Friday, May 20, 2011

Trip to Iowa

Jack and I just returned from a nearly 2-week trip to Iowa. There, we stayed with Jack's daughter and son in-law and went to grandchild events. The first was Matthew's play -- The Music Man. He's 12 and in 6th grade and I know you're thinking, "Ok.. a middle school production... how good can that be?" Well, it was great! The lines were delivered flawlessly, with feeling. The songs were sung with emotion and no off-pitches. Matthew as the high voice in the barbershop quartet was engaging, funny, and fit right in with the group of talented young singers. What fun!

We also got to go to two of his baseball games which, while not entirely successful, were still fun to watch. Oh, and we got popcorn!

Katherine was in her first-ever swim meet while we were there, too. This was an intra-squad meet, just to show them what swim meets are all about. I'd never been to a swim meet before, and found it interesting and entertaining.

We went on a short stay-cation, driving all of 20 minutes to the Grand Harbor Resort on the Mississippi River. Our room had a splendid view, looking right out at the river, the bridge, and barges that went past. While there, we took the children (Katherine, Matthew, and K's friend Lexi) to the waterpark. The following day, we went to the Mississippi River Museum, which is fantastic. This is a Smithsonian project, and is a world-class museum.

During the 12-day stay, we had some "dumb time," too. I learned how to do Ken-Ken puzzles and got pretty good at them. We watched plenty of HGTV, taking advantage of the fact that they have it and we don't!

The flights were uneventful and pleasant, actually. This was notable for me, because these were the first flights that I'd taken since fall of 2007, right after Michael died. And these were the first flights for me in a long time when I did not feel anxious at all. Yay!

Progress is happening on my cottage projects! We now have supports up for about half of the skirting. We now have most of the deck posts vertical. There are beams in place for most of the deck. Oh, and did I mention that my driveway is full of wood?

Weather is holding out for us. We enjoyed a very nice cool day yesterday, with a high of 75. Clouds attenuated the heat a bit, though skies were mostly clear and lovely.

Jack fixed us a great dinner last night -- Panko-encrusted tilapia, corn on the cob, baked beans, and mixed vegetables. I think that he's doing dishes right now. :)