Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Home to Nest

I am home.  Sleeping in my old bed.  Looking out at my old street.  Visiting with my old neighbors.  Home.

Smiling, I sent my kids away on their bikes this morning with a dollar each to get an ice cream at The Cowley Mercantile.  "Go ahead and explore if you want, I called.  Just be careful on this main street."  And as I walked back into the house, I hoped they would be gone a long time.  Not because I didn't want to see them, but because I wanted them to experience a kind of freedom that they do not know.  A kind of freedom that gives birth to an independent spirit. 

By experiencing life on my own terms, I came to know myself.  I want that for my children.  And so I come home and push my children out of the nest, in a place where I know it's safe for them to land.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Letters Home for Mr. Wicke's Birthday

Dear Mr. Wicke,

I missed your birthday.  We weren't there.  No cards.  No gifts.  I am glad that your brother filled in and brought you a cake, lighted some candles, and sang to you. 

In honor of your birthday, I am keeping your children alive and (mostly) happy.  But they miss you, my darling.  And I miss you, too.  Most of all, I am sure.  These summer trips without you serve only to remind me of how much I need you on a daily basis. 

And so, if you are sure of nothing else, know this:  That your 41 years on this earth really do matter.  That our lives would be empty without you.  That you are the best father and husband we could ask for.  Know that, and then when we see you again we will celebrate in person.

Your Wifey

p.s.  Griffin is not nearly as good a bedfellow as you.  I have been kicked, smacked, rolled on, and bounced around.  AND he won't let me put my cold feet on him.  I miss you, even in my (interrupted) sleep.

Monday, July 11, 2011

A Little Over Halfway

Nine hours to Santa Fe.  Only the last 1 and 1/2 were unbearable.

The next morning, an adventure at the Santa Fe Children's Museum.  One of the best children's museums we've ever been to.  Wished we could have stayed there all day.  Instead, we drove an hour to see the Bandalier National Monument cliff dwellings, only to find out upon arrival that they were closed.  This despite calling twice and checking their website to make sure they were open due to the fire in the surrounding area.

My conversation with the poor park ranger at the entrance:

Me:  I am so mad!  We have called all morning and the message said you were open.
Him:  Sorry about that.  Yeah, there is (blah, blah, blah...something about the largest land fire...)
Me:  I'm not mad about the fire.  I get the fire.  I'm mad that your outgoing message and your website says you're open and we drove 2 hours out of our way!
Him:  Yeah.  Sorry about that.
Me:  Someone really needs to change that message.
Him:  Well, due to the fire we haven't been able to reach all of our phones.
Me: (dumbfounded silence.  ALL the phones?  It's the main line!  And does a fire inhibit the internet as well?  What is he talking about?!)
Him:  Did you see any signs in town?
Me: No...we did not.  (As in, "If we had do you think we would be all the way up here talking to you right now?!)
Him:  Hmm...yeah...we are going to get some flashing signs to put in Santa Fe, but...
Me:  (Blank stare.)
Him:  Are you going on to Los Alamos?
Me:  How much farther is it?
Him:  20 minutes.
Me: Do they have cliff dwellings there?
Him: No, but they have--
Me:  Then no.

Good times.  Me just making memories for my kids.  Memories that include two additional hours to the 6 we already had before us.  Boo...

But the last 4 days have been spent with my wonderful sister and her family.  Their home is so gorgeous that my children think they are at a resort.  A resort filled with cousins and an aunt that spoils them rotten.  They never want to leave.  But leave we must.  Tomorrow.

Time to get packing.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Great Depression Cooking - Italian Ice

Clara has a whole series of posts on Great Depression Cooking on Youtube, and I am a fan.  She is a delight and wise to boot.

My favorite part is her discussion of airconditioning and our "squawking" today.  I think she might be right.

Enjoy a little Italian Ice on a hot day, while we're somewhere in Southern Colorado.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

On the Road Again

photo credit: Dumb.com

We are packed up and hitting the road this morning on our looooong trip to see Grandma in Wyoming.  This time we are making our way through Colorado where we will stop and see my sister, nephews, niece, and great nieces and nephews.  (Yes.  I am a great aunt.)  So tonight we will stay in Sante Fe, maybe seem some cliff dwellings along the way, and take in the local sights (if we can leave early enough in the morning.)

The next day we will make our way to Colorado where we will stay for a few days before driving the 10 remaining hours to Mom's house.  There we will stay for two weeks until Mr. Wicke joins us; then we will drive home through Utah, visiting some friends on our way home. 

Almost 4 weeks of...I'm not sure you can call that vacation...but we're going to try.  I've got the movies loaded up, books on tape, treats, and Dramamine, which should make 24 hours in the car alone with three kids do-able.

Send us positive thoughts.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Calling a Photographer

We celebrated the 4th of July in style.  You'll have to trust me on that.  We don't have pictures.  Nope.  Not one.  I need a photographer.

Instead of taking pictures, we served up a pancake breakfast complete with ham, fruit, OJ and, of course, vanilla syrup.  Delicious.

And then, after pulling the kids out of the pool (cause' I'm bossy like that) we had a little 4th of July program.  The youngest four took it very seriously and presented full-on reports aided by tri-fold presentation boards.  Oh, yeah.  Good stuff.  The older children gave it a whole lot of thought and visited Wikipedia, but my favorite was Cameron who pulled his notes out of his wet swim trunks.  Despite some missing pieces, he was still able to read most of it.  Even some of the adults participated, and Chris finished the program with a rousing rendition of Patrick Henry's "Give me Liberty or Give Me Death" speech.  It was enough to make us say, "Huzzah!"

Then swimming for some and a game of All-American Trivial Pursuit for others, which only ended in a tie because we had to get the BBQ going.  I think we had just about everything for lunch:  burgers, brats, hotdogs, potato salad, macaroni salad, ribs, baked beans, cole slaw, chips, salsa, cookies, cupcakes, and soda.  Some people may serve a classier buffet, but nobody serves more variety or sheer amount.  More games, swimming, and badminton in the afternoon, and we finished the night by walking to our neighbors for a few fireworks. 

It was a good day.  A happy day.  That's what I'll remember, even without the photos.