Commercial Fun.

February 28, 2012

After reading about Whoorl's big news yesterday (she's the new Pantene girl!), I realized I forgot to show you the commercial I.....errrr, our house....was in. From time to time, we have rented our house out for the day for a photo shoot or commercial.  We have never really followed up to see how it all turns out so it was pretty weird to be upstairs during a commercial break of the Superbowl and have our friends (and C-Man) yell for us to come down because "Your house is on TV!!!"  OK, so it's not the new Pantene Girl, but it's as close as I'm getting.....for now.  ;-)

Bearing Witness to Our Children.

February 27, 2012

Do you know Katrina Kenison?  I do not have her book The Gift of an Ordinary Day, but I do love her blog.  It seems that each time she has a new entry, I bookmark it, email it to a bunch of people (who knows if anyone even reads it!), and generally can't get it out of my head for a few days.  Which sort of tells me I would like her book and should order it already?

This from her latest blog post:

And what is our real job as parents, if not first to nurture the beings entrusted to our care, to have faith in their inchoate processes of growing and becoming, and then to show up, again and again, for as long as we are able, to bear grateful witness to their unfolding destinies?

So good, am I right?

photos by jaime lackey

Love Day.

February 13, 2012

B and I are not huge Valentine's Day people, but I do like to take any opportunity to spoil him a bit with food.  We are all recovering from some sort of stomach flu virus crazy horribleness around here, so I'm not sure what we will actually do tomorrow.  But if I had my way, I would make him:

My Signature Old-School Gin Martini (gets him every time!!)
Stuffed Mushrooms
Steaks au Poivre (New York for him, Rib Eye for me)
Chocolate Lava Cakes

What do you like to cook for your lover?

photo credit


February 7, 2012

I was going to write a post about how unfair life is and how cruel people can be, but I thought better of it.  You know what I want to tell you about instead?

This little girl.  The one who sees me having a sad moment (see above would-be post topic) and says "Mama be happy?  I take bath with you?  Snuggle with mama?"  And then we did take a bath and snuggled and somehow it was better.

{her eyes melt me}
And I want to tell you about this little boy.  The one who is growing everyday, and losing teeth like crazy, and understanding so much more.  But he's still not too big to give me a hug when I drop him at school.
{on a breakfast date with mama}
And this little girl.  Listening to her talk to animals and watching her dig in the dirt is just what my soul needs right now.

{collecting ladybugs in the garden}
There.  I feel much better now.

Who Lived in Your House? (A Post by B)

February 1, 2012

This is a little something from B...

So, have you ever wondered about who lived in your house before you did?  What they did there?  Whether they were happy there or not?

Jora and I have.  Our first house was 100 years old and we couldn’t fathom all the possibilities.  We would wonder who might have been born or even died there.  Whether they liked living there.  Whether they ever drove by, wondering about us.
Our house now is different.  It had only one prior owner, as all the neighbors made clear when we moved in.  They each would tie us to the property by the only prior owners: “so you’re the ones who bought Dr. Hindman’s house.”

We learned that Robert Hindman had the house built for his young family (his wife, Spence, and his two kids) in 1962. 
{Robert Hindman, 1961}
 Dr. Hindman lived in the house until the day he died, from cancer, in 2006.  He was 85 by then.

Although the neighbors all spoke of Dr. Hindman’s energy and work around the property, by the time we came along you could tell the house and its owners had aged together.  The house sagged in certain places and was overgrown in others.  “Entropy” is the word I would later learn to describe what was happening.

So, we spruced up the house and property before we moved in.  In the process, I searched for and found the architect Dr. Hindman had hired 45 years before to design the house.  His name is John Mock.  He is living in retirement not far away.  Sounds like it would be easy to find him, but it wasn’t.

John and I talked several times before I could finally convince him to come out and see the house and the ongoing remodel.  Over time, he told us stories about how special the house was for him all those years before; how it changed his life.  He was only 28 years old when he designed it, as a “moonlighting” job.  He described how he rocked his kids to sleep with his foot while he was drawing the plans, late at night.  (Plans we now have, drawn with pencil on a rice paper of some kind.)  John explained that the house changed his career, gave him the momentum he needed to start his own firm. He spoke very highly of Dr. Hindman, and what a great client he was.  And, for the 100th time, we heard how much Dr. Hindman loved the house.

(As an aside, I was getting a historic designation for the house when I met John.  I raised the fact that the house had classic “Mid Century Modern” stylings.  When I said this, John said that he had only recently even heard the term--“Mid Century Modern”—and, when he heard it, he thought it was a reference to the mid-1800s  He said he couldn’t imagine having grown so old as to hear of his work referred to by the century.)

Over time, John searched his files and gave me Kodak slides of the pictures in this post.  Here is one with Dr. Hindman, with his wife, Spence, and their son during construction in 1961:

Anyway, we moved in.  Time passes, as it always does.  And, as it did, you make this change and that to the house.  You start to forget that it is “Dr. Hindman’s house”—not yours.  Then, from out of the blue, you get a card postmarked from a town in Idaho you’ve had never heard of.  And, this is what it says:

“I am Bob and Spence Hindman’s granddaughter.  A few weeks ago I ran across some online pictures of the renovations you have made to the home.  I felt compelled to send a note saying what an amazing job you have done.  My Grandpa loved that house and would have been so pleased his home is so obviously loved and well taken care of.  I wish you many happy memories and a home filled with laughter and joy.  Sincerely, Leasa Greer.”

Being me, I found Leasa too.  And called her.  Later, after she moved back to California, Leasa came over one day and shared stories about her granddad and the house he loved so much. 

Here is Leasa’s mom as the house was being built in 1961:

So, this should be the end of the story.  But, within a week or two of Leasa’s return to her granddad’s house, Jora received an unsolicited email.  It was from someone who grew up—40 years before--in the same neighborhood.  He had found Jora somehow.  Turns out, he has more to say on the subject:

"In 1997 when my Dad was dying of cancer, Dr Hindman told him to not worry about my Mom, that he would watch over her and make sure she was OK.  He fulfilled that promise.  . . .  Dr Hindman was a man of good character and went out of his way for many people."

Okay.  At some point in all of this, it dawned on me that 45 years from now will pass.  This is obvious, but not what you are contemplating with three kids who are so small. 

It also occurred to me that 45 years from now our kids, and maybe even grand kids, will have memories of our house.  May they find the inspiration to write a note to the then-owners about their time in the house, and the love, and the memories, and the laughter, and the joy, and—should we be so lucky—the “good character” they knew there. 

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