Tuesday, August 17, 2010

the storm before the storm

We arrived in Connecticut on the evening of Tuesday, July 20th. That night, we hung out at home. Dad had made delicious chicken tenders, and we yakked and ate and had an early night. Dad had a cough, it had been lingering. We were all a bit concerned, but he had plans to call a new doctor in the morning and we were all certain that he'd turn the corner before the big weekend we had planned.

The next day, Wednesday the 21st, we were up and out to conquer the high dive at the club. It was a beautiful, sunny day and we were at the pool for hours. Driving home around 5pm, there were a few raindrops on the windshield, but by the time we got home and met up with our beloved Aunt Ellie, it was clear enough to take the wee trek up the way to Mom and Dad's awesome condo pool.

With provisions, of course

My girl took the rules veeery seriously, and dutifully counted heads and signed everyone in each time we swam for the duration of our extended stay at the condo.

The kids swam for a while, and then suddenly the sky began to darken, and it started to rain.

This is quite a novelty for us California kids

It wasn't too bad, though. Mom threw the pasta & sausage dish she had made into the timed oven to bake, and she and Dad came up and joined us for a beverage and a little storm watching. It was fun! It was campy!

Soon it started to rain with a wee bit more purpose, and we were treated to an awe-inspiring thunder and lightning show, complete with howling wind!

Poor Aunt Ellie's shoes got all soaked.

She said they needed washing anyway. But what about the sign in table?!

It was a good old fashioned nor'easter.

It even knocked the power out! The pasta went back into the freezer.

We did what every family does during a black out. We got out candles and flashlights, ate snacks and leftovers,

and had a good old fashioned blood pressure contest

Ellie claims that she won, but I'm pretty sure she cheated.

Everyone's pressure was good.

Julie and her kids showed up shortly thereafter, and as she so eloquently eulogized a few days later: "My kids and I arrived here Wednesday night in a blackout, and were forced to all sit together by candlelight. No lights, no TV, no computers. We sat around and talked. We inflated air mattresses, figured out sleeping arrangements, listened to the Mets game on the radio, messed around with the kids, laughed, visited, caught up. It was so good to see everyone, and just be together. We stocked up on those great big Daddy bear hugs, and gave that face we loved so much so many kisses. We didn't know we only had 36 hours left with Dad at that time."

This was the last night that Dad spent at home.

We finally ate the pasta on the night of his wake.


Me, You, or Ellie said...

Ach. But what a memorable last night at home . No technology, just family. And lots of it.

Nice storm photos too. I miss those summer storms. I've heard 5 cracks of thunder since I've been here but it was way too early to get out of bed to really enjoy.


Aline said...

Thanks for sharing your beautiful memory...Love the pics and my fave is your parents sitting at the pool, doting momma and daddy. He is so handsome and def passed on that gene to all yous!

much love to your mom and all of your family,


Johanna said...

Jacquie, I love these pictures. So sorry to hear about your loss.
Glad your dad was surrounded by his family who cherished him.

Logical Libby said...

I miss rainstorms like that. Here it evaporates before it hits the ground.

And I hope those weren't Ellie's good flip flops...

Me, You, or Ellie said...

Aw Jacquie. This is so beautiful. Again.

Remember that storm? How it swept in and out, from right to left? How when the thunder and lightning hit simultaneously we all absolutely jumped?? Yowsa, man.

Loved it. Love you.