Three Weeks in July

I’m a big fan of memories. Some of my favorite times with family and friends are remembering other fun times we had in the past.

This has become even more important and precious to me in the last few years since we lost our beautiful niece, Laura. Memories of her bring a mixture of laughter and tears. But it’s also made me acutely aware of the need to be making those memories.

So I’ve been consciously trying to give gifts of memories and experiences, instead of more stuff. We’ve been blessed to be able to go on some trips to the Carson Valley, Nevada. One of these trips was thanks to Laura. It was a resort stay that we purchased at a fundraiser for her. They were very hospitable and welcoming, and we enjoyed ourselves very much. And of course, a few months later, we got a call inviting us back, this time with an invitation to stay nearby, enjoy the resort facilities, and listen to a timeshare presentation. We don’t usually do these things, but it appeared the perfect opportunity to bring along our two granddaughters and make some memories.

I’ll be recording some of our memories and fun times this week, on the blog. We will have both granddaughters all this week, and then just one for two more weeks.

Yesterday, July 10, we left our home and began the four and a half hour drive to Nevada. We fielded the expected, “how much longer?” questions and road games.

The beautiful mountain scenery over the pass, and the gorgeous lakes elicited only casual interest. Until we stopped at one lake and walked across a foot bridge over the causeway. And they were both enthralled with the water right under our feet and looking for fish. We got to town and checked in, and then went looking for dinner. We found a local burger and deli joint. Emphasis on “local.” Apparently you have to have lived in this area a certain number of months before the information is deposited in your brain. We were completely at a loss about where to order, where to get drinks, what to do, how to order. Even after we told the staff several times, “We’ve never been here before, we don’t know what to do,” they were spectacularly unhelpful. The hair in Stud Muffin’s salad, after waiting twice as long for our food as anyone else in the place, was the final straw.

Back to the hotel to get the girls in the swimming pool, to work out some of the pent-up road trip energy, and hopefully tire them out for bedtime.

Granddaughter number two, the blonde six-year-old, is enchanted with the mini fridge in the room. She promptly stowed her swim goggles in the freezer portion, to see how cold they could get. After our swim, she put her wet suit in the refrigerator, also to see how cold it could get. The answer: pretty darn cold. It was still dripping wet this morning when she went to put it on for the morning swim.

Granddaughter number one can’t find her suit, so is swimming in shorts and a tee. She had it at our house Sunday. I did a walk-through of the house before we left, and didn’t see it anywhere… It’s a mystery.

As I was stuffing a book bag with games and books to keep them occupied in the car, at the last second I added The No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency, thinking they would enjoy hearing some of Mma Ramotswe’s adventures. We finished Chapter 2 last night. They are enjoying it. But I had forgotten just how heartbreaking chapter 2 is. It’s the story of Mma Ramotswe’s father’s life in the mines, and how he died, and his love for his family, his daughter, his cows. Tears and sadness all around.

Monday’s memory: The refreshing feel of cold swim goggles and bathing suit!

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