Showing posts with label Family Tree. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Family Tree. Show all posts

Sunday, June 19, 2022

tiny celebrations

Loved this Louise Erdrich quote; I needed a reminder of sweetness and hope today. Life can be sweet even if it isn't so every minute. My reminders for today, yesterday, and tomorrow:

At UU today I learned that Opal Lee "the grandmother of Juneteenth" was 89 years old when she started the campaign to make Juneteenth (today!) a national holiday.

Last night when I called my dad to wish him for father's day, we talked for longer than usual, because he could hear me better than he has lately. That felt so lovely.

Big A will be back tomorrow, and we'll celebrate his Father's Day the day after that.

Monday, June 13, 2022

"it ain't over till it's over"


The end of the night came in the early hours of this morning. We were so tired and sweaty from so much time on the dance floor in the LA heat. The playlist was both Indian and Mexican (like my cousin the bride) and very... energetic.

Memories of our silliness and shenanigans are making me smile on this very long flight back to Michigan where I will resume my very responsible parental persona on arrival.

Pic: Photo booth with my baby cousins


 

Sunday, June 12, 2022

fuzzy

So much talking: a mix of nostalgia, memories, and future plans. 

(This included an all family summit on how do we solve a problem like the Nu. In my book, there is no problem, but I know this came from a place of love, so I listened and made the right noises.)

My memory of this day is as fuzzy as this pic, but I remember feeling so loved.

#LaterPost

Saturday, June 11, 2022

Sari: this is special

An early pic from the Henna and Sangeet part of the wedding before we got our henna done and before the rehearsed and unrehearsed singing and dancing got underway. 

I managed my sari ok. Nicole, you asked--and it really is six yards of fabric wrapped, pleated, tucked into a petticoat, and held together by safety pins. I did make the rookie mistake of not putting my shoes on first, so my sari (I'm in the center by the pillar) is not 'floor level' unlike the other saris in the picture. 

My favoritest part of this is how my favoritest aunt is just holding my hand so close because we've missed each other so much these last couple of years and it felt so good to be reunited.

#LaterPost

Friday, June 10, 2022

cherry picking

I mean Nu is literally picking cherries here 🤗. Between the squirrels and the rain, we didn't get any cherries last year, so Nu decided he'd get in there even as our cherries are just beginning to turn pinkish. 

And... Nu got offered the job he interviewed for at the mall yesterday! He says he was interviewed by two "older ladies" (this was defined for me as "20s or 30s" LOLOLOL) with "great energy." He'll start in July. He's so chuffed that he landed his first job interview ever. 

In other child-related news, in an unexpected development, I'm experiencing a sense of calm post At's car accident now that he's taking the bus everywhere. I didn't realize before how much his driving and his driving while brown status weighed on me. 

I'm about 70% packed for my trip to LA tomorrow. I'm gone for just two nights and Big A is fully capable (and better equipped by training) to take care of convalescing Nu, give Scout his meds, etc. but it still feels weird to leave. I'm ostensibly headed to my cousin's wedding--earlier than planned since the date has been changed due to a cancer diagnosis in the family. That sadness--and the superficial stress of making sure I remember the zillion things I need for my saris--are on my mind. I suspect my cousins and I will revert to being our silly childhood selves when we actually see each other.


Sunday, May 29, 2022

full circle/circle of love

The newly wed baby cousin was coming to lunch/linner today. As I finished cooking one set of dishes, it made me smile because I had used the pots and pans her parents had gifted me when I got married. 

I took this picture to send to her mom, and we've been calling it the full circle/circle of love because I happened to be listening the Sunday Puzzle on the radio, and it's kind of like this challenge?

An otherwise quiet day--apart from that one elaborate meal--I didn't get much done. (And that's ok!)

Friday, May 06, 2022

here and there

 

Look! It's my baby sibling and my ole parents looking extra cute in matching baby pink outfits to celebrate their first visit to a mall since the pandemic started. #TwoYears #Bangalore

It's Mothers' Day AND my mom's actual birthday on Sunday, and I wish I could be there for that!

Over here, I spent most of the day on camera and yet felt like I accomplished very little. Having to be ON so much meant I couldn't read/write/run/snack/clean and that's usually what keeps me feeling balanced/happy/healthy/content/okay-ish.

Anyway... onward!


Monday, April 25, 2022

bedtime story

I mean at some point we're going to have to talk about why I'm awake at 2:22 AM, goofing off like a goof... when I know I have an alarm set for 5:30 AM so I can do my green tea and meditation time before the high-schooler wakes up at 6:00 AM for their morning cuddle and breakfast.  

And this is not at all unusual--I've been averaging between 3-6 hours of sleep for years now... and put like that, I'm worried there's going to be some spectacular comeuppance for this. 

In some ways I'm a perfect candidate for fractured sleep because I have family from other continents and time zones--so no matter what the time, I have people on hand to have heart-to-hearts and to text links to hilarious songs like Rowdy Baby (no babies were harmed in the making of this video). 

But also Big A works nights, so we're usually texting and chatting about stuff and keeping in touch and being silly as well. And if he's home, his sleep schedule is messed up by working nights, so I'm hanging out with him then too. And tonight At seems to be up and feeling chatty and is sending me Langston Hughes poems about Lenin and I sent him that clip of Paul Robeson singing to Scottish miners (cross cultural solidarity is my favorite and my boy knows me). 

Anyway, this will all work itself out, or won't. If I'm going to be up all night anyway, I feel like there ought to be a cuddly baby to keep me company at least 😁. 

Pic: The Red Cedar was flooding its banks on our walk yesterday.

Tuesday, March 29, 2022

tinker, tailor, labor organizer

Family dinner with At in attendance. I pulled together something from the freezer+pantry because today was crazy with additional tasks that misfired: tried to reconfirm details with the student convention (a couple of things still up in the air); tried to get the body shop to take the car (they say they need more time); tried to feed JL's cat while she's on vacation (the key she gave us wouldn't go in the lock, and now she's having to head home early). 

Tacos with eggs, haloumi fries, potato hash, and assorted veggie toppings can be dinner, right? There were smiles after the meal, so perhaps?

I'm so very proud of the labor organizing At's doing. My mom is quite upset that he's not in grad school yet, and is always "reminding" me that her dad was a college man and that my dad went to grad school, so At "needs" to at least get one grad degree. It's some complicated emotional math I don't quite get. 

I really do want him to go to grad school too, but I'm not sure what I could do differently to change his mind. He told me today that he got accepted to U of M (the #1 school for Social Work) and MSU (right here in town) but has declined both offers. I begged him to defer instead, but he wouldn't hear me out. I will say he seems way more relaxed now that college decisions aren't hanging over him. He's also doing some real good in the world, so maybe it's time for me to step off and try to deserve the "cool parents" status he once conferred on us.

Thursday, March 24, 2022

puppy snuggles and cricket memories

It was national puppy day, I think? I'm late as usual. I love this one with Huck's arm draped around Scout's shoulder... they're both lying on my feet (of course!),  which is why I couldn't get a fuller shot.

I've picked up the contradictory habit of watching movies in episode-length segments (it goes nicely with my other weird habit of watching multiple episodes of a show at one go). 

Anyway, finished watching "83" (in about four segments) and enjoyed how much old cricket lore came back to me as I watched it. It's a typical underdog sports story, and bit overdone in some parts, but I enjoyed it and yelped in surprise and delight when the real Kapil Dev made a cameo appearance.

Some of the nicest days in my childhood were when "pavillion" tickets to a match (passed on by cricketeer uncles/dad's work/well-connected family) showed up and we'd be allowed to skip school to spend all day at the stadium. Being stuck at school when a big match was on was the worst: kids these days don't know the painful suspense of finding out the score from the tuck shop radio or having to depend on friendly teachers who could bring us the latest from the teachers' lounge TV.

Thursday, January 27, 2022

assisted living

grass and sky haven't have heard yet 
and I let the unknown speak for me
tricky forests spring up like questions

I will keep seeking a story I read as a kid
with its sad embrace of a torn telegram 
whose yellow moths follow me forever 

even the temporary kingdom of my trust
where lie grave jokes of literature and life 
about what could have been... has been

O I say--we are such strange creatures
I hear about chimp haven; feel a relief 
for beloved elders finding assisted living

Friends, the only breath in cages is death 
maybe we use shards and shadows to knit 
soft shelters to lay over this thing called life?

--------------------------------------------------------------
Related/Random BOC
* I read a story when I was 9/10--I think of it as my first grownup story--about a man who tears up a telegram bearing bad news about his wife and baby in order to pretend to his fellow train passengers that all is well. The story sat between Hawthorne ("Young Goodman Brown") and Thurber ("The Catbird Seat") in an anthology of great American short stories (likely someone's discarded textbook), but I don't know the title or author despite a great number of patchy google searches.

* I couldn't get through to mom or sis on the phone today and was panicked enough to ask my cousin to check on them... turns out his wife, daughter, and mom are also down with the virus.

* The pulmonologist thinks my mom will be ok and back to normal in a couple of weeks.

* The story about the NIH chimps going to Chimp Haven was from my commute to work this morning.

* And there was a planning meeting for the conference in Minneapolis--so I was hearing Prince too, I guess.

Friday, January 07, 2022

"Powerful beyond stage and screen"

My parents were such huge fans of Sir Sidney Poitier, they had us kids watch all their favorites on VHS. 

I must have thought of them as documentary, so imagine my horror and surprise when I got to the USA and realized that racism hadn't been neatly resolved decades ago.

But in these past decades, I've come to appreciate what an amazing trailblazer he was even "beyond stage and screen" as Bernice King notes. 

Rest in Power, Sir.

__________________

Vaguely related: I gave At this this Desmond Tutu apron for Christmas and the Rev. died the very next week; At gave me this edition of In the Heat of the Night and now Sir Sidney is no more. How jinx-y are we?

Tuesday, January 04, 2022

an international call

 


If you called my extreme condition: you might 
diagnose sister love--but do you know  
about the side effects

when my phone tells me it's her calling
--nausea, dry mouth, anxiety, 
shortness of breath

she knows this and inserts a subject line 
even as I--"hello?" "All's well, Akka,
I just called..."

 international calls are ordinary yet hide
like a virus inside information 
 finding a way to threaten

despite the softness of my sister's voice--
noisy futures sometimes dance 
alongside the old world 

international calls will make me watch--
make me guess who'll partner next 
parents, cousins, other loves

"I just called..." she says "one million cases..."
she says "I wanted to tell you all
 to be safe and careful."

Of course there's no way to be careful enough
(home is: a high school student,
a fast food worker, an ER doc)

I'm in the literal woods now (the metaphorical 
end of the sea), until the sun unhooks itself 
from a cloud shaped like a headache

and sails into the sky without even a cough
just this high, bright, and bored god
bearing messages--but not for me

-----------------------------------------------
Pic: Sunrise at Baker Woods. The phone rang as I was taking this picture, and I panicked when I saw it was my sister as it was kind of an unusual time for her to call me. She was calling because we--the U.S.--topped over a million NEW Covid infections yesterday. She wanted to ask the family to be safe and careful. But how? 

Sunday, December 19, 2021

trance


it's like breezes open my mouth
to pour in 
salted happiness

but how well do I know myself?
sleep (do not) want to sleep

so tonight becomes a cartwheel 
of love on sliding sands

the glow of my amma, dad, uncle, 
aunt, and sister at a bonfire

the rap of waves half a world away
in harmony with my heartbeat

and here's me waiting for something 
wild    to wish me goodnight

------------------------------------------
Pic: Picture of sunrise on the beach (Bay of Bengal) from a trip mom, dad, and Chelli took to visit VM and AA. 

Saturday, November 27, 2021

for you too may have / questions about this story


                                                                             
                                                                      the tongue a knife probing                                          
our mom didn't tell this story 
till she was safe home again
how traveling to Chennai 
in the rains--she said--they 

                            the cleft palate of memory 
couldn't tell which was river 
which was road... and then 
went skidding into a ditch...
thanks to the gods--she said--

                           the smile tucked up in secret
thanks to all the gods some
villagers were passing and
they were kind and pushed
our car back onto the road  

                            the lips nudged into detail
then softly: but... they said
some mean things in Tamil 
like uncle is a terrible driver 
who shouldn't have a big car 

                             the gummy words murderous
even more softly: aunty and I 
were in the car, so they said
look at those fatty gundechis
just sitting on their bottoms

                             the mouthful of arguments
But I still told uncle we should 
reward them, give some... thing?
But he said no, that wasn't fine 
they might ask for more next time

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
I know the generosity of Tamil people well. When I was pregnant with At, people would keep offering me food even if all they themselves were eating was a paper cone of sundal or peanuts. I am beyond horrified-ashamed-saddened that my family didn't offer anything--payment/a ride/money for coffee-tiffin to the people who may have saved their lives in the middle of a cyclone. (The cheeky, irreverent humor checks out too.)

Friday, November 26, 2021

post-prandial

Went on a hike with Big A while the grandparents hung out with Nu, Scout, and Huck. We headed to Baker Woods and weren't gone very long, but we were the only ones there and it felt like a different world. 

Later, we packed up the grandparents with snacks, cider, and one of the flower arrangements from yesterday's table, and waved our goodbyes as they headed back to Ohio. 

Then a long soak with Big A, a great heart-to-heart with Nu, + snacks + old sitcoms + naps.  

It was the perfect chaser to yesterday.
 

Thursday, November 25, 2021

Thanksgiving 2021

Time to eat?
(We can't see the three puppies in this one, 
but the fish I was going to feed them
--in the white bowl that doesn't go with anything else--
made it into the picture 😛.)

Thursday, November 18, 2021

pooja-fun

I'm heartsore I cannot be in Pondycherry ("is it full of ponds and cherries?" baby cousin A asked once) tomorrow. 

The pooja is tomorrow, but I bet everyone's already assembling now--finding empty bedrooms, screeching helloes, making plans, and having so much fun for Kartika. As Big A reminded me so helpfully yesterday, it is unlikely that I will ever be able to be at Kartika pooja because it's such a busy time in the academic year. 

We usually did the big festivals like Diwali and Pongal at home or with the other side of the family, but the November full moon festival was always the big event for all the cousins on my mom's side. For many years after I came to the U.S., my favorite aunt would sweetly save the turmeric-soaked wristlets for me to pick up on my next trip home, but I haven't been back in years at this point. The nostalgia is hitting hard this year.

Baby cousin B has been sending pictures on cousin chat to keep me in the loop. This picture has so many of my favorite things--the sea, the little Ganesha temple, the tulsi maadam, the new swimming pool, the effortless green everywhere... Gah. I just wish I could be there for at least 24 hours.

Wednesday, November 17, 2021

the soft dark


Darkness feels deafening tonight. A student at Nu's school has been missing since last week. I do not know this young person or their family, but many of my local friends do. When I asked Nu if they'd seen the missing child recently, they said that they hadn't "in years." That was such a stark reminder that disappearance comes in many forms. 

I caught a picture of this close to full moon through our skylights just before bed--darkness, shadows, dead leaves, and all... it was nevertheless a kind reminder that in an another part of the world, huge numbers of my family are gathering to celebrate the Karthika full moon soon.

"a more perfect union"

Today At watched as the local Teamsters served management at his workplace papers indicating that At and his fellow workers had signed unio...