celebrating family

I’m in Arizona on a quick trip for a specific celebration. But when I made the arrangements to take time off work, I didn’t realize I’d be here for Fathers Day too! So I’ve enjoyed two celebrations for the price of one!

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Quinn and I drove down to beautiful Oro Valley to the home of cousin Aneta’s daughter Stephanie, arriving at the appointed time with the aid of her smart phone. I’d read about the forecast thunderstorms and carried an umbrella all the way from Oregon in order to be prepared, like any Boy Scout would.

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Though it threatened with wind and a few drops of liquid sunshine, no tears were shed over a ruined party due to weather. Instead the cloud cover cooled the desert and made it ideal weather for an outdoor celebration.

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Stephanie (along with her husband, Jason, and children, Faith and Christian) did a lovely job of hosting us with a delicious meal and space to visit. I was occupied with living in the moment and didn’t do the best job of photographing the event. But you’ll get the idea.

1957-Christmas at Gordon's in Kokomo IN

You know how it is with cousins. So much shared history to go along with all those stories that hang on the family tree! In this photo of our LeMasters clan, I’m down front holding a Brownie camera, and my cousin Aneta, only three months behind me in age, is next to me. I won’t name each one but I’ll point out cousin Dave, four years our senior and in full height in the back. My sister, Carol, is front left.

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I named those three in particular so you can better appreciate the 2018 version of cousin Dave, here with Quinn. He and Sue traveled from Kokomo, Indiana, for the party.

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And here, the 2018 version of Dave’s wife, Sue (left), sister Carol (center), and Aneta.

AnetaKent

Also for fun and perspective, here’s a photo from a visit to our home in North Carolina in the early 1980s of Aneta and Kent (before their kids came along).

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Here they are with their girls, Stephanie and Carrie.

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Here’s everyone in attendance. You’ll see Stephanie and Jason on the far right, their kids kneeling in front with Landry (Carrie and Randy’s daughter), whose sister, Whitney, is sitting on her daddy’s knee. Find Carol and her husband, Bill, next to Stephanie.

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I threw away most of my casual shots, but this one shows Bill’s feet. Carol was mortified he had to show up at the party in his driving shoes because they walked out the door at home in Yorba Linda, CA, inadvertently leaving his dress-up shoes behind.

Such a loving sister I am. Right?

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I was so happy Quinn could get in on the fun of reconnecting with family and meeting the newest additions.

Meanwhile, back at the Anderson ranch . . .

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You’ve already been introduced to Issy Bear, but she has matured since we met her last November.

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She enjoys morning and evening walks around the neighborhood block, and I tagged along for two of those expeditions.

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Apparently she is quite predictable. Dusty foreshadowed each detour she would make to chase the bunnies along the way, when she would shift off the curb to the street and hop back on, and at what point closer to home she would “insist” they turn right rather than head in.

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100 degrees at 8 p.m. is remarkably pleasant outside,

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but this little girl was ready to splay her body parts on the cool tile floor to recover.

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Summer means summer jobs for the two college students. Quinn and I drove to Scottsdale to enjoy lunch where Marissa works.

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She drives a long way to/from work because this is the job she had while in school at Grand Canyon University. We hope she’ll be able to transfer to the ChopShop a few miles from home.

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We behaved ourselves and didn’t distract her (though she waved her awareness) but couldn’t resist choosing a high table that faced the activity hub.

Cass B-ball

My visit also opened the opportunity to cheer for Cassidy at three games of “June ball.” I’m sure it isn’t grandparently pride that sees a very strong player with lots of potential. She’ll play JV as a freshman next year at Gilbert Christian High School. (See her on the left?)

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I didn’t follow Bailey to his summer job, but he’s also gainfully employed at Shamrock Farms warehouse. But he’d rather talk about Sarah anyway. They are some of Cupid’s finest work.

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Not one of us would consider skipping church on Fathers Day or any other Sunday. (This is one of my favorite “poses,” though it’s usually walking to church rather than to the car. Some day I’ll collect them as a series.) Dusty is pointing out the progress on the new church construction, Phase I.

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Fathers Day dinner — a shrimp boil at home. What could be better?

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Tummy’s full, we lingered at the table to tell/hear “dad” stories.

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After card and gift opening, the two honored dads got comfortable for some golf viewing.

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Issy got comfortable too on Guh’s lap.

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She is adored in no small measure by her people.

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Raves and appreciation for the peanut butter pie (not pictured)!

As the senior Andersons headed to the door after golf, I invited myself to see their new house. They have made Arizona their permanent home, moving down from the Seattle area only months ago. So we made a plan for the following day.

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Quinn drove us the short distance in Arizona style (top off, AC blowing) to Neil and Randee’s beautiful new abode. I’m just so happy for their decision to move south and enjoy the rest of their retirement years in such a lovely environment. So far they’re loving it (and the close proximity to “the kids”)!

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This final photo represents the level of spoiling I received. Every morning when I surfaced from a longer-than-usual night’s sleep, one of these awaited me on the kitchen counter. Thanks for the lovely time, dear Andersons.

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