Thoughts on books, family, and life in one impressive package.
The Sunday Salon Button

What a weekend!  No.  Let me take that back.  What a week!  Connor struggled with an ankle injury this past week.  A severely bruised tendon kept him home from soccer practices this week as he hobbled around the house.  We attended his open house for his gifted and talented program and was able to discuss his progress with his teacher, who has known him for three years now and has helped him transition and adjust his grade advancement.  It was a pleasure hearing her state how much he has blossomed and grown this past year.  It was great news to hear after a very stressful school year last year.

We then moved into more work drama.  I can’t express how much I hate work drama.  It is getting ridiculous in its level of politicking and lack of trust.  The entire office feels like everyone is walking on egg shells, waiting for the bomb to drop.  We don’t necessarily know if there is a “bomb”, but there is enough tension and uneasiness in my office to make even the calmest person uneasy.  For someone a little more high-strung (like myself), it is enough to want me to stay away from the office at all cost.  It is not the most productive atmosphere, and it seriously impacts my first and last thought of the day. 

Friday afternoon began the whirlwind of a weekend.  I left work early (after being forced to take a half-day of vacation rather than be able to leave work an hour or two earlier than normal) and headed to Illinois.  My dad had one last retirement party, and since I had been unable to attend any of the earlier events, I had to go to this one.  Dad and I went to dinner together and then went back to his high school to watch one last sporting event together.  See, Dad was a high school PE teacher and has been the head athletic trainer at his high school for the past twenty-six years.  I spent my entire childhood with him at various high school sporting events – basketball, baseball, gymnastics, swimming, football, soccer, volleyball, and so many more.  I grew up playing with other coaches’ children.  Some of my fondest memories include cheering on various teams to victory, even if they happened to beat my own high school on the way to the state championship.  So, the fact that he and I got to watch one more sporting event (lacrosse) was a fitting way to begin the weekend.

On Saturday, I finally got to experience my first “tweet-up” as I went to Glen Ellyn, Illinois and meet Sue and Margie from The Bookstore and Jen from Devourer of Books.  We met at The Bookstore, chatted for a bit, bought books, went to lunch and chatted some more.  It was an absolute delight!  Sue and Margie have a great relationship, and their affection for each other really makes me wish I worked at The Bookstore with them!!  Jen was just as wonderful in real life as she is on her blog.  We definitely have a lot in common, and it was great to solidify an online relationship even more.  I will definitely make a point of seeing her whenever I get back to Illinois to visit my parents. 

Saturday night was my father’s retirement party.  It was bittersweet for me, seeing all these faces around whom I grew up and know that they had all retired several years before my father.  It was probably the last time I would see some of them, which was a bittersweet realization.  It definitely is the end of an era for my father, but in a way, it was the end of my childhood as well.  My dad had an absolute blast reminiscing and chatting with all of his friends, and I thoroughly enjoyed seeing Dad in his element.  He definitely deserves this retirement: twenty-six years of twelve-plus hour days from August through mid-June, including Saturdays and sometimes even holidays, carrying the responsibility of the health of all of the student athletes on his shoulders.  When he says that he is tired, it is no wonder.  As of Monday morning, he officially has four days and two hours left of teaching.  Then, he can rest (and read and exercise and golf) all he wants.  Congratulations, Dad!

Saturday was, understandably, a late night.  Unfortunately, I had to get up early (5 AM CDT) to start my drive back to Ohio to be able to see my son’s last spring soccer game.  I made it in time, even though I was grossly overdressed and nearly trembling with hunger.  After getting home and eating, I crashed on the office daybed and took a good two-hour nap.  I should have gone to bed early but knew I had to stay up to watch the series finale of Lost.  I am SO glad I did.  It was literally awe-inspiringly amazing.  Perfect.  Mind-blowing.  Lost will go down as one of the best shows on television.  Why?  Because it made you think.  In fact, you had to think if you hoped to understand the show.  It did not dumb down concepts or force-feed you the plot.  It forced you to take a step back and look at life outside the box.  The finale not only summed it all up but did it in such a way that it kept that requirement in check.  I saw a lot of chatter last night about the finale and was disappointed at how many people did not “get it”.  They did not understand the ending.  What was fun was seeing all those who eventually did understand it; their awe and emotion at the ending once they finally understood it was wonderful.  There will never be another show like Lost.  I am going to miss it, but the creators definitely gave me another way of looking at life.  Thank you Damon Lindenhof and Carlton Cuse!

On the book front, it was a slow week.  Neither book I am reading allows me to read quickly, and I was so busy getting things organized for Armchair BEA this week that read very little.  I also ignored my reader and am now over a week behind in commenting and visiting other bloggers.  Now that soccer is over, I am hoping my free evenings will be conducive to catching up on everything and on everyone.

Speaking of Armchair BEA, have you checked out our dedicated website yet?  The events start tomorrow!  I hope to “see” you there!

Image: Signature Block

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