Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Memorial Day

It always rains on Memorial Day weekend. You see, I grew up on the west side. (Yep, Pete, even more west than this!) And it rains most of the time. But always, always on camping weekends. My sister and I learned to play pinnochle in the rain over many Memorial Day & Labor Day weekends...in leaky tents with soggy cards. Lanterns hissing, fires sputtering, skin pruny. Somehow, those were still the best of times.

Although, then, I didn't know about baseball. Ahhh...baseball. The Bruins had their first outing. Saturday, the sun shone brightly and the boys won one, lost one. We all got sunburned. On Sunday, just like on the coast, we were rained out. Then Monday, the sun was out again. It's been the oddest spring.

After the game Monday, we did some shopping. Got Zach a new bat. Man...how can a cylinder of metal cost so darn much???

And we all got haircuts, ready for summer. Here's mine:

I'm having a little trouble with the straight part. As you know, I'm a rocker chick from the 80's. I like hairspray. And I have this insane urge to blowdry it upside down and add some fluff. Kate follows me with a straightening iron. I mean really. A straightening iron?? What's any self-respecting Bon Jovi or Def Leppard groupie doing with a STRAIGHTENING iron?? I guess I'll get used to it.

Sigh. Kate got her eyebrows waxed along with her haircut. She looked like she had warpaint on because she had these neon pink stripes of skin above and below her brows. It was kinda funny. But she was really brave. It might seem weird, but I have seen so many girls tweeze their brows into oblivion, that I told her when she entered middle school that someday she might decide that she wanted to do something different with her eyebrows and to PLEASE not do it herself, that I would take her to a professional. Kenny thought it was a hilarious process. Especially the faces Kate made.

Kenny looks pretty handsome, too! He likes to get it short when the weather is hot. Zach's is short, too, but you can't see in his pics cause of the helmets.

We got to come home on Saturday and celebrate Bob's birthday and see Nana Edith and Aunt Diana. It was good to see them. We'll get to see them later this summer when we travel to Lewiston for baseball.

In just a few weeks we go to Kelso for Jake's graduation. Wow. It seems only a short time ago that I was in the airport, with a huge Kenny-tummy, waiting for Denise to deboard the plane, anxious to meet 5-month-old Jakob. You have to go to the flickr site and see pics of him in his tux. Wow.

Jake in tux for Prom
"Wheel in the sky keeps on turnin’
I don’t know where I’ll be tomorrow
Wheel in the sky keeps on turnin’"

And it does. It keeps on turning. Sometimes so fast, it makes my head spin. And some days, I want to hide from it. It rained on Sunday and I hid in my bed. Slept away most of the day. It felt good.

But...not for too long.

Soon it was time to get up, face the day, do what needed to be done, move forward.


And somewhere in there....

Laugh, even.
Yes, laugh.

And shout.
And cheer.

And get ready for the next go-round of that big wheel in the sky.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Summer Nights

Have I told you about summer evenings in Walla Walla?
Did I tell you about the first night I was in Walla Walla with Dave, sipping icy Coronas on his parents deck, staring at a million stars dusted over a black velvet sky, the air beginning to cool, the heat still drifting up from the pavement, the wood of the deck railing still warm to the touch, the smell of the onion fields, the rhythmic ch-ch-ch of the irrigation sprinklers...and Dave...leaning back in his chair, eyes closed, a smile on his face, his cap turned backwards, his boots propped up on the chair..."It doesn't get any better than this, Shelley. It just doesn't."

As in so many things, he was right. Completely right. There isn't anything better. And I don't mean just the Walla Walla part. (Although that one evening is the single reason Dave could convince me to move here.) There is something so deeply satisfying about that feeling, when you've put in a long, hard day, working or driving or whatever, out in the hot sun, and then, when the sun goes down, feeling the coolness of the night begin to cover the day, feeling the ache across your shoulders and the iciness of a cold drink, beads of water rolling over your fingers, and seeing the one you love most, nearby, content, relaxed, happy to just be together.

I imagine that is happening in more places than Walla Walla. In Chicago and Auburn and Kelso and Long Beach and Puyallup and Seattle and New York.

Tonight, I stood in our driveway, an ache in my back from mowing the lawn, my legs stinging with a million little scratches from laying bark, my hands throbbing from wielding a shovel. I breathed deeply, feeling the tinge of cool in the still-warm air and saw a full moon, shadowy light filling our yard. It felt good. Felt good to work hard when it's 93 degrees outside. Felt good to accomplish something. And it felt good to breathe deeply of that Walla Walla summer night air.

Clink! This one's for you, Dave.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Summer's On Its Way

Spring is wrapping up. Already. We're getting ready for Jake's graduation from high school. Can't wait to go see them. He'll be attending WSU in the fall. We're all so proud and excited. School ball is over for Zach. He got drafted to the Bruins for summer ball. He'll be traveling to Eugene and Missoula among other places, doing what he loves best...living it up behind the plate, blocking wild pitches, throwing runners out when they (stupidly) try to steal second, all that jazz.

Kenny went to regionals in Spokane for Special Olympics and won FOUR GOLD MEDALS! Wow, his best showing yet. He had his awards barbeque for school track tonight.

Kate arranged a very sweet "David's Restaurant" Mother's Day brunch for me and all the neighborhood moms. Spaghetti, salad and garlic bread on our deck. Warm sunshine and flowers and fancy placecards. It was lovely.

Then we joined the Meyer/Johnson clan for dessert that evening. Dessert and a cranium game that required odd gyrations from young and, ahem, what did Mindy call it? those more advanced in age, alike.

At school for me, the job is crazy-busy, especially with Melinda (our department head) on sabbatical, but it's good. Midterms are over and we're registering for fall quarter, which means we're on the downward slide toward summer.

We got our mound out front finally almost finished...thanks, Haroldson clan! We also got the baseboards around the hardwood floors done. Next is new windows! The place is really shaping up.

Okay, so what I didn't tell you is that: David's Restaurant always means a big mess, Kenny came home from Spokane crabby and we got in a big fight on the way to Mother's Day dessert and I'm so exhausted with this new job that I'm taking a nap almost every day and that there are moments I'd kill to hear an adult voice in my house. And somehow all of that is Dave's fault. Not really. Oh...and the baby cat is pregnant. Kittens anyone? There's always a down side. The ache, the missing him, the occasional flare of anger, the oft-felt anguish, the sweet imagining of his face, his voice.

TEAM MEYER RALLY CALL: our family friend who has been diagnosed with breast cancer is Kristi Wellington-Buttice. She's an amazing person, talented and dedicated and super, super smart. She's got the best attitude. She's sought out the best treatment there is. She's traveling every week to Seattle for chemo right now, which will later be followed up with radiation (6 weeks in Seattle) and surgery. I saw her today, and she looks fabulous. Her smile is radiant and I know if positive thinking makes a difference (which it DOES), she will be one to kick cancer's butt! She and her family need all the prayers you can muster.

A few weeks ago, I was reading the entries on Fred Schappert's guest book. Walla Walla is filled with the most caring people on this earth. I don't know if Kristi's going to set up a website. If she does, I'll post it here, but until then, please write in here with your thoughts and prayers for her, Forrest, Anthony (18), Nick (8)as well as her parent, Harv and Dee, and her niece Alyssa (17) and her stepdaughter Annaliese (10ish). I'll forward all of them to her. Let's bring the full force of our united faith into this fight on Kristi's behalf.

Much love to all of you. Chelle

PS. We're planning a summer trip to Chicago to meet up with Cathy and Cheri and all the kids, and Pete from Ohio is going to join us there, too. I can't wait until July!!

Saturday, May 03, 2008

Prom Night

Wasn't it just yesterday that Kenny was riding his little scooter, up and down Alder Street, scaring the passing motorists with his hairpin turns?
Wasn't it just last week that he boarded the big yellow bus with his Toy Story backpack, venturing into the big world of kindergarten?
Wasn't it just a short time ago that we took off the training wheels on his bike?
Look at him now!
Proud mom, not too many tears.
Dave do you see him? Aren't you proud?