The Way We Were

They hadn’t told us there was no passport photographer in the embassy. We only found out that Monday afternoon, when we tried to get in line there, in order to have our small mountain of adoption paperwork finally approved so that we could bring our new adopted son home to Texas with us.

But no, now we had to search for a passport photographer. Luckily, that didn’t take long because several such photographers were parked in vans in the backstreets around the embassy building. We handed little Nick to one of them, he took three photos and handed the baby back. We waited a few minutes, then walked back to the embassy with our Polaroids.

By that time the long line had grown longer, filled with couples and the babies they were trying to adopt. Several more lined up behind us, too, however, as the clock ticked on toward 5 p.m., we were the last couple to have our papers processed. We were happy and relieved. This long adoption ordeal was coming to a close after all this time, and tomorrow we’d fly back to the United States and baby Nick would see his new home.

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Or so we thought.

We were up early the next morning, packing up, double-checking our plane tickets, ready to grab a cab to the airport. Then the phone rang. My father-in-law from back in Texas. Turn on the TV, he said. And there was the plane, flying in slow motion through one of the World Trade Center towers and into the permanent memory banks of my brain.

Sept. 11, 2001, in Guatemala City. No, we soon learned, there’d be no flight. America was closed.

Posted in Family, Kids, Nobody Gets It Like They Want It To Be, Travel, War

Cucuzza Decides

After last year’s bountiful cucuzza harvest and part-time laugh riot, (a portion of which still remain high in an unnamed pecan tree), I decided I would skip planting the tasty giant Italian squash/gourd this year. For one thing, I was pretty much out of garden space – and cucuzza can take up your entire garden.

It turns out, however, that once you begin a relationship with cucuzza, you forfeit the right to decide. Cucuzza decides.

I was walking around the backyard in late June shortly after a downpour, when I noticed a very familiar young seedling growing up through the St. Augustine grass near the center of the yard. It was cucuzza. OK, I thought. So I pulled the grass from around the plant, then stuck a tomato cage over the top so the dogs would have at least a little difficulty before destroying it.

The didn’t destroy it. But how, I wondered, can I get the vine to grow up off of the ground so that I can still mow (and use) the lawn, and so the fruit will not rot in the grass? Two fence posts and a couple of lengths of rope later…

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Posted in Food, Garden, Nature, Nobody Gets It Like They Want It To Be

The Blue Ridge

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I finally put together a new gallery from our trip to Asheville, North Carolina earlier this summer. Asheville is a great little town nestled in the Blue Ridge Mountains, with an abundance of recreational possibilities, and a thriving arts community. We stayed just out of town in a vacation home overlooking the mountains and, as the entire month of August here in Texas has consisted of identical days hovering around 100 degrees without precipitation, I have thought fondly and often of the cool misty woods and mountains we enjoyed during our stay. Check out the new images here.

Posted in Photography

Get This Out Of My System

God knows I have come to hate politics, but here we go again.

It doesn’t matter if you personally dislike Hillary Clinton, because in your heart of hearts you have to admit that she is capable of serving as Chief Operating Officer of the United States without tearing the country and its people apart figuratively or blowing nuclear holes in the globe literally.

And in your heart of hearts, you know the same cannot be said of this guy:

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I’ve already called out Trump once, so my conscience is clear on that count. And even though I am aware I am essentially without influence, I just feel obliged, after watching what this guy has done over the past few days, to take this opportunity to urge people to vote in November. Don’t consider it voting for Mrs. Clinton, if that really is so objectionable to you. But for the sake of our country, cast aside mere political party partisanship and vote against Donald Trump.

The world will thank you for it later.

Posted in Politics