Sunday, August 29, 2010

Summer 2010, That's a Wrap

I think I may have said this before; the thought of Rachel leaving for college (in just a few days) is bittersweet. Tammy and I are excited for her but it's happening all too quickly.  Many of her friends have already departed so it's unusually quiet around our home. The upside is that we're getting more time with her before she leaves. In fact, the two of us spent the evening at Valley Fair together last night while Tammy was working in the office. We had fun reminiscing about coming to the park when she was younger and even before I was ever in her life. She told me about the time she fell out of one of the bumper boats when she was maybe six years old. I'd heard the story before but I didn't mind hearing it again. We laughed and wondered how that could've happened?

My new favorite ride; the Renegade. Awesome, especially when it's dark and difficult to see the next bend in the track. The Extreme Swing is also a favorite and probably does the best job of taking my breath away.

Our time at the park gave us several hours to talk about all that's happening with her. I was pretty much up to speed already but I always enjoy feeding off her enthusiasm. She was especially excited talking about all the mixers they have planned for the first week of school. She was saying how she's going to put herself out there and get to know as many people as possible. That would be Rachel.

The ice-cream truck made its rounds through the neighborhood the other day and she ran out to meet it. I had to wonder if this would be the last time I'd watch her do this. Most likely.

2-ball screwball for ya, Kev?

I put her car for sale on Craigslist and found a buyer for it in not much time at all. She's sad to see it go and had to come out to meet the people who are buying it so she knows it's going to a good home. She's going to miss her Tank as she refers to it.

Mom continues to make slow improvements and is occasionally driving again when she feels up to it although she's still extremely tired most of the time. She's going in for a procedure for her heart but has to wait until her blood level readings (INR) are more normal. I believe it's some form of angioplasty she's having done but she's not sure. It was nice to see her in church again last Sunday. It hasn't helped her that we're experiencing one of our hottest and most humid summers in what seems many years. It's a struggle for her to venture out into those conditions.

Another orbit completed around the sun for me; that makes 53. I spent my birthday morning with Tammy at Foci Studios in Minneapolis blowing glass with a very talented glassblower named Steve. He offered to help us with our technique and get us on the right track. It was extremely helpful working with him. We hope to be back in the studio again this week after we've got Rachel moved into her apartment in Rochester.

Rachel celebrated a birthday this past week as well. We went to dinner at Osaka Seafood Steakhouse in Apple Valley. The photo to the right is of Rachel and I enjoying a 'happy happy birthday' chorus from the staff which I think may have been accompanied by a boombox. Tammy couldn't resist outing us. It was a fun night.

We made it to the State Fair on Thursday, opening day. The last two years we've picked up the shuttle at the Mall of America where for $5 you can purchase a round-trip. The buses run frequently enough that we've never had to wait more than a few minutes on either end for one. Rachel came with us but only stayed a few hours as we had tickets to see The Bodeans and she didn't. She left us and sat and watched the equestrian show for a while before leaving for home.

Our seats were in the grandstand and the view was fine but Tammy wondered if I was up for moving a little closer? We're still not too old for that. We grabbed a couple beers and mingled with the crowd while steadily making progress toward the front of the stage. Before Big Head Todd and the Monsters finished their set we were in pretty good shape. With a half hour left in The Bodeans performance we'd reached the rail just left of center-stage. My only regret was in not having my Sony Handycam with me. My Panasonic Lumix would have to suffice and it did a nice enough job with the exception of the audio; it's a little weak. I eventually maxed out its memory but still managed to get some decent video to splice together for a YouTube upload.

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