Friday, September 4, 2009

Life in My World--The End of Summer

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photo courtesy of Alyson Keeley

One night this week we went to some friends for supper. Linda mixed two packets of Au ju, water and sliced onions in a pan and brought it to a boil, then she added deli-sliced roast beef and served it on toasted buns. It was a quick, easy and good supper. Then they gave Ande the keys to their old blue Chrysler . . . for free. Ande was given a blue, 1987 Oldsmobile a couple of years ago, but twenty-two car years is like one-hundred people years and it died this summer. Knowing Ande was going back to college next week carless, Travis and Linda gave her their old, blue car. Linda kept telling Ande that Ande was doing her the favor by getting it out of the garage, but the truth is it was kind and generous and a great blessing. And, it's only like 85 people-years old.

The night before school I put all the leftovers on the cupboard for supper—shredded beef for burritos, manicotti, chips, mashed potatoes and gravy. It was quite an assortment, but it just wasn't winning Calvin over so in desperation I pulled out eggs. Still no good, even when I promised to scramble them with chilis. I suggested Woody’s (a local landmark drive-in that serves fry sauce) and that offer was immediately taken. So we went to town. We even talked Calvin into eating under the sunbrellas on the picnic tables. It wasn't too hot, it wasn't too cold and the asphalt had that warm summer smell to it. It was a fun way to close out the summer, I think we started a tradition.

One morning Cali, Grace, Ande and I went walking. We hadn't ever had all four of us on the same walk yet. The road is plenty wide and so was the conversation. Everyone shared something new they had learned this year and then Cali and Grace told us what they thought the easiest thing was about marriage and what the hardest thing was. The conversation spawned several topics and it just felt good to walk in the early morning with all of us. We stopped and talked to a neighbor for a few minutes and then walked over to the chocolate factory. (Though we live in the country, two good friends dip their chocolates in a little-house-converted-to-a-candy-kitchen just a mile or so from us.) As we walked I thought, "This is one of those moments you never forget. It is one of those memories that truly can not be improved upon." It. was. perfect. and completely ordinary.

I’m glad it’s Labor Day weekend. I have the goal to make a plan for Labor Day before I die. We always use it as a catch-up day or a do-whatever-we're-supposed-to-do-that-day day (like go to Parent's Weekend at Air Force, Ring Weekend at West Point, etc.), but we've never said, "Hey, it's Labor Day, whaddayasay we celebrate we're good workers and go do __________."

Do you celebrate Labor Day?
Did you have a moment that couldn't be improved upon this week?
If you would have had to pick out of our leftover pile what would you have chosen? (Be honest. I can take it. You'd have chosen Woody's, too, wouldn't you?)
Have you been given or given a gift that really helped this week?

15 comments:

Lucy said...

Is it odd that I read about your life and suddenly wish my children were in college and getting married and having those moments? Because, then do seem perfect. I love that you share them.

Then, I smile as I sweep sand out of the living room (again) and change a poopy diaper (again) and pick kids up from scouts/football/soccer/school.

I enjoy this stage and already think my kids are growing up too fast but, someday, I hope my end of summer is exactly like the one you described.

Marie said...

I love those ordinary moments that really are the perfect memories. I can just see you and your girls walking down the road on a late summer's morning...lovely.

I'm looking forward to Labour Day too. It is the last day that any of the 'summer' attractions around here are open, so I really want to try to hit the outdoor pool one last time.

Kathy said...

Just that title makes me nostalgic. I don't want to see summer end. I could us a good two more weeks of it. I love all the ordinary moments I have with my family. Since I have a hard time spelling and make lots of typo's my son sent me an email with every word misspelled and it really made me laugh! (ewe for you, that kind of stuff...) My children and grand children are my greatest gifts.

Tiffany Fackrell said...

I can honestly say that I have never eaten actual food at woody's. My grandma would always take us to get italian ice's after we pulled weeds for her all day...oh man I want one SO BAD now!! I haven't had one in years, have you had them? they are divine!!!

I would have chosen the manicotti and the mashed potatoes and gravy, YUMMY!! We did leftovers tonight too...and I am not sure if David actually ate...but I decided he is a big boy and if he was hungry enough he would have found something, HA!! (does that make me a bad wife? I hope not)!

Becky said...

I love Lucy's comment.

So often when I read your blog lately the main thought I have is that Grace has the best mother-in-law ever! She is truly blessed :)

The shredded beef sounded good to me but eating out without little kids sounds great too!

We like to go camping over Labor Day weekend but didn't this year because of the 2-month-old baby...instead, Jeff is in Texas at his parents' home doing work for them around the house.

Thanks for a post that made me smile!

Lori said...

I love everything about your stories. Travis and Linda are two WONDERFUL people, but I'm sure they were just paying back the many kindnesses your family has given them. The walk and the chocolates sound delicious.

Samantha said...

I loved this post too.

I want to know what Cali and Grace said were the easiest parts of marriage and the hardest parts.

Ande Payne said...

I love life in your world.

Whidget said...

I love your "moment that can't be improved upon." You're following Conference directions and living for the now, too.

Mine for this week is probably playing hide and seek with Eli. He loves to yell Boo and "surprise" me. Dora loves to see us both laughing, so it was the only time this week both my angels were laughing at the same time. They grow up so fast.

Bridget

Jill said...

Hooray for Ande's "new" blue car! What a generous thing for your friends to do.

All of those leftover choices sound good to me, so I think Calvin may be a little spoiled with all the good food you've got going on at your house. Of course, fry sauce does have a strong pull.

The morning walk with your girls sounds wonderful.

Neighbor Jane Payne said...

Lucy, thanks for the comment. I often miss the kids at your kids' ages (in fact I dreamed Ty was a baby last night and I so enjoyed it). But, I am happy to report that life is really good later, too, every bit as good as when they were young. I'm glad my posts give light on the next phase of life...that there is plenty of fun ahead.

deidra said...

Chris and I were just recently trying to figure out the ratio of people years to car years. We couldn't quite pin it down like dog years; we figured cars age exponentially.

I love those too good moments. I've had a few lately where I've thought, "This is just right. A camera wouldn't do it justice (not that I have it with me anyway), but I'll have to remember it." I haven't taken the time to write them down, and those perfect memories are gone.

I would have probably eaten out. We don't have much in our cupboards or fridge (okay, we do. I'm just too lazy to come up with something) except for zucchini and tomatoes. My creativity has run dry and I want to eat out for every meal!

Charlene said...

Yesterday, Sept. 4, was our 38th wedding anniversary. Today is my third daughter's birthday. She who carries our 11th grandchild. This morning at her house, was perfect! Running in from the rain, laughing, singing happy birthday, eating doughnuts (her favorite), hugs all around, watching her children with wide eyes and complete attention listening to me as I remembered when their mother was born 28 years ago today. Oh, the joy. It just keeps getting better. Grandchildren, awesome!

michelle said...

I just love the image of you all on your walk, talking about marriage, going to the chocolate factory. It does sound perfect. I love your world.

michelle said...

p.s. I would have chosen beef burritos!