deep down joy

fullsizeoutput_4e37A sibling may be the keeper of one’s identity, the only person with the keys to one’s unfettered, more fundamental self. ~Marian Sandmaier

Brother Dave came the day after Christmas and stayed until Friday morning.

He’s a brother in every sense of the word.

I noticed that Sarah in particular had to be close to him as much as she possibly could.


He hardly had room for his arms at times.

It was like she could sense that deep down inside, Uncle Dave could use another human Right There.  Us Grown ups all seem to have a little bit of sad vulnerability within us that is healed by the love and simple phrases of a child.  “Sit by me!  Can I come, too?  Will you read me a story?  Let’s snuggle.  Can I have a taste of your smoothie?  Will you play a game with me?  I don’t want you to go!”  Healed.

If a child is not available, any ol’ human will do.  “It is not good for man to be alone.”


Right away we had Christmas again.  Dave had already sent cards with money to the children but he brought the gifts from our parents that we all enjoyed opening up.


Sarah received the most adorable green umbrella with piggies on it.



The men received new shirts.



Rich tied the ribbon around his head.


Grace received beauty products.


By the time we opened our gifts Rich was ready for a nap.  He had already been awake for hours and had worked out with his wrestling team.  He likes to trap Seth in his arm on the couch when he goes to sleep.  Seth either falls asleep too, or waits quietly until he can sneak away.



Big family dinner all around the table.  I used the crock pot.  Flank Steak, sliced onion and green pepper, sliced fresh mushrooms, minced garlic, and a pat of butter slow cooked all day and then served over your choice of rice or mashed potatoes.


After dinner we sat at the table and visited and I ended up french braiding Dave’s hair like a Viking.


We went downtown for breakfast at the diner.



“When your breakfast is brought last.”


After eating we were filled with happy energy so we gave Dave a little driving tour of our town.

Meanwhile, it was so cold, in the single digits.


We made a stop at the thrift store.


I took this photo of Hess trucks to show Rich later to see if he had any of them as a boy.

And to show Seth what they used to look like.


And this one for my son David who likes knives, especially sharpening them.


Sarah found some boots for one dollar and a couple of books.  David found and purchased a big print of ships on the ocean.  Grace shivered.


Then we stopped at the coffee shop.  (This photo was taken across the street from it).


When I think back on our visit with Dave, the coffee shop stands out as a very pleasant memory.  It was warm and busy, art work on the walls and fairy lights around the windows was beautiful.  We had a corner table by the window, it was light and bright inside.  We played cards and talked and waited for our warm drinks.  Oh it was just so good for the soul.  Completely comfortable and relaxing… needed after a busy week/month of Christmasing.

Quick photos with five of his nephews and our dog Parker who also loved Uncle Dave.


Another very special memory was the walk we went on, just the two of us.

It was, I say again, icy cold outside.  But we bundled up and walked briskly in the freshest of winter air.


It was a delight to see tracks everywhere in the forest.





Shards of snow



Visiting the stream deep in woods is always a winter wonder.









sister and brother


We ended up at the chicken coop and I walked back to the stream to get a bucket of water.

DSC_1025Our brothers and sisters are there with us
from the dawn of our personal stories
to the inevitable dusk. ~Susan Scarf Merrell


5 thoughts on “deep down joy

  1. Great post. Have to tell you this one. I had one who loved knives. (btw: he was my middle child) When most of my steak knives went missing, I was puzzled as to where they may have gone. Thought maybe they were pitched into the trash after dinner…as happened to some of my silverware. The next spring, while weeding, the hubs found the steak knives stuck straight down into the flower garden. Nice. We dug them all out, cleaned them and still use them. They were a wedding gift and have been the best steak knives ever…in spite of the disappearance and discovery. OY!

  2. I have one brother, but no sisters. Next May I’m planning to meet my brother in LA. He and his wife will fly from their home in Madrid, Spain, and I’ll fly from Indiana. We’ve reserved an Air BnB in Seal Beach where we used to live. We’ll visit our old home in Long Beach and hope maybe the people will let us go inside. We also plan to go to Sequoia where our dad used to take us in the summers, and to Catalina Island which we all love. Should be a good time. Possible the last time I will go to CA since I am almost 80. (Doesn’t that sound old?) Forgot to say that we also plan to go up to Santa Barbara where Tom and I were married, and a bit further to see where we first lived. Glad you had such a good visit with your brother.

  3. your brother Dave has a twinkle in his eye! How special to have a friend in your brother! And grace looks stunning in that white coat! Loved the cafe….you painted a picture of it in my mind!

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