Friday, 5 September 2014

Tossed Salad Of Memories






It's Friday morning, Sept. 5 and this is my view this morning as I drink my coffee.

I'm drinking Starbucks Thanksgiving Blend, French pressed, thank you for asking.

And it's perfect.

My Lavatera are showing off, just for me.  Pink and white blossoms, looking me in the eye through my front room window, telling me that they're happy and it's nice out and it's a good day to  be alive.

I concur.

Things are a bit different this September day.

For the first time in many years, there will not be a train of hopeful music students parading in and out of my back door, down the stairs into the music room, awaiting enlightenment from Mr. Dean.  Dean is working for someone else now, sales and distribution, gone every morning, early.  Home every night, occasionally late.  Our family has rolled with the dynamics of music students and Dad working through supper and strange people in our home several nights a week.  But we're ready for something different ... having Dad around for supper, and the house quiet with just us....as if we're actually quiet!  But it's OUR quiet for now so we're good.

The really touching thing is that when the music teacher informed his students that he wouldn't be teaching this fall and may teach after Christmas but encouraged them to look elsewhere for a music teacher, many students replied "no, we only want YOU.  Please fit us in in January if you can."  Rather touching.  Rather rewarding.  He's poured himself well into these students.

The boys are back to school.  Last year at JD for Ben - we've been involved with that school since 2004....they will be a hard habit to break but we'll be ready.  JD's been good to us.  Andrew is back at high school, full hopes and intentions to do well this year.  Making his own lunch every day, getting up on his own every day. 

I let him drive as often as I can.  And I'm calm.  Until the moment comes when I am not calm and then there is all manner of screeching and gulping and fuming and all of that other encouraging behavior from mother to son as son learns to drive.  My nerves.  Poor son.  He's really doing well.  Really.

My five month relationship with my physio therapist drew to a close a couple of weeks ago.  No, I never got around to mentioning that, did I?!!  Well, remember my exuberance over my running program?  I hit a snag.  Major snag.  Did some fantastic damage to an already damaged Achilles tendon.  After 5 months of physio, we (me and he) both agreed that running probably isn't for me.  Sigh.  Can't express how disappointed I am with that but it is what it is.  My legs take a beating on the job, I have pre-existing Achilles issues and, if given the choice, I'd rather have my legs able to sustain my career than force them to run for the fitness satisfaction.  So I guess I'll have to find something else that fits me better. 

No, Dean, not TRX.

Does anybody else have major house cleaning goals for the fall?  I look in every corner of my house and see things that need to be sorted and cleaned.  A couple of easy goals/day should eliminate the mountains, but right now, the whole thing feels insurmountable.

I think I should have another cup of coffee.

You know, sustain myself.

Build up my strength.

We went on a big trip this summer to Vancouver and Seattle.  I had initially thought I'd share all the funky details of the trip here, but, meh, sometimes the memories just have to stay tucked neatly in my mind where they remain precious and beautiful.

I will say that I am a prairie girl, through and through.

When we planned the trip to Vancouver, I decided that seeing the Capilano Suspension Bridge was a bucket list thing that I had to do.

 
I AM AFRAID OF HEIGHTS.
 
Here's me, realizing that "what goes up, must come down"...
AKA
If you go across the bridge
You eventually have to come back across the bridge again.
 


And so I did.  White knuckled.  Glaring at my kids for enjoying it with no fear at all.  Grabbing their arms when it appeared that they were determined to do something stupid like .... look around.



You'll note in this picture that I have my hand on Andrew
....to keep him safe, of course....
And I'm also holding on to Ben's arm
...in case he has the urge to jump over the side.
Just trying to be a helpful mother.
You'll also note the two young men that photo bombed our family photo.
Thanks a lot for taking our Christmas 2014 Family Picture to new heights, boys.
They were actually park staff that got stuck behind this 'crazy mom' who was holding on to her teenage boys, holding up traffic.

 

Later on that same day, we decided that, while we were at it, we should just ride up a gondola while we were in the adventurous mode.

I AM STILL AFRAID OF HEIGHTS.
 
Make no mistake.
I was a willing participant.
But there were 3 rules in that gondola carriage.
No foolishness.
No foolishness.
No foolishness.


We got to the top of the mountain.


I opted to not cross this suspension bridge.
Instead, I stayed inside and fought tears.
I.  Am.  A.  Prairie.  Girl.
 God bless the residents of British Columbia
but you can keep your mountains.  ;)
 
This represented my true feelings....

 


But then we went to Seattle.  We took the train from Vancouver to Seattle and that was the nicest journey I've taken to date.  Just beautiful.  We wandered around Seattle for a few days, enjoyed more Starbucks experiences than I'm willing to expound on, feasted on a seafood meal that was one for the record book, and spent far too little time absorbing the ambiance of Pike Place Market.  I keep searching the internet for a cross stitch pattern of the flower markets there, but haven't found anything comparable yet.  I just want to remember those sights, smells....the beauty.

We had also planned to go to the Space Needle.

Obviously I hadn't done my research.

"Space Needle" ....  wouldn't YOU think that it might host, say, a museum of SPACE....space crafts, space missions, spaceships?????

No?

I did.

You can imagine my horror when we pulled into the parking lot and I looked UP and got this sick feeling in my stomach.

There is no museum.

You all knew that.

I didn't.

I confess. I feel stupid.

But I'm in this for the adventure and I refuse to be the mother that stands alone at the bottom, too afraid to participate, so I jumped in the elevator (well, maybe not exactly a jump....maybe more of a cautious serious of small steps) and stood bravely (well, actually, I made sure I was at the back of the GLASS elevator <good heavens people....GLASS was necessary???>)  and sighed a brief sigh of relief when the elevator attendant told us we had a 47 seconds-long elevator ride in which she would tell us the history of the Space Needle.  I can put up when anything for 47 seconds. 

I AM STILL AFRAID OF HEIGHTS, YOU KNOW
 

They say the view was nice from the outside deck.


I'll never know.
 
Later that afternoon, we heard that Robin Williams had died.  It will forever be etched into my mind...."where were you when you heard Robin Williams died?"  I was in McDonald's in Seattle by the Space Needle, that's where.

Our last major adventure in Seattle was attending a Blue Jays/Mariners ball game.  It was one of the most inexpensive adventures that we had arranged. 

When we arrived, I figured out why our seats were so ... cheap.

Yup.

Kinda high.

Lower level of the upper deck.

Great view of the ball game.

I guess.


NO ONE GOT THE MEMO THAT I'M AFRAID OF HEIGHTS!!!
I want a new seat.
 







Andrew, is that pose really necessary?
Will somebody make him SIT DOWN?


I did sit in my seat and consider googling the following topic when I got home:
"Statistics of deaths occurring whilst falling from upper level deck seats, Safeco Field".
But I survived the game.  It was a lot of fun, actually.
A beautiful summer night..practically perfect.



There is a point to my story telling!

I really can't help it that I'm not a fan of heights.  It's just the way I am.  I know it's not particularly rational, but it is what it is and, try as I might, I haven't been able to change the strange feelings that I have to fight when faced with things that make me afraid.

BUT!


I have learned to just do it anyway even if it scares me.



And at this time in my life where my teenaged boys had to learn how to handle a mom who was more anxious than normal and who required a little more reassurance than they're used to giving, what I want them to remember the most is that, even though I was afraid....

I DID IT ANYWAY!

So when they go back to school or start college or get a job or move away from home and have some quiet (or LOUD!) fears about it all...

....maybe, just maybe ....

......they'll remember their crazy mom who had fears, too, but ......

didn't let that stop her.
 
 
Thanks for listening!