Monday, January 23, 2012

An Unlikely Pair and the Ruby Ring...

15 years ago Jamie and I made a decision that would change our lives forever. We moved from the city of San Diego to the burbs of San Diego. It was time for us to go from home-renters to homeowners. We did our research, looked for nice neighborhoods, with good schools and lots of parks and outdoor areas. We found a brand new community in the Southbay and decided to check it out. Once we rounded the corner into this beautiful new neighborhood, I immediately felt this was going to be our home. Jamie however wasn't so sure. After looking at many houses on various streets we came across the house. The minute we walked through the front door I just knew this was the house where Tatiana would grow up. We looked from room to room and then went to the backyard to check out the possibilities of what was then a blank slate.

Suddenly a head popped up over the fence and said, "Are you two buying this house?" I swear it was a scene out of the old TV show, Home Improvement. It was as if Mr. Wilson lived next door! Shortly thereafter we found out it wasn't Mr. Wilson after all, it was Mr. Jim. Mr. Jim and his wife Miss Corinne (as we affectionately call them) would soon become our new neighbors because we ended up buying the house! It was 1997 and Tatiana was 2 years old. 

Mr. Jim and Jamie became fast friends. At the time Jim was in his 70's and Jamie was in his 30's. They were quite the pair. They gave each other grief like father and son and very quickly considered each other just that. It was an unlikely pairing of two of the most opposite people on the planet...but it worked. Kind of like us!

One of the things the two of them always joked about was Jim's ruby ring. Jamie always called it his pimp ring! Jim always said he was going to give it to Jamie when he died. It was in jest but it always freaked me out when they talked about it. I could go on and on about the bantering back and forth that Mr. Jim and Jamie did over the years. It was a strange love but it was theirs.

Sadly, we lost Mr. Jim quite a few years ago and that was truly one of the saddest days we can remember. We were all devastated but Jamie was heartbroken. It was as if he had lost his own dad.

Jim's relatives flew in from New Orleans for the memorial service and as we were all sitting in Miss Corinne's dining room she came downstairs with a box. She handed it to Jamie and told him that Jim thought of him as a son and always wanted him to have his ring. There was not a dry eye in the house. Jamie now wears Mr. Jim's ring every single day. If it's not on his finger because of work, it's around his neck on a chain...always close to his heart.

Little did we know, 15 long years ago, that not only would we raise Tatiana in our wonderful home, but we would also have a built in California family right next door. Mr. Jim is now our angel in heaven and Miss Corinne is our angel on earth, otherwise known as our Cali Mom. How lucky are we?!

Monday, January 16, 2012

MLK....Thank You.....

How do you say thank you to someone who...... 

~Stood up
~Spoke out
~Paved the way 
~Made change 
~And gave his life 

It feels impossible.  But today that's what I want to say.  Thank you, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. for making today better than yesterday.  Now it's our turn.  Happy birthday.....

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Pirate Play.....

 Us in Sunriver, OR
Tatiana and Me....Christmas in Sunriver, OR
Happy New Year everyone! As you can see I took a little break from writing over the holidays. The fam and I took a vacation and spent some much needed time away in Sunriver, Oregon with 27 of my relatives. Every 4 years we ALL meet in Sunriver for a fun filled Christmas celebration. Our group included, my parents, aunts, uncles, brother, sister, nieces, nephews, cousins, children, girlfriends and boyfriends! We had 4 lovely cabins on the same street which enabled us to go back and forth for meals, movies, games and fun! My parents cabin even had a Christmas tree, so of course we had Christmas dinner there for the full holiday effect.

I have been going to Sunriver with my family since I was in 4th grade. Without doing the math, let's just say that's a VERY long time! I love that I'm now sharing a piece of my childhood with Jamie and Tatiana. Besides going every 4 years with everyone for Christmas, we try and go off and on with my parents and siblings in the Summer or Fall just for fun.

This particular visit had an unusual twist to the activities. When I say unusual, that is truly an understatement. My Uncle Joey, who I just love, brought his girlfriend with him this year. The 2 of them make a perfect couple as they are both a bit eccentric. I LOVE that about them because I can totally relate! They met in the theater in their small town in Washington. Joey was performing and Carol was part of the "crew." Being the creative people that they are you never know what you are going to get. that! This time what we got was...drum roll please....a Pirate Play! Yes, that's right....a Pirate Play.

Carol wrote a play 5 years ago and thought it would be fun if the family could actually act it out together with costumes and all! She brought 2 suitcases full of amazing costumes and accessories, along with scripts for everyone. She went around to each of us and asked who wanted to participate in the play and who wanted to be audience members. I had EVERY intention of being an audience member until she looked at me and said, "I'm counting on you to participate." Well, for some reason I just couldn't say no! I think it was the look in her eyes. =) Jamie, on the other hand, had no problem saying no! He thought it was HILARIOUS that we were actually doing a pirate play! Um, his exact words..."white people" followed by lots of laughter! Bella the Fortune Teller in the Pirate Play
Uncle Joey and Girlfriend Carol  
Needless to say we ALL got a kick out of the play and had a blast doing it. The audience members couldn't believe what they were seeing, and all of us will probably talk about this particular Christmas festivity for years to come! Jamie is still cracking up to this day.

Jamie as an audience member. Me as a play participant.
Next year we are spending the holidays with Jamie's family and I can guarantee there will not be any Pirate Plays! Hmmm....maybe I should suggest it? ;)