A Celebration of Deborah

Thirteen years ago today I became Deborah’s Aunt. The truth is, I was her Aunt before she ever left my sister, Berta Isabel’s, womb. My sister put up with me pressing my face against her belly and saying to Deborah, “Hi baby, I’m your Aunt Lucy.”

I was at the hospital awaiting Deborah’s birth. If my memory is correct, there was a crowd in the hallway cheering on her arrival. She is the fourth Graaff child, and the sixth of the Magnificent Nine.

Deborah has a subtle, but mischievous sense of humor. With a face free of humor, she can deliver a line that will send a crowd to the floor laughing and clutching their guts. She also has a great curiosity and delivers reverant admiration for the smallest of God’s creations: An albino snake, small balls of ice falling from the sky, sharp knives, blue nail polish, and bugs.

I like seeing the world through Deborah’s eyes. Life takes on a completely different hue when I’m near her. She has a way of enjoying people around her and bringing out the best in all of us.

Before you get the impression Deborah is soft and fluffy and covered in bows and ribbons, let me put an end to that nonsense. She has a stubborn streak the size of the Colorado river. She traded in her ballerina slippers for soccer gear a few years ago. And she’s no pushover.

At the same time, in my eyes, Deborah has the hair and skin of a princess. Her big brown eyes are luminous against the background of her carmel colored skin. She’s a beauty, a natural beauty which needs no help from makeup. It’s hard to believe that little bald-headed baby with the chubby cheeks is the same beauty.

Deborah, my sweet Deborah, you are a precious gift. I miss laughing with you. There are more miles and miles, of more miles and miles, than I would like between us. I love being your Aunt, and I look forward to watching you grow into a woman who loves God and seeks to please Him first. Happy Birthday Deborah! May this year be filled with joy and new discoveries for you. Your Aunt Lucy

Luther Vandross Had a Tracheotomy

Latest news on Luther Vandross

News of the stroke was bad enough. Now, a tracheotomy. The report says they didn’t damage his vocal chords. Good grief. I’d really like to see him pull through, but it doesn’t look good. I saw Luther in concert in Los Angeles during his really large stage. Anita Baker opened up for him. I saw him in San Diego a few years later and the brother looked healthy, but less vibrant. Let that be a lesson to you…chubby equals vibrant. Okay…it was a nice try. Right?

I have so many memories of life tied to Luther’s songs. He’s releasing a new CD in June titled Dance With My Father. Lord willing, he’ll pull through this.

You Can’t Put That On Your Blog AL

Last night I picked up my nieces from Italian class, taught by the oh-so-talented Mrs. MacKenzie Miller. On the way home, I questioned Chelsea about something and she revealed a hilarious thing she had done. Well, she didn’t think it was hilarious; but I did. I quickly made a mental note to post it on my blog. Two seconds later, Chelsea looked at me with her big, brown eyes and said, “You can’t put that on your blog AL.” I chuckled and promised not to post it; however, I made it very clear the promise didn’t apply to *all* of our conversations. In unision, Chelsea and Amanda responded with a four-syllable, four-toned, synchronized rendition of my name, that only twins can deliver with such perfection. It shows great talent if you can do all that with just two letters – AL.

Dogs Are Like Vacuums

They pick up all the fuzz and bits of food off the carpet. The only problem I’ve run in to is the moment when something valuable is sucked up. I find it’s much easier to retrieve the item from the guts of a vacuum than from a dog.

Today is the First Day of Spring

I know this as sure as I know winter is over. Some people believe spring begins a week after the last frost. Others believe it’s the first full moon after the birds start chirping again. And then there are those who recognize spring by the sight of Toby Sumpter’s car pulled over on the side of the road by a State Patrolman. (See his blog entry for Tues. April 8th at 3:51pm)

I believe spring starts when my neighbor, I’ll call him Mr. Jones, mows his lawn.

I watched the “process” through my kitchen window. First Mr. Jones takes “the walk.” He slowly scans the yard for *objects* that could be hazardous to the lawn mower, while at the same time looking for his arch nemesis–the dandelion. Once the hazards are removed and the evil dandelions plucked from the soil, it’s time to get the mower. Mr. Jones fills the mower with gas, pulls the cord thingy a time or two, and the engine wakes up after a long winter’s nap. They work as a team, moving over the yard, leaving a pattern behind that inevitably looks like spring. Mr. Jones makes it look so easy.

I hear from a neighbor kid that the dastardly dandelion has been joined by an equally formidable foe this year –clover. Good luck Mr. Jones and thanks for ushering in spring.

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