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Friday, July 8, 2016

Cheers to Cherries!

           June has simply flew by and oh what adventures I have had.....It has been pure magically to me!

      Like with the First Harvest party at the Williamson Winery out on Sunnyslope. A great time to be completely IN the summer season! For I jumped into my car with my sun hat and audio book to hit those long wide open country roads!

This is a lovely winery where my beloved Teresa works, where her husband (my father-in-law Kelly) met up with me there too!
It was so festive and nice, the weather was perfect too! My delightful June had blessed me again with a magical day and a wonderful memory spending time with Dad! 

My father-in-law Kelly Shively is the kind of caring parent that I admire so much, He would stop everything in his own life to be there for his 2 boys, he loves taking road trips with them and joking around with them. Even now after his sons have married he would be there for his daughter-in-laws in the same way, in fact he was for me right from the very first time I met him!
I called Tony's house to wish him well in his new job interview, Tony and I had only known each other for a week so this was just a chit chat event to me in giving him a friendly best wish. Tony's Dad answered the phone explaining that no one was home and he had just gotten there himself. While we talked so naturally and easily, His voice changed into surprise when I explained that I had just met Tony at work and wanted to wish him the very best at his interview and I would miss working with him. Kelly was impressed by this and intrigued at the same time chuckling as we said goodbye. He said "I wrote it down, so whenever he gets home he can see that you called and are such a sweetheart to think of him." I hung up wondering if I would ever meet this father, I also felt pretty lucky that I called the right place on the first try in guessing who Tony's parents books back then were heavy and big I waited until I was all alone to bravely call and sound casual even though I could hear a voice in my head say "Tony is a very important person in your life, don't ignore him, don't be so quick to judge him for being a liberal."

Calling Tony that day was a delightful experience because his Dad was so easy to talk with, Kelly didn't act like he was busy or that I was a total stranger. Instead Kelly asked me how I was doing, and if I liked working at Mack's fruit stand. We chatted up for a little while as easy going and relaxed as I could hope for. It was my own natural way in communicating, He was a true happy person not a fake happy person. This popped out to me in that one moment of conversation. 
When I met Kelly at the fruit stand for the very first time I was working away and he sought me out to shake my hand and say how He loved our phone conversation and was so happy to meet me in person!
From that moment on every time he came by he would stop and talk with me about anything or everything. We never had an awkward moment between us, when I became his son's girlfriend he was thrilled and he was so supportive from the very beginning. In fact he and I talked even more because now he could see I was more then just a friend of the family. One time Tony didn't show up on time while we met up at a taco truck for lunch, Kelly and I order food, sitting and visiting the whole time as if Tony not being there wasn't a big deal. It was when I knew Kelly was going to be my friend for life! It didn't matter if I stayed with his son or not we were true friends, we would always say hi to the other in passing or sit next to each other at a BBQ with ease.

It's wonderful to have him in my life, looking back it wonderful to remember when we became friends because sometimes I forget there was ever a "start up" time to our friendship! He has been there when I lived on my own and would panic at night calling crying so sure someone was trying to break in at 3am. He never got mad that I had woken him up, he never said that I was being crazy. Instead he installed a nice strong lock on my door and shared a beer over how to keep myself safe and smart. He was the kind of parent I had been looking for my whole life and in awe I discovered him while dating his son, it was such a natural once Tony and I were married to hang out with Dad all the time, every Tuesday evening for months we had drinks in a pub in town, every Friday night we rented movies and had popcorn. Every Sunday afternoon we BBQ on his big patio and occasionally we all drove to Jackpot for the seafood buffet while Dad taught me how to play "Keno".
Those were the days of so much change because as Tony and I were dating his parents were divorcing, then it was just Dad and his new puppy Newton. I had a house a key to pop in and care for the puppy Newton all the time, I would call Dad and tell him about Newton so he could work late or do things after work not worried his puppy needed out to potty. Our love for dogs, for cooking and for movies made our friendship grow so much and our love for Tony was also there in our friendship. Dad was and is the kind of parent I admire so much, looking back over these years makes me smile with pride because we saw eye to eye more times then not and we became a family so naturally many years ya ask??? least 17 years now! I know! 4 years of dating and 13 years being married to Tony makes his father my friend, my Dad now for 17 years!
Hmmmmmmm how did THAT happen so quickly? 
I don't know and I was THERE the whole time ha!

      My best friend Benny was with me as Tony's parents had a big BBQ party that first summer I met Tony, She came with me as we were such best friends and I needed support in not attending all alone, she had gone to high school with Tony so they knew each other a little bit. It was Kelly who greeted us and served us a plate of goodies while welcoming us in so happily and nicely. On the drive home that night she said "Wow! You and Kelly are so very much a like! It was weird to watch how fast you guys talk with each other and joke around! He is far more outgoing then Tony's mother, what an odd couple they make.....and Tony never took his eyes off of you! He was weirdly hypnotized by you being there! Hahahaha" and I laughed back in awkward unsure agreement.
    Being a family now for almost 2 decades is impressive. I will always be closer to Tony's Dad then his mother simply by the way everything first started out for Kelly was welcoming and kind instantly. He was genuinely happy to meet me and liked chit chatting and connecting whenever we could.
 My heart is  bursting with joy, with thankfulness that I found a friend in Dad right away, it makes sense why he would be such a big part of my life now.
When I sat with him on the grass outside the courthouse waiting for his soon-to-be ex-wife arrived. He caught himself saying something about Tony and I as I sat knowing this was a bitter-sweet moment in his life. Kelly was about to advised me while I was sharing about a disagreement Tony and I had, he said "What the hell would I know anyway? I am about to go sign divorce papers.....I guess I can't give advice anymore now." I burst out all alarmed that he would loose his fatherly ways suddenly exclaiming "NO! No, no no no that is NOT true at all, In fact your advice now has more value and weight because you have seen this other side to the end of a relationship, you can look back and discover what you did right and wrong with even more value and importance to giving advice and guidance for the future! Don't stop sharing!" He hugged me with a big smile as I left saying "I love ya Dad! You guys are not failures as parents always remember that!"

 In the Cherry Orchard slopping down Sunnyslope as I walked with Dad back to his pickup after we filled up our buckets with beautiful big bing cherries, I was reminded of those memories....He and I had been through so much together! Our adventures, our honesty and our sharing our family together has made us stronger and we have grown from each other so much! I am grateful, ever so grateful to have him in my life! He is far more then just my husband's father, he is my mentor and protector, my truly enjoyable friend! I couldn't have all these great memories, these big life lessons and shared laughter without him there too!

 Dad and I carried our big buckets of cherries through the dusty, sunny trails of the orchard I was goofing around as usual saying 
"I better not eat all of these at once or I could get the "shits"." 
He burst out laughing and I smiled so big for this is my beautiful magical life having such an AMAZING Father-in-law like Kelly Shively to share it with!

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