11–15 of 15 entries from the month of: October 2013

Phoenix

October 10th

A few photos from a walk near my office this week:

A walk around Phoenix

A walk around Phoenix

A walk around Phoenix

A walk around Phoenix

A walk around Phoenix

A walk around Phoenix

A walk around Phoenix

A walk around Phoenix

A walk around Phoenix

A walk around Phoenix

A walk around Phoenix

~K

Posted in
Arizona
Comments (2)

Thank you

October 9th

I snapped a few photos this week to remind me of Wenard:

Wenard

Wenard

Wenard

Wenard

JB was their beloved pound puppy who died last year. SB is by gram. LC was Wenard. T is their last initial. This is the step into his workshop. 

Thank you all for your kind words and messages. We were very, very lucky to have Wenard in our lives for 25-plus years. Several other friends have lost grandparents this week; it seems this is the season of life for many of us. How blessed we are to have had these elders for so much time!

WIth love,

Kelli

 

Posted in
Blessings
Comments (2)

The Birds Sing

October 7th

Ivy climbing up a tree

A week ago, my grandmother’s husband and sweetheart of more than 25 years died unexpectedly. Leonard was a carpenter. He was also a southerner, a pipe smoker, a father, grandfather, sibling and former preacher. He fell in love with my grandmother like a teenage boy, even though he was well into his 50s when she knocked his world off kilter.

He loved her. Loved her, loved her.

I remember one of their first Christmas’ together, he surprised her with a Gucci watch she’d long wanted. We were all there when she opened the gift, quickly attaching the gold G around her wrist and beaming with pride. He’d purchased exactly what she wanted. It was the rare moment of emotion from my British granny — one etched on my teenage brain.

Looking back on that holiday, I can only imagine how annoying and complicated it was for this man to go to a department store to buy that silly watch. Leonard, or “Wenard” as my brother and I lovingly referred to him, was anything but fancy. His daily uniform was worn blue jeans, a white, front pocket Hanes t-shirt and a wide smile. He had a dusty workshop at their house, where he would escape for hours. (That shop produced my beloved hope chest, and our family dinner table, among other cherished gems.)  He loved both gardening and dogs. And he could talk about the Bible like he’d written it himself.

One summer day, my brother and I were at their house, nestled between a few remaining farms and encroaching stucco suburbia. He had just planted a sapling in the front yard, and asked us to help him with some yard work. He warned us to watch for that new baby tree as we mowed the yard.

Of course, perhaps foretelling my future driving abilities, I ran right over the sapling on accident. My brother and I both felt miserable. Wenard was nothing but sweet to us, and here I had done the one thing he’d asked me not to because I simply wasn’t paying attention. By grace or luck, the tree survived. During the next two decades, Wenard would point at the tree and laugh.

“Remember that day you mowed right over her?” He would smile and we would chuckle.

Wenard should have known better than to buy my first car. Charlotte the AMC Hornet was shiny and old and in the driveway on my 16th birthday, because he and my gram wanted me to have a car.

Last week, I drove quickly to that same house to find my grandmother, after hearing the Wenard had died of a heart attack. (Thankfully, it happened when he was doing carpentry outside of their home. My gram, who doesn’t think as clearly today as she once did, got the news from two police officers.) In shock, I drove from work, unsure of what to expect.

Painfully, it was my first visit to their home since returning to Arizona several months ago. I hadn’t seen Wenard in months. Powerful, ugly guilt made it suddenly hard to swallow. I thought of all the things I’d done instead of making that drive to spend time with them. Hiking. Movies. Dinner with friends. Sleeping in. There were too many excuses. Tears of shame fell as I drove. I cried for how sorry I was I hadn’t had one last Wenard hug, those always tinged with the scent of Old Spice and pipe smoke. I prayed for him to forgive me.

When I arrived at the house, I walked to the front door, passing the little tree that could. Today, it stands 20 feet tall, and that morning with my cheeks still wet, it was full of birds. There wasn’t another bird in another tree for a hundred miles. Wendard’s tree had them all. And they were singing.

That tree was more alive than I’d ever seen it, and in that moment full of grace and forgiveness that felt like a cool breeze, I knew.

He was okay.

He understood why I hadn’t visited.

Now, we had to care for my grandmother.

As he’d always promised her, he’d done his very best until his very last day.

We will miss you, Wenard. You were a great man, and your kindness will long live on. I love you very much. Thank you for being a wonderful grandfather!

~K

Posted in
Blessings
Comments (21)

One Community: October

October 5th

One Community is a monthly photo project in which participants photograph their homes and communities with a theme in mind. The theme varies by month. The goal is to both showcase similarities and differences in our communities worldwide – and bring us all closer together in understanding through art.

Each month, one of the hosts picks four words for us to interpret through photographs of what we see around us in our daily lives. Starting this month, we’re opening this project up to anyone who would like to participate!  We would love to have you join us! The link-up will begin on October 5th and stay open for one week.

The Rules:  Post one or more photos interpreting the words for the month, and add your blog post to the link-up.  Please include a link back to the link-up post on your One Community post, and take a look at some of the other links and comment on them.  This link-up is all about buildingcommunity!

Kara from Sunshine Cupcakes chose the words for October. They are: Plant(s), Bake, Orange and Activity

Plant:

Stary Aloe

I am in love with succulents right now, to the crazy point of joining several succulent-related Pinterest boards. This planter could work just about anywhere. (I’m thinking patio wall edges.) And how about this planter’s stand? Lovely!

Bake:

One Community: October

It is still too warm in Phoenix to be baking much, but baked casseroles for dinner count. Right? This is the standard Donley family green chile chicken enchiladas. Delicious, but way better day 2.

Orange:

One Community: October

It is the time for pumpkins. So glad these made the cross-country moves without being harmed!

Activity:

One Community: October

We went to a Coyotes game this week — the first of the season. We were treated not only to freezing cold temperatures, but also a hat trick. It was so fun!

~K



 

 

Posted in
Arizona, Community, Photography
Comments (4)

Happy Fall, Y’All! xoxo, WNM

October 1st

Happy October

Happy October

Pattern found here. Dog: one of a kind.

Happy October

~K

Posted in
Domestic Art, Handmade goods, Nelson
Comments (8)