Age 82, of Wilmington, DE, formerly of Dover, died Tuesday, July 14, 2009.
was a long-standing supporter of the school lunch program and worked as
a cafeteria manager in both Dover and Wilmington. Grace and Frank
enjoyed many happy retirement years traveling in their motor home to
visit family and friends, exploring the United States and Canada, and
enjoying the company of the Telephone Pioneer Family Campers in many of
Grace was preceded in death by her husband of 61
years, Frank A. Lucia. She is survived by her children and their
spouses, Robert and Marianne Lucia of Albuquerque, NM; William and Mary
Ann Lucia of Charlottesville, VA; Constance and Harold Bischoff of
Jackson, MI; 5 grandchildren, Jessica Lucia, Kyle Lucia, Sean Lucia,
Todd Lucia and Caitlin Lucia; 5 great-grandchildren, Griffin Hardy,
Reese Hardy, Brody Lucia, Caeden Lucia, and Alexander Hardy and her
sister, Eleanore Wall of Dover.
Family and friends are invited to
visit Sunday July 19, from 5-7 pm, at CHANDLER FUNERAL HOME, 2506
Concord Pike, Wilmington with a memorial service at 6 pm. Committal
will take place at 10 am, on Monday July 20, at the Delaware Veterans
Memorial Cemetery, Bear, DE.
In lieu of flowers, donations are suggested to Meals on Wheels Delaware, 100 West 10th Street, Wilmington, DE 19801.
Yesterday we bid farewell to Dan's parents, who arrived late last week and spent the weekend here in Richmond. In between a little house shopping (for them, not us!) and a lot of take-out (I don't think we cooked all weekend!), we headed down to Belle Isle for a little hike on Sunday. It was all of our first visit to this gem of the James River park system. Time and temperaments were limited, so we didn't get to find a good spot to dabble our toes in the water, but I'm hoping for more adventures later. Highlights:
Pedestrian suspension bridge to the island under the Lee Bridge; kooky James River Parks sign. The kids loved hearing cars pass overhead on the highway.
Panoramic views of the river, and glimpses of the ways other people enjoy it, like sunbathers, kayakers, rafters, and remnants of a rock arrangement.
Chances to get some shots of kids and grandparents.
Wildflowers in bloom (and I saw a hummingbird sphinx moth, but missed getting its picture!)
Ice cream afterward at Bev's
All in all, a great Richmondy summer day. I totally want to go back for more exploring (and will probably go alone some time just for photos). Want more picss? Take a look at the Belle Isle set I put together on Flickr.
Reese is FOUR today! Can you believe it? There is something very big about the second child growing out of the baby years and becoming a big kid, which seems to be what the oft-painful transition from three to four is all about.
In the last couple of months, he has really been seeming four. He's showing so much voluntary compassion and helpfulness. He also beat me to the potty-training punch and asked for underwear the afternoon of his last day of school. I had been planning on taking a much firmer stance about it this summer and enforcing lots of naked time until he got it, so that by the time school came around again, no more diapers. Well, he got it on his own! Two weeks in underwear, of his own accord, and he's so proud of it! (Such a shot in the arm for my own "all in due time, when they're ready" mantra. Sometimes I lose my way and stop believing it for a second, and the kids bring me back to it every time.)
He's outgrowing a bedtime song, and asks not to have one 6 nights out of 7, most of the time. But on the up side, he asks for cuddling more than ever before. Morning snuggles, back scratches, stroking his hair at bedtime. He also loves to give affection in those ways. Four is so sweet!
A week or two ago he spelled his name. Griff picked up on the importance of this and remarked on it, congratulating his brother. They seem like buddies more and more of the time, really great playmates and collaborators. I love the way they've developing of making plans and working together on something.
This morning, I had planned a special pancake breakfast for him, but he declined and asked for toast. His day, his pick. He, Dan, and Xander went out while Griff and I tidied up the house, wrapped presents, and baked cupcakes. My brother Kyle called this morning looking for some company for Brody (who asked to see cousins!) and joined us and my parents for gift unwrapping, a trip to Reese's favorite deli for lunch, and dessert in the back yard. Reese requested "no singing and no candles," so we saluted him instead. (Of course, by that time he was burned out from the day, melted down, and enjoyed his cupcake inside with just daddy.) More cousin time outside while Dan and I met with our realtor (more on that later) and then time for bedtime with a new book. His favorite moments: cupcakes and a remote control tarantula courtesy of Mom-Mom and Pop-Pop. Everybody declared the day a success.
Thanks to Griff, who insisted on snapping this one just before I hid the eggs. Speaking of which, it's actually tough hiding eggs for the first time in a new yard, you don't have a sense of where the best places are. Next year I'm gonna rock this, though.
Oh, also, those are my SKINNY JEANS. Can I get a "go, Jess"? I remain at my pre-Xander weight, which is lower than my pre-Griff weight by a good 10 lbs. Lovin' my 30s.
After our hunt we high-tailed it to C'ville for lunch, two rounds of cousin egg-hunting (Brody did admirably, Griff and Reese are old pros, Caeden dutifully obliged his parents by posing for eggy photo ops, and Xander blew the whole thing off and enjoyed himself on a gravel pile until developing an affinity for one particular egg, which he loved to a squishy demise. I was psyched for the photo ops, but alas! had forgotten to empty my memory card, which was packed full of photos from a Sabot art session (lousy photos, might I add, ugh). So I got next to nothing. And literally nothing with Reese (you'll have to imagine him...he was wearing a doggie and beaver shirt from Red Prairie Press and was adorably cute egg hunting, you'll have to take my word for it.) Here's what I did catch before the card pooped out:
The weather turned a bit chilly but the skies were perfectly blue and the light had a quality to it that was like sun through honey. We supped at our place on Saturday with the Allen-Shorts and I attempted to get some pics of Ruby and Griffin while they bounced on Hop balls - no easy feat, as you can see. On Sunday the Hardy boys/man and I walked/biked/strollered the mile to Ellwood's for breakfast and a few groceries. The trip included not only pear blossoms galore, but also a sighting of a fun bus and an impromptu double diaper change that introduced us to the Ellwood's restrooms, complete with altered sign. We brought pastries back to eat on the side porch - the first time we've actually used that porch for more than bug hunting. That afternoon Griffin and Reese and I met up with Kyle, Johannah, and Brody at the Carillon tot lot. Sum for the weekend: no work, lots of play, and that's the way it sometimes should be!
Last Tuesday, we had temperatures in the teens and icicles forming all over the eaves of every house on the block. On Thursday, I bundled up for a three-mile walk on slushy streets through snowy neighborhoods. Today I ran to the attic to fetch summer clothes for the baby and sweated in 76-degree weather at the kite festival. Go figure.
Everybody was overtired today. Dan and Xander had a bad night. Griff and Reese and Xander all went to bed later than usual yesterday. I stayed up late and despite having a turn with sleeping in, didn't get enough rest and apparently two glasses of wine across an evening hurts me more than it did 10 years ago. Ooof. All of us were CRANKY today.
We almost ditched the kite festival but didn't want to a) skip out on yet another local cultural tradition or b) disappoint Kyle and Johannah by not hanging/dinnering with them. So we went anyway, and there were so many pretty kites! Reese and I especially liked the synchronized kites that danced to music and seemed to chase each other.
Our pterodactyl kite was a total bomb but the little inflatable kite somebody gave Griff three years ago (and which has never been used, embarassingly) turned out to be EXCELLENT for kids, it flew easily and Griff and Reese both seemed thrilled and confident with it.
I take back all the skeptical and snarky comments I made about it previously! Johannah/Kyle/Brody had a great kite they bought at the festival last year, rainbowy and with a cute tail, and we bought one for ourselves, too. Hopefully we'll get out and use it soon.
Dan is out watching Watchmen with Adam (the wives are relieved to be off the hook). Griff and I viewed Ace Lacewing, Bug Detective on Tumblebooks (through the Munford portal). I'm not a fan of Tumblebooks, I have to admit. I much prefer, you know, actually reading an actual book with my kid. Tomorrow Dan and I have a "date" that we'll spend fetching things from storage, retrieving our compost bin from the other house (still not sold, argh, and now repressing it again...), and going grocery shopping. Exciting, no?
The peace that started last Wednesday with will.i.am, chocolate chip cookies, leaf clearing, and baby haircuts carried over to the next day (the 12th, AKA Darwin Day, which I observed in thought but not much in action) as we zenned through yet another day out of school. Everybody seemed much better but I thought, I'll be darned if I send Reese back into the den of germs one day before a four-day, birthday party weekend. We needed to stay on the getting-better track.
We visited the main branch of Richmond Public Library for the first time, to catch Barefoot Puppets' "Trickster Tales" show. We met Johannah and Brody there and saw a few other NAP families, too. Reese had a strange-new-place meltdown and plastered himself to me but enjoyed the show once he dared to peep out. Xander and Griff LOVED the puppets. We have plans to hit one or more of their shows this summer. In the meantime, we need to hunt down some Anansi tales.
The afternoon was filled with requests for goggles and lots of time on the back porch. Doesn't Griff look like a teenager, all lanky and disheveled? My goodness. Although I suppose the other option is to go Xander's route and look like your mama cut your hair. Oh, wait, she did. Yikes.
Keeping with the theme of getting steamrolled by the holidays this year, I really didn't take many photos today. Dan worked but was able to meet us in C'ville around 5pm, on time for birthday cake. It was such a crazy day that I missed getting video of Griff on his brand new birthday bike (didn't even get to see him riding it outside with Uncle Todd!) and didn't really get time to savor the day with him. I'm really glad that Dan won't be working next year on Christmas!
Above: the boys unwrapping gifts. Below: Griff unwrapping birthday presents at my parents' house.
After eight years in medicine, Dan has finally landed Christmas-Day duty. This week is a normal work week for him, so even as the kids have a break and I'm scrambling to get ready for Christmas, he's still in the normal groove of hospital rounds and consults. He's on call tonight and missed the kids' bedtime, and will go to work tomorrow after we open presents (this is one time to be happy about early rising kids!). If we're lucky, he'll get off work early enough to join us in Charlottesville for dinner.
Todd is back from L.A. for over a week and he stayed with us last night and will stay tonight, too. THANK GOODNESS for having him around, I really needed the adult company and help with wrangling the kids, who are all getting over colds and are all rammy and missing their daddy. It's also just nice to get such an extended visit with him, I can't think when I've gotten this much time with Todd before. I hope we don't scare him off from visiting us again in the future! ;o)
Kyle, Johannah, Brody, and J's sister Maggie joined us here for Christmas Eve dinner, a "traditional" meal of bean and cheese enchiladas - the meal they brought us in the hospital when Griff was born. Things were crazy chaotic in the house so I suggested a walk around the neighborhood while the enchiladas baked. It is SO cool to live in a place where we can enjoy a stroll like this! We all enjoyed looking at the different architectural elements of the houses, and checking out their landscaping, and examining the various holiday decorations. Todd found a tree with a face on it and the boys and I showed them all the "elephant house" two blocks from our home.
Tonight's project: wrap everything. Yup, everything. Shoot me now. Note to self: don't move next year. I think I can keep that resolution! This holiday season has completely kicked my butt and I feel like we've missed so much, things have been so disorganized that we haven't had time to enjoy each other. I hope for a restful and peaceful 2009 for us and for you!
I had intended to share this back in October, but saved it as a draft for some reason that I can no longer remember, and never got back to it. So here we are...
My mom and Eira Heartt were roommates in college and remain friends to this day. Her son Kyle is a year older than me, which I think makes him my oldest friend, what with him probably knowing me since birth and all. I recently reconnected with Kyle via Facebook, and the first birthday greeting that met me yesterday was this gift from him:
The kid on the left, wearing neckgear, is Kyle Heartt. That's my dad in the middle, sporting his snug '70s short-shorts, Mickey tee, and Indiana-Jones hat. The girl in the engineer's cap is me, and that's my brother Kyle next to me. I'm 6 1/2 years old, it's 1982, and we are standing on a glacier on the shores of May Lake, in Yosemite. Kyle's Dad, Fred, took the photo.
The trip was pretty seminal for me. We backpacked a mile uphill (major accomplishment for a 6 y/o and 5 y/o) to camp at pretty bare-bones sites around the lake. My dad showed me a campsite where he and my mom and some friends had camped long before I was born, which made a big impression on me. One of my all-time favorite moments with my dad (possibly THE all-time favorite) was from this trip, and the environment we camped in permanently colored my idea of what my ideal surroundings would be.
I believe I have a hard copy of this photo in an album that Eira gave me for my birthday (?) that year. I found it during our move and showed some of the other memorabilia in it, like newspaper clippings of me in a play around age 10, to Griff.
Todd and Lisa stayed in CA for Thanksgiving and Kyle and Johannah were in NC visiting some of her extended family; the rest of the Lucia clan gathered at Sean and Jessa's house, where my amazing sister-in-law, who was not quite a month post-partum, organized and executed her best Thanksgiving dinner yet. Thank you, Jessa!!
Two of the things our families are thankful for: Caeden (3 weeks, 6 days old) and Xander (almost 1!). I delight in capturing sleeping newborn shots. Dan delights in capturing babies with beer bottles.