May 28, 2007

The downward spiral of a weekend

Have you ever had a holiday weekend that you were really looking forward to, but it started to take on a life of it's own and you had to just stand by and watch it spiral out of your control? That was our weekend. (as evidenced by my silent blog these past 5 days)

The long weekend sounded so good to us a week ago. We were really looking forward to it. Friday we started out leisurely enough. We let the teens skip school so we could get an early start. Pastor's don't get many Sundays off, so we had to make our trip up north just an overnighter. The normal 2 hour drive took a full 3 hours, but as we hit the top of the hill, entering into the Flagstaff area, we rolled down the windows and breathed in the cool, fresh, unpolluted mountain air. I miss that.

We drove to some friends' new home. They lived in a travel trailer for a year while building it themselves and it is beautiful. Then we drove into our old town. Our teenage girls wanted to attend their old friends' graduation, so they left and we spent the evening with a couple who are great friends to us. They live on a hill, beside a highway that goes ribboning back into the mountains, a wonderful gateway into the backwoods, where there are lakes, wilderness, elk, bear, coyotes and eagles. I longed to keep going and explore the dirt roads that lead far, far back into God's creation and pristine scenery. But we had people to visit and the wilderness will be there next time. We also remembered why we used to stay at home every holiday weekend in the summer when we lived there. The place was crawling with RV's and campers and weekenders. NUTS!!! We used to sit on our front porch and just watch the RV's pulling into town.

Three hours later graduation was over. LOL Graduation is a big event and they do a slide show with music for each graduate. Small towns are kind of cool and quirky, and graduation is a thing everyone has to endure, but it sure is a long time to sit on metal bleacher seats. So we opted out this year. *sssshhhh*

The night time drive back to Flagstaff was solemn as we passed by a terrible accident on interstate 40. Someone on a motorcylce hit a huge bull elk. The elk was lying there, huge and dead, but the driver was not in sight. He must have been thrown clear of the sight. There were highway patrol there, but the ambulance was just getting there. A man was on the other side of the interstate rocking in a crumpled position, crying or praying. When we lived in northern Arizona, we always saw a dead elk on the side of the road as we drove to Flagstaff. There must be at least one hit every night there in summer and Fall. Thankfully we never hit one, but it is quite devastating when you do. We rode the rest of the way into Flag in silence, the adreneline pumping and tears welling.

We got to spend the night with our daughter Hannah and her apartment is so cute and cool and artsy. It has huge windows and a sliding glass door that looks out into a stand of pines, then a park with soccer fields. After a big breakfast at the Cracker Barrel, we left to drive back to the desert that is now our home. Oh yeah, and we had to take a bus back with us. *see my lip start to turn into a snarl here*

A bus. It's a wonderful gift from our old church to this new one we are at, but it's a monster. lol It is extra wide and low (easy to step into), and half the length of a school bus. And it is bright white. It is old, runs on diesel, and goes a mild 55 mph on the highway....35 up big hills. (For those of you who have never driven from Flagstaff to Phoenix, it is very mountainous, curvy terrain.) I followed the bus the whole way. My husband stopped once to tighten a console cover by his right leg. It had been pouring out burning air on his leg, and he thought it was having transmission trouble because there was a terrible clunk whenever it changed gears. But it was also stressful to follow him. The wide, white back end of it was hypnotic as we dragged along at 55 (or 35) mph. I kept having to shake my head to wake myself up and came home with a stress headache.

Saturday night we had a cookout to go to...very fun, very good company, but we came home and fell into our beds, exhausted! Sunday we had a good church service, comissioning 6 teens who were to be summer missionaries, one of which is our Bethany. My 15 year old wanted to hang around with some friends for the afternoon and after their parents all left, I found out they were planning to just walk to Taco Bell and hang out there all afternoon. Ummm, no.... So I rounded them up and took them to our house. My dear exhausted husband cooked them hot dogs and found the boys swim trunks, while Emma rounded up things for the girls to swim in and they all swam the afternoon away. Charles got them practicing dives and then sat in the swing, judging each dive, adding points if the landing in the water sounded like it hurt. lol

Then they left.....yes! (I love them all, but needed some down time badly!) And we had an evening alone with Maggie, relaxing. My teens came home once again with extras last night. Two girls spent the night, surprising Charles as more girls than usual emerged from the hallway this morning. (oops, forgot to tell him)

Emma has been needing new shorts for a while now, so I decided to pick up things I've been needing from Walmart this morning while she picked out some shorts. Only we got sidetracked and decided to try a local thrift shop first...just pop in to see if they had any good deals on shorts. As I drove into the parking lot, there were no parking spaces to be found and we had to park 5 stores down at an Italian restaurant. The sign in the thrift shop window said, "Memorial Day Sale, everything half price"

Oiy with the poodles already people!

The lines of people at the check out stands were curving around and down the clothing racks of the store! But I dove in and decided to try the childrens' section to find summer clothes for a quickly growing 9 year old who belongs to me. Jackpot! I spent $38 and got 12 shirts and 6 pairs of capris or shorts, as well as a cute dress. Each piece of clothing was a dollar or two. AND the children's section was deserted compared to the other parts of the store, which looked like an ant hill! Emma and her friend went to get me a place in the check out line while I looked a while longer. THEN we went to Walmart...busy busy....

I got home, put some things in the fridge and went for a swim. I got to relax for approximately 20 minutes before having to shower and get ready to go to a family gathering at my sisters for homemade ice cream. Add to this, that my daughter from Flagstaff called and said she and 2 friends were coming down to swim and go to a drive in movie. !???! Okay.... They arrived while we were having ice cream, so we went back home to see her for a while before the movie. (more on drive in movies another time)

We sent them off at 8pm, the movies begin at 8:30. I sat down here on the couch with Maggie and have not moved since.

I'm looking forward to a regular week, even if it is a little hectic. These holiday weekends are killin me!!!!!

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