Archive for the Honor and Remember Category

Sea Celebration

Posted in Death, Faith, Famiiy, Father, Honor and Remember, Life, Love, Mother, Personal, solitude, Somewhere Over the rainbow on August 5, 2010 by anuvuestudio

It’s been a rough week, but Monday my sisters called to say our Mother’s ashes had finally become available and they were on their way to retrieve them. Apparently, even in death, So Cal keeps people waiting in line.  I thought it would be a bit difficult to explain that I needed to leave work early so that I could join my sisters in a “Dairy Queen Drive Thru” but apparently nothing I say frightens my co-workers any longer.  Mother’s urn was seat belted in the back beside me as we ordered our cones and toasted her in a “High Five Ice Cream salute”. (Our Mother was an avid fan).

Last evening we set sail to scatter her ashes. The location was our Father’s “Halibut Hot Spot” where he won 3 Halibut Derby’s and where we spread his own ashes 4 years back. I did worry about divulging the exact coordinates to the sea captain… but he was a great guy… and I think our secret is safe. Me, being me…I can’t let things just “be”. I have to orchestrate everything into some sort of organized event…and even though my Father’s “service script” was less than perfect (horrendously funny in fact) due to a storm brewing on the Pacific…I did make another effort for my Mother’s sake …and her memory. My Family indulges my need to do this kind of thing. Each of us has “something”. This habit is all mine.

Our boat was a 48 foot Aquila fishing vessel leaving Huntington Harbor Yacht Club. Heck…I’ve lived in Huntington for 20 years and never even knew we had one! We carted our paraphernalia onto the waiting craft and left the dock at precisely 6:30 pm. We had previously sent candles for people to light in a moment of reflection and remembrance. (That’s our kind of service). Leaving the Harbor, I had recorded Scottish Bagpipes such as “Amazing Grace” and “Danny Boy”. I found the recording “allot less drama” than when I hired the actual Bag Piper for my Father’s service. He seemed to have a previously undivulge “problem” with motion sickness…which ultimately became a “problem” for the previous sea captain.

We traveled through the harbor very dignified, pipes blaring, wind whipping through our hair. There was an emotional moment when we noticed 2 birds following us, very determined to keep up. We don’t cry gracefully like in the movies…more of a choked, red-faced, gasping of air…(much like a fish out of water) but we made it through. We are Krishers after all.

When we arrived at the area, the captain turned the boat toward the secret spot and lowered his anchor. My oldest sister (Cindy) gets embarrassed easily… but she was a good sport when I told her she was now “the Matriarch” and, with that title, she was expected to be the first to speak. I had given her some old sea verse previously (reading is easier) and when she spoke, I felt her power and was enormously proud. My middle sister (Julie) was next (I had previously mentioned to go in ceremonial birth order) (again, can’t help this habit) and she spoke from the heart through tears that made her children cry…which in turn made her Sisters cry. The captain stayed composed thank God. I went next with a prayer and then 3 of my sisters’ children spoke about their Grandmother.

What came next needs a little explanation. My dear Mother (born Protestant Christian) was fascinated by the Catholic religion. She made me watch “all things Fatima” while growing up. I’ve probably seen “The Song of Bernadette” 400 times which makes me want to shout  “I can’t make you happy in this world…only in the next“. She collected those sealed rose petal things that they send out to people on mailing lists. She must have had 40 lying here and there. Years ago when I visited Notre Dame, I even brought back a blessed Rosary for her to hold on to. So naturally, when the time came for Julie to spread the ashes, I tuned the iPod to the most wonderful version of Ave Maria I’ve ever heard (by the very talented Josh Groban). If you haven’t heard it…let me just say…it could bring Satan himself down to his knees…something I’d very much like to see.

Upon release, the ashes hit the wind and gently sailed though the air, falling slowly into the waiting ocean . Cindy followed this by dropping a beautiful heart-shaped wreath that my niece Nicole had made from gatherings in my Mother’s garden. I followed that by scattering handfuls of white rose petals. I must silently thank a neighbor (whom had no idea of their contribution and never will)  because I actually stole them in the middle of the previous night, after having forgot to pick some up at the local florist. I was standing in the shower late Monday night, trying to remember all the things that needed to be done, when white petals popped into my head. I jumped out quickly and retrieved my robe. Armed with cutting shears, I marched around the block until I spied some whites roses growing. I am grateful that nothing embarrassing (like a car) happened by while I stealthily hacked away. I did my best not to leave large, noticable bald spots.

Once the 3 sisters had done their best to celebrate their Mother’s life…we stood and watch that beautiful wreath…surrounded by white floating petals…roll wave after wave through an ocean lit by the golden setting sun. I blame the tears on Ave Maria…but it really was a beautiful, peaceful sight…a fitting end to a beautiful woman’s life.

Ceremony completed, big band Benny Goodman brought us back into a lighter mood. During the next hour I witnessed my sister fall on her bum (she was ok), my niece argue with the sea captain about the merits of the Beatles versus any other lesser band and the captain’s shipmate break out his fishing gear. I felt warmed knowing the world was being set right and that life goes on…even after great loss. I felt my Mother and Father’s presence and I know that they were smiling down on us.

Advertisements

Dorothy Virginia 1923 – 2010

Posted in Death, Entering New Territory, Famiiy, Father, Heart of the Matter, Honor and Remember, Life, Mother, Uncategorized on July 26, 2010 by anuvuestudio

God Speed Mama. We LOVE you!

What though the radiance which was once so bright
Be now for ever taken from my sight,
Though nothing can bring back the hour
Of splendour in the grass, of glory in the flower;
We will grieve not, rather find
Strength in what remains behind;
In the primal sympathy
Which having been must ever be;
In the soothing thoughts that spring
Out of human suffering;
In the faith that looks through death,
In years that bring the philosophic mind.

William Wordsworth

I will always remember …

Posted in Honor and Remember, Hope, Images, Life, Love, Memories, Quietness, rare breed, Remember, remembering, Silence, solitude, Soul, thanks, thoughts, Too tough to die, Uncategorized, Valor on May 28, 2010 by anuvuestudio


These are the days

Posted in Famiiy, Father, Honor and Remember, Life, Love, Memories, Personal, Smiling, Teacher, Uncategorized on May 26, 2010 by anuvuestudio

I lost my Father 4 years ago today. During his life, the lessons, love and guidance he gave… molded me into the person I became. He was and always will be my Hero and I was so blessed and lucky to have him. I continue to honor his life by living and creating my own memories…keeping him close to my heart.

these are days you’ll remember

never before and never since, I promise
will the whole world be warm as this
and as you feel it, you’ll know it’s true
that you are blessed and lucky
it’s true, that you are touched by something
that will grow and bloom in you

these are days you’ll remember

when May is rushing over you with desire
to be part of the miracles you see in every hour
you’ll know it’s true, that you are blessed and lucky
it’s true, that you are touched by something
that will grow and bloom in you

these are the days
that you might fill with laughter
until you break

these days you might feel a shaft of light
make its way across your face
and when you do
you’ll know how it was meant to be
see the signs and know their meaning

you’ll know how it was meant to be
hear the signs and
know they’re speaking to you
to you

The Civil War comes to town

Posted in Civil War re-enactment, Divided, History, History loves company, Honor and Remember, Images on September 7, 2009 by anuvuestudio

Each year during Labor day weekend, my city hosts an annual Civil War Re-enactment in the beautiful 365+ acre Central Park. These folks look (and sound) so real… you literally look over your shoulder to make sure there are still people dressed like you. This year was no exception with magnificent costumes, smoky cannons and pointy bayonets galore. This Yankee slathered on SP 100, wished President Lincoln a happy 200th birthday and proceeded to stalk the troops…
civilwarlinccivilwaryanksjpgcivilwarrebelcivilwarmancivilwarman2jpg<civilwar1riflemancivilwar1soldiercivilwarrebelscivilwareatcivilwarshyguycivilwarbellecivilwar1ladiescivilwardrumcivilwar1cannoncivilwar1mencivilwargunscivilwarlast

The Thomas Gallery Visit

Posted in artists, Attitudes, birthday, Bring it, Collections, creative, excitement, Famiiy, Friends, gallery, Hanging out, Honor and Remember, Images, Life, Memories, Oh Yeah!, Personal, Portraiture, remembering, Surprise, the story unfolds, Too tough to die, Uncategorized, Whoo Hoo, wow on May 10, 2009 by anuvuestudio

ctb2
Last weekend Micheal and I traveled up the 395 for the 99th Birthday celebration of Carroll Thomas… and especially to give him the portraits painted by the 818 Artists.

About 2 hours into the road trip there’s a place out in the middle of nowhere that suddenly opens up into a shopping center. You know…the kind of development where the new houses all look the same and are built right next to the road…even though there’s miles of land around. I can’t figured out why anyone would choose to live 10 feet from the highway…but hey, that’s me. I always laugh at the signs with the city name (which I forget) and the slogan “Land of Endless Possibilities”. The first two that come to mind are “heat stroke” and “dusty sandwiches”. Anyway, the destination has a Starbucks which normally means a clean restroom and a liquid snack… so it’s always the first stop.

I packed sandwiches but knew we would be arriving in Olancha for stop #2 and some of their famous fresh jerky. Mike loves the stuff. It’s housed in a old, rundown “used-to-be” gas station but I think it’s kinda charming in it’s own “stickered up” way. The person behind the counter always implores me to try a sample and though I gave up jerky when I gave up meat, I always show them a big, wistful smile while I say “no thank you”.

Next stop (when my liquid snack has been in me long enough) is about an hour farther on up at one of those highway rest stops. At this particular place the wind is usually blowing hard enough to make you walk bent over just to stay upright. It’s the last rest stop before Manzanar, the WWII Japanese Internment Camp so typically there are “history seeking lurkers” camped out on a picnic bench. On any normal trip, it’s me sharing the bathroom with one of them and a misguided squirrel looking for the exit. But on this Saturday, it was me and about 5 chartered buses, all full of Middle and High School teens. The line had already formed from the first bus of arrivals and I groaned very loudly as I got out of the car. I ran to get in front of the rapidly exiting, liquid overloaded, others in the parking lot. I snuck in the side less noticeable to the unobservant or unknowing traveler and found about 10 girls hugging their flat bellies. I heard a loud commotion… more a wailing sound… “I caaaaannnn’t fluuuush the toilet” and then another and another. Since no other adult (and I use the term loosely) was around, I took matters into my own hands…or rather…my feet. I went into one of the stalls and proceeded to show them that with a little patience and tenacity, the wall foot pedal would oblige… and the problem would be taken care of. I proudly heard the wooooshes going off as the intervals of understanding came into their young minds. I left with my head a little higher and the invisible “Flush Master” cape on my back. Some even waved good-bye!

Next stop, Lone Pine…the small town Ansel Adams hung around, taking photgraphs in his early years along with the Japanese Interment Camp. His Lone Pine photograph is one I always remember because he had to stipple out the big “LP” the High School kids carved into the side of the snow capped Sierras. If you ever happen to see it, look closely and sure enough, you’ll see the finely dotted letters. Lone Pine is a beautiful little town of about 1800 folks…most fisherman and hunters. I love it there and they have some really good eats! Might make a great place to retire.

Manzanar is after Lone Pine, a place I’ve sadly driven through many times… and then comes Carroll’s town, Big Pine. Now Big Pine is home to about 1200 people who wave at your car when you drive down through their homes. Yes, they have tract homes…kinda. They also have a beautiful park where the town folk walk their dogs (and kids) and they have antiques, art and weird, cool places. The people are super friendly, many being transplants from another place, like Carroll himself. At each shop I went in, I mentioned I was in town for Carroll’s Birthday. They all knew and loved him but I never got the feeling (like you get from some of the smaller towns) that there were any nosy rosies. This town minds it’s own business, probably because many are transplants, hoping for a quieter life in a beautiful place. I think they lucked out and found it! Another cool place to retire.

After walking the town, we went to Carroll’s Gallery and Helen, his girlfriend of 32 years, with long silver hair and a smile of indeterminably age, greeted us at the door. I told her we were “The People from Huntington Beach” and she lit up another grin. She went to the speaker that apparently connects to their home next door. She told Carroll we were here and he replied “I’ll be there in 10”. Sure enough, 10 minutes later, he emerged in western wear and a fancy bollo tie. Always loved bollo ties. I hadn’t see Carroll in 2 years and even then, it was only the one time, to stop in, chat and buy a painting. He looked exactly the same, maybe a bit thinner, but now sporting an air tube. Without any hesitation, he promptly blamed it on Helen, saying “She thinks she needs to keep me on a leash!”.

Now Helen was in on the surprise, but she hadn’t told Carroll the particulars, just that there was something he would enjoy. We had him sit in his rocker, handing him package by package, until finally he was rendered speechless and I’m betting, with his sharp dry wit, that doesn’t happen often. He looked up at me and said “There must be a place saved in Heaven for you… to go to all this trouble” which in turn, made me speechless. I told him “I’m merely the delivery girl” but I did present him with the photograph I took of him holding his own painting that now hangs in my living room.

He carefully read all the short bios telling him about each artist and I filled in what I could. I gave him posters from the show and told him all about the people that came. All I can say to Shiela, Jamie, Karen and Tak is that you made me a very proud women that day. Of all the things (the many great things) that happened in the short, sweet year my Gallery existed, this presentation to this wonderful man…was by far the best thing of all. Without your talent and effort, it would never have come to be. Thank you from both Carroll and myself.

From there, we were introduced to his Family, all wonderful, colorful people in their own right. His 2 sons donned the same exact “T” chin (which Carroll says is the Family trademark for Thomas). They both have the same wit as their Papa, but funny thing, he has all the hair.

Helen took me on a house tour where I saw many more originals in this talented man’s life work. Beautiful, flowing water colors, intricate oils, amazing, all amazing!

We left after the cake but I do remember Carroll telling me “The first 100 years is the hardest” and I guess he would know. He said he planned on living to 105 and that would be enough to make him content. From everything I saw, I do believe he’ll make it. He is an amazing character and one that I am so very privileged to call friend. If you ever travel on the 395 and you find yourself going through Big Pine…make the stop at the Thomas Gallery. His four new portraits now hang just inside the door along with a photograph… of he and I. 😉

IMG_4925hCP24Bctb10 ctb1actb4IMG_4860CT4Bctb5ctb7ctb6ctb8ctb9IMG_4895ctc4b

Anuvue presents MaryBeth Leonard

Posted in Art, artists, Famiiy, Friends, gallery, Honor and Remember, reception, Uncategorized on December 28, 2008 by anuvuestudio

b4blog