It has been quite the week or two at Casa Shannon. School started. Friends visited. There was another death in the family. Thankfully, we had the long weekend to recover, which helped until we hit the week and the addition of regular dance classes plus marching band for Holly as well as Connor. Whew.
First, the death is Jim’s maternal grandmother. She passed away two Tuesdays ago at the age of 91 of pure old age. Her body started shutting down a few weeks ago, so we knew the end was close. With school having just started, we both felt there was no need for the entire family to go down for services so Jim flew down last Sunday for the memorial service and spent a few extra days down in Houston with his mother to help her with emptying the nursing home apartment and organizing his grandma’s belongings. She lived a long and full life, and that is all any of us can hope to achieve.
Last weekend, we hosted our friends from Jim’s military days. They were our surrogate family when we lived in Germany, and we tried to keep in touch in the 16 years since we moved away from them. As so often happens though, we lost touch and somehow it has been ten years since we last saw them. I will admit to being nervous. After all, ten years is a long time, and everyone has changed. However, my fears were totally unfounded. Seeing them again after all that time meant absolutely nothing. It was as if we last saw them a month ago rather than a decade ago. Needless to say, we had a blast reminiscing and catching up. Now, we just need to make sure that it is not another decade before we see them again.
Connor has run in two cross-country meets already. His first one was not so great. The mental game has always been his biggest downfall, and it looks like this year is not any different. It is frustrating to watch because unlike training, there is really nothing we can do about it. If anyone has any suggestions to help Connor stop overthinking and over preparing for his races, we are all ears. He is the second best runner on the team…in practice. During meets, well, he is improving. His second race was MUCH better than the first. He missed getting back onto the varsity squad by 8 seconds, and he admitted that he could have run faster. He has another meet on Tuesday, and he plans to at least tie his PR at this one. The determination is there. Now, he needs to follow through on the execution.
Holly participated in her first meet as well. The course was a bit longer than they would normally have to run, but she did really well. We doubt she will be the fastest runner ever, but she says she enjoys it and now knows what to expect in the world of cross-country running. She also has a second meet this week, and this one is supposed to be the regular length. I am sure she will do well.
The first week of dance is also under our belts. Her schedule this year is a little crazy with one hour two days a week, and the other two days with multiple classes. She also has one class at 5 PM, which is when cross-country practice ends. It is a bit frustrating knowing that her schedule is not the most amenable to after-school activities, but we will persevere. She wants to try all the things in middle school, and we will let her do just that.
The marching band had their first public performance this past Friday at a home football game. This is the first time I have seen it, and I will say that I was impressed with what I saw. I know Connor, as drum major, is not happy with their performance and says they have a lot of work to do. I know that if they can fix what they need to fix, they are going to have a strong competition season this fall. There is another home game this upcoming Friday with another chance to get it right on the field. I’m sure we will see improvement.
All of these activities means life has gotten to its usual pace of craziness rather quickly this year. Jim is in his company’s busy manufacturing season, and I am just entering the insanity that is the budgeting process. Combine that with some managerial changes at work and a refocus on certain areas, and my days are long and filled with meetings. It has been a tremendous help having an extra driver in the house this year, but even he has been having to squeeze in work hours on top of everything else. Things are only going to get worse before they get better. We knew this fall was going to be rough, and I think we are as ready as we can be for whatever comes our way. For now, life is work, school, and the kids’ activities with minimal house maintenance fit in during the weekends. It works for us.
On the site for the past week, here is what I posted in case you missed them the first time:
- It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? – 29 August 2016
- We Are Unprepared
- I Will Send Rain
- As I Descended
- Fabulous Friday – 2 September 2016
- It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? – 5 September 2016
- The Masked City
- And The Trees Crept In
- The Cabin
- Fabulous Friday – 9 September 2016
If you are like us, we have been watching the tributes and memorials of the 9/11 attacks fifteen years ago. They are just as sobering as ever, and I never fail to flashback to the profound fear and total despair I felt that day. Wherever you are today, please take a minute to remember those who lost their lives because of the sense acts of terrorism that forever changed the world. God bless America.