Thursday, April 23, 2015

April 23, 2015

Twenty-three years...

He died when I was twenty-two, so this year it's official or at least poetically so...he's now been gone longer than I ever knew him. In just under a month he would be 73. That age does not compute for me. In our family we siblings talk about crossing a somewhat ominous threshold....that of finally reaching the age he was when he left us...of outliving dad. Because I am the oldest, I will get there (or not get there) first. Not everyone in the family finds this discussion as funny as we brothers do. But it's nearly impossible, at this point, to let it go undiscussed.

On this anniversary of his passing I share five things, 
some of them reminiscent of his passing, some reminiscent of his living:

A picture at the graveside service. 
We have precious few (like 4) pictures of that day. 
Five of us are there (sans Kolby who was in Chile, an irreversible regret)

The April 28 funeral program. 
I like to be reminded of the names of people who were there, 
who participated, who loved this guy.

A scan of a "bereavement booklet" that someone gave to my sisters. 
The page I captured was Ana's. 
It's a glimpse of what grief looks like for a 9 year-old. Poignant, priceless.

The apple cider press...a relic of his past. I've tried to get rid of this heirloom many times, much to the chagrin and resistance of my mother. I know...she's right on this matter. This handcrafted masterpiece does one thing only: it makes juice. That's it. It's heavy, awkward and takes up space. But it's an embodiment of his craftsmanship and an inexplicable desire to do things differently, maybe even old school. Perhaps it was how he hoped to stay connected to a disappearing era.

A singular favorite picture of him, at the MTC, March 1989. He had lost some weight. And while he was never given to stylish dressing, in this pic he just looks great. He looks healthy, he looks happy. And, sadly, in three years he would be gone. I cannot look at this picture, ponder its substance, and not feel the flood of emotion. Oy...

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Colton Takes 1st with a Tie

 It's that time of year again ... well, in the Blackham house, it's almost ALWAYS derby season (as Grayson owns a track and runs derbies all year round). But in April, it is even more true! Not only is it the derby for our pack, but Gray hosts a builder's workshop in the weeks before, opening up our garage and tools for anyone who wants to come and get a little help with their car construction. I was off to a Zumba class that morning and didn't grab pictures like I usually do. 

Grayson is generally too busy helping everyone else during that time to actually work with Colton, but that's okay. Colton got some one on one time with Daddy a little later on, although admittedly, they were still rushing to finish up the night before the derby!

Not sure where Colton got the idea for a TIE car, but that is what he wanted. So that is what they made. Pretty cool! And in the actual race, there weren't many ties ... it was beating everyone!

Mr. Fancy Tie was the car name. 

Here's some video clips of the night ...

Congrats to Colton!
1st place!

Saturday, April 4, 2015

Blackham Bunnies

Hoppy Easter from the Blackham Bunnies ... I bought the blue ears years ago (see pictures below), added to the set with others. Got the glasses, and last year invested in the little mustaches. What do mustaches have to do with Easter Bunnies? I don't know, but it's a cute addition to the photo opp. A little funny thing with this picture. My sister Wendy was taking the shot, and she kept shaking her head and finally said "I'm just getting this GLARE just by Grayson's ... bald... head" ... Gray shifted a bit, out of the direct reflection of the sun, and we got another (less shiny) shot ...

As I mentioned above, we've had the fuzzy blue ears for several years now. I remember taking such a cute photo of the three older boys when they were just little ... I had to go find it and post it on Facebook (and now here on the blog). Awww ... aren't those the sweetest little bunnies?

And Colton some years later. 

I have a darling picture of Cooper in the ears, and other little bunnies in my previous Bunny Boys post. I know I have others too. As I posted these to the Interwebs, I got a comment asking if I had a picture of Grayson in similar garb... 

I did.
This was back in our dating days!

Well, enough bouncing down memory lane. Back to Easter 2015! As usual, it's my duty to bring the filled eggs each year. I bring home all the empties, store them, then bring them out for matching up and filling up. It's nice to have kid helpers, because it is a big job! Callahan even brought over his girlfriend and we put her to work!

Then it's off to the family party at my folks house, which we always do the Saturday before Easter. The grandkids are growing up! There are more "hiders" than "finders" anymore. Of the Blackham boys, only Colton donned a bucket and went out collecting (even Cooper helped hid this year). 

 A picture of some the grandkids in the photo opp props ...

 A photo of all the grandkids there that day ...

A photo of the people taking the photo...

As I'm bringing the eggs, I'm really not on the list to bring anything else, but I was shopping at Sam's Club and saw their yummy white cake with buttercream frosting. I L♥VE said cake and it was calling to me. They actually had Easter decorated cakes, but they had a coconut frosting. No ... buttercream is what I want. I know a cake doesn't necessarily fit in with the other Easter treats, but I bought one. I mean, we really SHOULD celebrate the April birthdays, right? Right ...

Happy birthday to Josh, Wendy, Camden and Layla.
Now give me a piece of cake!
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