Mom’s Getting Better…

After an incredible Thanksgiving visit in Grass Valley we headed back down to Grammy and Papa’s house in Alamo with zero leftovers.  Although we had only planned to be there for a few days, we had a very large task list to tackle to effectively redeploy our lives to Maryland.  Flight’s folks were kind enough to offer us a corner of their garage to store anything we’d prefer not to keep in Davista for the months we’d be parking her (and the Subaru) while we overwintered in Maryland.

My heart grew heavier as we methodically progressed through our storage compartments and packed numerous boxes to send back to Davidsonville or store in Alamo.  That process was wholly deflating as it felt as though we were deconstructing everything we spent the last few months joyfully building.  My rather dramatic inner 5-year old was back now and keening a full Scottish lament.  As we were out of pie, I was glad to tee up some fun distractions for her in the interim.  And those also kept the kids entertained.

We helped Grammy and Papa decorate their house for Christmas, which made me eager to prepare our own house for the holidays.  Firebolt gladly assisted Grammy in making some candy cane brownies.


And WoodSprite may or may not have enjoyed some hot chocolate…


There was a local skating rink that had just opened and we planned to meet our niece and nephew there to take a few turns on the ice.  My inner 5-year old paused in her woeful lament and gave thanks for Flight’s being on a trip.  One of my most (and least) favorite things about Flight is that he is a gifted athlete, which means he picks up new skills at ludicrous speed.  Far faster really than anyone has the right to and, while waltzing may elude him, skating appears to be one of his innate capabilities.  So not fair.

Nearly two decades before, I had visited Flight in The Netherlands where he was on duty as an exchange pilot with the Dutch Navy.  He mentioned that one of the nearby towns had created a skating area on one of the canals and suggested we check it out.  He admitted, “I’ve never been ice skating before – this should be fun.”  My less-than-gracious inner 5-year old gleefully delighted in the opportunity to see him fall on his caboose.  Really, can he please just suck at something?!

Growing up I spent ample time braving the bitter Chicago winter weather to learn to make my gangly way across the uneven neighborhood outdoor skating rink the Evanston Park District flooded every year and was sure I had the upper hand in our outing.  Did Flight favor me with a fall?  Nope.  Not once.  Not only did he easily make his way around the rink, after observing what skills others were performing, he started doing cross-over skating too.  Seriously?  Yep.

Fast forward to Alamo.  Lacing up my skates brought to mind plenty of childhood bruises to knees, elbows, and ego as I sorted out how to stay upright on ice skates.  I was hoping some of that long-buried and hard-earned knowhow would surface once I stepped out on the ice.


As I did, I couldn’t help but hear one of our family’s common observations echoing in my head…

We got a Wii when Keeper was two years old.  Clearly his father’s son in the coordination department, Keeper was able to easily (and most intuitively) play any of the games we collected and started racking up high scores.  His favorite (and perhaps my most challenging) was Super MarioKart, which involves racing through the most seemingly drug-induced lands.  The subtle control of one’s racing car is an elusive skill for someone like me who tends to manage the temperature in the car by alternating between 84oF and 62oF, constantly overshooting and never arriving at the ideal.

Calling it like he saw it, Keeper would observe, “Mom, you’re not very good at this…”  I let him know that, as accurate as his assessment might be, I would appreciate it if he would be a little more encouraging.  From then on out he offered this supportive commentary: “Dad, you’re really great at MarioKart.  Mom’s… Mom’s getting better…”


A far cry from Nancy Kerrigan, but at least I didn’t eat it…

The kids had a blast with their cousins…

Not only did my ice-skating skills leave plenty to be desired, but I was really struggling with hitting pause on our journey this soon into our travels.  My inner 5-year old was approaching a tantrum, and, in gaining steam, offered up plenty of rhetorical questions  in rapid fire succession, all in the same vein.  Why didn’t our house stinkin’ sell?!  Why were we told it would go like hotcakes?! Why was our only reasonable offer from an alleged felon?! Why couldn’t we just continue to travel?! Why do I have to be a grown up and go back to Maryland to tend to the very adult needs associated with selling our house?  How many house projects do I need to tackle for the next owners?  No matter how I tried (and truthfully it wasn’t a particularly earnest effort), I couldn’t want to go back to Maryland.  I couldn’t even muster much enthusiasm for going to our next National Park on the way to park Davista in Seal Beach.

This being an adult business stinks, but at least I’m getting better

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