Friday, March 12, 2010

Over the River and Through the Woods Again

This morning I totally meant to have the van packed and the kids ready to leave when it was time to take Kenny to school. Unfortunatley, Last Night Tiff didn’t go to bed until 2 a.m. so This Morning Tiff was a total slug and couldn’t be made to roll out of bed until almost 7 a.m. On the upside, the up till 2 a.m. business concerned folding clothes and packing so there wasn’t a whole lot left for the morning. Enough though. We were out the door by 9 a.m. and with only a small detour to leave Kenny’s forgotten scooter at Jason Lee Elementary, we were on the road by 9:15 a.m.

Though the original plan was for me to head over for Corrina’s bridal shower by myself, the plan later expanded to include Josh. He could use a little trip to visit Grandma and Grandpa. The next thing I knew, Sierra wanted to come. Sam didn’t see why he shouldn’t go as well. Kenny has two soccer games tomorrow and Michael Jr. has a Scout merit badge clinic and a talk in church so they got to stay home for some Dad time. Neither seemed to mind which was spectacular because anytime you can avoid World War III amongst the progeny, it’s always a blessed thing.

We headed out into the desert with the wind whipping all around. The sky was gorgeous with cloud formations in all shades of gray but clearly rain was threatening. The kids laughed as I hit tumbleweed after tumbleweed until they finally lost interest and pulled out a portable DVD player and popped in “Secondhand Lions”.

I sort of hated to see that happen. It’s a great movie; don’t get me wrong. It’s just that we don’t use that sort of entertainment in the car. The kids are great passengers and don’t give us any grief at all about long trips. In fact, we can make the 4-5 hour trip to my parents without even a bathroom stop, so I guess I worry that if we start with this sort of thing it will become somehow necessary.

On the upside, when the movie was over they didn’t put in another. They played I Spy which was not easy in the landscape we were passing through. Next, Sierra began quizzing Sam on geography and dinosaur facts. This was interesting to listen to because a) Sam knew a lot more than I would’ve given him credit for and b) he could argue his point rather persuasively. For example, Sierra asked him a question about brachiosaurus. She wanted him to say it was an herbivore but Sam disagreed. He said, “Point of fact, sauropods ate insects and that makes them omnivores!” I really need to limit the TV with that kid.

We took a detour for Jack in the Box and another for the outlets in North Bend. Nothing exciting (it took everything in me to drive past the Coach Outlet), just some things for Sierra. No fun to stick around with little kids and drizzle so we moved out smartly and headed over Tiger Mountain to the Valley Highway. Down to Puyallup, up through Parkland and Spanaway and through Fort Lewis. We passed through Roy and McKenna, finally crossing the Nisqually to Thurston County and my hometown. My soggy, grey Yelm.

I was here last weekend and it was bright and beautiful. Mt. Rainier loomed in the distance, brilliant white against an azure sky. Fruit trees flowered and bulbs bloomed. And they’re still doing their thing I guess, just under a bit of a dark cloud. Honestly, this is probably more normal than that slice of heaven last weekend. This time of the year the weather is a crapshoot and I never know what to pack.

We made it in and after some hugs and kisses I sat down at the computer with Mom to help her figure out what on earth she was doing to be unable to respond properly to comments on Facebook. After about 30 seconds it became clear. She was responding only to the e-mail notices Facebook sent her. She wasn’t actually going to www.facebook.com. That was easy. I had her opt out of those notifying e-mails and walked her through facebook again. She had a lot of wall messages to respond to and I helped her upload an album of old photos. It was so cool to the perma-grin she had on as she heard from family and friends and looked at these pictures. I know I complained a lot but this is cool. I feel like I’ve almost given her something.

Dad made Contidina Misto for dinner and it was so good! He said he’d write the recipe before I leave and I’ll share it here. Be warned though; Dad’s recipes play fast and loose with exact details. I like specific amounts, times, temperatures, etc. and he’s just a bit more vague than that. But man can he cook.

And he thwarted my efforts again with that darned bread/rice pudding of his! I've never been able to stop at a single serving . . .

I suppose I should sign off for the night. I’m bushed and I still want to hang on the phone with my man for awhile.

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