Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Bridging Generations

I often wonder how my parents would have embraced their adult grandsons - aside from with gusto, that is.

Mom was able to greet and know each of them shortly after they came into the world but she passed away when Alex was a year and a half, and Jeffrey was soon to turn five. My sister has two beautiful daughters, both of whom our mother knew and adored - her firstborn grandchild and her last. All four of her darlings lost Nanny from their lives much too early.

Dad was a favourite uncle to many of his nieces and nephews, friends' young children, neighbourhood kids and the many little tykes who frequented his store. He was enchanted by children and often made it his duty to collect a smile, giggle or full-out belly laugh, mindless of anything else that might be going on at the time (like a mouthful of pablum). It's one of my saddest regrets that Dad passed away before any of his grandchildren were born.

When I look at the men that my boys have become, I know that the two of them would evoke enormous pride in both of my parents, yet there would also be pause for concern.

Jeffrey is a soldier and third year student at RMC (Royal Military College) in Kingston, Ontario. One day, all too soon, his training and education will lead him to a foreign country where, as an Officer, he will be expected to lead his men and women safely through their dangerous missions. I don't need to explain the mix of emotion.

If the adult Jeffrey were to walk into my father's store of thirty-five years ago, my Dad would give him a hearty, excited handshake which would immediately evolve into a warm hug. He'd claim him as his boy and he'd make sure that he was introduced to all of his regular customers as such. He'd be bursting with pride. Dad also had a military history during the time of the second world war, but he was never sent overseas, having developed diabetes in adulthood. He would have felt that kinship with Jeffrey and possibly a sense of satisfaction that his boy would be living out one of his dreams. He'd love the logic of Jeffrey's thoughts and the confidence with which he expresses them. He'd be proud of his achievements, and hungry to hear the stories that Jeffrey will have accumulated over the years. They might share their respective memories under the stars.

My mother would be taken with Jeffrey's accomplishments but like her daughter, her pride would struggle with worry when she'd pause to consider what the world has in store for our boy. So she'd fuss over his hair, snip a loose thread on his uniform and ask right out loud if they feed him well and if he's dressed warmly enough. Nanny would marvel at how well-spoken he is and how he carries his smallish frame with a soldier's confidence. She'd be impressed by the wide range of weapons and strategies he has learned to employ. She'd wonder how he grew from a sweet, gentle, humourous, inquisitive, socially-conscious child into a soldier. Then she would think about it some more, and she would realize that he's still exactly that boy. She'd absorb his every word about his world views but she'd want to hold his solid body, and protect him from danger. She'd fear the day he'll be deployed. She wouldn't be alone.

Alex is a budding musician. He first laid his hands on a guitar about four years ago, and it's been as if his fingers instantly meshed with the strings. My son and his guitar will never part. He looks the role of the metal head musician, with his waist-long blonde hair and bearded chin, and his chosen uniform of jeans and black t-shirts, which display his favourite metal bands' logos. He looks exactly like the kind of customer who, if entering my Dad's store, would have made my father's radar beep. He would assume the worst about this boy. Perhaps deem him as a drug-user. "You know - the kind who buys cigarettes AND rolling papers." He might even try to shoplift something. Dad would keep a steady eye on him. But of course, that's not Alex. My Dad's grandson doesn't smoke, and I don't believe he's rolled too many joints, and he certainly wouldn't steal. He's a bright, engaging, very funny and talented guy, and my Dad would probably chide him constantly about his "girly hair" while encouraging him to play a lick for anyone who'd listen. A sense of humour is the bridge which would connect them immediately. They share a look in their eyes which deceives their attempt to pull one over on you. At the core of both men, lies a loving, light-hearted, playful child.

Upon meeting Alex at eighteen, my mother would first be struck by how much he physically resembles his grandfather. Tall, lanky and smiling blue eyes. Her own eyes would fall to his hands and she'd remark that he has a musicians long, slender fingers. She used to say that even when he was a chubby baby. She was right. Alex acquired his musical talent from his Nanny who played piano quite well. It is her piano which now sits in my living room, and I have little doubt that one day it will find its home with Alex. Mom would love Alex's humour and marvel at his talents. He's quite artistic and that came from her creative genes. She'd want to like his choice of music, and so she'd find a way to make it sound appealing to her, by focusing on his fancy finger work. She'd want to feed him and talk to him about his dreams, and caution him about the dangers he may encounter in the world. She'd melt in his hugs.

As I think about how my mother only knew her grandkids as very young children, and how my father never knew them at all, I realize that as a Mom of 53, my young sons may not have children of their own at a time that would allow me to know them as adults either. I would hope that one day, they would portray what they would imagine were my thoughts and feelings to my grandchildren about who they have become.

And while my boys are at it, I hope they know every day just how supremely proud I am of both of them.

Morning and late afternoon to early evening walks always bring out the best colours of the day. Below are a few photos taken during some of those walks over the past few weeks. Please click to enlarge the photos. If you use Firefox, it seems we now have to click twice - once to get the image in a separate window, then wait for the magnifying glass to appear and click again.

One gray afternoon after driving through patches of rain, a brilliant rainbow greeted us upon our arrival. (Please click, and then click again to enlarge)

As long as the weather remains reasonably mild, we tend to see the Great Blue Heron at some point during our morning walk. Seconds earlier, this one was on the near side of the creek, but flew across the water when Benny startled him. He immediately began preening much like a cat does with its "I meant to do that" kind of expression. (Please click, and then click again to enlarge)

Approaching the field on an afternoon walk, the sunlight saturated the growth around us with its golden warmth. (Please click, and then click again to enlarge)

Close to the creek, the colours contrast against the blue of the cool, running water. (Please click, and then click again to enlarge)

This tree overlooks the creek as the afternoon sun paints the landscape, resplendent with a blend of colours. (Please click, and then click again to enlarge)

Walking into the cedar grove, the late-day sun works its magic. (Please click, and then click again to enlarge)

One afternoon, the air temperature must have dropped slightly. As we walked away from the creek to go back home, we could see a fine mist beginning to form above the creek and breeze over the path. (Please click, and then click again to enlarge)

By the time we reached the path just a few meters away, the air was filled with this golden cloud. Here two people - one on bike and one on foot break through the haze. (Please click, and then click again to enlarge)

Evidently the cedars in this photo have a hidden talent. They can sing. Head on over to Frank's post "Singing Trees" to read about it. (Please click, and then click again to enlarge)


Phyllis E said...

Hi Cuzzie,

Thanks for another wonderful walk down memory lane. Made my morning!


Cuzzie P

Leah J. Utas said...

Beautifully rendered post, Hilary. And I so want to sleep in that cedar grove.

Gary's third pottery blog said...

quite a post on the generations....and I am sorry also the kids don't have their grandparents!
how do your very different sons get along?

the Bag Lady said...

Oh, I absolutely love those misty shots!!!
What a splendid post, Hilary. Your pride in your boys certainly shows! I'm sure the boys grandparents would react exactly as you depicted.

Cath said...

You know? Your pictures are so beautiful, I forgot how well you write. From the heart. I am the mum of a teenager who almost chose a military career. A journey into faith changed that and I have to admit to a large sigh of relief. I was always scared. Proud, but scared. You encapsulate that mixture so well.

I pray that he keeps safe, keeps well. Keeps his head when all about him.... you know. Great post.

Cath said...

PS If your kids write about you as you have about their grandparents, your grandkidlets will adore you. Whether they meet you or not.

Tricia said...

Hilary, this is a beautiful, beautiful post. Grandparents are an amazing gift, when we're fortunate enough to have them. I hope your home is full of grandchildren one day and that you'll be able to share with them your very own self.

Your boys sound like magic and your descriptions are poignant...something perhaps only a very loving mother, or grandmother, would capture.

Frank Baron said...

Lovely post Hil and wonderful pics.

I have little doubt that your wistful reflections are accurate. But you left out the part about how proud your parents would be of your boys' mother.

Thanks for the plug. :)

Anonymous said...

Is this your WWC post? It fits well into "Then and Now." You surely wove prose into pictures for us. The warm colors of your photographs capture this same warmth of your writing.
Your sons sound like wonderful young men. I often think of one special grandmother looking down from heaven and smiling as she watches my boys grow.
As the wife of a soldier, I know your mix of pride & worry.

Mental P Mama said...

What a beautiful tribute to your parents and your boys. I don't think the worry ever ceases, but the pride is our balm. Beautiful shots, as always.

Russell said...

The pictures you took with your camera are beautiful. But the image you paint with your words is breathtaking.

My father - who is alive but no longer living - was very much like your father. He was extremely biased, extremely proud of his days in "the big war" and believed men should be men.

Reading about your parents and your sons brought back many memories...

We are all people first and regardless of what country we happen to live in, we are pretty much the same...

Great post...

Daryl said...

Wonderful post, Hilary ... I am sure both your sons know how much you love them ...and you are young... you'll see grandchildren, I feel sure of that.

Photos .. awesome .. IMO the golden fog is very special BUT the rainbow (elusive to me!) is my fav!


photowannabe said...

I am so touched by your writing. My Dad never knew his Great Grandchildren either but I know he would have reacted the same way as yours. The world revolved around his Grandsons but never got to see them grow into wonderful men and fathers.
Mom only met one Great granddaughter and loved her to pieces too. She has been gone 13 years this Christmas.
You really got my memory channel working overtime with this post, but I loved every minute of it.
It sounds like you have delightful sons and can be very proud of them and the way they have grown into fine adults.
Glorious pictures, especially the one of the foggy mist rising off the road.
You wondered about the candy corn appeal...well I think its the pure sugar rush that does it.

Anonymous said...

Lovely post. Beautiful photos! I can clearly see your love for your sons and your family in your writing. Very nice.

Kat said...

I think of this often since my mom's cancer and my dad's Alzheimer's. My parents (especially my mom) are so close to all of their grandchildren. The older grandchildren really know who my parents are as people and vice versa. But in reality, my boys may not remember them (especially my dad) at all, or maybe just little snips here and there.
I'm hoping that is not the case.

Gorgeous post!

Anonymous said...

Oh Hil, that was beautiful, and Mom and Dad WOULD be so proud of their grandchildren. I'll have to read it again and again later this evening, an also take a better look at your pictures, meanwhile, please pass the Kleenex! Love, Andi

Anonymous said...

This was a very moving post. I am rteary and can hardly see to respond. What a tribute to your boys and yur parents. they sound like the kind of GPs that all children should have had in their lives.

You know I have had Jane late in my life. Many, many times I think about how long I will live into her life and will it be long enough to know her children... No. It could never be long enough. I also really enjoyed hearing more about your two sons, who sound like opposites!

Tink said...

Wow, super-sized post! I worry that I'll lose my Mom before she gets to know her future Grandbabies. Part of me feels like rushing that step along so as not to miss an opportunity. The other part keeps telling me to shut the hell up. ;)

Clowncar said...

How nice to "meet" your kids. I actually got lost in the link to your post about your Dad's variety shop - what a great post! Nesbitt's, Lik-m-aid. The scent of old books. And that is a wonderful photo of your father, behind the counter. I'm sure he'd be very proud of your son.

Anonymous said...

You have written a fabulous piece and your photographs are just amazing. Thanks for this post.

Hilary said...

• Thanks for dropping by, Phyl. I'm glad you enjoyed the post. :)

• Thank you, Leah. I kinda want to do that too, but in warmer weather. I'd rather endure mosquitos than frost. :)

• Thanks very much, Gary. My kids don't see each other too much anymore but have usually gotten along quite well. I think their differences often make the other scratch his head occasionally though. ;)

• Thanks muchly, Baggie. I suspect you're right about that. :)

• Thank you kindly, Cath. I fully understand your relief about your teen's change of heart but truthfully, I know that this is something he wants so badly that I know he has to pursue it. Everyone should have such passion. Thanks very much for your always-kind words. :)

• Thank you very much, Tricia. Your kind words mean a great deal to me. I too, hope to know my grandchildren well.. just not too soon! Thanks for stopping by. :)

• Thanks, Frank. That was very sweet of you to say.. and you made me cry. :)

• Thank you, KC. Nope it's only coincidence that this fits into the Then & Now theme that Tink hosts. Thanks very much for your very kind words. They mean a lot to me. :)

• Thanks, MPM. "The pride is our balm" - What a wonderful way to put it. Thanks so much for stopping by. :)

• Thanks very kindly, Russell. I'm sorry to know that your Dad is not with you in every way that he should be. I wouldn't say that mine was extremely biased.. just moderately so. ;) Thanks for your very kind words. Much appreciated. :)

• Thanks, Daryl. I'm not doubting that I'll know my future grandchildren so much - just that I'll know them as adults. Thanks very much for the kind words. :)

• Thank you, Photowannabe. I'm sorry that your Mom didn't live long enough to know most of her great grandchildren though I have no doubt that you, your children and your grandchildren will keep her memory alive. Thanks very much for you thoughtful words. :)

• Welcome, Rhea, and thanks very much for your kind words. Much appreciated. :)

• Thanks, Kat. I hope that your boys will have time to get to know and remember your Mom well. No doubt she and your Dad know much joy from them all. Thanks for stopping by. :)

• Thanks, Andi. There's no doubt that our parents would have adored Jaime, Jeffrey, Alex and Stephanie to pieces. They've all turned out so beautifully. Thanks for the visit, Sis. :)

• Thanks very kindly, MT. Your Jane is a very lucky little girl to have you come into her life - as you are for finding her. You have a beautiful family and no doubt will make wonderful memories together for many years to come. My boys are indeed opposites in many ways, but they share the basic good stuff. Thanks for the very kind words. :)

• Tink, I think you'd better listen to the "other part" of you. Having kidlets for anyone else is never a good idea. The timing will be perfect when you and Hoop are ready for them (but you know all that). Hopefully your Mom will get to know them well and vice-versa. Thanks for the visit. :)

• Thanks very kindly, Clowncar. I'm glad you liked the post and I'm glad to know that someone actually clicked on the link! Thanks very much for your kind words. Much appreciated. :)

• Thank you very much, Abe. I'm glad you enjoyed it. Your kind words are very appreciated. Thanks for the visit. :)

Anonymous said...

Your wonderful story about your boys and what your parents would have thought of them as adults, brought tears to my eyes. Very touching, as is your obvious pride in them too.

And, as usual, beautiful photography.

blunoz said...

I can relate on some level. I feel tremendously blessed that I was able to know and have a friendship with my wife's father. Sadly, he lost a battle with cancer two months before our wedding. It breaks my heart to think about what an AWESOME Grandpa he would have been for the boys. I'm uncertain who would have enjoyed that relationship more - the boys loving him as their grandpa, or him loving the boys as his grandkids. They would have gotten along SO well. I'm sad my boys will never know him.

Once again beautiful pics. I especially like the picture of the Great Blue Heron. I love the, "I meant to do that!" description.

Sandi McBride said...

What a beautiful post. I wish my mother could have known her Great Granddaughter longer. Arianna was barely two when my mother passed away...I loved the photos, it was like taking a walk without leaving my chair!

Dave said...

Hilary, I am as impressed as other commenters here how lovely your words and thoughts are. You have magic in your way of telling. You loved your parents greatly but also love your boys as much. I liked your photos too. - Dave

Anonymous said...

I was sitting here on the proverbial fence about flying with my daughter to the east coast to see my parents.

longing to wait a year....she so wiggly.


Anonymous said...

You paint such a wonderful picture of both your parents and your children. The love and pride you have in both of those generations really shines through...

Zuzana said...

Family is the most important thing of all. You are blessed with a wonderful one. I love the fact that both your sons are unique in their own way, yet both with the potential to become great men.
I also understand your longing to bridge generations; I never knew my grandparents well as they all passed away when I was a small child and always wished I knew them as an adult.
Your photographs are -as always- so contemplative and genuine.
I am taken back by the fact you have adult children, as your manners strikes me so very young and fresh.;)

Anonymous said...

That was great Hil. I was moved to tears once again by your thoughtful and from the heart writing. I have always thought you should have been a lawyer but now I think writing is your calling. Having known your parents well I am sure they would be they would be so very proud of all their grandchildren (and their mother as Frank said). I think we have done a pretty good job raising them both. I am proud of both of them as well.

the dad

Lulda Casadaga said...

I was lucky to have both sets of grandparents for at least awhile. Wonderful memories to cherish...
I'm sure your parents would be very proud of your sons.

I don't have any children...so, I look at my niece & nephew and wonder if I'll be remembered in their childrens life. :)
p.s. Great photos as always! woof to Benny

Reb said...

Such a beautifully written post. your pride and love for your parents and your boys shines through as blindingly as the sun in that first photo. I love the photos as well, the golden mist and the close up of the tree, the heron. They are all wonderful.

Hilary said...

• Thanks AddHumorAndFaith. I'm really glad you enjoyed the post. Your very kind words mean a lot to me. Much appreciated. :)

• Thanks very much Blunoz. I can sure empathize about your children and their late grandfather. You've expressed my feelings exactly. I'm sorry that your kids couldn't have known him. Thanks for your kind words and I'm glad you liked the image and description of the heron. Clearly you know cats. ;)

• Thank you, Sandi. I'm certain you will keep your mother's memory alive for Arianna through the years. I suppose we're an important part of that generational bridge. I'm glad you liked the photos. Thanks for stopping by. :)

• Thanks very kindly, Dave. Your sweet and thoughtful words mean a lot to me. Much appreciated. :)

• That's sweet, Mizfit. I nudged you off of the fence? :) Your daughter may wiggle throughout the flight. That will fade, but the smiles on her and your parents' faces won't. Thanks for stopping by. :)

• Thanks very much, Susan. I'm very lucky to have these great kids and to have had such fine parents. Thanks for the visit. :)

• Thank you for the sweet and thoughtful comment, Protege. I was twenty when my longest living grandparent died. Considering my parents were in their early forties when I was born, I guess I had three of them (I never knew my maternal grandfather) in my life for a decent period of time. Thanks VERY much for thinking I was too young for adult kids. Maybe you're confusing youth with immaturity. ;)

• Thanks, Don (and Dad to our children). I'm glad for our kids' sake as well as my own that you and I have remained good friends. I think we can take some pride in that too. Thanks for that. :)

• Thank you, Lulda. It sounds like you're probably close to your niece and nephew so I have no doubt you will be an important Great Auntie to their children. Thanks for the kind words. I'll WooF at Benny for you when I see him on the weekend. I'm sure he'll wag that tail of his in return. :)

• Thanks very much, Reb. Your thoughtful comments always mean a great deal to me. I'm glad you liked the photos too. Thanks for stopping by. :)

Shammickite said...

Hi Hilary: Thanks for your comment on my Florida blog.... I really don't have too much internet time with this piggybacked wi-fi (I am expecting the wi-fi police to come knocking on the door at any moment) so will have to catch up with all the detail on your posts when I get back home. I haven't been able to open your pics yet either. Meanwhile we are having a great time, although it's a little chilly at the moment.
Meanwhile keep checking my blog, I am posting when I can.

Indrani said...

You are a mother of a soldier?! It must be a very proud feeling, I am sure. I am sorry about the loss of your parents.
Delightful pictures again, a visual treat as usual.

Crabby McSlacker said...

I never really got to know my grandparents, so I found this post very moving.

And lord, the light! Beautiful photos.

Michelle H. said...

I grew up without grandparents, so I always wondered what they would have thought of me. I so enjoy stories like this. It can inspire my imagination of what could have been. Thanks, Hilary! :)

Cheffie-Mom said...

Beautifully written. The pictures fit perfectly with the post. They are all wonderful, but my favorite is the mist on the pathway.

Louise said...

The photos are beautiful.

My daugthers only have one grandparent left. Lucky for them (and us), my dad has married so they have another "grandmother." But I wonder the same things you do--only my kids are 4 and 6. And I often wonder how much I'll get to know my own grandchildren. If they wait as long as I did, I will be 74 when the first grandchild comes along!

But you ARE the bridge, and you seem to be doing a wonderful job at it!

Dianne said...

As always it is impossible to tell you what about your photos jumps out at me - there is just so much.

I think the tree by the creek really struck me and the people in the haze. What you do with light is astounding!

I love how you shared your boys through your eyes and the eyes of a generation past. It was so alive that I could picture all 3 generations there together.

You're a treasure Hilary :)

MamaGeek @ Works For Us said...

Oh this was so lovely Hilary. Somehow, I think they ARE looking down on them.

Marty said...

"And while my boys are at it, I hope they know every day just how supremely proud I am of both of them."

You did not need to add this line... your pride in your children rings like a gong throughout this post. Thank you for reminding me to show pride in my boys too.

mielikki said...

fantastic pictures, and I loved the imagery and emotion that you evoked with memories of your parents, and the thoughts of your sons.

david mcmahon said...

This has a special resonance for me, as I never had grandparents.

Jeni said...

I was so blessed as to know my maternal grandparents -Grandpa, till I was 12; Grandma till I was almost 19 -and have great memories of both of them. My dad never knew me much less his grandchildren but my Mom knew all three of my kids although really on knew the oldest well very well. The kids were 12, 6 and almost 4 when she died and the two younger ones don't remember her at all or very little. Now that I am a grandmother to three beautiful children, ages 11, 5 and 2 1/2, I too wonder about my Mom and how she would view her grandchildren today and especially what her thoughts would be about my grandkids, her great-grandchildren. My kids still have their paternal grandmother -but they have rarely seen her due to distance. The youngest does communicate from time to time with letters to that Grandma, to try to keep her a little updated about our lives, especially about her own two little ones who have never met their great-grandmother, never even talked to her on the phone, but that's another story as these two children are also autistic so communication is not the same with them as it would be with other children their ages. I do believe though, from what I've been told about my Dad, what I know about my Mom, that both of them would swell with great pride to see their descendants and shed more than a few quiet tears that comes with that kind of pride in ones family.
Great post -brought up so many memories and thoughts to my mind.

steviewren said...

Oh Hilary, what nice boys you have. I'm sure your parents would have loved knowing them too. I have sons so I know how proud you feel to see that they have grown into fine men.

Anonymous said...

A beautiful post, Hilary. I understand the sentiment and often wonder what my father would have thought of me [he died when I was four].

Love the pctures, autumn is my favourite season, but in Canada it is so spectacular.

Merisi said...

Your story really moved me.

My father and my father-in-law both died too young to get to know their grandchildren, and my sister died when her own children were still small. It is such a loss for children, not having their elders around while growing up. As much as one tries to fill the gap, to make up for their loss, it is impossible.

Your pictures are gorgeous, thank you for sharing them!

Hilary said...

• Thanks for checking in, Shammie. I'm glad you're having a great holiday. :)

• I am indeed, Indrani - very proud. Thanks for the kind words. Much appreciated. :)

• Thanks very much, Crabby. I'm sure your grandparents would be proud of their cool, clever crab. :) Thanks for the kind words. :)

• Thank you, Michelle. I have little doubt that their bright, creative, funny granddaughter would evoke a great deal of pride in them. Thanks for stopping by. :)

• Thanks very much, Cheffie. I'm glad you enjoyed the post and the photos. Much appreciated. :)

• Thanks very kindly, Louise. I hope you will see your grandchildren at a younger age than you anticipate. But your kidlets are still so young, Just enjoy being Mom for now. It's a great ride! Luckily for them they still have two grandparents from whom they'll learn much. Thanks for your always-thoughtful comments. :)

• Thank you, Dianne. You always know what to say to make me feel great. I'm glad you enjoyed the photos and the post, and that it came alive for you. Much appreciated. :)

• Thanks, MamaGeek. I think you're probably right. :)

• Welcome, Marty, and thanks so much for your thoughtful comment. It means a lot to me. Thanks for coming out of lurkdom to say so. :)

• Welcome, Mielikki and thanks for the kind words. Much appreciated. :)

• David, I'm sorry to hear that you never knew your granparents. Hopefully your own children and grandchildren will have many years with theirs. Thanks very much for naming this your co-Post of the Day. Very much appreciated. :)

• Welcome, Jeni and thanks for such a thoughtful comment. I'm glad my post evoked so many thoughts and wonderings. No doubt there would be much pride for you, your children and your grandchildren. Thanks for stopping by. :)

• Thanks, Steviewren. I'm sure you can relate. Your kind words are very much appreciated. :)

• Thank you, Moannie. I'm sorry you lost your Dad when you were so young. How tragic for your familly. I have no doubt that he would be beaming to know his daughter today. Thanks for stopping by. :)

• Merisi, I'm sorry there has been so much loss in your family. It must be so hard to work at filling in those gaps, as you say - but so important. I'm sure you're doing what you can to be their bridge. Thanks for the kind words. Much appreciated. :)

Shrinky said...

Oh hilary, you are such a craftsman, I simply loved reading this post, the love just shines through. Your parents must have also been so very proud of you too, bonny lass, seems they had a lot to do with the way you turned out - as likewise, your sons reflect the guidance and happy upbringing you have most surely given them.

Wish my photo's came out so well! Jake chased a pheasant around the garden yesterday, well, walked after it truth be told. The silly bird didn't feel the need to fly off, so this continued for a good ten minutes. Could I get a shot of the pair? Nah, even slow motion is too fast for me. Pout.

Cape Cod Washashore said...

Oh this is such a beautiful, heartwarming post! I am honored to be listed with you today on David's blog! Have a lovely weekend!

Jeff B said...

Truly a beautiful portrayal of your family. Thank you for sharing that with us.

Maggie May said...

Beautiful, beautiful photos.
It is always a great pity that parents don't get to live to see their grandchildren.I consider myself so lucky to have got to know my four.
Lovely blog and interesting posts.

Anonymous said...

Another fantastic adventure along your journey. Thank you for sharing!

Epijunky said...

What a beautifully done post. I only had one Grandparent growing up, she passed away ten years ago. It breaks my heart that my children will only know her through my words.

Came to you through David's blog, congrats on a well deserved POTD :)

Melanie Gillispie said...

This is my first time here...linked over from Protege. I love this post. From what you wrote, it seems like their grandparents would have "known" your adult sons even though they had very little or no time with them. I love your loving pragmatism about, well, everything you wrote.

João Fialho said...

Hi, Hilary.

I´m portuguese and it´s my first time, here in your beautiful blog.

I like the kind of your photos (i like nature and animals photos).

Very good blog. I´ll be back soon. I´m gone to link you.

Cedar said...

I think you have a really great spirit, I know some times it sounds like a cliche, but I think you are an old soul.

Kappa no He said...

So sweet. I can't believe that Alex has only been playing guitar for four years. I really can't believe it! I'm remembering that video of him playing.


imbeingheldhostage said...

Oh Hilary, I don't know what to comment on first, the gorgeous post or fabulous photos!! I'll tell you my first thought was NO WAY you have grown sons. I'm stunned, really I am.

Kat sent me today, usually it's David, but I think she beat him to this one :-)

Kerri Farley said...

A beautiful post Hilary! Both of your boys sound WONDERFUL...completely different but WONDERFUL all the same!

Unknown said...

Hi Hilary.
Really lovely post, so full of warmth an honesty. I really enjoyed it.
I sort of have the same feelings over my grandparents who never knew my children and I sometimes feel a tinge of regret for waiting so long to have them.
But it is so lovely to remember and to know your parents so well that you can picture so clearly how they would behave around your children.
Lovely stuff.
Just wanted to say thank you so much for visiting too. Really good to 'meet' you.
oh and also, AMAZING photos. I mean, really amazing. x

Woman in a Window said...

I must have read that wrong. You did not say you were 53. Seriously. No. Not so.

Gorgeous shot through the haze.

I think of the knowing between those alive and long gone. I think you did a wonderful job of it. Hope the boys enjoyed that.

Angie Ledbetter said...

The photos are spectacular, but not as much as the tribute of your words. Kudos and great post!

Hilary said...

• Thanks so much for the ultra-kind words, Shrinky. I know what you mean about how difficult it can be to get a shot of a moving critter. Believe me, I delete about 100 times more photos than I keep, and only publish about a quarter of the keepers. I just keep snapping anyway, and eventually something turns out. ;) Thanks very much for stopping by. :)

• Thanks very kindly, Beachy. And congrats to you. :) I'm glad you came by for a visit.

• Thank you, Jeff. Much appreciated. :)

• Thanks very much, Maggie May. I'm sure glad for you that you've been able to get to know your grandchildren. No doubt you're building beautiful memories together. Thanks for stopping by. :)

• Thank you, Mark. I'm glad you enjoyed it. :)

• Welcome, and thanks very kindly, Epijunky. I'm sorry that your kids can't ever know your grandmother, but have no doubt you'll keep her memory alive for them. Photos help too. Thanks so much for the visit. I hope you'll come back soon. :)

• Welcome Mel, and thanks so much for your thoughtful comments. They're very much appreciated. Please come back to visit soon. :)

• Welcome to you too, J.Fialho. Thanks very much for your kind words. I'm glad you're enjoying the blog. :)

• Thanks very kindly, Cedar. I don't know about being old soul, but I'm at least halfway there. I've got the old part covered for sure. ;) Thanks for the visit. :)

• Thanks, Terrie. I just read your comment to Alex and he beamed appropriately. Thanks for stopping by. :)

• Thanks so much, IBHH. Having grown sons keeps me stunned much of the time too. ;) Thanks very much for the kind words. And thanks also to Kat and David who, as you mentioned both linked to this post. :)

• Thanks very much, Kerri. My guys are indeed different from each other. We kind of had that figured out in just a few months. Thanks for the kind words. :)

• Thanks so kindly, Tara. Your thoughtful comments mean a lot to me. I'm sorry your grandparents were not able to know your children. It's rare these days that four generations thrive at once, though there are a few lucky families that manage that. I'm sure you'll keep their memory alive for your kids. Thanks so much for your very kind words. I hope you'll stop by again soon. :)

• Thanks very much for your flattering words, WIAW - unless you were thinking more along the lines of 63. ;) My guys did seem to appreciate the post. I heard kind comments from my older boy via email and phone, and once my younger guy acquiesced to reading it, he nodded his approval and muttered something which I chose to interpret as complimentary. ;) Thanks so much for stopping by.

• Thanks very much, Angie. Much appreciated. Thanks for the visit. :)

Dr.John said...

In a sense you have writen a tribute both to your sons and to your parents. I enjoyed.
The pictures were good too.

If you really are into playing with words ( your sidebar) try
Raven's Wordzzle


R. said...

This is the third time I'm reading this post and everytime I've read it, it's hit me very hard.

Hilary said...

• Thanks very kindly, Dr. John. I'm glad you enjoyed. I have noticed Raven's Wordzzle throughout the blogosphere and find them intriguing, but I do tend to opt out of memes and tags, so I'll continue to admire from a distance. Thanks for the invite and especially for your kind words. :)

• Aww, Rabin, my pal. Parenthood changes everything, eh? :) Thanks for stopping by.

Thérèse said...

Landscapes appear to have the textures that we see in life included in our children's.

Hilary said...

Thanks for stopping by, Therese. Textures are indeed what makes a landscape exciting to capture. :)

Anonymous said...

Our autumn lasts about three weeks, if you're talking about "fall color". Just not long enough to get pictures like what you've got.