A couple of weeks ago, my father celebrated his 80th birthday. As he and my mother are frequent travelers, he wished to mark the occasion with a trip and the entire family was invited to join. He chose one of his favorite cities: Victoria, located on Vancouver Island in British Columbia, Canada.
My sisters, their families, an aunt and uncle, and I joined my parents for a long weekend. The weather was cool, the sea breezes brisk, and the company was fabulous. It was a nearly perfect respite from recent lengthy hours of work, sole improvement to which would have been my husband’s presence – he was unable to join us.
I flew from Oakland to Seattle, then from Seattle to the small Victoria airfield. That last leg was aboard a small commuter prop plane, charmingly boarded from the Tarmac on a rainy morning. The very short flight to Victoria was uneventful, and despite a deficit of sleep I was wide awake and ready to explore once we landed.
A regret, however; I’d wished for a stamp on my all-to-crisp passport but at the Immigration counter I forgot to ask. How romantic the idea is of having a well-worn blue book in my bag, filled with half-discernible ink blots representing many adventures! Alas, it was not fated to be on this trip.
Last year I expressed an interest in cataloging family photos, and while I imagined this as a project requiring several months of research and categorizing, the work has more than quadrupled as family members learned of my interest and gladly provided their stock of snapshots. Each set is carefully packaged and sent off for professional scanning; I have approximately 1000 digital photos now in my cataloging queue, and more yet to be scanned.
The latest contribution is from a cousin, who handed over a container – literally a suitcase – filled with both photos and ephemera from my grandmother. A big surprise was discovering a book of a dozen or so drawings, several of which are very good. I had no idea she was so talented, and I’m eager to preserve the work for my sisters, myself, and my nieces and nephews.
My grandmother never had the opportunity to meet my nieces and nephews, as she passed away in early 1986 and the eldest of the children was not born until the following year. I remember the day of my grandma’s funeral well; it rained, and though not unexpected given she was quite elderly and had suffered for years from dementia following a stroke, at the time I could not see her death as a relief from suffering, just a terribly sad loss. She was a beautiful person, and as several other mementoes from her life were sadly destroyed by a freak flood these drawings will be very precious indeed.
Like many a software project, the scope of my 6-month project has increased unexpectedly, and cataloging activities will continue throughout 2013.
I spent the evening at a sort of family reunion. My uncle had prepared a list of his parents, siblings, and their children with birth and death dates. There were 32 of us present, and the crowd included a complement of spouses, children, and significant others.
On a cover sheet my uncle had provided a short narrative about our family, and included this old Gaelic saying:
There is nothing older than the hills, MacArthur and the Devil.
Perhaps an awkward position, to be between the hills and the Devil.
I finally had some time today, and bought the iPhone 5, in white. I won’t necessarily have the opportunity to enjoy the pearly color once the case I ordered this evening arrives, but as there was no price difference between black and white, and the white was in stock, I picked it.
Once home I realized I should have picked up a 30-pin-to-Lightning adaptor while at the store, and hopped online to poke around. I’m glad I didn’t act on impulse, though, as if I had picked up the adaptor I had originally imagined it could have been problematic; several reviews suggested that the compact adaptors are iffy to connect with a phone once in a case. I ended up ordering a cabled adaptor, which will allow me to use the new phone with my Klipsch iGroove.