Just after my last post I spent the weekend in Bakersfield, California, for the Bakersfield square dance festival. This is an event I went to 4 years ago when I was out in California working on a job and wanted to visit my long time college buddy Jackie, who informed me that if I wanted to visit her I would have to go square dancing with them since they were going to the Bakersfield fiesta. Long story short, I went and that is the event that got me back into square dancing after a 26 year hiatus. Thank you, Jackie. Anyway, back to the present. This year I flew out specifically for the fiesta and my new friend/festival dance partner, Sol, flew out to join me. With Jackie, her two sons, and a girlfriend along, we nearly filled out the square. While perhaps not politically correct, we ended up dancing almost every tip together and "playing" around and having a generally great time "rowdy crew" style. I think we now have a reputation in Bakersfield!
John and Donna Brett had the occasion to visit since it was Spring Break in Tucson, and their son (now in college) had a different spring break schedule, and their daughter was off to Europe for the break. So John and Donna (who had already scheduled relief workers to keep their Vet practice going during the break) decided to road trip it to Colorado and visit John's alma mater in Fort Collins, stopping to visit old friends in Albuquerque and us along the route. We had a GREAT if too short visit, although the weather helped us out by snowing them in at the house for a second day. This event was definitely NOT a re-run, but they loved it up here so much that they are going to create a re-run this summer, bringing the kids with them next time.
The next weekend brought more snow and my sister, Monica, and Cathy (a friend from Canon City) cancelled on visiting to attend a wood carving class at our local art studio. I missed them, but of course went anyway and carved this adorable penguin (mine is on the left)... LOVE the Coyote Creek Studio in Fairplay which is run by a co-op of artist who then teach classes in their medium. I've taken 4 classes there now and loved every one.
The following weekend found me with my sister and brother-in-law in Albuquerque to attend my sister's not-so-surprise, surprise 60th birthday party. Fun to be all together for a few days and as usual with Monica and David around we got in a few games... yeah!
During the next week of work, I attended team meetings with my Lockheed Martin team. Both the IBM members and the Lockheed members were there and they coincidentally decided to have this first-ever-event at the beautiful Lockheed facilities in Denver. Nice to be so close to home, but as I was the only one local to the area, it was unacceptable to explain to them that I could not attend because they scheduled it during our spring break, when we intended to go ski at Park City. So that event got cancelled. Bummer, but busy as we are, we are not feeling the need to cram in more travel!
Mike, however, was feeling the need to visit his folks in Utah, since we were cancelling our Utah trip. So he went on his own earlier in March during a rare week when I was home to be with Nai. Somehow in the middle here, Mike and I got away for a weekend to help Monica and David move into their new house in Berthoud.
The next week I was back in Toronto, doing another round of training. This trip was so short I didn't really do anything new... definitely felt like a re-run, even the same students. One thing that was new was that my nephew (Keith's son, Nick) had moved to Toronto that very week and he (with his friend he is looking for an apartment with, and helped him get his job) and I went to dinner. That was very nice, and makes me wonder if I have ever truly had a conversation with him one-on-one without his parents around. It's definitely time to get to know the next generation as the adults that they now are.
I left Toronto and went straight to Albuquerque to attend another favorite annual square dancing weekend, again with Sol. This event is a no brainer as I get to visit (and this year dance with) my parents, and my kids. I also had the occasion to visit Sara's new house on this trip which on a special evening which turned out to be the only evening of visiting, since most of the weekend was dancing and I had to get back home to work...
... Because the following week I was back in Vegas for about 2 weeks, doing the training (teaching) that I've done many times over now. I actually like the training even though Mike keeps thinking it really should not be my job... I don't mind. I got to visit the Timmerman's again and have dinner with Dan London who took he on the Ferris Wheel, which actually is BIGGER than the London Eye. While in Vegas I hiked and geocached in Red Rocks (particularly nice after the rain), went square dancing one evening with a local club, and got out to see Ventriloquist, Paul Zerden, the recent America's got Talent winner. (Fun show)
Meanwhile during all of this, Mike was still teaching skiing, ending the season with some 70 days on the hill. (Sadly I only made it to 7 days!) He absolutely loved the job and plans to do it again next year. Now he is adjusting to his summer schedule... he's got to find something to keep him a little busier, idle time and Mike do not mix well. Since we have been here for 2 years when we only planned to be here one, he is actively looking for a place for us to move to this summer.... but we'll see if the right thing comes up. Definitely a topic for another post, although I'm sure many would say our habit of moving is also under the header of re-runs.
Nai finished his Basketball season, and without even a weeks break, started the Baseball season... That keeps him busy almost every hour he is out of school, except Sundays. So he has not been available to do much with Mike and I, but he is very involved with his friends and loving it. He went to prom and rented a tux and the whole thing, unfortunately the prom got moved at the last minute to a local spot since the snow storm (2 feet in mid-April) and the idea of a bunch of kids driving over the pass to Breckenridge for dinner dancing and partying didn't mix.
Baseball ends today, and he is now starting to prepare for the end of school in 3 weeks and his return to Thailand in 4 weeks. He is struggling a little bit because when he came to America, he knew he would miss his friends but would see them again in a year. Now he recognizes he will miss his friends but may never see them again... a dilemma for every exchange student. Luckily with Skype, Facebook, snap-chat, and all the other tools I don't even know about, the world is a smaller place. He thinks he may try to come back to the states for graduate school (as many of the kids hope to).
So I am blessed to be home for a few week until I have to travel again. I am trying to get a few things into my routine (back to exercise, dietary normalcy, trading habits, etc) that are so difficult to maintain when I am on the road. We are staring to think about getting the camper out, etc... Never a dull moment, although I wouldn't complain if there was!