Saturday, August 28, 2010

The End of Summer

In mid August I drove to southern Indiana, Bloomington to be precise.  The internet group I belong to, affectionately dubbed by one member's son as the Internet Ax Murderers' Dating Club, was assembling for the weekend at the home of Julie and Lee for a reunion of "family" members.  There are close to thirty of us and ten were able to make the trip.

Southern Indiana in August is as close to hell as I ever want to get.  The temperature was in the upper 90's as was the humidity.  Walking outdoors felt like slogging through knee-deep water.  For nearly three days multiple animated conversations were carried on simultaneously.  Even eating didn't silence the crowd.

Julie's and Lee's home is surrounded by plants that attract butterflies, and those of us with cameras took countless snapshots of the colorful creatures.

In July, Ohio got hot and stayed hot.  This grandma poo-pooed any outdoor day  trips with Brandon and Sophia.  But activities did pick up in late August.  

Although he was QB last year, Brandon has grown and his weight made him ineligible to play that position this year.  But he's quite happy to be out of the limelight and finally be one of those who tackles instead of being the one sacked. 
Brandon said he wanted to play in the rain.....

The annual Kickoff Classic was held last Saturday.  Teams were paired and scrimmaged with ten offensive and ten defensive plays for each. Parents and grandparents sat in the bleachers, one eye on the field, the other on the sky.  Rain, long needed, was going to arrive shortly.  Initial drops soon turned to a shower and eventually a deluge was upon us, one whose intensity became more and more forceful.  Dawn and I laughed as rain was driven through our umbrellas and runoff from the umbrellas found its way down our backs and into our slacks.  The Classic was halted after Brandon's scrimmage, perhaps because spectators who had been in the stands were now sitting in their cars, leaving only a handful to watch and cheer the boys on.

Many schools were back in session last week; however ours begins a week later.  The heat of the past several days finally moderated and was ideal for doing things away from the condo. On Tuesday we went to Canton's McKinley Monument and the Museum.  It was my plan to look at the Monument and then tour the Museum.  Brandon and Sophia were more interested in repeatedly running up the steps to the Monument and sliding down the granite side rail.  Eventually we went into the Museum for some history.

Weather on Wednesday was a repeat of Tuesday's.  Dawn called to ask if I wanted to visit the Akron Zoo.  This is something we've done with the kids each year just before school begins.  The exhibits continue to be expanded and improved and the zoo is clean and easy to navigate.  It's a nice size and everything can be seen in a half day.

No pictures for Friday's activities.  I promised a movie (something where I could sit and they wouldn't be bored) and they agreed on Vampires Suck.  Yeah, a winner.  It's a spoof of Twilight so most enjoyed by those folks (teens, I presume) who'd seen it.  Fortunately both Brandon and Sophia seemed interested, and neither expressed a desire to leave before the movie ended.

With Dawn's and Matt's divorce about to be finalized, both kids have been assigned tasks to help with household needs. Therefore, after the movie, Brandon asked if they could go home so he could get a head start on his Saturday chores.

Once both finished their work, Brandon fell onto the couch to rest.  Dawn asked if they wanted a surprise.  She had decided it was time to show them the house they will be moving to.  Brandon replied that he did, but would like to rest first.  Sophia said she'd like a surprise, too, but not if it involved more work.  Dawn reassured them that Brandon could continue to relax and Sophia would have no more work to do.  So into the cars we got, Sophia with me, Brandon with Dawn.

I stopped next to Dawn's vehicle in the driveway, and we could hear Brandon's excited voice and see the grin on his face.

"Sophia, this is our new house!!!" he exclaimed as he jumped out of the car.  And quickly Sophia was out of mine as they ran into and then out of the garage, not knowing what to examine first.  The house is next to one of the community parks, and Sophia ran to walking track along the property line and laughing, declared to two woman passing, "I live here!!""  And then she ran back to the yard and Dawn took them into the house.

Brandon saw boxes in the family room and thought they had yet to be removed by the previous owner.  But Sophia spied some of her things in them and Brandon saw family pictures in Dawn's office.  Then he began to believe.  With the realization that the house was really theirs, Brandon and Sophia quickly headed up the stairs to see the second level -- through the living and dining rooms, out on the deck, back inside, through the kitchen and then back to the living room.  Sophia did a cartwheel and Brandon tried as well.  When I left, they were deciding which bedroom each would have.  Both wanted to go home to begin moving their belongings.  The real move will be in two or three weeks, but it looks like hours will be spent there in anticipation and preparation for what lies ahead.

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