#tb, 4th of July, 2012

american flag

Independence Day.
A day to celebrate our freedom.
And to lavish the day with reds, whites, and blues.
To come together, with family and friends, spending the day relaxing, chatting, and eating.

A tradition.

A tradition our family has always embraced, year after year. Rudy at the helm, taking charge, making sure the constant rhythm of music was vibrating throughout, adding to the festive environment, enhancing energy, and conversations. He especially made sure bellies were full with good home-cooked food, and plenty of drink.

Yester-Year, on a particular 4th of July, our family was missing that tradition.

And it felt ironic.

roberto july 4 2012

I did chat, eat, and drink with Roberto, and laughed loudly as he ran around the pool waving the American flag, before he had to head off to his afternoon shift in a non-American restaurant. Brad had spent the night with a friend, then had made plans to celebrate with said friend on that 4th day. And Liz, well, she was socializing, kicking back in London, preparing for her long flight home.

There I sat. Independently. In California.
And there Rudy sat. Independently. In Arkansas.
Each of us doing our own thing.
I was reading, writing, and lazily watching TV.
While he made himself a meal, and lounged on the couch, entertained by sports.

Independence Day.
A day to be independent.
To lavish the day with self.
To be alone.
To gather one’s thoughts. And listen as fireworks explode skyward.
A reminder of our county’s independence.
Independence of being free.

california weather = arkansas heat

brad AR 2012

today, on this stagnant CA day, a day weighed down by extreme heat

i was reminded of 2012

when brad and i took a walk, on a stagnant arkansas day, a day weighed down by extreme heat

when we were

red faced and sweating

trotting along, in plus 100 degrees, hiking up a trail, trudging down again

A Man and His Computers


Repost from 3½ years ago because… I was reminded of the story I told (below) of a time when Rudy was working and living in Arkansas… and, similar to back then, today he was, again, in desperate need of a new computer…

hp computer

December 2012

Rudy stood in the small kitchen, bent over, one hand resting on his hip, the other wiping away the tears in his eyes. Brad had just presented him with a laptop computer.

Not long before that presentation, Brad and I arrived for a our two-week visit with Rudy in Arkansas. After setting our luggage in the appropriate rooms, and grabbing a hot cup of coffee, the three of us sat together on the couch and simply talked. Feeling excited, both about seeing his dad and the unexpected surprise hidden inside my backpack, Brad began a conversation about the necessity of a new computer for Rudy to stay in touch because, for months, Rudy would casually mention that the 6 year old laptop he’d been using was beginning to malfunction, making it difficult to even log on.

“Dad, seriously, you need a new computer.”
“No I don’t. I only used that one to check on sports,” Rudy answered as he pointed to the now nonfunctioning, old laptop. “Plus, that’s an expense we shouldn’t spend right now.”
“But, you should have a computer that you can use for anything, right Mom?” Brad looked my way, using his eyes and smile to coax me to chime in, to play along.
“Yeah, Rud, you should have a working computer to keep in touch with the world, and especially with us. One with a camera so we can Skype.”
“Skype? What’s that?”
“Anyway, Dad, you do need a new computer. You really do,” Brad stated as he walked out of the room.

Within minutes Brad bounded back into the kitchen with outstretched arms and said, “Merry Christmas, Dad.”

That’s when Rudy’s eyes suddenly filled with tears.

“For you, Dad. From all of us.”