Monday, June 6, 2011

Kyna's 30th Birthday Extravaganza:Pt 2~They're Creepy and They're Kooky...

...mysterious and spooky...they're altogether ooky...

Chuck and I woke up early on Saturday and went over to his brother Steve's house to patch his bathroom wall. As I've mentioned before, Chuck is a drywall guy.

Steve made that groovy lamp in the 70's

Chuck isn't used to not working for a whole week, so he had to get some work in somewhere. Steve had something leaking up in his attic, and it caused some stains and mold on his bathroom wall.

It wasn't a huge job, so Chuck had to mix up the drywall mud by hand, instead of with the drill and paddle that he usually uses.

I told him it looks like he's making pyrohy dough or a cake or something.

This ain't no cake

While Chuckles was working, I took the opportunity to snoop around the yard.

We have palm trees in NC, but they're not as ubiquitous as in Florida. They're also a lot shorter and scrubbier looking than the Floridian variety.

Steve's neighbours

I really like Steve and Joan's yard, except for a row of hedges they have under their front window. I can't remember what he told me they are, but they smell like ass. Viburnum, maybe? I don't know.

This was worse than boxwood. And boxwood smells like cat pee.

When I first smelled them, my face wrinkled up like a Shar-Pei. Steve knew exactly why I had done this, and explained. They're good looking shrubs, and make a nice hedgerow. But the smell...

Chuck finished up the first coat of mud on the patch, and we had to hurry across town to get back to Chuck's sister Laura's.

Chuck's dad lives near Cape Canaveral, but he and his wife were in town on their own vacation to visit us. We had a BBQ planned for the afternoon. Since Chuck doesn't have a very large family (mine is HUGE), it was really just like a family reunion.

Chuck chillin' on Laura's back porch

Charles Sr. (my father-in-law) and Joan (Steve's wife)

Steve and his oldest daughter Jessie, stopping to smell the flowers

Laura's crazy dog Keeley

Laura and Keeley (that's a skort, btw, don't get too excited boys. There are shorts underneath)

And I don't know who these two people are...

It was really fun to sit and listen to all the family stories. Most of them involved Chuck getting into some sort of trouble.

Chuck is definitely the black sheep of the family. All the rest of them have blonde hair. Chuck has dark hair. They're all basically rule follwers (ok, Steve probably bent a few), and Chuck made it his life's work to be a rebel.

Steve and Chuck in the early 70's

Chuck had an upper-middle class childhood. All the stories told make it sound like it was a pretty good childhood. Really nice house. Good education.

One of Chuck's favourite rebellions is that he ran away with a friend of his back to Massachussetts from Cleveland. I asked him why. He said, "I don't know. 'Cause I wanted to."

That's Chuck for ya. James Dean ain't got nothin' on him.

I tell Chuck he's probably the milkman's son.

Chuck and his siblings spent most of their childhood in New England. They moved to Cleveland when Chuck was a young teenager, in the mid-70's. Then they all moved down to Florida in the late 70's, with the exception of Chuck. He stayed in Cleveland for awhile, and then joined the Marine Corps when he was 17 (and stayed in NC after he got out).

Chuck and his mom, upon his graduation from boot camp (before I was born, hehe)

They moved around a lot on account of their dad's work. At one point when Chuck was young, his dad worked for the TV studio that put out the original Star Trek. Chuck's dad was there for the premiere, and the cast party and all that. He said William Shatner in person is just like William Shatner the actor's persona. I'm not surprised.

Charles Sr. was the original Trekkie :)

Chuck's brother and sisters really liked Florida and stayed.

Anne was the youngest, and as I said last post she died in 1986 from cystic fibrosis. She was going to university at the time.

I think she was absolutely beautiful. Chuck and I went to visit her grave the last time we were in Florida, and it was sad and touching at the same time. I wish I had known her. She really had a lust for life, even though at the time she was alive cystic fibrosis sufferers had a very grim outcome.

Steve is the second youngest. He loves to tinker with anything electronic. Right now he's rebuilding a couple of old amplifiers. Sometimes I wonder if he's the milkman's son, because he's so damn tall compared to the rest of the siblings.

He loves to talk and laugh and joke around (he has my sense of humour exactly, which is why I feel so comfortable around him), and try and get Chuck's goat. He got Chuck good on our trip to Tampa, which I'll talk about next post.

Laura is the oldest. She is everything an oldest child should be. Smart as a whip, and very responsible and caring. She has strong opinions, and she stands behind everything she says.

She and I have very different political views (which is our biggest contention). I respect Laura greatly, even if I don't always agree with her. One of the things I've learned as I've matured into this wonderful 30-year-old individual, is that when you love someone, you pick your arguments and don't sweat the small stuff.

Chuck's mom is missing from this narrative. She died in 2002, the same year my dad died.

Steve is on her lap, Chuck is sitting to the right, and Laura is to the far right

I would have loved to have met Chuck's mom. She lived for her four kids, each a year apart. I would have loved to talk to her about books especially, she was a big reader.

I got to hear what her voice sounded like once. The last time we visited Florida, Laura brought out an old cassette tape of of Chuck's mom at a psychic reading she went to on a whim. It was kind of interesting, and a little eerie. Not because everything the psychic said was true or anything, it was just a little weird...I don't why.

Anyway, we all had an entertaining Saturday feast. It was a very laid back day, and I was very glad that Chuck got to visit with his dad. And with each and every story about Chuck when he was young, I'm ever more grateful that I met him when he was over 40.

Does this look like the face of a troublemaker? You be the judge.

Young Master Chuckles is wearing a hint about where we went in Tampa on our next leg of the vacation.


The Idiot Gardener said...

Man, that bow tie is a killer! He looks so innocent. Who's have thought that he'd turn into a cradle snatcher!

Kyna said...

You can tell by the ill-fitting cut of his little suit that he's trouble.

Just call me Lolita.

Rohrerbot said...

Fun! It's great the family can all come together. That was a really nice write about the siblings. My family is like this as well....we older siblings are 3rd in command. When our parents go, the rest of the siblings look up to us....and that's not a bad thing....but it is scary:) I just met Leonard Nimoy in person and wondered what Bill Shatner was like....lots of fun I'm sure. Hope you're having a good start to your week. Chris:)

Shyrlene said...

Every picture of you and Chuck is always adorable... you are so made for each other! (...and nothing like old family photos to come back and haunt the 'not-so-innocent'!) HBD again, Kyna - it's always good to stop by and see what you are up to! :)

CanadianGardenJoy said...

Kyna girl : ) this has been a great read ! I went backwards to read the first post , then unto this one .. I want MORE please !! LOL
You have such detail and so interesting you hooked me : )
I have to admit .. Chuck is one of "us" when it comes to a generation of trouble makers ! wink wink
You meet people when yo are supposed to meet them .. this is the way of life and death .. not in a morbid way .. it is just what it is .. now write some more please !
PS .. do you feel any different being 30 now ?? LOL

John Gray said...

your best blog yet!

Kyna said...

Chris: It's been a little rough coming back after not working for a week lol. I usually don't use any of my vacation time till after Christmas, when I have to use it or lose it. If I never go on vacation, I don't miss going on vacation. But I thought I better take a week off for the ol' 30th :)

I'm the youngest, so I'm used to not being looked up to lol. But I'm the only girl, so that has special quirks of responibility in and of itself.

Shyrlene: Nice to see you! I don't know if he and I are made for each other, but we try and make it work anyway. And believe me, its work! lol

Joy: Oh, you'll get more all right, there are 3 more parts to my 30th Birthday Extravaganza lol.

Um...not really. I keep waiting for it to hit me. And it hasn't yet. Thank goodness. :)

John: Haha, thanks! :)