Archive for the ‘Family’ Category
It is an hour flight—up the hill, down the hill, a bag of peanuts and a pail of water. The descent never changes.
From the window the ground is dry and chapped, breaking in the creases, and the heat rises above it in thick translucent waves. The view is always the same, a sky clear and blue, an endless land that is cracked and growing blurry.
From the curb it is more of the same, but now you can feel it and the shirt stuck to your back. The parking lot is checkered by empty spaces and clusters of cars haggling for shade. A tree grows in Tucson and the locals bow beneath it. The dust is quick upon them.
This is where I came from, a leap from a postcard across the pages of a scrapbook, faded equally from time and sun. I don’t miss much, but for twilight streaking from mountaintop to mountain on rays of pink and amber, and then nights too warm beneath a quilt of stars and friendly margaritas.
And some of the people even more so.
It is Friday morning, and I have returned to bury my grandfather. It seems I only fly home for funerals.
You may have noticed that I have taken the ads off of this site. I don’t know if this is permanent or not, because never say never and all that; however, it happened, and we all have to make our peace. Basically, I haven’t earned anything more than a cup of coffee per month from the various companies I have hosted in my sidebar(s), and if I’m not making any money from an ad I don’t really see why you should have to look at it. Also, I accidentally deleted the code for said ads and I am too lazy to track down a new version.
In place of consistent ads I have decided to do occasional sponsored posts. These, unlike the ads mentioned above, have paid me well, and if you have been following along with my lackluster blogging career then you know I need the money. Desperately. For instance, this month, thanks to the good people at Hyundai, Disney, and the Home Depot, my family will actually be able to pay most of our bills on time and eat, which are two of my favorite things, but mostly eating.
The point is, I want to be transparent about all of this, and I understand if you are not inclined to read posts that start with a disclaimer of sponsorship. You’re a purist and/or an elitist, and that’s okay. Some of my best friends are purists and/or elitists, and they don’t read my site even when the writing isn’t sponsored, and it hurts every single time.
I want you to know that what you get from me will not be compromised (for better or worse), and my agreeing to sponsored content is a) based on actual financial need, b) the quality of the products/companies involved, c) a sign of the times. I believe the quality, if I may be so bold, of the few sponsored posts I have done thus far speaks for itself. I am not going to promote something that I don’t believe in, and I am not going to throw a bunch of copy on the page (aside from the copy I am legally or contractually required to add) and spend the rest of the afternoon counting my money. There will be time enough for counting when the posting’s done.
Also, this month will not be representative in terms of sponsored content quantity. I was lucky enough to have multiple opportunities knock at the same time, and I let them all in. They’re still here, watching my TV and having some toast. Again, the eating. I cannot imagine that future months will find me as nearly well-fed.
In closing, I care about you, the reader. Especially you. I hope you understand that my trading ads for sponsored posts is a very positive thing for me, my family, and this site—I sincerely appreciate your support and understanding.
Yes, I’m doing a sponsored post to celebrate our anniversary, because if I’ve learned anything in twelve years of bliss it is that when opportunity knocks you best answer. Disney Story knocked, and the rest, as they say, is this post. Besides, I proposed at the Magic Kingdom (I was wearing a Foo Fighters shirt—romantic!), so it’s like circular.
Twelve years ago today Tricia and I were married. Man, we were beautiful. Then time pulled all of my hair out, left a couple of kids on our doorstep, and tricked us into thinking that the then was better than the now, but the truth is, the now is pretty good, too. Take that, Time!
Happy Anniversary, Tricia. Next year, a baker’s dozen!
For the record, I’m wearing a Foo Fighters shirt today, too, but it’s from a totally different tour.
There is a lot of overlap between childhood and springtime. One is full of growth and beauty, the other is just like that but louder. So it was that we found ourselves beneath a dance of sun and shade, slightly above the sea, with children laughing between rockets, balloons, paint, and poetry. Also, tinfoil.
We were among the invited guests at Hyundai’s “Epic Play Date” event just north of Santa Barbara, a day filled with some of your favorite bloggers (and me) and their families—each engaged in the pursuit of fun, food, and conversation. The kids hit the ground running, pausing only for sunscreen, sips of water, and the occasional ice cream. The parents kept pace behind them, somewhat sidetracked by kind words and friendly faces. I drank my body weight in lemonade.
“I told the balloon artist that I would be right back,” said my oldest as he ate his food entirely too fast, excused himself with a wave, and ran back across the field that stretched open between our table and his imagination.
“Me too,” said the youngest as he followed the path that blazed before him.
We watched them run straight and true, as if pulled by some invisible force, and when they got to the balloon booth they stopped. Collaborate. Listen. The balloons became what they hoped they would be, and the day spread like that until it ended, covered in whipped cream, sweat, and the most epic sort of tired.
The drive home was all beachfront and snoring.
This This post is brought to you by The New Santa Fe from Hyundai .
When the phone rang I was sitting in a ritzy hotel in a fancy town, surrounded by people I barely knew and those I hold quite dearly. There was wine, a fireplace, and much in the way of laughter. The phone was buzzing in my hand, my father’s name printed across the screen, and I let time linger there for a moment—one last second in a world posh and filtered, full of glossy promise, where I had never been told that my grandfather was dead.
“He’s gone,” said my father across the line, and then he talked of specifics and things for the better. I answered in careful whisper, said what I could, then walked down the hall with the help of a shoulder—feeling pale, weak, and an awful lot like crying.
Clifford “Ray” Honea was born in 1925. He had been a pioneer in a western town, one that his son, my father, still serves as mayor today. He had been a police officer, a fireman, a business owner, a politician, and a soldier. He bowled, loved birds, sports, and the art of the argument. He was loud, opinionated, and quick with a joke. He was my grandpa, and I loved him fiercely.
It had only been a week since the stroke and heart attack, but his seemingly quick departure had actually been years in the making. It started the day my grandmother died, when he had buried his spark and gave way to a life of longing, pain, and frailty. Each day without her was another day of cruel survival, a staring contest with fate that left him always waiting, always hoping it was over.
But even then there were still times when he forgot himself and would let the carnival of childhood bounce through his door and find ways to entertain him. The boys would surround him with affection, recharge him with bits of perk and playfulness, and let the dust fall from his smiles. His eyes would twinkle then, with a little boy holding tight to either side, and he would let himself be happy, if only for a moment.
His life was long, packed with love, and filled with grand adventure. There are many stories that should be told of Ray Honea and the years that I spent with him, and someday I will share those with my children, but today I can only tell the boys that their Grammpy is gone—another broken heart in search of someplace better, and we will remember always how they made him laugh in the days that passed between them.
This is the official obituary for C. Ray Honea:
C. Ray Honea
Our dad, grandpa, and great-grandpa, C. Ray Honea, passed away May 4, 2013. He was born January 21, 1925 in Tempe, AZ. Ray was the third of eight children and was married to Wynema Steele Honea (deceased) for 62 years. Ray and Wynema started the Honea Heights Neighborhood and Honea Water Company, respectively, both in Marana, in 1953. They had three children: Ed (Jan-deceased), Wayne (Cathy), and Pam. They had seven grandchildren: Whit (Tricia), Tiffany Phoenix (Wynter), Gary (Jo), Charlene Hugo (Tim), Curtis (deceased), Wayne II, and Nema Shapiro (Steve). They also had 12 great-grandchildren: Atticus, Zane, Avery, Jessica, and Brianna Honea; Jordan, Sydney, and Ethan Shapiro; Anneliese, Evan, Emma, and Ava Hugo. Ray was a member of Marana’s First Town Council (1977). He is the former chair of the Marana Planning Commission. Ray also served 29 years on the Trico Electric Board of Directors. His passion was racing (homing pigeons) in which he won two All-American Awards. In lieu of flowers please make a donation to the Huntington’s Disease Society of America. Services will be held at Marana Community Christian Church on May 18th at 10 a.m.