Sunday, September 21, 2014

Summer 2014 Images

On Friday, Amy posted this about End of Summer images. I wanted to comment and tell her how much I loved her images, and share some moments of my own. But then I realized had an entire post of moments that I don't want to forget from Summer 2014.

Dinner with Shane. One night, the kids wanted to stay in with takeout from Five Guys, while Shane and I were more interested in our favorite Mexican restaurant. So we went on a date, just the two of us. It was a simple enough moment: sitting on the bench outside the restaurant, chatting and holding hands. Watching a group of girls who were all wearing their purple softball team uniforms talking and laughing and team-ing together. The view of the mountains, which were that shade of summer green that happens just before they start to turn. Later, the taste of a giant cold Coke and warmed refried beans with chips and salsa (the delicious detail that sets this restaurant apart from others.)

Walking with Ben. Thomas and Shane were running a four-mile training run for Thomas's black-belt physical test. Ben walked with me. The kid talked the whole time: wondering if the rock next to the trail was a meteor; why the sky was darker blue above us and lighter blue lower on the horizon; trying to find a rock of just the perfect size next to the trail that could be a meteor that wouldn't cause a giant crater, but would still put a dent in the trail. I loved his ceaseless chatter, the browning grasses next to the trail, the reddening trees on the mountains to the west, as he rode his scooter along the trail "that was only for walking, not for cartwheeling" he had earlier declared after I demonstrated a cartwheel.

Eating with Thomas. One evening, it ended up that it was only me and Thomas home for dinner, a very, very rare occurrence in our house. Shane was at a late meeting at work, and Ben had gone to the trampoline park with the neighbor kid's family. Not wanting to make dinner, I picked up Thomas from karate and declared it was date night. We went to Carl's Junior together (I'm a sucker for CJ!). We got burgers and fries and cokes and laughed through dinner. He's grown up so much this summer; he's now within an inch of my height, has bigger hands, and bigger feet than me. He's also matured so much, thanks to working at the library for volunteer hours, mowing lawns for his grandma and neighbors, and running with his dad. It was a great summer of growth for him.

Running in San Diego with my foursome. This is a family snapshot: Shane and Thomas ahead of me. We are in the cross walk at the intersection of Mission Bay Boulevard and San Rafael street, between the two bodies of water: the Pacific beach and Mission Bay, just down from our favorite San Diego hotel. Ben is riding his scooter next to me, and I am running. Usually runs in San Diego are solitary, but Thomas had a goal of running 4 miles without stopping before he started school, and so we did it all together on vacation.

Sitting in my sister's pool. For my mom's birthday, we had a family party at my sister's pool. I rarely swim, but on that day, I put on my suit and sat on the steps of the pool with my mom, sister Suzette, and great-niece Josie while she learned to not be afraid of the water. At some point, I ended up stealing my mom's straw hat right off of her head, which I wore for the rest of the party. Later, Amy and my niece Lyndsay came and sat with me. Visiting and watching the kids scream and play and swim while we visited made me happy.

Waiting for Wicked with Sisters Squared. The people on our Italy trip took to taking me and my mom and sisters Sisters Squared. It sort of stuck. In August, we got tickets to Wicked together. Looking down at the curtain at Capital Theater as we took selfies, talked about books we were reading, planned where we would eat dinner later (Desert Edge), and shared in the excitement of being together again as Sisters Squared is an image I don't want to forget.

Swearing with Amy. The end of Ragnar was a disaster. Amy and I sort of hobbled across the finish line, both of us near tears, swearing like sailors as the rest of our team ran ahead. I loved that I could tell my sister in just a few words what I was feeling, and that I didn't have to censor myself, but she would understand and swear along with me while declaring her own frustrations.

Talking Mom about laundry. A few weeks ago I had a little conversation on the phone with my mom that turned somehow to laundry. She told me a little story about folding laudry with my grandma when my two older sisters were tiny. My mom doesn't tell stories about that time very often, and I loved that it just came up so naturally.

Standing on the Pier at Pacific Ocean. I did get to go on one solo run during our time in San Diego. We stayed at a different hotel than we usually do; we were just down the beach a few miles, but it felt so different. I ended up on the sand, instead of the boardwalk where I normally run. I ran all the way to the end of Crystal Pier, where I stopped running, turned on I Wanna Get Better  by Bleachers (I didn't know I was lonely til I saw your face...) and looked out at the ocean. I love the way running on the beach smells. It's fishy and salty and sweaty, and it clears out my soul in a way that no other running anywhere can.

Thanks, Amy for your beautiful and inspiring post.(I enjoyed that moment at Ragnar, too. I always love driving out of Kamas on Saturday morning. It's one of my favorite parts of Ragnar.)

What are your summer images?