Claire de Lune

Today I was working while listening to my “Chill Vibes” Pandora station, and one of my favorite songs came on.

While I love the piece, what I love more are the memories.

I’ve heard this dozens of times over the years, but today was different. As soon as I heard it I decided to write about it tonight. Ironically, on my Dad’s birthday. Ironic because, well, I’d decided to write about it well before I realized today was the 13th (his birthday).

I remember sitting in our dining room in Columbus Ohio. We had this old beige-colored wooden piano, which I later was gifted, and years later I gifted to someone else. I’m pretty sure it came from my mom’s side of the family, and was her mothers. There was this matching bench with a swing-top lid stuffed with sheet music, a few pages of which were always spilling out.

Some evenings, after dinner,  we would sit around the dining room table while my Dad sat at the piano. Our dining room table was a “table on a table” which makes me laugh as I remember it. Growing up we had this small table that all seven of us would crowd around for dinners (or “supper” as my Mom called it).

One day my dad saw a much bigger tabletop; either someone was throwing it away curbside or we bought it at this old used furniture store downtown called “Gene’s Used Furniture.” I loved going to that store, it smelled of old oiled wood furniture and metal file cabinets.  The guy Gene was this super salt-of-the-earth dude, of which there are many people like that in Ohio. One of the many things I love–and miss–about home.

Out of prudence–and frugality–rather than buy a base and legs for the newfound table, instead our Dad just glued the much larger table onto the top of our existing table. Voila! We had a new table!

My Dad would be on the piano bench, and he’d start playing a few notes. One sister was usually sitting in front of the heater duct against the wall, and another would often be wrapped up with a blanker petting our Golden Retriever named Schroeder, whose tail would keep thumping the ground as she laid there signaling her happiness. And the rest of us were seated around the “table on the table.”

And after a few warm up notes, suddenly, it was magic. My dad would start playing Claire de Lune. There would be a few missed notes along the way, and a couple of do-overs, but to me it was like we were in this symphonic concert hall from this big device that I couldn’t get to do or play anything that suddenly was handled in a way that enveloped the room in this lovely soothing drip of serenity–which was a rarity in a house with five kids.

And, wow, as I write this it’s amazingly emotional to me. About how much I loved those moments. How simple it was. How much I valued my family growing up, though hardly in ways that any of my sisters or family would probably ever realize at the time (or perhaps, even since).

Then, at the end, my mom would usually come over and place her hand on the back of my dad and rub his shoulder and give him a hug and say something like “Richard, that was so beautiful! You are so talented!” Which is another memory that I love, seeing my mom as such an encourager and always so positive. Having reflected on it, I think that’s one of the best gifts a wife can give her husband–encouragement and respect. She gave a lot of both.

And then, as quickly as it began, it was over.

And the noise would start. I’d probably be heckling and teasing my sisters and everyone would start stirring while the chaos of a family of seven people would resume.

But I don’t remember that as much.

No, what I remember is sitting in serenity in an old house in Columbus Ohio, with an amazing (yet very imperfect) family and the magic of Claire de Lune filling the air with an imperfect family.  And every single time I hear this song, it’s like this incredible transport back 30 years to a moment I’ll always adore.

Happy Birthday, Dad.

Happy Thanksgiving 2010

Okay, here it is…a stroke before midnight, the annual RazFamily Thanksgiving video.

This one is a bit more…casual, and slap-dash, but we’re going to let it go anyways. It really is purely an outtakes version, was hoping for something a bit more sincere and thoughtful but it just didn’t happen that way. And I didn’t get the participation of Erica or Royce/Zoe, but we had so many people at the house it was a bit chaotic and not optimal studio environment. 🙂 So, again, this is outtakes people. Outtakes. Not me in everyday every moment life.

Anyways, Happy Thanksgiving to everybody. And, by the way, when you get a heritage/free range Turkey (like we did) it is a BIT easier to understand how I did what I did, which you’ll see at the end of the video. Too much explaining will ruin the silly surprise.

So there it is, from the RazFam to yours–best to each of you!

-Raz, Erica, Royce, and Zoe

No doubts, take Lasix only as prescribed by your doctor. Levitra is one of the best-known medications of all when. What is the most significant information you must study about levitra vs cialis? Most doctors say the effectiveness of Levitra is well documented. Absolutely, a sexual problem refers to a problem during any phase of the sexual response cycle that prevents the individual from experiencing satisfaction from the sexual life. Whilst sex is not vital for good soundness, its doubtless important for anyone. Why it happen? What kinds of professionals treat sexual diseases in men? A common class of antidepressants, which include Zoloft can kill the mood in bedroom.

Happy Thanksgiving, from the Raz Family

Happy Thanksgiving
Dear Friends and Family,

Here’s our annual family Thanksgiving video, I hope each of you are having a fantastic day.

Happy Thanksgiving, from the Raz Family!

No doubts, take Lasix only as prescribed by your physician. Levitra is one of the best-known medications of all day. What is the most significant information you must study about levitra vs cialis? Most doctors say the effectiveness of Levitra is well documented. Absolutely, a sexual problem refers to a problem during any phase of the sexual response cycle that prevents the individual from experiencing satisfaction from the sexual life. Whilst sex is not vital for good soundness, its doubtless important for anyone. Why it happen? What kinds of professionals treat sexual diseases in men? A common class of antidepressants, which include Zoloft can kill the mood in bedroom.

Love

Love

Last week has been incredibly busy, as you can tell from a blogging absence of EIGHT days (cringe!) with a lot of work activity along with business travel, some volunteering with the Olympia Hands On Children’s Museum, and then finally a bit of a personal vacation that started this week (but I’m headed to Portland to help w/ the big close this weekend and Monday!!!).

I’m ever-trying-to-improve on the work/family balance thing, and have gotten better during the last year. There’s no nobility in losing your life to work, yet there’s still much admiration and pride to be had in working exceptionally hard. It just requires a balance, all of which I’m still on my journey learning. Sometimes a little love can be all the reminder you need.

Last week I went to Salt Lake City for a few days and I departed on Thursday morning. I awoke around 5am, did one of my P9ox workouts, did emails for an hour, made breakfast for the family, finished packing, and was hustling out the door to catch my plane. And, amidst all of that, I probably wasn’t giving enough attention to the kids or didn’t just take five minutes to stop and really be present with them.

So as I’m hustling out the door, knowing I was going to be pushing the limits of my departure time, little Zoe comes running out the door to give me one last thing. And, at first, the honest thought that came to my head was “this is really a little annoying…I HAVE to get going!”

Then her little barefoot steps quickly pattered out to the car, wearing her pink Hannah Montana nightgown with the morning breeze whisping her blond little locks and a wry little smile Zoe ran to my car and handed me a picture who simply said “I wanted you to have something to remember me by, and I want you to know that I love you.” With that, a smile, a kiss, and a turn, and she headed back into the house. It was one of those moments that will give me a long-time reminder of the role I REALLY have as a dad, and in the process she gave me the gift of a simple act that made my week–and it didn’t cost me a thing, other than 60 seconds to slow down and receive it. A little bit of love.

No doubts, take Lasix only as prescribed by your doc. Levitra is one of the best-known medications of all time. What is the most significant info you must study about levitra vs cialis? Most doctors say the effectiveness of Levitra is well documented. Absolutely, a sexual problem refers to a problem during any phase of the sexual response cycle that prevents the individual from experiencing satisfaction from the sexual life. Whilst sex is not vital for good health, its doubtless important for anyone. Why it happen? What kinds of professionals treat sexual diseases in men? A common class of antidepressants, which include Zoloft can kill the mood in bedroom.

At first she HATED running…

This story out of Sports Illustrated speaks for itself, and is touching on so many levels. Physical improvement. Accountability. Teamwork. Persistence. Heart. Patriotism. Compassion. Love. 

It’s a simple story of a single act that turned into something so much bigger, and for whatever reason really touched me as I read it a second time this evening. I hope you enjoy it, too, and as my dad would say “Grok the Fullness” (Grok the Fullness? Check it out: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Grok ). vivian__husband_run1

Vivian White would do just about anything for her son, but this was asking a lot. Take up running? She hated running. Had ever since grade school. Besides, at 47, she was set in her ways.
But he persisted. This was 2005, and Brian Bales was a junior on the Charleston (Ill.) High track team. Every week in the off-season Vivian would drive him to a nearby college and time him in the 200 and the 400. In turn, Brian would try to get her out on the track. Eventually she gave in. At first she was gassed after one lap. Then it was two, then four. If she faltered, there was Brian, backpedaling in front of her like a cornerback and shouting, “Come on, Mom, you can do it!” Or he’d trail her, a hand in the small of her back, saying, “I know it hurts, but you’ll thank me one day.” He taught her how to create a rhythm for her breathing by bouncing a tennis ball as she ran, how to block out pain.

Most 16-year-olds would consider it horrifyingly uncool to train with their mom. Brian loved it. “It made us a lot closer,” he says. “And as soon as she got an iPod, it was like she could outrun a horse.”

Click here to read the full Sports Illustrated story.

No doubts, take Lasix only as prescribed by your doctor. Levitra is one of the best-known medications of all date. What is the most significant information you must study about levitra vs cialis? Most doctors say the effectiveness of Levitra is well documented. Absolutely, a sexual problem refers to a problem during any phase of the sexual response cycle that prevents the individual from experiencing satisfaction from the sexual life. Whilst sex is not vital for good health, its doubtless important for anyone. Why it happen? What kinds of professionals treat sexual diseases in men? A common class of antidepressants, which include Zoloft can kill the mood in bedroom.