Tag Archives: Spin Cycle

Trekkie or Trekker? And Other Geekiness.

Even though my sister and I refer to ourselves as “Trekkies,” we are actually “Trekkers.” Why, yes, there is a difference! Trekkies have the reputation of being slightly off-balance in their devotion to Star Trek, while Trekkers are more rational and just have fun with their Star Trek fandom.

Our devotion to Star Trek began back in the 70’s and can be blamed on our father. I remember watching countless episodes of the original series with Dad. They were all reruns, of course, and it was so exciting to see a rerun airing on TV that was rarely shown!

flip phone or communicator? Beam me up, Scotty!
Flip phone or communicator? Beam me up, Scotty!

We’ve never attended a Star Trek Convention or put on pointy ears. But we have played Star Trek Trivia and have bought Dad all the Star Trek spaceship Christmas tree ornaments, much to the dismay of our mother!

Of course, I also watched every episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation and Voyager, but I never got into Deep Space Nine or Enterprise. Even though I’m a die hard original Star Trek fan, however, I really enjoyed the newest Star Trek movies. Chris Pine plays Captain Kirk brilliantly!

Alas, I have not spread my enjoyment of Star Trek to my children. I have the original Star Wars movies on video tape, and they enjoy watching Princess Leia stare down Darth Vader. I’m okay with that.

Emmy is more of a Star Wars fan.
Emmy is more of a Star Wars fan.

So that takes care of my T.V. show inner geek, but I am actually even geekier when it comes to books. I also blame this on my father! There was a huge bookshelf packed full of Dad’s books in our house when we were growing up. Most of the books did not look interesting to me, but the ones I did grab off the shelf soon became favorites. Growing up in a small town meant that we didn’t have access to a public library, and our school library was very small. Dad and Mom helped us build our own collection of books, buying us the Little House on the Prairie and Nancy Drew series one book at a time. My sister and I cherished those books, and reread them over and over. In 6th grade, I developed a new book obsession; I grabbed my dad’s copy of The Lord of the Rings. It must have taken me forever to read, and I’m sure I didn’t understand some of what Tolkien wrote, but I was hooked! I found that when I reread those books, I discovered new points to the plot that I had missed before. On my last rereading, about a year ago, I made sure to actually read the words to all the songs and poems that I had always skipped over when I was younger. You know that question that asks what book would you bring with you to a deserted island? My answer has always been The Lord of the Rings. (This may be cheating a little bit, since it’s actually three books, but that’s my final answer!)

What brings out your inner geek? Is it a television show or a movie? What book would you bring if you were stranded on a deserted island? Share your inner geek here!



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A Taste of Independence

I think the first time I felt independent was when I finally got my driver’s license. It took me a while to go to the DMV to actually get it because I was so afraid I would fail. When I finally did take my road test, the guy with the clipboard in the passenger seat did not help. He wanted me to pretend that I was parking going downward on a hill when we were actually heading up a hill. When I moved the wheels the wrong way, at least he didn’t mark it against me!

The first summer I had my driver’s license, my aunt let me borrow her silver Cadillac. My sister, cousin and I bounced into the car. We were going to the movies. As we drove, our arms loosely draped out of the open windows, we turned the radio up and sang along at the top of our voices.

Highway to the Danger Zone.

We were going to see the best summer movie EVER.

I feel the need…the need for speed!

That’s right. We were going to see Top Gun.

While the silver Cadillac didn’t accelerate using g-forces, that sense of freedom on a warm summer night was exhilarating. Sometimes being the oldest child in the family is awesome!

Sometimes, though, being the oldest child is also scary. I was the first to go away to college. I loved being away from home…and hated it. Those first few months were really hard. It was before cell phones and email, so I had to call my family collect. Will you accept the charges?

I don’t remember why, but I guess I thought I had to be independent and I held off calling my parents for 9 weeks. I was busy after all, hanging out with my new friends 24 hours a day, taking classes, doing homework, and going to the student union. We did send real letters to each other (you can read some of them here). When I finally heard my mom and dad’s voice on the phone, however, I remember feeling so happy and yet missed them so much that I burst into tears!

Independence; sometimes exhilarating, sometimes heartbreaking.

When do you remember feeling independent?

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Three Good Things

You know what I hate? Waking up in the morning with a deep pit in my stomach, dreading the day ahead. Fortunately, that doesn’t happen very often. After I was diagnosed with cancer, I had some dark days. One of the things that helped me get through them was staring a gratitude journal. Every night before I went to bed, I would write down 5 things I was grateful for that day. Ending the day in such a positive way helped me to sleep, and my mornings were better.

In a similar vein, my pastor has been encouraging us to write down 3 blessings before we go to bed at night. He calls them “God’s fingerprints” on our lives. I just love that.

This week, I’ve had so many wonderful blessings, but I’m going to pick just three to tell you.

Swim team

1. Both Lily and Emmy are in a swim team this year. This is Lily’s second summer on swim team, and she loves it! Emmy was very resistant to being on swim team, but she has reached the end of swim lessons and swims like a fish. Also, Mommy really needs some time to herself! On Wednesday they had a swim meet, and my little reluctant swimmer came in first place in her age group for the 25 yard freestyle! This really gave her a boost of confidence about her swimming!

vegetables

2. Every Thursday during the summer, my church has been hosting a farmer’s market. I think I missed every single one last summer. It takes a little effort for me to go because our church is a 20 minute drive from our house. Today–I remembered to go! Lily and I have already devoured the peaches and grape tomatoes I bought.

3. Tonight, I took a shower. Maybe this little phrase will help you understand why this is a good thing: after the kids went to bed. There was no one barging into the bathroom demanding something to eat (like yesterday, even though they are perfectly capable of getting their own snacks) or yelling and arguing and shouting “MOMMY” (like what happened this morning when I was in the bathroom getting ready). Tonight, I took a peaceful and uninterrupted shower. Now that is a blessing!

What are three good things that happened to you this week? Link up your blog post here or tell us in the comments!



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A 70’s Summer

When I was young, I still had my regular bedtime during the summer. That meant that I was in bed with the light streaming through the windows while I could hear my friends outside, still playing. Once I yelled out to them through my open window, but my mom, who used that time to garden, heard me. She immediately told me to get back in bed!

grandparents' house
Visiting my grandparents over the summer

We lived in a very small town of about 800 people. Our moms rarely arranged playdates for us; we just went to each other’s house and rang the doorbell. We had to stay on our side of the tracks, however. There was no class division about this rule; the tracks ran along the highway and it would have been too dangerous to cross the tracks by ourselves. One good friend lived out on a farm, so it was a special treat when her mom was in town and she rang our doorbell to play. But sometimes, it was just my sister and me, hanging out by the driveway because our mom had kicked us out of the house to play.

Some days it seemed so hot that we could see the heat radiating from the white, concrete driveway. We just couldn’t get up the energy to run around, and we would just sit there, pining for the popsicles we had just made that were still liquid in the freezer. On those hot summer barefoot days, the tar would bubble up from the blacktop roads and make black circles on the soles of our feet, which were impossible to scrub off in the bathtub.

Other days, we would ride our bikes to the park, which surrounded the water tower at the middle of town. It was always fun to ride around that circular road that circumvented the swings, merry-go-round, and teeter-totters. The teeter-totters were long and high at one end, and also very dangerous. I’m afraid I wasn’t very nice to my sister when I’d leave her hanging at the top and got off, letting her drop to the ground. She got me back a few time, and hitting the ground while sitting on a hard wooden seat hurts!

As the pastor’s family, farmers would bring us bushels of tomatoes, sweet corn and of course, zucchini. Mom would fry up bacon and we would have BLTs for dinner. I still love BLTs in the summer! As a kid, I hated corn on the cob. I just didn’t know how good I had it! I love BLTs and corn on the cob for a summer supper.

When we were allowed to stay up late, we would catch lightning bugs and put them in jars. My sister still chastises me when I call them fireflies. To us, they were always called lightning bugs!

What do you remember about summer?



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A Shift in Routine

At the beginning of the week, I was dreading our new lack of routine. It rained all day on Monday, and the weather forecast was horrible. We were beginning our first full week of no school. I had no concrete plans. Summer really throws me off.

public library
Rainy day at the library

So that morning, we went to one of my favorite places–the library! We don’t go to the library very often during the school year, because the girls check out books from their school library. For school, they have to read at a certain level and take Accelerated Reader tests on the books they read. They were so excited about the chance to pick out books that they wanted to read; books that weren’t at at certain reading level or that they didn’t have to take a test on. This summer, part of our routine is simply going to be to read!

Lily and Emmy coloring on the new white board wall in the Discovery Zone.
Lily and Emmy coloring on the new white board wall in the Discovery Zone.

Our routine seems to have been flipped around. We used to be busiest in the morning, with orchestra for Lily starting at 8:00, school starting at 8:50 and me having to get to work before 9:00. After I taught preschool, I would go to the gym, run errands or do some chores, and then I pick up the girls from school. Homework was the next priority, and then dinner had to be made. Our days seemed to fly by!

This week, we have been lazy in the mornings. Instead of our day revolving around school, it revolves around swim team. Both Lily and Emmy are in swim team this year. We had to convince Emmy that she was ready, and so far, she is doing great! I have to plan what dinner will be early in the afternoon, (I’ll be making a lot of Crock Pot dinners this summer) and then I take the girls to swim team at 4:30. I use that time to go the gym.

Lily at a swim meet last year.
Lily at a swim meet last year.

Ed’s routine has been to go to the gym after work. We never used to see each other at the gym. But now, we meet at the gym. I usually get there first, and it’s always a thrill to see him walk in the door. It seems like we’re meeting on the sly; like we’re having an affair even though we’re married! I think it must be because going to the gym is something we both like to do that has nothing to do with the kids. It just ours, me and him.

After exercising, I go pick up the girls from swim team. Lily’s age group isn’t finished until 6:30, and we go home to eat a dinner that’s later than we’re used to. The girls fall exhausted into bed from all that swimming, and Ed and I follow soon after.

The weather this week wasn’t as horrible as the forecast made it seem; the sun is shining right now and it looks like it will be a beautiful day. The girls had some spontaneous playdates with friends, swim team was only canceled once, the house is relatively clean, and I’ve managed to keep everyone fed. I’d judge this as a successful week!

What about you? Do you have a morning routine? A summer routine? A retirement routine? Or are you spontaneous and throw routines out the window? Share your routine or lack of routine with us!

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