Saturday, August 27, 2011

He's twenty four

     I am amazed when I see my son at this age.  How can he possibly be twenty four, when I was just that age a few, short years ago?  No, it was alot longer than that, but it still puzzles me to think time has passed so quickly.
     What a fine, young man he has become.  I see things in him I never would have seen in myself.  He has more courage, more spunk than anyone I know. 
     It is nothing for him to just pick up and drive to downtown Pittsburgh on his own.  Mind you, no GPS involved.  If he asks someone to go with him, and they can't, he doesn't even seem bothered by it.  Just grabs his awesome Nikkon camera, and heads off.
     The photos of the buildings, the angles he captures are breathtaking.  It's as if he's laying there on the busy sidewalks on his back, staring up into the sky.  I learned to appreciate our town even more through his eyes.
     I don't comprehend photography.  I hate carrying a camera with me.  It is a burden I want nothing to do with.  My son carries his everywhere.  You never know when there is going to be just that perfect shot, he'll say.  Believe me, he captures things that make beautiful photographs.  Some of his work seems destined for enlarging, and framing. 
     Every few weeks we get together on a Sunday for an outing together.  I am thrilled that he wants to be with his mom, going places and seeming to enjoy the time with me.
     We went to the Aviary this year, where he proceeded to photograph all the colorful species of birds held captive in that building.   Phipps Conservatory was another place filled with photo opportunities for him.  I like walking around, taking it all in.  The burden of a camera isn't something that appeals to me. 
     I am not sure this fall, where one of our outings will take us to.  I look forward again, to seeing the world through his eyes.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

My dad

     Early this morning, my dear, sweet, eighty year old father called me before I went to work.  It is always a surprise for me hearing from him, as he hates the phone, and prefers time spent together face to face.  He is a precious human being, and sometimes he reminds me of Fred Rogers.  He has that quiet way about him, and in some ways, even resembles him.  Once, when I was little, he put a sweater on, the way Mr. Rogers did, and even sang the beautiful day in the neighborhood song.
     I spent the weekend back home with my family.  I moved away five years ago to pursue a new life and new marriage.  Even though life is new and fresh for me, I miss them so very much.  I especially miss the mornings spent with my dad.
     He had major heart surgery over twelve years ago.  When he was recovering, we would meet each morning before I went to work, and would take long walks together.  It was good therapy for his heart condition, but better therapy for me.  I learned things about him, I could never have known before.
     My father's first language was Italian.  His parents were first generation immigrants and came to this country with no knowledge of the English langauge.  I am amazed that he and his siblings learned English so well, and that his parents, my beloved grandparents, were able to speak English so well after a short time in this country.
     I laugh now, because my father hardly remembers any of his first language.  Whenever we are around Italian speaking people, he muddles through somehow, but seems very uncomfortable with it.
     He has been a tower of strength in my family's life.  Always there for us, hard-working, kind and giving.  Also quite the talented builder, for my father makes models of all types.
     When he was younger, he built classic model ships.  Huge ones filled with tiny rigging lines and small plastic parts that you had to pick up with tiny tweezers.  He has graduated into doll houses now, large, Victorian models with winding staircases and individual roof shingles, hardwood floors and tiny bricks.  Patience is one of his greatest virtues.
     I look forward to my next conversation or visit with my father.  When I grow up, I hope to be just like him.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Lunch with an old friend

     Out of my very busy day, I made time to meet with an old, dear friend.  Well, don't tell her I said that, she isn't by any means, old.  But, dear, she is.  We had worked together for the last five years, and she left the dental office we worked in together just a few, short months ago.
     Our big dilemma today was where to eat for lunch.  After kicking around pizza, Chinese, or sandwich shops, we mutually decided on Chinese food.  It was amazingly good food at that!  Why didn't I ever hear of honey glazed chicken before?  It was tender, white meat, with a light breading, and the most delectable honey sauce on top.  It left my taste buds just tingling.
     None of those fast food type Chinese places for me.  I like a good, sit-down restaurant.  We made it there a little before noon, and then it began filling up.  I will say this though, we didn't have to wait long for our service, and the food was hot and filling.
     We drove to my house afterward where we proceeded to spend the next two hours non-stop talking, catching up on one anther's lives.  I didn't realize just how much I missed my friend. 
     You see, I only lived in this town for about five years.  I left behind family and old friends to marry a man that I met later in life.  Again, don't tell him I said that, it isn't that much later.  But this dear girl, is the first true friend I made out here in what I call the big city.  
     Every day at work, I would await her humor and antics.  She sang as she put patients in the room.  She hummed when she cleaned instruments.  Life was good, and very happy in our small, dental world. 
     There was a time, she decided that the Geico gecko was the funniest little critter in the world.  She began placing pictures of the little guy everywhere, hoping I would find them and laugh.  I did.
     We took daily walks in a nearby park on our lunch hour.  We solved many a world crisis on those days.  We laughed, we cried.  We became the best of friends.
     Now my time with her is limited.  I am lucky to see her every few months.  But I am blessed to still count her as one of my dearest, dearest friends.