It’s W all over again: Winter Weekend

It’s back!

After a hiatus of more than two months, it is time once again to focus on thankfulness. Instead of counting blessings, I’m challenging myself to come up with them alphabetically.  (You can find the rest of the posts in this series here.)

One post wasn’t enough for the letter W when I owe you a wrap-up of a wonderful winter weekend.

I love my husband and kids, but sometimes I simply need to run away.  That’s how I spent Valentine’s Day weekend this year. I forgot to give advance notice that I was leaving a day earlier than originally planned, so there was a surprised look on SuperDad’s face when I told him Thursday night at supper that I’d be leaving the following afternoon.

The first leg of the journey was the 5 hour trek over the mountain pass to my brother’s house.  By leaving one day early, I had plenty of time to spend with his family. I hadn’t seen them since the Lovebirds got married; eighteen months is really too long!
I was too busy spending time with family to take picutres, but here is one from one of my rest stops along the way:

W is for…

DSCN2708, Slippery when wet, resized for web sharing

Waiting in line to "surrender the booty" and pay at Shipwreck Beads

Waiting in line to “surrender the booty” and pay at Shipwreck Beads

On Saturday afternoon, I headed south to spend time with my “sister from another mister” and of course, I had to also shop for beads.

My SFAM & I met at church and for several weeks wondered where we had seen each other before… it turns out we’d never met — it just FELT like we knew each other already.
Staying at her house also feels like being at home. On Sunday morning, we got up and went to church together. I hadn’t been back to visit since we moved away in July of 2007, so it was fun to surprise people.

But who stands still on such a weekend?

DSCN2718It was time to rush north to Seattle and attend a writing workshop!  This really deserves its own post [soon!] but here is a picture of me with a friend from Virginia — one of the women who co-led the workshop! She had e-mailed me the month prior to let me know about it (not knowing it took place 6 hours from my house) but hey, if you travel 3,000 miles, I might just travel 300 miles to see you. 🙂

As the rain spit and the wind blew, I drove across Lake Washington to see yet another friend. Some of you might recognize this wonDERFul woman…

Mrs. G. shows off my car magnet (license plate is only wishful thinking on my part)

Mrs. G. shows off my car magnet (license plate is only wishful thinking on my part)

Cat art and other pictures (including Gus and Chewie) will have to wait for another post.

They don't look too bad to me!

They don’t look too bad to me!

It took me 8 hours to cross back over the  mountain pass on the way home, reminding me why I have always avoided cross-state treks in the winter.

Time Warp Tuesday: Scholar

There's a reason we call him Humorous-Juniorous.

Photo taken in March of 2008.  There’s a reason we call him Humorous-Juniorous.

senior picture

H-J’s senior picture

Say hello to a National Merit Scholarship finalist.

H-J, however, doesn’t see himself as different from the rest of the kids at school who go to class, do their homework, and try their best.  He’s pretty sure that he isn’t any “better” than many of his classmates.

All of these awards make him a little bit uncomfortable.

But sometimes a mama needs to brag about her kind, smart, funny kid — and this is one of those times. 

He loves to learn and has applied to nine different universities, stretching from coast to coast.  He hasn’t visited a single one of those colleges.  His final decision will be based upon financial aid packages and variety of programs offered by the school.

Now we wait for Spring and the letters of acceptance.

 

A couple of things (or, why I’ve been AWOL recently)

DSCN2706, cropped owie fingerApparently, I like to keep my activities in the form of binges. For example:

Work. After using my brain on a computer much of the day, I tend to use the computer for entertainment at home — hence the facebook time-suck vortex.  If you know me there, you know about my little incident with hand-washing a sharp knife on Monday. Typing was a challenging activity for a few days (my bandage is smaller now).

Books. We’ve been reunited, and it feels so good! Good ol’ paper & ink from the library.  I’ve swallowed 2 of them nearly whole in the past week. (Books — big, fat books, not libraries!)
I have another book to read before next Thursday: Richard Rohr’s Falling Upward.

Tendinitis, a.k.a., all of the things I’m not doing.  I think I’ve reached the 4 month point of pain in my arm. It’s getting very, very old. It’s also gotten worse, so I had to call the doctor back (I went in 2 weeks ago, but the stronger anti-inflamatories aren’t helping) and get something else done to fix this problem. In my spare time, because [you know] work. Soon I’ll be adding physical therapy appointments to my schedule.

Escape. I’m making a break, driving over the pass, and making a whirlwind weekend of it on the “wet side” of the state. My time will involve visiting my SIL, my “sister from another mister” and the incredible Mrs. G.  I’ve also got a little shopping expedition planned before attending a writing workshop. I may be living with pain but that doesn’t mean I should stay home and cry!

And then there’s this:

STUPID CANCER

The father of some old friends has been struck with the big C.  Their dad has been given 3-6 months, maybe a little more if he responds to treatment.  

It’s been 3 years since my mother died after being given the same prognosis (well, she refused to hear her own prognosis, but my siblings and I understood the news).

It’s been just over a year since we said goodbye to a wonderful man here in Spokalulu.

Cancer sucks. 

Chinook

I took this picture on Monday afternoon when it stopped snowing.

DSCN2701 tips and tails, RESIZED for web sharing

You are looking at the cumulative effect of 4 fresh inches of powder on top of a snow that gathered via light dustings and a half-inch here and there during a week or two of freezing cold (and mostly dry) weather.  The thick white powder made everything look freshly beautiful.

The eaves began dripping on Tuesday afternoon, such a strange sound after temperatures well below zero for more than a week.  By midnight, it sounded like a heavy rain was coming down as the heavy wet snow was rapidly melting off the roof, rushing down the gutters to the ground wherever it could escape. But there was only a light rain. A warm wind — a Chinook — was blowing. I lay in bed awake until well past 3am (that’s another story) listening to the lullaby of the dancing tree limbs and wind chimes.

We woke to brilliant warm sunshine. The Chinook ceased to blow around lunchtime today, leaving giant puddles and rushing rivers of water on every street. Drivers donned sunglasses, switched off their heated defrost mode and opened up the vents to let in the fresh air into their vehicles.

From Saturday’s roadways of compact snow and ice to the additional lovely deep layer of powder on Monday evening, from the thick slush on residential streets at 11am to only a few puddles and patches of slush at 4pm today, Winter has evolved at a fantastic rate in less than a week.

Tomorrow is Thursday, February 13th — we are not quite halfway through the final month of winter. Who knows what the weekend will bring!