Dave and Cathy's Family Blog

January 31, 2017

January 2017 – Family Updates

Filed under: Lilah and Luke,Mom and Dad — dave9169 @ 10:23 pm

January Highlights:

  • Lilah performs “Just Can’t Wait to be King” – here’s full version and abbreviated version with hands showing 😉
  • Luke and I experience the biggest powder day in Mammoth (resort set record for snowfall in January with 246″)
  • I buy a new toy
  • We celebrate Tio Andres’ birthday
  • Complete my first month at HG Data
  • On a very sad note, we lost my beloved tia Mila

Practice Makes Perfect

I was telling Cathy how cool it was that Lilah hadn’t complained about her upcoming recital. Usually, for weeks leading up to her performance, she repeats phrases that are variations on the following: “I don’t want to do the recital,” “Do I have to go?” This time around we heard none of that. Instead, for weeks, we just heard her diligently practicing all the songs she was scheduled to perform, including “Heart and Soul,” “Just Can’t Wait to be King,” from the Lion King, and her own composition.

It was only about an hour before the recital that her resistance finally wore down and she asked if she really had to go? Even though she posed the question rhetorically (I think) I could tell she was nervous. During her performance she had a few miscues but nothing major. She definitely nailed her Lion King song though and was very happy about that. Afterwards, she confessed to us that her hands always get really clammy before she has to play and that she can’t control her hands from shaking or her heart from beating so fast. We reassured her that nobody could see her hands shake and that she did just fine. She was just happy it was all over and glad to celebrate by eating Chilean Cazuela afterwards, a favorite dish of hers that I like to make for her and Luke since they both love it.

Mammoth Has Record Breaking Snowfall in January

Mammoth received a record of 246 inches of snow this month. Luke said we had to see this for ourselves so we skipped his team practice in Big Bear, and drove up to the Sierras instead. What an incredible sight. There was snow everywhere. Even the sheer granite faces just outside of Bishop, where it’s almost impossible for snow to stick, were covered in white powder. At Mammoth, the ungroomed runs had so much powder that Luke and I found it challenging to get through it all without falling and then having to dig ourselves out. We learned that we really had to put a lot of weight on or back leg in order to keep our boards afloat. So that’s what we attempted for about 45 minutes before pooping out and returning to the much easier groomed runs. The deep stuff is fun, but it really wears you out. Luke and I had sore legs for days after this outing. Maybe one day we’ll pick up some used, specialized powder boards especially made for conditions like this as I hear they are much easier to ride in deep snow. 

HG Data Rocks

January marked my first full month at the new startup I am working for — HG Data. For the first time in my life, I feel like I’m working in a culture where the artificial line between management and employees doesn’t exist. Sure, it’s there in theory and on an org chart, but what I really mean is that everyone, from the CEO down, is open and honest with each other. We all talk to each other like human beings who come into this experience with different ideas and perspectives that we all feel comfortable sharing in order to make things better. There is no formal, corporate speak that keeps people from being themselves and you get the sense that people really like each other here. People actually hug each other around here and also tease each other in a good-natured manner, which helps keep the environment loose and fun even when there is a lot of work to be done. I’ve only been here a month, but I already can’t imagine working anywhere else again.

We Lose Our Beloved Tia Mila

Those of you who know me, know that I’ve made several trips to Chile throughout my life to reconnect with aunts, uncles and cousins I’ve known since childhood. When I was 18, I took a solo trip to Chile where my dad encouraged me to go see his cousin Mila (Myriam) in Concepcion. I think I had met her before as a young child, but I can’t say I really remembered her. However, after that trip in 1988 I would never forget her and always made it a point to head down south to see her and my cousins. Over the course of almost 30 years, I’ve visited her numerous times and have always been warmly welcomed and made to feel part of the family. My dad said that as a youth, he was sent to the Chilean countryside every summer to stay with Mila’s family and as a result the two of them became life long friends. Interestingly enough, Mila’s daughter Madeleine and I also hit it off when we were teenagers and have remained life long friends as well. Lilah’s middle name is Madeleine in honor of this friendship.

We found out my aunt had cancer about a year and a half ago or so. She stayed remarkably strong through most of it despite all the treatments she received that weakened her physically but didn’t destroy her spirit. I am sad to lose this remarkable lady, who ran a business, took care of a household, and managed to raise three great kids and also be a part time caretaker to my cousin Madeleleine’s twin daughters. At the same time, my life is forever enriched for having know her and her life shines on in her kids and grandkids. I love you Tia Mila Villablanca. I also absolutely love this picture of you with your warm, happy, mischievous, smile and this is how I will remember you, always.          

That’s all for now…more next month!

No Comments »

No comments yet.

RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URL

Leave a comment

Powered by WordPress