Friday, November 6, 2009

Favorite {Photo} Friday--Aunt Susan

Sixty years ago today, in a small hospital in Oregon, one of my grandmas had given birth the day before, while my other grandma would give birth the next day... yesterday was my Dad's 60th birthday, and tomorrow is my aunt's 60th birthday! The story goes that my grandmas talked back and forth across the hallway. :) Ahhh, coming from a small town! :) Great stuff. :)

But this post today is about my Aunt Susan, for two reasons: first, my dad doesn't read my blog and Susan does, and second, because something happened this week that would have caused me to do a Favorite {Photo} Friday about her even if it hadn't been her birthday this week!

I think I've mentioned my aunt on here before. When Jason and I moved here just over two years ago we came here for his job, but a big fat bonus was that my Aunt Susan and Uncle Bob lived nearby. I've always been close with my aunt and I was really excited to live so close to her.

Little did I know just how close to her I'd be living! Our plan was to stay with Susan and Bob for a week or so, until we could find a furnished apartment (which are fairly plentiful here in the DC area). We wanted to look for a house to buy (our first!) and I wanted time to do it and not feel rushed into anything. (All of our "stuff" was in military transit from Italy--talk about a slooow boat!--so there wasn't a big rush there.) Susan happily agreed to this plan when I told her while we were in Italy, but once we were at her house she invited informed me that it was stupid to waste money on an apartment and that we'd be staying with her and Bob for as long as we wanted/needed to.

We were lucky enough to buy a house when the market was... well, let's just say that it was a buyers' market; it hadn't hit bottom yet but as buyers we had our pick of a lot of homes. Add in that I'm a Maximizer and it was our first ever home purchase, and you can understand that we looked at a lot of homes! I wish I'd kept track of the number, actually! Then even after we found a home, there was--what, a month?--until closing.

In all, Jason and I lived with Susan and Bob for just over two months. I would be kicking someone's ass out after two months, no matter how much I liked them! But I can't remember a single argument between the four of us [well, okay, maybe between Jason and I, but hello, we'd moved across an ocean and were trying to buy a house! LOL!]. And even after we technically had our own house, we didn't get our "stuff" for three more months, so we had a good excuse to be regular visitors at their house. :) And since she spoiled us so much when we were there, of course we wanted to be there all the time! :)

Even as we were more settled in to our house I'd drive in to have lunch and spend time with her. We'd stay there overnight if we had an event in DC (because they live so much closer than we do and are near a Metro stop) or if it was a holiday. In the morning she'd make us waffles with berry sauce and scrambled eggs and ham. I mentioned she spoiled us, right?

But, as they say, all good things must come to an end. I knew that Susan, an Oregon girl after all, was itching to move back to Oregon when Bob retired; it's been the plan for as long as I can remember! So, this past May they bought a place in Oregon and Susan moved back; Bob will retire early next year and join her permanently.

Like I said, this happened in May, and my first bullet point in this post was about it and how I'd "almost pulled myself out of the depression it left me in. (Almost.)"

HARDY HAR HAR I say to that! Because this past Thursday Bob called me to ask if I could come by the house that weekend; they'd gotten an offer on the house (I didn't even know it was up for sale!) and he wanted me to verify which furniture we wanted. Okay, yeah, sure! So we headed over on Sunday.

Since I've been there last, Bob's loaded up a couple of pods and shipped them to Oregon. So the house is basically staged, with their own furniture and art, for showing. But even though it was their furniture and art, it just seemed... well... empty!

I was absolutely fine when we were talking to Bob about the logistics of the move, when closing would be (he'll be moving into an apartment until he leaves), etc. Then he kindly and thoughtfully went downstairs to watch football while Jason and I talked over which items we wanted to incorporate into our home.

As soon as he left I felt like, PUNCH ME IN THE GUT, why don't you? HOLY SHIT IT'S REAL. They're leaving. They're GONE. And, okay, in all honesty, Bob is a great guy, incredibly brilliant, very kind, a fabulous uncle. But really, it was more like, SHE'S GONE. She's really, really GONE.


And, I'm sorry, I know that's a gross and vulgur thing to say, but sometimes, well, sometimes it just suits.

Some notes about the above photos:

  • In the spirit of embracing vintage and my awesomely stylish friend Cindy I just scanned these in and didn't do anything except take out the red-eye.

  • The first and second photos (in reverse chronological order, since the second one was taken on our way up to the mountain and the first one once we were on the mountain is my favorite) are from a trip when Susan and Bob came to visit and took me--just me!!--up to Mt. Hood to play. It was the summertime, which is why I'm in a tank top. I distinctly remember being thrilled--thrilled!--that I got to go with them by myself without my younger sister; I also remember feeling very anxious that I would let them down and be too boring or not worth their time. As I hope you can see in the first photo, I had a blast playing in the snow with my aunt! It's one of my favorite memories and I'm soooo glad that they took the time to take me--a punky kid--up to the mountain when I'm sure there were a dozen other things (at least) they could have done instead!

  • At a much, much younger age than the previous two photos, here's me and Susan. Check out her awesome overalls! I love these photos.

  • Here's Susan teaching me wrestling. I have very clear memories of this and it happened on many occasions! In these two photos, however, she is kicking my butt! Those pajamas I'm wearing are homemade by my mom and they were so awesome that I'm surprised my aunt is beating me in our wrestling match! Like my pajamas should be super unbeatable suits or something. :)

  • In the last photo we're riding a water ride somewhere here on the East Coast. Hershey Park? We'd (meaning my mom, sister, and I) come to visit and Susan took us around someplace.
So Sus, Happy 60th Birthday! I can't begin to tell you what you've meant to me over the years and what you mean to me now. I miss the hell out of you and love you more than you can know. Happy Birthday!


Jilliene Designs said...

that was such a sweet story and so well written! Your aunt sounds amazing! HAPPY BIRTHDAY AUNT SUSAN!

cynthia said...

I love this post!!!!!! Your one fabulous storyteller Cameron. So, capturing the beauty of this relationship over the years and you know I just love all the snapshots:) The one of you playing in the snow!!! with Aunt Susan. priceless. A big Happy Birthday wish to Aunt Susan. What a cool Aunt!

Lori Hudson said...

Happy Birthday Aunt Susan! I wish you still lived near my girl so she wouldn't be so sad. Maybe she will move near me one day and I will get to spoil her.

Sooz said...

Love your stories, Cam! Love your Aunt Susan, too! Happy Happy Birthday Cam's Aunt Susan! (a few days late!) xo

Jason Y said...

I miss you too Aunt Susan! Cam, I intend to tell you every day that you kick ass, but alas, I'm sure I don't. You're a helluva gal and after having the opportunity to become a "proper" nephew-in-law, I now know where you get it from. :) Ciao Belle!

Katie said...

I hope you are putting all your blog posts in a book.

and, SNIFFLE. Big hugs.