My parents visited us here in Ohio for about a week -- they were here through Easter -- basically hanging out with their grandkids and watching a lot of basketball on the telly. At least, it seemed like a lot of basketball to me. We're not exactly the watching basketball kind of family. Unlike my sisters' families and, it would appear, the entire state of Kansas, where following basketball is akin to a religious exercise. The "Bible Belt"? Pshffshaw. More like the Basketball Belt.
Anyhoo. Olivia also gave them an earful, no surprise there. I wrote down a few of the more choice comments she made, otherwise known as Open Mouth, Insert Olivia's Foot.
"Grandpa, don't you ever close your eyes when I'm counting on you to color with me!"
"Grandpa, you have hair in your nose."
Grandma tells Olivia, who wants her to hit a balloon around with her, "First I need to make a call to someone in Kansas." Olivia exclaimed, "Kansas? Is there somebody there besides you?!"
"Hey, that's not the Easter Bunny! I can see the zipper on its back!"
Sheesh. Good thing her grandparents love her.
Besides basketball watching and laughing over Olivia's quips, my mom and I also got a little shopping in. Ohio is a haven for antique markets, but I had yet to actually get out and visit any. Oh, woe me. We only got to one, The Treasure Barn in downtown Dayton, where I salivated over all the finds that seemed like such amazing deals to me after my last antiquing experience in Europe where the dollar continues to weaken by the second. But I managed to come away with only one purchase, what I call "The Anywhere Chair", which John immediately made fun of and said it looked like something that belonged in the Brady Bunch.
It's not perfect, for pete's sake. But it's not fugly, either. Is it? I mean, someday I can get this $10 chair reupholstered and it will look like something I found in an old chalet outside Paris, right?
There was fun in the sand. Wait, this looks familiar.Ah, yes. Here they were, almost two years ago now, at Lignano Beach in Italy, on the Adriatic. *sigh*
But back to the Gulf.
Sean-Peter was happiest when he had fistfuls of sand.Or was just crawling around in it. But wait, I feel some more nostalgia coming on.He used to have this thing with literally sticking his head in the sand.Peek-a-boo!He was happiest with fistfuls of sand then, too.
But for some inexplicable reason he also insisted on dumping loads of it onto his face. He always seemed so surprised.
But not too upset overall. Wasn't he so cute?
Okay, if I keep walking down memory lane I'm never going to get this post done.
Sean-Peter did eventually get braver near the water. He just needed a little encouragement.I call that my melanoma hat.
Olivia helped him along, too.When I saw them holding hands I decided it was too adorable to not turn this into a photo-op.
"Get a load of that guy!"
And we toured the U.S.S. Alabama in Mobile Bay.
...until they started chasing him. Then he got a little confused and didn't know which way to go.So he sought refuge with his brother.Conner comforted them, "Come on, let's just look at the water."But wait, what's that?"An alligator! And it's coming closer!Run for your lives! Aw, that's better. Now we're safe. Them's big guns.
John and Ed used to work together, sort of, back in Vegas. Last time we saw Ed and Cory they were young and carefree and without a worry in the world.
I love this picture of Olivia. I must have taken a dozen just like this, of her running to the waves ready to jump into them and then running back so carefree before gearing up to go again.
To me, this is what the beach is all about.
At least for punks. That water is cold in April. I'll just stand by and watch and take pictures, thank you very much.
When we returned to Ohio we found Spring waiting here for us: the same temperatures we had enjoyed down south, but without the humidity. Oh, folly! for it lasted but a few, gorgeous go-outside days before Winter reared its ugly head again, "I'm ba-ack!"
I'm actually sitting here (and trying to finish this godforsaken post already) in front of a fire, for pete's sake, with a forecast telling me there's a chance of snow showers and a hard frost in our future. Good thing I haven't had the wherewithal to plant those flowers Olivia has been pining for.
I personally envision my immediate future full of painting a seemingly infinite number of walls and baseboards and cupboards and doors whilst learning therapy techniques from Sean-Peter's new speech pathologist ... and adjusting to John's absence after leaving for SOS this morning.
What, you thought he already took SOS? Silly you. That was the correspondence course. Not the same thing at all. I don't have any idea why anyone would think it was. Ridiculous, really. To think that you wouldn't need to go take the course in-residence after already completing it online. I don't know what would give you that idea. It makes perfect
military sense to take it twice. Really, it does.
So I'll be holding down the fort here for about five weeks while John is down playing war games back in the nether regions. Neither role is going to be a piece of cake. I just got an email from John as I've been (finally) wrapping this up, and he has arrived and checked in and discovered that he has a full-up mini apartment with a regular kitchen and everything as opposed to the run-of-the-mill hotel room and bath like most of the others. He already knew he was probably going to be the senior old fart there with his date of rank, going in so late in the game like he is. But seeing his accomodations confirmed to him that "they're going to really stick it to me good".
Aw, sweetness. You might actually wish you were in my shoes for once.
If only my shoes were still at the beach.