Wednesday, December 17, 2008

We'll Miss You

Our family lost a very special someone on Monday.

My grandfather -- Lily and Eve's great-grandfather -- passed away at a hospital on Long Island. He was 87 years old. When I think of Grandpa, the very first thing that comes to mind is how he'd have us cousins lining up every Christmas for that photo session at the kitchen table. Year after year, we'd all stand in our spots. (Or in the early years, sit on the table...) I also think of the videos. The big old camera set up on the stairs. Each person opening their present and showing it to the camera. I recall being rather ... impatient as a child. But those were good times and we'll always have the memories -- and the photos and videos -- to remember them by.
I also distinctly recall a swimming tube ... on Grandpa's head. At Tupper Lake. For those of you who don't remember, or never met or saw him ... this would be the tube in question. On his head. And if memory serves me, there were other funny head-pieces that he sported over the years. I only have the picture of the one. Looks like he ought to be steering a boat down a canal in Venice or something, doesn't it?

Before he was a grandfather, or a great-grandfather, Grandpa was a soldier. My father and brother followed in his footsteps and served in the armed forces as well. My brother is currently in the Marines. The three of them got together last year before my brother shipped out to Iraq and chatted about many things, but the one that will always stick out in my mind was ... them chatting about an old firearm.

We are going to miss Grandpa, especially around Christmas. But I am immensely glad that he got the chance to meet Lily and Eve and that we captured the moments on camera. Here he is with one of the girls, and Grandma with the other. And yes, I'm admitting it, I have no idea who they are holding...

We know he's in a great place now and someday we'll all meet again. For now, we'll have to content ourselves with memories, photographs and stories.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Ice storm and Ice cream

They're calling it the worst ice storm the Capital Region has seen in 21 years, and I would have to agree with that assessment. We got pretty lucky, I guess, since they projected up to 1 1/4 inches of ice for our region and I think we came out with at most one inch. Albany got blasted with closer to two inches. Here are a few pictures the day after the storm:

First, I have to do my artsy ice coating pictures. The first, a leaf and the surrounding grass. Each blade of grass was encased in ice and you could pick up the leaves like mini-ice sculptures.

I thought the dog leash encased in ice was another neat picture...

This is our driveway, covered in downed pine tree branches. More came down to the right and blocked half the road in front of our neighbors' house. A tree also fell across the street in the park and landed on a power line and there was a downed line right across from our house.

These branches snapped off our neighbors' tree and if the fence hadn't been there, might have landed on Eric's car. We were pretty lucky that they didn't actually hit it, you can see how close they got though...

In the backyard, five or six branches came off another pine tree and landed on the back of the garage and the pool. Thankfully, the pool isn't in use nor will it ever be in use, so it isn't really damage we are unhappy about. We're going to eventually take it down anyway.

And now, for the "ice cream" partof the post. I put up the video of the girls eating their ice cream. Here is the happy aftermath: First up is Lily and second is Eve.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

We did it!

I'm a little short on time, but I wanted to post this video I took tonight.

The girls finally figured it out -- how to feed themselves with a spoon. Okay, okay, so it was only ice cream and when we give them a spoon and "real food" they just give up on the spoon and eat with their fingers. But this was too cute to pass up!