Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Merry Christmas!

Proof that nothing is so sweet as the pure love and excitement of children at Christmas time.  

Merry Christmas from the Taylors :)

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Preserving love

Nearly 12 years ago, I was blessed with a very special gift.  Although I recognized its obvious value immediately, like any newly wed, I wouldn’t be able to truly appreciate it until after we had been together for the long haul.  This gift has brought with it transparency, a toughness you wouldn’t believe and the uncanny ability to stretch in order to meet life’s many demands.  But now it’s gone and I simply cannot believe it.  After all these years, I’m going to have to buy another giant, economy-size box of saran wrap.

What the What???

Yes, you read it right; I’m talking about saran wrap.  But here’s why...

Shortly after Casey and I got married, my mother flew out to visit us.  And, being the wonderful mother that she is, she took one look at our bare cupboards and sparsely filled refrigerator and said, “We’re going to Costco.”

Upon entering Costco, I was immediately distracted by all the electronics, but mom wasn’t.  No.  She was focused.  And after grabbing Casey with one hand and a shopping cart with the other, she went to work.

Watching my mom weave up and down those aisles was incredible, it was like seeing Michelangelo sculpt or observing da Vinci as he painted; indeed, she took shopping to an art form.

Before we knew it, my mom had filled the cart and had stocked us up with everything from bottled water to a television set. 

I remember getting home and looking in our kitchen once everything had been unloaded.  It was like an amazing before and after picture.  We had food, tons of it (it was the good stuff too!).  The cupboards were full.  And in our top right drawer, there was, squeezed between new sandwich bags and freshly purchased tin foil, a big box of saran wrap.

Words cannot express how immensely grateful we were.

And though that food has long since been eaten and the other items are far-gone, one item has remained.  It followed us from DC to Maryland and all the way to Virginia – that bulky box of saran wrap.

We’re fortunate now to stock the kitchen ourselves, but, all these years later, every time we’ve looked at, or used, that silly box of saran wrap, we’ve been reminded of that young married couple (those kids that looked a lot like us) and how much joy poured into their hearts following a mother’s special gift.

And so it is that as peculiar as it may seem, I’m going to miss that beautiful box of saran wrap.  Because for us, it preserved a lot more than food, it kept a mother’s love.

Who knew a thin sheet of plastic could do so much?

Goodbye old friend

Monday, December 1, 2014

Being a Kingpin

A family of Kingpins

I’m surprised sometimes by what activities the girls assume I can or can’t physically participate in.  At times, they assume I can do things like go parasailing, but suppose I choose not to because I don’t want the wind to mess up my hair (yup, that’s the reason).  Other times they presume I can’t do things that I actually can.  Such was the case recently when they figured I couldn’t bowl.

“Yes I can.”  I said.
“You can?  How?”  They asked.

And with that, I realized it was time to step out of my comfort zone and lay the smack down on the notion that I, Vance “the Kingpin” Taylor, could not bowl.

We entered Bowl America along with my brother-in-law, my sister-in-law, their two boys and our friends Whitney and Whitney (W-squared).  They were there to have fun.  I was there to make a statement.

“Daddy, we need to get our bowling shoes,” said the girls.
“Bowling shoes are for chumps.” I said.

It was go time!

So, thanks to a marvelous portable ramp-like invention that Bowl America makes available to disabled patrons, I, with the help of my lovely assistants Casey, Isabelle and Sammy, got my bowl on.

Here’s how each frame went down:
  1. I drove up to the lane.
  2. One of my wonderful helpers placed the ramp in front of me
  3. I aimed the ramp
  4. My cuties put the bowling ball on the ramp and gave it a push
  5. The ball rolled down the lane and slammed into the pins 
Bowler up...

Once the ball connected with pins, I took the following steps to ensure my status as a kingpin.  If it was a strike or the ball knocked down a lot of pins, I looked at the girls and said: “Boom baby, that’s how we do!”

When the ball failed to knock over many pins, I looked over and said: “You didn’t do it right.”

Either way, I came out ahead.

When all was said and done, I broke a hundred, which was respectable, and enough to barely beat Isabelle and Sammy.  And though they each bowled a few frames for me, I still count my victory as a hard fought win.

“Now do you think I can bowl?”  I asked the girls.
“Yeah, but not as good as Mommy!”  They declared knowing that Casey had the high score of the day.

Well played kids for pointing to the true kingpin, well played.