Sunday, November 14, 2010

Couples Pinochle Awards Banquet

Rich and I belong to a few card groups in our wonderful neighborhood, one of which consists of twenty couples plus subs. Once a month from February through October we play single deck pinochle with three other couples. Each couple hosts two or three times a year and we play different couples each month. In November we all gather for our annual awards banquet.

Our friends Jack and Nance started this club twelve years ago and we joined it the second year. Awards are made for high game of the season, highest score each month, and the top ten overall total scores for the season. The pair with the lowest overall total score is awarded funny hats which they must wear the rest of the evening. Here are Jack and Nance hosting the awards banquet this past Thursday evening...

Phyllis and Pat teamed up after losing their husbands and this year took last place, hence the hats. Aren't they just the loveliest last place holders you've ever seen?
And here are some shots of the rest of the group...

How did we place? In the money!!! We had the fourth highest overall total scores for the year...our best showing yet if I remember correctly. The important thing about winning this year is that the prize money will buy enough gas to drive nearly 90 miles in the motorhome...tee hee!

Lovin' Life ~~ Good Times, Good Scores!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

A Day to Honor

In all the years that I have honored all veterans in thought on this day, especially those amazing men in my immediate family, I did not know how the date was selected. Logging onto the "net" this is what I learned...

Veterans Day is celebrated on 11th November, the anniversary of signing of Armistice that finished World War I. The main hostilities of World War I were properly finished at 11th hour of 11th Day of 11th Month of 1918 with German signing of the Armistice. An Act (52 Stat. 351; 5 U. S. Code, Sec. 87a) permitted 13th May , 1938, made 11th of November in every year an authorized holiday; "a day to be dedicated to the cause of world peace and to be thereafter celebrated and known as 'Armistice Day'."

Those of us who are of a certain age [read OLD] remember when this holiday, along with a few others, was mandated to be held on Mondays...fortunately that hare-brained idea was short lived.

So today, I again honor the men in my life who served in the United States Army. My dad retired as a full-time employee and member of the Illinois National Guard. He enlisted in the Guard years after his World War II Army service had ended and remained there until he retired.

Rich, MOAO, served in Korea ~~ he's quite the handsome devil in that uniform.

My brothers, Wayne and Tom, served in the Army too. Since both are younger than I, I didn't think of either of them as adults until I saw them in uniform. Of course, they're still my pesky little brothers!

My mom has all four of these photos proudly displayed in the hall right outside the door of her apartment where all of her neighbors can admire them.

Lovin' Life ~~ Honoring Service

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

A Chicago Birthday Experience

Yesterday was a magical day for me! For my birthday in July the kids gifted me a Chicago carriage ride. Rich and I had just decided to move our Seattle trip up and were leaving in little more than a week so decided to wait and enjoy this gift when the weather was more suited to my taste and we had time to truly relax and enjoy it, rather than scheduling it between trips.

I love the city...
     I love the architecture...
          I love the skyline...
               I love the lake...
                    I love the energy...
                         I love the sore neck I invariably get from craning to look up at the magnificent buildings...

Well, maybe not so much that last one! And the weather was perfect yesterday...sunny with temps in the 60s!

As you would expect, I took lots of photos. As you would hope (haha) I'm only going to post a few here. The Sears Willis Tower on the left with other magnificent Chicago buildings and Navy Pier which has always been so much fun, especially when experienced with the grands.

Grabbing a quick lunch in the upstairs cafe at Borders provided a great view of the little park surrounding the Water Tower. Rich reminded me about the lovely (for me, frigid for her) December day we spent with Sandee, strolling along Michigan Avenue nearly two years ago when she and Shawn were in town, staying at a hotel near here for his work Christmas party.

Here at the corner of Michigan and Pearson is where we met our carriage.

The ride through the city was such a treat. We saw many well-known restaurants and the Hancock building and Tavern on Rush...

...but the best part was the slow pace along some residential streets allowing us the opportunity to truly appreciate the unique characteristics of each home and marvel at the lack of parking. I cannot imagine life without a vehicle or any way to park one on my property...a curiously fascinating lifestyle to someone like me who is accustomed to the open spaces of small towns and suburbs.

How about this next sight?!?! Do you remember the famous 1999 Chicago Cows on Parade? This is one of the 300 artistically painted Cows that appeared all around the city. This one is named Lady Bug and it remains where it was originally installed for the event all those years ago. We would never have noticed this if we had been driving on this street in a car. In an open carriage, however, so much more is visible and the gentle pace allows one to take it all in.
All too soon though, this magical experience came to an end. Rich took this final photo of me in the carriage; our driver, Adam; and his horse, Fredo.

Just two more shots, indulge me please. Before leaving the city, Rich drove past Trump Tower and the Sears Willis neck will recover in time...tee hee
Thank you so much Sandee, Shawn, Jackson, Dylan, and Shelby for this gift of experiencing Chicago in such a magical way!
Lovin' Life ~~ Magical Gifts and Time to Enjoy Them

Monday, November 8, 2010

A Birthday Masterpiece

One of the gifts from the grandkids when we celebrated Rich's birthday at their house last month was a 3-D puzzle of the Empire State Building. Knowing how much we love seeing landmark buildings and that we have been there, Jackson selected this gift. All three of the kids had chosen such perfect gifts for their that showed how well they know and love him. Dylan gave him a set of LED lights that clip onto the bill of any baseball hat and Shelby gave him items personalized with the letter G, for Grandpa of course!

Marianne, Greg, and Jenny were here for dinner yesterday and afterward, Rich got out the puzzle so we all sat around the dining room table chatting, laughing, and assembling the Empire State Building. As Rich was punching the pieces out, I started the assembly. No it's not the Leaning Tower of New York...just be patient, it will soon be righted. I did however pass along the project for assembly by all.

Greg and Jenny both took a turn, well actually, Greg was coaching both me and Jenny during our stints...quite effectively I might add.

Here is Marianne during her shift on the assembly line...

And, yes, we did let Rich in on the process occasionally. It's the least we could do; after all, it was his gift!

Here it is...the finished Empire State Building and the much loved Grandpa!
Lovin' Life ~~ Bev

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Our Children...So Young and Beautiful

Where has the time gone? Since we stopped traveling, I haven't posted at all. It's been difficult to shift gears from the wealth of material in my camera when we're on the road to more routine activities at home. Not that there haven't been some MAJOR activities...Pauline's 98th birthday; all my siblings and their families gathering in our hometown for Halloween weekend; and several hours spent visiting with my high school BFF for the first time in a couple of years.

When home, I've been rummaging through and reorganizing years worth of photos online. This evening, I'm posting here a couple of favorites out of the treasure trove of photos that I'm working my way through.

One of hundreds of Mom's photos that my baby brother has spent untold hours scanning (let's hear it for Tom!), this photo was taken at my folk's house in February 1976. My 16 year old little sister, Barb, is holding my 3 1/2 year old daughter, Sandee; my 8 1/2 month old son, Greg; and my 1 1/2 year old niece, Amber, who is the daughter of my brother, Wayne, and his wife, Mary. They are all so adorable!

The following photo, taken in October 2004 shows our precious grandkids apparently having a blast getting their portrait taken at home in their pjs. Jackson would have been five, Shelby was one, and Dylan was three. Just look at those beautiful, happy faces!
These are two great examples of why I think it's worth every hour I spend taking and managing photos; it's why I am so grateful to Tom for spending all those hours scanning Mom's photos; and it's why I plan to spend much of this winter scanning and organizing all my pre-digital photos.

Plan on seeing many more Yesterday photos/posts as I continue Meandering through the years in photos.

Lovin' Life ~~ The Photographic Record