Tuesday, September 29, 2009
Monday, September 28, 2009
At first he was shy, and he ran away. But I waited him out, and got this cool silhouette when he came back to continue his hunt for acorns.
Sunday, September 27, 2009
Yesterday we attended a memorial service for Eric's grandmother, Mamise (pronounced May-meese, it's a nickname her sister gave her because she couldn't say Mary Louise). She lived to be 91, and had a long, full life. I didn't know her well, but I will certainly remember her fondly. She had a way about her, and I thought she was very funny. Yesterday was a beautiful day, and we spent it remembering her life. I enjoyed listening to the stories of family and friends, and I'm so glad I had the opportunity to know her.
I took this picture of Mamise at the beginning of August.
Eric spoke at the service, and I'm including his words below. She was his Nana, and I know he misses her.
For those of you who don’t know me, my name is Eric Schwarz. I am the oldest son of Jeffrey, as his mom usually called him (especially when he was in trouble), which means that Mamise, who I called Nana, was my grandmother. For the record, my grandmother drove a Camaro Z28 convertible and owned a Super Nintendo.
As one of Nana’s grandchildren, I realize that you won’t find a better grandparent than one who is as passionate about eating candy, playing with toys, and having fun as you are. We would arrive on the Vineyard every summer and scramble into Heaven Between, where Nana had 3 things waiting for us: a fun pack of sugary cereals, several brand new presents, and a collection of perfect skipping stones.
The cereal was devoured and the new Lego sets and puzzles were put together, much to Nana’s delight, but the most meaningful items were the skipping stones. Each one hand-picked from her own beach and saved throughout the year so that they were waiting for us when summer came around. The great challenge was that in order to enjoy the skippers, we had to return them to the sea. And as I watched a particularly good rock bounce across the waves, I would hope for the ocean to bring it back to the beach so Nana could find it again the next year.
Of course the toys waiting for us when we arrived were never enough. Many trips were made down to Brickman’s for even more board games and card games, endless sports equipment, and plenty of water floats.
As much as we loved to play, she seemed to love watching us even more. There were several adventures to Oak Bluffs to ride the Flying Horses or play mini golf. In those cases, I can remember her excitement and pride when we would get the brass ring or make a great putt.
But Nana especially enjoyed watching us play ping pong. She would stand on the back porch of Heaven Above and just be thrilled to watch us hit the ball back and forth. She would always comment about how fast we hit the ball. And it became a game within a game, to do really well and get an enthusiastic response from her. I didn’t realize at the time how much joy that brought her.
For our annual charter fishing trip, we would bring enough GORP and Cheez-Its to last the afternoon, but, Nana would insist on buying us enough snow caps, candy dots, jaw breakers, sour patch kids, gummi worms, gummi bears, and anything else we could scoop out of the bins to last several weeks.
Heading out of Edgartown on a 40 foot boat, like the scene in Jaws, we’d be off to catch blues and stripers and nobody on board was more excited than Nana. When the pole bent sharply, indicating that a fish was on the line, she would let out a cheerful “hey!” as one of us kids worked to haul the fish aboard.
The best moment was when Nana would take her turn to reel one in. We were catching 40-50 inch bass, which was a challenge for me at 17, and there was Nana – 5 feet tall, 90 pounds, 80-something years old – not only fighting this massive fish, but fighting off my dad as he offered to help.
And that’s how I’ll remember her. Out on the water, sun blazing down, fishing pole in hand, a huge smile on her face while fighting to bring in the big one. And never giving up.
Friday, September 25, 2009
Thursday, September 24, 2009
Wednesday, September 23, 2009
Monday, September 21, 2009
Friday, September 18, 2009
Wednesday, September 16, 2009
Monday, September 14, 2009
We also visited Puffer's Pond and enjoyed soft serve ice cream (courtesy of Will) from Franklin (one of UMass's dining halls).
Sunday, September 13, 2009
The show was sold out, but I got tickets about 5 minutes after they went on sale, so we didn't have to worry.
We were so happy to be there. The only downside was that we stood next to the most annoying girls on Earth. You can see one of them chugging her beer. Yes, I'm pointing her out - that's how obnoxious she was. In order to get away from them we had to move to a space where we couldn't see much, but at least we could enjoy the music without some freak hollering in our ears.
Greg Holden, a musician from the UK, opened for Ingrid. He was good, and he sang the best (only?) cover of "Walking On Sunshine" that I've ever heard. Check out his website to find his music.
After the show we waited around while the crowd was clearing and we saw a guy bringing something backstage to have it signed for a fan, so we ran over and asked if he could get our tickets signed for us. HE DID!