My typical back to school conversation goes like this:
Friend: How was your summer?
Friend: Did you do anything fun?
Me: Yes! We went camping. We visited my parents in Richmond and went to Kings Dominion. We swam at the Y. I took classes. It went by too fast.
Yes, camping and Kings Dominion are highlights for me, and much of my time will be taken up with grad school, but each summer has so many other small moments worth remembering. Moments like eating ice cream for dinner and baseball games and bike rides.
So I’ve decided to try to post at least one photo and memory each day this summer. This way I can look back on August 7th and remember that the summer was more than our two trips and studying. I fully realize that this plan might go the way of summer chore lists and never make it past the first week, but it can’t hurt to try, right? So here goes….
Day 1 Last Day of School
This lovely lady will be a senior next year, and we ran into her at the GO Center picnic. Michelle taught her in third grade, and I taught her the next year in fourth. She made such an impression on both of us. I’ve always known she will accomplish big things in life! I had another favorite student stop by the day before with her mom, and two more on Friday. It’s such a gift to watch our students grow up and become the amazing humans that they are.
Day 2 Code Girls
As soon as my semester at VCU ended, I decided to tackle my summer reading list. Up first was Code Girls because I wanted to hear Dorothy Braden Bruce speak during the Randolph College Reunion. At 98, she was witty, charming, and fascinating. My favorite moment was when the interviewer asked her if she was scared to head to Washington to do a job that she knew nothing about. In a very matter of fact way, she said, “No.” She felt fully prepared for whatever she might face because of the education she had received at R-MWC. I certainly knew that feeling, and I think so many of the other women in the room did too.
As an added bonus, I ran into two class of ’03 friends who where enjoying their 15th year reunion. What a great surprise!
I spent the first 8 miles with Ruth and Rhonda. Their company made the miles pass quickly and put me in a good mood. I didn’t really mean to, but I pulled ahead of Ruth when we hit the long, uphill fire road. I’ve decided, for now, that I like fire road climbs better than single track climbs. I think that the hilly downtown run that (the other) Ruth and I do a few mornings each week paid off! I ate lots of pickles, saw one tiny turtle, tried to run with gratitude, and stayed mostly dry and clean-ish until the last 5 minutes. Maddy coming up from behind motivated me to keep pushing all the way to the finish. Being kid-free after the race allowed Jay and I to hang around, cheer for our friends finishing the marathon, and take the long way home. It was a perfect day.
Day 4 Small Victories
I accomplished something this morning that I’ve been wanting to do for months….I cleaned off our porch. It had accumulated an unruly collection of toys, tools, and broken junk, and there were weeds climbing up from both sides. Tonight Jay and I enjoyed the first of many hours of summer porch sitting.
We spent an hour at the YMCA pool this afternoon. The last time we went, Bubba got up the nerve to try the swim test, but he didn’t pass. He tried again today and earned the red band, granting him access to their super cool slide! I’m proud of that kid!!
Day 5 Enchiladas
During the school year I forget how much I like to cook. We get stuck in a rut of Chic-fil-A, pizza, hamburgers, and waaaay too many Lunchables. At least for now, while I’m not taking classes, I’m enjoying cooking again. Last night Chica helped me make chicken piccata, and tonight Bubba helped me with enchiladas. Neither of them was really a fan of what we cooked, but they’re not a fan of much when it comes to food.
Day 6 Gifts
This morning when I returned from my morning run, I found some out-of-the-blue gifts in my chair on the porch. That Jay Proffitt is one smart dude. He knows I like practical gifts, hence the work gloves and shovels. He also knows that my enthusiasm for weeding our flowerbeds might last longer if I have the right tools to use. And finally, he knows I lose stuff….hence the triple pack of gloves. Love. For the last few mornings he’s enjoyed his coffee on the porch while I pull weeds. I think he’s always wanted to keep me company like this when I cook, but I have to concentrate way too much. Weeding is mindless, so we’ve enjoyed those few cool minutes just chatting before the sun comes up and over the house.
After dinner tonight we went for a one mile walk on the Creekside Trail starting at the Farm Basket. I think Bubba’s the only one that’s not afraid of the swinging bridge, but he was not so sure about the big sinkhole right before the steps. I was so thankful that Jay put his video editing work on hold for an evening and came with us!
Day 7 Home
This was the first day we didn’t go to the pool at the Y. I had great intentions of cleaning up and planning for the summer camp sessions I’m leading next week, but it just didn’t happen. I read a bunch and played Carcassonne with Bubba while Chica played Minecraft. In the afternoon we invited friends over to play in the sprinkler, and after dinner we rode up to New Covenant to let Chica learn how to get on and off her new to her (and almost too tall) bike. We got it earlier this week from a Facebook Marketplace post. She fell that day while trying to stop and scraped up her knees, so she was pretty hesitant to get back on it. But as you can see in the picture, she got over that today and was thrilled with herself for learning how to stop and work the gears. Watching them both finally ride confidently makes me so excited for our trip to Damascus in the fall. It will be our first go at the Creeper Trail with no one being pulled in a buggy!
The kids are spending the night with Nana and Papa, so Jay and I enjoyed the best kind of date at Mr. Goodies. I didn’t snap a picture, but we both commented like 17 times about how good it was. I’m pretty sure it tastes even better than normal when you are kid-free. 🙂