Category Archives: Family

Memory #3: The Incident in the Secret Passageway

So, I thought it was a secret passageway. Understandable, really. It was a small door, out of the way, unnoticed by grown-ups, but saved you from having to go down the stairs, which was both cool and practical. Plus, Grant’s head would definitely fit. It led to an entirely different part of the house, and if all my living vicariously through Nancy Drew had taught me anything, it was that a small, out of the way door that leads to somewhere else can only be a secret passageway.

The most important part of having a secret passageway, however, was having a little brother to test it out. There was no way I was going to get into the secret passageway first. It was reckless, it was dangerous, and it was a good thing I didn’t, because the secret passageway was actually the laundry chute.

So I convinced Grant that he should get in there instead.

We were mid-shove, with Grant’s feet dangling down over the washing machine on the floor below, when I heard heavy steps on the stairs, and a throat clearing noise that was halfway between shock and “Oh no you don’t!”

“Young lady,” you said, looking very stern. “Why is your brother in the laundry chute?”

“Oh he’s not,” I responded cheerfully, as I prepared to give Grant a final push. “He’s in the secret passageway.”

“We don’t have a secret passageway,” you told me, which I knew, because you had told me repeatedly throughout my childhood that we didn’t have a secret passageway, but I was determined to find one anyway. What can I say – Nancy was constantly finding them! You can’t blame a girl for trying.

“This is a door for dirty laundry to go through,” you continued as you got down on your knees and pulled Grant out. “And we do not put our brothers through that door. Understood?”

“I understand,” I said, sad that you had scolded me.

I was also sad that my dreams for a secret passageway had been dashed again. You have always been my fellow adventurer, so part of me was surprised that you were averse to the idea of the secret passageway. It’s only now that I’m much older do I realize that a love of adventure – even the childhood, backyard, made-up kind –  was always trumped, quickly and immediately, by your love for us. Every ramble around the block, every afternoon spent crashing through bushes or climbing on trees, was always under your supervision. You let us play and be wild and creative, but you were also always right there, just in case.

So I grabbed a blanket, a snack, and a Nancy Drew and headed out under the trees to live vicariously through my favorite adventurer for just a few more hours. Meanwhile, my other favorite adventurer looked safely on from the back porch. Just in case.

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Memory #2: The Prom King of Real Life

Everybody likes you. No really, it’s true! I have never met one single person who didn’t. We had to build an extra ten minutes into our grocery store trips just to make sure we had time to chat with the sample cheese ladies, and it seems like everywhere we went, we (you!) made new friends left and right.

This was especially evident when I went with you to Idaho Springs, for your 50 year high school reunion. We arrived at the outdoor pavilion and there were several groups of old friends sitting at tables, drinking lemonade, and catching up. I waited to see which group of friends you would join as we approached, when one of your friends spotted you. Immediately, everyone was buzzing that Dick – class president, head boy, and all around good guy – had arrived! It was the kind of welcome movie stars and royalty would dream of. You were the prom king of real life. The man of the hour.

After a few hugs and introductions, we flitted (can a 75 year-old man flit?!) from group to group, catching up with everyone. It demonstrated to me that you weren’t just my favorite person in the world, but that everyone, from cheese ladies to high school classmates, thought just as highly of you as I did.

I love you so much, Grandpa! Thanks for teaching me the importance of kindness, how to be sociable, and – most importantly – the fine art of the flit.

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Memory #1: Whoppers

I have never been tall. We know this. In fact, I’m pretty sure all of my LITTLE cousins are taller than me now, except for maybe Joy…hmm… But I have always been scrappy, and a pretty good detective, which is how I found out about the Whoppers.

You thought you had hidden them, but I saw you, every once in awhile, getting something chocolately and delicious out of the top cabinet in the hallway between the kitchen and dining room. And so, after much speculation about chairs and drawers and angles, I pulled out all the drawers below, scrambled up onto the counter (who needs a step stool?!) and felt around and found a carton. I pulled it down, shook it and heard its hollow rumble, and knew I had struck gold. I popped open the top and the balls came streaming out into my hands. I crammed several into my mouth, before I could get caught, and was just about to stash the evidence and wipe the chocolate off of my face when I heard that distinctive Grandpa chuckle. I looked up to see you standing there, smiling at me, shaking your head and cracking up. You had been watching me the entire time.

Busted.

Better luck next time, Harriet the spy.

I love you so much, Grandpa! I’ll see you in eight days! It’s almost birthday cake time! I wonder if we can make a Whopper flavored cake? YUM!

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For Grandpa

My sweet Grandpa passed away last week. He was 88. In addition to his many accomplishments, awards and honors, he was also just the best guy I know.  He and I had a very special relationship. I already miss him.

I will be posting some of the memories I’d been mailing to him, so everyone can share in his wonderfulness. In the meantime, if you’d like to read his official obit and leave a comment below, please do. He loved so many people, and I know his bright spirit lives on.

We love you, Grandpa!

Richard Everett “Dick” Davis, 88, was born on May 1, 1923 near Idaho Springs, Colo. at Floyd Hill to Margaret and Shelby Davis. He often liked to say that he arrived in a May Day basket with his twin brother, Bob.

He attended Idaho Springs High School, where he was a natural leader, popular student, and active Boy Scout. He was elected both Class President and Head Boy his senior year, and graduated in the spring of 1941. Dick would remain devoted to Idaho Springs for his entire life, serving as president of the Idaho Springs High School Alumni Association from 1994–2005, and continuing as an active member of the board until his passing.

Dick enlisted with the Army Air Force in January of 1942. He served as a 2nd lieutenant bombardier with the fourth army air corps until the war ended in 1945, when he returned home to attend college at the University of Colorado at Boulder.

At CU, Dick was a dedicated student, a proud member of Phi Kappa Tau fraternity, the university’s hiking club, and the civil engineering society, which he led as president his senior year. He also played co-ed intramural volleyball and was a long-time admirer of his teammate, Dee.

They married on August 27, 1950 and were married for 61 years.

Dick was hired by Rio Grand railroad in 1952 and was steadily promoted through a variety of positions. The Davis family moved between Utah and Colorado before settling permanently in Arvada in 1969. He retired in 1985 as Superintendent of Engineering, overseeing structures, buildings and bridges. Davis Road in Salt Lake City still leads to the superintendent’s office as a testament to his 34 years of service.

Dick was passionate about so many facets of his life. As a volunteer, he devoted his retirement years to many causes, including tutoring at Stott and Vanderhoof Elementary, volunteering for the PBS Channel 6 auction, chairing the CU class of 1950 reunion committee, and participating in Boy Scout activities with his sons and grandsons. Dick was a recipient of the Silver Beaver award in 1974, the Denver Area Council’s highest honor for Boy Scout volunteers. He was so proud that his four sons and one grandson obtained their Eagle Scout, scouting’s highest rank.

He also traveled widely, visiting 48 states, Europe and Asia with Dee during their life together.

He was a loving father and grandfather to his five children and 13 grandchildren, and he instilled in them a love of service, respect for nature, and a deep appreciation for family.

Dick passed away on May 4, 2011. He is survived by his beloved wife, Dee; his son Kirk and his wife, Lorna; his son Kip and his wife, Lynn; his son Kelly and his wife, Michelle; his daughter Heidi and her husband, Keith; his son Kerry and his wife, Jani; and 13 grandchildren: Eric, Hilary, Grant, Morgan, Ali, Hope, Ian, Kanessa, Kaylan, Faith, Grace, Joy, and Hannah.

Donations may be made to:

Denver Area Council

Boy Scouts of America

10455 W. 6th Avenue, Suite 100

Denver, CO 80215

Clear Creek Alumni Association

65 Brentwood Street

Lakewood, CO 80226

OASIS Institute

In memory of Richard Davis, Jefferson  County, Colorado

7710 Carondelet Avenue

St. Louis, MO 63105

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Terrible

This weekend was fabulous. Wind in your hair, shine in your shoes and a smile on your face fabulous.

Or, to be more correct, I suppose it was rain in my hair, red Converse sneakers, giant grin on my face, and the sun in my soul (even though it rained all weekend) fabulous.

Someone came to town, and boy howdy, do I wish he were able stay. There was cooking. There was kissing. There was giggling. And there was dancing. Lots and lots of dancing.

There was also, inexplicably, bowling.

Per the fabulous D, my mostly companion and partner in, not so much crime, but general what the fuck are they up to now?, please enjoy yet another tiny, beautiful movie, here.

My mom watched this movie yesterday. When she called to see how my weekend with Someone had gone, she casually mentioned watching D’s movie, and then informed me she had two comments regarding said movie. Comment one, was that Someone was very handsome, and quite a smooth bowler to boot (both true). Comment two was, “Hilary, you really are a terrible bowler.”

Truth again.

But I am even more terrible at being inside my own life at the moment. Because Someone is gone, and there is all this room now, in a bed too big, kitchen too hollow, chairs too empty, I am one and should be two, kind of way.

My friend E sometimes says, in moments of girl hysteria, that she is just too much for herself.

I am always too much for myself. Too much talking, too much laughing, too much singing, dancing, giggling and noise-making. Too much for anybody else to handle, so I’ll just take care of everything myself, thank you very much.

But now, I have found someone who can not only handle it, but who revels in it. Who also talks and laughs and sings and dances and giggles and makes a lot of noise. A lot of noise. It’s a little like living with a small tiger, actually. And despite the fact that I am often bursting at the seams of my life, it has been shockingly easy to make room for him in it. I always assumed that relationships require serious Tetris in order to work: you move here, I slide here, this job goes, this hobby stays, these words get to stay, these need to be silenced, wiggle, wiggle a little more, shake it really hard to test it, okay.

But this wasn’t Tetris. This wasn’t even hard. This is…it. It just is. I just know. And it wasn’t even a matter of making room, it was simply letting him fill up the place in my life that has been waiting for him all along.

So, yes, I am a terrible bowler. Though, I will have you know, not that it matters, not that you care, and not that it makes any sort of difference or adds to the dramatic value of this story in any way, that I did once get a strike during this particular bowling match. Ahem. I am also terrible at math, getting out of bed in a timely fashion, letting go of grudges and playing the guitar. I’m over it.

But I also love him terribly, which, for now, cancels out my being terrible at anything else, because all I need is this.

And that is just giant grin on my face fabulous.

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A random smattering of things of sorts

I have been neglecting my blog for the last two weeks-ish.  I always feel like I should apologize for doing that.  But then I always feel like asking myself why it is that I let an inanimate object of the web 2.0 variety make me feel bad things about myself.  Clearly it’s just a big hurricane of emotion over here.

I cannot stop eating dairy foods and crave them all the time. And by all the time I mean for the last three days.  Yogurt, cheese, enormous glasses of milk, cheese, and cheese.  This is only weird because I very rarely crave anything involving cows – beef, cheese or anything with a nice cow print upon it – nothing.  I am usually a straight up vegetable girl and I actually have been known to long for giant bowls of peas or 15 and a half brussel sprouts.  Some people find that weird.  Of course, those same people subsist solely on junk food and baked goods, and I find that disgusting, so there you go.  Besides, how weird is it going to be when you’re dead and I’m running marathons?  Not so weird that I won’t risk it.  Ummm anyway, cheese is great.

Speaking of marathons a little bit, I ran the BolderBoulder last weekend!  I used to not be able to run around the block, and now I can run at least 6.2 miles, most likely more.  At least, that’s what I like to tell myself. And I was not, contrary to what I assumed would happen, trampeled by skinny hippies.  No Internet, I ran the whole way, I was not trampeled, and I had such a great time running 6.2 miles that I did it again later in the week.  Although I have to tell you, it’s much easier to run when the whole city cheers for you, and it is less easy to run when you are by yourself.  So I guess it’s just like they say “Everything Is More Fun With Hippies.”  If they say that.  I guess I should ask my brother, who lives in Boulder 82% of the time.  G – Do they say that?  They should.

Speaking of The G (The G is my illustrious brother, in case you didn’t know) I would like to report a sad state of affairs: The G is actually not in Boulder like he’s supposed to be, but is, instead, in Arkansas.  Yes, that’s right, Arkansas.  Which means he’s missing out on all kinds of summer fun.  This fun includes, but is not limited to:

– Hiking in Moab with the Lutherans

– Seeing Harry Potter at the IMAX

– Riding bikes and playing with sidewalk chalk

– Drinking vodka lemonade on the deck (The G likes his girly drinks don’t you know)

– Telling me how great I look while I prance around in various wedding attire

– Scrapbooking

– Wait a second – this has turned into my summer list basically.  Which means it’s time to wrap this up.

In conclusion, I guess, this is not a post about a random smattering of things, but is mostly about feelings:  I feel conflicted, I feel fast, I feel like I miss my brother, I feel like I have way too many weddings to go to.  Oh – and I feel like I would like some cheese. 

Do you have any?

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Karma: both a bitch and a dinosaur. Discuss.

I had a dream last night.  Or rather, this morning. 

You know that weird 20-ish minutes before the alarm goes off, where you’re in the deepest level of REM sleep?  You know how sometimes, on this blog, I make shit up and it sounds like I know what I’m talking about?  You know that time?

I was awake at 6:00 a.m., and then I looked at my alarm and was all “No way am I getting up 25 minutes before my alarm goes off.  Even if I am wide awake, I’m stayin’ in here!” 

So I closed my eyes again, and before I knew it, I was dead asleep and having the strangest dream ever.  In the words of my sister Gosia, “Okay you guys, and here is what I dreamed:”

I dreamt that an apartment complex near my house was, instead, a large field with many seats around it.  Not unlike a stadium for baseball, football, or Quidditch.  You know, important sports that people like to watch.  But part of it was open, and people were just walking on and off the field – it wasn’t blocked off.

I was walking around the field with some high school friends – Chach, and someone we won’t name because she’s a heinous bitch.  Actually yes, we will name her: heinous bitch.  Heinous bitch shall be her name henceforth, forever and ever, amen.

We all turned toward the field to see that there was some sort of battle going on, between a man and a T-REX!  The T-REX was bleeding and stumbling about, and it seemed like the man had won.  THEN, the T-REX FELL OVER on top of the heinous bitch’s car!  And then we were all “Oh man, I HATE it when a T-REX falls on my car! Stupid T-REX.”

But then, the T-REX looked at us, like he had heard us talking so much smack about him.  He reared up, looked us in the eyes, and spoke.  He said “THIS IS FOR ALL OF THE DINOSAURS! RAAAAAAAWR!!!!!!!” and he came crashing toward us.

Chach booked it somewhere, I don’t know where, so then it was just the heinous bitch and me, trying to outrun the dinosaur.  She kept saying “WAIT FOR ME” but Dream Me was all “Uh, no thanks.  On account of I don’t have to outrun this T-REX, I just have to outrun you, heinous bitch!”

I pulled into the lead, and ran into the garage of one of my neighbors.  As I did, I heard the heinous bitch get eaten up by the dinosaur. 

And then I woke up.

 

In case you were wondering, yes I did tell my mom this story.  While I was in my bathrobe.  And yes I did act out the part about when the T-REX reared up and decided to seek vengeance on behalf of his fellow dinos.  And yes, Internet, she did have to hold onto a dresser because she was laughing so hard. 

I get no support.

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