A Good Saturday

Lughnasa and the Lughnasa Moon

Sunday gratefuls: Kate, always. Jon. Ruth. Gabe. Joe. Seoah. Tara. Alan. Bill. Tom. Paul. Mark. Diane. Mary. Mark. Rigel. Kep. Derek. Those in close. Grateful for each of you this week. Different reasons, same love.

Driving Shadow Mountain Drive early yesterday. Like a vacation morning, getting up early to hike Haleakala. A patina of light and shadow played over every thing. A mist rose from the small pond where the grass feeding cows drink and where Kate and Gabe saw a female moose. (yes, repetitive, but so wonderful.)

Strangely equivalent to the shopping experience at Safeway. Only employees there, masked, putting up produce, stocking shelves. My cart rattled over the floor. I found it exciting (literally) to be able to shop. Just shop. Wander, consider my choices. Look at stuff I didn’t want to buy like those crab legs sticking up out of crushed ice in the butcher’s glass display case. The sushi guy putting out his first creations of the day. I felt safe while outside and in public. A rush.

So what if I bought some things I might not have had I not been thrilled to be alone. You know, wienies. Bacon. Drove home feeling righteous anyhow. 7 a.m. and I’d already done my grocery shopping. Ha.

Kate had just gotten up when I got home. After putting away the groceries, I made Malt-o-Meal for both of us. Alan and I had a call at 9:00 so I finished up a bit early. Alan’s doing a strategic marketing plan for our Democratic state representative, Lisa Cutter. She needs to play up her bipartisanship, he says, in our purple leaning toward red district.

Kate rested all morning for the coming of Jon and the grandkids. In addition to shortness of breath she experiences a deep fatigue most days. Lying down is easier on her breathing and the fatigue. She’s reading, reading, reading. She just started Sport of Kings after having finished Ralph Ellison’s classic, the Invisible Man, in a couple of days.

After Alan, I fed the dogs their second breakfast, then began prepping and setting out food for the visitors. A text from Ruth came in saying they were at the King Sooper in Conifer buying chips. They brought blueberries and several avocados. Jon made guacamole. He’s a good cook.

Thought I’d help Jon out and remove the old mail box. We’ve needed a new one for a year or so. He planned to install the new one. Got very part way into it and couldn’t figure out how to finish. Those damn screws. Typical. I think some project like this will be easy only to discover it requires some skill I never bothered to learn.

I left it knowing Jon could get it off quickly. He did. But. The old mailbox sat there, half ripped from its platform. Derek drove by, noticed it, and texted me that he was sorry about the vandalism and did I need help fixing it? I am my own vandal. A life achievement.

Ruth has her eyes fixed now on Cornell. Her Grandpop, the Brandel side, went there for computer engineering, so she would be a legacy and get some discounts. Biology and poli-sci right now. Being a freshman in high school these days pushes college right up in your grill. Her high school, Denver North, a newer one, has a specialty focus for bio-med track students. Part of why she’s going there. The other part that it’s walking distance from her mom’s home.

She’s also becoming more politically savvy, understanding the difference between progressive and liberal politics. I told her she may not be my biological grandchild, but she might be my ideological one. She loved it. We have a great relationship, built up over painting, cooking, and a love of learning.

Gabe always loves to see the dogs. He’s an animal person. Ruth and Gabe befriended a snail which now lives in Gabe’s room, eating leaves and blueberries. He even crawls on our hand, Ruth said.

The difficult decisions around opening schools affects all four of the Denver Olsons. (Jen kept the name.) Jon and Jen work for the Aurora school system while Gabe and Ruth attend Denver schools. Jon spent the last week putting together 700 blank pizza boxes, filling them with crayons and other art supplies. Those will go home with kids for online art education. Their first assignment? Decorate the pizza boxes. How cool is that?

Denver schools have set September 8th as a decision point about how to open. Not sure about Aurora, but when to open is still undecided there, too. Come back in pods? Do only online learning? Some combination? One way hallways, better ventilation. Some kids this day, other kids the next day? What’s safe? Wouldn’t want to be a school administrator right now.

After Jon and the kids left, Kate and I decompressed. We love these visits, need them, but they wear us both out. Old folks.

This entry was posted in Cooking, Family, Feelings, Friends, Mountains, Our Land and Home, Painting, Shadow Mountain, Third Phase. Bookmark the permalink.

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