My long overdue trip to visit my brother this past week had motives beyond touching base with him. We had not seen each other since our father's funeral three and a half years ago. We had gathered, before Dad died, stories of his life as he told them to us. I've meant to get them organized, typed and sent to Bob for additions and corrections, but never seem to be able to get started. (It's been easier and more fun to write this blog.)
We had decided to add memories of our childhood at Dad's many Air Force duty stations, so I took a notebook with me to Escondido and asked Bob to tell me what he remembered about our childhood. He, being five years older than I, remembered more and earlier tales. Now I will type those memories up and send them to Bob for additions/corrections. Then I'll incorporate them into Dad's life story. At least, that's the plan.
It was interesting to hear Bob's version of events that I remembered but from a viewpoint five years younger. How different our versions often were!
I remember that Mom was incensed when Bob took me, of kindergarten age, on a rickety raft in a swamp when we lived in San Rafael, California. Mom was incensed because I could have fallen off and drowned. What Bob remembered was getting in trouble for getting our clothes dirty!
The only way I can keep dates straight is to remember which state we lived in when I was in what grade. Bob remembers by what car Mom and Dad owned at the time.
As well as pulling stories out of my brother, I timed my visit around the engagement party of their son Rob to a young woman, Sabrina, whom I had not met before. Last Sunday, Elladine drove the three of us (Bob, Elladine and me) to Redlands where Sabrina's family lives. Her mom and sister had planned and hosted the party at their home. It had a black and white theme and most everyone arrived wearing black and white, as suggested. I had not come prepared so settled for black and gray.
My brother, to fulfill the theme in his own way, wore one white sock and one black sock. That gave everyone a good laugh and a funny memory for Rob and Sabrina at the beginning of their journey together through life.
It was a warm and friendly party with Rob and Sabrina's friends and families plus lots of food. Sabrina's mom had created a scrapbook with photos of both of them through the years and room for photos from this party. Here they are posing for Sabrina's sister who was taking pictures for that scrapbook.
Rob won't realize it yet, but the memoir of his grandfather, for whom he is named, with his father and aunt's childhood memories included, will help both him and Sabrina understand how Rob's father grew to be the person he is and how that influenced Rob himself. Or it will if I ever get it finished...