Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Come, Drink....Enjoy Life

The summer between my freshman and sophomore year in college, we took a family trip to Norway and Sweden. My mom's bandmate's father, Einar, owned a cabin on a fjord in Norway and we stayed a few days with him. He was probably in his mid-70s back then (9 years ago) and that guy could drink all of us under the table. Gotta love those Weegies....by the way if you haven't watched Doug Stanhope's "No Refunds" do it ..."stomp some Weegie ass!" There's a little snippet to get your tasters watering.
Anyway one afternoon, whilst staying with him, we went to dinner at this really lovely italian restaurant. And we had several bottles of wine. Started off with a glass of red then white....then I lost track. After dinner we went back to the cabin and he brought out cheese, grapes, chocolate and, yep, more wine. After a few hours sitting on the patio my dad made the comment 'I am going to have to stop drinking'. Einar threw his arms out and exclaimed 'don't be silly come, drink, enjoy life!'.
That kind of became our family motto from that point on.
So today, on my mom's birthday, I can't help but be reminded of that statement and think of how happy and vibrant she was on that trip. My original plan for celebrating her birthday was to go up to the mountains and hike Twin Sisters, which is where my dad spread her ashes. I was going to take Jack in his hiking backpack, buy a giant bag of M&Ms (Mom and my favorite hiking snack) and take our time getting up there. After reading reviews of the hike and conferring with my dad, the hike is about 8 miles round trip and pretty strenuous. The last mile is the hardest because you are exposed to wind and weather.....soooo  I started rethinking my plan.
Instead I decided to go to Lilly Lake. It is right at the base of Twin Sisters and is a beautiful hike just right for a baby in a backpack and an out of shape post-partum lady. Andy came with me and we talked about how we want to start going on hikes every weekend. Jack was hilarious (pictures to come) and would not stop smiling. It was so cute. The drive through the mountains alone reminded me of all the time I spent with mom and dad on those same roads, enjoying the mountain air.
On the way home we stopped at Oscar Blues in Lyons and fulfilled the mantra by having a couple pints of beer. It was a beautiful day. Now hopefully you will come on a little ride as I post some pictures of my mom.
Something about her little pants and determined walk just make me giggle.

My dad had that brown corduroy suit for decades and broke it out for such occasions as the "Father Daughter Dance". Wouldn't be surprised if it were still in his closet.

Big butter....well little Big Butter back then.

She said I would never fall asleep at night. She would rock me forever and as she was dozing off, she would look down and my big eyes were open staring up at her saying 'hiya! this is great!'. I was reminded of that story last night as I was feeding Jack before bed. After "resting my eyes" I looked down and his baby blues were wide open smiling up at me.

Alright peeps. Get out there: Drink! Enjoy Life. July 19th is officially Drink and Enjoy Life day. So get yourself a bar of dark chocolate, a bottle of wine, some grapes and cheese maybe....or if you'd rather a six pack and a bag of potato chips. Pick your poison people. Just get out there and enjoy life.


  1. Ah, missing mom tears. I get it now. And got some of my own. We have that same rocking chair she's holding you in. Can't wait for photos of the hike with Jackalope.

    Drink! Enjoy Life!

    Love you!

  2. Beautiful post Natalie. It brought tears to my eyes because your love for her really shines though. You and your mom have the same eyes, and same spirit I'm sure.

    What a perfect hike to remember her.

    Cheers to your mom!

  3. Great post! Love all of the pictures!

  4. Wow your mom was truly beautiful. And remember our moms had the same rocking chairs? So sweet. I know she is watching you as you care for little Jack and thinking she taught you well! Amazing moms learn their tricks from their own amazing moms. I am so honored and feel so lucky to have been a small piece of your mom's life and I loved seeing the beautiful pictures! Happy Birthday, Patty! And I love the advice! Come, drink, enjoy life! HUGS to you, Natbrat!

  5. What a wonderful story...happy birthday to your mama!! Enjoy life!!

  6. Awh - what a beautiful post about your Mom! Can't wait to see the pics from the hike.

  7. Beautiful mom tribute... and I am absolutely in love with that first picture. So perfect and timeless!