So maybe I wasn’t realistic when I stated that I would blog once a week. I just can’t seem to find the time to blog more than once or twice a month, apparently. Maybe, hopefully, I can blog more often this summer. It’s good to have goals, anyway.
Speaking of summer, it seems to be getting a little nearer. Although I am a lousy predictor of the weather, because it has snowed several times since I last blogged over three weeks ago. A time or two we received 8-12 inches, incredibly. Which is so depressing when we thought spring was on the way. But now, it does indeed seem to be nearer. Our entire driveway is visible, although the front and back yards are still covered with thick white blankets.
Here some highlights of the last few weeks. We attended various school functions – a spirited performance of You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown, an entertaining three-on-three volleyball tournament, an energetic dodgeball tournament (why that “sport” is still legal is a mystery to me), 8th Grade Moving Up Night (Sarah will be a Freshman next year), and Kate’s spring choir concert (they ended with “The Boogie Woogie Choo Choo”).
We also survived an aggressive stomach virus that swept through the community. Our family escaped unscathed, except for poor Kate, who managed to pick it up and was knocked out for a weekend. But I got a new steam-cleaning vacuum cleaner out of the experience. You can guess why.
One of the most eventful recent experiences for me was the weekend before last, when I traveled to Nebraska for my Grandma’s 103rd birthday. I hadn’t seen her in over four years, and I wanted to attend her birthday celebration. She keeps surprising everyone by having yet another birthday, but I didn’t want to take any chances and miss this milestone.
I arranged to meet my sister and her family in Denver and then took the five-hour drive with them to the small Nebraska town where my Grandma now resides. Thankfully my seven-year-old and almost five-year-old (as he gleefully pointed out) nephews were entertaining, because the drive was not. That drive should be in the Guinness Book of World Records, it would have to be a top contender for the Most Boring, Non-Scenic Drive Ever. The highlights of that drive include passing through a tiny Colorado town called Brush and driving past, as quickly as speed limits allow, a few less-than-pleasant-smelling feedlots. This brought back memories of summertime childhood car trips from Texas to Nebraska. We always hated driving through Kansas because of all the feed lots. There is just no escaping that smell.
Once we reached our Nebraska destination, the thriving metropolis of Mc Cook, we checked into our hotel. Which I will not name here, but seemed to be popular with camouflaged hunters wanting 3 am wake up calls and girls’ softball teams.
At this unnamed hotel I made the grave error of trying to use the exercise equipment. Clearly they purchased a treadmill and exercise bike from the Richard Simmons era, and no one has used them since. When I asked the girl at the desk how to operate the treadmill, she said she had no idea, she had never used it. And, I would hazard a guess, neither had anyone else who worked there. But aside from that the hotel was clean, inexpensive, and close to Walmart. So who can complain?
The next day we went out to my Grandma’s farm, where she lived most of her life. My uncle and aunt live there now and had agreed to host her birthday celebration. So many friends, relatives and neighbors turned up to celebrate her big day, it was amazing.
Here are a few pictures I took while driving back to McCook from the farm. The Nebraska countryside hasn’t changed at all since my childhood visits.
And here’s a shot of my dad, trying to hit a far-off target. Which he did, by the way.
It was so great to see Grandma, to converse with her a little bit (I do think she knew who I was) and to visit with my sister and her family, and to catch up with aunts, uncles, cousins, my parents, and other friends and family that I hadn’t seen in years. I wish my entire family could have been there too, but it was such a quick trip that I just went by myself. I’m thankful for the experience.
Here’s my last Nebraska photo, snapped by my humorous sister. Which is proof that we were close to Walmart.