My blog, like my garage (and my closets, and my email, and, and...), is much neglected these days. There are only so many hours, that is to say, not enough, so I get to this when I can. Sadly, lately that is only when I'm sick.
Well, at least there's something good to come from being sick.
In June, because of the accident, we decided not to leave on our planned vacation to the Grand Canyon. We just didn't feel right about leaving Ethan to cope with the loss of his friends alone. It was good that we stayed. We were able to go to the memorial services for both boys, and to participate in some lovely remembrances with their kind families and the tender family of the boy that survived. The friendships that have developed from this tragedy are sweet tributes to those boys.
We did decide to take a few days amidst all of the heaviness to whisk the kids away to Southern California to visit Guy's family and go to (shhhh!) Disneyland, which we kept secret from the kids until just before leaving. It was a last minute decision, but we used the money from the planned Grand Canyon trip, and frankly I think the kids enjoyed it more than they would have if we had gone to the Canyon, anyway. I guess the Grand Canyon has been there a while, it will probably wait for us until next year. Probably.
As we headed south through Pasadena, we stopped at the Chalk Festival, or the aftermath of it, really, as the festival itself had been the day before. But we were still able to see the artwork, mostly undamaged. There were a few pieces that had been intentionally damaged in the night (by culture-less cretins on bicycles!), which was sad. I lose a little of my faith in humanity each time I see a footprint or tire tread on art!
We didn't stay too long, as it was 112 degrees at 6pm that day, and on the griddle-like sidewalk in the plaza where the chalk was, it was more like 120. We roasted as we looked at the artwork. The kids each found one or two images that they loved...
and so did I...
There were some images that were elaborate and large, and a few which were barely begun. I wondered if the heat had gotten to a few of the artists, or if intimidation at the skill of a neighboring artists had chased a few away.
I was left to ponder about the people who had created these masterpieces that were only meant to last a day, and to have done so out of simple chalk. I tried to picture them all over the plaza, on their knees, drawing away in the ravages of the midday heat, all for the sake of ART!
(Faith in humanity restored!!!)
There are so many talented people in the world!
We were sweltering by the time we got back to the van, and the AC was such a bless-ed relief. How the pioneers made it across the plains in summer I'll never know, and I didn't have 12 yards of fabric hanging from me!
We headed for Guy's folk's house, but intercepted the Fish Fire in Duarte on our way, which was raging. The traffic slowed and we unfortunately had far too much time to watch the fire creep down the hillside toward the homes not far away. At the time, the fire had grown from 2,000 acres to 3,000 in just 5 hours, and would consume close 6,000 acres before it was contained weeks later.
We watched the precision of the pilots who dropped water and flame retardant on the flames and in the fire's path. We were rooting for them, and I felt the weight of their responsibility, and the worry of their loved ones as they battled the flames. We talked about the firefighters on the ground that we could not see, and I quietly prayed for them, and for the folks whose homes lay in the path of the fast moving inferno.
(these photos show how close we came to the actual fire, just across the freeway)
Finally, we arrived to visit Guy's parents for a little while. His mom doesn't do well with long visits and lots of little kids (and we have lots), so we kept it short and sweet, and then headed to Guy's sister, Kahri's house. Kahri and Bob are always so good to us, and we have a ball joking and visiting with them. Kahri plays doting auntie and The Littles soak it up.
Aunt Kahri has a room full of toys from her earlier mommy days, and even a cool teepee.
It was the perfect place for The Littles to snuggle and wait for sleep to come. But it's very hard to sleep when you know you are going to Disneyland in the morning!!!
(To be continued...!)