15 sept 2018

RECESS has started up again, a ministry within our church, where volunteers babysit special needs children and their siblings once a month so the parents can catch a break. I basically walk backwards bowing down to them over and over as we leave. So thankful. We went to Crystal Bridges without wearing workout clothes, sweaty pits, and pushing three kids in a two seater stroller. It was weird not having everyone stare at our usual circus.
After we sat down and scanned the not-so-crowded restaurant, a table in front of us caught our eye. It was very long, seating maybe 20 people. The girls facing us laughed in 5 second intervals at whatever was being said and when the chef came out to talk to them, they clapped and ogled like it was Eric Ripert.

Then Ryan recognized one of the guys as Walmart Sam Walton’s sons (if you’re wondering, they’re worth 140 billion). Ah, so that’s why there were courtesy laughs galore.  Shoot, I would too. It doesn’t take much for me though. One time a customer service rep at Sam’s offered to give me a refund on a product I had to buy instead of what they usually sell because at that time they were out. Without me returning the actual product. This, just because I asked if they’d be getting the one I normally like in stock again. I went beet red and kept exclaiming how nice they were and laughing crazily. (I didn’t take him up on his offer, I was too flustered.) But then Ryan recognized another guy at the table:  Moshe Safdie, the Israeli architect of the entire Crystal Bridges complex. This probably wouldn’t intrigue anyone else, but since we visit a couple times a month and love it so, it felt like a celebrity sighting to us.  After they were finished eating and stood up to chat for a bit, I encouraged Ryan to go over and shake his hand (which he later regretted not doing).

Instead of wandering around the paintings, we decided to walk through the Frank Lloyd Wright house that was disassembled elsewhere and rebuilt on the grounds. Something we never think to do with the kids. We couldn’t bring our drinks in, so left them on the ticket taker’s table outside.
After about three minutes, I was bored listening to the audio tour, which normally isn’t like me since I love looking at homes, but this one felt meh to me. And I lurve Frank Lloyd Wright’s designs. Then I heard clapping and cheering from outside. I said see ya to Ryan and ran out there, picked up my drink, and walked quickly down the path. Before we’d gone into the house, Ryan had left his phone in the restaurant and while he was getting it, I sat on a bench watching a group of friends holding balloons. “She’s almost here” and “Are you nervous” were floating around and before I knew what was going on for sure, Ryan had shown up.
So after hearing the cheersing later on, I went back to my prey and inserted my butt into their background to find out if my prayers had been answered: that this wasn’t a “dance proposal”. Ugh. The things kids have to keep up with nowadays. (I’ve become a crotchety old man.) So I asked one of the outlyers and they said it was indeed an engagement and I squealed Congratulations, none of them knowing that my happiness was mostly because it wasn’t a teenager needing to keep up with expectations.

But, in fairness to my eye-rolling, I was partly tired from celebrating my friend’s birthday the night before. Happy Birthday AJ!

When I went up to get a beer, the bartender pulled a glass out from somewhere down below and I yelled, “OH MY GOSH, IS THIS SAFE?!?!?!?!” People on both sides of me jerked their heads around. It looked like they’d hacked it off with a saw, jagged edges all around. The girl let out a sigh and said, “It’s ice.”

This is what it looked like after melting. It was surrounded by those little ice pieces. In flight or fight, I’m a fighter and there was no way you were gonna give me that glass, lady.

So after waking up the next day with a slight headache and before our recess date night, we girls got to experience just a wonderful afternoon. This little circle of trees is becoming my favorite place to hang out now.



Ruth brought her schoolwork outside to finish and so far we’re thinking this school was a good route for us. Ryan helps with her government and bible study (girl can ask some questions!) and I do the rest because there’s no moral dilemma about addition. Last week she had to give a speech about herself for the class and afterwards, in the car, she said it went well, although her stomach hurt beforehand. Little Annie is always nearby, listening and watching, so I wonder what her experience will be like once she starts. I can’t tell you how much fun I’m having so far though.

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