The girls read a great new book this summer. Savvy is a story about a family with unique talents, and their discovery on how to use those gifts. The girls thought it woudl be fun to share their "savvies."
Norman Atwood died today. I think he was around 53. Maybe a year or two older or younger. But too young none the less.
He was one of those relatives where you don't really know exactly how you're related, but you're just proud to have him as part of your family. I think he was a cousin once or twice removed, but I'm not even sure what "removed" means. Just that he and his family were always around at big family events when I was a kid. When we would gather at my Grandpa and Grandma Atwood's farm, or at Aunt Alice's "in town," or at the family reunion in Fairfield where we would play horseshoes and eat deviled eggs, he was there.
As I got older and started having a family of my own, I did not see him or his lovely wife Dorian for years. Then last summer, during, GATAAH, we reconnected. He had all of us over to their incredible farm, where the girls and their cousins saw the animals, and climbed in tractors, and tormented some baby pigs.
I took me a minute to understand why his passing is causing me to have such a heavy heart. Certainly it's because it sure seems like he was too young. And unfair that he and Dorian were set to embark on a new adventure building a new home, and watching their son take the lead on the family farm. Also because he was a good man who loved his family, and his land, and his God and that is reason enough to be sad.
But I think the main reason I am sad that he is gone is because he loved my children. He spent a sunny afternoon, a very valuable commodity to an Iowa farmer, letting my kids wander around his farm. He answered their questions, and showed them the baby pigs, and helped them up in the big, big tractors.
On that day we were at his farm in Packwood Iowa, all was well and good with the world. But just a few weeks later the cancer came on like an Iowa summer thunderstorm. Unexpected, little warning, and with a wrath and fury unnameable.
Got in this morning from a too long trip to Atlanta for Show Offs Art and then to Orlando for book stuff. I am fine with a couple of nights, fight my way through three or four nights, but this gone for a week is life threatening.
So to celebrate being home Kenzo, Mabel and I joined some cousins for rock climbing. Actually they did the climbing and I did the rope holding. The girls (and their cousins) did a great job. Though I must admit that it is a bit unsettling seeing your daughter 30 feet up in the air, clinging to a "rock" wall with the stabilizing factor in the equation being a rope that I am holding to keep her from plummeting to the ground.
Seeing as I do not have much experience in rope holding I was not entirely sure that the 60 seconds of instruction ("so you like hold the rope with your right hand, and then slip it up and slide, then break, but don't let go, so you got it...have fun.")would suffice. Not much less instruction than we got taking the girls home from the hospital after they were born. ("Watch the soft spot, don't drop them, have fun...") But it seems to have worked as their were no calamities.
And we topped the whole thing of with a Happy Hour Slushee at Sonic.
I think I need to obtain some government funding for a serious condition that has recently developed here at the AtwoodZoo.
I call this newly discovered condition "S.T.A.Y.U.P."
S.T.A.Y.U.P. stands for Spontaneous Tremendous Appetite Yearning for Unhealthy Provisions.
The key symptom exhibited during an outbreak of S.T.A.Y.U.P. is this: For some reason currently unknown to medical doctors, somehow, at the exact minute it is time for the girls to go bed, they immediately become as ravenously hungry and thirsty as if they had been wandering in the desert for 40 years. There are no other apparent symptoms other than this instantaneous bilateral onset of starvation and dehydration.
Another amazing thing about S.T.A.Y.U.P. is that if, by chance, they have completed their homework and they have a few minutes to play on the computer or Wii, they are not the least bit hungry or thirsty doing that, it is only when we tell them that it is time for bed that the amazingly acute symptoms of S.T.A.Y.U.P. come into play.