Archive for June, 2016

A Different Father’s Day

June 19, 2016

Robert Galloway Paull - 1915 - 16-1

My Dad is a year old here – 1915

I have very happy memories of my Dad, he taught me a lot and I have used it through out my life.  I remember his story when he was working in a small shipyard in Wilmington, California, for Dick Crank.  He dropped one of Dick’s tools in the water and really didn’t want to tell him, but knew he had to do it.  So he went to the office and said to Dick ” I am really sorry but I have dropped one of your tools over the side into the water”.    Dick told him “Thank you so much for telling me, no one else does, the tools go over the side and I have no idea it happened.”  It was a real relief to Dad because he thought Dick would yell at him.  That story stuck with me – not only being honest about things but taking responsibility for it.  I’ve had times when I have had to tell something to someone and dreaded it – sometimes they were mad, but surprisingly quite often it has turned out well.

Another thing my Dad told me was about tackling a bit project.  It certainly can be scary and overwhelming – but his advice really helped me do it.  He said to start first with the things I know how to do; then work on the things I don’t know.  Often I will find when I have done the things I know, the project is often done or almost done.  I notice I use that same type of  thinking when I am in a difficult or uncomfortable situation.  I have to talk myself through it – “OK, we just do this part first”, when that is done I say “Just focus on this part and relax, it will come together.”  Many times I hear myself say “This won’t last forever.”  It is often a situation I want someone else to take care of it, but I also know deep down that I can do it.

Every once in a while something will remind me of Dad, something he would enjoy, understand, find funny or interesting.  He had a great sense of humor and so did Mom.  We three girls have inherited from them – Dad once said you don’t have to be crazy to live in our family, but it certainly helps.  I married a man who fit in with my family, at times he says funny things and  after 47 years, I can still make him laugh.

Since Eddie has been working with Andy, it is more and more as if Andy is the son he never had.  We have been married long enough that he could be our son.  It’s interesting that Andy calls us Uncle Eddie and Aunt Lee at times – I sometimes call him Nephew.  In many ways, Eddie is as protective of him as a father and also tells him the straight scoop – Andy is not always ready to listen, but over the months he has changed some.  Eddie has no problem being the bad cop.  At this point in his life, he  doesn’t have to be diplomatic any more; nor is he about to play politics.  He spent too many years doing that.

When I was doing Ike Pono, I acquired a son Tom.  We were doing an exercise I noticed he seemed upset.  I went over to talk to him and later, I heard a voice saying “Mom.”  It was Tom and we became good friends.  The exercise had to do with parents and in his case, it was his Mom.  I said to him that his Mom would be very proud of him and filled with love – it seemed to make a difference for him.  Then there was the time when we were in a small group and working on another exercise.  One of the women was having trouble speaking her mind, so I told her “Connect with you Inner Bitch”.  They just looked at me as if they couldn’t believe I said that.  Guess I come across as quiet and ladylike at times and something like that was quite a departure from their perception.     Eddie once told me he never knew what I was going to say or do at any given time.

Eddie enjoyed being with his Dad, he didn’t nag him about things.  They had fun together, and Eddie’s only regret is that he wasn’t able to spend more time of his adult life with his Dad.  Life here is so different from where he grew up, it was hard for him to explain it to his Dad so he would understand.  Unfortunately he and Mom never took Eddie up on his offer to have them come and live here.  Dad would have done well I think, but Mom would have had a difficult time because of language and how things work here as well as not having grandchildren around.

Eddie’s down at LeMay Car Museum volunteering – to us it is just another Sunday.We both remember our parents many times during the year, not just this one day.  We were brought up very much the same – the same values, the same feeling about parents and family.  That is so important for a good marriage, though growing up in different countries and cultures has been eye-opening – sometimes it really smacks me in the face when I least expect it.  I tend to assume he thinks the same way I do because he has been here so long.

Although it is the official Father’s Day today, we both like to think of it as every day of the year and each memory of our dads bring love and warmth to us.

 

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Jammy Memories

June 12, 2016

Eddie and I were in Bartell’s the other day and I saw some Apricot-Pineapple jam from Smuckers.  It immediately reminded me of the jam Mom used to make from scratch – I loved her apricot-pineapple the best.  I had to buy it and then Eddie and I started talking about it because he loved the apricot jam his Mom made.

Smuckers

Sunday we had it for breakfast and talked about our Moms because they both enjoyed cooking and trying new things.  My Mom made a lot of jam, this is how I remember her Apricot-Pineapple:

jam apricot:pineapple

She often collect peanut butter jars, small mayo jars and often a collection of miscellaneous jars for jam.  She would cook it on the stove and add pectin and sugar – Mom and Dad were on a tight budget, so Mom did a lot of canning and preserving.  Then she would sterilize the jars and add the jam.  when it was cool, she poured a layer of paraffin on the top, then later a second layer to seal the jar.  She often had lids to put on to seal it even more.  I remember some of it was the devil to get off, it would split into pieces and then we had to dig them out.  Other times, the paraffin popped out in one piece – no delay in enjoying the jam.

We used to pick the little blackberries and sometimes we had enough for blackberry jam – often it was more likely a pie.  We had blueberries by the back porch – still do and they have a bumper crop this year – for blueberry pie and sometimes jam.  There were raspberry bushes along the side of the property and we had lots of raspberry jam.  I would go out in the morning and pick a big bowl, then late after I could do another big bowl.  We also ate berries fresh for breakfast and occasional blueberry pancakes.

Mom did a lot of canning – all three of us girls helped her.  The most uncomfortable was peaches – yes,, Mom would pour boiling on the peaches and the skins would come off easily.  The cut them in half and remove the pit and into the jar.  The problem was the peach fuzz, it got all over me and was itchy and scratchy – how could a lovely, soft and delicious peach be so uncomfortable afterward?  Tomatoes  were also done with boiling water, but no scratchy fuzz. Mom would get flats of tomatoes because she used them a lot in cooking, so it seemed there were more tomatoes than anything else.   Apricots were cut in half with pit removed and put in the jars.  The Royal Anne cherries were washed, stems removed and put into jars with syrup.The fruits had syrup added to the jars when there wasn’t any room for more fruit – I think she put a little salt and tomato juice in with the tomatoes, not sure if there was anything else.  I’m trying to remember if she tried her hand at dill pickles – that’s the trouble getting older, there are more and more memories and my mind often feels as if it is a room with over stuffed file drawers with memories spilling on to the floor.

King Kelly

This is another jammy memory.  This reminds me so much of my aunt and also when I met Eddie.  My Dad’s older sister lived in San Francisco Bay Area and I had been visiting a couple of times with Mom and Dad.  Every morning she and my uncle would have fresh squeezed orange juice, coffee and English muffins with King Kelly Orange Marmalade.  When I went down to spend a couple of weeks holiday with her in May of 1968, that was what we had for breakfast.  I met Eddie a couple of days after I arrived and we went out a lot – I remember the room I stayed in and a lot of different places in Burlingame.

It was an enjoyable time, though I had no idea it would end in going to Australia to marry him.  My life has been very interesting and educational since I married Eddie, I have learned so much, traveled to places I always wanted to go and some I am glad I went but have no desire to return.  I remember when we moved to New Jersey I couldn’t find King Kelly jam, nor any other place in the Eastern half of the U.S.   I had to buy it here when I came to see Mom and Dad and take it back with me.  Every time I have it on my toast, I think of my aunt and uncle and the times I spent with them.  It also reminds me so much of meeting Eddie for the first time and learning about him – I had never heard of an Armenian before and in 48 years, I have learned quite a lot about them.

Funny (peculiar) how something so simple can generate so many wonderful memories.

Pull Up Your Socks And Get On With It!!!

June 5, 2016

Last week was a somewhat low point for me, especially when I actually saw the wound on my right temple.  I wrote an email or two to my friend Char:

 I did have my “little flower” removed and now it is just a bandage.  He was pleased to see it is “taking”, I will see him in 2 weeks to check it.  I didn’t actually see it until this morning after I washed my hair and took off the bandage.  Ye God’s and Little Fishes!!!!!  He said it looked like a divot, but it looks more like a crater.  He said it would flatten out in time – maybe I will be more used to it soon.  However, I am glad it is healing well.  It feels so good to have clean hair at least – it has been over 10 days since I washed it last.

Oh, yes, it can be rather startling when they remove the bandage and you see the surgical site for the first time!!  Doesn’t matter what the surgery is!  Just be very thankful they got the entire melanoma removed, and focus on that, and healing.  At least you won’t require chemo, and should be able to get back to your normal life pretty soon!

 Each time I change the bandage on my temple, I am—– I don’t know what the word is that describes how I feel.  Appalled at the huge crater, upset with myself for letting it go so long, not paying attention to consequences and having trouble really facing how it looks.  I don’t know when I will feel ready to leave the bandage off, it has to look better at some point.  It is not as though I can cover it with clothes or my hair – no, it’s right there for all the world to see.  It definitely will take some getting used to, that’s for sure.  Enough of that!

Okay, now, I may shock you with this next, but I think I need to tell you:  You need to stop beating yourself up about letting that spot go for so long!!  You  definitely have had Other Things on your mind over the last 2-3 years–first with your mom, and the house and all that, and then your recovery from your accident.  So, cover it with a bandage for a while, if that makes you feel better, but eventually you will get used to how it looks, and it won’t be such a shock any more.  Has Eddie seen it yet?  That might be the first step, if he hasn’t–let him see it.   Then, some day, when you are feeling a little more comfortable with how it looks, you might show it, privately, to one of your friends.  Perhaps you could try going without the bandage some day when you are going to be home all day, with maybe just a little walk to the mailbox, or maybe just leave the bandage off overnight, which might help you get used to getting up and seeing it in the mirror without “unveiling” (which can be kind of dramatic sometimes).

I will admit it needed saying because I have been upset about the changes.  But I also know deep down how right Char is and I may have needed the kick in the tush to snap me out of feeling sorry for myself and beating myself up.  I know it is important to accept and come to terms with it – I’m still working on that.  My attitude needs to change to  “This is what it is now and it’s time to quit the “oh-poor-me-osis”, pull up my socks and get on with my life”.  I also wonder if I need some time to grieve the changes in my face – after all, I can just cover it up with clothes; it’s right out there where everyone can see.  I don’t see myself going all Veronica Lake either.

I am pleased to say I actually had a good week, feeling quite well and had some energy to do things.  I decided I would just rest and do whatever I wanted – my calendar isn’t crowded and that is what I need most.  I have decided to do the same this week – making sure I get some walking in and rest as well.  I am sleeping well and the combination of exercise and rest will help a lot.  I have also been working on seeing things in a positive way and it is starting to work.  It’s been a lifelong view and will be easier as I continue to think more positively.

I went to Wound Care on Friday – I now have my leg back.  To help with avoiding scraping my left leg with my compression socks, they put a regular knee-high on before putting on the compression.  So far so good.  I am also now able to take a proper shower again – what a delightful way to start the day.  It has been so long since I had one, I wondered if I would be able to ever do it again.  Such blissful joy!!!!

We’ve had some warm days lately and today they predict 90 – not sure about that, but Eddie didn’t have any volunteering today, so we went early to Renton to walk along the Cedar River,  He goes toward the flight line to see what 737s are there – he recognizes them with no trouble.  I went the other way and did a circle with some incline to make it more work.  Yup, it was and I was tired when I went toward the picnic tables in the shade.  One of these days I will be able to do it without getting out of breath – I am working on building my stamina slowly.  We’re glad to be home and have the doors open, though not the nice breeze we had yesterday.  It is quite pleasant and we may bring up the fan later.

Some very sad news this morning, Sonia – our nice in Toronto called early to tell Eddie her Dad died.  Eddie’s sister Tako just came out of surgery on Monday and now suddenly her husband is gone.  He has been ill for quite a while, though he seemed to be doing well when Eddie talked to him last Saturday.  Sonia and Raouf are going to Jerusalem today or tomorrow, the funeral is on Tuesday.  Eddie isn’t able to get away and is sorry he won’t be there.

I didn’t plan to end this on a sad note.


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