Monday, August 19, 2013

The Longest Shortest Summer Ever

Well howdy there, stranger! How have you been? Me? I've been busy crazy holed up in my room with the door closed for the last two weeks trying to avoid my offspring fine, thanks for asking!

Our summer was a combination of long days laced with cries of "I'm hungry!" and whines of "I'm bored" intertwined with frenzied days of travel and go-here-do-this-have-fun-dammit! (Hence the title of this post.) It seems we just finished the manic final days of school and now here we are starting them all up again. But in between, we crammed stuff in there, man. We crammed like a BOSS. To wit:

*My children were out of school for two days before heading over to my folks' house for a week of VBS, visiting, eating ice cream, swimming, fishing, and, according to my ever-hungry-never-full offspring, absolutely starved by my mother who would not let them raid the pantry willy-nilly as they are wont to do here. (My mom fears she is a mean grandma. I tell her no, I'm just a lazy mother too tired to fight with my children. They have me way outnumbered. Never mind that they have her outnumbered, too. That's my story and I'm sticking to it.)

*At the same time 3 of my children were at my folks' home, my eldest son and my beloved were in Canada, fishing, hiking, avoiding stumps that look like bears (no lie--three different times they mistook the same stump for a bear such was their wish/fear of seeing a bear. That stump/bear came to be known as Stumpy the "bear.") and checking out the ER of a Canadian hospital just for grins. Oh, and maybe to get stitches in a thumb because, as my son learned, knives are sharp.

*While my children and my beloved were gone, I painted my kitchen. Why yes, it seems I did just paint the kitchen a couple of years ago. But, now that the family room is painted (the color has grown on me. It's grown on me so much that I painted the kitchen the same color. Who knew that "Tattered Sail/Not Tattered Sail/Lavender Swine/Who Knows What Color This Is" would look so good? Now, I must share that the kitchen is not actually completely painted. My beloved told me he would paint the wee crevices above the upper cabinets with his special painting device he used last time we painted. I also left the area behind the fridge for him for two reasons: 1) I am a delicate flower and moving the fridge by myself seemed too overwhelming, and 2) I was afraid I would scratch the hardwood floors and then be given the stinkeye by my beloved. So now, my kitchen is totally painted. Um, if you don't you know, actually look above the cabinets or behind the fridge. Chances are very good that it will get painted. Sometime in 2017 when my husband gets to it on his very long To Do List and he actually has a day or two strung together that doesn't require his attention somewhere else. Until then, I'm pretending. Yellow? I don't see any yellow! Have you been to the eye doctor lately? I'm concerned for your vision.

*My eldest daughter spent 8 days in Guatemala with other students from her school's Spanish department. If we are Facebook friends, perhaps you will remember my request for prayers and good thoughts as she spent the first 3 days sick with the stomach flu and I spent the first 3 days alternately praying for her, answering her frantic texts, and being wracked with guilt for not letting her come home. It ultimately turned out just fine--just like I kept calmly telling her in my texts and just like my Sane Brain kept telling me over the very loud, very scary protests of my Insane Brain. She had a marvelous trip--ziplining at a coffee plantation, hiking up an active volcano, going to a black sand beach, working with kids at an after school program, visiting a local market, climbing pyramids, and trying not to die from being much to close to a poisonous snake. And, oh yes! Speaking and improving her Spanish.

*My family came in from my hometown and Chicago and Texas for the 4th of July. There was no burn ban in place this year, so we spent a great amount of time blowing things up to celebrate our country's independence. We also ate. A lot. And laughed. A lot. And just all around crammed as much enjoyment and togetherness as we could into a couple of days. Oh! And the Dreaded Owls never made an appearance. Will wonders never cease?

*My sweet mother-in-law left the bonds of this Earth to meet her Lord in Heaven and we spent a few days with my beloved's family celebrating her life--talking, laughing, looking through photos, crying, hugging, and remembering the countless ways she loved us all.

*We spent waaaay too many hours in a car together driving to, around, and from Florida. But, along the way, we got to see my sweet Aunt Bonnie, my beloved connected with a buddy, we had a weird little yodeling contest with the people in a truck next to us in a traffic jam, we saw a shark, we saw dolphins, we met up with my folks at a rented house and spent a wonderful week with them, swimming, eating, laughing, walking the beach, and playing approximately 827 games of SCAT.

*We celebrated three birthdays. Mary turned 9, Sean turned 12, and Maggie turned 17. I'm not sure how this is possible, given that I'm only 18 myself. Mary went to her first concert--with her big sister--and had a blast. Sean received a cell phone as his right of passage. And Maggie got a job. So you know, all is good in the 'hood.

*We returned from vacation to the windup to back-to-school. There was school shopping and more school shopping and meet the teacher and registration and orientation and so much paperwork that I'm sure several trees were harmed in the making of this school year.

*The kids started school on the 14th. On the 16th, I had one sick kid--two days in and his immune system went Holy Schnikes! Look at all these people! Look at all these germy surfaces! I know, I really feel the need to battle these. Oh! And I know what else sounds fun: Let me battle this virus while I'm already battling the allergens already in your body. Ready, Set, BOOM! Aaaaaaand he was down for the count. The same day, my eldest son, you know the one with the smart phone attached to his body permanent-like? He missed the bus. Let me say it again: Third day. Phone that not only does fancy things, it also shows the time to the minute, attached to body. Bus missed.

It was at that point in the program friends, that I knew. I might have had the Longest Shortest summer ever, but that was just a lead up to what may become the Longest Longest School Year ever.

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