Saturday, June 26, 2010

Reflections on a Wave Pool

Today I took my girls to White Water Bay, the local aquatic amusement park. It was Girl Scout Day, so we got in on a good group rate, and it gave us the chance to use the ridiculously expensive (but cheaply refilled) souvenir cup that we had picked up at its partner non-aquatic amusement park during Girl Scout day at Frontier City. I have now brought the price of a drink down to five dollars per mega cup. Aye, yi, yi.

Anyway, as the girls are now old enough and good enough swimmers to let out of arm's reach, I spent a lot of time at the edge of the pool, watching and reflecting on many, many things.

I watched many people with their small children and babies, seeing them play in the water for perhaps the first time, with the glee that babies and small children exude (when they're well-fed and not tired.) Then there were my girls who are at that, "see you later, Mom!" stage. Practically ready to move away, it feels like sometimes. Where did time go? And I must say, wherever it went, it has certainly taken my get-up-and-go with it.

You know, it's been 20 years or more since I went down one of those water slides, but I went today. I even enjoyed them. What I didn't enjoy was the five million stairs that lead up to them. After I went once down each slide, I was content to wait on a lounge chair as Maggie and Gracie raced up those stairs again and again. I just watched and remembered and wondered how time flew by so quickly. And I'm afraid it only gets faster from here.

P.S. to Jerry: Até mais, meu amor!

Monday, June 21, 2010


Our family of four recently returned from a week at Family Camp in the Ozarks with my dad, stepmom and my sister and her family. While we were there my cellphone didn't work, and my laptop had no internet. Amazingly, the world did not end. I had taken my laptop with me to perhaps steal a few moments to scrapbook, but I only got it out to download pictures off the cameras - the rest of the days were full of activities.

Our week was spent at Shepherd of the Ozarks, or SOTO for short. Here's some highlights:

Jerry's first activity was the Cliffhanger - a 50 or so foot high swing that shoots you out over the edge of the cliff for a nice, long look down at the valley below:

A lot of our time was spent in the creek - it was cold and clear. We caught lots of minnows, a crawdad or two, and saw tons of fish, a four-foot long snake, and an alligator snapping turtle!

Here's Gracie getting ready to take a plunge off the cliff:

One day Nana watched all the grandkids and everyone else headed out for a canoe/kayak trip down the Buffalo River. We had a good time, stopping every time we needed to cool off to take a dip in the river and skip stones. Here are Jerry and I getting ready to set out.

Our evenings were full of activities - game night, talent show night, campfire and communion night, and (my favorite) dancing night. Here's Gracie, Nana, Granddad and I doing our best on a square dance:

Maggie's favorite thing for the week was the horseback trail ride. It was a long, hot ride, but the girls loved it. Gracie rode Lucky, and Maggie's horse was named Gee. I got a horse named Ruby, and as soon as I got on her, she got all itchy and decided to rub up against the fence to remedy her situation. Unfortunately, my leg was between her and the fence, so I got a bruised leg to go with the sore backside I knew would result from the ride. Nothing an ice-pack and rest wouldn't heal.

The next day was an off-site trip to Blanchard Springs caverns. Maggie wasn't interested in seeing a cave, so I stayed at our lodge with her and my niece, Carissa, and we went to the petting zoo and swimming in the creek while Jerry, Gracie and the rest of the gang went to the caverns.

Each night before dinner there were pony rides on a pony named Milkshake for the kids, and this little horse, Casper, pulled a little wagon. Here are Gracie and Will getting a ride:
The last morning before we left Dad and I hiked up to Indian Bluff Trail, where there was a nice lookout over the camp. Here's the view:

We all had a really good time, and the girls got some great cousin play time - they were a fearsome foursome:

We all had a great time though. Here's the parting family shot:
And now, I suppose it's time to plug back in. Maybe.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

My Sweet Boo

Born around 1992
Became my cat in Fall 1994
Died June 10, 2010

Today I am grieving the loss of my pet, Boo. When I got out on my own I decided to get a cat. I found an ad in the paper for a cat that had already been spayed and declawed, whose owners had developed allergies that was in the same town as I, so I went to meet her. We got along okay, so I took her home.

In the following years we would have many adventures together. Since we were apartment dwellers, I had a chest harness and leash that I would sometimes put on Boo and take her down to the grassy area in my complex. Once she was out on the porch with me while I stained furniture, her leash securely tied to the railing so she couldn't wander off. She decided to try and jump from the porch to the stairwell and ended up swinging through the air on her harness, a very surprised look on her face.

Another time she decided that my neighbor's balcony looked more inviting than mine, so she jumped over. The problem was that his balcony was lower than mine, so she couldn't jump back. Unfortunately, he was a pilot for American Airlines, and had left for several days on one of his routes. The apartment management company's handyman shimmied up the balcony post and rescued her.

Boo traveled with me to Houston, where Jerry and his cat blended our households together, and then from there to DFW, where we added our girls to the mix. When we brought Maggie home from the hospital Boo was very curious, but when Maggie began crying in her crib, Boo was downright distraught. She paced back and forth in front of the crib, meowing pitifully, as if to ask, "Why aren't you helping that poor baby?!" Eventually she got used to the kids, keeping out of reach of pulling hands.

Boo made the move with us to New Mexico, and then to Oklahoma, so she was a fairly well-traveled cat. The past few years we had seen a decline in her health, dropping from her usual six-pound weight to a mere four pounds. She began to have trouble hearing, and other maladies that accompany feline old age. Recently though, she developed a bony tumor in her jaw that the vet said was causing her pain and couldn't be fixed. Eventually we knew it was time, so yesterday, after more than fifteen years of faithful companionship, we said good-bye. It was one of the hardest things I've ever done. I miss her very much, and will always cherish her memory.

I love you, Boo.

Last Day of School

The last day of school finally got here - much to the relief of Gracie and to the dismay of Maggie, although once it got here, she seemed very pleased with summer vacation.

I noticed that the outfit that Maggie selected for the last day of school was the same outfit she had picked out for the first day of school, so I had to grab the camera - take a peek:

First DayLast Day

They just keep on growin'. (Sigh. . .)