Never take life too seriously. Nobody gets out alive anyway.
Don't Know Who Said It, But It Makes Sense
Who knew it? Looks like our old family homestead, now sold and in a declining neighborhood, was probably a Sears Modern Home. The Sears plan below sure looks a lot like our place at 914, scene of all holiday gatherings from the old days in Terre Haute. Grandma Mabel lived there all her adult life; dad grew up there and so did his dad. We all attended Warren Elementary right down the street.
Family lore has it that a relative built this place, but needed $$ to pay off gambling debts. My great grandfather arranged a swap that netted his family this big, spiffy four-bedroom home sometime after the turn of the century (well, the next-to-last turn of the century). Just a few items differ from the plan below including elimination of the fireplace and slightly different stairway treatment. Click image below to enlarge it.
What a handy little device to stash in your purse or pocket. I carry my digital camera with me all the time and really like having it nearby. The Flip would be nice for shooting random, everyday happenings. I may go take at look at Best Buy.
A Great Home for the Holidays ...
Over the years, this has been a great house for our Terre Haute Christmas Eve extravaganza, roomy enough to handle our big batch of relatives. Someone else will be enjoying it next year, since Dad and Sue are getting ready for a one-story home, which I'm sure we will invade, as well.
"Friends are all souls that we’ve known in other lives. We’re drawn to each other. That’s how I feel about friends. Even if I’ve only known them for a day, it doesn’t matter. I’m not going to wait till I’ve known them two years, because anyway we have met somewhere before, you know."
Many years ago, I interviewed Judith Guest, author of Ordinary People, for a piece in Writer's Digest magazine. I loved how her first novel started out as a short story with characters that she just couldn't put down. One thing she mentioned was that her publisher wanted to change the book's title, but she wouldn't hear of it.
The concept of "ordinary" is a huge part of our favorite Christmas movie, It's a Wonderful Life. Told through vivid imagery and metaphor, this classic tale transcends time and technology. How does a b&w film from 1946, in the days before cgi, grab us year after year? For one thing, it's a heartfelt story that celebrates a hero who emerges from his ordinary life to accomplish something meaningful. With compelling characters and a pinch of quirkiness such as the squirrel running up Uncle Billy's shoulder, It's a Wonderful Life illustrates how accidents and unanticipated events bring out the best, or worst, in people. That's the way ordinary life works ... in 1946, in 2007 and beyond.
One of the few companies I can count on for exceptional customer service has come through once again. Last week could have been big trouble as we flew Southwest to Los Angeles, trying to dodge snow and sleet on our departure and return.
I cannot name another airline on which I haven't been delayed (6 hours in Phoenix thanks to United) or cancelled (numerous flights to Newark cancelled this year thanks to American). With reasonable ticket prices, a smart business model that makes sense and a genuine commitment to customers, Southwest knows how to do it right.
Since he just had his face and scalp operated on, Rory wasn't in the best of moods and didn't particularly want to be photographed during the past day and a half. His entire head was wrapped with just a small space for his face to peek through. A big clump of hair stuck straight up out of the top of the wrappings (just picture the Grinch or the Invisible Man). Just a few minutes ago, we unwrapped his head and he looks great! I'm surprised that there is not more swelling and bruising. He has staples in his scalp from the eyebrow lift to correct the sagging caused by Rombergs. A new incision was made in front of his ear right on the site of the original incision for his free-flap transfer, which was done a couple years ago. No showers allowed for another day, so he's making do with a hat. He looks great! If you want to know more about Parry-Romberg Syndrome, take a look at this excellent website.
Since so many of my dollars have gone to Indiana University during the past decade funding Rory's Telecommunications degree, I am proud to announce that a team from the IU archaeology program has made a fascinating discovery. Captain Kidd's shipwreck has been found near the Dominican Republic in just 10 feet of Caribbean seawater. Surprisingly, it has not been looted. Leave it to us Hoosiers to get to the bottom of things.
Tomorrow's surgery will help shape the side of Rory's face affected by Parry-Romberg Syndrome (PRS). Thanks to a free-flap transfer at the UCLA Med Center a few years ago, he has plenty of tissue for this procedure. Bone in his cheek was affected while the condition was active and Rory previously underwent a bone graft with this same physician. Rory's PRS is inactive now (hooray!) and it is time to get everything shaped up. We're in Santa Monica for the outpatient procedure. By the way, The Romberg's Connection is a lifeline for people affected by PRS, and their friends and families.
This morning we spotted the world-famous landmark, Randy's Donuts, while driving down Manchester Av. near LAX. Remember it from Earth Girls are Easy and Coming to America? This place has been featured in countless commercials and music videos as well. Although supposedly Randy no longer owns the business, someone who looked remarkably like him waited on us and he asked all about the icy Chicago weather.
Randy's is packed with every kind of donut imaginable and you just step up to the window to order, like a Dairy Queen. Out of all those choices, I got a glazed and it was tasty!
If you want to know more about Parry-Romberg Syndrome, take a look at this excellent website.