Monday, August 27, 2007

Dogs and Family

Greg is off at a conference and my little brother's wife is off for work, so we hung out and had dinner together. Me, BCD and his two dogs: Maggie and Zach. Zach growls when he's getting the petting and strokes he likes. Maggie is only a year old and is still very much a puppy. I have fun with Zach, the old grouch and take time to train Maggie. She seems to like discipline.

I had hoped to get a view of Maggie singing as she did for You Tube, but she was feeling shy tonight.

BCD and I chatted about the family - I think partly as we had just had the cousin convention. We could see patterns of behavior and how specific people's behavior caused ripples that cascade out through our generation.

Just yesterday I was reflecting on some of my own patterns of thought. It occurred to me that I don't like to lose, give-up or reject people who may or may not be contributing much to my life any more. Many times I've been asked, "Why are you friends with her/him/them?".

It took a while, but I finally have a response: "Because Jenny Gelb and Anna Moore were mean to me when we were in grade school." I was sleeping over at one of their houses and I clearly recall being asked to find fault with another girl in our class. "Tell me what you don't like about Shiera."

Nearly 30 years later the scars are still visible - I cling on to old friends, as I do my Dukes of Hazard Lunch box. And I can be wickedly petty - Just give me another chance, Jenny Gelb, I can answer your query about Shiera. Have I spent 25 years practicing and honing my response?

Now that is just in my life. With BCD we can inspect the familial ripples. Our big question, what happened to our family matriarch. Where did she get the mean streak that ties into her obsession with people's weight? What happened? Her comments needle 2 generations and it is possible that it will linger in other ways on her 3rd.

More reason to stick to the light. Focus on love. Be grateful. Prefer silence to apologies. Harsh words linger.


The new home has been a doubling as a hotel for a few weeks. We've had two Scotsmen, 1 Californian and my beloved Cousin Nathan come visit in the last six weeks.

Thankfully, our couch is quite comfortable, as our guests can choose between it and our air mattress. Not that glamorous, but I'm happy to host. So far, everyone has been quite generous with their appreciation for our limited hosting resources.

The most recent visit was Cousin Nate. Nathan takes advantage of his position as a Delta pilot by spending most of his time traveling. I believe he is down in Rio now enjoying the Latin lifestyle. His sense of humor matches mine - thinking of him make me laugh, well, in a good way.

Nathan wasn't the only cousin visiting. This summer Dania is doing an internship with a large international back and so is living in San Francisco with her husband Chris. The Kansas City Cousins, David & Lauren flew out to join in the fun. Brothers & Sisters-in-Law made themselves available for social activities. Dad and Cathy put on a LOVELY lunch - with yummy, yummy food that had me forgetting my current diet. The Cousin Crew hopped on the noon ferry from San Francisco up to Sausalito for the lunch. Unlike most August San Francisco days, we were totally without fog. Having had some bone chilling ferry rides in the past, I pushed Greg to bring a coat. However, he ended up carrying the coat and sporting a sunburn... oops.

The next day a limited Cousin Crew (Dania, David, Nathan, Lauren and myself) did a march from Crissy Fields to the Golden Gate Bridge. Chrissy Fields started out as a grass landing field and served as a military landing area for several decades. The last decade, they pulled out the airfield and restored the natural habitat. I have a few memories from childhood of watching air shows from there - the cousins were amazed, looking at the green grass, lagoon and restored habitat.

Monday I had scheduled a day off and enjoyed time with Lauren & David. We went down to the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. I was entranced by a photography exhibit by Martin Munkacsi. Go check it out - just amazing photos. I went back last week with my mother to have more time to enjoy the photos. Later in that visit, we found another stunning piece. Anthony McCall built a magical experience out of smoke and light called You and I, Horizontal. The title doesn't match the work.

After they left, things at the loft quieted down. Greg and I have been focusing on this new endeavor. More on that later.