Archive for August, 2014

Trying something new.

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Both girls have been itching to try archery for quite a while now,  and serendipitously enough, some of our new friends clued us in to a school not too far away, and very reasonably-priced.  Another bonus: the family who runs the school home schooled all their kids.

Best and most interesting of all: both girls say that this is an incredibly relaxing sport.

How we ended our summer vacation.

Not that it’s been much of a vacation, mind you, what with all this moving back across the country and all the difficult moments entailed therein. But all summer seasons do eventually draw to a close (some sooner than others), and here in Colorado, most schools have either already started or will start tomorrow, so we will do the same.

Today, by luck of the draw, we spent our last day of official summer vacation up in Denver at Coors Field, taking in a baseball game. RegularDad’s company hosted a bit of a party for all of us relocated folks, and sprung not just for the tickets, but for a nice lunch before game time. So, we drove up nice and early, and oddly enough, we ended up parking in the same parking deck I used to park in when I worked in downtown Denver many, many years ago, when I was younger, newly married, and RegularDad wasn’t even in the satellite business yet. It was a little bit freaky to tell the girls, “yep, I used to park right here and walk on in that building there. Every day.”

Everything looked exactly the same, and I knew exactly how to get to Coors Field, so I led the way. It wasn’t too hard. You just had to follow all the people wearing purple. Large crowds were already heading toward the field, which we thought was strange, since we were going a couple of hours early for a lunch. Even with the short walk to the stadium, we ended up standing in a long, long line to get inside.

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“Don’t tell me ALL these people were relocated!” I said to RegularDad.

“No,” he said, “but I think they’re retiring someone’s jersey today, and they’re giving away shirts or something, so I bet a lot of people are trying to get here early to get one.”

(It turned out to be Todd Helton’s jersey: No. 17. It was a lovely ceremony, and the unexpected thunderstorm held off until after it was all done.)

So we waited in line, patiently, the sun beating down on us…

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and eventually we shuffled far enough inside that we were in the shade where it was still hot but much more comfortable. You remember quite quickly how strong the sun can be up here a mile closer to it. Ugh. Hats, shades and sunscreen are a must. After about ten more minutes of just shuffling along in a crowd that reminded me of trying to get through Times Square on the day they were lighting the Christmas tree, we got up to where they were giving out the freebies. They weren’t shirts; they were Todd Helton bobble-heads.

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We’ve got four of these bad boys now. I have no idea what we’ll DO with them, but we’ve got ’em. I’m not quite sure what he’s dressed up as: Robin Hood? A park ranger? Maybe he’s just gone fishin’? But there he is in all his bobble-headed glory.

The lunch that RegularDad’s company hosted for us was just your basic baseball food: burgers and hotdogs, with chips and watermelon. And drinks of course. We stuck mostly to water, considering how hot it was, and we were glad to have gotten seats in the shade. We ate and chatted with some of the people we knew from Pennsylvania. It’s so weird to see all these people out here instead of back east. We went to a house warming party for one of RegularDad’s friends the night before, and at one point, we were all sitting around this guy’s kitchen table, swapping horror stories of Dealing With The Relocation People, and How Many Days Was YOUR Stuff Delayed, and all that, and then we got kinda quiet for a minute, just looking around at each other, like, “Jesus, how’d we all end up out here together???”

But after we’d all eaten, the Big Bosses got up and gave very nice (and mercifully short) speeches, thanking all of us for making the move out, and I have to say, it was nice to hear them actually say it, because, Oh My Freekin’ GAWD, it’s been a hell of a difficult summer. To hear them all say, Thanks, we know this is hard, but here: have a day at Coors Field on us, and welcome to Colorado. By the way, the pizza is just awful and there’s no scrapple to be had anywhere, but hey, thanks for coming. 

Yeah, it helped at bit.

After the speeches, we went back up into the stands and found our seats, and they were actually pretty damn good. We watched the ceremony retiring No. 17, and then the game started up, and maybe ten minutes after the first pitch, we all had to run for cover because the Zero Percent chance of rain for the day turned into a deluge complete with dangerous lightning. But that’s okay, because ten minutes after that the sun came back out and we grabbed a stack of napkins from a concession stand to dry off our seats and went back to watch the game a while.

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A few innings in, my 11-year-old said, to no one in particular, “This is cool. I mean, moving sucks and all, but this… this right here… is pretty darn cool.”

And it was.

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Thus ends our summer vacation that wasn’t much of a vacation at all. Not a bad way to close it out, I’d say.

Settling in, venturing out.

So, we’re settling in. Just about everything is out of the boxes, and in the proper rooms. Not organized, mind you. No. Just out of the boxes and onto a shelf or into a cabinet in all the usual disorganized jumble. I can almost find everything. Except for the power cords for my main computer with all my photo editing and graphics software. That stuff is floating around somewhere, so I’m still using my laptop for everything, which is fine until I want to blog something and realize I don’t have any decent photo editing software available to me yet. sigh….

In the midst of all this unpacking and settling in, I’ve also been busy getting ready for our new school year. All the public schools start in the middle of August here, and the girls have been itching to start school ever since the beginning of August, which is very unusual for us. We like our summers off. And we liked starting after Labor Day. August was all about chillin’ by the pool with our friends, and rainy afternoons at the movies and getting ice cream afterwards, and maybe the occasional trip to Hershey Park or down the shore for the day. Not for pining to open up those math books. I suspect the girls just want the routine of it all: days that are full of books and errands and activities. Too much free time can drive one mad when you’re displaced from everything familiar.

So, we’re starting on Monday, just like our district is. I’m almost ready. Or, I should say, just ready enough. We’ll get the basics rolling, and take it from there.

And our year promises to be quite busy, actually, because yes, we’ve been venturing out. We’ve met some new friends, and they’re good people, and even though they’re all still strangers to us, I know from experience that the day will come when that strangeness goes away, and we’ll feel like maybe we understand why we came back. My calendar is already gorgeously full of fun things to do, and this year we’ve signed up for one of these new-fangled homeschool academies that have sprung up out of the blue in the 8 years or so we’ve been away from Colorado. We went on down to register for it on Thursday, and after talking in more detail with the nice lady who runs the office there, it sounds like a really interesting program, one that offers theater arts and a variety of other arts type classes for my oh-so-artsy daughters. I couldn’t ask for a better replacement to the theater arts program we had in Pennsylvania. I addition to this part time academy, we’ve found a nice, affordable archery school where the girls can take archery classes with quite a few of their new friends.

And on top of all that, there are any number of skate days, park days, parties and laser tag afternoons to choose from. Already, I find myself having to scale back on the things we say yes to, so that our school work will get done. So yes, we’re settling in and venturing out. But every time we come home again to this new bigger house, we sit down and look around at everything and each other, and sometimes we’ll actually say it out loud: yes, this is good and fun and nice.

But it’s not the same. 

 

Sisterly affection.

Immediately after RegularDad throws a balled up tissue at my 11-year-old and then innocently hides his hands in his hoodie pockets:

11-year-old, to her sister: “Hey!!! Stop!!!”

13-year-old: “It wasn’t me!”

11-year-old: “Yes it was!”

13-year-old: “No it wasn’t! If it had been me, I would have thrown something heavier.”


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