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September 1st, 2007

We were at Aunt Annette's and Uncle Frank's a half hour early—at 9:30 instead of 10:00. We had a nice breakfast of coffee, juice, raisin bread toast, and some massa.

In the backyard at the lake's edge, Uncle Frank introduced us to this mama swan and her two babies, which he had enticed to the landing with some bread. He told us that the male is about twice the size of this female, but that they hadn't seen him in a couple of days, which is unusual. He needs to come back and teach these babies to fly. Besides, he's supposed to be a "mate for life" with mama here.



At about 11:15, Aunt Annette and Uncle Frank left for the airport to pick up their daughter, who was due in at noon on Delta from Atlanta. While they were gone...

Dad took over the feeding frenzy...


and then he rested...


while mom and I walked around the circle on which Uncle Frank and Aunt Annette lives. It's called Breezy Lake Drive, but more accurately, it's Breezy Lake Circle. I snapped a few shots during that time...

The front of the house with a little glare going on...


I mentioned this in my blog entry last year in June—that this is the house my uncle was building when we lived next door in a two-story house, our family (minus dad, who was in Vietnam for a year) upstairs, and Uncle Frank and Aunt Annette downstairs.

My uncle hand-chiseled every one of these stones to fit each other like puzzle pieces, and then mortared them into place like you see them. This is unlike other "stone houses" where you see the stones all just next to each other as close as the can fit and making up the uneven spaces between them with mortar.

And mom in front of the house...




Lisa's flight was delayed a little less than an hour, but eventually they returned from the airport, and we got to meet her. What a delight!

My Aunt and her Daughter


My Mom, Her New Niece, and My Mom's "Baby" Sister


Me and My New Cousin


My uncle, being the creative person that he is, paints pictures on the "stubs" of some of the limbs he cuts off the trees in the backyard. I captured a few. You can't tell, because I'm using the "macro lens," but these suckers are high enough in the trees that a ladder was definitely involved in their production.








Aunt Annette made a great Portuguese dish called Bacalhau, which we had for a late lunch, early dinner, along with some mashed potatoes, a plate of cucumbers and deliciously ripe tomatoes, and of course, bread! Aunt Annette's plate speaks for itself: It wasYum, yum, yum!

Uncle Frank Making a Point of His Own


Seems Like Everyone Had a Point to Make at Some Point


Many stories of mom's and Aunt Annette's growing up days were told, and I wish I'd thought to have a tape recorder handy. I'm want to try and capture some of them (in writing) while it's fresh, but with real life bearing down on me (read: ungodly amounts of grad school homework), I'm not too hopeful of getting to it. Perhaps I should voice record them at least, while they're fresh.

We spent most of the night—me bar tending and them all seated before me—honoring the altar of alcohol. I have always loved that bar. I have some shots, complete with graininess and bad lighting—hey, I thought one of the beauties of digital photography was that you could see that a picture is bad and retake it right away. But I digress...

Clowns to the Left of Me


And Jokers to the Right


Isn't that bar fabulous??? And I'm behind it serving, and to complete the allusion: <Singing>Stuck in the middle of them...</Singing>

From my pictures there last year, here's a shot of the entire bar, showing all of its glory:

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