(Almost) Four Months
Wow – I’ve been absent here almost long enough to just abandon the whole thing…
What happened from April to now? Well… here’s a list:
- Haley finished her first year of high school – Yay!! And her grades were significantly better than her last year of middle school or even her first semester as a freshman. I’m really proud of her.
- We (meaning my kids, my parents, and I) got to visit with Andrew for the first time since he enrolled at Storm Ridge Ranch. He got to have an off-site visit, so we picked him up the Wednesday after Haley finished school and he spent Wed, Thurs, and Fri with us at my parents home. There were some encouraging improvements, but he still has a long way to go. After that visit he had a couple of altercations with other boys at the school, as well as stealing, so he’s back to no visits again. We had hoped to see him one more time before school started, but unfortunately Andrew’s choices made that impossible.
- Haley went to our annual church Girl’s Camp in June. This year was her fourth year and girls in that group do a couple of days of backpacking – they hiked 13 miles one day (although I don’t think it was planned to be quite that long!). She and her cousin shared a pup tent and Haley says the 4th year hiking days were the best part of the week-long camp. After their backpacking, the girls joined the rest of camp, which was held at the YMCA of the Rockies this year – which meant they slept in a lodge. At least they didn’t get rained out this year!
- My parents celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary this year. We’ve been talking about this year for a long time … at least four or five years. Originally we thought it would be fun to celebrate by going on a cruise as a family (my parents and my siblings – no kids). After much discussion, we settled on an all-inclusive resort instead (owing to family members who have terrible motion-sickness and/or very much dislike water!). So, the second week of June we all flew out of Denver to Puerta Vallarta. I had to get a passport and everything! (actually, it is kind of nice to have a valid one again – I am already thinking of places I’d like to go) We spent a full week hanging out on the beach, eating yummy food, drinking (virgin) drinks (the wait staff started making jokes about it after a couple of days of us all stipulating “sin alcohol” all the time!), and just generally enjoying each other. I’m very happy to report that there were no fights and we all like each other as much as ever – which is a big deal when there are eleven different personalities to consider.
- Haley and I took a pottery class in July and learned to throw pots on a pottery wheel – I liked this so much that I’m taking another class this month too – it’s nice to feel creative in a new way. And it’s really fun to get my hands all dirty!!
So that was the summer. And yes, it is over, because Haley is back in school. Things I didn’t do this summer … I didn’t get on top of my yard. Despite many hours of weeding, it is still a jungle out there. I only planted a couple of pots this year – none in the back yard at all – and my drip lines are not working well, so they haven’t done as well as they could have. I didn’t do any diy projects – heck, I hardly did any housework. The paint chips are still stuck to my walls from my abortive plans to repaint my main floor. There’s that pesky matter of the super high vaulted ceilings that I’m pretty sure my fear of heights won’t let me tackle – which means I have to actually make a call to find a person to paint those walls – which means I am still procrastinating.
I’ve been thinking a lot about this summer – I’ve always loved summer. When I was young it represented freedom … no school! time at the beach! sleeping in! Even as an adult, this feeling has lingered. Summer means not having cold feet, and enjoying long summer evenings where it is still light at 9pm, and hamburgers cooked on the grill, and flowers, and green trees. Except – the last few summers those feelings of euphoria have been elusive. The summer Tom died was full of the stress of dealing with Andrew’s theft and the consequences we imposed and then Tom’s heart surgery. I can remember being grateful when school started – I was ready for that terrible summer to be over. Unfortunately that hope that things would get better wasn’t realized. Last summer my parents took Andrew for six weeks, and that part was really nice. But I was still in my first year of mourning Tom’s death and there was that looming anniversary. I felt like summer was just a waiting game to get to September 1st.
This year I don’t really have any excuses … but my heart hasn’t been in it this summer. I hate to think that I’ve lost my love for the season, but I’m beginning to wonder. How many good summers will it take to outweigh the trauma of one bad? Not sure about that, but part of me is rather glad to be back on schedule – seminary starts on Monday, so I’ll be up early and busy preparing lessons each afternoon (though I have a partner this year, so only half the lessons this time around!). I’ve already seen the eye doctor, the dentist, and made appointments to have the safety recalls fixed in my cars – I feel so industrious!! Anyway, here’s hoping next summer will be a more joyful one.