Tuesday, June 23, 2009

John Candy's Summer Rental

A friend of mine sent me this tall, hard-plastic Starbucks glass that looks exactly like the drink container you would get for a Starbucks Frappucino... and then throw away. But funny thing, this one is not a throwaway. I guess it’s a hot-selling new tumbler. Anyway, I got it for my birthday and I have been using it for every possible cold beverage I have. (I am actually using it right now.) I think it’s me pretending that I just went through the drive thru Starbucks... Oh, the games I play in my head that help me get through some of my days here.

So this past weekend we had Syd’s third birthday on the 19th, my birthday on the 20th and then Father’s Day on the 21st. It was quite a weekend of celebration. Everyone felt celebrated and we had lots of sweet moments together, but it was weird just having it be our little family... I actually felt quite proud of us. That we could celebrate with just us. But for as good as it was, I’m glad that next summer we will be able to celebrate the trio of days with our friends and families.

On Father’s Day we went to Ooty Lake. If you are from the Minneapolis area, think Lake Calhoun, India style. At least for one end of it, the other end has this crazy amusement-like place called Jolly World that I hope to never go to. I am pretty sure that I would walk in with four kids and maybe come home with two or three. The rides that I saw have probably been outlawed in the United States... since like 1950. Anyway, while we were walking around the lake, we ran into this guy, Shanka, that we have never met, but he had a horse which was an instant attraction for Ani. Well, he ended up inviting us to his house for tea. Turns out he is a cook for one of the expatriates in the area and we went to their house. They’re on holiday until Thursday, but it was kind of weird being in someone else’s house - someone that we have never met. I kind of just sat on the edge of my seat the whole time waiting for this family to come home from their holiday early and walk into our brood of six running all over their house, drinking their tea and eating their food. Do you remember the scene from Summer Rental, the John Candy film from the 80’s, when he and his family were accidentally staying in the wrong rental house and the real family came home late at night from a trip and found John Candy and his family in their house, where they actually lived and not just rented for a week, and John’s face was full of Noxema because he got burned so bad at the beach - super awkward, right? Well that’s how I felt minus the Noxema.

School is officially done for the next two months. I am really glad to have all the kids home. I am sure we will get stir crazy, being that there really is nothing to easily do here in the summer, but my kids do have great imaginations, so I’m sure lots of interesting things will be done. I am hoping to have Ani spend some time with FF’s aftercare girls making jewelry and also do some riding with FF’s horse’s that they use for therapy. I decided last week to be an interim manager for aftercare at FF. The director is taking a sabbatical for three months, so I am stepping in for her. The aftercare staff is so great, and I hope to support them and be a sounding board for them these next few months. I also look forward to all that I am going to learn about aftercare for girls with huge emotional, psychological, physical and spiritual needs. Oh, and by the way, FF received a call from a partnering organization and told us that the girls who left last week are now with them and are in counseling. FF staff will not be surprised if they come back here to Ooty. Sometimes leaving has to be part of the journey toward healing and freedom.

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