Friday, July 23, 2021

Summer Break Week Eight

Saturday and Sunday were spent on different lakes. We kicked off the weekend as a small family of four at Deam Lake where we'd hoped to rent a canoe for the afternoon to paddle across the lake for a quiet picnic. It was a busy day at the lake and all the rentals were taken when we arrived. Plan B involved a not so private picnic and swimming. It was a good day, none the less. But it was the twenty-first anniversary of Greg's accident and the need to spend that day doing something fun and low-key was imperative. 

Sunday I slipped away for a retreat day at Lana's lake house. Our Bible study group has been meeting for about eight years now and decided to spend some more quality time together appreciating the amazing views and the impact of our friendship. 

Monday, as we prepared to tackle a road trip for our favorite summer bucket list item, we recieved word the kid's youth group leader had fallen twenty feet off a ladder as he decended from fighting a house fire. I was devestated as we awaited news of his injuries. All those painful memories from Greg's accident hit me and I was unable to contain the grief that consumed the remainder of the day. As it turns out, I was too busy navigating a lot of life in those days and pushed through it all like a bull in a China shop. I didn't have time to process the pain and loss then. Our friend miraculously only shattered one leg. He spent a few days in the hospital and of course, required surgery to repair all his broken bones. He is home with his family and on the mend physically. We are praying for him and his future as a firefighter. But it took learning he was okay for me to pull myself together and if I'm being honest, my meltdown had little to do with him. It was an awakening I believe I've needed. I suppress a lot in my world to keep putting one foot in front of the other. I have somehow determined it is my responsibility to make sure everyone else is taken care of and keep peace. I tend to lose myself in that process. 

So our favorite summer bucket list item has been checked. Erin, Kate, Ty and I drove to Georgia on Tuesday. We devoured time with Lauren, Taylor and Austin. We spent lazy days at the pool, ate entirely too much, visited a park and indulged in quite a bit of imaginary play. 

Austin loves "mustard" on his brownies. Everyone else calls it whipped cream. Everyone else is wrong. 

This painful looking smile took place when he realized he was making a volcano and not slime. There was a miscommunication when he requested a science experiment with his daddy. 

During our road trip, we hit a torrential down pour with standing water across unknown roadways. Fortunately we were able to see other cars driving through the floods so we knew we could safely cross but it was intense. Kate, in a show of support for Erin's driving, started belting Jesus Take The Wheel. 

Erin interviewed for grad school in Lauren's bathtub, the only quiet location in the house. She felt great about her zoom meeting and hopes to hear about admissions soon. We love how she rolls with the punches and can adapt to any setting. 

Our final night is bittersweet. It always is. We had a pizza party at the neighborhood pool and the watched the new Space Jam movie. Austin discovered a toy in the wrong bin after we'd spent the afternoon organizing his playroom and he interrogated everyone until his dad confessed. The lecture that followed sounded remarkably like something his mom would have said if she weren't busy laughing. The boy is delightfully like his mom and I love watching them all in action. 

We are heading out early in the morning and whereas we miss Greg and want our own beds back, leaving this little family behind is anything but easy. We love them big.

Friday, July 16, 2021

Summer Break Week Seven

It's the seventh week of summer and I'm not ready to let it go. Our summer bucket list has only four remaining openings and I am beyond tempted to add items. I need more time. School supplies are displayed at Target and I cannot bring myself to step into that department. It's too soon. The re-opening school plans make my heart race. No one is ready, it appears as my sophomore has recieved word her schedule won't be finalized until after her first day begins. And so here we are, seventeen months into a pandemic and we are still required to be flexible. How far can one bend before she breaks? I truly need to know because I'm dangling precariously near that edge.

Our week was drama filled as a teen demonstrated his suicide on FaceTime with my daughter and another peer was diagnosed with lymphoma the same day. The weight of it all consumed her. The world is heavy and we're struggling to make sense of it all. But I hold tight to God's word. We were made for such a time as this and He has a plan. I am known for a lot, but patience isn't one of those things. His plan has not yet been made clear and I'm impatiently tapping my foot in the waiting.  He loves this, I'm certain.

Theresa gave my dad glasses designed to help those with color blindness to see color the way the rest of us do. The experience was incredible. We can't wait for a fall drive so he can see the foliage. He wants to see a rainbow and the ocean soon too.

Ty begged us not to sing so Theresa demonstrated how she has been practicing with voice lessons.

Ty saved to purchase his own gaming system a few months ago. He wanted a second game controller so friends could play too. Grandma Pattie was able to locate one despite supply shortages. He was pumped.

We had a great visit with family and the kids enjoyed a few parent-free days with Aunt Theresa. Her house has no rules so it was the vacation they craved. Greg and I insisted the young adults make themselves scarce when we returned home so we too could enjoy a house without rules. Those few hours were perfect. It's amazing how rich communication can be when interruptions are eliminated. All I'm saying is, Home Depot is no longer our preferred date destination. Home was rather lovely instead. 

While there, Theresa knocked three items off our summer bucket list. They went to the trampoline park, had a themed dinner and Camp Aunt Theresa was fully experienced with a pool party and games. She is pretty awesome.

Grandma Carol sent $100 in game gift cards so all Ty's gaming dreams could come true. 

We celebrated Ty's twelfth birthday Tuesday. Theresa and the kids met me at Main Event where arcade games, lazer tag and a ropes course was tackled. We then had his requested homemade pizza and cookie cake. Twelve. The baby is twelve and my heart can't quite believe it. 

Kate and I slipped away to explore two local botanical gardens Wednesday. Yew Dell was gorgeous. We loved wandering through the natural paths and meeting elderly volunteers. The waterfront botanical garden wasn't nearly as impressive but we are glad we took the time to check it out. Afterward, we dined along the river on salads and shrimp tacos. 

Makenna did some shopping and was delighted with her purchase. I'm fairly certain my commitment to sobriety will be challenged as we discuss the wedding which is still very much in the infant stages of planning. I guess she is preparing me with wine tumblers. Wise friends promise sobriety is overrated anyway.

Austin is excited about our visit next week. He is counting down the days and keeps calling with updates. He wants us to go to the beach, to the zoo, to the pool and out for sushi. When I agreed to sushi, he told me I could sit beside him because I am his best friend. He melts me.
Thursday Ty recieved a gift from Kristin's family and was shocked. The drone is so very cool. He can't wait for the wind to die down so he can fly it.

Week seven wrapped with several curve balls but we are home and ready for a weekend together.