Locked in my heart –

Chuck & Janet-11-27-2003Quote: “You are locked in my heart.  The key has been lost.  You must stay there forever.”  Frau Ava

This morning I went to Huntington Beach at the end of Brookhurst Avenue.   Five years ago today we had a memorial service for my brother, Chuck, in the same area after he passed away.   I’ve gone down to the same area every year since then just to remember and honor Chuck in my own way.  I sit and read, take a few pictures of the water, sand, birds, and shells.  I’ll even pick up a few shells like I did that morning five years ago and add them to a small jar on my kitchen window sill.  A couple of times I’ve stopped at the cemetery and left a shell or two for Chuck.

I’ve often wondered if anyone else in the family or if any of his friends have done anything similar.  I’ve never invited anyone because I like the solitude and being alone with my thoughts and memories.  Well, I did bring Nick along one time but had to keep shushing him because he didn’t “get it” – it wasn’t the time to chat.   As I’ve sat on the beach I’ve notice a couple guys who are about Chuck’s age and wonder if they’re there to remember him as well.   This morning, one guy even removed his ball cap and scratched his bare head in a manner very similar to Chuck’s.  I almost went over to ask but decided not to intrude on his quiet time.

After taking pictures this morning, I sat and read while enjoying the warmth of this January morning in Southern California.  I think an angel tapped me on the shoulder to make me look up when I did because there was a small group of dolphins passing at that exact moment.  Thanks Chuck There were only 4 or 5 that I could see and I only got a couple of pictures that are so-so.  But I couldn’t help but whisper “Thanks, Chuck” when I saw them.  I know it’s romantical but for me the dolphins make me think of Chuck playing in the water with Mom  & Dad.  I smiled and teared up at the thought that they were together and came by to say hello to me on the beach.  I actually think of them like that whenever I see dolphins offshore but especially today.

They are locked in my heart.  And the key is lost.  They must stay there forever.

Mary

 

Munch’s trip to Disneyland on Dad’s Birthday

Juat a cute Munchkin

Just a cute Munchkin

A new friend has started joining us on our journey’s.  Her name is Munch and she is special for two reasons.  First,  our daughter’s favorite animal is an Okapi.  She saw one at the SD Animal Park and it just so happens our new travel friend is an Okapi.  Second, when Kim was a toddler, her Grandma Waldau once affectionately called her a “munchkin” .  It stuck and became her nickname.  In her early teens, she said she was too old to be called Munchkin, but after some thought said I could still call her “Munch” if I wanted.  Well, many years later and here we are…a stuffed Okapi called Munch who travels with us on our special trips.  Enjoy Munch’s journeys……

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Credit for this idea came from a friend’s blog, Scent Weakly, Check it out.

Waldau Oktoberfest 2008

Written by Mary –
My family has been celebrating Oktoberfest for many years. This tradition started because my father’s birthday was in October and he loved both beer and German sausages. Even though he’s been gone a couple of years now we still get together to celebrate and have some good family fun. We gathered at my sister‘s, Rosi, home in Anaheim – which happens to be the house we grew up in. Our menu included several different bratwurst, deer sausage, several kinds of rolls, Mary’s split pea soup, potato salad, Rosi’s potato pancakes, Swedish lox & mustard from Marianne Verge, applesauce, Suzee’s potato casserole, Suzanne’s desserts, beer and margarita’s (another family tradition). After eating from our fabulous spread, we worked off some of the calories by doing the chicken dance, the Macarena, and line dancing to Achy Breaky Heart. Some of the men ended the evening with cigars in the back yard. Overall, it was a fun day made more special by all the extended family that attended. We left looking forward to the next time we can get together and celebrate being a family.
 
 

 

 

Greetings!

I’m brand new to this blogging stuff so I’m not sure where to start.  I just reached the “golden side” of life.  There’s no way I feel old enough to be 50!  Since I’m the youngest of eight kids I know there’s always someone older than me and my age number has never bothered me.  I’ll be adding comments, pictures, and whatever else comes to mind as I learn which direction I want my blogging to take me – and you.

Celebrating My Aunt’s Birthday, An Ode To An Octogenarian

Whoa, Now that's a good lookin babe
Now that’s a good lookin woman

On Sunday, October 5th, a bunch of close friends and family gathered together at the FoxFire Restaurant for the celebration of my aunt Mary’s 80th birthday.  This was an event worth remembering.  We gave my aunt (Eha for those of us who know her well), a roast worth remembering.  We followed her life from the really early days, to the rememberings of a pre-teen nephew, to the rich memories of her wonderful, son, friends, sister and life in general.  My aunt has truly led the life from which movies are made.  She has hobnobbed with the rich and famous, traveled around the world,  met interestng people and still maintained the closeness to family that makes it all worth it.  Just a few pictures of the celebration are offered here at EHA, by my photographer wife, Mary.  Enjoy the various shots and pretend you were there.  Many of us, including her son, sister and friends took turns providing our most precious memories of our times with a great person.  We even took the opportunity to explain the origin of my aunt’s real name, EHA, the best verbal efforts by her first nephew trying to vocalize Thea (aunt in Greek).   I cannot recommend more the FoxFire Restaurant,  the sunday buffet was loaded with selection and the food was delicious.  The service was friendly and attentive making the day that much more special for my aunt.  This was a day that brought back the happy memories of youth created by a woman that has always been part of my life.  I cannot remember a holiday or special time that my aunt did not attend.  Eha, thanks for helping me become who I am today and letting me share in your special day.  What would we do without family…..

Kim Earns Her Third Stripe!

Watch out world, here I come!

Watch out world, here I come!

Yes everyone, it’s official.  As of October 2nd, almost at the end of her first tour of duty in Iraq, Kim has been promoted to a Sergeant! She has been looking forward to this for some time.  Here are the pictures of the event directly from Iraq.  Eventually her feet will get back on the ground and she will find her next focus.  You just never know where she will put her efforts next.  She has worked very hard and lately, every time we would get in touch with her, she always had to get back to her books to get ready for the “boards”.  We are all very proud of her accomplishment and wish her the best.  It’s hard to believe she has been in the Army for just over three years.  She has spent time in Missouri, Arizona, Germany and now Iraq.  When she finishes in Iraq this November, she will go back to Germany for a few months and then be reassigned to a station in Colorado.  It will be nice to have her back in the states and closer to home (and family).

Nicely done Sergeant Stavros…….We love you (and keep safe!)