Swallow Study: Take 2
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Memorial Day Weekend. In America, this Monday is a holiday, a time to honor to the veterans who have served in wars of the past.

While I truly pay respect to those soliders in my heart, now Memorial Day Weekend will always bring up a more personal memory for our family. Though Vernon was no military man, he was OUR man…OUR fighter and protector.

I had been watching the date creeping toward us all month.  And when it came, it seemed the best idea would be to get out of town completely…to make some new memories and not think about sad things at all.

Fortunately, I have a Guardian Angel who lives in LA, only an hour north. And she was willing and able to take us all in. Maki almost changed his mind, as he’d got himself in a bit of a funk that day, and said “it didn’t feel right to have fun this weekend.” Though my mom was willing to take him, I’m so glad we finally convinced him to go with us. It was important to me that we were all together, even if we were allowed to each experience the weekend as individuals.

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I’ve known my friend Nicole for over twenty years. Not only is she a “soul sister,” but she is one of those special types that I hope everyone has at least one of in their lives. I’ve only met one or two like her. She is a selfless hostess and has a bottomless heart of generosity and love.  Plus, we know each other so well, it feels like home just to be around her.

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What has been so wonderful in the passing of time is that our families get along well too. We have done many trips together over the years. Vernon had become friends with her husband, Ash, and when the boys were younger, they looked like brothers.

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Now, its Justine and Julian that are the kindred spirits, which makes time visiting with Nicole so much easier.  They entertained each other all weekend long. A Play Doh bakery, fashion shows on the roof (complete with hand illustrated tickets), and Karaoke (It’s All About the Bass, as nauseam.)

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Even Maki found a happy place…just chilling out, without any expectations on him. Which is his favorite, of course.

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He also enjoyed some time with Ash, just being guys. Ash took him to a movie and took him to work at the animation studio. (He’s directing the upcoming animated film Rock Dog.) Nicole, by the way, was sure to bring me an autograph from my favorite entertainer, Eddie Izzard. How thoughtful. 🙂 I do love him.

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Here are the guys playing Monopoly.

Mostly, we just chilled out. As I said, its a home away from home. I’ve been camping out here and there with Ash and Nicole for half of my life. But it does just bring such joy to see how our families are still a fit, even without Vernon. And it DID take our minds off the anniversary.

We visited the Huntington Gardens in Pasadena.

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Watched movies and The David Letterman finale. And on Maki’s request, visited the LACMA, one of his favorite museums.

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And now we are rested and ready to enter Year Number Two.  I must say I feel relieved the date has finally passed. Let the next season begin. I’d rather look to the future than dwell on the past.

We’ve got this.

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Swallow Study: Take 2
Conversations