Tag: Cousin Erica

Father’s Day 2019

Father’s Day 2019

Another year, another celebration.

Today we brought the current peak of the Rochlin’s patriarchal totem pole up to my Aunt’s house in West Hills to ring in Father’s Day with some barbecue and time out by the pool.

Let me tell you, there are few things more magical than having some ribs, taking a dip in the pool and swimming alongside a big, beautiful doggo as Grandpa Joe looks on with a smile.

He really seemed to have a good time. Which is great given how hard it can be to tell how the man is feeling sometime.

It’s hard to feel bad when you’re surrounded by family and dogs out by the pool.

Once we brought Grandpa back home I was able to snag this lovely picture of the three generations of Rochlin men together:

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It took a bit of work to get Grandpa looking at the camera, but I’d say it was worth it. With this being our first Father’s Day after Grandma Rhea’s passing I’ve been thinking about how important it is to chronicle our time with the old man while we still can.

Hence my writing about silly things like our trips to the movies.

But of course Father’s Day isn’t only about my father’s father. Grandpa is only thus because I have a father of my own, and Father’s Day is just as much his — even though a lot of our activities were out and about.

This morning my sister and I went out to get Dad coffee and gave him the one gift that isn’t finished until Wednesday.

He vaguely hints on the off-chance something is written about it later.

Then when we came back home, we spent a few hours making him some pasta and pink sauce:

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Featuring hand-made meatballs and store-bought chicken sausages.

It was delicious, and I’m not just saying that because I made it.

We got his seal of approval. Promise.

So that’s my Father’s Day in a nutshell. Hopefully you had a great one too, or at least made it a good day if you have a more complicated history in that department.

Once more, with feeling: Happy Father’s Day Dad and Grandpa!

My Grandpa is Into the Spider-Verse

Broke away from my homework long enough today to venture into the wild, rainy yonder so I could spend some time with the family.

Not the usual suspects though.

No, today I went out to the movies with my sister, cousins Josh and Erica, as well as our collective Grandpa Joe!

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Ain’t we the cutest?

After all the unexpected chaos of Grandma Rhea last weekend, we decided it would be a good idea to spend a bit more time with the big lug. Get him out of the home, have some fun.

So we took him out to the movies, and lunch soon after!

As the cheeky, self-reference headline suggests, we all watched Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse. For Josh and I, it was a repeat viewing. For the rest it was a first.

I’m sure a lot of you will remember that I fricken adored that movie the first time I caught it.

Pleased to report that I liked it just as much, if not more, on the second go.

However, I imagine the more pertinent question on your mind is how my Grandpa felt.

Well… The reaction I got after the movie ended was, “It was alright. But I wouldn’t see it again.”

I can’t blame him. There’s a whole lot of action and visual overload throughout the film for an 87-year-old.

Granted I’m not sure it matters, all things being equal. The important part is he had a great time being out with us, especially at Johnathan J. Rockets afterward where we could chat and eat.

Might not know who his favorite spider-person was, but I’m still glad to have shared one of my favorite recent movies with him.

Grandpa wasn’t the only one seeing Spider-Verse for the first time, however. Alyson and Erica both seemed to love it, and I’m definitely looking forward to doing this gag on repeat.

For my money, the movie stayed fresh thanks to easter eggs and foreshadowing moments early on.

I live for that shit, and movies that do them well tend to become some of my favorites. Like Fight Club.

Except I’m not going to talk about Fight Club. It’s in the rules.

Instead I’ll use a part of this post to talk about some of my favorite moments of foreshadowing here, since they add a great dimension to the film.

If you haven’t seen Spider-Verse yet, don’t read past this point. I don’t care that it’s probably past spoiler barrier, it’s still an experience I’d recommend fresh.

That means you, Mom and Dad. Don’t be reading this next part yet.

Continue reading “My Grandpa is Into the Spider-Verse”

The things we leave behind

The things we leave behind

We started to go through some of the stuff my Grandma Rhea had in her room at the assisted living home today.

I know that’s a very morbid way to start one of these, so just trust me when I say I have a not quite as morbid reason for talking it over.

Yesterday I said I probably wouldn’t touch the subject for a while, so the fact that I feel good doing this should say something in itself.

None of us seemed to realize just how many old knickknacks and photos of different family members she had hidden away until we began looking through her bedside table drawers.

For instance, this beautiful little stand stood out to me.

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I’m not entirely sure where it is from or what the 30 is supposed to mean, but the ornate leaf pattern is just great.

We also came across a collection of business cards she apparently ordered for herself:

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It was a genuine surprise to all of us that she had these hiding away, as none of us were ever given any of them.

However, it’s a testament to how much she cared about the little knitting business she was trying to start for herself in her twilight years that she went out of her way to get cards made. There were a few half-finished pieces hiding around the room as well.

I’m probably going to carry one of these cards around, or at least store it in my room somewhere.

But then of course we get to the fun stuff: The photos.

I would say the Featured Image I used is my favorite. From left to right, it’s my Grandma, Dad, Aunt Mindy and Grandpa together at Mindy’s graduation from Kingsborough Community College.

In a similar vein, there’s another photo of the three minus my Dad, this time featuring Rhea’s sister Toby who passed away a few months ago.

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There were also a couple of grandkid pictures she kept, mostly school picture day kind of set-up shots for me, my sister and my two cousins.

Arguably the most interesting things we dug up, however, were these:

From the Brookside Hotel in Kerhonkson, New York.

I can’t confess to knowing what these are called, and if you know I would really appreciate some insight. Though in general they kind of remind me of ViewMasters.

On the other side of the larger, capped end are tiny little photos. That cap is slightly translucent and you can hold it up to the light while looking through the smaller end as though it were a small kaleidoscope.

Time has been kind to these, as in 2019 we have magical pocket-sized devices with small, yet fantastic cameras that I figured could easily simulate looking inside.

So I have the photos within to show you in as similar to an authentic means as possible.

First there’s this photo of my grandparents together when they were younger.

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Then there’s this photo of my Dad with his parents later:

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Knowing that Grandma has all of these hiding away actually made me feel a whole lot better about this entire unexpected, difficult ordeal. It’s a good reminder of just how much she cared about us that she held onto all of this for… Well who knows how many years.

The feeling is bittersweet, but more positive than upsetting overall.

It helped that my Aunt Mindy and Cousin Erica were down here today along with us.

Because if nothing else, them being here meant we also had dogs.

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The good boy Rocky (left) and good girl Sophie (right). Plus Aly’s a good girl too, I suppose.

With these puppos, it’s hard to really be upset.