Remebering Christmas

30 11 2008

Tulsa, OK McFarlin Building (Skaggs Drug Center)

Tonight, I pulled the big fake Christmas tree out of the closet, and helped my two girls set up this year’s Christmas Tree. The smell of fake tree, the glow of the mini lights, the glass ornaments always leads me on a trip down memory lane. More over, I think of how Christmas for my daughters is different, and will always be different, than the Christmases I remember.

In particular, I thought back to the times (I can’t be so sure about how many) when we would all go to with my mom to her store, and help set up the Christmas displays. When my brothers and I were small, each under 10, and living in our original childhood home in the southern part of Tucson, just east of I-19, my mom was working hard at what as then Skaggs Drug Store. This store was nearly a 30 minute drive one way for my mom, and she would always come home late. Nearly always after our bed time. Even being so young, we knew our mom had to work. Besides, we would call her after school every day complaining that one of us was breaking some house rule … but that’s another story.

From what I remember, these Christmas parties were part work, and part Christmas party. There was food and drink provided. I think some times it was even a potluck. But, as far as each employee knowing everyone else in the store, this was definitely the case. I mean, my mom knew everyone, and we had several good family friends working with her at the store. Me and my brothers at least knew the names of the other kids in the store. In all, it was a fun time, even if there was some work involved.

These are fond memories of a time long ago. In fact, every time I visit a local store with a big Christmas display, I think of the people who took the time when the store closed one day, and put up all the ornaments and helped to decorate the trees. I doubt there was a big family gathering when it came to putting up the displays in stores nowadays. In fact, I’m guessing, the family has been taken out of the retail work environment. From what I remember, I think the modern retail store worker is missing out on some good ol’ fashioned family fun, with some family memories thrown in for good measure.


2009 Mora Family Calendar

30 11 2008

Every year, since Eliana was born, I’ve gone through the task of gathering the best pictures we’ve taken in the past year and add them to a calendar for the next year. It’s been somewhat of a time capsule since there have been times in our busy lives where I look at the pictures on the calendar and say out loud

“Golly gee willikers, that was a year ago?”

Every year, I print out three copies, one for us, and one for each set of grandparents. This year, I’m going to do something a tad different, and make a PDF available for your viewing pleasure to see what we’re enjoying every day of the year.

I welcome your feedback you have on the preview PDF.

Has it been that long?

17 11 2008

When this phrase usually pops to my mind, I’m usually referring to my girls. With my oldest at nearly five, and the in depth conversations I have with her on a daily basis, I can hardly believe the time has passed so quickly. No, this time, I’m going to really refer directly to myself.

This weekend, with our short trip to Tucson, will mark the 8th wedding anniversary of my wife and I. Has it been 8 years, already? Sometimes it feels like it was yesterday, but most times lately, it feels like a lifetime ago. Back then, things were different…

My wife and I met in Tucson, Arizona on July 6, 1999. I was an intern at IBM, and she was assigned to be the Korean translator on the product. Times were different as this was before September 11, foreign travel like this was common among translators. I remember she was wearing a black suit. I think back then, she wore mostly black anyways. (She’ll have to correct me in the comments.) It was a quick three weeks or so, but we managed to keep in touch because she went to school in Boulder, Colorado. Eventually, I finished my schooling, and a year later, I moved up to Boulder to start my new fresh out of college job at IBM. That was the summer of 2000.

Over the next few months, we stayed in close contact, and, well, we somehow ended up at the Boulder County Clerk’s office. There, we officially became a married couple in Colorado. That day was November 22, 2000. It was an odd feeling, as I remember asking her “Do you feel like we’re married?”. It turns out, she was thinking the same thing.

Over the next few years, we’ve had our ups and downs, as does any normal couple. We moved into the same apartment in Boulder. Eventually had to live apart for six months while I worked at a new job in Tucson. We bought a house. We had a baby girl, and learned how to be parents together. We then had another girl, and started it all over again. We moved to Phoenix, into another house. It’s been a long journey, and it’s been 8 short years. We’ve been through things for better or worse, thick and thin. Where this wild ride will end is anyone’s guess, but after all the crazy things we’ve shared together, I’m pretty sure we’ll be tackling life’s challenges together for many years to come.

Happy Anniversary, W.


5 11 2008

What a night. In my short time on this earth, I have been witness to a few events in history, but all of them had little to no effect on me or my family. Tienanmen square, the fall of the berlin wall, even the attacks of September 11 while close to home, had little direct impact on my life (yes, I’m not counting the police state that followed shortly after). But today, the dawn of a new day, a new moment in history, the first African American President. The different between those other historic events, and this one is those others were clouded in fear, terror and suppression. Last night’s history represented change, hope and promise.

As an avid Internet user, I was watching the chatter floating along the tubes, and all of it was so positive, as if the Internet breathed a collective sigh of relief. Relief that the stupidity of the previous two elections had managed to not repeat itself. Relief that hope has prevailed over fear.  Relief that democracy still alive in the heart of America.  While the country can’t ignore it’s recent past, it now has the leadership and capability to deal with those issues intelligently and move on.

As I watched Barack Obama’s acceptance speech last night, I couldn’t help but grab my two daughters close. I knew it was a joyous moment. I wanted to have them there to listen to what was being said, because at some point in the future, those words would have a positive effect on their lives. They would look back in time and ask, “Daddy, did we listen when we when the United States elected Barack Obama”. I wanted to give them the honest ability to answer yes to that question, and be proud.

While Obama will not be the magic bullet to all problems, I do feel that he is the right man for the job. A man who actually does represent me, personally, in the executive branch of the government. He does represent hope, and that is what this country needs after eight years of agonizing fear and terror.