Usually when Alison is away at Flat Rock River Camp, Jeff and I live a bit large. We sample new restaurants and revisit our behavior in days before her arrival. We did find ourselves at an Indians game catching up with Godfather Bob Johnson. It was a wicked fast game, or, as Jeff informed us: there was a game going on while you two were gabbing.
PS: I could talk all night to my favorite Johnson. Hope you didn't really need to follow each play... :)
This year, we dropped $10K on a new furnace and air conditioner. Not because we wanted to. But because after 15 years or so, the bottom-of-the-line HVAC unit we bought just after we moved in finally gave up the ghost.
Getting the new unit had Jeff in the basement for hours moving our years of packed up memories, Christmas decorations, a couple ratty pieces of storage furniture and other bits of stuff you acquire off nearly the full length of one wall in the basement. This was to make room for a new pipe along the ceiling.
He was thrilled. I was at work. He did an awesome job of it. I wish he cleaned like that more often... I hope the crew appreciated it. Just as they got the old things out and the new things in and began to test it, Jeff watched a transformer next door erupt into a shower a sparks.
We'd been surviving a heat wave with a bunch of box fans. Luckily, a cool front accompanied the power outage, which stretched over two days after a storm followed the cool front. So we were out of power AND out of A/C for a while.
Needless to say, we survived. And Ali came back from camp full of stories, fresh bruises and another week in the record books with BFFs Jenna Tokash and Breanna Tabor. Among the highlights:
- Day 1 of river stomping included a lot of little kids so no one could wade past their ankles. Day 2, however, only teenagers went so they were allowed to get in up to their knees. "Bre and Jenna could only get in a little bit, but I could go halfway across!" long-legged Alison chortled.
- One girl in their cabin fell in love with a counselor who she kept saying she was going to marry. Jenna and Bre just prayed he and another counselor would take off their shirts.
- Jenna got paired with the biggest horse on the ranch for their ride, which gave Ali the opportunity to remind her that her perch was probably going to be the tallest height she'd ever gain.
- Alison ate something like 20 tacos one night, stopping only because she ran out of shells.
- Bre attracted a shadow in the form of a younger girl named Emmy. Ali and Jenna claimed it was because Emmy shared Bre's talent for belching. This opened the door to asking if Jenna had attracted a Mini-Me with a penchant for farting. (Apparently not.)
Jenna celebrated her birthday en camp on Thursday and had asked to let it be a low-key event. So naturally Amer conspired to get nearly 100 people send her emails marking the day. I sent a Care package so full of treats and silly gag items that it cost $30 to ship. It was, however, well received by the girls if not their long-suffering counselors.
These girls don't remember a time they didn't know and love each other like sisters, so it's awesome that in their 15th summer, they are still as silly, giddy and close as they ever were. They insisted on signing up for next year, too. "Well, yeah!" they said looking at us like we were crazy when we asked, each of a tiny bit fearful they were getting too grown-up for camp.
The fact that they aren't made us a little silly and giddy.
Because we weren't busy enough this week, we helped host a block party Friday night, which proved to be such a success there were calls to do it again before the summer was over, in the fall and every summer to come. We know our closest neighbors pretty wall but not all of them as you go down the street. This is true for all of us apparently because you'd hear people introduce themselves and one would say, "Are you new to the neighborhood?" and invariably, the answer would come back, "Nope. Been here 10, 20+ years."
But there were new people too, including a guy who joined Angie's List a few months ago in another department. So that was fun.
Today is Father's Day so here's a happy wish to all you great dads out there.
I would tell you about the most awesome gift a guy ever got to celebrate his Dadness. But you'll have to wait a week or so.
I leave you with what might be my favorite pictures of the year: the little girl who gave the captain his favorite title and her dad at the Cow Palace:
À tout à l'heure!