Monday, July 1, 2013

Summer Weekend

This past weekend, like most of our lives these days (or so it seems) kind of passed in a blur. But it had its precious moments, and it is in these moments that life is truly felt, savored and remembered.

On Friday night, Mark and I went out to dinner. It was the first time we had been out alone in weeks, and given what is coming down the pike, we knew that this would be our only opportunity to do this for at least a couple of weeks.

We went to Market Street Grill in Cottonwood Heights - the first time I have been there. Mark was looking forward to oysters. I tried one. That was enough. I savored my Maryland Crab Cake.

The first time I had eaten crab cake was in the summer of 1976, the year I graduated from high school. Our Methodist Youth Fellowship took a trip back east to see Gettysburg, Washington, D.C., and Williamsburg. We also spent a couple of days camping on the Maryland shore. It was when we stopped  at a diner in some little town in the eastern party of Maryland that I first had crab cakes, and I've loved them ever since.

Playing pinochle on our Methodist Youth Fellowship trip. I'm at right.

On Saturday morning, I drove to Bountiful to pick up the Quads. On the way back to my house, we made the mandatory stop at Winegars to get donuts. While there, Annie - who had brought along a zip lock bag with some change in it - saw a ball she'd like to buy with her money. I was distracted for a couple of minutes while picking up some items, and didn't really notice what Levi and Annie were doing until I came around a corner and saw Levi down on the floor of the store, counting out Annie's money to make sure there would be enough. There would have been a time when I would have reprimanded him for being down on the floor of the store (germs, etc.), but I simply laughed when I saw him and took a picture.

The kids and I had a pretty laid back day. The temperature was supposed to hit 106, so we decided not to try to go to the pool because we knew it would be jam packed. Instead, they decided they'd like to spend the afternoon in an air-conditioned theatre (a decision which many other people made as well, as the parking lot of the theatre was packed), and we went to see "Man of Steel" (the new Superman movie).  It was a great movie, and it was humorous to listen to Levi's running commentary, e.g., the time when Lois Lane was plummeting toward earth from outer space in a capsule and Levi matter of factly said, "She's going to have a big headache."

A picture of Levi that was actually taken right after our trip to Disneyland. He had come upstairs in the morning, but had then fallen back asleep on the living room couch. I love this picture.

When I dropped out the kids that afternoon, I picked up my daughter Rachel. She and I have recently "reconciled" - a development I did not foresee but which I have welcomed. This process unexpectedly started a few weeks ago, and subsequent events propelled it forward. As I have contemplated what has transpired, I was reminded of the story of the butterfly which one chases, it ever eluding our grasp, but which comes, unexpectedly, to sit on our shoulder once we have given up the chase and waited patiently for it to come to us.

A picture of Rachel and me taken a few weeks ago.

Saturday evening was a big step for Rachel. She would be having dinner at our house and meeting Mark for the first time. It went well. Rachel - an accomplished pianist - had brought along some of her music to play on our keyboard, providing me with the opportunity to hear her play for the first time in 2-1/2 years. It was lovely.

Rachel chatted almost non-stop throughout the course of the evening. I felt like I was becoming reacquainted with her, like she had been out of the country for three years, without means of contact, and had now come home, a changed person. She leaves for California tomorrow. I'm so glad I had this opportunity to spend time with her before she leaves.

We awoke Sunday morning to gusting winds pouring out of the canyons. It provided an opportunity to record the sounds of the new chimes that went up in the linden tree earlier this summer.

That afternoon, Mark's niece (another Rachel) and her husband Philipp and two children arrived from Portland for a few days' visit. (Their son is pictured in the lead photo, offering Mark a bite of his popsicle.) They brought each of Mark and me a gift. Mark is known in his family for his affection for Blue Sapphire gin, so Philipp (who is German) presented us with two bottles of gin and two bags of gummy bears. He first presented me with the large bottle and huge bag of gummys, then presented Mark with the other bottle and bag. Priceless.

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