Tuesday, March 30, 2010
Sunday, March 28, 2010
a little more close up...
We got some cool pictures at "The Bean" which I won't post because they have her girls in them and I don't think she posts pictures of her girls.
I really enjoyed meeting her girls. It was fun talking to them and hearing about their take on life and their plans for the future. They are a couple of amazing kids (and I'm not just saying that. really.).
I had a great day and I'm hoping we can do this again soon!
Friday, March 26, 2010
Thursday, March 25, 2010
We went to the Illinois Secretary of State so she could take her drivers test.
We had all kinds of issues getting her drivers permit when we first moved here. There was a bunch of confusion because she took drivers training in Michigan (but hadn't got her permit) so I would talk to one person on the phone and they would say "yes, it transfers" and then we would go into the Secretary of State office, wait in line forever, only to be told "no, it doesn't". Then I would be sent somewhere else...blah, blah, blah....it's a long story and not worth going into. Let's just say it took weeks and it was very frustrating.
So Tuesday, we go back to the Secretary of State and for some reason it's all messed up in their computer system. We are told that we may have to go back to the school (because they do their drivers training through the school systems) and start the whole run-around again! After much arguing and one very nice young lady who took 40 minutes (after her shift was over) to make some phone calls, we finally got the "go ahead" for Abbey to take her drivers test.
That was until the lady behind the counter asked if both of my license plates were mounted on my car (front and back). Shockingly, I had procrastinated on getting the stuff to put the front license plate on my car (hey, it's only been 9 months!). Mac gave me a look of "fear and I'm gonna kill you" with a little "you are so embarrassing" (I think every look she gives me has a little of the "you are so embarrassing" in it--it's a reflex).
I told her I would take care of it while trying to act like I wasn't panicking inside (she would kill me! How many 16 years old want to wait an extra day to get their license?) I'm thankful there are men out there who always have duct tape handy.
I was going to post a picture of my tape job, because I thought it turned out quite lovely, but then I remembered the whole blog safety privacy thingie.
Tuesday, March 23, 2010
Things have been a little busy around here but I wanted to try and get this written this am. Once I started writing I had a hard time keeping it short. Ugh!
Go here if you want to read other entries.
The white and crisp pages that I've inserted into the old diary are almost full with my story. I couldn't bear to write in Eliza's original. It felt some how disrespectful, but I wanted to keep record of our journey, Eliza's, Ava's and mine. I decide to read over today's entry one more time before turning the lights out for the night.
June 5, 2011
It's hard to describe the strong emotions I felt when I was presented your rusty nails today. When the man entered the room in his black suit and a sober look on his face, I thought he was being a little over dramatic. But when I opened the small pine box and looked at the nails I was overwhelmed with feelings.
It has been a long journey since that phone call from the airport executives. I'm still amazed they were able to track me down. And then the discovery of the box of old diaries that belonged to great great grandmother, Eliza, in the attic of a distant cousin.
Eliza didn't want you to be forgotten and you won't be.
I couldn't resist the urge to look back at an old entry of Eliza's.
So much for sleep....
April 5, 1849
Today your pa and I leave for the Oregon Trail. I can't stand the thought of leaving you behind, alone. So many times I have questioned our decision to make this trip, but the plans had been made and the money spent, long before the accident. I would forget the whole thing and stay here in Illinois if I could, just be near you. But it is impossible. One thing that brings me some peace is knowing that you will have a proper burial site, not an unmarked grave on the side of the trail somewhere. You will not be forgotten.
I turn a few more pages back....
March 28, 1849
Today pa and I laid you to rest. Pa built the coffin that holds you. You know how talented he is with woodworking. He put a lot of love into it and it turned out so beautiful. We are also going to have a nice headstone made for you. The cemetery is a small one just started up by a church here. I know it will be well taken care of....
I shake my head thinking of the years of controversy surrounding the moving of this cemetery. I had read about it in the Chicago Tribune. I never thought I had a connection. As far as I knew, most of my family was from California. I had just relocated to Chicago for a job two years ago when I got the call that I had an ancestor buried there.
I turn the pages of the diary back to the days after the accident.
March 25, 1849
My heart is broken, but I must write. I will write no matter how difficult because I want to hold on to every memory of you. Today is the end of a very long three days. We have been waiting and praying that you would recover. It was not meant to be. I will never forgive myself for allowing you to go with pa to practice with the new wagon and team we just bought for the trip. Then you would be safe in my arms today. Now my arms will forever ache for you.
I look over at the pine box I received today from the people handling the cemetery relocation. Eliza will be happy knowing that Ava's final resting place will be near her after all. Even though all that is left are the rusty nails from her coffin.
Tuesday, March 16, 2010
This one is much shorter (but still a little dark).
Hope you like it.
The Art Student
He tried to steady the charcoal that he held in hand. Holding it up to the blank paper on his easel only caused it to shake more violently. He moved the paper to his lap thinking he could contain himself better that way, only to have his legs join in the tremors that seemed to be taking over his body.
He had expected excitement, but not like this. All the human body sketches he had done previously were done with wooden mannequins. This was the first "real" person that he would be able to study and draw. No hinges, screws or wires to ignore, only smooth pale skin. The thought sent a shiver up his spine.
He was ready to prove them all wrong. The fancy art schools that wouldn't let him in. Said he didn't have the talent. Just wait till they see his genius now. Not only had he been practicing his art every waking hour but he had the ingenuity to find a nude model that he didn't have to pay or allow breaks. He could draw her all day (and night, if he found he couldn't sleep again).
"Yes", he smiled, taking a deep breath to calm himself, "I'll show them."