the summer weather in denver has been unseasonably cool: grey skies, chilly mornings, wet evenings, brisk breezes, sweatshirt weather. we are loving it. our walks have been longer. our a/c has been running less. favorite blankets are getting lots of use. our grass is greener and we are watering less. the house feels fresher and less stagnant than this little brick house tends to feel in the usual sweltering summer heat. we are filled w more energy for exploring.
there was a recent article in the huffington post about a mother who stopped saying “hurry up” to her daughter. i’m not one to rush ramona herself, but i don’t always take the time for leisurely moments of discovery. these past couple weeks though, as i’ve mentioned in past posts, have been filled with slowness, intentional or otherwise. and our little family has embraced this new pace.
taking different routes to the coffee shop on our morning walk has introduced us to new streets, new gardens, new neighborhood vibes. ramona rides in the wagon on the way there but insists on walking the whole way home. we are thankful for this as we get to meander and mosey too. while she’s scouring the sidewalks for rocks and coins to pocket, jp and i get to peek at the new modern homes being built and admire the sturdiness of the old ones as well. as a family we’ve discovered old murals (the dinosaur one pictured above) and progress on a new walking path near our home. i hope this pace continues even if the heat should return. and most likely it will.
how do you slow down?
phew. it’s done. it’s open. and it was busy and so so good.
there’s wrinkles to iron out, for sure. but to see people eating and drinking and enjoying themselves in the space! oh man. it was a labor of love to get to this point and it feels really really wonderful. i cannot even imagine how JP and his partners feel, as they put in a lot more blood, sweat, tears, and time than i did!
i’m still recovering from the crazy schedule i had this week (office work for the populist in the morning, being a mama to ramona and a caregiver to max in the afternoon, and then jetting back to the space to function as manager/host/presence in the evenings). today the powerdriver family had a lazy brunch at the universal then went home and cleaned our homestead inside and out. finally, we were able to kick back and relax with some chipotle, bota box, board books, and play time with our little girl who hasn’t gotten as much of our attention as she deserves this past week. this is exactly what we all needed.
i’ll be back in full force next week here on the blog. until then, enjoy some more great guest posts.
and congratulations to cora who was randomly selected as the winner of my blog redesign giveaway! i can’t wait to see what you pick out (and i’ll also be updating my shop soon now that i have more time.)
renowned comic and actress, phyllis diller, died yesterday. she was 95.
halloween, 1994, i dressed up as phyllis diller. i had met her earlier that year at the st. croix casino. my brother and i sat through what was probably our first comic routine and it certainly was, for the most part, way over our heads. i may not have gotten all her jokes but i remember thinking i liked the way she could make the whole room laugh. and i loved the way she laughed. (the one joke i do remember her telling–and i don’t know why this has stuck w me–is “what is birth control for old people? nudity.”).
afterward, my family got to go backstage and meet w the comic icon. my mother had made her a phyllis doll — it was wearing a sequin gown and had crazy blonde hair. she thought it was hysterical. i remember her vividly, as well as the bright lights around her dressing room mirror. by the time we got back there she had removed her wig. she talked to my brother and i like adults she respected. we were 9 and 11.
phyllis diller was born phyllis driver. that’s my maiden name, and the driver line i come from. though perhaps not first cousins with my grandfather, she was second or once removed or some other confusing connection like that. but still. i’m pretty proud of this connection as she’s an epic, brilliant, talented woman. and beloved and respected. i think that’s pretty cool. if you have met me in person and heard my laugh, you will understand where i might possibly have gotten it from. or at least that’s what i’d like to think
last night my father, david, sent me copies of some letters she had sent him. i’m including them here, along with a photo of me by her hollywood walk of fame star from our 2010 california trip. additionally, here’s a link to the NPR news short on the announcement of phyllis diller’s death.
my sweet ramona,
you come from two lines of great families. we’re not political families, nor socialites, nor is there old money (or new money for that matter!). but between the powers and the drivers, your history starts w quite a legacy. there are teachers and counselors and coordinators and developers. there are students and doctors and entrepreneurs and artists. there are lovers and fighters and seekers and explainers. i list (and brag about!) these livelihoods and traits to illustrate to you that you can be whatever you want to be within this family. you will be supported and you will, unconditionally as much as humanly possible, be loved.
we are family people. we are tight knit. we like tradition and game nights. we love family dinners. we make fun of one another and we support one another. there are daily phone calls and texted photos showing off our little ones or projects. we do, of course, get sick of each other.
your family believes in marriage and God and hard work and silliness and creativity. we are not perfect. sometimes we fight. always we find a way to constructively make-up. family –and the history of a family– can be messy and complicated. we are not free from this. we are all so different. it is good to have this in your history bc it can help you figure out better who you are. and where you fit into the scheme of things.
this letter does little to fully explain to you where and who you come from or what your history is. ask questions. expect real answers. listen to the stories of your mother and father, your grandparents, your aunt and uncles. get to know us. as you get older you will piece together your own idea of your history and what came before you. this patchwork of the past will explain some things about who you are or why your parents do the things they do. it will probably frustrate you and sometimes, i regret to say, disappoint you. but my prayer is that you mostly discover the pride and joy that i have coming from –or marrying into– these families. i feel incredibly blessed and i hope you grow up feeling the same.
i love you, minka. love, mama.
this post is done in collaboration with sakura bloom. the sling i am wearing is the simple linen in wheat. the beautiful photos are by megan newton of megan newton photography who graciously did a portrait shoot for the power side of the family. they were taken at the populist, jp’s new restaurant slated to open in denver at the end of august 2012.
(can’t wait to spend time with you next week while we’re celebrating ramona’s first!)