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This is something I desperately wish I could have gone to. But my friend Susan did! Read her blog here.
Here is a picture Susan took of one of the fabulous people who flocked to this event. And here is a link to this fabulous person’s blog here!
Last week I found out my father is dead. He didn’t die last week or even last month. He’s been dead for quite some time. March 30th of this year, to be exact. I found out because my mother has been having some abnormal reoccurring dreams. All of her dreams are fundamentally the same. She’s having trouble finding him, she’s afraid something is wrong, when she finds him something has happened with his heart and he’s dead. She felt like someone was trying to tell her something. So she Googled Robert Henry Butler to see what would pop up. She found his obituary.
Here’s a copy of his obituary which hints at why I didn’t know until now that he is dead until now.
This was taken from The Winchester Star newspaper:
Robert Henry Butler,
68, of Bloomery, West
Virginia, died Tuesday,
March 30, 2010.
Mr. Butler was born at
Washington, DC on July
12, 1941, the son of the
late Dennis F. and Dorothy
Mr. Butler is survived
by his wife, Margery
Butler of Bloomery, WV;
daughter, Sherri Ross of
Minneapolis, MN; a sister,
Pat Butler and her husband,
Steve Taylor of
Woodstock; and a brother,
Ret. Col. Dennis Frederick
Butler and his wife,
Rosemarie of Seattle, WA.
Service will be private.
My mother was pissed when she read it. I was less surprised. She was pissed because, if you notice, I am not mentioned in the obituary as a survivor. I knew this is how it would be. My father and I were estranged. Those of you who know me know the story of my past and more importantly the story of my past with my father. So I won’t speak ill of the dead.
I will give a brief history of our estrangement. Our relationship came to an abrupt pause during my 16th year when I wrote a letter. A letter that my counselor, at the time, was very impressed with (good for her). It stated that I was terminating our relationship for my own reasons spawned from our own nasty history. I sent it certified mail so I knew he had received it. Some of the fall-out from that included his mother (my grandmother of whom I’m her namesake) called me to tell me I was a bitch and my father’s unexpected arrival and then removal from my high school. A few years later I, being in college with a child of my own, decided to reinstate contact at about the age of 22. That turned into a few choice letters, phone calls, and then my father ambushing me at a class. I could tell he was anxious to see me. I went to see him a couple of times. I brought my son to one such meeting at his home. As soon as we (my father, my son, and I) were the only ones left in the room he proceeded to confront me about how none of what had happened was true. He couldn’t let it go of the lies. So for the good of my own sanity and my son’s that was it. I didn’t contact him anymore and I ignored his contacts. I received a letter a few months later stating that he hoped I was happy with myself and I would be written out of his will and I would not know when he died. I left it at that.
So there it is. I’m not surprised. I’m not sad, either. I don’t really know what I am. I feel like an ugly part of my life has closure. But to me it seems so cold. He was my father and I will remember the good times and the bad and I will give a fitting farewell to the man who is at the origin of most of my fears.
So here are pictures of him during the “good times” when he was young and his life was before him. Before getting kicked out of the military, before jail, before my mother and myself. Just… before.
The left picture was taken in August 1946. My guess is he’s the one all the way at the top. He would have been 5 in this picture. The right picture was taken at some point during his days in military school at Massanutten Military Academy. It’s during his high school years, anyway. There is no date listed.
Goodbye and I hope your soul finds rest.
Last week Abby started tap/ballet class. I enrolled her in Tiny Toes. It’s a dance school for kids ages 18 months to 5 years. She was so exited to go. Abby is one of those kids that is always dancing. As soon as the music comes on she is moving. She was so exited. She’s been telling everyone all week that she’s going to dance class.
What I really like about it is the layed back nature of the class. What it’s really about is having a great time dancing. Sure, the instructor uses real dance terminology but she understands how to make it fun for the kids to learn. She also understands the age groups that she’s working with. As you see in the video, Abby frequently gets distracted and runs off. The instructor goes with the flow.
If you have a little person who loves to dance and you live in the Northern Virginia area I highly recommend Tiny Toes!
Above are photos of dress up time and Abby getting ready for class to start on her first day.
Recently I was visiting with my husband’s side of the family. They had rented a cabin in Thurmont, Maryland and had taken a brief vacation away from their normal lives. When I arrived on the last day they were about to partake in some amazingly yummy ice cream. If you’ve had Hagen Daz’s 5 ingredient ice creams then you know what I’m talking about. My father-in-law announced that we were eating Thomas Jefferson’s recipe for ice cream. That sparked the question, “where did Thomas Jefferson get his recipe anyway?!” I thought it was from China but others though Italy. This blog is the answer to that query.
It turns out that the origins of ice cream go way back and, in a way, everyone was right. Aspects of ice cream came from both the Roman Empire and China. “…ice cream can be traced back to at least the 4th century B.C. Early references include the Roman emperor Nero (A.D. 37-68) who ordered ice to be brought from the mountains and combined with fruit toppings” Also, “King Tang (A.D. 618-97) of Shang, China who had a method of creating ice and milk concoctions. Ice cream was likely brought from China back to Europe.”
However, no one person can be credited with bringing ice cream to the United States. The colonists brought the recipe with them. “The earliest reference to ice cream given by the Oxford English Dictionary is from 1744, reprinted in a magazine in 1877. 1744 in Pennsylvania Mag. Hist. & Biogr. (1877) I. 126 Among the rarities..was some fine ice cream, which, with the strawberries and milk, eat most deliciously.“
2. bottles of good cream.
6. yolks of eggs.
1/2 lb. sugar
mix the yolks & sugar
put the cream on a fire in a casserole, first putting in a stick of Vanilla.
when near boiling take it off & pour it gently into the mixture of eggs & sugar.
stir it well.
put it on the fire again stirring it thoroughly with a spoon to prevent it’s sticking to the casserole.
when near boiling take it off and strain it thro’ a towel.
put it in the Sabottiere*
then set it in ice an hour before it is to be served. put into the ice a handful of salt.
put salt on the coverlid of the Sabotiere & cover the whole with ice.
leave it still half a quarter of an hour.
then turn the Sabottiere in the ice 10 minutes
open it to loosen with a spatula the ice from the inner sides of the Sabotiere.
shut it & replace it in the ice
open it from time to time to detach the ice from the sides
when well taken (prise) stir it well with the Spatula.
put it in moulds, justling it well down on the knee.
then put the mould into the same bucket of ice.
leave it there to the moment of serving it.
to withdraw it, immerse the mould in warm water, turning it well till it will come out & turn it into a plate.
*The sabottiere is the inner cannister shown in the drawing. There was no crank to turn it; when Jefferson wrote “turn the Sabottiere in the ice 10 minutes,” he meant for someone to grab the handle and turn the cannister clockwise and then counterclockwise.