Sunday, April 26, 2009

"Secret" Wedding - Sentimental Sunday, No. 8

photo from weddingphotosnet
Richard and I were planning our wedding on the Queen Mary. It was to take place in front of all our family and friends on Sunday, October 25, 1987. However, at the time Richard was thinking about retiring from the police department and we needed to be married for one year before he retired in order for me to be eligible to receive his pension. I remember us standing in our kitchen talking about this and his not wanting to have to wait to retire for 18 more months. So, I suggested we could go to Las Vegas that weekend and get married. Just the two of us, and we wouldn’t tell anyone. He thought it was a great idea.

The only people we told were my Dad and my friend Patricia, who was also my matron of honor – and my boss. I needed to leave work early on Friday so we could head to Vegas. She kept our secret, as did my Dad.

On Friday April 24th we drove to Las Vegas on Friday afternoon, and headed straight to the courthouse to get our license. We wanted to be married on April 25th, exactly six months before our planned wedding on the Queen Mary. So, after obtaining our license we had a nice dinner, went back to the hotel to change our clothes for our wedding.

A little after midnight we went to the Justice of the Peace and were married at 12:30am, April 25th, 1987. I remember giggling through most of the service, especially at the “for richer or poorer” part. Richard laughed at that part too.

The weekend flew by and we had a wonderful time on our secret getaway. One memory that stands out is having dinner that night at Don the Beachcomber. They played the Hawaiian Wedding Song for us.

It was kind of fun having this secret that practically no one knew about. Although I wouldn’t have traded my fancy wedding day for anything – our secret wedding is almost more special because it was shared between just the two of us. And, here we are 22 years later – still together. And our secret isn’t such a secret anymore. Most everyone knows about it now, but we did keep it a secret for years. I love you Richard! I would do it all over again. Here’s to another 22 years – and then some.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Paintball Wars

Last weekend was "boys weekend". John had friends come to our house on Friday after school and spend the night. Then on Saturday our dear friend, Josh, came over to go paintball with John and his friends Reid and Justin. All the boys had a GREAT time. It was a beautiful warm sunny day. A perfect day for a paintball war.
Justin and Josh

Reid and John

Josh, John and Justin

Video of the fabulous Paintball War

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Sharon Lee - Sentimental Sunday No. 7

Sharon Lee was my parent’s first daughter. She was only 14 when she passed away. I can only imagine the pain my parents felt at the loss of their daughter after a twenty-seven month illness. Unfortunately I never met Sherry. She died in 1958 – I wasn’t born until 1959. But, I feel as though I know her – from the stories that I heard over the years, and I’ve always felt her presence in my life.

She had curly brown hair and a smile that would light up a room. She loved books, and drawing, and horses. She had a great laugh, and was a wonderful ice skater. She loved Mom and Dad, and Grandma Maurine. She adored animals of all kinds. I think she would have been a wonderful big sister to me.

When I was a baby, I had very bad colic. Pretty much nothing would calm me and I would cry and scream for hours. I know, being that JJ had colic as a baby, that as a parent you get so worked up because you can’t calm your precious baby. One day, my Mom was so exasperated that she finally just put me down on the couch and had to go stand in another room for a few minutes to compose herself. Above our living room sofa was a portrait of Sharon Lee. The minute my Mom placed me on the sofa right below the portrait, I started calming down and stopped crying. I was right below the portrait looking up at Sherry. Now you could say that it was a coincidence, or that the mere act of placing me down on my back calmed me. But over several weeks they tried putting me in different areas of the house and the only place that I calmed down was right below that portrait!

When I was about four years old, I would come into the house from playing in the backyard. Mom and Dad would ask me what I had been doing. I would reply, “Playing with Sister Sherry.” (I don’t remember this – but my Dad retold this story to me several times in later years.) My parents were surprised by this response, so they asked me what we were playing. I would retell stories that “Sister Sherry” had told me. My Dad said they were stories that I could in no way know anything about. They believed, as do I, that she was there – and she was telling me these things. This happened on more than one occasion.

I have a birthmark under my left arm. When I was little it looked like a large cluster of grapes. As my parents drove home from the adoption agency, carrying their precious cargo, my Mom noticed the birthmark. Sharon Lee had one that looked almost identical in exactly the same place.

I believe in Angels. I believe in Guardian Angels. I’ve felt for my entire life that Sharon Lee was my Guardian Angel. I believe that she helped to bring my little soul to my Mom and Dad to ease their pain and help them go on living. I have always believed that although I wasn’t born to John and Sylvia Porter that I was MEANT to be their daughter, and I have a sister named Sherry.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Poetry Month Continues

On Marriage
by Kahlil Gibran

This was a reading at our wedding. Kahlil Gibran, "The Prophet" is really a fabulous book. I highly recommend reading it, or at least excerpts of it. Fantastic!

You were born together, and together you shall be forevermore.
You shall be together when the white wings of death scatter your days.
Ay, you shall be together even in the silent memory of God.
But let there be spaces in your togetherness,
And let the winds of the heavens dance between you.

Love one another, but make not a bond of love:
Let it rather be a moving sea between the shores of your souls.
Fill each other's cup but drink not from one cup.
Give one another of your bread but eat not from the same loaf
Sing and dance together and be joyous, but let each one of you be alone,
Even as the strings of a lute are alone though they quiver with the same music.

Give your hearts, but not into each other's keeping.
For only the hand of Life can contain your hearts.
And stand together yet not too near together:
For the pillars of the temple stand apart,
And the oak tree and the cypress grow not in each other's shadow.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Happy Easter - Sentimental Sunday No. 6

Happy Easter everyone. I hope that whatever you are doing - you have a beautiful day.
Cindy - Easter 1965 - I absolutely LOVED that parasol purse!
I have many fond memories of Easter. When I was young we would go to my Pop’s house for dinner and the Easter Bunny always made sure to stop by to hide eggs for me.

John E. Porter was my Dad’s father. He and his second wife - Grandma Bessie - lived in Simi Valley. To be honest, I don’t really know a huge amount about Pop. They moved to Arkansas when I was five or six, and I don’t think I ever saw him again after that. He died when I was nine. But, I remember him so fondly – and with a great amount of love.

After they moved he would send me pictures of animals in their yard, and he and Grandma Bessie sent what I believe was my first “grown up” Bible. When we visited them he would take me on a short walk out onto their property. From there we could see the train going by. We would stand and count the cars of the train together. It is a very happy memory for me and I think of him every time I see I train passing by.

Pop worked for years at MGM. He was the person that got my Dad involved in the movie industry. Pop was a prop maker and he worked on many famous movies – The Wizard of Oz and Gone with the Wind to name a few. He is buried in Bentonville Arkansas, very close to his brother, Gilson. Someday I would very much like to travel to his gravesite to pay my respects to a man that I didn't know very well - but loved nonetheless.

Here a couple of photos of me on Easters past. Today I got to have my own Easter Egg hunt. My son wanted to hide eggs for ME today. So, he did that and he hid them well. I had fun searching for them, and I think he had fun hiding them for me.

Cindy - Easter 1962

Cindy and Sylvia (Mom) - 1963

Friday, April 10, 2009

A Time to Talk

In our continuing tribute to Poetry Month, here is the next installment. This poem is titled, "A Time to Talk" by Robert Frost. I like it because all too often we become wrapped up in our daily chores and responsibilities and forget about human contact and enjoying the little things in life - like a wonderful chat with a friend.

When a friend calls to me from the road
And slows his horse to a meaning walk,
I don't stand still and look around
On all the hills I haven't hoed,
And shout from where I am, 'What is it?'
No, not as there is a time talk.
I thrust my hoe in the mellow ground,
Blade-end up and five feet tall,
And plod: I go up to the stone wall
For a friendly visit.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Cherry Blossom Time

First of all - this is our 100th post! I can't believe it! Now, on to our topic for the day.

Words cannot describe the beauty of Salem in the springtime. Sunday was an absolutely GORGEOUS day and we enjoyed the sunshine and fresh air at the Capitol Mall - amongst all the fragrant and colorful cherry blossoms.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Poetry Month - Don't You Quit

This was my Grandma Maurine's favorite poem. The author is unknown, and I don't know when the poem was written and published. However, my Grandma had it typed in a book of song lyrics that she had typed in the 40's. So, the poem has been around a good long time. Enjoy this inspirational reminder that life can sometimes be daunting, but we have to remember to never give up and keep trying our best at whatever task is at hand.

When things go wrong, as they sometimes will,
When the road you're trudging seems all uphill,
When the funds are low and the debts are high,
And you want to smile, but you have to sigh,
When care is pressing you down a bit-
Rest if you must, but don't you quit.

Life is queer with its twists and turns,
As every one of us sometimes learns,
And many a fellow turns about
When he might have won had he stuck it out.
Don't give up though the pace seems slow -
You may succeed with another blow.

Often the goal is nearer than
It seems to a faint and faltering man;
Often the struggler has given up
Whe he might have captured the victor's cup;
And he learned too late when the night came down,
How close he was to the golden crown.

Success is failure turned inside out -
The silver tint in the clouds of doubt,
And you never can tell how close you are,
It might be near when it seems afar;
So stick to the fight when you're hardest hit -
It's when things seem worst that you must not quit.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Sentimental Sunday - No. 5

Richard Mulligan - 1960 - on the left

The 1960 Winter Olympics were held in Squaw Valley, California in February. The Olympic flame was flown from Greece to Los Angeles, and from there it was run through California, on its way to Squaw Valley. Local High Schools along the relay route ran the torch up the I-5 corridor over the Ridge Route. One of those high school runners was Richard. All of the torch bearers were scheduled to run one mile segments. However, because the relay was behind schedule the decision was made to break up the runs into half mile segments. So, Richard ran two half mile legs through the San Joaquin Valley – between Bakersfield and Tulare. (Interesting side note, that year’s Olympic torch was designed by a Walt Disney artist. Again, Richard and Cindy’s paths crossed before we even knew each other.)

That night there was a banquet in Tulare to honor the relay runners. Awards were given to them by Keenan Wynn, actor, and Bob Mathias, two time Olympic Gold Medalist in the Decathlon. (Bob was from Tulare, California)

Richard remembers this event fondly and was honored that the administrators from Exeter High School chose him to run the torch. He was very involved in track at the time and was Student Body Vice-President.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Phenomenal Woman by Maya Angelou

My second installment for Poetry Month. Love this beautiful poem by Maya Angelou. I dedicate it to all the of phenomenal women in my life - near and far... family... both "in person" friends and those I've met in this wonderful cyber world. Enjoy!

Pretty women wonder where my secret lies.
I'm not cute or built to suit a fashion model's size
But when I start to tell them,
They think I'm telling lies.

I say,
it's in the reach of my arms
The span of my hips,
The stride of my step,
The curl of my lips.
I'm a woman
Phenomenal woman,
That's me.

I walk into a room
Just as cool as you please,
And to a man,
The fellows stand or
Fall down on their knees.
Then they swarm around me,
A hive of honey bees.

I say,
it's the fire in my eyes,
And the flash of my teeth,
The swing in my waist,
And the joy in my feet.
I'm a woman
Phenomenal woman,
That's me.

Men themselves have wondered
What they see in me.
They try so much
But they can't touch
My inner mystery.
When I try to show them
They say they still can't see.

I say,
it's in the arch of my back,
The sun of my smile,
The ride of my breasts,
The grace of my style.
I'm a woman - phenomenally.
Phenomenal woman, that's me.

Now you understand
Just why my head's not bowed.
I don't shout or jump about
Or have to talk real loud.
When you see me passing
It ought to make you proud.

I say,

It's in the click of my heels,
The bend of my hair,
the palm of my hand,
The need of my care,
'Cause I'm a woman
Phenomenal woman,
That's me.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

April is Poetry Month

I read somewhere that April is Poetry Month. So, throughout the month I will post several of my favorite poems. Enjoy!

The last stanza of "Among School Children" by W.B. Yeats

Labour is blossoming or dancing where

The body is not bruised to pleasure soul.
Nor beauty born out of its own despair,
Nor blear-eyed wisdom out of midnight oil.
O chestnut-tree, great-rooted blossomer,
Are you the leaf, the blossom or the bole?
O body swayed to music,
O brightening glance,
How can we know the dancer from the dance?
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