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Sunday, November 8, 2020

 He really was a cute little boy, with a mop of white hair and a penchant for bacon. And he hasn't lost any of that, the white mop or the bacon or the cuteness, either. 


We had a Zoom birthday for Liam tonight, with family and special friends, and Liam made us all laugh so hard with his unique brand of humor, which cannot be described, but always catches you off guard. He said he didn't have a birthday cake, and every woman on that screen did a quick mental calcuation about what might be involved in getting him one, instantly. That's the kind of kid he is. You just want to do nice things for him because he's so appreciative. Mighty fond of good food. But this is as close as he has ever gotten to being a chonk. Well, he was a spherical baby, but that doesn't count. Look how cute he is!! squee! Talking, of course. 

Oh, the memorable meals of this past summer! 

Time was when I made him a ninja Lego cake for his birthday. Or a Cars cake. I would, in a heartbeat, if I could. 

But instead there we all were on Zoom, and Liam showed us how he taught himself to move his nostrils independently, up and down, so we all tried it. Ha haha!! 

It's really hard to be away from him for his 21st birthday. But prudence dictates that he remain at West Virginia University until he is able to get tested and come home for Festivus, which runs from Thanksgiving through New Year's. I can't wait to have my buddy home again! Then, there will be maple cake!

I keep thinking back to this past spring and summer, when we three got to be together from March-August. It was amazing. Here I am, not actually pointing out a bird. Ha ha! Photo shoot for New River Birding's not-festival this spring. And so it goes. We're all rolling with it, the not-actually happening of it.

I am so proud of this young man for adapting to the new constructs that have been forced on us all. When I think of my college life in the late 1970's (wooohooo), I can't imagine carrying on in a mask, but you do what you must. And Liam does it with style.

He does send me photos of his current mood from time to time. Often it's like this

                                                                            Or this...

my son, dripping like a Dali clock off a bench at the art gallery where he works. 

I prefer to see him with his beloved Curtis, at peace

and soon we'll get to do that. And I'll bake him a cake and take him shopping for some new clothes or some skateboard accessories! (I got him a nice skateboard for his birthday, with protective gear because MOM). 

Phoebe will get a short Thanksgiving break and we can all be together again for a few days. That will be the best present of all.

If all this quarantining has taught us anything, it's that spending time together is the most important thing of all. That's a beautiful lesson, one I think a lot of people have learned, now that they so often can't be together.

Now, to remember Bill, I'm going to do an awful thing. I am going to post the photo that Bill always posted on Liam's birthday, because for some reason he loved it. Sorry, Liam. Gotta do it. You both look like little blind cave fishies, freezing your fins off, jumping at Daddy's behest in the January surf somewhere off Titusville, Florida. Brrrrr! Notice there's nobody else out in the water except a couple of snow-white Ohio kids.

Fast-forward to Christmas, 2019, to see what these blind cave minnows grew into, soaring over Tenerife's volcano in one of my favorite all-time shots of them together. 

Liam, know that you delight everyone who takes the time to get to know you. Thank you for endeavoring to persevere, and making the best of the situation we're all floundering in. You're keeping a handle on your grades (as far as I know...) and your job, taking your classes seriously, staying away from parties and bars, and running out every chance you get to slish through the autumn leaves. No mom could ask for more. Thank you for being so kind, sweet, considerate and funny, and for calling me all the time. 

Two weeks and you'll be home again

and there is someone waiting to smother you in kisses,

someone waiting to take a bunch of photos of you, to cook for you 

and talk art with you

and make you chop things and haul things around.

And being Liam, you'll do it with a smile. I love you, sweet boy. Happy birthday! You are loved! So much!

xoxoxo Ma


Happy Birthday to Liam! I love your family so much, Liam has a few fans (and friends) in this home. 🎂💥🥳 xo, Trixia

So sweet, this tribute! He was just a little guy when I first found you, Julie. What a treasure it’s been to watch him grow up. Thank you for sharing g your life and your kids (and dogs!) with us. ❤️

Liam is one of the most delightful and engaging young men I know. I send him a few care packages and end up getting invited to his Zoom birthday party. How fun was that! (And yes, I was one of those women wondering how I could 'instant ship' him a birthday cake!) He is everything you shared with us in this lovely birthday tribute and in addition he has an ability to appreciate the uniqueness in others, which is not just a reflection of inclusivity but also wisdom. His artwork, both body (Dali clock - cracked me up) and drawings are outstanding and tell many stories. Yep, a pretty special 21 year old from an incredible family. Happy birthday, Liam!

Happy, happy birthday to Liam! Way back in 2006, I remember seeing all the photos of his sweet cotton top self, and can't even believe he's 21 now. The love just oozes from this birthday post, and his mama has every right to be oh, so proud. XOXO

SO many great photos, SO many great words, SO many wonderful moments, SO much love!

Happy Birthday, Liam! I am so glad I finally got to meet you this summer. Wishing you all the best today and always!

Happy Birthday, Liam. Your mom's photos and writing made me cry, but in a good way. My youngest turned 21 last week. End of one era and the beginning of another, my friend.

Happy belated birthday Liam! I am just crazy about your levitation pose photo. Such a creative young man. Must get that from your parents. XOXO

Happy happy birthday to Liam. What a beautiful post for your very beautiful son.

21! And still so loving, funny, and creative. We all love Liam! Here’s to his new trip around the sun! He’s bound to contribute to our world. Let good hearts rule!!

Fantabulous photos of your loves. The best of you and Bill headed out to make the world a much better place. Happy Birthday Liam. Happy Birth Day Julie.

Belated but still happy birthday wishes to Liam, all year long. You and your wonderful younguns brighten our days, bigly. and that goofy dog, too.

And for those of us who watched Liam grow from that white-headed little kid to a handsome guy, these photos are so amazing. I especially like the one of he and in their grown-up version of the jump. That is an amazing picture! Happy birthday, Liam!! I love having a window into your world.

Happy Birthday, Liam, blessings for the coming year. My husband and I ate with Bill and Liam at the Reader Rendezvous when we visited the headquarters of the Bird Watches Digest publication.

Julie, we also were the recipients of some of your Sheffield mums that weekend. They have moved from West Virginia to Virginia with us 2 years ago and have spread like crazy and look wonderful. Since then my husband had a stroke and has lost some memory. He always took care of the flowers and yard and now it falls to me. Do I cut back the mums now or in the spring? Sorry to ask this here, I do follow you on Facebook but would not presume to be a "friend." More like an admirer and owner of books and Phoebe painting. Roveen

@Wayne, Ridgeley, WV Hi Roveen. I'm so sorry to hear Wayne has had a stroke. I well remember your taking some mums to share with prisoners to propagate. I was so touched by that.
Cutting them back now won't do a thing, since these stems will die back to the ground. If you want a shorter profile on the plant next fall, cut them back before they form buds, so probably June? Not sure, because I don't shear my mums. I like 'em long and wild! My very best wishes to you and Wayne.

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