Michelle and Jamie in addition to other versions of your shots.
    Thanks for your patience.

  2. very very cute. Still red. Thanks so much.

  3. Thanks for working with us on uploading pictures. There is still so much I don't know about all this stuff. ^o^

    I enjoyed seeing all the pictures of your trip!

  4. Thanks for all THESE photos:) Help me figure out how to use the youtube videos on your link. They are not working for me. Is it because i am on a mac?

  5. Those pix are wonderful Karen. Niko is an Italian Greyhound...just for the record...and he loves the toy that was like Elizabeth's. What a neat way to remember a vacation...pix and videos. Come again.