Last week was one of changes, of endings and new beginnings. Before I write those down though, here’s my favorite picture from the week:
I took it while we were eating dinner at Burgers Supreme together. It could only be better if Nathan were also there, but alas, he was at work that night. Haley came down for a quick visit, which was great. She is so busy during this, her last year of college, and I think it helps her to feel happier when she’s busy like that. She and Jake both went to the eye doctor and then I helped them pick out glasses (so far, no one has horrible eyesight like I do, but all three of the Bigs now need glasses for driving, watching movies, and reading the board in class). French fries and burgers (fish sandwich for Haley & Kendell though) and laughing. We haven’t managed to get Jake available at the same time Haley was home for a while, and the last time they saw each other was in May when we went to Hawaii. So this picture makes my heart hurt, but in a good way. That achy, sweet thing I feel so often now, of time’s transition and of how much I love the people they are becoming.
The changes that I wrote about a few weeks ago (“wrote” in a vague, I-can’t-write-about-this-yet way) is that Kendell got a new job. This is HUGE for him, as he’s worked for this company (in its several iterations) since 1991. But he was at last ready for some changes. So, this was his last week working at Microfocus. He’s starting his new job, at a company called Proof Point, on Monday. He’s worried about and discussed and talked through this decision all week (even though the decision was already made). It’s hard leaving the company and product he’s worked on for most of his adult life. But the opportunity to go to a new company, make a fresh start, and have other chances at positions will be great for his career, I think. And his psyche. Is it cheesy to say I’m proud of him? Maybe. But I am…proud of him for taking a step in a new direction.
Because his new company doesn’t offer a cell phone, he had to get a new one. And since the S8 was on a bogo, I also got a new one. So: new phones. (But not new phone numbers. Would you believe I’ve had the same cell phone number since 1993, when we got our first cell phone? And yes. It was one of those grey phones the size of a brick!)
And then, the new vehicle we’ve been saving for finally arrived. We sold our minivan this summer, as we didn’t need so much space anymore. (I might’ve shed some tears when we told our Sienna—which the kids had nicknamed the “fat puma,” FP for short—not so much because I loved it sooooo much, but because selling it was a marker of the ending of a time in my life.) We bought a new Highlander and it’s perfect for us. I told Kendell that I can’t wait to toss my snowshoes in the back and head up the canyon in it this winter!
Kaleb had his last soccer game of the season on Monday. His team won, but he didn’t score any goals, so he had some mixed feelings. I heard the coach of the other team (and some parents) shout “block #1!” more than once, so he was heavily guarded! Then on Tuesday morning I took him in to the dermatologist. He’s had this big wart growing on his toe knuckle; it’s been removed three times already but keeps coming back. This time the doctor tried a chemo drug, injected right into the wart. Hopefully that will take care of it. (He wanted it off as soon as it started growing back, but I didn’t want him to have to miss soccer practice and games because of hurting feet.) He is starting to make a group of friends at his new school, and they like to get out and do things. So this week he went to a birthday party, to a trampoline park, and to a movie, all with friends. (It still feels strange that he is growing up!)
Nathan is deep inside his senior year at this point. Studying all the time for his ACT retake, which is this Saturday. For his AP art class, he had to choose a concentration, a subject to focus on for the whole year for his art homework. He chose to paint women from Greek mythology. Last week he was busy painting Europa riding the bull (who was Zeus in disguise). I’ve so enjoyed telling him the stories I know, revisiting the myths and remembering things I’d forgotten. But I still have the last line of “Leda and the Swan” kicking around in my memory: “Did she put on his knowledge with his power/Before the indifferent beak could let her drop?” so I looked it up and read the whole thing to him. Which lead to us talking about rape, consent, choice, and his responsibility in all of that. (I’m glad he’s open to talking about almost anything. We have some great conversations.)
Last week was the end of the term, so both Nathan and Kaleb worked quite a bit on the last-minute flurry to bring their grades up. (Sigh. I have mixed feelings about this. It’s good they’re making sure to get it done, but why wait until the end of the term?)
I got some good running in. My favorite run was on Saturday morning. It was windy when I left, but a warm wind, and there were leaves blowing everywhere. It was still sunny (although, the clouds were coming) and bright, and all of those leaves—different colors, different types—were just so pretty. About half-way through my run, then wind stopped, and I started crossing streets in strange places just so I didn’t miss any leaf piles on sidewalks. Running through leaf piles = a blissful sort of heaven! Then, about ten minutes later, the wind started up again, cold this time, and the clouds filled the sky. I got home just before the storm arrived. It was lovely! (Except for the two new blisters I came home with.)
I finished a book, Poetry Will Save Your Life, and then resumed my mammoth reading project (the 1000+ pages of It are an undertaking). I made a couple of layouts and bought a few more pieces of fabric for my soccer quilt. And I made pumpkin chocolate-chip cookies.
It was a pretty good week.