The frenzied pace of May continued into June,
as usual. School and baseball both came to an end. Consumed
with jealously over Grandpa’s visit last month to see the kids in the
church musical, Grandma came out this month for the end of school and Brad’s
graduation – pardon me, promotion – from fifth grade. We trekked to
Oceanside often to visit Betty in the hospital. And of course there
was the little matter of preparing to go on vacation the day after school
Kristi was one of two parents recognized at the
final meeting of the Deer Canyon Elementary PTA for their volunteer
efforts at school this year. She was feted for publishing the School
Directory (4 years running), running the Geography Team, and running
the Book Fair, among other things. Bradley thinks he nominated
her, but can’t quite remember if he ever turned in the nomination form
he thought he filled out. Kristi has already been volunteered to
do the Mesa Verde Middle School directory next year.
Baseball did indeed come to an end, not particularly
gloriously for either boy's team. Still, both boys had fun this
season, and we didn't have time for any playoffs any way. Doug's
team had a nice swim party in the Bigelow's new back yard pool, and Coach
Keith gave his usual speech when giving Douglas his trophy about the hardest
position on the team being coach's son. Doug and Keith had to sacrifice
a Y Guide camp out to go to the last game and team party.
Grandma Rafferty did indeed come for a week's stay,
encompassing the end of school, Brad's promotion ceremony, and our leaving
for vacation (she went and stayed with Jeff after we left). We had
Jeff's family up for the traditional family dinner. Joann had fun
with her grandsons and generally tried to keep Kristi sane during our
Brad was indeed promoted from the Fifth Grade Wednesday,
June 11. Kristi was a heavily involved parent, producing the program,
providing the music (Canadian Brass doing Sousa), and helping decorate
the gymnasium (they double as cafeterias these days and are called "Multi-purpose
rooms"). Her reward was being able to reserve chairs, so we got
second row aisle seats. Brad graduated in the top 10%, being one
of 6 students recognized (2 from each classroom) for academic honors. He
also claimed to have written the lion's share of the class skit. Overall,
it was an enjoyable and memorable 90 minutes.
After the promotion, we spirited the boys out of school (as did every
other 5th grade parent) and went to lunch downtown. After lunch we
toured the Star of India, with Brad as our guide, reliving every moment
of last month's field
for the benefit of his mother and grandmother. Two of the
four actors from Brad's trip were on board. They were so pleased
at Brad's obvious enthusiasm for the experience they invited us back
into off-limits areas of the ship to continue talking as they prepared
for that afternoon's crew of school children. Kristi, Grandma, and
Doug then got to watch what Brad and I had experienced as the new crew
is dressed down and whipped into shape on the dock before boarding the
The last day of school was actually the day after
promotion. The only bit of school business left to complete was
the annual Teachers/Staff vs. The Graduating 5th Graders softball game.
Participating in this was extremely important to Brad, who claimed
it more important than promotion and refused to consider missing it in
order to start our vacation a day sooner.
It must be noted that Doug had fun end of school
year activities as well, including a camp out (complete with tent, sleeping
bags, and artificial campfire) in his room with scary stories. Also,
Doug signed his dad up for a Parent/Child presentation. We spoke to his
class for about a half hour on Indian Guides, describing our meetings and
camp outs, and answering their questions.
Great Aunt Betty Sherwood continued to recuperate
from her Memorial Day weekend stroke, and we continued to visit her.
Keith made a video tape of her greetings to take to the family reunion.
She was transferred in early June from Intermediate Care to the Rehabilitation
Center in the hospital. The day after Brad’s promotion and the
day before our vacation,
she was transferred from the hospital Rehabilitation Center to the
nursing facility of a local retirement complex
. Keith went charging up north to Oceanside to be with Betty
in the hospital when the ambulance drivers arrived to transport her.
He then emptied her hospital room (clothes, pictures, flowers, cards)
into his car and charged over to the convalescent home to be there when
Two things were notable about the retirement complex, Carlsbad by the
Sea: one, it is the Cadillac of facilities in North County, resembling
a Sheraton more than a convalescent home. And two, it is adjacent
to Betty’s Church, St. Michael’s by the Sea. This was wonderful,
as it allowed many parishioners to come visit her, and allowed her to be
wheel chaired over to service.
The day after moving Betty and the softball game,
the ready-for-a-break Sherwoods started their big vacation by flying
across country to Baltimore. The vacation this year was one weekend
at Annapolis, Maryland, attending the Beck-Sherwood family reunion, then
a week in Washington DC seeing as much as we could, and then a final
day in Baltimore before returning.
More prose and pictures
The frenzied pace didn't stop after the family
vacation, at least for the boys. On the flight back from Baltimore
to San Diego the boys got off the plane in Albuquerque, while Kristi
and Keith continued on to San Diego. Nana whisked Brad and Doug away
to Durango for Grandma Camp
and Part II of their summer vacation. While this was Brad's
third Grandma Camp, it was Douglas' first, 8 being the minimum age. Keith
and Kristi proceeded on to San Diego for Part II of their summer vacation:
alone without the boys
Romantic plans for the week alone without the
boys evaporated as Kristi was sick most of the week and Keith was inundated
at work, trying to recover from taking 8 days off. We did get
to go to dinner with long time friends John and Michelle Wolf, who were
out from Phoenix celebrating their anniversary.
Doug got exactly 20 hours at home between returning
from Grandma Camp and leaving for Part III of his summer vacation:
Church Camp at Loch Leven. Like Grandma Camp, this was his first
year of experiencing what his older brother had been raving about for
years. He was one of five from our church to go to "mini camp"
for 4 days and 3 nights. Although it was his first Church camp,
and he got a little homesick, between his camping experience with Indian
Guides and his adventure experiences with this Grandmas, he did just
fine and had a very good time.
Doug’s stolen bike found its way back home.
The perpetrator turned out to be a friend of a kid (19 years old) up
the street. The felon, displaying either great stupidity or great
chutzpah, rode it back a couple weeks later to the house up the street,
where other kids in the neighborhood noticed it and alerted us for positive
identification. The friend rode the bike away before it could be
reclaimed, but the parents of the house up the street were able to procure
it and return it some days later, in a neighborly attempt to rebuild trust
in the community. We never met the kid up the street nor his felonious
friend. We spend a lot more time with our garage door down now.
Of course, it wasn't nearly that simple. The police were called.
There was a good deal of animosity in the neighborhood in the first
place to the kid and his friend (which we now share). There are
interesting rumors about the kid's criminal past. There was a questionable
promise of retribution for damages. But all in all, between the end
of school, upcoming vacation, and Aunt Betty in the hospital, the stolen
bike really couldn't garner much of our attention. If any good is
to come of the experience, the feeling of violation that Brad and Doug felt
will hopefully prevent them from ever making such a poor decision when
they are older.
Keith completed a couple of year long executive
positions this month. For the past year, among other things,
Keith has been Vice Chair of the Board at church and Chief of the Sioux
Tribe for Y guides. He decided to stay on as Vice Chair, but
gladly turned Chief over to somebody else. Of all of Keith’s numerous
responsibilities, Y Guides chief was the only one he clearly wasn’t enjoying.
It obviously took more time and effort out of him than he got in return.
Wednesday, June 25 was the day it all clicked for Dancer. That morning
we got a new dog. She didn't jump up and bite that morning, or day,
or any following days. Something finally clicked inside her head. Now
we have a really great dog.
Dancer has become a good watch dog. When inside, she’ll go to the
back door or window and bark at things in the backyard that we can’t see.
She also noticed a fire and barked feverishly to alert us to the danger.
True, it was just chicken on the barbecue, but she was right: it was
Kristi, needing to decompress: "I'm really looking forward to being
able to relax and decompose."
Kristi, on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial: "I have a dream:
a dream that one day vacations will not be judged by the amount of miles
traveled or the number of monuments visited, but by the amount of relaxation