In Which There's Photographic Evidence of What Else I've Been Doing

24 May 2005

Yes, I know, back even later than I said I would be. Sometimes life is like that.

We could not have asked for better weather for Matt's graduation picnic. It was not "too" anything (cold, hot, humid, dry, buggy, etc.), and while a few people in the extended family couldn't be there, all of his immediate family could. So that was pretty neat, and we helped Sarah and Jeff eat some of the leftovers the next day. We're helpful that way. I think they had some brats and veggies leftover, but we took care of the ice cream and strawberries and cookies. Don't you wish you had relatives that helpful? Try not to gnash your teeth too loudly in your jealous fit.

My sister-in-law, Sarah, and my father-in-law, Dave. Sarah and her husband Jeff work at Calvin, where Matt graduated. Sarah is wearing her nifty graduation volunteer shirt and a sticker that says, "God is not a Democrat or a Republican." Some Calvin student groups, including Campus Republicans, were concerned about current political discourse that attempts to make Christianity into a unified political position, and were also concerned about political stances that don't allow one side or another to be heard. So they made up buttons and stickers.

The graduate himself: Matt, my brother-in-law.

Mark with his graduating brother. I would like to note that pictures were not taken in order of importance, but also that I am trying not to post vastly unflattering pictures of my friends and relations on the internet. Nor of myself, and this last point will become important in a few photos.

Linda, my mother-in-law, Matt, and Grandpa Lyzenga (Lin's dad).

Grandpa Gritter.

I've been wanting to get a picture of this Elisian necklace (called "At the Sign of the Fish and Amulet") since Christmas. Alas, I had the dumbest expression ever in the whole world on my face. Cropping is a good thing. Cropping is our friend.

Here's Matt's graduation picnic bunch, minus Dave, who is taking the picture: in the front row, Grandpa and Grandma Gritter, Linda, me, and Aunt Evie (Lyzenga). In the middle, Jody (a Gritter cousin), Dan (my brother-in-law), Matt, Sarah, Jeff (Sarah's husband), Grandpa Lyzenga, and Mark. In the back, Uncle Tom (Lyzenga) and Uncle Norm (Lyzenga).

Same bunch, but with Grandma Gritter taking the picture instead of Dave. So Dave has been added to the back.

I think it was a good graduation weekend for Matt. I hope so. I restrained myself until after he'd opened Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead as part of his graduation present before crying out, "Matt! It's a conspiracy of cartographers!" And he said, "I know! Heads! .... Heads! ..... Heads!"

I love the family I ended up with.

We got home Sunday night, and then this morning Erica and Dan and baby Anna were in town, so they came here for breakfast. I had not met baby Anna before. I think the first word for this child (after "cute," naturally) is alert. This is a kid who is paying attention and wants more stuff to pay attention to. She would pay attention to the whole world if she could manage it. She's smiley and sociable and absolutely hilarious when she tries to crawl forward and goes backwards instead.

Here's Erica and Anna.

More alert baby picture! And more Erica.

And here is me with Anna. She decided I might be all right. I didn't try holding her for very long, because I don't like being the pushy strange grown-up who clings to the baby despite clear baby discomfort. But she came over to me and let me help her stand and other useful grown-up tricks. And she was fascinated with another Elisian necklace I was wearing:

This is "Remember What You Say In Dreams III." (And it's also my default Stupid Photograph Expression. Ah well.) "RWYSID3" is one of those Elise necklaces with a story in it. This one is a whole novel, and from the first time I saw the necklace, it said, "Hey, you. C'mere. You're mine." And then I was terrified someone else was going to buy my novel necklace. It involves a road trip, a prehistoric inland sea, bits of the northern US and southern Canada, and whole bunches of family dynamics. And magic. It's still percolating back there in the backbrain. I'll probably have to take a road trip for it myself. (I know that this is behavior of which Elise would never, ever approve, writing a novel and taking a road trip, so I apologize in advance to its creator for doing such hideous, horrible, unintended things with her creation.) (I will probably listen to vast quantities of music in the process, too. Again, I humbly apologize.)

The earrings that match it (hidden behind my hair) are called "Night Ride," which makes me think there's a chapter that's a stand-alone short of that name, and it makes me think I know a bit about it. Because what I needed right now was another fantasy story to write right now. Well, that's all the Novel Gazing you get for today: apparently I have story notes to scribble. Talk to you all tomorrow.

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