Tag Archives: papa

3 Years Blogging. 25 Before 25.

This post will probably take me quite a while to write. Maybe I shouldn’t put everything all in one post, and maybe I will end up splitting this up at some point, but for now, here goes nothing.

I have had this blog for going on three years. I suppose I started it around the same time I decided I was to propose to my then girlfriend, now domestic partner. Oh boy did we not expect to be where we are today three years ago. We have been through so much.

What I really want to talk about though, is this: In about a week and a half, I will be 24. Three months after that, my father will turn 50 and that, my dear mathematicians means that next year, when I turn 25 and finally getting my BA/starting my Masters? my father will be  exactly twice my age and I will be the age he was when I was born. It seems like that should be such a bizarre concept to me, but really, it makes sense. My dad was definitely a mid-twenties/early thirties kind of dad. In that, I mean I never felt like he was soooo much older than me. We had intellectual discussions, he allowed me to make my own decisions, even if he fought them the whole way. He grew as I grew, and we grow together. What does feel weird is that I’m not there yet. I’m not where he was when he was 24, of course in some ways I’m past where he was I suppose.

When he was 24 he was living in a co-op household attic, my mother was almost five years older than him, and lived right across the attic. He had just graduated with his BA in Environmental Studies and was working on a farm. I think I’ve told this story before, but just in case we need a refresher… His father was dying and his girlfriend (my mother) found out she was pregnant, the same week. They moved up to Mendocino with dreams of starting a blueberry farm, but instead lived in a little one-room cottage with no electricity and my mother, pregnant and living with an incurable disease that causes really poor circulation to extremities, absolutely hating every second of the cold. My dad’s best friend – his dog midnight, was stolen one night while they were eating dinner, and eventually they had had enough. They moved back to their community, rented a little house, I was born. He got a job with the county as a planner and six months later they got married. Typical early 90s life right? Two years later they were divorced. I don’t want to be divorced before I turn 30.

I don’t want to be divorced period.

Don’t get me wrong. I am so happy for the people I have gained in my life because my parents divorced. But generally, divorces are not so easy. For my parents, well, my family is unique. Divorce in my family seems to just mean an addition to the family, no retractions, but still. I don’t want to get divorced.

I wound up so off track I have to remind myself to rein it in.

I wanted this post to be about the things I want to do or accomplish before I turn 25 because I know the year will flash by in a hurry or seem to drag on until it is over. I so badly wanted to put “create life”, “have a baby” on this list of mine. It’s been on my “to do before, or at 25” for as long as I can remember. I guess I just assumed somewhere in my head that would be the natural progression… I get married at 24-25 and then have kids immediately. That’s not what my parents drilled into me, the opposite is true, but I somehow just assumed that would be my life. Reflection is an interesting and dangerous thing. We have solid plans now and that makes my heart rest a little easier, having the goals, the stepping-stones that have to be crossed. Of course the best laid plans right? Such is life, especially our life.

dance

Here goes 25, before 25:

  1. Take ME time, and US time.
  2. Run a 5k
  3. Take a walk to the beach at least once a week.
  4. Re-learn the cello
  5. Visit a country I’ve never been to
  6. Take an “electronic-free” day at least once a month.
  7. Choose 5 accomplishable tasks every week and complete them.
  8. Finish our “first year” scrapbook, almost four years later.
  9. Read two books per quarter that are not required reading.
  10. Play a duet with my partner
  11. Start a community garden near our apartment and/or Plant a garden for my grandparents
  12. Hike 7 falls again
  13. Take the kayaks out
  14. Keep our bedroom clean for a month
  15. Paint a picture
  16. Make a new friend
  17. Get a cat
  18. Find a doable volunteer position and go once a week.
  19. Fly a kite
  20. Take a dance class
  21. Visit my godson
  22. Prioritize music & friendships – Go to a friend’s show at least every other month.
  23. Minimize the STUFF (get rid of things I don’t need), de-clutter.
  24. Call my nonbio-still-completely-siblings, more frequently.
  25. Dance in the rain.
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Filed under family, friendships, growing up, Married Life, Politics is Personal, Work

Blogging Goals

I notice I am not very good at updating regularly. I wish I would, a lot of times I have things I want to say to a blank page or sometimes scream, but most of the time I don’t. I’m going to attempt another 30 day meme and I’m hoping to actually write every day, we’ll see where that takes us. I like that this one isn’t as one subject based and will probably allow for more of my day-to-day experiences to come through. So for now here are the questions and DAY I:

Day 1 – A photo of yourself and a description of how your day was.
Day 2 – A photo of something you ate today.
Day 3 – Your idea of the perfect first date.
Day 4 – Your favorite photograph of your best friend.
Day 5 – A photo of yourself two years ago.
Day 6 – A photo of an animal you’d love to keep as a pet.
Day 7 – Your dream wedding.
Day 8 – A song to match your mood.
Day 9 – A photo of the item you last purchased.
Day 10 – A photo of our favorite place to eat.
Day 11 – What’s in your makeup bag?
Day 12 – A photograph of the town you live in.
Day 13 – Your favorite musician and why?
Day 14 – A TV show you’re currently addicted to.
Day 15 – Something you don’t leave the house without.
Day 16 – Your celebrity crush.
Day 17 – A photo of you and your family.
Day 18 – Something you crave a lot.
Day 19 – Another picture of yourself.
Day 20 – The meaning behind your blog name.
Day 21 – A photo of something that makes you happy.
Day 22 – A letter to someone who has hurt you recently.
Day 23 – 15 facts about you.
Day 24 – A photo of something that means a lot to you.
Day 25 – What’s in your purse?
Day 26 – A photo of somewhere you’ve been to.
Day 27 – A picture of you last year and now and how have you changed since then?
Day 28 – Your favorite movie.
Day 29 – Something you could never get tired of doing.
Day 30 – A photograph of yourself today + three good things that have happened in the past 30 days.

 

Day 1:

Well Facebook’s new photo layout has boggled my tired brain and therefore you get this picture which was taken over the summer instead of anything more recent. I’d like to think I’m in better shape now, but maybe not so much…

Today was stressful. As I mentioned last night my mother and her boyfriend were visiting from California and as my father said when I spoke to him this evening, “guests are like fish, after three days they stink.” I Love my mother I really do, but her boyfriend… Oh just read the previous post. He’s nice, he really is and I am so glad that she is happy but honestly, I am still processing. My stepbrother and I were both living out-of-state when our parents separated and after fifteen years of being a family they’re not together anymore? We need more time to process.

So today was hard, but it was also really good. Fiancee called her parents and for the first time discussed wedding planning with them which felt really good to me, even though I was only hearing one side of the conversation. I’m wondering though if anyone else has to discuss with family how they refer to significant others in conversations with people outside the family. Such as: said mom’s boyfriend was on the phone with his daughter last night and called fiancée my “friend” no explanation, nothing. This lead to me feeling angry, and fiancée’s call to her parents because we were curious, how do our families talk about us to their friends? Do they say when asked about fiancée’s life “Oh she’s doing great, her and her fiancée are living in Olympia, the two girls love it there…” Or do they avoid mentioning me? Do they talk about me as a roommate/friend or do they feel like they’re outing the family every time we come up? We had a mixed bag of answers from the five family members we asked but my favorite was my father, the almost Rabbi, who says that when asked about his daughter he says simply “She’s happy, living in the northwest, she recently got engaged…” and then they inevitably ask “Oh and what does her boyfriend do/is he a nice man?” Wonderful Papa that my father is. he says something like “She is very nice, she works in childcare and just applied for a graduate school program…” PAUSE and then the conversation moves on. SO SIMPLE! Exactly how it should be. Not a big deal at all.

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Filed under 30 Day Meme, Engaged Life, family, gender, Politics is Personal

What is Family?

I’ve been reading a lot and remembering and really wanting to write in the stream-of-conscious sort of way recently and then sit down to the computer and forget what I wanted to write. I’m currently reading a book of essays by Lesbian writers about their fathers called “His Hands, His Tools, His Sex, His Dress.” Some had great dads that taught them how to tie a Windsor (I still have no idea what kind that is, but yes my dad did teach me how to tie a tie), or fix the car or run machinery, or what have you. Some had dads that encouraged their femininity who showed them what to look for in a man (that turned out to be the hot butch). Some didn’t have the most involved dads but all had something to say.

I want to say, I have the best dad, no the best Papa, a kid like me could ever hope to have. If he heard me calling him dad though, there would be trouble. He is my Papa, or when I grew older I called him Father or some endearing term thereof. He didn’t teach me how to fix the car because he didn’t know how, but he did encourage me to learn. He wasn’t a macho guy and never will be. He’s a permanent student; always learning always loving the process, always excited and wanting to share the knowledge. He tried to teach me how to drive my first manual car and we both got so frustrated that I finally told him it wasn’t going to work and my best friend taught me in two hours, no problems. Instead of “boy things” or “girl things,” my Papa taught me about life. About appreciating the earth: How good it can smell after you’ve just planted a tree and your knees are cakes in dirt, fingernails hurt from all the dirt underneath them, but it’s good dirt and “Dirt Don’t Hurt.” Papa knows the trail around my home town like the back of his hand and I would frequently call him from a friend’s car as a teenager, lost somewhere on a back road and wondering how to get to Seven Falls, or The Playground, and he’d try to expertly lead us there through faltering cell phone reception and my severe directionally challenged brain (I know, how un-butch of me to admit that). When I was really little I would spend my weekends watching him play Ultimate Frisbee with his friends or he would take me hiking with a small group or go to the beach. This past birthday (that’s right #21), I finally learned how to throw a frisbee in the exact direction I wanted it to go. I learned because he taught me while we were spending the day at the beach with my then girlfriend – now fiance, my cousin, and Papa’s dog. My Papa loves all growing things, loves fresh food, preferably out of his garden, loves Judaism, loves family and cherishes friendships. These are all things he taught me well.

My Papa was twenty-four when his father died. A week later my mother found out she was pregnant. The two of them, with his dog and me quickly growing inside my mama, moved to Northern California because he had this dream that they were going to own a blueberry farm. They were hippies through and through. It was too cold for my mother whose hands turn blue if she has to go in the freezer section of the grocery store, no running water in their small cottage, and then as if to say “enough is enough,” his dog was stolen one night while they were inside a restaurant. They moved back to Southern California, back to the much-needed community, the community that would become my family. I was born two weeks late and my “sister” was born thirty something hours later. No she’s not blood-related, or even marriage related. We have just about nothing in common except maybe our birthdays, but we’re sisters. My parents, her mom, and two other nuclear families, our four families became one. We never lived together, but we always, always celebrate the April Birthdays together and try to spend as many holidays together as possible, and as children we lived within blocks of each other. My extended family doesn’t end there though. I have an amazing stepbrother and stepdad, though my mom and stepdad are in the process of a divorce, and my dad’s ex-girlfriend’s daughter is another person I consider my sister. My “moms” are the amazing women who are and have always been apart of my life. Friends of my parents. I consider myself to have about 7 moms. My father only had a romantic relationship with two of them. I have one Papa and one Dad and a couple uncles (only one is a sibling of my parent). This is how I grew up. This is how I was raised. I may have discussed in previous posts or on other blogs that have since faded to the background, that my family definitely aren’t all blood related. Our family is one that supports each other, watches as we all grow and change, sometimes disapproves of the ways in which we learned our lessons, creates space for us to learn, and most of all, loves each other unconditionally. When we get together it doesn’t matter that my mom has both her husband and her ex-husband in the same room. My Papa and his ex-girlfriend and her daughter, come to my mother’s mother’s house for holidays, even when I’m not there. This is the blessing of our family. We’re always growing.

My fiance, on her first visit to California, wrote a song about how welcoming, how beautiful this new family is and they all, recognizing our love, love her and welcomed her with wide open arms and huge smiles and even tears of joy. This is our family and I hope that when we have children the two of us can create the same kind of community wherever we live, and that our child also knows they have some awesome aunts and uncles of all varieties.

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Filed under Engaged Life, family, growing up, Politics is Personal