Posts filed under ‘Sunny’

Video: Thanksgiving 2001

Yesterday while I was cleaning the computer room, I found an old video tape which included our Thanksgiving 2001 celebration.  That is the Thanksgiving where the oven broke– which threatened not only our Thanksgiving Day meal, but also our traditional cookie decorating for the Day After Thanksgiving.  At the last minute Dad called around and found an oven that fit our unique measurements.  He rushed out to pick it up.  Alas, by the time he got to the store, the oven with the measurements he needed was already taken.  (“How could it be gone?!? I thought you were holding it for me?”  “Well sir, we thought that was you!”)

So for Thanksgiving, our entire clan ended up eating at Market Street– which is a buffet.  It’s safe to say Sean was not impressed.  On the way in, Mom mentioned that Market Street used to be my favorite restaurant, which is true (When you have emetophobia and you are never sure what your nerves will let you eat, buffets are perfect– you don’t have to commit to a single dish).  Sean quickly snapped his head around, “Wait a second, let me get this straight– this was your favorite restaurant?!?”

The others weren’t quite as skeptical.  It turned out to have its benefits.  We had a giant TV where we could watch football.  My cousin, Frank, got to eat lasagna instead of turkey and no one had to clean up.  It was such a hit, my mother talked about doing that every year.  That following Easter, we made a return trip.  Luckily for Sean, since then we’ve opted for the more traditional home-cooked meals instead.

Anyway, Sean gave me a quick tutorial on digitizing the video and a lower quality copy is below.  I think it is probably of more interest to family members or friends who are familiar with the Occoquan house.  I’m missing a lot of key footage to fully relay the details above, but the stuff I do have summarizes the experience and hints to the four-dog chaos of a Sawyer Thanksgiving.  Plus it has my late Grandpa in it.  That was such a welcomed surprise to see him again.

One day, I’ll have to do a version my “directors commentary” or something along the lines of “Popup Video” to point out little details that are meaningful to me five years later.  For now though, you can read my timestamped notes.

Remaining Time In Comment
07:06 00:11 I love Dad’s theory about how the oven got broken– sabotage!
06:58 00:16 This shot shows my Dad’s beloved conference room table. He got it from some office and it used to be the kitchen table. When my parents moved to the new townhouse, my father insisted his table come along. It’s in the computer room now. I also like how an issue of The Enquirer is present in the foreground. To me that is part of the experience of visiting my parents— reading The Enquirer.
06:30 00:46 You can see my priorities. Mom is making a list of everything that she needs the oven for our feast and the first item I mention is the cookies on Friday. Nevermind the holiday and all the guests— what about the cookies?!? Oh the humanity!
06:19 00:56 An ashtray was caught in the shot. In the old house, my parents smoked inside.
06:03 01:12 You can hear Mom’s finches singing in the background.
05:42 01:31 I did not cut out any suburban footage. The sound of the diesel engine and the sight of a white suburban will always remind me of my father, particularly him picking me up at high school.
05:40 01:35 Mmm…. all that polluting goodness.
05:09 02:05 Dogs are locked up, a measure we still use today.  We now lock them in cars– less barking, but there is a downside.
05:05 02:10 This is the end of Mom telling the surprised guests we are going to a buffet.
04:46 02:28 Frank looks so young! Who knew in a few years, he’d be throwing Jordan around like he was a rag doll!
04:40 02:34 Aww…. my heart melted to hear my late grandfather say, “Aren’t you a good dog? Aren’t you a good dog?” I heard him saying that to Hans too.
04:39 02:36 I like that you can hear Henry sniff the camera.
04:07 03:07 Timmy reprimanding Sunny.
04:04 03:10 Grandpa is telling a story about a woman sharing liquor with him. Meanwhile, Grandpa is inadvertantly sharing liquor as he speaks.
03:41 03:34 They are looking at Mom’s wedding gift to my cousin. Mom sent the wedding invitations out to get custom framed, but by the time she got them back, the new bride had already left the marriage.
03:22 03:50 I love Maria’s cheering. “Do it yourself!”, “Aww, you blew it!”
03:11 04:03 This is how desperate we were to keep the cookie tradition going. We were cooking batches of six at a time— in toaster ovens!
02:52 04:21 2001’s gravy looks much better than 2000’s. Somewhere I have video footage. My parents proved the saying about “Too Many Cooks” by contradicting each other’s efforts.  Dad would add more flour and immediately afterwards Mom would add more water.  The end result was this nasty mess that no one ate.
02:35 04:40 I love Mr. Yuk!
02:31 04:42 Sunny’s wearing an electric collar for the invisible fence. At my parent’s new house, the dogs have a regular fence.
01:59 05:16 I stitched those spice labels (thus the attention)
01:23 05:53 My Dad was sporting bed head long before it was a fad.
00:32 06:43 My parents love to buy in bulk. That explains all the Chunky Soups.
00:27 06:46 My mother used to always buy Wedgewood for her mother. When grandma died, my Mom got all the Wedgewood back. So it was sort like she was buying gifts for herself all those years.
00:21 06:53 I love Sean instructing Henry in the background, “Go see what’s scary.” Henry did not obey.
00:12 07:03 I got that framed collection of pressed flowers for Mom for Mother’s Day.
00:03 07:11 Dad always eats the more disgusting bits of the turkey (somewhere I have video footage from another Thanksgiving where he takes the neck out of the trash, wipes off the cigarette ashes, cooks it and then eats it like corn on the cob).

January 28, 2007 at 12:09 am 4 comments

Leesylvania State Park

This afternoon, my mother and I took our four collective dogs down to Leesylvania State Park for a “hike”.  Very few people were at the park, which was helpful for us… since we had four dogs to control! 

 
Mom poses with all four dogs- Moon, Sunny, Henry, Jimmie

Although it was right in the middle of winter, the area was beautiful and we enjoyed the sites.  We took the Bushey Point Trail which took us along the shores of the Potomac River and Powells Creek.


Silhouette of a Gum Ball Tree


View along the Bushey Pointe Trail

Right as we started back, a peaceful drizzle of rain begun.

“I like this kind of light rain,” I told my mother, “Because it makes my hair curl.”

Mom started to comment on how people like the opposite of what they have and cited my cousin Louise who straightens her naturally curly hair.  Then, as if to spite me, the weather changed drastically.  The rain started POURING!!!!  We picked up our pace to head back to the car.  Mom had a little extra challenge.  Her dogs kept stopping, so they could shake the water off.   A lot of good that did. 

By the time we got to the car, everyone (human and canine) was soaked, which meant Mom’s newly cleaned car got soaked as well:

 
Snippets of wet dogs.  You can see the rain in the back windshield.  You can also see how much water was brought into the car by the dogs.


A wet… and very pathetic looking… Henry

Luckily, I was traveling with a good spirited woman.  My mother took everything in stride– the rain, the wet car, the traffic home.  I think, maybe, just maybe, she’ll accompany me on an an outing again.

All my pictures from our trip to Leesylvania State Park can be found on my Flickr site.

December 27, 2006 at 12:51 am Leave a comment

A New Christmas Tradition?

This year, Sean and I spent Christmas with my parents in Occoquan, Virginia.  We had a lot of precipitation but it was far from a White Christmas.  More like a grey, dreary, muddy Christmas.  But inside, it was jolly and warm and definitely felt like a holiday. 

Our dinner was well attended.  Aunt Maria, Uncle Timmy, Sam, Frank and Grandma came as usual.  Then Uncle Mark and New Denise attended as well.  Add that to me, Mom, Dad, Sean, Carolyn and Clint– we had a total of thirteen people for dinner.  Having four barking dogs on hand to greet the arriving guests (including a 92 year old woman) didn’t seem to be the wisest decision.  So Moon and Sunny were sequestered to the surburban and Jimmie got to experience the comfort of the XTerra.  Henry is so little and helpless, he got to have free reign of the house.  He spent most of the time watching my father carve the turkey, just waiting for some kind of mishap to occur that would end up with food on the floor (Henry’s Christmas wish did not come true).

After all the guests were settled and dinner was ingested, Dad went to fetch the larger dogs.  His success rate was 50%.  He returned with one dog in his custody, Moon.  Sunny had bolted away and escaped Dad’s grasp.

It was up to Carolyn, Sam and I to seek out and capture Sunny.  We went out into the dark cold rain to start our adventure.  We were armed with nothing but our humor, a plate of turkey scrapes and the surburban keys.  The sun had set long ago, so we had very little light to work with.  We drove up and down Occoquan Road with the windows rolled down, calling Sunny’s name.  Cold rain dusted our faces and arms as we squinted and scanned the surrounding streets for a goofy silhouette with a curly tail.  We had very little luck.  We decided to take one more pass, which failed as well.  

Defeated, we were returning to our house when suddenly Carolyn aptly demostrated why Lasix is a good investment and yelled, “An overturned trashcan!  He’s there!” 

We pulled in and sure enough, Sunny had taken it upon himself to knock over a neighbor’s trashcan and was having his own holiday feast (one little Henry would covet).  Carolyn ran out and snatched him.  And then it was time to do something no one expected to do on Christmas day.  Sam, Carolyn and I stood out in the cold, winter rain and cleaned up a stranger’s trash.  A stranger’s soggy trash at that!

“Could this get any better?!?” I asked myself as I peeled a wet receipt off the asphalt.

Well, apparently for Carolyn, it could!  As I transported that piece of trash to the now righted can, I had a collision.  The trash hit Carolyn in the back of the head and thanks to its ample moisture— it stuck there!  Hair accessories are often common stocking stuffers for Christmas.  I guess I kept that theme going.  What better way to accessorize than to have someone else’s garbage embellish your hair?

Carolyn took the mishap in good humor.  Actually, she may be used to my poor aim.  In elementary school, I tried to throw a rawhide bone for a dog and ended up hitting Carolyn in the face instead.  In that incident, she was required to get a series of stitches.  At least this time, all she needed was a vigorous shampooing!

Sam, Carolyn and I got soaked, but we did have our fair share of laughs.  It was so much fun, I’m thinking we should do this every year.    Sound good to you, Carolyn?

P.S.  All my pictures from Christmas 2006 are available on my Flickr site.

December 26, 2006 at 9:44 pm 7 comments


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