Life is good, that is, except when one has to go swim suit shopping. At that point life becomes hard. Happily, Tanah and I made it through our experience, we (finally) found a swim suit for her that we both like, and we are still talking to each other. This is good.
Shopping…a necessary evil. The kids split their egg money and Miles insisted on visiting the store at the next available opportunity, eager to spend his earnings on soccer goalie gloves. He created the opportunity by getting up at 6:00 and accompanying me on the morning car pool (to take Chick to the OWATC). After the drop-off we headed to the nearest Wal-Mart to spend his booty. At the check-out counter, I stood aside while Miles counted out his money and paid the cashier. The kindly gentleman standing behind us commented on the transaction. “What a good grandma,” he said, “to let her grandson pay for his own stuff.” The really sad news about the comment is that I had a hat on. The three inch stripe of gray hair that runs down the center of my head was not even visible. I just look grandmother-y I guess.
I may look old but I am not senile yet, at least not according to Lance. “You are brilliant,” he told me. “Why do you say that?” I queried. “Because you think just like I do,” he said. Hum………
My brilliancy is questionable but the fact that I am crazy is pretty well established. Thursday, the day before leaving the country for nine days, we had a little rodeo on our little farm. We gave the steer a shot in the neck and the two Suffolk sheep shots in the butt. We sheared the Suffolk lamb and the four Soay sheep. And we gave three pigs shots behind their ears.
Vaccinating the steer was simple; he is a docile creature. Shooting and shearing the sheep was a bit trickier. It took all six of us to get the Soay into the corral; they are wily, wild critters. Once we got our hands on them, however, it was fairly easy. The pigs, however, were a different story. Getting our hands on the pigs was easy; keeping our hands on the pigs was not so easy.
Miles and Grace can get the hogs to lie down by scratching their bellies. They go down without fuss but they don’t stay down. Lance thought he’d just hold them down; after all he is a pretty savy wrestler. However he’d never wrestled a pig before (not a literal pig anyway) and his first (and second and third) attempts ended with escapes. Chick joined the fray with similar results. Pigs are powerfully opposed to take downs and really, really do not like being stuck, not by wrestling moves and not by needles. Finally we used a panel to pin them, one at a time, in a corner. I stuck them quickly (no three count for me) and the vaccinations were done.
Friday we left at 4:01 a.m., headed towards Mexico. We left again at 4:08 and 4:18. (Whoops!) We made it to Tucson, AZ about 7:30 p.m. In Fillmore, UT the outside temperature was 48 degrees F; in Page, AZ the outside temp was 98 degrees F; in Phoenix, AZ it was 108 degrees F outside. We were warm enough in Fillmore and more than warm enough in Page and Phoenix though we all agreed that summer driving across Arizona without air conditioning is easier than summer driving across Nebraska without A/C; we’ll take hotter temperatures over humidity.
[NOTE: We joined Joe, Michelle, Eric, and Brandon Drago on a road trip to Mexico where we will stay in Joe’s company’s beach house while Joe supervises the installation of a huge machine in his company’s Mexican manufacturing plant.]
The border crossing into Mexico was totally smooth and blessedly uneventful as was the drive to Guaymas and San Carlos. Arriving at the beach house in San Carlos was FABULOUS!!!! Said Tanah of the beach house, “When all of you die, I want to come live here with a thousand birds.” (She’d seen some tropical birds for sale at an intersection and desperately wanted some; I am not sure where the “all of you die” part came from.) It is a spectacular house, only a block from a white sand beach that is caressed gently by bathwater warm waves. Yum.
Sunday we attended all three meetings in the Miramar (Guaymas) ward. Just before turning into the driveway Miles said, “Mom, what if there is no one in my Primary class that speaks English?” OH SWEETHEART! When I told him there probably would not be any English speakers he crumbled; I watched him visibly melt. He clung to me during Sacrament meeting. When I took him to his Primary class he sat huddled in his chair, pressed against the wall. The teacher was not there yet so I told the other children, in Spanish, that Miles did not speak Spanish and that he was a little afraid. I asked them to be nice to him and I left.
Children are so good. When I passed Miles in the chapel an hour later, he was happily interacting with his new friends; he hardly gave me a glance. Driving back to the beach house after the meetings he said, “Church in Mexico is SO fun. I want to come back next week.”
Youth are good too. Grace, Tanah, and Chick had similar positive experiences; the girls particularly had a fabulous time. I think it helped that there was a handsome young man who served as interpreter for them in Sunday School and in the Young Women’s meeting.
Sunday’s miracles continued. The kids were playing in the waves when Tanah got stung by a jellyfish. She went quickly and miserably back to the beach house. I stayed on the beach with the remaining children. Twenty minutes later, as I started back, a woman who was walking along the seashore, stopped me, told me she had counted 137 washed up jelly fish and asked me if I knew what to do for jellyfish stings. When I declared my ignorance, she gave me specific instructions: 1) vinegar (or something acidic), 2) hot water, as hot as you can stand, 3) scrape the area with a something hard, like a credit card. It works! Within 30 minutes of the treatment, Tanah’s angry red welts had disappeared as had the stinging pain.
God is good.
Life is good.
And, yes, the birds are singing.