August 11, 2011

Summer Wind Down

We have just 18 days left of Summer at this typing.  We are at the point in our Summer where I look back and think, did we do everything we wanted to?  Or did we just watch too much television and play that silly new video game too much?  I had the entire family doing good deeds and weeding bad weeds to collectively earn a new Wii game called animal crossing.  They are collectively all addicted to playing this game and all good deeds and weeding time have gone straight out the window.  They are completely focused on catching and selling fish to the local store, writing one another mail, shaking trees to see what will come out (hey Little Boy got a used massage chair that way!), and digging holes to find or bury stuff.  I am happy that they are not shooting anything in this game, but I am not happy about having to regulate how long they play each day.  It makes us all cranky.  So what I decided this week was that we were going to get out there and enjoy some stuff.  I would pick a child or two to take on an outing each day of the week.  Monday I took Middle and Little Boy to the Newseum.  It was awesome!  I have been there twice and loved it both times.  At first Middle Boy was wishing his best friend would have been able to come and seemed a bit down, but he perked right up at all the sights to see there.  The next day I took Big Boy to the air and space museum to see the IMAX movie about the Hubble telescope.  It was so inspiring I have vowed to take the rest of the family to see it asap.  We have plans next week to see the sculpture museum or perhaps the portrait gallery with Big Girl and the zoo with Little Girl.  At some point I will get to the laundry.  Then we have a beach trip scheduled and it's back to school.  I hope I won't miss them too much. My youngest starts pre-school this year leaving me all alone 3 days a week.  That ought to be different for me.

Looking back on my summer I would have to say that the highlight was having my parents drive out for a visit.  I was pretty worried about an 82 yr old man driving his motor home cross country but he managed to do okay.  I still haven't pinned him down to tell me the story of accidentally driving into a ditch but I will.  While he was here with his new wife I managed to get them down to see the Vietnam Memorial where Thelma's first husband's name is.  They were only married for 2 years when he lost his life.  She was pregnant with their second daughter at the time.  I asked her afterwards if the memories were too sad and she told me all the sweet memories outweighed the bad ones.  That answer is classic Thelma.  Here are some photos of that day.









I was so honored to be able to make this happen for them.  My Dad drives well, but walking around in the extreme heat he doesn't enjoy.  Parking in DC with a motor home ain't easy, so I drove them there early on a Sunday morning.  I think I impressed him with my slick city parallel parking skills. We walked slow and took breaks.  When we finally got there and the guide looked up where Thelma's 1st husband's name would be, clucked his tongue and said we'd have a hard time reaching his name for a rubbing.  It was indeed too high for us to reach.  Thelma declared that if she could just touch it that it would be enough.  So I gave her a boost and she reached for his name.  A nice couple from the South (with heavy accents) helped out and boosted her even better.  Then the woman said in her southern drawl.  "Let my husband help y'all out with that rubbin' he's got some tall on 'im"  So we handed him our paper and he went to town.  He left the R off of ROBERT.  He tried again.  Sadly I brought the wrong thing for a rubbing.  Note to self: graphite not pastel.  We thanked the Southern couple and they left. Thelma was telling me it was just fine that it didn't turn out when suddenly the tour guide showed up with his fanny pack full of paper and graphite to save the day for us.  He was super tall and I told him as he rubbed that he was the perfect height for this job.  He gave me a great one liner about putting his 'tall legs on' when he got dressed that morning.  I wondered how many times he used that line and admired him all the more for it.  It was a great summer memory.

9 comments:

Cherie said...

That is soooooo neat - truly!! Neat that you could all go to the wall and find Thelma's first husbands name and get a rubbing. I bet that means so much to her.
That wall is incredible to look at anyway.

I love D.C. - it is such an interesting place. You are so lucky to have all that at your fingertips! There should be no boredom with your kids :-D

Teachinfourth said...

Sometimes I wonder where my summer went...then I remember that it was spent in juvenile detention.

Squeeze out a few more fun things in the time you have left...

Laurel C. said...

I love your pictures! Especially the one of Thelma reaching for the name, and the two of them holding hands and walking. Your dad is lucky to have found such a neat lady.

DC is an amazing place to visit. I've been there about 6 times, and every time is great. There's a good feeling in that city. Looks like you guys had a wonderful visit, too.

Kelly said...

Thanks Laurel. I was trying to get some good shots that day.

Eileen said...

Thelma sounds like an amazing person. Your dad is one lucky man! Great photos of the day.

Connie said...

It's hard to look back on the summer and know that it's over! My summer was spent planning a wedding! Oh well, at least I had the summer to work on it.

I know what you mean about worrying about parents driving. My Dad's 84 and still drives AND he's blind in his right eye! Seriously! However, he doesn't drive too far now. It still worries me.
Thelma looks and sounds like a wonderful woman. How great that your Dad and she found each other.
Looks like everyone had a fun visit.

Melody said...

Thelma sounds like a keeper -- always a good thing in a stepparent. Glad she's in your family.

Katie said...

Love the pictures too, and your quote from the southern lady about her husband. Totally sounds like something I would hear around here. Great post!

M-Cat said...

What an awesome memory. And something about the picture with her withered hand reaching to touch his name really got to me.

I love their generation. I love old people. Their stories, their wisdom