Here is me at 7 months (according to my mom). Looks like I'm moving a bit. And here's Harper at 8 months, just getting the hang of the push ups needed for crawling. Much nicer flooring in Hawaii in 1967.
Okay, so yesterday neither Kurt nor I took a photo. However, I had a few minutes break at work and for some reason was looking up info on Zermatt. In 1992 I was traveling and met up with old family friends who were in Zermatt to climb the Matterhorn. I joined them on a day hike to Hornli Hut which is base camp for those climbing all the way. From Zermatt center you take 2 funiculars to the base of the hike and then it's about a 3 hour walk up to the Hut. There you sit outside and have lunch (sausages I think) then walk back down. The day we went it looked something like this:
So while I did not take this picture (but these awesome people did), I'm calling it the picture of the day because I was having such a nice time remembering the hike and the lovely view of the mountains and especially the Matterhorn, I wanted to share.
There are lots of college and high school graduation pictures on Facebook this month and then I watched the finale of Glee this morning -- all the seniors graduating and off to whatever their futures hold. I was surprised at how moved I was at the thought of graduation (not the show itself). I thought back to my Seabury Graduation and how empty the day felt hours after the ceremonies were done and all there was to do was help Kevin pack up his room and wait for the party to start in the evening. It mimicked a big yawning chasm to cross before leaving for college. That afternoon was just odd and sad and quiet as Kevin and Lissa and I tried to pretend we were still having a great time.
Graduating from LMU was a little bit like that, though not as a sad. There was a trip to europe coming up that would extend the celebration. Instead of not knowing what came next, I knew I had to get ready to go traveling for two months. That was super fun. (When I got back from that trip and felt totally at sea, well, that was a different feeling entirely.)
Graduations are the symbol for moving on, closing one chapter and opening another. Maybe I'm moved more by these pictures and tv shows this year because of Harper. One chapter of my life is closed (before children) and this amazing new part has opened. I am loving this new phase in life so much and I am so happy, truly. Yet there is some melancholy and a few tears as I say good bye to the former life and move into the future. It's not because I miss that former life, more that it ended and endings can be hard even when all you want to do is move forward.
The day came to finally fly to Los Angeles to start my freshman year of school at LMU. We were going to the airport and I was so sad to say good bye to my home on Maui. Yes, I would be back for Christmas in a few months, but I wouldn't live there any more, I would only be back for visits from then on. I felt panicky and terrified and had that "what am I doing???" moment. But I couldn't turn back, no way! I had been waiting so long for that day. But dang it was hard to say good-bye.
But once you say good-bye, there are so many amazing new hellos to say.
(I just wish Jen could have come along in my future.)
I've been listening to the stories about the 20th anniversary of the LA Riots as an outsider because I wasn't here. I was on my second backpacking trip to Europe. But here's the odd/awkward thing: I sort of wish I had been here. Not that I wanted it to happen, but it's weird when everyone you know experiences something together on a massive scale and you didn't. (I got my chance to be part of the larger group in the 1994 earthquake...)
Instead, this was me in spring of 1992 (in Kilkenny, one of my favorite towns in Ireland):
I had been fortunate enough to backpack through Europe three years earlier after graduating from LMU. I went with Kelly, Katie, John, Dave and Vince. Kelly and Dave went on their own after we started in London. Vince, John, Katie and I had a great time. We got along so well for two months with only one tense time (in Tours, I believe). Couldn't have asked for a better traveling group. I liked it so much I wanted to go again, and this time went on my own. I saved up a bunch of money working on Alien 3 at Boss Film Studios, got my student ID card and Eurail pass and I was off. (Oh and the ubiquitous "Let's Go!" 1992 edition.)
When you travel alone you meet a lot of people, occasionally joining them on their next travel leg. I bounced around, making Paris my home base, taking trains here and there, visiting my pen pals in Germany, seeing the World Expo in Seville and meeting up with the Boss Film crew who was working in Cortina, Italy, on Cliffhanger. I spent the weekend there, climbed a mountain (as you do) and then met up with them again in Rome.
I really fell in love with Rome on this trip and it is still my favorite city to this day. I could go there any time, in a heartbeat. And it was in Rome that I found my best souvenir, one I still carry. My wallet. Just off the Trevi fountain is a leather store (I could take you there today if you like) and I found just the wallet I was looking for. Most waiters at cafes carry a money pouch that opens like an accordion and I wanted to find something similar and there it was:
It looked a bit spiffier 20 years ago, but it's aged so beautifully and I couldn't imagine using anything else even though the lining is giving way.
I went back to the same store when Kurt and I were on our honeymoon, but they didn't have anything like it to tempt me. (I went back to my favorite paper store and bought a bunch of stuff there instead...it's just past the Pantheon on the right side, I can take you there too!)
When she's old enough, I can't wait for us to take Harper to Rome and all the wonderful places we love in Europe. And when she goes traveling on her own, I wonder what will excite her and what souvenir she'll find that might last 20+ years.
Ten years ago today I woke up extra excited! Kurt and I were getting married. Jen and Grace and I went to get our hair done, then had In-N-Out for lunch. We all met up at the Los Angeles Police Revolver and Athletic Club and got changed into our wedding finery. It was a lovely day and all the flowers and leis were perfect. We took photos before hand, the last few gunshots were fired off at the range next door, we had a sip of champagne, then we got in our positions. Mom walked me up the stairs/aisle, Dorian sang beautifully, Jen and Glenn were waiting for us at the waterfall. Tom had a lovely ceremony and married us.
Then a wonderful party with friends from all over, dear loved ones, a few of whom are no longer here. Jen, Jack and my friend Jai and her lovely children. So glad there were there to help us celebrate and get us started on this wonderful path.
I can't believe it's been ten years already. Time truly flies when you are having fun and Kurt has been the most fun person in the world. How did I get so lucky to be married to a man like him? He's handsome and funny and brilliant and determined and dedicated and just so much fun to hang out with.
And soon there will be three of us! Amazing.
No one is more grateful than me for all the wonderful things I have in my life (and are about to have)!
Thank you Kurt for making my life even better than I could have imagined in my wildest dreams. Here's to the next ten!
The weekend before 9/11 we were in Boston for a funeral. Kurt's cousin Beverly had died and family gathered in Cambridge for the services. Kurt and I were engaged and this was the first time I had met most of his family. We flew home on Sunday, September 9.
My mom flew to LA on Monday the 10th to stay with us for a few days to help send out wedding invitations and to go with me to shop for a wedding dress. Tuesday morning, 9/11, the phone rang at about 7:00. Since my mom was with us, I knew it wasn't her and I had always told my sister not to call before 9am. I picked up the phone and it was Jen calling to say "turn on your tv, they're bombing New York!" I jumped up and turned on the tv. My mom was sleeping in the living room and I woke up Kurt as well. We all sat dumbfounded, watching the news.
A while later, after they had determined which aircraft had been hijacked, Kurt noticed that the plane that hit the South Tower was United 175 from Boston. The 8:00 am flight was the same that we had flown home two days earlier. We still had our boarding passes. It was even more sad to think that our flight crew might have been the same that died on 9/11. A tiny coincidence for us.
It was a strange strange day. After a few hours we could not watch anymore. The job I was working had production offices based in NYC (they were all fine, thankfully) so we skipped work for a day or two. On 9/11 my mom and I had planned to go to David's Bridal and look at dresses. We decided we might as well go and called to see if they were open. They were and we were the only people in the place. I found my sweet wedding dress on that very sad horrible day.
For the few days after 9/11 when all flights were grounded, it was shockingly quiet. We live in the landing path of Santa Monica Airport and not that far from LAX. There were no planes in the sky and it was a stunning absence. The quiet of no airplanes anywhere seemed so disturbing to me, proving how messed up things were.
I admit I was nervous for a week or so after. I'm so glad Kurt had already moved in and that my mom was there with us. My instincts were to duck when I was outside because who knew what could come from the sky at any moment. It wasn't an overpowering feeling and it wasn't rational, but there it was.
Amazing that ten years have gone by and how much has changed. When we picked up my mom at the airport, we could meet her as she came out of the gate. When we took her to the airport to return to Maui (on a nearly empty flight) we could not even drive to the terminal. I think we had to drop mom off at a spot where a shuttle bus picked her up to drive into the terminals.
I live in Los Angeles. In the summer of 2006 I worked in Mexico City. Instead of sending out giant emails full of photos to friends and families, I started this blog. The summer turned out to be a crazy one and this blog and my camera kept me sane. I didn't want to stop observing and writing when I got home to LA, so I kept the blog going.