Mauri just wrote and recorded a new song. I should probably put new in quotes since he got the idea for the hook line years ago. Maybe he’ll tell you the story sometime.

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macy family reunion

Every three years the descendants of Harlan and Clara Macy gather at Harbor Villa on the Oregon Coast to celebrate our common roots. Since I share no “roots” per se, I celebrate those I’ve grown to love over the past 24 years as a Macy. The family is much (much) larger than those who gathered, but I prefer a more intimate group anyway.

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Before the first event, I availed myself of the beach within reach, the one with the two matching rocks (except for the hole in one). I couldn’t have asked for a more perfect walk-on-the-beach day.

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On the way back I spied some familiar faces—these dear ones—enjoying a beach walk as well. I was more of a surprise to them than they to me, since I know they own a little summer place in Rockaway. Still, it was a serendipity!

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These are three of the four offspring of the oldest Macy brother, Jay. Their brother Doug died this year, a big loss in many ways.

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These sisters belong to Bernice’s tribe. They were focused on the food prep, a task they’ve taken on for many years. No small undertaking! This year I was recruited to grill the onions. You might have wondered what was that enticing aroma in the air yesterday. Yup, that was us!


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You can see where Mauri’s dad fits into the large family.

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Karen and John Macy are from Dwight’s bloodline.

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Brother Howard chats with cousin Richard, Macys both.

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It’s good to honor our heritage, even an inherited one through marriage.

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Once again we have reason to be grateful for this place.

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watch what you say

This mama has to watch what she says in front of her daughter.

A few weeks ago I was enjoying some time with one side of my extended family down in Arizona as we celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary. Someone mentioned staying at Aneta’s house, and without a thought I was proclaiming she and Kent have the most comfortable guest bed and pillows I’d ever slept in/on. Though several years have passed since I enjoyed sleeping at the Hullingers’ home, I hadn’t forgotten their exceptional accommodations.

I was only speaking affirmation, not broadcasting a hint while someone in the room might be taking notes. I’d momentarily forgotten that dear daughter Quinn thinks her mama should have everything she wants, as I added to my proclamation—for effect and emphasis—that my pillow offers me far from ideal support and that I have to turn it several times during the night. Poor me!

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All that I just told you came flashing back as I opened a big box Mauri brought in from the porch.

We decided that instead of watching what we say around Quinn, we’ll start strategizing what we want for an upcoming birthday and start dropping subtle hints around her. Do you think she’ll catch on?

Thank you, dear Quinn (and Dusty). You made my birthday complete. I’ll sleep well tonight.

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our family is expanding

You might think from the title of this post that another grandchild is on his/her way.

Actually, that is true! Last night Bailey asked Sarah to be his wife, and she said YES!

Their attraction began right under our noses while our families built a home together last Thanksgiving.


Bailey and his friend Seth played football together at Gilbert Christian High School, and he’d spent time at the Lanzel home over the years. Seth also went to college with Bailey their sophomore year and had built with B in Juarez more than one June.


So our Thanksgiving build was a great opportunity to include his dad and two sisters!


Bailey had his sisters along too, of course. Convenient, right?


We’ll likely all think back to this build with special fondness, given what was happening in the air.


Maybe Randee, Bailey’s other grandma, sensed something.


Hmmmmm, I notice now, Bailey lingering nearby, playing it cool.

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Of course, NOW——knowing what we know——it’s fun to examine this half of the team picture! Sarah’s sister, Ashley, between Erin and Cassidy; Seth above Cass; Sarah next to Maris; their dad, Chuck, above her.

Fast forward . . .

Bailey flew back to Dordt College to finish out his first semester, then home again for Christmas break. Already the story was unfolding, and we got a glimpse of the budding romance when we returned to Arizona to spend Christmas with our Carlson clan.

Then just like that Bailey was on a plane to spend his spring semester in Spain. But you know what they say about what absence does to the heart.


Sarah took some time away from her studies at Midwestern University (working toward a master’s degree in occupational therapy) to visit Bailey. If that tells you anything.

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And just before the family went on this epic cruise to Belize, Honduras, and Cozumel, Bailey shopped for a ring.

He already had his plan formed, and wasted not a moment to execute it——with his sisters’ help. (Don’t you love that?)


She said yes!


(Fine camera work by Marissa. Videographer: Cassidy)


It fits!


Worth a kiss . . .


She loves it.


Up close.


From the “looks” of things, they like each other.


Now let’s talk to those conspiring sisters of yours, Bailey!


Guilty as charged!

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The rest of the story is yet to be written. Stay tuned . . .

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Last Sunday our church welcomed a new pastor. My love of the camaraderie in a group effort led me to accept the task of planning and overseeing a welcome picnic on the lawn after the morning service. I recruited lots of help, making it extra fun. One of the highlights was creating a photo booth with the Fourth of July theme. I pulled out a big flag I keep stored away to use as the backdrop and visited the local Dollar Tree to find dress-up fun. I recruited a volunteer to shoot the pictures, and she did a great job.

Here are two office volunteers and their husbands, among the many photos taken in the booth.



Quite a few booth visitors expressed curiosity about the flag, and I told them it was the backdrop for a photo taken of my first husband, Paul, when he was a little boy.

PWC and flag

Later, when I found the picture, I realized my mistake! Comparing the photos I could see the star configuration did not match. In Friday’s newsletter, I shared a link to the “book” I made of all the photos but also had to issue a correction for those who asked about the flag.

My friend Carolyn noticed the correction and sent me a note saying:

“You got me curious…. the flag in your picture (is the cute one you?) is the 48 star flag we grew up with that was good from 1912 to 1959.

There was one year with 49 stars (7 rows of 7 stars each) in 1959-1960 when Alaska had become a state but not Hawaii.

Now the flag is like the one in your picture backdrop, which was made in 1960 and later with 9 rows of stars alternating between 6 and 5 for our 50 states.

Did you know there have been 21 versions of our flag since 1777 starting with 13 stars and changing as new states were added. They have all had 13 stripes except for the one from 1795 -1818, which had 15 stars in 5 rows of 3 each and 15 stripes.

Now how is that for useless trivia?”

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One reason, or I should say eleven reasons, I look forward to retiring the end of September is/are my eleven grandchildren. While I admit I’m not the “cool” grandma I aspired to be, I still enjoy the thought of being more connected to them when my life is a bit freer. I also hope to be more faithful to this blog, by the way, if I remember how.

For fun, I’m about to share recent pictures of all eleven. Each one is exceptional in my eyes, of course. You can interpret that two ways, and both would be correct.


The Anderson three (Bailey, Marissa, and Cassidy plus parents) about to start a weeklong cruise south of the border.

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Oscar, heading toward fourth grade in the fall.

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Sage and Brynn, like to play Cootie. I do too!

Will and Lincoln

Will and Lincoln at the Tilikum 4th of July Fun Run.




In birth order: Declan, Avery, Emery, decked out for their July 4 celebration.



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the ocean remembers

Today marks three years since our Rachel died. Memories of the hard stuff have started to fade and the good stuff has begun to stand out. Mauri and I were invited to join the whole Macy clan at Harbor Villa yesterday, the place in Rockaway Beach that holds years of happy memories and was a favorite for Rachel. Mauri’s brother, Howard, and his immediate family had already enjoyed a whole week together there, while our kids and their kids camped all week farther down the coast in one of their favorite spots in Manzanita.

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It was a gorgeous day, as you can see, and I enjoyed a power walk on the beach.


Mauri had his camera aimed at me as I surfaced.

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Rachel didn’t want to miss any of this, but John is an intentional dad and Oscar is doing well. Heading toward fourth grade in the fall.

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Nate (Howard and Margi’s son) and Amy were the dinner preparers. You can see he brought his pizza oven from home for the occasion. Amy rolls the dough and Nate bakes it for 10 seconds on each side.

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Inside we loaded up our individual crusts with our favorite toppings, then Nate baked it (again). Delicious! We have one of those ovens at home too. I imagine we’ll be pulling it out again one of these days.

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Cousins John and Hannah do some clean up.


Erin cuddles a sleepy one.

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The Brothers Macy.

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Pete behind roses from our garden.

The day was altogether lovely.

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