Monday, June 29, 2009

Treading Water

Many of you may be wondering if this Blog is still active - that's a good question.

Last week some things rocked my world - tragic accidents, loss of people who shaped much of my childhood, a friend losing her husband in a car accident, big changes at work.

So I wrote nothing.

And I went sailing.

I spent the weekend lazing about in the Bay, talking about life, getting a little too much sun, and drinking champagne. It was so perfect.

And now I am contemplating lots of things, not the least of which is, "Do I have time for this blog?"

My Blog friends have been an amazing source of support, entertainment, comfort and encouragement over the last 14 months. At the moment I am overwhelmed with work, life, and contemplations to put it out there in the blog. Plus, knowing Ken reads this, sometimes I am not ready to share my personal thoughts with him. He insists on trespassing in my life. I could make this blog private, but choose not to do that either.

So my faithful bloggy buddies, for the moment I am not sure where this is going. And I miss reading all your blogs, too. Truth be told, I just haven't had time.

Thanks to all for your concern, your emails, your support. I hope to post some this coming weekend when I am looking forward to a little "ME" time.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Fascinated by Blood and Gore

Back from vacation but that will have to wait.

Yesterday tragedy struck in D.C. I was fortunate not to be involved. Thus far it appears none of my family or friends were involved. The morning commute has been crippled as fire, police, city and Metro officials try to sort out the disaster and try to figure out what caused the worst accident in Metro's 33 year history.

So much we take for granted. I used to ride that red line every day. Once the kids started driving to school, I stopped taking metro and instead let them practice driving to school then continued on my way with the car to work. I had decided that in the fall, I would go back to metro, having the kids drop me off as they pass on their way to school. Metro is fast, less expensive than driving and parking at work, "green," and normally, predictable. Yesterday changed all that.

But what irks me the most? People. Blood thirsty, gore-fascinated people. Rubberneckers. Gawkers. I almost ran a few over last night in my annoyance.

Last night I left work a little early to get to my summer soccer game. I am managing the team this summer and so have to pay refs and get people organized. I figured it would be good to arrive at least 5 minutes early rather than the quick slide into the game we usually do.

As I approached an overpass, I noticed helicopters circling overhead. 3 or 4 firetrucks had zoomed past. Police cars were coming from all directions. Clearly something bad was happening up ahead.

Then came the media trucks, zooming around everyone like they were entitled to. I noticed the Crowd, the Commoners, and pedestrians all abandoning their cars on the overpass and the surrounding areas so that they could rush to the side of the bridge with their cell phone cameras to have a look and get a photo. WTF.

I still didn't know what had happened. I had the news on but nothing had come over yet. Then an alert came in on the blackberry about a Metro train crash. And it dawned on me that the majority of the people creating a traffic jam on the overpass, impeding the progress of the myriad of rescue vehicles who might actually be able to help the people trapped below, were simply rubberneckers trying to get a view of the gore.

I was and obviously still am appalled. If I thought I could help, I would have stopped to help. But I realized my car would only add to the mess, keeping more fire trucks and rescue vehicles from getting to the scene of the accident. Instead I tried to keep an eye out for approaching rescue trucks to let them pass while trying to vacate the area and reduce congestion.

Now I understand why police directing traffic around an accident get so annoyed.

The latest count is 7 dead (down from the 9 originally thought) and 2 in critical condition, 72 taken to the hospital. I prayed for the families involved, for the people injured and for those who experienced the trauma of the accident. And I prayed for wisdom for the stupid people who didn't know enough to stop gawking and get out of the way.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

And They are Off

A certain Daughter was ready to go more than a week ahead of time. Here's the list she made and checked off. She is so organized! Now Son? He was still deciding what to wear as we were getting in the car for the airport.... (well not really but almost)

I have not seen two teenagers so excited in a very long time. Even the airport in Madrid required us to stop, enjoy the scenery and take some photos. I will say that the Madrid airport has changed a LOT in 12 years. The architecture is pretty awesome. So Son started his Picasso thing and started with photos of the airport...The beams change color as you go down the airport. It was very cool. And the ceiling has a unique wave to it.

We took a cab to our hotel, then I took the metro back to the airport to get a bag we forgot (ok maybe somebody packed too much stuff), and then finally? We went sight seeing. Everywhere we went the kids were so excited. Every experience was/is so new! While I went back to the airport, they walked over to the Retiro Park alone. They immediately encountered other Spanish students who wanted to talk to them in English. Then some Asian folks came up and said, "Hi How are you" in very heavily accented English. The kids thought it was funny that people could pick them out as Americans. Um DUH You have blonde hair, blue eyes and flip flops. It's a Dead Give Away....

The Plaza Mayor in Madrid - I took this same photo of the kids' Grandparents about 13 years ago. A strange De Ja Vu moment....

Plaza Mayor is filled with Disney Characters who make balloons and want your money. Or want your Daughter. Everywhere we went, men and boys made eyes at Daughter. Hell one just went up to her and told her she was the love of his life. Imagine his surprise when I came up behind him and said (in Spanish) "I am the MOTHER...." So when Pooh started making eyes at Daughter, Son decided to attack back with a big Hug. It was hilarious.

We also took a tour the the Royal Palace in Madrid. The tour is about an hour shorter than 12 years ago - now you only get to see the main floor, not the bedrooms and the crypt. But still? It was amazing. The best part? The kids enjoying every minute. When I thought about this trip all year, before I ever knew if I could pull it off, I thought about what the kids would enjoy. I really wasn't sure - I figured they'd love the food and some of the sights and definitely going to see old friends. But beyond that? I wasn't sure. But my kids have amazed me. They oohed and awed at every little thing. They totally absorbed every thing the tour guide said in the palace. We spent a lot of time looking at every jar in the pharmacy, every sword in the armory. They keep saying, "This is so awesome!"
And as I was walking down the street emailing their Dad to let him know we were ok, I almost emailed him, "Wish you were here." Because in truth? I had hoped that we would be friends by now. I thought about how much he would enjoy watching his kids rediscover Spain. And I am sorry for him and for them that I am the only one who gets to experience this with them. But that? Is not my fault.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Random Thoughts for While I Am Away

The saturday before leaving on the Big Vaca, daughter had her soccer party. These are mostly high school Juniors - alas one senior who is leaving the girls after many years (the league is by age). The senior was co-captain. Her co-captain wrote her a poem and read it to the team. It was short and cute and I wish I could remember it all, but I do remember bits.. "you're the salt to my're the filling in my pie." it was totally adorable about how they rounded each other out as Captains.

And Daughter? Is one of the new Captains for this, their FareWell Year (it is a traveling club team, not the school team).

Monday, June 8, 2009

Adios Amigos

Sunday night 12:12 a.m. Or Is This Monday?
  • Garmin updated with Spanish Maps? CHECK
  • Checked in to flights? CHECK
  • Kids packed? Check - more or less
  • Mom Packed? Check sort of
  • Lawn mower while we are away arranged? CHECK
  • Mail stopped? CHECK
  • Flower waterer hired? CHECK
  • Global cell phones activated? CHECK
  • Hotels and Car Booked? CHECKED FINALLY!!!! (last night 3 a.m.)
  • etc etc etc? Mostly checked.

We still have some errands to run tomorrow. And I'd like to finish editing a brief tonight. What's that you say, it's after midnight? Well no, it's after 6am where we're going, time to get up and start a new day!

Oh and my last soccer game of the season? Killer! We won with no major injuries, just a scraped up ankle. And an awesome Assist. Nice way to end a season.

On my list of Things To Do Tomorrow? Get the team signed up for the Summer Session. First game? The day after I get back.....

So No Blogging for a while bloggy friends - off to Spain for 2 weeks! Woot!

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Did Anyone Notice My Awesome Shrubs?

No No No not the pretty girl with the adorable doggies, look behind her. What do you see?
Well, to appreciate what you see, you could go find out the history of when they were merely sticks..AKA The Big Lawn Project in 102 degrees on July 4th....
If that's too much, just look below. That's what they looked like less than 2 years go.

Yeah, I'm proud of my pretty pink bushes! And yes, if you cut azaleas back to the sticks, they WILL grow back beautifully!

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Gutsy Deer

Apparently I live in the woods, not 8 miles outside of Washington DC in a 40+ Year Old neighborhood. And Dogs? What about them? Apparently deer eat dogs? Or are otherwise not afraid.
yes this was taken from my home office window, where the deer lay about 50 feet away. gorgeous. And now? I have to go out and reapply "Deer Away" to my hosta before they are All Gone Again.