Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Yeah, She Is Still "Bill"

A personal note from this olelongrooffan: I haven't been blogging a whole here lately. Been accepted pretty well over at where I blog as longroofian. Go to my byline on any of my posts and click on it and all of mine come up. Or not. Anyway I was able get the previous three out which this olelongroofan thinks are pretty good. Hope you do also. and remember to Celebrate Life.

So, a couple weeks ago this olelongrooffan was hanging out at the Taj Mahal, probably doing a blog as that seems to be my life these days. Other than scleping trailers that is. Anyway, the massive communications system lights up and it turns out it is BabySister. Now BabySister often calls just to make sure her older brother, the "oldest of the four little kids" hasn't yet kicked the bucket...I think she just wants my Comanche when I do eventually pass. "What's up BabySister?" "Well longroof next week I am going to replace the CV joints on my '08 Highlander," was her response. Yeah this is my 46 year old BabySister.

Monday, July 9, 2012

Through The Years With A Gorgeous Blonde

So Counters, this is a long and rambling, somewhat self exposing, kind of post. Hang in there because it is about a truly wonderful young lady who is very capable of doing anything she chooses to do. I am talking about my lovely daughter Jessica. That is her in the above image. Yes, this olelongrooffan still has that Snap On Tools ball cap she is sporting. And that runny nose makes this image even more treasured, well at least to me. I am sure Jessica will feel differently.

She has her feet planted on the very sliding glass door that her mom and this olelongrooffan were cleaning the moment we decided to have a child.

See it's like this.

We were living the supposedly desirable life in Naples, Florida. 4/3 pool home, a few blocks from the beach. We had entertained my sister, her then husband and young son in town from coastal France. After they left, we were washing Alex's toddler handprints from that hideaway sliding glass door and we turned to each other, gave each other a huge hug and mutually agreed we were ready for a child. I think Jessica was conceived that night. Sorry for that visual Jess.

So, our daughter Jessica came along and what a joy she has been. Her Mom is ultra fantastic as not all Mothers are. But in this case, Maureen has provided some insightful thinking and is a true treasure in the development of our daughter.

On the day of her birth, Mo was in labor for like the whole day. Well, this olelongrooffan was in process of building my first home and was dealing with some issues with the HOA where the home was being constructed. I remember, although this weekend Mo revealed she didn't, at one point she told me to "GET OFF THE F*CKING PHONE YOU BASTARD" and, for once, I listened to her. Yes, in 1995, it was a brick cellular phone.

Prior to Jessica's birth. her Mom and I got out quite a bit and had a fairly large circle of friends. We actually even partied over at "Rick's Place", a cool ass place on one of the canals there in Naples. More about that a little later. I remember Maureen and I taking Jess with us for dinner down on 5th Avenue South in Naples during its formative years. Jess was fourteen days old and in the kick ass super deluxe stroller we had gotten for her some months prior. We sat at the end of the bar in that swanky restaurant and had a grand time. Jessica was a quiet as a churchmouse as her mom and I enjoyed ourselves while she was asleep in that stroller. Yeah that is Jessica, still a trooper.

The above image is of a photo Reenie took of my Dad, Jessica and me outside my Dad's "smokehouse" up in the Ozarks with Jessica riding the mascot of Haven Lee Farms. Niece Sarah, look at the natural position of Jess's legs when her feet couldn't reach the stirrups. I like to think she got that from you.

The above image is of Jessica, her cousin, and my niece Hailey and a huge Barbie doll. I remember sending this to my Mom shortly after it was taken and Mom wanted to know who the third blond in that image was.

But I have to say this about that, except for Barbie, those blondes have grown into absolutely gorgeous
young women.

The above scan is among the favorites of Jessica and this olelongrooffan. Pure unadulterated fun and relaxation. And that framed photo in the background of the second image in this post that adorns my desk to this day.  Wouldn't it be on yours?

So the marriage between her Mom and I didn't take and I moved out to a cute little bungalow and did the every other weekend and every Wednesday night thing.

Her Mom met and married a really cool guy, Rick--yeah the former owner of Rick's Place, and as Maureen's family is pretty much scattered all around the country and world, they decided to move to the DC area to be closer to Rick's family.

I would fly up there about every six weeks for a long weekend with Jessica. One night we were walking around and she said, "Dad, look at that hip car." She is my daughter afterall.

 During Christmas visits I would give Jessica some cash and we would visit a mall and she could buy whatever she wanted. One year she picked out this coat of which I particularly liked. Like her Mom, Jessica is very pragmatic about money and its value. "Why would anyone spend $300.00 on a purse?" she once querried me.

Later, after they moved back to Naples, I had since moved to Slocala and she came up to visit a couple times. This trip she brought her dog, Mookie with her. This is Mookie's cage in the back of my old Jeep Cherokee.

Another visit she, my at the time girlfriend and I baked up this big ole cookie. Her idea. Great times and memories.

After I relocated to the Birthplace of Speed, I got to spend a few hours with her down in Sanford, Florida where her family was catching the autotrain to visit family up in DC. As at the time, we had a rule not to post her images on the web and the above one was the only one I did of her that day.

Jessica is a voracious reader and she spotted this book about her then favorite car.

This was at the conclusion of the Sanford adventure with her that year. What fun I had enjoying her company.

One year down at my "baby sister" Carri's house in Naples, Jessica got dressed up as Mrs. Claus.

And a shot that year the day I arrived. I love my convertible hair. As usual, her Mom had the house done up just right.

A few years previous we attended a carnival down in Naples and Jessica won this teddy bear at the water pistols booth.

In later years, I found out she has a Facebook page and I snagged the above image from it.

Once I realized that, the ban on her on my blog was lifted. She is just beautiful isn't she?

When I was down for Christmas in 2010, Jessica, then a junior in high school was dating a sophomore in college and none of her parents approved. But her Mother allowed it as "At least I know where she is and she is not sneaking out at night to be with him." I tried to talk to her about it but did it very poorly and she became extremely upset with me, even to the point of unfriending me on Facebook and we didn't talk for nearly a year.

About 7 months ago she friended me on Facebook and we began communicating again. She even asked me to try and come down for her graduation.  Absolutely. And I was able to get down there and was bursting with pride watching her cross that stage. She sent me the proofs of her graduation photos and my boss purchased a couple of them and had them framed and presented it to me. I broke down crying like a baby when he gave it to me.

So now my little baby is all grown up and heading to a kick ass college not far from me and I am so absolutely proud of her. I hope she is equally proud of herself. Maureen and Rick have done a fantastic job of raising Jessica and I am so thankful to them for that.

Luckily she'll only be four hours from me so I hope to be able to get over to see her at school.

Congratulations Jessica and thank you from the bottom of my heart for being the sweet young lady you have grown into. I can't wait to see you mature throughout your college and adult years.

I miss you terribly and think of you every day, without exception.

I love you, Jessica.

With that sentiment, I am able to

Celebrate Life.